Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Kudos to Suzy Menkes - Why Fashion is Crashing

So why am I hailing Suzy Menkes today? Her Vogue article "Why Fashion is Crashing" published earlier this week detailing the punishing schedule of high end fashion and reflecting on the departure of Raf Simons from Dior is why;

January is haute couture; March is ready-to-wear; May is cruise; July couture again; September ready-to-wear again; November resort - or is it cruise again? Add to this the advertising campaigns, personal appearances, store openings, global visits, trunk shows, museum exhibitions, interviews, Instagram - and it's a wonder that any designer is prepared - or able - to keep up the pace.

The fashion industry is the largest polluter after the oil industry and an estimated 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. This environmental cost doesn't stop fashion labels churning out over 50 collections year and with Suzy Menkes summation of what's happening at the top of the fashion tree, it seems the term "fast fashion" can now be applied to both ends of the fashion spectrum - high street and designer.

Suzy Menkes with Raf Simons (right) and Nicolas Ghesquière

Picture credit: Jean-Luce Hure

So what's next? Will fashion implode? This article, for me, is a warning shot that fashion, high and low, simply can't continue at the pace we have become accustomed to over the past 10 years, something has got to give and by something, I don't mean designer's well-being.

Our expectations of the fashion industry have the power to change the fashion industry 

If we consumed less fashion, less fashion would be produced. We didn't always have fast fashion, we can do without it again. All hail slow fashion!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

2 Yorkshire lasses, a Camel Coat and a Big Fat Scarf

Winter is here and I love getting my big coats and winter boots out. So first up, my camel coat. Purchased 4 years ago for the princely sum of £14.99 from the Oxfam charity shop in Manchester town centre. I had it re-lined prior to the winter season kicking in which cost £80 but considering my initial outlay for the coat, and the fact the re-lining came with a dry clean, I was more than happy to pay for it. The jeans are my trusty Jamie Topshop beauties which I have washed and washed until they turned this glorious shade of black/grey. The Bardot boots from Topshop were bought for my mini-moon in Norfolk as they were leather, waterproof and I could walk a fair distance in them. I assure you this post isn't sponsored by Topshop, but the Tartan scarf I have thrown so nonchalantly around my neck is also from Topshop. Click here to get your Topshop £22 grid check beauty.

Peeking out beneath my coat is an off white  silk Miu Miu top which cost me a couple of quid from a charity shop in Brighouse. It had a huge stain down the back so I tackled it with stain remover and hey-presto! Stain gone, wicked awesome top in my wardrobe. I'm also wearing a 1980's double breasted blazer made from wool - super warm and since I love a jacket, this keeps me feeling smart even on a non-client facing day. 

I love it when a plan comes together and in this case the plan was 2 Yorkshire businesses collaborating over a shared love of vintage clothes. I met Laura from Grandma Eileen's Vintage on Twitter and last Friday we did a mini photo shoot on a viaduct in Greetland  for a feature on her blog. I'll direct you to Grandma Eileen's Vintage Blog so you can read what we chatted about and if you want any more info about my clothes and the charity shops I frequent then please drop me a line. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

#WeddingWednesday - Reader, I married him

Mr & Mrs Brown 

Well reader, I am now officially Mrs Brown! October 3rd was such a special and memorable day. I am back at work today which is not so special and memorable in comparison! So with that in mind I've put together my top tips for brides & grooms for the immediate days after your wedding day:

Wear something really special the day after 
your wedding

The thought of pulling on jeans and a t-shirt the day after my wedding nearly brought me to tears. You've just worn what was potentially the most awesome outfit of your life and you are bookending it with jeans? No. Way. I wore my trusty H&M Trend Jumpsuit with my Jimmy Choo wedding shoes. Yes I was tired, yes I was emotional, yes my face wasn't nearly as awesome as when Natalie Willingham waved her bridal make-up wand over it the day before but my jumpsuit made me feel really glam and was a gentle step down rather than a gigantic lurch away from my wedding dress. Rich wore a vintage wool blazer and an awesome Zara shirt. Yep - natty dressers united! Team Brown!

Carry tissues at all times

The beach at Sheringham - there may or may not have been some joyful weeping standing on this beach

At risk of sounding like a right Nana this one has proved particularly useful. My emotions have been so close to the surface for the past month that my propensity for joyful weeping is at critical mass. I didn't weep on my wedding day until our first dance when Rich gallantly kissed away the torrent of tears coursing down my face. There's a really awkward photo of us at the end of our first dance where my face is stricken with panic - the thought running through my head was

"crap - I think I've ruined my make-up.

We went to Norfolk for our mini-moon where I had many a moment of pure bliss including standing on the high street in Sheringham: the sun was shining, the sky was blue, I could see the sea, I had just bought a beautiful gift for my friend's new baby, Rich and I were hand-in-hand and BOOM: joyful weeping.  My weeping consists of those hot tears that just spill out of your eyes. I don't really make a sound but it can be quite unnerving for passers by so either use said tissues to mop up your tears or cover your face entirely, either way it's a bridal win.

Savour the magic and fairy dust 

The back of our wedding invites created by the wonderfully talented Becky Lord

Getting married, the lead up, rehearsal, ceremony and after-party is like being in a special bubble where you are buffeted by happiness and joy, carried along by smiles and hugs and wrapped in a big ole' blanket of love. Pretty much all this feeling is directed at you - people want to speak to you, they want to hug you, talk to you, share the love with you. I felt utterly blessed to have close friends and family surround us on our wedding day but the feeling of coming back to reality the week after was like waking up in a draining bath, cold and prune-like. Those special wedding day feelings are so immeasurably special because you don't feel them to that intensity everyday.  But you do still have some wedding day glitter, some sparkle, some marriage fairy dust at your disposal - you have the photos and more importantly, cherished memories. We started a memory box for our wedding - all the RSVP's, a copy of our invitation, the sweet bags we had printed, some of the bunting that my gorgeous sister-in-law kindly made for us, my headpiece and the pearls used to hand-tie my bouquet. Jeez - even writing this I'm fishing for a tissue!! Excuse me whilst I indulge in a joyful weeping moment ...

Til next time...x