Five things that inspired us this week and determined the way we dressed:
1. Eleanor Macair – Portraits Rendered
Whoever said playdoh was only for children, has clearly never seen Eleanor Macair’s creations – based on photos she recreates portraits in playdoh – managing to put as many emotions and feelings into the images as the real photography had. There is something incredibly touching and beautiful about the juxtaposition of such a childish material on such complex motifs – such bright colours for such sophisticated images. It shows once more that unexpected twists can add a layer of depth to art or an outfit. Dare to borrow your little cousin’s backpack or wear that bracelet with the massive beads you made in nursery.
2. John Lennon and Yoko Ono celebrating the launch of Yoko’s book
There are few couples that are so universally known as Yoko and John – and even fewer were the public opinion is as divided on their view of their relationship. Did Yoko break up the band or was it just time? Did John hold Yoko back in her artistic endeavours? And what about those glasses? Stylish or weird? But despite all of this, this photo reflects such a wonderfully ‘normal’ couple who look as if they might as well be talking about the weather or their neighbour’s new dog. Is Yoko just reminding John to buy some toilet paper on his way back from the corner shop to get some more ice for their party? Something about this snapshot captivates me and makes me realise that despite their fame and their talent, this couple is as much human as we are and that essentially whatever we achieve is in our own hands. And that goes for everything we do in life, including fashion. There is no point in looking at people in the street and saying ‘I wish I was able to wear colour’ or ‘I love her shoes, but I just can’t walk in heels’. The only way to be the person you want to be, is to make it happen rather than expect life to change on its own.
3. Grayson Perry
The British artist Grayson Perry might be best known not just for his Turner price winning pottery but also for his alter ego Claire. Perry is a lot of things, artist, father, husband, heterosexual and a transvestite. In the award winning Channel 4 documentary “Why men wear frocks” he talks about the struggles and joys of being part of one of Britain’s oldest subculture. Sadly there is still a lot of stigma around transvestites and a lot of them live in the closest, only getting the wigs, lipstick and dresses out at night when nobody can catch them – as Grayson put it “Watch out for overly groomed eyebrows”. I would urge everyone to watch that documentary – as it sheds light on a subculture that has been in the dark for so long. Perry is inspirational in everything he does – pushing boundaries not just as Claire but also with his art that seemingly oozing a childlike innocence, portraits serious and sometimes almost grotesque imagery addressing political and social issues. Grayson Perry is an inspiration to us all, for his acceptance of himself despite society and his family trying to keep him down, for his outspokenness about issues of our world and for his style that might be the most unapologetic about him. If you have many other things to deal with, who cares if you wear orange lashes?
Get the documentary here.
4. Bella Freud X Fred Perry
Designer collaborations, albeit a relatively new phenomena, can say more about a designer and a brand than the collection does. It can highlight a designers ideologies and personal style and also push them further by creating a collection that has their stamp but doesn’t loose the connection to the collaborative brand. In my opinion few collaborations have such fruitful results as Bella Freud x Fred Perry. It’s Lucian Freud’s daughter’s third time working the quintessential British brand and the collection invokes serious urges to get my credit card out. Big slouchy jumpers, Freud’s literature and 70s inspired slogans, and several star embroided items, at a price range £20 – £125 , are tucking at my purse strings. Bella Freud truly was one of the most hyped ‘new’ designers this year, daughter of the late painter Lucian Freud, great-granddaughter of the Austrian father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, it doesn’t come as a shock that she has talent. Her knitted sweaters with motifs like ‘1970’ in rainbow colours or a dog, drawn by her father as a logo for her brand, have made the rounds in the inner fashion circle. Although definitely still out of reach for the average student, Freud is someone to look out for and keep in mind – and maybe do have a look in that Fred Perry shop in town …
Check out the collection here.
5. Riot Grrrl
I was only recently introduce to the 90s Riot Grrrl movement whilst swooning over Portlandia – a series starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. In the middle of my almost brilliant re-enactment of ‘is this chicken organic’, my friend stopped me, flipped his laptop and there she was, Carrie Brownstein slamming her guitar as part of the punk trio Sleater-Kinney. Suffice to say I got trapped for hours inside the internet data bank on Riot Grrrl, a 90s underground feminist punk movement – fronted by bands such as Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and the aforementioned Sleater-Kinney. Although I could try, I don’t think I could put their ideology into better words than the girls from Bikini Kill did: “BECAUSE we girls want to create mediums that speak to US. We are tired of boy band after boy band, boy zine after boy zine, boy punk after boy punk after boy… BECAUSE we need to talk to each other. […] BECAUSE a safe space needs to be created for girls where we can open our eyes and reach out to each other without being threatened by this sexist society and our day to day bullshit.” If you ever want to get trapped online, no matter what gender you are, and get inspired by strong women fighting for their rights Kathleen Hanna’s blog is a good place to start.
Image Credits: Gijsbert HanekrootRedferns, Eleanor Macair, Fred Perry x Bella Freud, Flickr/gaelx