“Camp” Met Exhibition Review

It wasn’t long after the Coronavirus outbreak had affected the wider population that the Metropolitan Museum of Art took action to postpone this year’s gala. As the heartbreak for the biggest event in fashion is present, I thought that I would at least share some form conversation relating to the night in which we all love to spectate. So since I already did a review of the best looks from last year, I thought why not take a deeper look into the actual exhibition behind the big night that some of you may not have seen much about when it was around. So without anymore rambling, here are a few of my “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition highlights.

The Gucci Sponsorship

Now to start of this discussion I thought it would be right to focus on the main contributors towards the show coming to life (Anna Wintour can only do so much, surprisingly) and the main sponsor for last year’s theme was in fact Gucci. As the exhibition will be made up of hundreds of delicate and often one of a kind pieces that are so rare to find, they need not just a big budget but also a big helping hand in providing a lot of relevant material, literally. Gucci has always been known for having a frivolous, hyper exaggerated flare to its designs that the fashion house suited this partnership just right.

In the past decade they have made a flying comeback into high fashion, whilst other brands of a similar position have focused on creating simple and sellable runway designs, Gucci have dared to be different and introduced a wide variety of silhouettes, patterns and textures to a new audience. They’ve made fashion desirable again, recognising the upcoming generations obsession with past decades and the unique pieces that only get diluted by other houses today, only to be diluted to just tinted water by the time these trends reach the high street.

Justice for Edda Gimnes

Now I’ve already covered some of this drama in a previous blog post when the whole thing unveiled, but since the Met Gala gave upcoming independent designer Edda Gimnes the justice she deserved, why not recap on what really happened to get her global recognition.

Edda Gimnes is a young and upcoming designer, who had graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2015. She had an interview post-graduation with Moschino, a brand that could be seen to suit her over the top flare. Sadly, she did not get what she was looking for and she was turned away, however her work didn’t go unnoticed. It was the Spring 2019 RTW collection that featured bold illustrative lines, block sharpie style colours, paired with sketched tights, all resembling the work of Gimnes. What was thought to be a great come back for Moschino after a few seasons of dull and lifeless themes, was actually completely forged.

Now how does this relate to the theme of Camp you ask? Well, a common theme that is recognised as Camp is ‘pastiche’, a word defining imitation of style or work. Another commonly associated word for Camp is irony, and the act of a well established fashion house needing to draw its ideas from a ‘nobody’ is quite ironic. So the word spread from Edda herself of this injustice, and soon the world started to recognise Jeremy Scott’s loss of touch when it came to being a true designer. Edda’s work was featured in this exhibit following her exposure and recognition, on a mannequin placed high and central to the main room of the show.

Molly Goddard’s recognition

Yes I’m talking about Molly Goddard yet again, but this time it’s necessary. I’d first like to address her absolute relevance to the exhibition. To start with in a very literal sense, her heavily gathered tulle dresses and unique silhouettes are of course as camp as you can get. Wearing 30 metres of fabric to pop to the shops in is going to make you feel like you’re wrapped in bubble wrap, whilst looking like a bright pink loofah (in a good way). Not only that, but her brand as a whole breaks away from the current monochromatic unsurprising styles of today that are the result of continuous dilution of trends over the years. She’s not trying to be anyone else, and she’s not trying to reinvent a style either, she’s looked at the fashion book and torn it apart and then rewrote it from her own perspective.

The picture that blew up on Instagram, this dress was one featured in the exhibition.

I also want to talk about it wasn’t just crucial for the Metropolitan museum to include Goddard in the Camp exhibition, but it was crucial for Goddard to receive that pedestal of recognition. There’s often a strange bridge between being an upcoming designer and being a well established fashion house, and sometimes designers can find themselves struggling to break out of that ‘small business’ title. It’s quite surprising to me how ironic it is that her pieces are just so recognisable amongst pop culture now, yet she’s still so unheard of. To be the poster outfit for Killing Eve, one of the highest achieving tv shows at the minute. To dress Rihanna of all people countless times and have some of the images be the singers most adored. Within just 5 years of her brand existing she’s been recognised by so many avenues besides the fashion industry, and I feel like the Met Gala confirmed that well deserved status that she’d already been achieving unrecognised for so long. My hero.

The iconic Björk swan dress

When the theme ‘Camp’ was announced I made a mental list of pieces or designers that I wanted to be included, and this exact dress was one of them. The Björk swan dress, designed by Marjan Pejoski from Macedonia, is one of the most outrageous red carpet looks of all time. Whilst wearing the dress to the Academy awards in 2001, the singer was seen to be mimicking ‘laying an egg’ on the red carpet. When she was asked about this in the press after all the hysteria it caused, she gave the statement “it’s just a dress”.

It’s a fact that the dress itself is something of total costume, it’s a given. However the attitude to wear it to a red carpet at a time when fashion was all about making yourself appear sexy and it was all taken a bit too seriously for what it was, it’s quite possibly the most camp piece of fashion to exist. It’s hardly anything to do with the piece itself, because that dress has been ripped off and ‘reimagined’ way more times than it should have been. It’s the total disregard for dignity and image in a time where that is all that mattered. Celebrities of that time very rarely dipped into new or unrecognised styles as individuals, fashion as a whole was commercialised to do its job. Björk’s dress was not just a fun idea, it was in fact a total mockery to pop culture at its time.

In summary, I fucking loved this exhibition. I say this with a biased opinion as the identification of the theme had made me realise how many parallels I have with it in my own style, so this theme will always have a special place in my heart. Yet, I thought that some of these highlights from the exhibition were some of the greatest overall in terms of reflecting on fashion in today’s society, so I hope that you enjoyed this or found out something new.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the exhibition whilst it was on, and you’d like to see a bit more from it, here’s a link to the page which features a virtual tour of the exhibiton. You can also find my review of last year’s gala looks here.

I’ll be back soon with more fashion chit chat.

Love,

Sophie

A week of style prompts with Lucy Harbron

Hello hello, I’m back with a new post and this time it’s a collab! A dear internet friend of mine, Lucy Harbron, proposed the idea of us recreating a series from Man Repeller, in which we give each other not-so-typical styling prompts for each day of the week. Each of these themes were peculiar enough for us to think outside of the box for what to wear for the day, yet because we’d proposed these ideas for each other it was quite personal and fun to do. I’d highly recommend having a look into Man Repeller’s posts on this if you’re looking for a different approach to getting dressed in the morning!

Friday: Shuffle Lana Del Rey and wear something inspired by the song it lands on

Starting off on the right foot, I was so happy about the subject for day one. Lucy and I both share a great admiration for Lana Del Rey, if it wasn’t already obvious. I was quite thankful that when I pressed shuffle on the singer’s Spotify that the song “High By The Beach” from Honeymoon came on (especially since it’s one of my favourite albums too).

My Shrimps X Warehouse dress seemed like an obvious choice that I simply couldn’t resist. Not just in it’s whimsical sea bed print, but also in its tie back feature and it’s ruffled hem that finishes just above the ankle, which takes me back to walking around in Alicante last summer. I wore it on top of this oatmeal coloured puffed sleeve top that I simply can’t fault. It gave me a bit of extra warmth whilst also making the summertime feeling dress seem a bit more staying at home appropriate (sadly). I feel like the song itself presents a feeling of frustration and finally picking up and leaving, which I feel like the combination of these muted colours also reflects on.

Saturday: Dress like a rich, bratty toddler

When I looked at the theme for this day I got very very excited and it’s a bit embarrassing. I’m all for cheesy and over the top pieces, especially those that don’t follow the shape of a woman’s body. For me this top is the embodiment of a childish character that gets dressed in pieces that contradict how careless that child is. This taffeta style top from Topshop was the perfect option for day two, along with my trusty gingham trousers also from the same shop.

Sunday: Style up your pyjamas or something that feels like nightwear

To be honest I found it quite difficult to work with this theme, not necessarily for the theme itself, but just simply because my pyjama section does not contain a single item without some form of damage done to it. However, lockdown did have me invest in two pairs of joggers (which is the first time I’ve worn a pair in probably 6 years) and so this pink pair from Topshop were the perfect candidate.

My most favourite way of styling up these joggers is with this little pink wrap top, you guessed it, also from Topshop. I’m a huge fan of monochrome styling in a colour format, and these two shades really compliment each other very well. I also admire the ballerina off duty vibe that they give off, which is a mood that I’m always aspiring towards yet I’m nowhere near flexible enough to actually live it out.

Monday: Clash as dramatically as you can

Ah yes some print clashing, nothing new to my style but something I never get bored of. So when I was thinking of what type of print I’d like to feature that would make quite a statement, there was simply nothing more dramatic than this pleated monkey skirt from H&M a few years back, and yes they are in fact wearing crowns. As for the top I went with this ruffled oversized Peter Pan collared shirt from Primark. These two pieces were very much opposites alone, but combined in their neutral tones they fused together quite well.

Tuesday: Dress as your alter ego

I was in a right pickle over this theme for a few days, which also led to me realising how 2D of a person I actually am. I couldn’t quite think of an alter ego for myself that I didn’t already share so publicly anyway, so I decided to go for my fashion alter ego, a Chanel girl. It might come as a surprise from this Molly Goddard tulle Shrimps beaded bag loving gal, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for the minimalist and formal outfits of the Chanel and Dior models. Not so much for the trendy things featured in recent seasons, but more of the nautical/wartime/New Look of the decades past.

Wednesday: Let your 16 year old self dress you

Wednesday’s theme was quite ironic because although it’s obvious that I take elements from youthful styles, I actually had nothing in my wardrobe that represented my 16 year old style that well. Sophie four years younger was mad over skinny jeans and off the shoulder tops, both of which are almost extinct in my wardrobe today.

However, younger Sophie also really appreciated a pinafore and shirt combo from time to time, which she would go on to appreciate more and more as time went on. There’s one burgundy corduroy pinafore that I do still have from this period, as it holds fond memories of me begging my mam for this one quite pricey pinafore from topshop for months before she finally caved in and got me it. However, I went for this more pinky toned cord pinafore from Primark to suit with the shirt a bit more, which I got from Miss Selfridge a while back.

Thursday: Wear something inspired by a Monet painting

I was SO excited to wear this dress that I’d recently purchased from Zara, and this prompt gave me the perfect reason to wear it. It’s taffeta like texture makes it drape beautifully and it gives the sleeves even more puff than usual. The beautiful shade of pink in the flowers brought to mind the similar imagery used in Claude Monet’s work, especially when surrounded by earthy shades of yellow and green.

I styled it with my well loved white floral lace tights from Topshop, as not only does the floral theme continue, but the white lace texture is also reminiscent of the washed out white skies he would commonly feature. I also teamed this look with my beautiful floral tapestry slingbacks from Primark that I need to get more wear out of. It’s also came to my attention that this is the only outfit from this post that features shoes, so I’m a bit fearful of the post lockdown period where every shoe I own feels brand new and it’s blisters central over here. I’ll make the most of my pain free feet whilst I can.

Friday: Power dress to the max

Last but not least we’ve got the Friday power dressing extravaganza. I was actually not feeling to well this day, so I wanted something that still felt ultra put together, yet wasn’t too restraining in any of the wrong places. The combo of pink polo neck and my beautiful Saturday jumper is one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, so I thought that the white cord skirt would act as a nice compliment to the pink heavy upper half. Finished with a Topshop blazer that I recently purchased from depop, as well as my ride or die Shrimps bag, I certainly felt a lot more put together than I had been for a few times during lockdown.

So that’s it from me for mine and Lucy’s week in outfits posts, now is your chance to take a look at Lucy’s post to see what prompts I gave her! Hope you enjoyed reading this and I’ll be back sooner than you think.

Love,

Sophie

Sewing basics: everything you’d need to start sewing

Hello hello, I know its been quite some time. If you didn’t know, I’ve been working on a new venture over on youtube where I’ve been sharing some of my fashion design projects, which I’m glad to hear that you’ve been loving! Along with your kind words theres also been a few questions surrounding resources, where I find fabric, what patterns I use etc, so I thought that I’d create a collective guide to if you’re wanting to start out with making you’re own pieces whilst answering a few recurring questions.

Machines

Choosing a sewing machine is a lot like choosing a car, it needs to do the job whilst being reliable for many years to come, and it can get costly. Now thankfully you don’t need to take out a loan for a sewing machine, but the general price point for your everyday domestic machine is still in the £100-£200 mark. Most machine companies have been household names for decades which your older family members might be familiar with, but Id say the two most reliable for beginners are Brother and Singer.

I myself started out with a brother as my first proper machine that lasted me a good 3 years of intense fashion student based labour which it definitely was not built for, but for everyday fabrics it works wonders. I currently have a heavy duty singer which was around £250, which is built to tackle even the more difficult fabrics like denim and leather. Although this type of machine is more expensive, and it won’t provide much of a difference in performance with household fabrics than a machine for £100 less, it is worth the investment if this is something you’re looking into making more of a dedicated hobby.

Recommended Machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/janome-hc1200-sewing-machine/638245-1000

My Singer Heavy Duty machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/singer-4423-heavy-duty-sewing-machine/598937-1000

Patterns

Patterns are the building blocks to that garment that you’ll use as a sort of stencil when cutting out your fabric. When you have an exact idea in your head of what type of item you’d like to make, it can be quite tricky to find the right search terms or even just to find a place to start looking. A lot of pattern brands haven’t really advanced much in the last 10 years and so you’ll easily find that many of them feature silhouettes that aren’t very suited to today’s preferred styles, but the brand Mccall’s has began to tailor more of their newer patterns towards a younger audience. their prices are usually around £10 each and every pattern booklet will contain 3 variations of designs to suit whatever you’re wanting to make down to an exact style.

Best website for patterns: https://www.sewessential.co.uk

You can also try and find some vintage patterns through eBay or Etsy (and charity shops when they open back up), if you’re wanting something a bit more detailed or of a certain time. I’ve only used vintage patterns until I got to uni, since they’re super affordable and practical when you’d want to be spending your money on a nicer fabric. The only thing I’d note when looking through vintage patterns is that the sizing on them might suggest that a 10/12 is the smallest size, when in fact depending on the time of release this could be the equivalent of a size 6 today, due to a change in the sizing system a few decades ago. Also be aware that the pattern that you’re buying does in fact have your size in it, as many of them that have been used previously by and individual may have been cut out in their exact size that might not be yours.

Fabric sourcing

Now this is a topic that I’ve definitely had the most questions around, and that is where I get my fabrics from. Of course prior to lockdown I had my few favourite fabric shops (and good old boys for when you’re really on a budget), but adapting to working from home has meant that I’ve discovered a few online shops that are worth taking a look into. My current two favourites for the price point and variety are:

Fabricland

https://www.myfabrics.co.uk/

When buying fabric online it’s of course very difficult to see for yourself how the texture will look, how it feels, etc. However many websites will note if a fabric has any stretch in it and what type of garments its best suited for. Most household pieces can be made best with cotton, polyester, or poplin, and 2.5/3 metres of such will provide you with enough to suit nearly every type of project (of course varying depending on lengths of garments, if theres any gatherings or smaller details, things like that). These types of fabrics are usually around the £5 a metre price point, but some go for as cheap as just over pound a metre if you’re lucky. If you’re just starting out then id also recommend avoiding any stretch fabrics, or projects that would require stretchy materials for that matter, as stretch fabrics are super fiddly to work with and if you’re paying good money for fabric then you would want your project to go as smoothly as possible.

Miscellaneous equipment

Some other basic equipment that you might not have lying around the house or you may not realise you need until you need it (I’ve had plenty of those moments in this lockdown alone), are generic things like fabric scissors, measuring tape, a ruler, sewing pins, the usual. There isn’t necessarily a particular brand id recommend for each of these as anything will do the job really. However one thing that isn’t necessary but I definitely can’t live without are fabric clips. these are great for holding together whatever pieces of fabric you’re wanting to sew together, and they’re less than a fiver for about 50 so they’re totally recommended from me. Other than that, Id say thats all you’d need. Things like a mannequin, pattern paper, or a pattern master (the fancy ruler to make curves too) are totally optional but would be highly beneficial if this is something that you’re aspiring to do more as a practice, so ill link the ones that I got below.

fabric clips: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N49BBDM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

mannequin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Y6L136F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

pattern paper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sewing-Pattern-Marking-Designs-Dressmaking/dp/B00XNNJSGI/ref=sr_1_2?crid=PI16C65JZ0IY&dchild=1&keywords=pattern+paper+for+dressmaking&qid=1587577235&sprefix=pattern+paper+%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-2

pattern master: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B90F3R0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So that pretty much everything Id recommend when it comes to starting out with sewing. I hope that you might have found this post useful and also Id be super happy to see whether you decide to make something! I’ll be back on this space very soon.

Love,

Sophie

Not your everyday fashion bloggers

Greetings friends hope you’re all well. I got asked recently if I had any Instagram fashion ‘influencers’ or bloggers that I admire and that they I feel inspired by from time to time, and it got me thinking about the fact that many of the people that we see on fashion brand’s instas all follow a very similar style. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing, or that their style isn’t personal to themselves, but it can become a bit repetitive. So, here are a few of my own personal favourite Instagram fashion bloggers that don’t all follow that recurring style.

@mariejedig

Marie is the type of person that you look at and can’t quite put your finger on which aspect of her style you admire the most. Is it the colourful monochromatic styling? Is it her romanticised play with textures and cosy knits? Or is the combination of calming colours and cuddly cardigans just the perfect combination of C’s for an attractive insta feed?

Not only that, but her collaborative work features many new and upcoming brands, fresh from Scandinavia in more specifically. Many of which are ethically driven towards creating sustainable and eco-friendly garments, in which Marie uses her platform to style in fresh and contemporary ways.

Overall, her fun and flamboyant outfits are super refreshing in a world of all black and occasional neon green. Besides that, her not-so-serious styling is also a good influence to have on an audience, as fashion should be fun and enjoyable, without any feelings of pressure to dress in a particular way in order to be ‘stylish’.

@maria_bernad

Maria definitely gives me that cliche ‘cool girl in school that didn’t speak to anyone but nobody messed with her’ vibe that you see in all the American teen movies. She can clash as many prints as possible but still look effortless and put together, but in a cool way.

She finds a way to make everything and anything work together, no matter how tacky or outrageous the outfit may be. Purple sparkly flared trousers with a complimentary pink t-shirt? Who wouldn’t do that. You never know what type of day she’s dressing for or what she’s doing, but she looks prepared for anything, and that’s hot.

She can go from one extreme to the other, from an 80’s party go-er to a 90’s schoolgirl who spends her time between the library and skateboarding to school and back. The versatility in her styling is something so refreshing and exciting to see and I’d really recommend you gave her a follow, even if she’s not to your particular taste it’s just fun to see.

@Frollein_herr

Karoline Herr is a German fashion and interiors enthusiast that dedicates her instagram towards combining these two elements into one strong and visually pleasing feed. She’s a fan of soft and neutral tones in both of these areas, and she enjoys a more architectural play on shapes and proportions.

Her style is super feminine without necessarily being ‘girly’. It’s mature in a way that makes her look polished and flawless, but it doesn’t age her or look too dated.

Her images make a welcoming appearance, as they’re not too bombarding of brands or labels, just simply good style. In a world of instagram it’s hard to avoid materialism and caring too much about the status of items, but it’s easy to tell that Karoline looks to items for their beauty and inspiring qualities rather than the opposing ideas. Overall, she’s a pretty good person to be following.

@Karenbritchick

Ah Karen, you legend. Karen has been an all time favourite fashion admirer of mine since I properly got invested in the fashion world. A Brit now living in New York, she takes inspiration from both places within her wardrobe, and you can also find her documenting the street style of New York over on her YouTube channel (under the same username).

One thing that initially drawn me to Karen’s style was her heavy inclusion of vintage and second hand pieces. She speaks a lot of sustainable fashion and shopping ethically, and so her outfits reflect that same idea of timeless pieces: never outdated fashion.

She’s also a big fashion of jewel tones, fun textures, and vintage cuts. Wide or flared leg trousers are a common appearance, as well as a good turtleneck and chunky boots. By the way, she’s also super excited about clothes, and when I say excited, I MEAN excited, go to her YouTube to see exactly what I mean).

@jennymustard

Last but certainly not least, we have the wonderful Jenny Mustard. She’s originally from Sweden, but her and her boyfriend David have moved from capital to capital for many years now, and are currently residing in London! Her Scandinavian background plays a great influence on her wardrobe and her minimalist lifestyle, and she’s also a great enthusiast for veganism and social change as she discusses on her weekly podcast.

Jenny’s instagram features a very faff-free consistency, showcasing her chic and contemporary styling in her toned surroundings. She’s a lover of sustainability and she uses her platform to showcase some of Scandinavia’s best organic and ethical brands, whilst also going a step further on her YouTube channel to provide a variety of styling videos to help make the most out of your wardrobe.

Her style is never too much of anything, never too boyish or girly, never too put together or too laid back, it’s just right. She’s always one for outfit repeating (as we all should do) yet her ability to switch up an outfit to make it feel all brand new again is a great influence to have on your feed. 10/10 in my books if you ask me.

So that’s a few of my most favourite fashion bloggers, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and maybe even discovered a new account that you’re on your way to follow! Anyway, I’ll be back soon with anyone fun post.

Love,

Sophie x

Visuals No.3

1960’s fashion: music, miniskirts and Mary Quant

I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into the 1960’s fashion movements and the construction of how these styles came about and for what reasons, and since I’ve been so infatuated with the decade as a whole, I thought I’d share some of the key subjects that influenced womenswear of this time.

The 60’s saw a fashion focus on the younger generations, particularly on the teenage youth, as the change in music styles had also influenced them to desire clothes that they could move around in. The rising popularity of rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, went hand in hand with the frenzy of teenage girls that wanted to be with them and boys who wanted to be them.

Young girls didn’t want to dress as children anymore, and the older styles like Dior’s ‘New Look’ didn’t necessarily offer them much freedom physically, and thus this is where items such as the mini skirt were introduced. The super short manifestation was a bold style, suited to females who enjoyed the freedom of movement, or even to those who were heavily outspoken for women gaining a stronger role in society, in which the miniskirt was a modern style that didn’t fit the typical housewife agenda of the decade prior.

As the hemline was raised it became awkward to wear the traditional stockings, and so full length tights in bright block colours became the new fashion to suit this modern, youthful look. Mary Quant was a key designer for British youth at this time (and is also one of my personal favourite designers to this day) due to her recognition of young girls styling themselves and further feeding back what she saw them wearing in the streets, by supplying them with items such as these block coloured tights in a whole array of colours, which further formed this unique relationship between designer and customer.

Mary Quant was not the only important character in the 60’s love story, as who could forget about Twiggy? In her early days she was often compared to the equally beautiful Jean Shrimpton, who was seen to have more of a mature and classic feel than the young Twiggy, who at first had went by her real name Lesley Hornby. It was once her iconic pixie cut style was created, taking a whole 8 hours of bleaching and trimming in the House of Leonard salon in Wayfair, that ‘Twiggy’ was born.

Her super short cut and her doe eyes that she further brought out with defined eyeshadow, set a modern style for girls to recreate in their own way, to which obviously Mary Quant had supplied with her own makeup collections. Her makeup ranges included palettes that contained everything a girl could need in one item, including miniature brushes for girls to touch up with wherever they go, maybe on the way to a Beatles concert?

The youth quake of the 60’s has fascinated me a lot recently, as the parallels with not just the fashion industry today but society itself is undeniable. Social media helps to fuel our fearlessness of self expression and standing up for what is right, as the many many online movements since it’s birth is too many to count. Brands turn more towards street style and what the customer is wearing, which has usually been found second hand, as the superior fashion houses are lacking in imagination and awareness of what young people today actually want. And thus, history repeats itself.

Thanks for reading through this little homage to the 60’s, I hope you enjoyed it and even maybe learnt something new about this influential decade!

Sophie x

Visuals No.2

Visuals No.1

(All images via Pinterest)