Rocky Horror is turning 40 !!!

I can’t believe cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show will turn 40 in 2015 ! Back in the 80s, I spent many teenage Friday nights at the iconic Key Theatre in Washington DC for midnight showings of the film, doing the Time Warp, ad-libbing along to the outrageous lines and longing to have the courage to dress like squeaky-voiced groupie Columbia.

To celebrate, cosmetics firm MAC has launched a fantastic (and not for the faint-hearted) range which is hitting the UK just in time for Halloween (very appropriate). The range includes dark lipsticks, outrageous lashes, inky eye liners and gothic nail varnish with character-evoking names such as Riff Raff Quad, Strange Journey, Oblivion and of course Frank-n-Furter.

MAC invites us to ‘transform yourself into a sex-swapping mad scientist, heroic newlywed, alien from Translyvania or even hunky Rocky Horror himself, with an orgy of colour worthy of any midnight mayhem at Frankenstein Palace’.

Now where did I put those fishnets ?

We’re losing all the great fashion pioneers

Legendary designer Oscar de la Renta died on 20th October after a long battle with cancer, aged 82. He was trained by Balenciaga and became well- known in the 1960s, particularly as a couturier to Jacqueline Kennedy. De la Renta also worked for Lanvin and Balmain, before launching his own label in 1965. His signature looks were rich colours and structured taffeta, and he produced absolutely show-stopping gowns.

He said: ‘fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.’ Amen to that.

Mr de la Renta’s death closely follows that of Chloe founder Gaby Aghion in September at the age of 93. She started her business (named after a girlfriend) from her Paris apartment, telling her husband ‘I’ve got to work…it’s not enough to eat lunch’. Her clothes deliberately turned away from couture stuffiness, injecting freshness, fun and ‘wearability’ into womenswear.

Hubert de Givenchy (who designed practically everything Audrey Hepburn ever wore) recently bemoaned the fact that fashion no longer had time to evolve. As fashion moves ever faster, and we lose these pioneers who really did give their ideas time to evolve, what will the future of the industry look like? I’d welcome your thoughts.


A one-woman revolution

I had the privilege of hearing Carry Somers, Patchacuti MD and founder of Fashion Revolution Day, speak at Brighton Fashion Week.  The audience listened in awed silence as Carry explained how she had created a socially and environmentally responsible brand, as well as launching Fashion Revolution Day in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in April 2013.

She founded Fairtrade hat company Pachacuti back in 1992.  The word Pachacuti means ‘world upside down’ in the Quechua language, and symbolises the company’s efforts to redress the inherent inequalities in the fashion industry. Fairtrade hats are woven by 165 women in their Panama hat association; Patchacuti is able to track their progress and measure the impact on those weavers, as well as having traceability throughout the supply chain.

The idea for Fashion Revolution Day ‘popped into’ Carry’s head a few days after the Rana Plaza disaster.  She says, ‘everywhere I looked there were newspaper articles calling for a more ethical fashion industry.’  She contacted Orsola de Castro, founder of Esthetica at London Fashion Week, which led to interest by Lucy Siegle, The Observer’s ethical living columnist.  They agreed that an annual Fashion Revolution Day was needed to channel concerns into an ongoing campaign.

So mark your calendars for 24th April 2015 and get involved.

@carrysomers     @pachacutiUK      #insideout