Amelia’s Magazine | Hobbs AW10 Fashion Collection Press Day Preview

Hobbs-Press Day AW2010

Now, page I don’t normally write blogs about high street clothes shops. But I’m gonna break my rule this time. Earlier this week I went along to the Hobbs press day in their flagship store in Covent Garden – basically just because I was invited and I’ve never been to one of their press days before. I had absolutely no expectations of it, drug since I’ve rarely set foot inside a Hobbs store since I developed a bit of a Bertie shoe fetish in my teen years (the late 80s if you must know). Bertie was once associated with the Hobbs brand, but I’m not sure if it is anymore.

Hobbs-Press Day AW2010

I managed to sashay confidently past the girl on the door girl, “where did you say you were from?” said she, eyeing up my haphazard approach to dressing with curiosity. Then I manoeuvred myself away from what promised to be a lengthy guided tour through each garment in the collection, nearly sending a mannequin crashing in my eagerness to reach the back of the room. And, I was how shall we say it… pleasantly surprised. Straight away I made a beeline for a lovely gold pine cone necklace, taking in the general fruity folk colours of the NW3 collection. Accessories are one of Hobbs’ strongpoints and there was a nice display of cute jewellery and coloured patent bags.

Hobbs-Press Day AW2010
Hobbs-Press Day AW2010

But I was anxious not to waste too much time, so when one of the immaculate PR ladies glided over (I always feel like a bedraggled mess by comparison) I quickly explained that I was only looking for either designer led collaborations or ethical ranges. AHA! She led me towards a young man, standing in front of a rail and eager to pounce on journalists. I was introduced; this was Dean Thomas, designer of the high end Artisan collection, which sources all of its materials and is manufactured within the UK.

Hobbs-Press Day 2010-Dean Thomas
Hobbs-Press Day 2010-Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas describes the Artisan collection.

Dean was chosen straight out of Central Saint Martins precisely because he found all the materials for his final collection from within a 50 mile radius of his home town in Somerset. He held up a few pieces from the AW10 collection for me and I have to say, it was absolutely gorgeous. He’s created a stunning pleated evening dress out of the most unlikely of materials: a waxed cotton similar to the type that gets used in Barbour jackets. Then there’s a lovely stripy mohair coat and a super long evening dress with an elegant train. All the wool comes from Jacob sheep in Scotland and a pretty print was manipulated digitally from a photo of virulent purple Scotts thistles. I was pretty impressed I tells thee. Apparently in 2008 Hobbs was given a good shake up with the appointment of Sandy Vernon as creative director (she used to work at Next and Jaeger), and if this is what she’s doing then she’s onto a winner.

Hobbs-Press Day AW2010
Hobbs-Press Day AW2010

I then got pulled over to meet Karen Boyd, formerly of Boyd & Storey, and shown through her domain; the Limited Edition collection. She too has moved over from Jaeger, where her trademark style – elegant tailoring mixed with feminine details such as faux embroidered prints and little lace collars – was given credit for turning around the once fusty label. This collection is beautiful too, but sadly only the goat skins used in the long haired cape are sourced locally. “They’re a by-product of the meat industry, we don’t use fur.” Most of the clothes are of course made in the far east. As, no doubt, is the pine cone necklace that I had so admired earlier, but I was nevertheless a super happy bunny to discover the very same necklace in my press goodie bag. Comfortingly heavy, it’s been living around my neck ever since, a rare accolade.

Hobbs-Press Day AW2010
Hobbs-Press Day 2010-Karen Boyd
Karen Boyd talks me through the Limited Edition collection.

All in all I left pleasantly surprised. I think it is to be applauded when a large high street retailer such as Hobbs is confident enough to produce a whole range of beautifully made clothes in the UK, at a price point that will still be affordable to many (if not me). Now if only more retailers were to sit up and take note.

Categories ,Artisan, ,Barbour, ,Bertie, ,Boyd & Storey, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dean Thomas, ,Hobbs, ,Jacob Sheep, ,Jaeger, ,Karen Boyd, ,Limited Edition, ,Local, ,Next, ,Press Day, ,Press Gift, ,Sandy Vernon, ,scotland, ,wool

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Amelia’s Magazine | Climate Camp, London Gathering – Review

The biopic. It’s a strange bird. When your subject is Ray Charles or Johnny Cash the thing must write itself. The drugs! The women! The soundtrack! But it’s this kind of lazy obviousness that has put me off watching the likes Ray and Walk the Line, stomach perhaps to my discredit. They’re probably as good as everyone says they are. If they’re not? If they’re as hackneyed and clichéd as I expected? Well, dosage at least I can enjoy the music.

With Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Ian Dury’s work and especially the juxtaposition between his seemingly knockabout lyrics and the tight musicianship of the Blockheads. I caught some of the hype, information pills a couple of Andy Serkis interviews about his preparation for the starring role and that was it. My distaste for the biopic was gently put aside for an evening.

If you’ve seen the poster, you’ll already know that Serkis is magnificent. And if you’ve got any sense you’ll also know and love the music (or be on your way to discover it round about now). Right there are two reasons you should go and see this film. Another is a wonderful opening credit sequence by none other than Sir Peter ‘I’ve done more than just the Sgt Pepper cover, you know’ Blake. But don’t expect to get much else. Fair performances from the rest of the cast and attention to period detail do not raise this biopic from goodness to greatness.

The film is in loose chronological order, with the occasional flashback to a troubled childhood. The story touches upon Dury’s contracting of polio and subsequent disability, his relationship with his father, his unstable family life and a tempestuous time with his bandmates and, of course, the music. It rattles through, giving us the odd bit on how much of a bastard Dury could be, or how he came up with some of his most famous songs. But there’s little depth and no tension to hold it all together. The film opens with Serkis’s Dury saying something along the lines of ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’, but then the film appears to do just that.

This film is clearly a labour of love, a love for both for the music and for Dury himself. But if there’s a good story arc in Dury’s eventful, colourful, lyrical life – a beginning followed by a middle and an end – the writers haven’t found it. For example, Dury’s mate the Sulphate Strangler is introduced grandly, but then does very little and exits the story in a bit of throwaway dialogue. And the relationship between Dury and his son Baxter forms most of the film’s action, but I didn’t get wrapped up in a real story. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

But these are niggles. What you want at the very least from this kind of film is an outstanding central performance and excellent music, both of which Serkis himself gives. He sang Dury’s words so well that I couldn’t keep his face out of my mind when later listening to the original recordings. What you also want is an insight to the real Ian Dury. Despite it not having as good a plot as, say, 24 Hour Party People, it does give you an idea of what sort of man he was.

Despite ticking the essential boxes, the film doesn’t have that extra bit to make me watch the film rather than listen to the records. As far as I’m concerned, the biopic can be rather tricky, but this one deserves to do very well.
S&D&R&Rresize

The biopic. It’s a strange bird. When your subject is Ray Charles or Johnny Cash the thing must write itself. The drugs! The women! The soundtrack! But it’s this kind of lazy obviousness that has put me off watching the likes Ray and Walk the Line, salve perhaps to my discredit. They’re probably as good as everyone says they are. If they’re not? If they’re as hackneyed and clichéd as I expected? Well, at least I can enjoy the music.

With Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Ian Dury’s work and especially the juxtaposition between his seemingly knockabout lyrics and the tight musicianship of the Blockheads. I caught some of the hype, a couple of Andy Serkis interviews about his preparation for the starring role and that was it. My distaste for the biopic was gently put aside for an evening.

If you’ve seen the poster, you’ll already know that Serkis is magnificent. And if you’ve got any sense you’ll also know and love the music (or be on your way to discover it round about now). Right there are two reasons you should go and see this film. Another is a wonderful opening credit sequence by none other than Sir Peter ‘I’ve done more than just the Sgt Pepper cover, you know’ Blake. But don’t expect to get much else. Fair performances from the rest of the cast and attention to period detail do not raise this biopic from goodness to greatness.

The film is in loose chronological order, with the occasional flashback to a troubled childhood. The story touches upon Dury’s contracting of polio and subsequent disability, his relationship with his father, his unstable family life and a tempestuous time with his bandmates and, of course, the music. It rattles through, giving us the odd bit on how much of a bastard Dury could be, or how he came up with some of his most famous songs. But there’s little depth and no tension to hold it all together. The film opens with Serkis’s Dury saying something along the lines of ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’, but then the film appears to do just that.

This film is clearly a labour of love, a love for both for the music and for Dury himself. But if there’s a good story arc in Dury’s eventful, colourful, lyrical life – a beginning followed by a middle and an end – the writers haven’t found it. For example, Dury’s mate the Sulphate Strangler is introduced grandly, but then does very little and exits the story in a bit of throwaway dialogue. And the relationship between Dury and his son Baxter forms most of the film’s action, but I didn’t get wrapped up in a real story. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

But these are niggles. What you want at the very least from this kind of film is an outstanding central performance and excellent music, both of which Serkis himself gives. He sang Dury’s words so well that I couldn’t keep his face out of my mind when later listening to the original recordings. What you also want is an insight to the real Ian Dury. Despite it not having as good a plot as, say, 24 Hour Party People, it does give you an idea of what sort of man he was.

Despite ticking the essential boxes, the film doesn’t have that extra bit to make me watch the film rather than listen to the records. As far as I’m concerned, the biopic can be rather tricky, but this one deserves to do very well.

S&D&R&Rresize

The biopic. It’s a strange bird. When your subject is Ray Charles or Johnny Cash the thing must write itself. The drugs! The women! The soundtrack! But it’s this kind of lazy obviousness that has put me off watching the likes Ray and Walk the Line, visit web perhaps to my discredit. They’re probably as good as everyone says they are. If they’re not? If they’re as hackneyed and clichéd as I expected? Well, store at least I can enjoy the music.

With Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Ian Dury’s work and especially the juxtaposition between his seemingly knockabout lyrics and the tight musicianship of the Blockheads. I caught some of the hype, a couple of Andy Serkis interviews about his preparation for the starring role and that was it. My distaste for the biopic was gently put aside for an evening.

If you’ve seen the poster, you’ll already know that Serkis is magnificent. And if you’ve got any sense you’ll also know and love the music (or be on your way to discover it round about now). Right there are two reasons you should go and see this film. Another is a wonderful opening credit sequence by none other than Sir Peter ‘I’ve done more than just the Sgt Pepper cover, you know’ Blake. But don’t expect to get much else. Fair performances from the rest of the cast and attention to period detail do not raise this biopic from goodness to greatness.

The film is in loose chronological order, with the occasional flashback to a troubled childhood. The story touches upon Dury’s contracting of polio and subsequent disability, his relationship with his father, his unstable family life and a tempestuous time with his bandmates and, of course, the music. It rattles through, giving us the odd bit on how much of a bastard Dury could be, or how he came up with some of his most famous songs. But there’s little depth and no tension to hold it all together. The film opens with Serkis’s Dury saying something along the lines of ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’, but then the film appears to do just that.

This film is clearly a labour of love, a love for both for the music and for Dury himself. But if there’s a good story arc in Dury’s eventful, colourful, lyrical life – a beginning followed by a middle and an end – the writers haven’t found it. For example, Dury’s mate the Sulphate Strangler is introduced grandly, but then does very little and exits the story in a bit of throwaway dialogue. And the relationship between Dury and his son Baxter forms most of the film’s action, but I didn’t get wrapped up in a real story. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

But these are niggles. What you want at the very least from this kind of film is an outstanding central performance and excellent music, both of which Serkis himself gives. He sang Dury’s words so well that I couldn’t keep his face out of my mind when later listening to the original recordings. What you also want is an insight to the real Ian Dury. Despite it not having as good a plot as, say, 24 Hour Party People, it does give you an idea of what sort of man he was.

Despite ticking the essential boxes, the film doesn’t have that extra bit to make me watch the film rather than listen to the records. As far as I’m concerned, the biopic can be rather tricky, but this one deserves to do very well.

S&D&R&Rresize

The biopic. It’s a strange bird. When your subject is Ray Charles or Johnny Cash the thing must write itself. The drugs! The women! The soundtrack! But it’s this kind of lazy obviousness that has put me off watching the likes Ray and Walk the Line, visit web perhaps to my discredit. They’re probably as good as everyone says they are. If they’re not? If they’re as hackneyed and clichéd as I expected? Well, at least I can enjoy the music.

With Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been a long-time admirer of Ian Dury’s work and especially the juxtaposition between his seemingly knockabout lyrics and the tight musicianship of the Blockheads. I caught some of the hype, a couple of Andy Serkis interviews about his preparation for the starring role and that was it. My distaste for the biopic was gently put aside for an evening.

If you’ve seen the poster, you’ll already know that Serkis is magnificent. And if you’ve got any sense you’ll also know and love the music (or be on your way to discover it round about now). Right there are two reasons you should go and see this film. Another is a wonderful opening credit sequence by none other than Sir Peter ‘I’ve done more than just the Sgt Pepper cover, you know’ Blake. But don’t expect to get much else. Fair performances from the rest of the cast and attention to period detail do not raise this biopic from goodness to greatness.

The film is in loose chronological order, with the occasional flashback to a troubled childhood. The story touches upon Dury’s contracting of polio and subsequent disability, his relationship with his father, his unstable family life and a tempestuous time with his bandmates and, of course, the music. It rattles through, giving us the odd bit on how much of a bastard Dury could be, or how he came up with some of his most famous songs. But there’s little depth and no tension to hold it all together. The film opens with Serkis’s Dury saying something along the lines of ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’, but then the film appears to do just that.

This film is clearly a labour of love, a love for both for the music and for Dury himself. But if there’s a good story arc in Dury’s eventful, colourful, lyrical life – a beginning followed by a middle and an end – the writers haven’t found it. For example, Dury’s mate the Sulphate Strangler is introduced grandly, but then does very little and exits the story in a bit of throwaway dialogue. And the relationship between Dury and his son Baxter forms most of the film’s action, but I didn’t get wrapped up in a real story. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

But these are niggles. What you want at the very least from this kind of film is an outstanding central performance and excellent music, both of which Serkis himself gives. He sang Dury’s words so well that I couldn’t keep his face out of my mind when later listening to the original recordings. What you also want is an insight to the real Ian Dury. Despite it not having as good a plot as, say, 24 Hour Party People, it does give you an idea of what sort of man he was.

Despite ticking the essential boxes, the film doesn’t have that extra bit to make me watch the film rather than listen to the records. As far as I’m concerned, the biopic can be rather tricky, but this one deserves to do very well.

Last Saturday and Sunday the first Climate Camp regional gathering took place in London. It was the first chance for the group to discuss future direction and specific plans and activities for 2010 in a more London-specific context, price and a chance for me, a Climate Camp virgin, to finally discover what the meetings were like.
room
Saturday morning saw 80 people packed into the hall in Tottenham Chances, and this soon became about 200. I suppose I was wary before the meeting, many loosely political meetings I’ve been to in the UK and abroad have involved flaring tempers, a battle consisting purely of the defence of individual and collective egos, and one or two power-hungry people hogging the limelight preaching about ‘equality’ and ‘democracy’ having only ever theorised it but never practised it, and making everyone else want to vomit with boredom.

Instead, the Climate Camp facilitators did a truly brilliant job of making sure speakers kept to the point, the timetable was stuck to, and that specific questions were answered, while keeping the atmosphere friendly, inclusive and very creative. They were lively, assertive and meticulously organized, but down to earth and not annoying…no mean feat, so a thumbs up from me for even achieving that!  A delicious, hearty vegan lunch was also provided on both days, of which most of the food was skipped.
chickpeas

food[Many thanks to Amelia for photos]

I could not make it for a lot of the discussion (unfortunately I had to work in job no.2 for much of the weekend), but managed to catch up on everything thanks to the detailed tweets of the Climate Camp London Twitter account.  So here’s an overview of what happened, a mixture of their tweets and my own notes:

An initial de-brief on Copenhagen opened up the discussion. It was agreed by the majority that although COP15 was a failure on the international political level, it gave a huge opportunity for a lot of parallel action and discussions to take place and highlighted on a large scale that the traditional political system isn’t working.

One of the first topics of discussion was the need for the Climate Camp movement to diversify and create more local and international outreach, and to make social justice and education a central focus. As an example of local outreach we heard about Ward’s Corner in Tottenham, a community development which residents are fighting for after plans to knock it down and build (surprise, surprise) new, expensive apartment buildings.
wardscorner

 The need to engage on a global scale was also discussed. There was a brief, informative presentation on the history of Haiti, and a lot of discussion on how the problems there are exacerbated by man-made environmental degradation and capitalism. The group then discussed what could be done to help Haiti collectively.

It was agreed that Climate Camp should continue to deal with big systemic changes (highlighting current democratic deficit) rather than only lifestyle changes like 10:10. It was also agreed that any action taken by Climate Camp must focus on providing positive alternatives and not just being critical. Rather than raising awareness, which many NGOs already do so well, the approach of Climate Camp should be more solutions-focused.
diagram
Localised meetings were a strong theme of the gathering. It was argued that they would allow more local outreach, and allow more people to attend and find out about Climate Camp. Meeting in smaller, more local groups would also allow for more discussion and participation. Many people expressed concerns about a loss of identity within the movement as a whole, lack of communication between groups and loss of focus. This was coupled with the fact that it may also be difficult to form large enough groups in certain areas of London. It was evident however, that the advantages and need to try the idea out outweighed most fears. It was broadly agreed that local meetings should be tried out, with alternating London-wide meetings every other week.

One of the final topics of discussion was about whether Climate Camp should officially endorse the Klimaforum declaration, drawn up during COP15. No consensus was reached however, and it was agreed that this issue needs to be studied and discussed in more detail.

Future possible gatherings and action were discussed, including whether it would be wise to demonstrate on May Day. There was much talk about making sure that large groups of people are not isolated by Climate Camp demonstrations. It was clear there were varying views on the nature and outcomes of direct action and protest. Despite this, almost everyone agreed that action must be solutions-focused and offer positive alternatives, rather than being seen as only critical.  After two days of much impassioned discussion, little official consensus was actually reached. However, as one facilitator pointed out, a lot of ground was covered and no hurried, bad decisions were made.

There will be another, smaller meeting at SOAS this (Tuesday) evening, so if you’re curious or keen to get involved in some way, it’s worth checking out their website and coming along to listen and have your say.

kidscorner[The great KidsCorner]

Categories ,Climate Camp, ,Cop15, ,copenhagen, ,Klimaforum, ,Local, ,Tottenham, ,Tottenham Chances, ,Ward’s Corner

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Amelia’s Magazine | NKOYO Silk Scarves: an interview with illustrator and print designer Alice Nyong

NKOYO by Alice Nyong
NKOYO by Alice Nyong.

When contributing illustrator Alice Nyong got in touch to tell me about her beautiful new printed scarf range, I had to know more… here she offers invaluable advice about setting up a label, keeping production in the UK, and best ways to wear your scarf.

nkoyo preciousstones portrait
NKOYO Scarves
What is the inspiration behind your new NKOYO silk scarf collection and how or where did you research the imagery?
I’d say the inspiration for the scarves is twofold, firstly, I love the traditional format of silk scarves, which I’ve always been drawn to. I love the configuration used by classic designers such as Versace, Balmain and Hermes; the use of symmetry and how your work changes so much once it’s mirrored, and then again once it’s worn always appealed to me. Secondly I’m influenced by the world around me. I grew up in london, but my mum always had a really lush and green garden, so the contrasts of those two aesthetic environments really inspired me. I love nature and the natural beauty found within it, so that informs a lot of my designs. As far as researching images, I tend to draw from real life, or photographs I’ve taken myself. I trawled through loads of old national geographic magazines for my more nature-rich designs such as the precious stones or under the sea. 

NKOYO Scarves
How long has it taken you to set up the label and what has been the hardest part?
It’s been a real growing process. I started designing in October last year, and made a little online shop of my first samples, all finished by me at that time. I then realised I had to improve the way they were being made, and size them so that the designs translated correctly on the wearer. I worked with two different suppliers to get the silk and the production just right, and I’m only recently feeling totally happy with it. It’s been different for me coming from a graphics background, I was naive, and I’ve learnt as I’ve gone along. They’ve been stocked in Luna & Curious since the beginning of this year, which is great. I’d say the hardest part is the patience you have to have. With pure illustration, there is more of an immediate result, but theres a lot of waiting with what I do now. But I find the end result way more fulfilling.

NKOYO Scarves
Self portrait.

NKOYO Scarves
What has been the most rewarding part of working on the collection?
Seeing it worn on someone is so rewarding for me. I also really enjoyed seeing them through the prism of another artist when my friend, and great photographer, Alma Haser shot the lookbook images. They brought another element to my work, which was amazing. Although I enjoy running a business, and all that comes with; it doesn’t always come naturally to me, but I think picking colours, and imagining how a design is going to look on a woman does. I feel very proud of myself for the collection I’ve made.

nkoyo underthesea
NKOYO Scarves
The scarves are ethically made in the UK – how did you source production and why is it important to you to make things locally?
I started off talking to fellow young designers, and asking for advice on where to have the silk printed. I quickly became aware that so many scarves are made abroad in an unethical manner to keep costs down, and that I’d have to be in direct competition with them. So as much as I need the support of the customer that wants to buy good British design, the good British manufacturers need my support. It’s also important to me to have someone on the end of a phone or a train journey away, to talk to about how my final product will be. From a wider viewpoint, after all the work I put into my designs, I want them only to be a thing of positivity, I don’t want myself or the customer to be left with a bad taste in their mouth when considering where the product has been made.

NKOYO Scarves
How do you recommend that the different sizes of scarf are worn?
I think the great thing with scarves is they are so versatile. Recently the 90x90cm braids scarf was styled as a top for an editorial, which looked amazing. Normally I’d wear that one folded in a triangle around the neck, to show off the design at the back. I also love turbans, they suit all hair types. The long scarf comes in either 165cm x 14cm or 130cm x 30cm, so theres a few different ways to wear. I love to see either worn with a collared shirt in a pussy bow style, which I think brightens up a quite formal look. Or twisted around the head. The thicker long scarf is also great hung loosely, as the design is quite bold. 

NKOYO Scarves
Where is your studio and what does it look like on a busy day at work?
I have a studio space at home in North London, which I really like. Its all focussed around a large desk and a large desktop mac. I do like to spread out, and work on quite a big scale; Drawing on A4 paper or anything smaller gives me mild anxiety. After a busy day, there’ll be a lot of pieces of paper with frantic lists and doodles, and I have a lot of magazines piled up around me, but nothing too manic. I think I’m similar to a lot of creatives, when I say I like my space how I like it. Nobody move the mess. 

NKOYO Scarves
Why do you think that scarves are enjoying such a renaissance at the moment?
I think it’s because they are a blank canvas. The wearer can be daring in a much more accessible way, and there are very few outfits that don’t benefit from the addition of a scarf. There are some great artists out there, who are experimenting with the medium, and having fun with it. With promotion from shops like Liberty, they are also a very luxurious item, I think people want to spend their money wisely in this climate, and although it sounds corny, you do get a piece of art and something wearable at the same time.

NKOYO Scarves
What other projects are you working on now?
I am always working on freelance illustration and graphics projects. Soon I hope to collaborate with some friends who are starting a menswear label called heresy. As well as illustration, I really like writing, and have a writing website that I try to update as often as I can. Its a little more acerbic than my designs would suggest I suppose, but I love it. I want to write short stories when I have the time. 

NKOYO Scarves
See more on the NKOYO website: www.nkoyo.co.uk or check out illustrations on http://alicenyong.com

NKOYO Scarves

Categories ,Alice Nyong, ,Alma Haser, ,Balmain, ,ethical, ,heresy, ,Hermés, ,illustration, ,Local, ,Luna & Curious, ,Luna and Curious, ,print, ,Silk Scarf, ,sustainable, ,Versace

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Amelia’s Magazine | Montreal Festimania 2011: Festival Mode et Design Review – Brut Design, Bye Bye Bambi, AQUAOVO

Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Design by Bye Bye Bambi. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Sitting in bright blue containers between the two catwalks on McGill College Avenue there were a series of showcases for homegrown Montreal design talent. Here’s what I liked:

Montreal Festimania design 2011 review brut design photo by Amelia Gregory
Brut Design makes use of locally available materials and manufacturing waste to create decorative accessories inspired by Quebec’s diverse flora and fauna. Brut Design aims to reintroduce nature to the human landscape in order to minimise industrial waste and reduce its toll on the environment. We like, this web in both design and concept.

Montreal Festimania design 2011 review aquaovo photo by Amelia Gregory
Following on with an environmentally conscious theme, website like this AQUAOVO has produced the OVOPUR filtration unit that combines aesthetics with a respect for the environment. Above is a part of their display.

Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory
Lastly I was most thrilled to discover the work of design duo Bye Bye Bambi with Curious Montreal. Julie Ledru and Fred Estimbre work together on a range of projects including 3D paper sets and some fab graphic fashion illustrations.

Montreal Festimania design 2011 review Bye Bye Bambi photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,AQUAOVO, ,Brut Design, ,Bye Bye Bambi, ,canada, ,Curious Montreal, ,design, ,ethical, ,Fred Estimbre, ,Julie Ledru, ,Local, ,Montreal, ,Montreal Festimania, ,OVOPUR, ,Quebec, ,sustainable, ,Water Filtration

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with The Flower Appreciation Society

The Flower Appreciaiton Society_introducing
Ellie and Anna are not your average florists…. inspired by a mutual love of flowers, illustration and all things English, they formed The Flower Appreciation Society, supplying beautiful and unusual arrangements to a multitude of customers from their studio space in Hackney. And that’s not all they do: Ellie also runs knitwear label EDE, and Anna is a nearly qualified midwife. Inspiring indeed. Ellie explains:

The Flower Appreciation Society big lilac display
I studied Textiles at Manchester and Anna studied illustration at Brighton. After being made redundant twice in one year, I went back home to Wales and spent the summer helping my Mum (who is also a florist) with all her weddings. When I returned to London I decided I wanted to continue working with flowers. I started working at The Scolt Head pub in Hackney and met Anna. She had just finished a year long floristry course (which she’d found incredibly uninspiring) and we instantly became friends when we realised that we shared the same aesthetic and love for all things floral. It all started very organically. Anna was asked to do the flowers for a friends wedding and I offered to help. From then on we started doing weekly flowers at the pub and then decided to design our own website. The Flower Appreciation Society was born.

The Flower Appreciation Society_Christmas
I love your idea! Flowers and illustration have always gone hand in hand, when did you have your epiphany and can you remember when you and Anna decided to combine the two loves?
It all happened very naturally. The Flower Appreciation Society began when we realised that we could combine our love of cut flowers with our appreciation of all things floral. Anna had done an illustration degree, so it seemed very right to use illustrations to add something a little different to our identity.

The Flower Appreciaiton Society_flower letters
How much has growing up around flowers informed your love of them? what are your earliest floral memories?
My mother is a silk painter as well as a florist and a wonderful gardener, my Granny was a gardener and my Great Granny was a florist, so I guess you could say it’s in the genes. The house was always filled with flowers, be it fresh cut flowers or huge beautiful bearded iris’ which my mother painted onto the curtains in the sitting room. l was definitely surrounded by flowers from a very early age. My earliest floral memory has to be sitting on the lawn at my Granny’s house eating rose petals!

The Flower Appreciation Society Anna's edible flower illustrations
What have you learnt from your florist mum?
The most important things I have learnt from my mum are my appreciation and sensitivity to colour and shape. When she was training me she always banged on about the shape of the arrangement (which annoyed me at the time!!) but I’m so grateful for it now as its one of the most important things.

The Flower Appreciation Society bike and bouquet
The Flower Appreciation Society floristry tips
I love that you and your partner Anna have such diverse creative careers – can you tell us more about your knitwear brand EDE?
I set up EDE a year ago. I have always knitted, since leaving university and it got to a point where I didn’t have the time to knit myself anymore, so I decided to employ knitters from the area that I grew up, in Herefordshire. It was very important to me to keep the production in England and even more important to support my local community. I now have 15 knitters who work their magic on my designs and I sell them on my website www.edeengland.co.uk Anna and I are very excited about our next project, to combine EDE with The Flower Appreciation Society. Big floral prints on knitwear… we can’t wait!! *nor can I*

The Flower Appreciation Society Buttonholes
And Anna: Can you tell us about your midwife training – where will you be practicing once you are qualified and what kind of births do you hope to attend and facilitate?
I’m just about to finish my 3 year training and hope to practice as a midwife part time in London. I hope this will be the perfect balance, half the week delivering babies and the other half arranging beautiful flowers – two very different environments, somehow it works and I love having such a mixed week. I particularly enjoy working with women and their families from all sorts of backgrounds – in an ideal world they all would be lovely straightforward happy births!

The Flower Appreciation Society_flower bonnet
How do your illustrations sit alongside and work with the flower arranging brand?
What’s great is that the illustrations have become an integral part of the brands identity without us even realising that’s what we were doing. 
It’s so lovely for me being able to use my illustrations in this context, having the freedom to set my own briefs and being able to use my degree in a way i never thought I would. I love being my own boss.

The Flower Appreciation Society_pink jug
The Flower Appreciation Society_As you are editorial
All editorial shots by Holly Falconer for an As you are Magazine editorial.

How do you find the local growers who supply your flowers? Are there people growing flowers in London or do you have to go outside the city?
At the moment we buy most of our flowers from new Covent Garden market and get as much as we can from the English suppliers. Our plan for next year is to develop relationships with local allotment growers so that we can source the majority of our flowers within London. 

Very big display flower appreciation
What flowers does England grow best?
Our favourite English flowers have to be sweet peas, delphiniums, dahlias, hydrangeas and of course beautiful wild foliage. 

Are there any particular scents that you love the most and try to include in arrangements?
Obviously there’s nothing better than flowers which smell. Our ultimate favourite is English lilac. 

The Flower Appreciation Society_mothers day 2012
You’ve had some amazing clients: Florence and the Machine, YCN, Bompass and Parr, La Perla, Radley, Yellowdoor, Shona Heath, Lily Vanilli, Waterstones. Who would be your next dream client?
We’d love to start working with contemporary fashion brands such as Mary Katrantzou. It would be a dream to not only have our flowers decorating the catwalk, but also our floral prints/illustrations adorning the models. 

The Flower Appreciation Society_As you are editorial
Why should we all learn to appreciate flowers more – any simple tips to include them in daily life?
Flowers make us happy. We love the whole process, from building relationships and supporting the market boys to visiting amazing venues, to feeling like we’ve done a good hard days work. Just a single stem of a beautiful flower brightens up any room. Buy a coral peony bud and put it into a bottle and watch it open and the colour fade – quite magical.

The Flower Appreciation Society_Ellie and Anna

Visit The Flower Appreciation Society here.

Categories ,Anna Day, ,As you are Magazine, ,Bompass and Parr, ,Covent Garden market, ,EDE, ,Ellie Jauncey, ,ethical, ,Florence and The Machine, ,Flowers, ,Holly Falconer, ,illustration, ,knitwear, ,La Perla, ,Lily Vanilli, ,Local, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Midwife, ,Radley, ,Shona Heath, ,The Flower Appreciation Society, ,The Scolt Head, ,Waterstones, ,YCN, ,Yellowdoor

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