Tuesday, 25 September 2012


OK, so what happened to London Fashion Week 2012? The extravagance and drama was distinctively lacking for me this year.  Where was the outrageous, the crazy, the shock factor, the jaw dropping OMG pieces?

Well, I suppose Sister by Sibling provided the fun element with their frankly bizarre lacy masks and pompom headwear accessorising a young and funky womenswear collection but I had started to worry I might get a touch of snowblindness with all the white going on this year.

Marios Schwab finally sprinkled a confetti of colour on proceedings, bringing an oasis to the desert of blandness! His collection is full of bold colours and lots of extravagant fringing. The make up was fab too. Hurray for Marios Schwab, I say.

More colour came from Matthew Williamson’s tie dyed collection in Day 3, offering an ethnic look for next summer. I hope this filters down to the high street, it takes me back to my student days and makes me feel a hell of a lot younger.

It does seem though that white is going to be the ‘hot’ colour of Spring/Summer 2013 – but don’t expect me to be wearing it. I already look like a ghost and my whites stay white about 30 seconds regardless of what Ariel and Persil might have you believe.

Another recurrent feature of the show was the hemlines, with lots of designers giving their dresses and skirts an asymmetric shape.  I can live with that – it’s not often that I wear skirts myself anyway – but I do struggle with asymmetric garments when I’m creating my own designs. It’s like seeing a skew whiff painting on the wall, it just has to be straightened. Maybe I should jump out of my comfort zone and give it a go one day? I can feel the stress levels rising just thinking about it!

Pretty darn cool and definitely my favourite this year was Fashion East. Showcasing on Day 2, they are definitely worth a peek if you like the punky look and Todd Lynn gets a thumbs up from moi for his elegant yet quirky designs. Some wicked jackets there. Vivienne Westwood, always one to follow - well she is just uber cool. What else is there to say?

London Fashion Week 2012 – generally a bit disappointing in my humble opinion – but what do I know?

Saturday, 16 June 2012


This changing weather here in the UK is giving me some serious grief. One minute I’m lounging in the garden wearing my sunnies and shorts and the next I’m wrapping up in extra layers, making British Gas happy, and waiting for the next downpour.

So there was me in March, heading into the horrible itchy scratchy fibreglass-filled hole that is my attic, to retrieve my summer stuff ( much earlier than usual) ,only for the cold wintery weather to return just a couple of weeks later. Several weeks of constant rain followed and then wham bam, here’s the sunshine again, smiling sarcastically at us like it had never abandoned us in the first place before the smile was wiped quickly off its round yellow face once more.
I usually have a fantastic crop of tomatoes coming out this time of year – you – weather, have ensured that only three of my seeds actually sprouted this year! You’ve drowned my strawberries, killed off my lettuce, and probably turned my tatties into mush too. And, damn you, you’ve made the dandelions in my lawn grow at a rate of knots at a time when I can’t even venture outside to mow the lawn for fear of electrocuting myself!

As for my creativity level - well, you've washed it down the drain. Grey skies just make me want to hibernate under my quilt where it's nice and cosy.

Rain, I’m bored of you. We’re all bored of you. Please sun, can you come back soon? And this time, will you at least stay a few months? I have work to do...

Friday, 15 June 2012


If you happen to be in the vicinity of my studio and you hear some serious cursing going on, you can pretty much guess that I have: a) stabbed myself with a pin, b) cut myself on a rotary cutter, or c) am being harassed by a piece of fabric.

Pins and sharp objects are obvious workplace dangers when you are a fashion designer (I’ll never forget my fashion tutor’s famous words “never walk around with pins in your mouth” while walking round with pins in her mouth; come on, we all do it!), but fabric is what gives me more headaches than anything.
I have my personal pet hates and the biggest culprit is stretch velvet. As soon as you cut it, it starts to curl up at the edges then, after you have carefully pinned your pieces together and start sewing, the fibres rub against each other and start “walking” so by the time you get to the end one piece is several inches longer than the other! I confess to have had several tantrums over this. Duck! Flying velvet heading your way!

I remember once making a black furry gilet with a fabulous fabric that looked like poodle fur. The finished result was fantastic, but I was hoovering up the fibres created when cutting out the pieces for months. It was like they’d managed to float around the house. They were everywhere. Atchooooooo!
Then there are delicate fabrics like silk and chiffon. Seriously, you only need to throw them a passing glance before a snag mysteriously appears. Chiffon is so fine, it’s an art form in itself trying to sew it before it falls apart. I avoid it like the plague.
Polyester lining fabrics are awful to work with too, because the mere sniff of an iron makes them shrink so by the time you attempt to attach it to your main fabric, it’s several sizes smaller. And if you aren’t in the know, you could end up with the type that causes electric shocks from static build up. Ouch!
I love working with denim and cotton drill because they don’t fray, don’t curl, don’t snag, but even they are not without their issues. On a side seam of a pair of jeans for example, there could be 12 layers of fabric folded over each other and sewing machines can struggle to go through them. You need a pretty durable sewing machine to cope with this or you end up with skipped stiches or the machine simply refuses to go over it.
And have you ever considered the amount of work that goes into matching up patterned fabric pieces? This takes considerable patience and planning and often leaves you with lots of wasted material.

So, we fashion designers have to employ all sorts of tactics to counter these problems. Fabrics, wherever possible, need to be pre-shrunk, either by washing, ironing or both, before cutting begins. Tedious? Oh yes. We creatives like to get stuck into the task in hand, and all this prepping is a pain!

Depending on the fabric we are using, the style we are creating, we have to select the right kind of thread, the right type of sewing machine needle, the correct stitch type and length (and sometimes also width). We have to consider the best way of holding fabric pieces together when sewing to prevent ‘walking’, stretching, and other issues. When pins can’t be used because they could leave holes in the fabric, other techniques need to be used – mini bulldog clips, stabilising fabrics and tape are just a few possibilities.
Fortunately, I own a couple of useful books that give an insight into pretty much all types of fabrics, detailing their qualities and quirks with recommendations on how to work with them to avoid all their respective pitfalls. They even give tips on how to wash/care for each type of fabric. So if you need a fabric bible, I’d suggest you take a look at either Fabric Savvy or More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Folk musician Tarq Bowen jetted off to new York earlier this month to shoot a video for his new track Percival Brown, armed with his amazing resonator guitar, harmonica and a specially made outfit by Mosquito Head UK suitably topped off by his iconic bowler hat.

Here he is strumming away in a park, doing a rendition of one of  his earlier songs, Man Like Me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRO1XaCujRo

Watch out for the official Percival Brown video which I’ll post as soon as it’s available. Oooh, exciting stuff!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Check out a video showing selected designs from my Looks That Kill collection featuring garments made from bright leatherette combined with bold jersey tops and leggings. The video was filmed and produced by Mista SmiffTV with models Emoke Stokes and Elena Luzaic. Filmed in Birmingham UK. All items in the video plus more garments from the collection are available to purchase from Mosquito Head UK's shop at www.fashionkillerz.com.


Thursday, 24 May 2012


Sunshine! Hurray, at last it is back with a vengeance. OK so I’m going to make the most of it, just in case the horrendous weather makes a comeback. Sunglasses – check. Suntan lotion – check. Sandals – check. Bikini…………OMG! Do I really have to?

I’m sure I’m not the only woman secretly cringing about shedding the layers of clothes that cover up their ‘flaws’ – the humps and bumps that essentially make them a woman!
A recent survey by cosmetics giant, Garnier, confirmed what we’ve known for ages:  women are obsessed by their bodies. Researchers surveyed 3,000 18-40 year old women in the UK, Australia and the US, and found that seven per cent thought about their bodies 50 times a day and 20 per cent thought about it 10 times a day.

Tummies were their least favourite part of the body followed by their butts. Almost half – 46 per cent of women who were surveyed - said they wanted to be firmer and flatter around their middle, with twenty per cent wanting a better bum. Surely the fact that the majority of us are fretting about our flabby bits just proves that what we see as ‘imperfect’ is simply the norm; who said we are supposed to have washboard stomachs and pert bottoms in order to be perfect?

Other parts of the body are also a source of unhappiness, with 10 per cent not happy with their breasts, 14 per cent not happy with their legs and four per cent wanting to change the way their arms look.

So stop worrying about baring your body and treat yourself to a stunning new swimsuit, you are a perfectly normal, sexy woman, so go for it. All you need to do is choose the style that suits your body type. I’m no expert on the subject, but it makes sense that if you are the proud owner of a rounded tum or a large butt, then wearing the skimpiest bikini bottoms you can find will simply let it all hang out – not a good look. Find a top that supports and flatters; a string bikini worn by a woman with Jordanesque boobs – again not a good look. Get the picture?

If you want to stand out on the beach for all the right reasons, then check out a range of alternative swimwear by UK designers ATROPOS and Dancing Dolls UK. Both have created very different and unique styles which you won’t find on the high street but you can find them online at www.fashionkillerz.com.

Just as an afterthought, did you know that preferred styles of beachwear differ from one country to the next?  I just stumbled upon this bit of info that I thought I’d share with you. This came from another recent study conducted by INVISTA, the manufacturer of the Lycra® fiber which reveals the habits of 2,576 swimwear shoppers in Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and United States.

- Italy: tops the list of bikini wearers.
- UK: tops the list of one-piece wearers.
- US: tops the list for tankini wearers.
- France: prefer delicate fabrics and prints.
- Germany: spend the most on beachwear on average (27% spend between US$61 - US$100 per swimsuit)
- Brazil: demand the most quality from their suits (68% name quality as top factor in the buying decision), followed by Americans (49%) and Germans (48%)

I guess I’m not your stereotypical English woman in this respect then as it’s tankini all the way for me. Covers up a multitude of sins, don’t you know!

Monday, 26 March 2012

New collection from Mosquito Head launches at Alter Me Up fashion show

Fashion Killerz designer Mosquito Head UK launches her new collection, 'Stereotypes' at the Alter Me Up fashion and music show on Friday 30th March.

Taking place from 7.30pm on Friday 30 March at The Asylum Venue, on Great Hampton Street in Birmingham, the Alter Me Up show will showcase the work of ten new and established designers from across the Midlands.
Organised jointly by Enviious Events and Erf Music, the show will also feature dramatic sketches, dance and entertainment by Pyro Productionz, and four live bands which will play after the show.
Stereotypes is a collection of bold ladies wear and also Mosquito Head's first venture into menswear. The collection embodies the designer's bold statement styles and includes a number of unique one-off pieces that are sure to make you stand out from the crowd. Keep an eye on the What's New link on our homepage to find out when they are available or join our facebook page where you'll be able to see pics from the show soon after the event. www.facebook.com/fashionkillerz1
The performing bands on the night include :-

Headliners Gehtika – genre Metal

This Elegant Chaos - genre Rock

Silent Jack - genre Hard Rock

Left For Red – genre Heavy Metal.

Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase a range of unique clothing and jewellery from a selection of designer stalls that will be open during the event.

Jennifer Sutton, manager at Enviious Events, said: “This show will bring together some of the most exciting local fashion designers in an event that celebrates the diversity of the alternative scene. As it’s such a broad genre, we’ve been able to secure some amazing designers, each with their own individual style. They’ve created some stunning work for the show including include Burlesque, latex and steampunk styles; historically inspired garments; alternative swimwear, jewellery and even a batman themed collection.

“Everyone involved - from designers, models, make-up artists, musicians and photographers - has worked really hard in preparation to make this show a success and we can promise an evening packed full of drama, creativity and music.”

Doors open at 7.30. Tickets purchased in advance are priced £8, or cost £10 on the door (£13 after 9.30) and can be purchased at http://altermeuprunway.eventbrite.co.uk/.