Granted, it’s not the most eloquent interview I have ever given but in my defence, it was far more humid than my outfit suggests and I had just arrived to LFWM 2 minutes before I was hunted down for this interview.
Watch the interviews to see Robin James hunt down some of his fun finds at London Fashion Week Men’s. Robin is a men’s style, grooming and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber. He’s definitely worth a watch so have a gander at his channel and get inspired by his videos. https://www.youtube.com/ManForHimself
Yesterday was bloody hectic getting everything organised for today’s shows.
Lots of stress and running around but my god, the collections are stunning !
There are a lot of beautiful garments that I want to put pictures of online but I can’t, after the show anything goes so if you haven’t had chance to see the show, you will get a chance to see some of my personal highlights.
Here’s a few cheeky teasers I think I can get away with;
For those of you who may not have heard of Willam, he was one of the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4 and he made a real storm in the competition, hilarious statements, witty comebacks, brilliant reading and the controversial ‘What did Willam do?!” which was the talk of the show after he was disqualified from competition. Others may know him as 1/3 of the “Chow Down (at Chick-Fil-A) Queens, a brilliant parody to Wilson Phillips’ Hold On in which Willam (accompanied by Detox and Vicky Vox) sing a satirical protest/advertisement of the Chick-Fil-A fast food chains discrimination towards homosexuality. Willam has done it all; singing, drag, an actor in both film and television and an overall entertainer.
- HJB: Being an actor and Drag Queen/Female Impersonator, what was it that drew you towards fame?
- WB: I love free stuff. Free pizza, free shoes, etc. People give you money to perform too and that’s really the ticket too sometimes. I do drag because sketching on paper wasn’t enough anymore. It’s just a form of art (but imagine me holding the makeup brush like Terry Schiavo lol).
- HJB: Watching you on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, I noticed you had a lot of designer outfits, these included; Versace & Vivienne Westwood. Why do you feel fashion is important to you and what draws you to an item of clothing/accessory the most?
- WB: It’s intimidating to most people so I wear it as a sort of armor and badge. Most of my designer stuff is on sale or gifted from pantysniffers or on loan.
- HJB: If you had to describe your style in 3 words, how would describe your drag persona and your day-to-day attire?
- WB: Polished Whore Clown
- HJB: What are your 3 big tips to style an outfit correctly?
- WB: Make sure the shoes match. BLACK DOES NOT GO WITH EVERYTHING GODDAMMIT. Get a good day bag in a statement color. Don’t wear panties or stocking that leave lines underneath a garment. It ruins any sort of clean line and illusion. Also to see what not to do- check out Willam’s Beatdown every Friday here.http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNPL3cfGC9BgfWDoq9rb2-mjO-z9I-7d3
- HJB: If you could only wear 1 designer for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?’
- WB: Balmain’s sense of luxury while remaining in touch with the street is the utmost of everything to me
- HJB: Finally, is there anything you wish to plug?
- WB: Get my album at www.willambelli.com/shop and follow the shitshow that is Willam on twitter @willambelli
Model: Harry J Bartlett
“I have always been a huge fan of flowers. They have provided me with so many inspirations. The series shows the inspirations from the plants, as well as my interpretations of the unique personalities of individual models. The project captures the beauty and my fantasy of nature. Each piece tells the different stories of the plants in the portraits from my point of view.” – Henry
I always love discovering great artists and love it even more so when you are a feature in the art itself.
The portraits are truly beautiful and I recommend you check them out
Louise Gray presents NOW WHAT, her Spring/Summer 2013 collection focussing on a variation of newsprint, and abstract graphics, and quilted devore. Also featuring were Louise’s personal doodles appearing on shift dresses and androgynous tailoring, as well as beautiful yet edgy silhouettes, showing both the soft and sharp sides of femininity. With a 90s vibe, the collection presented an eclectic mish-mash of print, fabric, and shape.
This was the first show I had seen at the Topshop Showspace and firstly, what an amazing reception, greeted by the fabulous Topshop Café serving a variation of hot and cold drinks (I opted for champagne) and away we were into the show.
The room was packed to the rafters with fans eagerly anticipating Gray’s collection. As the room fell into darkness, a powerful burst of music penetrated the room with a thumping base and a deep beat. The first modelled appeared with a phenomenal opening look- beautifully bright coloured clothing, a stunning pair of shoes, vampy side quaffed hair, and amazing accessories and jewellery.
Even the goody bags were incredible! Gray’s current collaboration with Barbie, who indeed sponsored this show and the front row gifts, meant we received a Barbie doll that takes photographs and projects them onto her t-shirt (what dedicated follower of fashion, or child for that matter, wouldn’t want that?).
Now, I am new to the name ‘Louise Gray’, but after watching this impeccable collection, I’m excited to continue following Gray’s progression. Definite one to watch!
Words | Harry J Bartlett
Charles Rufus Felix Speed, known better to you and me as Charley Speed, Models 1 superstar and judge on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model.
I met Charley at Clothes Show Live, I had the pleasure to work backstage dressing the contestants of BINTM for their catwalk shows. It was there where I was beckoned to sew a button onto a jacket by Mr Speed himself. Yelling at me in a joking fashion for my lack of home economic skills (but an appreciation of my fashion). It was after this harrowing first acknowledgement, (he referred to me as a “helmet”) when I started talking to Charley between shows (as he immersed himself into his Bad Piggies app on his phone) which seemed to be the only free time we had.
I managed to squeeze in a quick interview around all the chaos of hair & beauty, the frantic dressing of the BINTM girls and the management team yelling out show times and requirements.
- HJB: How did you become involved in the fashion industry?
- CS: A really good friend of mine (while I was still at Art & Design college) sent photographs in to some competition she saw on a kids TV show, well, a saturday morning TV show called Massive… I think. Then she told me about it and then the first I knew of it is that they wanted to see me and I went to see them as I was art Art & Design college doing… not much. They said “You can do it part time or full time, we think you’ve got a really good look for right now, if you do it full time we think you’re gonna do pretty well”. So I just thought i’d go for it. It was a chance to travel and all sorts.
- HJB: What was the biggest campaign you were involved in?
- CS: One of my very first campaigns within about three or four months of signing with Models 1 was Calvin Klein which was pretty much international. Times Square with Kate Moss, it was everywhere. Then I went on to do another three campaigns with him and Kate and thats what cemented me.
- HJB: So how did you get involved with Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model?
- CS: Essentially, the winner of the show traditionally gets a contract with Models 1 who are my agency and who are the ones who first signed me up. Back when [Lisa] Snowdon was doing it, I think they wanted to get a new judge on the panel and they came to Models 1 to perhaps get a male model on and they rounded a few of us up who’d had a lot of experience and I just went through the interview process, screen tested with her. They really liked me but eventually at the last minute, the money-men went “Oh, lets get someone a bit more flamboyant”. Thankfully, they called me back again when Elle Macpherson took over, so in a way it was a blessing in disguise and then I got another two years with Elle and the show was elevated by the time I joined.
- HJB: If you could work with any designer for a show, who would it be and why?
- CS: [Pause] Thats a difficult question. I haven’t modelled properly like that for years, when I was modelling, if someone had asked me who haven’t you worked for, that would be an easier question. And thats not me showing off, I just kind of… When you’re an ‘it’ model, you work for everyone! Erm, I always love modelling for Gucci when Tom Ford was at the helm because he kinda, really reinvigorated the brand. He brought back that classic, lovely tapered, well-cut suit and I opened countless shows for him which is a big thing when you’re a model. Opening shows is kinda cool, there’s a bit of a prestige to it and he was such a charming man to work with and having seen his visual work to his film, I’ve just got so much respect for him. I did drama when I was younger and I have an affiliation with that. So it’s gotta be Tom Ford.
- HJB: If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
- CS: Probably the same answer. I should really say a British designer, and I have a huge respect and love for Saville Row and that tradition that goes back such a long time. There is nothing like a bespoke suit. There are so many brands that I like in that respect. Erm… I’m sorry guys, i’ve given them a plug and I adore Saville Row, I love Richard James, I love Richard James Custom, it’s very cool and i’ve worked with him a lot, but i’m going with Tom Ford man, as its just my style.
- HJB: While on the topic of suits, what are your three rules of ‘How To Wear A Suit’?
- CS: I don’t really have any rules, I mean, make sure it fits properly man. Ok, there’s also the obvious things about cufflinks, just the right amount of cufflinks showing below the suit jacket. I personally like a slim-fitting suit. Anything thats boxy, forget it! You know what, you can buy off the peg suits very reasonably priced and you can find tailors who will take them in for you for like fifteen quid. Yeah? They’ll just pinch the back and it will transform it. Those are my best tips.
- HJB: Thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure.
- CS: You are most welcome.
I can honestly say that Charley Speed is a very open and friendly man, he seemed well up for a laugh and didn’t seemed fussed by the hustle bustle that was going on around him.
I loved working with Charley and the Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model girls and would love to work with him again on another project…
If you’re reading this Mr Speed, contact me !
[Photography: Nicole Gomes – www.facebook.com/NicoleGomesPhotography]