A Plus-Sized Woman’s Hour – Slink Magazine

Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine & Robyn Lawley | Vogue Italia Giugno | Published: 03/06/2011Plus-size models: Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine & Robyn Lawley. Vogue Italia Giugno Published: 03:June:2011 – Credits: Photography: Steven Meisel. Styling: Edward Enninful. Hair: Guido Palau. Make-up: Pat McGrath. Production: Sarah Maxwell.

I was driving down to Andover last Friday (23:01:2015) and as per usual I’m listening to BBC Radio 4; the beautiful, dulcet tones of Jenni Murray (extremely cuddly) and Woman’s Hour fill the air.

Jenni introduces the editor of the new Slink Magazine, Rivkie Baum (very cuddly) (Slink Magazine is the UK’s first plus-size fashion magazine) and Dr Orla Flannery (cuddly) a weight management expert from the University of Chester! I’m driving, listening to the chatter, when I’m slightly confused by the explanation of ‘model’s dress sizes!’ Yeah, don’t forget I’m driving!

A size 12 is a ‘plus-size’ model?

Fact: a size 12 is a plus-size model – I’m not disputing that! However, I always thought it was size 14! Call me old fashioned! <Lots of exclamation marks>

© Model: Persephone, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian RobsonPersephone – Height: 5’10 Bust: 33 Waist: 23 Hips: 34 Dress size: 10-12

Chris Roberts and I (1981) had just been up to Nevs models, on the King’s Road, and we were sitting in the Picasso Café having a beer, plotting our next move, when he pulled out the latest copy of Vogue Italia. He pointed out a fashion spread where some very young girls had been used as the models. I hated it, and said I hope this is not the future. Sizes ‘zero’ and ‘double zero’ were not being articulated at the time, however, everyone in the business was aware of the trend towards ultra thin models. For me, too thin and too young seemed offensive, disgusting and obscene.

The point is, in reality women were/are getting bigger! A typical model, Persephone, whose vital statistics in 1981 were: height: 5’10, bust: 33, waist: 23, hips: 34, was a dress size of 10 to 12, but today she would be a 4 to 6 or a USA size 0-ish!

Models are required to be tall (5’10-ish) and thin because clothes hang/look better on thin people! <more exclamation marks> We’re talking about the fashion industry here, not reality. It’s all about sales – maybe that should say money? Catwalk and photographic models are usually dress size 6 to 8, however, the UK national average dress size (in 2013) was/is about a size 16 (the basic range goes from sizes 4 to 28 – just in case you didn’t know).

Slink Magazine should reflect The Dove Campaign for Real BeautySlink Magazine should reflect The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Women, as we all know, come in all shapes and sizes; girls especially, have a lot of unnecessary body image pressures on them – pressure that is meted out by many different industries. While Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry behave like ‘Porn Stars,’ young girls are being bullied and teased because of the way they look!

Fat-positive feminists promote acceptance for women of all sizes; is SLiNK magazine a supporter of ‘Fat is a Feminist Issue’ by Susie Orbach? I hope so. For me, the acceptability of obesity has got to be balanced with health awareness, however, self-confidence and an end to food anxieties and faddy dieting, in my view, is a goal worth fighting for.


Footnote: if one searches for plus size models on Google, they’re mostly in lingerie! Why is that Slink Magazine?

What does SS15 and AW15 stand for?

“What does the SS and AW in SS15 and AW15 stand for within the world of fashion?” SS15 stands for the Spring Summer fashion season in the year 2015. The AW stands for the Autumn Winter season!

There are also three popular hashtags to be found on Twitter (and other social networks) over the next few days (and beyond up to Paris, September 23-October 1, 2014) #ss15, #aw15 and #LFW (London Fashion Week, September 12-16, 2014).

The British Fashion Council and the London Fashion Week Site are always a good places to keep up with events and for the links to the latest and live London Fashion Week news.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label show on Sunday 14 September 2014 @ 17:00 – by invitation only!

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions For 2014 – if you are interested? I’ll be posting my latest trends and fashion predictions for 2015 early in December 2014.

Proud to be a Sweaty Sock

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - Team Scotland's Parade Uniforms by Jilli Blackwood

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – Team Scotland’s Parade Uniforms by Jilli Blackwood. (left-right) Scott Wright (Rugby 7’s) Frania Gillen-Buchart (Squash) designer Jilli Blackwood, Charline Joiner (Cycling), Lee Jones (Rugby 7’s) and Sean Lamont (Rugby 7’s) – the opening ceremony uniforms during the Kitting out session at the Univeristy of Stirling, Stirling. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 6, 2014. Photo credit: Kenny Smith/PA Wire.

Okay, so I’ve had my pop at Jilli Blackwood on Facebook and Twitter:

Yeah, well, the blue of the shirt and dresses do make Team Scotland look like The McSmurfs and Jilli’s dark outfit is a little sinister and very Gargamel-esque, however, I would like to stand by her by saying, “The tartan weave and design is traditional, emotional and inspiring (just like the Scots. The blokes really do look like Tartan Trannies – haha), and as her source of inspiration for the design of the shirt and dress, I feel sure that Jilli is reflecting the pattern used throughout the Scottish Parliament. For me, there is a strong feeling of Henri Matisse in the look. Jilli is a renowned textile artist and designer, and I feel Very confident that when Team Scotland’s athletes step forth and parade around in the dazzling opening ceremony they will look Totally Awesome.” The petition to scrap Team Scotland’s parade uniform is bollocks – The funny thing is though, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games mascot is called Clyde, it’s a thistle designed by competition winner Beth Gilmour, from Cumbernauld, but it looks like a Gollywog and no one seems to care – which is very odd!

Anyway, moving on to some politics, I suppose that pumped up, little bully Alex “Fish Face” Salmond and that fucking little Ewok Nicola Sturgeon, will call a Jihaggis when the beautiful, fair people of bonnie Scotland vote NO in their independence referendum on the 18th of September 2014: obviously Salmond’s as thick as a short plank, everyone in England knows that if the Scottish really wanted independence, all they had to do was give the vote to the English – we’d soon tell them to fuck off because we’re sick to the back teeth of hearing, “I hate being ruled by Westminster” – and then there’s that dour Andy Murray, who said that he would be supporting anyone other than England in the 2006 World Cup, obviously he faced a backlash from his English fans and his excuse was that he was only joking, but let’s face it, all the clown was doing was echo a typical anti-English sentiment that’s rife throughout Scotland, he’d unconsciously laid bare his inner thoughts (wanker) like the egotistical Tommy Sheridan, who was on Andrew Neil’s totally brilliant late night show “This Week” (10 July 2014 @ 11.35pm) – Sheridan did the “Take of the Week” slot, which parodied the opening scene from one of my favourite films, Trainspotting directed by Danny Boyle, where heroin addicts Mark “Rent Boy” Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Daniel “Spud” Murphy (Ewen Bremner) are running hell for leather down Princes Street in Edinburgh and are being chased by two John Menzies’ security guards, but Sheridan’s voice is not the voice of an eloquent punk, it’s the voice of an embittered socialist, “Choose life, choose more jobs, choose more homes, choose a publicly run health service, choose free education, choose a living wage, choose spending on hospitals and schools not immoral nuclear bombs, choose a new fairer Scotland, choose independence…” he blurts out, letting us all know what he really thinks, that they’re a nation of drunks and junkies, Sheridan missed out Irvine Welsh’s ending to that section, “But why would I want to do a thing like that?” Choose wondering who the fuck you are on a Friday morning after staying up til the wee small hours drinking Tennent’s larger and watching Itchy and Scratchy – the Abbott and Portillo show, and ye can stop ya fah-kin whingein cuz we all know what it’s like being ruled by the fuckin Scots, Gordon “Bigoted” Brown Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010, who was also previously the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007, and Alistair Darling Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010, fucked us All up the arse during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis – including 2008 UK banking crisis – (the worst crisis since the 1930s great depression), which cost the United Kingdom hundreds of billions of pounds sterling and then at the time, the socialists had the audacity to protest, “Why should we pay for their crisis?” as if they lived on the forest moon of Endor, Oh Shite they do. Okay, well it was under the watchful eyes of Messrs Brown and Darling when the former treasury chief secretary Liam Byrne (Labour MP for Birmingham), left that infamous note for his successor saying, “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left” and there it was, yet another slip that tells us all the Scottish members of the Labour Party are not to be trusted with the United Kingdom’s finances – Salmond’s fascist Scotland will soon go bankrupt and bring the rest of the UK (The London English) to its knees – retribution for 1746 Rab C. Nesbitt style, which is totally brilliant because it will boot the Scottish Olympic team, Football team and their effeminate Rugby team firmly into touch, they’ll never win another medal, shelf-determination at its best :)

Proud to be a Sweaty Sock - playing golf at one and a half years old

Proud to be a Sweaty Sock – Me playing golf St Andrews 1 1/2 years old

I’m part Scottish (paternal grandparents), Robson wears the Gunn Clan Tartan, our motto is, “either peace or war.” As a baby I lived in St Andrews, Fife. My Silver Cross pram in the background, my brilliant golf swing in the foreground.

I LOVE Scotland – We Are Better Together in a United Kingdom

Fashionable Antiques in Farnham

antiques farnham surrey - The Antiques WarehouseAntique centres, like the The Antiques Warehouse, make great location studios – especially when they are set in the attractive setting of two Elizabethan tithe barns; they’re brilliant, fascinating indoor venues for models, photographers, hairdressers and make-up artists who are just starting out and looking to build their portfolios by doing collaborative test sessions.

Don’t forget, antique centres usually allow free access to period props and room settings.

I am currently supporting Hilary on Twitter – please feel free to join me at either @SlashHairNet or @JackVonFrost. The Antiques Warehouse displays fashionable antiques in Farnham – it is a wonderful, friendly centre.

Look Good At Interviews

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Campaign for Real Beauty

Sali Hughes – @salihughes, a prolific and talented writer, broadcaster and blogger (who I follow on Twitter BTW), Tweeted:

I was immediately transported back to my school days and our ridiculous careers advice officer. He looked like the cross between a 1960s Russian spy, a lowly civil servant, a bundle of old rabbit tweed socks and Johnny Morris (of Animal Magic fame. A BBC Bristol children’s series running from 1962-1983). My older sister was the first to encounter him. “What do you want to do when you leave school?” he asked in the voice of a hamster. “I want to be a primary school teacher,” replied my sister. “Well, I don’t think you should set your goals too high; I would advise you to apply to Woolworths,” he said in the voice of Dotty the Lemur. My sister came home crying, distraught at the thought of her miserable future. “I told him I want to be a primary school teacher and I’m Going to BE a Fucking primary school teacher,” she sobbed and screamed petulantly. Brilliant. Obviously the careers advice officer was using reverse psychology; there he sat like a sack of King Edward spuds, but with the psychological profile of every child in the school at his fingertips. Evidently against my sister’s name they had, belligerent bitch, use reverse psychology! And of course it worked, she became a fucking primary school teacher! Against my name they had, Dreamer – tell him what he wants to hear! He was such a Tosser. However, that is still a long way from being told you look like a sexual predator. Was she, the careers teacher in question, overcome with political correctness (like I am) and didn’t know how to articulate her feelings? Did she just want to say, “No one is going to employ you looking like that, you silly little tart.” …Well it had to be said! Maybe the careers teacher was actually trying to help? It’s not usually straightforward, there is normally another side to the story – I’d like to hear it. ROGUE by Rihanna - sexually suggestive perfume ad.

ROGUE by Rihanna – sexually suggestive perfume ad. Pushing boundaries?

Here in the United Kingdom, we do live in an over sexualised world, just look at the latest erotic advertisement for Rihanna’s new perfume Rogue. It has been banned in the UK from areas where children are likely to see it – That’s going to work! Anyway, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled:

“While we did not consider the image to be overtly sexual, we considered that Rihanna’s pose, with her legs raised in the air, was provocative. Because of this, and the fact that Rihanna appeared to be naked except for high heels, we concluded that the ad was sexually suggestive and should have been given a placement restriction to reduce the possibility of it being seen by children.”

Children, girls especially, have a lot of unnecessary body image pressure on them – pressure that is meted out by many different industries. While Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry behave like ‘Porn Stars’ (it’s crazy, why do we let them corrupt our society?), young girls are being bullied and teased because of the way they look! As The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty says, “Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.” …And I think they should also say, “Where Confidence Is The Source Of Beauty.” Most People Are Beautiful. Here is my Hairdresser’s Tip of how to look for an interview: It’s all about projecting the Real You and a positive first impression – we all have different personas, but true beauty comes from within. Your look should fit the interview, if it’s the school careers teacher, well polished smart casual and following the school uniform policy to the letter. Generally speaking: a smart dark suit with hemline low enough so you can sit down comfortably, and with conservative shoes to match. Jewellery should be kept simple and not overtly distracting. Obviously a professional hairstyle – the key to your hair looking really good is the haircut! The goal is to be comfortable and natural, after getting your hair cut professionally you should easily be able to present a neat and polished look. If you’ve got difficult hair, it may be a good idea to get a blow dry the day before. Keeping the hair away from the face with a ponytail or a simple sleek chignon is a good idea for long hair. Keep the make-up looking chaste and the perfume sparingly light. All that said, why would anyone call a Normal Young Person a sexual predator, the phrase has such vile connotations and symbolism associated with it? Horrid.

[Edit] Just seen a picture of the young girl in question, she looks like you’d expect, Really Lovely (thought I’d share it with you) – good luck to her :-) xXx


What does AW14 stand for?

Vivienne Westwood Red Label show – London Fashion Week AW14

This last weekend a client asked me, “What does the AW in AW14 stand for?” AW stands for the Autumn Winter fashion season, the 14 is the year – SS14 stands for Spring Summer 2014!

There are also two popular hashtags #aw14 and #ss14 on Twitter (and other social networks) during the various fashion weeks around the world.

The fashion industry as a whole is working around 6 to 12 months in advance – obviously there are exceptions. The Autumn/Winter collections are usually released sometime in February. The next round of shows are SS15: New York, September 4-11, 2014. London, September 12-16, 2014. Milan, September 17-23, 2014. Paris, September 23-October 1, 2014.

The British Fashion Council is always a good place to keep up with events and London Fashion Week.

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions For 2014 – if you are interested?

BTW, nice hair on the Vivienne Westwood model.

How Street Style Photographers Make Money | Fashionista

How Street Style Photographers Make Money | Fashionista – A interesting article by Alyssa Vingan for all you budding street photographers out there.
St George Street
Just around the corner from Vogue House (Hanover Square), a much photographed innocent looking doorway in St George Street, how many street photography opportunities have passed by here? …I’ve seen a few!

If you’re a budding, young photographer thinking of going into street style fashion photography; you may think that street style is relatively new? Maybe that’s because street fashion photographers also tend to be bloggers, and blogging has only been popular since around 2000! But no, street style fashion photography has been around for ages. Here is one of the BEST archives I’ve seen: My Dad’s Photos (John Hendy photography) via @SimonHendy – they’re Awesome Simon :)

The Inner Beauty Of Leon Hamme

malcolm mcdowell

I don’t know if a picture of Leon exists? I always thought he looked like Malcolm McDowell, which is why I’ve included a picture of him (above), to give you an impression and set the scene! This picture of McDowell is very Leon.

My first memory of Leon was the two of us sitting in the back of a London taxi one dark, wet winter’s night in 1972/3. We were late, as per usual, travelling from Ricci’s George Street salon to the King’s Road salon for model night. He was a well seasoned hairdresser, probably at his pinnacle and I was a n00bie Junior in my renaissance. We talked of my progress, he casually told me not to worry and that I’d do well. I was hanging on to his every word, but by his tone I knew he didn’t care.

Leon talked as if I wasn’t there, he soliloquised about ‘creating The look’ and ‘bringing out a client’s personality’, his lofty words floated way above my head and I struggled to take it all in. Unfortunately our ‘conversation’ was cut short by our arrival and we didn’t ever talk of such things again.

I moved to the King’s Road salon and after a short time Leon left Ricci Burns. I asked Tina if she had any memories (I nearly wrote mammaries – Freudian slip) of Leon? Tina replied, “Once, Leon was finishing his 5 o’clock client and Reception were getting his client to pay so they could cash up. When they presented her with the bill, Leon noticed that her name was Mrs. Odsog, and proceeded to start giggling as he had recently had a ‘smoke’ and he found her name hilarious. It turned out that he had a friend who had a cat called Odd-sock and he told the client! She wasn’t amused at having the piss taken out of her!” And I thought, oh yeah – That was so typically Leon!

Skip forward a few years until about 1980/81; I’d been to Paris to do a fashion show and photo session, on my return I ended up in Windsor waiting for a lift home – I think. Anyway, I was in Windsor, looking around, killing time – And there he was, Leon, standing outside a hairdressing salon (Chess-Set, Church Street, Windsor) having a smoke. He greeted me like a long lost friend, eager to hear of past times. He looked totally out of place to me. And we became friends for a short time – maybe for four or five years.

We would normally meet-up for lunch and sometimes we’d swap haircuts. We talked of old times, and apart from the drugs, we discovered we had had carbon copy career paths – almost. But, Leon Hamme, my creative role model, was now on a downward spiral. He floated from salon to salon, Chess-Set, Cassidy, the Holiday Inn, he was freelance, he was probably on heroin! And the last I heard of him, was that he was going to do a film – 1985 Max Headroom (TV movie) (Leon Hamme: assistant hair stylist)!

Fast-forward to Tuesday 26th November 2013, I’m reading the news and I see, Where fantasy ends and reality begins: Unnerving images show multi-ethnic women digitally merged with Barbie dolls – Epiphany. There it is, a photograph that makes clear Leon’s dream like soliloquy.

Sheila Pree BrightSheila Pree Bright’s ‘Plastic Bodies’, like Katie Piper, transcend what most people think of as real beauty and asks us to look at the individual within. We all have a complex range of ideas of what Beauty is, these ideas are mainly foisted upon us by the commercialisation of society – I think that the Barbie doll itself, is a perfect example the false, airbrushed, synthetic, siliconed and plasticised world we live in. And Sheila Pree Bright’s beautiful and fascinating images give us all a slap around the face and say Wake Up – They did to me anyway!

Hair colourist Lester Baldwin once said to me, “Leon Hammé is the world’s best hairdresser by far.” I don’t know the final part to his story, I’m pretty sure he popped his clogs in the 1980s! He certainly had an inner beauty and he was way ahead of his time.