Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week AW15 Exhibition Stands Report: Jewellery

Imogen Belfield jurassic ring
After nearly 20 years of attending London Fashion Week and supporting emerging designers the British Fashion Council denied me a press pass for the exhibition stands because I forgot to register online (it went to spam mail). After conferring with a manager upstairs I was told that my website was ‘not influential enough’ to warrant a pass and I should reapply next season, which is pretty galling given the amount of time I have spent promoting designers in Amelia’s Magazine over the past decade, many at the start of their careers. The only way I was allowed in was to drag a designer out from the stands so that I could be allocated a plastic wrist band as a visiting friend. Thanks for the show of appreciation for all my hard work BFC!

Jewellery has become a major fixture at the exhibition stands, so there is loads to report on. Read on if you love jewels as much as I do.

Imogen Belfield
Much gratitude to the lovely Imogen Belfield for leaving her stand in the Rock Vault to sort me out with an exhibition pass. Her new collection is amazing as ever, featuring rough diamonds, black diamonds and an array of new fine metals as well as solid gold pieces designed to appeal to her Far Eastern markets. Her chunky Jurassic ring (at the top) is chock full of rough diamonds. Yum yum! Read my first interview with Imogen Belfield here, we’ll be doing a catch up Q&A soon.

Alice Cicolini
This season Alice Cicolini (read more in this round up here) showcased a concise new collection named Summer Snow, featuring fine quartz crystals which spin on the inside and outside, with precious gems such as tourmaline and sapphire in the centres. So different and beautiful.

Ornella Ianuzzi
Also in the Rock Vault I was wowed by jewellery from Ornella Iannuzzi for the first time. These opal cage earrings feature a beautiful round gemstone that rolls around inside a gold shape inspired by the Platonic Solids. Find out more about Ornella in my upcoming interview.

Goddess Aviator goddess aviator
This gigantic Goddess Aviator showpiece by art jewellers Yunus and Eliza is not for the faint hearted! What an awesome piece.

Shimell and Madden
We first met Shimell and Madden way back in 2011, so it was nice to see them now doing so well – I love the new collection, featuring these unusual cabochon garnets and finely set diamonds.

This is what they do! Stratus rain earrings dancing away at Rock Vault

A video posted by Jo Hayes Ward (@johayesward) on

Jo Hayes-Ward has not let a new baby get in the way of her prolific output, first profiled in Amelia’s Magazine in 2010 – creating swathes of new designs in her signature building block style. An inspiration to us all! These earrings dance so beautifully, as shown in her video. Just imagine them in the ear! Magnificent.

Beth Gilmour
Beth Gilmour is a Cockpit Arts based designer, I absolutely adore her Dichroma Collection, featuring bi coloured gemstones set in similarly toned metals.

Lily Kamper
Lily Kamper enamel pendants
Moving on to other rooms… Lily Kamper has also been busy creating a vast new collection, including this glorious pendant in her colourful Art Deco style. Also new for this season are new abstract enamel initial pendants, which she began sketching out last season.

Kattri pendant
This bold pendant comes from the new Assymetry collection by Kattri – find out more about designer Amanda Gerbasi in my recent interview here.

Ruifier face pendants
So sweet and unusual: these gem face pendants are by Ruifier, which is the new jewellery brand from Central Saint Martins graduate Rachel Shaw. Her distinct pieces feature precious gems in layerable designs that marry wit with luxury.

Alighieri is Dante inspired jewellery from Oxford University graduate Rosh Mahtani, who set up her brand in 2013 with no formal training but a burning desire to translate her love of literature into jewels.

Eshvi bracelet
This bracelet by Eshvi showcases the brand’s individual aesthetic, featuring chunky resin shapes in bold designs.

Brooke Gregson constellation pendants
Brooke Gregson is another designer who is new to me. The American designer works with some fabulous boulder opals and her Astrology collection is such a unique and wonderful idea.

Ros Millar rings
These gothic rings are from Ros Millar, also based in the Cockpit Arts studio, and whose work I admired a few years ago at the Treasure Jewellery Show.

Kirsty Ward
Kirsty Ward necklace
It’s always a joy to catch up with Kirsty Ward, especially since she hasn’t show at London Fashion Week for a few seasons. As well as churning out a full collection of clothing her jewellery range has also grown hugely since she first started out with Fashion Scout. I absolutely adore her unique statement pieces.

Only Child necklace
Over with Black PR I discovered these serious druzies on a chunky gold chain by Only Child.

Gina Melosi
Designer Gina Melosi (discovered last year at the Off Strand showcase) specialises in ethical jewellery, creating distinctive looks such as this raw beehive geometric design on a necklace.

More from the stands soon…

Categories ,Alice Cicolini, ,Alighieri, ,Amanda Gerbasi, ,Assymetry, ,Astrology, ,AW15, ,Beth Gilmour, ,Black PR, ,british fashion council, ,Brooke Gregson, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Dichroma Collection, ,Eshvi, ,Exhibition Stands Report, ,Fashion Scout, ,Fine Jewellery, ,Gina Melosi, ,Goddess Aviator, ,Imogen Belfield, ,jewellery, ,Jo Hayes-Ward, ,Jurassic, ,Kattri, ,Kirsty Ward, ,Lily Kamper, ,London Fashion Week, ,Millar, ,Off Strand, ,Only Child, ,Ornella Iannuzzi, ,Oxford University, ,Platonic Solids, ,Rachel Shaw, ,Rock Vault, ,Rosh Mahtani, ,Ruifier, ,Shimell and Madden, ,Summer Snow, ,Treasure Jewellery Show, ,Yunus and Eliza

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Amelia’s Magazine | Weyes Blood arrives on European shores: an interview with Natalie Mering

Natalie Mering Weyes Blood full length
Having released her second album under the title Weyes Blood at the end of last year on Mexican Summer, collaborated with the likes of Ariel Pink and been a one time member of the experimental troupe Jackie-O Motherf**ker, Natalie Mering is no newbie to the music scene. As she joins Kevin Morby on tour and takes Europe by storm, we catch up with the formidable songstress and get a sneak peak into the genius music world she has created for herself.

Natalie Mering profile
Welcome to Europe Natalie! Have you toured this side of the pond before?
Yes I have, this is my fourth time across the pond for musical purposes. First tours were very noise/drone/experimental scene-centric. These last two have been my first foray into more indie shows.

Is there a particular country you’re excited about visiting?
Yes! Switzerland is especially dreamy, because I am a mountain woman and feel most at home at high elevations. I also love free human souls and dairy (Interesting people and grass fed milk cheese). Portugal is also a highlight because of the climate and general vibe-lots of great artistic minds there. I always have the best, most idealistic conversations about art and music with promoters from Portugal. The country seems a good 30 years lost in time. There’s a strange noticeable spark in how people respond to new music. I also feel close to their traditional music, Fado. It resonates with my soul and I think I’ve channeled its particularities unknowingly.

Weyes Blood – Be free – Urban Outfitters Performance

You released your second album ‘The Innocents’ last October on New York label, Mexican Summer. What’s your favourite track to perform?
I love performing ‘Bad Magic’ because it’s very demanding, emotionally and vocally. It tends to draw everybody in.

Weyes Blood Urban Outfitters
How would YOU describe your sound and style?
I’d say my sound is reminiscent of cathedrals-church with a bit of soul and R&B, soul church. Sweet Metal? There is a bit of darkness there, some doom, but its sweet and I try to play into the tradition of folk ballads. I have been very influenced by drone composers like Lamonte Young and Terry Riley, but also love a good psyche pop anthem. That said, there’s usually one note you can play through the entirety of any of my songs, a drone note that carries everything through. My favorite musical example of this is John Cale‘s infamous piano note played through the entirety of The StoogesWanna be Your Dog’. If I could sum up all my musical infatuations in one composition it may just be that. I have dreams about John Cale a lot, and the records he produced with Nico. He’s a wonderful drone man that built that bridge into popular music, and secretly I hope my style draws from that with a medieval twinge.

Weyes Blood – Bad Magic – Official Video

You studied herbs in the New Mexico desert before moving to New York and settling into the music scene there. Was music something you always did?
Yes music was always first, even as a child. But back then I was more interested in theatrical arts. It wasn’t until I was 12 years old that I realized being an actress wasn’t nearly as interesting as diving into the sonic realms of music exploration. From that point onward it was my main purpose for being alive, no hyperbole.

Weyes Blood Natalie Mering
Your parents are both musicians. Have they had an influence on your own style?
A bit. My Father’s favorite band was XTC, so he was always open to “the next wave” and innovative music. Being a new waver himself, he stayed interested in recent music and always wanted to know how rock n roll was evolving. But like any classic baby boomer he couldn’t really follow me into the 21st century, pretty much drawing the line at Radiohead. My Father and I went to a Radiohead concert together and we really bonded, but it took him a while to come around to my music. My mother is obsessed with Joni Mitchell so she was always playing in the house. ‘Court and Spark’ is permanently branded into my subconscious.

Your voice has a unique and haunting quality to it. Has it always been that way or something you grew into?
It’s always been low and raspy. I’ve grown into singing with more strength over time. There was definitely a time it was a source of embarrassment, but its something I’ve come to appreciate over time. It’s good for impersonations. I do love high voices, though, and my register as singer is definitely alto and below. Sometimes hearing my voice on recordings really freaks me out, I hear it so differently in my head I can’t imagine what it sounds like to other people.

What inspires you?
To keep it extremely concise: chaos, synchronicity, duality and empathy.

Weyes-Blood-The-Innocents cover
I love your attitude. You seem very focused and clear on what you want. Does that make working with other people more challenging when they’re not as serious as you?
Haha, well thank you. I can also be extremely unfocused and confused about what I want just like the rest of us. I guess I just force myself to take things across the finish line even if I’m having those feelings. And as far as dealing with challenges working with other people-it’s always been an issue, but something I’ve learned to get over. I don’t expect anybody to take what I do as seriously as I do, so I like to take most of the load myself and collaborate with people who are looking to go on a journey with me into my chasm of unattainably high standards. That’s one of the reasons I’m a solo musician-I honestly just wanted to be a girl in a band, a la Kim Gordon, for most of my life. I just could never find anybody as serious as I was about pursuing it-almost like a fanatical religion, I heightened music to a philosophy of life.

I love this one documentary about Sun Ra. The interviewer asks a member of the Arkestra if he minds not having a social life anymore because he has to practice with the ensemble all the time… he says so candidly, “music is everything, why would I want anything else?” I’ve always felt that way. As I get older I’ve stopped being so serious, I enjoy lighthearted half assed efforts into the music realm as a means of therapy after years of carrying the burden of taking something so seriously. It’s important to lighten up, but I always have a “spirit of excellence”. Whatever you’re doing, even if you’re trying to make some crappy music to make your friends laugh, is an important process to be enjoyed to its fullest extent.

Weyes Blood Natalie Mering 2
I read that you starting recording with a 4 track in your early teens. Do you still record onto tape?
Yes! I love the natural compression of tape. It’s a magnetic universe I’ll never leave. Tape is infinite in its possibilities, and its natural compression is my favorite.

What’s your favourite part of the production process? The inspiration, the writing, the recording, the mixing?
The inspiration comes the most naturally-its like a lightning bolt, a spark, and I usually have to jump around the room a bit to deal with the excess in body electricity after I feel like I’ve had a good idea. Writing is more gruesome, choosing things-creating shape from the formless void. Recording is like purgatory, where you’re not quite sure if you’ll be able to capture the lightning bolt – sometimes I like to record first and improvise, keeping the “lightning” in the recordings. Mixing is basically downhill, but also a nitty gritty process. At that point if you’re not satisfied there’s not much you can do, so if you’ve made something good, mixing is an enhancer. If you’re still not satisfied, mixing is a never ending void. Production in a nutshell.

If you want to catch Weyes Blood in action she is currently supporting Kevin Morby on a European tour including these UK dates – 17 June at The Lexington, London 
and 18 June at The Hope, Brighton.

Categories ,Ariel Pink, ,Bad Magic, ,brighton, ,Jackie-O Motherf**ker, ,John Cale, ,Joni Mitchell, ,Kevin Morby, ,Lamonte Young, ,london, ,Mexican Summer, ,Natalie Mering, ,radiohead, ,Sun Ra, ,Sweet Metal, ,Terry Riley, ,The Hope, ,The innocents, ,The Lexington, ,The Stooges, ,Weyes Blood, ,Weyes Blood arrives on European shores

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Boat to Row

Boat to Row by Rebecca Strickson
Boat to Row by Rebecca Strickson.

Sometimes someone sends me something that quite simply blows me away: and so it was when Michael King of Boat to Row got in touch and sent me the link to his new song A Boat to Row, approved to Row to You. Who, page then, more about is this Boat to Row? They’ve toured with and supported the likes of Willy Mason, The Vaccines, Johnny Flynn and Slow Club. You can hear the influences in there, but they’ve made something beautifully their own. I just had to find out more.

Boat to Row by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly the Eggs
Boat to Row by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly the Eggs.

Is that your lips in the video? How did it feel to be filmed so close up and was it unnerving?
It was quite a weird yet exciting experience filming a video, especially with it being our first. There was lots of shooting involved as it was filmed over two weekends in October/November in a London flat and in Broadstairs and Margate. By the end of it you kind of forget just how much was filmed, so when the director Pete sent the end product over there was a lot of anticipation, suspense and excitement involved. The lips do belong to me (Mike) which is quite funny on reflection as I noticed I hadn’t shaved quite as close as I thought! Ha! I wasn’t aware of the close ups at the time, which I think was for the best as my nerves may have crept in.

What’s the story behind the video for a Boat to Row to You?
The story behind the video is about someone who is completely lost and besides themselves in loosing their love and won’t stop at any cost in getting them back, basically meaning if they can’t have them, then no one can. The dark undertones of the video are quite a contrast to story behind the lyric: when I originally wrote the song it was about the declaration and commitment of loving someone. I really like how a song can come across as something completely to someone else: Pete helped give a different perspective to what I had originally wrote.

Boat to Row by Alison Day
Boat to Row by Alison Day.

Why the convoluted/similar name?
The track title mainly stems from the lyrics and overall theme of the song, nothing felt too forced or out of place with the song name so I decided to stick with it. At the time the track was written I was heavily influenced in maritime tales and the coastal trips I had been on, so the imagery of the sea was something I felt very attached to and can be heard in the song.

Boat to Row in tree

What were you doing before Boat to Row?
I’ve been gigging since the age of 16 in various punk bands and I would take little jobs to fund my music and record collection. Along side all that I finished my degree in Popular Music and dived straight into the early form of Boat to Row.

YouTube Preview Image
Autumn Glow

Can you introduce the other band members please?
The rest of Boat to Row are….
David Sharpe on Drums, Vocals and percussion, Benjamin Gilchrist on Bass, Vocals, Guitar & Banjo, Faye Haddon on the Violin, Mandolin and Vocals, and Hannah Riley with the Lead Vocals, Guitar, Melodica and glockenspiel. They are all lovely people!

Boat to Row photo

On 114 Miles you have a female singer: who is she and where has she come from?
Hannah is the lady in question! She has played in Boat to Row since the band formed really. Hannah studies French and German at Oxford University and tries to fit the band around her busy schedule, so we are lucky that we get to see her a lot and play as many shows with her as we can. It’s great having her in the band as it adds another dynamic to what I write; her parts really make the songs gleam.

YouTube Preview Image
114 Miles

Who or what are your biggest influences?
That is such a tough question and one that is almost impossible to narrow down. I’d say my gran singing me Lonnie Donegan songs to get me to sleep was pretty important! Without realising she planted the seeds from an early age. Check out The Rock Island Line… it was my favorite.

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The Rock Island Line by Lonnie Donegan.

Why is it important to still produce proper records?
Records are one of the original formats in which you could listen to your favorite artists and although there have been a lot of improvements in the ease of listening to music, you can’t beat the sound of a vinyl record. It’s more than that though, you take home a piece of work, Artwork that was intended to be seen on a 12″ record looks so much better, there’s something a little more personal about vinyl records to me. Nowadays you can pick up a record with the MP3 download codes included, so it makes complete sense to continue to produce records like we have done now for the past 80 years or so.

Boat to row front cover record by Rosie Moss
A Boat to Row, to Row to You front cover by Rosie Moss

Which festivals can we catch you at this year?
We’re delighted to be playing at the Moseley Folk Festival again, it’s a huge favorite of ours and with a line-up that includes Villagers and Willy Mason it’s set to be a brilliant weekend. We have a few more festivals in the pipeline that we’ll hopefully announce really soon!

The new single came out this week. Make sure you’re first to know. Find out more on Bandcamp and Myspace. Honestly, these guys are great, trust me. Full Boat to Row tour listing information here.

Categories ,A Boat to Row, ,Alison Day, ,Autumn Glow, ,Benjamin Gilchrist, ,Boat to Row, ,Broadstairs, ,David Sharpe, ,Faye Haddon, ,Flawed Equation, ,folk, ,Hannah Riley, ,Independent, ,Indie, ,Johnny Flynn, ,Lonnie Donegan, ,Margate, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Michael King, ,Moseley Folk Festival, ,Oxford University, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,Rosie Elizabeth Grace Moss, ,Slow Club, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,The Vaccines, ,to Row to You, ,Villagers, ,Willy Mason, ,Yarn and Glue

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