July 28, 2014

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014

Finally working my way through the various post ideas I have had over the last number of months, and Clerkenwell Design Week is next on the list. Luckily for me, the longevity and integrity of the design on display in May (gulp) means that this post is still fresh.

Apart from the obvious design perving and ideal-home daydreaming that comes with industrial design and interiors, it was inspiring to see how designers are working in disciplines other than fashion. Trends work across all sectors, and it is interesting to see how they are interpreted for different outcomes and uses.

There was a predominance of clean geometric pattern, which comes as no surprise given that people seem to be in a minimal, Scandi frame of mind. The influence of Moroccan tiles was also still notable.

clerkenwell design week 2014, geometric patter, tile, design, surface design, lighting, foscarini, floor tiles, wall tiles

There was also a trend of fun and quirky cute. Whimsical hand drawn illustrations featured heavily on homewares and furnishings, implying a mood for irreverence and a young spirit.

 

clerkenrwell design week 2014, interior design, furnishings, fabric, print, pattern, ceramic, plates, delph, tableware, quirky, illustration, handdrawn, screenprint

The notion of longevity and sustainability also seems to be on people’s minds, as solid hardwood and natural, long lasting materials were heavily featured. Pretty much everything I saw had a strong emphasis on quality, crafted design that would endure, perhaps playing into people’s recessionary budgets, but also no doubt influenced by a desire to stem the tide of disposable, wasteful products.

As a textile designer, I was naturally interested in the furnishing brands exhibiting. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in fashion’s slower paced cousin, there was an emphasis on sustainability and local industry. The notion of heritage and craftsmanship prevailed.  High end interior furnishings being manufactured in the UK, companies creating industrial strength carpeting and fabrics fro recycled hessian and wool blends all point towards a collective conscious that is making moves in the right direction, however gentle they may be.

clerkenwell design week 2014, furnishing fabric, textiles, print, pattern, wallpaper, screenrpint,  colour, trend, brocade, devore, weave

Overall, it was really refreshing to see how design works on a slower and more craft focused pace. Granted, people furnish their homes with different motivations to how they clothe themselves, but it is good to see how designers and brands recognise that they can add value to their brand by using sustainability and social responsibility to create aspirational, luxury products. This is something that the fashion industry really needs to take note of.

July 20, 2014

Ethical Fashion Brand Preview.

Admission: This post is very late.

I went to check out Ethical Fashion Forum’s Brand Preview a couple of months back. I was excited to meet people who are interested in changing the way the fashion industry works. People who want to do things differently and better. I was excited to see the future. I was generally excited. When I got there however, there were less brands showcasing than expected, especially in terms of design-led womenswear. So I had a quick shimmy round, and left. Not quite the revolutionary experience I was expecting then…

But perhaps revolution can come in small waves. While I might have been disappointed by critical mass, there were some really good brands with amazing potential just doing their thing, and that is no bad thing. Raven & Lily in particular caught my eye with their simple geometric patterns and ethnic-feel jewellery and accessories. Their mission statement states that they work with marginalised women to “empower them through design”, using environmentally conscious materials. They kind of have a luxe-hippy, slouch, LA vibe, but it works.

Raven & Lily, ethical fashion, ethnic, design, ethical fashion forum, showcase

image via Raven & Lily website

Bamboo eyewear brand Colin Leslie also caught my attention. Colin’s glasses are striking and design led, which is key to building a successful ethical brand. Even Tinchy Stryder is a fan!

colin leslie eyewear, ethical fashion, sustainable bamboo, ethical brand, ethical fashion forum

Images via Colin Leslie website

I also met the very charming and enthusiastic Brothers We Stand. Their approach to fashion retailing is innovative and simple. All the garments on their site have a footprint rating. something between an energy efficiency rating and a traditional materials tag, so you can see the environmental and ethical impact each garment has caused. This approach is genius in its simplicity, it brings the information to the customer. they also have a strong edit, so that design is the primary focus of the offering.

brothers we stand, ethical fashion, ecommerce, fashion website, responsible consumption, menswear

brothers we stand, ethical fashion, ecommerce, fashion website, responsible consumption, menswear

Brothers We Stand images via their website, and instagram. Follow them on instagram!

While most of what I saw was nice, I got the impression that some brands had a stronger focus on ethical pedigree than on innovative or delightful design. Soft organic cotton can be luxe, certainly, but it is hardly inspirational. It is not good enough to like upcycyling, or simply to use ethical fabric, the outcome is what matters. A dress is not a crusade, it is a dress. The more sublime the better. Once we accept this, we can create real change, by using environmental and socially responsible practices instead of damaging ones. Yea. Vive la revolution.

June 17, 2014

All My Friends #2 – Orlando Volcano

Another friend doing amazing things this week is my “BEST FRIEND 2010″ – Orlando Volcano. Orlando upped and left for NYC about a year ago now, where he changed his name and seems to be spending his time honing his skills as a mega awesome producer. Today sees the launch of his debut EP, Nice To Meet You. It is beautiful, with tropical sounds and light airy sounds and all kinds of other nice sounds. I would tell you more but he sent me the press release and I liked it so much I’m just going to copy it here instead.

Orlando Volcano Biography.
 

Orlando is a young man from Europe who lives in New York. He has been living in the USA for almost exactly a year.

Orlando used to make music under the name Orquesta, but whereas Orquesta was a stylized project, his new moniker; Orlando Volcano encompasses all the musical styles he makes.
 
His debut EP, Nice To Meet You, displays some sounds that he plans to explore. The EP is a year in the making, containing songs started more than a year ago, as well as songs started less than a couple of months ago. Its a perfect balance, hinging on the past and future of this young musician’s career.
 
2013 saw Orlando (as Orquesta) partaking in the Red Bull Music Academy in New York as well as appearing on the Benji B show in London. But 2014 is looking to up the ante, already seeing a number of high profile collaborative projects that are yet to be announced, as well as a European tour taking shape.
 
Apart from music, Orlando enjoys spending his time taking long walks, sharing a meal with a loved one or enjoying a good film.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/39943143″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /

P.S. He’s not lying about the food, the movies or the walks.

June 17, 2014

All My Friends #1 – Alan Taylor

Kicking off what is shaping up to be a busy week was Alan Taylor’s LCM SS15 presentation. I posted about him way back in 2012 when he was just starting his menswear label following a stint with Simone Rocha. I was involved in the prints for his last collection which was part of the Topman/Fashion East MAN show in the Topshop space on New Oxford Street (you can see it here). I don’t even really have a point to bring that forward. I’m just boasting a little bit.

Anyway, back to Alan. This season his collection was fresh. Super fresh. His signature tweeds and use of colour were ever present, as was a sporty street feeling. Alan’s man is definitely a cool one. While his last collection was bold and ultra fashion, this collection was more relaxed. FASHION MAN on holidays maybe? Favourite pieces for me were the organza bomber jackets and the boxy tweed tshirts.

I was lying when I said I didn’t have a point to lead on from working with Alan. I do. He’s a REAL NICE GUY. And he makes being his pal light work by making clothes so good it is easy to tell people how awesome they are. That and when he brings me gin and juice and kebabs to late night studio sessions. Mostly the gin, if I’m honest…

Alan Taylor, LCM, menswear, fashion, london, designer, young designer, ss15

 

Alan Taylor, LCM, menswear, fashion, london, designer, young designer, ss15

 

June 15, 2014

Sunday Funday #10

1.IT’s a kind of MAGIC.

Magic is a bit naff. David Blaine. Dynamo. David Copperfield. Derren Brown. Naff. THE PAUL DANIELS MAGIC SHOW. Naff-tastic. Why am I talking about magic? It’s like sooooooooooo not fashion, right? Well, yea definitely not. But there is something about magic that people respond to. And in terms of entertainment, I would rather watch the Paul Daniels Magic Show a million times over some trite reality nonsense. There is a lot to be said for spectacle, production, a sense of wonder and of showmanship, illusion. These are all things that the fashion industry feeds off. Not so dissimilar after all? And lets be honest, fashion really loves a bit of tack now and again. Jake Banfield however is not tacky. He’s not even naff. He’s an emerging magician (from Essex but we don’t hold that against him) with a lot of charisma, an easy manner and insanely quick hands. He makes watching magic fun. Check out his new street magic short here. Now that’s magic.

 

 

 

2. LIVE STOKED

One of the reasons my online presence has diminished recently is because I have been busy surfing actual waves instead of the internet. I have met some really cool people over the past year or so, including the Live Stoked crew. Based in Peniche, Portugal, they are an emerging surfboard shapers with loads of things in the pipelines. As a crew, they are all handy with a camera, so their tumblr is a little treat for the eyes, showing off their little piece of the wild west.

live stoked co, manel souza, peniche, portugal, surfboard, shaping, shaper, surfing, craft, handmade

Photo via livestokedco.tumblr.com

3. John Giorno

I basically know nothing about poetry. In particular performance poetry and beat poetry…It was a nice surprise to find out that I really like it. I was at the second London Contemporary Music Festival last month to witness the incredible John Giorno perform some of his mind bending work. He speaks of universal human experience and heartache and disappointment in such a wonderfully light hearted way it is like he’s the more eloquent and beautiful part of your own mind. It was an honour to be in his presence in such an intimate and special space. I am a huge fan of LCMF after a pal introduced me last year, and not just coz it looks like an acronym for fashion week. The programming is innovative and cutting edge and even after one year it has grown so much. I look forward to the third installment in 2015.

 

4. John Wizards

I have recently been listening to a lot of South African group John Wizards and their delicious dancy beats are reminiscent of Shangaan Electro, which I posted about a while back. Their Field Day performance last week was one of the highlights of the day for me. Get involved, they are super fun. I don’t have my photos back from Field Day yet, but I will keep you posted.

 

Field Day

 

the view from Ghostpoet at Field Day Saturday

February 18, 2014

The New Almanac

What’s this?! What have I done with Noisy Shoes? Well, to be blunt, I killed it. And it all started over a phone call.

As with last year, my 2014 resolutions are lo-fi. I want to call people on the phone more. I think I have lost a fundamental part of my ability to communicate since the advent of sms. I am afraid of speaking on the phone to people I like speaking to. Which is just plain dumb. This resolution is essentially a way to be more direct. It is about being interacting in a meaningful way.

So, after several years of fun, I have decided to part ways with my old blog moniker. I want to take myself in a more focused direction, and it feels like the right moment for a fresh name. Over time, my approach has changed, my interests have changed. From now on I want to share a combination of ethics, issues, good design and new design. There will be trend forecasts and mood boards. There will still be reviews. There will still be interviews. There will still, of course, be baby animals.

However, I want to blog with a view to responsible consumption, and to eschew a fashion system that encourages unethical and unenvironmental practices. If that is even possible I don’t know, but I am going to find out. Clean living. More direct living. Straight to the point. Like a phone call. Fashion itself is not to blame for our consumption habits, we are. Therefore at no point do I need to feel the need to justify coverage of beautiful design, of innovative ideas, or of being a lover of novelty. It is human nature to move forward. What we must change is the harmful ways in which we do so. I wish to add to this conversation and push it forward as much as I can.

An Almanac is an annual compendium of forecasts and information, which fits closer to what I want to express and contribute to the online fashion discussion. So ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Fashion Almanac. 

link

February 18, 2014

Hannah Hoch – Collage Pioneer

Collage. The simple art of cutting and pasting. I have two reason to talk about this. The first is that I have some personal projects in the pipelines, and I am very excited to be working in this way again. The second is the much more noteworthy and far superior Hannah Hoch exhibition in the Whitechapel gallery, running until the 23rd March, 2014. Hoch’s work is transcendent, remaining as relevant and powerful as it surely must have been during her Dada beginnings in the early 20th century. Her origins were in illustration and embroidery and it was interesting to see how a female, using typically “female” artforms created works of art that do not scream “WOMAN ARTIST”. They are surreal, humorous and asethetically pleasing, but not what you would consider to be gender defined work.

hannah hoch, raoul hausmann, collage, art, whitechapel gallery, collage

john stezaker, tracy reece, collage, art, inspiration

image links here, here, here, here, here, here, here

Although often overlooked and brushed aside as a pursuit of the female hobbyist or the twee crafts, collage has a greater influence than perhaps we realise. Surely it is the surrealism of laying things that don’t belong together that is the foundation of fashion, just as with collage. Leather and lace? Collage. Wool and silk? Collage. The idiosyncrasy of collage permeates fashion from overt patterned surrealism to the nuance of mixing textures. It’s not just the Ashish’s and JCDC’s that owe something to this way of thinking. Autumn Winter 14-15’s collections are full of subtle and not-so-subtle collages of ideas. Darth Vader on a Morrocan tile print? Yes, Preen, I’m talking to you.

fall 15, aw14-15, catwalk, collection, fashion, runway, trends, ashish, matthew williamson, preen, darth vader, simone rocha, pattern, print, texture, peter pilotto, clover canyon, temperley, holly fulton, mary katrantzou, helmut lang

simone rocha, mary katrantzou, fall 15, aw 15, catwalk, runway, designers, fashion shows, details, erdem, matthew williamson, collage, pattern, print, embroidery

images via vogue.com

February 17, 2014

The Feminist Dress Social Experiment Resolution

In 2013 I resolved to wear more dresses. Partly as a feminist social experiment, partly because dresses are pretty. I am happy to say that I have succeeded, two months late – just in time for the new AW14-15 catwalk collections. As the social experiment it set out to be, I’m not sure that wearing dresses makes people treat you more typically like a girl. Maybe it’s my personality that intimidates people, not the leather jackets. Or perhaps my dress choice are as grungy and non-girly as the rest of my outfit. Actually, probably. Either way, I have met some very interesting people this year regardless of my attire. And equally regardless of their reception, I am very glad to have some lovely frocks sitting in my wardrobe.

outfit post, personal style, dresses, H&M, &other stories, Cos, vintage, style,

 

 

The nice pics from Jules Can Fly & Gemma White. The dodgy selfies are selfies.

As for the real girl thing. As predicted, I have failed miserably. I write this with unmanicured nails, un-extensioned hair, and probably some of last tuesday’s mascara still on…the thing is though, that my scruffiness does not make me any less or more of a feminist. I am not choosing to have terrible nails as a reaction to any system. I am busy and lazy and looking like an extra on TOWIE is not a priority. My unconscious choice may be the eschewing of a system that dictates I procure a husband and then babies by being pretty and meek and obedient. But on a conscious level, in no way do I resist nail polish. In an ideal world, I would do the things I like doing, such as reading and art and that, WITH bouffant hair and beautiful nails. And while Emma Thompson thinks heels have no place in a feminist’s house, I think she’s wrong. Respectfully. Sorry Emma, I love you, but you’re wrong. I think that the knowledge that you have a choice GIVES you a choice. Knowingly wearing heels, making an educated decision to have manicured nails, these are choices available to modern feminists. Otherwise, where are we? Back at the beginning where women don’t have choices. Forget it. Celebrate yourself however you choose. Just be aware that it may be perceived in a certain way and the historical reasons it is popular may be from less that feminist/liberty/pro-women beliefs. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s how it is. The real fight is the freedom to choose heels, not to have to wear them or never to wear them at all.

And for all the feminists who think like me, let’s have a look at the pretty dresses hot off the AW14-15 catwalks I will be coveting in the coming months…Who knows, maybe by the time they hit stores I’ll have a manicure.

tom ford, margaret howell, richard nicoll, christopher kane, aw14, fall 14 15, autumn winter, catwalk, collections, fashion, runway, dress, kenneth cole, preen, richard chai love, mara hoffman, marc jacobs,

 

February 3, 2014

New Year Review #2 – The London Look

New Year Review #2 – The London Look

To be totally honest, my 2013 was not outstanding in the greater scheme of things. I didn’t find world peace or a cure for any illnesses or anything. But I did read some books (ok, like maybe two books), go to some gigs and surfed a bit. I designed lots of prints and saw millions of fashion. All of the fashion if you will. 2013 also saw my second London anniversary. I moved here during Fashion Week so the two will forever be intertwined. I have started to notice the differences in my Pre-London Wardrobe and my London wardrobe. Leaving aside the changing of trends, passing of time and a desire to grow up somewhat, there has been a very definite London-ification of my wardrobe in the past two years.

The London Look. As silly as it sounds, there is something very distinct about how the city dresses. It’s a mix of the utilitarian, practical New York, chic French luxe and a burst of classic English quirk and heritage textures. It may be impossible to pinpoint the “London Look”, but if you live here, no matter what your style, you follow certain guidelines. There are certain, unspoken, understood things that you DO, that you wear. So, to mark my two year anniversary of being a Londoner (four and a half months late…), I have summed up a few of the things that makes London style quintessentially London and quintessentially stylish!

1. Shoes.

Heels? Don’t even. They say you can tell a lot about a person from what they wear on their feet. In that case Londoners have to walk, lots. Public transport is great (mostly) in London, but it’s a BIG city, so tottering about all day on 5 inch stilettos is a big ask, only for the very brave, or very silly. You will instead notice a sea of boots and flats. Chelsea boots, Oxfords, Acne Pistons and their legion of knockoffs. And sneakers. All of the trainers. London is a sneaker-freak city. I love living in East London and seeing the millions of exotic kicks on everyone around me, from the scallys to the most snobbish hipster to the really cool guys in traditional Muslim dress chilling round Brick Lane. When I moved to London I owned probably four pairs of black shoes, three of which were heels I rarely wore. I now own 25 pairs of shoes, 20 of which are black, 3 of which are trainers and only 3 of which are heeled. Go figure.

shoes, kicks, sneakers, trainers, nike, new balance, oxford shoes, brogues, chelsea boots, acne, topshop

2. Standing Out

Standing out is so common it doesn’t stand out in London. Literally thousands of bright-young-things flock to Dalston every year to make their mark and BE INDIVIDUALS. They wear reams of colour, pattern and jazzy silhouettes, they all stand out. With the net effect of all looking the same. The same can be said for all the different tribes that exist in this great metropolis. There is room for everyone and each tribe dresses to the nth degree. Because there is a place for everyone, it forces you to find your own style, and do it hard. If Dublin encouraged me to dress loud, London encourages me to dress quiet. It’s not that London is shhhhh-ing me, far from it. London encourages you to roar. It’s just that, really, maybe I don’t actually WANT to roar. The only statement I want to make is a quiet, simple, designy one. That’s my statement. That’s exactly who I am. I don’t need to fit in or stand out because we’re all misfits. And it so happens that I’m happiest in black, navy and shades of grey.

navy, sweaters, chic, simple, clean lines, moodboard, minimal dressing, inspiration

3. Layers

The tube. The bus. The walk to work. Cold flats. Hot galleries. Crappy winters. Stifling summers. London cannot be accused of not giving us plenty of weather, even if most of it is woeful. As a result, Londoners have to understand the practicalities of layering. They need to be coat experts. Indeed one of the first things I noticed when I moved was that everyone seems to live in their coats, even inside bars and clubs. They need to understand the benefits of cashmere and flannel, of tights. London girls just don’t do bare legs in winter. If you do, you’re, well… You’re not getting the tube or walking anywhere, that’s for sure! London girls understand the necessities as well as the aesthetics of giant scarves, that can be unfurled and held on stuff public transport. I never needed any encouragement when it comes to coats and scarves, but London has made me understand the utility of my entire outfit, so that leaving the house in the morning I am equipped for the various temperatures I am going to have to face during the day. I have shirts and sweaters and know what temperatures all combinations will create. It has made me think, so that when I’m wearing an outfit I don’t need to worry about it. Effortless. Done. Thanks, LDN. Here’s to the next few years. xx

oversize, coats, sleek, chunky scarves, fluffy coats, layering, london look, winter style, fashionall images via tumblr.com

 

February 3, 2014

Monday Funday – Jungle edition

Monday! Funday! I need to share Jungle with you as they are rocking my world of late. I was an idiot and didn’t buy tickets to their Village Underground gig quick enough and they are all sold out. RAGE! But they are super, and I am seriously digging the video for “The Heat”. Exactly what you need to ease you into the week.

 

Keeping with the Jungle theme, here’s some clouded leopards. They are the fashion cat of the season. Aren’t they the business?

images via here, here , here, here

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