Monday, 28 November 2011

Behind the scenes: photoshoot with Faye Sampson

A couple of weeks ago I styled a shoot for the very lovely and talented Faye Sampson. Having seen many of her beautiful shots on Flickr, I was extremely excited to work with Faye, and the fact that she's already been published internationally just sweetened the deal. She may be young, but the girl's got skills!

The theme of the shoot was loosely based about the concept of 'Red Ridinghood gone mad', and we were so lucky to have the beautiful Adeele from Models1 and Hannah from Nevs as our models. The girls were an absolute joy to style and they looked incredible - even in the face of a rather nippy November day and not much clothing! The make-up by the ever so sweet Carmen Goetz complimented the garments so well, and the final pictures look amazing. I can't share them just yet, but here's a sneaky peek to wet your visual appetite.

I want to thank the incredible Anna Popovich, Ning Lai Tam, Jersey Pearl and Greene and Sheppard PR for lending us their incredible wares, and the whole team for an amazing shoot.

Photographer: Faye Sampson
Make-up and hair: Carmen Goetz
Photography assistant: Stuart Berham
Models: Adeele (Models1) and Hannah (Nevs)

Come back soon to see the final shots!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Events: ghd SS12 hair looks

A couple of days ago I was invited to breakfast with the lovely folks at ghd to find out what hair looks will be as hot as their hair straighteners next season.

Confession time - when it comes to hair, I am pretty useless. For as long as I've been growing the stuff, my hair and styling methods have remained the same and don't show any signs of changing. I have always been a big fan of ghd straighteners, but I fully aware that I am not using them to their full potential. But the good news is you don't have to be a hair expert to master next seasons hair trends. According to Kenna, Creative Director at ghd and all round hair guru, Spring/Summer hair is all about nostalgia - using the classic plaits and ponytails we've all grown up doing and adding a more modern twist.

Kenna presented four key looks that debuted on the catwalks for SS12 but I'm going to show you my two favourites, seen on the models for high end designers Aminaka Wilmot and David Koma. Here's the low down on the looks, as well as some tricks on how to achieve them:

1. It's a Kind of Magic

Inspired by the mischievous elves of Scandinavian folklore, this look has a soft enchanted quality that celebrates the playful charm of showing your ears and the delicate beauty of baby hair.

I love the mix of straight and wavy with this look, and it's surprisingly easy to achieve. The important thing to remember is that you should always prep your hair with any styling products, such as a curl hold spray or heat protection, before drying so that it's well absorbed and will hold the style. You can then add any extra bits you need, such as hair spray or serum, when the look is complete.

To create this look, all you need to do is start with a centre parting and then section off the back of the hair (use the top of your ears as a guide from where to separate). Straighten the front part of your hair and give it a good spritz with a reliable hairspray. Having tried it myself, I highly recommend ghd's Final Fix Spray as it gives a strong hold without being too heavy or making the hair especially crunchy. Take the back section and create five small plaits. If you want a slightly larger wave, you can do two bigger chunkier plaits - that's that easy. Once you're all plaited up, get your straighteners and run them over the plaits to get them nice and hot. When they cool down, this will set the hair and will create the beautiful soft wavy look when you untie them. Once they're thoroughly cool, loosen the plaits and brush through to add a little extra softness to the look. Leave a small panel in front of the ears, then tuck the rest of the hair behind the ears and give the whole thing a good spray. And that's it! You are now officially the new Lord (or should that be Lady?) of the Rings.

2. Walk the Line

A great song and a super-cool hairstyle. Although this looks very modern and complicated, it's just made up of multiple ponytails. Even I can manage that! Hair bands at the ready...

Make sure your hair has been prepped with lots of heat protection and products to help keep the hair smooth (such as the ghd Straight and Smooth spray), and blow dry the hair straight. From the centre of your forehead, section off a diamond panel that ends an inch below the crown and slick it back with a good hair spray and tie it with one of your elastic bands (TOP TIP ALERT: If you spray ghd's Final Fix hairspray very close to your hair and smooth it down with your finger, it creates a very impressive shine. That's why the model's hair looks so shiny in my photos - clever, eh?). Make two more ponytails on either side of the diamond section and pull them back behind the head underneath the diamond ponytail and tie. From the back of the earlobe, create another diamond section on each side of the head and fasten, then tie these smaller ponytails together with the main one from the top diamond. Give all of the sections a good spray to ensure a neat finish that shows off the lines and divisions of each section. Done. Bish bash bosh.

I'd like to thank Kenna and the lovely ladies of Shine Communications for inviting me along and for giving me some real hair inspiration. As the proud owner of a new ghd AIR hairdryer (it's amazing, by the way...), I feel ready to experiment with some new looks and make the most of my new found knowledge. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

David Longshaw SS12

I don't know much about art. In fact, I know nothing about art, but I believe a true artist sets out to tell a story. It's not always one that's easy to listen to or understand, but if it's told well it can transport us to a different and unfamiliar world, full of magic, mystery and dark beauty.

A prime example of such storytelling artistry is David Longshaw. He has based his entire Spring/Summer 2012 collection around a dark story of a girl who murders her boyfriend on a trip to Puffin Island. Intrigued? Take a look at his short inspiration animation.

"Father Said" by David Longshaw from DAVID LONGSHAW on Vimeo.

Despite the morbid subject matter, the collection exudes more of a dark romantic feel than a horror show. Although some of the pieces stay true to the murderous nature of the story, using funeral blacks and white lilies to evoke death, there are also rich injections of colour more in line with the brighter tones used in David's iconic scarf designs. As if that weren't good enough, this collection also features more bold and unique jewellery by the endlessly talented Kirsty Ward, whose own work I personally can't get enough of.

In short, I have fallen into a deep dark love with all of it. The concept, the story, the designs - all of it appeals to the secret inner-goth that dwells within my seemingly-sunny exterior, hungering for fashion with more bite than good craftsmanship alone can offer. It was so difficult to pick a favourite piece, so here is a selection from David Longshaw's hauntingly beautiful collection.

All photos courtesy of Iroquois PR

To find out more about David Longshaw and to view more of his amazing work, visit