Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day: Fashion East Installations


Astrid Andersen S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

The Fashion East Menswear display always guarantee a treat at fashion week. The grandiose rooms around the courtyard at Somerset House are transformed into mini installations of the various menswear designers, sildenafil and it’s grand to see so much talent side by side.

This season was no exception. I started at the main entrance, naturally, where burley bouncers were insisting anyone let inside had pre-registered with the British Fashion Council. So, for example, if one of the designers’ grandmothers wanted to see the fruits of their grandchildrens’ successes, they had to go to the other side of Somerset House to register. A bit silly, I thought.

Nevertheless, once I’d presented my credentials I was allowed inside and I quickly necked a champagne. Here’s a whistle stop tour via the wonderful mediums of illustration and photography.

WILLIAM RICHARD GREEN

William Richard Green S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

ASTRID ANDERSEN


Astrid Andersen S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott

MATTEO MOLINARI


Matteo Molinari S/S 2012. Amazing sunglasses that I’m already saving up for. That is all.

CASSETTE PLAYA

Cassette Playa by Gabriel Ayala

AGI & SAM

Agi & Sam S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns


All photography by Matt Bramford

Watch some highlights from the installations here:

Categories ,Agi & Sam, ,Antonia Parker, ,Astrid Andersen, ,Cassette Playa, ,Celine Elliott, ,Claire Kearns, ,Creepers, ,Fashion East, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gym, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matteo Mollinari, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Newgen, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,Somerset House, ,Sunglasses, ,video, ,William Richard Green

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Presentation Review: U.Mi-1


U.Mi-1 S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Walking through the hallowed halls of the Freemasons’ building, salve I couldn’t help but think I was actually appearing in an episode of BBC One’s Spooks. Heals clip-clopped on marble flooring, cialis 40mg echoing around the grandiose interior, help darkened wood, glass cabinets filled with associated paraphernalia. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was actually there to meet with the Home Secretary; that Harry Pearce was lingering somewhere in the shadows. He wasn’t, of course, he’s fictional; and I was dressed *way* too good to be doing such silly business as saving the world from terrorists.

Instead, for this presentation by menswear label U.Mi-1, the room we were in was filled not with MI5 Suits, but with boys wearing oversized-blazers, and girls who all seemed to have more-hair-than-clothes; all clutching man-bags or purses, cameras, notepads and complimentary herb-infused juice drinks. I’ve no idea why they were ‘herb-infused’. One assumes it was to give the idea that they were laced with vodka. It worked.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Upstairs, on the first floor, in the room we had converged in, was a presentation that felt more like a piece of theatre than it did a fashion show. Divided into two rooms, the first was lit only by the light from a projector on the wall; while the over-zealous pouring of the aforementioned juice drinks gave a heavy, over-burdened incense-like smell to the proceedings.


U-Mi.1 S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

The projector reel showed images two models at one time against a white wall. Standing side by side, the two boys would interact, not so much with each other but with their clothes: laughing as they pulled at button holes, braces, hemlines and creases, before changing to two new boys in two new outfits.

In the second, brighter room, the same models were present, only this time in the flesh and frozen: scattered across the back of the room to create a tableau of gorgeous fellas. This only heightened the theatricality of the event, thanks in part to the fact that the growing crowd (us included) were standing around the models as if there were a barrier between us and them: them on a stage, us an audience.

It wasn’t until, as we pulled out our camera, easily the biggest one there (size matters), that some man with a clipboard informed us we could get closer and the rigidness of the event shifted into something more real: journalists writing notes, models moving from one statuesque pose to another. And we lead the way, pioneers that we are. We twice contemplating striking a frozen pose in the centre of the room, hoping that revellers of the collection might confuse us for an eighth model.

The collection on offer was mostly made up of muted colours and pastel shades, simple lines and classic cuts. At one point I saw a girl jot down The Great Gatsby as a footnote, but she’d obviously never read F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic: these boys weren’t Jay Gatsby, they were the boys in Brideshead, dipped in sepia tones and burnt sienna, like something from a Sofia Coppola movie. Seams had been piped in contrasting colours, discreet checks were teamed with pale pastels and styled with thick-rimmed glasses and brown leather loafers.

Outside, still caught up in the spring-like warmth of the collection, my PA duties to Matt Bramford had drawn to a close. I could’ve lingered all day, only he then actually started calling me Alex Forrest (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) and I had to bid adieu to Fashion Week for another year; all Brideshead illusions truly shattered.

Categories ,Alex Forest, ,Brideshead Revisited, ,checks, ,F. Scott Fitzgerald, ,Fatal Attraction, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Glenn Close, ,Gozi, ,Harry Pearce, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,MI5, ,Piping, ,Presentation, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,Sofia Coppola, ,Spooks, ,Suits, ,tailoring, ,The Great Gatsby, ,U.Mi-1, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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

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

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

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

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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


Illustration by Antonia Parker

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


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

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


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

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


Illustration by Karina Yarv

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


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

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

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

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

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

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

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

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

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

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

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

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

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

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

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

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

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

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

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

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

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

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

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

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

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

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

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

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

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

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


Illustration by Antonia Parker

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


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

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


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

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


Illustration by Karina Yarv

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


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Ziad Ghanem


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc

In the hotbox that is Vauxhall Fashion Scout‘s Freemasons Hall venue, approved Ziad Ghanem was about to return to the catwalk in dramatic fashion, symptoms and we would not expect anything less. He’d already tweeted that he’d received up to 3000 ticket requests for his show, about it and while I’m not sure there were that many there, it was bloody packed. We were asked to make more and more room for new guests, to the point where I was almost spooning the girl sitting next to me. And it was SO HOT.


Marnie Scarlet for Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

One guy, wearing an outfit only suitable for the front row, idled up and down the catwalk in the hope that someone lesser dressed would offer up his seat. Luckily they managed to squeeze him in a little further down from me. Thank God, I thought – imagine wearing a toilet seat on your head and having to sit fifth! Mortifying.

As I made eyes at Amelia across the catwalk, something rather dramatic happened in the photographer’s pit. A loud bang, as if somebody had fallen, came first – everybody spun to see what was going on. A girl was struggling to maintain her balance and let out a yelp and it was clear that there were some photographers missing. The guy sitting next to me was certain he’d seen fisticuffs; as the photographers vied for space, one had lamped another. It was all very confusing and a little distressing, not least to resist the urge to stand up and cry ‘FIGHT!‘ Ziad, being the gentleman that he is, took to Facebook post-show to offer any injured parties a free outfit. What a lovely man.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

There ain’t no better show suited to a bit of pre-start drama. After the hysteria had settled down and I’d lost a few more pounds in sweat (never a bad thing), the show commenced. This particular collection is inspired by profound Polish film Matka Joanna (Mother Joan); a dark tale of the demonic possession of nuns. Well, what were you expecting? Floaty floral dresses? I don’t think so.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

It’s hard to describe what really happens at a Ziad show. You can’t say ‘the dresses were long’ or ‘the skirts were short’ because every piece is unique and that’s just how Ziad does it. We had a couple walk first, the gent in a cropped white organza jacket, the lady in a glamorous pale pink dress, both with flowers atop their heads and big red eyes.


Photography by Tim Adey

We had performance artist Mr Pustra, who skipped in wearing an exaggarated black ensemble and red PVC gloves, and Marnie Scarlet, wearing one of Ziad’s bridal creations – layer upon layer of white silk and tulle, teamed as any bride would with white PVC leggings. Marnie entered the arena with a PVC umbrella that showered her with rose petals when she opened it.


Photography by Matt Bramford

Intense colours are always the flavour of these shows – this time around monochrome and red threaded the collection together. We had a floor-length translucent number, worn sans underwear. The funny thing is I was thinking I hadn’t seen any vaginas this season after VaginaGate a year ago, and I thought to myself I really wish I hadn’t thought to myself that I hadn’t seen any vaginas, because I suspect that’s why I did.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Helena Maratheftis

The rest of the couture pieces celebrated Ziad Ghanem‘s exceptional talent when it comes to making clothes, and it wasn’t all about spectacle. A fishtail gown with incredible lace detail brought audible gasps from the audience and had that timeless quality like the grand dressmakers that precede him. Of course, it was sexed up with leather gloves. Then came a selection of paint-splattered pieces in allsorts of vibrant colours that would have made for a complete collection (and were borderline wearable) if this had not been the mighty Ziad.

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory


Photography by Amelia Gregory

The show featured the usual roll call of weird and wonderful models, including DJ Jackee Word, dancer Laura Cherry (who modelled the aforementioned fishtail dress) and singer Tanya Valensi who looked fiece in a less whacky micro dress with incredible embellishment. My favourite model in this show (and in any, for that matter) has to be Ziad‘s ‘favourite niece’ Janet Younan. A girl aged no more than 10 or 11 sashayed down the catwalk like a bridesmaid from a fairytale with as much confidence and swagger as any other model could muster. The crowd went NUTS for this, and quite rightly – Janet really werked it and looked overjoyed when she brought her uncle out for a post-show bow.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns

Amelia and I both remarked that this collection was a little less cohesive than previous seasons, but then this is Ziad Ghanem we’re talking about – master of craftsmanship, creator of drama and intensity and master couturier. Some of the shows you see begin with one outfit and change very little throughout, sometimes making you ponder if they’ve actually made a mistake and sent the same model in the same frock out twice. But you’d never get that at a Ziad Ghanem show – no way José. This was a celebration of haute fashion, of everybody’s beauty, and of a designer’s ability to do whatever the hell he likes.


Photography by Matt Bramford

Long live Ziad Ghanem.

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review

Watch the show in full here:

Categories ,Amelia, ,Aysim Genc, ,Claire Kearns, ,couture, ,Fight, ,film, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Jackee Word, ,Janet Younan, ,Laura Cherry, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marnie Scarlet, ,Matka Joanna, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mr Pustra, ,Nuns, ,Organza, ,Photographers Pit, ,Polish, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,SS12, ,Tanya Valensi, ,twitter, ,VaginaGate, ,Vaginas, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Ziad Ghanem


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc

In the hotbox that is Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Freemasons Hall venue, Ziad Ghanem was about to return to the catwalk in dramatic fashion, and we would not expect anything less. He’d already tweeted that he’d received up to 3000 ticket requests for his show, and while I’m not sure there were that many there, it was bloody packed. We were asked to make more and more room for new guests, to the point where I was almost spooning the girl sitting next to me. And it was SO HOT.


Marnie Scarlet for Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

One guy, wearing an outfit only suitable for the front row, idled up and down the catwalk in the hope that someone lesser dressed would offer up his seat. Luckily they managed to squeeze him in a little further down from me. Thank God, I thought – imagine wearing a toilet seat on your head and having to sit fifth! Mortifying.

As I made eyes at Amelia across the catwalk, something rather dramatic happened in the photographer’s pit. A loud bang, as if somebody had fallen, came first – everybody spun to see what was going on. A girl was struggling to maintain her balance and let out a yelp and it was clear that there were some photographers missing. The guy sitting next to me was certain he’d seen fisticuffs; as the photographers vied for space, one had lamped another. It was all very confusing and a little distressing, not least to resist the urge to stand up and cry ‘FIGHT!‘ Ziad, being the gentleman that he is, took to Facebook post-show to offer any injured parties a free outfit. What a lovely man.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

There ain’t no better show suited to a bit of pre-start drama. After the hysteria had settled down and I’d lost a few more pounds in sweat (never a bad thing), the show commenced. This particular collection is inspired by profound Polish film Matka Joanna (Mother Joan); a dark tale of the demonic possession of nuns. Well, what were you expecting? Floaty floral dresses? I don’t think so.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

It’s hard to describe what really happens at a Ziad show. You can’t say ‘the dresses were long’ or ‘the skirts were short’ because every piece is unique and that’s just how Ziad does it. We had a couple walk first, the gent in a cropped white organza jacket, the lady in a glamorous pale pink dress, both with flowers atop their heads and big red eyes.


Photography by Tim Adey

We had performance artist Mr Pustra, who skipped in wearing an exaggarated black ensemble and red PVC gloves, and Marnie Scarlet, wearing one of Ziad’s bridal creations – layer upon layer of white silk and tulle, teamed as any bride would with white PVC leggings. Marnie entered the arena with a PVC umbrella that showered her with rose petals when she opened it.


Photography by Matt Bramford

Intense colours are always the flavour of these shows – this time around monochrome and red threaded the collection together. We had a floor-length translucent number, worn sans underwear. The funny thing is I was thinking I hadn’t seen any vaginas this season after VaginaGate a year ago, and I thought to myself I really wish I hadn’t thought to myself that I hadn’t seen any vaginas, because I suspect that’s why I did.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Helena Maratheftis

The rest of the couture pieces celebrated Ziad Ghanem’s exceptional talent when it comes to making clothes, and it wasn’t all about spectacle. A fishtail gown with incredible lace detail brought audible gasps from the audience and had that timeless quality like the grand dressmakers that precede him. Of course, it was sexed up with leather gloves. Then came a selection of paint-splattered pieces in allsorts of vibrant colours that would have made for a complete collection (and were borderline wearable) if this had not been the mighty Ziad.

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review photo amelia gregory


Photography by Amelia Gregory

The show featured the usual roll call of weird and wonderful models, including DJ Jackee Word, dancer Laura Cherry (who modelled the aforementioned fishtail dress) and singer Tanya Valensi who looked fiece in a less whacky micro dress with incredible embellishment. My favourite model in this show (and in any, for that matter) has to be Ziad’s ‘favourite niece’ Janet Younan. A girl aged no more than 10 or 11 sashayed down the catwalk like a bridesmaid from a fairytale with as much confidence and swagger as any other model could muster. The crowd went NUTS for this, and quite rightly – Janet really werked it and looked overjoyed when she brought her uncle out for a post-show bow.


Ziad Ghanem S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns

Amelia and I both remarked that this collection was a little less cohesive than previous seasons, but then this is Ziad Ghanem we’re talking about – master of craftsmanship, creator of drama and intensity and master couturier. Some of the shows you see begin with one outfit and change very little throughout, sometimes making you ponder if they’ve actually made a mistake and sent the same model in the same frock out twice. But you’d never get that at a Ziad Ghanem show – no way José. This was a celebration of haute fashion, of everybody’s beauty, and of a designer’s ability to do whatever the hell he likes.


Photography by Matt Bramford

Long live Ziad Ghanem.

Ziad Ghanem SS 2012 review

Watch the show in full here:




Categories ,Amelia, ,Aysim Genc, ,Claire Kearns, ,couture, ,Fight, ,film, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Jackee Word, ,Janet Younan, ,Laura Cherry, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marnie Scarlet, ,Matka Joanna, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mr Pustra, ,Nuns, ,Organza, ,Photographers Pit, ,Polish, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,SS12, ,Tanya Valensi, ,twitter, ,VaginaGate, ,Vaginas, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week Emerging Talent A/W 2011: A Preview

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, treat taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, view which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, viagra order played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, symptoms taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, seek taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, no rx which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, recipe played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, decease taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, viagra dosage which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, buy information pills played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, information pills taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as I twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime: I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?


Sarah Baardarani, sickness illustrated by Naomi Law

With Fashion Scout releasing their Ones to Watch for the coming season last week, find it was only going to be a matter of fashion minutes before the British Fashion Council announced who was going to feature on the stands this A/W 2011 fashion week. And here they are!

I like the exhibitions a lot. You get to really get a feel for the collections – you can see them up close and touch them – hell, viagra 40mg you can even smell them if that’s your bag. While a big-budget catwalk show has the atmosphere to accompany the clothes, I often miss many of the design quirks and fabric features because I’m just too damn busy photographing, tweeting and scribbling what will later become illegible notes. With the stands, you can see the colossal effort that a designer has put into their collection and often they’re hanging around, so you can EVEN chat to them too.

It’s also a great place to find up-an-coming design talent: fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. Sod the oldies on the catwalks. This year looks like it won’t disappoint. Here’s a round of the ‘Emerging Designers’ that the BFC has added to its roster:

Teatum Jones

Illustration by Alexandra Rolfe
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have done what no other designer duo have done before by cleverly combining their surnames to form new fashion label Teatum Jones. I mock, but this is a label to most certainly watch. Luxurious fabrics drape on models in their sleek look-book, with intriguing, organic prints and deep colours. Diagonal shapes keep this rich collection fresh, with fabrics like crepe and spandex. It will be interesting to see where all this drapery and elegant fabric usage takes the twosome this season.

Ongwat

Illustration by Abby Wright
Ongwat, surname of its founder Paranee, offers understated contemporary jewellery with architectural references; infinitely wearable but bold enough to stand out. Previous pieces include geometric ‘Scaffold’ rings, braceletss like bike gear rings and cuffs that a Gladiator might wear, should he be in London in 2011 on a mission to modernise his look.

Draw in Light

Illustration by Paolo Caravello
Harriet Barford and Polly Wilkinson, aka Draw in Light, studied at the University of Brighton in 2008. Since then, they’ve notched up awards, including Liberty’s Best of British this time last year. Their aesthetic is “elegant, minimal jersey shapes” with hand silk-screen techniques. Their beautiful, ethereal garments air on the body-con cious side, with mystical, loose patterns. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with for A/W 2011…

Shao-Yen Chen

Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim
A Central Saint Martins graduate (oh, here we go again…), Shao Yen Chen is currently curating a window at Selfridges alongside assembling the A/W 2011 collection. He must be knackered. It seems like this will be the season for sculptural ready-to-wear and innovative accessories (well, I seem to be writing about them a lot at the moment…) Shao-Yen’s work has a sleek Japanese aesthetic but also combines elements of architecture and is full of surprises. In the past he’s knocked up voluminous frocks that defy gravity and his graduate collection from CSM was instantly snapped up by the people at the BFC. A showman in the making, I imagine he’ll progress to catwalk next season, or at least I hope he does.

Wing

Illustration by Holly Trill
Another jewellery designer, another bunch of geometric shapes. Wing Paris’ differ though – they’re discrete, slim-line and sophisticated. Designed by Jenny Wing Chan, a graduate from Studio Bercot in Paris, these pieces combine metallic colours with black and bright purple. Jenny hopes to create “timeless, statement jewellery” which oozes femininity. I think she’s on it already, and with her A/W 2011 collection inspired by “black metal”, I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Joana Faria
My prediction is that Tze Goh will be this season’s hot tip. He’s everywhere. First, Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced him as part of their ‘Ones to Watch’ show, and now he’s on this fashionable list. I saw a special collection exclusive to LN-CC (more about them soon) and it is just mind-blowing. Come February, he’ll be everywhere. Promise.

Joanne Stoker

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins
Nicholas Kirkwood better watch his derriere, as I think Joanne Stoker might be in the running for his fashion crown. Joanne has a background in, well, all sorts – architecture, model making, engineering and, of course, shoe design. Her Art Deco-inspired S/S 2011 collection featured geometric shapes, transparent neons and patent leathers in all sorts of dreamy colours. The bold, statement shoes are for the fashion-forward only. Despite the zany colours and unusual shapes, there’s a real decadent period feel to them. Hopefully A/W 2011 will bring lots more colour and decadence from this First into Fashion winner.

Sarah Angold

Illustration by Karolina Burdon
Sarah Angold’s jewellery is pretty unique. Bold, geometric shapes create enormous statement pieces, and looking at her previous collections, it’s no surprise that her previous employers include Swarovski and Hussein Chalayan. Her work has both an industrial and futuristic aesthetic, and it’s “mathematical graduation” that’s inspiring her for this coming season. I can’t wait to see this stuff in the flesh.

Sarah Baardarani

Illustration by Naomi Law
Sarah Baardarani‘s graduate collection in 2009 was one of the highlights of all the graduate shows. Powerfully elegant, her collection featured luxurious fabrics that twisted and turned around models in an incredibly arcane fashion, as if by magic. The showpiece, adorned in beading, was breathtaking. She’s set to continue her delightful drapery over the coming season, and is inspired by “the fusion of contrasting textures and shapes.”

Keep an eye out in the run up to Fashion Week for lots more previews, interviews and coverage!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Abby Wright, ,Alexandra Rolfe, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Draw in Light, ,fashion, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Holly Trill, ,Joana Faria, ,Joanne Stoker, ,Karolina Burdon, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Ongwat, ,Paolo Caravello, ,preview, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sarah Angold, ,Sarah Baadarani, ,Shao Yen Chen, ,Teatum Jones, ,Tze Goh, ,Wing

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Amelia’s Magazine | Liz Black: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Presentation Review

Liz Black: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 by Louise Smith
Illustration of Liz Black‘s A/W 2013 LFW Presentation by Louise Smith

I’m late, I’m late!” I shout as a rock up to Fashion Scout venue Freemasons’ Hall. With no white rabbit to guide me, the entrance to Wonderland was harder to locate than anticipated. As I walk up the staircase on the left to Central Saint Martins graduate Liz Black‘s show, an usher climbs the staircase on the right-hand side and to both my and his extreme embarrassment, he falls up the stairs and face-plants onto the steps. I check he’s ok and go into the show with my feet firmly planted in reality.

Ever wondered what the spread would look like at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party? Liz Black’s presentation is the perfect way to discover the delights of Wonderland. Cupcakes by Cutesy Cakes paired with Campari Soda cocktails make this a tea party in true LFW style.

Liz Black A/W 2013 LFW

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW

Liz Black A/W 2013 LFW
Liz Black A/W 2013 Presentation Photos by Jessica Cook

Liz Black’s presentation is packed with Marie Antoinette-like decadence and I can’t help but be a little disappointed that no one is dressed like a teapot or a Cheshire cat, although a bulbous heart-shaped outfit does get my pulse racing and I spot blogger Intrinsically Florrie wearing a beautiful and fun dress that has a vague resemblance to the cupcakes around us.

Liz Black A/W 2013 LFW Presenation by Claire Kearns

Liz Black's A/W 2013 Presentation by Claire Kearns

Illustrations of Liz Black‘s A/W 2013 Presentation by Claire Kearns

An army of mannequins stand at the sides, reminding me of a Dr Who episode. These are sporting practical clothes with a smidge of elegance. Smart and stylish, there are mainly red, black and blue pieces finished off with a bit of white for good measure. This is where it gets curiouser and curiouser: in the centre there are three models having tea, munching on icing and acting out a rehearsed silent show. A white dress with large angular shoulders resembles the white rabbit, a fancy-dress heart costume with big shoulders gives off a Queen of Hearts vibe and a chess-board shaded monochrome piece screams style. The models are handing out flowers, sipping tea and posing for the cameras. The audience walk around them like stray dandelion seeds, floating aimlessly.

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW

Liz Black AW 2013 LFW
Liz Black A/W 2013 Presentation Photos by Jessica Cook

It would be difficult to cover London Fashion Week without bringing up the tinge of jealousy; my green eyed monster could eat a model whole at the best of times, but here I feel my bitterness fall back in check. Having worried that I would feel like an oversized Alice with her body so gargantuan that her feet arms are sticking out of the windows and doors, my fears and my hunger are laid to rest by the presence of scrumptious cakes. The models are beautiful and ethereal, like live art exhibits in a gallery, and I feel my green eyed monster curl up for a nap as I munch on a cupcake, happy to escape from the busy streets of Covent Garden for an hour or two.

Sculpted-heart and elaborate white rabbit costumes aside, the dresses are elegant and chic, with a dash of good old-fashioned style thrown in for good measure. Having glimpsed a previous Alice-themed collection by Liz on the web which featured at Fashioning the Future way back in 2008, I know that her dresses have matured since her last foray into Alice-land. Cakes and cocktails are a winning combination and her presentation adds a little sweetness into my day of back-to-back shows. Ultimately Liz Black masters sophistication with this presentation in which the dresses proclaim “wear me”.

Liz Black A/W 2013 LFW Presentation by Rukmunal Hakim
Liz Black‘s A/W 2013 London Fashion Week Presentation by Rukmunal Hakim.

You can buy Liz Black‘s clothes at various outlets and visit her website at www.lizblack.net/ for more information.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Claire Kearns, ,Cocktails, ,cupcakes, ,Dresses, ,Fashion Design, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Intrinsically Florrie, ,Jessica Cook, ,lfw, ,Liz Black, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Smith, ,Presentation, ,Rukmunal Hakim

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion designers’ New Year’s Resolutions!

Explain who Lira is… What she studied etc…

Who is Lira Leirner and what do you do?

Like many who do what they love, viagra I’m a little bit of a Jack of all trades. First and foremost, for sale whichever way my career takes me, more about I’m a writer. However, the name has become detached from myself and when I hear what used to be my name and surname I tend to think not of myself but the fashion line it labels. Said fashion line offers mainly quirky yet classically cut dresses. I focus on luxurious materials and a classic youthful look which is more playful than preppy but continuously carries a demure elegance without losing a hint of sexiness.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?

I had an amazing primary school teacher who supported my writing heavily. I went to a Waldorf School for my primary school years, and we had to write an essay every day. It never felt like homework to me, so I had a lot of fun with it, exploring the different formats ranging from reportage to theatre pieces to poetry to absurdist writing. My fellow students would actually mock my teacher’s end-of-day catch phrase: “And remember – two pages minimum. Lira, ten pages maximum”, which was quite funny. I knew I was going to become a writer from a very early age. As much as the topics of interest may have varied over time – from philosophy and law to white collar crime to fashion – writing was always at the core of my actions. Even when I started working, writing was still at the core in some form or another, ranging from content manager to translator to copywriter.

Fashion, on the other hand, slowly crept into my life although I tried to ignore it for a long time as I enjoyed being the black sheep in the family, the non-artist, non-designer who was leaning towards academic subjects. I started creating pieces because I couldn’t find anything that fitted my petite frame as well as my classic yet quirky and high maintenance taste and in doing so I opened the floodgates of ideas. I started for practical reasons but it became quite quickly apparent that there were other people out there who liked what I was doing, which pushed me, of course.

Where can we find your writing?

Most of my writing that is accessible online you can find on my blog www.lltheportmanteau.com, including pieces I’ve written for other websites. I have a small portfolio of poems and old articles uploaded to www.liraleirner.co.uk, however, some of it is in German. I am currently writing a book, so my online writing has decreased accordingly.

Detail! What were your thoughts on the Goldsmiths course “sociology and cultural studies?”

In comparison to Cambridge University or LSE, Goldsmiths focuses on the cultural aspect rather than the political aspect of sociology. This allows for an approach closer to the way I see the world, that is, to take into account, among other criteria of course, language, media and style to understand a certain phenomena. However, I must say, sociology requires you to spend a lot of time on your own and is not the most sociable of courses. I spent a lot of time with the design ‘crew’ as my partner Stuart Bannocks is a designer – so much so, in fact, that I now still interact with the teachers and students from that course, while my sociology tutors and lecturers barely recognize me when I happen to run into them.

Fill in detail here… read previous interviews where this has been mentioned. What is it do you think about white collar crime which has gripped your attention?

It’s difficult to answer this question without delving too deeply into very personal and psychological reasons. Due to certain circumstances in my life and certain people that I’ve been exposed to from a young age, which worked very well as a deterrent role model, I guess I’ve developed an almost obsessive, deeply rooted disgust for dishonesty, greed and exploitation of trust. That, more than anything else, is at the root of white collar crime. It fascinates me because it’s behavior I don’t understand although I can objectively follow its logic.

Any book recommendations?

In order to recommend a book, I need to know the reader. There’s no recommendation one can do without starting with “If you like…” so I’m going to take some of my favourite books and explain why and who I would suggest them to.

“Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell I would recommend to snobs who create a classic hierarchy into human experience. I create it, but it’s probably reversed as I care more about what I learn from an experience than what the symbolic value of that experience is in a social situation.

I’d recommend “Orientalism” by Edward Said to anybody I’d like to explain the xenophobia I had to deal with anywhere I went as a result of growing up in an almost constant stage of flux having lived in as many houses as I’m old, in five countries and many, many cities.

“Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” by Pierre Bordieu I’d recommend to anybody that works in the fashion industry.

Although fantasy books are a guilty pleasure for me, I did particularly enjoy the dark material trilogy by Phillip Pullman (whose main character was names Lyra, go figure). I remember reading the first Harry Potter book from cover to cover on the evening of my birthday (such a cool kid, huh?) in 1998, years before it became so big, which didn’t hinder me from abandoning all life every time the next book came out.
The inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini was one that had me running to the book store with every book that came out and spend the day cut off from the outside world as well. The Wheel of Time series, as I started reading it when quite a few books were published, came dangerously close to being abusive to my health as I would not move from my chosen spot for drink nor food nor toilet nor people coming in and out of the room until I had read all the books, which, despite being a very fast reader, took me a few days (there are 13 books, each ca. 500 – 900 pages long). This might sound extreme, but I approach fashion in the same manner; I created twenty pieces the week before fashion week. That’s not healthy, but was the only way I could keep up with my ideas – seeing them completed.

Why did you start Lira Leirner?

Contributing to a field that interests you I find to be an undertaking a lot more satisfying and noble than mere consumption, so sharing my steps into fashion design was the natural development in that direction. And, as Confucius pointed out… Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

How is Lira Leirner (the company) doing?

Well, lets put it this way – at the moment I get more press attention than sales.

Your collections entirely consist of dresses, what attracts you to this particular garment?

A dress can be both simple yet complex in terms of cut, which allows for a big playground and to explore the shapes of the wearer. It is one of the biggest garment canvas in terms of the surface it covers, apart from the coat. A dress is also an entire outfit and therefore a lot more satisfying to put thought into – it finishes as a complete piece, and I can be almost certain that it will be used as a statement rather than accompanying piece in any outfit. In the end, I just love wearing dresses. It’s the garment which makes me smile the most, so why not focus on that?

What are your thoughts on menswear?

It’s difficult and quite frustrating. I’ve tried, but even the most fashion forward men I know were taken back by the pieces I created, the only ones they seemed to like were incredibly simple with just a tiny twist (such as a standard tie with a funky stripe), and quite frankly that’s just too boring for me. I know fashionistos will not be very happy with me saying this, but it made me realize that most of them have bigger mouths than the will to be experimental. Most of them have gotten so used to the (infuriatingly) small range of choice, that they have become naturally born stylists, and prefer to take a few relatively simple pieces and put together their own look – to which they stick. There’s not much room for experimentation for me as a designer, as they’re very specific about what they want and even half an inch down or up is a deal breaker. Hopefully I can be proven wrong one day.

Where did the idea come from to use actual royal mail sacs?

I participated in a RAG fashion show at Goldsmiths many years ago now, and had just received a big load of packages following a shopping spree, which meant I had just spent the funds I needed. My eyes fell on the Royal Mail sack in the corner of my room, sadly entailing the contents of the money I had spent, and the idea became quite apparent. In a way, that money went into the right direction, after all. I sew a coat/ dress by hand, using packaging rope to create the details and voila… a few ripped and bleeding fingers and days without sleep later, this was my very first piece. The image of the model wearing it during the show ended up being used on the cover of a magazine. I loved the iconic implication but most of all, the fact that it was up-cycled. I spent many days making sure I was there when the postmen came to collect their letters form the mailboxes – they would even shift some letters spread across bags into one in order to give the empty ones to me once I told them my plans. My favourite source was the office at my old job, though. The bags tended to be brand new and just left in the locker in heaps, from years and months of collecting them and not knowing what to do with them. Finding a sack full of different colors was quite a score. It’s notoriously frustrating to work with as it frays quite quickly so the pieces need to be prepared, but it’s worth it.

What advice would you have for designers interested in starting up their own label?

Just do it. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do or for that perfect financial situation. When you have the idea and the drive, go for it. It may fail, it may turn out wonderfully, the important thing is to get going because if you don’t create it yourself, nothing can happen in the first place. Be the most excited person in the room – it’s your own thing, you can’t expect anybody else to be as excited as you are. The more excited you are, the more excited other people will be. Both these statements have seeped into my being over the years as it rubbed off from my partner Stuart Bannocks, who lives and breathes these with great success.

Follow a single person’s own vision. This is less obvious than it sounds. No matter how many people get involved, as long as it’s one person having the last say in all details, the taste and style will be a coherent one even when you’re experimenting. This makes it easier to specify the direction and to market the brand as a whole.

How was it to show a capsule collection during London Fashion Week?

A bit surreal. I was invited to be part of a Fashion Fete in Covent Garden, which in itself was a lovely idea. However, it meant that the majority of people around were not my target buyers at all, which resulted in situations such as having a deluded mother trying to haggle a £200 100% silk, handmade one-off dress down to £8.50 because “that’s how much her daughter spends on dresses in Primark”. I couldn’t help but laugh. Bitterly.

Where do you source the materials for your clothes?

A lot of the materials I use are one off, end of the roll finds from a local market stall or from clear outs I came across online. I pride myself in working with what I call “real” materials only; such as silk, leather, tweed, wool, cotton, or in the case of Royal Mails sacks, the actual sacks themselves. The quality of the fabric is important to me because it’s one of the issues I had with garments that can be found in most high street shops. The way in which I source my material, as I’ve pointed out before [link to previous Amelia’s Magazine article], is environmentally friendly because I focus on local production, which cuts out transportation, and use “left overs” that aren’t really left overs, I’m not exactly dealing with snippets but yards and yards of gorgeous fabric that would be simply wasted otherwise.

As a blogger, what are your thoughts on blogging and do you have any favourites you would like to recommend?

A blog without content appropriate distribution is like a diary without a publisher. There might be a potential Anne Frank lurking in the ocean of being able to be found via google keywords, but until then, it is a private pool of potential only. The key is in the distribution through micro blogging (aka Twitter) and social media. As was pointed out in an article recently, google identified fashion to be the industry which uses social media to its advantage better than any other. In other words, fashion bloggers fit into the construction and intent of social media perfectly, making it quite a natural process. In the end a blog is just a medium, and it’s up to you to use it properly.

The big fashion blogs in the industry I’d recommend are:
http://www.thestylerookie.com/ -> to keep tabs on the industry’s favourite witty girl
http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ -> for street style and photography
http://stylebubble.typepad.com/ -> for hunting down small and quirky fashion lines
http://www.fashionfoiegras.com/ -> for fashion from a consumer’s point of view
http://www.styleite.com/ -> for fashion news, big and small
http://www.theclotheswhisperer.co.uk/ -> for literature quality fashion wit and style whispering

Who are your favourite fashion designers or artists?

I have a split personality when it comes to favourite fashion designers but in all my preferences you can find a meticulously balanced symmetry of sorts. Asymmetry makes me nervous, in anything. On one hand I like fashion designers who manage to create simplicity within an architectural precision such as Calvin Klein, Valentino and Jil Sanders. On the other hand, I adore the theatrical statement pieces with intense attention to detail which you can often find in the vision of smaller designers such as Alberto Sinpatron but also in Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

When it comes to art, my preferences lies quite heavily within the environment I have grown up in – concrete art and framed concrete poetry. I think that when deciding what goes on your wall you need to be utterly personal – it’s you who will look at it day in and day out. Purchasing art the way I think it should be purchased, that is without the weaves of pretentiousness and hierarchy of value that I’m unfortunately all too familiar with in the art world, should take into account merely the immediate, personal reaction to a piece before you. I understand the intelligent purchase of art as an investment or logical, historical or poignant contribution to a collection but I don’t have much patience with such purchases in the privacy of a home.

Among others, I have pieces by Duval Timothy, Jose Resende, Kathryn Hall, Sarah Leirner, Pablo Picasso, Antonio Dias, Peter Keler, Doerte Helm, Betty Leirner and Jemma Austin gracing my wall.

You gathered a lot of attention in a short amount of time…

I was lucky enough to pique the attention of some major fashion bloggers in London by coincidence, which eased the snowball into rolling on a steep hill. I do think that being a fashion blogger myself may have had an impact as I wear my own pieces out and about. This is turn meant they were exposed during events and meetings I was invited to as a blogger and attracted coverage as well as requests for interviews that way.

What are you plans for the upcoming year? Do you plan on returning to LFW for AW11?

I have been creating a more solid and bigger collection than the ones I’ve done so far and I think this is a collection whose production is likely to stretch into spring, especially with the winter months freezing my shackles into hibernation.

Explain who Lira is… What she studied etc…

Who is Lira Leirner and what do you do?

Like many who do what they love, mind I’m a little bit of a Jack of all trades. First and foremost, price whichever way my career takes me, I’m a writer. However, the name has become detached from myself and when I hear what used to be my name and surname I tend to think not of myself but the fashion line it labels. Said fashion line offers mainly quirky yet classically cut dresses. I focus on luxurious materials and a classic youthful look which is more playful than preppy but continuously carries a demure elegance without losing a hint of sexiness.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?

I had an amazing primary school teacher who supported my writing heavily. I went to a Waldorf School for my primary school years, and we had to write an essay every day. It never felt like homework to me, so I had a lot of fun with it, exploring the different formats ranging from reportage to theatre pieces to poetry to absurdist writing. My fellow students would actually mock my teacher’s end-of-day catch phrase: “And remember – two pages minimum. Lira, ten pages maximum”, which was quite funny. I knew I was going to become a writer from a very early age. As much as the topics of interest may have varied over time – from philosophy and law to white collar crime to fashion – writing was always at the core of my actions. Even when I started working, writing was still at the core in some form or another, ranging from content manager to translator to copywriter.

Fashion, on the other hand, slowly crept into my life although I tried to ignore it for a long time as I enjoyed being the black sheep in the family, the non-artist, non-designer who was leaning towards academic subjects. I started creating pieces because I couldn’t find anything that fitted my petite frame as well as my classic yet quirky and high maintenance taste and in doing so I opened the floodgates of ideas. I started for practical reasons but it became quite quickly apparent that there were other people out there who liked what I was doing, which pushed me, of course.

Where can we find your writing?

Most of my writing that is accessible online you can find on my blog www.lltheportmanteau.com, including pieces I’ve written for other websites. I have a small portfolio of poems and old articles uploaded to www.liraleirner.co.uk, however, some of it is in German. I am currently writing a book, so my online writing has decreased accordingly.

Detail! What were your thoughts on the Goldsmiths course “sociology and cultural studies?”

In comparison to Cambridge University or LSE, Goldsmiths focuses on the cultural aspect rather than the political aspect of sociology. This allows for an approach closer to the way I see the world, that is, to take into account, among other criteria of course, language, media and style to understand a certain phenomena. However, I must say, sociology requires you to spend a lot of time on your own and is not the most sociable of courses. I spent a lot of time with the design ‘crew’ as my partner Stuart Bannocks is a designer – so much so, in fact, that I now still interact with the teachers and students from that course, while my sociology tutors and lecturers barely recognize me when I happen to run into them.

Fill in detail here… read previous interviews where this has been mentioned. What is it do you think about white collar crime which has gripped your attention?

It’s difficult to answer this question without delving too deeply into very personal and psychological reasons. Due to certain circumstances in my life and certain people that I’ve been exposed to from a young age, which worked very well as a deterrent role model, I guess I’ve developed an almost obsessive, deeply rooted disgust for dishonesty, greed and exploitation of trust. That, more than anything else, is at the root of white collar crime. It fascinates me because it’s behavior I don’t understand although I can objectively follow its logic.

Any book recommendations?

In order to recommend a book, I need to know the reader. There’s no recommendation one can do without starting with “If you like…” so I’m going to take some of my favourite books and explain why and who I would suggest them to.

“Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell I would recommend to snobs who create a classic hierarchy into human experience. I create it, but it’s probably reversed as I care more about what I learn from an experience than what the symbolic value of that experience is in a social situation.

I’d recommend “Orientalism” by Edward Said to anybody I’d like to explain the xenophobia I had to deal with anywhere I went as a result of growing up in an almost constant stage of flux having lived in as many houses as I’m old, in five countries and many, many cities.

“Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” by Pierre Bordieu I’d recommend to anybody that works in the fashion industry.

Although fantasy books are a guilty pleasure for me, I did particularly enjoy the dark material trilogy by Phillip Pullman (whose main character was names Lyra, go figure). I remember reading the first Harry Potter book from cover to cover on the evening of my birthday (such a cool kid, huh?) in 1998, years before it became so big, which didn’t hinder me from abandoning all life every time the next book came out.
The inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini was one that had me running to the book store with every book that came out and spend the day cut off from the outside world as well. The Wheel of Time series, as I started reading it when quite a few books were published, came dangerously close to being abusive to my health as I would not move from my chosen spot for drink nor food nor toilet nor people coming in and out of the room until I had read all the books, which, despite being a very fast reader, took me a few days (there are 13 books, each ca. 500 – 900 pages long). This might sound extreme, but I approach fashion in the same manner; I created twenty pieces the week before fashion week. That’s not healthy, but was the only way I could keep up with my ideas – seeing them completed.

Why did you start Lira Leirner?

Contributing to a field that interests you I find to be an undertaking a lot more satisfying and noble than mere consumption, so sharing my steps into fashion design was the natural development in that direction. And, as Confucius pointed out… Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

How is Lira Leirner (the company) doing?

Well, lets put it this way – at the moment I get more press attention than sales.

Your collections entirely consist of dresses, what attracts you to this particular garment?

A dress can be both simple yet complex in terms of cut, which allows for a big playground and to explore the shapes of the wearer. It is one of the biggest garment canvas in terms of the surface it covers, apart from the coat. A dress is also an entire outfit and therefore a lot more satisfying to put thought into – it finishes as a complete piece, and I can be almost certain that it will be used as a statement rather than accompanying piece in any outfit. In the end, I just love wearing dresses. It’s the garment which makes me smile the most, so why not focus on that?

What are your thoughts on menswear?

It’s difficult and quite frustrating. I’ve tried, but even the most fashion forward men I know were taken back by the pieces I created, the only ones they seemed to like were incredibly simple with just a tiny twist (such as a standard tie with a funky stripe), and quite frankly that’s just too boring for me. I know fashionistos will not be very happy with me saying this, but it made me realize that most of them have bigger mouths than the will to be experimental. Most of them have gotten so used to the (infuriatingly) small range of choice, that they have become naturally born stylists, and prefer to take a few relatively simple pieces and put together their own look – to which they stick. There’s not much room for experimentation for me as a designer, as they’re very specific about what they want and even half an inch down or up is a deal breaker. Hopefully I can be proven wrong one day.

Where did the idea come from to use actual royal mail sacs?

I participated in a RAG fashion show at Goldsmiths many years ago now, and had just received a big load of packages following a shopping spree, which meant I had just spent the funds I needed. My eyes fell on the Royal Mail sack in the corner of my room, sadly entailing the contents of the money I had spent, and the idea became quite apparent. In a way, that money went into the right direction, after all. I sew a coat/ dress by hand, using packaging rope to create the details and voila… a few ripped and bleeding fingers and days without sleep later, this was my very first piece. The image of the model wearing it during the show ended up being used on the cover of a magazine. I loved the iconic implication but most of all, the fact that it was up-cycled. I spent many days making sure I was there when the postmen came to collect their letters form the mailboxes – they would even shift some letters spread across bags into one in order to give the empty ones to me once I told them my plans. My favourite source was the office at my old job, though. The bags tended to be brand new and just left in the locker in heaps, from years and months of collecting them and not knowing what to do with them. Finding a sack full of different colors was quite a score. It’s notoriously frustrating to work with as it frays quite quickly so the pieces need to be prepared, but it’s worth it.

What advice would you have for designers interested in starting up their own label?

Just do it. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do or for that perfect financial situation. When you have the idea and the drive, go for it. It may fail, it may turn out wonderfully, the important thing is to get going because if you don’t create it yourself, nothing can happen in the first place. Be the most excited person in the room – it’s your own thing, you can’t expect anybody else to be as excited as you are. The more excited you are, the more excited other people will be. Both these statements have seeped into my being over the years as it rubbed off from my partner Stuart Bannocks, who lives and breathes these with great success.

Follow a single person’s own vision. This is less obvious than it sounds. No matter how many people get involved, as long as it’s one person having the last say in all details, the taste and style will be a coherent one even when you’re experimenting. This makes it easier to specify the direction and to market the brand as a whole.

How was it to show a capsule collection during London Fashion Week?

A bit surreal. I was invited to be part of a Fashion Fete in Covent Garden, which in itself was a lovely idea. However, it meant that the majority of people around were not my target buyers at all, which resulted in situations such as having a deluded mother trying to haggle a £200 100% silk, handmade one-off dress down to £8.50 because “that’s how much her daughter spends on dresses in Primark”. I couldn’t help but laugh. Bitterly.

Where do you source the materials for your clothes?

A lot of the materials I use are one off, end of the roll finds from a local market stall or from clear outs I came across online. I pride myself in working with what I call “real” materials only; such as silk, leather, tweed, wool, cotton, or in the case of Royal Mails sacks, the actual sacks themselves. The quality of the fabric is important to me because it’s one of the issues I had with garments that can be found in most high street shops. The way in which I source my material, as I’ve pointed out before [link to previous Amelia’s Magazine article], is environmentally friendly because I focus on local production, which cuts out transportation, and use “left overs” that aren’t really left overs, I’m not exactly dealing with snippets but yards and yards of gorgeous fabric that would be simply wasted otherwise.

As a blogger, what are your thoughts on blogging and do you have any favourites you would like to recommend?

A blog without content appropriate distribution is like a diary without a publisher. There might be a potential Anne Frank lurking in the ocean of being able to be found via google keywords, but until then, it is a private pool of potential only. The key is in the distribution through micro blogging (aka Twitter) and social media. As was pointed out in an article recently, google identified fashion to be the industry which uses social media to its advantage better than any other. In other words, fashion bloggers fit into the construction and intent of social media perfectly, making it quite a natural process. In the end a blog is just a medium, and it’s up to you to use it properly.

The big fashion blogs in the industry I’d recommend are:
http://www.thestylerookie.com/ -> to keep tabs on the industry’s favourite witty girl
http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ -> for street style and photography
http://stylebubble.typepad.com/ -> for hunting down small and quirky fashion lines
http://www.fashionfoiegras.com/ -> for fashion from a consumer’s point of view
http://www.styleite.com/ -> for fashion news, big and small
http://www.theclotheswhisperer.co.uk/ -> for literature quality fashion wit and style whispering

Who are your favourite fashion designers or artists?

I have a split personality when it comes to favourite fashion designers but in all my preferences you can find a meticulously balanced symmetry of sorts. Asymmetry makes me nervous, in anything. On one hand I like fashion designers who manage to create simplicity within an architectural precision such as Calvin Klein, Valentino and Jil Sanders. On the other hand, I adore the theatrical statement pieces with intense attention to detail which you can often find in the vision of smaller designers such as Alberto Sinpatron but also in Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

When it comes to art, my preferences lies quite heavily within the environment I have grown up in – concrete art and framed concrete poetry. I think that when deciding what goes on your wall you need to be utterly personal – it’s you who will look at it day in and day out. Purchasing art the way I think it should be purchased, that is without the weaves of pretentiousness and hierarchy of value that I’m unfortunately all too familiar with in the art world, should take into account merely the immediate, personal reaction to a piece before you. I understand the intelligent purchase of art as an investment or logical, historical or poignant contribution to a collection but I don’t have much patience with such purchases in the privacy of a home.

Among others, I have pieces by Duval Timothy, Jose Resende, Kathryn Hall, Sarah Leirner, Pablo Picasso, Antonio Dias, Peter Keler, Doerte Helm, Betty Leirner and Jemma Austin gracing my wall.

You gathered a lot of attention in a short amount of time…

I was lucky enough to pique the attention of some major fashion bloggers in London by coincidence, which eased the snowball into rolling on a steep hill. I do think that being a fashion blogger myself may have had an impact as I wear my own pieces out and about. This is turn meant they were exposed during events and meetings I was invited to as a blogger and attracted coverage as well as requests for interviews that way.

What are you plans for the upcoming year? Do you plan on returning to LFW for AW11?

I have been creating a more solid and bigger collection than the ones I’ve done so far and I think this is a collection whose production is likely to stretch into spring, especially with the winter months freezing my shackles into hibernation.


Eugene Lin, malady illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again when we all set about making resolutions and miraculously changing our lives for the better. So far, approved for 2011, view I’ve set myself the insurmountable tasks of quitting smoking (again), getting fit (again) and saving money (AGAIN), as well as to make more of an effort to contact friends who I don’t see regularly, get through that list of books I buy on recommendation that is quickly becoming a floor-to-celing pile, learn to cook more than just beans on toast. Oh, sure!

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we thought it might be interesting to find out what some of our favourite fashion designers plan to do in 2011. I spoke to a few of them, who we interviewed in 2010, about their plans, hopes, ambitions, dreams and everything in between. I posed the question suggesting the response could be hopes for their labels, their personal lives or something more philosophical. I’m so glad one of our designer friends, amidst economic recession and doom and gloom, prioritises ‘more sex’ on their agenda for this coming year…

Here’s a little round-up, with as always, fabulous illustrations… and I’ve linked each designer’s name to our original interview so you can read more about them if you wish!

Ada Zanditon

Illustration by Caroline Coates

‘My main resolution for 2010 is to keep growing and evolving as a brand, creatively and as a business with the vision to bring awareness to conservation and also increase the percentage of my profit margin that can go towards conservation charities, completing the circle between what inspires me as a designer and helping to sustain it in a creative, innovative way that results in sculptural, desirable, uniquely embellished fashion.

‘I would also like to find some time between all of that to spend more time gardening…’

Read a full interview with Ada with even more amazing illustrations in Amelia’s new book!

Eugene Lin

Eugene Lin, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

1. Keep perfecting the cut of my clothes
2. Remember to ‘TAKE A BREAK’ at least once a month
3. Eat healthy. Run more.

Imogen Belfield

Illustration by Caroline Coates

‘My New Year resolutions are… well, quite honestly, I have to stop injuring myself in the workshop. I had two rather nasty accidents within the last 2 months. And secondly, it would be to have more Skype dates with my overseas friends and family. 2010 has been beyond incredible, and to wish for the same again would be enough in itself, I cannot wait for 2011 to begin, bring it on!’

Makepiece

Illustration by Genie Espinosa

Whilst we’ve developed new cute tags to help our garments last longer (it’s a nice little wooden tag holding yarn so you can fix your garments), launched knitwear shrugs for winter brides and taken on a small concession in Harveys, (the Halifax department store) I’ve also been struggling to feed the poor snowbound sheep.

I’ve been using sledges, mountain bikes and my own two feet to defeat the snow. I’ve never felt so popular as when I’m spotted from afar by my sheep so that they’re already forming a welcoming committee by the gate. It’s difficult, but exhilarating when, once the sheep are cheerfully surrounding their bale of haylage, I can look out over the snowbound valley. It’s beautiful!

Looking forward to the new year though, we’re hoping for a sunny spring. Lots of lambs, picnics in the hay meadow and summer balls. The new collection is coloured like the sun on a misty spring morning and is frilled and ruched and rippled into delicate dresses, tops, cardis and scarves.

Olivia Rubin

Illustration by Lisa Stannard

‘2011 already holds some exciting opportunities for the label including a lot more hard work! I’m looking forward to my collaborations with very.co.uk and my new accessory line for Dune at the start of the year. I’m hoping to broaden my collections and expand the brand by introducing printed knitwear as well as building on the success of the jersey line Oli Rubi… I have a very determined attitude for 2011!

On a personal level one of my New Year’s resolutions is to continue with my running and possibly attempt a half marathon – eeek!’

(Stefan) Orschel-Read

Illustration by Rachel Clare Price

’2011 will be a busy year for me. I will be producing three collections for Orschel-Read. A small A/W 2011/12, the summer 2012 collection for London Fashion Week in September, and also a couture collection for the end of May. A New Year’s resolution for me is to stop working Sundays! And to enjoy the wonderful city we live in a little more. I also hope to spend more time with friends and family, and finally learn something totally new.’

New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday” (Charles Lamb)

Ziad Ghanem

Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

‘Professionally: In January 2011 I am launching the wedding collection during Couture Fashion Week. So from now on its “strictly sex after marriage…” In February 2011 I am producing an amazing show during London Fashion Week, inspired by Islamic Art, and Maiden Britain tees and sweats will be launched to buy online soon. I am also hoping to do a lot of new collaborations with artists from all over the world this year.

Personally: I hope and wish for peace of mind, good health and more sex. This year I am open for love! I hope everybody’s New Year wishes will come true.’

Do let us know if you’ve made any interesting resolutions for 2011, I’d love to hear them!

Categories ,2011, ,Ada Zanditon, ,Caroline Coates, ,Charles Lamb, ,Couture Fashion Week, ,Dune, ,Eugene Lin, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Imogen Belfield, ,Islamic Art, ,Lambs, ,Lisa Stannard, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maiden Britain, ,Makepiece, ,New Year, ,Olivia Rubin, ,Rachel Clare Price, ,Resolutions, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,SEX, ,sheep, ,Skype, ,Stefan Orschel-Read, ,Very.co.uk, ,wool, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Kim Sklinar, aka Preloved Reloved

Tania Kowalski was a workshop manager at a well-known contemporary jewellery gallery in London when Synnove Saelthun arrived from New York to join the design team. They soon discovered that they had similar views on design and business ethics, more about cialis 40mg and became good friends. Several years later they started the Oria brand, prescription using Synnove’s design skills and Tania’s production expertise. Synnove is a technically brilliant goldsmith with a passion for design and an eye for detail. Tania is a trained jeweller, viagra with a wide range of experience in the jewellery industry, from design creation through to production. Her expertise includes sourcing ethical materials and ensuring fair business practice.

Tania’s passion for other cultures has led her to visit remote tribes in the Amazon of Brazil, hill tribes in Nepal and the Dogon people of Mali. It was during these travels that she became fascinated with the cultural importance and symbolic meaning of tribal adornment. When designing a new collection, the couple sit down together to discuss what the new collection will symbolise. They research and refine story boards, and after ensuring that the designs are technically feasible Synnove makes an initial prototype, the best of which will go into production.

The use of the phoenix is a symbol of honesty and justice in Chinese mythology, and is one of the inspirations for the Nina collection. The lotus symbolises purity and beauty in many different cultures, and it inspired their silver lotus collection.

Working in Nepal Tania discovered that the safe working conditions and fair living wages which we take for granted in the West are not necessarily the norm in other parts of the world. This early experience was important in persuading Tania to commit to fairtrade sourcing as a founding principle of Oria.

Vintage fashion, about it illustrated by Matilde Sazio

Kim Sklinar, viagra sale aka Preloved Reloved, cheap has set herself an interesting New Year’s challenge. For the duration of 2011, Kim isn’t going to buy any new clothes. No more high-street bargains, no more feeding corporate giants, no more fast-fashion waste, no siree. ‘Another one?’ I hear you cry – and you’d be right. But this one is a little different.

While Kim hopes to raise awareness about the amount of cheap clothing we purchase and what effects that has on the environment and people’s lives, there’s also a bigger reason closer to home. Kim’s father was diagnosed with cancer over 18 months ago, and she decided to set up the project to raise funds for Macmillan, the cancer care and support charity. Unfortunately, as of only last week, Kim’s dad won’t see the project through its fruition. But Kim will dedicate the project to his memory.

So, how do you do it? Well, Kim’s vowed to buy only vintage and from outlets like eBay, and she’ll spend more time in charity shops which also benefits all of the organisations that run them. I had a chat with her about the project and how she thinks she’ll manage it all…


Vintage shop, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

What gave you the idea for Preloved, Reloved in the first place?
Well I always like to dress a little differently. My style is mainstream with a retro edge, I suppose. I always seem to end up with a daft New Year’s resolution – last year I cycled from London to Paris for The Institute of Cancer Research. I like using my time to help others and spread awareness.

Were you a fan of vintage and upcycling before you started the project?
Yes! I always admire my friends’ outfits; well, those who wear vintage and second-hand fashion. Upcycling is something I have experimented with for ages at home and now is the time to make sure I actually finish some projects!

Where will you source your outfits?
Charity shops, vintage stores, eBay, my mum’s wardrobe…! I made a lined cape last night from linen and satin for balmy summer nights (booking a holiday soon!).


Charity shops, illustrated by Rukmunal Hakim

What does the project hope to achieve?
I want to raise awareness of numerous charities related to my Dad’s illnesses. I want my friends to know that too much of an unhealthy lifestyle is probably going to lead to an early demise. I also want to raise the profile of vintage and second-hand fashion; I remember as a kid we use to take the mick out of anyone who dressed from a charity shop. I myself as a student had a stigma against them. Now it’s become kitsch, cool and quirky. It’s good for the environment.

How much do you hope to raise and what are the funds likely to be used for?
£2500 is my Just Giving target – it goes directly to Macmillan. However, with my shopping at many different charity shops, my cash goes straight to them – win win all round! I have my thinking cap on about how to expand the project though.


eBay! Illustration by Avril Kelly

Why did you choose Macmillan?
My dad (and his dad) had cancer – he died last week unfortunately. And it wasn’t the cancer that killed him, it was his heart and his adult-onset diabetes. A poor lifestyle in his twenties and thirties caused it and he was only 57 when he passed. So as I said before, this project benefits other charities focussing on these causes too through me spending money at their outlets.

Not that far in, but have you come accross any problems so far? Has anything that happened that you weren’t expecting?
Avoiding shops is quite hard as I realised I can’t just pop into the Topshop sale and treat myself – which I suppose is good for my wallet and I’m going to do less impulse-buying on the way home from work.
With my Dad passing, I haven’t had as much time to go browsing shops as much as I’d like. This weekend, however, I’m going to the Girls of Guildford vintage fair and gig – for some serious retail therapy, cupcake-nomming and also to check out some great live music away from the bustle of London.


Vintage, illustrated by Jess Holt

What are you wearing today? Where’s it all from?
Dark blue skinny jeans, leather knee boots that I already owned with black and cream patterned blouse from River Island that I bought from Cancer Research UK. I’m also wearing red rose earrings from Magnolia Jewellery.

Do you plan to make or alter any of your clothes? If so, how?
Yes – I love sewing and making jewellery too – I made a cape last week and have upcycled a pair of old, torn jeans from my uni days into a denim mini. I have a small collection of retro patterns including a lovely dress with a pussy bow. I love being able to create something out of fabric I love: last year I went to a lovely Indian wedding and couldn’t find The Outfit – so I made a purple maxi-dress with a halterneck and glammed it up with ribbons dangling down my back. Saved myself a fortune too!


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

What else do you get up to?
I run Never Enough Notes – a music e-zine, and I’m cycling the London-Brighton this summer with my brother and friends to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

What would be your perfect Preloved, Reloved outfit?
For daytime it would easily be vintage jeans, brown boots that look a bit worn-out, a floaty shirt or cheeky tee, a tweed jacket and a battered satchel.
For evening, I love ball gowns and retro dresses so would be something glam that I could wear with a pair of 1970s heels! Oh there’s way too much choice, I love it!


Photographs by Kim Sklinar

You can follow Kim’s efforts at the Preloved, Reloved blog; donate online here.

Categories ,1970s, ,Avril Kelly, ,Cancer, ,Charity shops, ,ebay, ,environment, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Girls of Guilford, ,Jess Holt, ,JustGiving, ,Karolina Burdon, ,london, ,Macmillan, ,Magnolia Jewellery, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Never Enough Notes, ,paris, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,The Institute of Cancer Research, ,Upcycling, ,vintage

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