Art, Fashion, Photography

A Pop, Op and a Jump – Lacey for Vogue Nippon

British Photographer Lacey was an assistant to Tim Walker – and it really shows. Her inventive use of props (by design pair Craig and Karl) and collaboration with make-up artist Andrew Gallimore have made the pages of Vogue Nippon even more mind-bending this month. Styled by Beth Fenton, it’s part Pop, a little Op and a big, glam wheelbarrow of weird brilliance.








Fashion, Licentiate Columns

Licentiate Column 14/06/12: Free Gifts in Magazines (and what they say about you).

June the first is a momentous day. Yes, it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I know how much we all care about that. Yes, Forbidden Fruit is about to kick off the Irish Festival circuit and thus the official start of Irish Summer. And yes, these are all excellent excuses for total inebriation.

June the first is also an important day for frugal women the country over, for June the first is the day that Glamour UK comes out in Ireland – complete with free Benefit cosmetics. Every June Glamour will give away Benefit swag, newsagents will get incredibly annoyed at the amount of punctured plastic pockets and stolen face primers and beauty junkies will buy copies in bulk and leave the surplus paper in their local recycling bins. People will claim their luxury sample size primers, have a flick through a magazine which makes you worry if everyone is kinkier than you (short answer – probably not, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy) and hopefully not file it away for future reference.

Today I bought four, count ‘em, FOUR copies of Glamour. This is not reverting to type. I love magazines, but my shopping list usually consists of luxury biannual tomes, thick as the Book of Kells, usually full of Cindy Sherman pictures and chimpanzees in Prada (it’s conceptual, dahling). These magazines are usually called something like Blorft or Zip! and will invariably have a cover image of a supermodel or obese person in the nip or a slightly obscure but actually incredibly mainstream person like Bjork swaddled in cotton wool, diamonds and a smattering of neon pigeon shit.

I also buy hard-to-get foreign magazines where the editorials are populated entirely by beautiful transsexual women or frosty Scandinavians. The covers are clean, severe and as close to blank as a brand new A4 drawing pad as possible. The title will have a lot of umlauts or dashes through the letter ‘O’ and the contents will sometimes scare me so much that I’m glad that I can’t understand the text.

Sometimes I will just buy a magazine because it looks like it could be a prop in a Wes Anderson film (The Gentlewoman), or Sophia Coppola’s latest effort (Lula). Sometimes I will buy a magazine because it seems smart, but it is always just pretentious and a little bit sad. Once, I bought a fashion magazine that was about… drum roll.. people who write for fashion magazines. Proof that the fashion industry will one day eat itself. But the magazines really do tie the room together when you fan them out of a coffee table. Martha Stewart taught me that.

In a way, buying these magazines isn’t a measure in the pretension mentioned above, because they are often heavy and unwieldy, and so are totally unsuitable for reading on public transport. If no-one sees you being pretentious, then you’re not pretentious. You’re just being you, which altogether may be a much more depressing prospect.

Fashion, Inspiration, Photography, The Reading List

The Reading List: Stylists


‘Stylists’, the new book by prodigious fashion scribe Katie Baron, promises to be the essential starter book for anyone interested in the relatively recent cult of the superstylist.


The pictures are presented in a scrapbook style, seemingly torn out of magazines and pasted in, or in overlapping, slightly off-centre collage, it’s not just an homage, but also how stylists often start gathering ideas and inspiration (several of the subjects mention tearing photos out of magazines as how they first got on the road to their current career). It’s a clever conceit that neatly ties all the profiles together.



The stylists come from different facets of magazine publishing, from the obvious (Anna dello Russo and Lula editor Leith Clark) to the not so much (Francesco Souriges), the beautiful and the avant garde, the dark and the light. As an accurate cross section of stylists at work today, it’s definitely representational of European stylists. America doesn’t really get a look in.


Each profile comes with a sampling of the stylist’s work and a two page interview, talking about his or her roots, how they got into the industry and what their creative fingerprint is. Like his work, Nicola Formichetti’s personality almost bursts out of the page. Jacob K is as quietly enigmatic as his styling might suggest. Christiane Arp weaves German pride into her issues of Vogue.



If you want to learn more about the superstylist phenomenon, this really is an essential buy. Even seasoned fashionophiles will find something inspiring within these pages. Katie Shillingford’s profile had me reaching for my back copies of Dazed and Confused to remind myself of just how good she is at her job, while I was pleasantly surprised to learn about German magazine, Sepp, which is a blend of men’s fashion and football (I’ve GOT to get my hands on a copy).

‘Stylists’ is informative, beautifully laid out and a great source of inspiration. Highly recommended.

‘Stylists’ is out now and published by Laurence King.

Art, The Reading List

What I did in London, told by the books I bought.

Saturday – a stroll down Portobello Road, a rummage in the market stalls, dinner at El Camion and a root through Oxfam Books for some bedside reading.

Sunday – to Leicester Square Theatre for Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World (Couldn’t wait for him to come to Ireland in May).

Monday – A trip to the National Portrait Gallery, then to Chinatown for Dim Sum…

…then some shopping in Covent Garden. Go to Magma Books. Just do it.

Fashion, Photography, Subculture

I am a Camera

One of the first lines in Alone in Berlin, Christopher Isherwood’s Weimar-era novella, reads;

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking

With that slightly depressing line in mind, let’s look at British Vogue’s ‘I am a Camera’ shoot for it’s February issue.

This editorial takes the idea of the front row fashion blogger and turn it on its head.  It’s interesting, considering how much inspiration that bloggers get from magazines, that a magazine should draw inspiration from bloggers so late in the game.

Still, bloggers are outsiders in the fashion world.  ‘I am a Camera’ seems to suggest that bloggers are passive observers of fashion – they never mould or guide what fashion is to become.  Maybe I’m reading into it wrong, but that’s what it looks like to me.

It’s utter bollocks, of course.  Bloggers do help to accelerate and even kick-start trends (um, Susie Bubble anyone? Tavi?) I’ve met quite a few front row bloggers and they spend more of their time editing photos and doing 40+ hours of work in other jobs and less time than you’d think prancing around gritty urban settings/stately homes in the new Prada flame heels and taking pictures of themselves picking their teeth in fabulous hotel suites.

This shoot is still pretty great.  A really original concept, great styling and lovely pictures.  I especially love the photos where the clothes are lovingly organised on the suitcase and the bed – accessorised with a half-devoured room service breakfast.  But of course.

I am a Camera, British Vogue Fab 2012.  Tati Cotliar by Raymond Meier.  Styled by Charlotte Pilcher.  Images via Hey Crazy (

Art, Fashion, Inspiration

Inspiration: French Women

Is it just me or is November a little, well, flumpish?  You know, it gets dark at six and it’s cold and rainy and it seems that nothing is very inspiring.

I bet French women don’t have that problem.

Lou Doillon

Francoise Hardy

Sonia Rykiel

Francoise Sagan

Emmanuelle Seigner

All illustrations by Isaac Bonan for Milk Magazine.

Fashion, The Reading List

Giveaway #4: Supercute LolaDee Handmade Goodies!

You want more stuff? The I’ve got it. Up for grabs are a toothache-inducingly cute zipper brooch and pair of earrings from LolaDee Handmade. LolaDee is the moniker of Corkonian Lorna Dollery, who also has a blog called Thing I Fell In Love With Today.

LolaDee Handmade accessories are made from new, vintage and recycled materials and are gaining quite the cult following.  Lorna sells her wares on Etsy and at markets – she also does custom orders! You can contact her via email for more details.

Sound good?  So, the competition is as follows.

1. Subscribe to the blog by email.  Just click the button on the top left of the homepage.  That way, I’ll be able to contact the winner via email.

2.  Leave a comment at the end of this post.  Easy as.


1.  Follow @The_Licentiate on twitter and tweet ‘Win @Lola_Dee goodies with @The_Licentiate’.  Don’t worry if it’s too many characters, twitter should automatically shorten it.  It would only be lovely if you followed @Lola_Dee on twitter as well.

2.  Like The Licentiate and LolaDee Handmade on facebook.

3.  If you’ve got a blog, blog about the giveaway for an extra entry.


You must subscribe to the blog to enter

If you’re leaving extra entries, make sure to leave a link in the comment sections telling me how you entered and what your twitter/facebook/blog links are (delete as relevant).  If you don’t leave a comment, I may not know that you’ve entered, and we want to make this as fair as possible!  The winner will be picked at random.  Competition closes on 15/09/11.

Fashion, The Reading List

Giveaway #3: A Yearly Subscription to NONE Magazine

If you’re anything like me, you love a good magazine.  Magazines are a tactile, visual experience.  Way better than a computer in terms of visual appreciation.

From Tea Petrovic

Today we’ve got a year’s subscription to NONE Magazine.  If you haven’t heard of it, I highly suggest that you pick up a copy in your nearest Easons.  NONE is a Cork-based, internationally staffed, quarterly magazine.  If I could describe it accurately in terms of other magazines, I would.  The closest I can get is that I think it’s like a cross between POP and Dazed and Confused, reflected through an Irish mirror.

Because the magazine is based in Cork, I don’t think that it gets the exposure that it deserves.  It’s all about Dublin at the moment, so if you’re not based there, you can be left on the sidelines.  NONE is a great magazine unlike any other in Ireland and it isn’t specific to Cork.  It could be published in any great European city (and as far as I know, several national imprints are in the works).

Photo from Blaubushka


Photo from Blaubushka

The magazine is a mix of daring, imaginative fashion and beauty editorials, with interesting features. It has featured the talents of many of Ireland’s best and brightest in the fashion community.  Best of all though – this competition is worldwide.  Even better – if you don’t win and you don’t live in Ireland, you can pick up a digital edition on the website.

Sound good?  So, the competition is as follows.

1. Subscribe to the blog by email.  Just click the button on the top left of the homepage.  That way, I’ll be able to contact the winner via email.

2.  Leave a comment at the end of this post.  Easy as.


1.  Follow @The_Licentiate on twitter and tweet ‘I want a subscription to @WeAreNone with @The_Licentiate’.  Don’t worry if it’s too many characters, twitter should automatically shorten it.  It would only be lovely if you followed @WeAreNone on twitter as well.

2.  Like The Licentiate and NONE Magazine on facebook and tag us in a post on your facebook page.

3.  If you’ve got a blog, blog about the giveaway for an extra entry.


You must subscribe to the blog to enter

If you’re leaving extra entries, make sure to leave a link in the comment sections telling me how you entered and what your twitter/facebook/blog links are (delete as relevant).  If you don’t leave a comment, I may not know that you’ve entered, and we want to make this as fair as possible!  The winner will be picked at random.  Competition closes on 14/09/11.


Fashion, Photography

Well Looky Lou, I’m in U!

Look Ma, I'm famous!

Today is a good day. It’s a good day for lots of reasons (nice blue sky, birds are singing, I’m feeling unusually productive and a lunchtime catch up with Dawn is on the cards) but I’m especially excited because this here blogger is in the newest issue of U Magazine! *faints*

The Fashion Diary was the product of a lot of thought and consideration and couldn’t have happened without my friends Alan, Hayret and Jo, who took the pictures.  Thanks guys.  You’re the best.

I was quite nervous at the prospect of having ten pictures taken of me, especially pictures showcasing my style.  There are lots of reasons.

  1. I work from home and anyone who does that knows that the typical work uniform is a pair of pajamas covered in crumbs/an old t-shirt and sleep shorts/boyfriend’s huge ratty Spurs jersey and baggy leggings with hole in the crotch.  Not exactly magazine material (not the kind of magazine I’d want to read anyway)
  2. I’m not a personal style blogger.  I would like to be, but the last time I did an outfit post, I recieved a comment telling me that I ‘ruined all fashion’.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m a gorgon or anything, but when I do an outfit post, I want to do a really, really good one – so that comment knocked me a little bit (I know that’s pretty pathetic, I’m not asking for sympathy nor do I actually think that I ruin all fashion).
  3. I don’t think I’m very photogenic.  This is tied up into point 2.
  4. Before I started taking photos, I couldn’t really sum up what my style was in a couple of sentences.  I like all sorts of things.  I like suits.  I like vintage. I like black.  I love bright colours.  I love crochets and knits and leather trousers and Missoni type patterns and geometric shapes and leopard print and tweed and stripes and polka dots and crisp white shirts and PVC and lace-up ankle boots.  I love Audrey Hepburn and Anna Piaggi equally, even though their styles couldn’t be more opposed.  It was hard to pin a common thread down, which made picking outfits very difficult.

But I finally came to a conclusion about my personal style, which has been two decades in the making.  I like (deep breath) – classic pieces with a twist.  I also love mixing up colours and textures.  GROUND-BREAKING STUFF.

Seriously though, I can’t believe that it took me so long just to think of that.  Typical.

I think I might start doing regular outfit posts from now on.  What do you think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?

An outtake - this was taken one outfit and about eleventy billion crap, frustrating photos in. The final product was definitely worth it.

Major thanks to Aisling and Deanna at U for having me. You guys…

Fashion, Licentiate Columns

Licentiate Column 13/01/11

I’d like to thank everyone who has voted for me so far as one of Ireland’s most influential bloggers .  The competition is ending tomorrow at 6pm Irish time, so I’m going to make a final (very annoying) push for more votes.  If you’ve voted before you can vote again (it’s every 24 hours).  The instructions for voting are on the page.  I’m just about creaking into the top ten and I’d love to stay there but I’m neck and neck with another blog – so I really really do need them votes.  Click here - I’m number 42!

*Public Service Announcement over – on to this week’s column…*

Today I picked up a nice, shiny magazine. You know, the kind of nice, shiny magazine full of nice, shiny clothes with nice, shiny prices. The kind of magazine that issues the most hallowed and anticipated of all biannual supplements (barring Heat Magazine’s soul-crushing celebrity swimsuit pull-outs) – the catwalk report.

We’ll just call this magazine a generic, vaguely evocative French word. Let’s call it Haute. I love Haute because it is cover-to-cover with beautiful people, fairytale settings and clothes you and I can never afford. It is pure escapism. It inhabits a world totally inaccessible and separate to our own, albeit one that we can peer into just by briefly licking our thumbs and flicking a page corner, like a version of Alice and the Looking-Glass for shopping addicts.

Magazines like Haute publish the catwalk reports as a way of imposing themselves into our world. Haute has picked up the Looking Glass and smashed it over Alice’s head. It’s less assimilation – more indoctrination.

The idea is to pick and choose which aspects of which collection appeal most to you and blend it into your wardrobe; simple things like (a) bold block colours or (b) simple tailoring or (c) a pair of flared jeans. You’re not really supposed to wear the catwalk look from head to toe, because if you did, you’d look a bit like (a) a lego brick, (b) an extra from Logan’s Run or (c) a Studio 54 reject for whom the party has long since ended.

This season Haute is championing the Luxe Sportswear trend. ‘Luxe’ does not mean ‘luxury’, rather ‘Luxe Sportswear’ means ‘Expensive Tracksuits… In Impractical Heels’. Popularised by designer Alexander Wang, Luxe Sportswear has been around for a few seasons and is defined by distressed shrunken leather biker jackets with leggings, oversized t-shirts, lace-up heeled boots and enough grey jersey to swaddle a million coltish-legged prepubescent models. Nothing we haven’t seen before.

Luxe Sportswear is perverse; it pairs the practical with the impractical. Waterproof neoprene, traditionally found in wetsuits, is used to construct soft, shell-like bodycon dresses. Joggerbums are worn with towering heels.

The neoprene dresses I can understand. It’s an unorthodox material and, because it’s such a stiff fabric, it can hold it’s shape and produce some unexpectedly beautiful results. The heel and tracksuit pants? Oho no.

Today I saw a woman walking down the street wearing a pair of billowing khaki jersey pants. The cuffs of said pants were tucked into spindly McQueen-esque lace-up heels of the same hue. Her gait was circumspect, possibly because every step she took would inflate a pant leg like a runaway wind sock in a wheezing gale.

Apart from that segue into the risible, Luxe Sportswear is fully representative of it’s beloved grey jersey. It’s boring.

Even the ringleader of the bland, sorry, grand circus, Alexander Wang, is getting tired of the monsters he has created. He is quoted in interviews, saying “If I see another distressed black leather motorcycle jacket, I’m going to shoot myself in the face”.

That’s a bit harsh, Mr Wang. Perhaps you should make your weapon a water pistol instead. When the time comes for that fateful splashing, pray that you’ll be wearing neoprene.