#LOVINGYOURWORK – FRANCESCA ALLEN

Posted on October 20, 2014

Photo by Louisa Rogers

With over 70,000 followers on instagram and a list of impressive commissions to boot,  LCC graduate Francesca Allen is a new creative to watch.  Citing her inspirations as love, adolescence and friendship, her innate ability to capture youth and youth culture made her the obvious choice to shoot our A/W shoe guide New Shoe Rules . We caught up with her on set…

How did you get into photography? 

I started taking pictures when I was 15. They were mainly of my sister, who I still shoot, a lot! I started out doing model tests and things in London, then graduated from a Photography BA last summer.

Was there a defining point when you realised photography was what you wanted to do?

I’ve always thought my work was kind of irrelevant – a bit frivolous and too ‘fun’. But at my final BA show – seeing my work on the wall really meant something. That’s when I knew photography would be my career.

What inspires your work the most?

People, I guess. I just like hanging out with people. I’ve been shooting a bunch of 14-year-old girls every month and I just think they’re really interesting. Although the ones I know are always getting grounded by their parents and can’t come and do the pictures! I’m just so interested in people and teenagers and that period of life where you are on the cusp of adolescence.

If you could shoot anyone, who would it be?

Cassie from Skins. I have this teen fantasy of shooting her since I was younger, even though her character represents a lot of negative things – but I think she has this amazing spirit. I have a total girl-crush on her.

Describe your personal style.

It’s a bit charity shop mess! Somewhere between very girly and very scruffy. I wear a lot of lingerie as outerwear. I find it hard to look very clean and put together, so I just throw it all on.

What music are you into?

I really like Mac Demarco and Brian Jonestown Massacre, they’re amazing. And I love Prince and Fleetwood Mac. And I just saw Cocorosie play in Brighton and it was insane. They’re quite scary, but great.

Any advice for budding photographers?

Someone gave me really good advice recently – don’t worry if you can’t do everything and you’re not this or that. It doesn’t matter. It’s really important to find your own style and develop that. That’s when your work becomes really interesting – when a photographer has such a distinct style that you see their pictures and know it’s them immediately.

Check out Francesca’s work in our New Shoe Rules shoot. 

BOO! DO HALLOWEEN CELEB STYLE

Posted on October 15, 2014

Forget the Mean Girls effect – we prefer to get a bit more inventive with our Halloween look. From spooky to just plain funny, take your inspiration from these costume-loving celebs.

ALEXA CHUNG

Bring the LOLs like Alexa in a novelty costume. Think oversized fast-food or your favourite animal onesie.

 ATLANTA DE CADENET

Don’t want to splash out on a whole new outfit? Get arty with some black eye make-up and skeleton accessories like Atlanta de Cadenet.

HEIDI KLUM

Freak out your friends by ageing a good 50 years like Heidi Klum. Yes, that IS supermodel Heidi Klum. Granny-chic cardie and tweed are essential.

Or if these don’t appeal, what about channelling a badass Halloween heroine? Here’s three of our favourites:

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Fight off the vampires in a pastel cami and leather trousers. And don’t forget your holy water.

MORTICIA ADDAMS

Halloween grows up with Morticia’s luxe black dresses and sultry red lips ‘n’ nails.

NANCY FROM THE CRAFT

Bring ’90s cool to the witching hour with don’t-mess boots and chokers.

Feeling inspired? Get your own Halloween look here.  

WIN A PUFFA JACKET

Posted on October 15, 2014

Did you rock a Puffa jacket back in school? Thought so. Well now the iconic brand is back and available to shop at Topshop! We can’t get enough of the cool new versions of Puffa’s black and silver padded jackets – tapping right into our love of all things ’90s right now. Plus, we’ve got one of the silver styles to give away to one lucky winner!

Simply look out for the daily Puffa tweet on Topshop Twitter and retweet to win! Competition closes on 22.10.14.

Read the T&Cs here. Shop Puffa.

AGYNESS DEYN HITS THE BIG SCREEN

Posted on October 14, 2014

You’re probably more used to seeing her bring punk-cool to the catwalk, but Agyness Deyn is now adding actor to her resume. This week we headed to London Film Festival to see her star in her first feature role ‘Electricity’, a new film that’s stunning cinematography will have you hooked from start to finish.

Agy plays Lily O’Connor, a girl on a mission to track down her long-lost brother – a task that proves increasingly difficult given his wayward nature and Lily’s epilepsy creeping up at every turn. We were bowled over by her onscreen presence, infusing Lily with a natural magnetism that attracts everyone in her orbit – both good and bad. And if incredible acting and tear-jerking drama isn’t enough, go see it for the wardrobe alone – we fell in love with Lily’s fluro knits, sequin dresses and metallic disco pants.

See Electricty during London Film Festival at Vue Cinema Islington and watch director Bryn Higgins chat about the film below. 

WILD BEASTS ARE BACK!

Posted on October 13, 2014

Hands up who’s a Wild Beasts fan? Well we’ve got good news. The indie boys are back with album ‘Present Tense’ – a record that’s won them top reviews from music pros from Pitchfork to NME. And even better news – we’ve got an exclusive live set to share with you. Watch below as the boys perform album track ‘Daughters’ at Red Bull Studios, and read on as lead-singer Hayden shares his most inspiring tracks of all-time.

Hi Hayden! What have you been up to since the last album?

Perpetual repair and ruin depending on where the album is at in its cycle. Not for the faint of heart, but such a lifestyle that suits me just fine, or better than any other at least.

What can we expect from your new material?

We’re putting out some unreleased tracks along side a GIF novel, which is basically a graphic novel using animated GIFs soundtracked by us. The songs and the novel are basically about the dilemma of existence in a world of hyper technology. You know, standard Wild Beasts – existentialist-type stuff.

How would you describe the new album in 3 words?

Sex. Birth. Death.

What tracks have inspired you most throughout your career?

BJORK- ‘ALL IS FULL OF LOVE’

“When I was a teenager my hi-fi had an alarm function so every morning for about a year I was woken up by this tune, it’s so dream like it often didn’t even wake me at all. I realised electronic sounds can be soft and fragile as well as fast and brutal.

THE FLAMING KIPS – ‘ONE MORE ROBOT / SYMPATHY 3000-21 

“A record that is both highly intelligent and full of beautiful pop songs. One of those rare occasions when sonics, concept and songs come together in the most effortless way as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. A weird and wonderful piece of work.”

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER – ‘STRESS WAVES’

“Probably one of the most emotional pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I’d never heard sonics and arrangement like it. I think he’s really at the head of the pack, I’d compare him to Phillip Glass and others of that stature.”

JUNIOR BOYS – IN THE MORNING

“As far as Wild Beasts are concerned this whole album is a lost classic. A lesson in seduction by rhythm. We all listened to it endlessly in the van during the early days.”

TALK TALK – I BELIEVE IN YOU

“There probably hasn’t been an interview where one of us hasn’t mentioned this band. They are a constant source of fascination. I think it’s because the whole record was made almost by accident, compiling improvised instruments without a structure or song in place means the nature of the music is ghostly, you can never pin it down.”

Wild Beasts are playing Liverpool Music Week on 30th Oct and have a special end-of-year event in Leeds on Dec 11th.