Sunday, March 15, 2009

Carin Wester for the Summer

A graduate of Beckhams College of design in Stockholm, Carin Wester launched her label in 2003. She was awarded “Newcomer Designer of the year” in 2005 by Swedish Elle magazine. Her collection has gone from strength to strength over the past few seasons and the mens collection is now well incorporated into the label.I first saw one of her lace pieces in Jalouse magazine and I have checked up on the label ever since. It was her AW/08 nautical series that I really fell head over heels for when I viewed the collection at Rendez Vous.I am the proud owner of the Ismeralda black dress and the Iris jersey dress.I will post a photo of one of these at the end of the post.The mens collection is not for the faint hearted man, it takes a brave young man to carry off pink pants but kudos all round if you can! The suiting is exceptional, I love the fact that is understated and a little sloppy, but still manages to be sophisticated in its own non-chalant way.

Weekday store in Sweden began a new project recently called Weekday Extended, whereby they hand -pick a Swedish designer to specially design a limited edition collection. Carin Wester was one of the selected and CW by Carin Wester turned out to be a fun mini collection. I would like to get my hands on the black jersey corset dress, a comfy corset, how is that possible?

My Ismeralda dress.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Secret d'Amour par Jean Darles and Marilene are two beautiful french love stories from the forties.I found the poor things all covered in dust at a cranky mans market stall in Paris. If only it was possible to produce romance novels today that would span thirty pages, cost pennies, and which still managed to include elegant illustrations.My mission is to read one of these stories d'amour.Un jour.........

Friday, March 13, 2009

Changing Faces: Cindy Sherman

American photographer Cindy Sherman is quite frankly a creative genius. She is all in all a one woman show. She takes complete self-portraits, everything from the special effects make-up, lighting, and styling, is all done solely by Sherman. I was so excited the first time I discovered her work. I accidentally visited her exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, and a few years later in 2006, I stumbled upon her retrospective in the Jeu de Paume Gallery, Paris. She has crept in and out of both fashion and film worlds as she pleases; she has art directed a monograph ad for Marc Jacobs shot by Juergen Teller, self styled a photo shoot for French Vogue in 2007, and directed the film Office Killer.Her subject range is vastly diverse and ranges from a clown, a president, a prostitute and Sophia Loren.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Goya for Gold

Normally, I'm not a great fan of acidic colours like orange and yellows, however Danish designer Stine Goya has changed my one colour vision after seeing her luminous SS/09 collection. I might just venture away from my signature black. Thankfully she re-introduced gold this season in the form of trousers and accessories, perhaps this was down to the success of that memorable gold dress , a prominent piece from last season. The down tempo prints of polka dot and colour blocking dilute the strong citrus tones perfectly, altogether the collection exudes a wearability that one wouldn't expect from such a design dominant collection. The collection is available from Dublin store Indigo and Cloth or online from the v-store in Denmark.


(c)Sacha Maric

Backstage Balenciaga 1989

A stylist friend of mine gave me this. I'm not sure where she picked it up, but I think I will frame it, it's such a quirky image, and probably the only vintage make-up poster I have come across. The makeup definitely has an eighties vibe!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tactile Textiles

The interview in my previous post was based on Diana's AW08 collection which is still available to buy online on with a 40% discount! The SS09 collection is just as beautiful and delicate as former collections, I viewed it during PFW in the Swedish showroom 0046. The prints in her current collection are inspired by her working environment and her choice of fabrics come in a selection of diaphanous silk chiffons and soft summer jerseys.

Diana Orving created the most enthralling textile exhibition at the Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm, a collection of the most exquisite fabrics hang in the lobby of the hotel and decorate selected rooms. Her draping techniques are simply genius.


Diana Orving:The Drape Expert

(1) When did you decide to pursue fashion design?
Actually, I never did. It just happened. My ambition was to become a dancer or choreographer . The fashion design was only an interest. I started to sell handmade one-offs to small boutiques in Stockholm, when I was 15 years old. Then I hurt my knees and I realised I wouldn’t be able to work with dance. I created more and more clothes and got really good responses from stylists and media. I guess I got more and more interested in what I created and also found ways of integrating my influences from literature, dance and art into my work. Two years ago I decided to take it more serious and started with production. I started to work with agents in Japan, USA and Canada, so it feels really exciting that my clothes are now being sold outside Sweden. Swedes have a great sense for fashion, but the market is too small for good quality avant- garde brands.

(2) How does living in Sweden effect your work?
I think Sweden is quite calm and sometimes a boring place. Being bored is sometimes really good for your creativity. At the moment I really love Stockholm and I am not bored at all. I work in a wonderful studio in central Stockholm, which I share with 40 other artists, writers, photographers and designers. I get really inspired by all those creative and talented people. There are vernissage parties, book launches and clubbing almost every night, so you need to be really disciplined to keep focused on your work!…But I work constantly and love it.

(3) Draping appears to be a recurrent theme throughout your SS 08 collection, where does this design technique originate?
I have no formal education, so I didn’t learn any of the rules when I started creating clothes, I developed my own techniques. The method of creating directly on living bodies rather than on paper is essential for me. I always get inspired by bodies and their movements. I think that in some kind of a way that I make clothes that encourage movement, every piece should ask for altering. Often when using the draping technique the result can never be directly cut out or even closely foreseen. Instead it’s a paradoxical process of constantly improvising and following the fabrics own characteristics.

(4) Is there a story behind the beautiful print that you used in the SS/08 collection?
The print visualise my process that I explained in the previous question. When I start a new shape I work with fabric and drape it on a mannequin, on a friend, or on myself. The prints are photos of some of my draping experiments. I like the way people first think the print is a big flower, then, they look closer and realise it is something else…..

(5) Mannequin Neutral and The Seven Person Costume are your two previous art installations, do you plan to create more in the future?
Yes, definitely. During the process of my AW/08 collection I worked with actresses from the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre. I organised workshops where we talked, wrote, and improvised. Instead of having an ordinary fashion show they showed the collection on stage. I draw inspiration from personal stories, expressed in the way that all people stage their personal persona whether they have formulated an interest in fashion or not. Fashion is interesting because everyone can relate to it. Fashion is about dreams and shortcomings.

(6) Who is your favorite designer/artist?
My favorite artists are Sophie Calle and Louise Bourgeouise. I love their work!

Interview by Ciara O Donovan (Style-Sphere)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Catwalk Chic

I received this quirkey little card from my friends lately and I couldn't quite get those stylish kitties out of my head. Of course, the phenomenon is the brainchild of a Japanese artist called Satoru Tsuda who became inspired after rescuing four kittens from the streets. He figured that the kittens could represent the similar social interactions that occur between humans and thus the 'Nameneko' cat was born. Nameneko by the way, stands for "don't bullshit me". The shoots were constructed exactly the same as a real life photo shoot, all the sets are handmade, and everything down to the lights is one sixth of its original size. Ad poster campaigns follwed with the Nameneko cats being used in political campaigns, Coca Cola ads, and even the Police force. The kittens modelling life is short and they usually retire before growing into an adult cat which isn't unlike the current fashion model industry...

Boots for all seasons

Minimarket has created yet another fantastic pair of boots, the swedish sister trio have come up trumps again this season with their SS/09 edition of last winters success. I bought my pair from Swedish online store and wore them through the whole winter until I bought my new favorite AF Vandervorst ankle boots (that is another story). But back to the Minimarket boots, they have created ones with zips up the back instead of laces and they come in a choice of black, blue, or green. I can't love these boots enough, they survived trudging through Paris fashion week last season and attracted many long gazes as well as questions, from the adoring fashion crowd. One sales agent from London label Ashish even bought the last pair from tresbienshop after spotting them on me. So get in fast and buy yourself a pair of those summer booties.

And below me wearing my minimarket booties with a Camilla Staerk dress.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Forever til death do us part...

The fashion economists are trying to promote the new it bag otherwise known as the forever bag because well, with a price tag of €1000 upwards it should last you for the rest of your fashionable life. There is no point it seems in spending the odd €50 on a handbag in Topshop, or a few hundred on a decent one from All Saints, because in the end it all adds up. So instead, the advice is to fork out on the classic bag of your dreams, be it the latest chanel reissued edition, or a slouchy Miu Miu bucket bag, the choice to splurge your savings on a possible long term purchase is yours. I got my hands on a navy Chanel bag from the 1980's, it has a really unusual corner pocket which I haven't seen around that much. However, I didn't quite splash my savings on the bag, I offered to babysit a friends kids for free in exchange for her Chanel bag!