Monday, 20 February 2012

Smash & Grab Giveaway!

Smash & Grab were featured in an earlier post and now you have the chance to win an item of your choice from their website! I'm so jealous because this Manchester company are have some amazing pieces

To be in with a chance of winning an item from the website read the following way to enter:

- Leave a comment on this post with your email address and the item you would like to win!

-  Follow my blog via GFC or Blog lovin

-  Like Smash & Grab on facebook!/smashgrabswag

-  Tweet 'follow @laurenamykent & @SmashGrabSwag to win a unique piece of jewellery enter here'

The winner will be chosen at random and emailed.
Only avaliable to UK readers.

**The competiton closes on 5th March**

Good Luck Guysss!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Introducing Rianna Phillips...

Rianna Phillips collection hosts dazzling designs and prints.
Her work was showcased at the Spring Fashion Show and I just had to interview her.

How old are you?

What is your education background ?
I did an Art foundation year and the went on to study
 'Textile Design for Fashion',
 both at Manchester School of Art. I graduated last June.

What are your biggest influences in the fahion world?
A massive amount of my inspiration comes from fashion bloggers.
 I based my final year project at uni on the consumer 'The Blogger'!
 I'm slightly addicted to quirky magazines and have become a permanant fixture at Magma (the book shop) in the northern quarter. I regularly buy Oyster, Pop,, Notion and Cent.

When did you decide fashion was the career field for you?
Whilst doing an Art Foundation year. I had no idea what I wanted to do after that and my tutor suggested a rather new course 'Textile Design for Fashion' that suited my work methods.
 And it was perfect. I've always had an interest in pattern cutting and design as I watched my mum make a lot of mine and my sisters clothes when we little. I think I picked it up from her.

What inspires your design direction with prints?
Colour and texture mainly. Im always looking at nature and then translating that into a surface design. I made a waistcoat covered in Rivets which was originally inspired by sea anemones.

Any big inspirations behind your life?
My close friends really inspire me.
 I'm always analysing how they style outfits and how they wear accessories.

What is next in the pipeline for Rianna Phillips?
I've got a few things lined up. A few photoshoots which I'm really looking forwards to. One of them is a stylised accessories shoot to promote by bags and scarves which are sold on both my website and my etsy shop

I'm also collaborating with designer Mark J.Bell on a digitally printed scarf collection. We have completed opposite styles so I can't wait to see what the outcome is like!
You can see his work at

I've also been working on a digitally printed vest top collection since I left uni, I've put a massive amount of time into it so I can't wait to release it eventually!

Where will we be seeing you next?
There are a few fashion fairs coming up so I will be taking part in them, not sure of the dates yet?!

What is your favourite piece?
Probably the long black sheer dress that has an embellished panel on the neckline.
It's quite simple but a bit of a show stopper!

Follow Rianna on twitter: @RiannaPhillips
Visit her online shop:
Stop by her fantastic blog:
Buy something at her etsy shop:

(accessory images are from the etsy shop)

Friday, 17 February 2012

FCP Help?!!

Please can you all do me this massive favour and  fill this in for me for a University project about consumers. Also, anyone else you can get to fill this in would be a great help!

Thanks for all the feedback over the last few weeks its been a great response.
This weekend I have an exciting post coming up about the amazingly talented designer Rihanna Phillips who was briefly mentioned in the Spring Fashion Show. So don't miss it!

Thanks guysss!!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Smash & Grab

This jewellery company hosted a stall at the Spring Fashion Show in Manchester.
Recently I spoke to Nichola White who gave me some insight into this intriguing company.
The jewellery is truly unique, the effort and thought that goes into each piece is evident in the quality.

How did the company start?
My best friend Sarah O'Neill and I started Smash & Grab when we accidentally broke a glass table in our new apartment! We were mortified at first but then realised that the pieces of glass were really unique and we instantly had the thought it could be made into jewellery and came up with the name Smash & Grab there and then.

Collectively we have backgrounds in fashion and footwear and met years ago on a fashion BTEC at Newcastle college. I finished a degree in Fashion at Salford Uni several years ago and have since worked in marketing, so we have just been waiting for the right opportunity to work together.
The pieces are generally inspired by our travels and experiences together, we work in charms that are significant to us and set them into the glass with moulds and resin.

What are your influences?
We are developing our range to include more pieces featuring abstract snippets of images from our own photographs from personal memories such as the Ibizan sunset and the Dubai skyline by night. We set a different part of each image behind the glass to give each one a completely unique finish.

How have you developed?
Within 2 months of breaking the table we had set up our website with an online shop and we are now ready to start selling in to boutiques and are planning to hit festivals and fashion markets all over the country this year. I can update you as we get these confirmed.

We recently had Manchester based act Platnum (who just have been over in LA working with the Black Eyed Peas' producer) using our jewellery in their album and video shoots and our stuff has been shot for a few online mags too.

What are your favourite pieces?
My favourite pieces are our knuckle duster rings like our 'Bang' ring (
and my Peace & Love cuff
which I am forever wearing on my upper arm. I also made myself a body chain recently adorned with glass charms and feathers and got asked about it so much we are putting these into production.

 Whats next for Smash & Grab?
We are also busy finalising details of the set up but are planning to work with and donate a percentage of profits to a charity set up by a friends family from Manchester, who have an orphanage in Goa helping children in need. So we have lots in the pipeline!!

I would definately reccomend checking this company out they have so many amazing pieces.
 I love this tethered feather ring above its so cute.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


When I was studying art at college, I was always in mixed emotions about the visionarie that was and is Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 – 1973). There is overwhelming admiration and yet confusion about her work. Sure, I adored the infamous Schiaparelli Pink, a gorgeous hot pink that was hard to ignore. Her strong aesthetic and imagination was enviable. 

My favourite secret was her start to fashion was influenced by none other than Paul Poiret. Known for his revolt against the confinement of the existing fashions at that time; with the tight-fitting corsets and garlanded clothes. His simplicity and attitude towards fashion was quoted a "pivotal moment in the emergence of modernism." An exceedingly high accolade for a new designer breaking through.

I myself find a huge inspiration on the catwalk is Schiaparelli, with her designs influencing and creating new designs. The most prominent would be ‘The Skeleton Dress’ in 1938. An undeniable successful collaboration with Salvador Dali. They created a surprising sharp silhouette. An image recreated by Giles for his SS 2009 and for Dior by John Galliano in 2000. Christian Lacroix AW 2008 collection consisted of oversized ribcage necklaces and with Alexander McQueen’s luggage the influence was apparent.
An underline of darkness and the unnatural that seemed to echo in her work. There is a small whisper that she was before her time. In this day and age, she would be embraced and celebrated too be alive and so successful seems a sad curse that follows so many mavericks.

Schiaparelli herself was inspired by Sonia Delaunay and was constantly involved with art and technology. She did collaborations with Jean Cocteau and surreal artists such as Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti. Her rival Chanel called her “that Italian artist who makes clothes.”

I find the Coco Chanel’s rivalry with Elsa Schiaparelli interesting and illuminating how to extraordinary designers had such a petty difference. Both are famous with their different visual style. Cristobal Balenciaga was famously quoted saying that “Coco had very little taste but all of it was good”. Meanwhile he described Schiaparelli as "the only true artist in couture" had "lots of taste but it was all bad". 

Controversially, Elle Italy wore a shoe hat in a spread shot by Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer of Chanel; a strong move that I feel Chanel would have deeply despaired at. Another inspired by the shoe-hat was renowned hat-designer Stephen Jones and shoe-designer Manolo Blahnik who collaborated for the first time to make a superlative homage to her surreal creation. 

Her visual images were so revolutionary she was imitated by others alike modern day designers, consequently her business shut down due to her designs being copied. Italian Elsa made an impressionable imprint on the fashion world. Her style was surreal and she injected fun and glamour into women’s daily lives, telling them to assert their individuality and urging women to wear theatrical clothes publicly.

Schiaparelli was infamous for her bold use of colour, using zips in her sportswear in 1930 and then shockingly using them on evening dresses in 1935. Her use of shocking pink was so iconic is it is now dubbed ‘Schiaparelli Pink’. Her runways were influential even to today as she chose to use boyish figure models to show her clothing. 

An individual who have taken enthralling risks, she wasn’t afraid to be ‘ugly’ and revolt against the traditional ideology. She will always be remembered for her journey of a voyage of innovation and avante garde designs. A true milliner forever challenging and inspiring other designers. It seems we have the lost the great and struggle to find the next maverick and cling on to the past. I think we will struggle to find a new textiles artist with such talent and such a vision. Hopefully one day someone in the present day will inspire a collection, an article, a world.

In the lasting words of the stanza XV of Louis MacNeice's "Autumn Journal" (1939):
Or give me a new Muse with stockings and suspenders
And a smile like a cat
With false eyelashes and finger-nails of carmine
And dressed by Schiaparelli, with a pill-box hat.’

Friday, 10 February 2012

Spring Fashion Manchester Show 2012

The third annual Spring Fashion Show was hosted at
Pitcher & Piano in Manchester. 
It was a really great night and there was some true talent from independent, emerging designers.

FABRYAN - This collection offered a unique, feminine and alluring designs, inspired by exotic flowers at Kew Gardens, they are 100% organic silk, with urban glamour and leather bindings.

Two friends work together to create these beautiful designs,
the collection exudes elegance and impact.
The strong silhouettes were dramatic and oh so sexy.
I NEED one of these stunning printed skirts in my life!

This unique collection hosted a strong message entitled
'You Can't Control Me.'
The inspiration was taken from childhood and suppressed subconscious memories. 
This latex collection is not for the faint hearted,
with one shocking jacket covered with baby faces.
It really did stand out with its amazing designs.
A shocking yet powerful collection made with much thought, time and latex...
(I can't help but think of puffa fishes!)

CROSS CULTURE FASHION - A collection inspired by different cultures,
based on African and Japanese influences with colour, vintage and graphic palettes. Smooth affordable fashion.

 Runner Up Best Emerging Designer Award : LAUREN WROE -
A graduate from Northumbria University,
inspired by the fourties and fifties.
She exemplifies her collection with a conscious effort to concentrate on reducing fabric waste with her zero waist pattern cutting.

PRETTY DISTURBIA -  This collection is for the confident consumer with its off beat decadence, kitsch glamour. Hosting cut out arms, tutu skirts, printed tops this collection is tongue in cheek.
They also sell popular menswear range Bang Bang Scribble.

VICTORIA ROSSO - Her vintage prints are simply exquisite with travel and sixties influence showcased in quaint tea dresses, high waisted shorts and sun-dresses. The second dress is my favourite!

These native hand crafted knits teames with clever panels to
flatter and intrigue, creates character and evoke timeless style.
Eco friendly fashion with one-off innovative and creative designs.

THOM NEAL - The epitome of style is hauled together with the collection.
A mixture of strong heritage and skill creates stunning menswear.
Bold colours, faux fur coats, tweeds, metallic shirts and alligator shoes
creates truly unique creations.

My Personal Favourite: RIANNA PHILLIPS -
From Manchester School of Arts, this talented designer
has created a flawless collection.
The 3-D textured digital placement prints, with asymmetrical tops and embellished garments reminds me of  Peter Pilotto. The bag, the clutch, the scarf, the details is key with this collection.
A designer to watch out for!

(All pictures by taken by myself unless otherwise stated.)