Monthly Archives: June 2012

Graduate Fashion Week- An Audience With….Creating a Brand

British designer David Longshaw lent his fashion and business expertise at the An Audience With…Creating A Brand talk hosted by BFC talent scout and fashion writer and lecturer Andrew Tucker. Longshaw has had a successful and busy couple of years in his leadup to creating his own brand, having worked for MaxMara and Alberta Ferretti,  being selected as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘One to Watch’, and becoming the recipient of the Elle talent launchpad.

Known for specialising with print, Longshaw studied at both Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art and revealed to the audience at GFW that his experience in Italy with MaxMara and Alberta Ferretti was invaluable in gaining experience but also showed him the freedom that can come with having your own brand where you can experiment as much as you like.

Speaking about what makes a brand; Longshaw was asked about the print side of his designing and whether the technology that comes with it had affected people’s perceptions of the craftsmanship involved. He believes that print is still very much a craft and the digital side of things helped to enhance his illustrations even more so. On what makes his brand special, Longshaw revealed that all of his designs have an intrinsic story behind them, some with very strange inspiration (what would happen if ‘scallies’ were left to run riot in a stately home for example!) In an industry which is saturated with designers, it’s good to have a bit of originality and an extra layer.

Longshaw also spoke about the importance of selling yourself to your customers whether it’s through a website or social networking. He offered the useful advice that when it comes to tweeting, it can work to enhance your label but you must be careful not to make yourself look disjointed. A tweet about eating beans will not look impressive!

With much more to come from David Longshaw, he is the perfect role model for graduates who have big dreams of creating their very own brand.

Illustrations of Longshaw’s








A David Longshaw Headpiece


Graduate Fashion Week 2012- An Audience With..The Power of the Celebrity

Day two of Graduate Fashion Week and budding fashionistas were in for yet another treat with An Audience With: The Power Of Celebrities. Hosted by stylist and fashion writer for magazines including Grazia, Tatler and The Sunday Times Angela Scalan, the interviewee was Sarah Leon, director of talent for Next Model Management.






Having discovered such big names as Agnes Dean, rocker model Alice Dellal and Alexa Chung, Sarah has been in the industry for a long time, starting out as a model scout. Using her invaluable experience of the industry, Sarah revealed to the audience the secret of success for aspiring stars- these days you can’t just have a pretty face- personality, an original style and something special is what it takes to make it big. Gone are the days where a photograph told all. Nowadays the role of the internet has changed everything and models need to appeal through a variety of mediums and have an interactive element.

Alice Dellal is a model with attitude










Speaking of various fashion campaigns, Sarah stressed the importance of personal style in whether a model gets the job. Take for example Alexa Chung, Sarah’s self-confessed favourite famous face. Before her campaign with SuperGa, relatively no-one had heard of the brand. This was shown by a quick audience vote. After Alexa shot a campaign, sales rocketed. This is Sarah’s philosophy proved!

Alexa for Superga










So who does Sarah predict big things for in the future? Rita Ora, who has just shot to fame has infact been working with Sarah for three years, whilst Connor Maynard and actress Clara Paget were both name-dropped. And Internationally-speaking look out for French singer Lula Sarge and US Blogger Todd Selby.

It’s clear that the role of the celebrity is more powerful than ever. So if you’re an aspiring star, then look to the unique and more edgy stars for guidance!

Rita Ora has made it onto the celeb scene

Look out for big things from Clara Paget

Alexander McQueen- The Most Versatile Fashion House Out There?

Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady GaGa…what do all these women have in common? Apart from being ridiculously famous, they all share a love of the fashion house Alexander McQueen! And these women aptly represent the versatility of the label with designs to suit all types of woman.

Since the tragic death of Alexander Lee McQueen in 2010 just days after the death of his beloved mother and three years after the suicide of his close friend Isabella Blow, fashion director at Tattler and the woman responsible for McQueen’s rise to fame (She bought his entire graduate collection after falling in love with his designs), Sarah Burton has been working wonders for the fashion house. Perhaps the biggest achievement for Burton was last year’s sensational Royal Wedding gown designed for Kate Middleton which resulted in every bride to be in the country demanding replicas of the dress for their own weddings. On Burton’s takeover as creative director and her first collection Hilary Alexander from The Telegraph commented on the ‘elaborately-beautiful pieces which maintained the spirit of McQueen’s legacy, whilst injecting a new atmosphere of the ethereal bohemian romance’. 


Having won British Designer of the Year four times, Alexander McQueen truly was one of the best designers that Britain has ever had. Close friend and muse Daphne Guinness commented on McQueen’s talent at designing and her own private collection of McQueen pieces saying ‘the attention to detail on the clothing is truly incredible and each piece is extremely different, but individually captivating’.  Guinness represents the wild side that McQueen possessed when designing. Very much similar to Lady GaGa, she is a fan of the more unusual and original designs and has a truly unique and wonderful way of putting an outfit together. Both she and Kelis have been photographed wearing McQueen’s insane alien shoes which look highly impractical but fabulously fashionable!



On the other side of the style radar, the McQueen label is responsible for some of the most elegant dresses on the red carpet with countless celebrities clambering over each other to wear the latest design. At the Jubilee celebrations Kate Middleton who is currently experiencing quite the love affair with McQueen was spotted in three of their designs. Wearing a striking fire engine red number which was custom-fitted by adjusting the dress to a more demure length, Kate looked quite the royal, teaming the dress with a red maple leaf hat by Silvia Fletcher. Both Kim Kardashian and Tulisa have worn the dress in sleeveless form, perfectly displaying the versatility of the dress.

At the Jubilee ceremony at Saint Paul’s cathedral, Kate honoured her signature look of pure elegance and wore a custom-made blush lace dress with white sheath underlay. And at the Jubilee concert she teamed a high street Whistles ‘Bella’ dress with a McQueen blazer. Having worn Burton’s designs on the red carpet, at royal events and at social parties, Kate is truly flying the flag forMcQueen.


The versatility of Alexander McQueen designs ensure the longevity of the fashion house which was started by an incredible British designer who has made his mark all over the world and which is now in the care of another fantastic designer. Cathy Horyn from The New York Times perfectly sums up the crossover saying on Burton’s first designs, ‘Some references to the McQueen craft and drama are necessary, but her choices reflected a gradual transistion’. With Burton on board, there’s no stopping the design house and it’s celebrity following will never wain. Whether its avant garde or red carpet chic, this is the label to come to for help!

‘There was only one Alexander McQueen’ Anabelle Neilson