Tag: grace coddington

Calvin Klein FW16 Ads – #mycalvins

#mycalvins is everywhere just now. It all started way back when Brooke Shields had the ever-so-risqué campaign with the slogan “nothing comes between me and my Calvins”, meaning her CK jeans. Last season the campaign was revived in the form of the aforementioned hashtag. Cashing in on teenagers who keep buying 90s CK from vintage stores and Urban Outfitters, plus the thousands of girls who now pose on Instagram with their underwear peeking out from their waistband with one man’s name on it, Calvin Klein, the brand, have enlisted celebrities and models to front the latest round of adverts. Once again, Calvin Klein is the it brand.

Last season’s casting drew criticism from Calvin Klein himself, saying that he didn’t like Kendall Jenner (who at the time fronted a campaign – I took a photo of the billboard when I seen it in New York because I actually like the image) but he did like Justin Bieber. Odd. There was also some minor controversy over Fetty Wap’s advert (featuring the slogan “I make money in #mycalvins) or more so, the placement of the advert next to one of a woman who “seduced” in her own ad. People cried gender roles etc. However, I think that was misplaced anger. There are so many other things to be mad about and you’re also probably doing exactly what the marketing department wanted you to do. Adverts are designed to draw attention to the product, and as they say, all publicity is good publicity (at least people are paying attention to it).

At first I thought this whole campaign and the idea behind it was slightly gimmicky, then I was drawn in. Like the iconic images of baby Kate Moss in the 90s, some of these images, I think, will be remembered in the same way. I think this season is even stronger than last. For example, Bella Hadid’s recently released shots with messages like “I mirror you in #mycalvins” are not only stunning images, but are so striking that on a billboard I think they’d make you stop and stare. They’re sexy but not in a trashy way. Very realistic for a young person nowadays, sort of in the same way that Kate’s images were 20 years ago. This is something that you can be a part of, as long as you buy the underwear/jeans/swimwear/whatever the fuck they’re selling us. It’s an intangible cool.

Tyrone Lebon is a really fantastic photographer. He shot my favourite British Vogue editorial (in literally years) on location in Jamaica, linked in an upcoming post, and now he has shot this set of images. I think he has an interesting way of shooting people and it is rather distinct. I don’t know how to put into words what his photographs make me feel but I do know that I want to be a part of them. He makes everyone beautiful and soft and filtered, if that’s a way to describe things.

Apart from Bella Hadid’s images, I really like Anna Ewers’ set, Frank Ocean’s, Zoe Kravitz’s and Grace Coddington’s.

I wonder if these style of adverts will continue after a new creative director is appointed. Only time will tell.

Grace Coddington, Designer Departures, Excessive Clear Outs

Departure seems to be a common theme in life at the moment: we have left one year behind and are now into the next (the best year yet, I have prophesied); I am turning 18 and therefore finally leaving behind the label of being a child (still a young person but no longer a child); and best of all, I am leaving one country behind and moving onto the next – America, New York specifically. (Yes, I know America is not the official name of the USA but it is much easier to type and pretty much everybody refers to it as that.) This year may be rather tumultuous but I am prepared because it is everything that I have wanted for a very long time finally coming to a head. I don’t want to get overly excited and start imagining scenarios that will never come to fruition but it is nice to dream. I am moving to New York to go to college in approximately 7 months. I cannot think of anything more exciting. That is one departure that I will not be sad about.

Someone else who has left their position in life (work, life, it all rolls into one) and is moving onto the next is Raf Simons. This news is very 2015 but since the Pre-Fall images for Dior have been released, it has been back on my mind. (I really like the new in-house designed collection by the way.) I started to really appreciate Raf’s work for Dior only after I watched Dior and I, the documentary profiling the lead-up to his first couture collection, made in only 6 weeks. His departure has been reduced to the overkill of the fashion schedule in the press – 4 ready to wear and 2 couture collections a year is insane. The fact that fashion is going at a rate that was before unimaginable is indisputable. Technology is marvellous yet dangerous. In the time after Raf announced his departure, Alber Elbaz was fired from Lanvin (to much shock and dismay) and rumours have flown around regarding Hedi Slimane leaving Saint Laurent. I cannot imagine the latter to be true, given that sales are soaring and the brand is perhaps in the best place it has been in a decade (at least, but I don’t know official numbers). For the most part, public perception is positive. Yes, many members of the fashion press are not fans of Hedi for Saint Laurent – Alexander Fury has been vocal about his disdain many a times before – but I think he has done well to create such a strong brand in a short time period. Hedi leaving seems like a bizarre move and I think it would be a decision made by Hedi himself rather than the folks at Saint Laurent – he is a cash cow. I do hope the rumours are proven to be false although I have heard speculation that the next show, which will be held in Los Angeles, is his swan song. Quite frankly, it is a departure that I would be sad about.

Another exit which I think has been overstated by people is Grace Coddington leaving her position as Creative Director of Vogue to become Creative Director at Large. People are reading the headlines saying she is leaving and thinking it means the worst – retirement, no more Grace, no more fantasy – but if you actually read into the articles it is clear to see that Grace will still be very much a part of Vogue, and so she should be. She will retain an office and contribute 4 editorials per year (that means her work is in a third of the issues a year, still a fairly high proportion). On top of this, she is free to explore other projects. That means we could see even more of her work. She could style fashion advertising, she could work with designers, she can do whatever she damn pleases. To summarise, Grace is going but she won’t be gone, so don’t be too upset about it.

Something that I am upset about is my hastiness with clear-outs, also known as great pieces of clothing departing from my wardrobe. As I am moving in the summer, as I said before a gazillion times, I am trying to downsize everything I own. I go through every single item in my wardrobe at least once a month so that by the summer I will hopefully be able to fit all of my possessions worth taking with me in 2 rather large suitcases. It sounds unachievable but it has to be done. If I want to cheat, I could probably leave some stuff behind and take it back with me when I go home after Christmas. Anyway, not the point. In my ruthlessness I have disposed of items which I now regret. Lying in bed last night, mentally planning my outfit for work the next day, I decided on black skinny pants, my black boots (devilishly soft leather ankle boots with a chunky heel that I can walk for miles in from Hobbs, in the sale!), a black top of sorts (that can be figured out in the morning easily as almost every top I own is black), and this fantastic Prince of Wales check blazer from Ralph Lauren. It was an eBay steal. Perfectly fitting with slight padding at the shoulders and a fantastic double breasted shape – so eighties, I know. I got up and began looking through my wardrobe to lay out my outfit for the following morning to then discover that the blazer was gone. As ridiculous as it sounds, I was devastated. I then remembered that I had given it to the local charity shop only a few months earlier, deeming it too Working Girl and deciding that I would never, ever wear it again. Yet now I want it. I intend to go to said charity shop this weekend and buy it back if I can, however I fully expect to be told it is long gone. Even if it didn’t sell in my shop it will be in a random distribution centre somewhere and then sent to a store in a random little town where some lucky sod will buy it and love it and probably not be stupid enough to chuck it out in a mad-clearing frenzy. As if one thing wasn’t enough, I then thought about another one of my clear-out casulaties. A wonderful blouse that I got in the Zara sale a couple of years ago. The print was very Chloe, yet at the time I was at school and almost exclusively wore crop-tops and high waisted jeans (it’s much easier just to fit in, ok) and didn’t have enough forward-thinking skills to realise that it would be a damn good top to have for work. Oh well. It is also gone, a loooooong time ago. Some surburban mother is probably wearing it right now thinking it was such a bargain – “Only £2.89 for this Zara top in Barnardo’s, what a steal!” she will say, “It looks so much more expensive than that” her friend will reply. Goddammit. In the future, I plan to NOT throw things out that I could possibly ever wear again. I also made the mistake of throwing out my sheepskin aviator jacket only for them to make a killing on fashion blogs this winter. FORWARD PLANNING, my new motto.

So far, 2016 has been a year of changes, especially in fashion. But departures always mean leaving one thing behind and going onto the next, hopefully bigger and better. Many designers who have left their roles are proceeding to focus on different projects – Alex Wang left Balenciaga to focus on growing his own brand (god, I really can’t call him Alex like we are friends) and Raf is reportedly focusing on his line – so often leaving things behind is a positive. I can’t help but think of the negatives in situations but often things work out just as they are supposed to. That’s what I hope happens this year, everything turns out just as it was meant to. So far, so good.

Grace: A Memoir… On Screen?

As a part of that whole Sony hack fiasco that happened last year, a whole bunch of confidential emails were leaked. Now I haven’t been paying that much attention to the leaks because I don’t really care for snarky emails between colleagues or financial emails (I just like to see the films, not worry about budgets). This email, however, piqued my interest. I read about it on Fashionista.com, where they reported the details of the email and linked to wikileaks where it can be read in full. I’ve also added a screenshot if you don’t want to go on the website. Basically, Grace Coddington’s brilliant memoir, released back in 2012, could potentially be adapted into a film, a biopic per se.


I got the memoir for my Christmas in 2012 and I read it from start to finish on Christmas day. I could not put it down. Grace’s story is so exciting and just sounds like a fantasy, but it is real. She lived the life that a lot of people could only dream of, and that many of us dream of right now. To put it very simply, she grew up in a small town completely detached from fashion apart from managing to buy Vogue every so often, she entered a modelling competition, moved to London, became successful in her modelling career, got in a car accident, married and divorced, moved to Paris, moved to New York, worked at British Vogue, Calvin Klein, and then American Vogue where she has remained ever since. Her and Anna Wintour started on the same day. Her life has been filled with ups and downs. It would be silly to pretend that she has had the greatest life ever, but it sounds pretty damn good.

In the email, Adam North (a creative executive who seems to be pitching the idea) talks about how there are great characters, and that’s because it is based on real people with real personalities. Grace’s life is not a movie, but it sure as hell could be made into a great one. Imagine the costumes, the sets, the photoshoots! Grace lived a life of great glamour when she was younger (she is much more pared back now), and I’d love to see that on screen. To me, films are pure escapism and I love to enter a fantasy world of great wealth and sunshine. Think of the apartments, the locations for photoshoots, the stunning models (hey, maybe real models could be hired, or just some really beautiful actresses – I love beauty).

Sony, if you ever do decide to make this movie, please hire me as the costume designer (or even just an intern in the costume department, I’d die of happiness). Also, cast Julianne Moore or Emily Blunt as Grace – I haven’t made my mind up as to who I’d prefer.

The Defining Looks of the Decade: Makeup Trends

Every decade can be defined by certain characteristics. The 20s with the skinny eyebrows, dark eyes and equally inky lipstick (aka the classic flapper look); the 60s with the cat eye, winged eye liner and the Twiggy-esque (or should I say Grace Coddington?) lower lashes; the 80s with the high glamour, coloured eye shadow and shimmer intact – all of these are styles that have come to represent each era. Whilst it is unlikely that every woman during this time did their makeup in this specific way, photographic evidence shows that some did and then somewhere along the lines each decade has come to be known by its own unique style: the 2010s are no different. (What do we call this decade? The tens? The teens?) Since we are almost half way through this decade and there are already some key looks that are emerging as the ones that are going to remain, I felt that the time was right to compile this list.

Beauty-wise, I’d say, the 2010s are all about the Kardashian look; faces that are highly contoured and sculpted, a non surgical cosmetic procedure almost. This time 100 years ago, makeup was a hell of a lot less sophisticated than what it is today. The products that were available were lesser, both in innovation and quantity. Now, fortunately, makeup is pretty advanced (in comparison to what it was in the past) and it is also extremely accessible. This means that pretty much everybody can create a complete new look for themselves.

Another factor in the widespread use of make up these days is YouTube. There are girls, or young women should I say, all across the world who film themselves putting on their makeup, upload it to the internet and make a small fortune off of it. I think that YouTube tutorials are such an asset and I really am so thankful for them. There are some truly talented “beauty gurus” out there who provide guidance and help to people, for free, to help steer them away from the awful makeup disasters that teenage girls have been making for as long as cosmetics have existed. I personally wish that I started watching YouTube earlier than I actually did, purely because I used to be terrible at makeup – literally so bad that I looked like a clown, or a parody of classic makeup mistakes. Something about YouTube that I find quite odd is that popular channels can post one video a week, if even that, and make enough money to pay rent, afford expensive cars, dress in head to toe designer clothes and go on holidays that some of us could only dream of. I find it commendable that people can make such success from really just filming yourself doing something that the rest of us do on a daily basis but I also find it very bizarre. I understand that there is a great deal of effort that goes into producing each video, including the editing which some people do so brilliantly (sunbeamsjess is a good example) but I still find the amount of money made from such little output very odd. However, if I were in their situation making that kind of money, no way would I be complaining.

I apologise for veering a little off topic, but the world of YouTube is so strange to me. My main point about YouTube is that it helps makeup looks become so widespread. These gurus teach us how to do things that used to be exclusive to trained makeup artists, although many are self taught, and celebrities and bring it to the public for all of us to try. As a result of this, some makeup looks that used to be exclusive to celebrities is now easy for us to try.

As a more beauty engaged and aware public, there is most definitely a few trends in cosmetics that are sure to define this decade. Although everything seems normal as it occurs, in ten years time it will probably be dated and uncool. So I have compiled what I think are the defining makeup trends of the 2010s (so far..)


Made most famous by Kim Kardashian, I think it is one of the defining makeup looks of this decade purely because it has become so widespread. In recent years, almost every makeup brand has come out with their own version of a contour kit, something that only professional makeup artists had previously. The whole idea of contouring is to create shadows on your face to make it look more chiselled and defined. Then to counteract the darkness, highlighting is used to bring brightness to the highest points on your face which would most likely be hit by the light. In theory, it sounds relatively easy because you are just creating, or more so darkening, natural shadows that are created by your own bone structure then adding some light to the places where light would naturally hit. However, this look can go wildly wrong. There are many tutorials online of how to contour and highlight well and also the various different methods that can be used. Here are a few of my favourites:

MakeupByEvon’s routine using the Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit. I’d say she achieves quite a natural look and blends well.

Jaclyn Hill’s cream contour and highlighting routine.


Winged eyeliner is certainly not a new invention but only in the past few years has it been an everyday staple. A person’s makeup skills are often judged based on their ability to wing. Countless memes have been made regarding the liner, including one saying “never ask a girl wearing winged eyeliner why she’s late” which I find sort of hilarious. The look involves tracing around the top of your eyelid, creating a line and then dragging it out and upwards past the corner of your eye, tapering it thicker at this part. It can be created using all different types of eyeliner: liquid, gel, pencil, eye shadow pressed with an angled brush. Liner has been Dita Von Teese’s signature look for almost 20 years now but never has it been more relevant than now. Because it is something that is so difficult to master and a skill that requires constant practise, the abundance of tutorials on the matter are infinite. Once again I have linked a couple that I love:

Chloe Morello’s winged liner tutorial from back in 2012. She really is the queen of liner and does it in many of her videos with ease so if you’re looking to see it in a non tutorial, get ready with me format then have a look at some of her other videos.

Pin Up Beauty’s tutorial using a pot of gel eyeliner. I think that many people find the gel and an angled brush method easier because you have such control.


Not since Brooke Shields’ youth have bushy, thick eyebrows been so popular. The reigning eyebrow queen of the past few years has been Cara Delevingne, whose brows I am not really a fan of (too messy). However, there are many other celebrities who have naturally thick yet well groomed brows: Keira Knightley being an example. Not only are naturally thick brows popular but filling them in has become an absolute must in recent times. Products by Anastasia Beverly Hills are popular, including the recently launched Dipbrow pomade and her classic Brow Wiz. YouTube gurus can build up impressive brows from the most sparse few hairs and those with naturally thick show us how to tame them and keep them tidy. Whatever your issue is with brows now more than ever is there likely to be a product out there for you. Here are the best tutorials in my opinion:

Ana Victorino’s Cara Delevingne tutorial in which she creates thick, full brows using a pencil.

TheChicNatural’s perfect eyebrow tutorial where she creates natural looking eyebrows that are almost completely drawn on (the tail of her real eyebrows are non-existent).

MakeupByEvon’s Dipbrow tutorial for a more dramatic look.


So that is it. I’d say the three aforementioned are the biggest trends, beauty-wise, of this decade so far. We still have another five years to go and who knows, things could be totally different by the year 2020. If makeup remains innovative, things could change completely. The beauty industry is not stagnant and is worth literally multiple billions per year. With more and more people being involved in and caring about makeup and an increasing amount of platforms to share their work, with YouTube and Instagram only being two, there is no reason that things won’t continually evolve. So let us forget everything we have been told about beauty, abandon the old rules of the pre-millennium and embrace the changes that come in the future. Beauty is brilliant and should be celebrated. If makeup makes people feel good then let us enjoy it!