Friday, 31 March 2017

Frida Kahlo & Fashion...

Frida Kahlo is an iconic figure. She's a feminist icon, an ever-lasting source of artistic inspiration and history, and a forever re-occurring image in fashion. However, I'll admit that until a couple of days ago, I knew nothing of her or her story, past seeing her distinctive look on Instagram. But then I watched Frida, with the lady herself depicted by Salma Hayek. I weeped, I laughed, I fell head over heads. Her story is both so brave and bold while being so heartbreaking. I can't recommend it enough.

Both Frida, and her art cemented themselves firmly into fashion and art culture in general. The vivid colours in her work, inspired by traditional Mexican art, give a clear Frida vibe. Bold colours, flowing shapes, patterns, accessories, the classic flower headpiece; you're instantly reminded of trends we've all bought into in the past.

Two obvious examples of Kahlo in pop culture:

Her 1940 painting, 'Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair', has become a famous image of masculine/feminine androgyny, and female empowerment. It depicts the relatable scene of a post-breakup hair cut, given a powerful edge as she wears a suit, and overhead the lingering lyrics; 'Look, if I loved you it was because of your hair. Now that you are without hair, I don't love you anymore'.

The image is so clear in Kristen Stewart's look for the Stella McCartney Autumn 2015 presentation. The slicked-back dark hair, the slightly too big suit jacket. But we've also seen this look on Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie. It's a classic power look, and Frida painted it long before any designer dared to showcase it.

Possibly my fave of Kahlo's work is 'The Two Fridas'; depicting her two personalities, two nationalities, two states- one heartbroken, one healed. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. Kim Kardashian's dress for her bachelorette party is so reminiscent of the left Frida; a bright white dress interrupted by the embroidered patch over her heart, the high neck. Seeing a celeb like Kim K sporting Kahlo inspired garms shows the length and breadth of her influence. Stemming far beyond the art kids.

The influence is undeniable, and constantly re-occurring. And honestly it's incredible, having such a powerful figure, a woman of colour so prideful and deliberate in her identity, still be so present in culture over 60 years after her death. An icon in so many realms and for so many people. I love it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The White Shirt...

All my dreams lately are a pale white glow, of a crisp shirt softening over time. I need one.

I've always been cautious of a white shirt. I thought one might make me look too work-wear or too school girl like. But after re-watching Breakfast At Tiffany's, all I can think about it Audrey in that crisp, white night shirt. She makes such a structures piece look so effortless and cosy, she wears the shirt, it doesn't wear her, it's just an extension of herself.

Robert Mapplethorpe's photo of Patti Smith for her album Horses crosses my mind at least twice a day, but it wasn't until recently that I really saw that. shirt. Softened at the collar and slightly oversized, so it looks like she has never worn anything other than that white shirt. The masculine image of Patti's sharp face in a shirt, given a touch of femininity and a whole handful of power as she holds the undone tie, dishevelled hair, undone buttons. I always loved the power in the image, but the power in the clothes is something that's only recently crossed my mind. And now I want to buy into it.

The white shirt has always been an iconic piece. It's a definite power piece. To wear one is to inevitably play into the masculine / feminine look, brought to the spotlight by YSL and remaining there ever since, gradually moving from androgyny to the mainstream. And now the high-street is in a constant battle of who can make the most timelessly beautiful white shirt; my vote is with Zara.

Zara has any white shirt you could want at the minute- classic, embroidered, patterned, tied at the waist, cropped, bell sleeved etc etc etc. I've always had heart-eyes for Zara shirts but deflected for pieces that really styled themselves. But the time has gone, I must have one.

The ability a white shirt gives you to move from Audrey Hepburn, to Jane Birkin, to Patti Smith with only slight changes and saying good bye to your iron. Power in the image, power in the choice is gives.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

C H R Y S A L I S M ~ a playlist...

On the 24th April, I'm releasing my first poetry collection; chrysalism.

My aim since I can remember was to release a book by the age of 18, and maybe I'm a year later, but I figured releasing a book a day before I turn 19 works just as well. So I've decided to finally just bite the bullet and do it.

The collection is a compilation of my work over the past year, moving through themes and emotions with the seasons. It's all printed, folded, bound by me, making every inch of the book mine mine mine. I'm bursting with excitement, and nerves. I'll be releasing the book for pre-order in the coming weeks, and it would mean the world to have people buy and support this somewhat ridiculous project, and me as a writer.

But for now, a playlist. I put this together after I completed my first draft, with each group of songs flowing perfectly with the poems while also showing a lot of my biggest inspirations- Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Lucas Jones, Kate Bush and Jeff Buckley. It gives a little taster of whats to come.

I don't quite have the words for how I'm feeling right now. I've been thinking a lot about death of the author and how in a couple of weeks all these words about all these situations will no longer be quite as private as they once were, they won't be quite as mine. And I think I'm excited for that. I currently taking a creative writing course, and it's fascinated me totally seeing how people have interpreted my work completely different to me, when I see it as solidly born from it's context or the pain or emotion that caused it. I love it, but it's scary. After the 24th I'll have no control, and those words will be the world's.

I can't wait to share, more info to follow soon.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Weekend Of Outfits...

Trousers - H&M
Jumper - Primark
Boots - Clarks
Jacket - Oxfam (originally asos)

I've been after an over-sized, more structured denim jacket for quite a while now, and lately I've really loved that kind of painted jacket silhouette, something a little more masculine. I found this perfect one waiting for me in Oxfam for only £9.99 and it's fits like a dream. It hangs to the perfect length and is over-sized but still sits nicely on the shoulders. Since getting this I've worn it non-stop with an all black outfit. Pair it with some black skinny jeans and boots for a classic Alexa Chung New York street style vibes. But I'm head over heels for this combo with cigarette trousers and a turtle neck; it's both formal and classic, but super effortless. Add a beret and it only gets better.

Jumper - H&M
Skirt - Pull and Bear
Jacket - Oxfam (originally H&M)
Trainers - New Look
All monochrome is a safe bet. I found this waterproof mac on the same day as that denim dreamboat, and couldn't say no. £17 for two new coats, and you can't really live in Sheffield without a raincoat so I feel no guilt what so ever. I always wanted a yellow raincoat, but I think white was definitely the way to go with my wardrobe. It should be a subtle piece as it's got total grandma vibes, but the bright white on the dark background of like 99.9% of my outfits makes it totally eye-catching and bold. As before its the perfect over-sized sized and finally oh finally I can stay dry in the Yorkshire rain. 

Dungarees - Topshop
T-shirt - H&M
Beret - Topshop
Coat - Vintage
I finally caved and got myself a beret. This black, Topshop one is beautiful made and super easy to style if you're a beginner like me. On this day I went fuuullll rich bitch gossip girl vibes by pairing it with a fur coat and all black. I wore this on a day trip to Manchester and it made me feel just a smidge less inferior roaming round the ever so cool northern quarter. If you haven't invested in a beret yet, do it. But maybe don't try to style one during a storm...


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Playlist ~ All Week Sundays...

My eyes open like the raising of a silk curtain,
onto a view of blue and white and sky and air.
It's cold enough to wake you,
grey enough so everything else only glows more.
The wind whistling, whispering in the soft tone of
my mother,
the reflection, from the window to my face, is
the look of a lover: visible and felt.

I roll over and over through the Mondays and the Tuesdays,
I hold hands with my time, learning the sound of it's footsteps.
Over and over and over,
learning to feel everything as I feel a blanket,
an arm, a hand, a warm cup.
Learning to feel everything as I feel on Sunday,