With the high street exerting more and more control over the fashion market, Anna Burzlaff talks to three of Dublin’s most creative boutique owners about providing a different kind of space for the Dublin shopper Continue reading
With an overcrowded market and gimmicks being thrown onto mascara wands left, right and centre, Aoife Valentine brings you some of the best of what’s out there right now Continue reading
In the wake of Haute Couture Week in Paris, Claudine Murphy asks whether this rich history of design has a future Continue reading
Sophie Lioe imparts all her styling wisdom to ensure all the sartorial boxes are ticked this festive season Continue reading
As more and more young Irish are leaving their native shore, stylist and editor, Aisling Farinella, tells Anna Burzlaff why emigration isn’t the only option. Continue reading
Whether it’s the UCD Ball or some far-flung European beach festival, the time is finally here to whip out the shorts, grab your sunglasses, and throw yourself into that mosh pit. Here we have Otwo’s guide to festival dressing, and just because it’s going to get muddy doesn’t mean that you can forget about looking good enough to sneak into the VIP tent. Shorts are a festival essential, and denim always works, whether it’s distressed and tie-died or classic and clean-cut. Tried and tested by us all during those rainy Oxegens, they work whatever the weather and when teamed with some bright wellies, you’ll be prepared for whatever happens. Layers on top are essential for a sudden shower or to stop the sun from burning your skin while you’re too busy singing along to your favourite song.
Keep your look slightly grungy and boyish to avoid looking too overdressed among the thousands of music-and-camping lovers, even if all you want is to find a plug for your hair straighteners. Oversized tee’s are super-versatile; just roll the sleeves up, or even cut them off to add a hint of rock’n’roll to your outfit. Then layer up with shirts and zippies to keep it casual and practical. If the stink of the portaloos and junk-food bingeing is too much, reclaim your femininity with some bright accessories. Paint your nails rainbow colours, throw some glitter on your face and have a different pair of sunglasses for every day you’re there. All shapes and colours work well at festivals, where really anything goes. Jewellery is also an easy way to add a touch of glamour, so stack the bracelets high and throw some bright necklaces over your festival lanyard.
Bright colours and tribal patterns are a guaranteed hit at festivals; a hippy vibe is always rife wherever there’s a collection of people in the midst of tents and beer. Florals also work for a more girlie interpretation of festival fashion. Whether they’re printed on your shorts or coming out of your hair, anything with a floral print is instantly refreshing and pretty against a backdrop of mud and mayhem.
Although a summer dress may seem like an unlikely inclusion in any festival wardrobe, the high street has some great versatile dresses which would definitely survive any festival. Easy to wear and a cool alternative to shorts, cotton dresses in any number of popping colours and clashing patterns are available. Team with a denim jacket or an over-sized shirt and any dress can be transformed into a festival favourite.
So enough about what to wear – go grab a pint, catch your favourite band and enjoy!
Stylist: Sophie Lioe
Photographer: Caoimhe McDonnell
Models: Maria Whelan and Laura Brennan
In light of a few recent, controversial cases, Sophie Lioe explores the growing debate over models’ rights and the efforts to increase awareness of their existence
Being a fashion model is all about glamorous parties, free designer clothes and not being able to help being beautiful, right? Unbeknownst to us mortals, the modelling industry does in fact have a dark side. We’ve all heard about the constant pressure to be skinny and the wrath of bitchy fashion world individuals, but we may not be so familiar with stories of sexual harassment and the constant disregard for child labour laws. Modelling is one of the most unregulated of all employment industries, meaning there is a huge risk of vulnerable young models being taken advantage of. It is for this reason that fashion model Sara Ziff, aged twenty-nine, who has been working in the industry since the age of fourteen, has set up the Model Alliance, a unique workers’ rights union specifically for the modelling industry. Although there does seem to be a tendency to dismiss the problems and rights of those who work in this exclusive and glamorous world as frivolous, in Ziff’s words, “There’s nothing funny about a work force that is overwhelmingly young, female, and impoverished, working for some of fashion’s wealthiest, most powerful brands.” The power imbalance here is strikingly clear. The announcement was made ahead of New York Fashion Week in February and was endorsed by top models such as Coco Rocha and Doutzen Kroes. The initiative is supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and has been welcomed by industry professionals across the world.
The establishment of the Model Alliance came only a few months after news broke that the clothing store Urban Outfitters were being sued by the parents of a sixteen-year-old American model for twenty-eight million dollars. Hailey Clauson, who was fifteen at the time, is proving to be a bright new star in the industry, walking for the likes of Calvin Klein and Diane Von Furstenberg. The images that her parents are suing over, however, are described in the lawsuit as “salacious” and the photographer, Jason Lee Perry, was never given the permission to publish them, and so Urban Outfitters were never allowed to splay the images across their t-shirts. The issue of models’ rights comes to the fore here – was she being taken advantage of by big hitters in the industry who were preying on her vulnerability and using her lack of experience solely for the purpose of getting that perfect image?
So why then did her parents agree to the shoot and attend it; surely they would have presented their worries at the time and prevented any images which they deem as inappropriate being made? Whatever the reason for this, the age of the model involved is the point in question; should there be more stringent guidelines when it comes to the age of models and the editorials for which they are booked? Age limits have been introduced by CFDA for fashion weeks in order to protect the exploitation of underage workers; no one under sixteen can walk in a runway show. Coincidently enough, Clauson was the subject of controversy in this regard after it was exposed that she was walking in fashion week runway shows before her sixteenth birthday; she was even walking at shows of CFDA President Von Furstenberg. An increase in the stringency of guidelines and rules for the modelling industry has undoubtedly modernised the occupation and provided it with much-needed regulation, but whether these rules will be honoured by companies and individuals is still in question, and it appears that perhaps the industry is only changing on a superficial level.
The Model Alliance is a project not unlike that created by British supermodel Erin O’Connor in 2007 – a place set up for models during London Fashion Week known as the Model Sanctuary. According to O’Connor, the project was set up “in response to concerns of model health and negative portrayals of the industry in some corners of the media, the initial aim of the Model Sanctuary was to increase access to health guidance and support and, in general, to benefit models in a way that will be useful to them during their career in fashion.” Clearly, rights awareness is on the rise and an increasing amount of emphasis is being placed on the wellbeing and welfare of those involved in this high-pressure job.
So while whether the Clauson family will win their court case against Urban Outfitters and Perry remains to be seen, the question of whether this is a models’ rights issue or merely a copyright war is still unanswerable. What is certain, however, is that the modelling industry is finally catching up in regard to employment rights. What is normally cast behind the flashing lights and mystique that goes with such a glamorised industry is now being brought into the spotlight, to the advantage of all those who could so easily slip through the cracks and find themselves at the bottom of one of the most extreme hierarchies in any creative industry.
This week’s shoot features the trend that will no doubt ensure your summer attire is stellar this year. Clashing patterns may seem like sartorial suicide, but it is by far spring/summer 2012’s hottest trend. Like it or not, pattern-on-pattern is here to stay. Clashing prints, by its very ethos, means placing colours and patterns together that would not normally co-exist. Vivid hues and clashing patterns are back, and they are bigger, better and more loco then ever. Stripes, dots, floral and leopard print can and should be worn together. Colour-blocking is a no-no, colour-clashing is the way forward; think colour opposites as opposed to colour complements. The clothes should not complement each other, but clash and highlight each other’s varied patterns.
This trend highlights the fun side of fashion; the serendipity that can be achieved by wearing what should not be worn together. Too many of us take our look too seriously and this trend is essentially going in the face of the bland beige blazer and black jeans brigade. Colour is not something to be feared, even if it may seem very brash to don the entire colour spectrum. After all, what is good enough for Erdem is good enough for us.
The catwalks this season were graced by gowns of mismatched flower prints, brightly coloured silk trousers and monochrome floral shirts. Designers such as Celine, Wang, Valentino and Van Noten all featured head-to-toe digital print florals and tropical blooms in their respective fashion shows. The high-street has responded with many patterned offerings, providing us mere mortals with the opportunity to dip our toes into this pool of fashion. A striped luxe t-shirt paired with patterned trousers is a fail-safe outfit for this spring. Add a blazer and some boots for day, or heels and chandelier earrings for night. A patterned playsuit is cute and dead simple, perfect for the upcoming festival frivolities.
For the colour-fearing amongst us, a printed shirt could be the perfect injection for an otherwise lethargic outfit. The shirt is an easy way to incorporate pattern and to spruce up your everyday outfit. They are fun, stylish and multi-functional enough to go from day to night, and can be seen across the high street. A-wear has great fashion-forward patterns in classic cuts, while Topshop has Versace-style trash down to a tee. Finish off the outfit with last season’s chinos and some pointy pumps, and you have one easy wardrobe update.
There’s a little bit of pattern out there for everyone, with patterned shoes, bags and scarves engulfing the shops. This trend epitomises the fresh, modern approach to spring, and there’s not a hint of Granny’s patterned curtains in sight.
With Lana Del Ray having few real credentials in the fashion world, Niamh Hynes examines how celebrity endorsements are becoming more prevalent and less credible
Flick through any copy of Vogue, Elle or Harper’s Bazaar, and it’s difficult not to notice editorials punctuated by advertisements featuring celebrities. Mila Kunis for Dior, Nicki Minaj for MAC, Dakota Fanning for Marc Jacobs, Felicity Jones for Dolce and Gabbana; there seems to be an endless stream of brand ambassadors. This is before we even mention that most magazines carry celebrities on the cover, a move pioneered by Anna Wintour back in the early nineties. Fashion Weeks have more singers, actresses and ‘It girls’ sitting in the front rows than ever before, with some reportedly pocketing the not-so-paltry sum of 70,000 euro for their presence. With many fashion houses rallying to ride out the recession, is the publicity generated by having such celebrities associated with their brand a valuable publicity asset, or are we beginning to reach saturation point with both the amount and the legitimacy of these collaborations?
High profile endorsements have been around from the beginnings of luxury fashion itself. Charles Frederick Worth, known as the ‘Father of Haute Couture’ dominated Parisian fashion in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Worth recognised that linking well-known public figures with a brand was a powerful marketing and communications tool. Patronage of ‘La Maison Worth’ by the Empress Eugenie, then wife of Emperor Napoleon III, contributed greatly to the success of his brand – at a time when the concept of celebrity as we know it today was unfathomable.
Many in the fashion world believed it was only a matter of time before Lana Del Rey was approached by a fashion house to endorse their brand. Young, pretty, exuding old Hollywood glamour and currently generating enough headlines to ensure maximum publicity and consequently exposure for any brand; it could be argued she was a natural choice for Mulberry’s creative director Emma Hill to name her autumn/winter 2012 icon bag after.
Controversy about her vocal abilities aside, Del Rey has been accepted wholeheartedly by the fashion world. Sitting front row at Mulberry’s autumn/winter show at London Fashion Week (where she debuted her namesake bag), she appeared on the cover of Vogue UK’s March edition and will reportedly accompany Joseph Altuzarra, this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund winner, to the 2012 Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Ball – one of the most anticipated events of the fashion year.
The question that arises from this is just what exactly are Del Rey’s fashion credentials? The announcement meant she joins the ranks of Alexa Chung, Jane Birkin, and Grace Kelly. Each have had luxury brands, Mulberry and Hermes respectively, name bags after them, but only following successful and established careers and the consensus of iconic style status. In comparison, Del Rey seems a novice, and more risky from a commercial point of view. The Alexa Mulberry has been credited with helping the company buck the trend of the recession – quadrupled profits in 2011 for the company could be attributed in part to the sell-out success of the bag. However, this success followed years of recognition and appreciation of Chung’s style in the mainstream media and by fashion designers the world over, for many of whom she is a muse. Her distinctive dress sense has made her a generational icon and veritable force in fashion today, with a loyal cult following, and has meant collaborations with high street chains New Look and Vero Moda, as well as front row seats at Chanel, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs to name a few, not to mention campaigns with Pepe Jeans, Superga and Madewell.
Not all celebrity endorsements can claim quite the same level of success. One of the more infamous collaborations of recent years was Lindsay Lohan’s for Emanuel Ungaro. Indeed, Emanuel Ungaro himself, who has sold his interest in the business and is no longer involved with the label, described the collection as ‘a disaster’ following its showcase. The collection sent models with glittery heart shaped nipple pasties down the runway, leaving the audience “aghast”. Women’s Wear Daily described Lohan’s debut with Ungaro as “embarrassing” and painful to watch. Lohan’s creative direction showed it takes more than just the ability to wear another designer and look good in pictures to make it in the fashion industry. It also seemed farcical in the context of practicing designers that someone of such limited experience could act at the helm of a major fashion house.
Hugely successful collaborations, recently seen with Alexa Chung and Kate Moss, seem to depend on whether the fashion credentials of the celebrity in question are genuine. As for the Del Rey, only time will tell. The bag, which is said to encapsulate Lana’s mastery of the “style of Old Hollywood, mixing it with an edgy sense of fun,” launches in May. Whether it’s Kate Moss designing bags for Longchamp, lines for Topshop and now Mango, or Christian Louboutin naming a shoe “The Blake” in honour of a certain Ms. Lively; for better or worse, it appears that the celebrity endorsement is here to stay.