A few weeks ago I was asked to dress up in this season’s French Connection and jump around like a crazy person while a photographer (a lovely female one for a change) took some pictures for Grazia. It’s out this week (keep your eyes peeled for the cover with poor Courteney Cox attempting a heartbroken half smile).
Thanks for asking me French Connection. And thank you Grazia for the appropriate airbrushing (though I’m pretty certain my cup size appears to have decreased by three measurements, which puts an end to my pondering whether bigger boobs are back in fashion again).
When you first commit to the pursuit of a creative career you barely give yourself pause to contemplate how difficult it will be. The perks seem so fantastic that you decide to overlook the irregular hours and poor pay, which are two of the inevitable downsides for those who are lucky enough to get hired through some fortunate combination of right place and right time. But ‘making it’ isn’t so easy with such ferocious competition and such a minuscule pool of jobs (all the aspiring journos I know are interviewing for the same positions in London, unbeknownst to them) so occasionally a band of pioneering creatives will join together to produce their own output. Magazines made by frustrated young talent are popping up all over the place, and the innovation and creativity they express is truly admirable.
Sketchbook is exemplary. At the magazine’s pop up shop last month the editor, Wafa Alobaidat, told me she never turns an aspiring contributor away. On average she has met five new people every day since the magazine’s launch a year ago, and the success of this creative community is evident in the quality and originality of her team’s content (read the latest issue here).
Similarly Lindsey and Claire, founders of Ballad Of, came up with the idea to help themselves and others break into the creative industry one lazy afternoon over waffles and ice cream – ‘we asked people to contribute and we were overwhelmed by the response! We are now on our third issue and have sold out in shops like The Tate, RD Franks, Rough Trade and other boutiques around London and a few in the north too! We hope Ballad Of will continue to grow and give people the exposure they need’.
The girls are currently looking for submissions on the topic ‘Don’t Forget to Write’. Get involved here.
Newly launched I Like My Style proudly proclaims it’s status as ‘The First Ever User Generated Fashion Magazine’. What began as a community blogging project has branched into print, and the team behind it describe themselves as ‘A bunch of friends from Berlin, New York, Texas, Austria and Hong Kong. Most of us have a background in media, others in fashion. We believe in thinking high and low. And in dressing up and down’.
Read the very first issue here.
Pop-up shops might be my favourite thing in the whole world – guerilla shopping / eating fuelled by novelty, hype and brevity. It works for the same reasons you feel compelled to have a thorough rummage through the ‘get it before it’s gone’ rail at Topshop – you just can’t bare to miss out.
Well the latest pop up venue worth visiting is Bea’s of Bloomsbury’s afternoon tea venture, held on the lawn at the Cardinal Place Complex in Victoria. I took Natalie Hughes (whom many of you will know from Canned Fashion – her awesome style and illustration blog) to enjoy tea, cakes and sandwiches on yesterday’s sunny (but gusty) afternoon, and we marvelled over the amazing teapot and cake stand below.
On the menu:
- Black vanilla tea
- Pimms and Lemonade (what English summer’s afternoon would be complete without it?)
- Lavender shortbread
- White chocolate brownies
- Scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam
- Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
- Red velvet cupcakes
It was RIDICULOUS! (and by that I of course mean frickin’ delicious). Bea is hosting her pop up shop today and next weekend only so reserve your place asap by emailing email@example.com. It’s £25 per person and you get all the yummyness above, plus more!
If only Natalie and I were wearing one of these pastoral numbers whilst we savoured our tea on the lawn…
(Images from Style.com)
(Note the frog atop the Viv Westwood straw hat…I want to wear it to a picnic on Hamstead Heath now if not sooner).
Last year I interviewed Kirsty McKie, freelance TV producer and author of the now sadly defunct Howl blog. I was writing a piece on girls who have thought up innovative ways to make money from their love of fashion during the recession, and Kirsty was making a killing selling her unwanted clothes on her personal style blog. A clever idea no? Get a following of fashionistas who admire your style, then give them the chance to buy some of the items they’ve been coveting, therefore funding more purchases and fuelling more posts. It’s one big marvellous style cycle!
Kirsty’s penchant for newness even extends to blogs. I believe howlclothing.blogspot.com is maybe her fourth, and the idea this time was to sell her own Chanel inspired t-shirt designs. I LOVE them!
The centre slogan is apparently a famous phrase seen in the men’s toilets of Chanel HQ in Paris, and is also available in French. It’s making me see Chanel in a whole new light!
Kirsty is selling her designs for £20 a pop with free delivery. Send your orders to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and I’m trying to get in on the action as well. I’ve just set up a new blog – STS Shop – to shift some of my hardly worn clothes. If your in the market for a brand new pair of pink Melissa + Vivienne Westwood shoes at bargain prices head on over quick…