Amelia’s Magazine | New S/S 2013 Season Interview: Michelle Urvall Nyrén of Ever Rêve

Ever Reve by Sine Skau
Ever Reve by Sine Skau.

Readers of my second book Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration will recognise the name Michelle Urvall Nyrén: in those pages you can find wonderful examples of her beautiful watercolour fashion illustrations. In the years since the book was published Michelle has been busy designing and launching her very first fashion collection, inspired by both her love of watercolour design and her ethical education. Not surprisingly, the Ever Rêve S/S 2013 collection is a beautiful first outing for this talented lady.

ever rêve
Your beautiful inaugural collection was put together in collaboration with Swedish writer Hanna Ricksten. What was the process of meeting and deciding to work together?
At the beginning of my working process there is always a persona. I always use characters and fictional stories as an inspiration to build up a collection as it helps me to create an ambience and gives me a set to work in. My choices of colours, patterns and cuts can be traced in this story or in the character.
Hanna and I have known each other for a long time and she has been writing stories for as long as I have been working with textiles. When I started working with Ever Rêve I talked a lot to Hanna and realised that we share many ideals and dreams, which is why we decided to create a story together. I sent Hanna all of my inspiration work; notes, photos, colour samples and sketches and she based the story on that. It was a very stimulating process of reciprocal creativity.  
 
ever rêve
The model in your look book has a very unique look: how did you come to cast her?
I cast Aleksandra at a distance from photos sent by friends we have in common. She lives in Poland where we took the photos and I didn’t get to actually meet her until the day of the photo shoot. I love her look; she expresses both strength and vulnerability at the same time. I am always looking for something unique in models; Aleksandra was perfect for this collection. She is also very hard working. On the day of the shoot, it was about 35 degrees. We decided to take photos of the knitwear in the late afternoon, but the temperature remained really high. Once I asked her to put the knitted jumper on I could see a look of terror on her face, but she quickly covered it up with a smile. She is a great girl and a very professional model.
 
ever rêve
What inspired the patterns you have used?
There is a strong yet rough expression in some Polish graphic designs that have inspired me a lot, working with straight lines and simple shapes. I found it challenging to work with strong graphics in combination with the water colours, as the technique automatically softens it up a bit. I have also been strongly inspired by textiles that my grandmother made in the sixties.
 
 Ever Reve by Sandra Contreras
Ever Reve by Sandra Contreras.

Can you tell us a bit more about your family’s textile history?
My grandmother was a textile artist and designer and she worked a lot with traditional wax batik in the early sixties. She used this technique to make bright and colourful graphic patterns on pieces of clothing. I have never met my grandmother as she died when my mother was born, but I have been told my whole life that I am like her. I found it very hard to relate to this when I was younger but then I was given a box full of clothes made by her a couple of years ago and I clearly saw the connection.  
 
 ever rêve
How did your fashion illustrations inform the creation of this collection?
I was intentionally looking to link my illustration and textile work together with Ever Rêve. I have been working with water colours for as long as I can remember and it is a technique I feel confident with. A couple of years ago I experimented with silk dyes and found that the effect I was searching for was similar to silk painting. I think this has been a quite natural progress: coming out of experiments and a need to explore new materials and surfaces.
 
 ever rêve
How have your ethics affected the making of this collection?
Ethics, environment and sustainability were a big part of my education and are still something I pay a lot of attention to. I looked at every part of the production process and asked myself how I can improve. For example, the parts of the collection that are hand painted are made on an organic silk (a production without insecticides or pesticides) and the knitted garments are made out of recycled silk/viscose yarn. The only tricky part is to find someone who does digital printing on organic fabrics, something that I am still searching for. I was also very careful selecting the printers and the seamstress – they are both small family run businesses which care about their employees. I am still concerned about all the travelling the fabrics need to do before they get a final steam on the hanger, but I have spoken to some charities who advised me on how to reduce and offset our carbon footprint. There is always room to improve!
 
Ever Reve by Grace Nikobari
Ever Reve by Grace Nikobari.

Where are the garments made and by whom?
The Ever Rêve garments are made in Łódź, Poland. My partner has got contacts in the textile industry and they recommended a seamstress and her team. They are very skilled and experienced and they have worked with many international designers before.
 
ever rêve
Who do you hope will wear these clothes. What will she do in them?
I hope that Ever Rêve appeals to women in many different ages, doing many different things. Because some of the garments are hand painted and very luxurious I don’t expect them to be worn every day; however my friend who has a six month old baby wears her stripy silk shirt for most things, washes it in water with some shampoo and irons it dry. The clothes are made to be worn, living life with their wearers; at work, on holiday, at parties or celebrations.
 
ever rêve
Who are your dream stockists?
I would love to see the clothes in Liberty, because of their long tradition and history of fabrics and prints. Browns is another dream stockist.
 
ever rêve
What are your next plans for Ever Rêve?
I am currently working on the A/W 2013 collection. With this collection I am hoping to participate in more events for young designers, competitions and shows during London Fashion Week. I am trying to make a solid ground for Ever Rêve to stand on and to build it up from there, little by little and with patience. Big dreams and fantasies trigger you to work hard, but only when they are mixed with a sensible attitude and realistic goals can they actually come into fulfilment. 


All look book photography and film by Sejin Ahn. I can’t wait to see how Ever Rêve develops.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Aleksandra, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Browns, ,Ever Rêve, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Grace Nikobari, ,Hanna Ricksten, ,liberty, ,Lodz, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,poland, ,S/S 2013, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sejin Ahn, ,Sine Skau

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Amelia’s Magazine | Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Ones to Watch Preview

Nova Chiu S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu’s creations look like they’ve leapt straight off the pages of ancient fairytales. Strong, architecturally inspired silhouettes burst with colour, texture, beads and print. Her LCF graduate collection was a case of Art reflecting reality, as Nova drew inspiration from her birthplace, the Yunnan province of China, also known as the ‘mystical, earthly paradise’ that is Shangri-La. The aptly named Shangri-Ladida collection mixed traditional Chinese and contemporary dressmaking methods, winning the prestigious Collection of The Year award and creating a buzz of interest around what the designer will do next.

Nova Chiu by Cassandra Mayers

All photography courtesy of Nova Chiu

Chiu will be starting as a brand-new designer this London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean she’s new to fashion. Nova has worked for big-name designers such as Anna Sui, Richard Nicoll, and Matthew Williamson, who are all known for their use of colour, texture and shape.

Nova Chiu by Abi Hall

Nova Chiu by Abi Hall

For her graduate collection, Nova Chui drew inspiration from China for more reasons than it being her birthplace. Feeling that although China produces most of the clothes sold around the world, not much is known about traditional and contemporary Chinese fashion. Nova decided she wanted to unveil unknown Chinese culture through her work, mixing traditional and contemporary techniques together in a collection fit for a modern-day princess.

Nova Chiu by Dark Lens

Nova Chiu by Dark Lens

Nova’s background in Surface Textiles is evident in her choice of modern and traditional prints, embellishments, and fabrics. I love her use of different textiles and creativity with red and yellow faux fur, which she embroidered into or pressed prints onto. Not many people could whip up a traditional Chinese ‘ink and wash’ painting method and place it on cotton and nylon to such a fresh effect. Jade and wooden beads poke through faux fur and run along edges as decoration. Sequins and different types of bells were also embedded in the fabric, meaning a girl wearing Nova Chiu will most definitely be seen and heard.

Nova Chiu by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu by Dana Bocai

The beauty of a graduate collection, and Nova’s in particular, is that burst of energy from the pages of a student sketchbook into a catwalk collection. With her sketchbook lovingly displayed on her website, visitors get a sneak peak at the work that went into her attention-grabbing graduate collection. The illustrator in me loves the detailed, feminine and surreal drawings Nova creates. This designer spends a lot of time illustrating.

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Cassandra Mayers

This London Fashion Week, I truly cannot wait to see what Nova has in store. Will it be a development of the graduate collection or a complete change? I think we can predict more fascinating displays of her expertise and playfulness with surface textiles. I know I want to see more of her beaded and embellished faux fur; seeing shimmering stones poking out from candy-coloured fur reminds me of some type of fairytale animal. Whatever colour, inspiration, shape or customer she chooses to create for, I’m sure this London Fashion Week will be heaven on earth for Nova Chiu.

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu will be debuting her A/W 2012 collection this London Fashion Week on Friday the 17th of February at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ones to Watch show

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Abi Hall, ,Alia Gargum, ,Anna Sui, ,China, ,colour, ,Dana Bocai, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Faux Fur, ,Jo Ley, ,london, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nova Chiu, ,Ones To Watch, ,Richard Nicholl, ,Shangri-Ladida, ,surface design, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Leutton Postle

Leutton Postle S/S12 by Alia GargumLeutton Postle LFW S/S12 illustration by Alia Gargum

Upon checking some of Leutton Postle’s previous work I became really excited about the prospect of going to see their first London Fashion Week show and collection: I could see it featured turf-like groups of cable ties sprouting out of hooded garments in various places and I have always used them a lot in my work. A few months ago I spotted a glorious neckpiece made out of cable ties in a high street store window display, information pills so seeing them in Leutton Postle‘s work further confirmed my suspicion that cable ties might just be having a fashion moment.

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Being a newbie to London Fashion Week I could have waited happily for hours in the queue but actually the show was delayed only by half an hour or so, which is pretty good I hear. I followed the crowd into Freemasons’ Hall (Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s venue) and picked up a spot next to the pro photographers at the end of the runway, a decision which made my experience much more intense. As soon as the models came out it was not the soundtrack to the show that I heard but the constant clicking from such a large number of cameras gathered near me; and to me that was just as thrilling.

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle S/S12 LFW by Gemma Sheldrake
Leutton Postle S/S 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake

Behind the luxury knitwear label Leutton Postle are designers Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle, both Central Saint Martins graduates – upon graduating Jenny had her MA AW11 collection snapped up by London’s Browns Focus and Sam went to China to work with knitwear innovators Stoll. Their pieces are truly original with a couture quality and they suggest time-consuming experimentation with knitwear design. I felt that in the colourful, intricate and eccentric designs of their collaborative label there was a real enjoyment of craft and play.

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 by Sam Parr
Leutton Postle S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 by Emmi Ojala
Leutton Postle S/S 2012 by Emmi Ojala

Apart from the fact that the collection was very colourful, which has a natural appeal to me personally, the patchwork element was another thing I really enjoyed and it made me think that perhaps in the future, when all designers might have to use mainly scraps and leftovers or recycle fabrics for their designs, it would not be that bad at all if you had Leutton Postle’s talent and imagination! In a way parts of the clothes did seem like they had been constructed from random bits and pieces, put together really cleverly.

Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle10 LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Extra elements of colourful playfulness were added to the show by the models’ make up which looked like they had just eaten from a bowl of multicoloured paint soup and then not wiped themselves properly, but it was a shame that some of the models’ faces did not match all that wonderful colour happiness, maybe the soup was not that good…

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 show 'Baby Fashionista' photo by Maria Papadimitriou
There was also a very colourful toddler in the front row, photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
Leutton Postle LFW S/S12 photo by Amelia Gregory
The designers Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle photo by Amelia Gregory
The designers themselves, however, looked very cheery and beautiful when they came out at the end to wave at an audience that was clapping in a very colourful way indeed!

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Browns Focus, ,catwalk show, ,colour, ,couture, ,craft, ,Emmi Ojala, ,fashion, ,Fashion Designer, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Jenny Postle, ,knitwear, ,Leutton Postle, ,London Fashion Week, ,Make-up, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Merit Winner, ,photography, ,Sam Leutton, ,Sam Parr, ,Stoll, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham

Michael Van Der Ham by Joe Turvey
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Joe Turvey

You can tell that Michael has fun with his designs; much like, troche say, fellow Newgen designers Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff. He seems to have a less disciplined and somewhat more carefree vibe that runs through his work and for his Spring/Summer 2012 collection this revealed itself in playful prints that darted from block colour to illustrative lines to teeny-tiny florals. It was gorgeous! And landed itself firmly in my LFW top three.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-010
Anna Dello Russo, posing as soon as she spotted Amelia‘s camera.

He had the front row that London designers dream of – Alexandra Schulman, Hilary Alexander, Anna Dello Russo (who looked ah-mazing in Prada), good ol’ Harold Tillman and many fashion editors, including ELLE UK fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis (many wouldn’t recognise the ELLE UK team, but I’m a little obsessed. I went into still shock when Rebecca Lowthorpe passed me at Erdem last season; best fashion writer ever). And all without a popstar poser in sight! Okay, I know that it may be fun and exciting to have Marina Diamond or Paloma Faith sit their buttocks on your front row, but there must be something about having this professional fash pack that makes your work feel truly respected.

Harold Tillman BFC at Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council. Photograph by Georgia Takacs.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-021

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-025

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-029

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-035

It’s been a treat to follow Michael’s journey since his initial sponsorship by BFC Newgen (OH those Newgen designers!) and his collage creations have always been seen as, well, a little bit mad (see Spring/Summer 2011). And his recent collaboration with equally mad Bjork (I love her) on her Biophilia project is clear patchwork evidence of this. Naturally, however, I have often found his designs so playful and daring that they’re often un-wearable. But with this collection? I wanted it all. And so, I imagine, did every other woman in the room. A bold statement, yes. But with a perfectly balanced Spring/Summer colour scheme, casual-luxe dressmaking and just the right amount of garish glamour, Michael was almost spot on.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-038

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-043

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-051

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-056

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-059

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-064

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-068

Michael Van Der Ham 2 by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

The collection’s appeal all lay in the casual, feminine dresses and pencil trouser/shirt combo that was all oh-so-embellished with colour and print upon a subtle mix of matte, jersey and sheer textures. That extra-long sentence made it all seem too much, I know. But there was absolutely nothing try-hard about this collection. There was no black floor-skimming dress in the finale (it’s done much too much) or crazed props sticking out of heads or hanging off models. It was straight-forward, good womenswear that still remained surprising and unpredictable as each look was revealed.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-083

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-088

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-095

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-096

And not forgetting the accessories, which were the type that, rather than giving a brief appreciative nod, were all-round oggleworthy; you just wanted to stare at them and look in closer at their bright, ornate detail. These bold, chunky-but-delicate pieces acted as an extension of the mismatched intricate print, as did the sequined colourful clutches (some of which had the overdone Chanel-esque chain straps that I’m no longer a fan of) which were carried by many of the models.

Michael Van Der Ham by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-102

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-105

Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Photograph by Georgia Takacs. All other photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-108

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-116

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-119

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-121

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-125

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-128

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-131

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-133

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-137

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-139

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-141
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Since his initial sponsorship from BFC’s Newgen, Michael van der Ham has grown up in leaps and bounds. There was a hype around him this season that has evolved from the previous ‘Keep an eye on him! He’s up-and-coming!’ to the sort that screams ‘I’m an established designer, showing my work at London Fashion Week; respect.’ And we do, Michael. We do.

Categories ,Alexandra Schulman, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,BFC, ,BFC Newgen, ,bjork, ,british fashion council, ,chanel, ,Collage Dresses, ,Elle, ,Erdem, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Hilary Alexander, ,jewellery, ,Joe Turvey, ,Joseph Turvey, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Louise Gray, ,Marina Diamond, ,Meadham Kirchhoff, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Newgen, ,Nicola Ellen, ,paloma faith, ,Prada, ,print, ,Rebecca Lowthorpe, ,Topshop Newgen, ,Topshop Venue, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham

Michael Van Der Ham by Joe Turvey
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Joe Turvey

You can tell that Michael has fun with his designs; much like, troche say, fellow Newgen designers Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff. He seems to have a less disciplined and somewhat more carefree vibe that runs through his work and for his Spring/Summer 2012 collection this revealed itself in playful prints that darted from block colour to illustrative lines to teeny-tiny florals. It was gorgeous! And landed itself firmly in my LFW top three.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-010
Anna Dello Russo, posing as soon as she spotted Amelia‘s camera.

He had the front row that London designers dream of – Alexandra Schulman, Hilary Alexander, Anna Dello Russo (who looked ah-mazing in Prada), good ol’ Harold Tillman and many fashion editors, including ELLE UK fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis (many wouldn’t recognise the ELLE UK team, but I’m a little obsessed. I went into still shock when Rebecca Lowthorpe passed me at Erdem last season; best fashion writer ever). And all without a popstar poser in sight! Okay, I know that it may be fun and exciting to have Marina Diamond or Paloma Faith sit their buttocks on your front row, but there must be something about having this professional fash pack that makes your work feel truly respected.

Harold Tillman BFC at Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council. Photograph by Georgia Takacs.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-021

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-025

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-029

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-035

It’s been a treat to follow Michael’s journey since his initial sponsorship by BFC Newgen (OH those Newgen designers!) and his collage creations have always been seen as, well, a little bit mad (see Spring/Summer 2011). And his recent collaboration with equally mad Bjork (I love her) on her Biophilia project is clear patchwork evidence of this. Naturally, however, I have often found his designs so playful and daring that they’re often un-wearable. But with this collection? I wanted it all. And so, I imagine, did every other woman in the room. A bold statement, yes. But with a perfectly balanced Spring/Summer colour scheme, casual-luxe dressmaking and just the right amount of garish glamour, Michael was almost spot on.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-038

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-043

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-051

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-056

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-059

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-064

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-068

Michael Van Der Ham 2 by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

The collection’s appeal all lay in the casual, feminine dresses and pencil trouser/shirt combo that was all oh-so-embellished with colour and print upon a subtle mix of matte, jersey and sheer textures. That extra-long sentence made it all seem too much, I know. But there was absolutely nothing try-hard about this collection. There was no black floor-skimming dress in the finale (it’s done much too much) or crazed props sticking out of heads or hanging off models. It was straight-forward, good womenswear that still remained surprising and unpredictable as each look was revealed.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-083

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-088

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-095

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-096

And not forgetting the accessories, which were the type that, rather than giving a brief appreciative nod, were all-round oggleworthy; you just wanted to stare at them and look in closer at their bright, ornate detail. These bold, chunky-but-delicate pieces acted as an extension of the mismatched intricate print, as did the sequined colourful clutches (some of which had the overdone Chanel-esque chain straps that I’m no longer a fan of) which were carried by many of the models.

Michael Van Der Ham by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-102

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-105

Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Photograph by Georgia Takacs. All other photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-108

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-116

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-119

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-121

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-125

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-128

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-131

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-133

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-137

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-139

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-141
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Since his initial sponsorship from BFC’s Newgen, Michael van der Ham has grown up in leaps and bounds. There was a hype around him this season that has evolved from the previous ‘Keep an eye on him! He’s up-and-coming!’ to the sort that screams ‘I’m an established designer, showing my work at London Fashion Week; respect.’ And we do, Michael. We do.

Categories ,Alexandra Schulman, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,BFC, ,BFC Newgen, ,bjork, ,british fashion council, ,chanel, ,Collage Dresses, ,Elle, ,Erdem, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Hilary Alexander, ,jewellery, ,Joe Turvey, ,Joseph Turvey, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Louise Gray, ,Marina Diamond, ,Meadham Kirchhoff, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Newgen, ,Nicola Ellen, ,paloma faith, ,Prada, ,print, ,Rebecca Lowthorpe, ,Topshop Newgen, ,Topshop Venue, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London College of Fashion – Fashion Illustration Graduate Show 2011

Viet Tran dog LCF Showtime
Fashion illustration by Viet Tran.

Touring the fashion illustration talent exhibition at the London College of Fashion Showtime degree show necessitated a bit of a cat and mouse chase in order to take photos without detection by the overzealous security guards who were convinced I was up to no good. I have no idea why… I just want to introduce the world to some great new fashion illustration talents.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Rachel Wilkinson
London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Rachel Wilkinson
Rachel Wilkinson‘s decorative symmetrical illustrations were beautifully imagined… I just wish I could find her online!

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Deborah Jameson
Deborah Jameson had painted a large sheet with a characterful beauty portrait.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Emma Layland
Emma Layland had used some interesting print effects to create simple images with great hair/hat detailing.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Alison Naomi Tullett
For Alison Naomi Tullett it was all about the flamingos… painted on to a big banner. A quick glance at her website reveals that she is as enamoured of animals as she is of humans.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Philip Dunn
London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Philip Dunn
Philip Dunn used minimal brush strokes to idiosyncratic effect, advice creating individual and engaging fashion portraits. I do believe that second one is Maggie!

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Jingwen Sun
Jingwen Sun used simple swathes of watercolour to create a bold beauty portrait.

Cheryl Windahl LCF graduate showtime
Cheryl Windahl is a girl after my own heart – I loved her two decorative artworks, displayed opposite each other – each tiny detail covered in swathes of colour and pattern.

Kelly Anne Sheppard LCF Showtime
Kelly Anne Sheppard produced a diptych of fineline menswear. I thought I recognised her – she was one of the illustrators in residence for Fashion Scout last season alongside Amelia’s Magazine contributor Andy Bumpus.

Viet Tran LCF Showtime
Viet Tran favours the surreal – loved the dapper animals in costume and flying donkey surrounded by flowers, kittens and bunnies. Why not check out Viet Tran’s blog and Twitter feed?

And over here you can find my Fashion Photography and Styling review.

Categories ,2011, ,Ali Tullett, ,Alison Naomi Tullett, ,Andy Bumpus, ,animals, ,Cheryl Windahl, ,Deborah Jameson, ,Decorative, ,Degree Show, ,Emma Layland, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Fashion Scout, ,Flamingos, ,Graduate Shows, ,Jingwen Sun, ,Kelly Anne Sheppard, ,LCF, ,London College of Fashion, ,Maggie Thatcher, ,pattern, ,Philip Dunn, ,Rachel Wilkinson, ,Showtime, ,Victoria House, ,Viet Tran, ,watercolour

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Amelia’s Magazine | London College of Fashion – Fashion Illustration Graduate Show 2011

Viet Tran dog LCF Showtime
Fashion illustration by Viet Tran.

Touring the fashion illustration talent exhibition at the London College of Fashion Showtime degree show necessitated a bit of a cat and mouse chase in order to take photos without detection by the overzealous security guards who were convinced I was up to no good. I have no idea why… I just want to introduce the world to some great new fashion illustration talents.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Rachel Wilkinson
London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Rachel Wilkinson
Rachel Wilkinson‘s decorative symmetrical illustrations were beautifully imagined… I just wish I could find her online!

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Deborah Jameson
Deborah Jameson had painted a large sheet with a characterful beauty portrait.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Emma Layland
Emma Layland had used some interesting print effects to create simple images with great hair/hat detailing.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Alison Naomi Tullett
For Alison Naomi Tullett it was all about the flamingos… painted on to a big banner. A quick glance at her website reveals that she is as enamoured of animals as she is of humans.

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Philip Dunn
London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Philip Dunn
Philip Dunn used minimal brush strokes to idiosyncratic effect, creating individual and engaging fashion portraits. I do believe that second one is Maggie!

London College of Fashion degree show review 2011-Jingwen Sun
Jingwen Sun used simple swathes of watercolour to create a bold beauty portrait.

Cheryl Windahl LCF graduate showtime
Cheryl Windahl is a girl after my own heart – I loved her two decorative artworks, displayed opposite each other – each tiny detail covered in swathes of colour and pattern.

Kelly Anne Sheppard LCF Showtime
Kelly Anne Sheppard produced a diptych of fineline menswear. I thought I recognised her – she was one of the illustrators in residence for Fashion Scout last season alongside Amelia’s Magazine contributor Andy Bumpus.

Viet Tran LCF Showtime
Viet Tran favours the surreal – loved the dapper animals in costume and flying donkey surrounded by flowers, kittens and bunnies. Why not check out Viet Tran’s blog and Twitter feed?

And over here you can find my Fashion Photography and Styling review.

Categories ,2011, ,Ali Tullett, ,Alison Naomi Tullett, ,Andy Bumpus, ,animals, ,Cheryl Windahl, ,Deborah Jameson, ,Decorative, ,Degree Show, ,Emma Layland, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Fashion Scout, ,Flamingos, ,Graduate Shows, ,Jingwen Sun, ,Kelly Anne Sheppard, ,LCF, ,London College of Fashion, ,Maggie Thatcher, ,pattern, ,Philip Dunn, ,Rachel Wilkinson, ,Showtime, ,Victoria House, ,Viet Tran, ,watercolour

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Bryce Aime, Romina Karamanea, Iris Van Herpen

Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte
Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte

Time flies past and before you know it fashion week is but a rainy memory from sometime back in February. Gosh, unhealthy it rained a lot didn’t it? And now look at all this lovely sunshine, visit web it just ain’t fair. So here, in no particular order, I offer a round up of the first few shows on Saturday 20th February, to be followed shortly by the remaining ones. From Saturday that is. I’m going slow here. Bear with me.

Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte
Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte

Bryce Aime named his show Egyptology but I thought it owed more to medieval battle wear. Or perhaps a re-envisioned Egypt more familiar to movie-goers and more specifically fans of The Mummy franchise, where historical accuracy tends to go the way of a believable plotline – I guess the one begets the other. The show featured strong shouldered shapes, big ruched hips, brusque we-mean-business banded hair and zipped leggings: perfect gear for heading straight into war, (maybe) worn over purple digital catsuits that might feasibly offer camouflage on some colourful alien shores. Though I’m not sure that brocade and draped lamme in coppery red metallics would offer much protection. The body armoured theme reached its logical conclusion in the amazing transformer-like sculpted shapes of the final three costumes, the only ones displayed with pride at the entrance to the on/off exhibition. Stunnin’ they were.

Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte
Bryce Aime by Etiene Del Monte

I caught up with Bryce briefly over at Somerset House later in the week, where he fidgeted nervously as if either a) desperate for a cigarette or b) desperate to get away from me. In a thick Parisian accent he described how he originally came over here to work in bars and restaurants in 1998, before deciding he wanted to study fine art. But he didn’t reckon there would be any money in it, so instead he did fashion at Central St. Martins and graduated in 2005.

Romina Karamanea show
The Romina Karamanea queue – I was bored alright. I quite like the lady with a ghost leg.

With a biting cold wind whistling down New Oxford Street we waited in a long snaking queue, guaranteed to irritate the casual Saturday shoppers, to see the Romina Karamanea show in the Runway Nightclub. I really couldn’t work out if this name was for real! Is it? Anyone? We were eventually guided into a cramped venue with early-comers already perched on banquettes, only to be irritated as rows of people coalesced in front of them.

Romina Karamanea show
The Romina Karamanea show in the Runway Nightclub.

Here I had my first sighting of baby-leg woman, a young scenester with artfully arranged fashion-forward frizzed out asymmetric hair and tight plaits (and mulitple baby doll legs dangling off every her). Doing that usual thing of looking moody when asked to pose for a photo “what, me? really? dressed like this? quelle surprise!”, she then refused all requests to sit down so that the people behind her could see the show. I mean, c’mon now, how could she? Honestly people, she had some serious extracurricular cardboard hips going on there. Be fair now.

Baby-leg Girl
Baby-leg Girl (and sidekick)

Finally the models began to step slowly down the runway, pausing to pose dramatically below the lights and dangling crystals. It was dramatic fo’ sure but because most of the clothing was black leather and it was dark it was incredibly hard to make out the clothes. My notes read: draped leather, cutouts, tailoring, hoods, bell shapes, spiky ankle boots: the overall impression was severe. Not really my thing. Lighten up I say!

Romina Karamanea by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Romina Karamanea by Rachel De Ste. Croix
Romina Karamanea by Rachel De Ste. Croix

Romina Karamanea hairdo
A Romina Karamanea hairdo – snakey plaits a-go-go. Love it.

Romina Karamanea. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea by Rachel De Ste. Croix
Romina Karamanea by Rachel De Ste. Croix

Next stop, I found myself sitting next to stylist Tamara Cincik at the Iris Van Herpen show over in the Freemasons’ Hall. As we waited for the show to begin we gossiped about mutual friends and she commented on what an unfortunate name this designer has. Indeed. But she has trained with Alexander McQueen (god rest his soul) and so has a fabulous pedigree.

Iris Van Herpen by Kelly Smith
Iris Van Herpen by Kelly Smith
Iris Van Herpen by Kelly Smith

Now I am going to feel a little compromised saying this, but I absolutely loved this collection. Iris specialises in cutout leather sculptures that remind me of shimmering sea creatures, christmas trees (in a good way), otherworldly goddesses. There was lots of creamy flesh tones teamed once again with coppery metallics, curling and winding into utterly gorgeous concoctions. But it was also all leather. And whilst I will happily wear leather shoes because I think they’re pretty necessary for practicality and comfort, I am not sure how I feel about a clothing collection that is so reliant on an animal product, even one that is less obviously cruel and harmful than fur. Less obvious being the operative word. I feel a little more research coming on shortly… watch this space.

Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Iris Van Herpen. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Iris Van Herpen. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Baby-leg girl, ,Bryce Aime, ,catwalk, ,Crystals, ,Etiene Del Monte, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Iris Van Herpen, ,Kelly Smith, ,leather, ,metallics, ,onoff, ,Rachel De Ste. Croix, ,Romina Karamanea

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with legendary fashion illustrator David Downton

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, sickness and by far my favourite (no offence, healing contributors!) His loose, dosage visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most groundbreaking fashion and its most beautiful women. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How did you become a fashion illustrator?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr. Marten’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
Lacroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London; a long way from the world of fashion.

David will be giving a talk at the London College of Fashion on Thursday 9th December. Keep an eye on our listings section for details soon!

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King. All images courtesy of David Downton.

Categories ,Abraham Ganes, ,acrylics, ,Al Hirshfield, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Bob Peak, ,Boldini, ,Carmen, ,Cate Blanchett, ,chanel, ,couture, ,David Downton, ,Dior, ,Dita Von Teese, ,Dr. Martens, ,Erin O’ Connor, ,Euan Uglow, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Francis Bacon, ,Gaultier, ,gouache, ,Lacroix, ,Lady Amanda Harlech, ,Linda Evangelista, ,london, ,M&S, ,matisse, ,Mats Gustafsson, ,oil stick, ,Paloma Picasso, ,paris, ,picasso, ,Pourquoi Pas, ,René Bouché, ,Réne Gruau, ,Rotring ink, ,Tony Viramontes, ,Valentino, ,watercolour

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with legendary fashion illustrator David Downton

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, sickness and by far my favourite (no offence, healing contributors!) His loose, dosage visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most groundbreaking fashion and its most beautiful women. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How did you become a fashion illustrator?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr. Marten’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
Lacroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London; a long way from the world of fashion.

David will be giving a talk at the London College of Fashion on Thursday 9th December. Keep an eye on our listings section for details soon!

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King. All images courtesy of David Downton.

Categories ,Abraham Ganes, ,acrylics, ,Al Hirshfield, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Bob Peak, ,Boldini, ,Carmen, ,Cate Blanchett, ,chanel, ,couture, ,David Downton, ,Dior, ,Dita Von Teese, ,Dr. Martens, ,Erin O’ Connor, ,Euan Uglow, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Francis Bacon, ,Gaultier, ,gouache, ,Lacroix, ,Lady Amanda Harlech, ,Linda Evangelista, ,london, ,M&S, ,matisse, ,Mats Gustafsson, ,oil stick, ,Paloma Picasso, ,paris, ,picasso, ,Pourquoi Pas, ,René Bouché, ,Réne Gruau, ,Rotring ink, ,Tony Viramontes, ,Valentino, ,watercolour

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