Amelia’s Magazine | Sheena Matheiken’s The Uniform Project

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp
Can it really be a year since the last Glastonbury? In 2009, viagra sale more about for the first time, Climate Camp was given it’s very own space in the Dragon Field just above the Craft Field as you wend your way down to Shangri La. This year we’re back to once again educate and entertain festival goers at our beautiful site only a few minutes walk from the Old Railway Line.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp workshop
Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp paddling pool
Glastonbury-June-2009-First Aid Kit
Workshops, at play, and First Aid Kit playing at the Climate Camp Tripod Stage in 2009.

In 2010 Climate Camp is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been bailed out with £50 billion of public money that is now being used to finance the extraction of fossil fuels across the world, with no regard for climate change or the destruction of communities that it causes. We will be camping near the RBS global headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, between 19th-25th August, but in the meantime to find out more about why we decided to focus on RBS this year come along and take a look at our exhibition at Glastonbury, then pick up a copy of our Never Mind The Bankers newspaper to peruse over a cup of tea or share with friends. We will be running DIY screenprinting workshops where you can learn how to screenprint your clothing with an anti RBS slogan. Simply bring your own or print onto one of our tshirts or bags. A great activity for kids! There will also be a chance to take part in Tripod Training: Tripods are used to blockade and secure a space on a direct action protest; come find out how to put them up and climb them safely. Good fun, and no previous experience or skills required.

Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Tripod Training.

Then of course there is our fabulous music, poetry and comedy line up, put together by yours truly. Read on to find out who will be gracing our Tripod Stage…. Pyramid Stage eat your heart out, this is where the real talent is.

Green-Kite-Midnight
Green Kite Midnight.

When I wrote up about the Climate Camp presence at Glastonbury in 2009 in my blog I talked about my hope that my band Green Kite Midnight would be able to play as the Climate Camp house band in 2010, so I’m very excited to report that we will be doing daily gigs this year. Five years ago I co-founded the barndance troupe Cutashine out of a desire to make traditional collective dancing more fun: after all, what’s better than a dance where you get to meet other people and really work up a sweat?

YouTube Preview Image

With Cutashine I played at gigs all over Glastonbury for several years, then left to start Green Kite Midnight through my contacts in Climate Camp; a band that supports and plays at direct action protests. Our first gig was at the Climate Camp in Bishopsgate during the G20 in April last year, we played to 800 people at the Blackheath Climate Camp in August 2009, and more recently we went on a 10 day solidarity bike ride together to play gigs to support the struggle against the Shell gas pipeline at Rossport in Ireland. With myself as emcee (I’m a gobby shite, so turn your mind away from those boring barn dances you might have attended as a child) we can teach anyone how to barn dance, so please come and join us.

And now for the rest of our fabulous line-up:

anna log
Anna Log
My Luminaries
My Luminaries, photography by James Dean White.

On Thursday we kick off four days of renewably powered music with a fabulous folky female. Anna Log – singer with pop folk band We Aeronauts – will be doing a solo set accompanied by her trusty uke. After our first ceilidh Glastonbury Emerging Talent winners My Luminaries round the evening off with a special semi-acoustic set of their epic indie rock.

Kirsty Almeida
Kirsty Almeida
Danny and the Champions of the World
Danny and the Champions of the World

On Friday Kirsty Almeida opens for us with her bass heavy soulful Bayou blues, then we’re pleased to welcome the epic musical dreamscapes of Newislands, described as Pink Floyd meets Depeche Mode. After that it’s time for some other Climate Camp regulars, Danny Chivers, Claire Fauset and Merrick, to grace the stage with their “triple-headed tag team political poetry extravaganza”. They’re all friends of mine that I’ve seen perform before so I highly recommend their set, which will be repeated on Sunday afternoon. As a closer we have the country-tinged big band folk of Danny and the Champions of the World.

kyla la grange
Kyla la Grange
Patch William
Patch William
Dry the River
Dry the River

To kick the day off on Saturday we welcome an exclusive Glastonbury appearance from a talented newcomer with a stunning voice; Kyla La Grange creates soaring melodies and is nearing completion of her debut album. Then comes Patch William – the dreamy lovechild of Nick Drake and Jimi Hendrix, who are followed by the scuzzy rock sound of York boys The Federals, described as a cross between the White Stripes and The Beatles. Then, time for a very special guest. Following my interview with Robin Ince a few weeks he very kindly promised to come by and do us a *special secret set* which will be a must see for all comedy fans at the festival. Tell all your friends! And come on by for a very intimate set from this well known comedian. Dry the River end the day with their beautiful melodic folk, singing songs of religion, history and community to rival those of Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons.

Pete the Temp
Pete the Temp
Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

On Sunday we’ve got another packed day to end the festival. Pete the Temp returns to wow us with his comedic eco-political music and spoken word, then we look forward to hearing the bittersweet gospel blues of latecomer Pete Lawrie, who confirmed just as our flyer had gone to print. I am particularly pleased to welcome Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. the official moniker of singer songwriter Sam Duckworth. He will be showcasing music from his new album due for release later this year, and I’ve got a soft spot for him because he appeared in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine. Robinson will play a gypsy cajun folk set before we round off the festival with our GRAND RAFFLE. If you see our outreach team out and about please give generously to support Climate Camp and come along to our grand prize giving, which will be hosted by the inimitable Danny Chivers.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers
The Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers in 2009.

Don’t forget to follow myself and Climate Camp on twitter to find out how the festival is going; we can always live in hope that 3G reception will be better than it was last year! But most of all, don’t forget to come and visit us… and bring your friends along with you. I will of course write up a full report on my return. For a reminder of what to expect read my blog from last year here.

For a map and full timing information for all bands and workshops see this listings page.


Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

School’s almost out for summer. Soon blazers and ties will be ditched, adiposity with delight, cost for butterfly-bright bathers; and mortar boards tossed in glee at graduations everywhere. Uniforms may seem the antithesis of lazy, check hazy holidays and fantastic futures, but in cyberspace there’s one – albeit self-imposed – uniform showing us there’s a wealth of creativity to be found in the economical and ethical capsule wardrobe.  Will the Uniform Project please stand up!

May 1st 2010 saw the Uniform Project graduate with flying colours. An “exercise in sustainability”, in 2009, one Sheena Matheiken had pledged to wear one Little Black Dress, everyday for one year, for the Akanksha Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation educating kids in Indian slums.  Sheena and designer friend Eliza Starbuck, created a LBD which could be worn front, back, undone, for every season and all occasions. And for anyone wondering, “When did she wash the blighter?” she had seven all the same; adapting and accessorising with trinkets and treasures found on eBay, Etsy, or donated by ethical designers, like London’s own, Goodone – oh, and Sheena’s mother! 

Throughout its daily blog posts, the UP showed us how to put individual style into sustainable dress. From Day 1, “Albeit the rain and the swine”, in “classic black form”, through homage to Michael Jackson chic on Day 57, an Indian Independence Day sari ensemble, even an ‘evil sea sprite’ costume on Halloween – “Sprite seaweed and ocean foliage made entirely from UP accessory donors’ packaging material” – the UP proved there was more creativity to be had in one LBD than the whole Haus of Gaga. Well almost. 

In fact the LBD became the perfect backdrop for designers to display their wares.  Day 191 saw Sheena sporting a cape by Raffaele Ascione, “handcrafted from a satin overthrow blanket his grandmother used to own.” A Central Saint Martins student keen to raise funds to support his MA, Ascione’s designs have been donned by Lady Gaga herself, and in donating pieces to the UP he’s gained a web-wide audience eager to lap up his ethical ingenuity.  


Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With some 5,500 Twitter followers and even more Facebook fans the UP has created an on-line social network to be reckoned with. At a recent New York symposium, Sheena said some of the UP’s ideas, like LBD Fridays, where supporters, worldwide, wore their own LBD ‘uniforms’ in aid of the project, had come directly from the UP community. Philanthropy, she said, should be ‘fun’, “… it’s about engaging on an intimate level and creating awareness in a way that allows people to really be a part of the change you are instigating.” 

At the ‘end of term’ party the UP celebrated kitting out over 260 Indian children for school.  And in the true spirit of sustainable style its Head Girl, Sheena, graduated in a “ reclaimed, recycled, renovated and refashioned” LBD; signalling the future’s not just bright for the kids it has helped into education, but also for the UP itself. 

When Chanel declared the LBD  “the new uniform of modern women”, back in the 1920s, its simplicity symbolised freedom. Freedom from status anxiety and constrictive fashion – another uniform of sorts, only one we didn’t always knowingly sign up to. Perhaps because the perfect LBD is glorified as style’s holy grail the simplicity of its message is often lost amongst all-consuming fast fashion fads. But it’s this very simplicity which has made the UP so successful.  Thus the Uniform Project has proved to be a much needed less-on to us all, to “Aspire. Achieve. Be the change.” (Akanksha Foundation motto).  

Categories ,1920s, ,Akanksha Foundation, ,Central Saint Martins, ,chanel, ,ebay, ,Eliza Starbuck, ,etsy, ,Facebook, ,goodone, ,Hallowe’en, ,Helen Davis, ,India, ,Lady Gaga, ,LBD, ,Little Black Dress, ,london, ,Maryanne Oliver, ,Michael Jackson, ,new york, ,Philanthropy, ,Raffaele Ascione, ,Sheena Mathelken, ,sustainability, ,Sustainable Style, ,The Uniform Project, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Alex Noble

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, hospital but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, cialis 40mg gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” Not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, ambulance but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, medicine gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” Not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, shop but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, help gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, hospital performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, approved but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, more about gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, drug performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Alex Noble by Alia Gargum
Alex Noble Soft Death by Alia Gargum.

Alex Noble creates cross disciplinary creative projects under the umbrella name of Alex Noble studio and is represented by the uber cool Ella Dror PR. He’s worked for super stylist (and now creative director of Mugler) Nicola Formichetti on projects for Lady Gaga, site and on photo shoots for Ellen Von Unworth and Mario Testino amongst many others. For two years he helped create props for the windows in Selfridges… the list of his creative collaborations goes on and on.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

But for his Soft Death collection Alex Noble has decided to embrace the couture market with an anatomically themed first collection. Presented in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields, this was an ambitious installation of mannequins, live models and music courtesy of Hannah Holland.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Surrounded by industrial rubber piping that emulated intestines, beautiful light-as-lace pale yellow concoctions encrusted with beading swung from simple stands. A strange alien-esque mould of a rib cape lay on green netted surgical bedding, its crystallised spine glinting like a rare treasure.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

At the far end of the room three uncomfortable looking models displayed the designs on pedestals – presumably they had been there for awhile. One sported an appliqued skeleton suit which would make the most fabulous Halloween outfit, another had vein like patterns creeping across her body. But it was the bandaged ball gown that made the most impression on me – the model swaddled with tightly crossed strips of silken fabric that extended across her head and over one eye. The model was so pissed off with her lot that she could barely contain her annoyance, even while I took a photo.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s obvious why Alex Noble is so beloved of exhibitionistic pop stars like Gaga, but the delicate frailty of his gorgeous couture gowns could just as easily attract rich patrons of a less outrageous nature. But the rarefied world of couture is not an easy world to crack, so I will be intrigued to see what Alex Noble does next. Watch the video of his presentation by Cathal O’Brien here:

Categories ,Alex Noble, ,Alia Gargum, ,Cathal O’Brien, ,Ella Dror PR, ,Ellen Von Unworth, ,Hallowe’en, ,Hannah Holland, ,Lady Gaga, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mario Testino, ,Mugler, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Selfridges, ,Soft Death, ,St Martin in the Fields, ,The Crypt

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Amelia’s Magazine | Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits: a perfect idea for Mothering Sunday

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Okay, order so I know it’s Pancake Day, and International Women’s Day. But I want to talk about BISCUITS. And why not? Mothering Sunday is coming up this weekend and what better excuse to get baking. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to make biscuits at any time of the year, as you will discover if you get your paws on the fabulous Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. I promise you’ll be drooling before you’ve even opened the delicious front cover.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I discovered Biscuiteers a bit late for Valentines Day, but they kindly sent me a copy of their book, written by Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore. Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is the most divinely designed and photographed bible of biscuit goodness. And what I like is that it is very clearly a collaborative effort, with thanks to Victoria Sawdon – who not only art directed the book but illustrates all the Biscuiteers tins – mentioned alongside thanks to all the biscuit icers: Rina Wanti, Ceridwen Olofson and Belinda Chen. I want their skills!

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers was started with the aim of making biscuits that look as beautiful as they taste. They are launched in seasonal collections to match specific events, and are aimed at adults in high end stores such as Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. The Biscuiteers are proud to have built a business on old fashioned non-industrialised techniques and all the biscuits are still hand made and therefore individual. However, with the help of the Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits the common biscuit baker can give it a go ourselves.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is an extraordinarily beautiful book that features all the information you need to know to create the perfect dough and that all important icing, both royal and flooded. As well as easy to follow guides the book offers recommendations for how to package and post your biscuity creations. As you would expect it includes chapters on biscuits for a huge variety of occasions, from the biggies such as Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day (this weekend) and Easter, down to individual ideas such as New Baby biscuits – pastel bears and ducks – and garden themed biscuits. There are even some jokey cupcake biscuits, which says something about the enduring popularity of the cupcake, though I’d be happy to wager a bet on the biscuit take over.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I made some dodgy Valentines Day biscuits using an online recipe, but with the help of this book I hope very soon to be somewhat more skilled, and I bet your mum would love nothing more than a batch of beautiful home made biscuits for Mothering Sunday – even if they don’t turn out quite as perfectly as the ones in Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. Hey, it’s good to have something to aspire to!

Valentines biscuits
My feeble efforts…

You can buy the book on the Biscuiteers website. The book won Best Desserts Book UK and this month it goes into the international final for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, held in Paris. Well done! And well deserved.

Categories ,Belinda Chen, ,Best Desserts Book UK, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, ,Ceridwen Olofson, ,Christmas, ,Easter, ,Flooded Icing, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, ,Hallowe’en, ,Harriet Hastings, ,Harrods, ,International Women’s Day, ,liberty, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,New Baby, ,Pancake Day, ,Rina Wanti, ,Royal Icing, ,Sarah Moore, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Victoria Sawdon

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Amelia’s Magazine | Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits: a perfect idea for Mothering Sunday

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Okay, order so I know it’s Pancake Day, and International Women’s Day. But I want to talk about BISCUITS. And why not? Mothering Sunday is coming up this weekend and what better excuse to get baking. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to make biscuits at any time of the year, as you will discover if you get your paws on the fabulous Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. I promise you’ll be drooling before you’ve even opened the delicious front cover.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I discovered Biscuiteers a bit late for Valentines Day, but they kindly sent me a copy of their book, written by Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore. Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is the most divinely designed and photographed bible of biscuit goodness. And what I like is that it is very clearly a collaborative effort, with thanks to Victoria Sawdon – who not only art directed the book but illustrates all the Biscuiteers tins – mentioned alongside thanks to all the biscuit icers: Rina Wanti, Ceridwen Olofson and Belinda Chen. I want their skills!

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers was started with the aim of making biscuits that look as beautiful as they taste. They are launched in seasonal collections to match specific events, and are aimed at adults in high end stores such as Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. The Biscuiteers are proud to have built a business on old fashioned non-industrialised techniques and all the biscuits are still hand made and therefore individual. However, with the help of the Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits the common biscuit baker can give it a go ourselves.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is an extraordinarily beautiful book that features all the information you need to know to create the perfect dough and that all important icing, both royal and flooded. As well as easy to follow guides the book offers recommendations for how to package and post your biscuity creations. As you would expect it includes chapters on biscuits for a huge variety of occasions, from the biggies such as Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day (this weekend) and Easter, down to individual ideas such as New Baby biscuits – pastel bears and ducks – and garden themed biscuits. There are even some jokey cupcake biscuits, which says something about the enduring popularity of the cupcake, though I’d be happy to wager a bet on the biscuit take over.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I made some dodgy Valentines Day biscuits using an online recipe, but with the help of this book I hope very soon to be somewhat more skilled, and I bet your mum would love nothing more than a batch of beautiful home made biscuits for Mothering Sunday – even if they don’t turn out quite as perfectly as the ones in Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. Hey, it’s good to have something to aspire to!

Valentines biscuits
My feeble efforts…

You can buy the book on the Biscuiteers website. The book won Best Desserts Book UK and this month it goes into the international final for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, held in Paris. Well done! And well deserved.

Categories ,Belinda Chen, ,Best Desserts Book UK, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, ,Ceridwen Olofson, ,Christmas, ,Easter, ,Flooded Icing, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, ,Hallowe’en, ,Harriet Hastings, ,Harrods, ,International Women’s Day, ,liberty, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,New Baby, ,Pancake Day, ,Rina Wanti, ,Royal Icing, ,Sarah Moore, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Victoria Sawdon

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Amelia’s Magazine | Drawlloween Artist Discovery: James Mason Art

james-mason_drawlloween_pumpkin
Whenever I check out the Drawlloween hashtag I keep coming back to James Mason – a designer and illustrator based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. I love the way he has stuck to such a tight style and colour palette for his Halloween themed pictures, which look amazing viewed on instagram altogether.

james-mason_drawlloween_moon
james-mason_drawlloween_skeleton
james-mason_drawlloween_scarecrow
james-mason_drawlloween_creatureblacklagoon
james-mason_drawlloween_reaper
james-mason_drawlloween_mummy
james-mason_drawlloween_eyeball

Follow James Mason Art on instagram here and Facebook here.

Categories ,Bridgeport, ,Connecticut, ,Drawlloween, ,Drawlloween2016, ,Hallowe’en, ,illustration, ,James Mason Art

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Amelia’s Magazine | Drawlloween Artist Discovery: Lydia Jean Art

lydia-jean-art-drawlloween-2
And here’s my final Drawlloween 2016 discovery: Illustrator and dog enthusiast Lydia Jean created this cute series. I love the way she has settled on such a sparse colour palette, which works really well with her simple lines. She sells “Dope Illustrations Handmade with Love” on Etsy here, and I believe these images will be available as prints shortly.

Follow Lydia Jean on instagram, Facebook and twitter.

lydia-jean-art-drawlloween-1
lydia-jean-art-drawlloween-5
lydia-jean-art-drawlloween-4
lydia-jean-art-drawlloween-3

Categories ,Drawlloween, ,Drawlloween2016, ,etsy, ,Hallowe’en, ,illustration, ,Inktober, ,Lydia Jean Art

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Amelia’s Magazine | Drawlloween Artist Discovery: Mr. Walters of Nerfect Novelties

mr-walters-drawlloween-3
Well, Drawlloween 2016 has come to a close. Here is my “Trick ‘r Treat” piece.

It’s All Hallows’ Day and possibly my last Drawlloween discovery is the art of Mr. Walters of Nerfect Novelties, based out of Illinois in the USA. I can’t find out much about him, and the stuff he sells on Etsy seems quite different in flavour, but I just adore his painterly narrative pictures for Halloween. I think perhaps the stuff he writes to accompany his images describes his personality somewhat, and I love the way he presents them on a sparkly background. Oh, and all his artworks are for sale at just $40 each – contact him via social media to find out how you can buy one. Wonderful!

Follow Mr. Walters on instagram, Facebook and twitter.

mr-walters-drawlloween-4
According to the Drawlloween 2016 calendar, today was “Call of C’Thursday.” That of course, is a reference to the ancient one, Cthulhu. Happy C’Thursday, Cthulhu!

mr-walters-drawlloween-2
Today’s Mab’s Drawlloween Club assignment was “Cult Costume.” Luckily I’ve been designing the vestments for my new UFO space-love secret society.

mr-walters-drawlloween-5
What ho ol’ specter! It’s my “ghosts” piece for Mab’s Drawlloween Club.

mr-walters-drawlloween-1
‘Twas “Skulls & Skeletons” for Drawlloween 2016, so this appeared. I’ve found that I can’t play loosey-goosey with the singularity or plurality of an assignment title, thus the numerous skulls and skeletons.

Categories ,All Hallows’ Day, ,Drawlloween, ,etsy, ,Hallowe’en, ,hashtag, ,illustration, ,instagram, ,Mab’s Drawlloween Club, ,Mr Walters, ,Nerfect Novelties, ,Trick or Treat

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Amelia’s Magazine | Drawlloween Artist Discovery: Sam Dunn

black-cat-by-sam-dunn
Black Cat.

My next Drawlloween discovery is East London based artist Sam Dunn, represented by Blink Art. I totally love her Weenzine III which is a special fanzine she has created around the Drawlloween concept that comes with a lovely Trick or Treat patch and a pin. Want one! Order yours here.

vampire-by-sam-dunn
Vampire.

grave-by-sam-dunn
Grave.

mummy-by-sam-dunn
Mummy.

alien-by-sam-dunn
Alien.

About Sam Dunn:
She grew up in the northern town of Hartlepool and studied at Cleveland College of Art and Design, where she began creating Gig posters and T-shirts for both local and national bands. She continued to do this throughout her time at Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2011 with a first class honours in Graphic Design and Illustration. Now she designs for a huge range of clients which includes Adidas, Becks, Little White Lies, The British Heart Foundation and Women’s Aid.

weenzineiii_preview_sam-dunn
Weenzine III.

I found Sam Dunn on instagram, follow her here.

Categories ,Blink Art, ,Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, ,Cleveland College of Art and Design, ,Drawlloween, ,Drawlloween2016, ,Hallowe’en, ,Hartlepool, ,illustration, ,Sam Dunn, ,Spooky, ,Tattoo Art, ,Trick or Treat

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Amelia’s Magazine | Drawlloween Artist Discovery: Sonia Lazo

sonia-lazo-drawlloween-phantom-friday
Phantom Friday

Sonia Lazo hails from El Salvador and is the latest artist I have discovered via the Drawlloween hashtag on instagram. From an online interview with Adobe I have learned that she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist before deciding to pursue illustration, incorporating her love of nature and its relationship with the spirit world. She loves to showcase her process on instagram and Facebook and often incorporates animation into her colourful art.

sonia-lazo-drawlloween-superstition-sunday
Superstition Sunday

sonia-lazo-drawlloween-witchcraft-wednesday
Witchcraft Wednesday

sonia-lazo-drawlloween-slimy-swamps-foggy-bogs
Slimy Swamps, Foggy Bogs

sonia-lazo-drawlloween-baturday-dance-off
Baturday Dance Off

Sonia Lazo creates brilliant characters such as her mournful cat, sad because no one will take him in because he is bad luck on Superstition Sunday, or her bats competing in a dance off. Enjoy!

You can buy her art on Etsy here and follow her on Facebook at Sonia Lazo, where she posts wonderful videos of how she creates her work. Follow her on twitter here and instagram here. Read a fantastic interview here.

Categories ,Adobe, ,Drawlloween, ,Drawlloween2016, ,El Salvador, ,etsy, ,Hallowe’en, ,illustration, ,Sonia Lazo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Eat Your Heart Out & The Pretox Potion – The world’s first adults only cake shop!


WAH Nails, approved illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll have seen me banging on about Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican. I did a mammoth post about the exhibition last week; it’s one of my favourite fashion exhibitions ever, and I couldn’t wait to go back for a second look.

So I was delighted to attend the Beauty Party last Thursday. The name flooded my mind with images of middle-aged women guzzling Lambrini and exchanging salacious stories while passing underwear around a living room on a cul-de-sac somewhere in Huddersfield. The roster of participants was pretty alluring, though – Alex Box, Charlie le Mindu and WAH Nails to name a few.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I went to a Viktor & Rolf event like this a couple of years back and it isn’t the easiest thing to navigate – you have to seek out the various special events – they’re usually tucked away. In tiny rooms behind the exhibition itself, each of the aficionados of beauty had set up their wares. Nails, make-up and hair were covered. What exactly was I going to get anything out of this? I have very little hair, I bite my nails, and I rarely wear make-up. ‘This is for girls,’ I thought to myself. Well, here’s a little round-up of the night’s events:

Charlie le Mindu

I’d subconsciously blocked Charlie le Mindu out of my mind after fashion week’s debacle. I feel lucky to be alive after that display, and I thought I had at least six months to recover before braving his (what will undoubtedly be fabulous) show for A/W 2011. Thankfully there wasn’t an arse or tit (or, er, y’know – the other bit) insight this time.

Charlie had created, especially for the occasion, a sculptural creation from human hair that descended from the roof and featured a rider’s helmet with a huge, yellow horse tail that dropped to the ground. On its own, it was beautiful; hanging motionless from the ceiling, it looked like magic. Attendees were able to slip underneath the creation and have their photograph taken, with hilarious results… Some were too short, some were too tall, some just couldn’t make it balance on their heads, but oh, what fun!


Look, it’s Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


It’s Jenny, who isn’t an illustrator, but a friend nonetheless.

WAH Nails
I love how WAH Nails have single-handedly made nail art cool again. Their incredible designs have had so much press and attention since their debut in 2009. Most recently, they were part of the Eley Kishimoto Flash-On Week pop-up at the Shoreditch Studios, transforming nails with the iconic Flash pattern. Sadly, between the two of them, no matter how quickly the duo revamped nails it was clear the girls I’d gone with weren’t going to get a look in. The list to put your name on was full after fifteen minutes! Still, it was fascinating to watch the designs come to life.

Alex Box

Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen

I’ve been a fan of Alex’s for a while but I wasn’t sure what to make of a make-up demonstration. A world-famous make-up artist demonstrating her skills in make-up at the front of a cinema, for an hour and a half? Oh, go on then I thought – what’s the worst that can happen? It turns out it was one of the most mesmerising things I (and my pals) had ever seen. Resplendent in a vintage floor-sweeping red frock and fashion glasses that would make half of Shoreditch envious, Alex began creating the first look to the sound of haunting classical music. To see how quickly she works and how naturally it seems to flow was utterly hypnotising, and surprisingly relaxing. The first look was a Marie-Antoinette inspired ghostly creation, complete with a headpiece and fabrics that were added at the end – absolutely beautiful. The same poor model then had her face wiped before Look Two began – a more playful look with vibrant colours and jazzy fabrics. ‘Sometimes you have to go against the rules,’ relayed Alex, to a room full of gripped onlookers. A truly wonderful experience.

Illamasqua
Illamasqua’s team of make-up artists were on hand to provide makeovers. I couldn’t see much of what was going on here because a gaggle of excited teenage girls surrounded them in the hope of a dab of powder from one of these ‘world-famous’ experts. Nothing to see, here.

Of course amongst all this was a chance to see the incredible exhibition again, and it was equally as wonderful as the first time. I’d definitely recommend these evenings, and ooh look – there’s one tonight, starring Fred Butler amongst others!

See all the details here.


WAH Nails, prescription illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Unless you’ve been under a rock, what is ed you’ll have seen me banging on about Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican. I did a mammoth post about the exhibition last week; it’s one of my favourite fashion exhibitions ever, and I couldn’t wait to go back for a second look.

So I was delighted to attend the Beauty Party last Thursday. The name flooded my mind with images of middle-aged women guzzling Lambrini and exchanging salacious stories while passing underwear around a living room on a cul-de-sac somewhere in Huddersfield. The roster of participants was pretty alluring, though – Alex Box, Charlie le Mindu and WAH Nails to name a few.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I went to a Viktor & Rolf event like this a couple of years back and it isn’t the easiest thing to navigate – you have to seek out the various special events – they’re usually tucked away. In tiny rooms behind the exhibition itself, each of the aficionados of beauty had set up their wares. Nails, make-up and hair were covered. What exactly was I going to get anything out of this? I have very little hair, I bite my nails, and I rarely wear make-up. ‘This is for girls,’ I thought to myself. Well, here’s a little round-up of the night’s events:

Charlie le Mindu

I’d subconsciously blocked Charlie le Mindu out of my mind after fashion week’s debacle. I feel lucky to be alive after that display, and I thought I had at least six months to recover before braving his (what will undoubtedly be fabulous) show for A/W 2011. Thankfully there wasn’t an arse or tit (or, er, y’know – the other bit) insight this time.

Charlie had created, especially for the occasion, a sculptural creation from human hair that descended from the roof and featured a rider’s helmet with a huge, yellow horse tail that dropped to the ground. On its own, it was beautiful; hanging motionless from the ceiling, it looked like magic. Attendees were able to slip underneath the creation and have their photograph taken, with hilarious results… Some were too short, some were too tall, some just couldn’t make it balance on their heads, but oh, what fun!


Look, it’s Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


It’s Jenny, who isn’t an illustrator, but a friend nonetheless.

WAH Nails

I love how WAH Nails have single-handedly made nail art cool again. Their incredible designs have had so much press and attention since their debut in 2009. Most recently, they were part of the Eley Kishimoto Flash-On Week pop-up at the Shoreditch Studios, transforming nails with the iconic Flash pattern. Sadly, between the two of them, no matter how quickly the duo revamped nails it was clear the girls I’d gone with weren’t going to get a look in. The list to put your name on was full after fifteen minutes!

Still, it was fascinating to watch the designs come to life.

Alex Box

Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen

I’ve been a fan of Alex’s for a while but I wasn’t sure what to make of a make-up demonstration. A world-famous make-up artist demonstrating her skills in make-up at the front of a cinema, for an hour and a half? Oh, go on then I thought – what’s the worst that can happen? It turns out it was one of the most mesmerising things I (and my pals) had ever seen. Resplendent in a vintage floor-sweeping red frock and fashion glasses that would make half of Shoreditch envious, Alex began creating the first look to the sound of haunting classical music.

To see how quickly she works and how naturally it seems to flow was utterly hypnotising, and surprisingly relaxing. The first look was a Marie-Antoinette inspired ghostly creation, complete with a headpiece and fabrics that were added at the end – absolutely beautiful.

The same poor model then had her face wiped before Look Two began – a more playful look with vibrant colours and jazzy fabrics. ‘Sometimes you have to go against the rules,’ relayed Alex, to a room full of gripped onlookers. A truly wonderful experience.

Illamasqua

Illamasqua‘s team of make-up artists were on hand to provide makeovers. I couldn’t see much of what was going on here because a gaggle of excited teenage girls surrounded them in the hope of a dab of powder from one of these ‘world-famous’ experts. Nothing to see, here.

Of course amongst all this was a chance to see the incredible exhibition again, and it was equally as wonderful as the first time. I’d definitely recommend these evenings, and ooh look – there’s one tonight, starring Fred Butler amongst others!

See all the details here.


WAH Nails, patient illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll have seen me banging on about Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican. I did a mammoth post about the exhibition last week; it’s one of my favourite fashion exhibitions ever, and I couldn’t wait to go back for a second look.

So I was delighted to attend the Beauty Party last Thursday. The name flooded my mind with images of middle-aged women guzzling Lambrini and exchanging salacious stories while passing underwear around a living room on a cul-de-sac somewhere in Huddersfield. The roster of participants was pretty alluring, though – Alex Box, Charlie le Mindu and WAH Nails to name a few.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I went to a Viktor & Rolf event like this a couple of years back and it isn’t the easiest thing to navigate – you have to seek out the various special events – they’re usually tucked away. In tiny rooms behind the exhibition itself, each of the aficionados of beauty had set up their wares. Nails, make-up and hair were covered. What exactly was I going to get anything out of this? I have very little hair, I bite my nails, and I rarely wear make-up. ‘This is for girls,’ I thought to myself. Well, here’s a little round-up of the night’s events:

Charlie le Mindu

Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

I’d subconsciously blocked Charlie le Mindu out of my mind after fashion week’s debacle. I feel lucky to be alive after that display, and I thought I had at least six months to recover before braving his (what will undoubtedly be fabulous) show for A/W 2011. Thankfully there wasn’t an arse or tit (or, er, y’know – the other bit) insight this time.

Charlie had created, especially for the occasion, a sculptural creation from human hair that descended from the roof and featured a rider’s helmet with a huge, yellow horse tail that dropped to the ground. On its own, it was beautiful; hanging motionless from the ceiling, it looked like magic. Attendees were able to slip underneath the creation and have their photograph taken, with hilarious results… Some were too short, some were too tall, some just couldn’t make it balance on their heads, but oh, what fun!


Look, it’s Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


It’s Jenny, who isn’t an illustrator, but a friend nonetheless.

WAH Nails

I love how WAH Nails have single-handedly made nail art cool again. Their incredible designs have had so much press and attention since their debut in 2009. Most recently, they were part of the Eley Kishimoto Flash-On Week pop-up at the Shoreditch Studios, transforming nails with the iconic Flash pattern. Sadly, between the two of them, no matter how quickly the duo revamped nails it was clear the girls I’d gone with weren’t going to get a look in. The list to put your name on was full after fifteen minutes!

Still, it was fascinating to watch the designs come to life.

Alex Box

Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen

I’ve been a fan of Alex’s for a while but I wasn’t sure what to make of a make-up demonstration. A world-famous make-up artist demonstrating her skills in make-up at the front of a cinema, for an hour and a half? Oh, go on then I thought – what’s the worst that can happen? It turns out it was one of the most mesmerising things I (and my pals) had ever seen. Resplendent in a vintage floor-sweeping red frock and fashion glasses that would make half of Shoreditch envious, Alex began creating the first look to the sound of haunting classical music.

To see how quickly she works and how naturally it seems to flow was utterly hypnotising, and surprisingly relaxing. The first look was a Marie-Antoinette inspired ghostly creation, complete with a headpiece and fabrics that were added at the end – absolutely beautiful.

The same poor model then had her face wiped before Look Two began – a more playful look with vibrant colours and jazzy fabrics. ‘Sometimes you have to go against the rules,’ relayed Alex, to a room full of gripped onlookers. A truly wonderful experience.

Illamasqua

Illamasqua‘s team of make-up artists were on hand to provide makeovers. I couldn’t see much of what was going on here because a gaggle of excited teenage girls surrounded them in the hope of a dab of powder from one of these ‘world-famous’ experts. Nothing to see, here.

Of course amongst all this was a chance to see the incredible exhibition again, and it was equally as wonderful as the first time. I’d definitely recommend these evenings, and ooh look – there’s one tonight, starring Fred Butler amongst others!

See all the details here.


WAH Nails, adiposity illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll have seen me banging on about Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican. I did a mammoth post about the exhibition last week; it’s one of my favourite fashion exhibitions ever, and I couldn’t wait to go back for a second look.

So I was delighted to attend the Beauty Party last Thursday. The name flooded my mind with images of middle-aged women guzzling Lambrini and exchanging salacious stories while passing underwear around a living room on a cul-de-sac somewhere in Huddersfield. The roster of participants was pretty alluring, though – Alex Box, Charlie le Mindu and WAH Nails to name a few.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I went to a Viktor & Rolf event like this a couple of years back and it isn’t the easiest thing to navigate – you have to seek out the various special events – they’re usually tucked away. In tiny rooms behind the exhibition itself, each of the aficionados of beauty had set up their wares. Nails, make-up and hair were covered. What exactly was I going to get anything out of this? I have very little hair, I bite my nails, and I rarely wear make-up. ‘This is for girls,’ I thought to myself. Well, here’s a little round-up of the night’s events:

Charlie le Mindu

Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

I’d subconsciously blocked Charlie le Mindu out of my mind after fashion week’s debacle. I feel lucky to be alive after that display, and I thought I had at least six months to recover before braving his (what will undoubtedly be fabulous) show for A/W 2011. Thankfully there wasn’t an arse or tit (or, er, y’know – the other bit) insight this time.

Charlie had created, especially for the occasion, a sculptural creation from human hair that descended from the roof and featured a rider’s helmet with a huge, yellow horse tail that dropped to the ground. On its own, it was beautiful; hanging motionless from the ceiling, it looked like magic. Attendees were able to slip underneath the creation and have their photograph taken, with hilarious results… Some were too short, some were too tall, some just couldn’t make it balance on their heads, but oh, what fun!


Look, it’s Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


It’s Jenny, who isn’t an illustrator, but a friend nonetheless.

WAH Nails

I love how WAH Nails have single-handedly made nail art cool again. Their incredible designs have had so much press and attention since their debut in 2009. Most recently, they were part of the Eley Kishimoto Flash-On Week pop-up at the Shoreditch Studios, transforming nails with the iconic Flash pattern. Sadly, between the two of them, no matter how quickly the duo revamped nails it was clear the girls I’d gone with weren’t going to get a look in. The list to put your name on was full after fifteen minutes!

Still, it was fascinating to watch the designs come to life.

Alex Box

Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen

I’ve been a fan of Alex’s for a while but I wasn’t sure what to make of a make-up demonstration. A world-famous make-up artist demonstrating her skills in make-up at the front of a cinema, for an hour and a half? Oh, go on then I thought – what’s the worst that can happen? It turns out it was one of the most mesmerising things I (and my pals) had ever seen. Resplendent in a vintage floor-sweeping red frock and fashion glasses that would make half of Shoreditch envious, Alex began creating the first look to the sound of haunting classical music.

To see how quickly she works and how naturally it seems to flow was utterly hypnotising, and surprisingly relaxing. The first look was a Marie-Antoinette inspired ghostly creation, complete with a headpiece and fabrics that were added at the end – absolutely beautiful.

The same poor model then had her face wiped before Look Two began – a more playful look with vibrant colours and jazzy fabrics. ‘Sometimes you have to go against the rules,’ relayed Alex, to a room full of gripped onlookers. A truly wonderful experience.

Illamasqua

Illamasqua‘s team of make-up artists were on hand to provide makeovers. I couldn’t see much of what was going on here because a gaggle of excited teenage girls surrounded them in the hope of a dab of powder from one of these ‘world-famous’ experts. Nothing to see, here.

Of course amongst all this was a chance to see the incredible exhibition again, and it was equally as wonderful as the first time. I’d definitely recommend these evenings, and ooh look – there’s one tonight, starring Fred Butler amongst others!

See all the details here.


All photography by Matt Bramford

When Ellen from The Real Runway emailed me to ask if I’d like to go to an erotic/spooky cake launch, abortion it took me about 4 seconds to answer. Eroticism? Cakes? Yes please!

The launch of The Evil Cake Shop was at the Maiden shop on Shoreditch High Street, It’s a grand little shop and the perfect place to dash into if you need a last minute gift (which I all too regularly do).

The queue stretched all along the pavement outside, and we were informed by people dressed in suggestive Halloween costumes that the basement, where the launch was, only held about ten people. I was absolutely baffled, but in the meantime, said folks walked up and down the line with cans of Alibi to keep our lips moist and a taster of some of the cupcakes. We missed the first batch, which featured a syringe stuck in the top containing absinthe. Dammit! However, what we did get was even better.

Cue ‘Two Girls, One Cupcake’ – a chocolate treat inspired by that video, featuring a huge dollop of edible faeces-looking icing on top. Well it was so incredible that I had to fight the urge to jump up and down. Two Girls, One Cupcake! Bahahaha!

The Evil Cake Shop is the brainchild of Miss Cakehead, purveyor of perverse cakes including vaginas with teeth. You heard me! You have to check out the website, which features an incredible shoot by Nathan Pask and costumes by Prangsta, who we featured recently. The idea behind the shop is to bring together these extraordinary cake-bakers, potion-makers and confectionary creators for an extra special Halloween treat. Inside, in the window, appeared these fab roadkill and dead-girl-in-bath cakes:

‘Is that CAKE?!’ we cried. Well, it is, believe it or not.

Downstairs, the dark dungeon glowed with red lights and was a showcase of the rest of the fabulous cakes on offer – all of which are infused with Alibi‘s pretox goodness. The ‘dungeon’ is absolutely tiny and actually did only hold about ten people – pretty tricky to navigate, particularly as everything was so exciting to look at.


Cookies by Alice Rose


‘The naughtiest vegan cakes in town’ by Ms. Cupcake


Cakes by Holly & The Icing

Models were banished behind bars in Halloween costumes – a little bit awkward considering the tiny space, but fun nonetheless.

When you’d viewed all the cakes, a PVC-clad dominatrix gave you a cupcake and sent you on your way. I got a lime-flavoured ‘phlegm’ cake (above) described on the menu as follows:

Phlegm is a viscous liquid secreted by mucous membranes of mammalians. How about having some in a cupcake? Lime-infused cupcake with a hearty heaping of gob’. It was delicious.


Cakes by Jen Wong, featuring lists like ‘Buy chainsaw’ and ‘Kill somebody’


My personal favourites. Clockwise from top left: a penis, a vagina, a pierced nipple, a wound, zits and an eyeball. More works of art than cakes, designed by Holly Andrews


Spoky fingers by The Curious Confectioner

The cake shop is open to the public from today until Sunday only. They’re flogging 666 cakes per day, and when they run out, it closes, so get down there early – you won’t be disappointed.

PVC onesie optional. Happy Halloween!

Categories ,2 Girls 1 Cup, ,666, ,Alibi, ,Cake, ,Cakey Pigg, ,Cupcake, ,Ellie’s Cakes, ,eroticism, ,Hallowe’en, ,Holly & The Icing, ,Holly Andrews, ,Jen Wong, ,Maiden, ,Miss Cakehead, ,Ms Cupcake, ,Nathan Pask, ,Naughty, ,Prangsta, ,Pretox, ,PVC, ,shoreditch, ,The Curious Confectioner, ,The Evil Cake Shop

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