Thursday, 29 September 2011

New Collections, New Directions

      It's always hard for an artist to take a new direction. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't - think Madonna 'Ray of Light' era - inspired, and then compare it to that of 'Hard Candy' - not so. Ultimately tough a change is necessary, no matter how subtle it is. People get bored easily and thus, whilst artistic integrity is key, an element of reinvention is essential for any artist because it keeps people interested.

       Fashion is the same, whilst a label has to stay true to its style, it also has to stay fresh with every new collection. It may reference back to pieces of previous seasons but ultimately it has to have its own individual relevance within society today to remain at the centre of the fashion world - to hold its own amongst new and upcoming brands.
       A man who always seems to achieve this is Peter Dundas; his works for Emilio Pucci are always on trend yet on tradition. From his floor length extravaganzas, which featured in the Beyoncé 'Run The World' video to the gypsy inspired looks of his latest SS collection he never seems to put a foot wrong, consistently inspiring fashion with every new direction he takes.

      Interestingly, when a music group splits up or 'takes a break' its members have to change their directions dramatically too in order to create solo albums as successful and interesting as those of their bands. George Michael and Diana Ross to name a few did not forge out their solo careers through imitating the sound of the groups for which they sung. Instead they asserted their own unique style into the music world through different directions.
          In the case of Girl's Aloud's Nicola Roberts, her debut album works due to its 'new direction'. From the music to the lyrics and the cover art to her voice everything is electro-pop perfect. Whilst some people may still dismiss her as the 'rude ginger bitch' of Girls Aloud, one need only listen to and look at 'Cinderella's Eyes' to understand that she is not. She is an artist and a bloody good one at that. 

      The music for a start is wonderfully unique. It may have the touches of Metronomy's Joseph Mount and the hooks of dream producer Diplo but it has it's own sound and whilst her cutesy come quirky voice may not be to everyone's taste it's one hundred percent Nicola Roberts. She isn't attempting to commercially appeal to the masses but instead create an album which is true to her artistic image; true to herself.
       Moreover, 'Cinderella's Eyes' is one of the most lyrically interesting albums of the year, as it gives us an insight into Robert's life through words so unabashed you'd think you'd stumbled across her diary. Whether it's the media mocking 'Take a Bite', the innate insecurities of 'i' or the hauntingly revealing 'sticks + stones': 'Too young to buy my own bottle of Vodka, so I beg the driver please I need another' - 'Cinderella's Eyes' is Robert's diary.
       It is this personal honesty, which makes Roberts solo music so unique and is something which she ought to hold onto regardless of direction, just as Peter Dundas holds onto the vivid sensuality of Emilio Pucci with every new collection he creates. A direction, after all, stems from a place: the artist it comes from and thus a new direction ought to do the same, be it from a designer like Dundas or a musician like Roberts.


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