Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Our annual Fashion Show

MODO's annual Fashion Show is this weekend, Friday 4th and Saturday 5th of March, at UCL North Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT.

The UCLU MODO Fashion Society hosts an annual fashion show in order to showcase the works of various UCL student designers, the theme being 'The Show' in 2011. A vast breadth of diverse, unparalleled attire will be fashioned, ranging from effortlessly chic casual wear to more frivolous, flamboyant apparel.

The UCLU MODO Fashion Show is a full scale fashion show run by UCL students. It is unique in that all members are from a non-art/design background. Our society offers students studying at an academic institution the opportunity to pursue their creative interests. 

Apart from the designers' collections we will have a very special selection of performers in the interval.

Doors open at 6.30pm for the exhibition, with the show starting at 7.15pm.
Tickets are £8 and can be purchased from under the Society Events option.

Hope to see you there!

Have a look at how it worked out in previous years:

2010 The Green Show

preparing the 2009 Elements Show

Modo Fashion Show from Josh Blacker on Vimeo.

More photo galleries on MODO's website.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sustainable can be luxurious!

Trash need not always look trashy; an increasing amount of swish stuff is actually produced from recycled or upcycled materials. Aysia Wright wrote a piece for Planet Green some time ago with 10 examples of things that are 'just as pristine and perform just as well as their non-recycled counterparts,' a proof that sustainability never has to interfere with luxurious aesthetics or first-class quality. Below are some additions to that list (which, by the way, you should definitely check out: I would copy and paste it here in its entirety if it wasn't bad manners: 10 Closet Worthy Picks That Don't Look Recycled But Are. Trashion At Its Best by Aysia Wright).

Elvis & Kresse - reusing fire hoses


Elvis & Kresse make beautiful objects from a variety of waste: scrap sail clothes, used Air Traffic Control flight strips, closed cell foam, or parachute silk, but their most striking, signature material is genuine de-commissioned British fire brigade hose. They collect it across the UK, 'scrub away all the soot, grease, and everything else that builds up after 25 years of active life-saving duty,' and refashion into bags, purses, wallets, ipod holders, etc. Fire hoses are durable, but after service condemned to landfill. To date, Elvis and Kresse have rescued 40 tonnes of hose destined for that fate. And in order to thank Britain’s Brigades, 50% of their profits go back to the Fire Fighters Charity. They've featured in Vogue and stock at Harrods. A glorious mix of sustainable, innovative, pretty, and luxurious.

Goodone - good cuts

Goodone is an award-winning independent label which uses upcycled garments in their very high-end stuff. Using reclaimed fabrics in very creative ways, they do flattering AND interesting panelling. Their commitment to sustainability is strong: they claim that if every Briton purchased one item made from recycled wool each year, it would save 371 million gallons of water, 480 tones of chemical dyes, and 4571 million days of an average family’s electricity days. They 'aim not to stand apart from the mainstream fashion industry, rather to achieve positive change from within.' Founder and creative director Nin Castle is tutoring on the Sustainable Fashion course at St. Martins. Excellent on the sustainability as well as the fashion forward front. And they're launching a collection for Tesco at the end of January!

Retrouve - made from found objects only

Retrouve is an upcycled jewellery line from the excellent second hand shop Bang Bang exchange (which I wrote about some time ago). Designer Jo Whelan creates unique, bold pieces from reject or excess chain store jewellery that would otherwise be thrown away (last year 27 tonnes of costume jewellery went into landfill: unsold stock, breakages, faulty goods). Vintage components are used, but Retrouve's aesthetic is determinedly contemporary rather than retro. Whelan says 'designs are refreshed and infused with value and love ... In our current consumer culture things that are out of fashion or broken are disposed of often in environmentally irresponsible ways, Retrouve with it's make-do-and-mend philosophy is both eco-friendly and stylish, creating pieces that will be loved for longer.' They also offer a service reworking your old jewellery and custom designs. Future plans include workshops on making your own retrouve pieces.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Columbia Road Flower Market

Despite being just round the corner from Brick Lane, one of my favourite places in London, I hadn’t been to Columbia Road Flower Market until a few weeks ago. On Sundays there is a great flower market and although perhaps December isn’t the best time for buying flowers there seemed to be a lot of choice and it wasn’t too expensive. In the spring I think I’ll be visiting a lot and filling my room with flowers. The flower market is set up right in the middle of the road and down the side of the road are some really adorable independent shops. I think perhaps I preferred these to the flowers, and I really like flowers. The shops were all really unique and original, slightly different from your typical high street offerings. My favourites included ‘Suck and Chew’ an old fashioned sweet shop and ‘Ryantown’ where the artist Rob Ryan sells his wares. I would highly recommend that you try and do some of your Christmas shopping there as you’ll get some individual and unexpected presents. To cater for this they are running ‘Christmas Wednesdays’ where the shops are open from 5-9pm with lots of other festive events too. Check out their website to have a look if any of the shops take your fancy and then pay them a visit tomorrow evening.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Apologies for the distinct absence of SF on Mododiva! Uni work (and a spot of globe trotting) are to blame, hard life eh? But even on the continent my thoughts are with fashion, and MODODIVA so here are my thoughts on style in Madrid...

Preconceptions of Spanish style include colourful leather boots (i.e. not just black or brown), 'quirky'/verging on gaudy prints, polo necks and tweed dresses.... The latter stemming from a dress I will never forget that my step mum bought from Spain which was a tunic-come-sack made of two equally horrific shades of brown tweed and had two tiny pockets on the chest thus giving it its lasting name of 'the nipple dress.' On the plane I tried desperately to shake this dress from my mind and embark upon Madrid with an open mind, sin pre-conceptions. Alas, as I stepped off the Metro (yes, they have clothing stores underground before you've left platform level) I was greeted with everything I had expected....

Yes - the dreaded prints, the bizzare use of metal and I'm pretty sure there's some inappropriate use of tweed lurking somewhere in the background, it was all there... My travel buddy wanted to go shopping that day but after witnessing this, I feared the venture would be fruitless. However, when we hit the Oxford Street of Madrid we unsurprisingly found Topshop, Zara, Mango, Berksha, Gap and other highstreet staples.Inside was a similar selection to our London counterparts, except a smaller selection and largely items no longer dominating the window displays in London: in the same way films released in the US hit England 3 months later, it seems certain trends take a while to reach Spain, via France, from London.It must be said though, that the ultimate Spanish girl's accessory is her show stopping good looks and the endless gorgeously brown hair which SF saw women sporting at every corner.

Here's a couple of styles SF managed to snap in between tapas and fiesta-ing...

 - the hat (a staple in our been and gone/still hanging on Autumn wardrobe)
- fur collared leather jacket
A Louis Vuitton rucksack! (note the gorgeously long Spanish mane..)

I had a look at Spanish Vogue and enjoyed their moda en la calle (street style) especially to be proven that tweed in Spain can be good and it can be right - note the example of this cape...

Adios for now. I shall write again SOON with updates on the battle of snow vs. fashion on campus.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

A few blog recommendations

None deal especially with sustainable fashion, but that's only the evidence that the *~trend~* is seeping into the fashion world slowly, surely, and consistently.

1. White Lightning

'The musings, stylings & obsessions of Elizabeth Spiridakis', New York based writer, fashionista, feminist, zine-maker and overall fantastic woman. She regularly posts the results of her crafternoons, in which she produces awesome shit using mostly paper and scissors. Here's a paper PS1 she made for her friend:

construction paper PS1 by Elizabeth Spiridakis
Proenza Schouler original

And a paper Spring 2011 striped canvas Prada weekender:

Materials: drugstore construction paper, scissors, glue stick, Scotch tape, black felt tip pen.
Amount of time spent: 2 episodes of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu (approx 90 mins.)

the inspiration: Prada SS11

'Perhaps this is the best way to deal with my wishlists, rendering my fashion dreams outta scissors and tape. it's cathartic!' Awesome, awesome idea! Comment to suggest new construction paper bags Elizabeth should make; and by all means, follow in her footsteps and DO IT YOURSELF AT HOME.

2. SOS! Save Our Shoes

When you comment, the message you get is: 'Thanks for telling us something. Remember to recycle, switch lights off and the gin is on us. <3'. SOS! Save Our Shoes is ran by two best friends separated by half the world, Fi and Lj. They list very diverse inspirations and likes (petting dogs, cracking joints, bubble baths, chatting to grannies, cranberry juice, free publications, platform heels, pulling hairs and spiced rum, entre autres). They post about young local designers, own interpretations of trends, pop-up or vintage shop recommendations around London, and even organize competitions.

Top from Yes Brian, you look terrific vintage shop that popped up a couple of weeks ago in the basement of Maiden

hat by Anna Jouli, made especially for New Era's 90th birthday, Fiona's recommendation for the royal engagement party

statue of liberty in a pendant by hélène pé. Other members that appear in her jewelry include cats, owls, and angry screaming whales.

enter SOS's competition and win this  Maggie Angus necklace

3. Spotted on Campus

This gets political. UCL's own fashion blogger, or rather, fashion assistant & writer/english student/political activist/smiths DJ & superfan/gin dependent/gay bar royalty/trashfash TV addict/walking non-sequitur Jessica Wilde is the woman behind UCL Occupation's fantastically excellent twitter campaign, making huge political and stylish waves from the occupied Jeremy Bentham Room onto the whole virtual and RL world. Jessica usually posts pictures of well-dressed people from around campus to show what UCL students are wearing, but also 'give[s] advice on what the student loan can stretch to and offer[s] procastinatory dwellings on what we'd rather spend our maintenance grants on.'

spotted by Jessica outside the Bloomsbury: Lettie, 2nd year Classics

She recently covered some big names + high street chains collabs that make certain desirable things a lot more affordable:

Henry Holland x Roxy
Lanvin x H&M
Winehouse x Fred Perry

Right now fashion posts have taken a back seat as Wilde is primarily engaged in tweeting the revolution: 'I can tell you that there are a surprising number of beautiful and well-dressed people occupying this room, but unfortunately we are more occupied with other things.' And yet she is doing it in style, having occupied the Jeremy Bentham room in leather trousers for three days straight. She also proposed a solidarity catwalk should take place. If you haven't heard of UCL Occupation yet, I urge you to check their blog, facebook, twitter and follow them and their updates on the fight against cuts and rising tuition fees. It's a massively important movement and everyone should do their bit to contribute! This blog is in full solidarity with the cause. Sign the petition. Get involved. Here's how you can help. Also follow Jessica herself on twitter for political as well as fashion updates:

In solidarity,

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

MODO Models 2010

Hello All!

We finally have details of all of this year's MODO models! If you are a UCL student and you would like to show one or more of your designs on our catwalk now is the time to choose your models and let us know! The model photos can be found here, and are also available by clicking the "MODO Models 2010" link in the Pages and Places section of the right hand side of this blog.

As you may know, your collection can be as small as 1 piece, and there are no restrictions on what you have to make - we'll happily show as much or as little as you have the time and inclination to make.

Please can you let me know your choices at michaelaDOTmooresDOT09ATuclDOTacDOTuk before 5pm on Monday 6th of December. This will allow us to do the model allocations before Christmas, allowing you to collect measurements etc. before the Christmas break. As is detailed in the pack, please can you provide me with;

1. Your name
2. Your email address and phone number
3. The number of models you want (including how many of each gender, if relevant)
4. Your order of preference of models, including at least 2 alternatives (the more the better)
5. A brief summary of your interpretation of the show's theme, "The Show". This will help with organizing the running order of the show.

Please be aware that, while we will try our best to meet your requests, there are limits as to how many designers can have each model, and we want to provide each model with equal opportunity to strut their stuff!

I look forward to hearing from you!


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Leather Woman.

On the second day of living with my new flatmates at university, I wore my leather trousers out. Head telling me no, heart telling me yes, I wore them and two months later I am still getting ribbed for them. Any leather items I now wear just add to my reputation as Little Miss Leather (or Leather Woman as I was called at Camden Town tube station on Halloween by a random fella – yes I went as Catwoman in all my leather glory). I’m regularly guided to leather goods in shops by friends with a cheeky smile, told that I must love THAT scene in Pulp Fiction (you know the one I mean) and just generally associated with all connotations of leather.

Don't try this at home.
But still, I wear my studded leather jacket with pride for the rocker chic edge it can give to an outfit and it was only natural that my Halloween costume was going to be Catwoman - hey, at least my outfit was free. No doubt though, there are definate faux pas when it comes to leather. Head to toe just doesn’t work unless you are a real Catwoman, Halle Berry or a biker. I’m even on the fence with coloured leather trousers like the red ones that Victoria Beckham wore recently to Selfridges on Oxford Street. Yeah she looked good, but they were just too in your face for my liking; they could’ve been toned down with some black boots maybe for a more nonchalant feel. To be honest, I’d even go as far as saying that the matchy-matchy shoes make the whole look a bit tacky, but there’s no denying that not everyone could pull this look off; she is one of a kind.

For us students though, there are so many leather-upholstered fashion avenues that we could try; we are young enough! Leather skirts and shorts are all over the high street, and even the faux leather items could be pulled of as the real deal so the look doesn’t even have to create a massive dent in your student loan. The trousers are almost as classic as a biker jacket and can be dressed up or down for day or night. But for those who still think they’re a little raunchy, racy and “what would my mother say”, why not invest in a little leather jacket that’ll see you through season to season, and make you impossibly in style at the moment. Inevitably leather is everywhere and so hot for this season. Its timeless appeal and classic staple status tells me that leather will be around for a while.