Monday, 31 August 2015

Worn by || Irena D - Q&A

It's no secret that fashion bloggers and their evolving style massively inspires my design process. But what about when you mix music with fashion? Manchester based singer/songwriter Irena D documents her day to day style whilst also being an immensely talented musician. She styled up the new #JUSTSAYIN portfolio clutch bag and also allowed me to step into her world for 5 mins . . .

Rianna: Tell us a little bit about your life, where were you born and when did you first discover you were interested in music & fashion?

Irena: I was born in Odessa, Ukraine. My grandmother was a professional folk singer and my mother was a music teacher so I believe my destiny was predetermined haha, I remember myself singing in front of a big audience at the age of four without any fear, I think it is in my genes. It was quite obvious for me from the very early age that my life will be dedicated to music and singing. In terms of my passion for fashion, when I was a little girl I used to dress in my mother clothes (which was quite quirky and flamboyant) so the foundation for my "alternative" fashion vision was laid in the extravagant era of the last years of the Soviet Union (crazy times haha)

Rianna: I love your music and am a huge fan of your song ‘Falling’, it’s my new ‘getting ready for a night out’ song! What inspired you to write it? Do you get ready for a night out listening to it too?! If not what’s your fave party song?!

Irena:  The story behind it is rather tragic actually, after a very painful break-up I entered quite a difficult time of my life which reflected on the song lyrics. I guess in order to write a good song you must express your true feelings and emotions based on the experience. My favourite party song? There are too many of them but one of my newest discoveries is Midnight Magic's ‘Beam Me Up’

Rianna: Your fashion style is very eclectic and you tend to embrace multiple looks throughout your blog, but do you have a favourite look?

Irena: My favourite look combines two styles - Extravagantly feminine and off duty singer haha!

Rianna: Does music influence your fashion decisions at all? Do any particular artists inspire your fashion style?

Irena: I think that both things are closely connected, it might sound strange but while composing a song I simultaneously create an outfit for my performance juxtaposing sounds, shapes and colours. I am also very inspired by the fashion style of Roisin Murphy, Debbie Harry and Alison Goldfrapp 

Rianna: Which musicians inspire your work?

Irena: Kate Bush, Grace Jones, Madonna, Debbie Harry

Rianna: If you could only pick 3 items from your wardrobe (to save from the jaws of a garment eating monster!) which 3 pieces would you choose?

Irena: All Saints leather jacket, studded heels by Banana Republic and my Prada bag

Rianna: Where are your top 5 places/restaurants/bars/shops in Manchester?

Tee: H&M 
Heels : Banana Republic   

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Inspiration || María Escoté Fall 2015

I came across this absolutely rad collection whilst cruising through tumblr at silly o'clock in the morning. Having never heard of María Escoté (have I been living under a rock?!) I was blown away by her whole archive of fashion collections. Shown at Madrid Fashion Week, I think this kick ass lady is one to watch! The look she has created is extremely wearable in day to day street style whilst also being outrageously original (the drippy tights!!!)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

▼ 25% off New School Cool ▼

When it starts nearing September I begin to think about the winter wardrobe situation and always find it's the best time of year to hit the style refresh button. What better time to integrate new accessories into your daily work wear essentials and lets take the sting out by offering 25% off! 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Behind the scenes 'SAY WHAT' AW2015-16 X Rianna Phillips

Whilst constructing the new 'SAY WHAT' lookbook, I had the absolute pleasure of working with art direction student and film maker Amber Phillips (very coincidental surname!). Taking steps in a new direction this season we decided to film behind the scenes in order to share the creative process with you all.
Amber also directed a live lookbook which will be posted on the e-boutique very soon. 
Preparing to enter her final year at Manchester school of art she is one to watch out for. 
View Ambers work

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The story of an intern || Annah Hughes

The second in our 'tale of an intern' style feature focuses on one of our current interns Annah Hughes who is about to enter her 3rd year of 'Textiles in Practice' at Manchester School of Art. We snapped this little cheeky monkey behind the scenes whilst she helped to art direct the new 'Say What' lookook photoshoot.

A N N A H ' S    S T O R Y

'Collaborating with Rianna and her fashion label on the AW2015-16 collection lookbook photoshoot has been an exciting experience and when Rianna gave us the brief, my group and myself were extremely excited at the prospect of working closely with an established designer. During a project titled 'unit X', the university invite existing design companies to come into the Art School and set up collaborative projects, enabling students to gain experience within the industry whilst also studying at uni. We were really excited to hear one of these opportunities was to help create & art direct Rianna's lookbook! Around 8 groups in total created concepts for Rianna's campaign but only 1 groups concept could be chosen for the final photoshoot.
We started by brain storming lookbook ideas and many Starbucks mochas later we decided upon creating an innovative virtual platform; a short film for her site, directed by fellow intern Amber Phillips and a digital friendly lookbook which could easily be viewed on her website but also print out beautifully as a hard copy.

By using social media platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram we researched the current market whilst working closely with Rianna and regularly had meetings to discuss our mood board concepts. This lead us to the first test shoot which was an extremely exciting yet challenging prospect, we all knew what we wanted to achieve but it was quite an experimental process. We presented our final test shoot ideas in front of Rianna & all the other contending groups from Manchester School of Art. Winning the pitch was amazing and we were so excited to put our test shoot ideas into a live commercial brand. Working with Rianna on the day of the shoot was really fun and exciting. We were able to have free reign on art direction and the styling of the shoot. I really enjoyed the preparation that went into styling the models look. We opted for a minimalistic look that let the prints do all the talking. Silky soft culottes were pieced with layered mesh tops and the jewellery was inspired by the looks our favourite fashion bloggers wear.

It's been a really fun and eye opening experience working and connecting with everyone on set. Although the photo-shoot only took a few hours there was a big team to coordinate. We had to be sure everyone understood the vision we wanted to portray, therefore inspiration boards were created and shared with the make-up artist, photographer, model and lighting crew. Studying 'Textiles in Practice' at Manchester School Of Art has completely changed my outlook on art, fashion and design industry. It has taught me that there are numerous directions and opportunities within fashion to pursue. I specialise in print for fashion however working on an art directed lookbook enabled me to experience different aspects of the fashion industry and how I could potentially develop my own practice within art direction & styling. For my final year at the Art School I want to produce a unique collection of contemporary prints. Focusing on creating an abstract and playful concept within fashion and editing these ideas within a styling context.'
View the full lookbook created by the students here:

 Take a look at Annah's work:
Carbon Made