Vivid Lines

Today sees the second issue of Exalt magazine hit newsstands, featuring a shoot I styled way back when the sun was still shining (it appears to be the fortnight all my July shoots are published).  I have been (impatiently) waiting for this 8 page shoot to come out for some time as I loved the concept and was very excited about seeing the final result.  Here are a few of my favourite published shots.

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All images photographed by Rossella Vanon for Exalt magazine – Issue 2

Shot by the talented photographer Rossella Vanon, the inspiration was volume with strong graphic lines.  In order to focus on the silhouette of the garments, the story was shot in black and white and features AW13 designs by the likes of Jean-Pierre Braganza, Georgia Hardinge, Sorapol, Ashley Isham and Malgorzata Dudek.  The stunning jewellery was a mixture of Sarah Angold Studio, Bjorg jewellery and Julia Clancey.  Despite a rather manic few days of prep – which saw me travelling the length and breadth of London – the shoot day itself went brilliantly.  Unique hair by Yoshifumi Masuda and stunning make-up by Beth Alderson ensured the final looks were supremely strong.  Furthermore, our gorgeous model Stephanie from Storm was amazing, and really worked those poses despite the overbearing heat in the studio.  Below are some behind-the-scenes shots.  I hope you like…

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Amazing architectural jewellery by Sarah Angold Studio

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Yoshifumi preparing the wigs

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The lovely model Steph

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The shoot begins with paint splattered trousers by A La Disposition

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Photographer Rossella takes to the floor to shoot look 2 (Jean-Pierre Braganza skirt, I.D. Sarrieri bra and Julia Clancey necklace)

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The dress I nicknamed ‘The jellyfish’ by Malgorzata Dudek

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A stunning embroidered lace coatdress by Sorapol

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A quick hair change – this time a triple bun

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Steph strikes a pose in a Maryling coat and Emmanuel Katsaros glasses

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One of my favourite looks (dresscoat by Georgia Hardinge, ear cuff by Bjorg jewellery, bodysuit by Dans la Vie)

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An extra look that wasn’t published made 9 in total. Phew! (Jumpsuit by Jean-Pierre Braganza, leather harness stylists own, glasses by Bjorg Jewellery)

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A behind-the-scenes feature from the mag

Credits for main images as seen in Exalt Magazine http://www.exalt-magazine.com/blog/:

Photography, creative direction & retouching: Rossella Vanon

Styling and fashion direction: Alicja Jasnikowska

Hair: Yoshifumi Masuda

Make-up: Beth Alderson at Carol Hayes

Model: Stephanie Rad at Storm

Photographer’s Assistant: Drew Morgan

Brighten up your home

As you may or may not know I am a tad obsessed with bold prints, and my current pattern-of-choice is waxed African fabrics (as mentioned in my previous post https://stylitz.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/a-riot-of-colour/).  Following last month’s medley of international fashion shows it appears there is no abating the current trend for bold prints, with the SS14 shows illuminating the catwalk with a plethora of vivid colours.  Today’s post however is of a more homely nature, with a focus on interiors rather than attire.

Last month I styled a streetstyle campaign for Gap and was delighted to meet a number of creative and inspiring people who were used in the ads.  Each were selected for their own personal style and coaxed into Gap jeans in a ‘How do you wear yours?’ type shoot.  One such person was the lovely Yinka Ilori, a talented furniture up-cycler who customises old chairs and tables using stunning African fabrics.  A graduate from London Metropolitan University, Yinka hails from North London yet his use of colour and quirky twists on furniture are definitely inspired by warmer climes.

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Some of his delightful customised pieces

Yinka exhibits at shows both in London and internationally, including the prestigious Milan Design Week. A solo exhibition of his work can currently be seen at The Old Shoreditch Station on Kingsland Road, in collaboration with Look, Like, Love.  Entitled ‘It Started with a Parable’ he uses stories from his childhood and traditional Nigerian parables as an influence for his designs.  He also holds regular workshops for Jaguar Shoes Collaboration teaching others how to breathe new life into old unloved furniture.

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Yinka inspiring others to up-cycle

Working to order from his East London studio Yinka is available for commissions, so why not be brave this autumn and bring some colour to your home with one of his unique stools or tables.  Guaranteed not to be available in Ikea.

‘It started with a Parable’ runs from 13th September – 24th November at The Old Shoreditch Station, 1 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA. www.oldshoreditch.com; www.looklikelove.co.uk; www.jaguarshoes.com  

Check out Yinka’s work and more at www.yinkailori.com

These boots are made for walkin’…

If you check out this month’s Glamour magazine you may spot an advertorial for Timberland that I styled way back in July.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that the shoot was also due to be used in Schuh stores to promote the Timberland brand, including a prominent display in the main shop window on Oxford Street – so exciting!  Attached are some images from the shoot, both as they appear in Glamour and in-store, and also some cheeky behind-the-scenes shots showing how we turned a gloriously sunny summer’s day into typical British autumn.

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The shoot as it appears in this month’s Glamour magazine (as shot by William Garrett)

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Schuh store window on Oxford Street

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Supersized images in store, accompanied by Timberland boots and a rather snazzy scooter

Shot in Camden market and the surrounding London streets, this was a really fun day.  Everyone on the team was fantastic and we had a giggle trying to recreate rain using a pair of 99p store watering cans.  It certainly attracted attention…

Waiting for the rain

Getting the models wet

Recreating rain on the aptly named Water Lane (who’d have thought we’d have to fake rain in London?!)

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Rain anyone

The photographer’s assistant was given the unenviable task of water boy

The guys get ready for their close-up

Models Natalie and Tom try to look nonchalant as they hang out in the market

All in all it was a fun days work and as you can see by the number of shots, it was also a productive one.  Furthermore, with this season’s trend for chunky boots it’s never been a better time in invest in a pair of Timberlands (and that goes for you too girls).  Pick up a pair of these durable, waterproof classics and you’ll be stomping your way through autumn.

Timberland 6inch premium £160

Timberland 6 inch premium ladies boot, £160 – team with skinnies and a feminine blouse to balance the masculine boot

Timberland Trenton Tall Waterproof Boot £175

Timberland Trenton Tall Waterproof boot, £175 – team with over-the-knee socks and a belted cable-knit dress for a cosy Sunday look

As seen in November’s Glamour magazine www.glamourmagazine.co.uk Available from www.schuh.co.uk and www.timberlandonline.co.uk

Main campaign images shot by William Garrett for Glamour magazine

Best of British

Today sees the launch of Marks and Spencer’s hotly anticipated and much lauded Best of British range.  Available online and in select UK stores, the collection combines heritage and modern styling with a focus on strong tailoring and premium fabrics.  And the best thing about it is that it’s all made in the UK.  Whether it be tweed tailoring from Yorkshire, cashmere knitwear from Hawick in Scotland or leather brogues from Northamptonshire, this British institution is returning to its roots and championing manufacturers from our own soil.

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Made in Britain – a map of UK manufacturers

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Inspiration and illustrations at yesterday’s press launch

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Best of British Womenswear AW13

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Best of British leather and cashmere accessories AW13

Best of British womenswear comprises of a 34 piece collection featuring quality classics with a fashion twist. This gorgeous pale pink Alpaca wool coat is a must-have for this season and will provide an instant AW13 wardrobe update. I love it!  If your taste is more refined, then opt for an androgynous tailored trouser suit in pure wool tweed. Contrast piping and sleek trims add a quirky touch to the refined structured silhouettes.

Stylitz-M&S Best of British 4Alpaca wool coat, £299

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Best of British AW13 campaign shots

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Wool blend check coat, £299

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Pure merino wool jacket, £99, trousers, £129, jumper, £99, leather brogues, £165

The menswear collection is modelled by Oliver Cheshire – boyfriend of pop princess Pixie Lott – whose cheekbones could cut glass. With inspiration taken from the store’s archive in Leeds, standout pieces include the gorgeous double-breasted tweed coat, and the tweed and leather sports jacket with natty buckle detailing. Suits are individually cut by hand from heavy flannel or Donegal tweed and button holes and linings are hand stitched for a superior finish.

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Tweed coat, £599

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Tweed and leather sports jacket, £299

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Leather tote bag, £249

There was a time that most clothing sold in this country was produced in the UK, and that wasn’t limited to one-off designer pieces. With one of our oldest high-street stores championing British mills and manufacturing once again, let’s hope this sees a growth in return to UK production. We know the prices won’t be as competitive as mass-produced goods in India – pieces from the Best of British collection are a long-term investment rather than an impulse purchase – but you can be assured that working conditions are safe, quality is high and the carbon footprint of your garment is low. I’d say that’s a fair price to pay for a well cut suit.

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The collection in-store at Marks and Spencer Marble Arch, London

Best of British launches online and in 5 key stores today. Prices range from £25 for a belt to £799 for a suit. Shop online at http://www.marksandspencer.com

Makeover mayhem with Gok in Poland

Last weekend I had the pleasure of flying to Poland for work.  Not only was this a treat in itself – being of Polish heritage, a trip to Eastern Europe feels like a return to the mother ship – but I also happened to be working with the gorgeous and hilarious Gok Wan.  He had been flown in to host an event in a shopping mall called Karolinka in a town called Opole in SW Poland.  As well as doing interviews, signing autographs and talking about this seasons trends – in English of course, although his grasp of the phrases dziekuje (thank-you), dzien dobry (good morning) and na zdrowie (cheers) was mighty fine – he also had to complete makeovers on three very happy and slightly star-struck ladies.  All in one day!

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Gok onstage at Karlinka shopping mall in Opole, Poland

My job was to assist Gok with the styling of the makeovers, and being able to speak the language, I liaised with the girls beforehand about their body issues, favourite features and areas to cover.  I also did a recce of the shops, bringing together a selection of garments and accessories for Gok to choose from.  On greeting the ladies himself, Gok had several strong ideas about the looks and spent the first 10 minutes running around H&M (I kid you not, the cameraman literally couldn’t keep up) choosing a selection of silky blouses and slim-leg trousers to create the dream outfit for our first lady Magda.  Channelling Mollie from The Saturdays, he proceeded to transform the 33 year old mother-of-one into a full on glamazon, directing both hair and make-up and pulling together a chic look in an impressively speedy fitting. Here are the results, including both before and after shots.  As you can see she looks stunning – her slim legs are accentuated and her post-baby tummy and larger boobs are streamlined.

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Magda after

Magda onstage

Magda working the catwalk

Lady number two was the lovely Maria – a huge fan of Gok’s.  In her mid forties, with a classic pear shape, Maria was looking for a stylish weekend outfit.  She absolutely adored her fitted shift dress with tan boots and matching bag – a medley of soft neutral tones that suited her new warm hair colour.

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After - Maria

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Maria after

Maria onstage

Maria hitting the catwalk

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And onstage with Gok and her family

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Leather accessories in classic tan from Kazar completed the look

The final makeover was the most dramatic… 17 year old Patrycja was perhaps one of the shyest girls I have ever met.  When I first saw her she was hiding behind an oversized hoodie, a long fringe, heavy glasses and boyish trainers.  Her decision to enter the competition was prompted by the fact that in stores she was often mistaken for a boy and directed to the male clothing section.  She also had overwhelming body issues.  Yet below those baggy tops hid a steely character and a teeny tiny waist.  Without wanting to compromise who she was (she had never owned heels, never had a bra fitting and, I believe, never worn make-up) we opted for a rock-chick look that played on androgyny, whilst also adding a more feminine softer touch.  With the subsequent dramatic hair cut and colour – again directed by Gok and inspired by another member of The Saturdays, this time Frankie – and some beautiful soft smudgy make-up, Patrycja was barely recognisable.

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Patrycja before

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Patrycja after

Patrycja on stage

Patrycja nervously takes to the catwalk (after relentlessly rehearsing walking in heels backstage)

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On stage with her family & Gok

Whilst prepping for the makeovers I snapped lots of great bits in the stores at Karolinka.  Despite being quite a compact shopping mall, there were some fantastic items – the handbags and shoes were particularly strong.  Here is a small selection that caught my eye.

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I love this patterned sweater from Springfield (team with a leather pencil skirt or shorts and heels for a sports luxe look)

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Stripy monochrome blouse (great for the office) from Quiosque

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Tweed Chanel inspired jackets from Camaieu

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Playful colourful socks from Springfield

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Killer stilettos in primary tones from Kazar

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Bold ankle boots from Venezia

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A classic two-tone brogue from Venezia

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On trend this season – Chunky tractor soled ankle boots from CCC

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A selection of autumnal accessories from Orsay

I also made sure to find time to indulge in some placki with smietana (potato cakes with sour cream), pierogi (Polish dumplings – Gok’s ‘new favourite food’) and piwo (Polish beer).  A final shout out has to go to the lovely boys at Qlture events in Poland, who organised the whole thing and made sure we were welcomed and well looked after.  They did a fantastic job.  Polska – do widzenia. Fingers crossed we’ll visit again soon…

All items featured can be found at Karolinka mall in Opole, Poland – http://ch-karolinka.pl/ And here’s a little behind-the-scenes video made by TVN Style in Poland including an interview with me (be warned, it’s all in Polish).

http://dziendobry.tvn.pl/wideo%2c2064%2cn/gok-wan-stylizuje-polki%2c101577.html

Main holding picture: Leather bags and gloves from VIP Collection