A collection of occasion dresses I’ve trialled over the past few months to wear for my graduation. All of these are statement, embellished pieces and are composed of neutral/nude shades – perfect for a summer ceremony!
After interning at the River Island press office back in July last year, I was lucky enough to be there when the story first broke that Rihanna would be collaborating with the brand. I knew the hype surrounding it back then was huge, so with the announcement of a London Fashion Week show ahead of the collection’s March release, this wasn’t about to die down anytime soon. When I was invited back to help out with the run up to the LFW show I couldn’t contain my excitement, but I knew that a lot of hard work would have to go into pulling off what is a first for the brand and RiRi herself.
The show was situated in The Old Sorting Office, a large warehouse space which catered for the 90’s youth-inspired collection perfectly. This wasn’t to be your conventional catwalk; instead a higher viewpoint was used with several multi-lit podium frames which models would weave in and out from.
Faces on the front row varied from numerous magazine editors to Jaime Winstone, Mollie King, Zara Martin and Laura Whitmore to models of the moment Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn both sporting items from the collection.
The spring collection was made up of jersey maxi lengths with thigh high slits, long sleeve crop tops, varsity jackets, utility denim and jumpsuits in a palette of blacks, greys, navy and a hint of neon yellow. Close up details included shirts tied round the waists of jumpsuits and mid-length skirts, whilst knotted fabric were focus points on t-shirts and mini dresses. The summer collection combined more sheer and satin fabrics with a brighter palette of oranges and reds and prints such as stripes, dark florals and dip dye. Depicted by street-style youth, accessories included rucksacks and snapbacks bearing gold embellished logos, thigh high military boots and biker-chic ankle boots.
Here is a photo diary of my time at the show:
You can watch the full show here:
I also grabbed one of the goody bags I made up, here is the contents:
Thank you River Island PR!
Located at the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, The Framer’s Gallery introduces “LOLCat: Teh Exhibishun”, a charitable group art show devoted to the internet phenomenon of cats doing funny things. Whether comical internet memes can be accepted into the world of ‘serious’ contemporary art is however, a matter of personal taste. If you’ve ever indulged in the online guilty pleasure of watching piano-playing kitties or laughing at humorously captioned feline photographs then this is purrfect for you.
Showcased in the surroundings of a converted framing shop, the exhibit is spread across three small rooms. Despite this, the space feels very engaging, with moderate sized artworks which draw you into the close-knit community of the ‘lolcat’ spectacle. Plenty of natural lighting and overhead spotlights replicate the light-hearted nature of this gallery display. Laughter echoes through the exhibition, creating a whole different art-viewing experience. As opposed to feeling somewhat like a naughty, giggling school child hovering around a historic nude sculpture, here, you’re encouraged to snigger.
Rather than regurgitate the largely amateur works which already exist online, the group of over 40 artists contributing to this exhibition seek only to react to the craze with unique and professionally crafted works. Several mediums fill the white blank walls, ranging from photography, illustration, graphic design, paintings, video animation and screen print. In crafting their works, the artists have clearly researched their subject well, using familiar feline faces such as Sylvester the cat, lime cat and inbred (inbread) cat. Many pieces also incorporate the online community’s humorous ‘lolcat speak’, a language based on an approximation of how cats may sound if they spoke.
The oddity of these furry friends being classed as ‘art’ may not be as strange as you think. The artworks offer a natural reflection and progression of society’s current tastes and trends. Take the strikingly controversial “Murdoch Kitteh says SHHHH” watercolour piece by Lizzie Mary Cullen, depicting Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks in feline form. The pair involved in the notorious phone hacking scandal are brought together in a satirical manner. Brooks’ red hair is painted in humorous abundance whilst Murdoch looks down upon her through his oversized spectacles telling her to ‘SSHHHHH!!!!!’. The misspelling of the surrounding text ‘I found sumfinc secrut’ not only accompanies the ‘lolcat speak’ in other works but also hints at the potential stupidity of the duo for conducting such a crime. The faint watercolours also exemplify the transparency of the pair’s wrongdoing which is now displayed for all to see.
All artwork is available for purchase with 50% of proceeds kindly donated to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. You can pick up Victoria Koshowski’s silk scarf in a kitty meme collage for £130; other artworks range from Laura Som’s “Teh Kat Detektiv” £2 postcard to Manuel Archain’s ‘The smallest cat in the world’ £2100 original framed giclée print.
So can a feline internet sensation successfully translate into material suitable for an art gallery? With its charitable cause, sell out original artworks and hilarity factor, frankly who cares? If you love a cute moggy and you’re open to a completely different, comical art experience then look no further than ‘teh kittehz’ at this one-off exhibit.
Getting there: The Framers Gallery, 36 Windmill St. London W1T 2JT; nearest tube: Goodge Street. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 11am – 5pm until 15th February 2013. www.lolcattehexhibishun.com/. Free admission.
Published in the Daily Mirror on Thursday 6th September:
I also assisted with Amber’s Fashion Clinic page, collating ‘get the look’ items for the printed trouser celebrity trend. This turned out really well and I’m really enjoying the work experience I’m gaining at The Mirror!
If you’ve picked up a copy of More! this week then you’ve probably seen little ol’ me on the ‘How would you wear’ page.
The River PR girls put me forward for it, and I of course jumped at the chance.
The feature is all about five girls working in the fashion industry, styling up the same one item in their own individual way.
The shoot took place at SNAP studios on New North Road, all I had to do was bring my wardrobe of clothing and accessories to style up this River Island embellished vest:
This little number isn’t in stores yet so I was excited to see it and style it up in my own way. I put this mood board together and took it with me to give the More! junior stylist, Zoe Kozlik, an idea on how I wanted to look.
It was great to get my hair and make up done, I sooo wish I could re-create this look everyday!
After around two hours I was ready to go, dressed in a head to toe River Island look- embellished vest, black leather-look skater skirt, studded DMs, leopard rucksack and spike bracelet. My hair was big and bouncy and my make up minimal with a flick of eyeliner.
It felt strange posing in front of a photographer and at first I found it difficult to think of a new pose after every flash. However, I soon became more relaxed and the photographer was great in helping me change a foot or an arm to get the right shot.
It took just five minutes to whittle down one hundred photos into one final shot, and I was really happy with how it all turned out!
After this I was asked a few questions on my style and the look I had put together that day. I also chose a few images of items which matched the style of my outfit.
I was told the issue would be out the following Tuesday and here it is:
With love, Joanne x
Another published column for the Daily Mirror yay!