Monday, December 15, 2008

London: The Swinging City.

In a decade dominated by youth, London has burst into bloom. It swings; it is the scene. This spring, as never before in modern times, London is switched on. Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop. The city is alive with birds (girls) and beatles, buzzing with minicars and telly stars, pulsing with half a dozen separate veins of excitement.
On 15 April 1966 the American weekly news magazine Time, published a special edition celebrating 'London: The Swinging City.' Through fashion, photography, film and music, deliberate contrasts were set up between tradition and modernity. A new irreverent spirit in British social attitudes was rising that ignored the prejudices of the Establishment. London in the sixties was truly a cultural phenomenon. Designers like Mary Quant with her miniskirts, Ossie Clark with his feminine, bias-cut sillhouette and Biba who made high-fashion accessible to all, reigned. It was a step away from the buttoned up, girdled, prim and proper look of the fifties. Women's liberation was truly reflected in the rising hem-lines and unstructured sillhouettes of the Sixties. I love London! It's one of my favourite cities in the world and it's where I was born. Camden Town is where I live.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My exhibition....

I got back from Dubai and started preparing for an exhibition of my Summer 09 Collection titled 'L'Afro Boheme.'I have 9 days to go, 18 pieces to make, of which I've only made 1. I'm praying a lot lately.....


I just visited Dubai for the first time en route to India. Unfortunately, I did'nt reach India cos the terrorist attacks in Mumbai started on the day I was supposed to go. Seeing as Mumbai was my destination, that was quickly cancelled! So I stayed in Dubai, buying fabrics, going to the gold souk to gaze at the astonishing display of out of this world Indian jewellery, meeting some hunky rugby players and going to watch their tournament and trying to navigate myself around its HUGE malls. For the first time in my life I hated shopping. there's nothing more frustrating than than seeing rows of shops still ahead when you barely have the energy to drag yourself (and bags) into a taxi!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mama Africa

The late, great Miriam Makeba is an African icon and was one of the most stylish with her signature leopard print, body skimming cocktail dresses, her regal headwraps and her traditional attire. She embodied a truly natural, African beauty showing us that it is possible to be beautiful with short afro hair and minimal makeup. She was an activist, standing up for her beliefs and fighting for freedom. Truly fierce!!

Style Icons

My ultimate style icon is Bianca Jagger, the former wife of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. In the 1970's, she was the epitome of a sleek, sensual, sophisticated style that was expressed by designers like Halston, effortlessly chic yet ultra glamorous. The 1970's was a time when ethnic influences and an earthy, back to nature style was infused into fashion. A time of free your mind and your clothes will follow, flower power and psychedelia swept through popular culture. Hippie and folkloric fashion, including jeans, bloomed. People everywhere began to reject the Establishment. Hippies disregarded traditional society and morals and looked toward foreign cultures for inspiration and enlightenment. Society became more multi-cultural. Fashion rejected the geometric futurism of the 1960's for a longer length, romantic style. Fashion became more unisex. Retailer and designer Carole Austen was quoted in 1970 saying, "as far as we can see we will have a mixture of casualness,fluidity and fantasy." Designers were playing with global references, Kenzo with his native Japan and Yves Saint Laurent with Africa and China. Souvenirs from the hippie trails soon worked themselves into women's wardrobes, indian cheesecloth skirts, south american ponchos, patchwork gypsy skirts. The freedom that had taken root in the swinging sixties burst forth in the seventies. Women decked themselves out with a splendour to rival birds of paradise.......