Monday, 31 January 2011


Rookie Creative’s very own fashion blogger Harriet Tisdall is competing for this year’s Elle UK fashion internship! Please please vote for her here . I

Good luck Harriet, we love you xx

p.s registration takes you half a minute but it could really help her win so it’s reeeeeally worth it.

NB. Elle…we found her first.


I often find that the Australian winter collections perfectly encapsulate what I would like to wear throughout the chilly English summer. Designer Arabella Ramsay creates clothes with a feminine, vintage aesthetic and has designed a stand out collection full of whimsical prints and bright florals. ‘The Alice’ collection described as ‘an ode to Australiana,’ contains an eccentricity that would not look out of place at afternoon tea in the English countryside. The standout prints including garden florals, polka dots and a particularly striking animal print (literally covered with different woodland creatures), however, do contain more than a small dose of Australian humour. The mixture of mid length skirts, denim shirts, thick knits and chunky mustard platform heels perfectly encapsulates the grandma, seventies look that feels so relevant for spring. The collections contrasting prints and fabrics fit perfectly with this spring’s print trend, particularly the mixture of a lace blouse and plaid mini skirt. The structure of the stunning garden floral dress pictured above is even reminiscent of an early Ghesquiere design. Ramsay is yet another example of an Australian designer creating stylish, wearable collections that sum up exactly what I would like my wardrobe to contain.

Click here to view the collections impeccably styled look book and lust from overseas (however, could anyone send me that animal printed dress, my wardrobe is demanding it).

Harriet Tisdall

Sunday, 30 January 2011


...So after my initial enthusiasm you might say there have been come predictable progressions. Its a couple of weeks since I wrote that last bit and since then, yes, I’ve had a bike accident. I’m FINE, I’m fine; in fact arguably too fine. I’ve got nothing to show for my terrifying ordeal. Well, I say terrifying. Not only have I only got a very small bruise to show for my little incident, I don’t have anyone to blame, because, I suppose, it was my fault. So I was sortof listening to Kraftwerk (Tour de France, naturally) getting into the cycle, feeling the burn and all those related exercise words and I just got a bit too frisky and somehow span off and ended up skidding across Oval on my hip. Bit unconventional. It’s taught me one lesson, there are lots of instances in life when you should refrain from spending money. In Liberty, for example, on haberdashery. But saying: ‘I don’t need those pedal-y bracket things for my bicycle, who am I, Lance Armstrong?!’. Well, news for you guys, bike stuff ain’t like normal stuff; by not needing things you’ve bought for your bike (like a helmet), you actually win! Well, I learnt the hard way, but at least it all worked out for the best, (bicycle is fine, thanks for asking) and THANKS but NO THANKS to the family in a Fiat Punto who had a little peer at me all prostrate on the road and drove off, obviously confident that I was probably fine (Which I was, but.. you know..).

I’ll be back on the cycla’ in the new year, apparently I need to buy some “inner tubes” and a “bike pump”, whatever those useless items are. All is well, just don’t tell my mother.

Morgan Hill-Murphy

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Hannah MacGibbon departed from her palette of neutral hues and introduced a shock of colour for Chloe’s Pre Fall collection. Alongside the beiges and muted shades of recent seasons, an autumn palette of black, rust, grey was combined with a shock of bright buttercup yellow. Continuing with the seventies aesthetic she has championed for the last few seasons; MacGibbon sent out midi skirts, tailored flares and a muted paisley print accessorized with the perfect pair of chunky, tan, knee length boots. A patchwork Moroccan shawl thrown over a pleated grey skirt was a particular highlight, creating the ideal cover up for a balmy autumn evening. Other stand out items included a leather knee length skirt the colour of autumn leaves, a belted paisley dress and a velvet trouser suit more suited for a Woody Allen film. MacGibbon again showed the appeal of simplicity; a tailored pair of trousers teamed with a simple polo neck and a small boxed clutch (the future bag of the season) is the ideal outfit for late summer. The barely there make up and tousled hair of Melissa Tammerijn evoked the ultimate Chloe muse, Annie Hall, hopefully setting the tone for the season to come, seventies simplicity is continuing its reign.

Harriet Tisdall

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, 4th of July 2010. The sun is burning the back of my neck as I scan for a shady spot while the crowd around me cheers at the competitors in the dock wolfing down five hot dogs in a single mouthful. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual event watched by millions on ESPN, and apparently, a show of patriotism on Independence Day.

Unable to find any shade I turn my attention to the sea of red, white and blue while Joey Chestnut, for the fourth consecutive year, retains his title of hot dog eating champ, by gobbling down fifty-four hot dogs in ten minutes.

The bell rings and a roar erupts from the crowd as a victorious Joey is handed the bejewelled mustard-yellow winner’s belt, that he will keep until next year’s competition.

As I jostle through the sweaty crowd to sample one of Nathan’s famous hot dogs I am bemused by the spectacle I have just witnessed. Though few things are more American than this ritual, there must be more dignified ways of proving one’s love of country.

In the queue I voice my thoughts to a man showing off his leathery tan and faded tattoos in a string vest. With a thick Brooklyn accent he tells me: “Ninety-five years it’s bin goin’ on. On July 4th, 1924, some immigrants had a hot-dog eatin’ contest right here to establish who was most grateful to his country.”

This November’s midterm elections once again revealed US politics as among the most polarised in the world. Yet the patriotism I witnessed on Coney Island, from the eating contest to the thousands of people clad from tip to toe in red, white and blue, is pervading. Never have I seen a country celebrate itself on such a scale – from New York to California and Alaska to Texas.

When I listen to Barack Obama versus Sarah Palin, or to Jon Stewart versus Glenn Beck, the divide in the American national psyche is apparent. It is at times difficult to believe these individuals speak of – even come from – the same country. On the 4th of July, Americans are united not in what they celebrate, only how they celebrate. How schizophrenic – and how unnerving – in a country of such global influence, to see such jingoism combined with such bitter internal discord.

Cecilia Seilern

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Just a quick note to say that this girl is bitchin’!

I had a few moments to myself at work and because of jewellery designer Hannah Warner, I neglected a lot of my to do list. It’s completely refined rock, gothic: a combination I absolutely adore especially when I can wear loads without it swamping my 5 ft 1, mousey body.

Please please please check out the website. I rarely say this because I’m not a fan of jewellery (it gets in the way), but I would happily buy and wear everything that she has designed.

P.S this is a wish list for the boyfriend in case he happens to read this.

Sacha x

Saturday, 15 January 2011


With the imminent release of the Darren Aronofsky directed Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as a tortured ballerina clad in Rodarte designed costumes, ballet inspired clothing is currently at the forefront of the fashion consciousness. Tulle, feathers, pleats and beautiful shades of nude were featured in a number of spring collections. The aptly named ‘Ballet Class’ collection designed by Hannah MacGibbon for Chloe is particularly fitting for any girl who has dreamed of being a ballerina. MacGibbon’s graceful collection of pleated mid length skirts in taupe silk chiffon teamed with finely pleated bodies and elegant ballet pumps, formed a refined alternative to this seasons seventies trend. The sheer flowing skirts and neutral palette (particularly the pleated taupe one shoulder gown) formed the perfect off duty ballet dancer look; a great improvement on the blue leotards and pink tights the majority of us wore as children. An advantage of channelling a ballerina is that it can be achieved easily by tying your hair in an elegant bun and wearing delicate layers of nudes and silks. American Apparel’s Chiffon Double Layered Full Length Skirt (£52) in bone would give the wearer the grace of a dancer and a cropped cardigan could be added for an elegant touch. Ballet pumps are a classic item that are easy to find, if you cannot afford Chloe’s beauties, French Sole do the best reasonably priced pumps and Topshop’s nude pair are a bargain at £16. Portraying the refined elegance of the dancer is sure to make the wearer feel feminine and graceful, despite not having custom made Rodarte costumes or silk Pointe shoes (as an ex dancer these HURT), the ballerina is emerging as a chic, unlikely muse for SS11.

Harriet Tisdall

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


As Britain was buried under a blanket of snow leading up to Christmas, the commuter was laid bare for all to see. Whilst T Mobile optimistically imply that ‘life is for sharing’ making a direct reference to the life of the commuter, the Christmas spell revealed the commute to be anything but communal.

As the 7.58 gingerly pulled into the platform, sparks disconcertingly flying from the tracks, the realisation of the hellish journey ahead set in. A train, usually empty upon arrival, was bustling. As passengers frantically pushed and shoved their way into the non-existent space for fear of having to wait an hour for the next train, I found myself a sardine in a sea of long black coats, briefcases and bad breath.

The hour that followed provided me with an insight into the dark depths of the commuter. Stepping through the sliding doors, social etiquette, personal body space and pride is disposed of and the once apparently mature, responsible, intelligent and articulate crowd suddenly transform into something strangely animalistic. Every stop that followed consisted of panicked attempts to board an overflowing train as commuters shamelessly dove at doors bulging with people; aggressive remarks thrown at those refusing to suck in their stomachs and hold their breath in order to make room for ‘just one more’; and the struggles of passengers attempting to disembark through a crowd refusing to move for fear of losing their desirable spot: face pressed up against glass, crotch inappropriately close to the man opposite. Falling out of the train at London Waterloo, an hour late and exhausted before the day had even begun, plans for the journey home were already ticking over.

Taking precautions, I arrived at the station an hour early to avoid repeating the unpleasant experience of the morning. However, it soon became apparent from the overwhelming crowds at Waterloo that I was not alone in my preparations. Approaching the arrivals board I caught sight of familiar faces from the earlier commute, this time accompanied by a days worth of stresses. I braced myself for the journey home.

Eyes were transfixed upon the arrivals board, anticipating the platform information for the Alton train. Taking a moment to blink, in a split second I found myself swept along in a sea of movement. The movement was not the expected purposeful stroll but a combination of runs, dodges and panic.

Approaching a platform configured of congregating groups of commuters huddling around an absent train, there was no mistaking the conformist nature of the Brits. As one clueless commuter took a risky guess at where the doors of the train would fall, there was no stopping fellow commuters from following suit. When the train eventually arrived, it was no surprise to see the shuffling bundles of commuters who, as expected, had entirely missed the invisible target.

There is no denying that the commuter has considerably calmed down since the snow’s departure, but the unruly etiquette of the world behind the sliding doors remains. Whilst notoriously rude, inconsiderate and unaccommodating, rightly or wrongly, these are commonly shared and respected traits among commuters. After all, no one likes the guy who sits in the middle seat. However, despite the hours shared of silence, sour faces and body odours, it is not all blood, sweat and tears.

I’m not promising an all singing all dancing scene out of the T Mobile ad, but as long as you stick to the commuters etiquette: no touching, talking, making eye contact or breathing too loudly, you will survive in the relentless reality of the commute. Just make sure to mind the gap on your way out.

Rose Brownlow

Sunday, 9 January 2011


2010 brought us a versatile range of style muses from Betty Draper to Lauren Hutton even with eighties George Michael thrown in (Hawaiian trend in the Summer anyone?). However, as the new spring collections are beginning to drift into stores, now seems like the perfect time to reassess your wardrobe and decide which trends to embrace in 2011.

To begin with, here are my style resolutions for 2011…

I will dress like a chic, refined French woman.

This picture of Clemence Poesy perfectly illustrates the art of French dressing, she has combined minimalist pieces with tousled bed head to create a classic, modern look. Women including Clemence, Carine Roitfeld, Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradis and Audrey Tautou are all pioneers of this effortlessly sexy, gallic look. The French choose style over fashion and invest in simple, key pieces that will last them forever.

I will invest in classic wear, forever items.

This year I will save enough to buy a Chanel 2.55 (no easy feat for someone with a shopping addiction), or at the very least buy more of those pieces such as a great white shirt, tailored trousers, a boucle jacket or a classic party dress that will last for years to come.

I will go out dressed like someone from Studio 54

The seventies are back in a major way this spring and after last seasons refined vibe (think Lauren Hutton, nudes) for SS11 we will all apparently be channelling Bianca Jagger. Despite the many disasters of the seventies (nylon flares, platforms, the hair), I for one am keen to wear berry shades, cut out maxi dresses and very possibly a pair of flared jeans.

I will try neons.

Bright colours were spotted this season at Proenza Schouler and Giles, however, it was Christopher Kane’s palette of neon green’s, pinks and yellows inspired by ‘Princess Margaret on acid’ that was the true of the SS11 shows. The laser cut leather used by Kane is possibly a step too far, however a shock of neon will surely brighten up those dull Spring days?

I will dress more like an old lady.

Long skirts, big cardigans, cosy jumpers, mohair, sheepskin coats, loafers and an abundance of camel, definitely the most comfortable way to dress in 2011.

A few add ons

Dress like a ballerina as seen at Chloe

Channel Valentine Fillol Cordier

I am sure the majority of these will get broken, particularly the investment pieces resolution, but I begin 2011 with good intentions, please feel free to share your own ‘style resolutions’ for the year by emailing

Harriet Tisdall

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Heroes of London Fringe entertainment, the multi-talented Giant Olive cast does not fail to impress! Giant Olive was founded in 2008 and has since produced 15 plays which are mostly classics but are also accompanied by dance, contemporary and new writing plays. The company has built a strong foundation and has an exciting, ambitious programme for 2011.

Their production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that I saw recently at The Lion & Unicorn pub in Kentish town was a far cry from some of London's more elaborate stages. However the 'lo-fi' & informal set added a unique and intimate atmosphere; wooden chairs, the faint sound of hound and I was even up close enough to see a miser with a tear in his eye. The venue didn't seem over crowded but it was dark - a perfect setting for the tale of old Scrooge!

Keep an eye out this new year for up and coming Giant Olive productions. It was a really enjoyable experience.

Hear the cast of ‘A Christmas Carol’ on radio 4

See the website:

Peter Gerald (Ebenezer Scrooge), Maud Arrault (Belle), Juliet Lundholm
(Belle's Sister)

Maud Arrault (Belle), James Scott (Young Scrooge)

Peter Gerald (Ebenezer Scrooge

Becky Pennick (Ghost of Christmas Present), Peter Gerald (Ebenezer Scrooge)

Photographs Copyright JJ Rist for Giant Olive.

Mairead Gillespie x

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Dear Rookie Creative readers,

I thought I might share some of my New Year’s resolutions:

Stop calling or texting people when drunk

Drink less

Use a hairbrush

Go to doctor

Go to dentist

Cook more

Eat less

Go to Bikram yoga despite my hatred for communal showers

Stop going to Pizza Express every Wednesday just because it’s 2 for 1 – with alcohol it still ends up being £15

Do not order an extra cheese burger on top of a Big Mac meal

Listen to my mother when she says chipped nail polish is for sluts even if it’s Chanel

What are yours? Email

Emily Chang x