Tag Archives: Fashion

The growth of a foetus depicted through fashion, Helen and Katie Storey’s updated 1997 Primitive Streak collection in Sheffield

18 Apr

 Fashion meets biology in a creation of 27 dresses artfully depicting the key developments during the first 1,000 hours of human life.

Originally designed and made by two sisters 14 years ago, the ‘Primitive Streak’ collection is the art work of artist/designer Helen Storey and biologist Kate Storey. Together they made a collection which stylises the intricate processes each of us went through in the womb.

Talking to BBC’s Radio 4 Helen said that it was difficult at first and she felt paralysed by the project. But her sister saw it as “an extraordinary thing to be able to convey this process to as many different parts of the community as possible…I had a very unique opportunity, with Helen working in the fashion industry, to reach a completely different audience.”

With new pieces, including the ‘Lung Dress,’ a sample of them went on tour. They were showcased in Sheffield, Newcastle and London and have previously been to eight countries since 1997.

1) From day one. The ‘Sperm Coat’ represents, as the name suggests, fertilisation. Helen said she, “had to wait for biology to show me what to do.” This led to 105 hours of embroidery onto a fabric which was dissolved in water and this extremely delicate coat was born.

2) From day one. The ‘Anaphase’ dress is made from silk, mirrored paper and viscose jersey. Together they show cell division where the cell and DNA multiplies.

3) 5-6 days. The ‘Implantation’ dress shows the embryo (the white part) embedding in the womb (the black part). This causes the development of the placenta, creating a direct line to the mother’s nutrients.4) 12-14 days. This piece is where the collection got its name, Kate says this is because, “Primitive Streak is a really pivotal structure in the embryo”. This is where the internal organs and tissues are made from a cell layer called Mesoderm. This is formed when cells crawl from the top layer of the cell through a groove in the Primitive Streak, making the new layer in the middle. The Primitive Streak is represented by two metallic sheets which feed into the central black groove at the back of the dress. The gold metallic fabric is the Mesoderm emerging.

5-6) From day 20. The ‘Heart Bird’ dress is one in a series showing foetal heart development. This dress is made from crin and shows how the different chambers form. The shape of the dress is held by nylon wires and the heart was made by pulling fabric over a shaped wooden block.

7) 22-25 days. The ‘Neurulation’ dress is made from white fake fur and it shows how the central nervous system forms. A sheet of cells called the Neural Plate roll up into a tube which will develop into the brain and spinal cord.

8 ) From day 24. The ‘Limb Formation’ dress is made from an artist’s primed canvas. Chloe Sendall painted the expanding limb buds in oils to show the start of arms and legs growing on the four week old foetus.

9) 28 days to birth. The ‘Lung Dress’ shows how our lungs develop from two small buds branching out. This dress is made from soft, shiny sponge and the branching is printed onto the velvet and chiffon wing like lungs.

10) From day 33. The final dress in the exhibition is the ‘Spinal Column’ dress which is made from a patterned fabric and a resin cast spine. This was hand plated with foil and 8,000 fibre optic endings, representing the nerves extending out to the body, are threaded through.

This collection saw new life brought to an old project which Helen and her sister are still passionate about, “we’ve gone from the bleeding obvious, in some cases, to something of great complexity. We’ve tried to use fashion as a way to bring that to life.”


By Sarah Walters

For a larger view of the photos click on the picture

Galliano Fashion Show is a Go Go

7 Mar

Despite the controversy surrounding John Galliano and the anti-semitic comments he made in a Paris café his fashion show still went ahead at Paris Fashion Week. He was absent from the show and it was low key in a small Parisian townhouse. The show featured 19 looks which is significantly smaller than what is usually shown at a catwalk show.

By Sarah Walters

photo sourced from here

Galliano Sacked for Anti-Semitism

1 Mar

1 March 2011: 19:32

John Galliano, a British fashion designer, has been sacked by Dior after he allegedly made anti-Semitic comments in a Paris café last week.

Video footage was posted online and showed him making racist comments on Thursday to Philippe Virgiti, 41, and Géraldine Bloch, 35 at café La Perle. He was later arrested and suspended by Dior the following day pending police investigations.

Old footage also emerged of him telling a waitress: “People like you would be dead today – your mothers, your forefathers would be f****** gassed” and stating his love for Hitler. This was from December and also at Le Perle.

His lawyer says he denies these claims but chief executive of Dior, Sidney Toledano, said the comments “totally contradict the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior” in a statement made earlier today.

Galliano’s dismissal comes on the first day of Paris fashion week and it remains uncertain if his show, scheduled for Friday, will still go ahead.

The video footage from December can be found on The Sun’s website here.

By Sarah Walters

Photo and information were sourced through BBC news. The original URL can be found here.

Details of those involved and the cafe were found from The Telegraph. The original URL can be found here.

The Oscars 2011: The fashion expert and the blogger on the red carpet outfits

1 Mar

The Oscars have just been and stuttering down the red carpet was the usual swathe of dolled up celebrities tottering on designer heals and squeezing into skin tight dresses. So aside from that little golden man everybody wants adorning their outfits what did the A-Listers do to stand out from their peers?

As a fashion novice I have given some unknowledgable opinions from a real person. But, for the fashionistas out there I’ve invited fashion student Lydia Gardiner to give her professional and technical views on the outfits with details of who they were designed by and how they were constructed.


Before shocking the audience by throwing an f-bomb into her speech Melissa Leo donned the doily look and brought a sexy edge to our Nan’s favourite croched accessory. On Oscar night she looked sleek and elegant with a simple up do and natural makeup. This was a definite contrast from her gritty, bleach blonde character in The Fighter, for which she won best supporting actress. Pairing simple gold shoes and accessories with the exceptionally detailed dress Melissa pulled off a classy look to suit both her age and style.

 Lydia’s view: “In my opinion, the Marc Bouwer custom made dress comes across as a rip off of Marchesa from their spring/Summer collection shown at New York Fashion Week (bottom right). Melissa’s dress is intricately beautiful but is ruined by the high collar and low V-neck. the dress appears heavy which takes away from the delicacy of the laser-cut design which would have taken hours to produce even using the right machinery. But, she has accessorised well with Jay Carlile jewels.”





 Well known for her eclectic fashion sense Helena Bonham Carter did not fail to impress. Wearing an outfit more reminiscent of her part in Sweeny Todd than the multi award winning film The King’s Speech she stayed true to her gothic taste and presented herself in a simple, black gown with a velvet corset. Backing the Brits all the way of course she proudly showed off her patriotic pins.


Lydia’s veiw: “Although the corset is beautifully constructed the dress is almost conservative and nondescript which I feel is explained by Helena’s statement: “I thought it would be nice to celebrate film instead of fashion.” However, the corset would have taken hours to make with its small panels, V-neck and the sleeves alone look as if they have five or six panels each. The designer of the dress, Colleen Atwood, was the costume designer for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and you can definately see the stunning corsetry she made for the film may have inspired this dress for Helena.”


Back from Underland Anne Hathaway decided to outshine the world famous red carpet and showcased a scarlet Valentino gown with lips to match. This ruched and bubbled number certainly showed off her tall, slender frame by moulding perfectly to her figure. Most likely impossible to sit in Miss Hathaway had seven outfits for the night including Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood showing her wealth and broad fashion sense.

 Lydia’s view: “This Archive Haute couture Valentino gown is timeless with princess darts and multiple darts in the back to create a to die for silhouette. But, I do feel that the floral rosette appliqué detail is very much lost because of the colour and gives the dress a slightly frumpy and messy look.”




 Veering away from the traditional penguin and morning suits Josh Brolin and best actor nominee Javier Bardem shone out in white while presenting the Oscars for best original and best adapted screenplay.

 Lydia’s view: “In this photograph the men are wearing matching white/cream suits which in some lights appear to have a vague pink hue. The suits are well tailored with flawless topstitching, welt pockets, five small buttons on the button stands and a single button on the centre front. The only noticable difference is on the lapels; Brolin’s are traditional whereas Bardem’s have a slight curve. These suits contrast the dark ones they wore on the red carpet with Bardem in black Gucci and Brolin in navy.”


While the sapphire blue sequined dress stood out it was not the sparkles that drew people’s eyes to Amy Adams but rather the £800,000 ($1.35m) worth of jewellery which graced the front of it. Opting for a simple, wavy hairstyle and lightly made up face Amy was no shrinking violet and chose an outfit which brings to mind the Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace from Titanic.


Lydia’s view: “I don’t know which glittered more, Amy’s combined 63.99-carat emeralds or the beautiful L’Wren Scott midnight-blue sequined gown. The dress is so form fitting that it could have been inspired by Oscar himself. Both the patterns and the garment are so well made that the dress fits as a second skin with the skirt splitting at the side and more fullness from the knees down. The stunning Cartier emerald necklace gives the impression of a lower neckline.”


 By Sarah Walters

All Oscars pictures were sourced from BBC news. The original URL can be found through this Link.

The Marchesa dress photos were taken from Vogue. The original URL can be found through this Link.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Plus Size Shopper

1 Feb

Our People

January is drawing to a close and the post Christmas sales are dwindling so I, like thousands of others, hit the high street to find the latest bargain which would have been easy, if I were a size 8.

What I learnt from the sale rail is that finding an end of season bargain is more of a chore than a shopping spree when you fall into the category of the average dress size. I flicked coat hanger after coat hanger aside trying to find something to fit my size 14/16 form and even when I managed to hunt something down the style really was not flattering, there were frills and ruffles in just the right places to accentuate my wibbly bits. One particularly confusing dressing room experience involved me trying to get into what I thought was a bubble dress but turned out to be a pantaloon suit. After trying and failing to get my head through the leg hole I gave up and inspected the garment. I was feeling daring so I tried it on anyway but it’s safe to say I looked more like a jester than a fashionable young adult. There’s a reason why such clothing is reduced to clear.

But, sales aside, shopping for jeans can be just as complicated. There are straight leg, boot cut and skinny to name just a few so when that time comes around I push my patience to the limit trying on different styles and sizes. The boot cut is usually a 16 but can leave it baggy on my booty where as the wide legs are a 14 but gives me a lovely muffin top, at least there’s no need to buy a belt.

Despite the trials of shopping my wardrobe is not left empty, patience, perseverance and knowing what suits me means I don’t have to favour the baggy jeans and oversize t-shirt look. There are no pantaloons though.

By Sarah Walters

%d bloggers like this: