Ashley Dwyer

This week I was lucky enough to be introduced to a fantastic young talent in the graphic design industry. Ashley Dwyer is a recent graduate from the Winchester School of Art, where she has worked hard to develop her unique style. Its common today to see many young designers following the same trends and styles in their work, but what I love about Ashley, is that her work is new, fresh and full of character. She has been able to create a diverse portfolio, showing how her eye for detail can be translated across a wide range of media. For such enthusiasm and talent, its only a matter of time before we see much more from Ashley, and I for one am excited to watch her work progress even further. I caught up with her to ask a few questions:

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How would you describe your work and your style?

My style of work is very adaptive. Over my 3 years at university I have learnt to let the brief influence my style. It means I can discover new skills during a project that I may not have thought to do if I just stuck to one particular style.

As a designer your style seems very flexible to different briefs. Do you have a favourite medium to work with? 

My absolute favourite style is digital painting, to create the comic book style and if I can add the high fashion photography element in there I will, to make a piece of work I usually layer up many different mediums to get the best effect.

Do you have any advice for young designers, trying to establish their style?

My advice would be to not worry about having a distinctive style too early on, because as time passes you will mould yourself into a unique designer. I’m still not entirely sure what my style is! Also, employers love the idea of being able to sculpt a young artist if they don’t have a particular style.

Where do you hope to be in the future?

I would absolutely love being part of the graphic novel and gaming industry, whether it be on their design team or just making cups of coffee, as long as I am involved in some way!

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If you want to see more of Ashley, then check out her online portfolio here! 

Have a great week guys, Katie

Fashion Graduate Finds ‘The Fix’

Its always the women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines that dominate the bookshelves in shops, while men’s fashion magazines are either hidden at the bottom, or in Britain’s case, nearly non-existant. The world has been waiting for a welcoming way for men to dress well – without having to try to afford a 5-digit look from GQ.

India Gladstone has found The Fix for Men, an iPad and iPhone app that carefully selects and pieces together affordable and wearable men’s clothing for certain occasions.

With a simple layout and no-nonsense approach, the app is straightforward enough for any male to navigate and select a specific occasion he may want to dress for, or possibly find a few staple pieces, how they are put together, and prices before he heads out to the high street.

“I’ve always been interested in menswear and personal style,” says Scotland-born UK native and recent London College of Fashion graduate India Gladstone. Gladstone is one of six siblings, two of those being brothers, who are keen on always feeling comfortable and aware of the clothing they put on. “I have always been surrounded by men who are interested in what they wear, in the sense that great clothing gives you character. But men don’t always need to be completely fashion-conscious like women do. I was never fully aware of the lack of simple style guides for men until I attended fashion school.”

It was this realisation that led Gladstone to devise an idea for an app that would interview insiders in a casual manner for those who aren’t always clinging on to each and every trend. The app is clean, minimal, and laid out simply, with tabs for occasion, journal, or an edited selection of buys for everyday clothing that would suit any man who does not necessarily have all the time in the world to file through the clothing racks.

“I understand that men these days prefer to online shop, but then again they aren’t completely aware of what is available to them, or what to wear for certain occasions if they aren’t given some sort of direction by a friend or a website. It is unlikely a man is going to pick up a fashion magazine the way girls do,” India explains.

The Fix contains an editors section, a style guide based on occasion, Instagram favourites, and a selection of street style.

“I find menswear much more interesting, its very personal and particular to a man’s personality if he is wearing a certain style or brand,” says Gladstone, “I just hope that men realise it is simple and shouldn’t be stressful or expensive to try to dress well. With this app, men won’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt to a business casual cocktail party.”

The Fix is set to launch later this year, look out for it for your iPads, Androids or Smartphones.

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.]

 

India Rose

“I hate anything that limits my creativity.”– India Rose

With an obsession for trainers, photography and anything from Wang’s collections, no wonder India Rose’s 90’s influenced style has created such a buzz in the fashion blogging world. Fashion student India created her blogspot site when her college tutor encouraged her to launch a blog to discuss her interests and begin her very own photography portfolio online.

 “I stopped it for a while, as I didn’t really feel passionate about it once I gained a place at Nottingham Trent, but then something spurred me on to start it again. I can’t remember what, but whatever it was I’m thankful for it”

India has taken a fresh and distinct look on the androgynous style that has captured the attention of young bloggers and independent retailers, making her online presence grow and grow. I asked India to explain her style and where the inspiration comes from;

 “Everywhere really. Most of my friends are male, so I take a lot of inspiration from them and apply it to my own wardrobe. I like the way their style looks effortless, but yet it just kind of works. It’s also heavily based on durability and comfort. I like that. I also find inspiration from blogs, people I see on the street, music, art, old movies. Basically whatever I like the look of.

 I think it’s important to take inspiration from things that aren’t directly related to you or what you know, as you’d be surprised at the way you interpret the unknown. I was also interested to know if British styles and era’s inspire India’s style in any form. “It’s a difficult one to answer, because I just wear what I like. I suppose right now, whether I’m conscious of it or not, the raw aesthetic of the 90s has filtered into my style. My look is never overly polished, and I like things to look a little worn in. I suppose that’s quite British.”

The fashion communication and promotional student has a lot of exciting new projects and collaborations in the pipeline after graduating in July.

 “I can’t see myself working a 9-5 for the rest of my life, and I feel much better working under my own schedule and direction.So watch this space and keep up to date with her blog at http://indiaroseblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Apart from being slightly in love with India’s style, I also admire the way her personality shines through her media presence and constantly manages to be herself. Which is always her top piece of advice for any new (or old) bloggers out there, “Be yourself”.

Let’s be thankful for that unknown motivation that gave India Rose’s the inspiration to start blogging again.

You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

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