Monday, June 29, 2009

"Seriously, we’re not just being nice"

Having only momentarily listened to White Denim before attending their gig Friday night in Academy 2, I was blown away by the phenomenal performance and musical talent of this three piece Texan band. The band started out with what could have easily been a jamming session of the Jimi Hendrix band, the psychedelic rock sounds were electrified in the small and intimate venue of Academy 2. This then ascended into the band’s hit song Shake, Shake, Shake, played to perfection, which appeared to be a theme for the band that night as they continued with the rest of their set. Marred only by slight technical faults and temporary pauses between songs, the band played an outstanding gig to an enthusiastic audience. Highlight of the night was definitely the finale, where the band played a previously unreleased track claiming “We won’t be playing this in any other city…. Seriously, we’re not just being nice”. And from the exceptional response of the audience, I think they might want to reconsider playing it again. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of cowbell?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fashion Ace

Week One of Wimbledon is almost over and we've seen our fair share of fashion faux pas, and mainly by the unbelievably muscular Serena Williams (her older sister Venus has a much better figure for the outragous outfits the doubles partners wear). But we have also witnessed some pieces that will definitely be imitated on court this summer.

With Nadal's skin tight t-shirts out of the picture this year due to a knee injury, others have had to step up to show off their style on court as well as their skills. Roger Federer, the number 2 seed and tournament favourite, darned a waistcoat during warm up on Centre Coat on Day One which set the bar fairly high for the other players to follow. White and Gold are his signature colours for Wimbledon, and his crisp white t-shirts are subtly embroidered with his initials beneath the polo's buttons; co-ordination is key for his footwork and attire as he matches his headband, wristbands, runners and sportsbag together. Unfortunately he has left his knitted cardigan back in Switzerland this year, but hopefully it will be available on ebay soon enough! His initials were also vivid on his reworked jacket from 2007. It has been described as a suit jacket with utility styling as it featured three front pockets and one on his left arm's sleeve.

"It's kind of a little bit more of a modern look with the military, but staying true to Wimbledon with the white," he has said of the new jacket that will no doubt be a signature look in sport-stores around the world.

Speaking of military, Maria Sharapova has also wore a military inspired jacket as she strolled onto court for her first match, and seemed to stroll swiftly off as she won quite comfortably. She has the modelesque features of a catwalk Queen, and she certainly has the legs too which make her a great canvas for new styles of tennis gear. Her tuxedo jumpsuit from last year was indeed fashion forward, but not practical for the court and it's good to see that she has reverted back to the classic white dress. Pity her groaning doesn't coincide with her innocent beauty though!

I look forward to seeing what fashion forces Week Two will produce. Let the most fashionable win!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Rocks Socks

Move over Asos, there's a new website in town. Motel Rocks is a fabulous little find, with stunning dresses perfect for summer sun and festival madness. Prices aren't ridiculous and there's even a great little section on the website dedicated to "under £20". Don't expect to find much more than dresses here, but the range of frocks suffice. Personal favourite is this little number, ideal for my festival wardrobe.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recommended Resort for 2010

Alexander Wang’s latest Resort line, which can only be admired from afar by us poor students, has been inspired by his newfound interest in all-American sportswear. His use of t-shirts and cotton tracksuit tops are easily accesible and he is keeping with the blue denim, nudes and muted colour palates that were witnessed on the S/S 09catwalks- thus meaning these styles and colour schemes are in high street stores already. The structured shoulders reminiscent of the fabulous 80’s (minus the perm) and the tailored skirts and trousers are a business woman’s dream. I love his new take on the dungaree and the ubiquitous playsuit has been reworked for his collection. Pairing a midnight blue sequined wrap-around skirt with a nautical-esque top seems barbaric, yet it is possibly the highlight of the collection. Followers of Wang include Chloe Sevigny and Alexa Chung, and I believe there will be many more to come due to his collection for Gap which is available as of now (Stateside unfortunately, but there is always mail order!) Wang’s signature laid back elusive style is reverberated throughout this new collection and one not to be missed!


Hold on to your hats ladies

If last years rain at the Galway Races has put you off dressing in your most stylish outfit for this year, think again. Philip Treacy, milliner of hats for the likes of Naomi Campbell, Camilla Parker Bowles and Victoria Beckham, has offered to give away one of his designs to the woman deemed to be wearing the best hat of the day at this years Ladies day in the Galway Races. Not only that, but it just so happens to be one of his most memorable designs, being the hat worn by Sarah Jessica Parker at last years premier of Sex and the City the movie. Start planning those outfits ladies, because the competition will be fierce! Ladies day is Thursday the 30th of July at the Galway Races.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Out with the New and in with the Old

Vintage clothing seems to be causing a stir amid the fashion industry at the moment with many designers and high street stores jumping on the band-wagon and opting to derive inspiration from past eras. I myself have always love the idea behind vintage clothing, wondering whether a swinging 60’s shift dress was worn to a Beatles gig, and what song a battered pair of shoes danced to. Spearheads in the vintage revival include Alexa Chung, the Olsen twins and Morrissey; however he does seem to just wear the same stitches he did back in the Smiths hay day, including the ubiquitous nerd-glasses.

The vintage stores in Dublin have never been comparable to the ones in London, Berlin or New York, but have recently stepped up their game. Because of the unique nature and handmade quality of vintage clothing, it tends to be fairly expensive, but it’s a sure bet that no one else will have anything remotely similar. Vintage virgins are put off by the fact that they must trawl through an abundance of rails in order to find something decent. However, vintage has become more accessible to the adoring fashion lovers of Dublin and I wish to impart some of my wisdom and experience as to where you can get the vintage look.

The Harlequin is home to some of the best vintage pieces in Dublin. Sequins, florals and groovy patterns from every era line their colour-coded rails. The basement houses the men’s section that is filled with check shirts as far as the eye can see and here lies the British mod label, Pop. For your convenience, their leather jackets have already been broken-in and their old school tracksuit tops are a hit with the indie kids.

Quack & Dirk is new to the vintage clothing scene and is situated on the Northside of Dublin down an intriguing alleyway off the main Fairview Road. Against a backdrop of red and white walls, the vintage pieces on offer here give a refreshing youthful alternative to the typical ‘vintage’ dresses. The Loft Market, a New York-style indoor fashion market located in the Powerscourt Centre is known for its vintage stalls that are exploding with obscure prints and well preserved jewellery. It is perfect for one-off pieces and the in-house DJ provides an eclectic soundtrack your day of shopping.

In the cobble locked epicentre of quirky that is Temple Bar, lays two unsuspecting vintage abodes. Epoch is a new cranny in an old house on Crow Street that stocks clothes spanning the decades from the ‘50s right up to the early ‘80s. The men’s collection includes jackets, suits, denims and the all important headgear; for the superfly and the super-styled. For ladies there is funky day wear, flowing chiffon pastels, crisp summer whites and a plethora of pearls and beads to accessorise your vintage find. Wild Child, which used to be situated next door, now resides in Georges Street Arcade but you can still find Wild Child’s signature pieces amid a purple haze of far out tunes that will certainly get your shopping senses tingling. My personal favourite are their paisley printed dresses that can be tailored to perfection no matter how wrong the size may be.

Surprisingly, A-wear has recently launched a vintage range in its Henry Street store in a space known as The Attic. In a sectioned off area similar to a desolate house filled with antique chairs and dressers bursting with little trinkets, this new clothes line is conveniently dispersed so there is no need to rustle through rails or wrestle the person beside you. Unlike typical vintage clothing, this line offers a handful of each item along with a size range; a luxury you won’t find in authentic vintage stores. The unique element of vintage is removed but the juxtaposition of these cute pieces against the normal Awear get up offers a fresh outlook to the high street. Their budget-friendly prices are a wonderful prescription for the recession stricken fashionista.

Urban Outfitters has always catered for the vintage look by incorporating it into their usual stock. They take inspiration from second hand pieces and offer alternative looks, but much like A-wear, they tend to reproduce a lot of it to cater for their demanding customers. A Store is Born, to the working students dismay, only opens on a Saturday, but is small enough to whip around on a lunch break. It provides a more elegant side to the vintage look with their stock mainly consisting of gowns and frocks for special occasions.

It is easy to recreate the vintage look without digging out your parents dusty flares. Reinvigorate your wardrobe economically by mixing vintage garments and high street buys. Try wearing wet-look leggings with a paisley printed dress, and the boys can team their skinny jeans with old school cardi’s and jumpers. The world of fashion is head over heels for all things retro and I suggest you follow suite, or at least just start with a tattered vintage blazer.


Not as fun as Cotton candy

Trendy style icon and Radio 1 (UK) DJ, Fearne Cotton, has just launched her first official website. Cute dress give away competition Fearne, but unfortunately this blogger feels the website falls into the Z category. That is, the zzzzzzzzzz zleep category! Oh ok we’ll give you a few more days before we officially judge you.

Check it out for yourselves:

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Top of the Shops

Hold on to your wallets people, there’s another Topshop in town! Located in the former River Island spot in Arnotts, it appears that crunch time has not hit the fashion industry in Ireland. With River Island moving to its new enormous location on Henry Street, a brand new Topshop and Topman opening in its old spot and the impending opening of American Apparel opposite Trinity College, it seems there is a new reason to be broke that has nothing to do with tax increases.
Topshop and Topman are celebrating the new store in style giving away free cupcakes from the organic home-baking store, The Cake Cafe, and a free potted African Violet when you spend €50 or more in Topshop Arnotts and Stephen's Green.
Although it is a crime against fashion to slander the opening of a shiny new Topshop, having four Topshops and three Topmans in a one kilometre radius seems a bit like overkill. Of course, this will never be a factor in my conscience if they have those fantastic summer dresses in store as modelled by Lily Allen during her performance at BBC 1 Big Weekend in Swindon. *swoon*


They're On Fire

I was mesmirised by the new Sony Bravia advert recently, and not because of it's HD Ready quality. Kasabian have put together an amazing new album to add to their previous two, the latter, Empire, being quite a disappointment. The obscure title, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, can only permit one to get completely lost and go insane for this album. Featuring on this ad is album opener Underdog, probably one of the catchiest tunes this year. An acoustic version of this song shows that Tom is actually a decent singer, except the constant flicking and touching of his newly grown hair can get a tad annoying.

I then proceeded to check out the other songs on the album, and was very amused by the video, and indeed by the title, for Vlad the Impaler, with the 'Impaler' being none other than the lovely comic Noel Fielding. Why anyone would run away from being impaled by him I will never understand.

These two choons are sure to be a hit amongst the mud-covered shivering fans at Slane tomorrow; I am extremely jealous of them, if only for the music!