The changing face of fashion photography

Guest post by Hafsa Hussain

In the fashion industry today, big changes have gradually occurred with the acceptance of all skin colours, body shapes and religions. No matter your background, the fashion industry is opening up to all possibilities and with the help of Edward Enninful, since becoming editor-in-chief of British Vogue at the end of 2017, he has pathed the way for creators of all genres to be part of the industry.

One young African American fashion photographer is making big strides in his career, in September last year Tyler Mitchell photographed Beyoncé at her most natural for American Vogue and has just premiered his first solo exhibition in Amsterdam at Foam. Tyler Mitchell is a talented man whose work is exploring his community and capturing people of colour. His photography style of inclusivity, vulnerability, natural and soft has many people adoring his images, including myself! Growing up I never thought the day would come when models wearing the hijab would be accepted in the top fashion magazines – globally. Tyler is already shaking the industry and I’m sure he has more to come! The exhibition will run until 5 June 2019 at  Foam Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam.

  

  

Tyler Mitchell @tylersphotos 

 

Brooklyn based fashion photographer, Renell Medrano gained popularity online showcasing raw and intimate images with Instagram icons and celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and is responsible for ASAP Ferg’s album covers. Starting off with film cameras, her touch of colour and impulsivity has attracted a lot of admiration on Instagram and the fashion industry alike. The March 2019 issue of Office Magazine shot Solange for their  maggazine cover and had all her followers celebrating her body of work. Renell’s style of photography has a way of capturing the youth beautifully in motion for future generations to see.

Renell Medrano @renellaice

 

Anastasiya Lisitsyna, from Russia, is a fashion photographer whose photos are wonderfully cinematographic, romantic and tender. She creates a moment in time playing with the natural light and sensuality on the skin of the model with a warm soft tone. Anastasiya’s work has been inspired a little by the French New Wave film movement and creates a beautiful and strong body of work. She allows the viewers to experience the closeness and tranquillity in her chosen women who have something to say.

 Anastasiya Lisitsyna @anastasia.lisitsyna

Furthermore, as we are talking about fashion photography the icons must be included. The British fashion photographer Nick Knight has always been powerful when pushing the boundaries and creating beautiful and innovative imagery. He has worked with an endless stream of A-listers and models globally including Kate Moss and Rihanna. Not limiting himself, Nick founded SHOWStudio which explores moving imagery and has revolutionised the industry pathing the way for new generations to take inspiration. His most recent work includes models Gigi Hadid and FieFie Sun on the first cover issue of Vogue Hong Kong in March, which was phenomenal and ground-breaking.

 

Nick Knight @nick_knight @showstudio 

Follow Hafsa on Instagram @hafsahussainphotography

Tips To Help You Improve Your Wardrobe

Having the desire to want to dress better and improve your wardrobe is a great goal. You’ll likely find that in the process of doing so you become more confident in yourself and with your appearance.

No longer will you be hiding from the world, but instead you’ll want to be seen and show off all of your new looks. This is your chance to completely rework your style and find options that truly allow you to stand out in a positive manner and help you make a statement about who you are. The following tips are going to allow you to accomplish this goal and figure out what outfits the best suit you.

Educate Yourself

It’s a wise idea to start by educating yourself about fashion and what looks and styles are trending. There’s a lot of information out there to guide you in making better choices and improving your wardrobe. Also, consider following fashion icons on social media and keeping up with what they’re wearing and advertising as what’s hot right now. Understanding fashion better is a process and takes you being willing to remain open-minded and learn some of the terminologies and why certain trends last and others fade out.

Go through Your Closet

It’s definitely worth your time to take a weekend and go through your closet and see what you already own. Try clothes on and get rid of or donate what no longer fits or is out of style. You can improve your wardrobe by combing through what items are dragging down your appearance and removing them so they’re not simply taking up space. You may also find old pieces that have been hiding or didn’t previously fit you but now do. This can be a daunting project if you own a lot of clothes but it’ll be well worth your efforts when you soon only have items in your closet that you actually enjoy wearing and know look good on.

Invest in the Staples

Another tip that will help you improve your wardrobe is to invest in the staples such as a good pair of jeans, work attire, a black dress and colourful t-shirts. It’s especially important you’re prepared to dress for success if you’re on the hunt for a new job or want to look more professional and put together where you currently work. If you’re short on cash but this investment is important to you then look into and find out more about taking out a loan so you can move forward with this project.

Know Your Body

Keep in mind that you may not be able to wear or that you might not look good in the various runway styles out there. What’s most critical is that you learn to know your body and what items look best on your shape. You can improve your wardrobe and style by finding outfits that compliment your figure and make you feel good about yourself. Focus on highlighting what you love about you and strategically making your flaws appear less noticeable.

Ask for Help

Know that you don’t have to go about improving your wardrobe all on your own. It’s a wise idea to reach out and ask for help if you need it. It’s possible you have a friend or family member who dresses well and is up to speed with the latest fashions. Spend some time with this person and discuss what’s trending and ask their advice about your current attire. Invite them over to rummage through your closet with you or see if they’ll go shopping with you and help you pick out a few attractive items to wear. There’s so much you can learn from someone who already has a sense of fashion that it’s worth your time to pick their brain further.

Stock up on Accessories

You can also enhance your wardrobe by stocking up on and wearing more accessories. This includes items like shoes, scarves, purses and jewellery which will not only create a better overall look but is a way to add a pop of colour to your outfit. When getting dressed each day think about how you can improve your current outfit by adding a few accessories here and there. Shop for them when you’re out and about and have a few favourites stashed away that you can turn to when you need to spruce up your attire.

Look Around

Another way to improve your wardrobe is to take a look around at what other people are wearing when you’re out in public. Don’t be afraid to compliment someone on their outfit and ask where they purchased a certain pair of pants or top. Go sit in a busy area or at the shopping mall and take notes about what you do and don’t like that people are wearing. Get ideas when you’re at work or the grocery store and observe what you think looks the best on others. Simply be more attentive and aware of your surroundings and you’ll quickly be able to pick up on what fashions are in style and which ones need to go.

Be Adventurous & Daring

You can also improve your wardrobe by being more adventurous and daring when it comes to your style. Don’t be afraid to layer items or wear a pop of colour every so often and see how you feel when you get outside your comfort zone. Try on and buy an item you normally would overlook when you’re out shopping and see how you feel in it and what kind of reaction you get from others. This is your chance to step outside the box and come up with new and fun ways to mix and match your clothes so you too can look trendier. Make changes to your wardrobe slowly over time and it won’t feel so overwhelming or nerve-wracking for you to dress differently. Have fun with this and be proud of yourself for being willing to challenge yourself and your style and try new looks.

2019 Fashion Trend Report

 guest post by Ffion Lovelock

2019 Fashion Trend Report; the year of empowerment, femininity and exhibiting confidence. It is the year of feeling comfortable in your own skin and wearing adaptable pieces that can cater to every woman. So what pieces exactly are we introducing, or more so, what are we bringing back this year?

Well, 2019 certainly looks like the year of some old favourites returning to our shelves. From prairie dresses to padded shoulders, we are taking things old school as we edge towards a brand new decade. Quite clearly showing that vintage is set to be popular this year, why buy new when it has all been done before? When everyone is shopping in the same sort of stores, you could be wearing a one-of-a-kind piece. Take the boiler suit for example, the return of its utility design can offer both an echo of the 30s working woman that foreshadows the feminine takeover that this year’s fashion trends have forecast, as well as an 80s vintage vibe that reflects a time where women really started to wear whatever the hell they wanted.

Utility (Elle, 2019)

Furthermore, in terms of styles and accessories, Neo-tailoring is set to take off this year for both men and women, with its strong looks being debuted recently on the catwalks by the likes of Balenciaga and Dior. Again, this style echoes classic 90s chic and sophistication. Another reason to seek out your vintage stores this year. On the bag front, we are going for small, cute and totally impractical this year. Oh yes, it’s the mini bag; a style that is more of a street-style statement than of any use to holding things. Still, some of our favourite designers seem to love it and it seems like this year we are all expected to fall in love with them too.

Neo-Tailoring (Elle, 2019)

 

The Mini Bag (Who What Wear, 2019)

When it comes to print’s we are sticking with animal print this year, which shows that the trend really does live on forever and so you are always best to hang on to any past statement pieces since you never know when everyone is going to start rocking snake-print all over again. The catwalks have been showcasing a lot of elegant leopard prints and proving the versatility of the beloved feline design. On top of this, we can expect to say ‘hello’ to some patchwork and some potential punk or preppy looks with coloured tartan as these busy prints are set to grace our high street stores and make for a very visually busy and colourful 2019.

Now to realise just how colourful fashion this year will be, colour schemes and palettes this year are expected to boast beige and lavender tones – a sophisticated palette which oozes confidence and Parisian chic. As both soft colours, we surely can expect something a little more crazy in the year of being bold, right? Well, of course. 80s neon is coming back, and you can expect to see fluorescent oranges, yellows, pinks and greens (basically the usual colours within a highlighter pack) to be widely popular throughout the course of the year. The high-street is already jumping on the bandwagon, the catwalk is labelling it ‘The Prada Effect’ and any clothes you have left over from the ’80s could be put to very good use if you are wanting to express your inner Madonna or Cyndi Lauper.

Neon (Harpers Bazaar, 2019)

Lastly and most importantly, a trend in 2019 that is set to make a change is the ‘Global Citizen’, which takes into consideration our global footprint towards fashion and our behaviour as such frequent consumers of fast-fashion. With a wide focus on vegan materials, ethical fashion and being overall more ‘green’, introducing this ‘Wegoism’ to the fashion industry this year will hopefully be the starting point of a more positive worldwide outlook towards slow fashion.

So why not take a look at The Stellar Boutique for all of your 2019 throwbacks and take notice of how you could be a better ‘Global Citizen’ towards fashion through purchasing some vintage clothing that is returning to our stores this year. Let’s empower people to make a difference and to feel super confident, glam and on-trend in doing so.

By Ffion Lovelock @ffilovelock

Read more from Ffion on her blog – Life and Lovelock

The curse of fashion and its cure

Guest post by Hafsa Hussain

On every item we own from our phones to the sheets on our beds, in small writing on the label it states, ‘Made in __’. This is most likely to originate from China or developing countries. But what is the story behind where our items are from, most importantly the clothes which we wear? Founder of Fashion Tech Lab, Miroslava Duma told the August 2017 Marie Claire, the first ever sustainable issue: “The fashion industry is all about storytelling and craftsmanship. Sustainability adds value because it makes that backstory even more impactful”. In recent years, consumers have been demanding more social and environmental information about the origin of the clothes they buy. This shows that more than ever, we are interested in our clothing, as the truth about the origin has been exploited in tabloids and documentaries, changing consumer attitudes.

Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world after oil? With approximately 80 billion garments produced worldwide per year (Green Peace, 2016). This is due to the demand for new trends and styles increasing in recent years. According to the documentary, True Cost, rather than four seasons of collections per year, fast fashion has fabricated fifty-two seasons, creating new styles every week. Keeping in mind the lack of consideration for social and environmental consequences. Can the industry succeed by continuing with fast fashion and being ethical simultaneously?

Factory workers in Bangladesh  (Photo: Sustainable Clothing Production)

In the fashion industry momentarily, fast fashion has been speeding up trends and shortening seasons, whilst becoming old, dated and out of style. The average turnover period of designer brands from the catwalk to consumers is six months and has now been compressed from only a few weeks by companies such as Zara and H&M, whose profits are exceedingly high. Swift cycles make these fast fashion companies succeed: having fast designs, effective transportation and items prepared on hangers with price tags attached ready for the shop floor. As fast fashion replaces the luxury, authenticity and exclusivity with planned impulse, lasting for a limited time due to the poor-quality fabrics, manufacturers have gone out of fashion.

(Photo: Remake)

H&M, a mass fast fashion company, has focused on their ethical profiles for sales growth in the long-term. According to Corporate Knights magazine, H&M ranked 57th amongst the world’s most sustainable companies with an overall score of 65.10%; Whilst Kering ranked ten places above with a score of 66.80%. H&M launched a garment collecting service at their stores, recycling textiles to “give their garments a new life and helping to close the loop on fashion”, stating they have gathered more fabric in comparison to 250 million t-shirts. However, according to the Huffington Post, H&M continues to produce 600 million garments per year which is more than double the garments recycled and reused. As consumers, if we began re-using and recycling our items, rather than constantly buying new pieces and throwing others away, producers would have no choice but to change their strategies, and companies would consider evolving to a slow fashion movement

H&M’s garment collecting initiative. (Photo: H&M)
(Photo: Yelp)

SOLUTIONS!

It’s time to change! There needs to be inventive strategies implemented to move from fast fashion to slow fashion, for the mass market sector, including the extension the product’s life cycle due to designs of clothes which are not molecular. For example, a coat which contains zips, buttons and trim can be recycled efficiently leaving just the fabric to be shredded back to its thread level, this new thread can become a new fabric and finally a new item of clothing. To achieve this, the jacket would need to have a mainframe hidden and attached in the coat’s fabric to hold the zips, button and trim altogether, and when the coat is at the end of its life cycle, the wireframe can be removed easily from the bone. Additionally, materials could be labelled with expected lifetimes including repair kits and services, provided by retailers, if the design development of the garments can be easily updated for the look or size.

Vintage clothing is commonly classified as clothing that is 20 years or older and if the garment survives more than 50 years it can be proudly called an antique. Vintage clothes are not only used pieces of garments, but it’s also part of history and adventure of thoughts of who wore them and their story to tell. Vintage clothing is a simple way to reduce, reuse and recycle clothes. During the manufacturing process, quality was important and key hence the fact they often last longer than most of the clothing today. But why has vintage fashion become popular recently, maybe because they can’t be replicated effortlessly or perhaps due to celebrities such as Kate Moss and Kim Kardashian having worn vintage on the red carpet? What people don’t realise is that fashion trends always come back around. Instead of throwing your ‘old’ clothes away, be patient, wait a couple years, fashion is not as new as you would think it is.

(Photo: TimeOut)

Recently we have seen a rise in 90s streetwear fashion on both our runways and on the streets. Big brands have dramatically increased their prices to offer ‘vintage’ pieces, but this could be saved if we as consumers actually visited vintage shops instead. Vintage can be advantageous in both ways, it allows you to differentiate yourself from the rest and it can also allow you to add to the current trends, so you look truly ahead of what the current runways have to offer.

Thank you!

Hafsa x

                                                                @hafsahussainphotography

Weekend essentials

The art of traveling light (I still haven’t mastered it) but when you get it right it feels so good! Just a few key pieces are all you need… some kick ass boho boots that work with everything, the fail safe Levi’s cut-offs, the perfect boho bag, your favourite sunnies, a few simple tops to mix n match and you’ve got summer in the bag 🙌🏼
Get these vintage goodies in store now and don’t forget to enter code ‘heatwave’ to grab 15% off all Levi’s shorts!

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internship

Currently recruiting
An opening for an internship is now available 👩‍💻
We are looking for a fashion/media student (or anyone interested in a career in fashion) to help with all aspects of running an online fashion + vintage shop. Learn the ins and outs of an E-commerce business and have fun along the way! If you’d love to join the team please dm me or drop me an email at info@thestellarboutique.com
We are based in North Wales so anyone local or in the Chester/Liverpool/Manchester area please get in touch.
Looking forward to hearing from you xx

 

Tales from the shoot

Photo shoots are one of my fave parts of the job, a little chaotic maybe, but always lots of fun!

For the recent Heroes + Villains shoot I hijacked my friend’s camper van which came with a dog included…. winning!

Dogs and Camper vans make the best props.

In the gorgeous sunshine we eagerly snapped away taking over 1000 pics (whaaaat?!) so now is the laborious task of scrolling through to pick out the best, editing them and sharing them with the world.

New fashion shots of the reworked vintage, custom jackets and customised t-shirts on their way…

Shop the collection here