Fashion Trends and the Stars that Started Them

Fashion is a massive part of our culture and it’s often influenced by the films that Hollywood produces. When an actor is seen wearing something new or a blast from the past in a film, the general public, with a sense for fashion, tend to follow suit.

For instance, right now the U.S. has seen a lot of changes in fashion trends. Not too long ago, animal print was shunned and gawked at. Now, cheetah and zebra print outfits are becoming one of the most stylish fashion choices.

Women might also remember how they were expected to wear clothing that showed off their feminine figure in past years. That’s not the case in the fall of 2018. The newest trend is focused more on modest clothing. Layers are more popular than ever and so are squared pantsuits that you would normally find on masculine forms.

Cowboy boots have been making a huge comeback for men. There’s a sudden interest in laid-back, blue-collar worker outfits that are paired with a solid array of modern cowboy boots. It’s simple, it’s fashionable, and it’s easy enough for men who aren’t fashion minded. Modern cowboy boots come in a variety of styles, like Ariat mens square toe cowboy boots, for example.

Today’s trends are interesting and attractive to the eye, but what about the fashion trends of yesteryear? Well, let’s look at some of the most iconic fashion trends that Hollywood inspired in the past.

Marilyn Monroe and the White Dress

Everyone knows who Marilyn Monroe is and has most likely seen the infamous scene where her dress is blown around from a gust of wind. That billowing white dress became an icon in both film and fashion during the time. The jaws of every person alive at the time dropped during the infamous scene and it cemented Monroe’s place in pop culture for decades to come. It was so impactful that it remains an icon in fashion to this day.

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada is a classic from not so long ago. Not only was the film a massive success that is still referenced to this day, it also left a lasting impact on the fashion world. Anne Hathaway and her co-stars only wore the highest quality brands in the movie. This piqued the interest of the average woman to begin enjoying the class and sophistication that comes with Chanel, Fendi, and Prada clothing.

Diane Keaton as Annie Hall

In the 1977 movie Annie Hall, Diane Keaton was dressed in several layers of men’s clothing. At the time, it was completely unheard of. Diane started a firestorm in the fashion industry when women around the world rushed to copy the signature look. To this day, the look is still copied regularly.

Audrey Hepburn’s Little Black Dress

Audrey Hepburn was already a bright star in Hollywood, but in 1961 she starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Not only is the film a classic, but Audrey Hepburn’s outfit became an instant classic. The little black dress that she wore was accented with a three-strand, pearl necklace and little else. The simplicity of the dress became timeless and it remains iconic to this day.

Audrey Hepburn’s White Gown

As stated above, Audrey Hepburn was a star in Hollywood long before she wore the little black dress by Givenchy. In fact, as early as 1954 she was making headlines in another Givenchy creation. She wore a white gown with a black flower pattern in Sabrina. The outfit isn’t as well known or referenced as often as the little black dress, but it had a huge impact on fashion at the time.

Jennifer Beals in Flashdance

In 1983, Jennifer Beals created a look that would take the fashion world by storm and continue to do so for decades. In the movie Flashdance, Beal took an ordinary sweater that was too large, slipped it on, and utilized the massive neck opening to expose one of her shoulders. It was ridiculously simple, accessible to everyone, and overall, it became a timeless fashion statement.

John Travolta in Grease

Slicked hair, leather jackets, blue jeans, and black leather shoes are iconic of an entire generation. This can be attributed to John Travolta’s character in the 1978 film Grease. He was considered to have the coolest look around at the time and the outfit still influences men’s fashion.

If you can’t get enough of the fashion world and you want to learn more, Forbes has an article to help with that.

Premiere: Saint Clair unveils live video for ‘I’ll Stay’

Saint Clair x FAULT Magazine

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

Photography: Navarro Aydemir
Location: Feliks Topolski studio in Waterloo, London
Special Thanks: Bar Topolski

Saint Clair – less beatifically known as Emma Topolski – is a London-based singer-songwriter whose influences range from James Blake, The Internet and Frank Ocean to Amy Winehouse and her ”two main musical giants” Stevie Wonder and The Beatles.

Her latest release, ‘I’ll Stay’, is striking in its grandeur, reflective of Emma’s penchant for writing ”big and dark” compositions that crest to near-operatic peaks before plunging to rolling, emotional depths.

While she isn’t ”fiddling with her Nord”, Emma can be found playing bass for CHILDCARE, synths for FAULT Issue 11 star Ghostpoet, or giving gawping journalists impromptu tours of her grandfather’s old studio and gallery space near Waterloo.

Watch the brand new, live video for ‘I’ll Stay’ below:

 

 

FAULT: Let’s start off with the name. You’ve mentioned previously that you go by ‘Saint Clair’ as a solo artist because that’s your mother’s maiden name. So is it pronounced ‘Sinclair’ or…?

Saint Clair: Well it’s Scottish, so it’s actually pronounced: [unintelligible noise]

Err…OK…could you spell that?!

Saint Clair: Sure – JK…

Ah, I see what you did there!

Saint Clair: Busted! It is Scottish, though. My mum’s family is from a small town in the far North called Wick. Sinclair is the name of the local bay and it’s also my brother’s middle name; not to mention the family tartan…

So it IS pronounced Sinclair, then?

Saint Clair: Well, it started off like that. But then I thought that was a bit surname-y and perhaps a little macho (everyone just thinks of the footballers called Sinclair) so probably a little confusing! So I had a bit of a rethink. I’m bilingual in French and I started thinking that it’d be lovely to translate some of my songs into French, and definitely to do some gigs in France. I was French educated and all my cultural references are French, so ‘Sinclair’ became ‘Saint Clair’ – very ‘phonétique‘, as the French would say!

I guess I saw it as a nice way to marry those two influences in my life – my own French cultural upbringing and my mum’s Scottish ancestry. Although my Dad was Polish and I’m not sure how they would pronounce it in Poland…however they want, I guess!

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

You’re a career musician and have been for many years. What was the turning point for you when you decided to start releasing your own stuff?

Saint Clair: Yeah, I’ve been a professional musician for 10 years. I started out as a jazz singer and used to do a lot of corporate events. You know the drill: big boss gets a promotion and wants to make his function look fancy by hiring a jazz trio. I was doing a lot of that, but also just casual jamming and gigs with other musicians that you meet on the scene in London. We used to play 4, 5 times a week.

Your network expands so much by doing that stuff – but much more on the creative side of things. You’re not really industry-aware at that sort of stage: you’re just making a living and meeting people. That then evolved naturally for me into songwriting. People would come up to me after a gig and say things like, ”oh, I love your voice, do you have any original music that you’re working on?”

That’s when I really started to write – to find a sound and an identity. I started working with a friend of mine, Ben, who’s a great guitarist. We started writing a lot together. The whole first EP is with him, as is ‘Human Touch’ off the second EP. That was really my starting point in terms of understanding who I was as a songwriter.

Did you have that epiphany moment when you just thought, ”I get it: this is what I’m about and this is the sort of music I really want to do”?

Saint Clair: Yeah, I did. When I wrote the song that ended up being my first single – in hindsight, analysing what we’d done, it drew from all the elements that I wanted to have in there. It wasn’t intentional but it created a great template for me in terms of what I wanted my music to be about: it had electronic elements and programmed drums, but also real guitars and loads of vocal harmonies…and plenty of weird chords…

‘Weird chords’? Is that a technical term…?

Saint Clair: Yep, very technical term! But, yeah, in essence my music is very hooky, succinct… I always want to soar. I want the chorus to come and grab you by the balls… In a sense, it’s a very traditional approach to songwriting. It’s very accessible and it should be: it’s pop music in its lyricism and its melody. And then there’s all this other weird shit going on…

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

You’re a singer, obviously, but what instruments do you play?

Saint Clair: I write mainly on keys. I was playing synths for Ghostpoet for a while. I also play bass for a band called CHILDCARE, who I’ve just been on tour with. We’re also putting out an album in the new year.

What’s the next step for Saint Clair then? You’ve just released the new video, of course, so will you be focusing more on recording or gigging in the near future?

Saint Clair: I’ve recorded the next 5 singles and my sister Tamsin and I have made videos to go with them that are all loosely interlinked. They’re much more abstract than the stuff I’ve done before – all of my videos have been very narrative-driven whereas these are a lot more surreal. They’re a portrait of loss and grief from different vantage points.

The focus so far has been on making the music and finding a coherence within a body of work. Everything is so one-off and track-based nowadays that I wanted to make this more like a mini-album.

What was the inspiration for these new releases?

Saint Clair: After my last EP went out, I found myself reflecting on my archive and realising that a lot of the songs I’ve made were written at different stages of grieving the loss of my Dad. To have that as a through-line – to look back on my head-space during that time…it was almost like having a series of diary entries detailing my reactions in different moments.

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

How long ago was that?

Saint Clair: Three and a half years now. At the time, you’re so in the throes of it that you don’t really realise what you’re thinking or feeling. Writing becomes a bit of an outlet: something that you do when you feel the need to do so or, at other times, not at all. All those songs that I wrote during that time became a sort of mini-story for me. I spoke to my sister about it and we thought that maybe we could come up with some treatments that would reflect how we both felt (and feel) as an accompanying visual component. My sister’s an actress and the videos ended up sort of like a short film, I guess.

It’s difficult and there’s a lot of trepidation that comes with doing something like that. You know that a lot of your output has been affected by this massive personal loss, and you want to express that but, at the same time, you worry about it coming across like you’re promoting yourself through a particular narrative. Like you’re looking back on something and saying, ‘oh, look – this fits!’ But, actually, it didn’t come from that place at all. It was very organic. Me and my sister are inseparable and it just felt like a really beautiful way to honour what both of us – and our whole family – were going through at that time.

You’re not signed at the moment – what happens if someone comes along with an offer tomorrow?

Saint Clair: I’ve set up my own label for my releases – Dearly Beloved. The logo for the label is actually an old sketch by my Granddad, Feliks Topolski, that I found while trawling through his old work. After basically drowning in his art for most of my life, it struck me that this image was something that I’d never seen before. I just thought that incorporating it into what I was doing would be a really lovely way to introduce that part of who I am.

For now, it just made sense to get a move on. I didn’t want to wait for any additional infrastructure. I just thought: ‘the music’s here, I’m proud of it, I’d like to put it out.’ So that’s what I’ve been doing with Dearly Beloved.

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

Saint Clair in front of work by her Grandfather, Feliks Topolski

 

Speaking of your heritage, and I know it’s a completely different medium, but do you feel any pressure attached to your grandfather’s name and accomplishments as an artist?

Saint Clair: Not at all. I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to carry on that artistic legacy. He’s left such an incredible gift to his whole family – something that’s tangible in the work he left behind but also in the ideology of what he was all about: not precious or pretentious, really accessible and open to whoever wanted to be a part of what he wanted to share.

I’m more of a fan than anything else, I suppose. My relationship with him doesn’t really form a huge part of my identity – I was only three when he died. His work is more something that I want to champion. I don’t think it’s been given the platform that it deserves at this stage, so using his artwork or my label seemed like a fitting tribute, as well as a natural thing to do.

Who’s underrated at the moment?

Saint Clair: CHILDCARE! The lead singer [Ed Cares] is a brilliant songwriter – absolutely brilliant.

What’s your FAULT?

Saint Clair: I’m very opinionated. I can get pretty belligerent when I disagree with someone else’s point of view!

 

Saint Clair - FAULT Magazine

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Follow Saint Clair on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018: ‘Full Speed Into The World’

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018: “If I want to take a picture, I take it no matter what.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid
All images courtesy of Nan Goldin and Matthew Marks Gallery

Amidst the hyper-capitalist spectacle of Frieze 2018, the political turmoil of the last year, and on the day before Brett Kavanaughs controversial and much-contested confirmation, legendary photographer Nan Goldin took to the stage with veteran arts writer Linda Yablonsky to discuss her career.

Goldin is famously one of the most fearless photographers of her generation – with work that examines the deeply nuanced relations between couplingof all degrees. From relationships that veer between fear and obsession, to individuals in a complex relationship with their own self-presentation, Goldins work has always delved into the rich tapestry of our own humanity. Her appearance forced a re-consideration of her landmark practice, in the context of a modern world that though plagued with political unrest has at least made leaps and bounds in the context of queer representation – of which Goldin was a torch-bearer, realising the vast array of aesthetic and emotional identities that could be caught on camera under the focus of her lens.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

The instance of photographing, instead of creating a distance, is a moment of clarity and emotional connection for me.

This was clear in each moment of her conversation with Yablonsky, who carefully guided the conversation through a cast of characters – many of whom are now historically renowned; Robert Mapplethorpe, David Wojnarowicz, Cookie Mueller, and other luminaries of New York on the cusp the AIDS epidemic, which would cut short so many of their brilliant lives. Writing on the iconography and rhetoric of the AIDS epidemic — and the epidemic of significationthat occurred as result — Susan Sontag assessed that the catastrophe of AIDS suggests the immediate necessity of limitation.This accompanied, in part, the observation of multiple socio-cultural breakdowns; the conflation of medical fact and social fiction, the sensationalising impact of moral panic upon the media, the effect of hysteria upon imaging the disease — and how these were fuelled careless reporting, pre-existing homophobia, and governmental complacency. In a time of cultural confusion, fake news, and the breakdown of public discourse over multiple crises of socio-political injustice, Goldins work remains as relevant today as it has ever been.

The talk began with Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018 highlighting to the audience the presence of a striking series of medicinal bottles on the table, one for each life that would be lost to the American Opioid crisis during the course of her one-hour talk. This is her latest cri de coeur, and one through which she has suffered directly (as has always been the case with her work.) Writing of her own struggle with opioid addiction, Goldin acknowledges she narrowly escaped […] I went from the darkness and ran full speed into the world.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

“I was isolated, but I realised I wasnt alone. When I got out of treatment I became absorbed in reports of addicts dropping dead from my drug, OxyContin. I decided to make the private public […] my first action is to publish personal photographs from my own history.

As such, she has led an international campaign against the Sackler family – prescription drug dynasty and noted patrons of the arts – described by the New York Times as the family that built an empire of pain.In again tying her work to an epidemic of physical injustice and its emotional consequence, Goldin continues to forge ahead with a photographic practice that is deeply entrenched in her own personal politics – and in the bravery it takes to make the personal public in the name of political progression. We should all be grateful for her fearlessness, and the humility and honesty with which she rages on.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

 

To see more by Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018, visit Matthew Marks Gallery

 

Will the Concept of the Purely Digital Artist Soon Become a Reality?

It is a bit odd to pair the terms “e-commerce” and “musical talent” together. In fact, they might appear to be polar opposites. It is therefore a bit surprising to learn that numerous artists have become actively involved within the world of retail sales and e-commerce solutions. This brings up an important question. Will we ever witness a day when the popularity of a musician is based solely upon his or her digital presence? Let’s take a quick look at some predictions that could very well come to pass in the not-so-distant future.

Reality Check: The Online Artistic Edge

The gap between the digital domain and our physical existence has been narrowing during the past few years. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and automated chatbots are transforming the ways in which we interact with most websites. Why should this be any different when referring to the music industry?

Artists fully appreciate the fact that their online audience will have a massive impact upon critical recognition and overall success. This is clearly evident when we look at the number of Instagram and Twitter followers the top-rated celebrities boast. We are already starting to witness some well-known names embrace their digital presence. Kylie Minogue is a shining example (1). Not only is her website involved with tours and similar promotions, but visitors can purchase her latest albums as well as other fan-based products. This is a perfect example of an artist who has learned to leverage the power of online e-commerce.

Pairing Technological Innovation with Raw Talent

One of the main stumbling blocks which artists will still have to face is knowing what technology can be used to best promote their talents. It is already a foregone conclusion that international celebrities and major stars possess a team of technical experts, but what about up-and-coming songwriters? Could this be the generation which fully enters into the digital domain? Some experts will argue that this reality might not be as far off as we are led to believe.

User-friendly e-commerce solutions such as Shopify Plus have been configured in such a way as to be easily integrated into an existing marketing campaign. More than 3,600 businesses have already embraced this methodology and these figures are likely to increase. Artists will not be forced to spend hours in front of as computer while developing the sales and marketing facets of their online presence. Such methods can be implemented within a short period of time and they can be customised to reflect the unique flavour of the portal in question.

So, is the notion of the fully digital artist soon to become a reality? While there is no doubt that their online presence will dramatically influence album sales and followers, we should still recall that this environment can never be replaced by more tangible experiences such as a live concert. It is more likely that we will witness a further blending of these two worlds; great news for artists and fans alike.

Sources:
https://www.kylie.com/

Freya Ridings on open mic nights, Love Island and her career so far

Freya Ridings X FAULT Magazine 

Freya Ridings X FAULT Magazine 

Words by Jack Lloyd

At only 23 years old, London singer-songwriter Freya Ridings has caught the ear of millions of listeners worldwide. Her single, ‘Lost Without You’, resonates with such authenticity and hits with such devastating fragility that it has received over 37 million streams on Spotify and was featured on ITV2’s most watched show Love Island.

Last week, Freya performed ‘Lost Without You’ on BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge and on C4’s annual fundraising show, Stand Up To Cancer.

FAULT: How’s your year been so far?

Freya Ridings: It’s been a whirlwind and kind of unbelievable. I’ve been touring around the world, releasing a couple of live albums as well as focusing on my debut album. It’s been an incredible journey so far.

Your single Lost Without You has gone on to be hugely successful; what’s the story behind the song?

Freya Ridings: I always write from personal experience and I think one of the reason’s ‘Lost Without You’ may have connected with people more is because it really happened.

It’s that feeling where you’re emotionally exposing yourself and feels almost too raw to share with people. You have that feeling of isolation and heartbreak and you’re not sure if you’re ever going to get past that and writing was a way for me to deal with that.

I was quite scared at the idea of sharing it with people but I’m so happy I did because I’ve had a really overwhelming response from people and it’s really touched me. I feel extremely lucky now but at the time I felt like I couldn’t share those stories in my songs and it took a while for me to do that so I’m really happy it’s connected with people.

It was also featured Love Island; how did you feel when that happened?

Freya Ridings: I had no idea it was going to be used on the show. I’m a massive fan of the show and when it came on I got all these messages from my friends freaking out. It was an incredible moment having one of my songs being played on one of the biggest TV shows and the response after on Instagram and Facebook was incredible, I feel so lucky.

Freya Ridings X FAULT Magazine 

Words: Jack

What was it about the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s song ‘Maps’ that you wanted to cover?

Freya Ridings: I feel like choosing a cover song is not just about finding a song you like it’s about finding one that you connect with on an emotional level. It’s like choosing a Pokemon, they kind of choose you as opposed to you choosing them.

If I’m playing a song that isn’t mine, it either gets me or it doesn’t in that first moment and when I first sung that song I was going through a really hard breakup at the time and it hit me like a lightning bolt and I just really resonated with the story and felt like I needed to share it with people.

Being raised in London, has it influenced you in any way?

Freya Ridings: Hugely, at school I was heavily dyslexic and really struggled academically so music was my safe haven. Growing up when I started to do open mic nights around London, it was where I started making friends with other musicians that shaped me and shaped the kind of artist that I wanted to be. I feel like London can be hard when you’re younger but then when you turn into a teenager it’s suddenly the best place to live.

When I started doing open mic nights, I would focus on doing upbeat covers because that’s what I thought people wanted. It was actually the songs I would come home and play on piano that felt like the real me and it was a journey to realise that I can actually share the songs I was writing on the piano and it was only when I started to that everything started to change for me.

It’s been a rewarding experience to be more authentic and raw and less scared to share.

What was it about the Omeara and St Pancreas Old Church that you wanted to record your live albums?

Freya Ridings: I’ve been playing live for so many years and being in the room you can feel this sort of magic, especially in venues like churches or venues that have a bit more character to them. I didn’t want to do something where you hold everything back until it’s perfect, I wanted to share the songs in their raw exposed authentic form and I’m so happy we did that because feel like it’s a way to let people in instead of holding the at arm’s length. I feel like people have really resonated and connected with that which means the world to me and have people come and sing the lyrics with you is just another level.

Freya Ridings X FAULT Magazine 

 

Is there any artists that you never get tired of listening to?

Freya Ridings: Florence and Adele are huge influences because I feel they’re very heart driven songwriters that I resonate with on another level. Tom Odell is huge influence who I adore, I actually saw him recently and wanted to tell him how much I was fangirling.

Hozier is another one, I love really honest storytellers. Ray Lamontagne’s voice transcends like no other voice I’ve heard live, Trouble was the album that made me want to write and play songs to begin with.

I adore Taylor Swift too, she put me on her Apple Music playlist and I literally dropped my phone.

What’s next for you?

Freya Ridings: We’ve just come out the studio and I’m excited because we’re in the final stages of finishing the album. I can’t wait to share the songs with everyone, I’ve been so used to playing them on my own so it’s great to hear them with all the other instruments and choirs because it changes the whole feel. I just never thought I would have the opportunity to share that with people so I’m really really excited.

What is your fault? 

Freya Ridings: There’s too many, I would say up until now not living in the moment enough. I’ve really been trying to work on that mindfulness and gratitude just so I can appreciate all that’s going on and be grateful for the things I have.

 

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Follow Freya Ridings on Facebook and Instagram.

The Watches that the Most Powerful People in the Music Industry are Wearing

Some of the most influential people in the world work in the music industry. Whether they’re a well-known artist performing on stage or a producer working behind the scenes, their impact on pop culture, in general, is immense. Bringing in huge paychecks, many of these performers have been spotted wearing some pretty impressive timepieces on their wrist. Below are just a few of the most notable watch sightings of powerful people in the music industry.

Max Martin

Many people might not recognize the name Max Martin, as this Swedish producer is notoriously private. However, he is one of the most influential people on our list, having written more Billboard #1 singles than almost anyone in the industry. His very first #1 song was Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time”, after which the writer has been responsible for 20 more top hits. While he isn’t spotted with a watch on his wrist very often, Max Martin was recently photographed wearing an Everose Yacht-Master reference 116655 on an Oysterflex bracelet, a choice that seems to complement his style very well.

Jay-Z

Jay-Z has a reported net worth of over $800 million and has been topping the charts for decades. To say that he has been influential in the music industry is an understatement. With such a massive amount of success, it comes as no surprise that the Hip-Hop mogul boats a pretty impressive watch collection, including everything from Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet to Hublot. Recently, Jay-Z has been photographed wearing several Rolex pieces, including a yellow gold Sky-Dweller reference 326938, the widely sought-after Daytona reference 116500, and a platinum Day-Date reference 228206.

Justin Timberlake

The “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer rose to fame in the 1990’s alongside the group NSYNC. Since those days, his solo career has taken off, making him a fixture of the music industry. When it comes to his wardrobe, Justin Timberlake appears to be a one watch kind of guy, sporting mostly a gold 40mm Day-Date reference 228238 on a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet. Classy yet bold, this timepiece seems like a perfect choice for someone as influential in the music industry as Justin Timberlake.

DJ Khaled

It’s no secret that DJ Khaled has an impressive watch collection. It’s even reported that the successful DJ recently purchased a $34,000 diamond Rolex for his young son. He’s made headlines in the past for sporting diamond encrusted timepieces on his wrist, such as a Patek Philippe Nautilus worth nearly $300,000. It appears, however, that the DJ has a preference for the Rolex Day-Date, wearing everything from a gold and diamond variation to the most recent addition to his collection, a special edition platinum Day-Date with an icy blue Arabic dial.

More Than Fashion: A Guide to Buying the Best Wristwatches

Despite our smartphones being able to tell time, we still wear wristwatches on a regular basis for different reasons. A watch does more than tell the time. The best timepieces are actually works of art; they are beautiful to look at and they often say a lot about who we are as a person. You can tell a lot about a person from the watch he or she wears.
Watches go even beyond being a fashion accessory. The best Swiss watches are valuable, exquisite, and functional at the same time. They get passed down from generation to generation simply because they are immensely reliable.
Buying the best wristwatch is an investment in many ways, and it can be a big investment indeed, which is why doing your homework and thinking your purchase decision through are necessary. Even better, you now have more options to choose from, both from brands with a lot of history and new players trying to disrupt the watchmaking industry. Before you set out on a search for the right timepiece, here are some of the things you need to know.

Start with a Budget

Just like other big purchases, you need to have a clear budget in mind before setting out on a search for a good timepiece to buy. A budget will help you limit your search. It allows you to set your search parameters for watches in a certain price range or criteria, such as ‘Swiss automatic watches under $500’ etc., so you always end up with options that are well within your budget.
It is not a secret that the best Swiss watches are relatively expensive, at least when compared with timepieces from Japanese or US-based brands. Swiss watchmakers have a long history of incredible quality and craftmanship, and you can’t really put a price on those traits.
That said, there is nothing wrong with going for watches from Japanese or US brands. Brands like Casio and Seiko are also notoriously reliable, plus they pay closer attention to details. This means you can have a budget of around $100 and still end up with a quality watch to wear.

Decide on a Style

The next thing to decide on is a style. Watches come in different styles, and each of them has unique traits to admire. For starters, you can decide whether you want an analog or a digital watch. The former is the way to go if you want that high-quality craftmanship and gorgeous designs of Swiss watchmakers.
A dive watch or diver’s watch is a style that is becoming more popular in recent years. You can recognize a dive watch from the big, rotating bezel used to keep track of elapsed time when diving. The watch also features a running second hand with lume on either the tip or the tail.
A dress watch is usually subtler and more elegant. Dress watches tend to be simpler yet incredibly detailed. Swiss-made dress watches can be very thin too; in fact, one of the marks of an expensive, well-made dress watch is its thinness.
A pilot’s watch or aviator watch is also a style of watches that is growing in popularity. Aviator watches are designed to be very tough and easy to read. You’ll normally see bigger dials and clear, often colored hands as part of the best aviator watches on the market.
A field watch or a military watch, on the other hand, has more elements on the watch face. Aside from the usual 1-to-12 dials, military watches also display the 13-to-24 marks, either around the outer bezel or inside the watch face itself.
Last but certainly not least, we have luxury watches; watches designed for the purpose of showing elegance. They come in different sizes and styles, but some signature traits remain the same. Luxury watches often use expensive materials – diamonds or carbon composite are quite commonly used.

A Swiss-Made Piece

We’re back to talking about Swiss watches. There are reasons why you want to pick up a Swiss-made watch, especially if you have the budget for one. The automatic mechanism of Swiss watches is incredibly durable, very refined, and will last a lifetime with minimum maintenance. Swiss watches are also well-designed, and they have a long heritage of quality time pieces to support them.
Here’s another reason why aiming for a Swiss-made timepiece is worth considering – they are not as expensive as you think. Many Swiss watchmakers now release pieces designed for those who want to get into horology. Tissot, for example, released the Visodate series – a series that pays tribute to Tissot’s long history in watchmaking – to be very affordable.
You also have brands like Liv Watches disrupting the market with its new approach on watchmaking. Liv Watches in particular is shaking up the industry by connecting directly with customers. This means the company can break the status quo by offering quality timepieces at reasonable prices, all whilst cutting the middlemen and breaking some norms along the way. In return, you get the same level of quality and the joy of owning a Swiss-made timepiece.

Stick with Originals

Forget about buying copies or knock-off watches. As good as they may be, they are never a match for the original. Buying original timepieces is the only way to go, especially if you are seeing the purchase as an investment.
Fake watches can be very tempting indeed. After all, they look almost the same as the original and work nearly as well, and they cost only a fraction of what the original would cost. As tempting as that may sound, spending that little extra money to get the original timepiece will always result in better long-term gain.
Original watches can be serviced. They also require minimal maintenance and will run properly for years. Another thing that separates original timepieces and their counterfeits is accuracy. Original Swiss-made watches are incredibly accurate down to +/- 2 seconds a month on the finest pieces.
Don’t even begin to think about resale value. The value of counterfeit watches drops as soon as you buy one. The value of original watches, especially vintage pieces and watches with a large following, could increase over time.

Making the Purchase

One last thing you need to know about buying watches is the importance of buying from the right supplier. There are a lot of retailers and stores that sell watches from different brands and watchmakers, but not all of them are equal.
Buying from a reputable retailer is always the way to go. You don’t have to worry about the watches not being delivered safely. On top of that, you also get good aftersales service with every purchase you make. You can easily contact the retailer should you run into issues with your watch.
In the case of certain brands such as Liv Watches, you buy from the brand directly. This is even better in many ways. You don’t have to go through middlemen at all, so you can expect the absolute best price when making that purchase.
The brand also offers warranty of every purchase you make, and you can ask for customer service from the manufacturer – the watchmaker – directly. Combined, these advantages make dealing with watchmakers that engages customers directly a huge plus.
So, are you ready to buy your own watch? With the insights and tips that you can find in this article, choosing the right watch to buy and making the investment on a quality timepiece are both very easy to do.

MAALS watches: Focus interview with founder Andy Sealey

 

MAALS Watches: Andy’s earlier guest post described how he and his brother Bruno set out to start a design-led, affordable watch brand.

Here, FAULT Focus interviews the brand’s co-founder to see what it takes to start a fashion accessory business:

 

MAALs watches co-founder Andrew Sealey

MAALs watches co-founder Andy Sealey

FAULT: What was your primary inspiration for starting MAALS Watches?
MAALs watches co-founder Andy Sealey: We were looking around for new watches and found that the majority of the watches on sale today have the same look, with a few exceptions. Bruno has backed a couple of design-led watches on Kickstarter in the past and we thought, “if they can do it, why can’t we?” This whole journey so far has been both scary and exciting, but I know if we didn’t go for it then we’d be forever wondering. Plus creating the brand and watch has been good fun.

Can you tell us about some of the unique features of the brand?
MAALs watches: We’re a family owned start-up designer and producer and when setting up we agreed that we wanted to be in the affordable area of the market rather than going high-end – that market is already well served – because the affordable market is where we personally sit in when it comes to our own collections. Our collections are paid for through saving and impulse chance finds and we figured there are a lot people like us that want something away from the norm, that looks good, can be a bit of a talking point, but won’t cost a fortune.

We created the design of our first watch, Jump Over The Moon (JOTM), by looking at our own collections and seeing what was missing, in this case a moonphase, and setting out creating something we love to have in our own collections. There are loads of gaps in our collections for instance, we’re missing retrogrades, perpetual calendars, LEDs, something really extravagant like a tourbillon and lots of others. JOTM is just the first in a planned family series of three, so we have plenty of scope when it comes to designs.

MAALs watches

You were both avid timepiece collectors before you launched MAALS but did you have to learn a lot more about the craft of watch-making when you started designing?
MAALs watches: Bruno knows more about mechanicals than I do to be honest, he’s much more into the intricacies than I am. For Jump Over The Moon, the design came first then we worried about how it would work! Not the most efficient way of doing things but it meant we had some absolutely wild ideas. Some were just too complicated, but have elements we can take and use in future designs, but the process of just designing whatever was in our heads was great. For the next watch in the series we’re going to choose the function first so that’s set, then free design again.

What/who were the main influences behind Jump Over the Moon – if any?
MAALs watches: 70’s jump hour watches such as those from Damas and Lasser, have had an influence for sure, their use of softer rounded edges rather than the more current sharper edged look has been pulled through into our design, as well as the domed dial and screen. The red of the Italian sports cars was the influence for the red second hand on the brushed steel version, and a mirror frame from an interior designer friend on mine gave us the idea for the sunburst dials.

You decided to work with British artist Okse for the distinctive casebacks on Jump Over The Moon. What drew you to his work, in particular?
MAALs watches: He was at an art gallery exhibition that I was attending, showing some of his comic and super hero artwork, I really wanted his Batman piece, we got talking and went from there. His artwork is excellent and fun which appealed. We wanted the back of the watch to be as eye catching and interesting as the front and bring of a ‘wow factor’ to the back of the watch and Okse delivered in spades.

We’ve agreed that we want him to create new caseback artwork for next two watches in the series too. No idea what he’ll create yet, whatever he does make though it’ll be based on the name we give to the watch.

Is there anything that you think is of particular importance to a beautiful, functional timepiece that a lot of watch designers don’t consider/don’t include in their final products?
MAALs watches: Not sure, really – I’m by no means an expert. Anyone that designs/makes watches or anything does it because they find it fun and enjoy it (well I hope they do anyway), so I hope designers remember to put something of that ‘personality’ for want of a better word in to their designs. Mr Jones is an example of a brand that just seems to be having the time of their lives making crazy timepieces and good on them.

MAALs watches

It’s early days yet but what has been the greatest success story for MAALS so far?
MAALs watches: That’s easy, the reaction to the design when we showed it for the first time and the independent reviews we’ve had so far without a doubt. Sending something you’ve spent time, money, heart and soul in to designing and making, to publications that review watches day-in-day out, is probably the most nerve wracking thing we’ve done so far. We knew they’d rate us on what they had in hand and we could only hope they liked it, if they didn’t then there’d be little to nothing we could do about it and it would’ve been a serious blow to our credibility and our confidence to be honest. Thankfully the reviews have been positive and hopefully it’ll give people confidence in us, our brand and what we’ve created.

And what’s been the greatest challenge that you’ve faced to date?
MAALs watches: Making a design that actually worked. Think kid in a sweet shop and that was us on our first go. Hardened ceramics, precious and semi-precious metals, tourbillon movements looked amazing, but they all spectacularly failed our own and the ODM’s [Ed: original design manufacturer’s] affordability feasibility test, so we stopped, took stock and went back to the start.

MAALs watches

What are you currently working on?
MAALs watches: At the moment we’re concentrating on the launch of Jump Over The Moon on Indiegogo, as that’ll provide the funding and springboard we need to create more watches and push on. We’ve also got advanced designs for a ladies version, carrying over all the same design elements and movement of the current models with the case, dial, second hand, strap and even the mins and hours discs colours being discussed. We’ve set up a small focus group of women to advise us on the design.

What are your plans to expand the line? Where do you go from here?
MAALs watches: After the ladies version it’s on with the next watch in the series which will be a new design, with elements from JOTM so it’s part of the family. We’ve got it down to a choice of 3 movements, but I’m not going to give any spoilers away I’m afraid, you’ll just have to keep an eye on us to see what comes next!

MAALs watches

For more information on MAALS, visit their website:

MAALS.co.uk

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