Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Cycle of Fashion

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Image copyright of heleninpraha

The fashion date of 2010 is July 14th when two iconic style capitals - London and Paris - are involved in an exciting, not-to-missed fashion experience. Don't worry! There is no VIP guest list for this event ... the invitation is open to everyone.

The event is being organised by EJF - the Environmental Justice Foundation - who are calling all adventure seeking style-savvy volunteers to embark on "The Great Fashion Cycle" from London to Paris in aid of their work addressing human rights and environmental abuses in the fashion industry.

You don't need to be a "pro cyclist" or a trend driven fashionista to take part. All you need is passion and pedal power to help change the face of fashion for the better.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Peaceful Pom Poms

Pom Pom Knitwear by Ashish
POP. Issue 21.

Remember the fun you had as a child making pom poms? Well it's time to get creative again with strands of wool and cardboard discs made from empty cereal boxes. Pom poms are a key fashion look for AW09. So, what better way to lift the recession blues than with these colourful, fun accessories. Take inspiration from current designer collections to update your outfits with the innocent pom pom.

If pom poms aren't the look you're going for this season - and let's face it they're not the easiest accessory to get away with - you can send your fluffy creations to Pom Pom International.

Pom Pom International was founded by the writer and broadcaster Amy Lame to promote peace across the world. All pom poms will eventually be sewn together to make the biggest pom pom in the world as an innocent, non-political gesture of peace and reconciliation.

Pom pom making kits and full details are available on their website.

Pom pom headband by Benoit Missolin

Pom pom trims at John Galliano AW09

Friday, 16 October 2009

Diesel Store Filled With Junk

I am a self confessed junky. I'm not ashamed to admit my obsession for junk and all things worn and torn. I can't pass by a junk shop without having a peak inside. A good old rummage.

This morning, I was stopped in my tracks as I rushed along Carnaby Street. It seems that someone at Diesel has my obsession for junk. The store has been transformed to create the appearance of a derelict building. It's all peeling layers of paint and rusting metal. Diesel's signature window display of edgy street fashion has been replaced by what can only be described as junk. Abandoned picture frames, neglected lamp-shades, random cups and saucers, scratched and scuffed suitcases now clutter the windows. Of course, it's not just any old junk. It's carefully selected junk. Styled junk. There, placed in amongst the junk, are Diesel's new season 'aged' jeans.

Diesel - as you would expect - are spot-on here with the trend for 'Rough Lux'. The trend for the not so perfect and slick*. The trend for surfaces aged by time*. I don't particularly like the concept of trends. Trends are a passing phase. Something soon to be replace. I would like to think that Diesel's display will inspire customers and passers-by to appreciate and embrace the beauty in cast-away objects. To recycle, re-use and re-design them. And, that includes last season's jeans.

* quoted from Textile View Magazine Issue 87

Diesel store
Carnaby Street, London

(Images by Re-Design for Life)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Waiting For Warmth

After a few days away visiting my family, I was looking forward to getting back home. Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful time. But no matter where I've been, there's nothing like returning to the familiar comfort of my own place. So my plan was to get through the door, throw my bags in one direction, my coat in the other, kick off my shoes, put the kettle on and collapse onto the sofa.

It was a bit on the chilly side when I entered my flat. I suppose it is October. So the first thing I did was to switch on the heating. I threw my bags into a corner. My coat remained on my back and my scarf didn't leave my neck. I checked the radiators. No heat. I put the kettle on. I made coffee. I checked the radiators. No heat. I collapsed onto the sofa still wearing my coat. I checked the radiators. No heat. I checked the boiler. I checked the thermostat. I checked the radiators. Still no heat. I phoned British Gas. Yes, an Engineer will be sent. He will be there between midday and 6pm tomorrow, which is today.

I am waiting for the Engineer to arrive. I am freezing! All I can think about is being wrapped and layered from head to toe in cozy warm clothes. Look at these gorgeous outfits from Bodkin. They would be just perfect for my current situation. Once my flat warms up, they'd be perfect for outdoors too.

Bodkin AW2009
Recycled polyester fleece tunic.
Organic wool jersey gloves.

Bodkin AW2009
Organic wool coat padded with 100% recycled bottle quilting & lined with recycled polyester

Bodkin AW2009
Hand-loomed and hand-dyed Ahimsa (non-violent) silk dress.
Organic cotton/lycra catsuit.

Miksani - One to Watch.

I've mentioned Miksani before. I'm very excited about this label, which was launched at Pure back in August. So why the excitement? Miksani is everything that ethical fashion should be. Firstly, it's well designed: modern with an edgy sophistication. It's the clothes that grab your attention before the ethics behind the label. Then you realise that the collection is produced to fair trade standards using organic fabrics

Katie Weightman, the designer and founder of Miksani has a real talent. Her SS2010 collection is beautifully designed, ethical and commercial. That's quite an accomplishment.

Keep an eye out for Miksani's SS2010 collection. I have a feeling it's going to be a label to watch.

Miksani SS2010
Miksani SS2010
Miksani SS2010
All images by permission of Miksani
All images copyright of Miksani

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A Feast of Colour

Autumn. I love this time of year. Those amazing colours. Of course, if you'd asked me yesterday I would have hated this time of year: grey skies and wet, wet, wet. But, today it's glorious! In fact, today, Autumn could be my favourite season. You know when the leaves are gradually changing from green to glorious shades of rich red, burnished copper and glowing yellow. When shrubs are bursting with a feast of vibrant coloured berries. Who can't be inspired by a colour palette like this?

Cascading berries

Red leaves and tear-drop berries gleam in the Autumn sunlight

Golden Maple leaves

Vibrant orange berries

Beautiful warm pink tones

Delicious Blackberries
Yum yum! My favourites in an apple crumble.

I have no idea what these are.
Can't quite believe they're real.

Golden yellow leaves against a bright blue sky.
Stunning natural colour contrast.

(All images by Re-Design for Life)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The LBD Lives On For Another Day

The "Little Black Dress". Stylish. Versatile. Timeless. Coco Chanel said that every woman should have one in her wardrobe. It can be dressed up for evening. Dressed down for day. Dressed to minimal perfection. Dressed to maximum dramatic effect. Sustainable, stylish dressing.

Sheena Matheiken and Eliza Starbuck designed their own LBD to begin the Uniform Project earlier this year. Inspired by her school days in India, where kids would personalise their uniforms with individual flair, Sheena decided to use the LBD as her uniform for a year. Each day, Sheena reinvents the dress by layering and accessorizing with vintage finds, hand-me-downs and hand-made items.

As well as being an amazing exercise in sustainable fashion and creativity, the Uniform Project also raises funds for the Akanksha Foundation. Akanksha is a non-profit organisation founded in Mumbai in 1990 to bring education to children living in slums.

The Uniform Project is perfect proof that fashion can be stylish, sustainable and socially conscious.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

It's Brolly Time

There are two things that we Brits are associated with: Pubs and complaining about the weather. Yesterday it rained continuously all over the country. Yes, Autumn is finally here.

What better timing then for Vintagehart's monthly late night opening at The White Hart pub tonight. It's the perfect opportunity to take refuge from the rain, check out their selection of vintage macs, stylish winter dresses and retro umbrellas. Once you've finished you can sit back in the cosy bar with your favourite tipple and complain about the weather with the locals.

Act Fast with Dame Viv

Vivienne Westwood SS2010

Vivienne Westwood, undisputed queen of British Fashion, political activist and campaigner showed her SS10 collection at Paris Fashion Week on Friday.

Dame Viv has never been one to shy away from making political statements, she admits “I hijack my fashion shows to talk about culture and politics”

Her message was clear on the Paris catwalk:

“Act fast, slow down, stop climate change”.

Vivienne Westwood SS2010

Vivienne Westwood SS2010

Vivienne Westwood SS2010
All images via