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By Jenny Brownlees, Nov 4 2017 10:34PM

Illustrator Ozlem Djafer turns 'Pop culture news into art as it happens' and I really mean as it happens. As soon as Beyonce posts an Instagram pic - you better believe she's drawing it.

The self proclaimed 'Andy Warhol of Instagram', she has already collaborated with Christian Dior, MTV and High Snobiety.

I can't get enough of her tongue in cheek illustrations, and cartoon / fashion hybrids. I talked to Ozlem about drawing in the Instagram age...

Hi Ozlem! Tell me how you got started with illustration?

I've been drawing my whole life, it's an itch and I have to scratch it, ha! I studied Textiles and Surface Design at University and that was mostly drawing. I created a 'fashion hierarchy' wallpaper that got such a positive response at the trade shows I instinctively knew I had to carry on.

What's the idea behind The Poop Culture?

It's a work in progress every day but my goal is to have a website that publishes articles about pop culture, topical news and celebrates inspirational people. Think Refinery 29, but with every story illustrated with my own drawings.

How did you decided on that name?

It came to in a 'eureka!' moment when I was drawing a couple of years ago. Initially I called it Fanatic; I hated it because everyone thought my work was 'fan art.' I wanted to change it to 'poopculture' but the domain and twitter handle were already taken so my friend had the genius idea to put 'the' in front - and here we are!

Who's your favourite celebrity to draw?

They are all my babies, I can't choose! I will say, the more interesting a person's features are the better. I hate drawing 'perfect' subjects.

Do you have a favourite piece that you've done?

I always try and make my next illustration better than my last. So I don't pick favourites ;)

Looking to the future, what's the dream for The Poop Culture?

To keep contributing to major publications, design multiple magazine covers and to work with brands on illustrated collaborations. I'd love to develop a product line that's sold worldwide!

Watch this space, I say! To brighten up your Insta feed, follow @thepoopculture on Instagram and check out the website, here.

All images are copyright to The Poop Culture.

By Jenny Brownlees, Apr 12 2017 09:31PM

I worked with Retro Spectacle earlier this year, when styling my Sicky Magazine Editorial, 'Twenty Twenty.' Seeing the beautiful pieces for myself, I wanted to know more about the vintage glasses gone by.

Based in West Yorkshire, Retro Spectacle is an online retailer specialising in vintage eyewear. Owner Charlotte comes from an optical background and has expert knowledge not only in regards to frames, but also optical lenses. She believes vintage eyewear is a style statement and provides not only high quality frames, but high quality lenses. I sat down with her to talk all things eyewear and gush about the many, many pieces I'm coveting.


I was on a weekend break, sat in the sunshine in Damm Square, Amsterdam, when suddenly the idea of opening the online store hit me. I knew instantly it was something I had to do, within minutes the website URL was purchased and Retro Spectacle was born.

I have always liked vintage fashion for its ethical and sustainable values. Combining this with my profession and passion for eyewear made my decision to start the business easy. The online store has certainly been a learning curve and something I constantly aim to develop.


For me eyewear doesn’t get any better than the 1950’s - Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe looked amazing in glasses and sunglasses alike.


Our most popular styles for men are the NHS styles from the 1960’s, not only as glasses, we have converted many to prescription sunglasses. For the ladies, the stylish and sometimes outrageous 1950’s cat eye frames are always popular. More recently we've seen a demand for oversized floral 1980’s designs. I try not to have favourites else I would never part with them!


We are constantly trying to source the best quality eyewear. We have regular a small number of regular suppliers, but we are constantly on the look out for new and exciting stock. The best pieces are the ones you find unexpectedly!


Past generations were built slighter than we are today. Vintage garments tend to be a much smaller fit compared with today’s sizing and eyewear is no exception, particularly the 1950’s frames we carry. It's important to consider the size of your current eyewear if any, as well as your face shape and size. We provide measurements for all our frames, and have a guide which helps to explain the measurements in more detail, however if customers are ever unsure as to the size of a frame we are more than happy to help provide further measurements and information.


We are fast approaching our one year anniversary, over the last year we have had the pleasure of meeting the most diverse and exciting bunch of people around. We have been welcomed to the vintage scene with open arms and our following has grown from strength to strength. Having shipped to over 20 countries worldwide we hope to continue this momentum and focus on collecting exciting and original vintage eyewear.

I picked my four favourites from the site, below

1. Vintage Dior for £60? Yes please!

2. The sun's out and I'm pretty sure you should be wearing these Gucci's sunnies!

3. I adore these 80's frames with their quirky shaped arms and pink details.

4. You can't get any chic-er than these 50's marble cat eye shades.

If you'd like to buy the frames from our Twenty Twenty Editorial, image one features the gorgeous Cocept tortoise shell frames, £55.

The best bit ? From Friday to Monday you can get 15% discount on all frames and lenses with the code EASTER17

Photographer: Sophie Lobban

Model: Sif at Savalas Models

By Jenny Brownlees, Feb 23 2017 03:04PM

From Gucci's catwalk to Stranger Things' Barb, glasses are having a fashion moment. They're the accesory du jour and I personally can't get enough. When styling my latest editorial, Twenty Twenty for Sicky Magazine, Lunettes were kind enough to loan some of their wonderful glasses for the shoot.

I am a big fan of anything vintage; I love imagining where the pieces have been, their story and who their previous owner(s) were.

If you don't need glasses (I don't and was cursing my good eye sight) you don't have to miss out on the fun, Lunettes' owner Lindsay explained it's easy to put clear lenses in vintage frame and very common for people to do so.

Lunettes mantra is 'Your face is important - dress it accordingly'. I chatted to Lindsay about her passion for eyewear, the brand's begginings and her favourite glasses of all time...


I'm 32 and live in East London with my husband and cat. I was brought up in Southport, a modest seaside town in the North of England, but left for university in Manchester at 18, where I studied English. I stayed in Manchester for a couple of years after finishing university, primarily to keep the party going; I had fallen into a wonderful group of like-minded friends and Manchester's clubbing scene was phenomenal at the time with Sankey's Soap in its hey day and the launch of the original Warehouse Parties!

I headed to London 8 years ago for a job at Arcadia Group HQ, which I detested. I decided then and there that I'd never work for anyone on a full-time basis again; I was craving creative freedom and adventure...


My friend Brenda and I were having a good old moan about our jobs over a gallon or two of wine. She was a locum optometrist and I was working for Arcadia. We drunkenly decided to go into business together and proceeded to set up a vintage clothing stall at Portobello Market. That was about 8 years ago and it all grew organically from there.

I've always adored vintage. Pretty much since I was allowed to dress myself I'd be in the charity shops looking for bizzare cast-offs with which to decorate myself. Luckily there was an abundance of them in Southport and vintage wasn't especially in demand with its other residents.

Brenda introduced me to the eyewear side of things and I swiftly became obsessed with cult brands and particular eras. I still get butterflies when I find something I'm really into; it's a fixation.


There are many. I'm very much into 70s designs right now; metal aviators with light tints, and big chunky masculine frames. Wes Anderson movies are always full of beautiful eyewear, Johnny Depp's yellow tinted aviators in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are perfection. I adore Iris Apfel for proving that one can break all the boring optical 'rules' when choosing a frame and still look amazing; it's 50% proportion and 50% personality as far as I'm concerned.


To be honest if I love them that much then I keep them. I have a bit of a stash going on! I do however regret selling some collectable heart shaped Anglo American sunglasses and a wonderfully ostentatious pair of early 80s gold Cartier aviator frames.


Yellow tinted aviators seem to fly out as soon as they go up online; it's quite rare to find a decent original vintage pair. Round mid-century silver designs are currently popular with the lads and we are selling a lot of round 90s models in muted shades of green and blue to the ladies.


I have a couple of regular suppliers that I go to, but I always look out for alternative sources, especially when overseas.


I always favour vintage over both high street and designer. That applies to clothing and homeware as well as eyewear. It is comparatively low cost, often much better quality and you will have something truly unique. Plus you can be smug in the knowledge that you are doing something positive for the planet; essentially you are recycling.


I'm currently working on a new website and a range of vintage frames customised with coloured and dip dyed lenses. I'm intent on designing my own collection from scratch but keep procrastinating as it's a big undertaking and means I'll have to learn how to use the dreaded Photoshop!

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Pictured above are just a few of my favourite frames and sunglasses from Lunettes. I could have easily included the whole store.

From top, left to right:

1. Vintage Valentino

2. Balenciaga

3. Dior

4. Gucci

5. Cazal

6. Valentino

7. American Optical

8. Polaroid Sunglasses

Don't worry gentlemen, Lunettes have you covered too with their men's section. I would also highly recommend following Lunettes on Instagram for some serious sunglasses-spiration!

By Jenny Brownlees, Jan 26 2017 04:22PM


I’m Anissa Meddeb, a 23 year old designer based in New York City. I was born in Paris but grew up in Tunisia. I returned to Paris to study History of Art and Design, colour theory and drawing for three years, at L’Ecole du Carrousel du Louvres.

In 2011 I moved to America and studied at Parsons School of Design. During my time there I interned for Marc Jacobs Accessories and ThreeAsFour, a group of Avant Garde designers. I studied abroad for six months at Central Saint Martins in London, as well as spending a few months in Paris, where I interned for A.P.C.

Upon graduating, I worked for Outdoor Voices. Most recently I’ve founded my own label of high-end ready to wear clothing, Anissa Aida. My first collection was Spring/Summer 2016 and I am currently showcasing Autumn/Winter 2018.


This collection is entitled ‘Africa through the looking glass’. The general theme of my work is to reflect the interaction between clothes and cultures. As well as my Tunisian heritage I have been lucky enough to experience living in a number of different countries, all with different ways of life. My aim is to represent a mix of cultures, ideas and point of views.

The inspiration for my Autumn Winter collection came from the extraordinary work of two photographers from Mali: Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. They are both considered as the fathers of African photography. Through their lenses they captured the transition of Mali to independence and modernity. Sidibé particularly immortalized the “Dolce Vita Africana” of the 70’s.

People would come to their studio to get their portrait taken wearing both traditional African clothing but also fashionable European clothing of the 70’s. This inspired the cuts and silhouettes of my current collection.

What inspires me the most is that these two photographers were able to create their own world through their work. Through my collection, my aim is to immerse the wearer in my own universe, with an interactive relationship between African and Western aesthetics.


Intercultural dialogue is the guiding thread of my collections; I apply the same concept to the fabrics. All fabrics used are high quality natural materials sourced throughout the world, including Pervian Alpaca, English silks and Italian wools.

I am also continuing collaborations I started last season with Tunisian craftsmen, who produce my hand-woven silks.

My muse for AW 18 is urban, comes from all different cultures, has no age, feels creative and enjoys art. She/he is conscious that clothing is a way to express a personality and a lifestyle and is willing to question how we dress, and experience something new.

Each piece of the Anissa Aida collection is derived from a foundational concept, making it unique but wearable simultaneously.


Looking forward, I hope to continue pursuing my passion and growing the brand. I will debut Afria through the looking glass in Berlin on January 16th, followed by a model presentation at Fashion Scout in London on Friday February 17th.

Anissa Aida is already available in stores globally, including Utter London, Studio183 Berlin and Scandi Market. My wish is to evolve this further and eventually open a flagship store.



By Jenny Brownlees, Jan 11 2017 04:42PM

Every once in a while a label comes along that reminds me what it is I really love about Fashion Design; innovation, craftsmanship and passion.

I was thoroughly wowed by Noa Raviv's first collection, Hard Copy and had long bookmarked her site for #fashspiration at its finest. I gushed words 'love', 'obsessed' and 'oh my god' when emailing Noa to tell her how much I adored her designs, but it was all true!

It must be hard to follow up such a successful first collection, expectations are high. Noa has not disappointed, the incredible images above show her latest body of work, Off-line. There is a great fluidity between the two collections, you can recognise Noa's unique signature style but she hasn't repeated herself.

There are so many stand out pieces, I love the solid black looped lines against the lightness of the white organza. The garments scream newness and innovation, whilst still being ultra wearble.

I asked Noa more about Off-line, below:

I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. Anyone that has had the chance to spend time in Tel-Aviv will understand the uniqueness and complexity of the place. It is a mix between old and new, beautiful and ugly, intensity and peacefulness, that’s what makes it so special. It has had a huge impact on my life and work.

In 2014, I graduated from the Fashion Design Department of Shenkar College for Engineering, Design and Art in Israel. During my fashion studies I also attended classes within the jewellery design department, there I learnt the importance of research into materials, design development and a real three-dimensional way of thinking.

My previous collection, Hard Copy, gained exposure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Manus X Machina exhibition. It was entirely 3D printed, inspired by computer glitches and digital errors.

In my latest collection, Off-Line, the creative process becomes the work itself. It looks at the intimate details of the design process. The ‘behind the scenes’ components, often meant to remain discreet, evolve as an inseparable part of the work.

My sketchbook serves as a safe and private zone. It is a place where weird thoughts, mistakes and uncertainties can be explored freely. There they remain personal, not yet subject to outside judgment. The pages are where blurred and distorted lines can be created, relieved of demands for perfection or completion. It is where the hand can be shaky, affording every idea the potential to become a fantastic garment or trash for the garbage bin.

Off-Line is the first full collection I have released since relocating to NYC. As is every new beginning, it is uncertain and imperfect. I chose to turn my immediate, unfinished sketches into garments.

Choosing my fabric for this collection was a very intuitive process, it's about feelings and emotions. It might sound banal but I'm inspired by art, nature and everyday objects. I like to find beauty in the mundane and ordinary. Inspiration doesn't come overnight, for me it requires a long process of research, sketching and many trials. It is a lot of hard work.

For this collection I collaborated with Swarovski. After the pattern for a garment was made it was scanned, I designed the motif in a graphic design software. The piece was then sent to Swarovski's HQ in Austria. Here they created moulds according to the motif, and millions of Swarovski crystals were then placed. A small, talented team of talented ensured every crystal was in the correct place. The piece was then sent back to NY, where we applied the motif onto an organza fabric.

I would love any modern women with an appreciation for Art and Design to wear Off-Line. In the future, I’d like to develop more categories to my collections, at the moment I’m working on my next collection and I have collaborations coming up that I’m very excited about.



By Jenny Brownlees, Dec 12 2016 04:30PM

I often browse on the University of the Arts London's portfolio site Showtime.arts and wonder at the work I find. It never fails to fill me with inspiration in a way some catwalk shows fail to do.

I have a particular love for Graduate Collections, I feel the students can really go wild and express their boldest work. Naturally, I'm sure students hope their work may be seen by a brand, and see the collection as an opportunity to showcase their skills for potential employers but in a larger sense I feel Graduate Fashion is so pure in its creation. It comes without the admin and boundaries set by business' that occour behind the scenes at a brand post-catwalk.

Coming across Fotini Handra's work was a particular treat, in fact I think I took a sharp intake of breath when I saw it, clicking the mouse twice as hard to select. I adore everything, the rust and nude colour palette, the juxtaposition of the simple yet complex shapes the fabric creates. I'm a sucker for an oversized silhouette and everything is working here to compliment that, the print work, the styling of the look book, the footwear.

I love the fluidity of Fotini's garments, looking at them again brings a whole new dimention when you hear about her process of draping paper and the sculptural inspiration behind the pieces.

Fotini tells me about her work, below...

Hi Fontini! It’s so great to get to talk to you about your amazing Graduate Collection. Can you tell us about yourself?

I was born in Switzerland, my family lived there until I was nine before moving back to Athens, Greece. After finishing school I studied Fine Arts in Greece and three years ago I moved to London to study Womenswear at London College of Fashion. There has been a lot of mobility in my life generally.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I hardly ever sketch, but my phone (as everyone’s is) is filled with things I find interesting!.Although I almost never look back at them, they’re archived somewhere deep in my brain and I usually manage to draw inspiration from them when it's needed. The best thing about being in London is that there is always something going on either institutionally or independently. Since graduating I finally have the time to go to all the interesting screenings, lectures and exhibitions.

Where did you begin when designing this collection? Tell me about your research and how that developed into what we see now…

Research for me happens quite organically, the spark usually comes from something I’ve read. After that in a strange way relevant things seem to present themselves to me. I don’t know if I start to pay attention to things I would otherwise ignore, or if it’s fate. I like to think it’s some sort of magic, but I am afraid it’s probably the results of the Web 3.0.

At the beginning of my final year I was given the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow classmate Jaewon Sophie Kim. We felt a strong connection with each other’s work and decided to blend our ideas and concepts. We developed a way to work together and established some initial themes, techniques and materials we wanted to use. Along the way we collaborated with LCF print student Sarah Forgie to really take the collection to the next level through the beautiful print work.

Is there a direct inspiration behind the garments?

This collection didn’t have the usual linear approach of research, design and construction. The different stages were mixed up and some themes were abandoned along the way, while others were introduced. It began with an interest in shape and volume. I was inspired by artists John Chamberlain and Nicolai Howalt (among others) who mostly work with sculpture made from crushed cars. There is something fascinating about crushed metal; it is so rigid but fragile at the same time. I wanted to translate this feeling into the collection.

Initially, toiles were draped with paper, creating abstract and geometric shapes that merged into garments by developing suitable fabrics. The results are pieces that look very bold, but are very fragile and demand a lot of caution by the wearer.

What technical skills did you learn at University and how have you used these in your work?

LCF is quite technical in its approach, which is also one of the reasons I chose it. I can still here our tutor’s mantra in my head “Know the rules, then break them”. I think the most liberating skill of all was finally understanding how to move between flat pattern cutting and draping and how one area can inform the other. Also I developed a thing for finishing, an interesting way to finish a seam always excites me.

Which fashion designers inspire you and your work?

Faustine Steinmetz, Richard Malone, Matty Bovan and many, many more.

How did you choose your final fabrics and why?

We began draping with paper just to get some initial ideas about the shape and silhouette. It turned out I loved everything about it! Paper has such amazing qualities; it’s light, holds shape and moves beautifully. I wanted to develop a fabric with similar qualities. After meticulous and painstaking bonding and fusing of different materials, I managed to achieve the desired result with silks and nylons.

Silhouette-wise what did you envision for the collection?

I really wanted to go bold and achieve the oversized silhouettes from my initial collages and drawings. I did set myself some restrictions when I started, I wanted to achieve the shape organically, through the material itself, rather than making an inner structure to support the shape.

Who would ideally wear the garments?

Someone with a lot of patience I guess, who doesn’t really like sitting down!

Did you enjoy designing your pieces or making them, or a bit of both? Was it easy or challenging to bring your designs to life?

Tough question. I guess both, as one is integral to the other. I usually start with something 3D and then design it in paper. I’m a very tactile person. Until I make the final decision it is a constant back and forth between 2D and 3D.

I think it’s always challenging to create something, to bring it to life. Especially if it’s something you’ve never done before and you have to learn and experiment along the way.

Is it hard to find the line between innovative design and wear-ability?

Yes and No I think. Innovation doesn’t exclude wear-ability nor the other way round. You can have one, both or none.

Do you hope to keep designing your own collection or perhaps gain experience at another brand?

For the time being I would love to join one of the many amazing brands I love here in London and further develop my existing skills. There is still so much knowledge to gain. As for doing something on my own, it would have to happen organically. I don’t like to rush or force things.

Image Credits:

Pictures 1-6 feature prints by Sarah Forgi

Photography, Simonas Berukstis

Hair and Make up, So Jeong Kim

Model, Karolina M.

Follow Fotini on Instagram here

By Jenny Brownlees, Dec 6 2016 08:32PM

Wai Yang is a contemporary ready-to-wear label with a minimalist, modern and timeless aesthetic. It places great emphasis on fabric quality; each of the pieces are carefully hand crafted, screen printed and tailored to an impecable standard. Yang creates clean and minimal silhouettes that highlight the quality and uniqueness of textile.

Hi Wai! I wondered if you could tell us about yourself…

I’m Wai Yang, I am originally from Myanmar but am currently based in Singapore. I studied fashion design at Raffles Institute in Singapore. After that I went to London to study for a BA Fashion Textiles at London College of Fashion. After obtaining my degree I came back to Singapore and set up my label, WAI YANG.

What is your favourite source of inspiration as a designer?

I love looking to my surrounding for inspiration. I visit museums and take photographs to capture exhibitions that inspire me. When I was at University in London I frequently visited the Tate Modern.

When did the first idea for this collection come about?

For my FW16 collection the idea came from my personal mood and emotion at that time. As a graduate struggling to start a fashion label slone, I felt lonely and helpless. That was when I felt the most vulnerable I had in my entire life. I saw a piece of art by Lucio Fontana in the Tate Modern and I was able to connect with it. I translated that emotional connection into my designs.

Tell me about your research and how that developed into what we see now...

I always like to begin with mark making and drawing, developing that into a printed pattern. I also make a mood and colour board before I begin designing garments.

At university we learnt basic screen printing, knitting and embroidery skills. After that you are left alone to develop and innovate those techniques.

What did you want to convey through the collection?

Story and emotion.

Which designers inspire you?

Faustine Steinmez, she is such a talented and conceptual artisanal designer, I learnt a lot from her while I was interning for the label a few years back.

How did you choose your final fabrics and why?

My initial fabric choice always changes during the design process. I see where the flow of the collection is leading and remove or alter fabric along the way.

Silhouette wise what did you envision for the collection?

I wanted a boxy and oversize and structured silhouette.

Who do you envision wearing the Wai Yang brand?

Anyone who wants quality rather than quantity. Someone who truly appreciates a traditional craft and focus on details.

Do you enjoy designing or making the garments more, or both? Was it easy or challenging to make your designs come to life?

I enjoy the latter, but making the garments is crucial to see my designs come to life. It’s challenging yet enjoyable. My collection is a reflection of my true-self and I will only design clothes that I would want to wear.

Is it hard to find the line between innovative design and wear-ability?

Yes! Finding the balance between the two extremities is no doubt difficult.

What’s next for you and the label?

For my next collection, I will be collaborating with Epson Singapore. I will be using an Epson dye sublimation machine for all the prints. Looking to the future, I want to continue designing for my own brand, but I’m also exploring various means to sustain the label as well. My dream is for more people to know about my work and to make Wai Yang sustainable.


Follow Wai on Instagram here

All images: Copyright Wai Yang

By Jenny Brownlees, Dec 5 2016 04:26PM

Zanita Whittington is a personal style blogger and photographer. I'd read her blog since its beginnings in 2008, and two years ago I interviewed her for Playing Fashion Magazine.

It was great to talk to her, and hear how she began blogging and where she thought the industry would go in the future. I've included an extract from the interview below:

MY FAVOURITE CITIES FOR STYLE SPOTTING are Stockholm and Tokyo - both so different from each other but so great. I love seeing people on the street and the way they express themselves with clothes. In Stockholm, it's a polished kind of chic and in Tokyo, it’s wildly colourful and original.

I HAVE MADE MANY A FASHION FAUX PAS in the past! But that’s part of the fun - you can't take risks without getting it wrong every now and then. Most of my faux pas are related to really bad hair styles and creased shirts. I'm also a serial under-dresser.

Zanita's site has recently had a makeover. She's working with a team and contributors to create Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle content. The site offers great career advice, from pitching articles to starting a blog. Zanita i even going to begin courses as part of her new site.

Check it out here.

I hope you liked the interview, credits to the team below.

Photography by Tim Ashton

Styling Monique Moynihan

Hair and Make Up by Miriam Nichterlein

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