[Written and illustrated by Ellie Struewing]
[Written by Eliza Robinson]
[Image Credit: CW Television Network]
[Written by Lynsay Holmes]
[Image credit: Wikimedia//Tomar]
Content Warning: This article includes a discussion of sexual assault.
“You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.” This quote was taken from the Irish Examiner’s report of a rape trial that occurred in Cork, Northern Ireland in November of 2018. In the trial—where a 27-year-old man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl—the defence lawyer publicly scrutinized the victims dress and urged the jury that her choice of underwear, which was a thong, conveyed consent. Even though the incident had occurred in a muddy alleyway, the perpetrator had claimed that the sexual contact he had with the girl was consensual. In the end, the accused was acquitted and the girl left in disgrace.
[Written by Hannah West]
[Illustration by Grace Elder]
“I don’t feel old, I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to”, said 89-year-old Instagram sensation Baddiewinkle during a Refinery29 interview in 2016. Baddiewinkle didn’t become the face of Missguided and gain 3.8 million Instagram followers by ‘dressing her age’ – this we know for certain. Instead, she became a social media megastar by sporting neon crop tops, multi-coloured fur, and platform boots that I would never even attempt to pull off. In recent years Baddie has been a part of the evolution of an ‘ageless’ fashion. By this, I mean that she has, within herself, totally debunked the socially prevalent idea that older women ought to ‘dress their age’ – a phrase which is really just a polite way of saying that women should conform to a societal norm that they don’t necessarily agree with.
[Written by Saamkyu Smart]
[Image by Sophie Thornton]
After generations of impossible female beauty standards, men are starting to feel the same pressure to conform to a very specific form of beauty. Actors and models of the same body type are being constantly pushed into the spotlight as the ideal form of male attractiveness– the lean yet ripped look. Although these body types give off the illusion of being healthy and natural, the process by which models and actors gain them is quite the opposite. It’s a job to be lean and muscular, and for the majority of the time, it’s a temporary one. Additionally, when the standards are set so high, it’s hard to not feel any social pressure when you’re not even close to muscular.
[Written By: Florence Bridgman]
‘There was something gorgeous about him…an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald
[Written By: Elsa Lindström]
The fashion weeks take over the press coverage every spring and autumn with magazines rushing to praise their latest collections and show off their best looks. These weeks are considered the most important part of the year, at least if you trust Vogue, and the industry basically revolves around them. But in the midst of the newest trends of capes and leather dresses, little attention is given to the ethical issues of fashion, such as designers environmental aspects or workers’ rights.
[Written By: Morgan Laing]
Who, between the years 1998-2004, could we identify as the owner of the shiniest hair, the best wardrobe, and the most hopefully romantic outlook in the whole of Manhattan? Charlotte York Goldenblatt, that’s who. For as long as Sex and the City graced our screens, Charlotte York Goldenblatt (formerly known as Charlotte MacDougal, though we don’t talk about that now. Her first husband was fine in some respects, but the way he allowed his mother to interfere in every aspect of his life was hella weird) trotted around NYC in some of the chicest ensembles you’ve ever seen – and yet Carrie was supposed to be the unequivocal style icon? Let’s discuss this for a second.
[Written By: Lynsay Holmes]
[Written By: Annegret Maja Fiedler]
[Illustration: Lara Delmage]
It is 8:00 am. I am hunched in front of my mirror, concealing acne scars and the bags under my eyes. I then fill in my brows, apply blush on the apples of my cheeks, and swipe mascara on to my lashes. I dab some highlighter under the brow bone and inner corners of my eyes, and instantly look more awake. This routine takes less than 10 minutes of my morning and allows me to feel put together for a day of lectures, labs, and then work in the afternoon.
“You don’t need makeup to feel good” – I do not care, because I feel good.
[Written By: Amelia Oakley]
[Photographer: Elena Roselli]
In Early Modern England the colour, fabric and material of clothes denoted the wearer’s rank, status, and position, and was enforced by English law. While this is not a legal obligation in Britain, many countries and religions still enforce clothing by law. In France, fierce debate surrounded the banning of niqabs and burqas. Under a decree by the French Prime Minister, François Fillon, women are banned from wearing the niqab in any public place. Veils covering the face are illegal virtually anywhere outside women’s homes, except when worshipping or travelling as a passenger in a car. Likewise, in North Korea, citizens must adhere to strict fashion laws. They must style themselves with officially endorsed haircuts and clothing with zero affiliation with the West – especially when it comes to brands and logos. In the UK, however, we have an extraordinary amount of freedom when it comes to choosing our style and how we wish to present ourselves. In some ways, it is a privilege to have a personal style, and it reveals a lot about our identity.
- [Written by: Isolda Hanney]
The glitz. The glam. The fashion. Fashion shoots are what keep us turning the pages of magazines. But while they may look glamorous, there is a lot more that goes into the production of a photo shoot than you might imagine.
[Written By: Ruarí MacManus]
So just over a month ago Complex released what they thought would be just another episode of their popular YouTube series, “Sneaker Shopping with Complex”. Little did they know that this show would spawn the most quotable meme in recent memory. The premise of the show is simple; the aptly named Joe La Puma shows celebrities around high-end trainer stores, discusses their fame, strokes their ego a bit and then they flex their wallets on exclusive kicks. This episode features model and socialite Bella Hadid, in New York’s KITH — owned by sneaker savant Ronnie Fieg. So far nothing out of the ordinary — but then she opened her mouth.
Written By: Annegret Maja Fiedler
Illustration: Skye Galloway
Is shaming women’s fashion choices what high-school bullies are up to nowadays?
When I was a teenager, I was taught that the outfits created by a small coterie of fashion designers set the trends for the upcoming season. The prevailing theory at the time was that the styles displayed on the catwalks of Paris and London, New York and Milan would dictate Britain’s fashion for the next few months; that these outlandish (and expensive!) creations would trickle down to the high street stores in a more palatable, affordable and practical form. There are obvious flaws in this programmatic view of fashion – just think of influential subcultures, historic movements like the Swinging Sixties, even the potential for popular culture to sway fashion. But, more or less, it proved truthful for many years. The road from exclusivity to mass market was pretty straightforward. High fashion dominated. Street style did not.
There are women out there who own beautiful collections of jewellery; women who have house-sized wardrobe of designer brands; some even own more than a thousand bags. But the absolute ‘trouser girl’ is Sarah Harris.
Stylist: Niamh Carey
Photographer: Léa Cyrielle
Model: Lara Delmage
Designer: Morag Taylor
BTS Photographer: Silvia Sani
Right now you might be thinking another article on cultural appropriation? Haven’t there been enough already? Short answer: no.
It’s 2017. I am still serving drinks to “Native Americans” on Halloween at work despite the current ongoing Standing Rock protests. I am still seeing authentic designs of various indigenous ethnicities being crudely rehashed “ethnic” and “tribal” for financial gain. I am still seeing black friends being reprimanded for their “dirty looking” hair whilst designers such as Marc Jacobs are kitting out white models with a near-identical hairstyle and profiting from it.
Admittedly, my expectations for the Glasgow University Charity Fashion show weren’t high, due to it being the first student-run charity event I had attended. I confess, however, that I was wrong: the effort and production that transferred the harsh brick and steel interior of SWG3 into the 2017 show was flawless.
Nobody ever perfected the feminine as ethereal quite like Kate Bush. An influence on innumerable modern pop stars and style icons – Florence + the Machine, Bat for Lashes, Bjork and St Vincent, to name but a few, Bush is an icon of music, style, and feminism all at once. Incorporating costume wholeheartedly into her music videos and performances, she used her attire as an equal arm of her unbounded creativity as any other artistic medium. Her iconic, enormous wavy brown hair and angelic Wuthering Heights white dress cemented her place in pop culture iconography, and informed my relationship to femininity and performance more than any other artist.
The 1920s had the flapper; post-WWII saw the rise of Christian Dior’s New Look, but when it comes to novelty, it seems that the 1960s win the ‘otherworldly’ prize with the emerge of Space Age fashion. With the Cold War in full swing, the beginning of the 60s carried with it a strong futuristic spirit; people wanted to reach for the stars, and for the first time in history this was not just a possibility, but a certainty. Though space travel was hardly an innovative idea (one look at George Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon will tell you differently), all at once it seemed accessible, and as politics reached new heights, the arts scene was quick to follow.
If you type the German actress Diane Kruger into Google, the search suggestion immediately pops up with ‘style’. There you will be met with a plethora of exquisite red-carpet gowns; shots of her posing in understated, chic outfits; tabloid snaps of gloriously casual daywear.
GUM fashion photoshoot for the first issue (December 2016), the Nostalgia edition.
Style Editor: Niamh Carey
Photographer: Louise Connor
Models: Tracy Duah & Kate Madsen
Video: Silvia Sani
Song: Family Fodder, Savoir Faire
Trigger warning: disordered eating and sexual assault
Fashion, like all art, evolves. New ideas come into play each day, and designs which were once the height of fashion are now considered dated, unoriginal, and antiquated. Though, among the array of fleeting fashion trends, there are some looks which always remain the same. Most iconic of all, perhaps, is the Little Black Dress.
This classic silhouette has forever been a necessity to the fashionista. Simple, understated, and cool, it is the epitome of simplicity in design. Having been introduced in a time of overstated, elaborate fashion, the Little Black Dress came as a breath of fresh air in 1926 when Coco Chanel swept it onto the scene. After years of decadent styles, where designs utilised every material under the sun, the lack of adornments allowed this piece to become timeless. Though this was not, of course, the first black dress, it was Chanel’s minimalist modernity that made the dress ubiquitous. Through the years there has been a steady evolution of the style, each ‘era’ of dress fitting in with the current trends whilst also remaining bare enough to not cement it to a particular period.
In our epoch of eclecticism, how do creative directors in fashion balance between the old and the new? Erika Koljonen investigates.
The fast-paced realm of fashion, like the rest of the world, has recently witnessed a period of notable turbulence. Fashion houses now change their creative directors more frequently than I have minor breakdowns over my impending graduation with an English Literature degree. Interestingly, it is the French houses that have seen the most upheaval – the French being rather notorious in their habit of being sticklers to traditional design and keeping to the roots of the houses. Raf Simons’ departure from Dior after a short period of at its head shocked many, as did Alber Elbaz’s from Lanvin. And it’s not just the French: Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan … the list goes on.
In terms of fashion, the ‘60s continued until about 1975 when the Mary Quant mini-skirts and zip dresses relaxed into Flower Power’s flowing fabrics, long hair and hippie trails. Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Boots’ turned into The Mama’s and the Papa’s warble. Fashion and music have always enjoyed an effect on one another. Fashion has a way of emulating the glamour of a celebrity high life in the everyday person, when they dress up to go out on the weekend. However, the costume changes of ABBA’s Benny and Bjorn weren’t readily available to all, so there was still a hint of the ‘1950s wardrobe among folk – thick wool skirts, well-made but demure to the point of being monastic. The ‘50s may have swung in Elvis and rock’n’roll but it still held onto the notion that you were children until you became adults – and if this was the case in life – it was similarly so in fashion. Male or female, you moved from consciously childlike clothing to replicas of your parent’s wardrobe, and often, their way of life.
However, with the ‘1960s came the Pill and along with it: the idea that ‘the youth’ existed as separate from, and more often than not, opposite to the older generation. They were more than children, but they were not yet old. In Glasgow and other big cities across the UK, the new ‘youth’ began to decide and divide; depending on which new subculture they associated with.
Enter the ‘Mods’, those of scooter and Parker fame. If you were a mod, you’d likely wear a clean-cut suit with slicked back hair or a miniskirt, square-toe boots and sleek bob haircut. Your focus would be the fashion and music scene emerging at the time: soul, rhythm, blues and ska. On said scooter, you would be looking for a fight, probably with a Rocker.
Rocker men come clad in the leather necessities of their motor biking antics. Their hair was grown long and styled into a ‘pompadour’ (similar to Danny in Greece), their music choice was the rock’n’roll of the ‘1950s. Rocker women wore full skirts, bomber jackets and bright prints that were best if you were dancing to Eddie Cochran and Bo Diddley on a Saturday night. The hemlines were generally shorter – so were the tempers. Any chance for either group to come into conflict with the other seemed actively encouraged, with rallies ending in brutal riots, the weapons used ranging from fish hooks to flick knives and bike chains.
What about ‘60s fashion in Glasgow? If you were older you would still be living with the memories of the wartime ration book and your clothes were therefore a spend thrift patchwork of fifties and late forties style. If you were young, you would be drawn to the new commodity; affordable fashion. You would be more liberated than the previous generation – both sexually and financially – but the going was still tough and the playing was equally rough.
It is the year 1960, it’s Christmas Eve, the city is heaving with people. Alasdair Gray is teaching at the Art school and the infamous Barrowland’s Ballroom is re-opening after a fire two years earlier had destroyed it. You’re going because your parents would hate it. You’ve chosen your uniform and you’re dependant on the music genre of your vinyl record, playing in the background of your poorly lit flat. If lucky – your friend or boyfriend will pick you up on his scooter or motorbike and zip you over to Glasgow Green – but probably you’ll just end up walking or taking the last of the trams still rattling about the city. Choose your Brothel Creepers or your Mary Jane’s and let the fun, and the fight, begin…
By Nancy Hervy Bathurst
“They changed the world. Not the shirt.” is the tagline for one of the biggest pushes in global advertising this year. GANT is a brand that has long been rooted in the American East Coast. What was once a lifestyle brand for the beach is now shaking off its sandy image for an international and highbrow persona.
GANT has completely revamped its advertising strategy, rolling out an international campaign for the first time in its history. Their promotional video shows how great minds of the 20th century went on to change the world, all wearing GANT shirts. The campaign also highlights how their heritage is in the veins of world-class university campuses such as the Ivy League.
It’s a bold move for a brand whose previous incarnations were more American Eagle than American pioneer. GANT isn’t trying to make a sexy campaign pumped full of celebrity faces and gimmicky clothing. What GANT is doing is saying, “We believe in quality”, in both garments and education.
What’s really engaging about GANT’s approach is who is now fronting the brand. Instead of a Kardashian or a Hadid, GANT has chosen five ‘talents’ to be the face of their print campaign. Tracy K. Smith (Pulitzer Prize Poet), Natvar Bhavsar (Painter), Mark Platkin (Rainforest Advocate), Jennifer Staple-Clark (Founder of Unite for Sight) and George Weiner (Founder of Whole Whale) are GANT’s chosen ones to promote the brand and their philosophy of quality.
Started in Connecticut, USA by Jewish immigrant Bernard Gantmacher – who had arrived from the Russian empire in 1914 – GANT was then sold on to Swedish company Pyramid Sportswear and is now in the hands of Swiss holding company Maus Frères, making it a truly international look; American sportswear with European sophistication.
The classic shirt is a wardrobe essential and GANT are essentially saying that with the right one, you can achieve anything. Their approach to advertising is an exciting and innovative one. Campaigns aimed a students have the tendency to be repetitive; assuming all students just want free stuff or to get off their faces. Invest in a shirt and maybe you’ll invest in your future.
By Anne Devlin
The Art School sparkled with excitement on the 4th of March, hosting their annual fashion show for 3rd year students at GSA. When everyone took seats, the DJ started playing music and the side lights on the catwalk started flashing. The music was so intense, our hearts started to harmonise with the bass. When the first model stepped on the catwalk, the whole picture became complete and the room filled with beauty.
The show took off with 2nd year fashion students’ creations: white shirts, jeans, fur coats and black dresses, and 3rd year students’ tailoring works. These students used different sources of inspiration to create their pieces. Some were influenced by Victoria Beckham, some were inspired by the architecture of Glasgow and others looked back into history to apply the ideas in a modern way. These items are very wearable, yet unique. A white shirt and jeans are pieces everyone needs in their wardrobes, but these young, talented designers created silhouettes that make these everyday pieces outstanding.
The other part of the show contained 25 mini collections – 3 outfits – from 25 3rd year students, studying fashion or textile design. They created different sets, concentrating on embroidery, knit, print, weave or fashion design. The students were given a specific source of inspiration. All designs had use lace as an inspiration, and they each category got a country and culture to investigate. Print used East and West Africa (Maasai and Masquerade); knit concentrated on Peru and Ecuador; weave looked into Palestine’s thobe traditions; embroidery based its design on Romania; and fashion design explored Inuit culture (Yupik, Eskimo, Inupiat).What amazes me is the fact that the categories all had the same task given, but the collections could not be different. The designers’ personalities shine through their collections, their creativity and talent were awarded with great applause and sighs of amazement at the show.
To pick a few (it is really hard though); Jane Maguire took inspiration from the Inuit culture’s children’s wear and the lace in children’s collars, whilst Chris McBurney used the Inuit Myths of the Quallupilluk (child catcher) as a basis of his designs. That explains the babies in the models’ hands. I was honestly trying to figure out what is the designer trying to express with those. Now I know, and it makes more sense than I expected. This is what I call art.
Ciaran Moore’s menswear print project was inspired by maps of Nairobi. What an interesting thing to use in fashion design! He created futuristic and modern graphic print from the street formation, creating a lace like structure from them. He was using African tunics as a basis for his silhouettes, which in hand with the prints gives a very unique and modern piece of art.
One of my favourites was Abigal Jubb’s collection with the combination of brown, rich texture and the romantic lace, inspired by the array of layers Inuit people wear and luxurious renaissance lace. The seemingly two very different theme lead to this feminine, individual design.
GSA fashion show was sponsored by Dr. Martens, providing shoes for 10 students’ collections. They supported the show last year as well, and will continue with this sponsorship in the following years. Mandors fabric and textile company also has its long relationship with GSA fashion show, making it possible to stage such an incredible art performance. Thank you to them for making the event possible!
See you next year, future fashion gurus!
Words and Photographs by Zsofia Dobak
Here are the first few entires in a regular street style column by Zsofia Dobak, the looks can also be found on her blog
Samantha and Natalie
Samantha (19) and Natalie (20) are friends, both in their 3rd years, studying psychology at the University of Glasgow. Samantha (on the right) likes to try new things a lot with fashion, she loves patterns and charity/vintage shops. Natalie (on the left) likes to shop at Topshop and Zara and gets her fashion inspiration mostly from just seeing what other people on the street are wearing. She really likes black clothes. I met the girls in the qmu café and as they both looked stunning, I had an easy job – ask them both if they would be okay if I took a photo of them.
Samantha’s outfit catches the eye with the short checked skirt and short Jack Daniels sweater. I like how it’s smart with the skirt and the shirt’s collar showing but casual (and hot – let’s just say it as it is) with the sweater and boots. That’s kind of an outfit that could be an everyday one but can also be perfect for going to a concert for example (a rock concert to be specific, as that is what comes to my mind when I look at this red-black combination with these boots – so chic!). Her glasses and watch are completing the look. If you are trying to copy her style, I think you can easily go with a tartan pleated skirt.
Natalie also chose a red-black combination, but with a completely different style. Her oversize black coat is my favourite and looks gorgeous on her. However, it is a tricky piece, as it can either make you look bigger than you are or might as well hide what it has to hide, depending on the particular coat’s tailoring. So it can be for every body shape, you just have to find the type that looks best on you. Natalie definitely found it! She broke up the all black with a bright red top (you can go with any colour really, any shades of red is fine for example, but you can combine it with your favourite colour, just make sure it pops out of the blacks), which is a perfect choice, and the necklace she is wearing with it is the icing on the cake. It really is in fashion. If you get a similar chunky chain necklace you can combine it with many other outfits you already have.
Anna is in her final year at the The University of Glasgow. She is doing theatre studies. She loves vintage style, so often shops in vintage boutiques. She also likes Urban Outfitters and Topshop. She absolutely loves scarves!
What I love about her outfit is how she stands out in the crowd with these bright colours. Her coat is a statement piece, which she combined with a floral patterned big scarf (a risky but really well played combination here, as the edges of the scarf are exactly the same blue as her coat. If you are not sure that the two blue shades are a perfect match, you should rather pick a scarf in a completely different colour), and classic black Oxford shoes. If you think you would be cold in Oxfords, you could just wear boots instead for a similar combination. As she is wearing a skirt underneath which is not showing, the coat itself looks like a dress! Great trick for every girl, makes the look very feminine yet it is practical if worn with thick thights. You won’t get cold, but can still look very girly. I also loved the way she has done her hair with another silky scarf, matching with her other scarf’s floral print and her nails. And last but not least, her smile is her best accessory!
Elvis is in his second year at the University of Glasgow, studying politics and business. He works at Hugo Boss (check that bag out!), and likes to shop at Zara. He’s got style.
What I like about his outfit – let me think – is everything. It’s perfect as it is. I just love shirts on guys, gives such a smart look compared to a simple T-shirt. And he showed it is cool to button up your shirt. Many guys just won’t do that, I mostly see them around wearing shirts unbuttoned at the neck. Both ways are equally good.
I quite liked his outfit with the scarf on as well, but he thought it’d look better without on the photos. Well, I can’t argue with someone so stylish!
Shoes-belt-bag combo flawless, what else can I say? That Hugo Boss bag was my favourite! I also like dark coloured leather satchels on men. And obviously, because I mentioned that the whole outfit is just perfect, I must also like the coat. Simple as that. Nothing more to say. Guys, if you need any advice on men’s fashion, I am sure Elvis would be there to help, as he was so kind and patient with the biggest smile.
But be prepared to face this expression if you ask a very stupid question (I honestly don’t know why I deserved it, maybe he was aware it would make a great shot! I hope so…).
Back at the end of January, I went along to the launch of Gabriella Marcella’s ‘Super Signs’ at the Arches; an exhibition inspired by the zodiac, showcasing a series of 12 prints and a video installation of Marcella’s take on the symbols of the zodiac. These prints were incredibly lively compositions, vibrant with colours and shapes. I caught up with her to ask her a few questions about the exhibition, the ideas behind the images, and her work.
What is the inspiration behind these beautiful, colourful pieces?
Well, apart from the obvious influence and inspiration I’ve drawn from the zodiac, I’ve been really interested in symbolism and the different symbols you come across pretty much everywhere. I guess the prints in this exhibition are almost an immediate visual reaction of the symbols from the horoscope. I don’t normally do things for pleasure as, in order to actually make any money, I have to unfortunately surrender to making work for more commercial purposes.
What materials did you use to process these images?
These images were processed digitally and made through screen printing in my studio. I was awarded the Deutschbank Award after I graduated, which was a grant that helped me set up my own studio, meaning that I can design and print all of my own things.
Could you tell us a bit more about the other projects you’ve been involved in prior to ‘Super Signs’?
I was actually involved with a really great project in the summer of 2011. I had the exciting opportunity to go to Philadelphia in the US to work as a design intern, designing the graphics for carrier bags for Urban Outfitters which were distributed all over the country. It was such an amazing project, I had a lot of fun working on it.
Do you have any projects coming up later this year?
I try to engage in personal projects every month, in order to keep myself busy. I’m actually hopefully going to be working on a clothing range in Edinburgh quite soon, with textile and fashion designer Emily Millichip. We will be working with fabrics, where I’ll be designing the patterns and Emily will be creating the outfits and pieces.
Gabriella, 23, is from Edinburgh, and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2012. She currently runs the Risograph Print & Design studio Risotto in Glasgow, and is available for working on and producing promotional material. Find out more about Risotto, or contact Gabriella, through their website or blog, or on Facebook.
– Words and Interview, Leila Khoshoie
Girl Meets Dress, the UK’s leading online destination for dress and accessories rentals, has kicked off a September back-to-school national search for “GMD Student Ambassadors” at more than 50 University campuses nationwide. Each of the participating Universities will have 2 to 3 Ambassadors per campus, who will experience the best of designer fashion while being charged with integrating Girl Meets Dress into their campus through PR, social media, grass roots marketing efforts, and event planning.
Ambassadors can apply through the Girl Meets Dress website (http://hire.girlmeetsdress.com) and will be selected based on leadership ability, interests in marketing and public relations, and entrepreneurial skills. To learn more about bringing Girl Meets Dress to your campus, contact [email protected]
Or contact Leila, GUM’s fashion editor, for more information – [email protected]
An interview with the wonderfully talented millinery designer Jennifer Martin.
With the Scottish Fashion Awards on the horizon, it’s a time to show our appreciation to those Scottish Designers who have captured our imaginations, as well as our hearts for many years. Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Holly Fulton and Louise Gray are only some of the big names being nominated for awards this year. However what I think makes the SFA really exciting, and gives it that fresh, youthful kick encouraging us to look forward and embrace the fashion royalty of tomorrow is the recognition it gives to those up and coming designers who have shot up onto the scene in the past few years. One of those designers is Jennifer Martin, the brains behind the explosion of colour that is Jenevieve Berlin Millinery. The brand re-introduces the art of elaborate millinery to the younger generation, it does this by combining an old fashioned theatrical flair, somewhat like that of the “My Fair Lady” ascot era, and throwing in a bit of 80’s and 90’s hip hop culture, some neon and really creating sculptures more than just hats, encapsulating the energy of today’s youth culture.
I spoke to her over the phone, she was welcoming and engaging and being based in London now, started the conversation with a comment on how comforting it was to hear a Glaswegian accent, there’s no place like home I suppose. I asked;
So what made you want to become a designer, is it something you always wanted to do or did it find you?
I’ve always loved fashion, principally costume design. I can remember being attracted to bright teal and sequins when picking fabric in Remnant Kings on Byres Road. My mum used to make my costumes every Halloween and I still have her old sewing machine. My Nana taught me to knit and sew, and my Aunty taught me to draw, illustrate, and paint. I started off making me and my sister’s dancing costumes to save money, and the head pieces went with them. I then started to make them for others in the dance school, and JBM grew from there.My mum calls me Jenivieve, and I love Berlin. I feel the city encapsulates every aspect of the brand. The revolution of Berlin echoes my mission to develop millinery and bring it to a younger audience.
Jenevieve Berlin has been nominated for the Accessory Award at The Scottish Fashion Awards, I asked her how she felt about being nominated for an award at such a prestigious event; “I’m thrilled to bits.” She said “A Scottish fashion awards nomination is an honor to any Scottish designer. It is a high profile event and allows up and coming talent to be exposed to a wealth of publicity. Brushing shoulders with major fashion designers, photographers, and communicators is an invaluable experience, and I can’t wait to get involved yet again!” You see, despite the fact that Jenevieve Berlin is really still very young, it is already wiping out the competition having been nominated for multiple awards, two years in a row.
What piece of work are you most proud of?
I am proud of all of my collections, I can’t single out one piece, it’s too hard. However, the pieces I am proudest to have worked on belong to the most famous milliner in the world. Last summer I interned with Philip Treacy for four months. During this time I was park of the artistic and workshop team that produced his SS14 show during London Fashion Week. With Michael Jackson’s clothes and a Swarovski sponsorship, the show was deemed the biggest during fashion week.
It certainly does pay off then. Surrounding yourself with inspiration really does push you to harness that inspiration, challenge your imagination and get your teeth into your own work. I know this because the more and more I spoke to Jenni, the more I wanted to get home and just start making things. On that note, I asked Jenni who her favorite designers featuring in the Scottish Fashion Awards this year were.“I love Christopher Kane” she said
“I can remember him coming out of our dance studio when he was still at Central St Martins. He was a childhood friend of one of my close friends and I still remember him admiring my head pieces. He was encouraging and complimentary. Louise Gray is another favorite, I love her bold ostentatious shapes and patterns. Also the accessories she uses are in your face. Very JBM!”
Her darlings however, and ours here at Glasgow University Magazine after our super successful shoot for this issue are of course “her Obscure Couture Ladies”. “They are amazing” she exclaims. Having collaborated with them on a few occasions she talked of how creative they were “They keep me on my toes” she says, “and being Glasgow girls, we’re not wilting flowers”
We ended our chat with Jennifer’s words of encouragement and wisdom to any aspiring designers out there, poetically she preaches
“I think it’s important to do something unique, but I’m a little biaeds. I’ve always liked to stand out from the crowd and this is mirrored in my work. Young designers, always do as you please, create what you want and never listen to peeps who put you down. I was told by my art teacher I’d never get anywhere in fashion, and JBM proves that teachers don’t know everything”
On that rebellious note, reflective of the raw edgy energy of her designs I thought, she then told me that the brand will be opening up a boutique on Asos marketplace. You can also vote for Headwear by Jenni Martin to win Stylist magazine and Triumph Lingerie’s maker’s competition.
-Megan Duffy Black Gallcher
The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival began last Friday night with British designers Clements Ribeiro headlining the Opening Gala with their A/W collection at Edinburgh’s astonishing Mansfield Traquair against a spectacular aural landscape sculpted for the occasion by award-winning composer Marty Hailey
The collection proved to be influenced by classic British style and punk with clashing exaggerated florals. Knitwear in the collection was the main feature with a range of embroidered knitwear, colourful knits, lazer cut wool and cashmere.
This influence of classic British silhouettes and style made look after look wearable. Paneled dresses were at a flattering length you could envisage women wearing; modern minimal knitwear featured embroidered collars and sleeves. There was even a very feminine kilt. As for accessories, the collection was complimented with gold, silver and neutral brogues adding to the quintessentially British look.
And who said we have to stick with black in Autumn and colour in Summer? This rule was beautifully broken by the Clemants Ribeiro studio as although this was an A/W collection, we saw an array of colorful garments on the runway from dark jewel tones to bright floral prints.
All in all the show started the fashion festival with a bang and set the tone for a week of dramatic events. Clemants Ribeiro were the prefect duo to represent Britain at opening of the event.
This weekend time will be rewound. As part of the Merchant City Festival Wayne & Geraldine Hemingway are bringing their Vintage festival to Glasgow with a program celebrating and emulating the cream of British 20th century popular culture.
Filled with a series of daily classes, pop-up shops and special one off events including the Vintage Charleston Brunch, visitors can explore fashion, art, beauty, food and dance of eras bygone. While many vintage and retro events struggle to rise beyond half-hearted nostalgia for twee tea dresses and scooters, the Vintage festival has an excellent record of creating an authentic, exciting experience for visitors of any age.
The festival is also offering a series of vintage themed club nights including Soul Casino on Saturday night, transforming the Old Fruitmarket into a celebration of 70s soul and 80s disco from 8pm-1am.
Book tickets and find out more here.
For some the degree fashion show feels like the end but last week GUM attended the Gray’s School of Art Fashion Design Runway Show and there was certainly a sense of action and motivation. Only a few days after obtaining their degree, finding out that two of their graduates are nominees for the Scottish fashion awards and many finding out about Masters degrees and jobs, before the show even started there was already a great sense of achievement.
The evening kicked off with a collection from Laura Sherriff. The collection paid great attention to detail and set the tone for the night. The next hour was a display of workmanship and new gen design.
Persimmon, A Selective Colour was the sleek show stopping collection by Debbie Mcleod. Her designs were minimalistic and masculine although the use of mohair knit softened the collection. Her use of colour was most interesting as the oranges against the gray, black and white proved both tasteful and modernist. When asked about her collection McLeod stated it was: “A simplistic outlook…blending each design into the background as if it were its own creation”.
New kids on the block Saunt & Sinner showed us how it’s done at the launch of their first collection on Friday night. Design duo behind the label, Emma Noble and Toni Roddie, set up the brand after graduating in Fashion Design from Grays School of Art in 2012. “The Broken Doll” capsule collection, inspired by Glasgow-born painter Heather Nevay, showcased a stunning array of luxury womenswear pieces which hinted towards both the sweet and the sinister.
The Corinthian Club set the perfect scene for the show, with fixtures draped with the duo’s limited edition 100% silk scarves. Dolls hung eerily above tables, dressed in mini-versions of the labels designs. A fitting homage to this evening inspired by Nevay’s portrayal of sinister children.
Before the show began the crowd were treated to a beautiful and haunting fashion film produced by Jamie Vincent Gillespie, which again reflected the collections duality as it played with the idea of innocence and purity tainted by a twisted dark side. It had a decidedly wicked edge, and set the mood perfectly for what was about to follow in the show.
GUM caught up with Rehab Clothing, Glasgow’s hot new sellers on the scene, to talk about their new business venture and passion for vintage!
Hi Steven, care to introduce yourself?
“My name is Steven Dick; I graduated with a 2:1 Business Honors degree in June. Rehab Clothing was formed in October; we operated in a pre-launch stage throughout October and November selling via pop-up shops and individual listings on Marketplace. This was key to network, establish a contact list, build relationships and implement a clear direction. We launched officially on the 21st of December via our online marketplace shop.”
Where did the idea come from, how did you get started and why?
“I decided to go travelling across Italy and South East Asia for four months after studying; it was during this time I decided to start up Rehab Clothing when I returned. I had an interest in starting my own business from my studies and always maintained an interest in the fashion industry. As a keen vintage shopper myself I spotted an opportunity in the marketplace where we could add value.”
What do you sell?
“We sell unique vintage wear, everything from leather shorts and trousers, this seasons must have monochrome, 1980s dresses, vintage tees and blouses, vintage sportswear and military shirts and jackets.”
What started in the 1950s with the merging of rock-and-roll and country (or “hillbilly”) music by artists like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash gave rise to a rebellious way of life and a fashion sense known as rockabilly that’s still in vogue today. As the popularity of vintage clothing continues to rise, designers are offering up new fashions that give off a retro 50s-and-60s vibe.
Modern rockabilly style harkens back to an era when people dressed up every day, a time when women didn’t leave the house without hose and make-up and men wore jackets to work. Today, the rockabilly look has taken on an edge. It’s glamorous, outrageous and, most importantly, fun. Here’s how you, too, can rock today’s trendy rockabilly look.
Tops and Bottoms Rockabilly clothing can be difficult to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it. Think bombshell. Go for a bold and sexy look with polka-dotted halter tops or tie-at-the waist blouses paired with tight black capri pants or a pair of cropped, cuffed, tight-fitting jeans. Bust out of a slinky sweater worn with a slim-fitting skirt, and don’t forget to add a pair of heels. For the summer months, form-fitting retro shorts or a saucy little sailor suit might be in order. Dresses are a staple of rockabilly wardrobes, and a must-have for anyone who wants to pull off this look. Choose sexy, form-fitting, vintage-look dresses in bold colors like red or hot pink and patterns like black-and-white polka dots. The bolder, the better. Stripes, checks, gingham…rockabilly chicks get noticed. Dresses with bigger, flared skirts can be rockabilly, too. Look for one with an off-the-shoulder or halter top. If it shows off a tattoo or ten, even better.
The Glasgow fashion scene is bursting at the seams with creative talent, so it’s no surprise that Italian-born designer Silvia Pellegrino decided to start up her own label here. Chouchou creates unique hoods with a couture feel which appeal to the city’s fashion-forward, individual style. Unsurprisingly, Pellegrino’s range of Hollyhoods have attracted quite the following, and GUM were lucky enough to feature one of her striking pieces in our latest issue. Flick to page 20 of our ‘Blackout’ feature to see the Hollyhood Rose in action. We caught up with the designer again to talk hoods, hoods, hoods!
How did Chouchou get started?
It started when I was an intern for a company called Kucoon in LA in 2007, that was one of the best experiences of my life, I met so many talented designers. I find in California there are a lot of inspirational people, so working for Kucoon was the best thing that could have happened at the time, and when the internship was over the designer Andrea Spratt asked me: “do you want to stay?” and I was really tempted to just say yes. At the time I was so determined to start something of my own so I went back to Italy and invested my savings into the creation of our first S/S collection, and this collection for one reason or another was going to be shown here in Glasgow. So, at some point I decided it would be a great idea to move to Scotland altogether because I always had great connections here. I moved here in 2009 and started the company here in 2010 and it just grew from there
How did you come up with the name? What does the name Chouchou mean?
The name came from another trip that I did in South Africa, passing through Paris. The word Chouchou came out and my French friend explained that it’s a term used with a person you love. Chouchou means loved one. Once I was doing a market in Italy and this now famous photographer came up to me and said: “What’s your company name?”, and I said Chouchou and he said to me, “Wow that’s so much fun”, because in Naples when you see a hot girl on the street and you know her name you simply go: “sciu’sciu’!”. (read as Chouchou)
This Tuesday, GUM attended a highly anticipated fashion show organised by online fashion boutique the Pokey Hat to celebrate the arrival of the Jeffrey Campbell shoe collection into the Pokey Hat stores. The fashion show was in trendy new club FabrIQ on Queen Street. After being seated in front of the catwalk, I looked through my goody bag, which featured candy jewellery – my favourite kind. The show started with a bang, dancers with black lace dresses twirling and whirling on the catwalk so close you could touch them. Then came the models wearing Pokey Hat clothes; a collection of both vintage and modern clothing by Scottish fashion designers. The models were wearing Jeffrey Campbell shoes with its characteristic wavy shapes and studs. It was difficult to know where to look as both the clothes and shoes were stunning. Our favourite piece was a woollen hat with spikes which is a must have this winter, making you feel warm and look cool at the same time. Who said fashion can’t be practical?
There was also a raffle to win a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes, I bought a ticket but didn’t win. I almost ended up crying in the corner, but the fact that my feet were already bleeding from a pair of ordinary heels almost made me grateful I didn’t win.
If you like your fashion dark and sexy with a hint of crazy you’ve come to the right place. Nightwalk is more of an experience than just a fashion show, which is evident from its setting in The Arches, Glasgow’s most charismatic music and club venue.
After this year’s Autumn/Winter Nightwalk was rescheduled due to a blackout we were excited to finally witness what up-and-coming Scottish designers had to offer. From the neatly tailored shirts by the Swedish-born Jennie Lööf, or the entirely white collection of dresses entitled ‘White Noise’ by Betty Spoke, to playful latex creations by Betsabelle, each of the 14 designers had a unique vision. Womenswear clearly dominated the show however admirers of menswear (and male models!) were not disappointed by male design duo Nothing and several colourful designs by Brian Chan and a few other designers.
It’s November. Which can only mean one thing in the shopping world: sharpen your elbows, you’re going to need them. Yes, Christmas fever is almost upon us. But what if we told you that this year there’s no need to sweat it out on the high street, fighting over mass-produced items and spending hours in seemingly endless queus? Bold Souls Stardust has come to save us all.
Bold Souls is a fashion Pop-Up, created two years ago by Glasgow-based designer Silvia Pellegrino and blogger Jonathan Pryce of Les Garçons de Glasgow and Another Garçon. Offering a unique shopping experience the event brings a plethora of local designers together under one roof, and give shoppers the chance to buy one-off items and personalised pieces. GUM spoke to organiser Silvia to find out how Bold Souls was conceived:
“What we wanted to do was to promote local talent and expand the community, meet more people that we could work with, meet more customers. We wanted to have a very seamless, open and fresh place where people could go to find unique fashion instead of buying high street and mass made fashion, that we find a lot of the time doesn’t really have spirit”. It is this community aspect which gives Bold Souls it’s buzzing atmosphere, uniting designers, creatives and customers alike over canapes and complimentary Kopparberg.
One year on from the last Bold Souls, Stardust promises to be bigger, better – and yes – bolder than before. Thursday 22nd November 2012 will see Flat 0/1 and Lucky 7 packed out with more than 20 stalls, where you can pick up one-off pieces from a host of local designers, both up-and-coming and established. As Pellegrino explains: “We try to keep it colourful and diverse, everybody’s got their own style, we’re trying to have different tastes; the taste of our customers.” With such a variety of designers offering up everything from womenswear and menswear to accessories and jewellery, there really is something for everyone. Plus each item is beautifully crafted, high-quality and totally unique: this is a chance to see independent fashion at it’s best.”
Vanessa Hofmann ventured out of Glasgow to catch up with Vienna-based budding fashion designers Federico Protto Scutti and Attila Lajos on the creation of their label MER. They talk mermaids, mythology and give us their take on breaking into the design world.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are and where do you come from?
Our label is called MER, it consists of me, Federico Protto Scutti, born in Uruguay, raised in Munich and my friend Attila Lajos from Hungary. Last year we both started studying fashion design at University of Applied Arts in Vienna under the professor Bernhard Willhelm.
2) How did you get started in fashion design?
After finishing high school last year I did an internship at Michael Sontag’s atelier in Berlin during Berlin Fashion Week. After that I applied in Vienna and everything went like clockwork. Attila had already started to study fashion design before in Hungary before he came to Vienna.
3) Who inspired you to become a designer, and how?
Attila’s mom made him clothing, he was the best dressed kid in the kindergarten, he had no other option than to become a fashion designer. He got also called Gucci as a kid. I got inspired by Gwen Stefanis’ ‘What You Waiting For?’ Music video, she was wearing fantastic Vivienne Westwood Plateau High Heels. That was somehow an inspiration and motivation! But even before that I’ve always been interested in these kinds of aesthetics.
Creativity and community are two buzz words on the Glasgow fashion scene; bursting at the seams with up-and-coming talent, the city boasts a colourful network of designers, models, make-up artists and hair stylists. With independent events forming a strong backbone, nothing gives fashion a bigger sense of community than a vibrant catwalk event to bring together people from all ends of the fashion spectrum.
As essay deadlines advance with exams looming in the rear, clothes could not seem further removed – however there’s always time for a bit of fashion so here are dates for your diary:
In the light of the article featured in the latest issue of GUM on GU and GSA students interacting (or as it so happens, not interacting), I find it only too fitting that we are being given the chance, on a plate (and a fashionable one to boot), to amend this with the GSA Fashion Show. Last night consequently saw me heading over to SWG3 to have a swatch at what the GSA fashion and textile design students have to offer.
One can but lament the fact the men’s day-to-day fashion mainly restricts itself to the ubiquitous Topman shirts and G-Star jeans: all too little attention is given to making men’s fashion that bit different, original or more outgoing than it actually is.
It’s certainly true what they say about Scottish weather: it can be wet – and to add insult to injury, recent events have proven that it can get very windy too. After staunchly attempting to deny these facts, I have gradually come to sadly acquiesce when challenged by non-Scottish people and their inevitable comments about the “bad weather”.
Brows furrowed, mouths foaming, eyes frantic; Christmas hysteria is about to hit the high street. Want to avoid the blistered feet and broken spirits? Here are GUM’s top pick of markets where you can bag crafts goods, vintage treats and designer pieces to give Santa a run for his money.
Sick of the average beret? Then look no further than Glasgow’s very own Jenivieve Berlin Millinery. Ginger Clark caught up with Jenivieve to ask her a few head-wear related questions.
How would you summarise Jenivieve Berlin Millinery in one sentence?
Loud, Outrageous, Rebellious head wear for those who dare to be different!
Judy’s Affordable Vintage fair comes to Glasgow this weekend, right on your doorstep! So put down your books for a couple of hours and head to the QMU for loads of vintage goodies that won’t break the bank. With 500+ as attending on the Facebook event page, it’s set to be a success. Show your support on the official Glasgow Facebook group and be sure to join the retro-themed shenanigans. After all, who doesn’t need a deserved break from the books at this time of year? We hear seats in the library are like gold-dust these days…
Open 12-5pm Sunday at QMU, 22 University Gardens, G12 8QN
All welcome, not just students!
Entry £2/£1 concessions / free for under 12’s
You can read on for official press info from Judy HQ.
Rena Niamh Smith
GUM were backstage for the Nightwalk fashion show held in the Arches. Featuring performances from drag ad burlesque artists, DJs and a wealth of Glasgow design talent, the show proved a successful and exciting follow-up to last October’s event. Backstage, make-up artists, hair stylists and dressers worked in a flurry of activity to prepare the models for the runway. Make up was glittery and bright, hair curled and back-combed with finger-tips. Preceded by a cut of the graduate design talent from the Art School’s Class of 2011, designers Betty Spoke, Alan Moore, Obscure Couture, Mee Mee Couture, Jennie Loof, and Fair Feathered Friend were amongst those showcasing their work. Jewellery by Oui! Designs also featured, as well as headpieces by Beretk!Ah… and William Chambers Millinery. The night was a roaring success, closed by Betty Spoke’s insane sea-inspired collection, including dresses made of mussel shells, oyster shells and fisherman’s nets. The night certainly proved Glasgow may be small but it’s a mighty contender on the British fashion radar.
Workers all around the country have planned days-out for the extra day off to celebrate the Royal Wedding. An events company in Glasgow has planned celebrations the week prior with its ‘Royal Hen-Doo’ – aright royal mix of pamper treatments, afternoon tea, a party and even a sit-down dinner – all included in one ticket for just £30!
Limited tickets are available from 5pm website here.
Yasmin Ali // for The Arches
This Friday night, The Arches hosts NIGHTWALK, its resident late-night fashion-forward club event. Building on the success of last autumn’s first event, the cross-over night promises a catwalk show and more, billing itself as ‘The Independent Fashion Showcase – Fused with electronic music, art, photography and performance.’
NIGHTWALK is fast-gathering deserved press attention, and was listed as Pick of the Week in last weekend’s Guardian Guide weekend supplement. Tickets are limited and available from The Arches Box Office and here at £15, in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice.
The event runs 10pm-2am at The Arches this Friday, 22nd April.
Visit and RSVP to the Facebook event here.
It all started with a booklet entitled “the Ukrainian girl”, containing text on different sheets of paper tied together with a slither of printed fabric, which announced ten30’s S/S 2011 show. This in itself was quite frankly enough to whet anybody’s appetite for the event, which didn’t disappoint.
BY GINGER CLARK
We all want to avoid fashion faux-pas, but instances do occasionally arise where we unintentionally stray from the stylish. Thankfully with more subtle trends, such blunders can go unnoticed; not so, however, if you are sporting fuchsia, lime green or canary yellow, as is likely to be the case this summer.
Rena Niamh Smith, Fashion Editor
Check out these Snaps that didn’t make the final Spring/Summer GUM Accessories shoot. We used a huge range of designers and artists of Glasgow / Scottish heritage, including Oui! Designs, Ling Jewellery and artists with wares in Brazen boutique in the Merchant City.
Rena Niamh Smith, Fashion Editor
Here is the fabulous image of Rebecca Torres’s dress from the Spring/Summer fashion photoshoot. MUA Kaeleigh Wallace did some fabulous neon eyebrows and lips that made the sublime colours of the Lycra dress by Glasgow-based designer Torres, whose work has featured in the likes of Grazia. Pick up one of her pieces at the next Bold Souls event in the Subclub: see Facebook for more details……. Photography was done by the amazing Ania Mroczkowska of Slave Magazine, Edinburgh. With her keen eye, she spotted this amazing, futuristic backdrop that resembles some kind of 1960s space-age utopia – can you guess where it is!?
Winter is upon us like never before; fashion just almost went out the window, along with most of this month’s loan on your heating bill. But don’t sweat (as if!) – GUM are here to help like elves in a workshop with the funkiest warmwear to keep you cosy this
ice age season.
Indulge in some socialist furriness by keeping your ears warm with this fantastically fluffy hat!
‘Tis the season to be innovative, and there are festive pop-up shops popping up all over the city. Brave the cold and visit the five that we consider among the cream of this year’s winter harvest…
Event, 12th December, 4-9pm
Silvia Pellegrino of Chouchou Couture heads up an entourage of talented Glasgow-based fashion and accessories designers for the second winter edition of Bold Souls hosted at GN Salons. The Christmas special pop-up featured fashion designers like retro re-styling from Jennie Loof; bold colourways from Rebecca Torres; fine knits and edgy detailing from Nicola Beedie; knitwear and fashion designer Stephen Tarnawski, and of course, Silvia’s sportswear-luxe label Chouchou which showcased a brand new line of bespoke fabric earrings made with recycled material and 925 silver.
Girls’ Day Out is in its second consecutive year at Glasgow’s SECC. Smaller than the Clothes Show Live, but bigger than GLAM in the city, it’s an affordable and enjoyable afternoon out for girlie groups. Attendees looking for cheap thrills of beauty freebies, samples, discounts and pampering were not to be disappointed.
Glasgow label Chouchou Couture throw another super-sweet pop-up styling event this week, in collaboration with a host of other emerging fashion designers, makers, stylists and photographers from Scotland’s capital of cool.
Bold Souls, Thu 4th Nov, 4-9pm @ GN Salons 555 Sauchiehall Street, G3 7PQ
Hi and it has been a busy first week for the GUM team. We’ve sorted our new recruits from Freshers’ week; Week One and are ready for the first issue and the new term. This weekend we’re off doing different things, but here’s a taster of what’s on this September Bank Holiday. Read on to see what’s going on!
Amid the sea of School Leavers’ hoodies and Ugg boots, GUM tracked down the sartorial savvy among the fresh blood on Glasgow Uni campus….. Photography by Nick Milligan, styling by Joe McEachan and Rhian Saleh.
The vibe was relaxed and super-cool, but nevertheless super-fresh; GUM pinned down some stylish types at the party in the warehouse…. Photography by Sean Anderson.
Friday 1oth September, 2010
Rena Niamh Smith
Last week, we were invited to Chouchou Couture‘s “Cozy” sample sale. As far as intimate gigs go, this was pretty close-and-comfortable. Held at the designer’s penthouse quayside apartment with fabulous views over the cityscape through floor-to-ceiling windows, only a funky video installation featuring Chouchou‘s promo shots and some slick graphics projected against the back wall, and of course two rails of handcrafted garments set this apart from a house party thrown for a bunch of friends. As the late summer sunlight streamed in through the windows, designer Sylvia Pellegrino greeted guests with prosecco and peaches and her million-dollar smile, setting the mix of mates, journos, local designers and clients-cum-friends, such as a pixie-like chick for whom Pellegrino is designing a floor-length silk one-shoulder gown for what looks like a 21st birthday fit for a princess. A fairy godmother to make you the perfect dress? Sounds sugar sweet to us.
Chouchou Couture is all about the person and the personable. The night had the feel of a party, even if we did manage to throw in an impromptu photo-shoot. A designer qualified from CSM, Pellegrino designs her own collection but also provides a made to measure service, working with the clients’ ideas as well as her own to make people’s dreams a reality. Not only that, she can turn her hand to any well-loved garment you might bring to her attention, and trim and chop to make any adjustments necessary to make what’s frumpy fabulous. Be it vintage, high street or even designer, she has the eye for detail and skills required to turn that dress you never wear into the centerpiece of your wardrobe with a stitch here or new detail there, or by sometimes taking the whole thing apart and starting again. “It’s often so simple!” she exclaims, in her purry Italian drawl, describing garment transformations through the most basic of alterations. This is the fabulous fashion fairy who can throw a wand of new life over clothes.
A native of Rome, she has spent a considerable amount of time in LA, a city she continues to visit and draw inspiration from; in many ways she embodies these places in her sensual, sunny personality. Her current collection is for similarly bold-and-beautiful, body-confident women. Inspired by dancewear (Zumba is a personal passion of Pellegrino’s), there were synthetic bodys and leggings in fantastic colours as well as hooded dresses and embellished vests in grey jersey and printed wool fabrics, not dissimilar to the wares of that other LA-based sports-inspired brand, for whom Pellegrino worked over in Amsterdam. Yet of course, hers are of far more designy vibe, mixed with an Italian sense of sexuality with short hemlines de rigeur and a dash of leopard-print, as well as that perfectly polished thing our Italian cousins pull off with so much ease and grace.
Ever the international chameleon, she studied design in London as well as a brief but very happy stint at our own University of Glasgow as an Erasmus student. In her work, the quintessential British eccenricity is clearly present in her love of vintage and throws a spanner in the works to all that sassy ‘n’ sexy LA/Italian shit. Reusing forgotten textiles is a Chouchou speciality and printed silks range from pretty polka-dot to quirky candy colours and carriages. There are over-sized blouses and a fabulous tartan coat reworked into a jacket. On a recent trip to LA, Pellegrino claims the Americans didn’t know what to make of the curveball in the colection, but here there is the swagger and sex appeal to carry it all off. One of our favourites was a super-shiny floral print high-waisted puff skirt that seems to combine the glitz and shape of the dancewear with that odd British sarotrial sense of humour. Also, a peach blouse had been shortened from a granny-chic dress to sex kitten status and would work a treat with denim hotpants and a mane of tangled, youthful locks at any Glasgow hotspot. But in the end we had to settle for the high-necked leopard-print softer-than-silk tunic top. We need some of Chouchou‘s Italian sex appeal – British quirkiness and frump? Coming down with it, mate.
Chouchou Couture is currently stocked in We Love to Boogie and Welcome Home in Glasgow, and in Godiva in Edinburgh. On 25th September they will be hosting their Bold Souls pop-up styling event and sample sale at Stereo. See Facebook for details.
There are very few women who have never thought of dieting or actually gone through with it. That’s because our rolemodels, the girls in beauty magazines and those posing with the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage don’t seem to have a problem fitting into size zero jeans or top.
But are the times a-changin’ ? STORY BY RENA SMITH
Mark Fast’s decision to use 3 ‘plus size’ models in his show of 20 this season was unprecedented. Not only because it showed that curvy girls can do fashion and body on at that. More, because never before had a designer so openly and constructively challenged the currently upheld fashion statute stating size zero equals size beautiful. And he didn’t even have them wear bras. The sight of size 12 model Hayley Morley striding down the catwalk was both a breath of fresh air and a slap in the face for editors, stylists and the like, who have long been ignoring the smell of vomit wafting from gaunt girls in studios and backstage dressing rooms.
Fashion “is about illusions and dreams”. So spoke Karl Lagerfeld, arguing perhaps that as fashion is an art like any other, we need to think of a model’s body as a canvas to materialise the workings of a creative mind. But does fashion really exist in such a vacuum? Top models are literally shrinking before our eyes as beauty is pushed to ludicrous extremes we not only accept as normal, but often strive to defend.
Against a backdrop of Third World famine, cases like that of Ana Carolina Reston in 2006, of international supermodels starving themselves to death, are both shocking and surreal. In two new Ralph Lauren adverts, models were airbrushed so much that their pelvises appeared smaller than their heads. Perhaps illusion and fantasy work when designers pen cartoons on the drawing board, but the models who are asked to embody that are real people. The girl in the advert may be a fantasy for some, but she she should not represent what is healthy or attractive. Disordered eating has become the norm for almost all young women, constantly counting calories and following diet after diet. Further down the line, the number of patients suffering from anorexia admitted to NHS hospitals has risen by a startling 80% in the past decade, with most being only 15 years of age.
It is widely accepted that it is easier for fashion designers to design for thinner bodies, because whatever exposes flesh is more difficult to pull off for bigger girls. To thwart this would hinder the creative process, but curves also possess design potential according to Fast; “the way I work is organic and on the body. With the curvier girls, I was able to make clothes specifically for them.” Fast also worked on the LFW exhibition All Walks Beyond The Catwalk. Rather than working in abstract from drawing boards, designers created pieces for designated models of sizes 8 – 18. The results were no less imaginative than a size zero show; in standardizing tiny frames, designers are just as hindered as if they were limited to size 12, suggesting industry change could be positive and lasting.
Mark Fast may have done something unprecedented, but he is certainly not alone; in June, British Vogue Editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman called for an end to “miniscule” sample sizes being sent by designers for photo-shoots. It highlights how deeply set the problem is; Shulman said that we are now at a point where many of the
sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models. American Elle and German Brigitte are both making concrete moves to show more representative models in their publications too.
The answer may not be simply to throw bigger girls into the limelight; the University of Chicago’s Journal of Consumer Research produced an interesting study that showed that the majority of women respond more positively to seeing thinner models than heavier ones, either because they do not see themselves as similar to bigger girls or, when overweight themselves, they feel much too similar. As the campaign for normality on the catwalk kicks off, the body fascism of the past decades has evidently had a real impact; we are simply turned off by the kinds of figures we ourselves probably have, as too do our friends, colleagues, sisters and mothers, wanting instead to escape in fantasy and illusion.
The tiny frame of the top model has achieved almost a mythical status; Finnish top model and Glasgow University student Charlotta Poppius argues anorexic models are really only a minority; “in my experience most models are just naturally thin… People have different genes and different body types and accept yourself as you are naturally, whether that is curvy, chunky or thin.” While the sentiment is undoubtedly gallant, the curvy and the chunky are obviously far less visible on catwalks and billboards than the thin. And it seems an standardised image of the modelling industry that success means some degree of starvation; perhaps, if what Charlotta says is true, a democratization of the industry needs as much emphasis on just how natural being thin is as it does on how beautiful it is to be “chunky”.
In a highly traditional and elitist industry, size zero is also a question of status; Karl Lagerfeld sparked outrage and delight alike when he declared, “these are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.” A size zero frame represents membership to a tiny class of people who have won the genetic lottery ticket in life, while Victoria Beckham has famously gotten thinner as she has gotten richer. Charlotta Poppius sums it up, “the definition of high fashion is that is exclusive, rare and desirable. And there is nothing wrong with that. Let high fashion be high fashion.” It would seem the idea of fashion opening its doors to bigger body types is a problem, not with bigger bodies, but with the doors opening at all.
Where do the illusions stop and delusions start? Fashion has oft revelled in the shock factor and pushing things to the extreme; the girls in Vogue and the like are almost sculptural in their honed, toned beauty. It is escapism from the reality of nationwide obesity if ever there was one, but we are bordering dangerously on a Jekyll and Hyde mentality. Anorexia should never be reduced to a problem of simple vanity; it is a complex mental disorder compounding issues such as a need for control and the desire to feel better than the rest. When Kate Moss tells us that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, though, the lines begin to blur between beauty and starvation. The fashion industry may be in the firing line but it is really the tip of the iceberg, with society at large having a lot to answer for too in what our notions of beauty really are and the way it affects how see ourselves and each other.
In Autumn 2008, the Christian Dior runway offered what John Galliano named the “optimism and opulence” of the sixties – lashings of palette embroidery, revved up to the max with bright colours and Western hats.
When basic living costs rise and recession overshadows, it’s time to peer into the dark recesses of the wardrobe and ask – can this collective mass of apparel withstand endurance in autumn and winter, as well as sustain one’s own sartorial satisfaction without feeling dull and drained as gloom clouds over?
The brilliance of austerity is that it brings forth an air of discretion. It does not threaten with brashness nor does it detract attention away from its purity. Rather, austerity commandeers the stealth of one’s wealth of character.
Judicious spending is now a la mode in consumer behaviour, whilst the vision of the ideal now suggests austerity over excess. The prevalent intention of designers today is to highlight the power of design which spells out the future without threatening consumers who are hard-pressed in economic times by feeling isolated from the enjoyment of garment gratification.
The fashion of tomorrow starts today. Just look beyond the banality of the high street, and cast your attention to the up-and-comings of the fashion world: fresh and innovative designers to emerge from Glasgow School of Art’s Masters of Textiles Design. It’s a course that has a formidable reputation for releasing the likes of Eley Kishimoto, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald, and Jonathon Saunders, to the fashion world. So let me introduce you to the new generation: Florence To, Shona Douglas, Lori Mitchell, and Emmi Lahtinan.
I’ve got beauty pageant fatigue, or more precisely, Miss Scotland fatigue. My preconceptions of beauty queens, and the general populous as a whole cause me to think that beauty pageants wrongly attempt to represent the ‘ideal’ woman and figure of beauty. Surely a competition that promotes young women as mere one-dimensional characters, where their sole requirement is to be judged by their appearance and decorum and ranked accordingly is shamefully outmoded, and well, sexist? Why do these girls hold themselves up as (seemingly) dim-witted Barbie dolls, presenting themselves as role models?
Fashion, in many ways, is about dreams and predictions. Part of its allure is that it offers up a kind of escapism dissimilar to other amusements; with clothes, living a dream is almost attainable, while the likes of cinema only expound illusion. Predictions, meanwhile, are one of the great features of fashion – whether it’s foreseeing coming trends, or just a future in that dress.
I bought a new hat. Not a beret, not a beanie, and certainly not one of those appalling knitted caps. A real hat: the headwear of choice for the siren and seductress. As I tried it on, posing in the mirror, arching an eyebrow and admiring how well the colour went with my pasty complexion, I asked the shop owner if she sold many hats. Apparently not. “Girls come in here to buy them,” she lamented, “but only to wear to Club Noir.”
I left clutching my veiled, jade pillbox vision with her words ringing in my ears. Either the hat had become an item of fancy dress, or simply something for the stereotypical crazy old lady. Perhaps it’s a bit of both, but, regardless of the reasons, women today are terrified of wearing fancy headgear. A gander at The Answers (i.e. Google) confirms this, with a plethora of results instructing the phobic on how they can wear a hat without feeling like a tit.
Local milliner Holly O’Hara reckons that hat-wearing went out of fashion with the big hair of the early Sixties. “Then Woodstock happened and everyone was wearing flowers in their hair.” According to Felicity Faichney, milliner and founder of Hatwalk, a theatrical event showcasing the talents of Scottish milliners, ‘the rot’ goes back even further, to the Twenties. This was a time when women had to opt for more modest hats, such as cloches, in order to comfortably fit inside their boyfriends’ fancy motor cars. Since then, hats have become the social outcast of style, a relic with no place in contemporary society.
Knowing this, I was a little sheepish when I first wore my beautiful purchase. I carried it around with me until midday, when I met a friend for lunch. She didn’t bat an eyelid when I returned from the loo, hat tilted to the perfect position. I wore it in the front row of a lecture, and received only complimentary comments. During those first two hours, I couldn’t meet the eye of any stranger: I felt like the antithesis of the ‘hold your head high’ attitude I am endorsing. The transformation came on that scariest of places, Great Western Road, where I cast my shame aside and promenaded with pride. To my surprise, the great majority of people didn’t even notice. Those who did gave admiring glances, and there was even a wolf-whistle or two (not that I approve of such behaviour). An hour later, I was strutting around with abandon. I even popped down to the shop for a pint of milk wearing it.
What could be bad about a stream of complements and an outstanding chance to flirt? You’re always more likely to have a bad hair day than a bad hat day. I give the last word to the sadly departed Isabella Blow, a woman idolised by many for her lavish headwear. No-one else could say this with the same veracity: “Men love hats. They love it because it’s something they have to take off in order to fuck you. Anyone can wear a hat.”
Tourists love Scotland’s looming castles. Edinburghers take pride in theirs, perched high up on a rock right in the centre of town. Even Stirling has one, sitting pretty on its own royal volcanic plug. And then there’s Glasgow, with nothing but a sooty cathedral hidden among the high-rises to prove that our city even existed before the 18th century. Where’s our castle?
The key to our city’s past is, as ever, down the river Clyde. You may be unaware of its existence, but Glasgow does indeed have a castle, and it’s every bit as awesome as those other two. It towers over the waters on a massive volcanic rock. It is as ancient a seat of power as any other castle in Scotland, commanding the Clyde for over a thousand years. It just isn’t quite in Glasgow. And its shape is remarkably reminiscent of a giant arse, so it’s well worth a look.
Dumbarton Castle is perhaps where Glasgow should have been. Its name means Fort of the Britons, and it was the seat of the kingdom of Strathclyde since Roman times. Like their Welsh cousins, the Strathclyde Britons saw themselves as the last remaining natives, and remained fiercely independent well into the Middle Ages. But when Glasgow was eventually founded in the 12th century, the decision was made to put the king’s burgh not here but further down the Clyde, in a dear green place which didn’t have so much rebellious historical baggage.
Thus slighted, the castle became less important throughout the centuries. These days, Dumbarton Castle is situated among the wreckage of post-industrial Northern Britain: empty warehouses, unused docks, and a generally dodgy reputation. But it still makes for a cheap day out at just £3 for students.
To get there, simply catch the 30-minute train from Partick to Dumbarton East. Once there, exit the dilapidated station to the right, head down the dingy high street for a bit, then make for the gigantic rock with a castle on it. Hard to miss, really.
Once there, you see why it was such a desirable spot: not only can you see up the Leven river valley towards Loch Lomond, but also up and down the Clyde. And everyone coming up the Clyde can certainly see you standing on what looks like the big plastic butt from the Sir Mix-a-Lot video for “Baby Got Back.”
The castle was last attacked by Nazi air raids in 1941. These days, it’s mostly lack of interest that threatens the place. Its location means that Glaswegians have largely forgotten that they have one of Scotland’s great castles, arguably more important than Edinburgh or Stirling in its day. Also, it’s shaped like an ass, which is hilarious.
Time to pull your socks up and put your head down. This is serious stuff. Study. Classes. Courses. Books. Essays. Exams. Despite this, deep down one has to concede that the Hogwart beacons of the University tower are not really representative of the degree. Long hair, short hair, short skirts, long mornings: this is what it really stands for. It’s the shoestring epicurist society; a hedonist hub of trial and error. Research isn’t all about books and Wikipedia, you know. Inebriated political arguments with random individuals in the corner of random parties, the swaying and swishing of arms and legs in black rooms with thundering neon, and time shared at the shabby-cool cafe down the alley with the hubbly-bubbly is what it is.
At this point in the year one needs confidence to grab life by the horns. What better way to do so than by being as dapper as possible? Pack serious punch in what you wear. Your clothes says a thousand words about who you are. Would Stephen Fry have the same quality of persona if he ditched his crumpled cords in favour of tracksuit trousers? Of course not! Here are a select number of stereotypical campus dressers with a few hints and tips interspersed to give you an idea of the more superior student’s take on chic.