Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Long Time Coming: Burberry's Eyewear Campaign

I'm so excited to finally be able to share this video with you all! Today marks the release of Burberry's first instalment of their latest eyewear campaign featuring my lovely and talented friends, One Night Only and their exclusive music video for new single, 'Long Time Coming'.

The Christopher Bailey-curated video is quintessential Burberry; classic, stylish, achingly cool, and of course featuring British talent. Christopher Bailey's championing of young British creatives, and in particular musicians, really shines through in this latest campaign which will see four bands release an exclusive new video each week this month. One Night Only's 'Long Time Coming' is the first video of the series, other participating acts include up-and-comers Daydream Club, Life in Film and Marika Hackman. All tracks will be available to buy on iTunes.

The sunglasses themselves are a new, Burberry [read: check arms] take on the classic aviator and will cost you around £180 to pick up.

The Yorkshire lads have a long history of working with the luxury heritage brand, frontman George Craig first became the face of Burberry at the tender age of 18 and as brand ambassadors the band continue to play live shows for Burberry, including at their most recent summer Serpentine ball. I caught up with George Craig earlier for his thoughts on fronting his fourth major campaign for the brand..

The Sculpted Heel - Christopher Bailey has always been a huge supporter of you, what does it mean to you and the band to be working with Burberry again?
George Craig - "It's such a massive privilege to still be associated with the brand after so many years. It means a lot to the band as it really gives us such huge exposure to [Burberry's] 12 million-plus digital fan base."

TSH - Tell me about your new album, is this the first track?
GC - "This isn't the lead track, it's just a single that we are so proud of. It's for the fans really, they deserve something as good as this. Long Time Coming is just the first step in a long process, we just want to keep releasing quality stuff and moving forward."

TSH - That's very exciting, when can we expect the track to be released?
GC - "The release date is May 4th worldwide."

TSH - I know you've DJed for Burberry all over the world as a brand ambassador, will you be performing any live gigs for them for this campaign? Do you know where you'll be jetting off to?
GC - "I don't know where I'm DJing next but it's always such a good night. I think we are doing a show in Paris on the day of the release. "

If you can't make it to 'gay Paree' fear not, the ONO boys will also be touring the UK later this month so for your chance to catch them live in action check out dates and tickets here.

Follow me on twitter for by-the-minute updates.

Lana Del Rey Goes Gangsta's Moll

Lana Del Rey has joined forces with rapper A$AP Rocky to feature on a track for producer duo The KickDrums' to promote their new mixtape which is released this week. While it seems release has been delayed due to A$AP greedily wanting the track all for himself, The KickDrums cunningly released a teaser clip to get you all excited about the collab (and their mixtape), have a listen below..

The combination of two hyped-up music stars, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and the defiant, rose-tinted, drug haze of a video ensure 'Ridin' will be a hit across the board - when it's eventually released that is..

More soon.

Bill Cunningham New York

I had the good fortune of catching a screening of Bill Cunningham New York at the quaint Curzon Mayfair cinema this week. The documentary film tells the story of the life of legendary fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham who pioneered what we now know as street style photography and continues to contribute greatly to the world of fashion well into his eighth decade.

If you loved industry insider documentaries 'The Met Ball' or 'The September Issue' then this is definitely not one to miss; the tale of a true fashion legend, 'Bill Cunningham New York' offers insight into the lonely and closed-off world of this bicycyle-riding maverick, New York Times photographer and cultural anthropologist.

Getting his start as a milliner in Manhattan, Cunningham was soon drafted into the army and upon his return made his living as a columnist for WWD. It was not until the 1960's when he was given his first camera that he began to take photographs of stylish people he saw on the streets of New York. Bill admits that he is not a skilled photographer and views himself as more of a documentarian - he simply takes pictures of what he sees on the front lines of fashion.

What comes across most clearly about Cunningham is how incredibly pure and selfless he is in his pursuit of style, refusing to accept money or "even a glass of water" for his work for fear of losing objectivity, he is objective to the point of being removed completely. It is perhaps this outdated romanticism that makes him so utterly charming to the viewer. A remarkably sweet man whose unrelenting sunny disposition clearly touched the lives of all who have worked with him, interviews from fashion notables and New York legends such as Iris Apfel and Anna Wintour as well as downtown drag queens, round out this fascinating film. Everything you need to know about Cunningham's influence on fashion is perhaps best summed up by Wintour's famous quote, "we all get dressed for Bill."

The most heartwarming parts in this otherwise sad film are when the self-deprecating Cunningham receives well-deserved recognition for his contribution to fashion. For instance the octogenarian is shown waiting outside a fashion show brandishing his photographer's pass yet the young girl on the door takes no notice, when suddenly her superior pushes past her and grabs his arm to show him through scolding her with, "Please, he is the most important person on Earth." Not to mention his incredibly moving acceptance speech as he received the Legion D'Honneur from France in 2008 - I'm not scared to admit a few joyful tears rolled down my hardy cheeks.

An unbelievably dedicated individual, Cunningham spends his days riding his Schwinn bicycle around the streets of New York and his nights covering society parties for the New York Times - resolute in his convictions, the photographer maintains he only takes pictures of great style and never intentionally of a celebrity. Some prying on the part of the filmmaker towards the end of the film alludes to Cunningham's loneliness as he reflects on having dedicated his whole life to his pure pursuit and documentation of style in lieu of ever having had a romantic relationship with another person. It seems as though he was a product of his era, his devout Christian upbringing superseded his homosexuality and he channelled his passion obsessively into fashion - his tiny studio apartment in Carnegie hall is heart-wrenchingly piled high with nothing but filing cabinets which house every photograph he has ever taken, surely a candidate for the subject of an upcoming Met retrospective if ever I saw one?

I definitely recommend seeing the documentary as soon as possible, it really is the most utterly charming and refreshing film in the face of today's largely ugly, celebrity-oriented, money-driven industry. If you're looking for something to inspire and awaken true creativity then you can buy the DVD, which was released this week, here.

More soon.
Follow me on twitter for by-the-minute updates.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Team Stella

Since she introduced her first collaboration with Adidas in 2004, yogalates-obsessed fashionistas the world over have been thanking their lucky stars that Stella finally answered the dreaded question, 'why can't you look chic when you sweat?' And now that her success with Adidas has reached dizzying heights and her designs for team GB's kit for the upcoming Olympic games have been revealed, McCartney's reign as designer sportswear queen is not set to fade any time soon.

The designer took centre stage - wearing a look from her own Spring/Summer 2012 collection, naturally - in a ceremony at the iconic Tower Bridge last week to unveil the sleek new uniforms on the Olympic hopefuls themselves.

While you may be forgiven for thinking the uniforms aren't particularly fashion forward, Stella told the audience that many factors such as strict Olympic regulations, shapes which enhance athletic performance, suggestions from the athletes themselves, and of course a quintessential 'British' feel all contributed to the lengthy design process. When asked about the kit McCartney noted that she enjoyed bringing a "feminine touch"; this is the first time female athletes have their own specially-designed tracksuit where previously they simply wore the men's tracksuit in a smaller size. Regardless of what happens this July, it looks like Great Britain has already won gold in the fashion stakes.

More soon.