Monday, 5 July 2010

Visual References Post, Continued...

So, here are three more for my top ten selection of my biggest visual references for style. Above is quite a tragic photo of me in preparation for Avatar Night (I get the feeling an acting career is not in the pipeline!) - see point number 5 for more information.

4. Street style photography - I know it's an obvious one, but there's a lot to be gained from looking at how other people dress, and these bloggers definitely know their stuff. As a result of becoming addicted to their sites, I am the proud owner of the spin-off coffee table reads from The Sartorialist (Scott Schuman) and Facehunter (Yvan Rodic). The images are varied in location and style; we do not always see polished people, or young people, or conventionally well-dressed people. They are not models and they possess a certain innocence because of this. I love looking at how people dress around the world, especially as I do not have the disposable income to find this out first-hand, so the blogs are my guide to the cut of clothing and the mixing of colours. Other sites I'd recommend are (for a more fashion industry directed approach - people are spotted outside the catwalk shows and you can compare their poses to those of the non-modelling blogs) and

5. Fancy dress outfits - I love dressing up in costumes because of the freedom it gives you to express your creativity, but I also pick up ideas for my everyday wardrobe. It's the little touches, like a vampire's black cape lined with scarlet, that can give me the inspiration for making a cropped cape or wrap with that very same lining. Making a costume to be a detective during a GCSE Drama exam many years ago, I realised that borrowing my dad's stone mac looked very cool, due to its large size hanging off the rest of my ensemble. More recently, finding a costume for an Avatar-themed night meant that I gathered up different shades of teal, blue and turquoise and combined them closely together, which I wouldn't have otherwise thought of. In fact, a lot of fancy dress involves playing around with proportion, shades and fabrics, and it's a great starting point for rethinking the way that you dress.

6. AllSaints - if there is one single shop that has influenced me, it is this one. I was already fascinated with skulls and corporeality - my artwork often focuses around this, and I have written countless essays on the subject for university - but often in fashion they can seem too tongue-in-cheek and cartoon-based. The AllSaints designers celebrate the skeleton in a more mature way, creating intricately drawn graphic t-shirts as perhaps their most famous product. Their recent collaboration with the artist Laurie Lipton futher emphasised this, putting the skeleton in various situations such as family portraits or dancehalls, with brilliant results. Aside from this, another point of reference is the way that AllSaints flatters the body of the wearer in their clothes; fabric is draped and pulled expertly, making you think differently about your silhouette and body shape. Their clothing can suit curvy or slender people, and always works to a simple pallette of basic colours, meaning that each piece is easily incorporated into your current wardrobe. I think this is what fashion is really about - finding key pieces that set off everything else you own, giving structure and a focal point. I spend a lot of time looking at the shape of clothes on their website and the pairing of items, because this is a company that clearly knows what it's doing and celebrates the body.

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