Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Vogue Festival 2013: festival fashion hub

As promised in yesterday's blog post, today I will share snippets of all the fun extras that Vogue Festival goers could enjoy. The talks took place in two large auditoriums at the South Bank Centre in London, but in the atrium joining the two halls together, there was what I will call, the "festival fashion hub". The fashion hub was an incredibly exciting place to be. It was the perfect opportunity for outfit inspirations, and fashion lovers could indulge in some beauty therapy, whether that was Dior smokey eyes, YSL gorgeous lip colour, or the incredibly popular Vogue braid bar. All of these beauty indulgences were totally free with any talk ticket!

Unfortunately I didn't have time to indulge in these freebies as I was busy enjoying another pop-up activity in the festival fashion hub... as I had attended Behind the Scenes of a Vogue Cover Shoot, I simply couldn't resist the chance to make my very own Vogue cover photo! Although this experience cost an extra £10, it was such a rare opportunity, and I just had to have a go! My make up was touched up by a professional Chanel make up artist, who decided that I should try Chanel Rebel on my lips (it was so bright, but I loved it!), she touched up my cheek bones, put minimal liner and shadow on my eyes, and made my eyebrows darker. I loved sitting in the make up chair being pampered - it was something I could definitely get used to! The next step was to chose some Chanel props for the shoot, and I just had to go for the sparkly Chanel jacket! The super friendly stylist also dressed me in Chanel pearls, sunglasses, and gold cuff - I couldn't believe I was wearing so much Chanel all in one go, and dread to think of how much all those accessories cost. At this point I should let you all know that I am really not comfortable having my photograph taken, and I was so nervous to have all those fashion professionals staring, so I just had to try and have fun with it (but ended up looking quite stiff and serious!). But... here is my attempt at a Vogue cover (!):

Other fun elements of the festival was the chic Vogue cafĂ© and the exclusive Vogue Festival shop. I simply couldn't resist splashing some cash in the shop and came away with the Vogue Festival t-shirt, £20, which was made to look effortlessly cool by the Vogue staff,  and a collectable book called Vogue on Coco Chanel, £15. 

The final, and truly novel, highlight of my Vogue Festival experience was the Fashion Journalism Panel that was put on to provide unique advice for any budding fashion journalists at the event. I was incredibly privileged to have a one-on-one chat with Sarah Harris, British Vogue Fashion Features Director. I thought I would use my time to simply ask her about her job and how she got there, and spent most of my time listening to her every word to try and gain as much advice as I could. Her journey into the industry was blessed by the fact that from an early age she knew exactly what she wanted to go into, and she had the confidence and intelligence to go for it. I told her that for a large proportion of my life, the fashion industry was one that seemed as though it was in another dreamlike world, and that in was an intangible concept to me. However I shared that recently I had realised that perhaps it wasn't so unreachable, and if I could, I would really love to have a good crack at being a fashion journalist. She could see that I had the drive, and I am confident that my writing is strong enough, and so she advised me to enter the Vogue Talent Competition. It is something that I will definitely enter, I just need to decided whether I want to do it this year or next. She also said that an incredibly important part of any features contributor is having the ideas and creative imagination. 

My experience of the Vogue Festival 2013 was a truly inspiring one. It made me realise that the fashion industry is actually a lot more welcoming than it may first appear. There really are many people within it who are willing to share their experiences to inspire and cultivate the next wave of potential industry contributors. When my day was over on Saturday, I only wishes that I had bought a ticket to come back for more on the Sunday! Next year I am most definitely going to purchase a weekend ticket, and I strongly advise that you do too!

Love Lucy x

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Vogue Festival 2013: Behind the Scenes of a Vogue Cover Shoot

As I sit here trying to write a blog post about my experience of the Vogue Festival 2013, I simply can't find the words to express how wonderful it was. It was a truly unique experience, and one which offered fashion lovers a real insight into the industry. It was like walking into a room which just was Vogue - British Vogue in motion. Each person had their own style quirks, and the atmosphere totally dispelled the myth that the fashion world is negatively judgemental; instead all I heard were sincere compliments about fellow attendees. As it was such an exciting experience I have decided to split up my day into two blog posts: this one will focus solely on the talk I attended - Behind the Scenes of a Vogue Cover Shoot; and tomorrow's will be more about my overall experience, the fun extras that were available, and the innovative Fashion Mentoring Panel.

The Festival was underpinned by a series of talks and discussions from some of the industry giants. If I could have I would have attended them all, but being a recent graduate on a charity wage, I had to be careful about which talk I treated myself to. I was absolutely delighted to be in one the few discussions lead by Alexandra Shulman - British Vogue Editor-in-Chief - and even more delighted when I found out that it was the only discussion in which "the beautiful tornado" Cara Delevingne would be speaking! Also on the panel was the extremely eloquent Lucinda Chambers - lover of hats and ankle socks! Queen of the smokey eye Charlotte Tilbury, who worked on her first British Vogue cover in 2003. Leading hairstylist Sam McKnight, who has been working on British Vogue covers since the late 70s. So here is what I learnt about being Behind the Scenes of a Vogue Cover Shoot...

Fact number one about Vogue cover shoots: the end result is often not what was planned! Fact number two: you have to be prepared for the totally unexpected to happen! These two facts were wonderfully highlighted by some very entertaining tales from the panel. Not least of all was the story behind Emma Watson's December 2010 British Vogue Cover. Luckily Lucinda could now view the events of Emma's first cover with the light-heartedness that hindsight can offer, but at the time, when they discovered that the Eurostar train manager had stolen all the clothes for the photo shoot, neither Emma nor Lucinda nor Emma's agent could see the funny side. Lucinda recalled how Emma kept saying "But I've waited ten years for this! [for her first Vogue shoot]". Happily, one dress showed up: the Valentino. The Valentino saved the day, and it turned out that Emma's cover was divine. 

But the true professionals showed that they could rock almost any situation. Sam McKnight suffered a similar disaster to Lucinda when none of the hair products showed up for a shoot with Kate Moss on a secluded Caribbean island; he had to make do with sea water to style Miss Moss's do! However despite their professional attitudes and invaluable experiences, it seems that everyone from Testino to Delevingne get nervous when shooting a British Vogue cover. Cara spoke of her nerves on the day of the March 2013 issue (top photo). She felt like it was her first job, despite having worked with the "dream team" a number of times before. However Lucinda interestingly said that she assumes everyone is nervous when shooting a cover, as it has to be that "money" shot. Alexandra acknowledged that it is the one outward facing page of the magazine each month - the one that has to say "buy me", but have the essence of British Vogue at the same time, so it is only natural that the team are nervous. However they all spoke of a sort of magic that can happen on a cover shoot, and Lucinda said it most definitely happened on Cara's shoot; she spoke of a light that comes on behind a model's eyes when everything is coming together, and then she can relax, knowing that they will have "the shot". 

It also became increasingly apparent that a cover shoot is very much a collaborative effort between everyone involved. Everyone on the panel respected each other's professional artistic talents, and spoke of how they had to be open to artistic fluidity on the day of a cover shoot; only then will something special be produced. 

The panel were incredibly engaging, and obviously very passionate about their work. Sometimes perhaps a little too passionate, as Lucinda admitted to dismissing Cheryl Cole's Malaria as a bit of a temperature, pretty much forcing her to continue until they had the shot. She did, however, feel rather awful when she later saw on the news that the starlett had been taken into intensive care - but at least they had the shot!

One last secret that I just have to share with you all is that on Natalia Vodianova's May 2008 cover, Lucinda had to capture the shot in a taxi on her way to the airport, and there wasn't even enough time to get her into the dress! Lucinda simply asked her to lie on the dress, to create an illusion that she was wearing, and the results are stunning - that is what I call true professionalism!

The amounts of pressure that the Vogue team are sometimes under, would be truly overwhelming to most, however hearing them speak has simply reinforced to me that they really are the best in the business. And the fact that they want to share their experiences with others who look up to them is a truly encouraging sign for the next generation.

Do keep an eye out for my next post on the 2013 Vogue Festival in association with Vertu.

Love Lucy x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Fusing Fashion & Philanthropy: Wild Soul Sunglasses

As my regular readers will know, I usually stick to blogging about British fashion and British events; however I received a Press Release last week that got me excited. It was about a new brand of US sunglasses by Wild Soul, and as the title suggests, they have found a wonderful way to fuse fashion and philanthropy. As someone who fills up their spare time with fashion, but spends their life working for a charity, this was an idea that I immediately fell in love with. I often feel guilty when I sit at work learning about children who live and work on the streets, and then go home to write my blog, posting up pictures of items that can cost +£1,000. Although simply buying a product that donates a proportion to the buyer's chosen charity is only a small way of supporting those less fortunate, it is still a small way which shows that some people in fashion do care.

Wild Soul Sunglasses
Black Owls
$100 USD

Wild Soul Sunglasses launched in November 2012 by Marc Battipaglia and Andrea S Beker, who say: "Wild Soul was created on the premise that there are causes greater than our own that can and must be supported. We are dedicated to giving supporters of Wild Soul a platform to help the causes that are close to their heart." Such an ethos is encouraging in an industry that can often be thought of as shallow and self-peserving, and I really hope that their refreshing attitude is rewarded by fashion lovers. 

Wild Soul Sunglasses
Tortoise Owls
$100 USD

Wild Soul Sunglasses are individually named after untamed animals, such as the Lion, the Owl, the Elephany and the Rhino, helping customers to be "wild" whilst helping them "fulfil their soul", giving a portion of each sale to a charity of the customer's choice. Each pair of sunglasses are meticulously crafter after the intricate features of the animal whose name they carry, and are available in several rich and earthy colours using quality materials. 

Wild Soul Sunglasses
Spotted Ivory Lions
$100 USD

These gorgeously made, super-cool sunglasses are perfect for those of us who love our fashion and want to give something back to the world at the same time. Marc and Andrea have successfully bridged the gap between fashionistas and philanthropists worldwide, affirming that there is a little Wild in everyone's Soul. My only question is, when will they be available in the UK? 

Love Lucy x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Simon Frederick: a photographer you should know about!

On March 27th I wrote a post about an upcoming portraiture exhibition by photographer Simon Frederick. You can read that post here. So I went to the opening night of the exhibition titled "My Mates @ Work", and it was a real privilege to be one of the first to view such an impressive body of work.

The atmosphere was uber-chilled, but you could also feel an overwhelming buzz of excitement amongst the attendees. Most importantly of all, every person in the exhibition room could not move away from the walls; they were fixated by Simon's work. He has an incredibly rare gift. He's able to capture that part of his subjects that they thought were hidden, or that they didn't even know existed, making them feel totally at ease to reveal their inner-most personality on film. The portraits speak for themselves, so take a look at the below pictures to see Simon's refreshing work for yourself.

Mark Powell
bespoke tailor

Trevor Nelson MBE
DJ and presenter

James Barnor
professional photographer

fashion designer

Jason Jules
style consultant

Gil Carvalho
shoe designer

David Adjaye OBE

Highlights of the evening included Mark Powell standing proudly by his portrait for the entire evening, meeting the delightful Peter Howarth from the band The Hollies, and being in the same room as Sadie Frost!

Watch this brilliant video to get a feel for the night, and to hear from Simon and his "Mates @ Work". And have a read of this Daily Mail article to see Sadie Frost standing next to her beautiful portrait at the opening night.

Unfortunately the exhibition has now closed. However there may be another opportunity to see this wonderful collection of portraits in June... stay tuned!

What do you think of Simon's collection? Be sure to like his page on Facebook!

Love Lucy x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Vogue Festival 2013: have you got your tickets yet?

The Vogue Festival in association with Vertu is taking place in London, England, on 27th and 28th of this month. This is an event which is only in its second year; however the resounding success of the first guarantees this one to be a must-attend event in any fashion lover's calendar. This entirely unique opportunity enables those of us who aren't "in" the industry to have a glimpse into the careers and experiences of those who are. It is an event which signals the pioneering attitude of British fashion, as it is open to anyone who is willing to purchase a ticket (priced between £30-£40), and is not just exclusive to those who are already consider as important within the industry.

I am lucky enough to have got my hands on a ticket for the talk entitled "Behind the Scenes of a Vogue Cover Shoot: secrets from the set". This discussion involves industry giants such as British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman, Vogue Fashion Director Lucinda Chambers, hairstylist Sam McKnight, make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, and model of the moment Cara Delevingne (ahhh!). Unfortunately the tickets for this discussion are sold out, however in early May I shall be writing a detailed blog post about the things I learn on the day, and promise to share any secrets that may be shared by the discussion leaders. I would also like to suggest that if you have a burning question that you may like to ask any of these people, I may be able to ask it on you behalf, so just let me know...

If you would like to attend the Festival yourself, there are still tickets available, so whip your plastic out ASAP! At the time of my posting this blog post, there are still places for discussions such as "So, You Want To Be a Fashion Designer?", "Paul Smith and Alexa Chung", and "Too Fat, Too Thin...Will We Ever Be Content?". Take a look at the Southbank Centre website for more details: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

For more information for the Vogue website itself, please click on the following link: www.vogue.co.uk

Do you have tickets for The Vogue Festival 2013? If so which discussions are you going to? I would love to hear! I would also love to hear any feedback from those of you who went to the 2012 Vogue Festival, just so I know what to expect!

I am very much looking forward to reporting back from this event!

Love Lucy x

Monday, 1 April 2013

April Wish List: Top Ten

For those of us living in the UK, March was a pretty chilly month, and if the weather reports are to be listened to, April isn't looking too promising either. As depressing as this may initially seem, I am inclined to use this unseasonal cold-snap to practice my styling for the colder seasons (although the high street is evidently trying to pretend that kinder weather is on the way, and Spring/Summer 2013 clothes are all that can be found in the shops!). I have chosen bright but layer-able clothes for this month's Wish List - such as the pink Topshop cami and the Next blue pac-a-mac - this way I can wear spring colours whilst protecting against the undesirable weather. I have also included Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette to bring some Spring scents into my life! So, here's a look at my Top Ten for April:


blue wooster tote (in the sale!)


daisy eau de toilette 50ml


blue pac-a-mac


aura chakra bracelet in 24c gold


pink strappy cami


love tube skirt


metallic python bow belt in teal blue


le vernis nail colour in rose exuberant


zebra pattern jacquard coat


soldier colour block platforms

So, I know it's cold out there, but do try to layer up some colours to put some cheer into your days! I'm also going to make sure that I up my exercise and eat cleanly (especially after all those Easter eggs!), and I'm hoping these little things will make a big difference in my attitude towards this dreary weather. 

What will you be wearing this April to cheer yourself up?

Love Lucy x