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TO BE HONEST

Outspoken never looked so good. to be honest.


Be brave enough Cover image: Tyler Shields; Inside cover image: Kate’s Creative Space


Collages: Original Stephanie King artwork

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to be honest.


EDITOR’S LETTER To be honest: a phrase often used, but a phrase seldom comprehended. It’s a beloved word trio, yet it’s also one not entirely appreciated. A bit of a paradox? Yeah. I think so, too. But that’s to be expected when its definition is now a muddied version of the original meaning.

Within this issue there’s a balanced diet of fashion and features for you to tuck into. Some of the meatier delights are within the suitably titled No Nonsense section, and include a dash of social commentary, like that found within ‘The Edit’. Off the Record is dedicated to candid interviews with characters who possess an interesting take on the world, where Substance & Style — you guessed it — is all about fashion. Whether it’s profiles of some pretty special women making waves in fashion à la ‘In Her Choos’, or a look into one of the UK’s most irreverent contemporary labels, SIBLING, you can expect to find it there. Embellished Reality is exactly as it sounds: this chapter houses pieces on life and fashion, be they augmented or adorned. Finally, to bookend TBH, Have You Ever… and Tell it to Them Straight are your metaphorical palate cleansers. Being #tbh requires a scary amount of vulnerability. This magazine, this unofficial ode to outspoken women, is supposed to inspire you to keep challenging yourself to say what you mean and mean what you say. So let’s get real, let’s get raw. Let’s be brave enough to be honest. Steph King Editor-in-Chief @FranklySPKing

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Be brave enough

Card image: Stephanie King

The now clouded ‘to be honest’ is more of a filler phrase than the baring of oneself and one’s opinion, to which it used to refer. TBH has become a crutch within our daily diction. That is precisely why, in a bid to restore its original meaning, I am literally spelling it out. The humble acrostic poem to the right is there to capture the very essence of ‘honest’; a term for which there are so many facets.


CONTENTS H O

Have You Ever... ...Lived a Day Like it was Your Last? ...Wondered What the Eff

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Off the Record

With Maria Francesca Pepe

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No Nonsense

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The Edit Caution: Urban Luxe Present

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Embellished Reality

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to be honest.

The Changing Filter of Fashion Kawaii Kulture Permanent Accessory

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Substance & Style In Her Choos Prêt-à-Proverb SIBLING Revelry

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Tell it to Them Straight

Post One Night Stand Action Plan An Open Letter to Your Future Self

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Be brave enough Image: Stephanie King


H Have You Ever...

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HAVE YOU EVER...

...Lived a Day

Like it was Your Last? Forget YOLO; go old school and carpe that diem. All you need are the three essential Fs: family, friends, and a ‘fuck it’ mentality.

Have you? Have you ever lived like it was your last day on Earth? Strange, you might think, to start a new issue with a conclusion. But that’s like life, isn’t it? Things begin once something else has ended. It’s a crummy inevitability, and one that’s inspired this article. It’s not meant to be morbid, far from it. What it is meant to be, is an anti-complacency handbook; a cheeky manual banishing boring.

Too often we fall into a routine, get too comfortable, where it usually takes something horrible to compel us to not fritter away our minuscule amount of time here. That stops now. I asked myself and several case studies if there were no more tomorrows, what would you do today? Turns out it’s a thing called No Fear, and I dared myself to have it for 24 hours. Below are the (timepermitting) To Do’s I gleaned from our bucket lists. There was hedonism, there was exposure, and yes, oh, yes, there was fun. If nothing else, here’s to warding away the ‘what ifs’ from now on. 1. Get growing, I mean, going at New Covent Garden Flower Market. Colour your morning with the widest range of blooms on offer at the premier supplier to London florists.

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2. Be selfless. Leave a cheque for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Give to the organisation helping animals that can’t speak for themselves and let your money do the talking. 3. Go skinny dipping at Kenwoood Ladies’ Pond, Hampstead Heath. Bonus points for jumping in fully clothed.

4. Stuff your face at The Modern Pantry. Opt for a mixed berry and mint smoothie, and two poached eggs and toast with pan

Be brave enough


HAVE YOU EVER... fried haloumi, spinach, slow-roast vine ripened tomatoes. Get in.

5. Be a movie star and re-enact scenes from iconic films set in London. Romcoms don’t get better than those by Richard Curtris, so go to : - South Bank Centre to relive when Four Weddings and a Funeral’s awkwardly endearing Charles (Hugh Grant) professed his love for Carrie (Andie McDowall); - Borough Market where perpetual singleton Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) resided above The Globe pub in Bridget Jones’s Diary;

London’s answer to New York’s Russian Tea Room. Do not pass up their 30g Petrossian Alverta sturgeon caviar or ‘Humble pie’ with wild mushrooms, Pecorino, leek, black truffle, pearl barley and champagne. What’s not to love about restaurant logo embossed pastry?

- 280 Westbourne Park Road to snap the famed blue door featured in Notting Hill. *Expert challenge: Do a William (Hugh Grant) and Anna (Julia Roberts) by jumping t h e f e n c e t o t h e ultra private Rosmead Gardens, W11.

8. Get on yer bike. Hop on a Boris bike and say your farewells to the quintessentially London Hyde Park hot-spots of the Rose Garden, the Peter Pan statue and the Serpentine lake.

6. Get tatted at Ami James’s Love Hate Social Club, 5 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill. Because, well, why not? It won’t matter tomorrow! 7. Refuel at Bob Bob Ricard, Soho. Channel your inner Ruski and dine in

- 27 St Luke’s Mews, the charming Notting Hill location where Love Actually’s Mark (Andrew Lincoln) declares his love via cue cards to Juliet (Keira Knightley);

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9. Treat yo’self at The Berkeley London. Enjoy not just any ol’ afternoon tea, take them up on their Champagne Prêt-àPortea, which is inspired by pieces from the recent runway collections. Hello, haute cuisine! 9


10. Get inappropriately drunk off Nam Long’s Flaming Ferrari. The Wolf of Wall Street will have nothing on you once you down an ignited cocktail of 100% proof rum, Grand Marnier and green Chartreuse at the South Kensington Vietnamese restaurant. 11. Have an early Last Supper at The Ritz. Have a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) moment and revel in the splendour of the historic hotel, surrounded by your

family and friends. Permission granted to be as soppy and sentimental as possible. 12. Get dirty at Naked Painting Party. Let it all hang out at the event hosted by Shoreditch’s Trapeze nightclub. Embrace your body as a canvas for a neon splashed masterpiece. 10

16. Make Marie Antoinette proud by dressing up in an outfit worthy of her court. Take a limo from your Shoreditch House changeroom to the next location. Don’t forget to be as tacky as possible and stand up through the roof window to soak up your very last sights of . . London.

13. Get clean at Shoreditch House. Use the sumptuous rooms of E1’s exclusive Shoreditch House as glorified showers. Make like a celebrity and do a swift costume change. You’ll need to wear clothes at the next spot on the list. *Sigh*.

17. Check-in to Final Resting Place*, AKA The Connaught London’s Apartment. After casually walking the hotel’s surrounding streets in your Georgian regalia, select your ideal deathbed from The Apartment’s two bedrooms and nestle into its sheets. Abuse your 24hour butler pantry service while guzzling Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque. Die drunk from sublime joy and the knowledge that no day could, or would, ever be better.

14. Be a cocktail snob at The Dolls House. Beeline to the cool Hoxton Square venue and indulge in their whimsically titled concoctions. 15. Snog a stranger in Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. A final send-off demands equal parts sophistication and sluttery. Also, be sure to give Queen Bey a run for her money and leave everything on the D-floor.

(*Obviously this one’s hypothetical. I try to avoid incurring bankruptcy when possible.)

Be brave enough


...WONDERED WHAT THE EFF ...do FASHION’s latest acronyms mean? FROW is so last season; there’s some new ‘It’ abbreviations in the fashion-speak vocabulary. Be bewildered no more with this year’s key terms explained: OOTD: Outfit Of The Day. If Instagrammer’s Anonymous was a thing, this would be the number one hashtag abused by its members. HEAD: High Earner, Awful Dresser. ‘Can’t buy class’ never rang so true. OTW: One To Watch. Look to Central Saint Martins’ and Parsons’ recent fashion graduates, because they’re all over this tag. YUM: Young Urban Man, AKA The New Metro-sexual. Manscaping is simply basic grooming; this guy wants luxury when he wants it (and he wants it now). OTM: Of The Moment. Hot Right Now. Latest Lust-Have. You get the picture.

...is the deal with those FOOD buzzwords? So you know your kale from your quinoa and your tempeh from your teff. But do you know what today’s fashionable food words really mean? Test your culinary comprehension below. Free range: poultry allowed to roam freely outdoors; Cage-free: poultry allowed to live on a barn floor. (Although, both categories encounter regulation issues, as how long hens are outside/how much space they get is yet to be strictly monitored.) Organic: agricultural products that are cultivated without the use of chemical fertilisers, insecticides, and animal antibiotics/growth hormones. Macrobiotic (diet): Buddhist-approved eating regimen that involves surviving off unprocessed, unrefined food, namely grains, fruit and vegetables, and small amounts of fish. Paleo (diet): or the caveman diet, describes the type of food eaten during the Paleolithic period. Advocates of this ‘back to basics’ eating habit swear by its no dairy, no salt, minimal cereal grains and lean meat-only stipulations.

...are the newest FITNESS crazes everyone’s talking about? Move over, ZUMBA. Fitness freaks are ditching you for these better kinds of workout parties. Barrecore: a ballet-inspired core fitness class that promises to strengthen and lengthen your muscles. Nordic walking: the original cross trainer, this special walking technique not to be confused with trekking or trail running, involves using poles to propel you while you walk. Voga: Yoga + Madonna’s ‘voguing’. Say no more. Piloxing: a blend between Pilates and boxing that assures it’ll improve not only your power, speed and agility, but your flexibility and muscle tone as well. Psycle: Soul Cycle’s a cake walk compared to this high intensity, low impact spin class.

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Be brave enough Collage: Original Stephanie King artwork


O Off the Record

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OFF THE RECORD

Today’s precious metal magician, jewellery designer Maria Francesca Pepe gives a behind-the-velvetcurtain peek into her process, her biggest inspiration, and her plans for the future.

Who would have thought that down a nondescript street, in a perfectly unremarkable Fulham townhouse, there’d be a strange kind of magic happening. Concealed on the wistfully serene Kempson Road, a mere skip from Fulham B roa d wa y ’s buzzing chaos, is a place where creativity is literally turned into gold. What brings me to this address? I’ve got an appointment with its owner, one of London’s modern masters of precious metals. That’s right: it’s time to meet the Maria Francesca Pepe, contemporar y j e we l l e r y alchemist. ‘Maria won’t be m u c h l o n ge r,’ 14

assures the designer’s PR gatekeeper. and massive gold hoops she’s Evidently someone who’s received got on. Vogue, Fashion East and New Gen We sit down in front of Pepe’s talent sponsorships is worth protecting. scarlet desk equipped with Walking in, a white door to the right hides the obligatory Apple products Pepe’s den. Her office is magpie nirvana. and piles of paperwork. Over The most glaringly obvious landmark? her shoulder the unmissable Spring/ A bust standing proudly in the centre of Summer ’14 collection glints seductively. the room, its gleaming silver collar and A white table and ghost chair set guards the brightly coloured navel-length spiked heart pendant pieces sunning demanding immediate attention. themselves on It would be silly to expect anything warmly lit cabinet less than eye catching in this beds. Having to designer’s studio. Pepe’s arresting face that scene pieces have Rihanna, Lady Gaga, feels almost cruel. Miranda Kerr, Jennifer Lopez, and Thankfully there’ll be Sarah Jessica Parker all decorating plenty of opportunity their bodies with her lust-worthy for birthday-presentcreations. wish-list-composing ‘Quality and inspiration is MF later. Now, it’s all always valuable, isn’t it?’ PS S1 about Pepe and what She’s here. The alchemist’s 4 the life of a British arrived. Pepe suddenly breezes in, the 35-year-old Italian Fashion Award nominee entails. cloaked in all-black: the universal ‘My day involves waking up, getting loads uniform of mystery. Though, of emails that arrived throughout the neither her oversized Mongolian night, making sure everything is under lamb coat, (bottomless) leather control…making sure cash flow is always tote, leggings or cut-out Balenciaga under control.’ A pause. ‘It sounds not ankle boots are too unexpected. But ‘Quality and inspiration is what is surprising is how tall she is; Pepe easily clears 5’10”. And this is always valuable, isn’t it?’ something she definitely uses to her advantage, considering a certain really fashionable, doesn’t it,’ she laughs, height is required to pull off the her brown eyes twinkling under a blunt distressed Bambi intarsia sweater fringe and wavy auburn hair. Honestly,

Be brave enough

Images: Maria Francesca Pepe

With Maria Francesca Pepe

Rihanna (L) & Lady Gaga (R)

Off the Record:


OFF THE RECORD

to be honest.

‘I always design thinking, “This is it.” I never think next season is not going to work,’ laments Pepe. So far, so good; the accessory artisan’s mentality has her ever-increasing number of buyers putting in their orders. Plus, with several incredibly successful collections under her belt, Pepe’s a far cry from ‘the bad things about the Italian mentality’: namely, the abundance of culture possessed by the country. ‘When we grow up we’re surrounded by all

‘I always design thinking, “This is it.” I never think next season is not going to work.’ of these beautiful things. It makes you proud, but it also makes you a little bit lazy.’ Not this Signorina. Her Italian roots and the nation’s emphasis on achieving perfection, she asserts, push her creativity further. Pepe’s brand epitomises the fusion of modern ideas with traditional techniques. The designer maintains it’s imperative to frequently check in with her Italian suppliers and manufacturers. ‘There’s so many different MFP AW14 details that make [a piece] special and unique… It’s very important to have a personal relationship with the factories we work with to

let them understand the aesthetic we’re looking for.’ We return to the subject of Pepe’s SS ’14 collection, the one that’s glimmering to the show-stopping bust’s left. Luxury Jungle is set to hit stores in June and is a ‘techno-deco’ take on Jean-Jacques Rousseau-ian botanical elements, tribal markings and urban graffiti. It is, expectedly, incredibly fun yet equally elegant. Only a few words into remarking that the collection’s overall feel is much lighter than those previous and Pepe’s nodding enthusiastically. ‘I’m in that phase of my life where I’ve achieved a lot of the things that I wanted, and I want to celebrate that. In my 20s I was still struggling with the person I wanted to be and going through different phases.’ So, is it a Positivity Only policy from here on out? Pepe excitedly responds, ‘That’s definitely much more fun… At the moment I’m trying to focus [on] positive thinking, positive vibes. I think we all need that.’ How true. Simple in sentiment, powerful in effect. As we conclude the interview a revelation strikes: perhaps this is the key to her precious metal prowess. Maybe keeping the design’s essence as minimalistic and as pure as possible is the answer. But I guess we’ll never know. After all, a magician never reveals their secrets.

MFP AW13

Images: Maria Francesca Pepe

MFP AW14 no, it’s not particularly envy-inducing. But it’s this work ethic that’s earned the designercum-ManagingDirector some rather stellar collaborations. Already sitting in the Central Saint Martins alumna’s portfolio is the luxury labels Amanda Wakeley and Roksanda Illincic, and high street brands Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Not bad for someone who started their label in 2007 and spent the first two years ‘doing little projects and getting more experience in the field.’ The creative signature for which Pepe is renowned ‘happens naturally,’ she says. Her trademark pairing of quirkiness with quality imbues her bold jewellery with a striking aesthetic — more than enough explanation for the label’s cult following. Pepe cites universal concepts such as pop as being the primary influence on her work: ‘I grew up [in] the ’80s and early ’90s watching Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Beverley Hills 90210… Trying to find that inner child that’s within [us] is so important to cope with life. For me, pop culture is so representative of that inner child.’ She means it; the idiosyncratic bookcase behind me is nothing short of a Shrine of Pop. Here it’s only natural the wall feature’s inhabitants include vintage prints, old campaign shots, and eccentric trinkets that assume the form of three stacked baby pink octopus figurines, Facebook-inspired ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ stamps, and a gold plate with ‘Queen’ punched out.

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Be brave enough Image: Gary Pepper


N No Nonsense

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NO NONSENSE

When Shakespeare wrote, ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women, merely players,’ he didn’t think today’s Generation Y would take it so literally. Because now, social media is making it difficult for these digital natives to discern where the role ends and the real begins. ‘You’re wrong. She is a phoney. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phoney because she’s a real phoney. She believes all this crap she believes.’ Three guesses who O. J. Berman is describing in Truman Capote’s long adored novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Actually, no, one guess should suffice, because this Givenchy-clad ingénue needs no introduction. Irrefutably the most elegant escort to grace the silver screen, the character of

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Holly Golightly further cemented actress Audrey Hepburn’s place in fashion history. And what Hepburn made even more apparent in the film adaptation was Miss Golightly’s proclivity for role-playing. To escape her true identity as the country bumpkin-turned-New York courtesan, the 1940s socialite created her own reality, living, at best, somewhat of a deluded existence. Sounds absurd? Or is it so unimportant moments from memory. absurd it’s spookily accurate? Because, And those, at the time, ‘embarrassing’ photos or regretaposts we promptly kids, we’re no different now. Just as Golightly adopted a dizzying delete on mornings after big nights array of personas to suit her suitors, we, out? Well they form the periphery of our too, are making our imagined identities idiosyncratic selves. And they’re certainly our realities. The digital age, and social not something worth hiding. Psychologist media especially, has encouraged us to Dr. Benjamin Voyer, Assistant Professor of ESCP Europe, and Dr. Gachoucha Kretz become Holly Golightly holograms (HGHs). We use ‘She isn’t a phoney because she’s of ISC Paris report in their our exponentially increasing number of virtual profiles to a real phoney. She believes all 2012 Advanced Consumer facilitate our self-editing. this crap she believes.’ Research Ever-so-slowly, we obscure ~Breakfast at Tiffany’s p a p e r , our original personality and establish an ‘improved’ one through ‘Towards a Better Understanding of the our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Role of Social Media in the Processes of accounts, even our blogs. The notion of Independent and Interdependent Identity an online self and offline self has become Construction’ that ‘the self is much more obsolete; they are one in the same. Who actively managed, jointly constructed, interactive, openly disinhibited, knew current you could be a first draft? By constantly reviewing the information confessional, and influenced by what we about us online, we consequently fashion and our avatars do online.’ updated versions of ourselves. But in Given that social media continues to doing so, we slowly untag seemingly be the number one web activity on the

Be brave enough

Deak image: Park & Cube; Illustration:Sabine Pieper

THE EDIT


NO NONSENSE

Centre image: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) still

Internet, with 4.2 billion people using American geisha. definitely. But, benefit of the doubt, yeah? their mobile devices to access social Voyer knows the cause behind this. He Even though we unintentionally embrace media sites, Beta21’s findings suggest explains that in essence, we possess HGH status in our personal lives, this there’s ample opportunity for self- different types of selves that co-exist, can work in our favour professionally. curation. Unsurprisingly the marketing where ‘psychologist Tory The instinctual and community management company’s Higgins suggests that we ‘Social media contributes to the ability we have statistics translate to real life. Pandora have an ideal self (who creation of ideal selves, be it to carve out an Sykes, Fashion Editor of fashion news we would like to be) and makes related to fashion, pets, or other image website The Debrief says she frequently ought self (who we ought branding a cinch. industries or products.’ engages with several of the platforms to be) and an actual self Social media available, admitting to being ‘a heavy (who we are).’ By crafting executives are ~Dr. Benjamin Voyer, ESCP Europe user of Twitter and Instagram — less so, our online profiles so that now recruited Facebook.’ On a normal day, she’ll ‘check we show only our ‘best’ sides, removing by celebrities and public figures to out about 20 fashion blogs and probably anything that doesn’t depict us in a manage their accounts. But increasingly, about 15 websites.’ That is, of course, in positive light, we inadvertently try to their employer’s resulting avatar is less addition to Tweeting between two and produce a Me that is our ideal self. ‘Social accurate representation, more glorified 10 times a day, as well as sharing about media contributes to the creation of interpretation. And this quasi dual three pictures on Instagram. Even in her ideal selves, be it related to fashion, pets, existence is painfully obvious in reality, says Sykes: ‘I’ve met people line of work, a role which who are nothing like the relies on keeping up-to-date image they curate on social with current affairs, that’s media. Funnily enough I think an undeniably impressive it gets you a lot more followers amount. So, surely with such a to have that in-URL existence. degree of digital interaction To me, it’s important to and potential to overremember why you’re doing expose herself, it must it.’ tempting to moderate what Goodley PR Account Executive she posts? Indeed, says Holly Robinson knows the Sykes. ‘I definitely censor. other side of the coin all too I have friends who would well. She reveals that the Tweet anything — whether fashion PR firm representing it’s about drugs or sex or labels such as Amanda ‘I’ve got to do something about the way I look.’ hating someone. Equally I Wakeley, Gerard Darel, Citizens know photographers and of Humanity and By Malene models and people like that who post or other industries or products,’ Voyer Birger, occasionally gives some of its things I wouldn’t. It’s partly because I maintains. Finally! A reason why the clients advice regarding their marketing/ don’t want to write anything that my token not-so-humble braggers plague social media strategies. Robinson says parents would be angry about. It’s also our feeds with their hot dog legs photos she understands why brands may partly a privacy thing.’ Yet even through and #whereyoudratherbe holiday snaps. be cautious about the information the mere act of monitoring our social Their transparent attempts to induce they share via social media. After all, media contributions, we’re filtering others’ FOMO response is fundamentally, anything negatively affecting their image ourselves and constructing an adjusted a way for them to become their definition could irrevocably harm the company’s edition, much like Capote’s iconic of self-actualised. Bit of a stretch? Most reputation. Interestingly however, fashion

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NO NONSENSE

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Be brave enough

Rihanna: Bossip; Miley Cyrus (top): W Magazine; Miley Cyrus (bottom): Just Jared; Rita Ora: MTV

Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus Rita Ora

Rihanna

Rita Ora

CAUTION:

Miley Cyrus

bloggers who have as we? At ‘I’ve met people who are nothing wouldn’t large (if not more of) a the tap of a screen social media presence like the image they curate on a n d a s i m p l e are surprisingly not as social media. Funnily enough self-disparaging vulnerable as major photo tagline brands. As Kretz and I think it gets you a lot more we can receive a Voyer describe, these barrage of positive followers.’ types of ‘character’ ~Pandora Sykes, The Debrief a f f i r m a t i o n s . bloggers are less affected Although our by negative feedback because they willingness to surrender what should ‘became famous among a very dedicated technically be confidential information audience’ and defined themselves indicates our desire to connect with independently. They don’t have to be as others far exceeds our desire for security. concerned with pleasing a wide audience Clearly we’re struggling to balance this like fashion companies do. So, while they tension. Because if we need a ruling that might have made a name for themselves demands Google remove links to websites by constructing a certain character containing information relating to us that online, there’s far more flexibility in the we deem ‘inadequate, irrelevant, or no role they play. longer relevant,’ then we’re taking our Whether it’s for private or professional virtual oversharing too far. If we need use, we ultimately employ social media to exercise our ‘right to be forgotten,’ as a means of interacting with others. But as mandated by the EU in May 2014, our escalating urge to place ourselves something’s out of order. Thankfully, in a self-made limelight and prioritise however, Sykes provides some hope in platforms over privacy highlights a bigger the social media stakes: ‘I write in a way issue: our yearning for validation. Richard that is very reflective of who I am, the Belk in his 2013 Journal of Consumer pictures that I show on Instagram are Research paper titled, ‘Extended Self very reflective of who I am… As a writer, in a Digital World’ asserts that social if [you’re] not going to be authentic you’re media invites us to comment and upload not going to have longevity. You need to personal pictures and videos, where we come across honestly.’ not-so-secretly thrive off compliments At the end of the day, we may never be from others for reassurance. And why able to inhibit the pressure to become our ‘ideal self,’ but we are completely capable of controlling how we respond to it. Maybe we should try to censor our censoring and strike a happy medium by transforming our Holly Golightly hologram into an unedited avatar of ourselves. So, Shakespeare, yes, the world may be a stage and we may have our many exits and entrances, but we are solely responsible for how we play on it.


NO NONSENSE

Urban Luxe Present Cara Delevingne (L) & Rihanna (R)

to be honest.

Urban luxe is now a pandemic. A tad dramatic, perhaps? Is it, though, is it really? What’s so abominable about this laissez faire look is as much its implicit element of fashion victim as what the sloppy style signifies. Take Miley Cyrus and Rihanna: the chanteuses have fallen ill to the infectious urban luxe trend and are overrun with cravings for cult labels and an inappropriately casual appearance. Pairings of Adidas sweat pants and Tom Ford sunglasses or Nike trainers with Cartier jewellery are all too common in their stylistic lexicon. But what they’re really doing is practicing unsafe dress. As celebrities and all ’round style influencers, Miley and Rihanna – or Rita Ora or Cara Delevingne, for that matter – transmit the message to their followers that it’s okay for them to reject their own personal dress sense. And the dangers don’t end there. Urban luxe’s essential attitudes of rebellion and feigned nonchalance can easily spill over into other areas of life, too. In a bid to achieve ‘effortless cool’, urban luxe enthusiasts will gladly waste two hours to attain perfect ‘boho hair’ or ‘natural’ makeup. Yet shouldn’t a time-poor society want to show the effort they’ve invested in maintaining their appearance, rather than pretending to be sartorially

apathetic? When did faux dressing ambivalence become the plague it is currently? How did this oxymoronic trend even come about? Blame the 18th/19th century Industrial Revolution, because clothing has been used to convey an individual’s class since then. This caste system manifests itself as the present-day pathology of urban luxe. Only, instead of ostentatiously outfitted dandies, the new paradigm where pop culture is king entails ‘It’ item-adorned UL sufferers smugly sporting generally grunge-y apparel. It’s got to stop. It’s time to put an end to paying up to dress down. So, Attention: At-Risk Individuals, immunise yourselves against the allure of urban luxe today. How? By injecting a little old-fashioned pride into your appearance. Now that’s a notion worth spreading.

Cara Delevingne

This is a public service announcement: Slob is in and prim is out. Well kept and put-together have no place in today’s fashion zeitgeist. Now, it’s extreme high-low dressing, where outfits are so much more than designer items teamed with lower-end pieces. Ensembles are frequently morphing into a combination of dishevelled, just-threw-this-on casual and highly branded American street wear.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora, and Rihanna & Cara Delevingne (top); Mirror UK; Cara Delevingne (bottom): Le 21eme

Beware the contagious dressing disease causing its sufferers to pay up to dress down.

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Be brave enough Collage: Original Stephanie King artwork


E Embellished Reality

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The Changing Filter of Fashion The fashion’s industry’s economic future now rests on social media’s platforms. Good thing it only weighs an Instagram.

We do it in the day, we do it in the night and well into the wee hours of the morning. We all have our favourite positions and our own bag of tricks. Instagram is the guilty pleasure gadget we just can’t get enough of. We use the image- and videosharing mobile application so heavily, it’s permeated the professional sphere. Instagram is now so much more than a go-to boredom-buster; it’s an imperative social networking tool for companies and a fashion marketing essential.

Instagram is the figurative NEWGEN social media platform: the younger, arguably ‘hipper’ sister of Facebook. Models live record their strut down the catwalk, fashion bloggers run rampant with cutesy and/or whimsical filters, and highly exclusive fashion brands make themselves more approachable: today, Instagram is not a mere supplement to 24

fashion companies’ business models, it’s now the primary concern. And with the app’s 66% annual growth of users, it’s easy to see why. Instagram’s user-generated content receives a staggering 1.2 billion ‘likes’ per day from its healthy active user base of 150 million. Not too shabby for a small start-up launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010. This remarkable feat quickly piqued the interest of Facebook founder (or social media’s unofficial father) Mark Zuckerberg, who in April 2012 shelled out a cool $1 billion in cash and stock to adopt Instagram into the Facebook family. Of the platform’s Top 50 performing brands, a hefty 40% are part of the apparel industry, asserts Instagram analytics website Nitrogram. Why? Perhaps fashion companies embrace the app because at its core, Instagram is the figurative NEWGEN social media platform: the younger, arguably ‘hipper’ sister of Facebook. It’s the Lottie Moss to Kate, the Elle Fanning to Dakota. Just like these girls, Instagram’s cooler sibling stature is starting to get noticed. Brands are realising its user base comprising 90%

of individuals under the age of 35, is an underrated, awfully influential market worth tapping into. According to Business Marketing Ramblings’ March 2014 report, 70% of Instagram’s users – some 105 million people – log in and contribute to the 55 million photos posted daily. The nifty app’s sheer volume if interaction gives brands one hefty, ready-made audience. Why else would 50% of the world’s retailers already have an account? Take fashion designer Giles Deacon, for example. Not even he could have predicted the worldwide response created by his history-making move of live recording from the London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter ’14 catwalk. More than 216,000 likes and over 4,000 comments were generated by model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne posting a video of her runway walk on her Instagram account. With results such as these, why pay for advertising? Clearly Instagram offers businesses, as most social media platforms do, great potential rewards for relatively little effort and expense. Lucy Nicholls, Merchandising & Editorial Assistant at

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Fashion animal images: Fashimals tumblr; Background image: Jessice Durrant

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Model selfie: Us Magazine.com; Instagram screen shot: Pinterest

ASOS Fashion Finder says social media is by far the best way of improving ASOS’s relationship with its customers: ‘We’re constantly focusing our site and our e-commerce on social platforms.’ And of course, that includes the UK e-tailer’s Instagram account. The app provides companies such as ASOS with a fresh, pared-back take on social networking and affords them a correspondingly novel means of connecting with their customers. Fashion brands can exploit Instagram for its portal-like properties to give consumers behind-the-scenes glances at the inner workings of the business. These ‘exclusives’ encourage user interaction and can be used as springboards to promote events and competitions, or purely to direct traffic to their website. But that’s not all: the app also enables companies to establish an emotional connection with their Instagram audience on a global scale. Labels such as Burberry can capitalise on the inherently intimate

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nature of images and videos and convey their brand identity to an international audience while avoiding language barrier issues. For the British heritage brand that involves romantic shots of London scenery, softly-lit new product pictures and arty candids of runway shows. A seemingly straightforward content strategy, maybe, but its 1.4 million followers are evidence enough of Instagram’s capacity to enhance a company’s image worldwide. Despite the fact the app does not currently In addition to its marketing capabilities, possess a ‘push to buy’ feature, thereby Instagram supplies fashion retailers making it difficult to calculate Instagramwith invaluable insight into consumers’ evoked sales, brands like Sabo Skirt minds. ‘It still holds true that doing the simply need to glimpse at their monthly best thing for your customers is the best sales values to see its beneficial effect. way to be a great retailer. And that means Ultimately, underlying all of this is the right products at the right time,’ says the question: Why is Instagram so Julia Fowler, co-founder of EDITD, the popular? The answer’s simple: it caters real-time data analysis program helping apparel ‘By monitoring what’s selling online in realretailers gauge market time, alongside what consumers are talking trends. ‘By monitoring what’s selling online in about on social media, the industry can now real-time, alongside what make better product decisions.’ consumers are talking ~Julia Fowler, EDITD about on social media, the industry can now have concrete data on to Generation Y’s demand for instantly what’s working (or not working) across available, perpetually updating content. the market and make better product But as ‘the post most powerful consumer segment,’ according to Fowler, Instagram’s decisions.’ While no solid figures have been attributed very essence of immediacy has long-term to Instagram’s effect on increasing fashion ramifications for fashion business. It may companies’ annual revenue, it certainly satisfy the demographic Fowler describes has its success stories. Enter Australian as possessing ‘a shorter attention span bloggers-turned-entrepreneurs, Thessy than ever,’ yet it reinforces society’s everKouzoukas and Yiota Karalouka. The escalating levels of impatience. And founders of small fashion business, Sabo for the fashion industry, this is neither Skirt took advantage of Instagram and sustainable for the environment nor for quickly earned the company over 900,000 the companies trying to keep up. followers and international recognition. ‘Social media has made it so that 25


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Welcome to the world that is what adult fairytales are made of: a zany, kaleidoscopic world where mayonnaise containers are shaped like babies; where appliances have faces; and where it’s completely acceptable, nay encouraged, to wear glittery t-shirts with unicorn graphics or smiling pieces of fruit. It’s a happy, magical place. Welcome to kawaii. Roughly translated, kawaii is Japanese for ‘cute’, where its foundation comprises all things adorable. As Japanese culture expert Hannah McCarthy explains, ‘Kawaii means prettiness, sweetness, originality, all with a twist. [It is] a movement derived just as much from art and evolution as from fashion.’ Still unsure? Think: cartoon-emblazoned stationery, watermelon shaped bus stops, Hello Kitty technology and bento boxes filled with sushi designed to look like pandas; describes Japanese journalist Manami Okazaki, author of Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture of Cute.

Far from a passing fad, kawaii is rooted in Japan’s history, born from Tokyo’s Jingu-mae district that, until 1965, was previously known as Harajuku Station (hence Harajuku girls). In fact, the ‘cuteness’ that forms so much of Japan’s national identity today stems from t h e country’s traditional aesthetics of beauty and refinement, maintains Japanese sociologist Soichi Masubuchi. Kawaii in its simplest form provides a fun spin on day-to-day things. What’s not to love about that? Nothing, according to Generation Y who is lapping up its various offerings. From fuzzy accessories and doll-size portions of food, to cartoon characters such as Sailor Moon, Tarepanda, Totoro, the Millenials are especially partial to its quirky aesthetic. Within the last 15 years alone kawaii’s taken centre stage in Western pop culture. Singer Gwen Stefani gathered her Harajuku girl posse in the early 2000s, chanteuse Katy Perry’s 2011 California Dreams tour concept was the sugar-n-spice trend, and Miley Cyrus proved that even costumes could be cutened when

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Catwalk image: Style.com; Japanese kawaii woman: Tokyo Fashion; Anna Dello Russo: WWD

Ichi, ni, san, shi, 2014 says konnichiwa to kawaii.

Kawai i

Anna Dello Russo

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House of Holland AW14

consumers want what they see when they see it,’ says luxury shoe designer Richard Braqo, whose elegant footwear has appeared in Vogue, ELLE and Harpers Bazaar. ‘There is a constant pressure to put product out on the market because of how fast-paced everything is. It’s not the best case scenario for any small business trying to work at the highest possible level,’ says the designer. Thus, as much as users relish the abundant ‘#sneak peaks’ and #ELLEfashioncupboard images that pepper their Instagram feeds, they are perpetuating this unhealthy cycle of rapid fashion consumption. But it’s not all bad angles and poor lighting; Fowler also captures society’s better side. She says that in spite of consumers’ ‘high proclivity to care greatly about social capital…there is an increasing awareness and care for the environmental byproducts of consumerism.’ Instagram will help to minimise this waste in the long term, as it aids fashion retailers in better understanding their customers and improving their stock allocation processes. The forecast for the beloved imageand video-sharing app? Aside from additional image effects (here’s hoping), Instagram will further shape how fashion companies operate. Mobiles and touch interfaces will progressively dominate more of the retail world, and the platform’s users will continue to grant retailers an unfiltered view of their consuming patterns (even if they prefer their fashion through Instagram’s Mayfair lens). Indeed, the apparel industry’s future is one flattering picture. 26

Sophia Webster

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Moschino AW14

Miu Miu SS14

Catwalk images: Style.com; Miley Cyrus: MTV; Japanese kawaii woman: Tokyo Fashion; Street style: Streetpeeper

she donned a Markus Lupfer cat bikini set for her 2013 American Music Awards performance. Likewise a mere glance over to current fashion trends will immediately silence any skeptic. The 2014 collections show kawaii has no intention of leaving. Featuring pastel colours, ruffles, baby doll silhouettes and iconic motifs, the recently unveiled Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter lines proudly possess key elements of kawaii dress, says Pixie Late, owner of Pixie Bunny, the UK based kawaii fashion, hair and beauty e-store. Anything but traditional, the SS ’14 collections of design house giants Chanel, Rochas and Miu Miu celebrate postmodern Japan with sorbet tones, velvet bows and pop colour tights. Flitting across to AW ’14, the creations from Christopher Kane’s also showcase dainty frills, but on cashmere sweaters. House of Holland adds whimsy to its pieces with drink shaped sequin embellishments and pearl adorned heels. And of course it’s impossible to overlook Jeremy Scott’s McDonalds-themed premiere line for Moschino, which idealises the fast food chain’s emblem. Be it changing weather or a change in mentality, apparently these designers are not partial to the minimalism championed by Jil Sander and Céline, for 2013’s ultra sleek semiotic

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Charlotte Olympia

is nowhere to be seen. But why shouldn’t the co o l e r co u n te r pa r t to last year’s Eastern sophisticat receive its due praise. Kawaii’s super sweet, extra playful components are worthy of acknowledgment. Well, renowned fashion figures Anna Dello Russo, Miroslava Duma and Susie Lau certainly think so anyway. These denizens of fashion’s upper echelons endorse the transcontinental craze in their latest Paris Fashion Week ensembles. Except, McCarthy and Okazaki assert kawaii is not solely a fashion trend. It is not simply love hearts, tiny things and fluffy trims, oh no. Kawaii is a way of life that extends from fashion to food, entertainment and even personal behaviour, such as childlike mannerisms and a high-pitched voice. Japanese women create the porcelain doll look that typifies kawaii by increasing the size of their eyes with contacts or false eyelashes to appear more innocent, says Late, clarifying that Lolita is a particular style involving Rococo-reminiscent Victorian dress. (Imagine: Bo Peep collars, aprons, petticoats, parasols and Mary-Jane heels.) Fancy testing out the kawaii lifestyle? This weekend, walk your ice-cream sundae Charlotte Olympia heels over to Covent

Garden’s Artbox for some darling Japanese stationery. Don’t forget your smartphone clad in Moschino’s heart-melting bunny case at the next pitstop; pictures must be taken at Shoreditch’s famed cat cafe, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. After working up an appetite from a day’s worth of petting, head to Regent Street’s Shoryu Ramen or Tonkotsu in Soho. Be sure to bring your miniature Sophia Webster purse, though, because authentic Japanese cuisine requires equally authentic attire. But if you still haven’t gotten your kitsch fix, kawaii blogger and enthusiast Venus Angel has the following recommendations. She suggests MCM London Comic-con happening 23-25 May at Royal Victoria Dock or Earls Court Exhibition Centre’s Hyper Japan on 2527 July. Both events will be bursting with more kawaii you can poke a chopstick at. So listen to Lolita-clad year 2000 Gwen Stefani when she probes, ‘What are you waiting for?’ Go on; make McCarthy proud and embrace the culture that makes small things big deals. ‘Long live kawaii!’ Miley Cyrus

Kulture

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T y r N o E s N s A e M c c R a PE

style transformation ‘A diamond is just like, diamond from a rock… I was really obsessed with the shape. It probably has the least thought out meaning to it, but it still does have a meaning.’ ~Imogen, 25 28

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Tattoos defy life’s intrinsic ephemerality. While their ink may fade, what they represent won’t.

DYNAMIC DEDICATIONS ‘I’m quarter Egyptian. My sister and I both have one, and my older sister got one when she was younger. We had to borrow ID so my [younger] sister could get one. She was 15 and I was such a bad influence letting her get a tattoo. So, it reminds me of my sister who is the most important person to me and is a total inspiration.’ ~Laura, 25 to be honest.

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HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW ‘It’s a Cat Power lyric. When I was really sick I listed to it all the time, it was a lyric that caught my ears (not my eyes). This line in the song, which is called ‘He War’, totally stood out to me. It’s got a weirdness to it, which I quite like because you have to think about it.’ ~Claire, 24

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LUCKY CHARM-LESS ‘I got this quote from William Henley’s poem Invictus as a reminder to always take matters into my own hands. Yes, there will forever be things out of my control, but for the most part, I am the one who decides my future, not anybody else.’ ~Pip, 24

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SIMPLER TIMES ‘I had this boyfriend who wasn’t very nice to me and I sort of came into my own after I broke up with him. At that point I was studying Mary Shelley’s The Last Man and there was this quote i n i t a b o u t y o u t h fu l revelry. I really liked that line and it was really appropriate at the time so I got it [tattooed].’ ~Grace, 25

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LASTING LIGHTNESS ‘I got the feather to remind me to approach life in a really light way. Feathers are really beautiful and feathers enable you to fly, so it’s got lots of different elements to it. It’s basically about not being weighed down by anything in life and staying light as a feather.’ ~Isabella, 26

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EMBELLISHED REALITY

SEasonal REVOLUTION ‘The circle behind my ear is representative of the moon, to remember the peace and calm you find at night when you can see the moon and how it’s a really magical thing.’ ~Rose, 22

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DIGITAL DYNASTY ‘My crown represents my heritage, my last name. It symbolises my entire identity.’ ~Stephanie, 23

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S Substance & Style

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SUBSTANCE + STYLE

who are not only challenging stereotypes, but are looking damn fine while they do it. In their individual ways, Lou, Laura, Leandra and Lucrezia truly are the epitome of substance and style. So take a walk in their Choos, as they prove they have a lot more in common than just the first letter of their names. The people who work in fashion are such hypocrites: they report on collections when they find clothes boring; they rely on public figures to promote their labels yet hate celebrity endorsements; they marry when the premise of their brand is to repel men; and they don’t follow trends even though they style them everyday. But none of that matters because it might just be the biggest lie you’ve read today. The following four women — Lou Stoppard, Editor of SHOWstudio; Laura Vann, Founder & Creative Director of V Jewellery; Leandra Medine, Author and Founder of The Man Repeller; and Lucrezia Mancini, Freelance Stylist and Founder of The Velvet Passport — are anything but hypocrites. The only contradictory thing about this group of under 30s is that the wisdom they possess is the inverse of their ages, and the depth of their insights, an impossibility given the supposedly shallow nature of the industry in which they work. Say hello to the young fashion dynamos 38

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Lou Stoppard is currently Editor of SHOWstudio, the London-based fashion film platform started by Nick Knight in 2000. During her time there, she has interviewed fashion figures Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones, Sir Paul Smith, Dylan Jones, Jeremy Scott, Nicola Formichetti, Alexandra Shulman, Daphne Guinness, Lady Amanda Harlech and Jefferson Hack, to name a few. Stoppard has had articles published in titles including

ELLE UK, ELLE Collections, The Times, Dazed & Confused, i-D, GQ Style, Stylist, Varon and Bon. Since completing her BA in History a t O x f o r d University and a MA in Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins, Stoppard has also worked as a freelance moderator, previously hosting Editd.com’s ‘Editions’, the V&A Connects and Topshop Talks, in addition to SHOWstudio’s interview series’. Named in Forbes’s 2012 Top 30 Under 30 list, Leandra Medine is founder of fashion blog The Man Repeller, which was dubbed Best Overall Blog at 2012 Bloglovin’ Awards and featured in TIME’s 25 Best Blogs of 2012. Medine started the website in May 2010, dedicating its style reporting and social commentary pieces to the art of dressing to please oneself, not the

Leandra Medine, 24

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Illustration: Little Doodles; Lou image: SHOWstudio; Leandra image: Harpers Bazaar

In Her Choos


SUBSTANCE + STYLE Step into the worlds of some of fashion’s most influential females giving an uncensored view of the industry renowned for its smoke and mirrors. The experiences they share are proof that when it comes to this bunch, there is definitely more than meets the eye.

Lucrezia image: The Velvet Passport; Laura Image: laura_vann

opposite sex. The New York City native’s humorous take on ‘serious fashion’ drew the attention of brands such as Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dannijo, Maje, Del Toro and Superga, all of which have since had highly successful collaborations with the self-described Man Repeller. A 2011 New School graduate, Medine also recently published her first book, Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls in October 2013.

ezia Lucr ni, 25 i Manc

directing her own editorials that have been featured in Numéro, Used, Suitcase, DSECTION, Fiasco, Good Man. Mancini has also styled for Hunger TV and i-D online, as well as brands Alexander Wang and Kickers in addition to collections shown at Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. Mancini started her own blog, The Velvet Passport in May 2013 to document her travels, which has led to several brand collaborations, with the most recent being a range of iPhone cases with London-based fashion designer Akiko Kishimoto. At 22, Laura Vann founded V Jewellery in April 2013 with her father, establishing a family business that incorporated her modern design aesthetic and her father’s twenty-plus years’ worth of

Laura Vann, 24 Lucrezia Mancini has been working as a freelance stylist for three years since graduating from London’s Instituto Marangoni with a degree in Fashion Merchandising & Styling. She has since assisted on photo shoots for French and Italian Vogue and Dazed & Confused,

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experience in the jewellery industry. The British designer noticed the demand for longer-lasting, affordable jewellery during her time studying at King’s College London and Central Saint Martins, and has been working from her West Midlands studio to create pieces that could withstand the rapidly changing fashion seasons. Vann’s covetable pieces are contemporary updates on classic designs. In just over a year V Jewellery has been showcased in British Vogue, ELLE UK, Tatler and Stylist, and have been worn by celebrities Katy Perry, Millie Mackintosh and Rosie Fortescue. You Can’t Sit With Us Exclusive and superficial: that’s fashion, right? Wrong. As those working within the industry can attest, they have long defended the world of wearable art, trying to airbrush its blemished reputation. Yet the untruths endure. What is the biggest fallacy? As Medine explains, there are in fact, two: ‘The first being that it’s petty and vaguely dumb. Fashion is ultimately a multi-billion dollar industry. The people who run it are far from stupid as are most of the people who, currently closer to the bottom, are only on their ways up. The second is that everyone is mean. [It] sort of seems like a textbook case of high school jitters, where as a freshman you 39


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within the wider community. Fortunately, however, Stoppard says that ‘fashion at the moment is at a really interesting point. It’s almost becoming democratic because of the plethora of information that’s on the Internet. You could also say that it’s becoming more collaborative. It’s a really exciting time for fashion.’

No Makeup Even though the industry makes and celebrates beauty, working in fashion does not guarantee perpetual glamour. professionals could empathise, one of In fact, the barefaced reality is often the her daily concerns is organising future exact opposite. Day-to-day activities are projects. ‘Freelancing is hard because usually never without their necessary evils you need to find your clients, you need — something Vann knows firsthand. After to approach them. Maybe for like 50 starting her jewellery line little over a year requests you get 48 no’s,’ she says. ago, she quickly realised that celebrity While covering all bases is crucial to the endorsements stylist’s livelihood, are essential to not necessarily ‘It’s kind of playing the game to that’s increasing her the best thing for brand’s reach. get to where you need to be and aspiring journalists or ‘I didn’t want then you can start to rewrite the those just starting out. to admit it at As Stoppard advises, rules a little bit.’ the beginning; I ‘You need to have a ~Laura Vann, Founder of V Jewellery was really quite diverse set of skills, opposed to it. but I don’t think that You kind of have to accept it [because] should compromise your focus. No one it’s always an opening for approaching likes a jack of all trades.’ The SHOWstudio stockists and things like that. You know, editor feels that although ‘it’s really you can’t just turn up with nice jewellery important to have a broad repertoire and and expect somebody to think “Oh, the to be able to turn your hand to a couple quality of the jewellery’s great, let’s take of different t h i n g s ,’ t h e r e ’s ‘nothing it.” They want to know what celebrities it’s better than real passion for something been on, what magazines it’s been in. It’s that’s quite singular and a real obsession.’ kind of playing the game to get to where Case in point Medine. She has definitely you need to be and then you can start to made her obsession work for her, turning rewrite the rules a little bit,’ says Vann. the notion of ‘man repelling’, or dressing Mancini also has components of her job in a ‘sartorially offensive’ manner, into she has to accept. As most self-employed a frequently used verb of the fashion

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Lou image: All the Pretty Birds; Leandra image: New York Magazine

find all the seniors to be so big and scary but that’s ultimately only because they’re older and you don’t know them. By the time you make it to that point (senior year), you look at the freshmen and think to yourself, “I was scared of me?” Your peers become your friends and you move up ranks together and people are lovely.’ Considering the 24-year-old comes from a non-fashion family and now rubs ruffled shoulders with the biggest names in the industry, it’s probably safe to take her word for it. Probably. But despite this verdict that real-life Regina Georges aren’t running rampant in magazine head offices or design studios, the recently established field of fashion blogging has, of course, attracted new criticisms to the industry. ‘There are so many bad things people say about bloggers, but I understand. Some girls come up with whatever blog and they become really famous and then others get angry because they’ve been working their whole life,’ says Mancini. A valid point, but one could posit that these are the same people who enquire when the stylist, who is no designer she adds, is unveiling her new collection. With no intentions of doing a Rachel Zoe and designing her own fashion line, Mancini, like Medine, is also picking up on a little vestigial ignorance


SUBSTANCE + STYLE

Laura Image: laura_vann; Lucrezia image: The Velvet Passport;

lexicon. But surely being identified as The Passport to be attributable to the work Man Repeller instead of Leandra would get she does on it daily. ’It’s amazing because a little waring? Apparently not, according I put no money into it, I just put in loads to Medine. ‘The two effort. Sometimes ‘By the time you make it to that of personalities are so instead of going point (senior year), you look out I’ll work on it.’ imbued with each other to begin with at the freshmen and think to The Italian explains that I don’t see the that the exposure point in harping on yourself, “I was scared of me?”’ she gains from her punctuating that ~Leandra Medine, Founder of The Man Repeller blog helps to bring separation. Most in more styling jobs, of my recounts are quite personal — so, which are no cake walk, Mancini asserts. relating to Leandra — and Man Repeller ‘People have no idea how much goes is the platform that facilitates the story into a photograph… I’ve been a stylist telling.’ for three years, and the first year I was Another young woman who understands assisting French Vogue and Italian Vogue, the art of conveying a narrative is Vann. so I was really busy. Obviously when She has created particular stories — you’re assisting it’s 24/7, you have to be seven, to be precise — in the form available any time. It’s literally The Devil Wears Prada.’ Stoppard sympathises: ‘That’s the thing about working in fashion: you lose all your time… The amount of travel, the amount of events you have to go to in the evening, it’s really easy to become disconnected [from reality]. It’s very easy for your whole life to become people in fashion.’ Speaking of, if they’re not reincarnations of Mean Girls characters, what are they really like? ‘There are some who are just about the clothes. I couldn’t do that; I’d of V Jewellery sub-collections that find it a bit boring,’ Stoppard continues. communicate her vision. ‘We’ve got a Sentiments Mancini can identify with. definite style. I can tell that when we get a sample of initial designs if they work ‘There are some people who are or if they look completely out of place… just about the clothes. I couldn’t It’s really important that the style is do that; I’d find it a bit boring.’ recognisable and ties everything up so we’re not just offering random pieces ~Lou Stoppard, Editor of SHOWstudio that don’t really fit in.’ Honing in on a key concept and developing it properly ‘Sometimes the people I work with are is imperative, says Mancini, believing a bit shallow… They get super excited the success she’s earned from The Velvet about a bag but they’re not curious about

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the world.’ Both Mancini and Stoppard agree the antidote to this is reading across a broad range of subjects: ‘I often feel woefully ignorant about a lot of

things, so I always read stuff outside of fashion… I also find it really important to talk to people who don’t work in fashion,’ says Stoppard. Yet, as valuable as it is to be aware of what’s happening in broader society, it’s imprudent to ignore fashion’s notoriety as the most fantastical of trades. After all, reputations don’t manifest by themselves.

On Another Level Already, the ladies ‘L’ have been privy to some pretty spectacular moments throughout their colourful careers. Thus far Medine’s most profound experiences include ‘riding in a car from one show to another in Paris two seasons ago with [fashion journalist] Cathy Horyn and [InStyle’s Fashion News Director] Eric Wilson,’ as well as ‘sitting next to [fashion photographer] Patrick Demarchelier at the Valentino fashion show in Paris.’ 41


Mancini’s favourite memories are similarly runway-related: ‘I absolutely love the feeling that a fashion show gives me, it gives me goosebumps… I [styled] many catwalks in Milan and Paris, and working with the designers and models behind the scenes was an amazing experience.’ She also mentions her other career highlight was being ‘part of a photo shoot [with] Chuck Bass,’ who is the bad boy Gossip Girl character played by Ed Westwick. Much like Medine and Mancini, Stoppard’s most treasured encounters involve industry heavyweights. ‘I love the panel discussions when we do [fashion] shows because it’s like being at college… When you’ve got someone like Nick Knight or Stephen Jones, Tim Blanks or maybe Amanda Harlech on the panel, their knowledge and experience is so, so amazing, it’s incredibly rewarding.’ She also adds that the interview she conducted with milliner Philip Treacy for Somerset House’s recent Isabella Blow exhibit was ‘very moving’ and made her ‘realise what a great, wonderful industry fashion can be.’ Undoubtedly Vann can appreciate such a belief, as she has had her own remarkable moments too. In April this year the designer celebrated V Jewellery’s 42

one year anniversary and the company moving into a new office space, which she says brought ‘a new sense of optimism and a redefining of the brand because it’s a real sign of accomplishment and the accomplishments we’ve had so far.’ What’s in Vann’s sights in the next few years? ‘I’d obviously love to see us in a department store like Selfridges, Liberty or Harvey Nichols. Something like that would be really exciting. Extending overseas like America and Australia is definitely something we’re looking into at the moment.’ Stoppard’s take on the future is an interesting contrast: ‘I used to think a lot about that when I was younger, I was very goal-focused. But I’m trying to do this thing where I cut myself a bit of slack.’ This coming from the woman who currently has a book in the pipeline and would like to soon venture into documentary making — ‘There’s so much stuff I want to do!’ Mancini mirrors Stoppard’s enthusiasm. ‘We say in Italian, you’ve chilli under your bum,’ explains the self-appointed ‘free spirit’, confirming there’s plenty more travel on the cards. Mancini also divulges she’d love to approach fashion website The Coveteur to do a feature and expand her blog to include interviews. Medine’s response is more philosophical. When speaking about the impact of her new book on women’s styling choices, the author says ‘I just want girls to feel comfortable. There’s no specific mode of dress tethered to [the book’s release], and I don’t think there should be. The goal I hope to convey is confidence.’ Mancini is

a walking example, as she maintains that ‘If you put me in a Valentino dress I feel too feminine, I don’t feel powerful. I feel more powerful in my sneakers.’ And so, through recounting their various experiences, the four ‘L’s unintentionally allude to the biggest question of day: What role does fashion play in today’s modern society? Because as Stoppard declares, it most certainly does not exist solely in clothes. ‘That’s such a tiny part of what fashion is,’ she continues. ‘What I love about working at SHOWstudio is that it’s far beyond the clothes. How fashion fits in a context and a broader, cultural sense [is what’s] really interesting.’ Indeed, the echoes of Diana Vreeland’s rumination, ‘Where would fashion be without literature?’ still ring today. ‘You can say the same thing about any number of art genres,’ muses Medine. ‘Where would fashion be without art? Where would art be without literature? We all feed on each other.’ Straight from said horse’s mouth, fashion remains so much more than a vapid enterprise, and the majority of people within it, far from vacant air kissers. Thus, after trying Medine, Mancini, Vann

‘When you’re assisting it’s 24/7, you have to be available any time. It’s literally The Devil Wears Prada.’ ~Lucrezia Mancini, Freelance Stylist

and Stoppard’s Choos on for size, one thing is clear: they may look intimidating and frivolously finished, sure, but their essence comprises a solid foundation and a spectacular intrinsic design. Fitting, really, that’s just like their owners.

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Street style image: Sparkling Magazine

SUBSTANCE + STYLE


SUBSTANCE + STYLE With the changing of the seasons comes the shedding of old mentalities and refreshing wardrobe updates. This SS ’14, listen to what your mamma told you and...

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1. Meadham Kirchhoff Jacket, £3,410; 2. Shourouk Satchel, £1,630; 3. Aquazarra Heels, £465; 4. Balenciaga Bracelet, £345; Givenchy Dress, £780

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SUBSTANCE + STYLE

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1. Toga Jacket, £645; 2. Alice + Olivia Dress, £355; 3. Alexander Wang Bag, £655; 4. Vita Fede Bracelet, £215; 5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Sandals, £470

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1. Givenchy Bracelet, £605; 2. Ancient Greek Sandals, £130; 3. Honor Dress, £2,968; 4. Velvet by Graham & Spencer Jacket, £150; 5. Edie Parker Clutch, £815

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SUBSTANCE + STYLE 1. Arme De L’Amour Cuff, £310; 2. Olympia Le-Tan Clutch, £1,035; 3. Christian Louboutin Pumps, £875; 4. Victoria by Victoria Beckham Dress, £620; 5. Roberto Cavalli Jacket, £4,255

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1. Joseph Jacket, £535; 2. Proenza Schouler Bag, £1,160; 3. Gianvito Rossi Mules; 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Bangle, £60; 5. Equipment Dress, £320

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Irreverent and inspiring: those are the key fibres of SIBLING, the UK men’s knitwear label headed by design triumvirate Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery. SIBLING’s granny-gone-punk aesthetic riffs off knitted classics and showcases the three friends’ stellar construction skills collectively learned from working with Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Giles Deacon. SIBLING soon extended their inimitable signature to womenswear, launching Sister by SIBLING in 2010. The brand’s tongue-in-cheek take on fashion has earned SIBLING international press coverage and the illustrious European Woolmark Prize. How did the label weave itself into fashion’s history books? Here are the 10 ways SIBLING made knitwear new again: 1. Bryan, Bates & McCreery made granny garb cool. SIBLING’s unparalleled ability to modernise the traditional technique of knitting has turned ‘stuffy’ twin sets 46

unbelievably cool, and converted oldfashioned argyle sweaters into covetable items. The label’s zany mutation of styles has revitalised outdated designs and even resulted in Scare Isle Knit Monsters (above). 2. They always find the fun in fashion. It wouldn’t be a SIBLING collection without a dash of subversion and a heavy dose of sass. Bryan, Bates and McCreery have made a name for themselves by stitching humour into every piece. Who could forget their outrageous pom pom headpieces? A suggestion by the show’s stylist Katie Grand, the SS13 raffia toppers made their model wearers look like dandelions, demonstrating the industry renowned for taking itself too seriously can certainly make a joke. 3. More specifically, they made men’s fashion fun. In the world of SIBLING, there is no such thing as ‘too whimsical’ or ‘too feminine’. SIBLING has intentionally provoked and pushed past boundaries, especially with men’s dress. What’s wrong

with paillette adorned frosty white sweaters or 5 Star intarsia tracksuit sets, the SS13 line wants to know. Is there anything the matter with men in pastel crochet knickerbockers? Surely AW13’s knitted mittens and beanies enlarged to almostcomical proportions require no special occasion to be worn? 4. They made ordinary items extraordinary. SIBLING has mastered the art of beautifying the banal. Boring balaclavas have been transformed into beaming masks, embellished with sequins and flower-trimmed ears; knitted doilies have been refashioned as acid bright edging; and humble hair extensions have been constructed into statement necklaces. Because of the trio’s boundless creativity, they’ve highlighted the potential in everyday objects and encouraged wearers to see the same. 5. And are leading a colour comeback. A kaleidoscope of colour is the only way to summarise SIBLING’s previous creations. Fire engine red leopard print panels, cobalt blue fur trims on scarlet cable knit sweaters, pastel cashmere coords: these hues are a mere glimpse at the spectrum highlighted in past menswear lines. And Sister by SIBLING has boasted

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Catwalk & AW12 image: Vogue.com; AW10 image: Cozette McCreery

Since launching in 2008, UK menswear label SIBLING has been shaking knitwear – and fashion – by its pearls and twinsets.

SIBLING AW10

SIBLInG Revelry

SIBLING AW14

Sister by SIBLING AW12

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SUBSTANCE + STYLE

their past pieces have taken upwards of 100 hours to complete, where Sister by SIBLING’s springy SS14 circle skirts or AW14’s

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9. They support others within the industry. All three founders are selfproclaimed advocates of fellow fashion brands. The SIBLING trio actively focus on only one or two collaborations a year, ensuring they invest adequate time to fully de velop their projects’ concepts. Obviously this mentality has proven beneficial, as the label’s work with Topshop/Topman and Grenson was met with great success. Similarly, their runway show collaborations with Sophia Webster and Swarovski received appropriately glowing reviews. 10. And they conquered both the women’s and men’s markets. SIBLING have managed to permeate the typically impenetrable womenswear market in addition to conquering the men’s. The founders have lamented that initially, buyers and the press were skeptical of their now highly acclaimed menswear line. They were also discouraged from entering womenswear because of its supposed competitive nature. But, given the huge momentum menswear has gained in recent years and Sister by SIBLING’s win of a Topshop NEWGEN sponsorship, it’s safe to say both labels’ accolades speak for themselves.

SIBLING SS13 (L) & AW13 (R)

superfine rib knits attest to Bryan’s knitting prowess. 7. They’re innovators. Spearheading the new wave in knitwear, SIBLING’s design team has pioneered several new techniques. Whether it’s yarn jackets made to look like distressed leather (SS13) or Sister by SIBLING’s bouncy knitted ‘bouclé’ suits (SS14), exploring novel production methods ‘is the whole point,’ maintains the founders. The atelier, a ‘loom laboratory’, is equipped with industrial hand-flap machines that allow the proudly British label to manufacture every garment in-house. Reportedly, SIBLING’s next challenge is to tackle denim. A surprising move, perhaps, but it is precisely the brand’s unpredictability that has SIBLING lovers coming back for more. 8. They attract consumers worldwide. Is anything less than universal appeal to be expected from the designers who’ve worked across the world? Considering Bryan, Bates and McCreery’s time in Milan, Paris and New York, it’s no surprise their design sensibility attracts a global audience. Taking inspiration from universal themes – from pop and punk to rock to rebellion – SIBLING’s creations can be worn by anyone. According to the trio, everyone can be part of the SIBLING family. And that is exactly why the label has price-lead collaborations, realising their coutureesque runway pieces are often above the average budget. As they told Dean Mayo Davies of Hint Magazine, ‘SIBLING may be made in London, but it’s for the world.’

Sister by SIBLING SS13

Sister by SIBLING AW13

All catwalk images: Vogue.com

an equally shocking tone selection, with neon orange crochet skirts, lime green in woven shift dresses, and pink and violet colour-blocked ensembles. Evidently Bryan, Bates and McCreery have no intention of dulling their loud palette penchant, and their wearable rainbows will continue to make the world a brighter place, literally. 6. But underneath it all, they know knitwear. Really, though, they know knitwear. Bryan spent years specialising in the craft, and Bates and McCreery simply describe themselves as being longobsessed. Their garments, although incredibly fun, have always possessed a strong workmanship and impressive feats of engineering. The majority of

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Be brave enough Collage: Original Stephanie King artwork


T Tell it to Them Straight

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Image: Stephanie King

God’s Own Junkyard

TELL IT TO THEM STRAIGHT

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TELL IT TO THEM STRAIGHT

Post One Night Stand Action Plan Fashion illustration: Jessica Durrant

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Collage: Original Stephanie King artwork

An Open Letter to Your Future Self:

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Hey Girl, You be looking fine. You got fit, worked your toned toosh off to bag yourself your dream job, and finally embraced your relationship status be it Betrothed or All the Single Ladies. You be radiating. Although it’s been five years since your last self-review, which means it’s time for a check-up. First off, the token post-university anxiety doesn’t gnaw your insides anymore, so that’s a plus. And what of John Mayer’s ‘Why Georgia?’ reminiscent quarter-life crisis? Whether it arrived ahead of schedule or right on time, you’ve checked off that milestone too. You now know exactly who you are and what you’re all about. Bugger insecurities. Those pesky niggles simply keep you humble. (I mean, there’s got to be some cap on your brilliance, it just wouldn’t be fair to the little people otherwise.) Clearly you’re still hilarious. Yet you still also have a weird relationship with food and your body — and probably always will — but, for the most part, you accept yourself and your wobbly/quirky bits. This is also why your style mantra is ‘fuck fads’; you now only wear what suits you. Same goes for your housing situation. You chucked out the houseshare days where gay Irish housemates call you ‘hun’ and smoke weed all the time, and proceeded to nab your own pad, potentially populated by a highly select group of individuals known as ‘best mates.’ Yes it’s tiny, but it’s yours, and it’s tailored to your own specifications. It’s also possibly why your credit card situation is grim as ever. Yeah, sorry, debts: they’re sticking around. They seem to have set up camp somewhere in between your next overdue notice and a week before pay-day. But it’s okay, because you’d rather have them hanging over your head than regret from not living your life fully. Also that flamingo-shaped bedside lamp was an essential furnishing. See? You now forgive yourself more easily. You’re totally zen, which is a surprise considering you used to ridicule anyone who spoke remotely esoterically. Although this chilled attitude didn’t come painlessly; it was born from a batch of unsuitable bachelors consecutively breaking your heart. However during those devastating periods you discovered who’s worth keeping in your phone and who’s deserving of a Facebook unfriend. Most of all, though, you learned to always speak your truth. You endured uncomfortable situations with grace and became more adept at asserting yourself elegantly. Sure, doing so at the office wasn’t always fun and sans awkward moments, but it’s what helped you earn that bitchin’ position and was a reminder to remain unapologetically you. So, overall, your health is pretty good. But it’s time for a renaissance. You’ve weathered a lot so far, from breakups to bad haircuts, and that old skin has got to be shed. Not for the sake of a New You — Pa! Old You was just as fabulous — but because you’ve outgrown your younger self. Yes, it’s time to decide your next big set of lofty goals, whatever form they assume. A big thank you dinner for your family and closest friends is well overdue, too. They are what got you here today. Show ’em some love and treat them like the rare diamonds they are. Above everything, make sure you stay open and upfront with others. Do that, and You 2.0’s going to be as awesome as Version 1. Until then, keep killing it.

XO, The Original You

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Image: Dye Lot

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Collage: Original Stephanie King artwork

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BE BOLD OR ITALIC, NEVER REGULAR.

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To Be Honest Issue 1