Amelia’s Magazine | Maison Martin Margiela 20 at Somerset House

Illustration by Donna McKenzie

Regular readers of Amelia’s Magazine will know that we covered the Maison Martin Margiela 20 exhibition last March, when it showed in fashion capital Antwerp.

But, since it’s moved to our very own fashion capital, we thought we’d have another look, and get some of our wonderful illustrators involved!

Somerset House is quickly becoming a fashion hot spot, with the rehoming of London Fashion Week and the recent SHOWstudio sessions. It’s clear why, too – it’s bloody beautiful.

This is the third outing for the Maison Martin Margiela exhibition, after seasons in Antwerp and Munich, so actually it’s the label’s 22nd anniversary this year, but who cares? I’ll use any excuse to have a poke around a fashion archive.

Illustration by Louise McLennan

The exhibition, set in Somerset House’s lower galleries and you’d be forgiven for believing, if this building wasn’t centuries old, that the space had been purpose-built for this nostalgic trip down Margiela memory lane.

All but a couple of the rooms are white-washed in typical Margiela fashion, and while the exhibition allows us to explore the history of this conceptual and inspirational label, it still give nothing away about the elusive man himself.

Illustration by Amy Martino

Instead of being a chronological or nostalgic display, the aim of this exhbition is to explore the key themes of Maison Martin Margiela, including the inspiration behind each collection and the techniques used.

So it is the quirks that have made this brand truly unique that are given most attention. We begin with a look at the anniversary catwalk show, amongst a lot of polystyrene models, whilst mooching along a row of rather battered Tabi shoes.

Illustration by Donna McKenzie

The bulk of the exhibition explores varying collections and what made them stand out alongside so many other fashion designers of the time. Flat-pack clothing, XXXL oversized pieces, painted garments, narrow tailoring, the trench coat, and the re-visioning of old garments. We also see the evolution of Margiela’s elusivity – first it was a slash of paint across a model’s face, then a blindfold, and then the infamous sunglasses (which I was so tempted to lift I had to walk around with my hands in my pockets. Damn I wish I’d bought them – what a collector’s item).

Illustration by Farzeen Jabbar

One room is devoted to archive footage, film and photographs from across the collections – the room is dark and has white lounge chairs for you to kick back and revel in some of the most iconic fashion images of the last two decades.

Illustration by Zarina Liew

Whether you like fashion or not, I’m entirely convinced that you will love this exhibition – it breaks the boundaries of typical gallery design and it is incredibly inspirational – Go See It!

You can read a full review of the Antwerp exhibition (which was exactly the same exhibition, I promise) here.

For the all important details, visit our listings section.

Categories ,Amy Martino, ,antwerp, ,Birthday, ,catwalk, ,Donna McKenzie, ,Elusive, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise McLennan, ,Maison Martin Margiela, ,Munich, ,Polystyrene, ,Showstudio, ,Somerset House, ,Tabi shoe, ,XXXL, ,Yellowbirdmachine, ,Zarina Liew

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Amelia’s Magazine | Bubble London January 2014 – Kidswear and Babywear Show Report

Ruff and Huddle tie dye sweat shirt

Last weekend I decided it was high time I found out more about the world of kidswear, so I made my first trip to Bubble London, a major childrenswear fashion trade show that takes place at the Business Design Centre twice a year. There were a huge number of brands on display, so I scooted around as fast as I could, catching up with old favourites and discovering new charms aplenty. Here’s my run down of exciting kidswear, Amelia’s Magazine style. More than a few of these will be available directly from my website when we relaunch; I can’t wait.

Ruff and Huddle sweatsuit girls

Ruff & Huddle came into being just last year, and unsurprisingly they are attracting loads of attention: think cool urban kidswear, with many of the designs put together in collaboration with street artists and illustrators including Zakee Shariff. This was an impressively large new collection, encompassing coats, sweats, embroidered pieces, onesies, tees and much more. Aren’t these two girls in their topknots and matching tie- dye sweatsuits just too damn cool?

Slugs and Snails tights - penguins

It was brilliant to meet Kathleen of Slugs & Snails, the Irish boys’ tights brand that she set up to cater to her own boy’s needs. Just before Christmas she had another boy (so well behaved, he happily lay in his cot as we talked) and has somehow managed to add a number of brilliant new designs to her tights collection as well. I particularly love this penguin design, but you will also find a puzzle design, octopi, umbrellas and more. Slugs & Snails offers the perfect combination of practicality and pattern, so it’s no surprise that I dress Snarfle in their tights every day during the winter. I really can’t get enough of this brand and am very excited that they will feature on the new website’s market place: read my interview with Kathleen Redmond here.

Raspberry Plum kidswear

It was also a pleasure to meet Jenny Mortimer of Kyna Boutique – an online store which stocks some of the best organic baby wear brands around. She was at Bubble London to catch up with some of her brands and judge the Rising Star award: this went to new brand Raspberry Plum by RCA graduate Aleksandra Stasic. The label specialises in the kind of unique tailoring that would not look out of place in an adult wardrobe.

Matthew Bromley print

I must have missed the Anorak Magazine creative sessions but I fell in love with this risograph print on the wall. When I could not locate a credit several people on social media were able to inform me that it’s by Matthew Bromley. Gotta love those dinosaur vibes.

Smafolk kidswear - owl print

Smafolk kidswear print - tractors

Smafolk hanger animals

I am so upset it is not easier to buy Småfolk kidswear in the UK. Thanks to The Killing and The Bridge the Danes have inadvertently pushed a minimalist grey aesthetic on the world, but they are just as good at vivacious brights. I adore the liveliness of their all over prints; even the Småfolk animal hangers rock. Yet again I have to thank my friends on social media for recommendations to buy from these websites if you live in the UK: Juicy Tots, Bebaboo and Emilea.

Mini Melissa cat shoes

I’ve been a Melissa fan for many a year, and have now discovered there are Mini Melissa shoes for little people: with cat faces.

Wild Things dresses, placement patch -house

I want to live in this house! This placement patch print comes on the front of a yellow dress from the new print range by Wild Things dressmaker Kirsty Hartley. Despite operating entirely from a shop on Etsy this brand has deservedly been gaining lots of attention. Truly magical kidswear.

Le Bluu moon and robot print - kidswear

This robot and moon design features on a sweatshirt design from Le Bluu, a Spanish brand focused on the application of new environmentally friendly technologies in garment design. Think futuristic dye techniques, light up panels, sound responsive designs and more!

Holly and Beau colour change anoraks - kidswear

Another Bubble London discovery was the brand new launch collection from the Norwich based graduate siblings behind Holly and Beau. The rockets and spaceships on these anoraks take on colours in the rain. What an incredibly cute and practical idea.

There is now a huge variety of kidswear available on the market and whilst I think it’s madness to spend silly money on ridiculously expensive clothing for children who will quickly outgrow it (ahem, big name designer labels) I’m all for supporting the more reasonably priced independent brands. Why not buy a few key pieces from nice labels as your child grows, thereby spending on quality rather than quantity? I’d also like to recommend our very own local kidswear label, Oh Baby London, based on Brick Lane. Lovely designs, organic materials, and built to last.

Categories ,2014, ,Aleksandra Stasic, ,Anorak Magazine, ,Babywear, ,Bebaboo, ,Brick Lane, ,Bubble London, ,Business Design Centre, ,Emilea, ,etsy, ,fashion, ,Holly and Beau, ,January, ,Jenny Mortimer, ,Juicy Tots, ,Kathleen Redmond, ,Kidswear, ,Kirsty Hartley, ,Kyna Boutique, ,Le Bluu, ,Matthew Bromley, ,Mini Melissa, ,Oh Baby London, ,Raspberry Plum, ,review, ,Rising Star, ,Ruff & Huddle, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Småfolk, ,Trade Show, ,Wild Things, ,Zakee Shariff

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with fashion film maker Marnie Hollande

Marnie Holland, recipe illustrated by Lana Hughes

Fashion and film have long been bedfellows, here but with the roaring success of Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio video blog, find and luxury brands like Chanel making their own mini movies, the ‘Fashion Film’ is finally stepping into the spotlight.

When she’s not working as an illustrator or playing in her band, Fables, Marnie Holland makes fashion films, teaming up with avant-garde designer Ziad Ghanem on film short, JME.

JME from Marnie Hollande on Vimeo.

Specializing in performance pieces involving sculptural costume during her BA at Goldsmiths, it seems inevitable that Marnie would make the move into fashion films, and Ghanem’s theatrical, otherwordly clothing make the perfect muse.

Your collaboration with Ziad Ghanem is fantastic – is this your first film?
Thanks! I made films from all my performance pieces but it’s my first film with a vague narrative, yes.

How did you meet him, and end up collaborating on the project?
I contacted to him originally to work in his studio, which I did for a while, which lead to working more exclusively with the performance and choreographic side of his last show. But film is one of the main inspirations in Ziad’s work, so making a film was always something he’s wanted to do. After I showed him my work I was just in the right place at the right time.

What were your (and the designer’s) aims – to showcase the clothes?
No not as such, it was more to reiterate the brand. A lot of how it was constructed was taken from what’s already present in Ziad’s work – such as the Baroque, symbolism, melodrama, Romanticism and London as a character.

But also to focus primarily on the subject, which is part of the basic design process for Ziad’s clothes – tailoring the piece to the individual. Jme (the model in the film) has modelled many of the Ghanem collections and has a very alluring natural melancholy and stillness about his look; it was pretty much written about him!

Ziad Ghanem is known as the ‘cult couturier’ and for mixing street wear and couture –was that an element of his work you wanted to convey in the film?
Not consciously, or at least not specifically to reflect that nametag. I suppose the shifts between a couture silk cape, a PVC printed tracksuit and eventually desecrating the garment adhere to Ziad’s mixing of high and low cultural influences.

But it was the more that the ceremony of the transitions would lead the film narrative and the pieces would frame them. I like that the clothes characterize the changes and change Jme’s role.

Anyway in terms of mixing, Ziad is inspired by everything. Whatever you pick from his pieces or from his ideas will clash harmoniously; that’s his gift.

DUAL from Marnie Hollande on Vimeo.

Could you describe some of the difficulties/limitations in translating fashion onto the big screen?
I suppose sticking to the point could be challenge. It’s a fashion film after all, not a Sundance entry. There’s a brand to look after. But it shouldn’t be difficult if the clothes inspire you.

Do you do everything yourself – e.g. planning, filming, editing, or is your work more collaborative?
Yes, with the help of camera/lighting extraordinaire Roman Rappak, who is, luckily for me, already an amazing filmmaker. Also Maeve Keeley and Athena Kleanthous who made everything run like clockwork.

Have you got any more projects with Ghanem in the pipeline?
Yes indeed. We’ll be making a short-film involving the whole collection in time for this year’s London Fashion Week.

Why do you think the fashion industry has started to wake up to the potential of fashion films, and what do you think their ‘role’ is, if any?
Because it’s there! It’s big swimming pool of promotional space to occupy. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a place in film, it certainly does. I’d say it’s a link that’s been brewing for a long time, SHOWStudio have obviously played the biggest role in that bridging. People also like to invest in a story. But mainly it gives people like me and Karl Lagerfeld something to do.

En Pointe from Marnie Hollande on Vimeo.

What (from fashion designers to film makers) inspires you, or is one of your key influences?
It changes daily unfortunately and I blame the blogging industry. In terms of film I had an amazing piano teacher who stressed the importance of rhythm like nobody’s business, to the point whereby everything you see and make has to be broken down and calculated in terms of its pace and rhythmic weight. I like directors and films that look like they’ve thought about that a bit. As for fashion, I’m not consistent; I just like clothes that talk about something bigger than clothes. I think Ziad, McQueen and Leigh Bowery have/had that covered.

What advice would you have for budding fashion film makers?
Make them; it’s very simple. Although I stole that from a very clever friend!

To see more of Marnie’s videos, visit her Vimeo page.
In the run up to London Fashion Week, we’ll be catching up with Ziad Ghanem. Keep an eye out!

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,baroque, ,chanel, ,couture, ,fashion, ,film, ,goldsmiths, ,Jme, ,Karl Lagerfeld, ,Lana Hughes, ,Leigh Bowery, ,london, ,Marnie Hollande, ,Nick Knight, ,PVC, ,Romanticism, ,Showstudio, ,Vimeo, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Ross Paul Keenan, menswear designer

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Graduate menswear designer and Savile Row trained Ross Paul Keenan has proven to be a huge success. His first collection was shown at Graduate Fashion Week and his second chosen to be shown at London Fashion Week. Beginning at The University of East London, thumb studying fashion, this his craftsmanship and attention to unique detailing was spotted at GFW and, as he explains, will be a career-defining highlight.

Firstly, and most importantly, when you heard the news that you would be showing your GFW collection at London Fashion Week, what was your initial feeling? I hear you were in California at the time…
Yeah, that’s right. It was a great feeling to know that I would be showing as part of London Fashion Week. It’s most designers dream to show in London and to be given that opportunity was amazing.

You have mentioned before that your ‘Up To the Nines’ collection was ‘rebelling against traditional tailoring’. Where did you get the inspiration from?
From being on Savile Row, I learned how to use all the cutting and construction methods used in ‘traditional’ menswear and galvanized this with my designs. My design research came from rebelling against tradition and looking into riots. It was a kind of Savile Row tailor goes to a West Ham v. Millwall game. (Laughs) That was where the inspiration began.

Illustration by Darren Fletcher
I loved the black floor-length coat and cropped shirts. What is behind these particular pieces?
It’s still looking into rebelling and questioning the idea of traditions. All of the collection came from my own curiosity… asking why it had to be done that way and what if I did it this way. The white cross over shirt with the braces came from looking into police riot uniforms; protecting the chest and hiding weapons.

I hear there are some famous fans of your creations. How does that make you feel?
It’s nice to get a positive response for what you do; seeing people like your stuff and want to wear it makes it all worthwhile.

Were there any pieces in particular people said they liked?
I got really good positive feedback from all of the collection really. The trench coat with bucket pockets and bias cut waist coat seemed to be a favourite at Graduate Fashion Week and when I showed at the Design Museum, people seemed to like the riot shirt and asymmetric waistcoat- I guess different people like different things. But the overall reaction was really encouraging.

What is your favourite piece from the ‘UTTN’ collection?
It would probably have to be the suit. For me this captured the theme of the collection and what I was trying to achieve, with the inconsistent pinstripes and velvet waistcoat that wrapped over the jacket and flashes of floral pocketing which could be shown outside the trousers as well. The outfit was all made bespoke so the hand craftsmanship could be seen.

What are you planning to do next?
I’m just going to keep going, keeping designing and who knows. I’m not one of these people who make plans. Plans always get changed; if you make a plan you find yourself fighting so hard to stick to it that you are blind to other opportunities that could arise. 

Illustration by Cat Palairet

Describe your style in your own words.
I would say stylishly simple, with clean lines and a neutral colour palette works most of the time. My style is quite similar to the kind of person I design for. For me, style is about timeless designs that could be locked in your wardrobe then one day you could decide to bring it out to wear it again. I was always collecting things as a kid and guess I’d like my clothes to become the same.
Who would you say you design for?
Modern gentlemen who want to prevail with confidence. Most men like getting dolled up as much as women, and appreciate a well made garment. After all, what gives you more confidence than walking down the street dressed to the nines?

Are there particular people who you admire in the industry or otherwise?
Lots, it would be too difficult to just pin point one. Everyone… don’t we all? Everyone you meet effects your life and inspires you. We all take inspiration from something but just might not know it. I look to different people for inspiration- my family and friends inspire me, artists, writers and people who can connect and communicate with other people through their work. Everything someone does has a story behind it and everyone that comes across this creates their own interpretation of it. And… oh yeah, I tend to day dream a lot. (Laughs) That’s where the best ideas come from- I drift off into my own little world quite often when I’m out and about.
What piece(s) would you wear from the ‘UTTN’ collection?
I’d wear everything; I’d like to think there is something for everyone in the collection. It’s great to see people using your designs with their own style. I sold two of the bias cut waistcoats a few weeks back; one guy, he wore it over the top of a t-shirt with jeans and I sold one to another guy who wore it with a pair of cords and a tweed jacket. It’s great to see people with different takes on my clothing.

So what’s next for Ross Paul Keenan?
I’m always working on new bits, but at the moment I have been working on a S/S 2011 collection. But it’s all about funding and it’s hard for young designers. The plan is to just keep going with the flow, even if a few bits get produced from the collection that’s all a step in the right direction and then next time a few more… Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Categories ,california, ,Cat Palairet, ,Darren Fletcher, ,Design Museum, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gentlemen, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Millwall, ,Riots, ,Ross Paul Keenan, ,Savile Row, ,tailoring, ,University of East London, ,Up To The Nines, ,West Ham

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Amelia’s Magazine | Art listings Sept 28 – Oct 4 – Big shows roll into town

gustav metzgerGustav Mertzger at The Serpentine

From tomorrow

Gustav Metzger’s “auto-creative” and “auto-destructive” art  involved antics like spraying acid on nylon and building objects only to tear them down, dosage each shape the materials made on their way down forming new works. A bit theoretical, although interesting, but he also engaged in art activism, displaying work to do with the Vietnam war. His work is even said to have influenced the guitar-smashing meme in rock music, started by The Who. This retrospective covers almost a lifetime of work.

kate merrington

Now You See It at the Cafe Gallery

This lovely little gallery tucked away in the middle of Southwark Park is squeezing lots of new artists into its show “Now You See It”. Works from Cecilia, Bonilla, Jemima, Brown, Lucy Clout, Timo Kube and Katy Merrington among others explore the tricks a camera can play on you and quite what can be considered real.


Focus on the Rainforest at Kew Gardens

From Wednesday

Award-winning photographer Daniel Beltrá is exhibiting his stunning photographs of the rainforest in the fitting surroundings of Kew Gardens, starting Wednesday September 30. It seems like our generation has been trying to save the rainforests our whole lives and yet the counter on the homepage of the Prince’s Rainforests Project shows how quickly it’s still being destroyed. The exhibition is designed to raise awareness and is also extremely easy on the eye. Rainforests are actually quite frightening and full of spiders, and getting there pollutes the atmosphere, so this is the best way to appreciate their special beauty.

You must also check out Vivienne Westwood’s contribution to the project:

A_View_from_afar_Main Image

Once Viewed From Afar at Gallery 27

There was a time in the arts when work on the British countryside was the main source of inspiration for artists and writers. It has since become viewed as either twee or been used mainly as a counterpoint to urban environments. Artists Sarah Crew and Chris Holman are returning to the appreciative mold of artist, revelling in the idyllic, the beautiful, the nostalgic about the countryside. Using paint and photography, they create characters – think an updated Animals of Farthing Wood. There’s a story being told here, by the most familiar creatures inhabiting the country we live in.

Damien Hirst spots

Pop Life: Art in the Material World, Tate Modern

From Saturday

The artists on display in Tate Modern’s “Pop Life: Art in a Material World” exhibition are so influential on the world of advertising and prevalent in any satire on art, that sometimes works by artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin can seem a bit over-familiar. This exhibition acknowledges the way our recent art has wormed its way into popular culture and happily taken its place there, with bright, bold images that are easy to co-opt into the material world it contends that we live in.

anish kapoor royal academy

Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy

All week

This mega-artist’s new exhibition works with the actual fabric of the building to create mind-bending works like his “Svayambh”, shown above in France, a long path made of wax. There are lots of new works for dedicated fans and the grand scale makes this a brilliant way to introduce yourself if you are a recent convert.


ShowStudio: Fashion Revolution, at Somerset House

Fashion Week is over but this stellar exhibition, also located in Somerset House, scampers on. Garnering rave reviews, especially from our own fashion section, this mix of video, mannequins and allsorts celebrating nine years of the website. Some of its content has appeared online before, but much is new and everything is fashion inspiration incarnate.

Categories ,Anish Kapoor, ,Cafe Gallery, ,Chris Holman, ,Damien Hirst, ,fashion, ,Kew Gardens, ,Prince’s Rainforest Project, ,rainforest, ,Royal Academy, ,Sarah Crew, ,Showstudio, ,Tate Modern, ,Tracey Emin, ,video, ,Vivienne Westood

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