Monday, 28 February 2011
Recently I watched a documentary about the talented Alexander McQueen, and quite frankly I was completely bewildered by what I saw, watching the documentary as a complete stranger with such limited knowledge of what this designer was about, what he had achieved and how he came to achieve such things, I quite honestly will find it hard to put that into words. It just emphasised to me that you are one hundred percent born with such talents, its part of your personality as opposed to something that can be taught, its talents such as McQueen that takes things one step further, and actually puts these thoughts and ideas into something real that people can appreciate and witness. For example, take for instance birds flying in the sky, to others its gone completely un-noticed, to McQueen they were completely inspiring, it was fascinating to watch, his brother a cab driver, both grown up on a council estate in Stratford, was being interviewed outside the flat in which they all grew up, he casually said that Lee, (Alexander McQueen's first Name) must of been so inspired, well actually he didn't even use this word, they were so far away from the Fashion World and ideas of inspiration he just casually said that he must of taken notice of them, as there are so many references in his work related to these creatures, their sillioute, their feathers, the way they move...and this is what I'm trying to emphasise how talent is naturally within you, to his brother and many others they are just birds flying in the sky, to him they were embedded in his brain so strongly that he chose to do something about it, seriously.
I absolutely love ambition in people, the attitude that if you want something, nothing and no one will stop you from achieving it, all them people that say quotes such as 'I could never get a job doing that' 'Imagine working there, they would never pick someone like me' and so on, why not? why have this negative attitude, if you are that passionate about something nothing comes in your way of making it come true, and hurdles are just learning curves, and stories such as McQueen once again go to prove my views are completely true. And even such a talent as him, went some way on doubting his ability, he travelled to Central Saint Martins, and hung about outside, building up the courage to walk in and ask for a job, as he thought there would be no chance in actually attending as a student, but still there must of been a slight belief within him to make sure he was someway on the path to where he wanted to be, surrounding himself within the environment he dreamed of. One of the founders of Central Saint Martins said as soon as she saw him she knew he wouldn't be able to get a job there as he was the same age as most of the students, she told him to bring some evidence of his designs, and once again this goes to show that talent is embedded within someone, doesn't need to be taught or learnt, he came back the next day, she said that as soon as she saw his work she knew there was something special about this boy, and he was offered a place that same day.
It was so interesting to see his friends from the start being interviewed, they were two gay men, describing how they all used to go out in Soho with such little money, and hanging about with the 'lowlife' that came out at night, prostitutes and such sorts. As Alexander McQueen grew they said they were sort of getting a sense of what was going on and how he was beginning to become something of a phenomenon but they still saw him as one of their normal friends, like anyone would, one was describing a coat he had given to him and which he got a pair of scissors and chopped the bottom of as he didn't like the length...the next day he saw it on the cover of Vogue and with a price tag of £2000.....
Another intriguing character to meet on the documentary was Isabella Blow, the lady that 'discovered' him and used her contacts to launch him to the fashion world. As soon as she saw his first collection she bought the whole lot for £300, to McQueen it was jackpot, he didn't have any money at all, he was signing on and used his benefits to buy material to create his designs. I think this is why I found the whole documentary so fascinating, it felt so real, and such a unbelievable story from where someone can come from and what they can achieve. Isabella Blow was such an interesting character, I'm not sure exactly of her background and for this post I don't want to delve into research I wanted to attempt to just express my opinions without any supporting facts, but she was also an amazing talent. Sacked from Tatler and Vogue then asked to go back, Fashion Editor for the The Times, such influential organisations I sense knew she was a special individual with talents that could not be replaced, and even with her huge talents she was completely absorbed by McQueen, fascinated by his work, she would take him to her country house and let him fly birds of prey, she in turn knew that she was supplying him with inspiration, knowing that his brain would take this further.
I could write about that one specific documentary for hours, thoughts just completely writing themselves as I type, but finally I'll try to express my thoughts and feelings on his catwalk shows, some commented that he was more of a show man then a designer. All I can describe is I have never seen anything like it in my life, I was watching it in astonishment, now not having the opportunity to have ever been to one of these fashion shows I am sure there is an electric atmosphere before the show starts, but for McQueen's shows I cant imagine how people were feeling, at one show there were three hundred people pushed out the doors as there was no more room, and from seeing glimpses of the shows I can see why....what a talented person, to even think of these ideas, just goes to show that his talents were way beyond just designing. Instead of rambling on, I had to include some video footage of his shows, and I am sure not one person who watches them, loving or hating them it sparks a reaction, it triggers an undeniable vision that this was created by such a talented individual with such an artistic, completely non-average way of thinking. Just unbelievable.
It was such a tragedy that it ended in such a tragic ending, with Isabella Blow attempting to commit suicide eight times and finally succeeding, his mum who he wanted at every show and couldn't cope without leaving this world due to cancer, and finally McQueen himself committing suicide just months later....Not being directly involved in the fashion world it was merely reading the comments that the world had lost such a talent, and it was not until I had seen this documentary that I couldn't agree more watching that gave me insight to a truly wondrous individual, special thinking talented person with ideas and visions that could only come from a person that was just born with that special eye for things, nothing that could be taught just....lucky i guess.
Posted by Callahan Brooks at 11:57
Sunday, 27 February 2011
It is frustrating when Google and other such sources fail me on delivering the information required to provide a substantial amount of knowledge about a new label I have discovered, Evil Twin. To be honest these 'discoveries' are not hard to come across and certainly not completely undiscovered proving that by the sheer fact that they are now being supposedly 'discovered' by me. Although its beneficial to me to find such brands on mainstream websites such as ASOS and Urban Outfitters, cutting out the research of finding talented new young designers, it sometimes feels as though now they have been seen and available to the masses as opposed to the excitement of feeling you have personally found a secret talent.
Any how, that view aside Evil Twin has a certain look that completely stands out from any website and enitrely captured on its own. The Sydney-based label deliver a grungy, punk-inspired aesthetic throughout their stand out collections, fusing hard lines and Gothic edges with feminine silhouettes, becoming the signature Evil Twin style. A style of which is a favourite of mine, also having something to do with the overall styling, the bandannas worn in the hair, messy hair and handfuls of trendy jewellery.
The website hosts three collections, and unfortunately lacks an 'about' section, however through various research methods I came across an interview with Jodie McKenzie, the designer behind such inspiring collections all with that rock and roll/grungy/cool girl look.
How she got her big break? After working in the industry four years designing with MinkPink I was given the opportunity to start my own line in late 2008, the first collection was launched in February 2009 and going on to exhibit at 2010 London Fashion Week.
McKenzie's description of the label...'When I started Evil Twin my idea was to offer something a little left of centre with a tougher edge...the kind of stuff my sister and I wanted to buy when we was growing up... but couldn't seem to find for a non-extortionate price tag. There's a strong musical and vintage influence to the brand, the 70s and 80s punk and glam rock scene are the most common.
The meaning of fashion to her? Confidence. Its not about what brand something is or how much you pay for it. To me its all about how you put it all together to suit who you are...something I personally couldn't agree with more.
McKenzie's personal style... I'm drawn to a lot of hard edges punk/gothic influences which i like to contrast with lace and soft tailoring. I have a ridiculous weakness for OTT accessories, lots of silver jewellery, anything leather, vintage sequins and trashed up leather black boots.
And who she wants wearing Evil Twin...Alice Dellal, to see her rocking some Evil Twin would be awesome, shes got amazing style...and once again I completely agree.
Posted by Callahan Brooks at 09:31