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: http://twitter.com/littlemisswilde

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.



Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pre-Show Party!

More details of recent MODO antics coming soon, but first,

The 2010 MODO Pre-Show Party!

MODO Pre-Show, 25th November 2010, The Collection, Brompton Road, Chelsea, SW3, 7.30pm-late, £5 entry, Tickets from CSC reception. ID required on entry.
Come! Come! Come! Come! Come!
We'll have a mini-fashion show (amongst other excitements), including an exclusive sneak peek at some of this years designs!
See you Thursday!

Michaela xx

Friday, 5 November 2010

MODO Events: October 28th-November 5th 2010


It's been a little bit quieter at MODO this week, but still filled with lots of exciting news!

On Thursday we held the second of our designer's meetings. If you're thinking about designing for MODO now is the time to get in contact with us, and start seriously planning your collection. Over the next couple of meetings we'll be meeting and choosing our models, and beginning to put our moodboards together - start collecting pictures now!

Monday saw the Emergency General Meeting unanimously elect Aminat as our new treasurer. Aminat has been tirelessly doing this job for months now, and it's great to see her finally recognized by the Union and the rest of the society. Congratulations to her!

The lunchtime craft circle continued this week, we had a nice gossip and all got lots of knitting done - Hooray!

Tuesday saw a double booking in terms of MODO events, firstly we held the second of our Give it a Go classes - Beginner's Knitting! This class was a sell out for the second year running, and will almost certainly go in the MODO books now as an annual event. Tube strikes on the day meant that not everyone was able to attend, but those that did had a great time.

I have to say I felt very proud to get all of these people knitting in 2 hours! The class was a resounding success; not only did we make it through all of the skills I'd planned to discuss, we even had time to talk about some more advanced techniques. MODO now have a number of spare knitting needles and balls of yarn, come along to Craft Circle every Monday 1-2pm in Bloomsbury Rehearsal Room and borrow some needles and yarn yourself!

Tuesday evening also saw the first of our Model Workshops. This session aimed to help our newly selected models improve their skills and more specifically improve their walk. As we have so many former models on the MODO committee this year we were able to offer a wide range of advice, and as these pictures show, fun was had by all.

That's all for this week, as it's reading week next week you won't be hearing from me until the week after. Have a lovely mid-semester break, and see you soon!


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

London Favourites

We all have the good fortune of living and studying in London and so readily available to all of us are some of the best shops, cafés and fashionable establishments in the whole world. As an introduction to some of the MODO recommended places in London I thought I’d start by telling you about some of my favourite places in London.

VV Rouleaux:
“The Chanel of ribbon and trimmings shops” Red Magazine
VV Rouleaux is the place to go for all your ribbon needs. As a ribbon obsessive myself I love this shop. I don’t think you’d be able to find such a wide range of ribbons and trimmings anywhere else. They stock everything from the perfect black velvet ribbon to the most adorable sequin birds. Not quite sure what you’d do with those but they are certainly very cute.
For locations see here

The department store for anything and everything you could ever want. Despite the high end labels and their extortionate prices you never feel out of place or as if you shouldn’t be there which means that it is a great place for wandering and mooching around. They also stock Topshop and WHSmith so you can do your normal shopping here and still walk out with their eponymous yellow bags.

Needs no introduction, just visit their Oxford Circus shop, you will fall in love several times over!

Urban Outfitters:
Lots and lots of peter pan collars there at the moment so that makes me very happy. A successful mix of men’s and women’s clothes, boutique brands and home ware. Originally from the US they are now spreading throughout the UK and they now have three stores across London.

East End Thrift Store:
Home to the infamous ‘fill a bag jumble sales’ where you buy a bag and fill it with as much as you can. They also stock a huge and varied selection of vintage items at really reasonable prices. It’s quite out of the way and difficult to find but well worth the search. Find it here.

Beyond Retro:
Perhaps the best known vintage shop in London but it has earned its reputation for a reason. Its two stores in London are crammed full of weird and wonderful pieces. They also have great displays; I’ve even seen a cat in their scarf box before.

Hummingbird Bakery:
Hummingbird Bakery brings American cupcakes to London; their three stores stock delightfully sweet and beautifully decorated cakes, cupcakes, brownies and pies. They even have a daily cupcake giving you the perfect excuse to visit again and again. Their cute pink and brown décor is adorable and makes every cupcake a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Although be prepared to queue if you go to their Portobello store on a Saturday.

Comptoir Libanais:
Comptoir Libanais is a stylish and modern Lebanese café, offering delicious Lebanese food at an affordable price, in bright and colourful surroundings. You can choose between meze, wraps, and tagines or perhaps all of them! And make sure you try their halloumi bread; it’s cheesy, salty and absolutely delicious. Also, they have an unusual selection of lemonades, which are all delightfully refreshing; my favourite is the pomegranate and orange blossom.

Let me know your questions and queries about London; where to go and what to do. Or if you know of some great places in London then tell me all about them as there is so much of the city I have yet to explore.

Love Rachel

Monday, 1 November 2010


Last week SF helped out on a Pi Fashion section photo shoot of coats in Regent's Park. We were lucky enough to borrow items from several high street stores and even luckier to have such gorgeous models wear them for us. SF helped borrow the clothes for the shoot as well as styling the outfits and shots but enjoyed most persuading the male models to wear a male cape...albeit with little success!

Be sure to grab a copy of Pi magazine's next issue (out 23rd November) to see the photos in their printed glory. Until then, enjoy a sneak peak of the shoot...

(please note SF's photos posted here are poor quality and in no way represent the incredible work you will see in next Pi by their photographer Ray who will no doubt be shooting Vogue covers by December)


A mention must go to the most fabulous and inspired Halloween costume SF saw this year..... KARL LAGERFELD 

(and where else would one have seen this other than at the Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Perriet Jouet bar Halloween Party where SF dressed as a nightmare pantomime Sleeping Beauty and drunk Smashing Pumpkin cocktails served out what other than than a hollowed out pumpkin with dry ice seeping through the holes!)


Greetings again Fashionistas!

Here is a couple more looks I forgot to include in the last post that perpetuate my adoration for all things Wintery gracing the catwalk that is UCL....

 WHAT? Nodding to Marta's excellent post Whose coat's that jacket? , check out this fabulous coat - furry on the inside... duffel on the out! AND it is from a charity shop near Regent Street for only £45

WHERE? Outside Bloomsbury Theatre
WHAT ABOUT ME? To get duffed up in Duffle, try this New Look one for girls or for men check out Urban Outfitters; this or this

WHO? Harry, 2nd year Archaeology student
WHAT? These darling little boots

WHERE? Gordon Square, on SF's way back from the gym

WHY? Bringing together harmoniously shearling, hiking and ankle support (no mountains necessary!)

WHAT ABOUT ME? The pictured shoes (worn by Emma, first year History of Art student) are from Office... Here are the closest resemblance we could find on the office website: try these or check the site for similar styles


love SF x

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Whose coat's that jacket?

In the 10 rules of winter dressing,  Guardian editor Jess Cartner-Morley tells you to 'wear a proper coat'. Not a parka, apparently. The whole article lists a bunch of lush and dramatically expensive stuff, despite clearly wanting to appear sensible and present some core wardrobe additions in this season. 'Proper coat', according to Cartner-Morley, 'does not have to mean an expensive coat. It means a grown-up coat that doesn't make you look like a slobby fourth former on a field trip. The Jil Sander collection at Uniqlo has some beautiful tailored wool coats for around £100 (...)'. Actually, all the +J coats are about £150 (and some men's coats £200). However, Uniqlo minus Jil Sander has a bunch of nice coats, and  I guess for the quality fabrics (it's all wool, tweed, and faux fur) £60-£80 is not awful for a coat which you are likely to wear every day for the next few months. Still, I will never forget once getting two fantastic winter coats on promotion in Beyond Retro for £17 each.

Uniqlo coats

Cheaper and greener ways of getting a buff coat include trawling through second hand and charity shops on the outskirts of town, crossing your fingers that half of London hadn't already trawled through them last week and bought all the good stuff out. But you could also raid your own wardrobe (or that of a friend or relative or anyone else who'd let you) and see what you can find there. Planet Green had this awesome article on updating your winter coat with links to appropriate craftster tutorials:

"There's no need to purchase a new jacket when you can perform a little wardrobe magic on a jacket you already own. With a little cropping, painting, embroidery or sewing, your jacket will look better than new!

1. Crop it!
Make your long dowdy coat short and sassy with a little creative scissor work.

2. Paint it!
A denim jacket is the perfect canvas for a colorful painting. Trim your artwork in coordinating ribbon for a great finished look.

3. Resize it!
Transform your saggy baggy coat into a form fitting jacket. Beautiful!

4. Applique and embroider it!
Here's another great idea for your denim jackets: make an applique from thrifted t's, and embroider a favorite quote.

5. Add details!
This jacket looks completely different with the addition of a zipper, collar, and cuffs."

Possibly a much better example of all of these techniques combined is the work of a young local UCL designer Kate Ross, whose label Trash of Camden is all about upcycled jackets and jumpers:

"Trash of Camden aims to use recycled fabric/found objects/old trash in order to produce customized second-hand jackets, jumpers and other clothing. There's nothing off-the-peg here.The aim is to create fun and wearable hand-made items that are guaranteed one-offs. This is the ultimate in recycled, reinvented and re-worked clothing."

Trash of Camden stuff is the sort of classy DIY aesthetic of contemporary sustainable fashion: none of its style is compromised because of the materials used. Objects that would otherwise be discarded get a new, glamorous life. All pieces evoke a SEX era Vivienne Westwood, though definitely updated with more modern influences, not all harking back to punk. The pervasive leopard print (aka the new denim, in the words of Cartner-Morley) gives a very current trend-conscious impression. All pieces are unisex, which is a rare feature with emerging designers who, however experimental, like to specialize very quickly in set gender conventions.

Aside from jackets and jumpers, Trash of Camden also produces jewellery (subline Crap of Camden), and future plans include customized footwear. A selection of products are stocked in Philip Normal's Happy Shack, shop units 920/921 in Camden Market, an insanely awesome shop packed with labels like Charles of London, Tatty Devine and Red Mutha. Kate is always keen to accept your trash, so if you have stuff you want to donate, email trashofcamden@homail.co.uk. She also takes personal commissions, and all items are unique one-offs.

Lastly, on the topic of upcycling: Upcycle it! blog is looking for your upcycling stories for a publication due out in January:  “Upcycle it! – the handbook” with upcycle manuals, workshop reports and articles.

They are looking for submissions about:
  • Upcycling
  • How to think through the creative process of upcycling
  • Opinions and thoughts about trash – how is it to be a trash collector? How can you store it, live with it, and what can you do with it?
  • Cradle to Cradle and production processes
  • Energy efficiency – calculating the resources when remaking trash, when is it not sustainable to recycle trash?
  • Sustainability
  • Consumerism and anti trash lifestyle
Check out the submission guidelines over at the blog, and if you have any experience with upcycling, let them know!

Comment away on the topic of coats! And maybe even post pictures!
Sustainably yours,