Saturday, 12 May 2012

Vidal Sassoon: the man who revolutionised hairstyling

Vidal Sassoon, who died this week at the age of 84, revolutionised hair styling with his liberating wash and wear cuts. His sleek and simple geometric cuts relieved the new generation from the rigid, high maintenance beehive of the 1950s. Once Vidal had created the iconic Mary Quant bob in 1963, hair stylists never looked back.

Brought up as a young Jewish boy in a tough area of London, Vidal was handed to an orphanage for seven years by his mother who lacked the sufficient finances to support a child. In a battle against anti-Semitism Vidal became the youngest member of the 43 Group which battled with Oswald Mosely's anti-Semitic gang and in 1948 he fought in the Israeli war of independence. However, this is not why we remember Sassoon.

From the moment he styled Mary Quant's mop, Vidal was hailed by dolly-birds as the new modern hairdresser. Those who went to Vidal expected a 'Vidal cut'. Sassoon's clients soon included many of the young models and film stars of the day from Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton to Cilla Black and Mia Farrow.

Sassoon re-established hairdressing as an art form, rather than just a trade. He described it as a method of sculpture and architecture, carving shapes that compliment bone structure. By 1964 the stylist had been put on the international spectrum with a salon in New York and within five years Sassoon had established salons in Toronto and Beverly Hills and a hairdressing school in London.

In 1973, Sassoon spawned a collection of products which established Vidal Sassoon as a household name. Though by 1975 Sassoon had stopped cutting hair, his legacy continued in television adverts and his extensive range of products.

Despite his death, Vidal Sassoon's timeless cuts will continue to influence the way hair is styled for many generations to come.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Leutton Postle: London Fashion Week

The Leutton Postle catwalk was possibly the quickest of the whole week, however, in spite of this the Central Saint Martins graduates Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle certainly hit the nail on the head when they described the collection was, ‘visually arresting, playful and intensely detailed.’

Knitwear was highly common among the catwalk this season, however, no other designer displayed the diverse range of techniques and effects as Leutton Postle. Pieces featured detailed lining consisting of tiny pom-poms, metallic patchworks woven into the key face motif and wool tassels all fitted into the fun and intricately detailed collection.

There was so much to feast your eyes upon from the contrasting colours of earthy tones and bright primaries to the use of metallics and the intricate knit fringing or the faces apparent in the designs and use of masks. I scanned each outfit trying to take in everything, constantly finding myself surprised and impressed and, though the show only lasted a mere six minutes, I took in more than I did during some of the 20 minute catwalks.

Photography by Laura McKinnon

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Zeynup Tosun: House of Evolution Collective London Fashion Week

The House of Evolution collective returned to London Fashion Week once again with an even more impressive share of emerging designers with that mesmerizing contemporary edge we all admire. 

One designer who stood out head and shoulders above the rest was Zeynep Tosun. The Istanbul born designer, who was previously part of the Di Alberta Ferretti design team, established her brand in 2008 and rapidly rose to success winning the category of Best Up and Coming Designer at the Elle awards in 2010. The innovative, futuristic and wearable collection  for A/W 2012-13 showcased left me in utter awe, with dreams of travel in the future floating around my head. 

The collection represented a traveller’s journey with a contemporary nomadic feel expressed through the use of large metallic travel backpacks both at the start of the catwalk and at the end. The severe hair styling was instantly noticeable with slick tied back buns and visible hair blonde clip-in hair extensions that even worked for the brunette models in the futuristic androgynous tone. 

The space age traveller theme was emphasized by the symmetry and clinical precision in the cut of the designs and the sharp chocker style collars with metal detail. The use of layering a wide range of materials from rigid metallics, soft green tweeds and flowing sheer skirts in contrasting silvers and deep maroon and orange helped create tension and gave the collection identity. A key item was an oversized black Mongolian fur coat.

After accompanying Tosun's alien models journey across time and space I felt inspired, looking towards the future of design eagerly, excited for the adventure ahead.

Photography by Laura McKinnon

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Krystof Stroznya catwalk review: London Fashion Week

My first London Fashion Week was definitely a life changing experience. It turned my world upside down, helping me to develop and mature as a person and to take control of my career. I learnt many lessons from trivial but crucial survival skills such as eating a huge breakfast before starting your day (at fashion week both lunch and dinner do not exist) to important facts about the industry, for instance, Central Saint Martins breeds the most promising UK talent. Though by the end of the week my feet were covered in blisters, my brain going into overdrive unable to process so much information, the fashion week lifestyle was still so enticing and enthralling that I did not want to leave. 

The second show I attended, by Krystof Stroznya, was up there with the most memorable of the week.  After a confusion about which room we were to go to, my photographer, Laura, and I were rushed into the second catwalk by one of the event organisers. Perhaps it was this that gave us an apparent sense of elevated self-importance because next thing I know, I am being directed towards one of the best front row VIP seats. Acting as if this was just a regular day in the life, secretly hoping I would not be moved, I proudly took my seat and gleefully accepted the goody bag. Once the venue had filled up I began to notice people photographing the female next to me, though her face had an odd familiarity I could not recognise who she was. As time went on and more people asked her for pictures the realisation that this woman was clearly a celebrity had set in. Unfortunately, it was too late to say or do anything, so I sat there hoping someone would drop a hint as to who she was as the lights dimmed and the show began.

This show was one I had been particularly looking forward to after reading about the Polish born designer’s creations for the modern and empowered woman in Vogue and discovering that Stroznya had designed clothes for the likes of Natalia Vodianova. Luckily, Krystof did not disappoint. The collection stayed true to Stroznya’s signature sculptural dressing and flattery of the hour glass figure in the clean cut and geometrical, fitted dresses with soft drape detail. 

For A/W the Central Saint Martins graduate took influence from the 19th century Robert Louis Stevenson story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The idea of dual personalities shone through in the use of contrasting sheer and leather panels and of dark colours with soft pastels. The leather black and navy blue colourings, inspired by the night sky, formed the basis of the collection and emulated the misanthropic midnight creature of Mr Hyde. The appearance of nude in the lining of the several zipped pockets on a leather jacket and addition of split skirts, capes and material chokers to match the silk dresses reflected the split between the respectable persona of Dr Jekyll and the angst of Mr Hyde. 

One piece which stood out above the rest was a floor length, long sleeved silk evening dress. The pastel pink garment physically showed the split between Jekyll and Hyde in the addition of sky blue silk layered across half the upper torso and sleeve of the dress. The piece, like many others in the collection, oozed with mystery and promiscuity in the use of a drop neckline and split skirt, transforming pieces from daywear to evening wear.

As the show came to an end, so did my curiosity as the male behind me had the courage to ask the mysterious celebrity if she really was Amelle from the Sugarbabes or just a look-a-like. 

Photography by Laura McKinnon

HADES Magazine

First off, I would like to apologize to all my followers and regular readers for being away for so long! After LFW I was made Editor in Chief for an up and coming online fashion publication called HADES magazine.

At HADES we are dedicated to providing a high-quality, approachable platform to showcase emerging talent; to track their shady footsteps from the depths of the sartorial underworld, as they rise from the unknown. Working with a team of budding entrepreneurs and artists, we aim to explore, to seek out brilliance and leave no corner of the underworld uncovered.

The magazine is published quarterly. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback or questions at either or my personal address

PS My fashion week blogs are on their way,

Corrine x

Sunday, 12 February 2012

London Madness...

Sorry to all my regular reader's for my lack of posts recently. I have been manically preparing for London Fashion Week! Laura McKinnon Photography and I will be providing you interviews and trend updates from emerging designers on the fringes of the industry. We will bring you coverage of the Margin, Vauxhall Fashion Scout and LGN events catwalks over the next two weeks!


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Haunt Couture

Paris: the home of classic couture, a city where both men and women are renowned as effortlessly chic and suave. Yet, the latest menswear trend to surface the highly respected Paris Fashion Week catwalk was reminiscent of a scene from a horror film, jaws gapped as many grasped their phones, hands shaking ready to dial the fashion police.

Designers Thom Browne and Walter Van Beirendonck brought Halloween to the A/W menswear catwalks with a frightful new fashion of monster chic! Model Frankensteins dragged their feet down the catwalk supporting jumbo shoulder pads, sportswear skull caps and black eye make up.

Plunging down the rabbit hole into a topsy turvy world without logic or proportion is a common practice of American designer Thom Browne but this latest trip into Wonderland is the most wacky to date. The pretext behind Browne's collection was a high school style punks vs. jocks face off but for inspiration Browne turned to the most unusual of sources from the Rocky Horror Picture Show to The Longest Yard. Though Browne's mission is often to entertain, these broad shouldered figures were hardly symbols of fun.

Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck's collection 'Lust Never Sleeps' continued his venture into sartorial menswear. However, Beirendonck decided to take this exploration up a notch and match the classic tailoring with horrific S&M influences. Attention that should have been drawn towards the smart, well cut candy coloured suits was, instead, directed toward the threatening, fetish voodoo style warrior masks. Though Beirendonck's menswear collections often induce a mix of violence, colour and humour I am not quite sure what to make of this one. Whatever the true meaning behind this collection is, it is clear that Beirendonck has taken his exploration of gender and and masculinity in style to a whole new level.

All photos are linked back to the original sources.