Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Dans La Vie

Dans La Vie by Marta Spendowska
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska.

On Sunday I attended my first ever Dans La Vie show with very little idea of what to expect, price but hey, viagra 100mg the invitation was a colourful mashup of imagery and in my book that’s generally a good sign. Dans La Vie is diminutive Japanese designer Rira Sugawara and began life in 1999 as a print collection, clearly her first love. Since 2005 she has been presenting a full clothing collection in Paris, Milan and Berlin – now it’s our turn in London.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie (SS 2012) by Barb Royal
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

This seasons collection was titled My Pop Madonna (Clash Beauty), and her four signature print designs were inspired and sent down the catwalk to music by four iconic female musicians: Madonna (of course), Rihanna, Lady Gaga and the late lamented Amy Winehouse. According to the press release My Pop Madonna (Clash Beauty) was also a response to Rira Sugawara‘s feelings in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake: it wasn’t exactly clear how these two seemingly unrelated strands of inspiration were intertwined, but the results were fun and refreshingly different.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW SS12 Dans La Vie by Kristina Vasiljeva
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Rira Sugawara‘s Dan La Vie label specialises in a kind of glossy collaged look, which was manifested in the very first outfit to hit the catwalk: it featured a striking all over matching print on the blouse and a matching full shiny skirt that looked fit for the wettest of days. The collaged design included all sorts of intriguing elements: a Madonna face and florals mashed up into a striped pattern reminiscent of shifting ground. A cute shorts and blouse ensemble was followed by a wide belted trench that seemed more befitting of the patent fabric and was one of my favourite elements of this collection.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
dans la vie ellie sutton
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Ellie Sutton.

A giant floral print entwined with floating cherubs featured on more separates and this was then followed by a powerful pink roses and hearts combo that spread to holdalls and clutch bags. The collection then switched towards the biggest collage design yet, featuring apples, daffodils and what looked like skyscrapers. This was accompanied by some unfortunate pastel lips and then for some inexplicable reason a model appeared with her tits poking out of an otherwise demure beige blouse. Aside from these strange styling decisions there were lots of fun elements to the My Pop Madonna collection, and many of the Dans La Vie separates could easily find a place in the wardrobe of someone with a bold and colourful aesthetic.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,amy winehouse, ,Barb Royal, ,Blow PR, ,catwalk, ,Clash Beauty, ,Clutch Bags, ,collage, ,Dans La Vie, ,Earthquake, ,Ellie Sutton, ,Fashion Scout, ,florals, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Glossy, ,hearts, ,japanese, ,kitsch, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Lady Gaga, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madonna, ,Marta Spendowska, ,My Pop Madonna, ,print, ,review, ,Rihanna, ,Rira Sugawara, ,S/S 2012, ,Separates, ,Trench Coat

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Amelia’s Magazine | Spotlight: Sophie Webb

Interesting facts about Sophie Webb.
– After graduating from Byam Shaw, buy information pills more about she went on to work with Damien Hirst amongst others before becoming a freelance illustrator.
– She is a semi professional Kristin Stewart lookalike
– She likes breaking into abandoned mental hospitals with her equally insane best friend.


And she makes amazing artwork. Juxtaposing subjects, Bill Hicks and Robert Pattinson per example, advice her work is crafted in a multi-media fashion, incorporating retro black labels, rizlas, hand illustration and mix tapes. Her collection which she has named ‘care packages’ consists of customised matchboxes, with tiny scroll within, reading quotes from authors such as Sylvia Plath and Paul Auster.

‘Portraits’, which is available for commissions, focuses rather on the subject’s taste rather than the subject themselves. ‘Lemmy Kilmister’ for a Kilmister fan is a psychedelic combination of sign language, illustration, handcrafted paper and a rizla, which fits together to encapsulate far more about the man than the run of a mill illustration. Collage seems to becoming to re-emerge in young artist’s portfolios, and I find the use of relevant materials, the rizla for example which I love the use of in context with the artwork, to be very fresh and relevant.


Sophie has abandoned a traditional art career path in favour of the freedom of working independently and focusing on the art that she wants to create, which has also taken place all over her body is a series of self designed tattoos. So what inspires Sophie Webb? ‘B.Dolan. Twilight. Bill Hicks. Twin Peaks. Cigarette boxes.’
Excellent choice.

For more information, contact simivalleysherri@hotmail.com for pricing.

Categories ,amica lane, ,b dolan, ,bill hicks, ,collage, ,lemmy kilmister, ,robert pattinson, ,sophie webb, ,sylvia plath, ,twilight

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Amelia’s Magazine | University of Brighton Illustration Graduate Show 2011 Review: the Collagists

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Illustration by Rosanna Webster.

So much to see at the very professionally laid out Brighton Graphic Design and Illustration Graduate Show at the Rochelle School a few weeks ago. There were plenty of lovely prints and limited edition books to buy and the beautifully printed catalogue will likely be the only show catalogue I am keeping once summer is over: high praise indeed as I chuck out most of the bits I pick up straight away. In the recycling of course. (Although I did find a Free Range catalogue from 2004 the other day… which is precisely why I need to throw things out, information pills fast.)

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jerome Caine Miller
Illustration by Megan Turner-Jones.

A noticeable aspect of illustrative work produced by Brighton students was the emergence of some really distinct themes and methods. Which means that I can loosely arrange my write ups into a few blog posts: I’ll start with the Collagists, viagra approved of whom there were many. You might even call it a trend, which is handy since I am about to write about graduate illustration trends for Eye Magazine.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jerome Caine Miller
Megan Turner-Jones collaged old prints, photos of fruit and holiday destinations together to create a wall of art: this was to prove a popular technique amongst Brighton students (collage walls).

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011 Hyerim Lee
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011 Hyerim Lee
Hyerim Lee featured what looked like elements of family photos, arm movements and flowers to create graphic designs. His work is influenced by the separated families of his native Korea.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna WebsterBrighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Rosanna Webster
Rosanna Webster‘s cut and paste approach was far more playful and surreal – skulls, bones, birds and landscapes were used to create beautiful shapes and designs, sometimes overlaid on humans with projections to add another layer of imagery. Rosanna was inspired by primitive beliefs of the fluidity between human and animal form. Her beautifully put together books emulated the tight graphical approach of high quality fashion magazines. I can see her elegant juxtaposition of imagery featuring in glossy mags, as it goes. Follow Rosanna Webster on Twitter.

Zoe Austin
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Zoe Austin
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Zoe Austin
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Zoe Austin
Zoe Austin was also bitten by the collage bug, with restaurant scenes overlaid over extraterrestrial landscapes and surreal flower heads. She is inspired by sci fi novels and cats.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Anieszka Banks
Anieszka Banks is an Amelia’s Magazine illustrator, so I was delighted to see that she had included some of her work for me in her final show, and also the banner that Climate Camp took to Copenhagen back in 2009. Most of her work is influenced by environmental issues such as conservation, sustainability and biodiversity. It’s so good to see that at least one graduating illustrator is engaged in and tackling these issues properly. Her Simple Living book featured some gorgeous photography as well.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Jennifer Bailey
Jennifer Bailey juxtaposed painting, photos and fine collaged plant drawings together.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Chihiro KyozukaBrighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Chihiro Kyozuka
Chihiro Kyozuka followed the collaged theme, using a fixed palette of tropical flowers in reds and yellows, on top of which were placed old photos of her grandmother. These were inspired by her love of Sogetsu Ikebana flower arranging.

Brighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Chihiro KyozukaBrighton University illustration graduate show 2011-Chihiro Kyozuka
Chihiro Kyozuka had produced a series of beautiful postcards that I am tempted to frame (and the images were much admired on twitter) but is let down by a flash website… I can’t get further than the opening animation. Folks, just say NO to flash, please!

Next up… 80s influences and brilliant drawing…

Categories ,2011, ,Anieszka Banks, ,Arnold Circus, ,banner, ,Biodiversity, ,Brighton Graphic Design and Illustration Graduate Show, ,Catalogue, ,Chihiro Kyozuka, ,Climate Camp, ,collage, ,Collagists, ,conservation, ,copenhagen, ,eye magazine, ,Flash, ,Graduate Shows, ,Hyerim Lee, ,illustration, ,Jennifer Bailey, ,Jerome Caine Miller, ,korea, ,Megan Turner-Jones, ,photography, ,photomontage, ,prints, ,projection, ,Rochelle School, ,Rosanna Webster, ,Simple Living, ,Sogetsu Ikebana, ,surrealism, ,sustainability, ,trend, ,typography, ,Zoe Austin

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Amelia’s Magazine | University of Central Lancashire Ba Hons Photography Graduate Show 2011 Review

UC Lancaster Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Christopher T. Finch
Photography by Christopher T. Finch.

UCLan, buy more about University of Central Lancashire presented a very clear collection of experimental work in their stand alone space as part of Free Range at the Truman Brewery.

UC Lancaster Photography degree show Free Range 2011-UC Lancaster Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Christopher T. Finch
Christopher T. Finch works with primitive home made cameras and digital technology. For his final show he presented a selection of pore framing facial close ups, various characters layered closely, almost on top of each other.

UC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Lizzie GodfreyUC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Lizzie GodfreyUC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Lizzie Godfrey
Lizzie Godfrey has obviously been influenced by the political climate. In a book titled The Fire This Time? she followed protestors through anti cuts marches earlier this year. Photographs were accompanied with lots of text to explain the evolution of her thought process too.

UC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Teresa Roberts UC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Teresa Roberts
Teresa Roberts produced a book too: The Maasai: Changing of Traditions mapped the ways that Western culture is influencing this nomadic people.

Richard Lewis Pryce looked through a blur onto the streets of London. Apologies for the lack of artwork but there was nowt in his online portfolio and my shot was rubbish. Shame I can’t show you because it was very clever stuff.

UC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Jennifer ColvinUC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Jennifer Colvin
Jennifer Colvin did some interesting things with resin and bits of collected ephemera.

UC Lancashire Photography degree show Free Range 2011-Ma in travel photography
The University of Central Lancashire is starting a new MA in Travel Photography this September – the course will engage in global politics, sustainable development and environmental issues, conservation and colonialism. Modules will be field based and the first will take place in Kenya. Maaaaan, if I didn’t have a magazine to run and a life to be responsible for then I would so run away and take this course.

Categories ,#UKuncut, ,2011, ,Christopher T. Finch, ,collage, ,Colonialism, ,conservation, ,digital, ,Ephemera, ,Free Range, ,global politics, ,Graduate Shows, ,Hand-made, ,Jennifer Colvin, ,Kenya, ,Lizzie Godfrey, ,ma, ,photography, ,Richard Lewis Pryce, ,Riots, ,sustainable development, ,Teresa Roberts, ,The Fire This Time?, ,The Maasai: Changing of Traditions, ,Travel Photography, ,Truman Brewery, ,UCLan, ,University of Central Lancashire

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2012 Special: An interview with fashion illustrator Jason Brooks

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

As a self-proclaimed lover of illustrating and in particular illustrating fashion, I eagerly made my way to this year’s Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House. Pick Me Up is a massively important date for anyone interested or involved in Illustration and Graphic Design, and was excellently reviewed by fellow Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Emma Block this year, most definitely worth a read, here as well as of course by Amelia herself.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum All photography by Alia Gargum

It was it a perfectly sunny London day, and I had an extra little spring in my step as Fashion Illustrator legend Jason Brooks was going to be illustrating live alongside the other guest artists and designers. You might not immediately recognise Jason Brook‘s name but you will surely know his slick, feminine style. He now has an impressive and growing client list, including Virgin Atlantic, L’Oréal, Vogue, Elle, and The Sunday Times Style Magazine, where I first remember seeing his work in print.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

I immediately approached the friendly-looking Jason Brooks who was chatting to visitors while illustrating, hanging up his work to create a makeshift gallery. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to be so open and easy to speak to, willing to give his time and simply chat. While we talked favourite materials to use and the loveliness of ink, I noticed that he was looking at me very carefully, which is when he confessed that he was illustrating me. Moments later, a beautiful ink illustrated version of me was produced, created on a page from an old french dictionary. He had been illustrating visitors all day, drawing inspiration from them and selling the portraits to those who wished to take an original Jason Brooks portrait home. I cannot thank him enough for the long chat, and the questions he answered so well, the best of which are written here.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’re one of the first modern-day Fashion Illustrators I remember seeing in print just as illustration made it’s massive (and continuing) comeback. What was your first big commission?

My first big commission arrived when I was in my early twenties studying Graphic Design at Central St Martin’s, which at the time was in Longacre in Covent Garden. It was an exciting place to be and every day there had an almost party-like atmosphere, buzzing with creative energy, conversation and ideas. One day a message arrived from Vogue (before e-mail) for me to come in with my portfolio as I’d recently won an illustration competition they were running. I was immediately commissioned by Vogue to illustrate a story about New Orleans which ran over about six pages and included a whole double page spread. I remember buying a copy from a newsstand as soon as it came out, feeling on top of the world. I used coloured oil pastels on black card for this first important commission, giving the work a very direct and vibrant look. I then became a regular contributor to Vogue under the wonderful art direction of Paul Eustace. I used it as an opportunity to experiment with different media and styles in print, including some early computer illustrations, so I was the first to use a computer to illustrate for Vogue back at the very beginning of the nineties.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’ve drawn at Paris Couture shows for The Independent, which led to more catwalk illustrating for a range of publications like Elle and Visionaire magazine. What do you love most about drawing at the shows?

Backstage is the most interesting place to draw at a fashion show. Not only is everything much closer, but the variety of poses and activities going on provides a whole range of Degas-like subjects. Models sitting in front of mirrors being carefully made up, impromptu fashion shoots going on, camera crews, interviews and striking people are everywhere as subjects. Drawing directly from the catwalk is more difficult to do well because outfits are only visible for a limited time, but nowadays it’s easy to take lots of digital photographs and work up drawings later. I love the drama and art front of the catwalk at fashion shows too, the crowd is always fascinating. The fact that every catwalk show is a one off performance, with high stakes for those involved as well as ever-increasing production values can create really intense theatre, so I love that too.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What advice would you give to a graduate who wants to get some experience in illustrating from the catwalk?

I started off by working for magazines who would give me accreditation and passes to go to shows as a photographer, after a little prompting from me. I would then simply take my sketchbook instead of a camera. I think when you are starting out it’s all about first of all putting together a portfolio that you feel confident to show people, and then making appointments and really pushing your work out there. I would speculatively arrange lots of ‘go sees’ and then jump on a plane to New York or Paris and try to get work, but perhaps business was more often conducted in a face-to-face way at that time. Going to the Paris couture shows with the Independent began because their editor Marion Hume approached me after I left the Royal College of Art. Luckily, I had work and sketchbooks from travelling to different places that I was able to show, so I would also say that travel drawing is a great foundation for drawing fashion. As a graduate, or anyone for that matter, some catwalk shows are much easier to get access to than others, so if you are interested in drawing at shows it might be best to start with more accessible fringe and off-schedule designers at fashion week and then work up from there.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Thanks to the rise of digital design, a lot of Fashion Illustration has a slick, smooth, and sharp look to it. You were doing this long before it became popular. What drew you to this technique?

I was striving to create a look from using areas of flat colour for a long time before I started using computers on a regular basis. As with my Vogue commission, I used oil pastels to try to achieve this but I also really liked collage, cutting up books and magazines and experimenting with very flat gouache paint. Computers first came to my attention as a way of making pictures in the late 80′s and early 90′s, and once scanning drawings became an option I was able to combine my familiar drawing on paper with computer colouring techniques, and that particular look was born.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

Your style is undoubtedly feminine and luxurious. Has this always been the case or did it develop gradually?

The luxurious aspect perhaps is just from my idea of drawing things that are well designed and have an aesthetic appeal to me, so it was never a grand plan, just something that has happened quite by accident. I suppose it has developed over time to a certain extent because my taste has changed as I’ve learned more about architecture, fashion, design, film and so on. Looking back, I think my work has also been a reflection of a glamorous time for the western world where mid-century modernism has really come back and been reinvented through magazines like Wallpaper and through the activities of a whole generation of tastemakers in all areas of design. I happen to love drawing women because I think they can create powerful images, so in all it has been fun for me to reflect our culture’s interest in luxury and design through my illustrations.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What are your favourite materials to work in and which digital techniques do you find yourself using again and again?

I love good old pen and paper. Biros are actually very subtle drawing tools, but I also use 4B pencils to draw out ideas and sketches which I then scan into my computer. I mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator to create my pictures digitally so I definitely still combine very basic old school technology – the dip pen, the pencil, etc. with the latest computer programmes. They are however all just tools, and I would be equally happy working in clay or building a sculpture out of sand on a beach.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

This year was your first as a guest artist at graphic design fair PIck Me Up at Somerset House. What did you enjoy and what surprised you about the whole experience?

It was a great chance to simply play with inks and coloured pencils. I made about 30 pictures or so, scribbling in an old french dictionary and on pieces of coloured paper throughout the day, which made me really enjoy the experience creatively. What surprised me was meeting so many new people who were interested in what I was doing, it was really rewarding to have direct contact and chat to them about their creativity too.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

You’ve had an impressive career so far, what do you think has been the reason(s) for your success?

Thank you, although I really don’t see myself as being successful yet. I guess any success I’ve had so far could be because I started at a very young age and have put a lot of effort and practice into my illustration because I enjoy it so much. I was fortunate in a way to have had a childhood without the modern phenomena of ‘screen time’ so I was able to immerse myself in my imagination through drawing worlds of my own instead of exploring ones created by other people. This lead on to college when creating work on paper was still very important, giving me the benefit of a ‘traditional’ academic art college experience with very little modern technology available unless I sought it out. I’ve always loved experimenting with all kinds of art forms and media, so when the digital revolution arrived in illustration and art I was very open to it and in a lucky position to be able to ride that particular wave from the beginning.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

What can we next expect from Jason Brooks?

I’m just finishing my first book called ‘A Paris Sketchbook’, which is due out in 2013. It is an eclectic collection of my own drawings and illustrations and a homage to a city which I love, published by Laurence King. My dream is that it will be the first in a series of travel sketchbooks covering different iconic cities. Aside from this I’m involved in a number of commissions with different companies and brands around the world, which is a part of my work that I really enjoy because it gives me the chance to collaborate with so many interesting people, adding a sometimes unexpected variety to what I do. I’ve also just signed with a new agency in New York called Traffic, so that’s exciting. Recently, I’ve completed a new collection of artwork for sale on my website called ‘The Gelato Series’ – all about girls eating ice cream in retro, sexy colours.

Jason Brooks Pick Me Up 2012 by Alia Gargum

It’s fascinating to hear from someone who has managed to carve such an astonishing career in fashion illustration. What a lovely guy. Be inspired! See more of Jason Brooks’ work online hereAmelia

Jason Brooks portrait

Categories ,2012, ,80s, ,90s, ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,catwalk, ,Central St Martins, ,collage, ,couture, ,Covent Garden, ,Creativity, ,Degas, ,Digital Art, ,Elle Magazine, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Feminine, ,gouache, ,illustrator, ,Jason Brooks, ,L’Oreal, ,Luxury, ,Marion Hume, ,New Orleans, ,new york, ,paris, ,Paul Eustace, ,Photoshop, ,Pick Me Up, ,portrait, ,Royal College of Art, ,Somerset House, ,The Independent, ,The Sunday Times, ,travel, ,vogue, ,Wallpaper

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Rodrigo Souto

CIMG3319

All Images Courtesy of Rodrigo Souto

One of my favourite things about collages, shop is the incorporation of materials from a wealth of different sources to create a finished project; rather than relying on one source. With this in mind, viagra it’s no surprise that Rodrigo Souto chooses to primarily work on collages based on his background. From street art in Brazil to working as a tattoo artist; Souto is an adroit creative, pharm whose work has been featured in The Brick Lane Gallery and been snapped up by art collectors. Poised to be a great success in the art world, his portfolio of work continues to strengthen. This is great news for me, who has two Souto originals inked on my body. I can skin myself for cash if hard up in the future. And they laughed when I said tattoos were an investment…but I digress. We’ve had a penchant for Brazillian artists, since Amelia’s Magazine Issue 09 which focused heavily on artists from Brazil, which can be bought from our shop. In this spirit, I sat down with Rodrigo Souto to talk about his work.

CIMG3316

So how did you get into Art? I know you’re from Brazil, so how did that route unfold?

I started when I was very young; I started studying art at the art college where I did two or three years. I then studied Fine Art at University where I started exploring it more, the same professor from my college was also at my university. I started learning a lot about painting, design, drawings but I got really into collage more than anything; that’s when I started doing this. I got really into mail art as well, where you start something and send it off to someone else, then they add to it.

Now you’re working as a tattoo artist in London, was that a natural transition from an art background?

The thing is, I try to do two things. I have my life as an artist, which is different from tattooing, and then working in a tattoo shop. I like doing both, but I want to apply myself 50/50.  But I work 6 or 7 days a week, long hours with a lot of big designs where I have to be really focused. But now I’m trying to keep the balance by only working on tattoos when I’m in the shop, and then when I go home I work on my art.

It’s pretty good that you can earn your living whilst being creative.

Yeah, I like it. My technical skills improve because I do it every day; working with drawing and colour, composition, so I’m still working on myself as an artist at my job.

Being from Brazil, a lot of your work has a very strong aesthetic with colour and style; do you feel the environment changes the work produced…going from the sunny streets of Sao Paulo to the rank grey of London…is their a correlation between what you produce and where you are?

I don’t know if it changes it…but it’s different. I can’t do over here what I would do in Brazil. You can’t sit down on the street and paint; in Brazil it’s really easy. On Sunday, you call your friends and say ‘let’s go for a paint’ and you just get your paints and go, it’s really free. You can be much more creative. I’ve been here for four or five years and rarely have ever painted on the streets. I work mostly from a studio. But on the other hand, the collages get stronger now because I focus on that.

CIMG3326

And to do my collages, I go to street markets and places to find things, like rare paper, whereas in Brazil I couldn’t really do that. So I could more painting, but less collage.

I’d like to do more work with canvas over here, but you need to find the space because I work with spray cans, so you don’t want to –

Asphyxiate yourself?

Exactly. But now, I really want to get into my collages more. With collages you can go out and get different materials to work with, and with paint, well its just paint. I could use a hundred thousand things to make a collage; I have to work for it. Go out; find things that will work together. You bring the material to you. This is why I like it, everything has a story. The materials have a narrative. The other day I bought this paper from 1930. I paid like £70 for paper, but it had writing on it, it had a story in it! You can see where the guy made a mistake and rubbed it out, you can see the history in it. Everything has a story. Then I make it into a collage, and tell another one.

Do you have a narrative for each piece before you make it, or do you let it tell its own story?

I have an idea of what message I want to express. Then I pick up the images and bring them together for what I want to say. But sometimes they tell their own story; I put them together and realise that it’s telling me another story. I really like it when I get one image and it tells me what to do; a guy reclining for example and then I start thinking about it, and put things together from that. I can create something from just one image, it grows.

What other artists inspire you? Are there any contemporary artists you draw inspiration from?

My tutors inspired me a lot, Valdo Rechelo and Antonio Valentin Lino. There is a guy from Brazil, I love his work, Eduardo Recife. He’s a designer, he works for big companies; and I love his stuff. He works with computers a lot, but I don’t use computers well, I do everything by hand.

CIMG3317

That’s nice in a way, in modern art so many people use computers and Photoshop there’s a loss of really handcrafted work.

I think I’m old school, I want to do everything myself. If I could do the frames, I would do them too. I want to create everything myself, not just have the idea. I like to work; cut it, glue it, make it. I love the whole process.

How long does it usually take to create a collage?

Sometimes it can be really easy, if I have everything together; a few nights maybe. Other times it can be much longer.

Your work is changing; in the collages you’ve gone from more 2D projects to 3D. How do you see the work developing and growing in the future?

I want to make them bigger, I’m also interested in installation, which I’d like to do. I have ideas, but I’ll see where it goes.

How many collages are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been on pause for a while, but I’m about to get back into again and produce a lot. I’ve just moved, so I’m setting up my studio again. I have to have my space organised. I went and got my table yesterday, got my things, so I’m ready now.

CIMG3322

A lot of artists are very particular about their studio space, either live in chaos or everything has to be perfect. How do you customise your working studio?

It has to be perfect. I need shelves, I label everything. I have boxes and boxes, paper from London, paper from Brazil, paper from the street…so now my space is organised I’m ready to create! I get so frustrated when I don’t create; I can still express myself through tattoos, but it’s still only fifty percent. The other fifty percent is in my heart, and it needs to come out, so now I’m ready to be very serious about producing again.

In some of the paintings, there’s a real draw of religious iconography. Where did that come from, were you raised religiously?

I had an experience with religion. My family are very relaxed about religion, but I had a girlfriend who was very fanatical about religion. Her family were very religious, and I had to go to Church every Sunday, six to midnight. It killed me. It really got me, and I was at uni, about 18 or 19, discovering new things. My tutor was working with religious iconography at the time, so I started doing my own interpretations, so I started working with it from then.

Do you identify with a particular London art scene? Is there an area you relate to artistically?

Not particularly, but I used to live in Old Street, so I guess I identify with that area and the galleries around there.

Do you get to visit a lot of galleries and exhibitions?

On my days off, definitely. I like to go to Stolen Space in Brick Lane, they always have great things on. And Pure Evil Gallery, they have some of my work there actually. I try to go big exhibitions to see the older things, I want to see Van Gogh ‘letters’ exhibit. I love letters. I used to send my tutor, Valdo Rechelo, collages that I had started, and then he would add to them and finish them. He would send me collages he started, and then I would finish them. There’s a big collection of them.

It’s great to have that artistic collaboration when so far away…

Yes, and not by email! I love paper, when you have a letter you have something. An email is just nothing.

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Your artwork is based in intimacy, from writing letters, to making the artwork very small so people really have to look at it closely, bringing them physically closer to the artwork.

When you do an exhibition, they are so small that they have to get close and really stare at it, and take it in. A lot of people don’t look at artwork at exhibitions, they drift passed it. If you make someone look at your work for two minutes, then you’ve done well.

+

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming exhibitions. Not literally though, because that would be gross.

Rodrigo Souto’s blog – is here and his myspace –  is here

Categories ,amica lane, ,brazil, ,brazillian street art, ,collage, ,Eduardo Recife, ,rodrigo souto, ,self sacrifice, ,tattoo artist, ,Tattoos

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Rodrigo Souto

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All Images Courtesy of Rodrigo Souto

One of my favourite things about collages, is the incorporation of materials from a wealth of different sources to create a finished project; rather than relying on one source. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Rodrigo Souto chooses to primarily work on collages based on his background. From street art in Brazil to working as a tattoo artist; Souto is an adroit creative, whose work has been featured in The Brick Lane Gallery and been snapped up by art collectors. Poised to be a great success in the art world, his portfolio of work continues to strengthen. This is great news for me, who has two Souto originals inked on my body. I can skin myself for cash if hard up in the future. And they laughed when I said tattoos were an investment…but I digress. We’ve had a penchant for Brazillian artists, since Amelia’s Magazine Issue 09 which focused heavily on artists from Brazil, which can be bought from our shop. In this spirit, I sat down with Rodrigo Souto to talk about his work.

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So how did you get into Art? I know you’re from Brazil, so how did that route unfold?

I started when I was very young; I started studying art at the art college where I did two or three years. I then studied Fine Art at University where I started exploring it more, the same professor from my college was also at my university. I started learning a lot about painting, design, drawings but I got really into collage more than anything; that’s when I started doing this. I got really into mail art as well, where you start something and send it off to someone else, then they add to it.

Now you’re working as a tattoo artist in London, was that a natural transition from an art background?

The thing is, I try to do two things. I have my life as an artist, which is different from tattooing, and then working in a tattoo shop. I like doing both, but I want to apply myself 50/50.  But I work 6 or 7 days a week, long hours with a lot of big designs where I have to be really focused. But now I’m trying to keep the balance by only working on tattoos when I’m in the shop, and then when I go home I work on my art.

It’s pretty good that you can earn your living whilst being creative.

Yeah, I like it. My technical skills improve because I do it every day; working with drawing and colour, composition, so I’m still working on myself as an artist at my job.

Being from Brazil, a lot of your work has a very strong aesthetic with colour and style; do you feel the environment changes the work produced…going from the sunny streets of Sao Paulo to the rank grey of London…is their a correlation between what you produce and where you are?

I don’t know if it changes it…but it’s different. I can’t do over here what I would do in Brazil. You can’t sit down on the street and paint; in Brazil it’s really easy. On Sunday, you call your friends and say ‘let’s go for a paint’ and you just get your paints and go, it’s really free. You can be much more creative. I’ve been here for four or five years and rarely have ever painted on the streets. I work mostly from a studio. But on the other hand, the collages get stronger now because I focus on that.

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And to do my collages, I go to street markets and places to find things, like rare paper, whereas in Brazil I couldn’t really do that. So I could more painting, but less collage.

I’d like to do more work with canvas over here, but you need to find the space because I work with spray cans, so you don’t want to –

Asphyxiate yourself?

Exactly. But now, I really want to get into my collages more. With collages you can go out and get different materials to work with, and with paint, well its just paint. I could use a hundred thousand things to make a collage; I have to work for it. Go out; find things that will work together. You bring the material to you. This is why I like it, everything has a story. The materials have a narrative. The other day I bought this paper from 1930. I paid like £70 for paper, but it had writing on it, it had a story in it! You can see where the guy made a mistake and rubbed it out, you can see the history in it. Everything has a story. Then I make it into a collage, and tell another one.

Do you have a narrative for each piece before you make it, or do you let it tell its own story?

I have an idea of what message I want to express. Then I pick up the images and bring them together for what I want to say. But sometimes they tell their own story; I put them together and realise that it’s telling me another story. I really like it when I get one image and it tells me what to do; a guy reclining for example and then I start thinking about it, and put things together from that. I can create something from just one image, it grows.

What other artists inspire you? Are there any contemporary artists you draw inspiration from?

My tutors inspired me a lot, Valdo Rechelo and Antonio Valentin Lino. There is a guy from Brazil, I love his work, Eduardo Recife. He’s a designer, he works for big companies; and I love his stuff. He works with computers a lot, but I don’t use computers well, I do everything by hand.

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That’s nice in a way, in modern art so many people use computers and Photoshop there’s a loss of really handcrafted work.

I think I’m old school, I want to do everything myself. If I could do the frames, I would do them too. I want to create everything myself, not just have the idea. I like to work; cut it, glue it, make it. I love the whole process.

How long does it usually take to create a collage?

Sometimes it can be really easy, if I have everything together; a few nights maybe. Other times it can be much longer.

Your work is changing; in the collages you’ve gone from more 2D projects to 3D. How do you see the work developing and growing in the future?

I want to make them bigger, I’m also interested in installation, which I’d like to do. I have ideas, but I’ll see where it goes.

How many collages are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been on pause for a while, but I’m about to get back into again and produce a lot. I’ve just moved, so I’m setting up my studio again. I have to have my space organised. I went and got my table yesterday, got my things, so I’m ready now.

CIMG3322

A lot of artists are very particular about their studio space, either live in chaos or everything has to be perfect. How do you customise your working studio?

It has to be perfect. I need shelves, I label everything. I have boxes and boxes, paper from London, paper from Brazil, paper from the street…so now my space is organised I’m ready to create! I get so frustrated when I don’t create; I can still express myself through tattoos, but it’s still only fifty percent. The other fifty percent is in my heart, and it needs to come out, so now I’m ready to be very serious about producing again.

In some of the paintings, there’s a real draw of religious iconography. Where did that come from, were you raised religiously?

I had an experience with religion. My family are very relaxed about religion, but I had a girlfriend who was very fanatical about religion. Her family were very religious, and I had to go to Church every Sunday, six to midnight. It killed me. It really got me, and I was at uni, about 18 or 19, discovering new things. My tutor was working with religious iconography at the time, so I started doing my own interpretations, so I started working with it from then.

Do you identify with a particular London art scene? Is there an area you relate to artistically?

Not particularly, but I used to live in Old Street, so I guess I identify with that area and the galleries around there.

Do you get to visit a lot of galleries and exhibitions?

On my days off, definitely. I like to go to Stolen Space in Brick Lane, they always have great things on. And Pure Evil Gallery, they have some of my work there actually. I try to go big exhibitions to see the older things, I want to see Van Gogh ‘letters’ exhibit. I love letters. I used to send my tutor, Valdo Rechelo, collages that I had started, and then he would add to them and finish them. He would send me collages he started, and then I would finish them. There’s a big collection of them.

It’s great to have that artistic collaboration when so far away…

Yes, and not by email! I love paper, when you have a letter you have something. An email is just nothing.

CIMG3320

Your artwork is based in intimacy, from writing letters, to making the artwork very small so people really have to look at it closely, bringing them physically closer to the artwork.

When you do an exhibition, they are so small that they have to get close and really stare at it, and take it in. A lot of people don’t look at artwork at exhibitions, they drift passed it. If you make someone look at your work for two minutes, then you’ve done well.

+

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming exhibitions. Not literally though, because that would be gross.

Rodrigo Souto’s blog – is here and his myspace –  is here

Categories ,amica lane, ,brazil, ,brazillian street art, ,collage, ,Eduardo Recife, ,rodrigo souto, ,self sacrifice, ,tattoo artist, ,Tattoos

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, no rx exciting shapes, more about draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy more about exciting shapes, purchase draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy exciting shapes, link draw string leg warmers, drugs see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, remedy exciting shapes, what is ed draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, what is ed exciting shapes, approved draw string leg warmers, search see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011′s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, pharm the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 47 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische‘s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow‘s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker‘s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier‘s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed‘s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011’s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 48 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische’s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow’s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker’s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier’s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed’s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Art Fair 2012 Review: Part One

London Art Fair 2012 -Andrea Mastrovito
London Art Fair 2012. Detail of Andrea Mastrovito‘s Gulliver’s Travels.

You may remember from my previous blog that the launch of The Catlin Guide for the best graduate artists took place at the London Art Fair last week. I popped along to the Islington Business Design Centre to check out the completed guide, suss out which galleries are showcasing the best new talent, and find out what trends are hot in the art world right now.

London Art Fair 2012 -Annie Whiles, detailAnnie Whiles, detail.

First up at Danielle Arnaud I loved work by Annie Whiles, using simple line to create iconic shapes.

London Art Fair 2012 -Simon Lewty, detail
Simon Lewty, detail.

Simon Lewty for Art First showed amazing inked drawings: it’s well worth checking out the rest of his work.

London Art Fair 2012 -Annie Morris, detail
Annie Morris, detail.

At Pertwee, Anderson & Gold, the first in a common theme was evident, rows of stuff: in this case hundreds of pegs, each decorated with a crudely drawn female figure. This Peg Piece was created by artist Annie Morris, who rose to fame after illustrating the children’s book The Man With the Dancing Eyes by Sophie Dahl.

Andrea mastrovito Foley Gallery
London Art Fair 2012 -Andrea Mastrovito, detail
Andrea Mastrovito, detail.

At Foley Gallery Andrea Mastrovito used intricate collaged paper for the Gulliver’s Travels series, which imagines a brightly coloured world of little people and puppet hands.

justine smith the-british-isles
Diamond dust is hot news for use in prints, favoured by the likes of Damian Hirst, Peter Blake, and Justine Smith at TAG Fine Arts. Her lovely limited edition print of a bank note British Isles features oodles of the stuff. Common glitter was also a favourite enhancement for many artists.

claire brewster flyingfinch
London Art Fair 2012 -Claire Brewster
London Art Fair 2012 -Claire Brewster
Also at TAG I loved the work of Claire Brewster. The Harbingers featured exquisitely cut and mounted birds, created from old maps: Maps are another massive trend, reworked into any manner of different outcomes. Good to see so much upcycling!

Tobias Till Picadilly tag arts
Tobias Till showed a fabulous set of prints – the London A-Z, available as a boxed set and selling very well if the red dots were anything to go by.

Witness - Detail Rachel Shaw Ashton
Witness – Detail, by Rachel Shaw Ashton.

Of course TAG also host the work of Rob Ryan (read a review of his TAG art exhibition in 2010 here). More beautiful papercutting (still a massive trend) came from Rachel Shaw Ashton, showing with JaggedArt. She layers paper with pins to create simple shapes in pure white to great affect.

London Art Fair 2012 -tracey bush
I was also drawn to the 3D sculpture by Tracey Bush. Little Clod of Earth is a clump of wild plants made from the dog ends of paper packaging – oddly beautiful and strange.

London Art Fair 2012 -francesca prieto
JaggedArt also hosts the work of Francisca Prieto, who once more works with old atlases and maps to create beautiful 3D repetitive works of art. We wrote about her recent exhibition Unbound.

London Art Fair 2012 -Charles Fazzino
London Art Fair 2012 -London Art Fair 2012 -Charles Fazzino
USA based artist Charles Fazzino creates astonishing scenes with layers of paper. He calls it 3D pop art; showing with Galerie Olivier Waltman from Paris.

London Art Fair 2012 -derrick santini
On a completely different tangent I was surprised to see the work of fashion photographer Derrick Santini, who showed lenticular artwork with Scream. Forget those cheesy Jesus postcards, these artworks feature an astonishing amount of different angles. I can see city types absolutely loving one of these on their penthouse apartment walls!

London Art Fair 2012 -karen nicol
Russian_Bear_by_Karen_Nicol
Russian Bear by Karen Nicol.

The Rebecca Hossack gallery always hosts interesting craft based artworks: Karen Nicol‘s Thread Bear utilised a vintage piece of French needlepoint as the basis, into which pieces have been embroidered and appliqued. I have a bad photo so here’s another similar piece.

London Art Fair 2012 -rebecca coles
Rebecca Coles also shows with Rebecca Hossack – you can read our extensive interview with this paper artist who specialises in butterflies here.

London Art Fair 2012 -simone lia
London Art Fair 2012 -simone lia
Rounding a corner I was pleased to see a wall of artwork by Simone Lia, who sells prints with Jealous Gallery. Her infamous Hello Sausage Hello Chicken has just been reissued in a new colour range. The gallery are also the purveyors of the prints from the Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition, including the fab Ralph Steadman birds (read my review here).

More coming up shortly… don’t go away! *here’s part two of my review*

Categories ,2012, ,Anderson & Gold, ,Andrea Mastrovito, ,Annie Morris, ,Annie Whiles, ,art, ,Art First, ,Butterflies, ,Charles Fazzino, ,Claire Brewster, ,collage, ,craft, ,Damian Hirst, ,Danielle Arnaud, ,Derrick Santini, ,Foley Gallery, ,Francisca Prieto, ,Galerie Olivier Waltman, ,Ghosts of Gone Birds, ,Gulliver’s Travels, ,Hello Sausage Hello Chicken, ,Islington Business Centre, ,JaggedArt, ,Jealous Gallery, ,Justine Smith, ,Karen Nicol, ,Lenticular, ,Little Clod of Earth, ,London A-Z, ,London Art Fair, ,maps, ,Papercutting, ,Pegs, ,Pertwee, ,Peter Blake, ,prints, ,Rachel Shaw Ashton, ,Ralph Steadman, ,Rebecca Hossack Gallery, ,Rebecca J Coles, ,review, ,Rob Ryan TAG fine arts, ,Scream, ,Simon Lewty, ,Simone Lia, ,Sophie Dahl, ,textile, ,The Catlin Guide, ,The Harbingers, ,Thread Bear, ,Tobias Till, ,Tracey Bush, ,Unbound, ,Upcycling

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