Archive for the ‘Sarah Leigh’ Category

Paris Couture Week A/W 10-11 Highlights

July 9, 2010

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This month Sarah indulges us with her personal highlights from Paris Couture Week.

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Christian Dior Haute Couture, autumnwinter 2010/11 and Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture, autumnwinter 2010/11

Now ready-to-wear is more my bag, but if I were cohabiting with a Sheik or Oligarch (sorry boyf, no offence), Haute Couture may be more so. Paris Haute Couture Week is one of those fashion occasions that combines the most dazzling displays of design, craftsmanship and luxury with theatrics, entertainment and unadulterated glamour.

Giving the world’s most skilled designers platform to unleash their inner imagination, Couture Week often sets the trends for seasons to come. This season, a few such trends emerged – notably black, black and more black, injections of acidic lime green and a running Middle Eastern aesthetic.

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Jean Paul Gaultier

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Jean Paul Gaultier

My highlights include John Galliano for Dior’s vibrant, ostentatious extravaganza; complete with dip-dyed fabrics, tiers, frills, ruffles and lashings of botanical inspiration. Jean Paul Gaultier also wowed with simple yet effective takes on wardrobe staples such as the trench and twinset, while his 1970’s-tinged floating silk-satin gowns and draped little black dresses left me particularly enamoured. This, paired with the turban-esque headpieces left me imagining a nostalgic, seriously wealthy, Upper East Sider expatriated in the Middle East…

Both Dior and Gaultier favoured thinly veiled faces, adding to both the mystery and drama of the occasion, and perhaps echoing just a little bit, the conservative nature of Arabic inspiration.

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Elie Saab Haute Couture, autumnwinter 2010/11

Leave it to Elie Saab, this time inspired by La Fenice, Venice’s legendary opera house, to come up with a perspective myriad of gowns to grace the red carpets and church isles. This particular taupe creation caught my eye, with its frilled, open-backed bodice and full layers of rich chiffon skirting… and yes Dad, you will be needing to find out if they do it in ivory, and familiarise yourself with the swing tag.

Sarah

Style Society – Interview With Sarah Leigh

March 19, 2010

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Sunday 14th March saw Style Society, a fashion and live music event put on by dear friend of the Fold Sarah Leigh, descend upon Orange Rooms, Southampton. Seeing as the night was such a success, we felt it necessary to have a quick chat with Sarah about the night – the highs, the lows and plans for the future.

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Just for the benefit of our readers, what exactly was Style Society?

In a nutshell, Style Society was, and will be a bi-annual event created to enjoy the talent of Southampton’s local fashion brands and professionals, artists and musicians – to put all this creativity under one roof for an informal evening of networking and entertainment.

What inspired you to put this event on in the first place?

The concept came about when I started my blog; Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files. I’ve been working in the fashion industry for a few years now and wanted a space to document my day to day experiences, sights and give my opinion on things I’m passionate about. The blog has proved successful and I have found it a great platform to promote local fashion and design talent and to speak about up and coming names. It was this idea that lead me to think about putting an event on; to gather many of my friends and contacts together in one location and empower them to show off their skills to a live audience, promote themselves and have a really great time while they do it. Initially I discussed the idea with Sophie Penn, my friend and a Southampton-based writer and stylist, who was also looking to do something locally too to promote herself and the designers she regularly uses, and Style Society was born.

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What was the biggest highlight of the night for you?

The highlight was seeing it all come together at about 7pm! We’d spent the whole day setting up Orange Rooms, the bar where the event was held, to house all of our exhibitors and entertainment, not to mention 4 months planning it all, and to see everyone in place and guests start arriving was so rewarding. It looked just how I’d imagined.

What was the biggest headache you encountered?

The biggest headache in the run-up to the event was the fact that it was on a Sunday, and Mothering Sunday to be exact! As far as promoting was concerned, we really had our work cut out, but this just meant that we ensured our event had something for everyone (Mums too), and that there was enough entertainment to ensure people stayed all night long!

On the day space was a small headache, just because of the number of people involved, and we wanted to make sure everyone has a great location to promote their products or services. Room was a little tight, but it turned out fantastically!

In hindsight, what would you choose to do differently, if anything?

In hindsight, I would have been aware of the date of Mothering Sunday! Although the event was a huge success, it could have been one less thing to worry about!

How well suited do you feel Southampton is as a city to hold events such as these?

To be honest, Southampton has an unfair reputation of lacking creativity, but I wanted to prove that there is an underground scene here, with hoards of fantastic artists, singers, fashion designers and stores looking to spread their message and inspire others. In Solent University, we have a hotbed of creative talent emerging, and the event was just as much about promoting this as established organizations.

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Style Society featured live art, illustrators, vintage boutiques, live music and DJs. If there is the possibility of a follow-up event sometime in the future, are there any other avenues you’d particularly like to explore?

I would love to do another event, perhaps in the summer, so that we could have some of the entertainment outdoors – a fashion festival would be ideal!! Its early days, put I’ve got my planning hat back on already! I would love to include more designers, brands and bands who have now approached me, and really I think there’s room for all kinds of creative outlet – as long as it fits with the ethos of Style Society.

How much money did you raise altogether? Where will it be going?

On the night we raised around £900, which is just fantastic – I’m overwhelmed by the people who came out and supported the event. Donations are still pouring in this week, and so we look set to hit our £1000 goal. £1000 will aid Oxfam to build a classroom in one of the world’s poorest communities – I strongly support education, and this overall aim fitted perfectly with our support of promoting emerging individuals.

What has the reaction been from the people that contributed on the night?

Everyone I have spoke to, that was involved with the event has been so kind and generous following it, and have all offered their services for next time. I think we’ve found a fantastic set of people who have a lot in common and have proved to be quite a forceful collective!

Any plans to put another event on in the future?

Yes I thinks so, Sophie and I would love to repeat Style Society, and there are a few more charity and networking orientated events I’ve been asked to get involved with. This has been the first event I planned beginning to end, and let’s just say I’ve caught the bug – stay tuned to Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files for news!

Visit Sarah’s blog for full coverage of the night!

James

Style Society @ Orange Rooms, Southampton

March 17, 2010

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Here’s some pics from Sarah Leigh’s Style Society event at Orange Rooms last Sunday. A very successful evening, with much fun had by all! Rumours have it that there might be another event in the not to distant future!

Big up Sarah, Sophie the models and all those that lent a helping hand.

Kristian

Style Society @ Orange Rooms, Sunday 14th March 2010

February 7, 2010

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Southampton’s first fashion, design and music-specific event STYLE SOCIETY has tickets on sale now!

Plus, the lovely Hepwright’s, with its myriad of fabulous vintage fare are offering 20% discount to anyone who buys their STYLE SOCIETY ticket in advance, just take your receipt to the showroom!

Visit Orange Rooms website for advance tickets, and don’t forget to RSVP on the Facebook event page!

Just in case you’ve been living your life away from Style Files lately, here’s a little more info…

The blog, Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files, presents the first of its eponymous events STYLE SOCIETY. The party aims to bring Southampton’s (and beyond!) creative minds together for an evening of music, drinks, dancing, creativity and to raise some much needed cash for Oxfam.

From Solent’s Fashion and Design faculty, to our city’s designers, budding vintage enthusiasts and simply the downright trendy – all are welcome to Southampton’s very first fashion-dedicated evening.

There on the night:

• Live bands will keep us entertained, while later DJ Ryan B will be spinning a mixture of 80’s hip hop and funk

• An auction with a host of amazing gifts to aid Oxfam – Style Society aims to build a new classroom providing education to an under privileged community – look out for exclusive gifts from the likes of Reebok, Addict and Hepwrights

• Jam-packed gift bags for the ‘best dressed’ or ‘vintage fabulous’, to be awarded to one super-stylish guy, and one glamorous girl on the night

• A ‘surprise’ fashion extravaganza, courtesy of stylist Sophie Penn

• Resident photographers will be snapping your outfits and asking all about them around the bar and in our photobooth.

• An area of Orange Rooms gives way to the HEPWRIGHT’S VINTAGE LOUNGE – a chill out come dressing up area with the finest stock from Hepwright’s vintage emporium (store located on Queen’s Terrace, Southampton)

• Gallery areas and live art (from the likes of Iris Hill’s Lisa Jean) & DIY crafts, plus many an activity to get involved with! Not to mention a host of Oxfam’s vintage stock to rifle through!

For more info email stylesociety2010@gmail.com.

P.S. Pass on the time/date/place to your fabulous fashionista friends!

All design artwork done by me! Make sure you get down there, gonna be a big night.

James

What’s Hot in 2010 by Sarah Leigh

January 16, 2010

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After a brief hiatus, Sarah returns with her third contribution to the Fold, offering some insider tips on what’s hot for the coming year in fashion, music, art and style.

A little late in the day, and vastly covered by the glossies, but I thought I’d put in my two cents on who (and what) will be unmissable in 2010. From the new set of rock and pop stars to inspirational TV dramas and the latest fashion trends, read on for an essential guide to ‘what’s hot’ for the coming year.

Marina and the Diamonds

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Half Welsh, half Greek Marina Diamandis gained a lot of press last year for her catchy rock-tinged pop and retro pinup persona. 2010 will see big things for this 24 year-old songstress, her latest single Hollywood, from her eagerly awaited debut album The Family Jewels, is possibly the most memorable song of the New Year. Her love of combining 50’s style bodysuits with opaque tights and 80’s shoulder-padded jackets (with a good measure of fringing and sequins) has and will earn her some serious fashion stripes in the months to come too.

The return of Big Love

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Many of you know, and indeed understand my unwavering style-admiration for Chloe Sevigny, and not only does this woman know how to dress herself (or employ a rather talented person who does), but she can act too. Over here in the UK we only got the first season of Big Love, but on the other side of the pond season 4 has just begun on HBO. If Sevigny’s prairie chic attire and polygamous credit card wielding, serial shopping alter ego isn’t reason enough to tune in, then news that original indie queen Sissy Spacek features in this run should be! I’m predicting big things for a prairie inspired look this summer, and Sevigny could just provide the inspiration you need!

I suggest you get on the WWW and download (legally please children) the back catalogue immediately, or buy the boxset on DVD (region 1), or for those of you lucky enough to receive HBO – tune in damn it!

Michael Van Der Ham

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The Dutch Central Saint Martin’s graduate has appropriately taken the fashion and celebrity dressing world by storm, and to be honest I can hardly wait to see what 2010 will see from Mr V D Ham. Autumn/winter 09/10 saw his black and gold asymmetric brocade creations, while spring/summer 10 bought about beautiful silk, satin and tulle lop-sided rusched mini-dresses and candy hued, metallic tinged separates…. Mmm mmm.

Sports Luxe

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For womenswear this year, it’s all about a luxury approach to sportswear. With designer du jour Alexander Wang headlining the trend, 2010 will see jersey applied to just about garment, cycling shorts, knee high soccer socks, tennis skirts and wedge-heeled sneakers taking centre stage. For ultimate stylista points add a 90s grungy twist with laddered tights and don’t ditch those Ray-ban Wayfarers just yet.

The Temper Trap

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It was Temper Trap’s latest single Fader that really made me sit up and take notice of the band. On a bigger scale, the Australian band attribute their new status to their recording sessions with UK producer Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys). Last year members Dougy, Jonathan, Lorenzo and Toby moved from their native Melbourne to London, and immersed themselves in to the UK music scene, they have since embarked on a headline tour, played festivals up and down the country and been signed to US label Glassnote Recoreds; cue another appearance at the acclaimed South by Southwest festival.

Upon my first listen to their Fader track, I must say it immediately evoked a sense of nostalgia – reminding me of the soft 80’s rock that I love. Indeed, Temper Track are known for their atmospheric sound and pulsating drums. They’ve got a little something going on style wise too, with a nice collection of geek-chic specs, Campagnolo cycling caps and lead singer Dougie’s anarchic school boy charm.

Thom Kerr

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Thom Kerr is my new favourite photographer (let’s face it, I need one since David LaChapelle semi-retired to some lake-side retreat). He combines a mixture of super-glossy fashion imagery with a little surrealism and ever-changing ethereal lighting, not to mention the fact that the accompanying track to his website is Mama Cass’ It’s Getting Better – what’s not to like.

Hailing from Australia, Kerr originally studied fine art film before stepping behind the lens in 2005. There are few image makers to take the industry by such force in such a small amount of time, and with clients already including O’Zine magazine, Christian Audigier and Warner Music, the only way is up.

Saoirse Ronan

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Atonement’s little Briony Tallis is now nearly 15 and an Academy Award, Bafta and Golden Globe nominated actress. Her 2010-released effort, Irena in ‘The Way Back’, looks set to gain in further praise and acclaim.

The beautiful young Irish actress will swiftly take the reins from Emma Watson et all as Europe’s most interesting, talented and dynamic icon.

Letterman Jackets

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Guys, if you purchase one thing this year make it a 1960s style American high school letterman jacket. We’re talking when Danny Zuko turns jock, preppy HSM types but with a teddy boy edge. The key is to mix it up, make it edgy, make it cool – combine it with different styles, granddad-chic, geek-chic, urban, city slicker – the choice is yours.

Sarah

SS10 Runway Trends by Sarah Leigh

October 18, 2009

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In the second of our monthly contributions from blogger, magazine editor and friend of the Fold Sarah Leigh, Sarah looks at the recent runway season and picks out several key looks that will be big this coming spring/summer. You heard it here first!

I love fashion month, it’s a time of serious celebrity spotting, new trends, devouring the reviews and wishing you were just that little bit richer. It’s such a self-indulgent, frivolous, pretty ridiculous time; London’s cool kids wander from show to show in their craziest ensembles, Rihanna tries to ‘out-style’ everyone and the bloggers (like me) go in to caffeine-and-Sauvignon-Blanc-fuelled posting frenzies.

Of course, for us mere mortals, that are not Rihanna, it also marks a very important fashion shift. We can observe the latest, reoccurring trends, and then sit and wait for the Great British High Street to rip them all off. Cynical yes, handy for the wallet yes, shameful, no!

So, a few trends have popped up across the fashion weeks this season, of course NYC, London, Milan and Paris all have their own takes on each. New York tend to be a little more commercial and preppy, London goes a little wild, Milan plays it safe (so the multi-million Euro housewives buy in to it) and Paris… well, what you see in Paris will actually change the way people dress.

Colour Blocking
Colour blocking just keeps on coming as a seasonal staple. This summer’s key colours include sage or mint tones of green and hot orange. My looks-to-watch include Jean Paul Gaultier’s eighties take, complete with wide leg harem pants and Dr Martens, and Burberry’s candy-sweet chiffon and jersey ensemble; offset with taupe accessories. Mixing same-colour textures is also big news this season.

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Future Warrior
Think William Wallace meets the year 2100, as seen at Rodarte in New York and Todd Lynn in London. Each fashion house combine earthen elements with chaotic styling and a truck load of attitude. Meanwhile, Balenciaga and Cheap & Chic take things more futuristically with straps, buckles and a whole load of leather. A key detail to note is the use of hoods and snoods – giving a mysterious, otherworldly edge.

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Underwear as Outerwear
Underwear inspired garments have been a huge talking point this season, with Marc Jacobs kicking things off in shimmering style in New York. His satin balconette bras (worn over the blouses) and panelled pants accumulated an almost instant waiting list, while over in London Louise Goldin channelled Madonna circa 1990. Petite conical bras created eye-catching (!) features amongst her intricately constructed mini dresses.

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Eclectic Styling
Marc Jacobs (or at least his stylist) must have spent a while in Harajuku this summer, because the styling for his collections for Marc by MJ and Louis Vuitton were definitely verging on the eccentric. ‘Mix and match’ also made its way to Milan in one of my favourite collections. D Squared 2’s Dean and Dan Caten successfully sent out a collection of models laden in all manner of hillbilly, trucker and camp trip paraphernalia – resulting in a rural mishmash of trashy splendour.

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All White
Many designers decided to ‘wipe the slate clean’ this season – many remark as a sign of cleansing after recession. In my opinion the most successful were those who accompanied all white looks with minimal silhouettes and styling. In Paris, Jil Sander went for unusual pattern cutting and layered looks, while in New York Calvin Klein stuck with what they know best with plain low-neck singlets and oversized blazers.

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Digital All-over Prints
2009 and 2010 have to be the years all over prints seriously made an impact on fashion. And there’s not many who do ‘digital’ as well as Alexander McQueen. Following on intermittently from his s/s 09 collection of fractal art prints, he returns with animalistic and ethereal symmetric designs. Symmetry is the winning formula for s/s 10, while florals are a front runner to be ‘digitalised’.

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Grungy Knits
Thanks to the likes of fashion wonder kid Alexander Wang and his BFF Erin Wasson, grunge isn’t going anywhere fast. From spider web knits to downright tatty jumpers, 2010 will be the year of looking a little dishevelled. Worn and unfinished textures will also be big news – let’s hope for their price tag these knits don’t wear further.

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‘Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary’ by Sarah Leigh

September 16, 2009

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In an effort to expand and diversify our content we have asked Sarah Leigh, managing editor of trend forecasting site Mpdclick.com and author of Sarah Leigh’s Style Files to contribute a monthly article to our blog. Here is the first, a look at the 40th anniversary of seminal rock festival Woodstock and the numerous styles it spawned.

There’s something about the hippy movement of the 1960’s that makes me think they were on to something…and arguably you can, and many have compared the subculture’s heyday as similar to the time we now face.

For example, in 2009 there are a record number of communes and shared living arrangements popping up across the world –not places for oddball ‘free love’ types, but homes for like-minded creatives, seeking an alternative to the humdrums of reality. Yes, this, amongst other things, is a direct result of the economic downturn and recent political discord, but this mirrors the ethos of the 1960’s hippy whom occupied communes, promoted a bohemian care-free way of life and made music acts and festivals as infamous as we consider the likes of Woodstock are today.

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Hippies stemmed from the Beat Generation of the 1950’s (pioneered by the likes of American writers including Allen Ginsberg), who sought a romantic desire for a spontaneous, independent existence following the strong intellectual undercurrent that swept the postwar era. The 1950’s were a time of readjusting to a post violent and economically unstable environment, just as 2009 sees wars continue in the Middle East and the global recession continue to blight society. As the 1960’s began, and hippy movements and collectives popped up across the globe, inspired by the values of the Beat Generation, off they went with their anti-war protests and proclamation of a ‘new dawn’.

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Hippies turned to their alternative arts of street theatre, and synonymous music genres as a way of expressing their feelings and their protests. Hippies opposed political and social convention, choosing a gentle ideology that favored peace, love and personal freedom. 2009 has also seen the number of protests rise, most notably in a calm and orderly fashion, as documented in Welcome To The Fold’s September post Protest Chic, objecting against anything from war, to lack of money, to unemployment to climate change.

1969 saw the zenith of hippy culture; Woodstock. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Woodstock was one of the ’50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll’.

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August 2009 saw the 40th anniversary of the now infamous music and art festival. The 1969 event and subsequent documentary movie cemented its place in history with bands like Grateful Dead and singers Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix playing to the 500,000 strong crowd at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in White Lake, Sullivan County. The documentary movie, re-released on DVD this year captured the hedonistic weekend in all its glory, later receiving the Academy Award for Feature Documentary.

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Over the years many have been inspired by the bohemian attitude and aesthetic of Woodstock, while many films and songs reference it, most recently director Ang Lee re-told the story featuring critically acclaimed young actors Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch in ‘Taking Woodstock’. The comedy-drama is based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte. Cue a barrage of 1960’s hippy get-up on the big screen.

Given the frequency with which hippie looks are richly revered and regularly revived, Woodstock’s anniversary spawned yet another resurgence. Spring/summer 2009 enjoyed bohemian headbands, floral maxi dresses, denim waistcoats and high-waisted denim flares.

The remarkable era looks set to drift well in to autumn/winter 09/10’s mindset; fashion power house Topshop’s latest trend ‘Marianne’ boasts “the fashion zeitgeist of the late 60s with glamorously bohemian pieces”, not to mention “rock-royalty shades…tarnished sequins…textured Mongolian gilets…and platform thigh boots [to] finish off the free loving rock-chic look”

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Earlier on Style Files I documented the rise in Beatnik styling, using the film Almost Famous as inspiration for the look.

It’s not unusual for such an iconic event to influence fashion time and time again, but my question is will it ever stop? The bottom line is hippy and Beatnik infused trends are fail-safe and entirely commercial, with a shed load of differing looks to explore. Don’t give up on ‘boho’, if the economy and political landscape have anything to do with it, it’s a safe bet for at least another summer.