As I mentioned in December, I completed a fashion journalism short course at the London College of Fashion late last year. Here is one of my favorite assignments from the course – ‘conveying fashion photography with words’. My approach is not quite conventional: it’s a creative way of describing the mood and themes of the shoot, what the fabulous Tim Walker and the Vogue Italia team were ‘saying’ about fashion in January 2012.
“I have a present for you little one, it’s a little Dolly, yes just for you. All little girls need a Dolly, for little girls grow up to become ladies. And do you know what ladies do? Well they always look as pretty as can be, yes just like your Dolly.
So brush Dolly’s hair everyday, just as Nanny brushes yours, and dress Dolly in a lovely little dress with laces and buckles and bows. She will need a different pretty dress each day, but that’s ok, because as Daddy loves you, he will buy you lots and lots of pretty dresses for Dolly. Yes of course they can all be the color of cotton candy, because Daddy loves cotton candy.
And see how bright-eyed and happy Dolly is? Just like Dolly, a lady must always be fresh and happy, no matter how tired or fed-up she feels. A proper lady knows her nose must always be powdered, her lips coloured and bright, and her cheeks rouged. If not, a lady’s husband may not be happy, and that’s not good, because a husband’s happiness must always reign.
Always model yourself on Dolly, little one, especially when you are a lady with your very own husband. Smile like Dolly, and say very little. ‘Yes dear’ are the only words you will need, don’t forget that ladies need only be seen and not heard. And just like Dolly, your hair must always be groomed and styled, your frock freshly-laundered and your expression rested at all times, wrinkles are not very becoming for a lady.
Yes, little one, it will feel like you are trapped in a pretty little prison. And yes your sanity will slowly start to slip away, day by day. Yes, to the point that one day you will realize your mind has gone completely mad. So mad, you think you can’t maintain your pretty appearance one moment longer.
But that’s why you have Dolly, little one. Always look to Dolly. Pretty. Little. Dolly.”
To me, the editorial was very much about childlike madness: a repressed, attractive female adult regressing into a world of insanity. She lives in her own world of happy childhood memories as a form of escapism from the current day pressures of keeping up appearances to society and ‘friends’, putting her husband’s needs above her own even without his respect, and generally not having the ability to do what she wants as she was taught that it would be ‘unacceptable’. I interpreted the doll and its size as representing the magnitude of this female’s insanity. Tim Walker’s whimsical, wonderful and wondrous approach lends itself to such creative story-telling, rather than a simple description of what is happening in the image. My interpretation and copy was written after sighting the one image above, below is the full editorial shot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia January 2012 and featuring the charming Lindsey Wixson. It is truly beautiful.
Mid-year I was lucky enough to go traveling, venturing to some pretty amazing scenery in Turkey, Greece and Sicily. This was finished-off with a perfect 9 days in that big ol’ town they call London. Luck was on my side when a friend offered his spare room and ‘local guide’ skills to show us what a lot of tourists miss – experiencing life as a local and knowing exactly where to find the coolest, non-tourist places (keep an eye out for his digital guide book – Lichan’s London – it’s going to be huge). Deciding to take advantage of the whole ‘experiencing it like I live there’ travel scenario, I also made a decision which would turn out to be one of the greatest decisions I have made thus far. I took a short course at the London College of Fashion.
Having decided late last year that I wanted to shake up my career ambitions, the London College of Fashion had been on my radar for some time. Their Post-Graduate Certificate of Fashion Journalism looked to be the perfect start for my quest in waving good-bye to Marketing and hello to Fashion Editorial, but with an undergrad degree, post-grad certificate and a professional certificate under my belt, I decided that I probably had enough formal learning and needed more real-work experience. So when I noticed the Fashion Journalism Intensive Short Course coincided with my travel plans, there was no question about what I would do.
And so for five days in September I was tutored by the amazing Paul Tierney, who is one of the kindest, most-knowledgable and most-genuine people that I have met from the industry. He absolutely cares about the work you produce and is legitimate when he offers advice on how to improve and better yourself. And he is a lot of fun! If you ever have the chance to study or work with him, do it. His recollections of his time with the likes of Lee McQueen and Kate Moss (revealed in the humblest of ways) are unmissable, as is his advice.
The other amazing benefit of the course (apart from the obvious opportunity to learn and improve your fashion writing capabilities)? The other students. Our class was incidentally all female, but from all walks of life. Home countries ranged from Brazil to Hong Kong to Italy and of course, Britain; experiences ranged from just finished high school, to current university students, and later career changers (me included). But no matter our backgrounds, it was wonderful to share a common bond in that we all loved fashion, and all believed our thoughts on fashion had a place in the world in some capacity or another. And with the wonderful world of social media, we have all kept in contact keeping up to date with our latest quests and achievements.
So is it worth your time and effort to take a chance on a course like the London College of Fashion’s Fashion Journalism Short Course. You betcha. Need more proof? Then check out my fellow classmate Gemma Redmond’s new venture, Gemma Redmond Vintage. In the pipelines while undertaking the course, Gemma has since gone on to launch her fully-fledged online vintage store, with some truly amazing pieces accompanied by beautifully-written prose. I particularly love the brooches, which is an accessory that is undervalued and underutilized in almost everybody’s wardrobe. Affix the Joseff of Hollywood ‘Bulldog’ Brooch to a navy blue blazer, or the Christian Lacroix ‘Heart’ brooch to a white button down like , and just wait for the compliments to roll on in. It’s a great way to create an interesting, individual point-of-difference to your outfit, just like how a short course creates a unique addition to your life experience.
Images: Gemma Redmond Vintage
Keep an eye out for the pieces I submitted during the Short Course, which I will be sharing over the coming weeks.
EYE AM BACK – that’s what I am saying to you. Well and truly back. Why is that so important you ask? Well for two simple reasons, really.
First, because, well the blog is back. Yep, back! Truth be told, there wasn’t any set intention for the blog to take a hiatus, but taking hot air balloon rides and boat cruises in Turkey, sunset-watching in Santorini, gyros-eating in Naxos, exploring volcanoes in Sicily, and checking out the best markets, pubs and fashion short-courses in dear old London town can be a little time-consuming! Particularly when it’s all done on carry-on luggage only…(but that’s a story for another day, let’s just say thank goodness for Nike Air Max Thea’s!).
Another big blog-time killer? Packing up all of your possessions and heading off, two suitcases in tow, to experience life in the big Apple. (Yes NYC, I am back with you too, plenty of love to go around). So although it has been a while between the proverbial blog drinks, I can say that EYE am definitely back with plenty of wonderful new stories, experiences and beautiful items to share (all with a stylish bent of course!).
So what’s the second big reason for my insistence that EYE must share? Well, it’s this delightfully laid back, stylishly easy, cotton shift Eye Dress from Kenzo. Now, I could be slightly biased, as having just had a fabulous time in Turkey where the evil eye is everywhere, I can’t help but see this dress and immediately think ‘brilliant!’. But dig a little a deeper and you can see why it’s so cool. Yes it’s simple, but that’s part of the charm – work it with some killer heels, or throw on your Nikes or Chuck Taylors to be instantly be transformed into I-always-look-this-cool territory. Amp it up with a silver leather moto jacket; and take it through fall with leather leggings. It doesn’t need much decoration as the eye motif does all the talking and statement-making. In fact, it’s the type of dress you would want at your disposal if you were traveling Europe only with hand luggage…
Not convinced? Never stress. There are plenty of other offerings from Kenzo featuring the eye-motif, as well as as some other super cool evil-eye accessories from Mary Katrantzou, Diane Kordas and Ileana Makri. Or you could simply book a trip to Turkey and pick up a lovely evil-eye souvenir and wonderful holiday experience at the same time. Oh man, am EYE glad to be back!
I am going to let you in on a little secret: later this year I am going to try my hand at following my dreams and head to New York City. If I am lucky enough (and work damn well hard enough!) I will score a gig working in fashion media (watch out Eva Chen!). And while I am not quite there yet, a lot of my time has been occupied by daydreams and imaginings of my new life in the Big Apple.
Call it the Carrie Effect (a girl who loves fashion & writing and lives in New York), but one of the things that sits quite high on my ‘must-achieve when in NYC’ list is to wander the streets of the city in a fabulously gorgeous get-up, anchored by a fabulously gorgeous tulle skirt. So I was so utterly excited when I discovered Brooklyn-based Alexandra Grecco, and her range of stunning tulle skirts. Using layers of tulle to create a relaxed tute-esque shape, these skirts are exactly what I had imagined when I envisioned myself walking down Bleecker St or Bedford Ave. A beautiful tulle skirt made in New York City itself, it’s what dreams are made of.
And it seems that I am not the only one who has been harbouring a desire to show-off an inner semi-ballerina. Many a street-style style has worked the tulle skirt to stunning effect, though my favourite has to be Alexandra Pereira’s tough-but-sweet styling seen at NY Fashion Week in February this year (there is just something about a leather biker jacket…). And while I do have a certain penchant for blush pink when it comes to tulle skirts, there is no denying that a tulle skirt can be worked in any shade, including black. Check out my picks of the best-styled tulle skirt outfits below – and happy NYC daydreaming!
Well, not a bag that costs a billion dollars per se. But a bag that is from a billion dollar company. You see, I have been on the hunt for the perfect, multi-functional handbag. A bag that I can rely on for simultaneously:
- Communicating that I have professional nous in spades
- Being a great teammate for the go-to casual Sunday Brunch Denim and Breton Stripes uniform
- And that will even accompany me for post-work soirees without looking over-the-top.
Essentially, a black bag that goes with everything in my wardrobe – not too much to ask is it?