An essay on beauty by Brooke DeVard Smith.
Andre Leon Talley proclaims, “It’s a Famine of Beauty, Honey!” in the behind-the-scenes Vogue documentary September Issue (2011). It’s a declaration I find myself repeating inside of my head as I flip through fashion magazines or scroll through my Instagram feed. Something peculiar is going on with beauty these days: everyone looks the same.
Maybe we have YouTube to blame. Everyone can become a master of blended foundation, a contouring queen, or highlighting guru in the comfort of their own bedroom after watching a handful of tutorials. Normal girls are becoming make-up artists, and more power to them, but I see little that moves me in terms of beauty inspiration from these vloggers. Where’s the Pat McGrath of YouTube? Diana Vreeland explained it best when she said ‘Too much good taste can be boring’. What’s the point in looking perfectly polished if you look like everyone else?
Nowadays every press release highlights the new “one to watch” or the “next big thing” and attempts to convince us (the media, especially…I can call this site that right?) that we should care. So how does one choose whom to pay attention to? Usually, it’s down to gut or convenience.
On the 9th of October, I sat with ‘EDM Prodigy’, Max Cartoux in his parent’s living room. It’s his first press day and even though he has been talking for two hours (two other interviewers have come before me), as he sits on a grey sofa, he is very enthusiastic with his answers. It’s the enthusiasm of a new comer. Or maybe it’s the enthusiasm of a “crazy” French “kid”.
Usually, it would be awkward to have a PR sit in on an interview –there is this looming feeling that some questions will be off limits. On the day, singer/songwriter; Stephanie Ella Gautier and I sit down to talk, her publicist is present but nothing’s off limits. (Not that we discuss anything too extreme).
Stephanie Gautier also known as Ella on the Run (her stage name) like many artists before her has “always” been into music.
When she begins to tell of her beginnings in music, she says: “I’m sure everyone says that –[I’ve always done music].”
At five years old, her mum checked her into the children’s opera choir because she was “always performing and being really annoying.” That soon spiralled into vocal training during high school before she decided, “the only thing [she] wanted to study at university was music.” Continue reading
The third instalment of the series is here and this time we head to Paris with designers, Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding of palmer//harding.
words by Levi Palmer
Paris fashion week is always an interesting journey. It begins with Matthew and myself extremely exhausted from 3 weeks of sleep deprivation in the run up to London Fashion Week to finish a collection, then stuffing that collection into 4 suitcases to take it to sales. This part is always heartbreaking as we’ve spent the past 2 months creating and caring for these precious garments to have them be presented most beautifully at our catwalk, and then to see them folded and rolled and squished into such a tight space is always something that makes our hearts bleed slightly.
The second part of packing includes editing our personal wardrobe for a 9 day trip to fit into the remaining nooks and crannies of the suitcase. This generally only allows space for t-shirts, jeans, many of which we have to wear more than once, and 9 days of underwear. Whoever says fashion is glamorous obviously doesn’t work in it.
Next in our AW’14 mini series, we talk to Claudia Ligari, the brain behind the women’s wear label of the same name. She shows us how to express feminine sensuality with a peculiar androgynous twist this winter, as she tells us what AW’14 means for her and the Claudia Ligari girl.
TDS: What does autumn/winter mean for you?
CL: I was born in the north of Italy and winters have always been very cold up there. For that reason, Autumn/Winter for me only means keeping warm and comfortable as much as possible without giving up style Continue reading
Lisbon; a four piece “alt pop” band from Newcastle, that is made up of Joe Atkinson, Matthew Varty, Gaz Turkington and Alex Wright (as above from left to right) stood with me in the middle of a pavement (or sidewalk? whichever one is English) in Kings Cross to very briefly discussed their debut EP, Life is Good. Which is expected later this month.
Fresh from their support slot at Chloe Howl’s Scala gig, (where they give a stellar performance) the boys are buzzing as they laugh and talk about what goes into being in a band these days.
TDS: Talk us through the band name, Lisbon, where did that come from?
MV: It roughly our EP name, which is Life is Good.
JA: So it stands for that. Like Bon in French is good and the L is Life.
TDS: That quite clever. So the EP, what can we expect from it?
MV: Fun and games. Lots of dancing, the tunes you put on with your mates when you’re about to go out.
JA: Alternative indie pop music. Lots of energy in the songs.
England has been hit –rather harshly– with winter’s wrath. It’s officially autumn-winter 14/15, you know that season we covered six months earlier?
I’ve been combing through my wardrobe for AW pieces that have been hidden since our first sighting of the sun in April. The turtle necks and beanies are back. This season, however, I want to inject something new -add to my usual go-to’s, so I decided to pick some of my favourite young designers’ brains, to get inspiration for this winter.
First in the mini-series discussing AW’14 is designer Claire Davis, who founded Hanger Inc (in 2013), a London based brand that focuses on ‘creating innovative albeit wearable clothing for women’.
The Dream Stalker: What emotions would you say the Hanger inc girl/woman would be evoking come September?
Claire Davis: Most likely a definite sense of darkness. Not many welcome the onset of winter, but the Hanger woman would do this by embracing blood coloured wools and sharp tailoring. Continue reading
Laura Jae can’t remember the exact moment she decided she wanted to be a singer. She says “coming from a very musical family” may have subconsciously triggered the desire. “My dad was a singer, my mum was an artist and singer. My aunt’s a singer. So, they would involve me in so many musical [things] like dance classes, singing lessons, a lot of stuff like that [when I was younger].” Continue reading
Quick 6 features the answers to six very craft focused questions. Next in our the series is music new comer, Ted Zed. The multi instrumentalist whose newest EP, Believe was released on the 15th September, discussed his growth, online hate and performing in a converted pig shed with us for the series.
The Dream Stalker: Where did the name Ted Zed come from?
Ted Zed: Generation Z is the ‘connected generation’, the generation with technology anyone who was born in the 90’s and 00’s comes under this bracket I think… Also Zed rhymes with Ted
I am beyond excited to bring you our first zine, ‘And it’s a Wrap’. A celebration of models and rap music inspired by photographer, Ibra Ake’s modelsandrappers.com. Below are outtakes and previews from the project, hard copies of which are available.
‘And it’s a Wrap’ is a 32 page zine featuring exclusive portraits of models taken during London Fashion Week, signed with their favourite rap lyrics.
actual pages from the zine.
Cheyenne Carty (Elite London) quoting Future’s ‘I Won’