Well guys, RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 3 has wrapped up and it’s fair to say that this season was one hell of a rollercoaster… Sure there were a lot of highs, but there were also some very bizarre, questionable and rage-inducing decisions and plot twists that really rattled the cages of a lot of fans.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, 1) You’ve been living under a rock and 2) *SPOILER ALERT* there are gonna be some big reveals! Where should I begin?
The Cast Of Queens
Now, when I saw the reveal of the cast of All Stars 3 way back when, I, like most other Drag Race fans, was eager to see which queens from yesteryear would be coming back in full force with the hopes of snatching the crown and a shot at “ru-demption”
However, It’s fair to say that quite a few folks on the internet weren’t overly thrilled by the “caliber” of queens that had been selected. Mainly the fact that not a single queen had made it into the top 3 on their respective seasons (apart from Bebe, but we’ll get to her soon).
After the stellar season of All Stars 2 which really set the standard for the show, All Stars 3 came into town like that one drunk straight girl at the gay bar, more rowdy, pretty messy and somehow offends everyone.
Statistically, it was the “weakest” season if you consider how each of the queens placed in their own seasons (I think Aja came 9th on her season). Now, I personally didn’t mind the casting, I felt it was pretty diverse unlike All Stars 2 which had half the contestants come from Season 5.
I was incredibly excited to see Bendelacreme, she was one of my favourites, equally, I was intrigued to see what Milk (also from Season 6) would bring to the table. We were blessed with a couple of the old era of Drag Race, Shangela and Morgan McMichaels made an excellent addition to the cast.
Bebe Zahara Benet
Then we were introduced to a 10th queen during the first episode. That queen was in fact Bebe Zahara Benet, the first ever winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Why on earth was a winner coming back for All Stars, this has pretty much ruined the chances of a “Winners Season” now that we’ve already seen her come back to show the world what she’s got which… wasn’t much.
Throughout the series, it’s seemed like Bebe could do no wrong. It was made quite clear that the show wanted to have Bebe in the finale, and of course they did, it would look bad on the show if she went home on week two despite being a winner. Not wanting to take chances, the show seemed to put her in the top for challenges that we, the viewer, would see as failures.
For example, winning the Andy Warhol challenge, her can wasn’t funny, decorative or pleasant and when Ru complimented her dress, she failed to mention that Aja helped her out, then subsequently sent her home. Shady lady.
During the Kitty Girl challenge, the queens were asked to create and sing/rap their own lyrics. Bebe made noises with no real skill and somehow won the challenge.
She wouldn’t’ even reveal who she sent home “in respect for Bendela” – a shoddy excuse in an attempt to keep her cards close to her chest. And if I have to hear “Cameroon” one more time I will weep… And you thought “Halleloo” was irritating.
Bendelacreme’s Shocking Departure
One of the real gags of the season has to be the noble sacrifice from Bendelacreme. All the way through the season she was slaying every single challenge, she lip synced for her legacy 5 times and in the end, she chose to send herself home instead of one of the other girls (Kennedy).
I don’t get shocked easily by the show anymore, sure, I still get entertained but sometimes it feels like the “shock moments” are incredibly manufactured now. Oh you’re eliminating 2 queens, cool, we’ve seen that before. You’re bring a queen back, “gasp”.
There has been a holy trinity for shocking elimination moments. The first was Willam’s disqualification. That had me shook to the core! The second was Valentina’s mask-gate scandal during a lip sync for your life. The third was Bendelacreme using white-out to change the name on a lipstick to her own. Gagged.
Clearly the bullshittery from the season got too much for Dela and she clearly didn’t want to be there anymore. The same thing happened with Adore Delano during All Stars 2.
And to be fair, that’s how a lot of the season felt, Dela and Shangela throughout the whole competition were the obvious frontrunners. They dominated each and every challenge, whether it be acting, dancing, comedy (maybe not costume design Shangela) and it almost felt too ‘real’ for the producers to have the duo battle against each other week after week after week.
Then when a plot twist that we’ve
never seen before brought all the eliminated queens back, Dela couldn’t get her head round the anger, venom and drama that came with it and I think that lead to her swift departure which left all the judges (including RuPaul) dumbfounded.
Can anyone really blame her for going? If I’m honest, I don’t. Sure, I’m gutted as she was my all time favourite and the star of the season but she showed them all what she can do. She doesn’t need $100,000, a plastic crown and a picture in a fictional hall of fame.
Now, this really got on my tits. Throughout the whole season, Shangela had proven to be a true force to be reckoned with and a stellar talent. If you ask me, Shangela is a true All Star. When she first appeared on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was a newcomer to the world of drag and she was full of energy and charisma.
Sadly she only made the first episode but she was back for Season 3 and she had already grown so much despite being called “Queen of the Boogers” by Season 3 winner Raja.
Her runway looks had drastically improved too, she walked out onto the runway in a giant inflatable ball for God sake!
By the time All Stars 3 had come around, Shangela had taken the world by storm, she tours with dancers, she’s appeared in numerous television shows as an actress and she’s become a trophy-snatching success story. Shangela, for me, is the real winner of All Stars 3 which brings me on to my next point.
The Voting System Was Rigga Morris!
Need I explain this part? This season had some shocking moments; Dela’s departure, the return of the eliminated queens as a rival band, Bebe turning up and Milk becoming delusional, I think we’d seen just about all we could take from the season.
But then Ru decided to throw in yet another twist… And this one was actually shocking. Not because it was good, but because it was utter bullshit!
Ru decided to bring back the eliminated queens again and give them all the power to decide who would become the final 2 queens to lip sync for their legacy.
Bendelacreme, Thorgy Thor, Milk, Aja, Morgan McMichaels and Chi Chi Devayne were all set the task of talking to each finalist to help aid their decisions and then they voted to see which queens would make the top 2.
Now, you don’t have to be a genius to see that this can have it’s advantages and disadvantages for certain contestants. Trixie Mattel who fell somewhere fairly middle of the pack for most of the season hasn’t sent anybody home so she had no grudges.
Bebe has already won a season so queens may not want to nominate her again and Shangela had sent home 3 queens who are more than likely all out for revenge!
So how does this system work? The queens were asked to pick 2 lipsticks. Their first choice receives 2 votes, their second choice receives 1 vote.
In fact, most queens voted for Kennedy as their first choice to WIN THE FUCKING SEASON?! You know, Kennedy who has been in the bottom more than any, only won 1 lip sync and doesn’t have a strong fan base? This season became RuPaul’s Charity Race.
As it happens, this theory seemed pretty much correct as Shangela only received 1 vote. No, seriously. Shangela who was the front runner for the competition got 1 poxy vote from the eliminated queens. The audience could see this was a joke, so much so that one person created a GoFundMe page for Shangela with the aim of raising $100,000 (the winners prize money) for her.
Kennedy made Top 2… Just let that sink in. Now, I have no beef with her, but come on, that is not really how a season should go down. If I’m being totally honest, I think this was a case of a lot of Bitter Betty’s not wanting to let Shangela win the crown because she sent them home.
The One Redeeming Feature
Now, it would be cruel to have had such a bitter rant about the season without actually talking about the positives. We saw some hilarious scenes in acting challenges, some utterly stunning runway looks and some phenomenal lip syncs so it’s not all doom and gloom. Hell, even with all the injustices of the finale came a great performance.
That, of course, was the Kitty Girl music video challenge which was, in all fairness, fucking epic! Kennedy absolutely slayed, Trixie served you her inner rap star, Shangela gave you professional Beyoncé and Bebe’s portion of the song contained some actual lyrics. Honestly, the whole 1-take music video was truly a work of genius and it really does go to show that these queens are all stars. So let’s not forget that.
In the end, we wound up with Trixie Mattel as the winner of All Stars 3. Fair enough, we can all move on with our lives. And That’s exactly how this season felt, it’s like a mild irritant that we’re just waiting to pass by before we can carry on with our lives.
It seems that even the producers of the show want to forget about this logistical nightmare before the torches and pitchforks get brought out by angry twinks and basic white girls everywhere riot.
That would explain the fact that All Stars 3 has just ended. Not even a reunion episode. Instead, we go straight into Season 10 without even a week’s space between one series ending and another starting and act like this was all a dream.
Here’s hoping RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 can right some of the wrongs we have experienced with All Stars.
For those of you who may not have heard, last year the IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration was announced to the world. Now, I don’t know about you, but this has sent my tiny heart into meltdown as I wait for this highly anticipated collection of homeware goods to come to fruition. But what can we expect from this merging of two minds?
Virgil Abloh, the man behind Off-White has been causing quite the stir online thanks to his über cool aesthetic and skills at secrecy around the collaboration.
The information is, sadly, still quite scarce. Even the release date is somewhat of a mystery having not been confirmed yet, but from some of the clues in the imagery, we can (hopefully) expect the collection to come at some point in 2018 if not 2019.
Thanks to the wide range of homeware products available at IKEA, we can only hope and assume that Virgil is going to be bringing us quite the assortment of goodies to fill our homes with.
Now, we don’t have a full list of products that will get the Off-White treatment, but there are a few that have already made their way on to social media.
Now, when you think of IKEA, the ideas of flatpack and affordable furniture circle through your head. But there’s one item that has been purchased millions of times round the world and it usually goes unnoticed.
That, of course, is the classic FRAKTA bag which has become a staple of IKEA’s design thanks to its Balenciaga‘s £1,600 equivalent to the 50p plastic bag that saw the light of day back in 2017.
The bag has now become somewhat of an ‘anti-fashion’ fashion statement with numerous people customising the bag and using it as base materials for other designs including; shoes, hats and even bras.
When IKEA first announced the collaboration back in 2017, the first thing we saw from the Off-White designs was a reinvention of the FRAKTA bag.
Off-White has gone down a much more tasteful path. The bag has abandoned the bold blue plastic colourings for a more tasteful envelope beige with cream straps and the world “SCULPTURE” across the bag in bold black letters.
Of course Virgil wasn’t going to abandon the idea of giving the infamous big blue bag a makeover. This simple shopping bag now has an cool streetwear feel that you’d gladly take wherever you go.
The photo of the “SCULPTURE” bag was taken in IKEA’s prototypes lab so we aren’t sure whether or not this will make the final cut. But after the popularity and social media attention from Balenciaga’s FRAKTA inspired leather hold-all, it would be surprising for Virgil Abloh to abandon the idea.
Say “YES” To Rugs
From what we’ve seen on Instagram so far, it would appear that the collaboration will feature at least two rug designs. Virgil gave us a sneak peek on social media of a giant red rug with the word “BLUE” in a blue bold font through the middle.
The second design we’ve seen was of a monochromatic interpretation of an Indian rug design. Again, with words to accompany, this rug says “KEEP OFF” in bold white letters.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a serious rug addict and I hope to own both these designs (and whatever else is coming our way).
Sadly, that’s all the designs we’ve been able to check out so far. But with the Off-White designs kept firmly under lock and key, you know we’re going to be in for a treat.
A Millennials Paradise
Now, millennials get a pretty shitty wrap if truth be told. It’s all “when I was your day I already had a house” and “you snowflakes are always moaning about something”, but in reality, the millennial generation is worse off than when our parents were our age.
Knowing these modern day struggles, the IKEA x OFF-WHITE collaboration set their target market firmly on the millennial first-time-buyers.
The IKEa website put out a statement which says “together, IKEA and OFF-WHITE look for ways to help create a home for millennials who are just starting out their lives.”
“We’re looking at that first phase of adult life, when you start making purchases for your space. Largely people grow up in their parents’ environment. They’ve never had to consider furniture. Then when they’re off on their own and have their own aesthetic, what are their first purchases? I’m interested in thinking about how those purchases are informed.” — Virgil Abloh
It’s a shame really that these days most brands don’t target the youth of today. IKEA has always been an affordable brand for easy to assemble and modern furnishings that perfectly aid the transitional period of parents’ house to first house.
The Life Of A First Time Buyer
I myself have found myself in the difficult position of buying a first house. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m so damn excited to get the keys and move in (it will hopefully be in the next week or so) and one of the main things that keeps rushing through my brain is the thought of affordable furniture. I’ve already been given quite a few hand-me-downs which is kind but I want my first house to be filled with my own aesthetics.
So, with Virgil on the team, us first-time-buyers are going to be in for a real treat when it comes to cool furnishings in a reasonable price range. Bravo, Virgil, Bravo.
What Else Could We Get?
Though it seems unlikely, we may get a couple of items of clothing in the collaboration. Afterall, Katie Eary who previously collaborated with IKEA back in 2016 did bring us a couple of t-shirts as well as her range of homeware. Who knows, we may even get a small clothing range in the store too.
Whatever the outcome, I just hope this collaboration comes soon, because I’m gagging for some interesting furnishings.
Is his name a sheer fluke? I sincerely doubt it. Harry Styles, is a legitimate style icon. The former floppy-haired golden boy of One Direction has been making waves since the band decided to go on hiatus.
He’s got the wardrobe I want on the budget I can’t afford.
It seems the One Direction boys have truly gone off in different directions, with each member targeting different genres of the music industry (granted, some not as strong as others *cough* Louis *cough*).
His debut solo album was a huge success and it also paved the way for his new über cool visual. The new era of the Harry Styles takeover is a cross between Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix and it’s as retro and rockstar as you could ever hope for.
There’s a real air and sophistication to his new-found fashion (not that he was poorly dressed before, but his look has most certainly elevated). Flared trousers, floral patterns, silks and chiffons galore, it’s a modern take on an eccentric dandy.
This being said, it may come as no surprise to find out that Harry Styles has become the new face of Gucci‘s latest tailoring campaign. Of course he has, Styles is the human embodiment of where the brand aims to be in the not so distant future.
To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised it’s taken Gucci this long to get Mr Styles onboard. But fear not, it’s happening now and that’s what we want. Let’s be honest, he’s a good looking man that most of us would love to be (or at least be able to be like).
But what will be the inspiration for the campaign, will it be the glamour and glitz of fame, the rock and roll grit, elegance and sophistication? Well, if you thought it’d be any of those, you’d be miles off.
A little teaser on the official Gucci Instagram account shows a sign from a local fish and chip shop with Harry Styles’ head poking into frame underneath.
It’s been reported that the owner of the fish and chip shop has been paid upwards of £20,000 to have the young rockstar filmed in his restaurant. Other locals have been said to have been paid £50-£100 just for moving their cars for the shoot.
Kids from local schools have also been said to be featuring in the campaign as extras.
Not much else is known about the campaign for now, we only have these images of Harry’s attire to go off, which is quite shabby chic. Though I must say, I’m rather enjoying the bold pink socks and the pale loafers.
We’re expecting more teasers to be released over the coming weeks. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for this collection to surface. Will we get bright colours? Exquisite tailoring, a nod to suburban life and the suit cuts of yesteryear?
Most likely we’re going to get some broody stares and many giddy teenage girls across the land suddenly having Gucci on their radar thanks to this British heartthrob.
Every year H&M teams up with a global fashion house to design a high street marketed collaboration. This year is no exception. We’ve seen some incredible designers and fashion houses collaborate over the years. Including; Versace, Maison Margiela, Balmain, Kenzo and Anna Dello Russo to name but a few. And now we’re only 1 week away!
This year, H&M paired with contemporary fashion house ERDEM and people are already going crazy for it! Erdem Moralioglu is the 17th fashion designer to collaborate with H&M. And the high street brand’s creative advisor, calls him “a poetic addition” to an already stellar lineup of fashion giants.
The collection is nostalgic yet modern, structured yet rebellious, feminine and powerful. It’s gloriously floral and I’m totally invested. What makes this collaboration so exciting is that it’s such a step in the other direction from the previous few designers; Kenzo, Balmain and Alexander Wang.
This collaboration saw designer, Erdem Moralioglu design his first ever menswear line. Staying true to his brand, Moralioglu’s garments are a beautiful fusion between both genders.
“Once I’d finished fitting a Harris Tweed suit, I’d take it off the boy and put it on the girl and it just looked amazing. So then came the Harris Tweed suit for women — it’s one of my favourites.”
Erdem’s aim was to create a collection that can be mixed and matched with each piece, giving the wearer their own sense of individuality and ownership of their wardrobe.
“It’s a collection of pieces that have a permanence about them, which is almost the antithesis of this idea of what fast fashion is.”
One of the most beautifully fascinating parts of the collaboration has to be the campaign film “The Secret Life of Flowers” which was directed by Baz Luhrmann who famously created the visual beauty of Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet which starred Leonardo Di Caprio.
I honestly have to say, I think this is one of the most stunning contemporary fashion films I have seen for such a long time. The colours are sensational, the story is whimsical and the regalia stands alone in the busy visuals.
I couldn’t help but find myself falling into a romantic dreamscape while watching the campaign film. And that’s the best way to describe the collection, romantic! Frilled shirts, gushy gowns and floral patterns rife in every design.
If you’re wanting to check out what’s on offer, have a gander at the price list below and all that is available in the menswear range of the highly anticipated Erdem x H&M collaboration.
I’m definitely getting myself the silk shirt and trouser co-ords as well as a few other bits and bobs… If only my budget could stretch a little further. What are your favourite items? Get thinking and put some pennies aside, you only have 1 more week to wait for the collaboration to go live!
This was a rather fun post to have found whilst having an online browse for some new clobber. Turns out i’m somewhat of a “Trendy Wendy” this season and I must say I have been quite shocked on the impact this simple little orange checkered suit has had on the fashion press. Maybe it’s the bold colours in a rather depressing January filled with Tube Strikes and the ever-looming threat of Donal Trump… Who knows? Either way, its fun to be on the sunny side of life.
If you want to have a browse of Topman’s suggested trends to shop, have a click on the link here to get some grand ideas for your wardrobe: http://www.topman.com/en/tmuk/category/london-street-style-the-capitals-6-biggest-trends-6243896/home
London Collections: Men Spring Summer 17 feature in Shortlist Magazine.
This photo was taken outside of the Topman Show Space on the first day of LCM.
Striped Short Sleeve Shirt and Wide Leg Trousers: Topman Design
Black T-Shirt: Zara
Black Leather Envelope Bag: Reiss
Black Chelsea Boots: Rokit Vintage
Transitional Lens Aviator Sunglasses: Vintage
“The Godstar didn’t subscribe to convention, a maverick pioneer, a scholarly intellectual who welcomed fame and fortune when it forced itself upon him with healthy scepticism but never set out with any aspirations of success. Life as a Rolling Stone is complicated he confided in 1965, who knows how long it will last? Brian Jones was the soul of the Stone’s, it’s founding father with a mission to bring R&B across the Atlantic and into the homes of suburbia. For S/S17, Pretty Green have taken inspiration from the coolest Rolling Stone. The linage of immaculate polo’s, block print sweaters and psychedelic fringes harken to a time when the ace faces swaggered along Carnaby St. in search of illusive attire inspired by French cinema, ivy leaguers and rude boys. Today, their destination is clear. Pretty Green are more than a clothing brand, they’re the personification of an aesthetic.”
Words: Robert J Railton
Reference – ‘Godstar’ : Psychic TV (vinyl single 1985)
Top 3 Pieces
Pretty Green is not normally one of those brands I would consider myself to be a fan of, but after attending the Spring Summer 17 show, I had discovered a brand full of visuals that really tapped into my world of appeal.
Everything has been revamped, styles were throwing a huge nod back to the glorious days of Mod Britain subculture with a swinging nod to the cult of the 90’s Brit Pop era.
Silk Scarves were a plenty this season and my word were they a treat to behold. Glorious paisley patterns embellished with the Pretty Green branding in gorgeous mustard yellows and various shades of grey. Skinny fit, ever so long and tasselled ends draws the eye from neck to naval in a beautifully understated sense of style. Words cannot describe the joys of receiving a wee sample in our gift bag of the scarf which I have been wearing more days now than I can count.
I was rather surprised but also overwhelmingly impressed with the collaboration that was ‘Pretty Green x John Smedley‘. These knitwear polo shirts drew me in as soon as I saw them and I find myself still dreaming about the striped mustard and white polo with Black collar today! When it comes to knitwear you cannot go wrong with John Smedley and to see these two British iconoclasts of fashion come together was a real treat for the eyes.
My final must have has to be this contemporary take on the houndstooth print. A beautiful short sleeve shirt with open collar in shape with such neatness in the cut drew me in based on the effortlessly clean silhouette it produces which is juxtaposed from the almost grungy and blurred houndstooth print they opted for. A beautiful blend of Mod meeting Modern Man which I believe should be a staple in every mans wardrobe.
Top 3 List: Harry J Bartlett
I have been living in London for around 2 months now. Still career hunting but somehow surviving. So far all is grand but christ on a bike I would love some British Legal Tender to come my way soon.
Anyway, today is not a day to be a Moaning Minnie, the sun is shining and after last nights deep clean of my bedroom, I now feel like I have a rather respectable place to rest my weary head.
I’ve been on the prowl for some weird and wonderful things to make my room feel less like an old 90’s office space with a bed dumped in and more like a boudoir of kitsch and colourful fixtures and so far I have been blessed with some treasures.
My good friend (and talented artist) Robert kindlyencapsulated my sub-par handsomeness and taste for tack and presented it in a beautiful little art piece for me. This lovely little portrait was kindly gifted as “something for the wall” in the new residence.
Those of you keep up to speed with my adventures on Instagram, you will probably have seen Robert appear a few times with me in Street Style photographs taken at various seasons of London Collections: Men usually in unplanned but rather complimentary attire. We have dubbed ourselves as the Artful Dodger and Fagin of fashion.Robert’s motivations were to capture the self assembly spirit of street style, using collage and mixed media materials to emulate the sense of the subjects dress style; colour texture etc.
“As a subject, I appreciate individualism maverick spirit, i’m fascinated when i recognize traits of historical figures and icon characters in my muses…Harry is a mix of 80’s pop frivolity, regency dandy and matinee idol – a child of the Blitz Generation.”
I would strongly recommend checking out Robert’s other works: http://www.saatchiart.com/rjrailton and to get an idea of his many inspirations and escapades, check out his Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/robertjohnrailton/
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my friend spotted a video on YouTube where an A-Level photography class had used my “GLITCH” editorial as an artist of reference for a unit of work based on distortion.
George Robinson-White, teacher of Art & Photography at TAHS introduced the students to my work and me as a contemporary artist, looking at my unique take on photographic portraiture.
The students analysed my work and were asked to create their own interpretation of my glitch portraits as well as using me as a contemporary artist reference for their A-Level essays.
I’m flattered to know that my work is being shown to a new generation of potential photographers and artists. I didn’t expect my glitch series to be something students would study as part of an A-Level project or even to be referring to me as an artist.
After a brilliant pre-LCM show from Joshua Kane Bespoke (and an after party to match) it was time start London Collections: Men in proper fashion. I threw on my bright red Moschino sweater and a large hat to try and disguise my raging hangover and we were off!
First show of the season was Topman Design and what a bloody show to begin with. I was in pure ecstasy watching endless amounts of tall, young skinny creatures adorning large tartan suits and big oversized fur coats. It was a bizarre nostalgia trip with models sporting what looked like bowling shoes, western shirts, boiler suits and a whole lot of attitude while the video screen played some sort of acid trip not too dissimilar to The Beatles’ more “experimental” days. The video beautifully transitioned into different colours and shapes which complimented (or dare I say clashed) with the collection nicely. It was perfection watching Topman boldly and brashly capture a spectrum of cult clothing and key trends of yesteryear, from the punk movement to the mod scene and with teddy boy fit coats and all the charm of Marlon Brando in the film The Wild One. And Oh The music! With the song Crazy Horses being blasted out with such ferocity it was clear to see why everyone was bobbing there heads and tapping their feet and thinking about ‘the good old days’ of the seventies.
You can find my other mini reviews from London Collections: Men on the Atlas Magazine website.