Amelia’s Magazine | 6 Day Riot Album Launch at the Jazz Cafe

Long Story Short, erectile look 2010

Since graduating from Wimbledon College of Art in 2009, Alice Browne has exhibited her paintings at Foremans Smokehouse Gallery’s Divergence exhibition and opened her shared studio to the public during the recent installament of Hackney Wicked. In 2010 Alice Browne was selected to participate in Bloomberg New Contempories, which is currently at the ICA. Earlier this week, Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Alice Browne.

How did it feel to be selected for New Contemporaries?

Very exciting, and it really boosted my confidence in the studio. It has been great to meet other artists through the show.

What attracts you to the medium of paint?

I think, I’ve always found that paint was the medium which allowed me, the most experimentation. It involves more collaboration than mastering.

Production Still, 2010

What were you first experiences of art or if you had to, which artist(s) have had the greatest effect on your work to date?

Early experiences of art included the Greek and Roman pottery and sculpture in the Ashmolean and treasure trove of oddities at the Pitt Rivers in Oxford. I was introduced to painting through trips to the National Gallery. I was very influenced by an exhibition of Max Beckmann’s work which I saw in New York when I was at school. Artists who have had the greatest effect on my work include Francis Bacon, Pieter Claesz, Philip Guston and Prunella Clough.

Club, 2009

What are the financial implications after the decision has been made to start out as a painter?

It’s a constant weighing up of time, really. I need a studio – so that increases costs, so I need to work more to pay for it, but have less time to spend in there! Eventually I hope it will pay for itself.

Do you work in a gallery or maintain a part time job?

I work at Jerwood Space part time and worked at the National Gallery until recently.

The paintings submitted to Bloomberg New Contemporaries will almost be a year old, by the time the exhibition opens, what are your thoughts and these paintings now and what are their relation to the works you are producing today?

Some of the paintings in the show were made at the end of my degree and represent the focus of a very intense studio-time, so they are quite important and I think about them often. Pink Black Pink is one of the most confident paintings I’ve made. I’m very much still exploring the grounds in which they operate, though I understand it better now.

Pink Black Pink, 2009

What’s an average day in your studio?

I try to keep lots of paintings on the go (10-20 or more) so that I don’t get bogged down in the appearance of any particular painting. I expect a fair few to fail- which usually comes from overworking. I tend to go from one to the next, putting things away after I’ve worked on them. The less confident I feel, the longer I spend on each so on a really good day I could work on up to 10 paintings.

What type of paint (oil, acrylic) do you use and why?

I mostly use oil as it is so flexible and sometimes un-predictable. I use a lot of transparent colours which oil is very suited for. I do also use acrylic but usually for the more predictable priming and under-painting. If I’m not painting, my favourite medium is colouring pencils and paper.

Hellion II, 2009

Your statement discusses your paintings relation to “historical notions of depth relating to the flat painting surface and depth that we relate to visual experience” was there a particular painting or text which sparked your playful exploration?

My exploration was really fuelled by an interest in the range of ways that painters have represented visual space across history; from Masaccio to the trompe l’oeil of Gijsbrechts and still life painters such as Claesz, Cotan and Morandi, to de Hooch and Vermeer to Francis Bacon, Mary Heilmann and Phoebe Unwin.

I’m also interested in the way that photography and moving image represents visual space and how it changes our first hand experience of looking.

Day In, 2010

What was your relation to painting objects during your time at Wimbledon?

At Wimbledon I made quite a few paintings and photographs which described still life objects. Eventually I found that the objects got in the way; they were always charged with associations. I wanted to explore the space of the canvas or photograph rather than create an image.

How do you name your paintings?

I start with a sort of word association game and go from there.

Obstacle No. 2 2010

What does the sub-title of the exhibition “painting between representation and abstraction” mean to you?

For a while I’ve felt uncomfortable with using these terms – I don’t find it so useful to be defined as ‘representational’ or ‘abstract’, so being somewhere in-between sounds about right.

Had you met any artists before deciding to be one?

A family friend is a photographer who works in Hong Kong, taking pictures of the landscape. I always thought it was amazing that anyone could do something so beautiful for a job.

What was it like to study at Wimbledon?

Very supportive with a real sense of community. I loved being in a green and quite residential part of London.

Watch Me, 2010

Favourite contemporary painters?

Lots! I enjoyed Caragh Thuring’s recent exhibition at Thomas Dane gallery and Robert Holyheads show at Karsten Schubert.

How did you become to be involved in Transition Gallery’s exhibition Fade Away?

Alli Sharma curated the exhibition. Its great to be included in such an amazing selection of paintings.

Alice Browne’s paintings will be on display as part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2010 at the ICA until January 23rd 2011 and Transition Gallery’s Group Show: Fade Away until the 24th December, 2010.

The Compass Road by Iain Sinclair illustrated by Faye West

The decision to wear one of Mr Jones’ Watches is to accept the designer’s challenge to a modern concept of time being a series of fixed units, more about through which the day is neatly compartmentalised. A concept most succinctly visualised by the watch The Average Day watch. This piece was originally produced for The Muses. The watch-face illustrates the average activities undertaken at particular points throughout the day. The information was digested from sources researching how time is spent by an average person throughout the day. The hours are replaced by words, recipe for example 6pm becomes social life and 11 am becomes work.

The Average Day, Photograph by Chris Overend. The Muse for this particular watch was Jonathan Gershuny, Director of the Centre for Time Use Research and who Mr Jones stipulates has “750,000 time-use diaries.”

Continuing to dispense with Western Modernity’s accepted measurement of time, Mr Jones developed Cyclops, a watch with no hour, minute or second hands. Instead a circular disk mimics the movement of shadows across a sundial, as the passage of time is meditatively documented. Encouraging the wearer to reevaluate their relationship to capitalist time in which every precious second counts.

Cyclops

On Wednesday 3rd November 2010 Mr Jones’ Watches launched The Masters of Time a collaboration with five unique professionals who share an unique and personal concept of time.

During the launch Iain Sinclair, author and psycho-geographer, Greame Obree, record breaking cyclist and artist Brian Catling discussed the ideas behind their watches and the process of negotiating whilst collaborating with Mr Jones. The final two watches were developed with Comedian William Andrews, and DJ Tom Middleton.

Iain Sinclair Photograph by Emilie Sandy

Iain Sinclair’s (Author of Hackney That Red Rose Empire) Compass Watch relates to 90 minutes of film time, rather than your usual TV time of 60 minutes. Sinclair discussed the relation of time to walking, the layers created as time passes both between an event and the walker’s presence, within the walker’s own time.

Iain Sinclair – Compass Road interview from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

Fittingly Sinclair’s watch replaces the units of time with authors whose experience was shaped both by the influence of both geographic location and a complex understanding of time. In his 15 minutes Sinclair discussed the breakdown of the poet John Clare after the enclosure of the landscape to JG Ballard’s experiences as a prisoner of war before his arrival in Suburban England.

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair and Mr Jones Watches

The performance artist and sculptor Brian Catling, introduced the ideas behind Dawn West Dusk East via an art historical slide show. Original paintings and performances explored and expanded on the concept of ‘the Cyclops’. The watch –in the words of the artist- was designed to be “enigmatic, subtle and poetic.” The single rotation of this exquisite design is a silent request to return to a slower pace. The dial gradually measures the 12 hours between Dawn and Dusk.

Brian Catling Photograph by Emilie Sandy

The final speaker of the evening was the twice claimant of the toughest cycling challenge The Hour – a race between the cyclist, distance and the clock. Fittingly the title chosen for Graeme Obree’s timepiece is The Hour. As the hand rotates each hour reveals a different word encouraging the wearer to question emotions experienced during a variety of daily activities. Obree described The Hour as the best, worst, most exhilaratingly painful amount of time imaginable, each second a step closer to achieving or failing a lifelong obsession.

The Masters of Time launch was a fantastic introduction to an individuals complex relation to time. Sadly William Andrews and Tom Middleton were unable to attend, their watches The Last Hour and BPM played with the idea of ‘death’ on stage and a DJ’s relation to the beats per minute respectively. BPM comes complete with a specifically designed animation to help the nocturnal DJ keep count of each record’s BPM prior to the moment of a live mix.

Tom Middleton Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews The Last Laugh functions as a symbol of the performer’s need for the last laugh and a momento mori, a reminder that life is brief as time flashes past on the moving teeth of the skull illustrated watchface

The Last Laugh by William Andrews and Mr Jones Watches

Mr Jones Watches are available from the website or you can visit Mr Jones Design, Unit 1.11 Oxo Tower Wharf?Southbank London SE1 9PH.
Compass Road and The Last Laugh are available today.

The Compass Road by Iain Sinclair illustrated by Faye West

The decision to wear one of Mr Jones’ Watches is to accept the designer’s challenge to a modern concept of time being a series of fixed units, adiposity through which the day is neatly compartmentalised. A concept most succinctly visualised by the watch The Average Day watch. This piece was originally produced for The Muses. The watch-face illustrates the average activities undertaken at particular points throughout the day. The information was digested from sources researching how time is spent by an average person throughout the day. The hours are replaced by words; 6pm becomes social life and 11am becomes work.

The Average Day, patient Photograph by Chris Overend. The Muse for this particular watch was Jonathan Gershuny, buy information pills Director of the Centre for Time Use Research and who Mr Jones stipulates has “750,000 time-use diaries.”

Continuing to dispense with Western Modernity’s accepted measurement of time, Mr Jones developed Cyclops, a watch with no hour, minute or second hands. Instead a circular disk mimics the movement of shadows across a sundial, as the passage of time is meditatively documented. Encouraging the wearer to reevaluate their relationship to capitalist time in which every precious second counts.

Cyclops

On Wednesday 3rd November 2010 Mr Jones’ Watches launched The Masters of Time a collaboration with five unique professionals who share an unique and personal concept of time.

During the launch Iain Sinclair, author and psycho-geographer, Greame Obree, record breaking cyclist and artist Brian Catling discussed the ideas behind their watches and the process of negotiating whilst collaborating with Mr Jones. The final two watches were developed with Comedian William Andrews, and DJ Tom Middleton.

Iain Sinclair Photograph by Emilie Sandy

Iain Sinclair’s (Author of Hackney That Red Rose Empire) Compass Watch relates to 90 minutes of film time, rather than your usual TV time of 60 minutes. Sinclair discussed the relation of time to walking, the layers created as time passes both between an event and the walker’s presence, within the walker’s own time.

Iain Sinclair – Compass Road interview from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

Fittingly Sinclair’s watch replaces the units of time with authors whose experience was shaped both by the influence of both geographic location and a complex understanding of time. In his 15 minutes Sinclair discussed the breakdown of the poet John Clare after the enclosure of the landscape to JG Ballard’s experiences as a prisoner of war before his arrival in Suburban England.

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair and Mr Jones Watches

The performance artist and sculptor Brian Catling, introduced the ideas behind Dawn West Dusk East via an art historical slide show. Original paintings and performances explored and expanded on the concept of ‘the Cyclops’. The watch –in the words of the artist- was designed to be “enigmatic, subtle and poetic.” The single rotation of this exquisite design is a silent request to return to a slower pace. The dial gradually measures the 12 hours between Dawn and Dusk.

Brian Catling Photograph by Emilie Sandy

The final speaker of the evening was the twice claimant of the toughest cycling challenge The Hour – a race between the cyclist, distance and the clock. Fittingly the title chosen for Graeme Obree’s timepiece is The Hour. As the hand rotates each hour reveals a different word encouraging the wearer to question emotions experienced during a variety of daily activities. Obree described The Hour as the best, worst, most exhilaratingly painful amount of time imaginable, each second a step closer to achieving or failing a lifelong obsession.

The Masters of Time launch was a fantastic introduction to an individuals complex relation to time. Sadly William Andrews and Tom Middleton were unable to attend, their watches The Last Hour and BPM played with the idea of ‘death’ on stage and a DJ’s relation to the beats per minute respectively. BPM comes complete with a specifically designed animation to help the nocturnal DJ keep count of each record’s BPM prior to the moment of a live mix.

Tom Middleton Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews The Last Laugh functions as a symbol of the performer’s need for the last laugh and a momento mori, a reminder that life is brief as time flashes past on the moving teeth of the skull illustrated watchface

The Last Laugh by William Andrews and Mr Jones Watches

Mr Jones Watches are available from the website or you can visit Mr Jones Design, Unit 1.11, Oxo Tower Wharf? Southbank London SE1 9PH.
Compass Road and The Last Laugh are available today.

6 Day Riot by Karina Yarv
6 Day Riot by Karina Yarv.

We arrived at the Jazz Cafe just in time to catch the promising tail end of blues infused folk maestro Ian King, medicine who was followed by a set from comedian Richard Herring, trudging out the same old jokes (last heard at Latitude this summer) about his sad child less bachelor life. Is he in fact happily married, I wonder? Is it all just part of the comic schtick? He had clearly come prepared for a slightly more rowdy pre gig audience, with some poetry that he had written as an 18 year old virgin during his gap year “they called it a year out in those days”. Lines such as “The only water that was pure was from an orphan’s tears,” elicited plenty of giggles.

6 Day Riot-Tamara Schlesinger photo by Amelia Gregory
Tamara Schlesinger. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

6 Day Riot songstress Tamara Schlesinger bounced on stage in a huge red and purple feathered headdress, explaining that she’d had to do a whole rehearsal to check she could get her various instruments over her head without pulling it off. Because of course Tamara is the antithesis to your showgirl Kylies and Rhiannas, adeptly playing a plethora of instruments whilst singing up a storm in a stage grabbing outfit.

6 Day Riot-Tamara Schlesinger photo by Amelia Gregory

Also on stage were an energetic double bass played by Edd Harwood, the talented strains of Rachel Coleshill on violin, Gabriel Lucena on guitar, and at times two trumpeters, one of whom was indeed Rowan Porteous, the very same who has played with my band and who persuaded 6 Day Riot to play an intimate gig for Climate Camp at Glastonbury last year.

6 Day Riot-Tamara and Edd photo by Amelia Gregory

From introspectful to energetic 6 Day Riot swung through a great selection of tracks from the new album On This Island plus some older crowd pleasers, Tamara nimbly swapping between the various stringed instruments slung from her gold flower bedecked mike stand, including a sleek black electric ukelele. At one point the rest of the band left the stage whilst she dueted with her drummer Daniel Deavin, who paused to accompany her with the lightest of strums on his banjolele.

6 Day Riot  photo by Amelia Gregory
6 Day Riot-Tamara S photo by Amelia Gregory

For the finale 6 Day Riot pulled out their bestest klezmer influenced tunes, Tamara twirling her arms like a Notting Hill Carvinal dervish. It was a delightful end to a joyous launch, marred only by the loss of my favourite red sparkly scarf. Still, a small price to pay for a much needed dose of quality live music.

Tamara spoke excitedly of some recently confirmed dates with her favourite band, Belle and Sebastian, but in the meantime you can catch 6 Day Riot at a few remaining shows if you’re fast. Full listing info here. Read my review of new album On This Island here.

6 Day Riot-Edd Harwood photo by Amelia Gregory
Edd Harwood.

6 Day Riot-Rachel Coleshill photo by Amelia Gregory
Rachel Coleshill.

6 Day Riot-Gabriel Lucena photo by Amelia Gregory
Gabriel Lucena.

6 Day Riot-Ian King photo by Amelia Gregory
Ian King.

6 Day Riot-Richard Herring photo by Amelia Gregory
Richard Herring.

Categories ,6 Day Riot, ,Album Launch, ,Alex Bezzina, ,belle and sebastian, ,Daniel Deavin, ,Edd Harwood, ,Gabriel Lucena, ,Ian King, ,Jazz Cafe, ,Karina Yarv, ,klezmer, ,Kylie, ,latitude, ,On This Island, ,Rachel Coleshill, ,Rhianna, ,Richard Herring, ,Rowan Porteous, ,Tamara Schlesinger

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Oscars 2011 – they’re a comin’

Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester
Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester.

I knew you could get yellow tomatoes, erectile more about but apparently there are purple and yellow carrots. Agricultural regulations have increasingly stifled the basic trading of seeds that was standard practice in an age gone by, and there is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available out that are not even available at local greengrocers let alone at the big supermarkets. To counteract this local gardeners and enthusiasts have been clubbing together for Seed Swaps for the past decade. These are great places to swap your own seeds and discover little known but fabulously named plants and vegetables.

To find out why this practice is becoming vitally important to the environment I speak to Sara Cundy who becamse fascinated by the interaction between people and the natural environment during her degree in Geography. She has carried out research into consumers’ understanding of Fairtrade, and is currently Waste Minimisation Officer at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust where she works with communities to help reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill. Trained as a Compost Ambassador, she also volunteers as co-ordinator for the Wiltshire Fairtrade Coalition; who are in the process of organising events during the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight 2011. Phew! I have no idea how she also found the time to organise a successful Seed Swap!
 
Seed Swap Gent by Velimir Ilic
Green Fingered Gent by Velimir Illic
 
You organised Bradford-on-Avon’s first seed swapping event, did you go to many before you decided to run one yourself? Do you know how these swaps started?
??I went to some of the very early seed swaps in Brighton (well Hove actually) and it was about the same time that I got an allotment with friends. ?? 

I hope it was successful! Do these events educate people or are gardeners already quite clued up on this practice???
The event on Sunday was fantastic! We had over 300 people attend, and around 40 volunteers either helping on the seed swap stall, making refreshment and running the other 20 or so stands that where at the event. There was an amazing buzz for a really concentrated 2 hour slot. The stalls that we invited to the event had a connection with growing your own and gardening and where from the local area. We also had stands on Composting, food waste, Wiltshire Wood Recycling (who are part of a national network of wood re-use organisations), Beekeepers, Hen Keepers and Tools for Self Reliance, who send tools for use in Africa, but also gave advice on the day on how to maintain your own gardening tools. Freecycle which is very active in our local area also ran a garden book swap, and promoted the fact that you can advertise through them if you have unwanted gardening equipment or are looking for someone, such as a chap wanting to try out Wormeries. We had three different children’s activities also; Growing Micro-Greens, Fitzmaurice Primary School Gardening Club; making bug houses, The Mead School Wingfield Gardening Club; and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, making your own willow woven hanging flowerpot holder.  Friends of Fitzmaurice Schools Gardening Club also made the fantastic cakes (cake is always a winner!) to raise funds for infrastructure such as raised beds at the school. ??We had a number of volunteers who were able to give advice such as the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Compost Ambassadors. One of the compost ambassadors is also a ‘seed guardian’ for the Heritage Seed Library and she was able to give advice on the some of the seeds that where available at the swap that had been kindly donated by the Heritage Seed Library, but also how to go about saving your seeds.
 
Sounds like a fun and interesting afternoon well spent. I read on the Seedy Sunday webpage that this event ” …shows up the idiocy of draconian seed laws and the Gene Giants’ restrictive practices: in this warming world we need to exchange more diversity of uncontaminated plants to secure future food.” Can you explain to us what these laws and practices are?
??Yes – Seedy Sunday started in Brighton & Hove 10 years ago back in 2001.  Over the last decade the idea has caught on around the country and so from the original there are now numerous seed swaps around the country (which some combine with potato days – the selling of seed potatoes), the founders I think stumbled across the idea of seed swaps in America.  ?There are EU and national laws regarding the selling of seeds – requiring them to be registered on a national list. This was brought in to maintain quality, but has had the knock on effect of being illegal to sell seeds that aren’t listed. As it costs money and a considerable amount of paper work to list seeds it’s really only the commercially viable seeds that are on these lists.  Some of these heritage seeds produce fantastic tasting crops, but aren’t commercially worth growing.
 
 seedswap by cat palairet
Seed Swap by Cat Palairet.

??I’ve been a member of the Heritage Seed Library which is hosted by Garden Organic in Warwickshire for just over a year (but been aware for much longer) last year we had some Bronze Arrow Lettuce – this year I’ve got Cherokee Trail of Tears which was traditionally grown with other crops such as squash and maize which constituted the Three Sisters that provided the foundation of Native American agriculture. The connection to the growers and the history behind the various seed is fascinating – and you feel like you are playing a part in our agricultural history – food is fundamental to our life. It also helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity.?

How does swapping seeds benefit the environment?
??It helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity to support the future of agriculture and food security particularly in a time of changing climate. I also think that it re-connects us to the land and the importance of working in harmony with nature, the fragility and frustrations of growing your own can hopefully I think help us appreciate and value our food more. With the resurgence of growing your own, thrift, making and mending etc – I think that seed saving is an important skill that many of us could learn. The seed swap also feeds into tackling waste higher up the chain, by growing your own you can cut down on the amount of packaging that you consume (even if it’s just herbs in your window box), you tend to value food more so less likely to throw it away (hopefully!). Many people also get into composting which is part of the natural cycle of returning nutrients to the soil. Many people don’t realise that disposing of biodegradable waste in landfill, which is buried and then decomposes anaerobically, you produce methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more damaging than C02 – which you avoid with home composting.

Colourful Swappers by Velimir Ilic
Colourful Swappers by Velimir Illic ???

These events also appear to create a brilliant excuse for communities to come together, will you organise anymore Seed Swaps?
I organised the event this year on behalf of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, working in conjunction with Climate Friendly Bradford-on-Avon and hopefully we will be able to run similar events in future years. We very generously got funding from the co-operative membership which helped with a lot of the costs, such as hall hire, advertising, producing banners/flyers/posters and distributing seed envelopes – which meant that this year we did not have to charge any stall holders (who were principally other charity groups) or entrance fee.

Find out where the next Seedy Sunday is taking place in your area by visiting their website.

Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester
Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester.

I knew you could get yellow tomatoes, discount but apparently there are purple and yellow carrots too. Agricultural regulations have increasingly stifled the basic trading of seeds that was standard practice in an age gone by, and there is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available out there that you cannot even buy at your local greengrocers let alone at the big supermarkets. To counteract this local gardeners and enthusiasts have been clubbing together for Seed Swaps over the past decade. These are great places to swap your own seeds and discover little known but fabulously named plants and vegetables.

To find out why this practice is becoming vitally important to the environment I spoke to Sara Cundy, who became fascinated by the interaction between people and the natural environment during her degree in Geography. She has carried out research into consumers’ understanding of Fairtrade, and is currently Waste Minimisation Officer at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust where she works with communities to help reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill. Trained as a Compost Ambassador, she also volunteers as co-ordinator for the Wiltshire Fairtrade Coalition; who are in the process of organising events during the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight 2011. Phew! I have no idea how she also found the time to organise a successful Seed Swap!
 
Seed Swap Gent by Velimir Ilic
Green Fingered Gent by Velimir Illic
 
You organised Bradford-on-Avon’s first seed swapping event, did you go to many before you decided to run one yourself? Do you know how these swaps started?
??I went to some of the very early seed swaps in Brighton (well Hove actually) and it was about the same time that I got an allotment with friends. ?? 

I hope it was successful! Do these events educate people or are gardeners already quite clued up on this practice???
The event on Sunday was fantastic! We had over 300 people attend, and around 40 volunteers either helping on the seed swap stall, making refreshment and running the other 20 or so stands that where at the event. There was an amazing buzz for a really concentrated 2 hour slot. The stalls that we invited to the event had a connection with growing your own and gardening and where from the local area. We also had stands on Composting, food waste, Wiltshire Wood Recycling (who are part of a national network of wood re-use organisations), Beekeepers, Hen Keepers and Tools for Self Reliance, who send tools for use in Africa, but also gave advice on the day on how to maintain your own gardening tools. Freecycle, which is very active in our local area, ran a garden book swap, and promoted the fact that you can advertise through them if you have unwanted gardening equipment or are looking for someone, such as a chap wanting to try out Wormeries. We had three different children’s activities also; Growing Micro-Greens, Fitzmaurice Primary School Gardening Club; making bug houses, The Mead School Wingfield Gardening Club; and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, making your own willow woven hanging flowerpot holder.  Friends of Fitzmaurice Schools Gardening Club also made the fantastic cakes (cake is always a winner!) to raise funds for infrastructure such as raised beds at the school. ??We had a number of volunteers who were able to give advice such as the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Compost Ambassadors. One of the compost ambassadors is also a ‘seed guardian’ for the Heritage Seed Library and she was able to give advice on the some of the seeds that where available at the swap that had been kindly donated by the Heritage Seed Library, but also how to go about saving your seeds.
 
Sounds like a fun and interesting afternoon well spent. I read on the Seedy Sunday webpage that this event “…shows up the idiocy of draconian seed laws and the Gene Giants’ restrictive practices: in this warming world we need to exchange more diversity of uncontaminated plants to secure future food.” Can you explain to us what these laws and practices are?
??Yes – Seedy Sunday started in Brighton & Hove 10 years ago back in 2001.  Over the last decade the idea has caught on around the country and so from the original there are now numerous seed swaps around the country (which some combine with potato days – the selling of seed potatoes), the founders I think stumbled across the idea of seed swaps in America.  There are EU and national laws regarding the selling of seeds – requiring them to be registered on a national list. This was brought in to maintain quality, but has had the knock on effect of being illegal to sell seeds that aren’t listed. As it costs money and a considerable amount of paper work to list seeds it’s really only the commercially viable seeds that are on these lists.  Some of these heritage seeds produce fantastic tasting crops, but aren’t commercially worth growing.
 
 seedswap by cat palairet
Seed Swap by Cat Palairet.

??I’ve been a member of the Heritage Seed Library which is hosted by Garden Organic in Warwickshire for just over a year (but been aware for much longer) last year we had some Bronze Arrow Lettuce – this year I’ve got Cherokee Trail of Tears which was traditionally grown with other crops such as squash and maize which constituted the Three Sisters that provided the foundation of Native American agriculture. The connection to the growers and the history behind the various seed is fascinating – and you feel like you are playing a part in our agricultural history – food is fundamental to our life. It also helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity.?

How does swapping seeds benefit the environment?
??It helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity to support the future of agriculture and food security particularly in a time of changing climate. I also think that it re-connects us to the land and the importance of working in harmony with nature, the fragility and frustrations of growing your own can hopefully I think help us appreciate and value our food more. With the resurgence of growing your own, thrift, making and mending etc – I think that seed saving is an important skill that many of us could learn. The seed swap also feeds into tackling waste higher up the chain, by growing your own you can cut down on the amount of packaging that you consume (even if it’s just herbs in your window box), you tend to value food more so less likely to throw it away (hopefully!). Many people also get into composting which is part of the natural cycle of returning nutrients to the soil. Many people don’t realise that disposing of biodegradable waste in landfill, which is buried and then decomposes anaerobically, you produce methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more damaging than C02 – which you avoid with home composting.

Colourful Swappers by Velimir Ilic
Colourful Swappers by Velimir Illic ???

These events also appear to create a brilliant excuse for communities to come together, will you organise anymore Seed Swaps?
I organised the event this year on behalf of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, working in conjunction with Climate Friendly Bradford-on-Avon and hopefully we will be able to run similar events in future years. We very generously got funding from the co-operative membership which helped with a lot of the costs, such as hall hire, advertising, producing banners/flyers/posters and distributing seed envelopes – which meant that this year we did not have to charge any stall holders (who were principally other charity groups) or entrance fee.

Find out where the next Seedy Sunday is taking place in your area by visiting their website.


Rachel Freire S/S 2011, more about illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, dosage maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


Illustration by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


S/S 2011, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford

Rachel Freire S/S 2011, treat illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, information pills who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman was fantastic though, and has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 awards in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network: David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit:Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours: Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone:An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!

Categories ,127 Hours, ,Abby Wright, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Annette Bening, ,BAFTAS 2011, ,Black Swan, ,Blue Valentine, ,Coen Brothers, ,Colin Firth, ,Ellen, ,Ethan Coen, ,film, ,Gemma Milly, ,Georgia Coote, ,Hailee Steinfeld, ,Helen Martin, ,Helena Bonham Carter, ,James Franco, ,Jeff Bridges, ,Joel Coen, ,Johnny Depp, ,Julianne Moore, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Middleton, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Michelle Williams, ,Natalie Portman, ,Nicole Kidman, ,Oscars, ,Oscars 2011, ,Prince William, ,Rabbit Hole, ,Russty Brazil, ,Ryan Gosling, ,The Kids Are Alright, ,The King’s Speech, ,Toy Story, ,Toy Story 2, ,Toy Story 3, ,True Grit, ,Winter’s Bone

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lucy in Disguise Launch Party: With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam
muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, side effects the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, more about the repetition of the jingly notes, for sale a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra sale the repetition of the jingly notes, here a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, physician the repetition of the jingly notes, this a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, page the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, rx the repetition of the jingly notes, find a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, information pills the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras
Rapha/Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras.

In need of a last minute man gift? Is he a stylish cyclist? If so help could be here in the form of the new Rapha and Paul Smith cycling collection. Rapha are purveyors of high performance roadwear (which means they know what they are doing) and Paul Smith is of course the doyen of all things stylish. As well as the simple good design of the main collection – which includes a highly technical jacket, cure knitted winter hat, leather town gloves and a jaunty polka dot scarf – I am particularly enamoured of their collaborative wash bag which comes in two fun Paul Smith colourful cycling inspired prints, complete with sturdy leather details.

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

Years ago Paul Smith gave me a wash bag as a gift – and not only is it by far the best quality wash bag I have ever owned (don’t you find that cheap ones fall apart ridiculously quickly?) but my boyfriend has had his eagle eye on it ever since we met, even with the remnants of girl make up scattered across its insides. The collection also features a shoulder bag and a courier bag for those more inclined to show off their stylish wares in public.

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

So, if you’re still really stuck on what to get the man in your life check out the Rapha and Paul Smith range for something stylish and eminently practical (plus, shhh, he doesn’t even need to be a fully technical cyclist to enjoy the bags). The collection will be added to next year, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it might include something for the lady cyclist.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, decease the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra dosage the repetition of the jingly notes, price a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, prescription the repetition of the jingly notes, viagra a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, side effects the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, approved the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, cheapest the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary and is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the classic in (approximately) the 1940s. He was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting – awww. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Vintage is having a cultural moment: from parties, doctor to interiors, salve to food. Of course, fashion never lost interest. A red-carpet star wearing ‘vintage’? Best-dressed lists, watch them go. A bride in a 1940s gown? The toast of the wedding season. Apparently, you can elevate your look and even personality, with vintage. Designers consult the past for inspiration (let’s face it, nearly every trend has been done before), but you can’t beat an original. Cue successful fairs like Frock Me! or London’s Portobello. But really, why this vintage love affair? Well, if we can access fashion’s entire history, wardrobe choices become infinite. Individuality is also more likely. And, our nostalgia for days gone by? Vintage fashion keeps (the stylish) memories alive. Unfortunately, it’s never been the easiest trend. Sourcing the perfect 1980s jumpsuit or 1920s evening gown, equals time, money and relentless rummaging. At least that was true until September, when sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, opened Lucy in Disguise. Vintage pieces spanning all eras are said to be expertly edited, well-presented and affordable (for the most part). A vintage revolution? When Lucy in Disguise launched its With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room, I couldn’t wait to find out.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Snug under numerous layers (and token vintage cape, hiding somewhere), I arrived at LID’s King Street store for the launch party. Just a hop, skip and a jive away from ‘Theatreland’, it’s an apt location for the drama associated with vintage fashion. Marveling at ‘The 12 days of Kissmas’ cheeky window-display, I soon remembered my icy fingers and rushed inside. The store was sleek-looking, spacious and well, atypically vintage. Almost immediately, my sights were set on a flowing Ossie Clark 1970s gown, 1960s shift and 1940s tea dress. The layout upstairs, even though the entire collection looks unified, is designed to resemble an apartment (Lucy’s), split into era-defining sections. Browsing the meticulously arranged clothing and accessory displays, it became evident that buying and styling standards are high. Each item appears a unique ‘statement’ and carefully chosen. Pricier pieces aside (Ossie and co), you could just about find something for £30; most are £60+. For beloved must-haves that stretch the pennies too far, it’s useful to remember that nearly everything can be hired. Fashion aside, it’s also worth a visit for the spectacularly glamorous mannequins and lighting fixtures.


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I was soon ushered downstairs to the launch party, the laughter and music rapidly rising in volume. Was the pristine storefront a façade? Hiding a speakeasy-type vintage marketplace below? Not quite. The 1930s With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is a decadently girlie boudoir and the crux of Lucy in Disguise as a concept store. A soft-carpeted dressing/lounging space, it epitomizes the customer’s journey to a bygone era. No doubt, the retail signature and marketing strategy of Lucy in Disguise. ‘Lucy’ has asked you to enter her world (dressed for your chosen decade) and, as her glamorous VIP friend, you couldn’t possibly say no. At least that’s where my imagination was taking me, as I reclined on the sofa with partygoers, admired the ‘vintage gold’ hanging around us (YSL, Dior, Pucci) and read classic editions of Vogue. Unsurprisingly, all guests were revelling in this world of make-believe. As Lucy clearly knows, the act of getting ready is almost as fun as the outfit itself.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

So, who is Lucy (apart from a playful nod to the Beatles song)? She is a decade-defying fantasy figure, who “rock and rolled through the fifties”, “wigged out in the sixties” and “disco danced the seventies away”. An ageless persona, Lucy enables Lily and Sarah to stock pieces from the 1920s to the 1990s (yes, the 90s are now vintage), hoping to offer something for everyone. On party night, Lucy’s ‘presence’ was everywhere, flitting through the fashionable crowd, which included Sarah Owen. And, as I discovered, it’s not just the VIP Dressing Room downstairs. An extension of her apartment, this is where Lucy comes to play. You could picture her at the beauty parlour, where we asked for Jackie’s hairdo and make-up (courtesy of Bumble and Bumble and Illamasqua), before completing our look with WAH nails. Surely she was propped up alongside us at the Grey Goose bar, sampling era-inspired cocktails and enjoying live Jazz. And suddenly, several lovely Lucy’s were entertaining the crowd in head-turning party dresses, while we savoured raspberry Ladurée macaroons. How elegant! Some flared sleeves, peplums and exquisite headpieces later, I was contemplating which era I should call my own.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

According to Lily and Sarah, Lucy in Disguise is the “modern girl’s way to do vintage”. It’s a clever description, and I could become accustomed to this slick and well-groomed version. Formerly fearful vintage shoppers will no doubt join me. Perhaps others will miss the hunt and haggle, but I suspect they’ll still enjoy the all-encompassing LID experience. Because, beneath this (revolutionary?) fashion business, lies a girl who wants you to have fun. Judging by the glammed-up, cocktail-swilling crowd, our vintage love affair is still going strong.

See the website for Lucy in Disguise opening hours and contact details. You can book a hair/make-up/WAH nails appointment over the phone.

The With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is available for group bookings and events including ‘Evelyn’s Roaring Tea Party’ and ‘Cynthia’s Sparkling Soiree’. You can also hold a bespoke event, or hire out the entire downstairs, bar and beauty salons included.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bumble and Bumble, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Ingram, ,Ladurée, ,lily allen, ,Lucy in Disguise, ,Portobello, ,Pucci, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sarah Owen, ,tea, ,vintage, ,VIP, ,WAH Nails, ,With Diamonds, ,YSL

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lucy in Disguise Launch Party: With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam
muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, side effects the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, more about the repetition of the jingly notes, for sale a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra sale the repetition of the jingly notes, here a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, physician the repetition of the jingly notes, this a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, page the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, rx the repetition of the jingly notes, find a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, information pills the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras
Rapha/Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras.

In need of a last minute man gift? Is he a stylish cyclist? If so help could be here in the form of the new Rapha and Paul Smith cycling collection. Rapha are purveyors of high performance roadwear (which means they know what they are doing) and Paul Smith is of course the doyen of all things stylish. As well as the simple good design of the main collection – which includes a highly technical jacket, cure knitted winter hat, leather town gloves and a jaunty polka dot scarf – I am particularly enamoured of their collaborative wash bag which comes in two fun Paul Smith colourful cycling inspired prints, complete with sturdy leather details.

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

Years ago Paul Smith gave me a wash bag as a gift – and not only is it by far the best quality wash bag I have ever owned (don’t you find that cheap ones fall apart ridiculously quickly?) but my boyfriend has had his eagle eye on it ever since we met, even with the remnants of girl make up scattered across its insides. The collection also features a shoulder bag and a courier bag for those more inclined to show off their stylish wares in public.

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

So, if you’re still really stuck on what to get the man in your life check out the Rapha and Paul Smith range for something stylish and eminently practical (plus, shhh, he doesn’t even need to be a fully technical cyclist to enjoy the bags). The collection will be added to next year, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it might include something for the lady cyclist.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, decease the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra dosage the repetition of the jingly notes, price a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, prescription the repetition of the jingly notes, viagra a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, side effects the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, approved the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, cheapest the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary and is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the classic in (approximately) the 1940s. He was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting – awww. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Vintage is having a cultural moment: from parties, doctor to interiors, salve to food. Of course, fashion never lost interest. A red-carpet star wearing ‘vintage’? Best-dressed lists, watch them go. A bride in a 1940s gown? The toast of the wedding season. Apparently, you can elevate your look and even personality, with vintage. Designers consult the past for inspiration (let’s face it, nearly every trend has been done before), but you can’t beat an original. Cue successful fairs like Frock Me! or London’s Portobello. But really, why this vintage love affair? Well, if we can access fashion’s entire history, wardrobe choices become infinite. Individuality is also more likely. And, our nostalgia for days gone by? Vintage fashion keeps (the stylish) memories alive. Unfortunately, it’s never been the easiest trend. Sourcing the perfect 1980s jumpsuit or 1920s evening gown, equals time, money and relentless rummaging. At least that was true until September, when sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, opened Lucy in Disguise. Vintage pieces spanning all eras are said to be expertly edited, well-presented and affordable (for the most part). A vintage revolution? When Lucy in Disguise launched its With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room, I couldn’t wait to find out.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Snug under numerous layers (and token vintage cape, hiding somewhere), I arrived at LID’s King Street store for the launch party. Just a hop, skip and a jive away from ‘Theatreland’, it’s an apt location for the drama associated with vintage fashion. Marveling at ‘The 12 days of Kissmas’ cheeky window-display, I soon remembered my icy fingers and rushed inside. The store was sleek-looking, spacious and well, atypically vintage. Almost immediately, my sights were set on a flowing Ossie Clark 1970s gown, 1960s shift and 1940s tea dress. The layout upstairs, even though the entire collection looks unified, is designed to resemble an apartment (Lucy’s), split into era-defining sections. Browsing the meticulously arranged clothing and accessory displays, it became evident that buying and styling standards are high. Each item appears a unique ‘statement’ and carefully chosen. Pricier pieces aside (Ossie and co), you could just about find something for £30; most are £60+. For beloved must-haves that stretch the pennies too far, it’s useful to remember that nearly everything can be hired. Fashion aside, it’s also worth a visit for the spectacularly glamorous mannequins and lighting fixtures.


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I was soon ushered downstairs to the launch party, the laughter and music rapidly rising in volume. Was the pristine storefront a façade? Hiding a speakeasy-type vintage marketplace below? Not quite. The 1930s With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is a decadently girlie boudoir and the crux of Lucy in Disguise as a concept store. A soft-carpeted dressing/lounging space, it epitomizes the customer’s journey to a bygone era. No doubt, the retail signature and marketing strategy of Lucy in Disguise. ‘Lucy’ has asked you to enter her world (dressed for your chosen decade) and, as her glamorous VIP friend, you couldn’t possibly say no. At least that’s where my imagination was taking me, as I reclined on the sofa with partygoers, admired the ‘vintage gold’ hanging around us (YSL, Dior, Pucci) and read classic editions of Vogue. Unsurprisingly, all guests were revelling in this world of make-believe. As Lucy clearly knows, the act of getting ready is almost as fun as the outfit itself.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

So, who is Lucy (apart from a playful nod to the Beatles song)? She is a decade-defying fantasy figure, who “rock and rolled through the fifties”, “wigged out in the sixties” and “disco danced the seventies away”. An ageless persona, Lucy enables Lily and Sarah to stock pieces from the 1920s to the 1990s (yes, the 90s are now vintage), hoping to offer something for everyone. On party night, Lucy’s ‘presence’ was everywhere, flitting through the fashionable crowd, which included Sarah Owen. And, as I discovered, it’s not just the VIP Dressing Room downstairs. An extension of her apartment, this is where Lucy comes to play. You could picture her at the beauty parlour, where we asked for Jackie’s hairdo and make-up (courtesy of Bumble and Bumble and Illamasqua), before completing our look with WAH nails. Surely she was propped up alongside us at the Grey Goose bar, sampling era-inspired cocktails and enjoying live Jazz. And suddenly, several lovely Lucy’s were entertaining the crowd in head-turning party dresses, while we savoured raspberry Ladurée macaroons. How elegant! Some flared sleeves, peplums and exquisite headpieces later, I was contemplating which era I should call my own.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

According to Lily and Sarah, Lucy in Disguise is the “modern girl’s way to do vintage”. It’s a clever description, and I could become accustomed to this slick and well-groomed version. Formerly fearful vintage shoppers will no doubt join me. Perhaps others will miss the hunt and haggle, but I suspect they’ll still enjoy the all-encompassing LID experience. Because, beneath this (revolutionary?) fashion business, lies a girl who wants you to have fun. Judging by the glammed-up, cocktail-swilling crowd, our vintage love affair is still going strong.

See the website for Lucy in Disguise opening hours and contact details. You can book a hair/make-up/WAH nails appointment over the phone.

The With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is available for group bookings and events including ‘Evelyn’s Roaring Tea Party’ and ‘Cynthia’s Sparkling Soiree’. You can also hold a bespoke event, or hire out the entire downstairs, bar and beauty salons included.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bumble and Bumble, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Ingram, ,Ladurée, ,lily allen, ,Lucy in Disguise, ,Portobello, ,Pucci, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sarah Owen, ,tea, ,vintage, ,VIP, ,WAH Nails, ,With Diamonds, ,YSL

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Jena.Theo (by Helen)


The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, generic shop really, that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, information pills really, that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, site really, visit this that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

Rachel Freire S/S 2011, and illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, recipe maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, prostate so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Bex Glover

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Karina Yarv
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, visit Illustration by Karina Yarv

I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, straight through to a high heeled officious lady. Then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. The FRONT ROW. This was pleasing to say the least. And there were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to the tiny fashionista, pointing towards the penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her? Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. I looked around properly, and saw straight backed women before me. Unsmiling, with notepads on their laps and twitter at their fingertips. No one was without a smart phone. Comfortingly others were holding cameras possibly at the same level as mine, not everyone had the enormous lensed beasts. This made me feel infinitely better about my black device with sand trapped in the lens from every holiday in the last three years and glitter from an explosion at a festival last year. It makes me slightly sad to see it sprinkle on my lap when I take the lens cap off. Nostalgic particles… To the left, I felt like I was getting an immense tan however from the mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. It was just INTENSE; magic eye, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shielded the left hand side of her face for a bit. We briefly discussed the perils of giant screens of mini light bulbs. SUCH a drag. Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation was allowed to be built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED. Most of the opposite front row remained attached to the twit or without expression.

Jena Theo Matilde SazioJena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The darkness remained for a while, and I felt my heart start to beat harder. You know when as a child (/adult), at a theme park, you have just queued to get onto a ride that begins in the dark? You’re kind of scared but excited, not really sure how it will turn out? Yes, that. That was what it felt like. I was half expecting for the floor to drop and to experience a heart in my mouth sensation, as gravity stole my nerves. Child next door was heckling, all ready for the experience to begin. She’s not worried her mother assures me, as a seasoned show-goer why would she be? Well, indeed. This does not compare to my 80s Sussex upbringing. I spent being three and four devoted to my pink bomber jacket and all in one waterproof jumpsuit number. Was it the 80s? Was it me? Is there any hope? I apoligise, enough pondering! The show began.

Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_006 Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_007Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_008Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_004Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_003
Photography by Matt Bramford

I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway digressing again- the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.

Jena.Theo Valkyrie by Matilde Sazio
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy. I would love to wear this one standing at the front of a ship. Not a ferry, a ship. The collection; Valkyrie, refers to a band of celestial female figures who decide to die in the field of battle. So 300, in a sense, but with women. Strong, ethereal women.

Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_002Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_001 Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_005
Photography by Matt Bramford

Jena.Theo have managged to combine the mythology with the urban reality. Fantasy has been embraced, with opulence in mind, the designs are sumptuous, yet strong. Fit for women going into battle with the ice of Scandinavia and the luxuriousness of a cashmere bustle behind them. And why not mix up the hemlines, paint black across our eyes and march like amazonian creations girls. We are women. Watch us gracefully, cooly and quietly move, like we believe we are mighty. We are. For designs that were indeed simple, they were deserving of their sparkling lights.

Categories ,bristol, ,Ethereal, ,fashion, ,Front Row, ,Helen Martin, ,hero, ,Jena.theo, ,Karina Yarv, ,Lights, ,london, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2011, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Matt Bramford, ,Norway, ,scandinavia, ,Ship, ,twitter, ,urban, ,Valkyrie

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Jena.Theo (by Helen)


The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, generic shop really, that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, information pills really, that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

The bearded lady by Genie Espinosa

It’s a bunch of freaks, site really, visit this that are lining the walls of ‘The Social’ venue right now. The big mustaches, the hairy backs, the bushy nipples (eugh) and some folks with no discernable flaw but are still just … weird. Artist Jason Butler has drawn them all quite small, so you have to lean in to take in the details. Get in there for a good gawk, and back off again half wishing you hadn’t seen that, half keen to see more.


Jason Butler


Circus troupe by Avril Kelly

‘They take on a life of their own,’ says Jason Butler, the man responsible for these oddities. The Jersey-based artist has drawn 300 of them over seven years, but over time, he says, it has become less about the characters and more about the audience: ‘People have very different reactions. Some people think they are funny, and some can’t bear to be in the same room as them. So now it’s more about the viewers, and how we see them’


Jason Butler


Fortuneteller by Antonia Parker

On show alongside Butler’s art is poetry by Will Burnsx – rich with imagery and storytelling tradition. ‘The images suggested characters to me,’ says Burns, who enjoyed the digression from his usual nature themes. ‘These little vignettes came partially from having grown up in the country, hearing snippets of lives seemingly connected to these images.’

“She thought she had forgotten
his greased-back, curly hair,
the filthy greatcoat and the prematurely rotten
teeth. He said he owned the bear,

and joked that her bark
was not as bad as his bite.”
(The Barker by Will Burns)


Twins by Avril Kelly

The Butler and Burns collaboration was dreamt up by their mutual friend and the show’s curator, Nina Hervé. ‘I don’t think they are that freaky,’ she says, before conceding, ‘Well I suppose some of them are. But the thing with sideshows is they were often con-artists, or had small deformities they extenuated in order to get cash.’ We get talking about modern day versions of sideshows, such as tabloid magazines and those people making fools of themselves on X Factor and how people love watching it. ‘It’s curiosity I guess,’ says Nina.


Sideshow by Mina Bach

So while it’s probably a good thing we don’t have sideshows anymore, the hunger to study the freaky, exotic, or sexually divergent, is still there. Maybe we like seeing the grotesque because it takes us out of ourselves for a moment, or it could be we just like feeling shudders down our backs. Or maybe it’s because in the midst of the strangeness, strong or subtle, there is something almost beautiful.


Jason Butler


Tattooed woman by Antonia Parker

Sideshow Stories will be at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD until 15th March; see the website for upcoming events. Sideshow Stories is part of storytelling festival Yarn Fest, which runs 19-23 February at various locations in East London. For more information see our listing.

Rachel Freire S/S 2011, and illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, recipe maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, prostate so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Bex Glover

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Karina Yarv
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, visit Illustration by Karina Yarv

I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, straight through to a high heeled officious lady. Then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. The FRONT ROW. This was pleasing to say the least. And there were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to the tiny fashionista, pointing towards the penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her? Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. I looked around properly, and saw straight backed women before me. Unsmiling, with notepads on their laps and twitter at their fingertips. No one was without a smart phone. Comfortingly others were holding cameras possibly at the same level as mine, not everyone had the enormous lensed beasts. This made me feel infinitely better about my black device with sand trapped in the lens from every holiday in the last three years and glitter from an explosion at a festival last year. It makes me slightly sad to see it sprinkle on my lap when I take the lens cap off. Nostalgic particles… To the left, I felt like I was getting an immense tan however from the mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. It was just INTENSE; magic eye, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shielded the left hand side of her face for a bit. We briefly discussed the perils of giant screens of mini light bulbs. SUCH a drag. Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation was allowed to be built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED. Most of the opposite front row remained attached to the twit or without expression.

Jena Theo Matilde SazioJena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The darkness remained for a while, and I felt my heart start to beat harder. You know when as a child (/adult), at a theme park, you have just queued to get onto a ride that begins in the dark? You’re kind of scared but excited, not really sure how it will turn out? Yes, that. That was what it felt like. I was half expecting for the floor to drop and to experience a heart in my mouth sensation, as gravity stole my nerves. Child next door was heckling, all ready for the experience to begin. She’s not worried her mother assures me, as a seasoned show-goer why would she be? Well, indeed. This does not compare to my 80s Sussex upbringing. I spent being three and four devoted to my pink bomber jacket and all in one waterproof jumpsuit number. Was it the 80s? Was it me? Is there any hope? I apoligise, enough pondering! The show began.

Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_006 Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_007Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_008Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_004Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_003
Photography by Matt Bramford

I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway digressing again- the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.

Jena.Theo Valkyrie by Matilde Sazio
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy. I would love to wear this one standing at the front of a ship. Not a ferry, a ship. The collection; Valkyrie, refers to a band of celestial female figures who decide to die in the field of battle. So 300, in a sense, but with women. Strong, ethereal women.

Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_002Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_001 Jena.Theo_LFW_MattBramford_005
Photography by Matt Bramford

Jena.Theo have managged to combine the mythology with the urban reality. Fantasy has been embraced, with opulence in mind, the designs are sumptuous, yet strong. Fit for women going into battle with the ice of Scandinavia and the luxuriousness of a cashmere bustle behind them. And why not mix up the hemlines, paint black across our eyes and march like amazonian creations girls. We are women. Watch us gracefully, cooly and quietly move, like we believe we are mighty. We are. For designs that were indeed simple, they were deserving of their sparkling lights.

Categories ,bristol, ,Ethereal, ,fashion, ,Front Row, ,Helen Martin, ,hero, ,Jena.theo, ,Karina Yarv, ,Lights, ,london, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2011, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Matt Bramford, ,Norway, ,scandinavia, ,Ship, ,twitter, ,urban, ,Valkyrie

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

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester.

I will confess now. I may have gone over the top. Yes, nurse physician this blog is positively popping at the seams with illustrations. And it’s the FOURTH, clinic yes the FOURTH one to hit our website. But really it’s no surprise that Prophetik is such a big draw for both writers and illustrators, prostate peddling as he does an uber romantic view of the world that is steeped in a deep love for the natural environment.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson.

For his A/W 2011 Artist Wonderment collection designer Jeff Garner once again referenced times past, this time the “frivolous snobbery” of the court of Louix XV, an epoch that for him epitomises the falsity of impulsive consumption. Having interviewed Jeff Garner for my book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration I know how important it is for him to live a fully accountable life, and it seems to me that the title of this collection refers to the purity of artistic vision which he himself attempts to put into practice in everything he does.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly RochesterProphetik A/W 2011 by Gilly RochesterProphetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester.

The show opened in typical Jeff style, with live vocals followed by a madly thrashing classical violinist, who strutted down the catwalk as if her life depended on it.

Analiza Ching by Amelia Gregory
Violinist Analiza Ching by Gabriel 'Gaarte' Ayala
Violinist Analiza Ching by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.

But it was the finer detailing which really stood out as the models swept past me. His ball gowns and corseted dresses were awash with gorgeously constructed patchwork, twirly brocade, gilded buttons and ruffles. At a time when trains, tails, hooped and boned structures of every description have been big across all runways, his is an aesthetic which makes total sense right now.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

For me the absolute stand outs were a couple of stupendous quilted jackets… and by quilted I really do actually mean made out of antique quilts, one of which belonged on his childhood bed that he must surely have baulked at destructing – just a tiny bit. But as his stylist Rebekah Roy pointed out to me later on, it makes absolute sense to refashion a quilt in this way – a quilt that in the very first place was made from fabric remnants.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson.

This approach of continuous upcycling is certainly innovative, and epitomises what I love most about Jeff: his dedication to sustainable practice. All his fabrics are painstakingly hand dyed with a magical potion of herbs in a process that takes many weeks to accomplish – this season’s special plum colour was obtained by mixing up a unique blend of madder root, sorrel, logwood and indigo.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Karina Yarv
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Karina Yarv.

The love he puts into every single part of his work is evident in the outcome, and of anyone on the ethical fashion scene I really feel that Prophetik is pushing the way forward by putting on a ambitious catwalk show that ensures excitement amongst mainstream fashionistas. Prophetik opened Fashion Scout for the third season running and the Freemasons Hall was packed to the rafters, including famous front row attendees in the form of Hilary Alexander and Livia Firth, erstwhile wife of Colin and celebrity advocate of ethical fashion. At the end Jeff took a demure bow dressed in a cream silky ruffled top and powder blue peddle pushers, sporting his trademark swept back ponytail: if there’s one major advocate for dressing this way it’s the ever dapper Jeff Garner himself.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen JabbarProphetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen Jabbar
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen Jabbar.

I can only hope that Jeff’s dedication to the ethical cause will rub off on other members of the fashion industry. Soon.

You can read Matt Bramford’s review here, Helen Martin’s review here and Katie Antoniou’s review here.

Prophetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryProphetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Prophetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read more about Jeff Garner‘s design philosophy in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Analiza Ching, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Artist Wonderment, ,Danielle Shepherd, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Farzeen Jabbar, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gaarte, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Hilary Alexander, ,Jeff Garner, ,Karina Yarv, ,Livia Firth, ,Louix XV, ,Prophetik, ,Quilt, ,Rebekah Roy, ,Upcycling, ,Violinist

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

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

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

Illustration by Antonia Parker

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

Illustration by Ankolie

Susie Bubble

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

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

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

Illustration by Karina Yarv

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

Illustration by Antonia Parker

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion in Film Festival: Moulin Rouge (1928)

Your previous work has explored Poe and Baudelaire – what drew you to their writings and inspire you to visualise their literary landscapes?

They are both writers who utilise the city as a character within their own mythology. They blur the line between the now and another world. There is an atmosphere of insubstantial things, more about buy essences and emanations, check of beauty as a manifestation of a perpetual beyond. Of smoke, fogs, shimmering obfuscations and of a moon setting sail over the city. Through their absent, distant world, I can better see my own city, with its scuffed, graffiti-layered surfaces—another forest of symbols, veilings and half-read signs, a world of unstable meanings, porous images which flow into each other.

Your exhibitions contain both the static and moving image, how would you describe your relationship to these two methods of representation?

The drawn images both in the show and the film are an attempt to crystallise a particular idea or thought, the moving three dimensional fimed sections are more about conjuring up a state of mind or world

What possibilities of expression or narrative does film offer over the static image and vice versa?

I can be more open ended with film. when I’m making the images for my film, I create sets and project light and images into them and take hundreds of pictures ,so I often end up with something very different from what I began with film allows me to juxtapose and arrange images and have more than one thing going on at the same time by appealing to both the eyes and the ears, it also overlays images so someones impression of the film is a group of visual memories

The sets of the film resemble Victorian Children’s Theatre, possibly a stage for shadow puppets, is this a design inspired by research or relationship to the themes within the films?

I think my Poe film was more theatrical because his writing is very stagey and melodramatic

How did you discover Swedenborg and what drew you to his dream journals?

I went into the swedenborg society book shop out of curiosity, I like that part of town. it is also near to where Poe lived in London and also The conway hall and I loved the imagery in the dream diary and the struggle between reason and imagination

Which illustrators, artists or filmakers inspire or are used as reference within your work?

The Quay brothers, David Lynch, Kiki Smith, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Goya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Darger

The enigmatic mood of the films feel similar to Alice by Jan Svankmajer, have you seen this film?

Yes I have seen it and I very much like it so I’ll take that as a compliment

What interests you with regards to Alchemic Drawings or the relationship between Science and Faith?

I like the use of Heiroglyphic language in Alchemy, the linking of the rational and the irrational and the idea that the smallest thing is linked to the greatest, the idea that the whole universe is a code where everything is both itself and something else.

Where did you study?

Cambridge University and Chelsea, I studied English BA and Fine Art Painting, which represents both sides of my work really, the literary ideas and the practical realisation.

Watercolours are frequently used within your drawings, what attracts you to the medium?

They’re very bright – I use radiant watercolour inks. also I like their irreversableness

Bellowhead Kayleigh Bluck
Jon Spiers illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

My boyfriend, prostate Charlie started showing me ‘A Folk Song A Day’ a while back. There is one where two men, stuff Jon Boden and John Spiers, frontmen of Bellowhead, sit under a tree, in an (enchanted) forest and sing a nice traditional sounding number. This is the one Charlie particularly loves, it holds the words ‘spotted pig’ within it. Most of the songs come with a healthy dollop of ‘English’ cheek, hence spotted pig.

Just like Bellowhead’s songs, which tend to chat vigorously about strange animals, wizardry and prostitution. But they’re all done with a little glint in the eye and an elbow nudge. ‘English’ cheek makes these things Ok, I reckon. It also makes it all very amusing and you feel yourself holding back an ‘hoooo arrrgh’ as they announce the next song’s topic and sing about ‘whores’. Maybe the ‘hoooo arrrgh’ is because I am watching the band in the West Country and I’ve finally lost my South Eastern ways and become western in spirit. So lovable, they are… and darn! It just seems so quintessentially English to sing like this! *In the depths of dirty 18th century London, a pub glows orangey red, and bursts music from its heart- beers spills from tankards and bosoms heave.*

bellowhead by cat palairet
Bellowhead illustration by Cat Palairet

Of course London and Brighton still love a ho-down. But I have to say it is the county of Cornwall, that Bellowhead reminds me of the most. Cornwall still retains that mystical charm, where the fairies hang out dressed in corsets and the boys wear waistcoats. It is where you will find wooden floor stomping and ‘proper’ local pubs bursting with dancing and singing – natural coloured, ethereally moving fabrics flaying about. Although some Cornish say they are not English, it feels like it is they who hold onto my own nostalgic vision of England hundreds of years ago. And it is true that most music nights in Kernow’s pubs and bars centre around acoustic music and folk struts. You would certainly be hard pushed to find any minimal or electro going on down there.

BUT I digress! We are in Bristol tonight and although I may think i’m entering a pub called Jacob’s Ladder in Falmouth, Cornwall, I am actually in The Bristol Old Vic. Charlie is made up because he is seeing his spotted pig superstars and due to last minute actions, i’ve just had to squash past a row of people to get to my red velvet (?) seat in the middle of the seating line. There are eleven instruments on stage, which the eleven band members begin to attach themselves to. Most of the instruments look enormous. One of them, has to be worn, which makes it look like it is engulfing its player with its own gigantic structure. Like a fish with a massive head.

They start. And it’s like being dunked in ocean water, blasted with air and then bounced up and down. Before you know it, you’re bouncing up and down because you can’t help doing it. Then you’re clapping. Then you’re standing up, and dancing, and clapping. Because you literally can not help it. Bellowhead have injected you and the whole audience with some sort of extreme happiness on a November night. How very talented.

Bellowhead Live Bristol

When looking at the audience, I wouldn’t call it a ‘young person’ – as my Granny would label it – night. However there is a very broad demographic of people in attendance. Which lays testament to their talent. They are able to cross the divisions and bring people together with a related inner excitement. Initially I had thought the lady sat next to me appeared very reserved when I apologetically sank into my seat. But she really went for it, and I mean went for it. I had to tell myself to loosen up a bit, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm.

Bellowhead are so very confident on stage too. Jon Boden leads them on their whizz around their elation inducing music, and they all respect and work together so well. It’s great to see the purposeful movements, belief in performance and joy from being there. Enjoying the riotous music making, Boden continuously raises up his arms, embracing, welcoming and encouraging the spirited feelings. Everyone dances around on stage and I feel like i’m watching a vibrant musical.

This stage presence and professional style now transports them from Cornwall to the Moulin Rouge! Now, Boden is standing on top of the windmill as he sings, and all the players are on a platform in the sky. It’s all loaded with humour and full of energy as I realise that these guys are actually epic.

Abby_Wright_Bellowhead
Jon Spiers illustration by Abby Wright

I begin to wish there had been no seats and we could have pranced around and stamped our feet from the start. However, of course although Bellowhead are about the dancing, they are also about the performance. Huge accolades have been bestowed upon this mega-folk band. They have won the BBC award for Best Live Folk Act four times, with The Independent stating: ‘With the exception of The Who, Bellowhead are surely the best live act in the country.’ Indeed. With 11 hugely talented musicians on stage, I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Before I sign off, going back to A Folk Song A Day, Boden says: “The main idea behind A Folk Song A Day. com is to try and do my bit for raising the profile of unaccompanied social singing. Most of the songs on the site are songs that I have sung for years but rarely on stage and never on albums – songs that I have learnt because I wanted to be able to sing them in a pub.” I’ll tell you this, their album is nothing compared to a live performance by Bellowhead. You WILL want to start singing in pubs and you WILL be singing all the way home.

Details of their tour can be found here

Bellowhead Kayleigh Bluck
Jon Spiers illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

My boyfriend, buy information pills Charlie started showing me ‘A Folk Song A Day’ a while back. There is one where two men, medical Jon Boden and John Spiers, seek frontmen of Bellowhead, sit under a tree, in an (enchanted) forest and sing a nice traditional sounding number. This is the one Charlie particularly loves, it holds the words ‘spotted pig’ within it. Most of the songs come with a healthy dollop of ‘English’ cheek, hence spotted pig.

Just like Bellowhead’s songs, which tend to chat vigorously about strange animals, wizardry and prostitution. But they’re all done with a little glint in the eye and an elbow nudge. ‘English’ cheek makes these things Ok, I reckon. It also makes it all very amusing and you feel yourself holding back an ‘hoooo arrrgh’ as they announce the next song’s topic and sing about ‘whores’. Maybe the ‘hoooo arrrgh’ is because I am watching the band in the West Country and I’ve finally lost my South Eastern ways and become western in spirit. So lovable, they are… and darn! It just seems so quintessentially English to sing like this! *In the depths of dirty 18th century London, a pub glows orangey red, and bursts music from its heart- beers spills from tankards and bosoms heave.*

bellowhead by cat palairet
Bellowhead illustration by Cat Palairet

Of course London and Brighton still love a ho-down. But I have to say it is the county of Cornwall, that Bellowhead reminds me of the most. Cornwall still retains that mystical charm, where the fairies hang out dressed in corsets and the boys wear waistcoats. It is where you will find wooden floor stomping and ‘proper’ local pubs bursting with dancing and singing – natural coloured, ethereally moving fabrics flaying about. Although some Cornish say they are not English, it feels like it is they who hold onto my own nostalgic vision of England hundreds of years ago. And it is true that most music nights in Kernow’s pubs and bars centre around acoustic music and folk struts. You would certainly be hard pushed to find any minimal or electro going on down there.

BUT I digress! We are in Bristol tonight and although I may think i’m entering a pub called Jacob’s Ladder in Falmouth, Cornwall, I am actually in The Bristol Old Vic. Charlie is made up because he is seeing his spotted pig superstars and due to last minute actions, i’ve just had to squash past a row of people to get to my red velvet (?) seat in the middle of the seating line. There are eleven instruments on stage, which the eleven band members begin to attach themselves to. Most of the instruments look enormous. One of them, has to be worn, which makes it look like it is engulfing its player with its own gigantic structure. Like a fish with a massive head.

They start. And it’s like being dunked in ocean water, blasted with air and then bounced up and down. Before you know it, you’re bouncing up and down because you can’t help doing it. Then you’re clapping. Then you’re standing up, and dancing, and clapping. Because you literally can not help it. Bellowhead have injected you and the whole audience with some sort of extreme happiness on a November night. How very talented.

Bellowhead Live Bristol

When looking at the audience, I wouldn’t call it a ‘young person’ – as my Granny would label it – night. However there is a very broad demographic of people in attendance. Which lays testament to their talent. They are able to cross the divisions and bring people together with a related inner excitement. Initially I had thought the lady sat next to me appeared very reserved when I apologetically sank into my seat. But she really went for it, and I mean went for it. I had to tell myself to loosen up a bit, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm.

Bellowhead are so very confident on stage too. Jon Boden leads them on their whizz around their elation inducing music, and they all respect and work together so well. It’s great to see the purposeful movements, belief in performance and joy from being there. Enjoying the riotous music making, Boden continuously raises up his arms, embracing, welcoming and encouraging the spirited feelings. Everyone dances around on stage and I feel like i’m watching a vibrant musical.

This stage presence and professional style now transports them from Cornwall to the Moulin Rouge! Now, Boden is standing on top of the windmill as he sings, and all the players are on a platform in the sky. It’s all loaded with humour and full of energy as I realise that these guys are actually epic.

Abby_Wright_Bellowhead
Jon Spiers illustration by Abby Wright

I begin to wish there had been no seats and we could have pranced around and stamped our feet from the start. However, of course although Bellowhead are about the dancing, they are also about the performance. Huge accolades have been bestowed upon this mega-folk band. They have won the BBC award for Best Live Folk Act four times, with The Independent stating: ‘With the exception of The Who, Bellowhead are surely the best live act in the country.’ Indeed. With 11 hugely talented musicians on stage, I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Before I sign off, going back to A Folk Song A Day, Boden says: “The main idea behind A Folk Song A Day. com is to try and do my bit for raising the profile of unaccompanied social singing. Most of the songs on the site are songs that I have sung for years but rarely on stage and never on albums – songs that I have learnt because I wanted to be able to sing them in a pub.” I’ll tell you this, their album is nothing compared to a live performance by Bellowhead. You WILL want to start singing in pubs and you WILL be singing all the way home.

Details of their tour can be found here

Your previous work has explored Poe and Baudelaire – what drew you to their writings and inspire you to visualise their literary landscapes?

They are both writers who utilise the city as a character within their own mythology. They blur the line between the now and another world. There is an atmosphere of insubstantial things, website essences and emanations, view of beauty as a manifestation of a perpetual beyond. Of smoke, stuff fogs, shimmering obfuscations and of a moon setting sail over the city. Through their absent, distant world, I can better see my own city, with its scuffed, graffiti-layered surfaces—another forest of symbols, veilings and half-read signs, a world of unstable meanings, porous images which flow into each other.

Your exhibitions contain both the static and moving image, how would you describe your relationship to these two methods of representation?

The drawn images both in the show and the film are an attempt to crystallise a particular idea or thought, the moving three dimensional fimed sections are more about conjuring up a state of mind or world

What possibilities of expression or narrative does film offer over the static image and vice versa?

I can be more open ended with film. when I’m making the images for my film, I create sets and project light and images into them and take hundreds of pictures ,so I often end up with something very different from what I began with film allows me to juxtapose and arrange images and have more than one thing going on at the same time by appealing to both the eyes and the ears, it also overlays images so someones impression of the film is a group of visual memories

The sets of the film resemble Victorian Children’s Theatre, possibly a stage for shadow puppets, is this a design inspired by research or relationship to the themes within the films?

I think my Poe film was more theatrical because his writing is very stagey and melodramatic

How did you discover Swedenborg and what drew you to his dream journals?

I went into the swedenborg society book shop out of curiosity, I like that part of town. it is also near to where Poe lived in London and also The conway hall and I loved the imagery in the dream diary and the struggle between reason and imagination

Which illustrators, artists or filmakers inspire or are used as reference within your work?

The Quay brothers, David Lynch, Kiki Smith, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Goya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Darger

The enigmatic mood of the films feel similar to Alice by Jan Svankmajer, have you seen this film?

Yes I have seen it and I very much like it so I’ll take that as a compliment

What interests you with regards to Alchemic Drawings or the relationship between Science and Faith?

I like the use of Heiroglyphic language in Alchemy, the linking of the rational and the irrational and the idea that the smallest thing is linked to the greatest, the idea that the whole universe is a code where everything is both itself and something else.

Where did you study?

Cambridge University and Chelsea, I studied English BA and Fine Art Painting, which represents both sides of my work really, the literary ideas and the practical realisation.

Watercolours are frequently used within your drawings, what attracts you to the medium?

They’re very bright – I use radiant watercolour inks. also I like their irreversableness


Illustration by Abi Daker

To celebrate The 3rd Fashion in Film Festival, generic a series of silent movies have been presented at screens around London. After a frolic of veiled dancing at Dreams of Darkness and Colour at the Barbican on Saturday, there Tuesday night it was the turn of the BFI with a screening of the original Moulin Rouge, in its black & white silent glory.


Illustration by Katie Harnett

First presented in 1928, Moulin Rouge transports the viewer into the glamour of life on the Parisian stage and the often more stark reality off-stage that accompanies it. After meandering around Parisian night life, voyeuristically bringing the viewer vignettes of after-dark liaisons (including Toulouse Lautrec busy doodling music hall performances) the movie settles on the story of Moulin Rouge star Parysian. Her top billing and star rating at the Paris music hall does not save Parysian from her undoing, quite to the contrary, it is her profession that comes between her daughter, daughter’s fiancé and father-in-law to be. The film contrasts the harsh reality of Parysian’s life with the glitz of the showbiz world of which she is a part and cannot escape. ‘Madame, it’s time to go to the theatre’; the show must go on.


Illustration by Avril Kelly

The film reflects the sociology of the times – classism, elitism, personal relations, and of course the racy sub-culture of the music hall and Parisian bars are all brought to life. Some scenes were sure to be shocking for the 1920’s, not only the salacious stage performances, but the behviour of the music hall’s more well-to-do patrons, including an impromptu food fight at the show’s after party.


Illustration by Joana Faria

We went to see the fashion, and fashion there was. On stage, there was all the glamour to be found in Vegas, with revealing outfits bejewelled to the max. Off stage, Parysian continued the glamour, even when changing into something less revealing to play good mother-in-law. While lacking the full on sensory assault of its contemporary, given the allure of an old black & white silent, backed with a one-man musical accompaniment, the original Moulin Rouge can still arouse the senses.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

Read our review of Pink Narcissus at the Fashion in Film Festival here.

Categories ,1928, ,Abi Daker, ,Avril Kelly, ,BFI, ,Dupont, ,fashion, ,Fashion in Film Festival, ,Glamour, ,Joana Faria, ,Karina Yarv, ,Katie Harnett, ,london, ,Moulin Rouge, ,Musical, ,paris, ,Parysian, ,Toulouse Latrec

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion in Film Festival: Moulin Rouge (1928)

Your previous work has explored Poe and Baudelaire – what drew you to their writings and inspire you to visualise their literary landscapes?

They are both writers who utilise the city as a character within their own mythology. They blur the line between the now and another world. There is an atmosphere of insubstantial things, more about buy essences and emanations, check of beauty as a manifestation of a perpetual beyond. Of smoke, fogs, shimmering obfuscations and of a moon setting sail over the city. Through their absent, distant world, I can better see my own city, with its scuffed, graffiti-layered surfaces—another forest of symbols, veilings and half-read signs, a world of unstable meanings, porous images which flow into each other.

Your exhibitions contain both the static and moving image, how would you describe your relationship to these two methods of representation?

The drawn images both in the show and the film are an attempt to crystallise a particular idea or thought, the moving three dimensional fimed sections are more about conjuring up a state of mind or world

What possibilities of expression or narrative does film offer over the static image and vice versa?

I can be more open ended with film. when I’m making the images for my film, I create sets and project light and images into them and take hundreds of pictures ,so I often end up with something very different from what I began with film allows me to juxtapose and arrange images and have more than one thing going on at the same time by appealing to both the eyes and the ears, it also overlays images so someones impression of the film is a group of visual memories

The sets of the film resemble Victorian Children’s Theatre, possibly a stage for shadow puppets, is this a design inspired by research or relationship to the themes within the films?

I think my Poe film was more theatrical because his writing is very stagey and melodramatic

How did you discover Swedenborg and what drew you to his dream journals?

I went into the swedenborg society book shop out of curiosity, I like that part of town. it is also near to where Poe lived in London and also The conway hall and I loved the imagery in the dream diary and the struggle between reason and imagination

Which illustrators, artists or filmakers inspire or are used as reference within your work?

The Quay brothers, David Lynch, Kiki Smith, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Goya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Darger

The enigmatic mood of the films feel similar to Alice by Jan Svankmajer, have you seen this film?

Yes I have seen it and I very much like it so I’ll take that as a compliment

What interests you with regards to Alchemic Drawings or the relationship between Science and Faith?

I like the use of Heiroglyphic language in Alchemy, the linking of the rational and the irrational and the idea that the smallest thing is linked to the greatest, the idea that the whole universe is a code where everything is both itself and something else.

Where did you study?

Cambridge University and Chelsea, I studied English BA and Fine Art Painting, which represents both sides of my work really, the literary ideas and the practical realisation.

Watercolours are frequently used within your drawings, what attracts you to the medium?

They’re very bright – I use radiant watercolour inks. also I like their irreversableness

Bellowhead Kayleigh Bluck
Jon Spiers illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

My boyfriend, prostate Charlie started showing me ‘A Folk Song A Day’ a while back. There is one where two men, stuff Jon Boden and John Spiers, frontmen of Bellowhead, sit under a tree, in an (enchanted) forest and sing a nice traditional sounding number. This is the one Charlie particularly loves, it holds the words ‘spotted pig’ within it. Most of the songs come with a healthy dollop of ‘English’ cheek, hence spotted pig.

Just like Bellowhead’s songs, which tend to chat vigorously about strange animals, wizardry and prostitution. But they’re all done with a little glint in the eye and an elbow nudge. ‘English’ cheek makes these things Ok, I reckon. It also makes it all very amusing and you feel yourself holding back an ‘hoooo arrrgh’ as they announce the next song’s topic and sing about ‘whores’. Maybe the ‘hoooo arrrgh’ is because I am watching the band in the West Country and I’ve finally lost my South Eastern ways and become western in spirit. So lovable, they are… and darn! It just seems so quintessentially English to sing like this! *In the depths of dirty 18th century London, a pub glows orangey red, and bursts music from its heart- beers spills from tankards and bosoms heave.*

bellowhead by cat palairet
Bellowhead illustration by Cat Palairet

Of course London and Brighton still love a ho-down. But I have to say it is the county of Cornwall, that Bellowhead reminds me of the most. Cornwall still retains that mystical charm, where the fairies hang out dressed in corsets and the boys wear waistcoats. It is where you will find wooden floor stomping and ‘proper’ local pubs bursting with dancing and singing – natural coloured, ethereally moving fabrics flaying about. Although some Cornish say they are not English, it feels like it is they who hold onto my own nostalgic vision of England hundreds of years ago. And it is true that most music nights in Kernow’s pubs and bars centre around acoustic music and folk struts. You would certainly be hard pushed to find any minimal or electro going on down there.

BUT I digress! We are in Bristol tonight and although I may think i’m entering a pub called Jacob’s Ladder in Falmouth, Cornwall, I am actually in The Bristol Old Vic. Charlie is made up because he is seeing his spotted pig superstars and due to last minute actions, i’ve just had to squash past a row of people to get to my red velvet (?) seat in the middle of the seating line. There are eleven instruments on stage, which the eleven band members begin to attach themselves to. Most of the instruments look enormous. One of them, has to be worn, which makes it look like it is engulfing its player with its own gigantic structure. Like a fish with a massive head.

They start. And it’s like being dunked in ocean water, blasted with air and then bounced up and down. Before you know it, you’re bouncing up and down because you can’t help doing it. Then you’re clapping. Then you’re standing up, and dancing, and clapping. Because you literally can not help it. Bellowhead have injected you and the whole audience with some sort of extreme happiness on a November night. How very talented.

Bellowhead Live Bristol

When looking at the audience, I wouldn’t call it a ‘young person’ – as my Granny would label it – night. However there is a very broad demographic of people in attendance. Which lays testament to their talent. They are able to cross the divisions and bring people together with a related inner excitement. Initially I had thought the lady sat next to me appeared very reserved when I apologetically sank into my seat. But she really went for it, and I mean went for it. I had to tell myself to loosen up a bit, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm.

Bellowhead are so very confident on stage too. Jon Boden leads them on their whizz around their elation inducing music, and they all respect and work together so well. It’s great to see the purposeful movements, belief in performance and joy from being there. Enjoying the riotous music making, Boden continuously raises up his arms, embracing, welcoming and encouraging the spirited feelings. Everyone dances around on stage and I feel like i’m watching a vibrant musical.

This stage presence and professional style now transports them from Cornwall to the Moulin Rouge! Now, Boden is standing on top of the windmill as he sings, and all the players are on a platform in the sky. It’s all loaded with humour and full of energy as I realise that these guys are actually epic.

Abby_Wright_Bellowhead
Jon Spiers illustration by Abby Wright

I begin to wish there had been no seats and we could have pranced around and stamped our feet from the start. However, of course although Bellowhead are about the dancing, they are also about the performance. Huge accolades have been bestowed upon this mega-folk band. They have won the BBC award for Best Live Folk Act four times, with The Independent stating: ‘With the exception of The Who, Bellowhead are surely the best live act in the country.’ Indeed. With 11 hugely talented musicians on stage, I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Before I sign off, going back to A Folk Song A Day, Boden says: “The main idea behind A Folk Song A Day. com is to try and do my bit for raising the profile of unaccompanied social singing. Most of the songs on the site are songs that I have sung for years but rarely on stage and never on albums – songs that I have learnt because I wanted to be able to sing them in a pub.” I’ll tell you this, their album is nothing compared to a live performance by Bellowhead. You WILL want to start singing in pubs and you WILL be singing all the way home.

Details of their tour can be found here

Bellowhead Kayleigh Bluck
Jon Spiers illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

My boyfriend, buy information pills Charlie started showing me ‘A Folk Song A Day’ a while back. There is one where two men, medical Jon Boden and John Spiers, seek frontmen of Bellowhead, sit under a tree, in an (enchanted) forest and sing a nice traditional sounding number. This is the one Charlie particularly loves, it holds the words ‘spotted pig’ within it. Most of the songs come with a healthy dollop of ‘English’ cheek, hence spotted pig.

Just like Bellowhead’s songs, which tend to chat vigorously about strange animals, wizardry and prostitution. But they’re all done with a little glint in the eye and an elbow nudge. ‘English’ cheek makes these things Ok, I reckon. It also makes it all very amusing and you feel yourself holding back an ‘hoooo arrrgh’ as they announce the next song’s topic and sing about ‘whores’. Maybe the ‘hoooo arrrgh’ is because I am watching the band in the West Country and I’ve finally lost my South Eastern ways and become western in spirit. So lovable, they are… and darn! It just seems so quintessentially English to sing like this! *In the depths of dirty 18th century London, a pub glows orangey red, and bursts music from its heart- beers spills from tankards and bosoms heave.*

bellowhead by cat palairet
Bellowhead illustration by Cat Palairet

Of course London and Brighton still love a ho-down. But I have to say it is the county of Cornwall, that Bellowhead reminds me of the most. Cornwall still retains that mystical charm, where the fairies hang out dressed in corsets and the boys wear waistcoats. It is where you will find wooden floor stomping and ‘proper’ local pubs bursting with dancing and singing – natural coloured, ethereally moving fabrics flaying about. Although some Cornish say they are not English, it feels like it is they who hold onto my own nostalgic vision of England hundreds of years ago. And it is true that most music nights in Kernow’s pubs and bars centre around acoustic music and folk struts. You would certainly be hard pushed to find any minimal or electro going on down there.

BUT I digress! We are in Bristol tonight and although I may think i’m entering a pub called Jacob’s Ladder in Falmouth, Cornwall, I am actually in The Bristol Old Vic. Charlie is made up because he is seeing his spotted pig superstars and due to last minute actions, i’ve just had to squash past a row of people to get to my red velvet (?) seat in the middle of the seating line. There are eleven instruments on stage, which the eleven band members begin to attach themselves to. Most of the instruments look enormous. One of them, has to be worn, which makes it look like it is engulfing its player with its own gigantic structure. Like a fish with a massive head.

They start. And it’s like being dunked in ocean water, blasted with air and then bounced up and down. Before you know it, you’re bouncing up and down because you can’t help doing it. Then you’re clapping. Then you’re standing up, and dancing, and clapping. Because you literally can not help it. Bellowhead have injected you and the whole audience with some sort of extreme happiness on a November night. How very talented.

Bellowhead Live Bristol

When looking at the audience, I wouldn’t call it a ‘young person’ – as my Granny would label it – night. However there is a very broad demographic of people in attendance. Which lays testament to their talent. They are able to cross the divisions and bring people together with a related inner excitement. Initially I had thought the lady sat next to me appeared very reserved when I apologetically sank into my seat. But she really went for it, and I mean went for it. I had to tell myself to loosen up a bit, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm.

Bellowhead are so very confident on stage too. Jon Boden leads them on their whizz around their elation inducing music, and they all respect and work together so well. It’s great to see the purposeful movements, belief in performance and joy from being there. Enjoying the riotous music making, Boden continuously raises up his arms, embracing, welcoming and encouraging the spirited feelings. Everyone dances around on stage and I feel like i’m watching a vibrant musical.

This stage presence and professional style now transports them from Cornwall to the Moulin Rouge! Now, Boden is standing on top of the windmill as he sings, and all the players are on a platform in the sky. It’s all loaded with humour and full of energy as I realise that these guys are actually epic.

Abby_Wright_Bellowhead
Jon Spiers illustration by Abby Wright

I begin to wish there had been no seats and we could have pranced around and stamped our feet from the start. However, of course although Bellowhead are about the dancing, they are also about the performance. Huge accolades have been bestowed upon this mega-folk band. They have won the BBC award for Best Live Folk Act four times, with The Independent stating: ‘With the exception of The Who, Bellowhead are surely the best live act in the country.’ Indeed. With 11 hugely talented musicians on stage, I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Before I sign off, going back to A Folk Song A Day, Boden says: “The main idea behind A Folk Song A Day. com is to try and do my bit for raising the profile of unaccompanied social singing. Most of the songs on the site are songs that I have sung for years but rarely on stage and never on albums – songs that I have learnt because I wanted to be able to sing them in a pub.” I’ll tell you this, their album is nothing compared to a live performance by Bellowhead. You WILL want to start singing in pubs and you WILL be singing all the way home.

Details of their tour can be found here

Your previous work has explored Poe and Baudelaire – what drew you to their writings and inspire you to visualise their literary landscapes?

They are both writers who utilise the city as a character within their own mythology. They blur the line between the now and another world. There is an atmosphere of insubstantial things, website essences and emanations, view of beauty as a manifestation of a perpetual beyond. Of smoke, stuff fogs, shimmering obfuscations and of a moon setting sail over the city. Through their absent, distant world, I can better see my own city, with its scuffed, graffiti-layered surfaces—another forest of symbols, veilings and half-read signs, a world of unstable meanings, porous images which flow into each other.

Your exhibitions contain both the static and moving image, how would you describe your relationship to these two methods of representation?

The drawn images both in the show and the film are an attempt to crystallise a particular idea or thought, the moving three dimensional fimed sections are more about conjuring up a state of mind or world

What possibilities of expression or narrative does film offer over the static image and vice versa?

I can be more open ended with film. when I’m making the images for my film, I create sets and project light and images into them and take hundreds of pictures ,so I often end up with something very different from what I began with film allows me to juxtapose and arrange images and have more than one thing going on at the same time by appealing to both the eyes and the ears, it also overlays images so someones impression of the film is a group of visual memories

The sets of the film resemble Victorian Children’s Theatre, possibly a stage for shadow puppets, is this a design inspired by research or relationship to the themes within the films?

I think my Poe film was more theatrical because his writing is very stagey and melodramatic

How did you discover Swedenborg and what drew you to his dream journals?

I went into the swedenborg society book shop out of curiosity, I like that part of town. it is also near to where Poe lived in London and also The conway hall and I loved the imagery in the dream diary and the struggle between reason and imagination

Which illustrators, artists or filmakers inspire or are used as reference within your work?

The Quay brothers, David Lynch, Kiki Smith, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Goya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Darger

The enigmatic mood of the films feel similar to Alice by Jan Svankmajer, have you seen this film?

Yes I have seen it and I very much like it so I’ll take that as a compliment

What interests you with regards to Alchemic Drawings or the relationship between Science and Faith?

I like the use of Heiroglyphic language in Alchemy, the linking of the rational and the irrational and the idea that the smallest thing is linked to the greatest, the idea that the whole universe is a code where everything is both itself and something else.

Where did you study?

Cambridge University and Chelsea, I studied English BA and Fine Art Painting, which represents both sides of my work really, the literary ideas and the practical realisation.

Watercolours are frequently used within your drawings, what attracts you to the medium?

They’re very bright – I use radiant watercolour inks. also I like their irreversableness


Illustration by Abi Daker

To celebrate The 3rd Fashion in Film Festival, generic a series of silent movies have been presented at screens around London. After a frolic of veiled dancing at Dreams of Darkness and Colour at the Barbican on Saturday, there Tuesday night it was the turn of the BFI with a screening of the original Moulin Rouge, in its black & white silent glory.


Illustration by Katie Harnett

First presented in 1928, Moulin Rouge transports the viewer into the glamour of life on the Parisian stage and the often more stark reality off-stage that accompanies it. After meandering around Parisian night life, voyeuristically bringing the viewer vignettes of after-dark liaisons (including Toulouse Lautrec busy doodling music hall performances) the movie settles on the story of Moulin Rouge star Parysian. Her top billing and star rating at the Paris music hall does not save Parysian from her undoing, quite to the contrary, it is her profession that comes between her daughter, daughter’s fiancé and father-in-law to be. The film contrasts the harsh reality of Parysian’s life with the glitz of the showbiz world of which she is a part and cannot escape. ‘Madame, it’s time to go to the theatre’; the show must go on.


Illustration by Avril Kelly

The film reflects the sociology of the times – classism, elitism, personal relations, and of course the racy sub-culture of the music hall and Parisian bars are all brought to life. Some scenes were sure to be shocking for the 1920’s, not only the salacious stage performances, but the behviour of the music hall’s more well-to-do patrons, including an impromptu food fight at the show’s after party.


Illustration by Joana Faria

We went to see the fashion, and fashion there was. On stage, there was all the glamour to be found in Vegas, with revealing outfits bejewelled to the max. Off stage, Parysian continued the glamour, even when changing into something less revealing to play good mother-in-law. While lacking the full on sensory assault of its contemporary, given the allure of an old black & white silent, backed with a one-man musical accompaniment, the original Moulin Rouge can still arouse the senses.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

Read our review of Pink Narcissus at the Fashion in Film Festival here.

Categories ,1928, ,Abi Daker, ,Avril Kelly, ,BFI, ,Dupont, ,fashion, ,Fashion in Film Festival, ,Glamour, ,Joana Faria, ,Karina Yarv, ,Katie Harnett, ,london, ,Moulin Rouge, ,Musical, ,paris, ,Parysian, ,Toulouse Latrec

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