3 outfits for 3 days in London

London baby! If you’d already guessed from the multitude of instagram posts this week, I spent Monday-Wednesday in the capital for a uni residential trip with a bunch of course mates. It was a trip dedicated to getting us all inspired and motivated to start designing some fun garments as part of our current module, and now I definitely feel well fed on inspiration. In between the many many many wonderful exhibitions and galleries we visited, I did manage to get a good few pics of some outfits I wore.

Monday

So thankfully we’d got the train down to London instead of the usual coach option, so by around 1pm we were at the hostel and we’d popped out to get some food. Once we’d settled, we headed over to the Tate to get some geometric art inspiration for one of our current modules. If I’m being totally honest, the work there was great, but we were so tired by this point that we just couldn’t really appreciate it enough. (Wait until Tuesday and then it gets more fun).

As for the outfit, I went for this faux leather dress that I’d been trying to get my hands on for over a month now, paired with my favourite Sax Potts style tights and a new pair of boots I’ve invested in for winter. The whole look was pretty neutral, but I think that it looks quite nice with my pale skin.

Tuesday

Tuesday was most definitely my favourite day of the trip (and one of the best days of my life tbh) from start to finish. After breakfast we headed to Dover Street Market where I finally got to see some of Molly Goddard’s work in real life. Then to seeing some Shrimps bags in Liberty, Henry Holland strolling past us, and all of the gorgeous shops in between, it couldn’t really get much better.

Then we went to the V&A to go see the Tim Walker exhibition, which was quite phenomenal and there’s a hell of a lot of photographs to look at for the price of one ticket! Whilst there I took a little detour into the Mary Quant exhibition (I just couldn’t resist) and I was totally satisfied with the vast collection of shift dresses, pinafores and everything 60’s. I ended up spending quite a bit on the Mary Quant gift shop, but I did get an adorable necklace and two pins out of it that I can get my wear out of.

As for my outfit, I went for something a bit more formal yet I chose a more suitable shoe option for the heavy, heavy amounts of walking we did. Aside from my bag, this outfit cost me a total of a tenner from the charity shop, including the shoes! I had to alter the skirt a little in order to be a bit more flattering, but for £2.99 for the set I just couldn’t resist.

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning we payed a visit to the Christopher Raeburn studio in order to get a behind the scenes look into a real life fashion design working environment. Although the brand was not one that I was particularly fond of before attending their HQ, I was quite impressed by their unique methods of producing sustainable and ethical clothing, such as these pieces which have been made from wartime maps that were made to withstand a hell of a lot of damage.

Following on from the Raeburn visit, we headed straight for the Invisible Men exhibition, a show dedicated to the history and evolution of mens fashion that has often been overshadowed by womenswear. As a whole, the collection was so interesting to see the variation of shapes and styles that menswear can obtain, especially when taken from all kinds of backgrounds.

The exhibition was hosted by the Professor Andrew Groves at the University of Westminster, however you may know him as Alexander McQueen’s ex lover that appeared in the recent McQueen documentary. Of course I had to go up and make conversation with him, and beyond the general talk of the garments included in the exhibition, he also mentioned that when the pair went their separate ways, he tossed out all of his McQueen items as he believed that they were worthless and wouldn’t be valued at anything. (He’s now had to buy many McQueen pieces to include on this exhibition, which could be seen as karma if you believe in that kind of thing).

As for my outfit on Wednesday, I’d packed these amazing croc print trousers that I’d been saving for a fun occasion. With them I went for a more casual white turtleneck to slightly balance it out, however the pvc coat and croc print platform boots did kind of the opposite of this. The shoes were surprisingly very comfy to walk around in, but there was absolutely no elegant way of sitting down and getting back up.

I’m gutted to be back home and back to my usual routine, but I’m definitely feeling tired physically from the amount of walking we did and tired mentally from the amount of information that we had to take in from the hundreds of exhibitions we went to! I might be skint now, but it was so worth it.

Love, Sophie x

Coats you can experiment with without being too bold

A dear friend of mine was asking for some recommendations of different coats that are out at the minute that aren’t too daring for the average person. So, after doing some late night browsing for her, I found a great selection of pieces on Topshop in particular. Although it can sometimes be a bit pricey, the site has recently been having some frequent offers on, as well as student discount that qualifies for anything (including sale items). So due to this, I thought I’d share some of the great finds on Topshop right now.

Rust Corduroy Shacket

Kicking things off we have a great alternative for those of you who love a denim jacket. A shacket is the best type of structured, slightly more ‘business’ style jacket without being too dressy or too suffocating. The boxy shape and large front pocket give off a utility vibe without looking like you’ve came straight of the army, and this rust colour is a brilliant shade for this transitional period. At £39, you can’t really go wrong with this.

PU Biker Jacket

Ah yes, a classic biker jacket without the intimidating jet black tone. Leather or PU jackets are great for a more waterproof alternative to a standard jacket, yet this off white colour is a lot easier to wear with any wardrobe and style. The cut of the garment and the hardware featured makes this £49 jacket a complete bargain that looks a lot more expensive than what you could get it for.

Chicago Brown Belted Vinyl Coat

Now for the expected hit jacket of the season, we have this stunning New York style vinyl coat. This baby will make you look like an out of office fashion editor, off to fetch the morning coffee in the drizzly September weather. Yes that’s a bit more romantic than a pouring down, Monday morning walk to your lecture, but it can be easy to imagine that you’re somewhere else in this coat (and you’d much rather be paying £59 for this coat and getting semi close to that dream than maxing out your overdraft for an underwhelming flight to NYC).

Apricot Shacket With Wool

Here she is, the one for all. This Apricot beauty is a real life sweet dream in coat formation. Again, a beloved shacket, this wool blend coat is definitely a good investment piece for the colder weeks approaching. Sometimes the only thing that can brighten a miserable rainy day is a soft pink coat, so here is your solution at £59. (This piece also comes in a teal shade too, but that will be featured on an upcoming blog post this week, so stay tuned).

Black Double Breasted Blazer

Seems a bit simple, but a black structured blazer is definitely a must have for any wardrobe. Although many of you may already have a standard blazer in your clothing collection that you whack out at every formal event, this type of blazer can make your usual ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ combo turn into a much more out together look, without looking too overdressed. This particular one is £49 and the rectangular shape with minimal crossover means that it would look perfect when worn unbuttoned.

Slouch Coat

This honey yellow dress coat that simply speaks for itself. If the pink coat previously mentioned isn’t suited to your particular colour palette, I’m sure that this can work it’s way into your wardrobe. The cut is stunning, the huge pockets are exactly what us girls need, and at £65 this is the best investment piece for many winters to come.

Ecru Faux Leather Tie Shacket

Last but certainly not least, we have super chic looking faux leather number. Yes, it’s another shacket, but this style of coat in this creamy white shade is perfectly mouldable to whatever colour palette or style you have. The tie belt offers the ability to give more shape to your look, or wear it without the belt for a more boyish feel. The faux leather means it’s both waterproof and easy to clean, so this could be all that you need to survive the dreaded winter to come. This baby is priced at £49, so it’s definitely an affordable and timeless piece that will stand the test of time for years to come.

This concludes my broadcast of some of the beaut new coats in Topshop this season. Obviously some of these may be a bit pricey at this moment in time, but Topshop has recently had some frequent offers on throughout their whole collections, plus if you get student discount then that can be added on top of any reduced items! I hope you’ve all found at least one style that you fancy, and I hope to see you again on Monday for the start of my Freshers week of blog posts!

Thanks again,

Sophie x

Shrimps X Warehouse Review

Hello everyone! This warm April morning has brought us some gorgeous sunshine, a buzz for the bank holiday weekend, and also the official launch of the Shrimps X Warehouse collaboration. The basis of this collaboration is a Spring/Summer capsule collection that has all you’d ever need for your summer holiday, or even just for some warm weather day to day pieces. This partnership is a follow up from the Shrimps X Converse collaboration back at Christmas time, which offered 5 pieces that were an instant sell out. However, Shrimps have came back on a huge scale with this collection, making it even bigger and even more affordable so that a greater audience can get their hands on some pieces for the summertime.

As described on the Warehouse website:

“In 2013 Hannah Weiland founded Shrimps, celebrated clothing brand and favourite on the British fashion scene. Playful, different and deliciously nostalgic, she brings the brands unique aesthetic – and her signature doodles – to Warehouse in a capsule summer collection.”

Just as the the label says, this collection is a great dive into spring/summer fashion, in a whimsical yet wearable Shrimps manor. With a whopping 43 pieces in total, ranging from swimwear to co-ords to jewellery, there’s definitely something for everyone. Common themes of daisies and gingham are widespread across the collection, which further adds to the ‘capsule’ idea that every piece can work together and be styled in many different ways in order to keep the pieces wearable for multiple different looks. Here’s a few pieces that I thought were worth a mention…

Straight off there some heavily illustrated pieces to get us really into a summer feeling. This yellow, sea themed fabric has been featured on both a slightly puffed sleeve top (£32) and a tea dress (£49). As well as this adorable summer style, there’s also a beautiful blue underwater themed maxi dress (£55) which would look perfect on a late evening stroll on the beach.

Out of the whole collection, my favourites have to be these green gingham pieces that are in a variety of scales of gingham. Known for their iconic pearl handbags, Shrimps simply couldn’t create a summer collection without involving a large vinyl shopper bag (£32) which would be a perfect carry on bag for a summer holiday. As if that wasn’t enough gingham for one collection, they’ve also created a co-ord set made of 100% cotton in a matching top (£29) and shorts (£29) set. (There’s also a shirred Bardot style top in gingham up for grabs, with a matching bucket hat if that’s your thing).

Some final pieces that I wanted to mention were the daisy themed jewellery pieces that are great final touches to this summertime wardrobe. I think these designs are super wearable for everyday use or they would be the perfect way to finish off an outfit, especially as these pieces all compliment each other and they are the most affordable pieces of the collection. From the adorable daisy chain necklace (£40) which I’m dying to get my hands on, to the matching daisy circle earrings (£20)), these are definitely worth looking into!

Overall, I think that this collection has came at the perfect time for a Spring/Summer shop, especially if you’re looking for some cute and comfy daytime holiday pieces! You can shop the whole collection on the Warehouse website linked here:

https://www.warehouse.co.uk/gb/clothing/ware-shrimps/

Thanks again,

Sophie x

Molly Goddard

Who is Molly Goddard?

Molly Goddard is an upcoming British contemporary designer who has built up her self-titled fashion label ‘Molly Goddard’ over the last few years. Her work is very heavily inspired by the outfits her mother and grandmother would make for her as a child, and she still gets her references from old family photographs and children’s knitwear patterns. Goddard’s work is well recognisable as expressive tulle smock dresses in a variety of vivid colours, built up from layers and layers of fabric that has been smocked and stitched on top of each other to reshape the body.

How it all began

Her rise to success began 4 years ago when she expressed her frustration to her boyfriend of not knowing what to do with her career after studying Fashion (Knitwear) at Central Saint Martins. In return, her boyfriend gave her the advice to ‘make clothes you’d want to wear’. This quote was what gave Goddard the motivation to create her first collection for spring 2015. She threw a large party for the debut of the collection, where she had kindly asked for her friends to model her tulle dresses over their jeans and t-shirts. The show had caught the eye of Dover Street Market, to which she was asked to make 86 dresses for to be sold to the public, taking Goddard 15 hours a day for 4 months to complete.

Iconic moments in her career (that you’ve probably already seen but I’m going to talk about anyway because they’re iconic)

It’s incredible to see how far Molly has came within the past 4 years, from designing her first pieces from the comfort of her kitchen, to dressing celebrities such as Rihanna who regularly works with Goddard for runway pieces and even the occasional daytime look. Her work was recently widespread across all of social media from the debut of the new TV show ‘Killing Eve’ where the main character is wearing one of her iconic pink tulle dresses in the middle of the street in Paris, looking completely out of place yet so perfect at the same time. Goddard’s style perfectly represents the women who want to break free of social standards for daily wear, and who also question when fashion became so mundane and uniform.

Why I love her so much

Her ability to take childish, playful designs and reimagine them as modern day works of art that can completely change the stature and impression of a person is impeccable. I admire her imagination and vision to reinforce the fun side of fashion back into the industry, as I believe her designs give women the chance to wear exactly what they want to wear, without any limitations of common shapes or fabrics that should be worn in daily life. Molly Goddard is a person that I am very much inspired by as an artist and as an individual, for her confidence to put her own say into the fashion industry without any fear of meeting social expectations of current trends or styles, instead just wanting to do what she wants to do and make the clothes that she would want to wear if they were available to her.

As a student currently working towards finding my own place in the fashion industry, I take a lot of inspiration from Goddard, as where many designers these days stay within their comfort zone and barely break outside of standard patterns for designs, Molly laughs in the face of standard patterns. Nothing is impossible to this woman, and that is an attitude that is in desperate need within this industry.

Thanks for reading,

Sophie x

Did EDDA GIMNES really do that?

If you’ve been keeping up with the fashion tea this weekend, you may have heard about Moschino’s Spring 2019 RTW show being publicly called out as a fraud. The entire show and it’s illustrative concept has been discovered to be an almost identical rip off of the designer Edda Gimnes’ unique designs, who had previously met with a Moschino rep back in November last year where she shown all of her designs and sketches. From what was displayed as Moschino’s new vision for the upcoming season, it was actually the hard work of Edda and her full design style.

Although this type of scandal is currently getting talked about due to Edda already having a semi large audience to share her story, the truth is that young and upcoming designers are quite frequently being ripped off by these huge multi-million dollar brands because they are small fish in a big pond with no voice to show that their designs are being stolen. Many creative individuals approach these companies on a daily basis with their brilliant portfolios, yet will often be declined any form of a job. That then gives the brand an opportunity to look at someone else’s ideas and take them as their own, without the need of having to think for themselves, and whilst also not giving someone else the money that they could be earning as they deserve. This process means more continuous business for these labels and a never ending cycle of declines and theft for these imaginative and brilliant minds.

Now onto the work and story of Edda Gimnes. Edda studied at the London college of fashion, and her work has always been recognised as illustrative and fun, with the persuasion of bright colours and stand out shapes. Her work has been widely appreciated with awards, even including the New York Times as one of ten “Fresh out of Fashion School designers to watch”. Her exciting and energetic designs are a wonderfully fresh input on the modern day fashion industry, by not taking itself too seriously, and by reminding the surrounding designers and buyers that fashion should always be fun and personal, not heavy and narrow-minded. Edda brings an aura to the fashion industry that it greatly needs, and one that we should be appreciative of in the long run.

Here are some quotes on the style of Edda, direct from her website:

“Edda has always been preoccupied with the concept of past, old and forgotten objects and it is important to her that her collection triggers the viewers an emotional reaction and connection with their inner selves.”

“Edda’s aim is to combine art and fashion in a new and unexpected way, and its important to her that you should have fun with the clothes and I feel like wearing her collection is like dressing up for different characters. She wants people to wonder and question what fashion is, and get carried away into a fantasy world. She thinks it is important not to take fashion too seriously, but have fun with the clothes dress up and make up your own narrative of who you want to be.”

Overall, I’m deeply in love with Eddas’ design mentality and personal style for her brand. Her iconic pieces should never have been stolen, but as a result of speaking out, she’s managed to rightfully call out Moschino and contribute to breaking this Robin Hood-like theft cycle. Thank you for taking the time out to read this piece on the voice and needed justice of Edda Gimnes and her brand.

Sophie x

Topshop x Stranger Things collection review

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Unless for some reason you are literally stuck in a parallel universe, you would have heard that the second season of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things has finally been released. The show itself is a perfect concoction of thrilling sci-fi goodness, childhood nostalgia and of course, early 80’s fashion. I like to think of it as a modern take on the outer space, alien like obsession seen in all the movies from the time, in which Star Wars had took the baton from the moon landing of the 60’s and thus a new theme of inspiration had been introduced. The whole aesthetic of the show is pleasing to look at without the plotline. Viewers have been taking inspiration from the different styles featured in the show, whether it be Barb’s variety of patterned shirts or Lucas’ striped t-shirt and cord jacket combo, there’s a style to suit any personality.

Since the show began, companies have piled up with all kinds of merchandise that we just need to have to get our Stranger Things fix as we waited for the new season to start, whether it be t-shirts, phone cases, or even a classic lunch box. Topshop had caught on this merchandise bandwagon and in recent weeks had been teasing some form of collaboration with the hit show all over social media, even redecorating their Oxford Circus store to look just like some of the well known sets from the show. The idea of a reliable clothing brand producing items based around the entire style and entity of one of my person favourite shows had me ecstatic to say the least, as I’m sure many others were too. However I noticed my excitement over this Stranger Things themed clothing line died down once I got my first look at the collection, so here’s why.

If you haven’t had a glance at the collection yet, let me put it into perspective for you. The range features eight t-shirts, two sweatshirts, two caps, two backpacks, two lunchboxes and a book all about Barb. Now I will admit, I admire some of the designs on the t-shirts, and I like the inclusion of accessories like the backpacks, however the collection as a whole just didn’t live up to my expectations. I mean, did Topshop really need to come out with a basic black t-shirt with the logo printed on it for you to be able to get your hands on it? When I think of this type of merchandise, I think back to when Primark released a collection of t-shirts with Love Island quotes on it. Everyone has seen this merchandise done before (at cheaper prices too), whether it be on websites such as Redbubble or Amazon, a graphic tee featuring the Stranger Things logo isn’t a particularly strange sight today.

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For a brand like Topshop, a brand who typically always delivers that bit more than most other retailers, it was disappointing to see quite a limited range with very little creativity representing not just themselves, but also this widely appreciated series.  When I think of what these two businesses have in common when it comes to their clothing and costumes, I think of attention to detail and relevance. Stranger Things represented the style of the early 80’s in a universal way with it’s wide spectrum in age from the cast, catering to each of their characters individual personalities and how their style would have been categorized at the time, whether it be nerdy, preppy or more mature. When you combine these key looks and styles with Topshop’s quality and designs, you get a well reflected and well replicated collection.

What I predicted would happen when taking into consideration what Topshop already sells and takes it’s inspiration from, would be that they created a line that was based on the key outfits worn in the show, a ‘get the look’ kind of collection (which I only seen once in the whole collection with Dusten’s red blue and white cap being replicated). Think about it, this collection launched in the middle of Autumn, even a week before Halloween, whilst many people are still trying to find a Halloween costume. Even so, if you’re just looking for a good winter coat, why not get the same one as your favourite character from your favourite tv show? The time period when the show is set features all kinds of items that are trending now, in fact, the 70’s and 80’s are huge trends alone and have been for a while now, so anything you do consider purchasing is easily wearable and won’t exactly be outdated anytime soon.

To conclude, I do like some items from this Topshop x Stranger Things range as individual items, however I just believe that they had so much more potential with this collaboration and yet they repeated what many other companies had done before with Stranger Things merchandise. I like the idea of having an interest of yours printed onto an item such as a t-shirt, however I don’t see the demand for 8 variations of said t-shirt. I hope these two brands collaborate again in future to recreate something a bit more personalized to the show, rather than basic styles of merchandise.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I will link the collection below for you to take a look and and decide your judgement on it. Also, I finished all of season 2 within two days and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same, I loved this season and I even think it topped the first one.

Topshop x Stranger Things collaboration: http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/category/topshop-x-stranger-things-7095002/home?TS=1508416729886?intcmpid=CAROUSEL_WK8_TUES_STRANGER_THINGS_1