Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Album Art - November

Appreciating cover art. I've done this for a while now: that is, stare at album covers. Since I was a kid. It was the 'thing' I did when my Mum or Dad would play an album; I would sit right beside them, cover in hand and just stare at the art. It was entrancing and I remember feeling completely lost in what I was looking at. I was in my own little album cover world. As I mentioned in my first post for album art, this is a collection of album covers that I love and seem to stay with me the most. I do this in store too by the way. Sometimes completely forgetting what I actually went in for as I'm tied up perusing different CD or vinyl covers. I love it. My own little obsession. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Tale of Manolo Blahnik

What a perfect time of year to delve right into a nostalgic fairytale, with a twist.
It Books/HarperCollins

This month sees the release of Fashion's very own Fairy God Mother, author Camilla Morton's new title Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker. Now I think we're all pretty well versed on the Elves/Shoemaker tale. But what Camilla has done here is merge the Brothers Grimm classic with the real-life tale of the Shoemaker in question, Manolo Blahnik. A wonderful 'rags to riches' story told in conjunction with Blahnik’s amazing illustrations is perfect for the child at heart and the modern day fashion junkie. A wonderful combination, me thinks!

Best-selling author of How to Walk in High Heels: The Girls Guide to Everything and the equally brilliant, Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty does what she does best and puts a magical spin on the story of Blahnik's rise to success. Everything about this book makes you want to curl up on a cold winters night with a hot chocolate and be whisked away to a mystical land full of wonder; and fantastic shoes, bien sûr.

The title takes from Blahnik's time-line spanning nearly 70 years - from boyhood to world renowned shoe designer; from the years spent (born and raised) in the Canary Islands to his time studying International Law in Geneva, through to his years spent in fashion hub, Paris; to the opening of his first boutique in London and right up to present day, and the shoe powerhouse he has undoubtedly become. 

The illustrations are simply beautiful. Blahnik captures effortlessly his youth, his passion and his art with such warmth and love. This is a side I love of Manolo Blahnik; the illustrator. 

It's a cute book (112 pages) and like Camilla's Fashion Fairytale titles, part of the Fashion Fairytale Memoir series, it is colourful, quaint and adorable, with a fairytale ending.

This book is spot on for Christmas. Excellent for the art fan but oh so good for those with a shoe fetish! And doubly great for those who still want (and need) to dream.

Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker (It Books/HarperCollins) is on sale now.


Vogue/Manolo Blahnik

Vogue/Manolo Blahnik

Vogue/Manolo Blahnik

Vogue/Manolo Blahnik

Vogue/Manolo Blahnik

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Do You Get If You Cross Rihanna with Armani?


She's worked with Gucci on the Tattoo Heart Collection campaign, designed for H&M, and has been the face of Cover Girl and Nivea. And now, the anticipated Armani Jeans Capsule Collection designed by Rihanna, the new face of Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani Underwear (she bumped off Megan Fox) have hit the shelves. 

The collection, described as 'fearless fashion', include t-shirts with the Armani logo and Ri's 'R' motif, with RiRi's face printed on the front; boyfriend jeans with a much slimmer leg; motorcycle jackets, bags and 'feminine, reasonably priced and perfect for everyday' underwear. The items are a total reflection of the stars personality: Multi-faceted; girlie, but with a masculine, hardened and very sexy edge. Didn't really want to use the word 'rock' or the 'rock chick' tag as I personally think it gets thrown around waaahhhaaaay too much

The pieces look and sound effortlessly hot. And I have to get my hands on that biker jacket! (See vid below). I have always preferred Rihanna's relaxed, but hell-a-sexy look, and think this collection will really demonstrate that to a tee (pun most definitely intended!) 

The collection is available now; with a much noted and well publicised affordable price tag. Always a good thing!

Format Mag

Armani/Daily Mail

Armani/Daily Mail

Armani/Daily Mail

Armani/Daily Mail

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peter Jensen @ the V&A

Peter Jensen/TimeOut

It was a wonderful meeting of art, design and fashion signifying a 10 year span, as Danish designer Peter Jensen’s creations took to the stage at V&A's Fashion in Motion. The show coincides with the release of his new title, Peter Jensen & which looks back on Peter's collaborations, inspirations, muses and designs.

An opportunity for those with a love for all things creative, Fashion in Motion is open to the public. Tickets are available (free) via booking on a first come first served basis with allocated seats. The show, to date, has showcased some of the most influential and renowned designers of our time including Kenzo, Yohji Yamamoto and Ozwald Boateng; all producing some breathtaking and wonderfully experimental pieces for the catwalk show.

Celebrating 10 years of collections including "Mildred" (2002) and "Sissy" (2008), Peter described this ready-to-wear collection as a "greatest hits"; the designs being a nod to his pieces and shows over the last 10 years. The set had a very South of France feel to it and the designs, which were absolutely beautiful, were chic, feminine and glamorous with a Côte d'Azur feel.

As they floated down the runway, the outfits were simply sensational. The contrasted vibrant and playful colours mixed perfectly with soft silhouettes in sheer, shine and lace. With looks that wouldn't look out of place on Grace Kelly, the collection featured billowy blouses, full skirts, ruffled gowns, relaxed jerseys and playful headpieces.

The ending came too soon as the designs made their way down the runway for the last showing and Peter Jensen graciously thanked the audience with a 'blink or you'll miss him' appearance.

A great show featuring great designs showcased with such artistic flare.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sport, Design and African Art

I'm surrounded by a sea of colour: emerald greens and passionate reds; defining blacks and sandy yellows; rich golds and peaceful whites. I'm at the Design Museum, and in the company of sport at the PUMA Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design exhibition. 

It's wonderful here! I feel inspired by the new football kits, designed for each of the 10 teams who will be participating in the 2012 African Nations Cup in January. The kits, each designed by artists who hail from the teams' nations, are a wonderful symbol of strength and unity within a highly competitive sport. I feel privileged; permitted to take in the process of design, from conception to finished product and really get a chance to view an area of football, a sport I love (I'm a Gooner, for all you footie fans!) and know so well. There is also a homely feel to being at this exhibit among the great African nations teams. Originally from Ghana, one of the qualifiers, I felt a wonderful sense of pride.

From left:
Togo by El Loko and Ghana by Godfried Donker

It is here at the Design Museum, London that Africa has come to display one of its many artistic talents. The exhibition focuses on the brief put forth by PUMA Creative to the commissioned artists of each qualifying national team for the design of their national football get-up. The artists then had to create pieces inspired by their country's heritage and culture; and in keeping with Puma's design brief, which included the focus on "National Symbols", "National flag colours", "Joy", "Speed" and "Rhythm"; artists also had to adhere to FIFA's strict equipment regulations, including, 'No element may be reflective or change colour/appearance" and producing highly distinguishable kits, made clear to "Players, match officials, spectators and (the) media".

The finished product: 10 representational pieces of hi-tech football equipment; each a glowing symbol of love and pride, and an ode to its nation. All glorious, all splendid.


The exhibition is a simple yet focused one. Visitors will get a real taste for the design process and the thought and effort that went into creating the kits. The information on each of the artists and the designs is thorough, and respectively pays tribute to their talents and their creations.

It is a beautiful exhibition, with, I might add, a lovely and warming video presentation on entrance. A fascinating look into the design of such seemingly normal sports attire. This exhibit is a love letter to design and a tribute to African football.

Cameroon by Barthelemy Toguo 

South Africa by Hasan and Husein Essop

Namibia by Hentie van der Merwe

Algeria by Zineb Sedira

Ivory Coast by Ernest Duku

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Fashion Meets The Opera

Fashion Designers at the Opera
Helena Matheopoulos (HB)
In the world of Opera, costume designs are theatrical and vibrant and are free to be as other-worldly as the mind allows. A playground of thoughts and a veritable candy shop for any designer, the Opera provides a world of unlimited play and imagination; the senses are courted and drawn to a number of elements simultaneously, producing an engulfing and escapist experience. It is no wonder then that designers line the stalls eager to create wonderful creations for the operatic stage. 

In her new title, Fashion Designers at the Opera (Thames & Hudson), former fashion editor and Operatic author, Helena Matheopoulos sheds light on the significant relationship between fashion and Opera. Helena touches on the influences each party brings to each other's productions and the work that goes in to the concept behind each piece, including the influence of the music and the set. 

Filled with amazing photography, beautiful illustrations and exclusive interviews, the book boasts a grand list of fashion designers including, Christian Lacroix, Gianni Versace, Miuccia Prada and Zandra Rhodes who have created exceptional pieces for productions such as Carmen, Aïda and Capricciothis title is a wonder.

As enticing for the fashion nut as it is for the Opera enthusiast and the art lover. Great as a coffee table item, but I will be delving in head first, front to back, to really enjoy this title.

Fashion Designers at the Opera is on sale now.