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 | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Caroline Charles


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

It was Day 1 at Somerset House and I was surrounded by all those fashion bigwigs at Caroline Charles; sure to have just flown in first-class from the closing New York Fashion Week and before that whichever glamorous corner of the Earth they resided. The BFC Catwalk space, page therefore, kicked off with a sure-fire reminder of where we were; London. Just in case anyone forgot.


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

??It was all about the classic, home-comfort elements of good-old British style. You had your checks, your lace, your chiffon, your wool winter coats that your mother forced you in when you were young and now just can’t get out of.??

Most garments were intrinsically minimalistic. There was very little print. The fabric palette didn’t stretch too far and no real attempt towards a-symmetric cuts or daring features was made. Despite such profuse amounts of plain-Jane style, however, a subtle sexiness arose from those full-sequined dresses in bright red and sultry black as well as the odd combination of tiger and leopard print. It was bad taste turned classy.??


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

The collection’s silhouette held a strong focus on the waist with delicate belts cinching-in wool shift dresses and chiffon floaty creations. There was a barely a bold moment throughout the entire show but one thing was for sure: everything had style.
Furthermore (as has been featured countless times this season), bows were a primary focus for Charles. She placed them on bowler hats, made them out of black ribbon tied around the neck and pulled them round to the rear of high-waisted trousers.


Illustrations by Maria Papadimitriou

Some of the combinations of textures, however, were a little iffy for me. Black leather pencil skirts with brown lady-like jackets? It just didn’t click. I also wasn’t keen on the injection of equestrian riding hats and low pony-tails. It was oh-so-boring and that kind of look, for me anyway, completely lacks any sort of style or attitude. Perhaps a ploy made my yet-another designer to turn the head of Kate Middleton as the Royal Wedding approaches? Maybe so.


Photographs by Georgia Takacs

Amidst the elegant and some-what calming classical music, however, I was agitated by lady-with-hideous-hat who was inconveniently featured in most of my photographs. There was a bit of a frenzy around her and THE HAT after the show. I couldn’t begin to understand why and marched past indifferent and utterly confused.??

All in all, a largely predictable and collection from a classic London dress-maker. It’s endearing, however, to see a leading designer of 47 years to continue delivering a fail-safe iconic style which will forever be appreciated. And with so much sophisticated femininity around this Autumn/Winter season, it certainly set the scene for what was to come and offers a solid reference to anyone embracing ‘The Woman’ next season.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Autumn/Winter, ,Bows, ,british, ,Caroline Charles, ,catwalk, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Kate Middleton, ,ladylike, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,review, ,Royal Wedding, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Style, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jasper Garvida: London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview, part one

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustration by Aliyah Hussain

There is nothing I love more than a designer that approaches their creations like an artist about to create a masterpiece that’s also flattering and wearable. One designer that does all of this as well as constantly surprise is Jasper Garvida.

A favourite of Amelia’s Magazine with a flurry of adoring reviews such as this last one on his current Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. A graduate of Central Saint Martins and winner of Sky One’s Project Catwalk show, generic Jasper caught the attention of stylists and editors alike. I visited his studio ahead of unveiling his Spring/Summer 2012 collection at London Fashion Week, which is inspired by Fashion Editor legend Diana Vreeland and a painting by artist Frantisek Kupka. We chatted about style, what women want in an outfit and Kate Middleton with a peek at the new collection illustrated by some very talented people.

Jasper in his studio, photograph by Alia GargumJasper at the sewing machine by Alia Gargum

You’ve been a real rising star of fashion (with a glowing graduate show review from Hillary Alexander, Fashion Editor of the Telegraph while the complete collection was bought out by Nicola Formachetti, previous editor of Dazed and Confused, and a firm Amelia’s Magazine favourite with your feminine, embellished, yet strong creations. Looking over your career so far and your upcoming Spring/Summer 2012 collection how can you describe the journey of the Jasper Garvida brand?
I was so surprised when Nicola Formachetti, Lady Gaga’s stylist of all people, bought my entire graduate collection. My friend Gareth Pugh introduced me to Nicola, who fell in love with the collection and sold it in Japan as well as using it for different publications at the time, giving my work great exposure that led to bigger things. I was incredibly privileged to have met him and the Dazed team, which made me realise that I wanted to do more. I then started creating collections for Alternative Fashion Week, and as every collection I created sold, I realised ‘there’s something going on here’. So I just kept rolling with the collections, although I originally never had the intention of having my own label.

Past collections hanging in the studio

Studying at Central Saint Martins was an incredible experience, where you are pushed into being more creative, but in terms of commercial design this can’t always be realistic. So I next worked for the high street, designing for different labels such as Evans, Wallis, and Miss Selfridge, creating clothes for different body shapes and age ranges. I took me a while to understand what the average woman looks like and what would flatter them. I learnt about cut, what skirt length that average woman would prefer and things like how a maximum neckline drop of 18cm is sexy, and beyond that is a no-no. I also found out how to flatter a fuller figure, because bigger women need to feel sexy too. This got me into the habit of looking at women on the tube, in the street, asking myself, ‘how can I make it better for them?’ thinking about what they need and what they want. However, working for high street brands made me miss the whole creative process of having your own label, and for a while I felt a little lost as a designer. As you know, the high street relies heavily on trends and I really wanted to do something of my own. I then figured out that the only way to do this was to open my own company and combine all my experiences so far. So I started the brand in November 2008, and it has taken a while to build up the label. In the beginning we thought about figuring out a gap in the market and where we would have liked the label to go, experimenting as we went along. I now feel very positive about S/S 2012 and that this season is our strongest. The collection is the direction in which I want to head and I feel that this is delivering what our customers wanted to see more of.

More previous collections

How does a collection begin in the mind of Jasper Garvida?
I always start a collection based on how I feel at the time, absorbing what’s going on and thinking about what’s going to happen in the future. For some reason I have this intuitive ability to tell what’s going to happen in fashion or what colour will be next. I think you learn that from working in the industry and especially from working for high-street brands where you’ve got to know what the next big thing is. I always ask myself, ‘what do women need now?’ and this is something that always changes, which is good. Fashion is like a cycle, from day to night, always moving. If it doesn’t change it becomes dated, but style is something that always remains.

Jasper Garvida S/S '12 illustrationsIllustrations of the S/S ’12 collection by Jasper Garvida.

When I started the S/S 2012 collection I looked at what was happening in fashion at the time, and I noticed a lot of colour. It was also a time in my life where I felt that the absence of colour for summer wasn’t a bad thing, and I felt so strongly about black and white, which isn’t something I’ve done before. For me black and white symbolises purity, and opposites, which has always been a theme in what I do. I never like to be in-between, I always feel like ‘if you’re going to do more, do more, if you’re going to do less, do less’, but never in-between as I feel that it’s average and I like exploring different extremes. Black and white together also create balance, and at this time in my life I’ve found balance. When I came back from Paris, feeling like this, I immediately painted the entire flat black and all my furniture white, so I kind of lived it. I wanted to share that experience with everyone through the S/S 2012 collection. I also find that when I am bombarded with colours it’s hard to think, and sometimes I just want to breathe and have a moment where I can be calm. Afterwards, I can start again and return to colours. So I feel that this collection is not only a reflection of me as a person but me as a designer, and hopefully it is another step forward.

More gorgeously detailed S/S ’12 illustrations by Jasper
There has been an intelligence and depth to every collection you’ve created; inspired by artistic movements, literature, and always a celebration of the female form and femininity. As you have grown as a designer what have you found most inspiring about women?
I grew up with three sisters (six siblings in total) whom I was very close to, as well as my mum, which gave me a great amount of respect for women. And being gay as well, I feel that I have a huge admiration for women, sometimes I want to be one! I feel that the most important thing I discovered about women is that there is strength there. Women have been undervalued for years, and it’s been said that they’re not strong individuals, so I always try to promote the strength of women. For years women have fought for equality with movements like the Women’s Liberation Front and other campaigns towards women’s rights. My mother is such a strong person and is a huge inspiration to me. I didn’t grow up in a rich background; I am from a working class family and I saw my mother bring up my brothers and sisters and me with this incredible inner strength. She’s a real working class woman who managed to look after her family while making the effort to dress up for parties at the same time. I am still in awe of how women find the time to do this; I’m baffled by it. I know as a guy, I wake up, don’t even comb my hair and just throw something on. Women still have a lot of pressure imposed on them to look like they’ve made an effort with their appearance, so my admiration for them continually grows.

Find out more about how the collection came together in the second part of the Jasper Garvida S/S ’12 London Fashion Week preview interview.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Aliyah Hussain, ,Alternative Fashion Week, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dazed and Confused, ,Diana Vreeland, ,Evans, ,Frantisek Kupka, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gareth Pugh, ,jasper garvida, ,Kate Middleton, ,Lady Gaga, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Miss Selfridge, ,Nicola Formachetti, ,preview, ,S/S 2012, ,Sam Parr, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,Wallis, ,Womenswear, ,Women’s Liberation Front

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jasper Garvida: London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview, part two

Jasper Garvida illustration from the S/S 2012 collection

A main inspiration for the S/S 2012 collection is the painting Autour d’un Point by Frantisek Kupka, visit this which gave the collection its name. What drew you to this particular work by the bohemian illustrator, painter and graphic artist Kupka?
Coincidentally, a new film about Diana Vreeland has just come out called The Eye Must Travel and Autour d’un Point means ‘around the point’. They both are about your eye travelling around, but the painting made me think of the core. When you look at something, your eye goes around it, and you look at the point of it, as in ‘what is the point’? So I found myself inspired by how the painting drew me to a centre point through moving my line of vision around, and what I felt came from the centre of a human being, the heart. How you feel affects how you see things, and if you are open to everything and your heart is open you are able to see the ‘real thing’ in others, the core. To me, when I start a collection it’s really based on how I feel, which I try to translate into clothes, into sound and the senses. And this is why I was inspired by the painting, which I spent the entire afternoon gazing at, thinking about what it was saying to me, enveloping myself in the painting so much so that I can just close my eyes and picture it perfectly.

You’ve obviously got a very strong emotional connection to your work, which I love. Maybe it’s part of why people respond to your clothes so well?
I’m a sensitive and emotional person! When I’m dressing people, I never like to force something on them; I know that for a woman to look incredible she has to feel comfortable inside. There’s nothing worse than going out and not feeling yourself, which I’ve experienced. Trying to be something other than what you are will never work.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustration by Gareth Hopkins

How was Project Catwalk as an experience?
For me it was really emotional, and I never expected to win it. All the people involved were incredibly talented, and I’m still in touch with all of them. The show helped me reveal myself as a person, as I’m a naturally very shy. I wanted to do Project Catwalk to show my family what I’m all about, as they’d never been to any shows or really seen me as the now grown-up designer. I also hadn’t come out to my family yet to tell them I was gay, so I really wanted them to understand my industry, my world and me. It was difficult as I hadn’t seen my parents for two years, and I had to tell them right there and then backstage at the final catwalk show about my life and my partner. Naturally, I was afraid as I didn’t want to disappoint them or upset them, and I wanted them to accept me. I felt that if I could do something for them to feel proud and happy about the person that I am, that maybe they could accept me. So I did they show, and I couldn’t have been happier, as it opened up my parents’ point of view towards homosexuality and me as an adult with a business of my own. Now, we are closer than ever. So having said that, doing Project Catwalk was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and being myself gave me the confidence to do what I do now.

I love how all of your collections highlight and explore the contrast between the delicate and the strong through your use of silhouettes and fabrics along with hand-embellished details, which it sounds like we are going to see even more of in your S/S ’12 show. Why do you think this is a recurring theme in your work and how you like to dress women?
As I’ve said, never like to push a look onto women, I see myself as a servant to women and their clothing needs! I love creating my embellishments by hand, accentuating parts of a woman’s body like the neck one season or the shoulder another season. Little features and touches go a long way and celebrating the female figure doesn’t have to be something that’s obvious or in-your-face.

Diana Vreeland and her striking sense of style with a passion for the exotic is one of the main inspirations for your collection this season, so I’ve got some Diana-inspired questions (with her memorable answers) for you:
What character in history would you most like to be? (Diana once said she would have liked to be Queen Elizabeth the 1st in all her finery and various intricate hairstyles, which sparked a giggle between Jasper and me about the random dramatic tangents she goes on).

I would have to say Jesus Christ. I try to live my life in goodness; I try to treat people the way I like to be treated. I’m also quite devoted to what I do, I’d do anything for it, which is how passionate I am. I try to be as good as I can and give as much as I am able to.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustration by Sam Parr

Which era in fashion history have you found most exciting and why? One that Diana loved was the 1920’s, as she has just started to live in Europe, and she felt it defined history with startling backless and knee-length dresses, as well as the artists, music and ‘newness’ surrounding it all.
I’m going to say the same as Diana (he’s a true Vreeland fan) and pick the 20s, as it was a time was fashion ‘became fashion’ and before then only the rich could afford it, and the 20s changed all of that, allowing everyone to enjoy fashion. Without that, I don’t think I would be able to do what I do today. So much was happening, as women were cutting their hair short, throwing out the corset and wearing trousers. It allowed women to use their looks to really make a statement, which is what fashion is to me. It’s quite symbolic, women being rebels and using fashion as power.

Diana was extremely positive about Royalty: I love royalty. They’re always so clean… and the way they dressed. What comes to mind when you think about the new wave of attention Kate Middleton and her sense of style has attracted? (Particularly as you create bridal dresses alongside your main collections).
The wave of New Royalty today, particularly Kate Middleton with her new role, does get a lot of attention. I think that the way she portrays herself is a great example to young people. I love her sensibility; she doesn’t necessarily have to wear designer clothes, and she personifies it all being about how you present yourself. It’s important as a public figure to keep in mind that you’ve got a responsibility towards other people whether you like it or not. You’re in the public eye and in Kate’s case she’s won their admiration. Having the privilege of being Royalty can’t be taken lightly, and with that comes responsibility. In that position especially, you’ve got to think of others and not just yourself.

Diana was extremely well known for her Harper’s Bazaar Why Don’t You… column with suggestions like Why Don’t You… Wear violet velvet mittens with everything? Have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermès of Paris will make this. Have your cigarettes stamped with a personal insignia?. What Why Don’t You… suggestions would you come up with?
Why don’t you… eat ice cream in the rain?
Why don’t you… wear a coloured wedding dress instead of white?

Jasper Garvida S/S '12 illustration by Amber CassidyJasper Garvida S/S ’12 illustration by Amber Cassidy

While showing at London Fashion Week is an intensely exciting experience for designers, it requires a cool head and inner calm to make sure everything runs smoothly. How do you prepare for the day of the show to help you stay on top of it all?
I like to be as organised as possible. I give myself a deadline of the week before the show, which is when I like to have everything finished. Any stress or worrying can be done before that deadline, as I need to be calm and focused for my team. The day before the show, I like to get up at 6am and sit somewhere in silence or with calming music. I then play the entire day of the show in my head, visualising the prep backstage, the sound of the music, and the entire catwalk show from the first girl out to the finale when they all walk out together. This way, when it comes to the day of the show I’ve seen it all before already, so I’m calm, collected, and positive.

Your collections are getting stronger with more admirers each year, what can we expect from Jasper Garvida in the future?
In the future, I’d like to be able to get more time to focus even further on the collections, always refining and developing the quality and look of each season. I want to keep working towards providing that ‘surprise element’ in my work, always exploring new things and never being categorised.

Jasper will be showing his Spring/Summer 2012 collection on Monday the 19th of September 2011 at the Bloomsury Hotel during London Fashion Week.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Aliyah Hussain, ,Amber Cassidy, ,Autour d’un Point, ,Diana Vreeland, ,Frantisek Kupka, ,Gareth Hopkins, ,Harper’s Bazaar, ,jasper garvida, ,Kate Middleton, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,preview, ,Project Catwalk, ,Queen Elizabeth I, ,Sam Parr, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,The Bloomsbury Hotel, ,The Eye Must Travel, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jasper Garvida: London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview, part two

Jasper Garvida illustration from the S/S 2012 collection

A main inspiration for the S/S 2012 collection is the painting Autour d’un Point by Frantisek Kupka, visit this which gave the collection its name. What drew you to this particular work by the bohemian illustrator, painter and graphic artist Kupka?
Coincidentally, a new film about Diana Vreeland has just come out called The Eye Must Travel and Autour d’un Point means ‘around the point’. They both are about your eye travelling around, but the painting made me think of the core. When you look at something, your eye goes around it, and you look at the point of it, as in ‘what is the point’? So I found myself inspired by how the painting drew me to a centre point through moving my line of vision around, and what I felt came from the centre of a human being, the heart. How you feel affects how you see things, and if you are open to everything and your heart is open you are able to see the ‘real thing’ in others, the core. To me, when I start a collection it’s really based on how I feel, which I try to translate into clothes, into sound and the senses. And this is why I was inspired by the painting, which I spent the entire afternoon gazing at, thinking about what it was saying to me, enveloping myself in the painting so much so that I can just close my eyes and picture it perfectly.

You’ve obviously got a very strong emotional connection to your work, which I love. Maybe it’s part of why people respond to your clothes so well?
I’m a sensitive and emotional person! When I’m dressing people, I never like to force something on them; I know that for a woman to look incredible she has to feel comfortable inside. There’s nothing worse than going out and not feeling yourself, which I’ve experienced. Trying to be something other than what you are will never work.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustration by Gareth Hopkins

How was Project Catwalk as an experience?
For me it was really emotional, and I never expected to win it. All the people involved were incredibly talented, and I’m still in touch with all of them. The show helped me reveal myself as a person, as I’m a naturally very shy. I wanted to do Project Catwalk to show my family what I’m all about, as they’d never been to any shows or really seen me as the now grown-up designer. I also hadn’t come out to my family yet to tell them I was gay, so I really wanted them to understand my industry, my world and me. It was difficult as I hadn’t seen my parents for two years, and I had to tell them right there and then backstage at the final catwalk show about my life and my partner. Naturally, I was afraid as I didn’t want to disappoint them or upset them, and I wanted them to accept me. I felt that if I could do something for them to feel proud and happy about the person that I am, that maybe they could accept me. So I did they show, and I couldn’t have been happier, as it opened up my parents’ point of view towards homosexuality and me as an adult with a business of my own. Now, we are closer than ever. So having said that, doing Project Catwalk was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and being myself gave me the confidence to do what I do now.

I love how all of your collections highlight and explore the contrast between the delicate and the strong through your use of silhouettes and fabrics along with hand-embellished details, which it sounds like we are going to see even more of in your S/S ’12 show. Why do you think this is a recurring theme in your work and how you like to dress women?
As I’ve said, never like to push a look onto women, I see myself as a servant to women and their clothing needs! I love creating my embellishments by hand, accentuating parts of a woman’s body like the neck one season or the shoulder another season. Little features and touches go a long way and celebrating the female figure doesn’t have to be something that’s obvious or in-your-face.

Diana Vreeland and her striking sense of style with a passion for the exotic is one of the main inspirations for your collection this season, so I’ve got some Diana-inspired questions (with her memorable answers) for you:
What character in history would you most like to be? (Diana once said she would have liked to be Queen Elizabeth the 1st in all her finery and various intricate hairstyles, which sparked a giggle between Jasper and me about the random dramatic tangents she goes on).

I would have to say Jesus Christ. I try to live my life in goodness; I try to treat people the way I like to be treated. I’m also quite devoted to what I do, I’d do anything for it, which is how passionate I am. I try to be as good as I can and give as much as I am able to.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustration by Sam Parr

Which era in fashion history have you found most exciting and why? One that Diana loved was the 1920’s, as she has just started to live in Europe, and she felt it defined history with startling backless and knee-length dresses, as well as the artists, music and ‘newness’ surrounding it all.
I’m going to say the same as Diana (he’s a true Vreeland fan) and pick the 20s, as it was a time was fashion ‘became fashion’ and before then only the rich could afford it, and the 20s changed all of that, allowing everyone to enjoy fashion. Without that, I don’t think I would be able to do what I do today. So much was happening, as women were cutting their hair short, throwing out the corset and wearing trousers. It allowed women to use their looks to really make a statement, which is what fashion is to me. It’s quite symbolic, women being rebels and using fashion as power.

Diana was extremely positive about Royalty: I love royalty. They’re always so clean… and the way they dressed. What comes to mind when you think about the new wave of attention Kate Middleton and her sense of style has attracted? (Particularly as you create bridal dresses alongside your main collections).
The wave of New Royalty today, particularly Kate Middleton with her new role, does get a lot of attention. I think that the way she portrays herself is a great example to young people. I love her sensibility; she doesn’t necessarily have to wear designer clothes, and she personifies it all being about how you present yourself. It’s important as a public figure to keep in mind that you’ve got a responsibility towards other people whether you like it or not. You’re in the public eye and in Kate’s case she’s won their admiration. Having the privilege of being Royalty can’t be taken lightly, and with that comes responsibility. In that position especially, you’ve got to think of others and not just yourself.

Diana was extremely well known for her Harper’s Bazaar Why Don’t You… column with suggestions like Why Don’t You… Wear violet velvet mittens with everything? Have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermès of Paris will make this. Have your cigarettes stamped with a personal insignia?. What Why Don’t You… suggestions would you come up with?
Why don’t you… eat ice cream in the rain?
Why don’t you… wear a coloured wedding dress instead of white?

Jasper Garvida S/S '12 illustration by Amber CassidyJasper Garvida S/S ’12 illustration by Amber Cassidy

While showing at London Fashion Week is an intensely exciting experience for designers, it requires a cool head and inner calm to make sure everything runs smoothly. How do you prepare for the day of the show to help you stay on top of it all?
I like to be as organised as possible. I give myself a deadline of the week before the show, which is when I like to have everything finished. Any stress or worrying can be done before that deadline, as I need to be calm and focused for my team. The day before the show, I like to get up at 6am and sit somewhere in silence or with calming music. I then play the entire day of the show in my head, visualising the prep backstage, the sound of the music, and the entire catwalk show from the first girl out to the finale when they all walk out together. This way, when it comes to the day of the show I’ve seen it all before already, so I’m calm, collected, and positive.

Your collections are getting stronger with more admirers each year, what can we expect from Jasper Garvida in the future?
In the future, I’d like to be able to get more time to focus even further on the collections, always refining and developing the quality and look of each season. I want to keep working towards providing that ‘surprise element’ in my work, always exploring new things and never being categorised.

Jasper will be showing his Spring/Summer 2012 collection on Monday the 19th of September 2011 at the Bloomsury Hotel during London Fashion Week.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Aliyah Hussain, ,Amber Cassidy, ,Autour d’un Point, ,Diana Vreeland, ,Frantisek Kupka, ,Gareth Hopkins, ,Harper’s Bazaar, ,jasper garvida, ,Kate Middleton, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,preview, ,Project Catwalk, ,Queen Elizabeth I, ,Sam Parr, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,The Bloomsbury Hotel, ,The Eye Must Travel, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Bernard Chandran Interview

Bernard Chandran - London Fashion Week SS 2010

Bernard Chandran’s innovative attitude to fashion design has produced two stellar collections for London Fashion Week: AW09 and SS10. Recently Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Bernard -via email-on his creative inspiration after the dust storm of London Fashion Week 09 settled.

What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

I am a creative person and even when young I admired the window display of the fashion boutiques. I was convinced after watching ‘fashion TV’ about designers and how they can influence the world through their passion and design that fashion was for me. Of course I had to convince my dad, cure which was not at all easy, being a traditional dad who wanted me to pursue accounting or at least law. Hence I told him that I could make lots of money!

Bernard Chandran - London Fashion Week SS 2010

What was the inspiration behind the AW09 and SS10 collections?

The AW09 inspiration was drawn very much from the weather, especially the rain, which is an essential element in the weather forecast in the East. Whilst rain is often depicted with moody, cloudy weather, somehow the collection has no indication of the conventional; instead there is somewhat a kind of upbeat enthusiasm, edgy yet supremacy about the designs. The overall design is daring and structural. Oversized “umbrella structure” can be seen at the shoulder top and hips in some of the designs. The tailored volume gives the collection an edge. Straight slim cut trousers were worn with structured double breasted coats.

As for my SS2010 collection, my roots and origins become my inspiration, where I have bridged a lot of elements from the oriental palace to the fashion runway. I also injected the collection with a type futuristic sophistication and unlocked the traditional to the modern.

Bernard Chandran - London Fashion Week SS 2010

How was London Fashion Week 09? Did you enjoy the new setting of 180 the Strand?

I love the energy, the enthusiasm and the celebrative spirit. The new setting at the Strand was great. Happy 25th Birthday British Fashion Council!

S/S 2010 featured a variety of sculptural pieces from the face-masks to the bustiers – what was the inspiration behind these pieces?

I travel and of late I saw numerous people wearing masks, especially at airports. Hence I decided to make them a little more glamorous. It is also my way of paying tribute to Michael Jackson whom I think was always at the forefront of fashion with his daring outfits!

Bernard Chandran - London Fashion Week SS 2010

From where did the geometric prints and structured tailored pieces develop from?

The geometric prints inspiration came from my kitchen! This round we produced our own prints. Due to the lantern festival, I used lantern inspired design. As you can see some of them have an envelope shape, which is very much like the lanterns.

How was your experience on studying fashion? What was your favourite item designed whilst at University?

It was truly awesome. My favourite design item has to be the interesting sleeve that I developed. I spent two weeks, perfecting the cut and the shape to the specs that I wanted

Bernard Chandran - London Fashion Week SS 2010

What are your favourite piece you have designed recently?

All my collections are like my babies. My most meaningful is Look 22 from my SS2010, as we have gone through much to develop a new technique and finally to achieve the results we wanted.

What is next for Bernard Chandran?

Stay tuned. It will be interesting for my next fashion presentation.

We’ll be watching!

Categories ,AW09, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Blow PR, ,british fashion council, ,Fashion TV, ,Lanterns, ,London Fashion Week, ,SS10, ,weather

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Royal Wedding in Illustrations: Kate, Wills and the rest of the guests

Kisstch Wedding by Faye West
Kisstch Wedding by Faye West.

Continued from my first Royal Wedding blog post here
Kate and Wills For Ever by Sarah Arnett
Kate and Wills For Ever by Sarah Arnett.

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

Miriam in Coral by Elsabe Milandri
Miriam in Coral by Elsabe Milandri.

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

Watching the Royal Wedding drift past me on my TV screen I thought: if only everyone could afford to pay skilled craftspeople to conjure up metres of the most wonderful handmade lace for their wedding dresses. Just think, cialis 40mg it would be the most fabulous way to keep traditional skills alive. But unfortunately Kate’s beautiful dress will be copied widely and copied badly because something this marvellous is just not attainable for the majority. Dresses this good are only made for future Queens.

Kate and Wills take their vows by Jenny Robins
Kate and Wills take their vows by Jenny Robins.

Miriam Gonzalez at the Royal Wedding  by Karla Pérez Manrique
Miriam Gonzalez at the Royal Wedding by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri
Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri.

Sketches of the guests and procession by Jenny Robins
Sketches of the guests and procession by Jenny Robins.

I loved the minutiae of the occasion… roguish Prince Harry with his broad shoulders and the rakish glint in his eye… I’ve always loved a ginger and he’s no exception to the rule. Pippa Middleton upstaging the procession down the aisle with her perfectly shaped swaying bottom. Elton John miming to the hymns (not to your taste then Elt?) Never a Labour MP in sight.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice by Elsabe Milandri
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice by Elsabe Milandri.

Royal wedding by Graham Cheal
Royal wedding street party by Graham Cheal.

Royal-Wedding-by-Melanie-Chadwick
Royal Wedding by Melanie Chadwick.

Seeing the playful page boys in their red and yellow finery, cialis 40mg and the Queen, drug always a fan of this season’s most on trend look, in her matching lemon yellow colour blocked outfit. The funny little girl with her hands on the ears for the infamous balcony kiss. Kate bending down to fiddle with something, her head at groin level (chortle chortle).

Royal Wedding - Pippa Middleton and bridesmaids by Sara Japanwalla
Pippa Middleton and bridesmaids by Sara Japanwalla.

Royal Wedding guests by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding guests by Sara Japanwalla.

Royal Wedding Miriam Gonzalez Durantez by Michalis Christodoulou
Royal Wedding Miriam Gonzalez Durantez by Michalis Christodoulou.

tara palmer tomkinson by Sara Japanwalla 4
Tara Palmer Tomkinson by Sara Japanwalla.

Here then, are the illustrations produced from my wonderful illustration twitter followers. Enjoy. Why not? It will be our dirty little secret….

Royal Wedding_Tara Palmer-Tomkinson_by Michalis Christodoulou
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson by Michalis Christodoulou.

Tony & Gord by Izy Penguin
Tony & Gord by Izy Penguin.

Eugenie & Beatrice by Izy Penguin
Eugenie & Beatrice by Izy Penguin.

Prince Harry and the Royal Wedding Clean Up by neonflower
Prince Harry and the Royal Wedding Clean Up by Lizzie Campbell, aka neonflower.
An explanation for this final wonderful image from neonflower: In this illustration of Prince Harry, I wanted to acknowledge his down-to-earth approach both as Prince William’s best man, and as a member of our royal family. Eschewing the pomposity and formality of the aristocracy, we’re told that Harry organised bacon butties for peckish wedding guests partying until the wee hours at Buckingham Palace. I’m sure that he displays regular acts of such easy-going, ‘everyman’ behaviour. As such, I’ve created a visual representation of Harry, together with his namesake vacuum cleaner, clearing up after the previous night’s royal wedding celebrations.

Categories ,Carole Middleton, ,Elsabe Milandri, ,Eugenie & Beatrice, ,Faye West, ,Graham Cheal, ,Izy Penguin, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karla Pérez Manrique, ,Kate & Wills, ,Kate Middleton, ,Lizzie Campbell, ,Melanie Chadwick, ,Michalis Christodoulou, ,Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, ,neonflower, ,Page Boys, ,Pippa Middleton, ,Prince Harry, ,Queen, ,Royal Wedding, ,Sara Japanwalla, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Street Party, ,Tara Palmer Tomkinson

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Royal Wedding in Illustrations: Kate & Wills

Will & Kate by Gemma Milly
Will & Kate by Gemma Milly. Available to buy as a print here.

I suppose I should start this blog with a disclaimer: I am for sure no ardent royalist. The only Royal Wedding memorabilia that I’ve collected has been a kitsch charity shop find – a scuffed up Charles and Di mug. And up until Friday last week I’d given the Royal Wedding barely more than the thought that it would be nice to have the day off and encourage participation in the plethora of street parties taking place.

The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover
The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover. Available to buy as a print here.

But then Friday arrived and there I was, page sat in front of the telly with a glass of champers – tweeting frantically through the banal commentary as I heard news of pre-emptive arrests of anarchist friends who had planned to stage street theatre demonstrations. And you know what? Despite the horrendous political policing that took place to ensure a *trouble free* Royal Wedding I have to admit that I enjoyed the spectacle massively.

Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett
Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett.

My fashion head marvelled at the wedding attire, some truly hideous (princesses Beatrice and Eugenie please stand up) but much of it truly fabulous. And all of it an illustrator’s dream! I’ve heard not one bad word about Kate’s undeniably beautiful dress by Sarah Burton for McQueen, and despite his protestations even the boyfriend perked up when she stepped out of her royal carriage, carefully scooping up the lengthy folds of her train.

Kate waving by Jenny Robins
Kate waving by Jenny Robins.

Yes, the little girl in me woke up. The one who despite my parent’s valiant attempts to mould me into a total tomboy nevertheless loved to draw princesses with flowing gowns and elegant crowns. It seems that even I could not help but get sucked into this Royal fairy tale: all it took was a momentary suspension of reality: the reality that this Royal Wedding was paid for by our taxes at a time when the severest of cuts are being felt across the nation. Like so many others I pushed it to the back of my mind. To be continued….
Read my second blog round up of Royal Wedding illustrations by clicking here! (once you’ve looked at everything here of course)

Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique
Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Pippa & Kate byKarla Pérez Manrique
Pippa & Kate by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla.

William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Royal wedding by Fawn Carr
Royal wedding by Fawn Carr.

Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv
Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv.

wills and kate by izy penguin
Wills and Kate by Izy Penguin.

Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne
Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne.

William and Kate's wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate’s wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,Becca Thorne, ,Bex Glover, ,Catherine Middleton, ,Fawn Carr, ,Gemma Milly, ,Izy Penguin, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karina Yarv, ,Karla Pérez Manrique, ,Kate, ,Kate Middleton, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Royal Wedding, ,Sara Japanwalla, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Sarah Burton, ,Severn Studios, ,Wills

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