Amelia’s Magazine | Sketchbook Pop-Up Shop: Susie (Style) Bubble Talk

Illustration courtesy of Zoë Barker

From outside, remedy the Koko in Camden looks a bit like one of those Swiss clocks – the ones where a girl in lederhosen comes out on a rail every hour to strike the chime. The bare white front façade is broken only by the large ‘KOKO’ illumination and the two doors at either edge of the building which allow the audience access to the smoking balcony, click and there’s a fair few of them pacing backwards and forwards. Imagining them as clockwork Bavarians is the kind of thing I find amusing. It passes the time, waiting in the coffee place across the road for the rain to ease and the doors to open.

Los Campesinos! are a band that I’ve had to convince myself that I actually loved, because for a while I was in denial. As far as my last.fm statistics go they’ve been my favourite band of the last 18 months, and I even found myself buying a ticket for their latest tour as soon as physically able and not really being sure why. It always felt like some kind of weirdly innocuous indulgence that support groups put out literature for – y’know, you swear it’s not a big deal, you could walk away at any second, it doesn’t control your life, etc. etc., only to wake up one morning and realise that you’re deeply addicted and in trouble. It’s frightening to realise you’ve had a new favourite band for so long and not even realised.

Illustration courtesy of Zoë Barker

Once inside the venue, I buy a drink and text my erstwhile companion, struck down with food poisoning. “I’m probably the oldest person here – where are the adults?“ I ask (and I’m only 22) – there’s a distinct whiff of Lynx in the air (at a guess: Africa). LC! are a bit of a joke to some people thanks to lead singer Gareth’s scribbled-journal lyrics, and frankly they’re right – they can be acutely embarrassing. I try to justify my love (my addiction, you could say) to my friends by being clever – they’re tongue-in-cheek, I say! The literal meaning is totally ironic, but the intent is still sincere! It never works. My first instinct, looking around the venue, is that these skinny, shy kids find Gareth endearing and sincere without any ironic pretension, which would be sweet and naïve if so. Or it could be seen as pathetic – sample lyric: “As if I walked into the room/to see my ex-girlfriend/who by the way I’m still in love with/sucking the face of some pretty boy/with my favourite band’s mostpopular song in the background/is it wrong that I can’t decide which bothers me most?” – but then ‘pathetic’ sounds so much like ‘pathos’ and I’m sure that their must be some kind of link or derivation at play there, because then there’s my excuse. The band excels at drawing out an emotional response in its audience.

As I’m trying to figure this out (I’m on my own, remember, so those kinds of thoughts are all I have to amuse myself – another excuse) the first bunch of musicians stroll on stage – it’s barely past eight, which leaves me thinking that I’ll probably be home and in slippers before eleven. But as for the band: the lead singer reminds me of Sinbad, and he starts wooping.

“Woop! … Woop! … Woop!” etc. – he’s jumped over the crowd barriers at this point, and is walking through the still-thin crowd, clearly sizing people up. Every now and again somebody will recoil, which I assume is because they assume that he’ll either a) want them to join in (poor, timid children), or b) eat their ears, because he’s mental. I think it’s hilarious. The rhythmic wooping is augmented by the rest of the band joining in with their instruments, using Sinbad as a metronome. They’re a four-piece – Sinbad, fringe girl, moustache guy, and Sweater (his sensible sky-blue knitwear is his most defining feature, I suppose) – and they blew me away. Rotating between instruments, chanting and howling, they managed to bridge the divide between danceable electro-wash that I so admire in Holy Fuck or Gang Gang Dance and the careful racket of no-wave. One tune sounded like Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’ shoved backwards through a plane turbine, i.e. sort of inverted by chopping it up into small pieces and reassembled with the bass brought forward and the optimistic chants turned into these awful, angry shouts… I was a total convert. Only by cornering Sinbad in the lobby afterwards did I manage to get their name – Islet. The internet tells me they’re from Cardiff, and they don’t like the internet, they have no recordings available for streaming or purchase (except this BBC live session), they have no website, they are entirely offline. The only way to experience Islet is as a live band, so go. See them live. They kick ass.

The break between the supports is short, and next on are somewhat-hyped London duo Swanton Bombs. To be fair to them, everything I’ve heard about their album has been positive (including a review on this very site), so I’m going to chalk their disappointing live presence up as unexpected. Every song reminded me of that nasty period in the early 00s when blues-rock groups were two-a-penny, where every song could be plotted on a chart with one axis labelled “Killing Floor“, and “Hey Joe” on the other. In short – it was dull, every song sounded the same, and Blood Red Shoes do this kind of thing with much more aplomb. I drifted out towards the back of the room and then upstairs, where I could fully appreciate how atrocious the Koko’s sound quality is for anyone not on the ground near the front – it’s an embarrassment for London, really, considering how much slack the place has had to take up now that the scuffed and glorious Astoria’s gone.

The audience of kids, mostly bored by what’s happened so far (Islet’s tribal antics went down like a civil servant in Downing Street), persists in ignoring whatever’s happening on stage. They’re very clearly only here for LC!, and it’s something of a relief that they come to life when the main act eventually makes an appearance – making me reassess my earlier assumption, that they were here out of a pathetic sincerity, as completely wrong. Namely: I was being pretentious and snobbish, and these kids just like how enjoyable a band LC! are – the lyrics are just plain funny, the music just plain fun, and whilst people like me with too much time on their hands (I blame my friend standing me up and leaving me to my own interior monologue) might debate the extent to which the band take this influence, or that level of twee irony, or said indebtedness to blah blah, this is bullshit. So I forgot about all that, and started jumping about with the rest of the mosh pit.

Illustration courtesy of Zoë Barker

Gareth’s certainly a livelier presence than I expected (seeing as he can come across as a bit wet sometimes). Tonight he bounds around like an over-stimulated puppy, and keeps thanking everybody – his friends, their manager, the audience (I count seven separate breaks between songs where he thanks the fans), the venue, the tour promoter. It’s sweet. The set opens with the steamrolling “I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know,” which is a bastard of a song, frankly. Their latest album is filled with these, how to say, crunchy numbers, loud and a bit ridiculous, and each one sounds like an anthem tonight – the crowd on ground alongside me is just a heaving sweaty coagulation of fists and smiles, right through the more recent tracks (“There Are Listed Building”, “A Heat Rash in the Shape of The Show Me State; Or, Letters from Me to Charlotte” (it is assumed that if you cannot abide this kind of ludicrous titling of songs then LC! are not a band for you)) to the classics of a couple of years ago (“My Year in Lists,” “This Is How You Spell ‘HAHAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics’”).

One of the best things about seeing these guys live, though, was that their first album suddenly made a lot more sense. Their sound in the flesh isn’t hugely similar to their last two releases (‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’ and this year’s ‘Romance Is Boring’), which were relatively crisp and clean to the ear – live, they sound like the horrible mistake that was the David Newfeld-produced debut ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’, where the levels were all over the place and the whole thing was a sorry soppy mess of a release that would stick to a wall if it was thrown at one and would congeal into just a bloody mass of nothing at the bottom. It was poorly produced, is what I’m saying. But hearing them tonight I suddenly realise that Newfeld had captured them as they actually sound, essentially that exact kind of mop bucket softness, without edges, without any definition to grab onto. They aren’t half as exciting on there as they are here because, well, that’s the nature of live music, but I have greater respect for the Broken Social Scene producer now I can understand his Sisyphean intentions.

The highlight for most people comes towards the end, when the band crack out the song that they will presumably still be ending their sets with in middle-age – “You! Me! Dancing!” – which I detest. It’s a horrible song. I don’t know why it grates when I enjoy everything else that they do so much, but there it is. However, in the interest of balance I’ll say that this once it was awesome because, well, it was. I’d never danced to it alongside a few hundred other people before and the sensation was not, shall we say, unpleasant. When the band left the stage it was the end of their largest headline show to date – despite their quirks, their oddities, their introspection and their glee, I fully expect them to be playing even larger venues within a very short time indeed. They are the biggest and best niche group around. To hell with thought – it’s my gut that wants to see them again as soon as possible.

Illustration by Naomi Law

For the last day of  the Sketchbook Pop-Up Shop, viagra dosage Susie Bubble of Style Bubble fame gave a lecture, viagra approved bookending an event that celebrated the creative arts in a social and relaxed atmosphere complete with illustrations all over the walls. As one of the more prolific bloggers out there, healing Susie Bubble is someone I have ‘followed’ for a long time owing to her quality of photos and copy as well as her evidently well-researched posts. The Style Bubble blog started in 2006 as an outlet for Susie’s opinions, naturally developing a huge following with mentions in i-D magazine, The Financial Times and numerous awards within the blogging world in a relatively short space of time (that’s the online world for you!).
 
Susie has already written an excellent post on the ‘pop up social space’, and as the last speaker at the event ties things up quite nicely – she even featured on the cover of their very first issue. Teaching herself web coding at the age of 13, Susie was always destined to make a foray into the online world. Her blog has grown quickly over the last four years and rather than a ‘what to wear now’ site endorsing celebrity-led trends, Style Bubble is full of Susie’s musings and ideas of what she really thinks. ‘I would only stop blogging if ideas run out’, she said. Not much chance of that in London…
 
Following a few questions from the audience on branding, sponsorship and advertising it was very refreshing to hear Susie’s responses reflecting the idea that a blog should be a personal passion rather than a way to increase traffic and generate sales, as an all encompassing business or brand. ‘I don’t see what a Style Bubble app would bring to the iPad’ she reveals, and equally she doesn’t see a future or market for paid blogs. If they are controlled by the brand themselves she can see the merits, though – ‘if a brand have a blog, especially some of the more secretive design houses, it is a good idea as long as the content is interesting’.   


Illustration by Naomi Law
 
Content is key, and she advises that in order to make a mark in the blogosphere, a blog must bring something new to the table. If you are in need of some more inspiration, Susie uses The Guardian fashion pages, The Coveted, and Jak&Jil for fashion news.

She understands that fashion, especially luxury fashion, is not always ethically sound, and where ‘it is impossible to investigate every choice’ we make on clothing we must be aware of the sources of our purchases. Broad generalisations can confuse consumers; for example, not everything made in China needs to be avoided. When choosing items, Susie goes for what feels right. ‘Buying luxury clothes is selfish. I ask myself if it feels nice or looks good on me’. On her own style, she made it very clear that it’s a personal choice, but in terms of A/W10 predicitons, its ‘texture, texture, texture’! Mix it up and make it your own – for S/S go for pastels and embroidery.
 
One of the nicest elements to Susie’s character is the honesty and modesty in with which she answered the questions. The London-based blogger loves the constantly developing creativity in our city, and how there are opportunities to turn your hand to whatever you want, describing herself as a ‘fraud’ with no formal training! At the moment Susie is unsure how to progress with the blog. Now in a ‘pondering phase’, she doesn’t see herself working with a ‘team’ as it is such a personal project – just her and her handy boyfriend for the photos!
 
3 facts you might like to know:
 
1. She voted Lib Dem
2. She wears her hair up when its windy
3. She was incredibly flattered when Daphne Guinness wrote about her in the FT (who wouldn’t be?!)

 
As well as some consulting work, she has some mysterious up and coming projects, so keep an eye out…

Categories ,Bloggers, ,Blogging, ,China, ,Daphne Guinness, ,Financial Times, ,Florence Massey, ,I.D Magazine, ,Jak&Jil, ,Liberal Democrats, ,Naomi Law, ,Newburgh Street, ,Pop-up Shop, ,Sketchbook Magazine, ,Style Bubble, ,Susie Bubble, ,Texture, ,The Coveted

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Katie)


Illustration by Andrea Peterson, order aka Artist Andrea

Charlie Le Mindu’s ‘Berlin Syndrome’ catwalk show was packed with journalists, photographers and front row candy like Daphne Guinness and Diane Pernet, lots of people were left outside, disappointed. Such is the draw of the promise of nudity.


Photography by Katie Antoniou

And Charlie didn’t let us down- first up on the catwalk was a naked model drenched in fake blood, wearing only a headpiece adorned with the word ‘Violence’. Profound, eh? The ‘Carrie’ theme ran through the whole show, with a number of the pieces being blood-splattered or drenched, a gimmick I’d have got pretty bored of if it weren’t for the nod to second world war Berlin. Vintage style lace and lots of military influences from gasmarks to metal cases meant that my interest was definitely peeked. Some of this stuff WAS wearable- have a look at this fantastic robe.

The shoes were a result of a collaboration between Charlie and Underground Shoes, I’m really disappointed that I didn’t get a better picture of any of them, because they were fantastic; stunning platforms covered in lace and Charlie’s signature hair.


Beginning life as a hairdresser, Charlie has gone on to work human hair into his clothing designs, now worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. In this show, hair fringing was often daubed in Graffiti, as were the model’s own hairstyles.


Illustration by Artist Andrea

The return of a darkly rebellious nod to the Punk era was evident in a number of shows this year, evidence of the current economic climate, dissatisfaction with the government; certainly Charlie was out to shock, provoke and disturb, with the final walk through set to a soundtrack of pigs being slaughtered. Whilst maintaining his artistic integrity, I do think Charlie was thinking of potential buyers when he designed this collection, as a lot of it is much more wearable than his previous pieces, despite the avant garde presentation. Get ready to see these looks on many a celeb; though probably without the fake blood.


Illustration by Artist Andrea

Andrea Peterson created the wonderful front cover for Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Andrea Peterson, ,Artist Andrea, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Daphne Guinness, ,Diane Pernet, ,Hair, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,Nudity, ,punk, ,Violence

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011; Streetstyle: Frontrow Showstoppers

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

The pages of glossies, page newspapers,blogs and even whole books are testament to the rise of the ‘streetstyle snapper’; being papped by Facehunter and co is now seen by some as the holy grail of LFW achievements. Whilst I have no problem avoiding the cameras, I do like to grab the odd shot of some of the more ‘out there’ get-ups, and of course, some friendly faces. So here are a few of my snaps from this LFW- starting with Illamasqua make-up artist Mika and Viktoria Modesta; muse to Ada Zanditon,(above); both with flawless make-up and hair at Ada’s presentation on Day 1.I also bumped into Amber and Nisha; the Broken Hearts DJs who were wearing spectacular headpieces by Tour de Fource.

Illustration by Antonia Parker

It seemed the DJ duo were everywhere you turned at LFW- having collaborated with Paperself on a range of stunning paper false-eyelashes, as well as featuring in Elizabeth Lau‘s lookbook for her Autumn/Winter collection. Elizabeth’s cousin, Susanna Lau also modelled a jumper for the lookbook; one that reads ‘Having a bubble’; appropriate given her blog name Style Bubble.In fact, I thought the jumper had been specifically designed for her, but Elizabeth explained to me that all the jumper slogans come from Cockney slang and ‘Having a bubble’ means Having a laugh.It was just a happy coincidence that Susie was the perfect model for it!

Illustration by Ankolie

Susie Bubble

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler was sitting next to Susie Bubble front row at the Craig Lawrence presentation, wearing her own fantastically colourful accessories.

At Charlie le Mindu Daphne Guinness graced the front row, sitting next to Diane Pernet from A Shaded View of Fashion. Also in attendance was one of LFW’s most dedicated over-dressers, usually clad from head to toe with PVC.Here he accessorised with a blow up wig and blow up pet dog.

Illustration by Karina Yarv

Also in attendance was He of the big hair, another LFW regular. I’d spotted him at Jacob Kimmie the night before where he’d kindly posed for me, dressed in a religious ensemble, complete with oversized crucifix.

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Wearing jewellery from her own line, it was nice to catch up with Kirsty Ward at her stand at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. I’ve recently been working with her boyfriend David Longshaw who also uses Kirsty’s jewellery in his collections. This couple are both talented and lovely enough to be firm fixtures on the LFW scene for years to come.

Categories ,Ankolie, ,Antonia Parker, ,broken hearts DJs, ,Daphne Guinness, ,David Longshaw, ,Diane Pernet, ,elizabeth lau, ,Fred Butler, ,frontrow, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kirsty Ward, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Susie Bubble

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Amelia)

Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea
Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea.

Charlie Le Mindu has already done massive headpieces and copious nudity… what could possibly be next? How about dripping blood, nurse Nazi references and CUNT (sprayed onto the back of a model’s head)? Yes, more about this and more was to be our Sunday morning treat at Berlin Syndrome, a show inspired by the WWII decadence of the German Third Reich.

Charlie Le Mindu. Photography by Tim Adey
Charlie Le Mindu. Photography by Tim Adey.

Charlie Le Mindu by Dan Stafford
Charlie Le Mindu by Dan Stafford.

Each season a Charlie Le Mindu ticket grows that little bit hotter… and the queues of people desperate to view his inimitable mix of genius, fantasy and fannies grows ever more clamourous. So it was that whilst waiting for Jazzkatze to start I made a judgement, made my excuses, and headed over to the tiny On/Off venue. These things happen. I knew it would be totally worth it.

Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea
Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea.

But first I had to battle my way into a decent seat. Hot avante garde fashion tends to attract a lot of extravagant characters, each trying to out-outfit the next one.

YouTube Preview Image
Out Outfit You by Bourgeois & Maurice.

So it was that I found myself just a few bodies down from fashion doyenne Daphne Guinnessallegedly attending her only show this season – and a rare LFW sighting of Diane Pernet.

Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Emma Jardine
Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Emma Jardine.

Across the way club kid Daniel Lismore looked uncomfortably squished in one of the huge froufrou contraptions that constitutes his “look”. The delightful (and talented) Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes looked wonderfully normal in comparison – and had to fight for a front row spot.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Kap Bambino provided the intense soundtrack to this show, a mash up of melodic vocals, pig squeals and a grimy off-kilter baseline. Our first treat? A stripper, dripping with blood from her Violence headgear to her vampirish talons. Her only accessory was an ancient looking metal bag, slung nonchalantly from her shoulder on a thin piece of chain.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

She was followed onto the catwalk by a giant mohican worn with plastic cape and lacy shorts – a cross of gaffa tape the only nod to modesty. More buttery lace, more plastic, more fringing and beading on both men and women. Make up was pale, deathly, fittingly. From the front a plastic fluffy fringed cape looked pervily demure, arms bound down to the sides. From the back it revealed a spray painted phallus and more that I cannot read.

Charlie Le Mindu by Madi
Charlie Le Mindu by Madi.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely WarsCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

A moderately wearable lace belted maxi coat was followed by more exposed boobs and a gas mask with a waterfall of hair extruding from the mouth like an alien intervention. More hair as fur, smudged red lips, a smile from a knowing model as she pounded towards the thickly layered ranks of photographers.

Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Natsuki Otani
Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Natsuki Otani.

Charlie Le Mindu Finale Piece by LJG Art & Illustration
Charlie Le Mindu Finale Piece by LJG Art & Illustration.

And finally the denouement, a huge white eagle – a reference to the Third Reich insignia – clutching a blonde be-wigged head, the bird trailing lace and blood to the floor. It was a trail that followed the models back stage as the show ended to the sounds of a porcine massacre and Charlie Le Mindu took his curtain bow in a butcher’s apron, hands bloody. I glanced anxiously over to stylist Tamara Cincik, who was protectively cradling her pregnant belly.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read Katie Antoniou’s earlier blog about the same show here, and see more work by Andrea Peterson in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. There is also a lovely blog featuring Andrea Peterson at work on the creation of her Charlie Le Mindu painting right here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Ani Saunders, ,Anna Trevelyan, ,Artist Andrea, ,Bat for Lashes, ,berlin, ,Berlin Syndrome, ,Blood, ,Bourgeois & Maurice, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,CUNT, ,Dan Stafford, ,Daniel Lismore, ,Daphne Guinness, ,Diane Pernet, ,Eagle, ,Emma Jardine, ,Hair, ,Insignia, ,Jazzkatze, ,Kap Bambino, ,Katie Antoniou, ,LJG Art & Illustration, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Natasha Khan, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Nudity, ,onoff, ,Out Outfit You, ,Plastic, ,Strippers, ,Tamara Cincik, ,The Lovely Wars, ,Third Reich, ,Tim Adey, ,Wigs, ,WWII

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Amelia)

Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea
Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea.

Charlie Le Mindu has already done massive headpieces and copious nudity… what could possibly be next? How about dripping blood, nurse Nazi references and CUNT (sprayed onto the back of a model’s head)? Yes, more about this and more was to be our Sunday morning treat at Berlin Syndrome, a show inspired by the WWII decadence of the German Third Reich.

Charlie Le Mindu. Photography by Tim Adey
Charlie Le Mindu. Photography by Tim Adey.

Charlie Le Mindu by Dan Stafford
Charlie Le Mindu by Dan Stafford.

Each season a Charlie Le Mindu ticket grows that little bit hotter… and the queues of people desperate to view his inimitable mix of genius, fantasy and fannies grows ever more clamourous. So it was that whilst waiting for Jazzkatze to start I made a judgement, made my excuses, and headed over to the tiny On/Off venue. These things happen. I knew it would be totally worth it.

Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea
Charlie Le Mindu by Andrea Peterson aka Artist Andrea.

But first I had to battle my way into a decent seat. Hot avante garde fashion tends to attract a lot of extravagant characters, each trying to out-outfit the next one.

YouTube Preview Image
Out Outfit You by Bourgeois & Maurice.

So it was that I found myself just a few bodies down from fashion doyenne Daphne Guinnessallegedly attending her only show this season – and a rare LFW sighting of Diane Pernet.

Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Emma Jardine
Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Emma Jardine.

Across the way club kid Daniel Lismore looked uncomfortably squished in one of the huge froufrou contraptions that constitutes his “look”. The delightful (and talented) Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes looked wonderfully normal in comparison – and had to fight for a front row spot.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Kap Bambino provided the intense soundtrack to this show, a mash up of melodic vocals, pig squeals and a grimy off-kilter baseline. Our first treat? A stripper, dripping with blood from her Violence headgear to her vampirish talons. Her only accessory was an ancient looking metal bag, slung nonchalantly from her shoulder on a thin piece of chain.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

She was followed onto the catwalk by a giant mohican worn with plastic cape and lacy shorts – a cross of gaffa tape the only nod to modesty. More buttery lace, more plastic, more fringing and beading on both men and women. Make up was pale, deathly, fittingly. From the front a plastic fluffy fringed cape looked pervily demure, arms bound down to the sides. From the back it revealed a spray painted phallus and more that I cannot read.

Charlie Le Mindu by Madi
Charlie Le Mindu by Madi.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely WarsCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

A moderately wearable lace belted maxi coat was followed by more exposed boobs and a gas mask with a waterfall of hair extruding from the mouth like an alien intervention. More hair as fur, smudged red lips, a smile from a knowing model as she pounded towards the thickly layered ranks of photographers.

Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Natsuki Otani
Charlie Le Mindu Berlin Syndrome by Natsuki Otani.

Charlie Le Mindu Finale Piece by LJG Art & Illustration
Charlie Le Mindu Finale Piece by LJG Art & Illustration.

And finally the denouement, a huge white eagle – a reference to the Third Reich insignia – clutching a blonde be-wigged head, the bird trailing lace and blood to the floor. It was a trail that followed the models back stage as the show ended to the sounds of a porcine massacre and Charlie Le Mindu took his curtain bow in a butcher’s apron, hands bloody. I glanced anxiously over to stylist Tamara Cincik, who was protectively cradling her pregnant belly.

Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia GregoryCharlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Charlie Le Mindu A/W 2011 Berlin Syndrome. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read Katie Antoniou’s earlier blog about the same show here, and see more work by Andrea Peterson in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. There is also a lovely blog featuring Andrea Peterson at work on the creation of her Charlie Le Mindu painting right here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Ani Saunders, ,Anna Trevelyan, ,Artist Andrea, ,Bat for Lashes, ,berlin, ,Berlin Syndrome, ,Blood, ,Bourgeois & Maurice, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,CUNT, ,Dan Stafford, ,Daniel Lismore, ,Daphne Guinness, ,Diane Pernet, ,Eagle, ,Emma Jardine, ,Hair, ,Insignia, ,Jazzkatze, ,Kap Bambino, ,Katie Antoniou, ,LJG Art & Illustration, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Natasha Khan, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Nudity, ,onoff, ,Out Outfit You, ,Plastic, ,Strippers, ,Tamara Cincik, ,The Lovely Wars, ,Third Reich, ,Tim Adey, ,Wigs, ,WWII

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Amelia’s Magazine | Javari Shoes for Show Exhibition Review

Katie Eary for Nike by Eccabin
Katie Eary for Nike by Eccabin.
 
As if we needed any more proof that shoes are a form of art, online shoe connoisseurs, Javari held a dazzling exhibition over the weekend, showcasing highly desirable footwear designed by some of the world’s most prominent designers.
 
Nicholas Kirkwood by Eccabin
Nicholas Kirkwood Alice in Wonderland Heels by Eccabin.
 
From the practical to the not so practical, men and women alike have been fascinated with the enchanting allure of shoes ever since cavemen figured out that walking around barefoot wasn’t exactly ideal. As a day to day essential, our little tootsies would be truly lost without the good old shoe, but we all know that societies love for footwear goes a little deeper than a mere practicality designed to get you from A to B.
 
Shoes for Show Nina Ricci Daphne Guinness
Nina Ricci for Daphne Guiness by Rebecca Higgins
Nina Ricci for Daphne Guinness by Rebecca Higgins.
 
Shoes for Show Natasha Marrow
Natacha Marro by Rebecca Higgins
Natacha Marro for Shoes for Show by Rebecca Higgins.
 
If there’s one thing that any self-respecting girl (or boy) knows, it’s the unstoppable power of well placed shoe. Clearly something the likes of Gareth Pugh, Christian Louboutin and Nina Ricci are all fully aware of. The exhibition was like a sweet shop for all fans of fancy footwear. Each shoe was presented within a structured cubic stand, mirroring the dramatic silhouettes of the shoes themselves, not to mention the mathematical genius surely required for creating such sky-scrapingly tall heels.

Shoes for Show Gareth Pugh Beyonce
Gareth Pugh for Beyonce.

Shoes for Show Katie Eary Nike
Katie Eary for Nike.

 Shoes for Show Nicholas Kirkwood Alice in Wonderland
Nicholas Kirkwood for Alice in Wonderland.
 
The exhibition was truly a feast for the eyes drawing together three sections: Fashion’s Catwalk Spectacle, Couture Clientele and Innovative Design, all of which presented one-off pieces by the likes of Katie Eary for Nike, Nina Ricci for Daphne Guinness and Christian Louboutin for Rodarte.

YouTube Preview ImageRun the World (Girls)

The shoes and boots sparkled in all their glory, whilst Gareth Pugh’s giant gold stompers dominated the Couture Clientele section, just as Beyoncé did when she debuted them in her Run the World video. Catching my eye, along with countless others no doubt, was the enchanting Alice in Wonderland Heels by Nicholas Kirkwood; intricately designed teacups, keys and chequerboard print heels were just as captivating as Lewis Carroll’s novel itself, delivering attention to detail like I’ve never seen before.

Shoes for Show Rupert Sanderson Aida
Rupert Sanderson for Aida.
 
Shoes for Show Niamh O'Conner & Emily Crane
Niamh O’Conner & Emily Crane.
 
Shoes for Show Sophie Grace Webster Manolo Blahnik
Sophie Grace Webster for Manolo Blahnik.
 
Shoes for Show did exactly what it says on the tin: these shoes are solely for show, not for touching and definitely not for trying on! It turns out many people at the exhibition didn’t quite grasp this concept, as a few sawdust-between-the-ears individuals asked if they could put their very own feet in these one-of-a-kind creations. I do sympathise with said individuals as I admit, it was a struggle keeping my hands off Meadham Kirchhoff’s green and pink glitter pom-pom wedges designed by Nicholas Kirkwood for S/S 2012.

Shoes for Show Nichola Kirkwood Meadham Kirchhoff
Meadham Kirchhoff by Justyna Sowa
Nicholas Kirkwood for Meadham Kirchhoff by Justyna Sowa.
 
Shoes for Show Christian Louboutin Rodarte
Christian Louboutin by Justyna Sowa
Christian Louboutin for Rodarte by Justyna Sowa.
 
Fashion over function was the resounding message at the exhibition as I witnessed first-hand some of the craziest, but utterly beautiful designs ever to grace the human foot. The tallest heel in the world came courtesy of Christian Louboutin’s freakishly high ballet pumps designed this year exclusively for the English National Ballet. We were also treated to a miniature version of Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoe: the extraordinary curve design footwear that you’ll all remember Lady Gaga teetering around in in last year’s Bad Romance video.

YouTube Preview ImageBad Romance
 
Shoes for Show Christian Louboutin Royal Ballet
Christian Louboutin for Royal Ballet.
 
Shoes for Show Minature McQueen Armadillo
Minature McQueen Armadillo.
 
Shoes for Show Terry de Havilland Ana Matronic
Terry de Havilland for Ana Matronic.
 
Shoes for Show Terry de Havilland for Agent Provocateur
Terry de Havilland for Agent Provocateur.

Fusing fashion and art, the exhibition presented a rare chance to see some of the most exclusive couture pieces of the last two centuries: pieces that have graced the feet of some of the most iconic stars of this generation. Though we all view and admire shoes for more than just their function, Shoes for Show took this admiration to a whole new level, appreciating footwear for its spectacle alone; a spectacle definitely not made for walking!

Categories ,Agent Provocateur, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Becky Turl, ,beyonce, ,Brick Lane, ,Christian Louboutin, ,Couture Clientele, ,Daphne Guinness, ,Eccabin, ,Emily Crane, ,English National Ballet, ,Fashion’s Catwalk Spectacle, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Innovative Design, ,Javari, ,Justyna Sowa, ,Katie Eary, ,Lady Gaga, ,Lewis Carroll, ,Meadham Kirchhoff, ,Natacha Barrow, ,Niamh O’Connor, ,Nicholas Kirkwood, ,Nina Ricci, ,Old Truman Brewery, ,Rebecca Higgins, ,Rodarte, ,Rupert Sanderson, ,S/S 2012, ,Sarah Deane, ,Shoes for Show, ,Sophie Grace Webster

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Amelia’s Magazine | Designer Spotlight: Brooke Roberts- Part Two

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa Front cover - The 99Illustration by Naif Al-Mutawa courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

What do you do when your freedom of expression has been seriously hampered? What happens when an artist has to muster all the courage and strength in the world to plough on amidst censorship, dosage opposition, cheapest intimidation and threats? The Freedom to Create Prize aims to encourage and support artists all over the world who operate in a stifling climate where they are isolated. Created as “a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists around the world who use their talent to build the foundation of open societies, this site promote social justice and inspire the human spirit”1., this prize is unique in that it celebrates the power of art to fight oppression, break down stereotypes and build trust in societies broken by conflict, violence and misunderstanding.

image009Photograph of Moshen Makhmalbaf courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

There are more than 1,000 entrants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, eastern Europe and the Middle East and Human Rights advocate Bianca Jagger presented the main prize yesterday night to Moshen Makhmalbaf, the Iranian filmmaker dedicated to the Green Movement. “People of my country (Iran) are killed, imprisoned, tortured and raped just for their votes. Every award I receive means an opportunity for me to echo their voices to the world, asking for democracy for Iran and peace for the world.” Guests from the worlds of art and the human rights attended the reception in the grand surroundings of the Victoria and Albert museum. The prize is worth $50,000, but they give half to an organization that will advance the cause their work highlights. Representatives from Burmese refugee women’s group The Kumjing Storytellers who use giant paper maché dolls to represent their stories of ethnic persecution in Burma and the plight of migrants and refugees from around the world received the second place prize winner, The director from The Zugdidi Shalva Dadiani State Drama Theatre, David Alan Harris from Poimboi Veeyah Koindu and Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai were all there along with last year’s inaugural winner, the Zimbabwean dramatist Cont Mhlanga.

image002Logo courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Set up by Richard Chandler, a billionaire New Zealand-born philanthropist based in Singapore, the arts prize shines a light into those parts of the world where creative freedom is not a given. This year alone, we have had the Obama cartoon in The New Yorker and Osama Bin Laden as a cameo on family Guy; there are societies in greatest need but these awards is a reminder that we must always remember not to take for granted the civil liberties we enjoy in this country. In 2006, a Kuwaiti doctor, Naif Al-Mutawa, launched a comic called The 99, featuring 99 superheroes, each based on a virtue expounded in the Koran. “Some of the more conservative places in the world weren’t so happy to let The 99 in,” he says.

Graham CrouchArtist Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Women artists are showing strong pieces this year; Third- prize winner Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai has created an installation piece about the traditional suicide method of abused Afghan women: “I recognized the similarity between these ancient events and contemporary world events, so I decided to show my feelings about what is happening: more than 40 women are dying every day.” Pakistan’s Sheema Kermani entered a series of dance and theatre pieces about the veil, polygamy, sexual abuse and honor killings: For long periods, it has been almost like a life underground,” she says.

View-of-Installation-work-bInstallation by  Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Judges in attendance included leading international human rights lawyer and jurist on the UN’s Internal Justice Council Geoffrey Robertson QC, BBC arts correspondent Razia Iqbal, Time Out founder and chair of Human Rights Watch Tony Elliot, and award-winning Anglo-Indian artist Sacha Jafri. Nick Broomfield presented the Imprisoned Artist Prize; Geoffrey Robertson QC presented the Youth Prize. And there was an enjoyable performance by Emmanuel Jal.

It is suitably symbolic that the awards ceremony took place in the UK, home of the Magna Charta as it shows that engaged artists are not alone in this fight. Prosperous societies are founded upon creativity. Britain has a history of encouraging artistic expression and is a leader in showing other countries how to build strong foundations for economic, political and cultural development in order to lead tomorrow’s world. Political cartooning is a great British institution that prides itself in rocking the boat and rightfully getting away with it! Freedom to Create is a worthy initiative; their desire to seek to improve lives by addressing society’s ability to support and sustain creativity is to be commended. In the end, everyone was a winner!

1. Press release courtesy of PagetBaker Associates
Incase you missed the first instalment (where have you been?) Amelia’s magazine caught up with London based women’s wear designer Brooke Roberts to find out about her inspired new collection.
7Sinnai dress (reversible) in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard knit.

Can you tell our readers a little more about your SS10 collection?
Right at the beginning of the project I took a brain scan which took about 50 image slices through the brain. I then artworked the images with a CAD designer friend who helped to manipulate them into python skin effect, buy and repeat patterns that I then merged with Yoruban sculpture. To learn about this Nigerian tribe I went to the British Museum and looked at all of the sculptures and masquerade videos, site taking colour inspiration and texture ideas from their artwork. The collection is a mixture of medicine, science and Yoruban culture.

You’ve said that you take a lot of your inspiration from your work as a radiographer and with that in mind I wondered if you were interested in fashion trends and if you try to reflect current trends in your collections?
As a designer I can’t really ignore the industry behind my profession, but I try not to let outside influences take over my inspiration and vision. Trends are really important. I try not to follow them or reference them too much in my work. Trends happen to find their way into my collection one way or another, often from working with suppliers. For example my thread and fabric suppliers have their own seasonal trends, textures and colours for the season which I end up inevitably incorporating. I’ve also been known to look on WGSN from time to time.

13Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing, sinnai leggings in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard leggings and silver and red gold skull slice earrings.

PB242088Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing (ortho fringing is made from metal plates that are used to straighten and repair bones within the body).

Do you have any design heroes?
I love Thierry Mugler. It doesn’t matter how many times I look at his work. I’ve got quite a few of his vintage pieces and I love wearing them! Rifat Ozbek is another I like and John Galliano is great too. It’s like a dream for a designer to work in a house like that (Dior) where you can create your own fabrics; it’s a beautiful fusion of craft and technology. I also love Alber Elbaz, he’s so commercially brilliant – I think most women want to wear his clothes! His designs are so romantic; I think he’s got a real sensibility with fabric and movement. I also love Gareth Pugh; he would be the young designer I like.

What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is fast approaching?
I’m looking forward to just developing my label, growing it and evolving. I want to learn more, as in this kind of job you’re learning everyday and are exploring new ideas and techniques. I’m trying to work with the Australian wool industry to integrate Australian merino into my knitwear because it’s a beautiful product and I love knitwear so I’d like to explore it and at the same time if I can help out the Australian wool industry it’s a good move, especially as my family are wool growers!

19Silver and red gold spinning skull slice pendant- diamond set.

Lastly, do you have any strategic tips or advice for anyone toying with the idea of a career in fashion, with the ambition of going it alone as a designer?
You need to have a strong idea of what you want and what you want to be first. Then I’d suggest going out and finding the best experience you can so intern and put in a lot of hours. Learn, develop and once you feel ready to start a label get some good business advice and then apply for all the awards as a way of getting support. Just work really hard!
Brooke’s current collection is stocked at King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Categories ,Alber Elbaz, ,Australian wool industry, ,British Museum, ,Brooke Roberts, ,Gareth Pugh, ,King and Queen of Bethnal Green, ,Rifat Ozbek, ,Thierry Mugler, ,WGSN, ,Yoruba

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