About Lucy Kenny

Lucy Kenny is a London based Fashion Management and Marketing student at The University for the Creative Arts in Epsom. Since the beginning of last year she has been contributing to style site Catwalk Queen, helming the student hub and attending Graduate Fashion Week to scout out the finest new talent, she has every intention to apply the same approach as a Gola Ambassador finding what's freshest in fashion. In the last couple of years, Lucy has appeared in both Elle magazine and was featured on Susie Lau's Style Bubble and has worked for companies such as Urban Outfitters and Net-A-Porter. She describes her top fashion moments as ‘meeting the fabulous Holly Fulton’ and ‘having her jaw drop at her first JW Anderson show’. She enjoys macaroon picnics and anything kitten related.

Phoebe Cheong. Fashion Photographer.

Leibovitz is 63, Testino 58 and Terry Richardson is simply just old enough to know better. All these fashion photographers have become household names and icons in their own right through their extraordinary journeys and beautiful works of art, but who’s next? I spot a Phoebe Cheong on the horizon.

I was fortunate enough to meet the talented Miss Phoebe Cheong back in 2010, after we had both been bribed with tickets to Underage Festival by We Are Photogirls to snap up shots of style-tastic festival goers. I was a little shy and reserved at first, holding my Nikon close and muttering under my breath; “I don’t suppose.. I could have a photo?”, whilst Phoebe on the other hand, had vast dip-dye-denim-donned crowds diving in front of her lens. Practically from the first 5 minutes I had spent with the girl it was clear what she was put on this planet to do.

Since that day, I have followed Phoebe’s work religiously, being fed tidbits of behind the scenes, videos and props from each shoot via her official Facebook page and falling in awe for her carefully edited delicious outcomes.

After recently graduating from Arts University Bournemouth, it was more than a pleasure to catch up with the Malaysian-born missy and grill her that bit further..

Let’s start with inspiration, which photographers inspire you most and why?

– I am currently very fond of the works of James Meakin and Chen Man. My recent work has been inspired by Meakin’s use of light and locations in his images. Chen Man’s work excites me as it embraces the strength and individuality as a young generation of China.

What excites you about fashion photography?

– The creative team. It always amazes me how innovative when a group of creatives get together to produce a fashion piece. 
That said, it excites me when I am finally able to share my images to world once they are edited and published in an online/printed magazine, after keeping it a secret for months after the shoot!

How would you describe your signature style? 

– I would describe my work to be colourful, cultural and bold. I have started to be very much inspired by the Chinese culture, and I hope to infuse my experiences in both the East and West into my future work. 

What’s been your most enjoyable/rewarding shoot?

– I really enjoyed the shoot when I went to Beijing to photograph an editorial piece. Working with an amazing team, beautiful Chinese model and breath taking traditional location, I was able to bring these images back to the West and share the beauty of the modern and traditional in China. Not only has the images been published in an online magazine, I also had the opportunity to display these images in an exhibition in London, and the responses to these images have been extremely rewarding.

(Phoebe with her photographs shot in Beijing for Noctis Magazine showcased in ‘Thrive’ photo exhibition at the Candid Arts Trust, London.)

Funny anecdotes from shoots?

– There are always funny moments from all my shoots, but my favourite one had to be when I photographed in Beijing for Noctis Magazine. Whilst photographing in a very traditional residential part of Beijing, we came across some local men playing Chinese chess on the street side. I suggested our Chinese model Hui Hui, to pose amongst them without disrupting the game and five minutes into the shoot, one of the men screamed out loud and almost fell off his stool! Apparently he was frightened from not being aware of her presence and how tall she was!

Biggest obstacle along the way? 


– The biggest obstacle would be finding your unique style that makes you stand out from the crowd. Be patient, it does take time and hard work to find your unique style. Experiment as much as you can and challenge yourself on every shoot you do. It will definitely pay off at the end! 
Furthermore, before a shoot, I usually have a good idea of what I would like the outcome to be. However sometimes, I believe that some things fall apart so that better things can fall together.

Who would be your celebrity of choice to snap?

– It has got to be Miss Sasha Fierce, Beyonce!

Proudest fashion moment so far?

– When I was shortlisted for the ‘Fashion Photography Award’ at Graduate Fashion Week!

Tim Walker or Rankin?


– Tricky one! But Tim Walker wins it.

(Myself, Mia Gorgis and Phoebe at Underage Festival, London)

Ever been starstuck?

– Yes! When I saw Donatella Versace flying on the same plane as I was to Beijing!

Talk me through your favourite sandwich. 

– My mum’s tuna sandwiches: diced celery, carrots, red onions mixed in with tuna and mayonnaise spread on toasted bread, yum!

What is your treat at the end of a good shoot?

– Pancakes!

Phoebe’s portfolio stretches beyond just a few photographs on a page or in a magazine, it is a constant conveyor belt of beauty which is so hard to keep up with just as a follower, it’s difficult to imagine where she even finds the time to create these wonders. To get a real understanding of her work, why not head over to her official site here.

See you queuing up around the corner of Somerset House for one of her exhibitions. I give it a couple of years.

 

Susan Campbell. Print Designer.

Central Saint Martins is known for churning out it’s one-of-a-kinds, geniuses and go-getters. Take a quick peek at the alumni and you find the likes of Luella Bartley, Peter Blake and M.I.A to name a few. Well, this little lady is no exception.

Meet Susan Campbell, a Textile Design graduate and print designing enthusiast. The Congleton-born, bob-flaunting individual quite frankly has the patience of a saint with her intricate, neoprene print design but boy, does it pay off.

Susan’s heroic creative process involves drawing her initial designs onto Adobe Illustrator as vector lines, then printing out these designs and deciphering where she will place her colours followed by breaking the design up into various pieces, again on Illustrator. After this, she laser cuts the designs onto coloured neoprene, leaving her with a thousand tiny jigsaw pieces. From here on she pieces those neoprene nuggets back together on a glue coated lycra base and voila! To see the agonising journey itself from drawing to dream, head over to her tumblr.

Currently working at Ted Baker taking on the role of Womenswear Print Assistant and spending her London days like any young print designer should; picnicking, partying and printing. I caught up with the Campbell herself and asked her the all important question of which One Direction member she would kidnap and keep..

 

One Direction then.. who would be the member of choice?

– Zayn, without a doubt.

So then, onto print I suppose. What tickles your fancy in the way of inspiration for your prints?

– I love going to exhibitions, looking at blogs and magazines and genuinely, just walking a lot gives me inspiration from the things I see along the way.

Who is the ‘Susan Campbell’ consumer you have in mind when designing your prints?

– Someone who is playful yet sophisticated. Someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. 

If you could pluck out a celeb of choice to be donning your designs, who would it be?

– Robyn. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

– Colourful and sporty with lots of leopard print.

Fashion icons?

Eva Fontanelli and The Queen. 

New York, Paris, London or Milan?

– London.

What do you love about where you live right now?

– Everything you could ever want is on Bethnal Green Road. Literally, anything from David Beckham pencil cases to giant bubble machines! I also love that you can never become bored because there is always something fun going on.

Share a charming anecdote (no pressure.)

– I broke my collarbone aged 10 whilst dressed as a prostitute. I had to go straight to hospital unchanged..

And what does the future hold for Miss Campbell?

– Good question! A lot of enjoyment hopefully. I’m also working to push my ideas and concepts in a way I’m really excited about.

You heard it here first ladies and gents! Want even more from Miss C? Well, isn’t that what good ol’ social media is all about? Have a peep at her wonderfully artistic Bethnal Green life via her instragram or maybe even pop over to her official website.

 

Time to Get Better Clothing with Margate’s Alex Foster

This week I was charmed by Margate’s very own Alex Foster and his eclectic and humorous graphic illustrations. Working with print, designing editorial wonders or making the bride smile with adorable wedding invites, Foster’s got it covered alright. Wait, did I forget to say the boy does zines too? Fresh out of Middlesex university, this young spud of a graduate has not only focused his attention on his studies but worked with a variety of clients too with projects from widely distributed magazines to an upcoming children’s book.

Not only that but the wizard has thrown his talent and know-how into his illustration cauldron, boiled it down and poured what was left over some pretty, awesome t-shirts and merchandise too, giving birth to his latest project, Get Better Clothing.

After two sell-out collections under his belt, summer 2013 brings a collection with inspiration drawn from Foster’s childhood toys and nature, bringing fun and naivety to the brand. Designs include playful cowboys and indians battling it out on mountains whilst tattooed bears show off their ink all available from the beginning of August. Foster makes sure Get Better Clothing is as eco-friendly as it can be too, using water-based inks, organic bamboo based t-shirts, paper packaging and recycling where ever possible.

So now, not only can you appreciate the boy’s immense talent as is but you can kit your wardrobe out with it as well – from a fashion girl’s point of view that’s a win win. I also like to think of him as a bit of a social media hussy treating his beloved clothing child to it’s very own blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Go on, eye up Foster’s illustrations at his official website over here, you know you want to. Or if you really, truly want to go the extra mile and have a face-to-face perve on it then head on down to Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery where Foster will be showcasing illustrations relating to his seaside hometown in exhibition ‘Coming Home‘. Of course, if you hadn’t guessed it, the exhibition is run by the man himself showcasing talent from some of London’s top illustration and sculpture students and graduates following the theme of hometowns from sunny seasides to cool California, wherever that artist calls home. It will be running from 24th-30th July. 

Also exhibiting in ‘Coming Home’ are: Chris Alton, Chloë Greenfield, Mark Holihan, Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, Amy Stevens, Liz Tweedale, Maddy Vian and Dawn Williams.

 

 

ALEX FOSTER OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GET BETTER CLOTHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

The Vogue Festival 2013 Day One and Two.

Last weekend, I spent my time not in the usual way glued to it-girl instragram feeds and Catwalk Queen stalking my idols but instead BREATHING THE SAME AIR (That’s right, Cara Delevingne, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders, our air was SHARED) as them at The Vogue Festival on Southbank. Perhaps by my tone already you may have gauged how enjoyable my experience was but in case you didn’t, here’s a little more about the fun I had..

As I approached sunny Southbank it was clear to see that the Vogue Festival followed a similar set up as London Fashion Week and clearly I hadn’t got the memo that the uniform this year was Burberry S/S13 brightly coloured metallic trenches. Entering the building, I had never seen so much Vogue branding in such a small space, a Vogue cover shoot took centre stage as dotted around the edges were the ‘Vogue Cafe’ and ‘Vogue Shop’. I immediately felt at home as this Vogue village seemed to cover all of life’s necessities which made me feel as if I could just make a little nest in the corner and be happy for evermore. As I took my seat in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, I spotted a stereotypical, front row photographer complete with designer beard, beret and old school flash bulb camera. Along from him sat three young guys, all complimenting each other with bright pastel locks head-to-toe in this season’s Balenciaga finished with heavy gold chains and flatforms. To the left of me sat Susie Bubble, brightly coloured and ready to inspire.

My talk of the Saturday was Natalie Massenet, fashion mother of the iconic Net-A-Porter. Massenet was kindly introduced by Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman and then stepped to the platform herself looking slight and delicate in a figure-hugging Victoria Beckham dress. Immedietly she pointed out how she liked to do things differently, proven with the success of Net-A-Porter as she presented herself in a instragram-format, introducing us to her journey to the top via Nat-A-Porter. If you were unlucky enough to miss out, you can catch up on her whole journey here. Natalie made herself an open book as she told us tales about teenage trips to Tokyo, sharing carpools with Lenny Kravitz and signing Tyra Banks and Angelina Jolie for their first modelling jobs. All these eclectic anecdotes came together to the birth of Net-A-Porter, beginning in a little office in Chelsea and expanding to a beautiful empire in Shepherd’s Bush’s Westfield.

Sunday brought the enchanting Victoria Beckham. This time, unlike Natalie Massenet, Victoria was grilled under a interview format by Alexandra Shulman asking questions on fashion, family and travel. It was clear there were many Victoria worshippers in the crowd and to make it all that bit more juicy, young Brooklyn wiggled his way in front row for even more Beckham excitement. Victoria taught such life long lessons that can be applied, not only in fashion but in life as well as ‘women should really support other women’ and in order to achieve what we want we must visualise it first. She backed this particular concept up with A-List conversations she’d shared with Mr Beckham himself and Gordon Ramsay, over how they succeed in visualisation from footballs to food, whatever it may be. Although Victoria seemed to be quite careful and controlled with what she said, it was clear she had a cheeky edge when describing those who weren’t quite convinced about her starting out in fashion; “There were a lot of raised eyebrows, from those that could raise their eyebrows.” As for the Victoria Beckham business, the company have just launched their first e-commerce site and Victoria admitted to wanting to open a store in London soon.

Other stylish speakers on the weekend included the likes of: Mario Testino, Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne, Anna Dello Russo, Susie Bubble, J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane, Mary Katranzou, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Donatella Versace and many more.

The best part of all? I got to be amongst the greats and the legends of this industry at a really accessible price. Tickets for the Vogue Festival retail at around £30-£40 and as much as you fancy that Topshop sweater or those cute point toe pumps from Zara, actually, last time I checked £40 wasn’t so bad for a invaluable advice that will stay with you for a long time. With such a successful second year, there is no doubt that The Vogue Festival will be here to stay and fly around with full gusto come 2014 and I can simply not suggest any experience more rewarding for a budding fashionista.

For more details from street style to those all important quotes, have a peep at the Vogue Festival in all it’s glory here or perhaps wander those pretty eyes over the highlights above..

See you in April 2014 ladies and gents.

[All Images taken from Vogue’s Official Facebook Page.]

 

Rachel Neath. Trend Forecaster.

When we think of ‘a career in fashion’ it’s probably likely our minds will drift to the stereotypes of a budding young Newgen designer, a chiselled, cheek boned model-to-be or perhaps the infamous socialite it-girl springs to mind. But nobody seems to land on the brains behind the whole operation, the humble trend forecaster. As it’s my new duty to stalk down the most emerging of British talent, particularly within fashion, I thought it most appropriate to start at the top of the ladder with the ideas people, the forecasters.

On behalf of Gola’s Born in Britain, let me introduce you to a bright star in this rather gloomy city sky, Rachel Neath. A Fashion Management and Marketing student and WGSN intern by day and a trend absorber by night and pretty much every minute she has free. As a fellow FMM student, I can be honest in saying Rachel is that girl who’s work pops up and slaps you in the face just when you thought you were doing quite well, however she’s too sugary sweet to pretend to hate or envy; the best concoction for this industry. Her work is modern, simplistic and eloquently put together, each little detail agonised over until perfection, whilst solid, game-changing trends take centre stage with a range of research to back them up and prove why they are so relevant.

With such a skill of trend forecasting it could be argued she’s quite the superhero to some but when asked what superpower she would most prefer she answered; ‘Omnilinguism, the ability to understand any form of language. How perfect – I could travel without any language barrier issues!’

Here’s a little interview I did with the lady herself..

Where do you gain inspiration for your trend forecasting?

– Everywhere, literally. I look into everything from new technology, science advances, art and design, architecture.. everything! I also follow a lot of blogs; I use my facebook account as an easy way of keeping up-to-date with everything ‘new’ by liking interesting blog pages so that my feed is constantly feeding me new information. Some of my favourites include thisiscollosal.com , gizmodo.co.uk and dezeen.com

Where do you find the inspiration for your modern and clean cut layouts?

– I am obsessed with layout! To the point where I will spend 3 hours looking for one perfect font. I gain inspiration for layout from looking at other publications. I tend to look at a lot of quirky magazines, websites, freebie mags from fashion stores and my university provides us with a yearbook which includes some snapshot images of previous student work which is a great source of inspiration. 

How has working at WGSN influenced you?

– Working with WGSN has given me a tremendous insight into how forecasting companies are ran and what makes a successful forecasting company. I work with the ‘What’s in Store’ team, which is WGSNs most widely used directory and is an invaluable industry resource covering the latest retail trends from store windows across the globe including product trends and visual merchandising. I’ve learnt how to analyse trends more effectively and write short and sharp reports. 

How long do you find it takes to pull together/establish a good trend?

– For the purpose of this particular project we had a couple of months at least however it would have been great to have had a couple more weeks of research. I think for me about a month per trend. So for a finished trend book I guess around 3 months.

What advice would you give to your past self?

– Stop worrying!    

Puppies or kittens?

– Argh that’s the most difficult question you’ve asked! They’re both so great. I pick both.

And most importantly,  Male pin-up? 

– Johnny Depp.  

If like us, you’ve been coaxed into a state of admiration towards the talented Miss Neath and you quite simply cannot get enough then don’t fret, why not send your peepers over to her issuu page for more trend forecasting deliciousness. Alternatively, you can attempt to employ her or at least stalk her a little before she gets snapped up for good by the likes of WGSN or Mudpie via her Linkedin.