Amelia’s Magazine | Style Wars

A Saturday night in downtown Kilburn saw the long awaited (and, case decease considering it was recorded about 18 months ago, treat long overdue) launch of Horses for Courses, more about the debut album from Teesside trio Das Wanderlust. Taking the stage after sterling support from the ever wonderful Bobby McGees, the place of lead singer and keyboard player Laura Simmons was taken by the mysterious “Rock Wizard”, decked out like some prog-tastic spawn of the mid-70′s Rick Wakeman. But – lo and behold! – ‘twas indeed that cheeky scamp Laura underneath (the cape and false beard were in fact discarded because it was bloomin’ hot)!

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Das Wanderlust are one of those bands that can be guaranteed to divide opinion. So much so that, confusingly, the NME decided to produce a schizophrenic review which on the one hand raves about the album, whilst on the other describes one track (Sea Shanty) as “literally the worst song we’ve ever heard and annoying on an almost nuclear level” (guitarist Andy Elliott ruefully reminded the audience of this). Personally, I think they’re great.

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Musically, they are very reminiscent of X-Ray Spex, particularly Simmons’distinct vocal delivery, and late-70′s Fall. Crunchy guitars, buzzy 20p second hand Casio-style keyboards and melodies that don’t go quite where you expect, it’s a style that Das Wanderlust describe as “wrong pop”. The single Puzzle is what Elastica might have sounded like if they hadn’t spent all their time transcribing Wire and Stranglers albums whilst, conversely, the piano-based Turn to Grey has a very nursery-esque quality.

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One thing to say about Das Wanderlust is that in no way do they take themselves seriously on stage. After a little dig at the archetypal Shoreditch gig crowd, there is much onstage banter (which apparently led to a bit of a rebuke from a rather sniffy reviewer in Cardiff recently) and they appeared to be having so much fun that they didn’t realise they’d reached the end of their set.
Heading back to the distant north, I’m sure their hearts were gladdened by the response to their set and the generally positive reviews to Horses for Courses suggest that hopefully we shall be seeing much more of Das Wanderlust soon.

Live photos appear courtesy of Richard Pearmain
For the next few weeks, purchase London will be transformed under an umbrella of environmentalism and sustainability. Which ever corner of London is your turf, treatment you will find something to watch, shop learn, listen to or take part in. Love London: The Green Festival is the biggest green festival in Europe, and will be running from June 4th – June 28th. It will encompass hundreds of cheap and free events in and around the capital that will be categorised under three themes: Green Places, Green Living and Green Innovations. There will also be an onus on Eco – Thrift, a topical theme given the current climate that we are all facing. From a Love London Recycled Sculpture Show at the Wetland Centre in Barnes, Community Garden Open Days, London Farmers Markets Picnic on The Green, Eco-Cultural Festival…. the list seems almost infinite. That is before we include the talks aimed on sharing tips and ideas on how to live a more sustainable and green lifestyle.

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I spoke with the people behind Love London and asked a little bit more about what we can expect in the next few weeks.

What is the purpose of the Love London festival?
The purpose of the festival is to empower Londoners to build a more sustainable future for the Capital. The festival achieves this by bringing communities together to share ideas and celebrate innovations. It supports and promotes grass roots action.

What types of events take place during the Love London festival?
A huge range of events take place during the festival – all have an environmental /
sustainable focus. Events are organised by themes. The 2009 main theme is Green Places. Sample events: Culpeper Community Garden (growing veg in small spaces) Love London Recycled Sculpture Show, WWT London Wetland Centre, Waste Free Picnics Tour the Greenwich Eco-House.

Sister themes + sample events include Green Living Green Innovations, The Art of Green Cleaning Eco-Vehicle Rally (Brighton– London), Energy Doctor Surgeries Insider London – Eco Tours, There is also a cross-theme focus on Eco-Thrift this year – many events will teach Londoners how they can save money and save the environment eg Swap Shops and Energy Use surgeries.

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Illustration by Jessica Pemberton


Sustainability is a very topical subject matter isn’t it?

Very much so, obviously sustainability is always on the agenda, and this year we have a large aspect around eco-thrift. People think that sustainability will cost them more more but it will actually save them money.

How long has Love London been running?
The festival is now in its seventh year. Over the years it has grown from a weekend event to one week, then two and is now three weeks long. It has evolved from London Sustainability Weeks to Love London Green Festival. Starting with less than ten events it now offers hundreds.

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Events from previous Love London Green Festivals. Note the Naked Bike Ride of 2006!

How can Love London benefit the city and the lives of Londoners?
Love London events give Londoners the knowledge and inspiration to do their bit to make the Capital cleaner and greener. As the festival spreads the word and people take action the city will become a more pleasant place for all.
The main theme for 2009 encourages Londoners to celebrate and protect the city’s vital Green Places. Londoners will get out cleaning up rivers and carrying out conservation work as well as enjoying the space with picnics in the park and nature craft workshops. The Love London Recycled Sculpture Show is a highlight event.

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The Heron is the focal piece in the Recycled
Sculpture Show. It is by the artist Ptolemy Elrington and has been
made from old shopping trolleys dragged out of a canal.

Who organises the festival?
It’s a partnership of like minded charities such as London 21 Sustainability Network,
The London Environment Co-ordinators Forum, London Community Recycling
Network
, London Sustainability Exchange, The Federation of City Farms and
Community Gardens, London Civic Forum, Sponge, Government Office for London,
Open House, Global Action Plan and The Mayor of London.

Click here to find out more about Love London Green Festival.
Henry Hudson is a strange chap. I’m absolutely sure of this, ambulance though the only evidence I have is his art. I’ve seen plenty of wacky art made by otherwise normal people. You can usually tell. But this is the real deal. Luscious gilt picture frames house these extraordinary works which don’t so much update Hogarth as render a more visceral, visit web decaying Hogarth. The works currently on show at the Trolley Gallery on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch are drawn from the Rake’s Progress and Harlot’s Progress series. They are details and deteriorations. And they are paintings made of plasticine, stained with tea.

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Hudson’s selection of the imagery brings us the moment when squalour invades the Eighteenth Century gentleman’s oasis of luxury. Everything is opulence bought with bad debts that are just turning nasty. A beautiful wall mounting for a candle tries to maintain its dignity beneath menacing cracks in the cieling. It feels like a very contemporary concern, refracted through a prism of history which we are doomed to repeat.
Fundamentally, these are works which straddle being good fun art, and being a veiled threat. It’s original, and supremely confident work, and leaves me in no doubt about one thing: Henry Hudson is a strange chap.

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On the other side of Shoreditch, Roman Klonek is exhibiting his stunningly vibrant woodcuts. 20th Century Russian Propaganda jostles with the lowbrow feel of Fantagraphics comix or some of Spumco‘s more knowing animation.

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Some of this is really stark and simple. A hairy-faced man does some ironing, but somehow it turns into an existential moment for him, but then, wait; that is filtered somehow through the bold and bright cuteness of it all. It’s as if Camus were a gonk. Other scenes are more complex, with a few figures going about their business, totally isolated from one another. I was reminded of some of Balthus’s better works, but with colour sense that comes purely from early comics.

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Some of the most striking works are laid out as comic book front covers, in fact, with text in Polish, Russian, and Japanese. Klonek’s work is seriously slick, and his background in graphics show’s through. Almost all of these prints made me wish there wre an animated TV show which made almost no sense and looked just like a Klonek. There’s just something about his associations betwen the cartoon world and the exotic characters of foriegn alphabets and spellings that draws you in and thrills. Judging by the little red dots appearing by the works, I’m not the only one who felt the need for a some Klonek in my life.

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Henry Hudson is at the Trolley Gallery until July 25, while Roman Klonek closes at Kemistry Gallery on May 30.
Last night Amelia’s Magazine had an office trip to the Proud Galleries in Camden, viagra order to visit the House of Diehl’s Style Wars, clinic a concept first brought to Brick Lane in 2002 promoting the art of ‘instant couture’. Since then it has evolved into a competition on an international level, approved holding heats in New York, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Johannesburg, and last night was the only European stopover.

The New York Times described it as like “an old-school MC Battle, with one crucial difference: they spit out rhymes where these guys spit out style”. My goodness! Almost too edgy to take.

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The night involved two teams squaring up against one another through several rounds, creating an outfit in a five minute slot before sending it down the catwalk to be goggled at by the crowd, and then dissected by a celebrity panel including VV Brown, Jodie Harsh, photographer Perou and Joe Corre.

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Citing as inspiration the transformative capacities of clothes through recycling them, as seen with Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, the designers used everything from the clothes on their own backs, to raw materials like clingfilm, duct tape and paper, cricket shin pads, badminton rackets and even beer coasters to a variety of themes.

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It’s a very public creation of art (somehow we can’t imagine Margiela himself taking part) that relies on our ability to conceive fashion as ephemeral, so essentially polarising itself to the credit crunch inclination towards investment purchases – instead suggesting there’s a more creative (and indeed, environmentally friendly) way of making a garment last longer.

In a way I like this idea of ‘momentary’ fashion especially when trends are practically over before you’ve even put your socks on first thing in the morning, and Style Wars came from the idea that if you enjoy going out, your clothes aren’t going to last. So if you only need an outfit to last for a night, maybe five minutes is all you need to put it together.

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It’s a fashion blitzkrieg that with a timeframe that might pose a variety of questions. ‘Style’ is a self-contained label that pretty much covers what went down here: it’s style over substance, but how can you create anything else in five minutes? Is it this just for an evening or is it really possible to be conceptual and interesting in five minutes? It is just art if it barely toes the line of the functional aspect that supposedly distinguishes fashion from art?

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There were definitely some neat ideas even if the looks were sometimes holistically unsatisfactory: I particularly liked the inflatable aeroplane cushion used as an Elizabethan ruff, some puff sleeves courtesy of a pair of lampshades, and eventual winner David’s creation of a jumpsuit out of a boring old suitbag – I thought it properly captured the spirit of the evening and was humorously self-referential.

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Style Wars seemed like a purely creative exercise extraneous to the business side of fashion where conceptual design was really rewarded, which is a really liberating idea, but I felt the reference to Margiela was an unnecessarily highbrow one. This is after all ‘instant couture’ and most of the outfits were barely functional, even sometimes falling apart. But this isn’t really the point. Being part of a baying crowd was something you wouldn’t get to do at a real fashion show, so Style Wars is definitely an opportunity to let loose your inner hooligan and just have a drink and a jolly old time. That’s certainly worth five minutes of your time.

Photos: Courtesy of Errol Sabodosh

Categories ,Art, ,Couture, ,Craft, ,Fashion, ,London, ,Proud Galleries

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Amelia’s Magazine | Thirty Years of Ally Capellino at The Wapping Project

little comets

Photos by Jazzy Lemon

It’s not often that a support band makes your ears prick up and pay attention; too often I’ve been to gigs where sub-standard support acts make the wait for the headliners feel that little bit longer. I doubt in their short career that Little Comets have ever had that problem.

They caught my attention when they supported the Noisettes on their national tour last year, and so it was exciting to see the band headline the Joiners in Southampton last week.

Little Comets are already favourites with the music press after a few well publicised stunts such as playing on the Metro, purchase or in the bakery isle of the local Marks & Spencer store, sales in their hometown of Newcastle. Their single ‘One Night In October’ reached No. 1 in the independent singles chart, so they’ve already got a relatively huge following.

It was the busiest I’ve seen the Joiners; it was a room full of sweaty, drunk lads who were all pretty excited for the band to start. When Little Comets play live they breathe life into their bouncy, poppy songs. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the fun of their live sets. At such an intimate venue, the gig really felt like we were watching something special.

Yes, Little Comets are a guitar band and that’s nothing new, but their songs and the way they approach them really are. In a genre that’s been done to death already, Little Comets are unexpectedly unique. In half an hour they convinced me that there is a future for guitar bands; something that no one has been able to do for a good year or so.

The audience sang along to pretty much every song as the band bounced their way through their perfectly formed pop-tracks such as ‘Friday Don’t Need It’ and ‘Adultery’, but it was ‘Joanna’ that really stood out. Unlike their other guitar-pop tunes, this a capella track quietened the room. It’s the song that sets them above their contemporaries and proves they’re not just four guys playing poppy lad-rock. They’re not a grown-up version of McFly, they’re a group of proper musicians who write proper lyrics and know how to engage the crowd.

Someone in the crowd shouted up to singer Rob, confessing that his girlfriend loved him. Rob got a lot of love that night; a couple of tracks in someone shouted that they loved him too. His witty responses, which were quicker than a heartbeat, had the crowd laughing throughout the set. Little Comets are the kind of band that will do well during the festival season. The fun they radiate is infectious and I can imagine nothing nicer than dancing in the afternoon to one of their sets.

They won over my friend whose CD collection extends to a collection of Now albums and the Glee soundtrack If they can do that, I have no doubt they’ll charm their audiences on the rest of the tour, and wherever else they get to play this summer.

Illustration by Aniela Murphy

The other Saturday I took a little trip down to The Wapping Project to see the rather splendid Ally Capellino exhibition. Completely under-publicised, drugs I have to thank Susie over at Style Bubble for bringing it to my attention. I’m a huge fan of this understated label, and I often pop into their store on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch to salivate over their rather wonderful bags, rewarding myself with a coffee at Leila’s afterwards.

Turns out I’m a mere moment from The Wapping Project too, so I popped down with a couple of pals, only to be told by a florist, who shall remain nameless, that the exhibition was closed due to a wedding. Saddened, we stood outside hoping that we could at least get a glimpse through the window. LUCKILY, the director of the WP ushered us in. The wedding wasn’t due to start for a while (the International Sales Director of Topshop’s wedding, none-the-less, lah-de-dah) so we had twenty-two minutes to zip round.

The Wapping Project is ‘an idea consistently in transition’ and is set in the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Its interior remains pretty much as it would have done when in commercial use, with power hydrants and various power station ephemera still clinging solidly to the floors, around which the space is managed. During the evenings, the main room is transformed into an a la carte restaurant, and said wedding looked pretty incredible.

In the lower, darker, damper room, the Ally Capellino exhibition occupies the entire space. The central exhibition, made from recycled doors and different types of wood, tells the story of this intriguing brand, encircled by portraits of various fashionistas modelling different luggage and apparel.

Ally Capellino is the baby and brainchild of Alison Lloyd, began in 1980 (obv, being its thirtieth birthday). It’s gone from being a very small operation to an acclaimed British leather label. In her own words, she’s gone from ‘young designer to old bag lady’ and this exhibition sees Alison take a nostalgic and sometimes ‘embarrassing’ trip down memory lane.

The essence of Ally Capellino is predominantly British, with sneaky and slight European influences – often the simple style of the Scandinavians. The choronilogical exhibition explains, in just the right amount of detail, the progression of the label year-on-year.. The focus is it’s creative bag and luggage range, with clothing peppered here and there.

The label was originally set up as a clothing brand, and some of the examples on display of early garments are a total treat. It’s only been the past ten years where the accessories have shone through and become the stronghold, but the label has produced some exciting and innovative clothing throughout its existence.

There were graphic patterns, floral prints and neat tailoring in the 1980s:

…While a more futuristic style came through in 1990s with clean lines and masculine shapes:

…and childrenswear has remained fun and hip, reflecting the styles of the mens and womenswear whilst remaining playful:

The focus of the exhibition is the ‘bag wall’ – a huge wall dedicated to said bags – a mixture of new styles and vintage examples sent in by dedicated followers of the brand. Each bag has it’s only story to tell and numbers attached to the bag link to a wall of numbered stories. The essence of the brand is it’s focus on quality – some of these bags, which appear relatively new, are twenty years old for God’s sake!

Rupert Blanchard is behind the recycled, industrial look of the exhibition, and he shares Alison’s ‘passion for salvage and dread of waste’ and nothing looks out of place in this historical landmark.

There’s also a great selection of press material and advertising spanning the whole Ally Capellino era, with some great menswear advertisements, photographic thumbnails, and Vogue featured-in cards:

What does the future hold for the brand? Well, more of the same, please. With a host of collaborations with the likes of the Tate galleries and Apple, I expect there’ll be more of this in the pipeline. And what to say of the bags? Well, hopefully these beautiful creations, in a variety of subtle leathers and complimentary materials, will be produced for years to come.

Head down to the exhibition fast because it’s not on for long – go on, you’ll have a whopping time, even if fashion’s not necessarily your bag. (With puns like these, I should really work in Wapping for a certain tabloid newspaper.)


Illustration by Aniela Murphy

Check out all the important deets here.

Categories ,Alison Lloyd, ,Ally Capellino, ,Apple, ,Bags, ,Calvert Avenue, ,fashion, ,Hipstamatic, ,leather, ,Leila’s Café, ,Recycled wood, ,Rupert Blanchard, ,Salvage, ,shoreditch, ,Tate, ,The Wapping Project, ,vogue, ,wapping

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ziad Ghanem: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Ziad Ghanem‘s catwalk shows are always momentous: massively oversubscribed, a cat-fight to get into and an array of weird and wonderful creatures desperate to get a glimpse of what the ‘cult couturier’ has delivered this season.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Michael Arnold

So imagine my surprise when I arrived a mere fifteen minutes late to find that the show had already started. I darted up the Freemasons’ Hall‘s stairs and the vivacious models were already wowing the crowds. It was a struggle to take pictures between the illustrious millinery of Ziad‘s fans; the pictures that feature here aren’t amazing, particularly since you can’t actually see much of the clothes…


All photography by Matt Bramford

As always, it’s impossible to define this collection in terms of trends or style. It would perhaps be easier to talk about what didn’t appear – you won’t find any tailored trenches or wearable basics here. Instead, Ziad is notorious, infamous and celebrated for frocks that defy seasonality. His blend of couture is one of the rare displays of truly unique craftsmanship at fashion week.

To describe the music as eclectic would be a massive understatement. Munroe Bergdorf had put together a mammoth mixtape of hits across the decades, most of which I now can’t remember so I’ve made a note to make more notes next season. I do remember David Bowie‘s Fashion, George Michael‘s Too Funky and Duran Duran‘s Notorious, tracks synonymous with the catwalk but given a different feel in the majestic setting of the Freemasons’ Hall.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Effervescent models strode one after the other to rapturous applause and deafening whoops. This particular collection had been inspired by Andy Warhol‘s superstar transvestite Candy Darling, star of Flesh and muse of The Velvet Underground. Lavish make-up featured on every model, with Ziad‘s boys wearing as much as his girls. There were hints of the 1980s with Boy George-esque layering and vibrant African patterns.

Some dresses fitted so tightly that some models were forced to walk more slowly than others, while other pieces nipped at the waist but flourished at the hips. A completely diverse selection of fabrics were on offer – couture lace, organza, translucent contrasts and painted cottons. A terrifying model came out waving feathers… with her knockers out and doing a bird impression. Christ, this is hard work. Maybe just look at the pictures. Not that they do this collection any justice.

Monty Python‘s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life accompanied the finale, another unexpected twist as if we needed any more, but an uplifting statement and a glorious finish to this fashion week spectacle.

Categories ,A/W’13, ,boy george, ,couture, ,David Bowie, ,Duran Duran, ,fashion, ,Fashion Scout, ,Feathers, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,George Michael, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Michael Arnold, ,Monty Python, ,Munroe Bergdorf, ,Tits, ,Womenswear, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | Stylish Boots Made From Plastic Bags

There are so many talented and creative people out there that this year we’ve decided to showcase the ones that really catch our eye. First up is Danish fashion illustrator Mia Overgaard.

While training as a fashion designer in Denmarks Designskole in Copenhagen she realised her true passion was in fashion illustration rather than actually creating the pieces, viagra look so focused her talents on design illustration.
Born in Copenhagen in 1978, abortion she now lives in the grand old US of A, where she illustrates for magazines and fashion design firms.

She kindly answered some questions for us, so we could get to know her a little better.

Hi Mia, what are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on a website design for an up and coming Danish designer called Nikoline Liv Andersen. After that I am giving my own website a much needed makeover!

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Who are your favourite designers?

This is actually a very hard question for me, because I find that there are so many extremely talented designers in this world, but if I had to mention only one, John Galliano definitely never fails to surprise and amaze me.
With that said Rei Kawakubo has the same effect on me, even though her approach to fashion and design is of a totally opposite tradition. I guess regarding successful design, raising emotion is key for me.

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How would you describe your personal style?

I love items that have character and remind me of something from my childhood, both in interior design, in fashion and in getting dressed.
I love thrift stores and spend hours flipping through the clothes and looking at all the things left from another time. I don’t really follow a certain trend, but try dressing out of emotion and mood, rather than putting on whatever the runway predicts.
I love the way children choose to dress when their parents let them pick out what to wear. They follow no rules – but choose their clothes out of emotion. That is inspiring to me.

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What or who inspires you?

Music, children, fairy tales, art in general, nature, my life!

Do you think you’ll ever go back to fashion design?

Maybe… probably, I just have to figure out the right approach to it though. I have to have my heart with me.

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What do you think of Karl Lagerfeld‘s work as a fashion illustrator?

He is such an icon! But personally I would get bored with having the same look for decades! As for his work as an illustrator, I must say that he has years of experience and he has a great talent for depicting textures. With that said I think that his style is timeless but then again I do not find it contemporary… if that makes any sense at all…??

Yes Mia, it makes sense to us, so does your wonderful, whimsical take on fashion illustration.
With Omnifuss it’s all about engaging with everyday space. No white gallery walls for a backdrop; instead work must respond directly to the space in which it is displayed, approved forming an intimate interaction between art and place and blurring the lines between.

With their second show and seven artists stepping to the challenge, medicine Downstairs was all about domesticity in its rawest state; and where better to stage it but in their own basement flat in Whitechapel? It cannot be said that Sam Hacking and Christopher Patrick, treat the partnership behind Omnifuss, do not live their art. Learning about the lead-up to the exhibition was as intriguing as the work itself: converting your home into an art-space is clearly a major enterprise, particularly when said artwork consists in covering an entire bedroom, object by object, in toilet paper. “We’ve been sleeping under the bed and we cook on a camping stove”, Chris told me proudly.

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Of all the pieces, Hacking’s piece – the one with the toilet paper – was perhaps the most striking. With a typewriter and three months devotion, streams of consciousness were typed onto the rolls relating to her own personal engagement with each object the paper would then cover; a labour of love that she joked had slightly un-hinged her, “I haven’t really talked to people in a while”, she apologized. It was with irony that her work formed a white walled space with a twist, to which other artists could respond.

It is in the blurred lines between art and everyday space that all the work excels. Esther Ainsworth, one of the seven artists featured in Downstairs, explained that it is in these subtleties that she likes best to work, “I am particularly interested in manipulating time and place in the pursuit of an individual way of understanding the things that we come into contact with each day” says on her blurb, and in person, told me about an intricate and slightly ornate piece she had done on the pavement outside, that unfortunately could not be seen by night. These are the details of our everyday landscapes that become so familiar they are no longer noticed – blink and you might miss it, but that’s the point.

Omnifuss is a project to watch in the future, expect something novel and refreshing; whatever next?

Here’s a little gem I found while perusing the world wide web. The most ingenious and by far the most stylish way I’ve ever seen of re-using a plastic bag – turning them into a pair of stylish ankle boots! Not by tying old bags around your feet, buy more about crazy bag-lady style but by creating these:

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How is this done though? Well, 23-year old Chilean fashion design student Camila Labra did it by fusing many layers of plastic bags to create a thick, robust material, which she then designed into the boots. Genius!

She named her beautiful creations the Dakka Boots after the capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka, which banned plastic bags in 2002 after excess amounts of them became a problem. Nice link there. Each shoe has a cotton lining and takes around 8 plastic bags to make. They are available in a wide range of colours and patterns:

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If you want to get your hands on these beauties, e-mail Camila for prices and availability.

Categories ,Camila Labra, ,Chile, ,Dakka Boots, ,Fashion, ,Recycle

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Amelia’s Magazine | Topman Design: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review


Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

It was raining, men at the Old Sorting Office on Monday for my first show of this (awkwardly branded) London Collections: Men A/W 2014 season – Topman Design.


Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

I can’t be bothered to drone on about the usual fuss that preceded this event, but I’ll just say that my standing ticket offered zero VIP service. Inside I stood in a herd of people five rows deep, aiming my Canon zoom lens through heads while those around me took terrible photographs on point-and-shoot cameras, iPhones and iPads. There’s a whole other piece I could write here, touched on much more eloquently than I could by Michael over at Anastasia Duck, but I will say this: I’ve invested in a decent camera and pride myself on taking decent images that I hope offer a slightly different insight to the normal catwalking shots we’re all familiar with. This is why I continue to work with Amelia because we share the same values when it comes to documenting the shows, but it seems to be getting increasingly difficult to do the job and I left feeling somewhat frustrated.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I probably say the same thing every season, but I’m always reserved about Topman. Aesthetically they’ve upped their game, and whoever is in charge seems to know what they’re doing in the hope of offering a collection akin to the strong contenders on the LC:M schedule. This season relied heavily on a palette of black and red with an injection of pale blue pieces. Box-shaped overcoats offered a different silhouette, sharp tailored blazers worked effortlessly with plaid shirts and heavy knitwear pieces adopting a variety of techniques were exciting.

As usual there were some slightly off pieces – a red tee with graphic lettering (above) looked like something you’d buy on a whim in Kavos after two fishbowl cocktails and some of the double-breasted coats looked awkward on slight-framed models, but overall this was a coherent collection. A reasonable price point means it does offer something more interesting than the rest of the High Street without an outrageous price tag.

For the finale, the heavens (well, the rigging) opened to soak the models as they reappeared for the recap. Not for the first time in history but it was a spectacle none-the-less, but I sure as hell don’t fancy getting caught in the rain in one of those chunky knits. I’m not sure if there was a message here, or how it related to the clothes. Perhaps it was an unsubtle way of saying LOOK OUR THREADS WITHSTAND RAIN, WE’RE NOT CHEAP; maybe it was merely for the aesthetic, but I bloody enjoyed it and everybody else seemed to.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,catwalk, ,Dom&Ink, ,Dominic Evans, ,fashion, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,Old Sorting Office, ,Rain, ,review, ,Topman Design, ,Weather Girls

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sugar and spice: Make Lemonade opens vintage fashion pop-up shop

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Emete Yarici by Jenny Lloyd

It’s impossible to miss the Make Lemonade pop-up shop as you walk up Chalton Street Market, help with big windows displaying the warm and cosy scene for everyone to see. Even standing across the street you can see Make Lemonade founder Emete Yarici pottering around, stomach accompanied by her interns Holly-ann Ladd and Bettina Krohn.


Make Lemonade pop-up shop

Step inside and you’ll find a myriad of treasure, starting with clothes from the Make Lemonade range of one-off vintage finds. As Emete talks me through the contributions from the various designers and artists around the shop it becomes clear this is very much a collaboration. ‘I have been working on getting a shop for over a year, but it’s been a mad rush at putting everything together as I only found out I was getting this shop last week,’ says Emete.


Illustration by Joana Faria

Holly-ann has been collecting vintage charms and made them into necklaces, explains Emete, while more accessories are on display from knitwear designer Louise Dungate. The walls are covered by charity shop finds, as well as prints from graphic designers Dan Sayle and Oschon Wespi-Tschopp. This comes from a tie-up with environmentally friendly printers Hato Press. ‘We will be doing a live screenprinting session here on Saturday, where people can choose a design and have it printed on a bag,’ says Emete.

On Wednesday 26th there will be a free styling evening, followed by a music night on the 28th. Norwegian pop and jazz singer Jenny Moe will provide entertainment, alongside the group The Youth. ‘People can bring their own drinks and there will be lots of cushions, so people can come and talk and chill out,’ says Emete. More details of this and other events, including a film screening yet to be confirmed, can be found on the Make Lemonade Facebook page.

Textile print designer Temitope Tijani has provided a special range of her colourful handmade bags and jewellery, while Supermarket Sarah has created a wall of items from the shop – these will go on sale from Supermarket Sarah’s website from 31st January. In addition to clothing, this includes a 1970s coffee set and a very clever apple-a-day calendar from Ken Kirton, who is also responsible for the Make Lemonade logo.


Temitope Tijani illustrated by Genie Espinosa

‘I wanted the shop to be a platform for many people to show their work, not just for our own stuff,’ says Emete, adding that most of the artists are friends, or friends of friends. Camden Council sponsors Make Lemonade’s rent for the pop-up shop, as part of a scheme to bring new business to Somers Town. This area between Euston and King’s Cross stations isn’t necessarily a retail destination, but the locals have been very welcoming, says Emete.

Make Lemonade will exist mainly on the internet for a while to come, but Emete doesn’t rule out a permanent shop down the line. But the next goal to get the brand into shops as permanent concessions, as well as continuing the collaboration with Asos and focusing on the blog. Along with Bettina, Emete will go to Paris this spring to scout for some higher-range vintage lines, but she wants to stay true to the initial idea of creating a reasonably priced vintage shop – something that isn’t that easy to find in London. ‘We want to make sure we stay close to our roots and remain a brand people want to be part of,’ says Emete, suddenly all shy when she has to be in front of the camera instead of behind the scenes.


Emete Yarici

Make Lemonade pop-up shop will be at 24 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JH until 1st February – after that find them on their website. For more information see our listing and the Make Lemonade Facebook page.

Categories ,ASOS, ,Bettina Krohn, ,Chalton Street Market, ,Dan Sayle, ,Emete Yarici, ,fashion, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Hato Press, ,Holly-ann Ladd, ,Jenny Lloyd, ,Jenny Moe, ,Joana Faria, ,Ken Kirton, ,london, ,Louise Dungate, ,Make Lemonade, ,Oschon Wespi-Tschopp, ,Pop-up Shop, ,Somers Town, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Temitope Tijani, ,The Youth, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Trash Fashion Exhibition at the Science Museum


Marie Anne Lynch, more about illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, stomach from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Marie Anne Lynch, drugs illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, online from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.


Vesna Pesic


Paul Kim


Oliver Ruuger


Yan Liang


Nam Young Kim. All photography by Katie Wright

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Illustration by Aysim Genc

Did you know that we’re all buying a third more clothing than we did a decade ago? Yep, cialis 40mg you read that right. A third more in only 10 years. And are you also aware that today’s average household contributes 26 items of wearable clothing to landfill every year? Tallied up, that’s well over 600,000 garments in the UK alone. Can you visualise that waste? It’s A LOT.

The appropriately-named Trash Fashion exhibition is a relatively small presentation with a big message. Be honest, you can’t remember the last time that ‘textiles’ sprang to mind when thinking of world waste and pollution. Something along the lines of ‘oil’ or ‘water’ or ‘plastic bottles’ would be up there; never the words ‘clothes’, ‘dyes’, ‘fabric’. And yet, it’s a big deal. For example, a huge 17-20% of worldwide industrial water pollution is down to textile dye. The truth is that the concept of waste produced by the textiles industry is dangerously underestimated. Fact.


Illustration by Ankolie

Okay, so I didn’t predict a fashion-related exhibition at the Science Museum either. And, in its allotted space, Trash Fashion did rather stick out like a sore-thumb. One also is required to walk through the entire ground floor to actually reach the exhibition, which features steam trains, outer-space and other extravaganzas along with a large population of noisy children. As it was a Saturday, immersed in engines and spaceships, I’m guessing either über-nerdy kids or über-nerdy parents. However, I just used the word ‘über’ twice in one sentence so I’m clearly the nerd here.


All photographs courtesy of Lois Waller/Bunnipunch

Moving on, I learnt shed loads about ‘designing out waste’ in the fashion industry by wandering through. For one, I learnt that an initiative, led by Central Saint Martins, is being developed. An idea that started with a small mat of cellulose being immersed in green tea in order for it to grow into usable fabric. Fabric that is literally living and breathing. It turns out rather like leather and, having a feel of the fabric myself, couldn’t believe that it came from some bacteria bathed in green tea. Weird. Anyway, it turns out that, at this early stage, the so-called ‘Bio Couture’ is way too heavy and gooey to wear and would practically disintegrate in the rain. Nevertheless, it’s a damn-good start – the product is natural, non-toxic and compostable and scientists are working on developing the idea further all the time.


Illustration by Stephanie Melodia

Another part of the exhibition that I found enthralling was a project hosted by the London College of Fashion called ‘Knit to Fit’. It puts forward the concept of ‘Mass Customisation’, something that I could definitely see materialising in the near future. It starts with an individual having a 3D Body Scan done by a special computer that reads all, and even the very intricate, measurements of the body. This information, along with personalised details such as colour and pattern, is then transmitted to a fairly new machine in the textiles world that, before one’s very eyes, produces an entirely seamless 3D garment. No off-cuts. No waste. Considering that fashion designers are known to leave a whole 15% of the fabric they work with on the cutting-room floor, these are absolutely imperative pieces of technology in the movement towards sustainable and efficient textiles of the future. The idea is that, in the not-too-distant future, the average shopper will be able to stroll into a clothing store and have a custom-made garment made there and then that is unique to us and, most importantly, will leave absolutely no waste.


Illustration by Caroline Coates

Without a doubt, the most immediately imposing feature of the exhibition was a large, flamboyant dress, made out of 1000 pieces of folded scraps of the London Metro newspaper. It stood tall at the entrance and its grandeur seduced a small crowd to gather around and take photographs.
In my opinion, however, it just isn’t enough to rip up a few copies of the London Metro, origami fold them into numerous pieces and make a dress – not to wear, but to make a statement. Not to dismiss the skill that goes into constructing such a fiddly garment, or the fact that it DOES make a pretty huge statement. It relates waste and fashion to one another, which is crucial, through something impressive and, ironically, quite beautiful. But it’s been done. I’ve seen countless garments like these, designed for that shock-factor yet completely un-wearable. It’s time to stop representing the problem and to instead turn to the solution – to science. And this, bar the newspaper dress, is where ‘Trash Fashion’ came up trumps.

So, despite being a little late-in-the-day with this one, might not be worth trekking all the way to South Kensington to see this exhibition alone. If you do, time it in with a trip to the National History Museum or the V&A, both right next door. After all, it’s free entry. You’ll just have to hurdle past the children screaming at steam engines and Apollo 10 and I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it.

Trash Fashion: designing out waste is supported by SITA Trust as part of the No More Waste project and is free to visit at the Science Museum in London.

As part of the exhibition, there is an interactive competition whereby members of the public can submit photos of their ‘refashioned’ old garments, before and after, and could land their new design a spot in the exhibition. To upload pictures of your customised clothes go to www.flickr.com/groups/trashfashion

Categories ,Bio Couture, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dress, ,environment, ,Ethics, ,fashion, ,Flickr, ,Knit to Fit, ,Landfill, ,London College of Fashion, ,Mass Customisation, ,Metro, ,No More Waste, ,Science Museum, ,SITA Trust, ,South Kensington, ,textiles, ,Trash Fashion, ,Waste

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sugar and spice: Make Lemonade opens vintage fashion pop-up shop

gabby-young

Emete Yarici by Jenny Lloyd

It’s impossible to miss the Make Lemonade pop-up shop as you walk up Chalton Street Market, help with big windows displaying the warm and cosy scene for everyone to see. Even standing across the street you can see Make Lemonade founder Emete Yarici pottering around, stomach accompanied by her interns Holly-ann Ladd and Bettina Krohn.


Make Lemonade pop-up shop

Step inside and you’ll find a myriad of treasure, starting with clothes from the Make Lemonade range of one-off vintage finds. As Emete talks me through the contributions from the various designers and artists around the shop it becomes clear this is very much a collaboration. ‘I have been working on getting a shop for over a year, but it’s been a mad rush at putting everything together as I only found out I was getting this shop last week,’ says Emete.


Illustration by Joana Faria

Holly-ann has been collecting vintage charms and made them into necklaces, explains Emete, while more accessories are on display from knitwear designer Louise Dungate. The walls are covered by charity shop finds, as well as prints from graphic designers Dan Sayle and Oschon Wespi-Tschopp. This comes from a tie-up with environmentally friendly printers Hato Press. ‘We will be doing a live screenprinting session here on Saturday, where people can choose a design and have it printed on a bag,’ says Emete.

On Wednesday 26th there will be a free styling evening, followed by a music night on the 28th. Norwegian pop and jazz singer Jenny Moe will provide entertainment, alongside the group The Youth. ‘People can bring their own drinks and there will be lots of cushions, so people can come and talk and chill out,’ says Emete. More details of this and other events, including a film screening yet to be confirmed, can be found on the Make Lemonade Facebook page.

Textile print designer Temitope Tijani has provided a special range of her colourful handmade bags and jewellery, while Supermarket Sarah has created a wall of items from the shop – these will go on sale from Supermarket Sarah’s website from 31st January. In addition to clothing, this includes a 1970s coffee set and a very clever apple-a-day calendar from Ken Kirton, who is also responsible for the Make Lemonade logo.


Temitope Tijani illustrated by Genie Espinosa

‘I wanted the shop to be a platform for many people to show their work, not just for our own stuff,’ says Emete, adding that most of the artists are friends, or friends of friends. Camden Council sponsors Make Lemonade’s rent for the pop-up shop, as part of a scheme to bring new business to Somers Town. This area between Euston and King’s Cross stations isn’t necessarily a retail destination, but the locals have been very welcoming, says Emete.

Make Lemonade will exist mainly on the internet for a while to come, but Emete doesn’t rule out a permanent shop down the line. But the next goal to get the brand into shops as permanent concessions, as well as continuing the collaboration with Asos and focusing on the blog. Along with Bettina, Emete will go to Paris this spring to scout for some higher-range vintage lines, but she wants to stay true to the initial idea of creating a reasonably priced vintage shop – something that isn’t that easy to find in London. ‘We want to make sure we stay close to our roots and remain a brand people want to be part of,’ says Emete, suddenly all shy when she has to be in front of the camera instead of behind the scenes.


Emete Yarici

Make Lemonade pop-up shop will be at 24 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JH until 1st February – after that find them on their website. For more information see our listing and the Make Lemonade Facebook page.

Categories ,ASOS, ,Bettina Krohn, ,Chalton Street Market, ,Dan Sayle, ,Emete Yarici, ,fashion, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Hato Press, ,Holly-ann Ladd, ,Jenny Lloyd, ,Jenny Moe, ,Joana Faria, ,Ken Kirton, ,london, ,Louise Dungate, ,Make Lemonade, ,Oschon Wespi-Tschopp, ,Pop-up Shop, ,Somers Town, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Temitope Tijani, ,The Youth, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | UCA Rochester: Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk Review


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

UCA Rochester is always a hot ticket at Graduate Fashion Week. It usually takes a late evening slot, so there’s always a more ritzy atmosphere. This year was no different.


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

When I joined the queue I was pleased to note that I was maybe 10 or 15 attendees from the front. ‘Marvellous’, I thought to myself as I politely waited. As the door-opening grew closer, one by one various other press, sponsors and ‘VIPs’ did that hilarious thing that only fashion people know how to do. I marvel every time it happens. It’s the Magical Fashion Queue Jumper. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

1. Look for somebody you’ve vaguely met once, follow on Twitter, are connected with on LinkedIn, or somebody who looks like somebody you know;
2. Scream ‘HAI darling!‘ at them and swing from their neck with glee;
3. Go a bit red, hoping nobody has noticed you’ve been incredibly rude and pushed in;
Voila – you’ve jumped the queue.

Sigh. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it. It’s just so impolite. I’d tell you how I then got kicked off the front row but managed to get back onto it with half a dozen seats going begging, but then I’d just be a big moaner.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Anyway, yes, back to the show. An usual start unfolded – I’d already noticed that there were a sole pair of shoes and a selection of menswear on hangers to the right of the stage. The lights dimmed and a model appeared wearing white underclothes. Two men wearing white lab coats, I presume students, dressed the man in silence. As soon as he was dressed and styled, the lights shone brightly, the music pounded, and the tattoo-clad model stormed the catwalk.

Here’s a round-up of my favourites from UCA Rochester:

Daniel Holliday

It was Daniel’s model who was dressed live on stage and opened the show. It was a strong menswear opener, with digital print shirts, tweed blazers with contrasting sleeves and flashes of neon green juxtaposed with a dark colour palette.

Lucy Mellor


Graduate collection by Lucy Mellor

Lucy’s collection was our first taste of Rochester womenswear. Fitted knee-length dresses were sculptured at the shoulders and hips, creating futuristic silhouettes, embellished with organic felt shapes.

Richard Sun


Graduate collection by Richard Sun

The future according to Richard Sun sees women wearing utilitarian geometric dresses accessorised with wire cages. Inspired by Hong Kong architecture, this was an innovative fashion vision.

Olivia Salmon


Graduate collection by Olivia Salmon

Juxtaposed to Richard’s fashion future came Olivia Salmon‘s playful collection of cute floral dresses. Silhouettes were soft and prints were hand-drawn – a welcome break from digital. Models were styled with clusters of flowers in this uplifting collection.


Olivia Salmon graduate collection by Sandra Contreras

Emily Houghton


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

Emily also took her inspiration from architecture – notably Richard Rogers‘ ‘inside-out’ Lloyds building. Visible seams and outer pocket bags explore this concept – a dark colour palette with some flashes of neon and some elements of sportswear made this a really polished collection.

Annie Mae Harris

Blink and you might miss Annie Mae’s attention to detail in this fusion of print and materials. Soft silks and organzas were treated with hypnotic, organic swirls that elegantly floated by. Leather accessories, including a headpiece embellished with gold teeth, added an extra dimension.

Jenny Prismall


Graduate collection by Jenny Prismall

War Horse was the inspiration for Jenny’s womenswear and was one of my favourite collections of the week. Military cuts were given a chicer treatment. Leather straps like horses reins were carefully added to garments creating a luxurious look with a hint of kink, whilst also sculpting silhouettes. Oh, and the digital-print sunset – just wonderful.

Marianne Sørensen


Graduate collection by Marianne Sørensen

Marianne presented a beautiful all-black collection teaming luxury materials with dynamic cuts: one of the most polished presentations of the week.

Callum Burman
Callum’s modern Miami Vice male had me squealing. Influence had come from the TV show and the Art Deco buildings of Miami (love). Cropped-sleeve shirts, short shorts, oversized sweater and skinny trousers all in a range of cool pastel colours. It was fun, relaxed and infinitely wearable.

Sharon Osborne
Sharon presented a beautiful collection of flattering, body-hugging dresses of varying glamorous lengths. Ruching around the necks and into seams was used to dazzling effect, with cloud-like forms printed onto the garments. But it was Sharon’s transparent perspex accessories that really caught my eye; beautiful, organic shapes creeping up models’ arms.

Elisabeth Boström


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

Elisabeth’s offering was another contender for my favourite collection of this year’s graduates. Sweeping frocks in gorgeous silks featured digital streaks of varying bright colours fused with natural browns. Elisabeth was inspired by natural vs. unnatural, effortlessly blending the two together. Some dresses were embellished with hair for a fashion-forward look with maximum appeal.

Emma Beaumont


Graduate collection by Emma Beaumont

I wasn’t at all surprised to see Emma’s collection nominated for the Gold Award at the Gala ceremony the following evening. Inspired by harvest, Emma’s feminine cuts and adept use of the most visually stimulating materials provided a real treat. I loved the aesthetic appeal of the opening woven coat and a gold woven dress.

Until next year, UCA Rochester!

Categories ,2012, ,Annie Mae Harris, ,Callum Burman, ,catwalk, ,Daniel Holliday, ,Elisabeth Bostrom, ,Emily Houghton, ,Emma Beaumont, ,fashion, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Jenny Prismall, ,knitwear, ,Lucy Mellor, ,Marianne Sorensen, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Olivia Salmon, ,review, ,Richard Sun, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sharon Osbourne, ,UCA Rochester, ,University, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rous Iland and the Sestra Moja collection

A few days ago I had my very own Alice in Wonderland moment when I escaped the busy, information pills crowded streets of London and went through a little door in the heart of Mayfair. I was greeted by an exquisite range of womenswear, visit plenty of spring/summer colours to contrast the weather nicely, look and a lovely cup of tea. Sitting on their plush sofa, and having a chat about their current collections definitely brightened my dreary (when we will we see the sun!?) weekend…

Established by ex city lawyers Kara Iland and Clare Rous, Rous Iland is a personal shopping service providing private consultations and viewings for women who find it hard to spare the time to shop. Catering to a wide range of women it’s easy to see why the enterprise is proving so successful. Bright, inviting, and friendly, the showroom ticks all the boxes after only 3 years of trading.

As one of the only UK stockists of Sestra Moja, their talents in sourcing quality labels are well represented. The label, by Slovakian born Antonia Widdowson, has grown from her love of customising vintage pieces into a full blown collection. Using her flair for vintage as a template for the designs, the result is a timeless array of floaty dresses, tunics, slips and tops using muted tones.


Sestra Moja Angel Dress

‘The designs are unique with intricate lace and crochet pieces, combined with chiffon and muslin. They are timeless, feminine and elegant with a distinctly vintage feel’, said Kara and Clare of the collection.

The range has a feminine, delicate look throughout; bearing in mind that lace and underwear as outerwear are to be big trends for S/S 10, it will definitely be one to watch this season. Tapping into the boho trend (Sienna Miller circa 2003 will be pleased), yet also managing to exude elegance and sophistication at the same time, it blends together two distinct styles. Using muslin, crochet, and lace to create her pieces, the beautiful creations are irresistible and sure to outlive faddy summer trends. The current necessity to invest in long lasting clothes, and banish throwaway fast fashion buying, is expressed by the owners…

“We are very interested in the origin of the fabrics and pieces we select. Ethically made design is one of the criteria we look for. In an age when we tend to buy frivolously without regard to the environment and the communities affected we believe ethical fashion is a positive sign. We encourage people to buy fewer pieces they will treasure forever, rather than buy lots of things they will ultimately only use for one season.” 


Sestra Moja Bibiana Dress

All the pieces use summer neutrals and pretty, lightweight fabrics, making it difficult for us to find a favourite. I fell for the Angel Dress imagining its suitability on lazy summer days, whereas Karen and Ilana went for the Bibiana maxi dress, owing to the beautiful pistachio colour – perfect for spring! 

Prices for the collection start at £65. Rous Iland also stock eco-friendly labels Noir and Good One.

Find them here.

Categories ,Boho chic, ,Ethical Fashion, ,fashion, ,london, ,Mayfair, ,noir, ,Rous Iland, ,Sestra Moja, ,Sienna Miller

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