Friday, April 19, 2013

Colin Horgan Interview

Dearest Third Cousin,

I'm about the take a small blogging break, college is winding up, for good, and I have a nice little pile of work to do. I'll be back in about 3 weeks with lots of new posts, including the Perks of being a Tomboy! For now here is an extended version of my interview with Colin Horgan, I did for The Fair. I got a chance to chat with him just after Kerry Fashion Weekend but since then he has been very busy launching a men's capsule collection and jetting off to Copenhagen to work with David Anderson.

Colin Horgan’s designs feel very fresh and cohesive; no small feat for a designer only in the 3rd year of his fashion design degree. While still in college, Colin has started to build his brand and taken some really smart steps to establish his brand as a business. Not only has he established an online presence through social media but has also begun to cultivated an e-commerce aspect to his brand and secured stockists. While his brand awareness is impressive, he importantly has the design skill to back it up. Colin creates clothing that, are fresh and very modern. He understands the kind of women who would want to wear his clothing and he has created a new collection ‘FC13’ (first collection 2013) which will keep a lot of women happy.  This collection has a singular voice and you very much know what Colin is trying to convey, in my opinion this sense of unity is the hallmark of any successful collection. I think ultimately Colin has created an interesting take on femininity which taps into a new sense of what is sexy: sheer fabrics give a sense of sensuality which coupled with indelible leather provide strong shape and alluring strength. This duality is a great play on modern femininity. This collection makes me very excited to see what he does next.
I got a chance to ask Colin a few questions about his new collection just after he won the coveted ‘One to Watch’ award at Kerry Fashion Weekend 2013:

First of all, congratulations on your really well deserved success at Kerry Fashion Weekend, how was the experience?

Thank you! It was really amazing experience to be showing at Kerry Fashion Weekend. Opening the show seemed to have a bit of added pressure but thankfully everything (well mostly) got sent out the right way! I didn't expect to win as the standard this year was just so high. So winning is always a plus! 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how started designing?

Well I was always creatively ambitious. I guess everything fit into place once I got accepted to Limerick School of Art and Design. I'm currently in my third year out of four and love it here! The tutors are really inspiring both creatively and technically. The foundations of constructing and making garments have heavily influenced my FC13. I also gained experience last year while working in Stockholm, Sweden. The Scandinavian aesthetic always excites me. Clean, directional and polished lines often inspire me and my way of thinking.

Can you describe your ‘FC13’ collection?

FC13 (First Collection 2013) was inspired by a woman fighting back. My influences were defence forces like fencing and railings - pretty much anything that had a repetition of line! FC13, for me, is a way of fighting back, even when risks are involved!

Your collection has a very strong identity and I love the mix of fabrics and the strong shapes you used can you talk about these aspects of your collection? 

I wanted to create a story of transition through fabrics. Sheer chiffon and mesh airtech gradually evolve into luxurious jerseys. Perforated lambskin pierce into hard patent leathers to develop shielded armour. The silhouettes are quite masculine with a feminine cut. Tops are cut just under the bust; leathers are applied in strong areas, while zips provide for hard detail.

Who do you see wearing it?

A woman who would wear this collection is strong, confident and daring.

Will your collection be available to buy?

This collection will be available in store Om Diva , Atelier 27 Dublin.

What next for you? And how would you like to see your brand evolving?

Well I am literally off to Copenhagen in a couple of days to work with Danish designer, David Andersen. I will be working on my next collection for KFW2014 when I am not at the company, and then it's graduate collection! The brand itself is still under construction because I am still in college. But I feel that once I am confident to launch the label and know my customer I will definitely go for it. I cannot wait to begin and looking forward to the future!

For more of Colin’s work check out:

College Portfolio:
and Facebook: @ColinHorgan. 

Images c/o Colin Horgan.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Run Free

Dearest Third Cousin,

 Summer time, is a time to run free, explore, bear some skin and make some sweet memories.

5 things I want to do (more of) this Summer:

1. Yoga
2.Get a tattoo
3. Attend a music festival
4. An internship
5. Write (more)

And for any of you lovelies that have some exam stress coming up here is a beautiful guided meditation from  Melissa Ambrosini .


Images Via: Sticks and Stones Agency, Lottie Hall.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Style Warfare

Dearest Third Cousin,

 Street Style has created more than a little bit of debate within the fashion industry over the past month. Suzy Menkes, fashion reporter and editor of the International Herald tribune, sparked this debate by calling out many bloggers and street style ‘stars’ in her article ‘The Circus of Fashion’. She rather rightfully suggests that the parade of people ‘peacocking’ outside the shows has become as important as the shows themselves and asserts that:

‘You can hardly get up the steps at Lincoln Centre, in New York, or walk along the Tuileries Garden path in Paris because of all the photographers snapping at the poseurs.’

This statement is warranted and many commenters believe that street style is at capacity. Street style has peeked and I believe the phenomenon will undergo quite a bit of change over the next few seasons. I don’t believe it will dissipate but rather evolve, into what? Nobody knows, but this is the beauty of the rapid pace of change within the industry, perhaps the most striking aspect of industry at the moment. Fashion will keep us guessing and keep us on our toes. This momentum of change is a catalyst that has led to our current attitudes towards fashion and style. We consume and dispose of fashion and style at a rate that is unprecedented. This could lead to ambiguity, there may not be a definitive style trait associated with our present era and if this comes to be true, this rapid rate of change could be the defining feature of the 2010’s.

Paradoxically, style and fashion have never been more prevalent within our culture; a culture which also honours celebrity and more specifically the reality star. Menkes and fellow critic Tim Blanks associate the street style phenomenon with reality stardom. Blanks is less harsh than Menkes on this issue and in general, however I believe they are both on-point to a certain degree .Have a look at the mini-documentary ‘Take my Picture’ made by Garage magazine to hear his commentary which pre-dates Menkes’ article. At each fashion week there are many people looking to be noticed by Tommy Ton, Phil Oh, Tamu McPherson etc. In the Garage documentary, Blanks recounts, with a grimaced face, his experiences of watching people do outrageous things to be noticed by photographers. The reason for this behaviour has to do with exposure, often these people are walking product placement or trying to gain exposure for their work. This is not necessarily a negative. There are many street style ‘stars’ that create amazing work. I’m thinking of Susie Lau and Leandra Medine specifically who were cited in Menkes’ article and have responded thoughtfully and inquisitively to her.

Another incredibly positive aspect of product placement within street style is the exposure it gives to emerging designers. The Garage documentary mentioned above brilliantly highlights this. One of the commentators is Vika Gazinskaya who states that getting her designs photographed on the street is part of her marketing strategy. This strategy is as smart as it is advantageous and is adopted by a multitude of well established brands as well. Gifts and sponsorship are part of the blogging world, bloggers are regularly courted by brands and many accept the gifts offered, another fact that Menkes has issue with.  While street style can promote great bloggers, up-coming designers and established brands, the situation as I mentioned before, has reached critical mass and has led to this backlash.

We, as viewers, exasperate the situation.  We have contributed to this phenomenon too by creating the demand. If there was no demand, there would be no street style blogs, photographers or ‘stars’. We covet the images of the beautifully dressed. This is part of our fascination with celebrity; we all have our favourites, the ‘stars’ we look out for. Personally, I love Juila Sarr-Jamois and Leigh Lezark. Street style is a fun and frivolous way to interact with fashion, at least with the protective barrier of a laptop screen. I have never been outside the shows when the ‘fash paps’ are hounding their prey but from the footage I’ve seen it seems a bit insane. Phil Oh goes as far as to call it ‘trench war-fare’. I can see how many of the more experienced, traditional, ‘fashion crows’ Menkes refers to, would pine for the days when there were more restrictions in the industry. When fashion was for the elite and yes, there is still massive snobbery within the industry. A telling quote from Tommy Ton in ‘Take my Picture’ brings this to the fore. He states that ‘People who dress up to get photographed will not get photographed by the right people’. In the next scene Susie Lau replies ‘Well that’s rather an elitist view; who are the “right” people?’ While I adore Tommy’s images this elitist statement stands in opposition to the essence of street style. Is this indicative of the mind-set of the majority of street style ‘stars’ or should I say street style elite? I hope not.

Watch Take My Picture Here


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Summer Inspiration

Dearest Third Cousin,

Please enjoy this visual merriment

How AWESOME is this shoot from Sticks and Stones Agency, Photography: Janneke Storm , MUA: Kate Shanahan, Clothes: Alterior Motiff . I love everything about this, it appeals to all my senses and sensibilities. I want everything this shoot is selling me: the clothes, the lifestyle, the fun and carefree sunshine filled activities , I want it all, now. This is always what I dream Summer to be, and then well, I live in Ireland, so you know, its different. I am however hoping that the mysterious New Zealand weather man, that has promised us a few months, worthy of the title of 'Summer' is correct and maybe this photo-shoot might come to life a bit closer to home. 

Ps: Check out The Fair Issue 2 which features my interview with Colin Horgan.