Google+ WHAT'S ALEXANDRA WARING?: June 2013
                           

Motel Rocks Sale

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I've recently joined the Motel Rocks Street Team- a team of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about fashion brand, Motel's greatness! And with this opportunity, my readers have kindly been gifted a 15% discount off their purchases at Motel (see side bar for code!).

Another thing to note is that they have recently launched their sale. Although my code can't be used on sale items, it's still worth checking out as they have some great pieces this season that I'll definitely be stocking up for my summer wardrobe! Check out my favourites below:
Motel Rocks Sale

First up are their great selection of printed dresses, perfect for daywear, clubwear or going out for a meal when your on your holidays! Theres a great range of these in the sale including bright, laser and monochrome prints.
Further to this is their range of super cute playsuits, including this aqua coloured sequin one which I am in love with! Now just to work on the summer body and we're all good to go...
But failing that, I can always cover up with these floral cotton trousers. They'd look great with a light cream peplum or a floaty, open neck shirt. A great look for a city break!
I'm also a massive fan of monochrome, and these white striped jeans look perfect, with their low rise waist line and slimming print. Paired with some killer chunky heels and an oversized jumper I can practically see myself sipping a coffee in a swanky coffee shop abroad- bring on summer!!

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Katie Davidson of KMDdesigns


As I missed out on GFW this year, I was desperate to stay on track with the upcoming fashion talent. Luckily,  I was blessed when I contacted Katie Davidson of Liverpool John Moores University about her Scottish- inspired collection, Sapienter si Sincere, as she agreed to have an interview with me about her work. I love getting to know these designers; their stories and what got them to where they are today. In a nutshell, it's a load of hard work, and Katie is no exception. Having just received a first for her work, she is in the process of launching her company KMDdesigns which holds great promise for the future. 
Check out her video first (what a FAB backing track??) and then read her interview including her inspiration, motivation and innovation!
First and foremost- congratulations on receiving a first from Liverpool John Moores! You must be ecstatic! What made you choose LJMU for your degree and do you think it's been the best place for the job?!
Thank you! I am very happy, and can't wait for Graduation next month (July). I was fairly local to Liverpool as it was (I come from St Helens - a town slap bang in the middle of Liverpool and Manchester). I knew I wanted to stay in the NorthWest of England, and after visiting and interviewing at a few universities, LJMU was the one for me.

What made you want to study fashion at university? If you couldn't have studied it directly, then what would you have done instead?
I know this sounds cliche, but I've always wanted to study fashion, even before I knew it. I used to hand make clothes for my Barbie's as a child, and once my mum taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was around 10, I was off! I spent most of my high school days in the textiles room, pestering whichever teacher was in there about how to read patterns and make my own. I went on to Winstanley College to study my A Levels, and whilst there was no direct Fashion course, I studied Art and Design in two disciplines - 3D design and Textile Design, alongside Spanish and Music. I spent an extra year there, studying Art Foundation before going on to LJMU, and owe a lot of my personal approach to my work to the methods I learned whilst studying Art there.
If I couldn't have studied fashion, then I'd be doing something similar; probably Art/Design-related. I think I would have liked to have studied Architecture or Interior Design, but I like to think that it would have come back round to Fashion in the end.

Who do you design clothes for? And who would you love to see wearing your collections?
Since KMDdesigns became an entity (probably whilst I was at college, as an outlet for creating fashion whilst studying art) - I have always designed and manufactured clothing for anyone who would like to order from me. Up until recently, my label operated solely as a bespoke company - creating things for customers who asked for them, rather than collection-based design. As the company launches officially, and expands over the next few years, I fully intend to keep this side of the label active - it is, after all, what got me to where I am now. I am a strong believer in diversity in fashion, and if someone likes my work enough to want to order from me, then that is a massive compliment.
Ultimately, my brand will become something of a hybrid between bespoke and ready-to-wear. I'd love to see a wide variety of people wearing my collections - I try to design for all women. Having said that, the egotistical me would still love to dress red carpet and galas - what designer doesn't want to hear an A-list celeb answering the eternal question, "Who are you wearing?" with their name? [laughs]

Your most recent collection was a revelation at graduate fashion week. What was the inspiration behind the Scottish theme- are you Scottish yourself?
[laughs] I'm not, actually, although the collection is based upon my paternal ancestry, and up until relatively recently, my branch of Davidson's were very much a Scottish family, hence the tartan (which is Ancient Davidson).
As my initial research into the Davidson's began to unfold, I found old letters and newspaper clippings about my ancestors, and even more strangely, I started to find characteristic similarities between myself and members of my family who had been dead and buried decades before I was born. Each of the outfits in the collection represent one family member, with the first being my Great Great Great Grandfather, and the last, myself. The collection is all about how genetic traits are passed on and discovering how much of ourselves came from our DNA.

Desert Storm , Photographer: Jose Cardoso, Assistant: Adam Johns, MUA/Hair: Kelly Ager, Model: Rachael Carmichael

What kind of input do you have in the show itself? Do you get to decide on music, layout, set up etc?
We had an absolutely fantastic team of people involved in the shows (both the full graduate show at LJMU and the show at Graduate Fashion Week). Most of the decisions were made by this team on behalf of the students, with input from us where possible. I think special mention at this point needs to go to the backstage team who brought it all together, including our tutor, Carol Ryder, (who we nearly killed off with stress) Ellie Gregory (one of the Fashion Communication students, who had the unenviable task of keeping the running orders and models in place) and Stuart Borthwick (the Popular Music Studies tutor who sorted all the music out for individual students based on their collections and suggestions). As for myself, I was quite happy to give input, but spent most of the time watching and learning - next time it will be me behind the scenes pulling my hair out!

What does the future hold for KMDdesigns? Will you continue with womens wear?
Yes. I'd like to expand the range quite a lot further in terms of daywear, evening/occasion wear, resort etc., and also into accessories. Having said that, I do take bespoke orders for men's- and children's-wear and would eventually like to produce ranges under these titles too. I'm dreaming big! [laughs]

Which fashion designer would you liken to your own approach to fashion? And which designers do you take inspiration from?
I always get annoyed when someone answers this question with something totally predictable like 'Christian Dior' or 'Vivienne Westwood', but genuinely, these designers are classed as the greats for a reason, and, although it is a cliche, I do love Alexander McQueen. Say what you want, but that man was a genius.
Personally I don't have a favourite designer, and I love to find new designers with every research trip I go on. Currently I am loving Iris van Herpen, Gareth Pugh, and Viktor and Rolf (my all-time favourite team). 
For this project in particular, I took a lot of inspiration from designer David Longshaw. A guest lecturer at LJMU, he has been invaluable in his advice, and as a small business owner himself, has been a lot of help to me as a start-up. Working with a concept-driven collection is not new to me, but through exploring 'characters' (or members of my family), I have developed a new layer to my work, not dissimilar to the way in which Longshaw creates his own memorable characters for each of his collections.

Sapienter si Sincere, Photographer: Mark Cavendish, MUA/Hair: Angela Davidson, Model: Amy Davidson

What would your advice be to an aspiring fashion designer just starting out?
DON'T DO IT!! [laughs]. Seriously though, if it's what you want to do then that's amazing. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of, but do be aware - there is a very literal sense of blood, sweat and tears in fashion design! In my experience, you can get fed up, annoyed, upset and all other manner of negative feelings at/about your work, but there is nothing better than seeing someone wearing your designs and grinning ear to ear because you've been able to give them exactly what they wanted. It's a labour of love, and it's worth every minute to see the finished thing - just keep going.

Keep up to date with Katie and KMDdesigns on Facebook and Twitter.
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So In Fashion

Saturday, 15 June 2013


A few weeks ago I attended the NorthMeetUp as organised by Em Sheldon of Emtalks.co.uk where new fashion brand So In Fashion attended and gave us a talk about their goodie bags that they gave away at the event and the brand itself. A blogger savvy brand, So In Fashion boast simple, well priced items that are just that- in fashion!

The only thing the site lacks is a wider variety of things on offer. But with online shopping at its absolute best, it's hard to compete with! (Especially with online giants like ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Topshop to boot). The girls who spoke to us at the event however, seemed undeterred by their competitors and were incredibly energetic about their site.

Believe me, this is one to watch! (Remember how 5 years ago no one thought much of Primark- now look where they are!! ((on Asos for those who don't know!)) )

So In Fashion


Keep up to date with So In Fashion on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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GFW Favourites

Thursday, 13 June 2013

If you haven't caught up on Graduate Fashion Week yet, then fear not as I have picked out some of my absolute favourites to give you a flavour of the incredibly impressive talent- (just a few amongst over 1000 talented individuals from 40 different universities!). The event has now been an up and coming 'must see' for the past few years, but now it truly is a great representative of British and International talent alike. Check out my gorgeous Pippa's Storify for her experience of Day 4 of GFW (including the DMU show and our New Fashion Talent graduates Charlotte, Austin and Lizzie!)
Without further ado, I give you the collections and designers of the future!
Scottish inspired regalia from KMDdesigns (Liverpool John Moores)

Black patent and velvet dresswear by Melyssa Bates (Northumbria Uni)

Bright geometrics by Chloe Givan (University of Central Lancashire)

Bold statement bondage lingerie by Phoebe Stonehill (Birmingham City Uni)

Google eyes, neon prints and jelly shoes by Kelly Frost (De Montfort)

Cyclical inspo by Melanie Pace-Lupi (UCA)

'Claustrophobic' chunky knit collection by Anna Yates-Housley (Kingston)
(all images from www.gfw.org.uk)

Keep an eye out for some upcoming interviews with these inspirational designers, their experiences of GFW and what the future holds for them in the fashion industry!

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New Fashion Talent for GFW!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A few months ago, I interviewed up and coming fashion graduates Charlotte Matthews, Austin Louis Perry and Elizabeth Arthur about their collections. This week, they're showing at GFW and my gorgeous Pippa Says is going to see their show! But for now, here's an update on their collections and how they're getting along: and what a long way they've come in just a few months!!
(photo courtesy of dmu.ac.uk)
Firstly, this gorgeous print design ensemble is by Charlotte who specializes in print design throughout her collection. She experiments with colours and shapes to create a bold look, in tune with the SS13 neon and geometric trends. Easy to wear and accessorize, this bold urban look will have you melting in your seat at GFW!
(photo courtesy of dmu.ac.uk)

Austin has been making waves with his experimental approach to fashion and this look is nothing but another triumph! A pioneer of a tricky fabric- (fur!), Austin makes this outlandish look glamorous with a revealing midi skirt and bold animal prints. Very Kelli McGuinness-esque this look is surely one to break the mould at GFW: hang onto your hats!
 Austin's work has even been spotted by famous fashion writer Hilary Alexander, who currently writes for the Telegraph!

You go, Austin!
(photo courtesy of dmu.ac.uk)

Finally, but by no means least- Lizzie Arthur has captured the art of pleating in her new farmwear-inspired collection featuring pink china and azulejo-type prints (as widely seen on the high street for SS13). These gorgeous wide-leg dungarees are the perfect thing for any current summer wardrobe and there'll be fighting over these once GFW is over! You'll have to make me a pair, Lizzie! 

Lizzie's also been making waves with her work, as featured on the London Evening Standard's fashion section (Lizzie's work, far left):
(picture from http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion)

This is such fantastic work and I wish you all the best for GFW! Keep an eye on Pippa's twitter for live updates throughout their show- good luck guys!
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