Sunday, 8 September 2013

New York Fashion Week

I love this time of year, seasons are changing and it's the start fashion weeks all around the world!

Here are a few of my favourite looks from New York Fashion Week so far.

Images from

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Kane'd it

Back in 2009, after I graduated from university, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, I moved down to London to gain some experience within the fashion industry. I managed to land myself a placement at Christopher Kane.

I really enjoyed the experience (minus the unpaid part) In total, there were around ten other interns. We literally spent all our time in the studio, as we got closer to London Fashion Week, we later we would stay. All my evenings, early mornings and weekends were spent in their East London studio but it didn't phase me - I made some really good friends whilst working for an incredible designer.

In terms of technical skills, I learnt so much more in six months than I did during my three years in university. My education gave me a good introduction to certain aspects of construction and pattern cutting but when I went into the industry, my knowledge seemed heavily diluted.

We had a lot of samples to make varying in different fabrics, and as a result, I am confident in cutting and sewing a variety of fabrics from silks, chiffon and georgette to leather.

Obviously there is a downside to interning in high fashion. No pay and long hours is the main killer. When i was interning there were talks about the laws in unpaid work - how long can you have someone interning before they become an employee? Nowadays, there are apprenticeship schemes, even in fashion. I've seen a few of these schemes offered at a few high-end studios in London, apprenticeships don't pay a lot but at least it's something and it's a start for the fashion industry not to exploit their workers.

I would recommend any fashion student or graduate to try and get a placement within a high fashion company - the hours will be long, you won't have a social life, your fingers will bleed and you will cry - but the skills you develop are invaluable, especially if you decide to stay within a studio environment.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Wish List: Stylish Sneakers

Pumps, flats, heels, kitten, wedges, slippers, sandals, boots, brogues, platforms, flatforms. Women have a lot to choose from when it comes to footwear. Naturally, I love shoes but since living in London and being car-less, it's not practical for me to run around the city in for long periods of time in ill-fitting shoes. I want some shoes that are stylish and comfortable, hence the sneakers.

You can buy these trainers (apart from the Jeffrey Campbell ones, they seem to be sold out everywhere) here: Nude Absolute Stud Quilted Hi-Tops from Topshop, Alva Hi Spike by Jeffrey Campbell and Hello Kitty Bow Trainers by Vans.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Perfect Party Dress Competition

Last year, I came across ITV's Perfect Party Dress competition where the winner would have their design manufactured and sold in John Lewis over the Christmas period.

At this point, I had just moved to London and didn't have any of my drawing equipment so I sent in an old design and just changed some of the fabrics to fit the criteria. A few days later, I got a phone call from someone at ITV saying that I'd been shortlisted and if I was available for filming within the next 2 weeks!

I designed this about 3 years ago, I did it after a short course in learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and I wanted to try my hand at technical drawings. 

On the day of filming, I arrived at ITV studios in the morning and met the other 9 finalists, everyone was lovely but I had my eye on one guy, Stephen Arthur. He was the only male in the competition and he had no professional experience but he had a vision and passion - he actually ended up winning and is doing really well for himself! 

Anyway, the camera man took us onto Southbank and made us walk up and down, taking different shots. They ranged from 'serious' to 'we're all mates having a good time' to 'I like to wonder out into the distance contemplating life.' 

After filming, we met with a seamstress who discussed fabric and construction with us before presenting our designs to the judges. There were a few questions asked about my design - like why was the zip made a feature? is it going to be boned? All issues resolved and it was presentation time.

The judges were Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker from PPQ, head of buying for womenswear at John Lewis and stylist Faye Sawyer from This Morning. We presented our work individually and were asked about inspiration, target market, construction, fabric choices etc. From what I could gather, my design was probably more Topshop than John Lewis...

Click here to watch the episode.

I sadly didn't get through, I would've loved to have seen my design made but that whole experience was really fun and at the end of the day, I was on national TV for about 10 seconds!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday, 28 June 2013

TADO collaboration

Time flies. This time last year, I was finishing off my Diploma in Creative Pattern Cutting.

I really enjoyed the final major project, I managed to secure myself a collaboration with the world famous illustrators TADO. I met Mike and Katie at a Sheffield party and told them about the course and my interests. The next day, I doodled a few outfits and sheepishly emailed them with a proposal about a potential collaboration… a few days later, I got an email saying they were extremely interested and designed a repeat print for me. Lesson learnt - you don't ask, you don't get!

Sketch and proposal I sent to TADO

TADO have worked for some big brands such as Gola, MTV and Vodafone. I was so excited about working with them, we emailed back and forth with garment ideas and prints ideas for a few weeks before finally settling on a final print and style for the collection. 

The concept of the project was heavily inspired by one of our tutors, a bespoke tailor who worked on Saville Row, Karl Matthews. He was infectious with his talks and I wanted to combine the playfulness of TADO with the accuracy and precision used in tailoring. It just seemed like a waste not to utilise his skills during my short time at the college. 

I ended up making three outfits from the line up. Standard blood, sweat and tears went into the making process. I was really happy with the end result, I mixed the TADO print with gingham fabric, added a few studs and got a couple of t-shirts printed up to finish off the collection.

There was a fashion show with the college but the images didn't turn out very well so here I am taking selfies. I should organise a photoshoot for these outfits...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Maria Black Jewellery

I came across Maria Black Jewellery when I started work at Berthram's. It is one of the brands we represent in the UK. Maria shares her time between her home town, Copenhagen and London. She's an award winning designer with an amazing future ahead of her. Within the past year, she's collaborated with Danish designer, Anne Sofie Madsen, she's breaking through the UK market, selling in amazing stores such as Harvey Nichols, Wild Swans and Wolf and Badger and this month, she's opened a flagship store in Copenhagen.

For me, it was love at first sight. I love the collections. My favourite part of work is selecting pieces to send out to press and stylists. Alongside, I create my own ring combinations for fun! The beauty of Maria's rings is that you can pile them on, mix and match between collections and create different looks depending on the occasion or style.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures of me and Maria Black Jewellery!

Pictures by Polina and me

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Graduate Fashion Week

I can’t believe it’s Graduate Fashion Week already. I remember when I was a tired-eyed, caffeine fuelled, sleep deprived student frantically sewing, fitting and styling my final major project ready for my debut in Earl’s Court. It’s hard to believe that there’s been 4 lots of graduates since I was there… 4 years since I’ve graduated from my Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design from Manchester School of Art.

I loved my final year project, design and create 6 outfits from scratch. I specialised in young woven womenswear (original, I know) I based my collection around a roll of fabric I found in a small store in Sheffield. It was a large sequinned, dip-dyed fabric – I loved the colours, midnight blue with a touch of purples. I wanted to create a collection that was fun for women to wear. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Bright Whites

This summer, I'd love to try out the 'all-white' outfit. The only thing stopping me is the fact that I'm super messy and I live in London. The underground and trains is covered in dirt and dust. My whites will never stay brilliant. But hey, I'm an occasional victim to new trends.

I work at a fashion agency called Berthram's and I've ordered a white dress from one of the brands, Anne Sofie Madsen, but it probably won't arrive until the end of summer. In the mean time, if I had all the money in the world, I'd buy a SS13 Alexander Wang dress but because I'm broke, I'd probably opt for a nameless labelled jumpsuit from eBay. Need to add Daz to my shopping basket after those lazy sunny days in the park.