Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Kingston MA

Kingston-MA-by-Alia-Gargum
Stephanie Nieuwenhuyse by Alia Gargum

Located in Kingston upon Thames, buy South West London, more about Kingston University London doesn’t seem to have a buzzing reputation for academia. But with art the institution are widely regarded as one of the best in the country, particularly for fashion education. Kingston fashion graduates have gone on to senior posts in a range of leading labels which include Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent. And it goes without saying that the Fashion Scout presentation at London Fashion Week is a thoroughly unique opportunity to showcase work to the industry’s elite at such an early stage in a designer’s career.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-002

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-004

The university has been presenting the best of it’s MA Fashion graduates at Vauxhall Fashion Scout for two years now, and the theme has remained the same – The Body Laboratory. This time, there was an array of interpretations of the theme from full-on brain-like, mouldy textiles (yes, really) to delicate references through elegant style details. My favourites of the presentation were Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, Fay Gascoigne, Ninela Ivanova and Han Gu.

Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse Kingston MA LFW S/S 2012 by Kirstie Battson
Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse by Kirstie Battson

I saw perhaps the most bustle around Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, who had a corset and shoe displayed as part of a collection inspired by Biomimicry. The pieces were created from an intricate shell of thin wood that was broken into tiny hexagonal shapes then arranged in the most impressive and fiddly way; it must have taken yonks to put together. Her business cards were also made out of the thin wood she had used in her collection pieces – a great touch!

Fay Gascoigne
Photography courtesy of Fay Gascoigne.

I asked Fay Gascoigne about her pieces and she spoke with such passion and expression that I couldn’t help but admire her work! She displayed a funky, sporty jacket, formed with purple digital printed fabric, gathered in sections to make a volumnous shape. She also had everyone in the room sniffing her giant white plastic necklace that smelt like lavender.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-014

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-012

Ninela Ivanova created a somewhat controversial collection that was displayed in the center of the room in all its glory. The collection, titled Moulded Mind was largely made up of lazer-cut velvet encased in silicone (which created a wonderful veiny/brainy effect). These pieces were named Second Skin. What was even more bizarre was the thick mould that were contained in transparent vests and shoulder pads. This was much more of a textile venture than a fashion one but I was intrigued by the concept, as was everyone else in the room as they touched and stared at the pieces and badgered Ninela with questions.

Han Gu Kingston MA S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc
Han Gu by Aysim Genc

Han Gu‘s work stood out beautifully. It was just a shame that there wasn’t more of her collection on display for the presentation. She’d created pieces that were much more wearable but that still showed fantastic textile skill in minute triangular features that seemed to hark back to Japanese origami. It turns out that the collection, titled Triangular Memories, was inspired by memories of her grandma who liked to fold the smallest notes to make little triangles. My favourite feature was the collar, made from tiny transparent plastic triangles; a simple but beautifully constructed piece.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-007q=
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

The Kingston MA Fashion presentation at Vauxhall Fashion Scout continues to show off the university’s ability to stretch their students’ capabilities, give them the creative freedom to push new boundaries and inject something new into the fashion world.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Armani, ,Aysim Genc, ,Biomimicry, ,Body Laboratory, ,Burberry, ,Calvin Klein, ,Fay Gascoigne, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Han Gu, ,Kingston, ,Kingston MA Fashion, ,Kingston University, ,Kingston University London, ,Kingston upon Thames, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Mould, ,Moulded Mind, ,Ninela Ivanova, ,origami, ,Second Skin, ,Silicone, ,Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, ,The Body Laboratory, ,Triangular Memories, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Velvet, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,YSL, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Ada Zanditon

Susan Hiller-Tate-Britain
AmeliasMagazine_LFW_Ada-Zanditon_ArtistAndrea
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 sneak preview by Andrea Peterson. I asked a variety of illustrators to interpret one piece from the new collection… so read on to see what they did!

Ada Zanditon looks somewhat confused as I pile into her live/workspace at the same time as the morning influx of interns – maybe I’m a new, about it rather overgrown one? She is still in her pyjamas, recipe having recently emerged from the space beneath a cutting table that currently serves as her bed.

This season Ada will not be putting on a catwalk show; instead she will show a film presentation alongside the collection on mannequins. “What you can do on a catwalk is dictated by how big your budget is, ailment ” she explains. “Lagerfield puts on amazing shows but the cost of production is huge. One reason why everyone loved McQueen was because he put on an event; a moment that could be referenced from then on.” Ada feels that a film or presentation can offer a much more immersive experience on a tight budget.

Ada Zanditon LFW Preview by Danielle Shepherd
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 LFW Preview by Danielle Shepherd.

Last season’s show at Victoria House was intended to be interactive, with people circulating around the models. In fact it became more like a salon show as soon as the pesky photographers formed a bank across the room that guests were afraid to cross. “But the fact that it wasn’t a normal catwalk set was exciting – now it’s time to go to the next stage.” This season movement will be shown on a screen and the audience will be able to feel the details up close without fear of interaction with any live humans. “I’ve learnt that people won’t walk up to a model when they are in full hair and make up because it is too daunting.”

The night before our interview Ada was filming the A/W 2011 presentation at Netil House just off Broadway Market. On the wall above the table where the interns are busy cutting out invitations there is a model – I correctly deduce that Georgiana from Bulgaria is in fact the star of her new film. “It’s much better to fit a narrative around one person,” she says. Ada was able to exactly fit the garments to Georgiana, chosen because of an active interest in her concept and aesthetic. “She also has ability to act and move elegantly and gracefully. I feel she embodies the aspirations of my customers.”

Ada-Zanditon-AW11-by-Yelena-Bryksenkova
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

Ada’s great grandparents were from Ukraine and Lithuania, but her mother was born and grew up in America, with the result that Ada has dual nationality and got to spend holidays in fashionable Martha’s Vineyard, where her parents bought a house before it became popular. “Of course now it’s full of rich yuppies… which in a way is good because they look after the beautiful landscape.” Ada herself was born in Crouch End in north London before the family moved south of the river. Secondary school was by all accounts not a fun experience – even though she knew she wanted to be a fashion designer from the age of 5 her school pushed her in an academic direction that she felt uneasy with. As a result she didn’t do art A-level but instead took photography GCSE and attended life drawing classes.

With the encouragement of an art teacher who spotted her potential she went to Morley College to produce a self generated portfolio which she took to her Art Foundation interview at Kingston University. She was promptly offered an unconditional offer. “They were so warm and impressed that I cried in the interview – I was just so happy that someone finally understood my work.” Afterwards she did a degree at London College of Fashion and then embarked an internship with McQueen where she learnt “a hell of a lot”. She was there for a total of four seasons, working almost all of the time. “It’s a tough industry – you can work 9-5 and achieve something mediocre or you can put 100% in and achieve something beautiful.”

Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 by Dee Andrews.

The new A/W 2011 collection is called The Cryoflux, embodying in its name frozen landscapes and the idea of change. It was inspired by the polar regions, mainly Antarctica, but also the climatic changes experienced by people living in the Arctic. Ada became fascinated by the ice cores that are pulled up to show our climate history in intimate detail, and extremophiles, mostly microscopic organisms which exist in extreme conditions such as the polar regions. “But I didn’t want to be too literal in my translation – after all we’re experiencing extreme conditions both politically and economically as well.”

For further inspiration she looked at the doomed Robert Scott expedition of the early 1900s, for which the explorers were clothed in heritage clothing from great British brands like Mulberry. “I combined the romantic world of beautiful tailoring with an icy modern aesthetic. For instance I looked at broken ice floes in a constant state of flux.”

Ada Zanditon
Ada Zanditon in her studio in Whitechapel.

I wonder if Ada will model a bit of clothing from the collection so that I can get it illustrated but she baulks at the suggestion because she doesn’t design for herself. “I’m quite scruffy… but my designs always come out elegant and polished,” she says. “I want to create wearable stuff for my customer and not myself because I am quite a specific market of one.” Her collections are instead inspired by an interest in architectural design and illustration. She likens it to the work of Monet. “He doesn’t look like a waterlily. And lots of male designers don’t wear the frocks that they design.” As part of the designing process she loves meeting and learning more about her customers although she’s eager to assure me she’s not a slave to them, and concepts will always be important.

Ada Zanditon by Donya Todd
Ada Zanditon in her studio by Donya Todd, who chose to put her in one of her S/S 2011 designs anyway.

The collection features lots of British wool but the silk is not organic because it is much harder to source than good quality organic fair-trade cotton. “Most silk is Chinese even though it often claims to be Indian. I’ve looked into using Peace Silk [which doesn’t kill the silk worms in the process of manufacture] but the trouble is that you only get a smooth continuous unbroken fibre if the worm is killed. My customers want quality and I don’t want to compromise that.” At present Ada feels it is more important to focus on the bigger picture when it comes to sustainability.

There are only a few print designs in the new collection, which were printed locally in Bermondsey. “I feel that winter is usually more about sculptural details, so I tend to explore the cut. Print tends to be for S/S. But you can get sick of tailoring!” Ada can’t imagine living somewhere where the climate doesn’t change on a regular basis and she is looking forward to designing for the next S/S season: think big and loose, “like a million layers of air”.

Ada-Zanditon-S/S 2011 by-Maria-del-Carmen-Smith
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Maria del Carmen Smith.

This season Ada had her choice of slot at LFW, so naturally she chose to show on the first day. The main theme of her presentation remains firmly under wraps but expect a narrative inspired by the solar system and in particular by Europa, which is a moon of Jupiter that experiences particularly extreme conditions. “I like the outside perspective; seeing things from the viewpoint of the other. So I imagined a superwoman extremophile who evolved under the surface of Europa and goes on an exploration of Antarctica.” The film is directed by twins Andrew and William Ho, who had lots of passion and enthusiasm for her subject. “I love their elegant aesthetic.” As well as an “interesting” soundtrack guests can expect a surprise immediately as they enter the venue between 1-2pm on Friday 18th February. I can’t wait… and I shall report back on my findings.

Ada Zanditon features in my new book: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Part two of this interview will go online tomorrow and digs deeper into Ada’s theories on sustainable practice.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,ACOFI, ,Ada Zanditon, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Andrew and William Ho, ,Antarctica, ,British Wool, ,Broadway Market, ,Bulgaria, ,Danielle Shepherd, ,Dee Andrews, ,Donya Todd, ,Europa, ,extremophile, ,Georgiana, ,Ice Core, ,Jupiter, ,Kingston University, ,Lagerfield, ,lfw, ,Lithuania, ,London College of Fashion, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,McQueen, ,Morley College, ,Mulberry, ,Netil House, ,peace silk, ,Robert Scott, ,The Cryoflux, ,Ukraine, ,Victoria House, ,whitechapel, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kingston University Graduate Fashion Week 2015: Catwalk Review

Josh Read
I only received one invite to the 2015 edition of Graduate Fashion Week, so I was excited to attend the Kingston University graduate show at the Truman Brewery and get a brief glimpse into the talent that is leaving college this year. The venue was absolutely packed and I did not have a prime photo-taking spot, so I’ll apologise in advance for the quality of my images – Matt Bramford took a far more stunning set last year, which you can see here.

There was a wide variety of styles on show, and a good smattering of menswear (I love that it is such a burgeoning field in UK fashion) but as ever I was attracted to the more gregarious and colourful designers, joyfully blending colours and textures.

Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Pippa Harries
Pippa Harries played with the textural contrasts of striped knitwear and sports fabrics.

Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Emma Johnson
Emma Johnson focused on layers of knit and striped patchwork, creating a snuggly yet sophisticated gyspy feel.

Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Grace White
Grace White used ominous knitted snoods to hide faces, worn with heavily draped woollen constructions in a juicy patchwork of colours.

Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Bianca Saunders
Bianca Saunders’ menswear collection showcased metallic quilting and patterned crop pants worn with clashing socks. Humorous whilst still being desirable, her clothing was inspired by the typical interior of a first generation British West Indian home.

Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Josh Read 1
Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Josh Read 3
Kingston Uni fashion 2015-Josh Read 2
But the undoubted star of the show was Josh Read, who I have since discovered has landed a plum role at Dior after winning the LVMH Graduate Prize. His collection was inspired by the elegance of everyday 50s clothing; sharp tailoring paired with sweeping A-line shapes and juicy shades of orange, red and blue. Absolutely gorgeous. His website showcases some beautiful look book images, go take a peek here.

Categories ,2015, ,Bianca Saunders, ,Catwalk review, ,Dior, ,Emma Johnson, ,Grace White, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Kingston University, ,LVMH Graduate Prize, ,Pippa Harries, ,Truman Brewery

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Show 2007: Kingston University

Those of you who’ve seen Fame (you know the one, store information pills “Remember my name (FAME!)/I’m gonna live forever” and all that jazz) may remember the relatively small but significant character called Bruno. He hated playing in the strings section of the orchestra because he could electronically create an orchestra of sound and fury on his own, information pills healing resulting in much dancing in the streets and on taxis…

…The comaprison: Napoleon IIIrd Napoleon IIIrd. Why he hasn’t had more Fame action himself is quite beyond me. Though that said, I had heard on the grapevine that the man was touring with a full band and was hoping to see and hear such a spectacle in the flesh. But alas, whilst hoping that the brass section was hiding out in the toilets working up the saliva to play, the man himself emerged to take his place behind two microphones, that met above a keyboard, nestled between all manner of electronic and musical paraphernalia…and no band.

Never mind though, performing solo, he didn’t disappoint. Unexpectedly formidable, Napoleon is energetic and jerky as his music often is. One thing is that from the start, Napoleon is so believable. Without guile or pretensions, yet vaguely angsty and almost aggressive, not quite desperate but definitely hopeful, he is one man doing his own orchestral manoeuvres in the dark.

Like a proud band leader, pumping his metaphoric baton triumphantly, Napoleon IIIrd conducted his way through the set with a well practiced panache; twiddling with levels, blue-tacking keys, pressing buttons and bristling on his guitar. Completely comfortable but not complacent, Napoleon IIIrd played with abandon. With heavy industrial beats, crunchy glitches, big refrains, random samples and a pre-recorded choir of Napoleons to back him up, Napoleon IIIrd’s music is quite epic live. It’s all the more strange to match the sound to the scene when the guy is all alone on stage amongst his band of merry, electronically recorded selves.

So remember his name, because Napoleon IIIrd is dynamite.
Having studied graphic design, remedy I too had put on a show at my university and then made the journey to London to showcase my talents to industry moguls. My experience was, remedy well, pretty shit – but this was flawless. With over 50 stands showcasing talent, 2 fashion theatres and an orange-carpeted Moët bar for pre-show drinks, GFW supported by River Island (amongst other major players) really packed a punch.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Show Gala Show 2014 Review

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

I have been attending Graduate Fashion Week for six years now and every year I wonder how such young designers manage to be so creative. Once again the final 25 collections showcased in last week’s Gala Show were truly outstanding and revealed a wide range of talent to watch. The night began on a poignant note with a moment’s thought for the late Louise Wilson, the formidable Central Saint Martins tutor who was integral in the training of luminaries such as Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou. Here’s hoping that one of these finalists and winners goes on to as much success.

GFW Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins

Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins.

GFW Menswear Award: Aimee Dunn – Nottingham Trent University
I know it’s menswear but who doesn’t love stealing their boyfriends clothes? Dunn’s collection of monochrome looks were superbly put together and with Thatcher on the front of a jumper you’re never going to avoid attention. Dunn also picked up the Menswear award at the end of the evening – well deserved.

Grace Weller GFW 2014 Bath Spa Uiversity by Jenny Robins

Grace Weller by Jenny Robins.

Grace Weller by  Julie J Seo

Grace Weller by Julie J.Seo.

George Gold Award winner and GFW Womenswear Award: Grace Weller – Bath Spa University
The embroidery and workmanship that had gone into Grace’s beautiful collection of Erdem-esque floral and sheer dresses was astounding. Not only did Grace pick up the Womenswear Award but she walked away with the £10,000 Gold Award to kick start her label.

Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott
Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott.

Rebecca Rimmer – UCLAN
Brightly coloured clothes painted onto bigger clothes. Sounds ridiculous, works really well on the catwalk, as Rebecca Rimmer proved. Her cartoonish collection was fun and original as well as having a high impact on the audience as it closed the show.

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung_2

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung.

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

Holly Jayne Smith – Birmingham City
Foot-high hats and a pop art colour palette ensured this collection caught our attention and made us rethink light blue as a staple. The models also carried co-ordinated bright sports back packs which I loved.

GFW Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins

GFW International Winner: Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins.

Lauren Lake – Kingston University
Coloured fur made its mark last season and Lauren Lake’s first model strode out in a huge over sized, pink fur-lined shearling coat, so it was always going to be a winner. The silver metallic skirts and block boots, pink PVC and top knots ticked all the boxes, just amazing.

Colleen Leitch – Edinburgh College of Art
80’s glamour is back in Colleen Leitch’s collection of exquisite looks brought together by scattered sequins and dark colours in draping fabrics clinched at the waist for maximum femininity.

HANNAH DONKIN BY JANE YOUNG

Hannah Donkin by Jane Young.

GFW Creative Catwalk Award: Camilla Grimes – Manchester School of Art
Pink fur again, hopefully not real, (trend alert!) but this time alongside a more delicate and feminine ensemble that had hints of Jonathan Saunders about it (never a bad thing). Sheer embroidered shirts and a hooded bomber jacket were just two of the items I want in my wardrobe.

Fashion graduates of 2015, I can’t wait to see what you’ll have in store!

Categories ,2014, ,Aimee Dunn, ,Bath Spa University, ,Birmingham City University, ,Camilla Grimes, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Christopher Kane, ,Colleen Leitch, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Gala Show, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Weller, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hannah Donkin, ,Holly Jayne Smith, ,Hye Jin Chung, ,Jane Young, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julie J Seo, ,Kingston University, ,Lauren Lake, ,Louise Wilson, ,Manchester School of Art, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Rebecca Rimmer, ,review, ,Shan Liao Huang, ,Sine Skau, ,Truman Brewery, ,UCLan, ,Vicky Scott

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Kingston


Rebecca McClure, viagra illustrated by Alli Coate

There was more than one graduate show going on during Tuesday evening… it was time for some Middlesex action. After Northampton, they had some stiff competition to beat – but they pulled it out of the bag…

Hannah Ellis: A menswear collection almost turning the grown models back into child like beings in their long shorts. There were even braces, man capes and some stunning shirts cum cardigans all in beautiful hues of midnight blue and off white that made the whole collection slightly romantic when teamed with the pulled up socks and deck shoes. Perfect for a stroll along the river then a spot of croquet (or maybe I’ve been watching too much Brideshead Revisited). 

Liesemarie Schulte-Kitzing: This was a conceptual collection with a real vision. Mantilla-inspired headpieces veiled the models’ faces, complimenting a collection of intriguing design including a smooth, shapely vinyl waistcoat which had the apperance of wood. Accessories in the form of square rucksacks provided a refreshing change, as did shapeless floor-length smocks, with each piece embellished with a laser-cut flower pattern.

Jessica Shaw: Shaw’s collection was full of patchwork effects made up from a multitude of sheer fabrics. Some were big oversized checks and others were big and small polka dots but together they managed to complement each other. Throw in some sultry long dresses and chunky knits and the look is a whole collection of ambiguity.


 
Malene Oddershede Bach: This was a rocky look and do you know how we could tell that? The chunky black fringe extensions that the models were made to wear turned them into a mix between Karen O and Agyness Deyn. But the clothes made it too with printed maxi dresses teamed with a cropped biker jacket and oh so mini dresses complete with cut-out detailing on the arms. Even the longer skirts were sheer to add to the “so don’t give a damn” attitude. Rock and Roll indeed. 


Malene Oddershede Bach, illustrated by Pieter de Groot

Helen Carney: Carney’s collection featured fashionable muted colours and had a distinct industrial feel, glamorised with the addition of techinical yet soft exaggerated ruffs, which entombed one model from neck to waist and provided enhanced shoulders on another. Sophisticated, yet sexy.

Rebecca McClure: Special commendation needs to go to Rebecca McClure who designed American style mail box head pieces and even a white picket fence skirt. Maybe not so practical for the morning commute but the headpiece is definitely going straight on my ‘need not want’ list. 

The students at these shows have worked so hard and the collections they have produced are inspiring and beautiful. It looks like there’s a lot of good vibes for the future of British Fashion.

Images courtesy of catwalking.com


Rebecca McClure, page illustrated by Alli Coate

There was more than one graduate show going on during Tuesday evening… it was time for some Middlesex action. After Northampton, they had some stiff competition to beat – but they pulled it out of the bag…

Hannah Ellis: A menswear collection almost turning the grown models back into child like beings in their long shorts. There were even braces, man capes and some stunning shirts cum cardigans all in beautiful hues of midnight blue and off white that made the whole collection slightly romantic when teamed with the pulled up socks and deck shoes. Perfect for a stroll along the river then a spot of croquet (or maybe I’ve been watching too much Brideshead Revisited). 

Liesemarie Schulte-Kitzing: This was a conceptual collection with a real vision. Mantilla-inspired headpieces veiled the models’ faces, complimenting a collection of intriguing design including a smooth, shapely vinyl waistcoat which had the apperance of wood. Accessories in the form of square rucksacks provided a refreshing change, as did shapeless floor-length smocks, with each piece embellished with a laser-cut flower pattern.

Jessica Shaw: Shaw’s collection was full of patchwork effects made up from a multitude of sheer fabrics. Some were big oversized checks and others were big and small polka dots but together they managed to complement each other. Throw in some sultry long dresses and chunky knits and the look is a whole collection of ambiguity.


 
Malene Oddershede Bach: This was a rocky look and do you know how we could tell that? The chunky black fringe extensions that the models were made to wear turned them into a mix between Karen O and Agyness Deyn. But the clothes made it too with printed maxi dresses teamed with a cropped biker jacket and oh so mini dresses complete with cut-out detailing on the arms. Even the longer skirts were sheer to add to the “so don’t give a damn” attitude. Rock and Roll indeed. 


Malene Oddershede Bach, illustrated by Pieter de Groot

Helen Carney: Carney’s collection featured fashionable muted colours and had a distinct industrial feel, glamorised with the addition of techinical yet soft exaggerated ruffs, which entombed one model from neck to waist and provided enhanced shoulders on another. Sophisticated, yet sexy.

Rebecca McClure: Special commendation needs to go to Rebecca McClure who designed American style mail box head pieces and even a white picket fence skirt. Maybe not so practical for the morning commute but the headpiece is definitely going straight on my ‘need not want’ list. 

The students at these shows have worked so hard and the collections they have produced are inspiring and beautiful. It looks like there’s a lot of good vibes for the future of British Fashion.

Images courtesy of catwalking.com


Alice Early, dosage from her graduate work

Kingston University might be a hop, viagra 40mg skip and a jump from the capital, viagra 100mg but the 2010 fashion graduates aren’t letting a little thing like distance stop them from becoming real contenders in the fashion stakes. I went along to Graduate Fashion Week to find out just what the noise from the suburbs is all about. 

Standing at the front of the cavernous Earl’s Court 2 arena, River Island’s Graduate Fashion Week sings it’s assault on the senses, a holding pen for the designers of the future. Bright lights, pumping music and hundreds of discerning fashion devotees mill around institutes’ stands; groups form and disperse, giggle and buzz through the milieu. ‘I like her shoes, I wonder if that’s a wig, isn’t that Vivienne Westwood?!’

Amongst the activity, a stand glows at the front, a beacon of minimalist beauty: welcome to Kingston. 

Representative students are dressed in clean black t-shirts, hints of their individuality breaking through with a slick of lipstick or a quiff set just-so. White stands display student portfolios. The monochrome serenity of Kingston’s presentation is impressively slick, but I am struck by how, behind the blank white covers, the students’ portfolios come alive with a turn of the page. Illustrations of every kind dance like flickbook figures running across the paper, the minute but ornate versions of the catwalk to come. Pocketing an equally gorgeous guide to the designs to be shown, I’m soon heading off to Kingston’s prime time catwalk slot, seated just in time for the lights to go down. 


Live front row illustration by Lauren Macaulay

Alice Early’s designs make for a grand debut with her exploration into the craft of tailoring; rounded cape shoulders and flowing dresses enhance the silhouette of the slinky models, but leather tops and soft, wearable tailoring on high waisted trousers show Early has been paying attention to the direction of fashion today. Baby blues and smattering of peacock prints add a subtle femininity that appears in drops across Kingston’s show.

Sophie Hudspith’s rose and teal sheer knitwear seems to play under the lights of the catwalk, a fine lattice intricately woven together. Meanwhile, Lucy Hammond takes to the other end of the feminine spectrum with her tongue-in-cheek girl about town sweaters pronouncing ‘I Love Knitting, I’m not Shitting’. If Dennis the Menace can put up with her potty mouth he’d love Hammond’s knit’n’purl girl decked in red and black stripes and oversize, floorlength scarfs inspired by the work of Sonya Rykiel.

Nathalie Tunna showcases some of my favourite designs of the show in cute, round shoulder dresses, completed by a zesty palette of pastels. The lines of her garments have an exactness befitting of Jackie O, but a playfulness is inherent in the accessories as leather trim backpacks and printed holdalls make an appearance.    

For an institute hitting so many marks, it’s odd that 21 year old knitwear Zac Marshall should announce that he likes ‘getting it wrong’. But experimentation and an exploration into deconstruction and altering panelling have left Marshall with a wrong-and-yet-so-right collection of menswear. The audience could barely take their eyes off their cute, hand-knitted creatures adorning the jumpers, but clever twists on tailoring meant Marshall’s clothes are more than just fancy dress costumes.

David Stoneman-Merret’s garments share a sense of hyperactive jumper joy (you know the joy, when you find that amazing jumper with a teddy bear eating a cheeseburger on it in a charity shop for a pound), with pixelated digital prints of flowers and his Nan in a Christmas hat. Her death two years ago inspired an exploration into the garments worn by the elderly and the darker realms of dementia, but David is adamant that his Nan would be jumping for joy too: ‘She would have loved the attention- she’d be telling everyone ‘That’s me on that top!’ I’d have to agree with Nanny Stoneman Merret, appearing on such odd but strangely entrancing garments is an accolade to be proud of. 

Naama Rietti sends models down the catwalk with breathtaking, contorted knitted headwear and matching neck pieces. They twist and come to life as faces emerge from their fabric as a bestial addition to a collection scattered with snakeskin prints and rich blue furs coats.

Angharad Probert’s lust for large scale ‘Where the Wild Things Are‘ style fur creations is evident as models strut to a hypnotic, trendy beat; the large collars and dip-dye effect rustling to the rhythm. Sheepskin and fur headpieces hint at mohicans and transform the catwalk into a beautiful Darwinian manifestation, complete with extra details such as razor sharp teeth adorning leggings. Panelling slits reveal gasps of skin on a knee or shoulder, the armour of the modern warrior woman.

Zheng Zeng mixes up the female shape with contours etched into the patterns, dipping and diving over the curves of the body and ballooning on the shoulders like a superhero. 
The final two showings cross polar opposites in fashion but bring the show to a fantastic finale. First Vivian Wong shows her deconstructed business suits – parts removed, ripped up and replaced. Wong creates entirely new shapes on the body; a lapel is moved and a neckline becomes a triangle, or a collar hangs glibly down. In a comment on the recent MP expenses scandal, Wong is asking her audience what it means to have a rule or a uniform broken down, taken back to the drawing board and reimagined in a new way. Her suits conjure glimpses of the 1980s power woman but distinct lines on the body and luxury greys and browns bring the look up to date.

Finally, Harriet de Roeper closes the show in style, as her moody, androgynous suits are paired with Dr. Martens, in an homage to the anarchy of Lord of the Flies. Flies stamp the exterior of her suits in spludges and splashes, a sense of chaos that jars against the formality of button up collars and polo necks. 

As the last model trails off the catwalk, I’m struck by the maturity inherent in much of Kingston’s work. Whilst fashion inspiration can be tenuous and at times somewhat off the mark, the Surrey fashion gang have certainly been doing something right. Collections express a clear and solid direction. For a class that draws so much inspiration from rebellion against tradition, it would be promising to see the next students amp up the risks a little more, but you can’t complain about a graduate collection that is making this writer head off for some serious talks with her bank manager.

Categories ,Alice Early, ,Angharad Probert, ,Christmas, ,Darwin, ,David Stoneman-Merret, ,Dennis the Menace, ,Earls Court, ,Expenses Scandal, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Harriet Roeper, ,I Love Knitting I’m Not Shitting, ,Jackie O, ,Kingston University, ,knitwear, ,Lauren Macaulay, ,london, ,Lucy Hammond, ,menswear, ,MPs, ,Naama Rietti, ,Nan, ,Rebellion, ,River Island, ,Sheepskin, ,Sophie Hudspith, ,Superheros, ,Surrey, ,tailoring, ,Tradition, ,Vivian Wong, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,Where the Wild Things Are, ,Womenswear, ,Zac Marshall, ,Zheng Zheng

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2011 Gala Awards Show: Menswear

Andy_Bumpus_Carl_James_Illingworth
Carl James Illingworth by Andy Bumpus.

In some ways the menswear at the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Awards was more fun than the womenswear… particularly with the addition of a whacky white haired older male model who clearly thought the show was all about him. His over the top posing was certainly entertaining to photograph.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Carl James Illingworth 2011-photo Amelia GregoryGraduate Fashion Week Gala show Carl James Illingworth 2011-photo Amelia GregoryGraduate Fashion Week Gala show Carl James Illingworth 2011-photo Amelia Gregory
Carl James Illingworth of Northumbria University showed a great collection in black and grey with metallic highlights – studs, cure a crown and plenty of sequins giving a sparkly royal feel. Follow Carl James Illingworth on twitter.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Felix Wolodymyr ChablukSmith 2011--photo Amelia GregoryGraduate Fashion Week Gala show Felix Wolodymyr ChablukSmith 2011--photo Amelia GregoryGraduate Fashion Week Gala show Felix Wolodymyr ChablukSmith 2011--photo Amelia Gregory
Felix Wolodymyr Chabluk Smith from Edinburgh College of Art showed a very confident tailored collection. It was definitely the most obviously commercial collection: he won the menswear award.

Andy_Bumpus_Genevieve_Davroy
Genevieve Davroy by Andy Bumpus.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Genevieve Davroy 2011-Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Genevieve Davroy 2011-Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Genevieve Davroy 2011-Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Genevieve Davroy 2011-Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Genevieve Davroy 2011-
Genevieve Davroy of Kingston University showed brightly coloured felted shorts and interesting textured knitwear. I liked the combination of primary colours with muted grey.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rose Dent 2011
From University of Manchester Rose Dent took inspiration from sportswear style – sending her models out with mesh bags of balls and big DENT branding brandished across chests and backs. There was lots of clashing coloured print on shirts and on tracksuits. Follow Rose Dent on twitter.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Wang Li Xuang 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Wang Li Xuang 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Wang Li Xuang 2011
Lastly Wang Li Xuang of Istituto Marangoni Milan went back to a more sombre colourway with oversized knitted capes and cowls – lovely stuff but the devil to photograph on such a dark catwalk.

It’s great to see some of those fashion designers above are on twitter, prescription but just one last word to graduating designers everywhere, both those who made it to the Gala Awards and those who didn’t or who are pursuing another creative avenue: make sure you use twitter to promote yourself! It’s such a valuable networking tool, and you’re wasting its potential if you just use it to gossip with friends. Leave that to your personal facebook profile – the whole world can see you on twitter, and you should be using it to present a professional image. Talk about your achievements, link to your website and make the most of its powerful ranking in search engines.

If you’d like to know more about how to make the best of social networking I’ll be teaching on the Fashion Bootcamp from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise on 9th-10th July. Find out more here and here.

Categories ,Andy Bumpus, ,Carl James Illingworth, ,Centre for Fashion Enterprise, ,Earls Court, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Facebook, ,Fashion Bootcamp, ,Felix Wolodymyr Chabluk Smith, ,Gala Awards, ,Genevieve Davroy, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Istituto Marangoni Milan, ,Kingston University, ,knitwear, ,Manchester School of Art, ,menswear, ,Northumbria University, ,Rose Dent, ,twitter, ,University of Manchester, ,Wang Li Xuang

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2011 Gala Awards Show: Womenswear Knitwear and Tailoring

GFW Charlotte Waters by Claire Kearns
Charlotte Waters by Claire Kearns.

Now for the real meat of the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Awards show… the womenswear on show. Here are those designers who concentrated on tailoring, more about textures and knitwear.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Charlotte Waters 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Charlotte Waters 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Charlotte Waters 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Charlotte Waters 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Charlotte Waters 2011
Charlotte Waters of Salford showed a dark and moody collection with plenty of texture and knit. Intelligent Evolution was inspired by obsolete technology such as cassettes. Grunge with a modern twist – loved the over sized fibrous shoes.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Cindy M Warsono 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Cindy M Warsono 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Cindy M Warsono 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Cindy M Warsono 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Cindy M Warsono 2011
Cindy M Warsono by Hayley Warnham
Cindy M Warsono by Hayley Warnham.

I wasn’t massively keen on La Salle College of the Arts Singapore graduate Cindy M Warsono‘s collection of bulky cream hoodies and tight trousers.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jaskiran Hare 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jaskiran Hare 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jaskiran Hare 2011
Jaskiran Hare of Kingston University showed a monochrome collection based on traditional tailoring turned inside out and back to front.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jungo Kuroiwa 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jungo Kuroiwa 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jungo Kuroiwa 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Jungo Kuroiwa 2011
Jungo Kuroiwa of UCA Epsom favoured a very black approach as well: layered tailoring and lace all mixed up together to create interest.

GFW-Rory-Longdon_by_AlisonDay
Rory Longdon by Alison Day.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rory Longdon 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rory Longdon 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rory Longdon 2011
Rory Longdon went for subdued black and silver in his knitwear collection – but even a colour lover like me could admire these beautifully constructed garments – up close they were just amazing. Not for nothing did he win the overall Gala Award. He goes on to study an MA in Fashion Womenswear at the RCA this September.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Lyudmila Lane 2011
Lyudmila Lane of UCA Rochester stuck to lighter greys and orange in pleated shapes for Endless Sequence, medications inspired by the sculptures of Peter Jansen. The garments didn’t always work – I was much more interested in her intriguing shoes.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rachel Cogley 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rachel Cogley 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rachel Cogley 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rachel Cogley 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rachel Cogley 2011
Rachel Cogley from University of Birmingham must surely have been inspired by Charlie Le Mindu – her fun collection borrowed heavily from his avante garde design aesthetic. Nonetheless I enjoyed her crazy big shouldered plaited hair coats and the poodle bag which matched both wig and coat.

naomi-law-gfw-gala-ume-sacraine
naomi-law-gfw-gala-ume-sacraine
Ume Sacraine by Naomi Law.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Ume Sacraine 2011
It was back to black for Ume Sacraine of De Montford University… who started with a panelled mini dress before moving on to a whole range of intriguing fringed, embossed and gnarled textures in a sombre palette.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Won Jee Chung 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Won Jee Chung 2011
Finally, Won Jee Chung showed more monochrome, this time intarsia knit and a strangely unflattering bulky hooded top with sheer palazzo pants.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,black, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Charlotte Waters, ,Cindy M Warsono, ,Claire Kearns, ,De Montford University, ,Endless Sequence, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Grey, ,Hayley Warnham, ,Intelligent Evolution, ,Jaskiran Hare, ,Jungo Kuroiwa, ,Kingston University, ,knitwear, ,La Salle College of the Arts, ,Lyudmila Lane, ,monochrome, ,Naomi Law, ,Peter Jansen, ,Rachel Cogley, ,Rory Longdon, ,Singapore, ,tailoring, ,Textures, ,UCA Epsom, ,UCA Rochester, ,Ume Sacraine, ,University of Birmingham, ,Womenswear, ,Won Jee Chung

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with jewellery designer Katie Rowland

Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda
Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda.

Katie Rowland won ‘New Jewellery Designer of the Year’ at the prestigious 2011 UK Jewellery Awards: not bad for someone who initially trained as a graphic designer. So I was aware of her name, but when I caught up with her at London Fashion Week in September I was able to admire up close her intriguing and very unique jewellery designs. To find out more about the inspiration behind her collections I asked her a few questions.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
You’ve had a very interesting career so far: what were you doing before you set up your jewellery label, and how did you come to set it up?
I originally trained in graphic design at Kingston University, but jewellery has always been a passion of mine, and I kept finding myself drawn to it. I then re-trained in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins and Katie Rowland as you know it, has been a luxury jewellery brand since 2009.

Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp
Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp.

This season’s collection was inspired by Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility – how are her traits translated into your designs?
Ishtar was mythologically a powerful, strong and seductive woman, so I have used bolder designs that really epitomise the essence of a femme fatale for the modern woman.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Which mythological females do you rate the most, and for what reasons?
Circe, who inspired my A/W 2012 collection transformed men who spurned her in to animals who did her bidding, and served her. I really love the stories behind these mythological women; I find them so inspiring.

katie rowland circe deco creoles
You create designs in semi precious stones such as amethyst and smoky quartz – how do you decide which stones to work in?
I start by researching the women that inspire, the myths and legends behind them. I also look to see what the mood and colours are associated with such women and I see which stone colours I think will ultimately work with my designs and chosen female. I think its important to use semi-precious stones as my jewellery has a very luxurious edge to it.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Where do you source your raw materials and how do you ensure an ethical supply chain?
We have been awarded the mark of positive living recently, and ensure that materials sourced have been done so in line with our ethical policy and guidelines such as the Kimberley Process which is used for diamonds.

Ishtars treasures Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art
Ishtars treasures: Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art.

I have my doubts about rose gold: what do you think recommends this material to the modern jewellery wearer?
Rose gold really flatters most skin colours, and can look as beautiful on an ivory skin tone as it would on olive skin. I think it is enjoying a resurgence as women look for something different to the usual gold or silver, and has it hasn’t been very popular in recent years its something a bit different and seems more modern. We think you should give it a chance!

katie rowland CIRCE DECO KNUCKLE RING
Where you my readers buy your jewellery range?
We have just landed in Harvey Nichols, and Fenwick, Bond Street; we are in Liberty of London, online at Yoox.com and Astley Clarke, and our brand new website www.katie-rowland.com has just launched.

Any hints as to what your next muse might be?
Another mythological female; Ishtar was Ancient Babylonian; my next muse is closer to home…

Categories ,Astley Clarke, ,Bryony Fripp, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Circe, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Fenwick, ,Graphic Design, ,Harvey Nichols, ,Ishtar, ,Katie Rowland, ,Kimberley Process, ,Kingston University, ,Liberty of London, ,London Fashion Week, ,New Jewellery Designer of the Year, ,Rose Gold, ,Semi-precious stones, ,Shivani Chavda, ,UK Jewellery Awards, ,Yoox.com

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2010: A Review of the Stands

Tent 2010 Tomoni Sayuda photo by Amelia gregory
Tomoni Sayuda. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Tent London featured both curated rooms and areas where designers had paid for stands. In Tent Digital I loved this whimsical piece by Tomoni Sayuda even though I have no idea what it’s purpose was: ambient sounds were played when the glowing eggs were placed in different nesty holes.

Tent 2010  David Chipperfield

Kingston University had cleverly invited all their now famous alumni, including David Chipperfield and Ed Carpenter of the ubiquitous pigeon lamp, to display their designs in the Made in Kingston room – thus creating the biggest promotional tool ever known. Very very savvy. The only Kingston graduate show I had time to look at was the MA Illustration show; read my review here.

Tent 2010 Ed Carpenter

And then onto the stands…
The Modern Garden Company make exterior furniture, and I was most taken with Rock, fun felt wool cushion seats that will even work in the great outdoors, allegedly.

Tent 2010 Modern Garden Company

Bespoke lamp stands from Alex Randall featured antlers and a swarm of stuffed rats from Susan Labarre dubbed the “most nightmarish lamp ever created…”

Tent 2010 alex randall

Beautiful abstract carpets from Danish textile designer Naja Utzon Popov are designed in her East End workshop and woven by skilled artisans in India.

Tent 2010 Naja Utzon Popov

Kitchen clocks that once graced the walls of 1970s German kitchens were lovingly sourced, repaired and displayed by London Timepiece. Confusing name though.

Tent 2010 London Timepiece

A vuvuzela lamp! Whatever next! Very amusing. From John Edwards.

vuvuzela lamp tent

The JJAM Curators Collective had put together a fun collection of designs made using the most banal everyday item – the yellow dishcloth. Stand outs included Polish it Off! by Dora & Fullard, So Much Time So Little To Do (I wish!!!) by Cure Studio, and A Word about Fashion by Catherine Ann Haynes.

Tent 2010 So Much Time So Little To Do (I wish!!!) by Cure Studio,
So Much Time So Little To Do (I wish!!!) by Cure Studio

Tent 2010 JJAM Collective
Tent 2010 Polish it Off! by Dora & Fullard
Polish it Off! by Dora & Fullard

Tent 2010 A Word about Fashion by Catherine Ann Haynes
A Word about Fashion by Catherine Ann Haynes

Recycled fabric covered armchairs by Kelly Swallow reminded me of local shop Squint. But anyone who refashions old fabrics has got my seal of approval – there’s room for many of these bespoke designers up and down the country.

Tent 2010 Kelly Swallow

The Makaranda collection by Quirico featured vibrant brightly patterned and coloured foot stools and pouffes – although I somewhat balked when I discovered the price – a mere £425 each. Oh what it must be to have a huge disposable income.

Tent 2010 Makaranda collection by Quirico

There was some lovely delicate jewellery on display from Clerkenwell based shop Family Tree.

Tent 2010 Family Tree

Miller Goodman make wonderful wooden block games out of rubberwood for kids.

Tent 2010 Miller Goodman

Very clever plastic fold up Flux Chairs, but I wasn’t convinced of their comfort levels.

Tent 2010 Flux Chairs

And a big mention surely has to go to the huge blue rope Knitting Nancy interactive installation from Superblue that was prominently installed as everyone came in. Fabulous fun, and a serious nod to the impact of craft techniques on the entire design world. Read about the LAB CRAFT exhibition at Tent here.

Superblue knitting nancy

Categories ,Alex Randall, ,Catherine Ann Haynes, ,Cure Studio, ,David Chipperfield, ,Dora & Fullard, ,Ed Carpenter, ,Family Tree, ,Flux Chairs, ,JJAM Curators Collective, ,John Edwards, ,Kelly Swallow, ,Kingston University, ,London Timepiece, ,MA Illustra, ,Makaranda collection, ,Miller Goodman, ,Modern Garden Company, ,Naja Utzon Popov, ,Quirico, ,squint, ,Superblue, ,Susan Labarre, ,Tent Digital, ,Tent London, ,Tomoni Sayuda, ,vuvuzela lamp

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