Amelia’s Magazine | Roland Mouret in conversation with Colin McDowell at Selfridges

Roland Mouret by Yasmeen Ismail
Roland Mouret by Yasmeen Ismail.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what a hellish place Oxford Street is when you’re in a rush. Last Thursday, viagra having legged it home from work to change (what, click did you think I was going turn up in front of not one, but two living fashion legends in my standard office attire?) I had to dash out of Bond Street tube station, dodge hordes of dawdling tourists and run up three escalators to find I’d missed the first five minutes of the event. I was at Selfridges to watch fashion journalist Colin McDowell interviewing designer Roland Mouret in front of an audience of about 50 people. I needn’t have worried about my tardiness though. The next forty-five minutes were a fashion writer’s dream come true – Mouret’s wonderfully Gallic way with words elicited more truisms, maxims and aphorisms than a whole fashion week’s worth of backstage interviews. And, of course, a few clichés too, but I won’t begrudge him that.

Scarlett Johansson in Roland Mouret By Melissa Kime
Scarlett Johansson in Roland Mouret by Melissa Kime.

Straight off the bat, French-born Mouret reminisced dreamily about how the first shop he worked in was ‘like a window to the rest of the world,’ because it allowed him to observe people and what they wore close up. This was not some glamorous Parisian boutique, though; it was his parent’s butchers shop. Which prompted McDowell to ask what Mouret thought of dress made of meat that Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards. According to Mouret, Gaga is an artist whose genius borders on madness – ‘maybe it’s because inside she is as raw as the meat she was wearing’ he deadpanned – and he doesn’t envy that level of fame: ‘I’m really lucky that my dresses are more famous than me.’ But Mouret isn’t precious about how his customer chooses to dress, nor does the designer long for a return to the time of formality when gloves, hats and matching shoes were de rigueur for women. ‘It’s so easy to find the past quite charming and quite romantic but I find life more interesting now. I love to see what women want to buy from me and mix with other designers’

Roland Mouret's Galaxy Dress by Lou Taylor
Roland Mouret’s Galaxy Dress by Lou Taylor.

Roland Mouret started his design career late in life by today’s standards. ‘I was 36 and I said to myself, if at 40 I’m not making clothes I’m going to be a bitter bastard.’ Now a full-time London resident, he first came to England in the eighties and co-owned a nightclub for a time. Attracted by the counter-culture of Soho, he saw London as the ‘other side of the mirror’ to tasteful, Chanel-worshiping France. With no formal fashion design training, Mouret funded his own first ‘demi-couture’ collection, his definition of that being ‘when someone who doesn’t know how to make clothes tries to make some clothes and pretend they are couture.’ £2000 paid for all the fabric, production and the final show, but he had to cut corners at times, for instance using his own bed sheets to cut patterns until a friend told him that he should be using calico. ‘That winter I was producing the clothes myself on a manual sewing machine. The needle went through my finger so many times and I was bleeding on the clothes and I thought ‘it’s so conceptual, my DNA is on the clothes!’’

Scarlett Johansson Rouland Mouret Dress by Claire Kearns
Scarlett Johansson in a Rouland Mouret Dress by Claire Kearns.

Mouret concentrated on dresses simply because he didn’t know how construct anything more complicated. ‘I used hatpins instead of safety pins, but the first time someone wore [one of my dresses] when she came out of the car she had her arse to the public. So I had to learn how to make a zip.’

Seven years later it was those early dresses that inspired the watershed moment in Roland Mouret’s career, bringing him international fame and credibility. ‘I said to my team, I want to go back to the first dress, the dress that I never finished. And I had just met two women in my life, and I realised that I didn’t have anything for them in my collection.’ Those two women happened to be Dita von Teese and Scarlett Johansson. So, in 2005, the tight, sexy, cinch-waisted Galaxy Dress was born. Adopted as red carpet uniform by A-listers on both sides of the Atlantic, a million high street copies were spawned and the dress gained modern classic status almost instantly. The genius of the Galaxy was that it showed off an hourglass figure perfectly, but also gave the illusion of an hourglass shape on even someone as skinny as Victoria Beckham, who became a close friend of Mouret’s.

roland_mouret_dita_von_tease_soni_speight
Dita von Teese in Roland Mouret by Soni Speight.

That friendship proved to be instrumental in Mouret’s career. Amidst all the success and adulation Mouret split from his business partner, came close to bankruptcy and lost the right to sell his designs under the Roland Mouret moniker. It was at that point that Beckham introduced the designer to former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, who became Mouret’s new business partner. In 2010 they bought back the Roland Mouret name, a feat few designers in the same situation have managed.

GALAXY & DNA DRESS BY CHRIS RODWELL
The Galaxy dress by Chris Rodwell.

The Roland Mouret brand is still growing. A stand-alone shop at 8 Carlos Place in Mayfair opened in January this year and his first menswear collection launches for spring 2012. The latter came about when Mouret realised that at 46-years-old ‘there was nothing was on the market for me.’ Does his design philosophy differ for menswear? The importance of men and women dressing for each other is not lost on Mouret, but it’s the motivation that differs with mens clothing. ‘Men would love to undress the woman I dress and women would like to borrow an outfit from the man I dress,’ he told McDowell. Either way, Mouret loves to see his designs translated into real life. ‘With my new space in London, when [customers] come and try an outfit it’s so fantastic for me to be a part of their life through that outfit.’

London has served the designer well, and created that rare thing, a Frenchman who recognizes that the French have a tendency towards arrogance: ‘I still argue with people when I go back to France and they think they’re the best.’ I came away from the interview liking Roland Mouret, and not just because he’s a veritable sound bite machine. He’s got a blend of self-awareness and measured self-confidence that’s quite unique in the ego-driven fashion industry. If you ask me, he deserves nothing but credit for the hard work and raw talent that has taken him from the butcher’s shop to the stars.

Categories ,8 Carlos Place, ,Chris Rodwell, ,Claire Kearns, ,Colin McDowell, ,Demi-Couture, ,Dita Von Teese, ,Dress made of meat, ,french, ,Galaxy Dress, ,Ickleson, ,Lady Gaga, ,london, ,Lou Taylor, ,Mayfair, ,Meat Dress, ,Melissa Kime, ,MTV Music Video Awards, ,paris, ,Roland Mouret, ,Scarlett Johansson, ,Selfridges, ,Simon Fuller, ,Soni Speight, ,Victoria Beckham, ,Yasmeen Ismail

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour closes at Tatty Devine in Brick Lane

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane Biscuiteers

Okay, hospital I admit it, more about it’s taken me over three weeks to get around to writing about my final date on the ACOFI Book Tour… but it was all part of my cunning plan to let you all forget about it and then bring it up all over again! Plus, let’s be honest, I had some pretty darn great coverage around the time of the event. For example this beautiful blog by Alia Gargum, who describes how the process for working for me as a contributor to Amelia’s Magazine has helped her to develop as an illustrator. It’s really nice to get this kind of feedback as I work devilishly hard to promote up and coming creatives and it doesn’t exactly earn me much of a living.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A few ACOFI contributors also came along for the night – read lovely blogs by Emma Block (who has just graduated from Middlesex University with a first) and Gareth A Hopkins. Emily of Tatty Devine also did a round up, as did Mistry of Habs, Ickleson and Katie of The Young Creatives. Spoilt really! And they wrote theirs a lot faster than me… In the intervening weeks time just seems to have flown past and as the graduate shows have piled up I’ve let it slip and slip…

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma Block
Emma Block.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Alia Gargum
Alia Gargum.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Gareth A Hopkins
Gareth A Hopkins – pretending that the camera is not really there. I’m not fooled.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emily
Emily Prichard of Tatty Devine helping out on the door.

Plus I just knew that this blog would become a bit of biscuit porn fest (in a good way). You have been warned.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassieTatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassieTatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

The last date on my ACOFI Book Tour was held on Tuesday 7th June at the Brick Lane branch of Tatty Devine and it was a homecoming of sorts… mere minutes from my house. I had expected it to be a busy night but I was really quite overwhelmed by the amount of people who turned up: creatives of every age, stage of career and creative discipline, not just illustrators – although it was wonderful to meet so many contributors to Amelia’s Magazine who I speak to regularly by email.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Colourful icing ready to pipe onto biscuits.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassie
Cassie Merrick of the Biscuiteers with her assistant Lou Newton.

Cassie and Lou had laid out a wonderful Biscuiteers display on the counter by the time of my (as usual) frantic arrival: a delightful carpet of pretty biscuits – tiny iced gem tasters in a rainbow of colours and plenty of half iced biscuits on which guests were invited to pipe their own designs. It took awhile for people to warm to the idea, but once we got going there was no stopping us. Even my boyfriend had a go! (and he wasn’t the only boy who stepped up to the mark)

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

Biscuiteers biscuits come in yummy vanilla and chocolate flavours but it is the handmade decoration that makes them so special. They have a rotating team of trained icers, and Emma Block (having met them at my event) will be joining them as a freelancer this summer. What a great part time job – where can I sign up?! In the meantime Biscuiteers will be helping out with the Letter Lounge event at Tatty Devine Covent Garden on Wednesday 6th July, a result of meeting up on the ACOFI Book Tour.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Sonja
Sonja from Tatty Devine welcomes a visitor to the shop.

It was also lovely to meet Richard Watson, who is the maestro behind Juiceology, the new juice brand that has been supporting all ACOFI Book Tour dates. He’d brought along some updated flavours for us to try in slightly bigger bottles of the type preferred by bars. I really couldn’t have hoped for a better sponsor, and it’s nice to know that the ACOFI Book Tour has enabled yet more introductions – Juiceology recently sponsored the Andy Smith solo show at Soma Gallery, which I visited a month ago.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Richard Watson Juiceology
Richard Watson of Juiceology.

I’ve started to see Juiceology for sale in boutique sandwich shops, so make sure you check them out next time you see them on the shelf – I can’t recommend them highly enough. Richard has some other flavours in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to trying his next flavour soon.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Lahloo TeaACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Lahloo Tea
Lahloo Tea once again provided some delicious peppermint and earl grey tea for the event, which was served to guests in dainty china cups.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Heather Stanton
And of course no event would be complete without some samples of Dr. Hauschka products. This time Heather Stanton of Dr.Hauschka was actually able to make it along and join in the fun with her hubby Will. It was lovely to catch up with her.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011

Once everyone had had ample time to meet, mingle, share work and decorate a Biscuiteers biscuit I invited everyone to gather around and stood with my computer held aloft on my shoulder to give the talk. Having done the spiel five times already I raced through it even faster than I have done in the past – mostly because I was aware that everyone was squished into the shop, all standing, and I felt pretty bad about that. I think everyone enjoyed it though.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Amelia Gregory

Amongst the many Amelia’s Magazine contributors who came along to the event were these lovely illustrators:

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Kristina Vasiljeva
Kristina Vasiljeva has just finished her FdA illustration course at Camberwell. She has been contributing some wonderful fashion illustrations to the magazine.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Hannah Simpson was recently awarded a prize at the V&A illustration awards. Here she is icing biscuits with Kristina.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Helena Maratheftis
Illustrator Helena Maratheftis also posted some photos of the event.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Naomi Law and Matt Bramford
Naomi Law is of course featured in ACOFI, here with her old chum, my ex fashion editor Matt Bramford.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Soni Speight, aka IcklesonACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Soni Speight, aka Ickleson
Soni Speight, aka Ickleson showed us her wonderful business cards.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Lou Cloud
Lou Cloud and her boyfriend.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Katie Byrne Emma Block
Other guests included Katie Byrne of The Young Creatives with her friend Emma Block, who showed us through some loose collage bits in her portfolio.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma BlockACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma Block
Emma Block’s delicate collage work.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Alia Gargum
Alia Gargum and a friend enjoy a nice cup of Lahloo tea.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-plastic seconds
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Maria Gareth and Alia
Maria Papadimitriou of Slowly the Eggs came along again (she also came to the first Tatty Devine event) this time sporting yet another amazing Plastic Seconds necklace (here with Gareth and Alia). Maria even went to the trouble of doing another write up on her blog. What a star!

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Gareth a Hopkins
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-The Intercorstal: Valentine
New work by Gareth A Hopkins – The Intercorstal: Valentine.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Karen
I first met Karen from Stepney City Farm on my twitter feed. Since meeting Gareth and Alia at my event they have helped to create artwork for the Paul Foot Farm Favourite Jigsaw Puzzle East End Weekend which is taking place at the farm on the 9th-10th July to raise much needed funds. You can see their wonderful artwork on Paul Foot’s website.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Agnes Bataclan Melinda Barbi
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011- Melinda Barbi Sara Lofwander
Other attendees included Melinda Barbi, an LCF Fashion Photography student who came along with Sara Lofwander and Agnes Bataclan in advance of my lecturing visit to the London College of Fashion. Inspired by the ACOFI event they made me cookies and cake for my visit, which was MUCH appreciated.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Siobhan of Flamingo Magazine
It was nice to see Siobhan Leddy of Flamingo Magazine – with whom I did an interview awhile back.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Susannah Cartwright
Susannah Cartwright is a textile designer who is taking part in The Stinging Netil Art Mart on Sunday 10th July in the Netil House car park. Why not check it out?

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Harriet Vine
Tatty Devine’s Harriet Vine.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Cari Steel Emma Crosby
My former music editor Cari Steel popped in briefly and I made her pose with sales agent Emma Crosby like they’ve known each other forever. Convincing no?

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011

Don’t forget that you can buy Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration on my website or from all good retailers (including Amazon) – please do buy the book and support the wealth of talent within. And that, my friends, is the ACOFI Book Tour done and dusted…

Categories ,ACOFI, ,ACOFI Book Tour, ,Agnes Bataclan, ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andy Smith, ,Biscuiteers, ,Book Tour, ,Cari Steel, ,Cassie Merrick, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Emma Block, ,Emma Crosby, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Flamingo Magazine, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hannah Simpson, ,Harriet Vine, ,Heather Stanton, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Ickleson, ,Juiceology, ,Katie Byrne, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Lahloo Tea, ,Letter Lounge, ,London College of Fashion, ,Lou Cloud, ,Lou Newton, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Matt Bramford, ,Melinda Barbi, ,Naomi Law, ,Netil House, ,Paul Foot, ,Plastic Seconds, ,Richard Watson, ,Sara Lofwander, ,Siobhan Leddy, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Soma Gallery, ,Soni Speight, ,Stepney City Farm, ,Susannah Cartwright, ,Tatty Devine, ,The Stinging Netil Art Mart, ,The Young Creatives

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour closes at Tatty Devine in Brick Lane

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane Biscuiteers

Okay, I admit it, it’s taken me over three weeks to get around to writing about my final date on the ACOFI Book Tour… but it was all part of my cunning plan to let you all forget about it and then bring it up all over again! Plus, let’s be honest, I had some pretty darn great coverage around the time of the event. For example this beautiful blog by Alia Gargum, who describes how the process for working for me as a contributor to Amelia’s Magazine has helped her to develop as an illustrator. It’s really nice to get this kind of feedback as I work devilishly hard to promote up and coming creatives and it doesn’t exactly earn me much of a living.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A few ACOFI contributors also came along for the night – read lovely blogs by Emma Block (who has just graduated from Middlesex University with a first) and Gareth A Hopkins. Emily of Tatty Devine also did a round up, as did Mistry of Habs, Ickleson and Katie of The Young Creatives. Spoilt really! And they wrote theirs a lot faster than me… In the intervening weeks time just seems to have flown past and as the graduate shows have piled up I’ve let it slip and slip…

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma Block
Emma Block.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Alia Gargum
Alia Gargum.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Gareth A Hopkins
Gareth A Hopkins – pretending that the camera is not really there. I’m not fooled.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emily
Emily Prichard of Tatty Devine helping out on the door.

Plus I just knew that this blog would become a bit of biscuit porn fest (in a good way). You have been warned.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassieTatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassieTatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

The last date on my ACOFI Book Tour was held on Tuesday 7th June at the Brick Lane branch of Tatty Devine and it was a homecoming of sorts… mere minutes from my house. I had expected it to be a busy night but I was really quite overwhelmed by the amount of people who turned up: creatives of every age, stage of career and creative discipline, not just illustrators – although it was wonderful to meet so many contributors to Amelia’s Magazine who I speak to regularly by email.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Colourful icing ready to pipe onto biscuits.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers cassie
Cassie Merrick of the Biscuiteers with her assistant Lou Newton.

Cassie and Lou had laid out a wonderful Biscuiteers display on the counter by the time of my (as usual) frantic arrival: a delightful carpet of pretty biscuits – tiny iced gem tasters in a rainbow of colours and plenty of half iced biscuits on which guests were invited to pipe their own designs. It took awhile for people to warm to the idea, but once we got going there was no stopping us. Even my boyfriend had a go! (and he wasn’t the only boy who stepped up to the mark)

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

Biscuiteers biscuits come in yummy vanilla and chocolate flavours but it is the handmade decoration that makes them so special. They have a rotating team of trained icers, and Emma Block (having met them at my event) will be joining them as a freelancer this summer. What a great part time job – where can I sign up?! In the meantime Biscuiteers will be helping out with the Letter Lounge event at Tatty Devine Covent Garden on Wednesday 6th July, a result of meeting up on the ACOFI Book Tour.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Sonja
Sonja from Tatty Devine welcomes a visitor to the shop.

It was also lovely to meet Richard Watson, who is the maestro behind Juiceology, the new juice brand that has been supporting all ACOFI Book Tour dates. He’d brought along some updated flavours for us to try in slightly bigger bottles of the type preferred by bars. I really couldn’t have hoped for a better sponsor, and it’s nice to know that the ACOFI Book Tour has enabled yet more introductions – Juiceology recently sponsored the Andy Smith solo show at Soma Gallery, which I visited a month ago.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Richard Watson Juiceology
Richard Watson of Juiceology.

I’ve started to see Juiceology for sale in boutique sandwich shops, so make sure you check them out next time you see them on the shelf – I can’t recommend them highly enough. Richard has some other flavours in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to trying his next flavour soon.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Lahloo TeaACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Lahloo Tea
Lahloo Tea once again provided some delicious peppermint and earl grey tea for the event, which was served to guests in dainty china cups.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Heather Stanton
And of course no event would be complete without some samples of Dr. Hauschka products. This time Heather Stanton of Dr.Hauschka was actually able to make it along and join in the fun with her hubby Will. It was lovely to catch up with her.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011
ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011

Once everyone had had ample time to meet, mingle, share work and decorate a Biscuiteers biscuit I invited everyone to gather around and stood with my computer held aloft on my shoulder to give the talk. Having done the spiel five times already I raced through it even faster than I have done in the past – mostly because I was aware that everyone was squished into the shop, all standing, and I felt pretty bad about that. I think everyone enjoyed it though.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Amelia Gregory

Amongst the many Amelia’s Magazine contributors who came along to the event were these lovely illustrators:

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Kristina Vasiljeva
Kristina Vasiljeva has just finished her FdA illustration course at Camberwell. She has been contributing some wonderful fashion illustrations to the magazine.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Biscuiteers
Hannah Simpson was recently awarded a prize at the V&A illustration awards. Here she is icing biscuits with Kristina.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Helena Maratheftis
Illustrator Helena Maratheftis also posted some photos of the event.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Naomi Law and Matt Bramford
Naomi Law is of course featured in ACOFI, here with her old chum, my ex fashion editor Matt Bramford.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Soni Speight, aka IcklesonACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Soni Speight, aka Ickleson
Soni Speight, aka Ickleson showed us her wonderful business cards.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Lou Cloud
Lou Cloud and her boyfriend.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Katie Byrne Emma Block
Other guests included Katie Byrne of The Young Creatives with her friend Emma Block, who showed us through some loose collage bits in her portfolio.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma BlockACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Emma Block
Emma Block’s delicate collage work.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Alia Gargum
Alia Gargum and a friend enjoy a nice cup of Lahloo tea.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-plastic seconds
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Maria Gareth and Alia
Maria Papadimitriou of Slowly the Eggs came along again (she also came to the first Tatty Devine event) this time sporting yet another amazing Plastic Seconds necklace (here with Gareth and Alia). Maria even went to the trouble of doing another write up on her blog. What a star!

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Gareth a Hopkins
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-The Intercorstal: Valentine
New work by Gareth A Hopkins – The Intercorstal: Valentine.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Karen
I first met Karen from Stepney City Farm on my twitter feed. Since meeting Gareth and Alia at my event they have helped to create artwork for the Paul Foot Farm Favourite Jigsaw Puzzle East End Weekend which is taking place at the farm on the 9th-10th July to raise much needed funds. You can see their wonderful artwork on Paul Foot’s website.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Agnes Bataclan Melinda Barbi
Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011- Melinda Barbi Sara Lofwander
Other attendees included Melinda Barbi, an LCF Fashion Photography student who came along with Sara Lofwander and Agnes Bataclan in advance of my lecturing visit to the London College of Fashion. Inspired by the ACOFI event they made me cookies and cake for my visit, which was MUCH appreciated.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Siobhan of Flamingo Magazine
It was nice to see Siobhan Leddy of Flamingo Magazine – with whom I did an interview awhile back.

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Susannah Cartwright
Susannah Cartwright is a textile designer who is taking part in The Stinging Netil Art Mart on Sunday 10th July in the Netil House car park. Why not check it out?

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011-Harriet Vine
Tatty Devine’s Harriet Vine.

ACOFI Tour Tatty Devine Brick Lane 2011-Cari Steel Emma Crosby
My former music editor Cari Steel popped in briefly and I made her pose with sales agent Emma Crosby like they’ve known each other forever. Convincing no?

Tatty Devine Brick Lane ACOFI 2011

Don’t forget that you can buy Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration on my website or from all good retailers (including Amazon) – please do buy the book and support the wealth of talent within. And that, my friends, is the ACOFI Book Tour done and dusted…

Categories ,ACOFI, ,ACOFI Book Tour, ,Agnes Bataclan, ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Andy Smith, ,Biscuiteers, ,Book Tour, ,Cari Steel, ,Cassie Merrick, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Emma Block, ,Emma Crosby, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Flamingo Magazine, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hannah Simpson, ,Harriet Vine, ,Heather Stanton, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Ickleson, ,Juiceology, ,Katie Byrne, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Lahloo Tea, ,Letter Lounge, ,London College of Fashion, ,Lou Cloud, ,Lou Newton, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Matt Bramford, ,Melinda Barbi, ,Naomi Law, ,Netil House, ,Paul Foot, ,Plastic Seconds, ,Richard Watson, ,Sara Lofwander, ,Siobhan Leddy, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Soma Gallery, ,Soni Speight, ,Stepney City Farm, ,Susannah Cartwright, ,Tatty Devine, ,The Stinging Netil Art Mart, ,The Young Creatives

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Amelia’s Magazine | Album Review – Emmy the Great: Virtue

emmy-the-great_soni_speight
Emmy the Great by Soni Speight.

I’ve been a fan of Emma-Lee Moss for oh so long. And she hasn’t failed me yet.

emmy the great by gabrielle brittney
Emmy the Great by Gabrielle Brittney.

Emmy The Great by Lea Rimoux
Emmy The Great by Lea Rimoux.

Virtue opens with the scratchy sounds of an orchestra tuning up in the oddly titled Dinosaur Sex… it’s a slow and understated start to Emmy’s latest album. When her voice appears it is at its lightest delicate best, clinic gradually curling into a delicate tune about the perils of a modern day life spent in front of a computer screen. Presumably the Dinosaur Sex of the title refers to an outmoded form of human contact.

Emmy The Great - Jo Chambers
Emmy The Great by Jo Chambers.

By Woman, unhealthy a Woman, erectile A Century of Sleep Emmy has gained a stronger voice to tell us a tale of domestic slavery, to ‘sew a dress till the pieces mesh’. She has such a marvellous way with words, but what’s so gorgeous about Virtue is the way she has also embraced a fuller sound to accompany her ever clever lyrics. Current single Iris is an early high, a driving drumbeat accompanying the simple chords and twinkling synth which drift slowly into this new bigger sound. I reviewed Iris a few weeks ago.

Emmy the Great by Avril Kelly
Emmy the Great by Avril Kelly.

Paper Forest (in the Afterglow of Rapture) reveals in crystal clear high notes the aftermath of the relationship she lost to the church. Cassandra is a simple track that calls to mind the Emmy of before.

Emmy the Great by Sam Parr
Emmy the Great by Sam Parr.

Creation starts with dreary minor chords, then reverts to a more upbeat major sound, swinging between the two as ‘she wants to know if there is a narrative’ for ‘she needs a reason for believing’. The dips and turns of the music echo the natural paths of any relationship. Sylvia has a driving disco backbeat, even as it explores stormy emotions: ‘if this is life then why does it feel like I am far away… like I am dreaming.’

Emmy The Great by Giles Mead
Emmy The Great by Giles Mead.

Emmy The Great by Rukmunal Hakim
Emmy The Great by Rukmunal Hakim.

Exit Night/Juliet’s Theme heralds a familiar Emmy type melody of yore, exploring notions of fairy tales, ghosts and other worlds where different worlds exist. In North Emmy is led by the needle, presumably on the record player. Trellick Tower is a song about the days when she was alone in West London, recently un-engaged and single once again. It’s a very small song compared with the others, with just a piano for company, leaving room for Emmy’s voice to meander into the ether.

Emmy-The-Great-by-Abi-Heyneke
Emmy The Great by Abi Heyneke.

Virtue remains true to Emmy’s very personal existential wanderings, but with added intrigue and oomph supplied by experimental musical accompaniments that go well beyond her original folk noodlings. What’s so wonderful is that her lyrics can be perceived in so many different ways – above are my personal interpretations but for Emmy’s explanations visit this track by track rundown on the Guardian website.

Emmy-the-Great-by-Victoria-Haynes
Emmy the Great by Victoria Haynes.

Lovely Emmy is flying up the charts with Virture and with good reason – she just keeps getting better and better. Virtue is out now on Close Harbour Records. You’d best catch her on tour soon.

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Categories ,Abi Heyneke, ,album, ,Avril Kelly, ,Close Harbour Records, ,Emma-Lee Moss, ,Emmy the Great, ,Gabrielle Brittney, ,Giles Mead, ,Ickleson, ,Iris, ,Jo Chambers, ,Lea Rimoux, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sam Parr, ,Soni Speight, ,Victoria Haynes, ,Virtue

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