Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Platfform Pre Launch Event (26/02/14)

The Platfform team are organising a fabulous pre-launch party to celebrate the new edition of the magazine. As you may already know, the theme of this year's edition is Indulgence and we hope to through a party to fit.

Throughout the evening local singers, bands and DJS including Sau, Emma Redford, Kayleigh Fish, Jeris Spencer and Vera Von Clitz will be filling the space there incredible talents. The event is tailored to attract those involved in fashion, the arts and the creative industries. So if this sounds like you, get involved!

The Platfform pre-launch party will take place on Thursday, 27th February at Peppermint Bar in Cardiff from 7pm to 11pm. We promise to put on a vibrant party! 

Cardiff fashion folk know how to party, so indulgence is the pefect magazine theme!” 

Patricia Brien
(Executive Producer)

Platfform PR Team

Friday, 21 February 2014

Platfform goes to London Fashion Week (21/02/14)

This week our deputy editors took to the streets of London town (AKA Somerset House), to gain some style-spiration from the glamorous, albeit eccentric, people visiting London for Fashion Week. It's pretty clear, from the snaps that they brought back, that here at Platfform we love the finer details. London Fashion Week showcases all kinds of designer, from the up-and-coming to the established. However the real show is the style that is found in the courtyard...

"London Fashion Week 2014…the most outrageous fashion devotees turn up outside Somerset House to show off their unique styles to, well, anyone that’s interested. 

Yes, we were stood at the sidelines a little in ore. Headwear of all shapes and sizes floated past us – giant pink trilbies to oversized sun hats (only at fashion week would you see these accessories in the midst of February). 

But there really is nothing like the atmosphere felt at LFW. A feeling that you really can be who ever you want to be and it’s completely allowed. Inspiring, yet slightly intimidating, London Fashion Week is defiantly a fashion students ultimate paradise."

Elly Gann & Lorna Slessor

(Deputy Editors)


We’re back! The first Platfform issue was released back in the year 2011, representing the University of South Wales in its very first fashion magazine. Ever since then, Platfform has evolved each year, bringing you the most innovative and creative design from our ambitious students. Platfform 2014 has been under construction and we are here to reveal the first inside look into our 2014 issue. This year’s Platfform edition is all about creating an indulgent escape for the fashion conscious. We aim to create an issue in which you, the reader can escape and explore a world created by most innovative new talent within the future industry.

As the digital platform for Platfform we will aim to provide you with a first look at our exclusive online content. This will vary from our fabulously cutting edge editorials with behind the scenes sneak peeks, to feature articles written by aspiring writers from all over the UK.

April Holcombe

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Kitan - Cardiff's Hidden Gem (18/10/13)

So as Cardiff Fashion week approaches I thought it would be a good idea to delve into some of the city’s relatively un-known independent businesses. Although arcades seem to be filled to the brim with stunning boutiques and gorgeous vintage shops, there is one gem that has yet to be discovered by the fashion lovers of the city.

Kitan is a small (and when I say small I really mean it) business ran by Mai Yamazaki. Originally from Japan, Mai has lived in this country for over 10 years and is using her true passion and love for textiles to create beautiful one off pieces of clothing, jewellery and shoes. Based in a small studio on Mill Lane in Cardiff, the Kitan showroom/studio really is a diamond in the rough. Not only is Mai’s work room filled with beautiful textiles that she has gathered from her travels to Morocco, it is also adorned with some of her handcrafted designs. It is easy to think that there are many places that offer hand made designs in cities but after speaking to Mai it is clear to see that the reason behind her work is purely based on her love for creating beautiful garments.

Mai’s small work area surrounded by beads, buttons and inspiration for her designs.

Speaking of her designs, Mai says that the embroidery work on her garments is created from using cactus silk, something she discovered in Morocco and a thread that is used frequently with embroidery there. Latifa is Mai’s hand embroiderer and is responsible for creating some of the most breathtaking and also time consuming designs on the Kitan pieces. From taking the time to source the perfect fabrics and the perfect people to work with these fabrics, Mai and her small team use the highest standard of silk and linen all complimented with the use of delicate and precise embroidery.  The image below shows one piece in the collection, highlighting just how amazing the garments are. Mai also told of how she tries to make all of the items she designs different, whether that be with different trims or different colours. It is clear to see in her collection how much thought and time goes into her work.

Each part of these necklaces is woven from Cactus silk in variations of colours.

Although it was clear as soon as I met Mai that she was a genuine woman with a genuine passion for what she does, it was amazing to hear that she also works with a charity for disabled women. Al Kawter is an organisation in Marrakech that teaches women how to embroider and sew, they are paid an hourly wage and in Mai’s words “Enjoy what every woman enjoys, sewing and sitting and being able to laugh.” This admirable love for making other people happy was clear to see when Mai showed me a board that showed generations of families in Morocco and Marrakech sewing together, learning how to embroider and passing what they know down through generations of family members.

As our conversation came to a close it was easy to see that being surrounded by her beautiful creations means the world to Mai, as she is ready to fly back to Morocco tomorrow (she misses the hustle and bustle) she offered some advice “I think keeping positive is the most important thing, if you are positive people will be able to see that, you can do anything with being positive, I never thought I would do this and I just followed my instinct and it has worked out well…well enough for now.”

Take some time and contact Mai, she offers open studios to look around and you can easily email her via the Kitan website. Kitan is a down to earth and refreshing look into creative and one off fashion like no other I have seen before.

Mai also said that she herself wants the idea of women through the generations teaching each other how to create and how to love what they do to somehow find it’s way into British design. With an industry that is focused highly on making money, Mai’s aim is to have loyalty and love within the creation of the items she and her team make. It is the story and the meaning behind her brand that Mai is determined to uphold.

Lucy Ashley

The Storm Before the... Storm (17/10/13)

During the run up to Cardiff Fashion Week the city becomes a hub of all things fashion. Although they may not be visible on every street corner, the hustle and bustle of organising shows, models and exhibitions is well and truly under way and today I have been a part of the set up of an exhibition taking place in the information centre for Fashion week in Royal Arcade.

This has been a multi-layered project. Each year, first year (‘freshers’) Fashion Promotion and Fashion Design students from University of South Wales collaborate to organise, promote and create garments for a showcase runway show in the Atrium campus. This year’s collaboration the Design students designed and created garments from newspaper, a wink to using recycled materials.

In their second incarnation, the garments have gone from catwalk to exhibition in the CFW Information Centre. A team curated by third year students, and installed by third, second and first years, are putting into practice their visual merchandising and promotion skills to create a centre that will be an important hub during fashion week.Today we visited the space in Royal Arcade to begin the set up for the centre. Having once been used as a cupcake shop, it is easy to imagine the blank canvas we had to work with. After four of us managed to carry around 30 paper dresses across town to the arcade we could start to throw around some ideas and start getting things in place.

With the inside of the shop needing an injection of life (and a good clean) the first day in was a mixture of playing Cinderella whilst mopping, polishing and making washing lines out of string whilst selecting some of the most amazing paper dresses, not to forget conceptualising how we want the space to be!The collection is set around the original Freshers’ show name of Pulp. With dresses being clipped up by pegs onto make shift washing lines and draped around the space for visitors to come inside and take a look at the creations whilst finding out all they want to know about Cardiff Fashion Week.

Lucy Ashley

Patching for Cardiff (17/10/13)

It is the run up to Cardiff Fashion Week and although it hasn’t officially begun yet there are many things happening already for people to get stuck into. 10 Morgan Arcade has inhabited an amazing project that is open to the Cardiff public to get people sewing and socialising and creating an all-round feel good environment, and I thought I would pop down and find out what it’s all about.

The Artes Mundi project, which is collaborating with CFW, has created a social space for people to come and create their own patches, all of the patches donated will then be transformed by the talented designer Tara Tarapetian, into a magnificent finale piece for the Fashion Week catwalk show. All materials within the space are provided to make a patch but people can be inspired to bring their own materials, one student created her patch by using her father’s handkerchief. Materials are all donated locally to create sustainable designs and create a community feel.

Social Patches was all inspired by one artist, Sheila Gowda, and her Down Under exhibition of quilted cushions. Each cushion represents different social and political aspects of India and raise quite heavy issues. There are images from the exhibition and insightful information on the inspirational Sheila Gowda in 10 Morgan Arcade as well as other beautiful quilts on display.

This is definitely a social space, as soon as I walked in people were laughing and nattering and I immediately felt comfortable and inspired. Speaking with Melissa Hinkin the organiser of the space and project, she informed me that the idea of Social Patches is ‘to mimic the social activity of quilting within a workspace, which will then create a patchwork scrapbook’. People are encourage to create a personal patch which can represent them or something they believe in, taking a look at the patches that have created the dress so far there really is a mix of personalities and messages.

Speaking with Melissa she described the dress to become a ‘reflection of the colourful landscape of people who make up Cardiff’ and will become a fantastic personal piece with such a variety of personal thoughts and messages. I was so inspired that I decided to create a patch myself to add my own message to the design.

Social Patches is also holding a selection of interesting events, head down this weekend to refine your sewing skills with textile artist Lisa Porch who will be holding an all day workshop. Make sure you attend the inspirational talk from Elen Phillips on Wednesday 16th October who will be talking through the fascinating story of James Williams and the ‘Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt’, and a not to miss event at the National Museum on the 25th October with the curator of fine art, Anne Pritchard who will be describing the interpretations of fashion within art and how the legacy has influenced fashion.

So if you are going to do anything this week make sure you pop into 10 Morgan Arcade to refine your sewing skills and partake in wonderful conversation with a wonderful eclectic mix of people.

Jade Atkinson

E.L.F Cosmetics (16/10/13)

As Cardiff Fashion week gets ready for the big launch on Saturday, a group of models taking part in the catwalk shows marched their way around Cardiff showcasing some of the Fashion Design students’ designs. The lucky models got the chance to have their make up done in new make up store E.L.F that has recently opened in Royal Arcade in the centre of Cardiff.

E.L.F. is a chic collection of high quality make-up products at AMAZING prices. Here in sunny Wales it is brother and sister team Neil and Jo who run the brand from their head office in Swansea. I will hopefully be able to find out more about E.L.F. as the blogger launch is tomorrow and I will get to have a chat to the lovely owners (hopefully.) But for now I have some stunning photographs of the models being made lovely by the great make up artists in E.L.F.

Once all of the glamorous models were made up with lovely E.L.F products, you may have seen them make their way through Cardiff and Cardiff Bay. This was just small taste of what to expect with this years fashion week. Keep your eyes peeled on the Fashion Week blog for more information about E.L.F as it is set to be huge! You heard it here first.

Make sure in the mean time you visit and check out their products!

Images – Courtesy of E.L.F. Cosmetics

Lucy Ashley