Gossip girl – Technology Tells All…

I am officially addicted to Gossip Girl! Full of the winter flu and feeling tragically sorry for myself I decided to catch up on some girlie TV. I had read about GG in  January edition of Vogue as a fashion writer wrote about her addiction to the series – the article talked about the fashion, more fashion and well, more fashion…

As I turned on the first episode and was hooked – I mean it is literally filled with FASHION! The show has two leading ladies Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodson, both from downtown Manhattans elite. They shop in Henri Bendels and Bergdorfs – its basically front row fashion footage.
The show is narrated by a mystery fashion blogger called Gossip Girl who reports all the scandal of the casts secret escapades and each episode shows them checking their blackberries and mobiles to review the latest blog postings. The show projects how young people today engage with technology and is a fine example of generation C – the new phenomenon capturing user generated content via the Web. The C stands for content, creativity and community.
As most of us now carry a mobile phone we are constantly connected to our personal network of friends, family and colleagues – no decision is made alone and everything is decided via the gang we carry around in out pocket or if your a GG your Hermes Birkin!
The opportunities presented via the Internet blur the boundaries between the manufacturer and consumer or even the design and the consumer. As consumers are becoming more savvy about where things come from and how they are made.
We can also see a new wave of journalism mediated via blogs on the web as people have a platform to reach an audience, communicate their thinking and share their experiences. I recently attended a talk at LCF on Fashion and the Internet hosting speaker Susie Bubble from Style Bubble. Her blog has been active for 2-3 years and she has a huge following with over 15,000 hits a day. The audience was packed with some failing to secure entry to the event. Everyone was anxious to find out her secret – why is her blog so successful? Her answers to the questions fielded at her reflected an honest account of a girl with no other agenda apart from a love and passion for fashion!
My love for Gossip Girl and fashion still continues , I can’t yet decide if I’m a Blair or a Serena? I have always loved the Bohemian Chic look of floaty fabrics and wavy hair. But I can’t help falling in love with Blair’s gorgeous Milly Dresses – I want one! I also adore her cute little head bands and colourful tights. The show has inspired me to be more adventurous with my style – I may not be able to afford to indulge at Bendels but I can customise. I just need to find my needle and thread.
Until next time you know you love me! xoxo

Mass Collaboration

I’m currently reading Wikinomics by Don Tapscot about how mass collaboration changes everything. I was feeling all inspired by the open source movement and decided to check how this relates to fashion by exploring the information available on wikipedia. This open source software can provide an answer to almost any question – but can it inspire me to create/ customise my fashion ensemble’s?
Whilst scanning the definition of fashion and how it has evolved over the decades I came across
the ultimate source for fashion enthusiast. Take a deep breath before reading on …

Wikipedia are currently sorting through over 14,00 articles to present a resource hub for out of print fashion patterns. They date back to 1890 – 1970, with patterns from vogue, simplicity, McCall’s etc… (They are looking for users to contribute, so if you have any hidden away vintage patterns – dig them out!)
There is a short description of the garment accompanied by a beautiful image of the patterns front cover. The classic style of each period becomes apparent and I began to feel as if I had morphed back in time through the space time continuum. Key trends and features are visible and I took note of the adapting hem lines, changing silhouettes and structured tailoring.
The essence of each era is also conveyed through the stylised pattern front cover. For example, quirky illustrations with photography gradually being introduced decades later. I know a lot of designers look to the past for inspiration which is then re-interpreted with a modern twist. This resource hub of thousands of out of print patterns represents each era telling a story of beautiful style and imagery through each decade.
I often browse through style.com for inspiration and to keep myself updated with contemporary fashion trends. I have been coveting this Luella coat (image above) from the 2009 spring collection for a few days. Browsing the wiki archives I came across a vintage pattern (image above) with some resemblance. I began to copy key items to my desktop from the vintage archives and within minutes I has put together my own “little dream list” collection.  I’m not saying the trends are replicated in their entirety but some elements cross over – illustrating that style transitions and is constantly moving forward and evolving.
It also conveys how involved people were in the construction of their clothing, as ready to wear clothing was in limited supply or cost a lot of money the only alternative was to make your own. I think we can take note and use this example when updating our wardrobes for the new season. Things can be updated and adapted through a tweak of a hemline or by altering a neckline.
I am definitely going to try to re-create some of the beautiful patterns at some point or use them as a reference when seeking out new clothing. I only wish my grandmother had achieved her clothing as nothing conveys the era better than an original.vogueluella