Amelia’s Magazine | Twist Baby Twist at the Fashion and Textile Museum

7 Foale and Tuffin exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum CREDIT photographer Kirstin SinclairImages throughout courtesy of both Fashion and Textile museum and Felicitie’s Designer showroom

A couple of weeks ago, information pills I was lucky enough to attend the Twist Baby Twist event at the Fashion and Textile Museum which included entry into Foale and Tuffin exhibition (previously reviewed here). The idea was to recapture the swinging sixties as Foale and Tuffin remembered it and to celebrate their success as fashion designers.

1 Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale - Foale and Tuffin exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum CREDIT photographer Kirstin SinclairSally Tuffin and Marion Foale

Celebrating how the sixties formed the world of music, approved fashion and art as we knew it, the exhibition was brimming with live music, film, fashion shows, dressing up boxes, a David Bailey inspired photo booth and 1960s make over’s.

Greeted with sounds of the swinging sixties, including Baby Love by The Supremes and She Loves You by The Beatles heightened the Foale and Tuffin experience, taking the guests onto a trip down memory lane.

With daisy chains gracefully decorating every head as the guests listened to the live music from Bebe & Paulo, Remi Nicole and Theoretical Girl and The Equations, this event was everything that it promised to be; lively, entertaining and realistic.

The Original Foale and Tuffin Team - Foale and Tuffin exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum CREDIT photographer Kirstin SinclairThe Original Foale and Tuffin Team

Professional make-up and hair stylists transformed twenty-first century boys and girls into stylish sixties icons. A rail of beautiful vintage clothes and accessories from the sixties were on offer for the guests to dress up in and reminisce about a more radical time.

A David Bailey photo booth was on offer for anyone who wanted to capture the moment with friends. Dancing and smiling in front of the camera, dressed up in their sixties outfits, the guests got to experience what it would have been like to be captured by the famous photographer.

6 Foale and Tuffin exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum CREDIT photographer Kirstin Sinclair

Key pieces by Foale and Tuffin were put on display including a napoleon raincoat, the corduroy brown trouser suit, which famously changed the way women dressed (even before Yves Saint Laurent), the domino dress and the black mini dress with fringe detail.

There was a vibrant catwalk courtesy of Pop Boutique whose models were dressed in clothes from the shop that perfectly represented the sixties era to a tee. Full of enthusiasm and lively music blasting out, the models proudly swept down the catwalk proving that it is still possible to wear sixties clothes and look on trend.

With sixties label such as Biba, Mary Quant and Ossie Clark re-launching themselves, Tuffin has not ruled out the possibility of Foale and Tuffin making a come back. Described as quirky, youthful and sensitive to the latest atmosphere and styles it was good luck and dedication that found them at the centre of the cultural explosion in London that defined the swinging sixties.

Categories ,BeBe & Paulo, ,biba, ,Coco Watts, ,David Bailey, ,Fashion and Textile Museum, ,Foale and Tuffin, ,Mary Quant, ,Ossie Clark, ,Pop Boutique, ,Remi Nicole and Theoretical Girl, ,the beatles, ,The Equations, ,The Supremes, ,Twist Baby Twist, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-LFW interview: Avsh Alom Gur

Amelia’s loves Avsh Alom Gur (see our previous coverage here and here) and we cannot wait to see what is instore for AW following the optical delight of SS10. Amelia’s spoke to Avsh Alom Gur with regards to the inspiration behind the designs and the development of the pending AW10 Collection.

Avsh Alom Gur SS10_1Images throughout courtesy of Avsh Alom Gur

What was your inspiration for the S/S 10 collection?
For SS10 my inspiration is a clean, seek cost modern silhouette, purchase built on simple lines and geometric shapes, challenged by the illusion of Op Art.

What was the first image, book, idea or feeling that came to mind as you started your design process?
The Rudi Gernreich Book (Big Series Art) by Peggy Moffitt


How would you describe your clothes?
“You can were it like this and you can wear it like that”. The garment should work for you and not the other way round, my garments fit everyone. I love one size.
I create garments for women that treat their wardrobes as though they are a curator of a gallery, expressing their own personalities.

Could you describe your creative progress?
For me it is always about a story, a fantasy, scenery or a backdrop. Once these are in place, they act as guidelines, which help me to curate and ‘cast’ the rest of my fantasy colours, materials and imaginary friends. Choose a story close your eyes and imagine what garments a young girl would wear.


What are your thoughts with regards to what we will be wearing come Autumn Winter?
Voluminous minimalism..

I and the readers of Amelia’s Magazine would be interested in hearing about the development in designs between seasons – what is your inspiration for Autumn Winter?
‘Less is more’.


You recently returned to designing under your own name after designing for the label Ossie Clark. What interested you in designing under a different brand and how is the return to designing under your own name? With regards to this question I am thinking about current students/recent graduates possibly weighing up the positive and negatives of designing under their own name compared to joining a company…
When creating the Avsh Alom Gur collections, I treat the creations as wearable art pieces that have no limitations and boundaries. When designing for others I take elements and the essence of my design philosophy and apply it to the Brands established aesthetics and needs.

What was your favourite item from the SS10 collection?
Crinkle organza wide-leg culottes, printed with op-art print in black and white (look 21).


What would your advice be to young designers with regards to appearing at London Fashion Week?
LFW is a great place for young emerging designers. There is quite a lot of opportunities in both, getting support and exposure while participating.

Whilst studying at CSM what drew you towards Womenswear?
My passion for womenswear started at birth.


What is the most enjoyable part of design?
I don’t believe I could do anything else. I am fortunate to be able to do what many people may describe as a hobby, and turn it into the main focus of my life while interacting with so many talented individuals

What is the Avsh Alom Gur aesthetic?
Avsh Alom Gur designs and creates unique collections that challenge glamour and our definition of beauty. My designs combine Eastern and Western elements with urban street graffiti and underground grunge to create timeless effortless shapes with generous use of fabrics.


What are your thoughts on contemporary fashion and the position of London Fashion Week within the fashion industry?
I wouldn’t know how to define contemporary fashion in words. Hopefully my collection defines it. London has been and still is one of the most creative cities in the world.

What informs your work?
I take inspiration from anything and everything from my daily vision! I can usually find something unique and beautiful in what others might think of as mess or dirt. I have found inspiration from the landscapes of urban London, from disposed packaging, empty drinks cans and other general litter found on the streets.

What is the most challenging aspect of design?
Paying the bills!

Categories ,Avsh Alom Gur, ,Big Series Art, ,Central Saint Martins, ,London Fashion Week, ,Op Art, ,Ossie Clark, ,Peggy Moffitt, ,Rudi Gernreich, ,Sally Mumby-Croft

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Amelia’s Magazine | A Review of 50 Fabulous Frocks at the Fashion Museum, Bath

Fashion Museum, Bath, 50FF Review
Illustration of 1900s champagne fancy dress costume, unknown maker, by Freddy Thorn.

Like any good birthday bash, it begins with champagne; a bottle of 1904 Veuve Clicquot to be exact, taking the form of an elaborate Edwardian fancy dress ensemble.

Recently listed by CNN as one of the top ten fashion museums in the world, Bath’s Fashion Museum has come a long way since its creation by Doris Langley Moore and the Bath City Council in 1963. This is a varied exhibition, featuring 50 of the fashion museums ‘greatest hits’ with dresses spanning across the ages, from one of the oldest dresses in any UK museum (a 1660 piece affectionately known as the ‘Silver Tissue Dress’) to a fresh-off-the-catwalk 2012 Louis Vuitton piece. Eveningwear sits comfortably by poolside attire, sportswear next to corsets; each dress a snapshot of fashion history.

5 dresses at 50 Fabulous Frocks exhibition, Fashion Museum, Bath
Illustration of 5 of the 50 dresses by May Van Milllingen.

There are plenty of ‘celebrity’ frocks here: a Christian Dior dress from the 1950s, a Chanel from the 1960s and a Jean-Paul Gaultier from the 1990s just a few of the gems in this collection. With dresses that have graced the pages of Vogue alongside cages and crinolines, these pieces form a dynamic exhibit exploring dresses across the centuries.

Black lace Rocha dress now part of 50 Fabulous Frocks Exhibition
Red lace Erdem Dress on Catwalk
Photos of red and navy lace Erdem and black Rocha dress by Chris Moore.

An ostrich feather 1960s Yves Saint Laurent concoction made for ballerina Margot Fonteyn catches my eye as does a Dame Vivienne Westwood regency style dress nestled among the kinds of dresses it’s emulating. A 1940s pink Mickey Mouse aertex dress sits next to a polka-dot housecoat lined with gingham and there’s even a wedding dress from the 1890s among the ranks. These clothes are famous; there’s a red mini dress worn by Ernestine Carter, a former Fashion Editor of The Sunday Times, as well as an Ossie Clark dress literally taken straight out of a David Hockney, Tate painting.

Dress by Poiret part of 50 Fabulous Frocks Exhibition.
Alexander McQueen dress from 50 Fabulous Frocks exhibition
50 Fabulous Frocks  cream silk dress
Photos of Poirot dress, Alexander McQueen dress and cream silk ball gown provided by Fashion Museum, Bath & North East Somerset Council.

I go to the exhibit twice, once with my friends on a sunny Saturday and we whizz through it in true tourist fashion (pun intentional) as I snap a few photos. We amble through the corsets and cages, pantsuits and Burberry raincoats, quickly and hungrily. We notice a group of young female museum-goers all wearing the same outfit in alternate colours, each one clad in a pair of converse paired with brightly coloured jeans. I note that in this exhibit, the tables have turned, and the dresses, behind the security of their glass cases, are the audience for our own catwalk as we prance back and forth.

3 dresses at Fashion Museum, Bath
A Vivienne Westwood dress (centre) alongside two dresses from the late 1800s, illustration by Karolina Burdon.

The second time I go by myself on a rainy Sunday and I listen to every single commentary for each dress, writing notes as I go. The other gallery-folk are, like the dresses, a melting pot: families with young children; a few fashion students drawing the dresses in their sketchbooks. Amongst the chatter I can hear loud, excited French. Thirty or so people come and go while I examine the collection.

Bath Fashion Museum, Georgian
Wall text at Fashion Museum, Bath
50 Fabulous Frocks Dresses Bath Fashion Museum
50 Fabulous Frocks
50FF Dresses, 50 Fabulous Frocks Dresses Bath Fashion Museum
50 Fabulous Frocks Exhibition, Fashion Museum, Bath
All photography by Jessica Cook.

While I sit on the floor sucking the end of my pen and agonising over the spelling of ‘Vuitton’, there is a mother and her two children in the museum providing an alternative narrative to the info handsets. “Mummy, what is it?” says child no1. The mother pauses for a second as though thrown off balance by the question, “It’s dresses from the last 50 years,” she says, which is wrong, and I feel the same wince I had as a kid when I first realised that parents aren’t infallible. The exhibition is a celebration that the Fashion Museum is 50 years young, but the dresses themselves span across the ages as far back as the 1600s. Her mistake is understandable, as the date underneath the sign does read 1963- 2013 after all.

50 FF 3 of 50 Fabulous Frocks, Fashion Museum
Red wool mini dress by André Courrèges, black Ossie Clark gown and 1930s evening dress, illustration by Gareth A Hopkins.

Wow!” says child no2 as he reaches a dress from the 1800s. “Isn’t it amazing?” says the mother, her eyes alight. “Just like mummy used to wear,” she says pointing at a short, red little number. The children press their faces against the glass as though they are looking into the past.

Woman in champagne dress
Photo of champagne bottle dress provided by Fashion Museum, Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The 50 Fabulous Frocks exhibition at the Fashion Museum, Bath is open from 2 February 2013 to the 31st December 2013. Entry is £2.

Categories ,50 Fabulous Frocks, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Bath, ,Bath City Council, ,Birthday, ,celebration, ,Champagne, ,Christian Dior, ,CNN, ,corset, ,David Hockney, ,Doris Langley Moore, ,Dresses, ,Edwardian, ,Erdem, ,Ernestine Carter, ,Eveningwear, ,exhibit, ,fashion, ,Fashion Museum, ,Freddy Thorn, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,history, ,Jean Paul Gaultier, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Louis Vuitton, ,Margot Fonteyn, ,May van Millingen, ,Mickey Mouse, ,museum, ,Ossie Clark, ,Silver Tissue Dress, ,Tate, ,The Sunday Times, ,Veuve Clicquot, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,vogue, ,Wedding Dress, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Fashion Blogger turned Fashion Designer Coco Fennell

Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan
Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan.

I discovered via good old Facebook that my talented ex intern Jenn Pitchers has been creating bespoke print designs for gorgeous curvaceous dresses made by the blogger turned fashion designer Coco Fennell, so of course I had to check them out. Here Coco describes her career move and how she hooked up with Jenn.

Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie
Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie.

What is your education and what brought you to this point in your fashion career?
After school I did a great graphic design course in East London which then led me on to art direct a magazine where I met Jenn Pitchers, the illustrator who I work with on my prints! 

Coco Fennell Louie_Banks

Did being a blogger first help you to launch your own label and what has it taught you about the business?
Yes for sure, working on my fashion blog made me realise that what I really wanted to do was design dresses and that with the internet it could be possible. It showed me that it wasn’t impossible to have an online shop to start a label with low overheads when you don’t have terrifying things like shop rent to deal with!

Coco Fennell new tricks
What does your blog focus on, and has the focus changed since you started your own label?
Yes I think so. I probably blog more about editorials and look books where as before I was focusing on key pieces to buy. It’s just like an online scrapbook. I love that I can find great websites I blogged about ages ago which I would have otherwise forgotten. 
Coco Fennel Veronica Rowlands
Coco Fennell by Veronica Rowlands.

What is the process of working together with Jenn to create your unique print designs?
I come up with a theme, pull together lots of imagery and then we meet up, talk about it, Jenn sketches up some awesomeness and we go from there! 

Coco Fennell kiss me
Why was it so important that you create your own bespoke print fabrics and what do you think makes them so different to anything else on the market?
I’ve always loved designers like Jeremy Scott and Swash and when I met so many illustrators working at the magazine it inspired me to make some of my limited edition pieces in cool, unusual prints.

Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings
Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings.

What else inspires your designs?
The female form is the first thing because I want to achieve a flattering shape – if the dress isn’t flattering then girls don’t feel as wonderful as they could and I don’t think there’s any point in making something that doesn’t make you feel good! I love 60′s and 70′s designers too like Biba and Ossie Clark.

coco fennell 1
How have you managed to acquire such a good relationship with celeb fans such as Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Bip Ling?
I’ve just been lucky enough to get in touch with stylists and have been even more lucky that the girls like my dresses so have worn lots of different pieces.
Gypsy Heart Dress by Jamie Wignall
Smokin' Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall
Gypsy Heart Dress and Smokin’ Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall.

Who is the model in your current look book and how did you achieve that amazing hair? what was the inspiration?
She is such a babe! She’s called Mimi Wade and she already had that amazing green hair we just added in some yellow extensions. I love big Dolly Parton hair!

coco fennell  2
How many collections do you create a year?
Around three, but it depends. I haven’t really been making set collections so sometimes there are bits inbetween.

Coco Fennell, Circus,Circus by EdieOP
Coco Fennell: Circus,Circus by EdieOP.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I want to grow my brand: promoting fun, friendliness and a positive body image! I love brands like Nasty Gal and Wildfox and the way they work – I aspire to build something like that. There’s a big aim to set myself!

Find Coco Fennell‘s collection online here.

Categories ,70s, ,Amyisla Mccombie, ,biba, ,Bip Ling, ,Blogger, ,Coco Fennell, ,daisy lowe, ,Dolly Parton, ,EdieOP, ,Fashion Designer, ,illustrator, ,Jade Boylan, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Jenn Pitchers, ,Jennifer Matignas Pitchers, ,Jennifer Pitchers, ,Mimi Wade, ,Nasty Gal, ,Ossie Clark, ,Pixie Lott, ,Print Design, ,Rebecca Rawlings, ,retro, ,Veronica Rowlands, ,Wildfox

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Amelia’s Magazine | Photography Book Review: Jim Lee, Arrested

Jim Lee Arrested courtesy of Jo Reeder
‘Aeroplane’ photograph courtesy of Jo Reeder PR, all other photography by Alia Gargum

If there is one thing I could easily spend all my money on, it’s art books. Beautifully printed, embossed, collectable items of temptation that I can never seem to have enough of; I’ve had to firmly steer myself away from the bookshop section of many a gallery in order to stop me buying everything. But, I can’t help myself, and love a gorgeously bound book that will last as resource much longer than a magazine or paperback.

Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum
Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum

Timing nicely with his latest exhibition Ammonite Press have produced Arrested, a book about the iconic photography and film work of Jim Lee, who has changed the entire way the industry worked through his 50-year career. Having pioneered fashion photography that was about more than just the consumption of clothes, this book catalogues his most well-known and rarely seen images together in a silver-edged gem of a book.

I knew of Jim Lee‘s work through his photography for Ossie Clarke and the instantly recognisable ‘Aeroplane’ image, above, and found myself recognising more of the work as I read through the book. The large-scale pages work brilliantly for the work and layout of the book, which is presented in chapters to note each stage of Jim Lee‘s career. There is charming insight into Jim Lee‘s life and career from former Style Editor of Harpers & Queen, Peter York, and great quotes from the artist himself, such as “..some of my most successful early photographs were created with a very young fashion editor – only twenty-one – who had a surprisingly direct manner and great style: Anna Wintour…”. Besides working with Anna Wintour, Lee also collaborated with big-name designers such as Yves St Laurent, Gianni Versace and of course Ossie Clark, with work appearing in Elle, the Sunday Times magazine, Harpers & Queen and the New York Times.

Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum
Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum

Jim Lee also had an incredible film career, producing over 400 distinctive advertising campaigns for big-name brands like Levi’s, Elizabeth Arden, Esso and British Airways. He also produced a number of films and directed the 1992 full-length feature Losing Track, starring Alan Bates, which echoed the difficult relationship he shared with his own father.

Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum
Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum

What I love most about Jim Lee’s work is the stories behind the always beautiful imagery, and the fact that he was able to transfer this feel successfully to film is a testimony to his success. He still collaborates on a number of projects, and has his work displayed in a number of galleries, recently including Somerset House. As an illustrator I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy this book, but have found this collection of imagery from the 1960′s through to modern day not just inspiring but most definitely value for money. Having something a bit different and beautifully made as a part of my reference library makes a change from the tons of saved magazines, blogs and online mood boards. I’m a fan.

Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum
Jim Lee Arrested by Alia Gargum

Jim Lee- Arrested is available to purchase online through Ammonite Press and in-store at Harrods, Selfridges and other major book retailers.

Categories ,Ammonite Press, ,Anna Wintour, ,Arrested, ,Book Review, ,British Airways, ,Elizabeth Arden, ,Elle Magazine, ,fashion, ,film, ,Harpers and Queen, ,Jim Lee, ,Jo Reeder PR, ,levis, ,New York Times, ,Ossie Clark, ,photography, ,Somerset House, ,Sunday Times Style Magazine, ,Versace, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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