Monday, 26 September 2016

Sustainable Fashion

 We all know that fast fashion is big business and that manufacturers and retailers will do anything to cut corners during production to keep up with the demand for cheaper clothes - from the working conditions, to the use of child labour, they will do whatever they can to cut costs. But it's not just the workers that are paying for our need of cheap clothes, the planet is suffering too. After the oil industry, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet.

But we've known this for a long time, so what can we do to change this?

When we go to the shop and purchase those bargin pair of £5 jeans, we are telling the retailer that that is what we want. It shows them that we want cheap clothes and we don't particularly care where they have come from and who has made them. When it comes to buying clothes, we tend to not think about the process in which it's made and more of how well it's going to look on us.

Instead, what we should start to do is invest. Invest in more sustainable key pieces, such as jeans and t-shirts, items you know you will wear over and over again. If we create the demand for it, retailers have no other option than to listen to us. Which is exactly what Zara has done.

Last week saw high street retailer, Zara launch their sustainable collection proving that our desire for ethical fashion has an impact on the industry. Along with Topshop and H&M, our favourite high street brands are stepping up their game and changing their supply chain methods and environmental standards.

 We might not realise it, but as consumers we do hold a lot of power of retailers and if we all get behind this demand for a change for more sustainable clothing we could see a real change.

Decline in the UK Fashion Market

According to retail analysts it would appear that buying clothes is no longer the fashionable thing to do and it's having a major effect on the UK fashion market.

"Consumers are switching their spending away from apparel to an extent we have never seen before," said Geoff Ruddell, a retail analyst at Morgan Stanley. Profits have plummeted at some of the biggest retailers, including Marks and Spencer and John Lewis, as the number of clothes sold has dropped by an average 4 per cent in five of the past six months.

But the thing that retailers can't seem to figure out is the reason why?

One factor could be the ever changing British weather. This year we have seen one of the hottest September's on record, with temperatures reaching a scorching 31 degrees. As the weather becomes less precticable people are waiting until a longer colder/warmer period until they purchase their next item of clothing. "Ten years ago you might have been buying your winter clothes now," said Glen Tooke of Kantar Worldpanel, but as more and more people flock to London's fields and parks to bask in the sunlight, no one is going to be buying their winter coat any time soon.

Another reason as to why we're no longer hitting the high street is a change in consumer spending, especially for Millennials. We're no longer prepared to purchase clothing at full price. We want discounts, and we want them now. You know that eventually retailers will cave sooner rather than later, and reduce that item you've been eyeing up for some time now. There's always a sale on some place or other, and people would rather go buy a cheaper alternative than the real thing.

Another theory is that there has been a shift from buying clothes to eating out more and going on more holidays. Food seems to be the new fashion. More and more innovative and inspiring restaurants are opening up throughout the country and people want to explore the latest food concepts.

 Maybe the high street has just become too overwhelming recently and we just want a little breather. Time will only tell if we see a rise or another decline, but guarnateed by Christmas, we'll be back at it.

Model of the Moment

Makers House

When we heard that Burberry would be showcasing their latest AW16 collection to the public we couldn't quite believe it and just had to see it to believe it. Located at Makers House in Soho, Christopher Bailey has transformed the once Foyle's bookstore into a cafe, showroom and events space to celebrate the launch of the collection.

The collection itself is heavily inspired by Virginia Woolf's novel, Orlando, a text in which the gender changes halfway through. The other main inspiration is the work of Nancy Lancaster, an interior designer best known for restoring stately home, Ditchley Park in the 1930's and for running deocrating firm Colefax and Fowler. The collection itself is made up of unisex pieces and references Lancaster's love of floral patterns and rich colours.

 Makers House itself is also inspired and designed by the decorators work; the building's courtyard is filled with a range of sculptures and a mural resembling Ditchley Park. Inside, a grand staircase takes up most of the ground floor and is covered in a green patterned carpet, which design is based on a ceiling tile which Lancaster had decorated.

 Open for a week, Burberry partnered with The New Craftsmen, where each day a different group of makers showcases their talent. From sculpting and silk-screen printing to calligraphy and theatrical readings, the open activities allows the public to see the inspiration behind the collection as well as celebrating British craft.

Throughout the house, you are also given access to how a collection is made, from the initial inspiration to the final pieces. Downstairs there is an entire room made up of fabric swatches, imagery of Lancaster's work, stills from the film adaptation of Woolf's Orlando along with original sketches by Bailey. As you move upstairs to a dusty pink room, this is where the collection is kept and what a collection.

 Open for until Tuesday 27th, the event marks the first time the fashion house has released it's collection for purchase during Fashion Week. What's good about the installation is that the pieces are open to the public. The collection isn't confined to their flagship store or other luxury boutiques that many would feel too intimated to enter. Always ahead of the game, and up for innovation, Burberry has done it once again with Makers House. 

Worth a visit!




Friday, 23 September 2016



Ever wondered if you could be a fit model? All you have to be is in proportion and between sizes 4-24. If you think you have what it takes, send us your shots and measurements to find out..

Top Fashion Documentaries

When most people hear the word documentary, they automatically think back to their school days, sat in History class trying not to fall asleep whilst watching a documentary on 1930's Britain. Documentaries are meant to be entertaining and educational and worth a watch, and contrary to popular belief, fashion documentaries are just that. 

They don't just show you all the 'pretty clothes' and the glitz and glamour, as many people assume. They allow you to get to know the designers and their brands that they like to keep oh so private. The documentaries themselves offer a more in-depth look at the people and the industry they work in, unlike having a short interview which doesn't let you get a feel of what the deisgners and the industry is truly like.

From haute couture and high fashion magazines to street style and subcultures, there's a docmentary for everyone. With the recent BBC2 series following British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman and the Centenary issue of Vogue, we got the buzz and decided to list some of our favourite fashion films...

 When Raf Simons took up the role of artistic director at Dior in 2012, he only had a mere eight weeks to create his first Haute Couture collection - a task that normally takes six months. A film by Frédéric Tcheng, the director behind Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel documents every aspect of the fashion house from the introduction of Simons to the brand, to the creation of the collection and a behind-the-scenes look into the Dior atelier where Simons' vision came to a reality.

Vera Wang, Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg are just a few of the many big fashion names that make an appearance at the iconic Fifth Avenue emporium that is Bergdorf Goodman's. From the production behind the stunning Christmas window displays to following the fashion office and the legendary Linda Fargo, you're given an access all areas look into how the store operates. This truly is the ultimate fashion fantasy.

Bill Cunningham, the original street style photographer stars in this feature-length documentary where you get to embark on a day in the life of the legendary photographer. The film follows Cunningham round New York City in his infamous blue janitor's jacket whilst patrolling the streets to find the best dressed. If you had style, he would discreetly pounce and snap a photo and if lucky enough you would be featured on his weekly street style round-up in the New York Times style section. Cunningham keeps to himself, not revealing much about his personal life but it's his humblesness and passion for the job that is magic to watch.

The documentary that started it all... The September Issue. For anyone that has a love for fashion, at one point, it's their dream to be working at Vogue. Filmmaker, Cutler goes behind the scenes at the fashion bible and a real-life look at Anna Wintour and the power she has over the industry whilst seeing what it takes to produce the Septeber 2007 issue. At that time, it would be the magazines biggest with 840 pages.




Model of the Moment


This weeks Fittings Division, 'Model of the Moment' is the beautiful... Claire

Keep a look out for what she gets up to during the week both on here and our Insta @fittingsdivision

Take a look at her online portfolio here