Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beyond Cosmic Tropicalia

Beyond the Valley is a London based brand founded in 2004 by Central St. Martins graduates Kristjana S Williams and Kate Bonhote. I initially knew of the brand as 'that cool store' located in London's trendy Carnaby Street area, showcasing up and coming designers from various art and design fields. Today, Beyond the Valley continues to promote emerging talent, but has also expanded to create a namesake fashion label. The label continually encapsulates eye-catching graphic prints in it's line and this season it has been taken to another level entirely!

I find myself taken by Beyond the Valley's SS11 range entitled Cosmic Tropicalia! For me, the beautiful fantastical prints with names such as 'Tropical Cannabalism' and Ink Forest' make the collection!
Artwork for the 'Ink Forest' print.
I love the use of black & white juxtaposed with bright color, and love how the color-rich birds are layered contrastingly over a monochrome geometric background. I am especially keen on these artwork prints in loose fit chiffon!

Beyond the Valley SS11, images via ASOS,com
Some looks from previous seasons:

Beyond the Valley AW10
Beyond the Valley SS10

With numerous accolades to its name, including being voted into the UK Top 100 Coolbrands list for five years running; it will be interesting to see how the innovative Beyond the Valley brand moves forward!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Loves Me Not

I'm loving this Loves Me Loves Me Not table by Cape Town based designers John Vogel and Justin Plunkett. The Vogel Living Design table comprises of 8 petal shaped side tables that when put together make-up an entire flower. I think its a wonderful idea conceptually, but what would One do with 8 side tables?

Vogel Living Design has some other superb, beautifully finished furniture; that 'embodies a South African vernacular'. 
Furniture by Vogel Living Design

What I love about the pieces is that they have traditional elements but would fit well in a contemporary home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Darkroom Mysteries

Ellen Rogers is a London based fashion photographer who creates the most beautifully haunting images. She is a resolute supporter of analogue photography, and doesn't utilize any digital equipment or computer retouching. Ellen's incredible body of work is a result of experimentation in traditional film development techniques in the darkroom.

She has shot stories for several of the more 'artistic'  lifestyle magazines including: Dazed and Confused, i-D, Milk, Tank, and Vice.

Also, her website has a thoughtful section called bloggable images!

[It's definitely worth clicking on the images for better detail].

I'm intrigued by the mysterious, Gothic feel of her photographs; and it's refreshing to see this rustic craft present in the world of glossy digitized fashion publications!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marquis de Escapism

I first discovered French nobleman and fashion designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac, when I was doing research for my final major project during university. I wanted to create a line that had irony as its Unique Selling Point, and looked at other labels that continuously had an ironic, witty, or whimsical design sensibility. In general, I think fashion is taken too seriously and the goal was to create an anti-thesis to the 'style dictator'; but maintain commercial appeal.

Fashion veteran Jean Charles de Castelbajac has created the perfect example of an 'ironic' brand. His work is fun, colorful, humorous, and sometimes ranks low on the wearability scale. He also has a penchant for all things juvenile, often featuring Disney and cartoon characters in his collections. 

Perpetually referencing popular culture; he got the Grime (British urban, hip-hop music) artists wearing cartoon characters, and has designed a Teddy-bear coat for Madonna. Another example is a collaboration with South Park for his AW10 JC/DC diffusion line.
Madonna Teddy-bear coat; AW10 JC/DC South Park collaboration

His AW11/12 line has the same aesthetic sensibility, but with  a commercialized maturity. What stood out was the 101 dalamation print, because it was reminiscent of TopShop Unique's  AW11, Cruella-de-Vil themed collection. I also (perhaps predictably) loved the horse print, and velvet pieces! :) 
JC de Castelbajac AW11/12 collection via
JC de Castelbajac AW11/12 collection via

My favoritEST of his shows is his SS09, JC in the Sky With Diamonds collection. He had me at the clouds!
JC de Castelbajac SS09 collection via

Some other memorable Castelbajac moments:
AW09; SS10; AW10; AW10; AW10 via &
SS11; SS11; SS08; AW08; AW08 via &

To me, his pop-art collections are always an incredible escapist experience!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Animals & Robots

Charlotte Taylor has fed my obsession for recurring fauna prints, which I wrote about in an earlier post. She is an English designer, who launched her own label three seasons ago after working at Luella.

Charlotte has created whimsical, solid prints in intense colors; appearing in her AW10, SS11, and in entirety in her AW11 collection. An all-print collection is a bold move; but is effective with its impeccable styling, well tailored pieces and enticing prints. Charlotte Taylor's AW11/12 line feature lobsters, ants, penguins, elephants and ROBOTS; which isn't fauna but is my favorite!:)

Charlotte Taylor AW11/12
Charlotte Taylor AW11/12

Additionally, notice the cool hard-ware inspired jewelery shown with her SS11 collection.

From SS11; From AW10/11

A friend and fellow blogger Namrata, has also posted about this fabulous her narrative here!

Lines Rule

Yes I did just use Noughties slang for the post title, but I thought it appropriate ;P.

I am a big fan of the slub T-shirt, so when I saw this 'E for Effort' one with a ruled lines screen print; I wanted it instantly. The print is available in various T styles at Artware Editions (which sells some interesting products). How cute is the baby bodysuit!?

It's a fresh take on the striped T, and this heat has me dying to get my hands on one!

Via I am a greedy girl, another fabulous blog.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blog Hype: Color Collective

Color Collective is a design blog based on the most straightforward of concepts: the color palette. Each post comprises of an inspirational image/s, a palette of colors derived from the inspiration and the image source. Much like a mini moodboard! 

[Graphic designer Lauren Willhite] 'created Color Collective as a designers' resource for color. The color palettes are pulled from the work of various designers, artists, and photographers that [she is] inspired by.' 

I love everything about Color Collective...the banner, the simplicity of its layout, and the inspiring [often fashion editorial/street style] images that she chooses.

I think Lauren has a fantastic eye, and her blog is everything a design blog should be!

Go take a look!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Japanese Popstars

I want to share this brilliant music video for The Japanese Popstars' song Let Go. The song itself isn't my cup of tea, but I love the illustrative quality of its animation and how one frame evolves into the next!

Happy viewing!

Madame Peripetie

Madame Peripetie also known as Sylwana Zybura is another German based photographer that has captivated me! She is a fashion photographer with an extreme avante-garde aesthetic sensibility. Her photography combines high fashion, theater, and art...resulting in an incredible surrealist body of work. I love that her  photographs subvert beauty, but are beautiful in their own right!

My favorite of her photographic series is Dream Sequence; featuring high octane colors and shrubage used in unusual ways!

From the Dream Sequence series.

More work by Sylwana Zybura...

She has done several projects for international independent magazines; and I also picture her style fitting right in with more mainstream journals such as i-D and Dazed & Confused.

Madame Peripetie herself!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Current Obsessions

BLOUSES.In lightweight crepes, chiffons, georgettes; with pleats, pussy bows, and's hard to pick just one! Topshop has a wonderful array this season. I love a blouse loosely tucked into high-waisted skinnies; which Topshop's Moto range do perfectly.

1 Topshop; 2 Miss Selfridge, 3 Topshop; 4 Monsoon; 5 Topshop; 6 Warehouse; 7 Topshop; 8 Pixie Market; 9 Pins and Needles; 10 Warehouse; 11 Topshop

RECURRING FAUNA PRINTS. They have been around for a few years now, and swallows are the best example of this. Mui Mui brought them to the fashion forefront with their hugely popular SS10 collection; which featured the said swallows and cats among other things. Birds are commonly used inspiration for this including, owls, parrots, storks, and swallows. Horses and butterflies are popular subjects too. With the same cutesy appeal; the Panda would be an ideal subject for such a print! I love these prints best on blouses ;).

1; 2 River Island; 3 Dorothy Perkins; 4 Dorothy Perkins; 5 House of Fraser; 6 Nasty Gal; 7 Hannah Zakari; 8 River Island

WHITE & CREAM LACE. I've loved lace since forever, but at the moment I am coveting all manner of lacey things in whites  & creams.  Cream because its adds an aged quality to the lace. Cornelli, Embroidered, Crotchet, I'm not fussed...I want it all!! I'm totally in awe of Flying A's lace tunic. It's definitely on my wishlist!

1 Alice by Alice Temperley; 2 Asos Revive; 3 Vintage; 4 Pins and Needles; 5 Topshop; 6 Flying A

What are you obsessed by right now?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Technicolor Dreams

I'm crazy about Kurt Geiger's SS11 story Technicolor Dreams; which feature the most fantastic of shoes in the juiciest of hues! The range is obviously a take on this season's color block   trend, inspired by the likes of Jil Sander and Gucci. 

My top pick is the 70's style 'Galenka' platform sandal in amethyst and emerald suede.

Top: Technicolor dreams series inc. Galenka;
Bottom: Jil Sander SS11, Jil Sander SS11, Gucci SS11

Complete the look with equally saturated palazzo pants and a bright T...An ultimate riot of color!