Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Worth the Wait

Burberry have released a preview of their see-now-buy-now 'seasonless' collection. Not only is it unusual for a brand to release new collection teases before the official show during fashion week, it's also big news for the industry; marking a definitive shift in the fashion calendar.

Image: Burberry/Testino


It's not a surprising move. It's been talked about for seasons, with Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger having announced their intentions to follow the new model and the likes of Moschino, Michael Kors and Prada having already done straight-from-catwalk releases. It's also an answer to the issue of the high street producing knock offs before the real thing has even hit the rails. Ever since fashion week transformed from an industry event into a public spectacle, high fashion has become more accessible than ever as the trickle down effect has reached warp speed. Great for those on a budget, not so great for those selling the original designs 3 months after they've graced the rails of Topshop.

Burberry's collection, combining menswear and womenswear, will launch in store on the same day that it hits the catwalk. I completely understand the move. It's arguably the only way to beat the highstreet and it plays into the immediacy of modern marketing and social media. It's understandable. Necessary, even. But waiting for something makes it all the more tantalising and removing that wait extracts a part of the magic.

As a child, some time around mid November, you would write a letter to Father Christmas. In my case, I would trawl through the pages of the Argos catalogue and list whatever it was my heart desired that particular year. The wait was what made the whole thing exciting. The six week long anticipation allowed my level of yearning to reach boiling point, so that by the time Christmas day came round I could barely contain myself when the time came to tear open the wrapping paper. 

The see-now-buy-now model will rob consumers of that giddy, delicious anticipation and the weeks or months of imagining all the ways that a particular dress, coat or bag will wildly enhance their lives. I've scanned magazines and dreamed of an entirely new life that would be bestowed upon me if only I could own a particularly dramatic skirt or a heavily embellished blazer. I'd be the type of person who does yoga before work, who always carries cash and who has a signature scent. If I could go and buy that magical garment on the same day I saw it, I'd know within 24 hours that, actually, an extra hour in bed always trumps feeling 'centred' and that my only scent is whatever deodorant is on offer in Wilko's. 

Not only does waiting build excitement and prolong preposterous dreams, it also avoids those big mistakes. "Yes, my wardrobe is all black but think of all the ways I can wear this lime green sequin jumpsuit!", you think as you hand over your debit card, mere minutes away from buyer's remorse. Hours of listing unworn, ill-advised purchases on eBay has taught me that a little time between initial lust and parting with your money is necessary when deciding how much you truly love something. I've saved a sizeable chunk since implementing this rule and excited, sweaty palmed fashion fans may do well to remember that the latest thing ≠ the best thing ever. Impulse buying is the stage for regrettable purchases.

So, yes, it seems as though the see-now-buy-now may be the logical conclusion brands are coming to in order shake things up and drive sales but I will argue that incredible fashion is always worth the wait and, in fact, the wait makes it even sweeter. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

No Sew T-Shirt DIY: The Tote Bag

Ain’t nobody got time for harming animals, polluting the sea, adding to landfill, or 5p bag charges, so in the second instalment of my No Sew T-Shirt DIY posts, I’m going to show you how to make a super cool, reusable tote bag.

You can use any t-shirt you like; the bigger the t-shirt, the bigger the bag. I happened to find one languishing in my boyfriend’s drawer with boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler gracing the front and decided to co-opt it for this project. (I got his permission to use it. Please don’t start cutting up your significant other’s clothes without asking, I can’t be held responsible for any ensuing arguments). T-shirt trivia: Marv got so sick of the announcers not referring to him by his ‘Marvelous’ nickname that he had it legally changed so they had no choice but to use it.


The Tote Bag

To make the tote bag you will need:

- A t-shirt
- A pair of scissors
- Chalk or a washable marker

Step 1
Cut the sleeves off each side.




Step 2
Using your chalk or marker, draw a curve under the collar. Make the curve shallow if you want a handbag and deeper if you want a shoulder bag.




Step 3
Cut along the line. This creates the handles.








Step 4
Before starting this step, you may want to shorten the t-shirt by 10 or so centimetres so the bag isn't overly long. Once you've lopped the bottom off, draw a line 10 cm from the bottom of the t-shirt and cut upwards in 1-2 cm intervals.









Step 5
Knot each pair of tassels together.








Step 6
In the words of Jennifer Anniston, here comes the science bit. To fill the holes between each not, lay the pairs of tassels one up, one down as shown in the photo. Next, tie each top tassel to the bottom tassel on its left. If that makes no sense, I simplified it with a diagram to avoid any confusion. Just tie A to B all the way along.




Step 7
Finally, fill your bag with books, snacks and money for ice cream and head out for an adventure.








This feature originally appeared on Sistrhood.