Fashion, Licentiate Columns

Licentiate Column 30/06/11: Just what makes a person stylish?

One of my friends really wants a pair of Jeffrey Campbell ‘Lita’ shoes.  If you haven’t seen them before, imagine a Dutch clog mixed in with a 70’s porn aesthetic, worn by a horse with a gangrenous hoof.  They are not very nice.  But they are definitely in fashion. 
Along with leggings, empire-line sundresses, purple lips and light bondage gear, these shoes fit the mould of ugly fashion.  It ain’t pretty, it’s definitely not flattering, but it’s in – so we wear it.
An item can be fashionable, but it can never be stylish.  Style is in how a person wears that item; the intent behind the purchase and what that item tells the outside world about you…

To read the rest of this column, go to the Cork Independent website…

EDIT: It seems the link is broken.  To read the whole column, click here.

My profile page, with rainbow pins
Art, Inspiration

Pinterest Loving

I love Pinterest.  It’s a new-ish website that allows you to save pictures on the internet to an account and store them in folders and link back to the original post all at the touch of a button.  It’s incredibly easy to use and set up.  When you’re stuck for time or want a bit more interaction in your photo collecting, Pinterest is head and shoulders above sites like Tumblr and We Heart It.*

My profile page, with rainbow pins

A pin page

My only problem with Pinterest is that it’s invite only and none of my friends are on it.  So, if you’d like to join the website, drop me a line and I’ll send you an invitiation.  Spreading the love and all that.
If you like a picture, you can ‘pin’ it and save it onto a board, which are of infinite variety.  I’ve got boards for art, things I want to buy, books I like to read and (my favourite) outlandish nail art, which is wish fulfilment.  Stupid, flaky nails…

Nails by Hey, Nice Nails


Nails by The Illustrated Nail


Dr Who nails by Very Emily


Nails by Xanadu Julie

Want to say hi (or just poke around)? Press the Pinterest button on my sidebar.
*I don’t work for Pinterest by the way.  I have no professional affiliation with Pinterest.  I just really, really like the website.
My new baby - a neon green monogrammed satchel.
Art, Fashion, Photography

Phone photos March – June ’11

If last week was all about fashion and art, then this week is all about random lists. That’s not weird at all, is it? I keep taking pictures on my phone and always intend to post them online – but rarely do. Here’s a small selection.

Detail from a Versus-esque mini at the Warehouse S/S Press Day

The set up for eBay's online fashion week.

James from Thinkhouse PR's supa fresh (and slightly blurry) Louboutin hi-tops

The parent's new puppy, Holly. This does not remind me of a certain friend of mine in a different continent, oh no.

Beautiful packaging for vintage jewellery at Elsa and Gogo, one of my favourite Irish vintage sellers

Possibly the most unflattering birthday card ever.

My new baby - a neon green monogrammed satchel.

Any band with the words 'Rusty Roosters' MUST be good.

A page from Frida Kahlo's diary at the IMMA

Leonora Carrington painting - from a book on Surrealism


Related #7: Holiday Dressing

Yesterday’s post was all about dressing for a sun holiday – which for a lot of us means leaving the normal clothes at home and running into the nearest high street chain for disposable slouchy basics. Free People has taken it up a notch this season with their lookbook, which was photographed on, yes, a beach.

I’m so suggestible, me.

Does anyone else notice that most people get their holiday basics in the ONE shop?  You’re just so desperate to get it done in one go that you have to get everything in H&M, even though there’s a Penney’s next door.

I quite like the easy breezy flow of these pieces, especially the first dress. Now I just need to get someone to bring me on a sun holiday…






All photos via Fashion Gone Rogue

The Jersey Shore Hits the Miami Beach
Licentiate Columns

Licentiate Column 23/06/11: Holiday Dressing

If January is the time to self-combust with jealousy over the amazing scores your friends make in the sales and May is the month to burst into flames with envy at friend’s amazing summer weddings then June is the month to be immolated over where they go on holidays (if you aren’t already figuratively burnt to a crisp).

One friend is in perpetually tropical Brisbane, one is in Crete, another is inter-railing around Germany. Me? I’m sitting here, writing this in a granddad-style navy knitted cardigan with dried ketchup on the sleeve. It’s a glamorous life. The green-eyed monster and I are very happy to live it. All this burning envy is doing wonders for my tan.

I would never begrudge friends or family a break from their hard work. But if there’s an equivalent opposite to begrudging a holiday (and if there isn’t there should be), I do that to myself.

Staying stylish on a sun holiday is an obvious oxymoron. As a rule, holiday clothes are very small (to stay cool and maximise tanning) or loose (for expanding bellies after too many Sex on the Beach and pizza dinners). Combine the two and you’ll look like you’ve gone to a costume party dressed up as a sexy circus tent.

There are some girls who just do summer well. They have long legs, bronzed skin, natural highlights and can rock denim hotpants like no other. These girls live in faraway places like Sydney or LA. They don’t live in Trabolgan or Bettystown.

Irish women have an advantage when it comes to mysterious, windswept, modern Wuthering Heights style. We can dress for changeable weather among the best of them. All-day sun? We’re just not prepared for that.

The average Irish women will not bring her own clothes on holiday. She will buy a brand new holiday wardrobe, which includes several pairs of Jesus sandals, shorts and cotton vests for daytime and thin cocktail dresses with wedges for night (because heels don’t hold up well when trudging through sand).

It’s a standard uniform. An excellently distilled uniform at that. The genius of the Irish (or British, our Ibiza/Crete/Majorca partners in crime) women’s holiday wardrobe is that it represents a complete break from reality. It is true to the spirit of a summer vacation.

It’s a break from work, from your everyday life, from obligations. Why not leave your own style sensibilities in the wardrobe, at home, where they belong?

Planning a wardrobe is stressful. Holidays are supposed to be stress free. It makes perfect sense to cull the stressful elements and take your existing outfits out of the equation.

Ridiculously floppy hat? Throw it in the shopping basket! Red, heart-shaped Lolita frames? No holiday would be complete without them.

Take a break from your style and invent a whole new way of dressing. And if you want to borrow a ketchup-spattered cardi, I just might know where you can get one.

Art, Fashion

The Mondrian Dress

It’s all about fashion in relation to art this week.  We’ve done Bernini and Rodarte, Madame Gres and sculpture.  I might as well round out the week with a little bit of YSL and Piet Mondrian.  No more art for a while then, I promise.*

A page from a Met catalogue (I think, correct me if I'm wrong)

Sylvie Fleury - Untitled (Mondrian Dress), 1993

The Mondrian dress, one on Yves Saint Laurent’s earlier triumphs (in 1965) has been imitated and disseminated since it’s inception.  Art has been turned into a dress, which is turned back into art (see Sylvie Fleury’s picture above).  Even Lady Gaga is in on the act, constructing an overwrought metaphor for fashion as one big Mondrian dress in her first column for V Magazine.  Read it here.**

Since buying a sewing machine, I’ve been looking and looking for a vintage YSL pattern by Simplicity, but it’s incredibly hard to find.  This woman made a dress out of a pillowcase and placemats, something I have to try very soon.

Failing that, a DIY project is definitely in the works.  Maybe I could paint a car…

From Nathan Manire on flickr

*probably not.  Well, maybe.

** Lady Gaga’s column needs a whole post of it’s own, though I’m torn between being really critical or really laudatory, which ultimately ends up being really, really confusing.  At the very least it’s the best celeb fashion column I’ve ever read, which is, unfortunately, not saying much.

Art, Fashion

Guest Post: In New York Paris Tomorrow

Last week, something very nice happened.  Irish fashion designer Eilis Boyle said that she liked my blog.  This made me very happy indeed, because Eilis is one of my favourite Irish designers.  She’s very aware and devoted to fashion and craftsmanship (and she happens to have a wonderful blog of her own).  So, I MUST be doing something right….

Through her, Madeleine of In New York Paris Tomorrow contacted me and asked me if I’d like to do a guest post. This was somewhat of a double whaamy, because I also love Madeleine’s blog.  It’s an insiders view on fashion that is open, non-pretentious, thoughful and full of personal fashion memories as well as the best style-related news.  I feel ashamed for using the word chuffed because it reminds me of Thomas the Tank Engine (don’t ask) but I was incredibly chuffed that she had asked me.

Here’s some very kind words that Madeleine said about my blog.

The Licentiate blog is stylish and intelligent; relishing views of fashion and its inhabitants with humor, kindness and honesty. I fell in love with her consideration of Anna Piaggi and Tavi Gevinson as kindred souls; of course she is correct and not bogged down by preconceptions.

Thank you so much for having me.

You can read my guest post here - don’t forget to tell me what you think!