style brick road

Friday, 31 October 2014

Beats and Howls

There is an element of spirit of a particular place, beyond the obvious one - being surrounded by arts and living in constant contact is why creative souls move places, in the hopes of becoming surrounded by all the peers and other creative souls. However, there is also this element of pure atmospheric magic, nothing particular yet maybe the spirits of the past creatives surrounding us. No, I'm not going all Halloween/spiritual on you - I am just trying to explain some points of personal thoughts. Both to you and myself.

This kind of haunting spirit in the air has been coming to my mind for the past few weeks - the rebellious yet artistically positive joy that has possessing all of my being. The outburst of these kinds of moments happened when I was walking around Kensington few weeks back, just randomly strolling out and about that stunning neighbourhood, and seeing a book-shop sale with '£2 ALL' cardboard in front of it. As a sucker for good deals, I already grabbed my 'History of Jazz' book, but continued ogling a few other titles with one extremely stunning graphic cover and a big 'HOWL' on top of it. The name behind the content was Allen Ginsberg, a literary name I heard of before - but couldn't really put it in any particular period/genre. Taking a book in my hand and randomly eye-browsing were the next steps, with a few interesting sentences catching my mind. I still ended up thinking - 'Argh, too bad is a book of poems', putting the book back and continuing my stroll inside the stunning alleys of the French area.

Yet, a set of words were stuck in my mind 'I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness', with a set of distinctive descriptions of those best minds - intensely and individually sorrow but never lacking of affection. Although I made a great mistake of not picking up that amazing title from the rack (I returned a few days later and it was - of course - gone), I was able to follow up thanks to Google and get my head around the whole story behind it. The set of words were from the cult (obviously) poem named howl Howl, by Allen Ginsberg - a poet was part of the first Beat Generation, a no-rules, rebellious yet very bohemic group of people that were against all of the norms. Although extremely American-driven (as most of it authors were NYC-based), the Beat Generation has not only been a huge part of the 50s and 60s artistic movements all around the globe, but also still is somewhat of a strong base for many contemporary tendencies in all kinds of areas. 

Googling not only allowed me to reconcile with my wish to read the complete version of Howl, but also to see what and who the movement was about. I could honestly talk/write for days about it, naming people and stating facts - but you have the web-browser for that. The fact that stunned me the most and is the one I wanted to translate into the visual part of this blog was about how the public interpreted the Beat Generation, a more superficial aspect of the movement based on turtlenecks, striped t-shirts and bad posture - a media stereotype I would arguably name the50s/60s version of hipsters (who are also mentioned in Howl). Intellectual, tall and slim - all vain descriptions, yet perfectly depicting the mentioned stereotype of the rebellious new generation - the beatniks. It wasn't all about the high-waisted pants and the lean figures (although miss Alexa Chung has made them back in), it was also about the attitude, the I-don't-care yet I-know-everything way of pushing your own ideas. That kind of spirit has been possessing me for the past few weeks, so I decided to let my own stereotypical version of a sub-culture I will never be a part of, come out and shine. I let myself be a rebel, a beatnik for one day - just before I went back to being a geek.

Happy Halloween! xx
Allen Ginsberg (on the left) with Bob Dylan (on the right)
Lady beatnik - Audrey Hepburn as the spacey Jo Stockton in Funny Face
Mick Jagger
A set of beat(nik)s - how Beatles rolled (in their roll-necks)
Steve McQueen as the masculine, buff vision in a 'beatnik uniform'
Andy Warhol's Interview 80's days
Max Calvin turtleneck, Her Curious Nature cap, Cheap Monday jeans, Massimo Dutti blazer, Asos boots, Giant Vintage sunglasses, Daniel Wellington watch

ps. The winners of the Giant Vintage 3rd Bday Giveaway have been e-mailed, so everyone who entered - please check your e-mail inbox folders! ;)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

3-Year Itch

And then there were 3. 3 years of Style Brick Road. A place where style meets fashion. (note to self: that description has to go!)

When I opened this little online destination, I was an 18-year-old kid, not aware of the fashion industry or how it works. (Un)Fortunately, today I am 3 years older with a 3-year-old experience, and moments like ELLE Croatia and London Fashion Week under my wing. 

So, I want to take this blog-a-versary to express my gratitude for everything that has been happening in the past 36 months, and congratulate you for baring with me all those words and images. 

Yet, it somehow feels quite fake celebrating at the moment, just because my current state of mind isn’t there. AT ALL. I know it’s not birthday-appopriate but SBR has been an honest place for me from the beginning, so I want to express my feelings of the moments as well.

Moving away from your home is hard. Moving away from your country is harder. Coping with all of the challenges (that I sugar-coatedly call challenges but in fact are real-life f*ck-yous in your face) without your home to go to, without a support you have been developing for the past 21 years. It’s f*cking hard. At the moment, I am having a big ball of anxiety deep inside, from the frustration of not being able to find a job, of not being able to live on my own, for not being able to be independent. This shouldn’t be a pity party, but a birthday party, yet I somehow ended up being a Debby Downer with a big gray cloud over my head. And I know it’s just a momentary crisis that will pass soon, and how other people have greater problems – but these are mine and this is what I have to deal with.

SO. Let’s toast to the past 3 years, and for the next 33 – in this wonderful galaxy named the Internet, and a planet named Style Brick Road. This year, without a cake or champagne, because I'm in London - where there's no mommy to bake a cake, and even a children champagne costs a fortune.

+ An exciting surprise (because no bday is a bday without a surprise, even this half-depressing one)
I’m a sunglasses guy, and it’s a 3rd bday, and 3 is a perfect number – in collaboration with Giant Vintage Sunglasses, I am giving 3 sets of $30 coupons for the luckiest 3 readers of Style Brick Road. If you check out their site and you’ll see they ship worldwide and you can get quite a few pairs out of that $30 coupon.
All you need to do is follow Giant Vintage on Instagram (if you don't have it, it's free to open and click that follow button :) and like Style Brick Road on Facebook (see details below) and you’re in! ps. The giveaway is WORLDWIDE and will close on (in the spirit of numbers) 30th October!

Good luck xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wearing H&M jeans (find similar jeans) and scarf, Asos Mickey Mouse sweatshirt (find similar t-shirt),  Zara shoes,  Fjällräven backpack, Giles and Brother bracelet, Daniel Wellington watch, Giant Vintage sunglasses, Dioralop vest and S&H Athletics jacket

HAPPY B-DAY TO STYLE BRICK ROAD! < 3

Monday, 20 October 2014

Coolness(T)

There have been several moments when I absolutely hated the fact I was part of social media, some including personal and others including very non-personal moments, but the moment when I realise how great that virtual galaxy really helps and means to me are much more long-lasting. One of those appeared recently, while a past school-mate shared a photo of the project she started. To be honest, I always knew she was into design and fashion (hence her chic school styles), but has never really realised she was into creating fashion. How clueless I were...

I get quite frustrated when I try to explain how this project went on (which is definitely not a good thing for an aspiring writer), just because it is an exhibition within a platform within a project within an association. Quite boring, and very Croatian.
So, basically Croatian Designer's Association (HDD) has launched a platform named Design Tourism back in 2012, to encourage the most lucrative sector in Croatia (hello, sea!) and team up interesting design ideas to freshen things up a bit. Interestingly, this year's inspiration came from the fact that Sun and sea are the most dominant touristic factors, so they asked product designers to come up with a 'work in progress' project that is either a creative and solution for an existing problem or a new product on its own, inspired by the Sun.

So, inspired by the (over)exposure to the sun and all its effects, Luka Šola, a Vienna-based Fine Arts student (and that high-school colleague of mine), teamed up with a fellow Viennese-Croat Matea Ban into a duo named SoBa to develop a both visually stunning and useful product of the future. Probably every person that has been going to the seaside remembers the fridge-bags that were a must-have on its way to the beach - to have a fresh bottle of water or a cooled out apple/watermelon/insert a fruit, or maybe just so the chocolate doesn't melt. Everyone must have experienced the moment when your lip-balm melted because it was exposed to the sun. Well, those kind of situations transcribed themselves into a truly original idea of elevating that vanished piece of 'accessory' and creating a true fashion statement. 

With a vibe of a Chanel-backpack and those hand-woven Etsy bracelets, yet with a true utility factor in mind, they created Coolness(T), a bag that acts like an insulation for anything you can fit in it. Cold stays cold, and hot stays hot - the three layers (including a double-sided aluminium foil as the interchangeable middle factor) make sure the content doesn't change it's temperature or consistency. Yes, all this tech-y convo makes you think of something very basic looking - just because it's useful. Well, the girls didn't stop after creating something useful, but played around with its design, embracing the utility side of it, yet playing against it in the colourful weaving and a tiny buoy that is once again both useful and an animated touch. It's also important to mention that the bag is very resistant and waterproof due to its plastic textile, and good in size. The images for this proto-product also have my high-school written all over it, as Luka was the photographer and her (and mine!) colleague Kristina Vrdoljak quite professionally modelled through this stellar set of shots that showcased the abilities of the Coolness(T) bag (which is also intelligently named, so kudos for the branding bit as well) to the fullest.

In the end, it's important to say this product is still in the 'final prototype' phase, yet I definitely expect of SoBa to develop it fully. It would be a true waste not to complete such an interesting idea and create a cool fashion souvenir of the Croatian coast that would be worn around to world. Good luck girls!! PS. If you are interested in these or have any kind of enquiries, you can find their contact sat Coolness(T) project page & their facebook page.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Just Press Play

Once again, I am remembering the words of the old-school editors saying 'London was all about bringing the elite to the underground' - both literally and figuratively speaking. And Fyodor Golan brought back a little bit of that old London to Spring/Summer 2015.

Graffitis in a semi-dark passage were the way to Waterloo Vaults, a venue filled with good energy but not with enough air (I was dripping sweat after the third look came out). For SS15 this British-based duo was inspired by the digital era and collaborated with Microsoft as a digital hero of theirs (this is their second time around) on creating a reversed pyramid in the middle of the room - projecting clouds and an instant moving image of the models walking on the runway (check the video out to get the idea). Clothes wise - the new romantics 2.0 vibe took over the entire look: neon colours joined with florals and pastels, reinventing the reinvention of the rave scene, hyper-modern textiles mixed with interesting furs. Crinoline-like silhouette really gave another dimension - throwing a bit of Marie Antoinette in the bunch, yet with the super-shoe (it looks like it has magical powers - besides looking awesome) it didn't look retro at all. It just looked like bunch of nu-rave youngsters whose parents are into classical music and going to galleries around Kensington. Like Made in Chelsea meets Skins, in TV-show language.

Whoever has been passing by this blog for quite some time now (3rd birthday coming up soon!) knows I'm a sucker for maximalism - a lot of stuff at the same place, all big, bold and out-there. That's exactly why I responded so positively to this collection that ended up with me wishing I had a penny to spare and buy myself one of their fur jackets or a holographic twinset (shown in both a male and female version, already worn by poppy diva Rita Ora). In the lack of pennies, I put together an outfit myself - taking inspiration from the textiles and silhouettes, but most importantly - the spirit of this collection which showed just how much Fyodor Podgorny & Golan Frydman know about textiles, and are not afraid to show that knowledge.

Viva la technology!
Thankies for the outfit photos go to my new UK-Cro-friend Roza Zanini
I'm wearing a Starstyling t-shirt, adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony faux fur jacket, Toywatch watch, Nike trainers, Cheap Monday jeans, Replay Vintage sunglasses and ebay hair scrunchie