Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: You are cordially invited to...


A Fashion Week Journal: You are cordially invited to...

Makeup at Chanel, macaroons at Lanvin and enough paper invites to to block up your mail box in a matter of seconds; It must be fashion week.  Of course not all invites are in paper form as many designers opt for digital invites via email and agency's such as KCD.  London predominately comes in the form of various paper and cardboard designs which can vary from plain and simple to the 3D butterfly design seen at the AW13 Mulberry show.  Of course this wasn't the same this season as they are missing London fashion week this year. 
Lanvin show their AW14 collection today and a couple of season ago they gave out macaroons in an beautiful Alber Elbaz illustrated box which of course were delicious and last season Mulberry sent out a tiny package with a miniature Wedgwood cup and saucer which was unbearably cute.

Chanel of course are the very best and these typically come in the form of thick white envelopes with beautiful hand written addresses and names.  Of course it's always nice to receive ones of these but the main thing that people want to get their hands on are the gifts given out at the show.  AW13 was in the form of makeup with a nail varnish, 4 eye shadow palette and two lipsticks.  There really was something for everyone in this package and the nude lipstick is so subtle and so beautiful.  I will go into detail about this show in my next post which will post on the 4th along with an Alexander McQueen post.

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: From Milan to Paris

 A Fashion Week Journal: From Milan to Paris

I've heard about how beautiful the alps look when you fly over them and everything I've heard is true.  You normally just have pure blue sky to look out through the window or at the very least you can see the ground where everything looks like a miniature toy set.  The alps is like another world and apart from seeing Gravity in the cinema, it's probably the nearest thing I'll get to seeing the world from afar.
Today I leave Milan and this time it's an evening flight so unless they find some way to light up the alps, all I'll be seeing is black and I'll probably be too tired to care.  I always feel really ignorant in Milan, I barely know how to say anything and I can just make out some of the foods on a menu.  Paris is slightly different and there's a lot more I can say and read.  I still feel really stupid saying things in another language and it really cringes me out because I know I can't pronounce any french words let alone English ones!

The press centre is located at the Palais de Tokyo and up until last year it was located in the main building.  The downside of that was it could get so cold in the massive building but the pros were the fact you got to see loads of different types of modern art which obviously I loved!  Now it's located in a separate temporary building which looks beautiful but you also feel like your now a piece of the modern art, and maybe that's why they did it... It really does feel like a Big Brother house and that is what we have re named it.

Last season of Paris Fashion Week I got to see SS14 Alexander McQueen and the season before that I saw AW13 Chanel.  Both these shows will have their own dedicated posts at the start of next month of which my fashion week journal posts will come to a close.  I'm not going to make any promises when I'll be posting about this season but hopefully I'll get my act together and post these in an orderly manor.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: Milano Moda Donna e Duomo di Milano


A Fashion Week Journal: Milano Moda Donna e Duomo di Milano

I've been to Italy twice in my life and I thought my only memory was of this orange drink machine until I was watching a TV show and was like oh so THAT was Italy.  The above image was taken from the press center balcony which as you can see has an amazing view.  Each city have their own unique location and I like them all for different reasons.  I love New York for how busy it is inside and your really at the center of the action.  London is great because I obviously know the city and it's super easy to get around and understand the schedule.  Milan is great because as you can see you get this amazing view, your in the center of Milan and it has great food and service.  And of course I love Paris because you get to work opposite the Eiffel Tower and the city is beautiful.  I'm excited to see what Milan looks like during the winter and no doubt I'll get even fatter because I know how amazing the pasta is so that is all I shall be ordering!
This is my final post whilst I am in Milan.  I have less posts for this city due to the fact I've only been here once and I also don't want to clog up my feed too much with these journal entries.  I do however have alot more Paris photos to show of which include photos taken at AW13 Chanel and SS14 Alexander McQueen so stay tuned for those!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: Gucci Gucci Gucci


 A Fashion Week Journal: Gucci Gucci Gucci 

I always think of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when I say Gucci.  I think about that song 'chu-chi face' - you know the one when the baron and baroness have a face off which is pure genius!  Today is the AW14 Gucci show of which I have memories of last season.  I've only waited outside one previous show in Paris which was Stella McCartney which was a crazy site to see.  It was the Opera house and when the doors opened people came flushing out of three doors in all directions, it was really crazy and I'm glad I was there because I knew that I'd never want to shoot street.
The Gucci show was very similar apart from being in a much smaller space.  Three doors opened along with the back entrance and street photographers had to choose where to stand and who to shoot in seconds otherwise your miss the person or get no photos at all!  It's a gamble and if you shoot a lesser known person you have the danger of missing a top name.  The result were some models being over shot and some not noticed at all.  When one photographer moves, they all move, and that's the way you have to do it.  I give full credit to these photographers as it so demanding and it needs alot of talent to shoot.  The above images are of model Joan Smalls outside the SS14 show Gucci.  Not only do the street style photographers want to shoot the models so do the fans and that was great to see!  On the left is of course Anna Dello Russo and Giovanna Battaglia who were more than happy to pose for photographs.  I think that if your in the fashion industry you just have to accept that people want to point a camera at your face!

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: From London to Milan

A Fashion Week Journal: From London to Milan

AW14 London Fashion week is in full swing and in a couple of days I'll be off to Milan to carry on with the show!  SS14 was my first time working at Somerset House and I finally got to see what it was all about.  It's funny because I had been to Paris fashion week once and New York fashion week twice before my first season at London which is amusing since I'm like an hour away compared to a 9+ hour plane journey.  In terms of street style, London sure does has a mix of fashion elite and hipsters combined.  Fashion students take up the main majority which is great but I'm surprised more don't make an effort to come and network.  I won't be working on location this season which is great for me as it's good a get a break from people running around all over the place.  London does have some great shows but it's not the same vibe as the other cities.  Paris is of course the best city and I don't really need to explain why!

In a couple of days I'll be leaving for Milan which I have a love hate relationship with as I love the food and it makes me fat.  It's literally carbs for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I can't stop eating it!  The location for the press area has the amazing view that you can see in the top right corner.  It's such a beautiful city and it really makes me want to go to Venice soon as I can only imagine the beauty there!  It really did look like a location out of Assassins Creed and I couldn't stop thinking about how I'd climb up each building!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter


A Fashion Week Journal: Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter
New York in the Summer
New York always amazes me how weather effects this relatively small state as the seasons are so much more extreme compared to that of the UK.  New York turns into an oven during the summer and I've only been there in September and that's pretty toasty!  The light is beautiful in New York no matter the season but the buildings do seem to be heavily saturated which is beautiful!  I manged to visit Central Park briefly in SS14 and I'm so glad I got to see it in the summer.  Central Park is literally like a rain forest in the summer.  It's so hot, so humid and it's mad to think that this huge park is in the middle of the city.  It really shouldn't be called a park since it really is more like a forest!  I also got to see the Alice in Wonderland sculpture which was great!  I still want to see all the locations that were in Enchanted though.. and one day I'll find that bridge that seems to be in every single film based in New York!  I also love the summer in New York because nature really does merge with man made structures and I love that contrast ever since I studied it for a unit in College.  It really can look like a concrete jungle.
New York in the Winter
In contrast to the summer, the winter season can be like standing in a freezer, and it actually snows!  There happened to be a snow storm last season so hopefully that wasn't the same for AW14!  I couldn't believe how much snow fell and how on top New Yorkers were!  Everyone knew what to do and every shop, restaurant and cafe cleared the snow from them and pushed it to the side of the road where it stayed there for several days.  New York can get so cold so when it does snow don't expect it to melt anytime soon.  I also got to see Central Park during the winter which was another pinch the skin moment to check it wasn't a dream.  First I get to see it in the summer and now the winter which was so magical!  As I write this I'm currently in the UK but as this goes up I'll be in New York and I do kinda want it to snow.  I love it because it creates this giant reflector on the ground and it just bounces off the light to light up the city for even longer.  Everything has a magical blue glow too which I love and I can never stop taking enough photos!

Today I leave as New York AW14 Fashion Week has come to an end.  One city down and three more to go!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: SS14 Anna Sui


A Fashion Week Journal SS14 Anna Sui

I first saw Anna Sui back in AW13 where I was able to sit down and experience a fashion show.  There were beautiful bags on each seat and inside there was a selection of products from her new makeup range, a lipstick and some perfume.  I'm still yet to try this lipstick because It looks so perfect.  The box is super cute and so is the lipstick packaging and I highly recommend checking the range out!  Back to the show now.  This was the first time I decided to take serious images for a show.  It was my first time using an SLR during a runway show and I had no idea of what settings anything should be on let alone where to shoot.  I had wanted to walk around during the show and get diffrent angles but it was super packed and that just wasn't an option!  I allowed for other people to stand in front of me and I shot nearly continuously throughout the show.  The majority of images were just feet until I realised which angle I needed to get the image I wanted.

I love the image of Sasha Luss on the runway by herself.  Sasha looks so effortlessly cool and she clearly knows who to pose perfectly at the end of the runway.  It was perfect for me as it allowed me more chances to get the right shot as it's rare to find models that stop on the runway now!  I'm also very fond of the image of Karen Elson and Karlie Kloss passing each other on the runway.  Two great models and both looking amazing in Anna Sui!  Other notable models in the above images include Joan Smalls, Jamie Bochert and Irina Kravchenko.
The image of Karlie by herself is probably my favourite though I just wish she fit in the frame which is obviously my fault!! I've always loved Karlie and shes so genuinely nice it would be infectious to anyone!  I met her first back in SS13 in the Lincoln Centre where she was just leaving until a random guy was doing magic tricks so she stopped to watch.  I happened to be standing up at point and we were there for about 5 minutes just watching tricks and it was amazing and surreal and awesome!  A truly beautiful person inside and out.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: SS14 Anya Caliendo


A Fashion Week Journal: SS14 Anya Caliendo

I took a 5 minute break one day, well really it was about 8 and while some people would choose that for a cigarette break or some fresh air I decided to take a few snaps!  In The Studio a presentation was in full swing and I took some quick images to really just know what shooting a presentation was like.  I think it's important in any job to have a real understanding on how all the different elements work and how they go together and it's hard for me to do that when sat behind the screen.  I noticed how cramped it can be and how full of people these things are.  The models are quite willing to be photographed by anyone and will often give you different poses without you have to say anything.  It was a rather interesting experience and I really enjoyed it.  I love shooting a runway for wides as it gives you some freedom and this was very similar in allowing you to shoot how you want within reason.

I actually stumbled upon this collection.  I had just shot wides for Anna Sui and on the way out I noticed that this show was in process so I went in.  The shoot from Anna Sui will come tomorrow when the AW14 show will be shown.  With only 3 days left New York fashion week is nearly over and next we will head over to London.  Until then, enjoy the last few days of New York posts and of New York fashion week AW14.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: SS13 Carolina Herrera

 
A Fashion Week Journal: SS13 Carolina Herrera

The image on the left is of my first catwalk show SS13 Rebecca Minkoff and on the right is SS13 Caroline Herrera.  It was at this show where I first saw Anna Wintour on the front row and the majority of people were watching her throughout rather than the show.  It makes sense to me after experiencing fashion week.  There's alot of nobodies who want to be somebody and they all want the fast track to success.  We live in a world were we expect everything straight away and we've become used to it.  I buy grated cheese and why? Because I want I don't want to have to do it myself and I don't have to either.  This is just a small example but you can see my point and no doubt you have a few examples yourself.
I've made it a habit to watch at least one show in New York and it's really to give me a shot of adrenaline and it's kinda become addicting!  This season will be a little different and gone are the limited layouts that designers can choose at the Lincoln Center so there's going to be a lot less of the standard white on black runway you can see above.  This can hopefully be a good thing and no doubt are there going to be hiccups.  From an editing point of view I can only hope that the lighting is perfected.  AW always brings black clothes on black backdrops which can be a nightmare but I enjoy a challenge and I get to work with some of the best people and when a problem arises it can normally be overcome.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: 40 Years of the Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress

 
A Fashion Week Journal: 40 Years of the Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress

Today is the AW14 DVF show and no doubt it will be THE show to see today!  Gone are the days of showing at the Lincoln Centre as the show has moved to 50 Varick Street (hopefully it's a one off but the Lincoln Centre may have messed up a little too much in regards to the circus it has become.)  Fashion changes faster than the seasons themselves and in just over a year I've noticed a huge difference as more people are realizing they can be part of this week in one way or another.  Which isn't a bad thing, don't get me wrong, it's just being delt with it in all the wrong ways.

Above are images from SS13 DVF and this was such an amazing show to watch.  The runway was split into two and my eyes were fixated on Sarah Jessica Parker who was among the lucky front row bunch.  I mean really, first Paris Hilton and now I get to witness SJP. At fashion Week. In New York. Is there anything greater than that?!  New York really is the city where anything can happen and it did for me during this show!  I was about to say I'd like to include a video and that I don't know how to but you know what, just for you I've worked it out and put it below!  Sure it's short (mainly because it's rude not to clap and DVF shows feel like a party after the show) and sure it was shot on my iphone but hopefully it will be of interest!  And if you want to see SJP then your see her mainly leaning over and taking photos (shes in green) Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: Alexander Wang for Lunch

 A Fashion Week Journal: Alexander Wang for Lunch

I've been wanting a new bag for years and I wanted something that fit my personality and fit the usage that I wanted it for.  I cant stand bags that you have to fold open purely for the fact that there annoying to use!  The bag also needed to be black since I mainly wear that colour and it also couldn't look like an old woman's bag.  In an ideal world of course I would get a Birkin bag, it's the only option and a timeless bag.  I am however very happy with my purchase which I got last season in SS14 New York.  I bought this in the Barneys store in the Upper West Side which is a relatively small store but it has everything you may need or want!  Spending over $1000 on a bag was easier than I thought but deciding what I wanted was much harder.  I had done tones of research on types of bags and this duffle bag comes in so many colour combinations and finding the right one was a task of it's own!  I ended up for black with a gun metal silver.  I initially thought the black metal which I've also seen but I really love the tone of this silver so I allowed myself to try something!  It's a really great bag and you can fit tones in it.  It keeps it shape really well and people do always note how heavy it is.  I don't find it that heavy and I don't carry that much stuff in it so it may be a problem for others who do want to fill it to the brim with makeup and other various products.  The downside of this bag is the fact I don't want to get it wet and to be honest the first couple of days I diddn't want to use it let alone remove the tags!

I find commitment hard and I very rarely put myself in a position where this may be an issue.  My phone contract for 2 years was the biggest commitment I've made and I'm surprised to have kept it!  Mind you say that I have changed the way it works several times...  I guess the purpose of this post is to talk about finding what combination works for you.  This can be anything in life such as an Alexander Wang bag or finding what contract you may want for your phone.  I knew which type of bag I wanted and I knew I wanted to keep my Iphone.  What I'm saying is that as soon as you know what you want you need to try out a few things first until you find that perfect match and of course compromise where needed.

Friday, 7 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: SS13 Paris Hilton

A Fashion Week Journal: SS13 Paris Hilton

The first fashion show I've ever seen was SS13 Rebecca Minkoff.  The experience is similar to that of a concert.  To begin with people arrive and the room your in seems like nothing special.  Once everyone is in and A list stars have been seated the catwalk protective layer is taken off so the only marks that will be left on that white floor are that of the models.  The yellow dingy lights turn down and suddenly it's replaced with pure white light and the bass of the catwalk music.  It's over in a flash yet it can take 30 minutes for a show to start and I have no idea how people see more than a couple of shows each day!

My second show was SS13 Charlotte Ronson and here was where I hit the jackpot.  It's safe to say I'm a little bit obsessed with The Simple Life so I have a pretty good understand of what Paris Hilton looks like from multiple angles and please don't read into that... Anyway!  Long story short I saw Paris standing up from the back and my heart nearly beat out of me! I was tempted to take a picture but I decided against it.  I finally thought when am I going to have this chance again?! I then decided to get myself down to the front row and snap a picture straight after the show.  Sure enough it worked and it took a while for the security guards to hush people away.  Paris was there with Cory Kennedy (whom can be seen above) and AnnaSophia Robb - star of such films such Bridge to Terabithia and one of my favorites Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the makeup look I created for this film can be found by clicking the link). 

I also snapped June Ambrose at the Lincoln Center which was nice!  SS13 New York was an amazing experience.  The weather was beautiful and overall nothing went wrong which was nice!!  Today is the day where AW14 Rebecca Minkoff and Charlotte Ronson will be showing their collections.  As this post goes up I'll be working just meters away from these shows and no doubt I'll be complaining about the sound and how busy the tent is!  I do like a busy atmosphere though and New York always have a habit of playing songs that seemed to have been taken from my playlist!  Girls Aloud, RuPaul.. they all play, and I won't complain... ;)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: New York New York


A Fashion Week Journal: New York New York

Today is the day I jet set off to New York so how better to start this series of posts by a picture of Times Square!  I've summed this up pretty well in this photo.  You have the bright in your face LED screens on nearly every surface and of course you have the guy in the bottom right photo bombing my picture!  Time Square seems to be such an easy place to shoot but in reality you have people walking in all directions and so many screens that your not sure where to point your lens!

Ideally I don't want to clog up my blog with non makeup related posts so I've kept it down to about 16 posts, which is smaller than an instalment of Vanity Nightmare!  These posts work as my visual diary to share with you and to remind me of the journey I'm taking so hopefully you will get something out of these posts as I know I will.  Posts range from SS13 to SS14 and they document the year that I've been working as catwalk photography editor.

I didn't visit Times Square until my second time I visited New York which I always found amusing.  I've always wanted to be in a hectic fashion job and to work during fashion week without having time to see the city and I've finally done it.  It's like that scene in The Devil Wears Prada when they talk about wanting to actually see the city for once and I totally get it now!  That's not to say I'm about to post without any images, of course I have photos!  The majority of images that I'm going to post were taken in split seconds.  They are a mere fragment of my memory and I'd often take pictures of things that I didn't have enough time to actually take in at that moment.

So, without further adieu welcome to a new mini series of posts!

Monday, 3 February 2014

A Vanity Nightmare Take on a Student Club Crawl


A Vanity Nightmare Take on a Student Club Crawl

I jump at the chance of a fancy dress night when I see one and this was too perfect to turn down!  Two of my friends are currently studying at University and they have a club night called 'Survivor' which happens every so often.  It's basically a non official 'Carnage' as it's the same concept and most of the time it's the same themes.  This theme was 'Beauty and the Geek' and I knew I wanted to go as Miss Congeniality.  The previous event to this was a 'Barbie vs Action Man' so I knew that no-one was going to dress up as Barbie and judging by the student night life I knew that a lot of people wouldn't go as full out as I did.  So as they say go harder or go home and it's pretty clear which option I took.

It's either a very clever thing to dress up in drag and go around to different straight clubs or it's the most stupid thing you could do.  In some cases I'd say never do it but this was a student night and from what I could remember people would be a lot more open minded, be too drunk to care and just happy overall.  Luckily I was right and I didn't have any trouble the whole night.  I say this when there was some trouble towards the end bit of the night and someone was trying to come onto me extremely strongly.  I have a huge respect for woman and when I'm in drag I feel like one and it made me so uncomfortable and it really upset me which I found so weird.  It was a reminder of how fragile I am and how dangerous life can be.

Back to this look - The Barbie necklace was bought from eBay along with my custom sash.  I did have a tiara to go with this look but I completely forgot about it which was probably a good thing as I wouldn't fit through a door!  I bought this hideous pink skirt from ASOS that was perfect for the occasion.  I always find that ASOS have some amazing things in the sale that are perfect for situations that I want them for.  I guess that's just sales in general as you either find gems or rocks!

My main reason for choosing to do a drag look Barbie in a straight environment was to show how proud I am as a person to people who may not agree with my life choices.  I wanted to show people that if they want to do something that they can go for it, and I also want to give people courage to life life how they want to.  And as RuPauls says - If you can't love yourself then how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

Tags: male barbie, barbie drag, drag barbie costume, carnage barbie fancy dress, blonde wig, blonde barbie, drag blonde wig

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Vanity Nightmare Halloween Makeup Look: Category: Dead Bunny Realness


A Vanity Nightmare Halloween Makeup Look: Category: Dead Bunny Realness

I know Halloween has long past us now but I never got around to sharing my makeup look for the night so here it is!  I've re-visited this Donne Darko meets playboy bunny for previous Halloweens and this time I decided to give it one last shot.  I wanted to create more of a skeletor bunny bunny this time and spend time investigating in different ways people have portrayed this look of which I found limited results.  I also wanted to combine makeup techniques I've learnt through studying drag makeup so all of these elements have come together to create the creation you see above.  I was going to bring my SLR to take a better image but I created this at a friends house and I barely had enough room for makeup!

My main inspiration for this look was the fact I wanted to use my MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow in Cinderfella.  I nearly died the first time I saw this shadow and I nearly died when I found out they were out of stock!  I of course went back as soon as I could and snatched up one and I'm still in love with it!  It's pigmented enough for a black and the glitter is insane and it looks amazing when you blend it!  Glitter makes blending look better anyway so this can never be a bad thing when combined with black!
I also used a combination of Illamasqua liquid eye liners and eye shadows along with other MAC shadows and foundations.  I used face and body as a base (of course I used primer first) and to intensify the white I used a mixture of Crystal Avalanche, Gesso and products from the MUA range.  I also used black face by Snazaroo to create slicker lines and to build it up without it being too heavy which liquid eye liner can often look like.

I had so much fun creating this look and I got ridiculous amounts of attention throughout the night.  It really looks 200 times better in person and the glitter really made it pop where I wanted it to.  I finished my look with a top from Topman with sequins on the shoulders, black Topman skinny jeans and black 7 inch wedges from Primark! (Bunny ears from Claire's!)

Tags: halloween makeup, dead bunny makeup look, playboy bunny makeup, dead playboy bunny costume, donne darko makeup, male playboy bunny costume