Topic: News

LOVE SHOES? Take Part in a Shoe Study Focus Group, Northampton Museum 21st August 2013

This is part of an exciting project I am working on and I am so excited to be able to share this opportunity, please spread the word to anyone else you think would be interested -

Shoe Galleries, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery :

Cinderella Syndrome Focus Group Volunteer Invitation

We are looking for volunteers to participate in our focus groups experience

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At Northampton Museum & Gallery we are always asking questions about how shoes are displayed – not just in our own museum, but also everywhere around us. The Cinderella Syndrome is a major exhibition and research project, created by NMAG and taking place at the National Trust’s Canons Ashby near Daventry, at Westfield shopping centre and at the Royal Exchange, London. We’re researching the challenges of displaying shoes in an engaging and exciting way and reactions to the stories shoes tell about the people who wore them.

Could you contribute to our research and be part of this innovative project? We are hosting a day of discussions about the shoes on display at the museum and we would like to have your views. To thank you for your time we are offering volunteers a private tour of the shoe stores, which is open only on selected occasions and for which there is usually a charge. We hope that tea and cake may also entice you to join us for a couple of hours

When:  21 Aug 2013: either morning or afternoon session (please state if you have a preference)

What: Hour long session including a tour of the Shoe Galleries at NMAG, followed by a round table discussion with other volunteers. You will be allocated either the morning or afternoon session.

Where: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, 4-6 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

Who: We are interested in your views regardless of your age, gender, education, a regular visitor to NMAG, a frequent one or first time attender. We want you to be a key part of our project

What’s in it for me? A chance to be a part of this a ground breaking project, meet other people and museum staff, a private tour of the shoe stores*, plus tea and cake – a jolly good day out we think.

How: Interested? Email Shaun Carrington at scarrington@northampton.gov.uk  or phone 01604 838111 with your name, address, email, telephone and register your interest. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. You are welcome to bring a friend but please include also their contact details, as you will need to be counted individually.

Please note: we apologise but this event does not cater for children and babies. Volunteers must be over the age of 12 years. If 12-16 years parental / guardian consent must be provided.

  *NB, please note there is limited disabled access in the shoe store, (5 mins walk from museum plus 13 stairs with no lift), please enquire for full details and to discuss any concerns you might have and we will do our best to accommodate.

Northampton museum is a short 10 minute walk from Northampton train station, the train journey is approximately 45 mins from London Euston and 2 hours from Manchester Piccadilly.

A Celebration of British Fashion & Beauty

 

The winners of the Queens Award for Enterprise, an honour given to British companies who have proven they are “outstanding in their field”, have been announced recently with several hugely popular British companies gaining much-deserved recognition.

This has been a great moment for British fashion, among other categories of recipients, as it not only recognises the hard work and talent of those influencing British fashion today, but recognises the huge influence Britain has on the international fashion.

Brands within the fashion industry which have been recognised this year include the Cambridge Satchel Company, maternity fashion label Tiffany Rose, and nail polish masterminds Nails Inc.

The Cambridge Satchel Company has been recognised within the category of International Trade thanks to their contribution towards exports. This hugely popular company began on the founder’s kitchen table in 2008 and has since grown into a huge international force to be reckoned with. It has graced the shoulders of celebrities like Zooey Deschanel, Fearne Cotton and Elle Fanning, and it’s even been on the Christine Baranski shoulders on the TV set of The Good Wife.

Tiffany Rose was also honoured within the International Trade accolade. The maternity label has experienced a massive growth in over sea sales over the past three years, in parts thanks to its celebrity fans.

Stars including Holly Willoughby, Emma Bunton and Myleene Klass have appeared on television and within magazines wearing the stunning clothing offered by Tiffany Rose, meaning international interest has soared.

Finally, Nails Inc was given the Queen’s Award for Enterprise due to the international success of the brands. Established in 1999, the nail polish label creates and sells not only products for use at home, but has nail bars world-wide for customers to use and enjoy – and the best thing about all these brands you ask, they’re all created on home soil!

See here for the list of the queens award recipients.

Shop less, Kiss more!

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I already mentioned Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution back in November when I got chatting to her. I am really pleased to hear that so many people are supporting her campaign. You don’t have to tie yourself to any trees (unless you want to that is), even small things such as having your heating on a few degrees less and recycling as much as you can will help. Three easy things you can do which the campaign promotes are:

DO SOMETHING
1 SHOP LESS KISS MORE – self explanatory, pucker up!
2 BUTTON UP – wear another jumper before cranking the heating up
3 TRAVEL LIGHT – think about taking a holiday at home rather than jetting off

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 One big supporter of the campaign is Lush, who will be hosting sign up desks in store this week (until 14th Jan). If you drop in you can add your name to the email list to be kept up to date with the campaign, find out more info and pick up a free badge designed by Vivienne which you can wear to show your support. You can see me wearing mine here.

You can also pick up some Lush bargains as they have their Xmas stock reduced to half price. I picked up a fab hat box full of goodies which will last me all year – very economical! Even better all the packaging is not just recyclable but the boxes are perfect for keeping stuff in. I’ve had my last hat box for a few years now and use it to store freebie samples so I always have a stock of mini’s for traveling. I will share some product reviews once I’ve dipped in, the only think I’ve tried so far is the Bubblegum lip scrub, which is amazing. Hmm what was that about all the kissing again?

Join the Climate Revolution

Vivienne Westwood speaks out for Azza Suleiman

Amnesty International UK have just finished producing a video with Vivienne Westwood. Every winter, they ask people to send letters to those imprisoned unfairly, targeted for speaking out or seeking justice against all odds. A simple letter can bring hope, comfort and support to those suffering such human rights abuses. But it also shows those in authority that we will not stand by as they try to oppress such individuals or communities.

This year, Vivienne Westwood has come on board to support the campaign. Together they have made a film highlighting the injustice and abuse experienced by Egyptian woman Azza Suleiman, who was beaten unconscious simply for trying to help another protester. No one has been held accountable for the assault.

In the video, Vivienne talks about how it was a sense of injustice that first got her involved in punk.

You can find more information on Azza Suleiman here: http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=17021 where you can find details on how you can help, be it signing the petition to the Egyptian president or sending a card of support to Azza.

Those of you who know me already know of my connections with Egypt so this is a cause close to my heart in many ways. I think it is wonderful that someone like Vivienne will lend not only their support but their celebrity to highlight cases of injustice.

Whats on – Exhibition: Sneaking Into Fashion

 


If you are in London any time this week I recommend you go down to Convent Garden to check out the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition. Curated by Tory Turk this exhibition delves into the role of the trainer in pop-culture. Featuring many famous designs from Adidas to Vivienne Westwood, a must see.
I will be going down next week and I can let you in on a secret – there will be vintage Vivienne Westwood shoes. You might recognise the Westwood Tracey trainers above? Yep they are mine which I have loaned for the exhibition, so go say hi.

Video: Really NEET?

Neet = Not in Education, Employment or Training

You don’t need me to tell you about the huge number of young people who through no fault of their own (*Side eyes Just Call Me Dave*) have found themselves having left school with no job or no chance of further eduction. It’s tough and it’s getting tougher. United Colours of Benetton have launched their UNHate campaign with the aims to help support unemployed young people (18-30 year olds) with a project they have created that will be beneficial to their community. In essence challenging the stereotype often put upon young people who are out of work. They aren’t lazy, they just need to be given a chance. You can find out more on the Unemployee of the Year contest 2012 webpage.

*Sponsored post

Events: Forever 21 Launch, Manchester

This morning I was invited to the Manchester launch of US store Forever 21. I first visited F21 when I was in the States, there seemed to be one in every mall and it was the go to place for a reasonably priced fashion hit. What I liked about it was that even though the prices were low the products were good, no direct runway rip just cool, trend led designs. I was also really impressed with the boutique feel of the store which I was pleased to see brought over to the UK, checker board tile floors and ornate tables stacked with jars of bright coloured accessories.

It seems I wasn’t the only one keen to check out the new store, as people camped out over night to be first in line, with a chance for the first 300 customers to receive a free surprise gift card – £10-£200 up for grabs. By midday the check out queue snaked all around the store, proof that everyone was impressed with what they found. My top picks were the faux-leather and denim bustiers – perfect over shirts, a printed pair of orange and blue chunky heels and the stacks of costume jewellery, spiked bracelets and statement collars. I didn’t have time to joint the crazy queue but I will be returning soon to pick up a few pieces.

You can seem lots more in my  FaceBook Album! Forever 21 is also available online.

Have you been to Forever 21?

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Nov 15th 2012

H&M announces an exclusive collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela for autumn/winter 2012 on November 15th, for both men and women to launch online and in 230 stores Worldwide.

This I admit did shock me, I mean MMM who are at the forefront of conceptual design how will that translate into cheap clothes? Perhaps we will see the basics of the design philosophy, with oversized white shirts and angular blazers. I wonder if a Tabi boot hybrid will be included? I hope not. I have to say I am very skeptical about this collection, MMM always seemed so pure and untainted by the fast fashion and commercial band wagon. The designer himself choosing to say in the shadows, something of a recluse, even his clothing labels with their numbered sequence are somewhat anonymous.

When the brand was bought out by Diesel in 2002 there where whispers that Martin was not happy and wanted to leave due to creative differences, or perhaps more simply he wanted to retire. The head designer’s job was reportedly offered to Raf Simons in 2008 and later Haider Ackermann who both declined. It wasn’t until 2009 when it was officially announced that Martin had not been working for the house for sometime, it was also announced that no one designer would take the helm, but the label would be designed by a small team. Many true MMM fans have stated their disappointment with the brand since Martin left, perhaps the H&M collaboration is being done in attempts to bring a fresh audience to the brand which must be suffering since Martin took leave.

“MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA is one of the most important and influential fashion houses of the past three decades. I am so excited by this collaboration which will give fashion lovers around the world the chance to wear special pieces by MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. This collaboration will be a great and memorable fashion moment“, says Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M.

“We are very happy to present MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA pieces with H&M, offering a new interpretation of our vision. The democracy of our fashion has always been at the centre of our creativity, and the collaboration with H&M allows us to push this instinct further. We will bring together the contrasting universes of the two houses in ways that will surprise all.” MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA

ABOUT MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA is a French fashion house which has always followed its own path, often outside the conventional fashion framework. The Maison believes in the absolute importance of the collaborative nature of its team rather than the individual, where its ideals are founded in the desire for concept and creativity. Constantly questioning the norms of fashion and presenting its pieces through the technique of deconstruction and transformation, the collections reinvent volumes, modify shapes, change the original use and movement of garments and derail classic notions of fashion.

For more information about MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA: www.maisonmartinmargiela.com

Royal Mail Great British Fashion + Win a Vivienne Westwood Bag!!

 

Shooting the look for the Vivienne Westwood stamp

Ok so stamp collecting in not generally seen as the coolest thing these day, but I think you will be more than a little excited about these. Royal Mail have created a series of stamps featuring British fashion legends:

Hardy Amies, Norman Hartnell, Granny Takes a Trip, Ossie Clark, Tommy Nutter, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen

Shot by renowned fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø the stamps go on sale today, you can view and purchase the full collection and special editions online at Royal Mail.

Each stamp includes prime examples of the ten designers’ work, these include Tommy Nutter’s suit for Beatle Ringo Starr, which was recreated especially for the shoot, and Vivienne Westwood’s 1993 Harlequin dress.

When shooting the outfits that appear on the stamps Sølve Sundsbø worked with live models, but did not use their facial features, to allow the designs to speak for themselves. The shoot lasted two days, and relied on the use of the actual original clothes – either obtained directly from the designers or meticulously sourced from specialist vintage fashion stores.

The idea for the stamp issue came from the British Design Classics stamps of 2009, which featured Mary Quant’s iconic mini skirt. This proved to be one of the most popular of the ten stamps featured in the issue, prompting the decision to dedicate an entire issue to our world-class designers

As you all know I’m utterly obsessed with Vivienne Westwood and got far too over excited when I found out about the stamps. But it gets better!!!! The Royal Mail Facebook app has a competition you can enter to win a VIVIENNE WESTWOOD HANDBAG!! What an amazing prize, so brush up on your fashion knowledge and get over there to enter.

Latest H&M designer collaboration: Anna Dello Russo

Anna Dello Russo to design an ‘over-the-top’ accessories collection for H&M

H&M is proud to announce a special collaboration with fashion icon and legendary Fashion Director Anna Dello Russo. An idol of the blogosphere whose flamboyant outfits are endlessly documented by style photographers and broadcasted globally through the web, Anna Dello Russo proved her unique sense of style creating a special collection of accessories for H&M. Unabashedly glamorous, precious and playful, the range is an expression of Dello Russo’s taste for ornamentation. Available from October 4, 2012, at the peak of the global fashion weeks tour, in around 140 stores worldwide and online. The collection features jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, bags and a trolley allowing H&M customers uniqueness at an affordable price.

“I am excited by this collaboration: this is the first time H&M involves a Fashion Director in a special project. This is the sign of an important evolution in fashion, and I am both thrilled and humbled to be the one chosen to lead it. I wanted to create precious accessories that are impossible to find. As a stylist I know accessorization is essential: it is the personal touch to any outfit. With these pieces everybody can have fun, turning an ordinary day into a fantastic fashion day”, says Anna Dello Russo.

“It’s been extremely exciting to involve Anna Dello Russo in this project, something completely different from what we have done before. Anna has a fantastic eye and a strong taste, apart from being a veritable fashion icon. She produced an extravagant range of accessories that will get H&M customers and everyone in love with fashion excited. The collection is a celebration of excess, fantasy and decoration” says Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor at H&M.

Famously described by photographer Helmut Newton as a “fashion maniac”, Anna Dello Russo is one of contemporary fashion’s driving forces. An unparalleled eye, she has shaped the way we see fashion today through her groundbreaking work at Vogue Italia, where she served as a Fashion Editor for over twelve years working with photographers such as Helmut Newton, Michel Comte, Walter Chin, and later as the Editor in Chief of L’Uomo Vogue. Currently holding the role of Fashion Director at Large and creative consultant at Vogue Japan, Dello Russo is a darling of the fashion bloggers, whom she likes to please with extravagant get-ups, and countless changes of outfits, during the world’s fashion weeks.

Information about Anna Dello Russo: www.annadellorusso.com

I think Anna is just awsome and a lovely lady too boot. I for sure will be looking out for those crocodile embellished sunglasses! I have to confess I have no idea what a fashion ‘trolley’ is, but I sure want to see it!