Last week I visited the V&A for a long awaited booking visit for the McQueen – Savage Beauty exhibition. It was a hot Summer’s day in London and it was packed – mostly full of school trips. Going there after a few years ago made me appreciate a lot of V&A’s design which it has carried so well for decades. It won’t be long until I get on the train back there, I love it!
I’d watched Tinie Tempah’s BBC short video about the exhibition months ago so kind of spoilt it for myself but I was not disappointed. Every room had a story, a theme and an atmosphere. His costumes were so well executed, he was truly a craftsman of his work. Unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take pictures of the exhibition, but I managed to take a few snaps of the last room – Platos Atlantis.
Of course, I had to leave with a souvenir. So I bought a sketchbook with his snakeskin design from his last collection he did (photographed above) – one of my favourites.
This year, we’re seeing them everywhere on the red carpet. And Solange changed the game in that white wedding jumpsuit. I’d loved to have one ever since. My first jumpsuit I bought was a black, wrap style with a straight leg. I wear it for interviews and sometimes fold up the hem to create a cuff style so I can wear it with trainers. I think it’s a really versatile outfit choice that looks so effortless yet so cool.
Before I went on holiday I was looking for a Summer dress, the print caught my eye and I picked up a flared, cami jumpsuit in H&M at £24.99. My past self wouldn’t have dared to try on a printed jumpsuit, but it was quite flattering. As a 5ft 5 gal I thought it would drown me and be tight on my legs but in the right size the length was perfect and the trousers were baggy. And there’s nothing better than pockets on a jumpsuit! I wore them with my birkenstocks so the hem was just off the ground, not at an awkward ankle length.
Summer weddings are a common invitation and usually I have no guides as to what to wear. But this time I have my heart set on a jumpsuit. Browsing the internet I’ve decided I don’t want something tight legged, and as culottes are also on trend this Summer I think a culotte or wide legged jumpsuit with a pair of court shoes or strappy sandal heels will look perfect.
A Parisian couture house, founded in 1914 by Pierre Balmain. ‘The New Look’ was created by Christian Dior, when couture could be exploited by the ability to use lavish fabrics once again after the restrictions from WW2. This look exaggerated the woman’s body; big shoulders, small waistlines and full skirts. Which is the silhouette you imagine from Balmain today.
Oscar De La Renta was amongst the designers to take over the house in 1993, with modest and simple designs. Then Christophe Decarnin in 2006, replaced De La Renta, contrasting the brand into the present, along with the high fashion price tag. His military-esque collection of 2007 can still be seen in Rousteing’s work. And of course, military isn’t a trend that’s fading fast.
Olivier Rousteing, once an unknown designer became the French couture house’s next creator, aged 25. In 2011, he wanted to launch the brand into the present. Whilst supporting the evolution of the fashion house to the 21st Century by Decarnin, Rousteing has captured the Asian market (the brands’ highest proportion of buyers) and the younger market. Many young people look up to affluent celebrities therefore he has created an Army of followers (from military ’07 to Instagram, very fitting) that are more than willing to wear his designs from 2012 to 2015.
My first look of Balmain was the Fall 2012 collection, which to me is very recognisable. It bows down to royalty with its’ beading and floral prints. It also takes you back to the start of Balmain history with ‘The New Look’ silhouette, and that it can still be in fashion today. It makes a statement for fashion couture history.
2015 saw Rousteing take cutouts from the runway to the red carpet to the high street. Right now, cutouts are the trend of the season in evening wear and beach wear. His Spring 2015 collection showcased this brilliantly, taking the modest, pure designs with flowing, white fabrics to caged, bold primary coloured designs. The metal cinched in waist belts and gladiator heels is a continuous image in the brands’ collections. I think it’s important to instil Balmain’s image with continual accessories, no matter who the designer is. His Resort 2015 collection will be recognised by many due to Kim K; Binx Walton (a favourite model of mine) presents the beaded dress with a poncho shape, sometimes incorporated with a leather tie belt. And those heels are A*.
If you don’t know already, every high street fashion girl will know his name. And his cheekbones. The talented big brown eyed designer is set to launch a collection with H&M on November 5th – H&M are getting good at this. ‘I want to talk to my generation’ ‘fuelled on the hashtag #HMBalmaination’ Rousteing envisions. Lastnight, he announced his collaboration globally, using the Billboard Awards and his Instagram. Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn wore his H&M designs on the red carpet along with Taylor Swift in the Spring 2015 jumpsuit, and Kylie Jenner wearing 2013 Balmain (sorry not sorry Kylie). I’m unsure about how wearable Jourdan Dunn’s outfit would be to many H&M shoppers, but maybe they would be investment pieces, a bit like some of Wang’s pieces of last year. But Kendall’s jacket, a take back to the Fall 2012 collection, is definitely a winner.
Arthritis and similar auto immune diseases have no cure, there’s no definitive medication that will make everyone’s pain go away. As if the pain wasn’t bad enough, it’s the trial and error of medications that cause you to be sick one month, bloated another or mentally in a worse off state the next. People who can relate to this illness will know, it’s a day to day struggle and it’s really unpredictable. I don’t mean to sound negative or scare anyone but I think it’s good to express my personal experiences.
Trying to remember when I’ve had a flare up and when I’ve felt normal this past year has been a bit of a blur and it doesn’t help that I have a memory of a goldfish (I blame the steriods). The steroids are a dangerous medication as they can affect your internal organs so I’m trying my best to get myself off of them. When you’re in such an inflamed state with no controlled medication you will take anything and they have worked (no longer having fat fingers). But they don’t tell you that getting off them is a struggle too. It’s like I have to plan the next six weeks to ensure I’ll be able to cope. With my body no longer producing cortisone – what the drug was producing for me – I need to go down 1mg a week or at least try… but there’s withdrawal symptoms. Sickness, headaches, moodswings. But anyway, I will do anything to get myself off them so I can know whether my medication is actually making me better..
Around the start of the year I was handed an injection pen to administer my methotrexate – a toxic drug which potentially can suppress my arthritis, and suppresses my immune system, which isn’t convenient. Most people cringe at the idea of injecting themselves once a week with a yellow substance but I’m a tough gal and will try anything. Although I dread taking it every week and wish I didn’t have to, to lots of people with a disease like mine, methotrexate is like poison. For me, I was quite lucky because I can hack it, to an extent. But the next day is as if I’ve relapsed. I feel nauseous, bruised, stiff and tired – these are mild side effects to the drug. Is this how it’s going to be from now on? A 20 year old that has to think oh I can’t do this or that because I will be like the living dead that day. Frustrated isn’t the word I’m telling ya.
All I want to do is throw the methotrexate pens in the bin and the docs to get me on a research trial. But I’m not a patient person. Maybe after a year I will be trying something new. It seems the steroids might be wearing off now and my joints are getting worse again, but I secretly don’t want this toxic liquid to help me. I really don’t want to live a 6 day week for the rest of my life.
2014 saw the theme of ‘White Tie’, this year saw Chinese fashion and tradition take centre stage. For the world to see, perhaps this exhibition will revive the beauty of Chinese culture and couture. I’ve picked my faves that didn’t choose to ignore the theme, instead they embraced what is a huge part of fashion history.
Rihanna took over the ball once again, her lavish fur gown trailing numerous steps was handmade by a Chinese designer; Guo Pei. Her make up was so on point too, the striking eyebrows and her hazel eyes suggest she was made for this theme.
The underdog, Kate Hudson, sparkled in golden Michael Kors (shock). Her top knot made this dress though, I’d say, a subtle accessory to the Chinese tradition. That figure too…
Zendaya, who’s Zendaya? She’s a beautiful 18 year old who once again, is famed from Disney and is now a fashion icon. In a Pugsli short dress, her sun jewelled tiara, cuffs and rings complete the dress. Some may say over the top, I’d say daring to perfection! Reminding me of a Chinese dragon, a dainty girl in a petite dress but such a bold print. Love. It.
Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley embraces the cut out trend in the most feminine and glamorous way. The Versace couture gown hugged her figure, amplifying curve appeal. It may have been slightly minimalist, but I’d say she kept her modesty brilliantly by the dark lipstick and slicked hair.
Bella Hadid’s face sold me. Her LBD was transformed into something traditional – with an embroidered orchid-like flower over the shoulder, high neck with the curved cut out just worked. The beautiful model topped the look off with a scraped back top knot, perhaps the hair style of the event. Custom Topshop too! *Applause*
In 1990, Puma pioneered the innovation world, creating the first lace less trainer yet with tightening lace technology. It was called the Puma Trinomic Disc Blaze. The name says it all. Why were Velcro trainers even a thing in the nineties? The disc is twisted to ensure a tight fit around the foot, simple yet unique. With a cushioned midsole its’ performance factors are exclusive, ensuring comfort, ease and style. Aesthetically, the trainer is known for its’ contrasting caging wrapped round the sides and the heel of the shoe, encapsulating the focal point of the Disc and not letting it become distorted in the use of a sports performance trainer – the Trinomic was initially an athletic shoe, designed for running.
But what really catches my attention is their slight changes to the trainer, be it the colour way, fabrics or midsole design. Puma works with numerous designers and influential people to gain such individual designs. This performance wear trainer then moves to a street wear designer piece. The Disc Blaze Lite‘Coat of Arms’ was designed by Ronnie Fieg (a favourite shoe designer of mine, who has worked with the likes of Asics and Puma with their RF698 trainer) & KITH, with the forefront of the shoe a contrasting hue and a speckled midsole. The baby blue is one of my favourites, with an other-worldly edge yet they could be worn with anything; for a stand out outfit or casual with joggers. Another deisgn is by Sophia Chang, a creative illustrator who used communication as her platform to introduce females to the streetwear design world. She created the 2014 Disc Blaze Lite Collection, more understated, the shoe turns itself to being unisex and versatile. Using the same colours in a shoe but on different fabrics and components causes a variety of shades to come through, creating a streetwear essential.
Recently, Reebok have caught my eye. This Summer it seems Reebok have emerged as the must have trainer, successfully selling through fashion e-tailers such as ASOS. The Reebok Instapump Fury uses a different lace less technology; similar to the Puma Disc, the pump is meant to keep your feet secured in place. Reminiscent (to me) of a freestyle, dance trainer with its’ split mid sole, the futuristic outer textile gives the trainer an edge, putting streetwear ahead. However, my favourite is the Furylite. Perhaps more feminine they have a sense of the Puma Trinomic curved sole, implying running capabilities but it also involves elastic across the shoe where laces would be, when worn the shoe doesn’t require any tightening and it still feels secure. Simple yet stylish.
Technology has always and with continue to be the forefront of sports footwear, and apparel. They aim to enhance the customers’ performance and comfort. It’s separating the great from the good brands in such a saturated market. And the customers should react and experiment.