First Call of Autumn

30.10.2016

talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-7

talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-6talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-4talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-2talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-2talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-2talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-2dscf2986| Coat COS | Jeans Vintage Levi’s | Top Armor Lux via Scout Dublin | Shoes Gucci Jordaan Loafers | Bag Céline Trio |

talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly

talknthreads-manchester-outfit-liadh-connolly-siomha-connolly-2Seasons are changing

Colours of autumn appear

Leaves float before fall.

It can only mean one thing. Autumn is here and ready to be embraced. The camel coat is out again and soon bare ankles will be a thing of the past. The buildings above illustrate the shift perfectly as they appear weathered to perfection and are brushed in an autumnal palette all year round. The most beautiful season of all, embrace it while you can.

Photos taken in Manchester by Liadh Connolly.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear

29.09.2016

undressed-brief-history-of-underwear-victoria-and-albert-museum-london

Undergarments are some of the most personal clothing items in our wardrobes. Hidden beneath layers of other clothing, these are items that are extremely intimate. These private items can, however, have outward functions (the underwear as outerwear trend, anyone?) and at times can be somewhat controversial: “Their fit, fabric and decoration reflect changing attitudes to morality, gender and sex; shifting notions of private and public; and innovations in fabric technology and design.” Previously a scarcely talked about topic, underwear has quite literally been hidden from history. Call it prudish, private or just personal, people are hesitant to speak openly about underwear. However, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, the new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum aims to uncover this hidden topic and open a conversation around the history of underwear.

Underwear is worn for multiple reasons; modesty, cleanliness, comfort and pleasure. Some can be purely functional, modifying a woman’s shape into the “body ideal”- corsets being the extreme version of this in centuries past and tummy-sucking underwear such as the famed Bridget Jones style ‘Spanx’ products today. Its principle function, however, is to cover the body. Until the 20th Century, appearing without a corset was considered indecent and immoral regardless of the fact that tightly-laced corsets resulted in breathing difficulties and were advised against by doctors of the time. Underwear for women has also been seen in the past as a form of repression, restricting women’s bodies and in turn affecting their health.

But as the times progressed, so too did underwear. The term “brassiere” was introduced around 1904-5 when undergarments began to shift away from corsets to a simpler, more comfortable style of underwear which supported the breasts from the shoulders. It is said that this was due to fears that corsets were affecting women’s reproductive organs. Throughout history bras, as we now know them, have had different functions resulting in the many different styles that we have today such as bras to lift, enhance, separate and suppress. For example, bandeau bras were worn to suppress the breasts during the 1920s to give the boyish silhouette that was fashionable at the time, while the 1940s saw conical style bras introduced to compliment the wider A-line shape that was in fashion during this period. The term “lingerie” emerged slightly earlier than this in the late 19th Century where delicate fabrics such as silk were used to create provocative or suggestive designs of underwear. No matter the time period, “our choice of underwear reflects our identity, lifestyle, taste, desires and fantasies.”

Fashion and underwear are intrinsically connected as fashion trends dictate shapes and styles of underwear. Underwear can effectively create a desired gendered silhouette to conform to the certain body ideal that is popular at the time. Most underwear is gender specific, although in recent times the lines between the sexes are beginning to blur particularly through the use of fashion and clothing. Calvin Klein has been ahead of this concept for some time now (since 1983 to be exact) when they began creating similar style briefs for both men and women. Acne Studios are another brand who have picked up on gender neutral underwear which allows for the increasingly liberal attitudes towards gender fluidity that are present today.

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There is so much more to underwear than just it’s functional properties or simply being the necessary first step of getting dressed. From the liberation of women and their bodies in one sense when corsets became out-dated in the early 20th Century, to the women’s liberation movement and feminism’s ‘burning of the bras’ in the ’60s to symbolise women’s emancipation from patriarchy, underwear carries great historical, social and political meaning. What hasn’t changed over the years is the idea of the body ideal and a certain fascination with the female physique which is particularly influenced by fashion and current trends. These challenging and often damaging body ideals are part of the problems and pressures that women are still faced with today.

Exploring the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion, this exhibition deserves praise for charting the development of all styles of undergarments as well as loungewear and nightwear since the early 18th Century. The V&A’s Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition is brimming with fascinating detail on these not so talked about items of clothing and is certainly worth a visit not only for its spectacular curation of over 200 pieces of costume, personal and designer male and female undergarments, but also for its informative historical, social and political lesson on the history of underwear.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear will be on display in the V&A museum in London until March 2017. 

This article was originally published on maven46.

 

And The Days Roll By

12.08.2016

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I’ve never been one to overshare online, in fact, I think I hold quite a reserved profile. While I share a lot of images of myself I don’t tend to share a lot of personal information and I have to say I quite like it that way. However, I know I’m always interested in learning more about the bloggers I follow, their backgrounds and personalities, so I thought I’d give a bit of an insight into myself and what I actually do in today’s post. It came to my attention that a lot of people might not know what I’ve been doing for work since I graduated from college last May. It’s been an exciting year with projects that I never could of dreamed of falling into my hands. Although I say falling, a lot of it didn’t happen that gracefully- it’s been a lot of hard work, but the hard work has definitely paid off.

Last September I returned from a summer in New York refreshed, eyes open, and ready to enter the real world and focus on my passions after four years of intense studying in college. I went back to my job in Topshop, where I began managing a vintage concession called Loving Youth. I was working full-time and found that I didn’t have any time or energy to focus on creative work. This became quite damaging and although I did like my job, it started to feel very monotonous and wasn’t challenging me creatively. After Christmas I began looking for internships so that I could gain some proper writing experience. I’d done some freelance writing during college but didn’t have enough experience to apply for some of the jobs that I would have liked. I came across an online magazine called maven46, and as soon as I read through a few (ok all!) of their articles, saw the design of their site, and did a bit more research, I knew this was a company I was interested in. I got in touch with them by e-mail and after a few e-mails were exchanged, complete with some samples of my writing, links to my blog and Instagram, I secured a part-time internship in the editorial department. I was over the moon with this and could feel it was the start of something special. Soon after, I left my full-time job in Topshop and entered the world of unemployment/freelance/interning whatever you want to call it. It was a risky move leaving a permanent, secure retail job but at the time it wasn’t meant for me and it wasn’t making me happy. I needed a fresh start and that’s exactly what I got.

Shortly after leaving Topshop maven46 made my position a bit more permanent, but I still needed something else on the side to keep me going. I applied for a weekend job in Indigo & Cloth, a menswear clothing store in Temple Bar. I’ve worked in Indigo & Cloth for a few months now and I have to say it’s such a nice place to work. It’s so much more chilled than any other retail job I’ve had, it really doesn’t even feel like working in retail. There’s a really good atmosphere, a small team, and I’m learning a lot about the business side of retail as well as doing general shop work and visual merchandising.

Along with all of this my editor at maven46, Tanya Grimson, (hi Tanya!) is also a stylist so I’ve been working with her on some really exciting styling jobs. As well as shooting editorials for maven46 we’ve been busy doing a number of shoots for companies such as Aer Lingus and I’ve just completed my first solo styling job which was for a new RTÉ series which will be airing in October- keep your eyes peeled! My days in maven46 have now increased which is great because I’m learning so much about the company, getting to write interesting articles every day, and managing a couple of exciting upcoming projects that we’re working on. My title at maven46 is ‘Editorial Assistant’ and my focus is on writing fashion and lifestyle content for the site. As is the case in start-ups, my role expands into much more than this depending on the day and the tasks required.

I think all of this explains why Talknthreads has taken a bit of a back seat. As well as finding it difficult to get the time to put posts together it’s also rare that mine and Liadh’s schedules cross paths these days so it’s hard to find a day to shoot. We’re hoping to create a system soon that will help us to shoot more content and update Talknthreads more frequently, so stay tuned.

As I write this post, today marks my 25th day in a row working, with only one “day off” when I went to London, which was technically a working day too as I was there for an event on behalf of maven46. I hit a slump in the middle when I had about a million things on and a million thoughts running through my brain, but now things are (slightly) calmer I have to say that I couldn’t be happier. In ways it doesn’t feel like I’ve been working so much, I think things are a lot easier when you love your job(s). I’m also a firm believer in rewarding yourself after hard work so because of this I’ve treated myself to something really special this week. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time so I thought what better way to reward myself for hard work and for getting to where I am today, a position I couldn’t have imagined being in as I finished my final year in college last year. It’s also a lot easier to stay focused and motivated when there’s some sort of reward in sight, whether it’s simply a feeling of pride after completing a project or a physical treat. There’s nothing like a bit of me-love! Keep an eye on my Instagram to see what I’m talking about.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into my working life. I often get questions about college and work in my Tumblr asks so if you have anything you’d like to know drop me a message over there.

A Pinch of Pinstripe

31.07.2016

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Pinstripe 4Pinstripe 3Pinstripe 2Pinstripe 5| Dress & Trousers Topshop | T-shirt Forever 21 | Sandals Birkenstock via Voo Store | Sunglasses Ace & Tate | 

This is an outfit I wore to London last week, unfortunately Liadh couldn’t come with me so we shot these pictures when I arrived home the next day. It was a flying visit and I was there for a work event but I did manage to squeeze lots in over the short space of 24 hours. I’ll be publishing a full day’s guide to London over on maven46 next week so have a read of it if you’re planning a trip over soon. One of the main things I wanted to do while I was there was to visit an area in London that I’d never been to before. My last few trips have been mainly based around Shoreditch, and while it is a great area I wanted to try something new. So my first stop was Notting Hill for breakfast at Farm Girl Café and my last stop was Peckham for some drinks with friends, I ticked off two new areas in one day and although very different, I really liked them both. Notting Hill was really picturesque with it’s pastel coloured rows of houses, and all of the trinket and gift shops along Portobello Road. I was there midweek so I didn’t get to see the market, but apparently it gets very overcrowded so I’ve heard a midweek visit can be better. I really liked Peckham too, it reminded me of Brooklyn in New York specifically Bushwick where I lived last year. Apparently it’s the new up and coming area, it has lots of galleries and exhibition spaces and cool bars, we were hoping to make it to one of the rooftop bars but it started raining in the evening so we had to settle for a bar built underneath the railway station- not a bad fallback option, and they made great Pina Colada’s!

The outfit was chosen mainly for comfort reasons, I was flying early in the morning and knew I would have a lot of walking around to do during the day. I originally planned on wearing just the dress but when the forecast predicted rain I threw my trousers on underneath too and so became the pinstripe-on-pinstripe outfit. I picked these trousers up last year when I worked in Topshop, and the dress came in earlier this summer. I waited for it to go on sale and managed to nab it for €13.50 a few weeks ago! I’ve been loving the slip dress style for the past while but I hadn’t found the right one to suit my shape until I came across this one. I love the way it falls straight down and doesn’t cling anywhere on the body, I went a size up to achieve this effect so if you are thinking of purchasing maybe consider that. The Birkenstock’s served me well throughout the day and luckily the rain showers that did arrive were very light so my uncovered feet weren’t compromised, for the most part the weather was really nice which is always a bonus when travelling. I’m already looking forward to my next trip over to London, it’s a great city with so much happening and given that it’s so close I don’t know why I don’t visit more often.

For a more in-depth guide to my day in London keep an eye on maven46 where I will be posting it this week as well as an exhibition review of Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, this years fashion exhibition at the V&A museum.

Photographs by Liadh Connolly.

Slip Away

27.06.2016

Talknthreads-Siomha Connolly-26.6.16Talknthreads-Siomha Connolly-Liadh Connolly-4Talknthreads-Siomha Connolly-Liadh Connolly-2Talknthreads-Siomha Connolly-Liadh Connolly-3DSCF1618crop| Kimono Shirt Jacket COS | Trousers COS | Leather Slip ons Aldo |

As spring approached this year I found myself on the hunt for a new pair of everyday shoes. I haven’t had a pair of ‘shoes’- that is a style that isn’t either boots, runners, or sandals- in a long time, but this season had me longing for a pair of flats for everyday wear. I guess we have Allesandro Michelle at Gucci to thank for that, and while those loafers are high on my wish list, these Aldo slip ons seemed like a pretty good alternative for the time being. So whether we’re calling them slippers, slides, mules or backless loafers (I’ve found all are being used interchangably these days) these are my go-to pair this summer.

The rest of my outfit consists of a couple of my most loved pieces which are both from COS, no surprise there really! This is one of those outfits that I instantly reach for on mornings when I a) can’t make up my mind on what to wear or b) am running out the door and don’t have time to think. While I do love spending time putting outfits together and figuring out new ways to wear old pieces, for the most part this is not always an option when you have to get ready in a rush. COS pieces tend to have this seamless versatility within them and they just lend themselves to each other effortlessly while always looking put together. Any item that makes mornings run smoother gets my vote anyway. To quote the late, great Bill Cunningham: “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life” and because we may not always have the time or energy to put into compiling new and exciting outfits, it is important that we find the items that will do the hard work for us.

Photographs by Liadh Connolly, who was, and is, greatly inspired by Bill Cunningham and his legendary street style photography.