Amelia’s Magazine | Small Show Very Pro

In the festival preview vein, no rx malady here’s one that promises stimulating discussion, patient music, viagra order dance, crafts and walks with fellow readers and contributors to the spiritual and ecologically aware Resurgence Magazine. A more enchanting and vibrant mix is barely to be found outside the Resurgence Reader’s Weekend and Camp.

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The camp will be hosted in Europe’s only tented conference centre, Green and Away, situated on an idyllic site near Malvern, Worcestershire. They’ll feed us ‘mostly local, mostly organic’ food, there’ll be wood-burning hot showers to bathe away sleep-shod morning eyes, solar and wind-sourced electricity, and saunas too, as if this camp didn’t sound chilled out enough already.

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Entertainment and conversation stimulation will come from a host of speakers : Jenny Jones, Green party member of the London Assembly; Miriam Kennet, founder of the Green Economics Institute; Satish Kumar, Earth pilgrim and current editor of Resurgence magazine; Peter Lang, an environmental consultant and researcher, John Naish, author of Enough and initiator of The Landfill Prize, Brigit Strawbridge, of the BBC’s ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ fame and founder of The Big Green Idea.

There’s to be a glut of creative workshops – on poetry, Deep Ecology, Tai Chi, finding your voice, and one that should see us sitting comfortably for a round of storytelling.

Music’s coming from the UK, Europe and beyond : bands like Dragonsfly, a wonderfully energetic live band, rocking a pretty unique Celtic-Eastern-Folk Fusion sound, and Bardo Muse – an improvisational acoustic trio, who say they play music simply inspired by life and love.

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Do get booking, as previous events have tended to sell out. For a gently spiritual, artistic weekend a little off the the beat of the usual track, have a listen to the Resurgence Weekend.

Contact – Peter Lang,
Events Director for Resurgence Magazine,
Tel: 0208 809 2391
Email: peterlang(at)resurgence.org
As with a lot of art, order what is taken out or omitted is as important, online if not more so, malady than what is put in. Kako Ueda, a Japanese artist working and living in the US, applies this principle to paper with intricately beautiful results. There is something haunting yet delicate about these shadow like cut-outs; the skulls, spiders, jellyfish, butterflies, feathers, insects and serpents all intertwined in designs in which one may gladly lose hours visually disentangling.

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Her choice of medium was inspired by the cut patterns used for producing kimonos, and Ueda’s appreciation for the history, flexibility and simplicity that using paper entails. The everyday throwaway relationship our society has with materials such as paper makes me evermore excited and sympathetic to artists using these seemingly basic mediums for creating innovative and aesthetically wonderful pieces of work. It was a true honour to pick Kako’s brain about her work, as well as her likes, hates and aspirations.

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How long does it take you to create the average sized piece?
It used to take me a couple of months to make one mid-size work but lately my works are getting bigger and more complicated that sometimes it takes 6 months or longer to finish an installation or bigger work with
separate parts with paint and 3-D objects.

What equipment do you use for cutting paper?
It is called in the US, an Xacto knife (with no. 11 blade), I suppose in Europe or Japan they have a similar knife with different names.

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Who is your art for? What space does your art work best?
I don’t limit/choose my audience; anybody who would look at my work and have a reaction positive or negative. So far my artworks need a wall/walls. So they don’t work so well in the outer space.

Do you have a different reaction here in the UK and in Europe compared to in Japan?
Honestly I have no idea. I would love to have a show in the UK, any European countries or Japan to find out. The only European country I exhibited so far was Finland. Although I was born in Japan I moved to the States as a teenager and my active/public artistic life began here in the US.

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Which artists do you most admire?
There are too many to mention and the list gets longer every day. So today and at this moment I say Salomon Trismosin.

Who or what is your nemesis?
My biggest nemesis is my brain; obsesses too much on energy sucking thoughts and is critical of everything.

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?
It is too difficult to choose but at this moment I would say Edo period in Japan (mid. to late 18th century). I want to experience the urban life/culture in Edo (present Tokyo).

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?
Jackie Mittoo’s “Summer Breeze” or “Oboe”. I have a CD called “Cambodian Rock”, which is a collection of various rock bands from Cambodia playing and singing in Cambodian; really cool sound.

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If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
Gold digger.

What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?
Tolstoy novels.

Who would your top five dream dinner guests be? Who would do the washing up?
Duchamp, one of the cave dwellers who made those awesome animal drawings, Hildegard of Bingen, Utamaro, Buddha. I guess we cannot ask a cave dweller to wash up, can we?

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What piece of modern technology can you not live without?
My electric mind-reader.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Doing nothing.

Tell us something about Kako Ueda that we didn’t know already.
My eyelashes are naturally curly so I never have to use a lash curler in my entire life.

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Kako Ueda is definitely one to cut out and keep.
It was a peaceful Sunday morning in the City like any other, drug when:

‘Slowly it reared like a ridge of golden rocks… from which the sea fled away in clouds of smoke; and now we saw it was the head of the Leviathan… advancing towards us with all the fury of a spiritual existence.’

So wrote poet and prophet William Blake in his iconoclastic work ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.’ Over two centuries and a plethora of literary Leviathan motifs later, symptoms musician and composer John Harle has unleashed his own re-imagining of the monster from the deep on London’s Square Mile. Taking a leaf out of weighty tomes from The Book of Job to Hobbes, pilule from Milton to Melville, Harle has conceived a work in which the clamour of 800 saxophonists evokes the satanic spirit of chaos itself. Crikey. When I strolled out of Liverpool Street Station at 11:30am and followed the strains of an al fresco band practice I was, admittedly, greeted with a rather benign pyjama-clad presence in monochrome. So much for the demonic display of Old Testament torment, I thought.

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The City of London Festival, an independent arts organisation which is none the less jointly supported by the City of London Corporation and the business community, commissioned Harle to compose an Ode to the City of London. But a straightforward gala tribute this isn’t; Harle boldly intends both homage and criticism, in light of the economic havoc of recent months. Notably, the event is not for profit. His aim in orchestrating a saxophone procession on an unprecedented scale is to ‘purge the City of its crisis of confidence.’ We’re in for a sort of musical exorcism, then? Well, of the humanist variety. Although biblical references to the Walls of Jericho are made in the promotional material, by way of metaphor, you understand. Through the medium of MP3, audio recordings and commentary are available for download on the Sustain! website. Accessibility is all; the score itself was written with a range of musical abilities in mind. Harle’s voice-over informs voluntary participants that through music, they will be ‘taming the forces of chaos by concerted, unanimous effort.’ No mean feat for a Sunday morning, then! But it is no coincidence that the event is scheduled to coincide with the Summer Solstice, and also commemorates the 800th anniversary of the first stone bridge across the Thames. Organisers envisage a renaissance of optimism and inspiration as music pours from the City’s four historic gates on to those same streets which just three months ago were the scene of violent discontent.

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In spite of these lofty sentiments, passers by on their way to potter round Spitalfields might have been forgiven for mistaking the motley crew assembled outside Starbucks for a Morris Dancer outreach group, or perhaps an avant-garde yoga collective- is this really what city workers get up to on their day off? However, those that found themselves in earshot when the clock struck noon could not fail to be arrested by the pandemonium that simultaneously wended its way from Bishopsgate, Aldgate, Moorgate and Ludgate to descend on London Bridge.

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Snaking through the winding historic streets past countless architectural landmarks and disgraced monuments to capitalism, the gleaming white and gold troop cuts quite a dash in the midday sun. Less of a march, more of a meander, but the ungodly din they generate en masse quite literally stops traffic. Bemused bystanders are both attracted and repelled, from an amused rickshaw driver given a rude awakening from his nap to a disgruntled OAP with his fingers defiantly shoved in his ears. Each saxophonist has been instructed to repeat a set phrase ad infinitum, but with rhythmic independence and free reign to improvise on the theme (and take a breather) when they please. Only when all four groups converge on the Monument can the true discord of four different keys played uproariously be heard in all its dissonant glory. An unlikely assortment of soulful characters, hippie types, consummate professionals and Brassed Off-esque blokes rub shoulders in eccentric solos, father and daughter duos, jazzy trios of mates and whole family bands. Never have I seen such an array of instruments going by the name of saxophone- alto, tenor, soprano and baritone of all shapes and sizes, even one spectacular specimen in pillar-box red! On reaching the foot of the Bridge the various strands begin to unite on one key before the pivotal moment of transition, as all fall under the aegis of Harle himself, conducting in a pinstripe blazer atop a makeshift podium. Order and harmony is restored as the collective serenely parades across the water towards Southwark, before settling on a final, triumphant ‘concert C,’ fading to silence.

And relax. Or, alternatively, begin impromptu jam session. These are saxophonists after all. In between riffs I managed to snatch a moment with three minstrels of the Aldgate crew, congregated in the shadow of a towering office block. ‘We had no rehearsal whatsoever, just downloaded the music off the web and turned up,’ said Denver of South London. ‘It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,’ he explains. ‘We usually play gigs at the Vortex or at Effra. This was mad chaos, but it worked!’

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‘He got me into it,’ chimed in band mate Len who travelled up from Brixton to take part. ‘It was tiring- I’m used to playing sitting down or standing up, not on the go! It’s tough.’ When asked about the logistics of playing on the move and in so big a group, Len admitted that despite the fetching pinstripe, ‘I couldn’t even see the conductor! I just had to listen for the change, that was the biggest challenge.’ Fellow Brixton sax player Dave was similarly enthused: ‘I’ve got a day job so I just play when I can, but this was absolutely brilliant. I just heard about it at the last minute- on Front Row on Friday night. I’d definitely do it again.’
‘Never in the rain though!’ Len added before they were lost to another round of spontaneous play.

Amid the swirling, laid back notes I catch the eye of the affable maestro himself who tells me that the event has ‘surpassed all my expectations.’ But generously he insists that its success is ‘all down to the participants- I did the least work of anyone here today. The work took on a life of its own.’ This will be key to the future of the piece, the recording of which will be recycled via the Sustain! website until it is revisited for the Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2012. A momentous year in more ways than one it seems, but surely even London can only cope with one Leviathan at a time?

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C.R.A.S.H. Contingency is a useful urban survival manual that points at the target seriously whilst disguised as a funny game.

What I enjoyed the most about this experience was my complete ignorance of the whole thing. I would feel a little bit guilty if this had been the preview of the performance, treatment but since the show is now over, I will just describe how it went.

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Photos by Marta Puigdemasa

After checking Two Degrees festival’s website, a week-long programme of work by radical and politically engaged artists about climate change, I decided to bet on a theatre play: C.R.A.S.H. Contingency. At the beginning of the play I felt like I did watching the shows of the wild Spanish theatre company La Fura dels Baus (well-known for their opening show in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics) : that is, excited about the unexpected, but this time without the fear of getting naked or soaked to the skin.

We were led in pairs, in complete darkness, to our seats – which were actually placed on the stage. “We are not actors, we’ll need your help, and this is not a theatre play.” And it was not. Defining themselves as an experiment in three acts in which to imagine a post-capitalist future, the performance was run by a mixture of artists, activists and permaculturists (permaculture being the design of sustainable human environments based on the relationships found in natural ecologies) and performed along with the audience. It was something in between resistance and creativity, culture and politics, art and life. We started with a game that made us laugh and forget the fact that we were on a theatre stage.

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The second part was more or less like a workshop. We split into small groups and the supposed actors fed us with little doses of urban self-sufficiency. They taught us how to make a home-made radio station, a vegetable garden and an origami flower; always taking into account some of permaculture’s core values : earth care and people care. When our tasks finished, they gave us another challenge, the final performance. At that point, we used a new old technique for taking group decisions : consensus. They explained to us how to show agreement and disagreement just with the use of our hands, and how to measure the “temperature” of a decision with our arms.

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When we all finally agreed about how and where to make our intervention (all, except a woman who said she was starving and wouldn’t have time for it, and a girl who didn’t understand the purpose of the action), we put on our lifejackets, took our tools (a wheelbarrow for each pair) and started walking towards Bishopsgate. Once there, in the middle of the financial district, we built our own patch of paradise : a shelter made of wheelbarrows, canvas, vegetables, an umbrella, and piles of imagination. We warmed up some water for the tea, ate some lettuce leaves and chilled out for a while. We reclaimed the streets. I felt like a child ringing on a doorbell and running away. But this time we didn’t run. We stood up and waited for the slap or, as was the case, the smile of those that ran into our tiny harmless outside-of-the-law act.

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Unfortunately (for my adrenaline’s childish need), the police didn’t come. But in less than three hours we had learnt many things, too many in fact to explain in six hundred words. It was a condensed degree in Life. It also made me understand that another kind of education, non-academic, humble and free (all the meanings of this word included), was possible. I admit that possibly some of their suggested proposals were just utopian. This may be. But it is far better to live dreaming of utopia than sleeping or wandering aimlessly in a rotten world, isn’t it? Good work, guys.

An ear shattering shriek comes down the line, treat the noise of a passing child’s tantrum. As I tentatively return the phone back to my ear Jan Williams, side effects one half of The Caravan Gallery, illness chirps amusedly “Oooh, Greetings from Portsmouth!” and adds, almost by some way of explanation; “We’re just approaching Asda now.” It may not set a perfect picture postcard scene, but that’s not what The Caravan Gallery are about.

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The Caravan Gallery are Portsmouth based artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale. You may already be aware of their work from the postcards they produce. If you’ve ever rifled through a spinning stand of postcards at a tourist attraction and chanced upon a card that portrays the grittier, gaudier and, let’s be honest, more realistic side of Britain then chances are The Caravan Gallery duo are behind it. Their best selling postcard is entitled ‘Bank Holiday Britain’, which brings together familiar images of Britons ‘enjoying’ the British sea side in the pouring rain.

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Although Williams and Teasdale have created 170 postcards in total, these are an offshoot of a much larger artistic endeavour. The pair have been travelling the length and breadth of Britain since 2000, capturing unusual and unexpected scenes of its leisure, landscape and lifestyle. The photographs are displayed at each location for the local community to see. Their rather unique, portable gallery allows them to do this; a mustard-coloured, egg-shaped 1969 caravan that is white walled and wooden floored inside. “We don’t really treat it as a caravan,” Williams tells me during our initial phone conversation, “We just think of it as a gallery that happens to be in a caravan.”

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This little gallery on wheels came along to Spitalfields market on Sunday the 14th of June, as part of a promotion with The White Stuff clothing company. After having chatted with Williams on the phone a few days before, I couldn’t wait to go along and see this unique art space for myself.

Plonked on the side of Spitalfields, the little caravan was a charming sight from the outside, but held plenty more charming sights awaiting within. With over 60,000 photographs in their archive, Williams and Teasdale had plenty to choose from to exhibit on their new tour. In their previously released book ‘Welcome to Britain’ their images were separated into chapters such as ‘Concrete’, ‘Smut’, ‘Conifers (thriving)’ and ‘Conifers (dead)’. “We cover all sorts of stuff.” Williams tells me, “A lot of it’s about the built environment and regeneration, how Britain is and how it’s changing.”

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Whilst many of the images throw light on dilapidated areas or the more tasteless aspects of Britain (shut up shops and naughty gnomes), The Caravan Gallery’s work never feels snobbish or patronising. Good humour shines through with every image.

“I think a lot of what we do is a celebration,” Williams admits “and even though places get tarted up there are quite a lot of little bits that refuse to give up the ghost. We really like this juxtaposition of things, it gives places character.”

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Whilst the caravan has travelled the whole of the UK, from Glasgow to Cornwall, North Shields to the Isle of Wight, one unexpected recent jaunt saw the artists taking their work all the way to Japan for an event with Paul Smith.

“Quite a lot of our photos are to do with language and signs so we weren’t quite sure if it would work. But Paul Smith’s staff said that the people there would love anything colourful, anything rude and anything a bit cheeky.”

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And the reaction? “They absolutely loved it!” Williams laughs. “They were saying how it’s just really refreshing to see how Britain really is, instead of just all the same old clichés of Big Ben and the Queen.”

So with us Britons already aware that a bowler hat is not obligatory day wear, and that cucumber sandwiches are actually quite rubbish, what can The Caravan Gallery’s more accurate portrayal of our nation tell us that we don’t already know?

“I suppose the idea is to provoke people and say ‘There’s all this stuff going on around you, have you noticed? What do you think?’” Williams muses. “We’re not saying it’s good or bad but just; ‘Look at it!’”

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But never mind the intricacies of social commentary and the seriousness of urban reflection; at heart The Caravan Gallery is a great laugh. When confronted by the absurdity of a man mowing the pavement outside his home, or a sign advertising ‘Have your photo with a ferret and certificate – £2.60′, there’s nothing you can do but laugh about this crazy place we call home.

And humour, The Caravan Gallery artists have found, is a brilliant social lubricant; “It ends up as like a little social club on wheels,” Williams says. “If we get invited to some kind of prestigious art event, we get the art loving audience, but then maybe we’ll also get a Big Issue seller and someone walking the dog. Shoppers, tourists and passers-by will come in and take a look. We end up with a whole mixture of people in the caravan who never normally have much to do with each other and they end up talking, which is really good.”

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This is certainly true, as I witness the caravan become filled with Spitalfields shoppers. Soon everyone, strangers and friends, are pointing out the most humorous and shocking pictures to one another and the caravan is filled with laughter. If it’s true that us Brits are a reserved bunch then The Caravan Gallery certainly loosens our collective stiff upper lips!

If you’d like to have your upper lip un-stiffened, go see The Caravan Gallery visit the White Stuff stores of Chichester on the 28th June (that’s this Sunday, folks!) and Battersea on the 11th of July.

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We are giving The Caravan Gallery our stamp of approval.
It was a night of contrasts. A contrast between a halcyon past and the here-and-now. It was also a contrast in the ages of the audience, viagra dosage from the veteran disciples to the new believers. Brought together, pill under some nebulous Mojo Magazine honour, generic on the same bill for probably the first time since the opening night of the long defunct Vortex on Wardour Street in July 1977, the evening opened with the original punk poet, John Cooper Clarke. Looking exactly the same as he did over 30 years ago, with wild Robert Smith-style hair, black, skinny drainpipe jeans and black shades, sardonic Salford drawl still intact, this one time partner in crime with the doomed former model, Fellini starlet and Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico (after she fetched up in the unlikely surroundings of early 80′s Manchester) entertained the crowd with a series of gags that literally creaked with age. He finished his brief set with a rendition of one of his most famous poems, Evidently Chickentown, a quick fire dissection of the grim everyday mundanities of life in a no hope town (which also appeared in the recent Joy Division movie, Control, with John Cooper Clarke bizarrely playing himself).

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The friend I was with had never seen the Fall before. I just told them that it’s never a dull moment. Never a truer word spoken. The Fall are only predictable in their (or rather Mark E Smith’s) unpredictability. Even so, it must have proved a novelty (if an unwelcome one) for Mark E Smith to play second fiddle to someone, regardless of their pedigree. Coming on stage typically late, with yet another band line-up (save for keyboardist and current Mrs Smith, Elena Polou), Mark E Smith launched into his trademark stream of consciousness delivery. Movement hindered by a recent broken hip, Smith nevertheless wandered around (and occasionally off) the stage, switching microphones and fiddling with assorted amps, even nonchalantly borrowing Buzzcocks’ snare drum for some impromptu bashing (much to their roadies’ undoubted annoyance), whilst the rest of the Fall thundered ominously around him. The Fall are uncompromising live, rarely given to such trifling matters as pleasing the audience. Their set lists resolutely stick to whatever their current or forthcoming material may be, rarely playing anything more than even a couple of years old (though that may be as much to do with Smith not remembering the songs as much as artistic integrity). True to form, tonight’s set consisted heavily of new songs and tracks from last year’s rather patchy effort, Imperial Wax Solvent. That said, Wolf Kidult Man and 50 Year Old Man did go down a storm. Unusually, there was a rare display of nostalgia with the inclusion of Psykick Dancehall and Rebellious Jukebox, from the Fall’s first two albums. Smith must have been feeling particularly charitable, as not only did we get an encore, but he actually ambled out to join it!

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As for Buzzcocks, well, what is there left to be said? The band that defined the term “indie” with their self-released debut EP, Spiral Scratch, which set the template for the likes of Factory, Rough Trade and Creation? The band that brought the Sex Pistols to the provinces and, with two shows at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall, inspired the likes of Messrs Morrissey, Curtis, Sumner, Hook, Wilson et al? The band that toured with Joy Division as support? Well, that was then, what about now? After their initial reformation over a decade ago, Buzzcocks are now a core of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, and basically what they gave us (in contrast to the Fall) was a greatest hits package. But who are we to complain, when you have a back catalogue such as theirs? After a sardonic “thanks to the support band” from Diggle, Buzzcocks launched into Boredom, from the aforementioned Spiral Scratch.

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Even after all these years, that two note guitar solo still sounds ludicrously glorious. Shelley may now look like a middle-aged geography teacher and Diggle was in danger of going all Pete Townshend with his guitar, but they can still rock a joint – a fact proved by the amount of moshing going on by a lot of people who were old enough to know better. The set did flag a little in the middle with the lesser known tracks, and the sound quality from the balcony (particularly the quality of the vocals) was a bit ropey, but Buzzcocks ramped it up for the not-quite-encore (due to the Fall’s tardiness, much to Steve Diggle’s obvious annoyance). After a rousing What Do I Get?, we headed inexorably towards that evergreen classic of pop-punk, Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve), which raised the Forum’s roof off. The set climaxed (as it were) with Orgasm Addict, Buzzcocks’s first post-Howard Devoto single, a song that still sounds so cheekily enjoyable.

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And so the sweat (and beer) soaked masses headed out into the Kentish town night, and our ears were left ringing with a little slice of musical history, one that proved so influential and can still be heard in venues like the Old Blue Last, Water Rats, the Macbeth and the Windmill almost every night of every week.
If you are a London resident, more about then head over to the East End this weekend for a fashion show with a difference. First of all, information pills there will be no door bitches or clipboard Nazi’s on hand to block your entry. You will be surrounded by friendly folk; ethical folk in fact. And that is the premise of the festivities, this a collaborative between Eco -Design Fair and Fashion-Conscience.com to highlight up and coming ethical designers in the fields of fashion, accessories, home furnishings, health and beauty, and stationary and cards.

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To mark the occasion, Friday night will see part of the Truman Brewery transformed into the location for the aformentioned fashion show complete with a recyling party. On hard will be design stalls, DJ’s and organic food and drinks. Kicking off at 7pm, there will be free entry for those bringing old mobile phones that they want recycling, otherwise an optional donation will be requested.

With sustainability in fashion being a key message of the event, those attending who are clearly – and cleverly garbed in vintage and charity shop outfits will be in with a change of being picked by the roving fashion spies to go into the draw for the Style Competition with prizes galore promised. Elsewhere, there will be makeovers, discussions and advice on how to “dress ethically for your shape.”

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Illustration by Sachiko

Saturday and Sunday sees the Design Fair on from 10 am – 6 pm in the same location. All the exhibitors will be showcasing their work in stalls around the building. An example of designers at the event include Believe You Can, Childstar Samantha, Hemp Garden, It’s Reclaimed, and Reestore Ltd. Also taking place will be weaving workshops courtesy of Catherine Daniel, who will be demonstrating how to make pouches, trays and boxes out of reclaimed cardboard, greeting cards and juice cartons – or anything else that you choose to bring along! These sessions will be held in the mornings and afternoons and booking is required. Email info@ecodesignfair.co.uk to reserve your place, stating your name and age. A donation of £3.00 is also requested.

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I spoke with the founder of Eco Design Fair, Louise Kamara to find out more about her work. Founded six years ago, when the concept of ethical and sustainable fashion and design was simply not an issue for both the high street shopper and the supplier, Louise had a lot of explaining to do to a bemused audience. Bringing new awareness to the general public was paramount to her. Having been brought up on a co-operative community, where creative workshops would be run, and food was collectively grown and shared, Louise was shocked by what she saw when she became an adult and entered the ‘real’ world. Thus the twice yearly design fair was sprung from the desire to feature and promote those who lived and worked closer to nature and to showcase work that had not sprung from a sweatshop. It also encourages the public to step away from the large brands who are claiming that their products are environmentally friendly to lure us back into their shops. “When somewhere like Primark says that they have an ‘ethical’ range, they are just using a trendy word” Louise tells me, “Whereas the Eco Design Fair is from the heart, for us it is a fundamental concern; and that is the huge difference. ”

So see you there then. Don’t forget to come in your charity shop finest!

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Illustration by Sachiko
If you thought that graduate fashion week had passed and you’d seen it all, viagra think again. In a small studio on Charring Cross Rd this week, viagra stood the works of a small, perhaps lesser known group of graduates…yet another gifted brood to emerge from the fertile loins of Central St.Martins. In something of a bridge between an MA and a BA, students of the the Graduate Fashion Diploma course spend a lightning 9 months or so working on various self directed projects under the tutelage of David Kappo.
Although open to all, the names listed showed a decidedly Pacific contingent, perhaps due to the school’s overseas reputation. And in part to the program’s fees which are democratically the same no matter where you’re from. Sorry EUers, no discounts here. Also notable was the fact that many of these fledgling designers signed onto the course when the ink was barely dry on their BA’s, which accounts for the elevated quality and a few research sketchbooks of biblical proportion. Which brings us to the first stop on our tour…

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Bevan Avery

New Zealander Bevan Avery who took his first swing at womenswear…and hit it right out of the park with a collection “based on antique medical photographs and Victorian deformities recorded in the Mutter Mueseum.” As an art student on the East Coast myself, many an hour was spent drawing in the creepy catacombs of that museum. Fun for the whole family! Back to Bevan… “I wanted to create a dark collection which focused on shaping an unusual silhouette through the shoulder and tilting the hems forward and focused on the black and gold colouring of the stained photographs.” This creator of bloated and beautiful sketchbooks says of previous collections he has “…used Voodoo, East London working men and Mongolian queens and wrestlers as inspiration.” Now THAT I would love to see.

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Nancy Stella-Soto

Next to bat is Nancy Stella-Soto’s brilliantly styled, loose and transparent blushed silk dress over a nude crotched slip. WIth vintage colored cottons (dyed using yesterday’s coffee) 1920′s steamer trunks and Charlie Chaplin canes, this writer would love to be a stowaway on Stella-Sotos’ next voyage.

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Sol Ahn

Seoul born Sol Ahn is on her way to an MA at RCA. Barely taking a breath between degrees this designer has got momentum a plenty. Fantastic textures and a balance of exaggerated proportions this menswear collection, with its DIY bleach splatter jeans and mammoth pompom (it IS a trend, believe it!) sweaters is so very London. Sol Ahn cites skinheads’ obsessive meticulousness about how they dress and the mixed up dressing of Diane Arbus’ mental subjects in ‘Untitled’ as her influences.

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Marian Toledo-Candelaria

Marian Toledo-Candelaria has a modern-day Boudicca in mind when he designs. For his final collection he drew ideas from the Roman Invasion of Britain, focusing on the cultural clash between the invading Romans and the native Celts. Heavy on adornment the dark silk dresses are topped with a snakepit of golden jewels, oversized beads and gold suede. The deep blue of the silks being inspired by the woad plant, “a European plant used for the extraction of a indigo pigment that the Celts used for painting their bodies when summoned to war. ”

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bouza

Bouza displayed an elegant tomato colored mini dress with a draping shoulder. An asymmetry mimicked by a single stone colored legging. Lucky for us there is also a website full of their previous works. But It was the display of dip dyed rubber bands and shocking red hairy wool samples that really got my motor running. Let us know when we can see the manifestation of those terrific textiles!

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Kim Kwang

Beijing born Kim Kwang who is already working alongside Jimmy Choo on his couture shoe collection, presented an amazing felted wool jacket complete with contrast lacing. The fibrous wads of wool formed a mystery of moulding whose shapes were victorian corsetry and medieval armor all at once.

These designers have high expectations, industry experience and another diploma shoved into their back pockets. We’ll be sure to let you know their latest and greatest as they hack their own paths through the fashion jungle.

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,design, ,graduates, ,textiles

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Amelia’s Magazine | Swedish School of Textiles: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Catwalk Review part one

Swedish school of textiles by-Antonia-Parker
Jesper Danielsson by Antonia Parker.

As in previous years, the Swedish School of Textiles at Boras took to the catwalk at Fashion Scout to showcase the best of their graduates. As the press release stated, this was not about commerciality but about promoting the myriad creative ways in which their students approach the use of textiles in fashion. At 35 minutes long this trip was not for the faint hearted and I felt sorry for the later designers, who lost audience members to the Holly Fulton show. Luckily me and my bike are fairly swift so I saw the show out, and was very glad I did since the closing collection was one of my favourites. I’ve split my coverage into two posts, but I’ll keep my commentary short.

Swedish School Of Textiles SS14 by Gareth A Hopkins
Jesper Danielsson by Gareth A Hopkins.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Jesper Danielsson opened the show with a series of Functional Cuts for men: my favourites being the orange ombre jumpsuit, a playful splatter print coat and a huge hooded gold puffa.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Emelie Ahlner presented a clever collection titled Kurbitch! that featured curly laser cut panelling on multiple forms of fabric: neon perspex, plastic, denim, glitter and pearlescent fabrics were all used with wild abandon.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Units from Anna Margareta Svensson was a far more minimalist affair, presenting boxy shapes in an intriguing juxtaposition of textures and an on trend colour palette of muted colours mixed with a pop of tangerine. One outfit was accompanied with a fab clutch bag and I liked the flip flops that were styled with panels of latex, which gave a subtle Japanese feel to the collection.

Swedish School of Textiles for LFW - Becca Corney
Elias Hogberg by Becca Corney.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Elias Hogberg merged utilitarian winter fashions with peasant styling in the form of furry hoods, warm shearling coats and elaborate floral prints on apron-like panels.

Swedish School Of Textiles SS14 by Gareth A Hopkins
Emelie Johansson by Gareth A Hopkins.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Menswear from Emelie Johansson successfully combined the sheerest of fabrics with both tailoring and sporty details. And the large round sunglasses were a real winner.

Stay tuned for the second part of my review, which includes a video of the show.

Categories ,Anna Margareta Svensson, ,Antonia Parker, ,Becca Corney, ,Boras, ,catwalk, ,Elias Hogberg, ,Emelie Ahlner, ,Emelie Johansson, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Functional Cuts, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,graduate, ,Holly Fulton, ,Jesper Danielsson, ,Kurbitch!, ,london, ,menswear, ,review, ,Swedish, ,Swedish School of Textiles, ,textiles, ,Units, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Swedish School of Textiles: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Catwalk Review part two

Emma Lindqvist by Novemto Komo
Emma Lindqvist by Novemto Komo.

Following on from part one of my review I present the next six graduates to show on the catwalk with the Swedish School of Textiles at Fashion Scout in Freemasons’ Hall. As always, there were some ace looks to grace the runway…

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Saina Koohnavard was enamoured of brocade and optical geometric prints in Chickipedia, using the lines to emphasise womanly curves in puff sleeved dresses and bodiced playsuits.

Swedish school of textiles by-Antonia-Parker
Emelie Arvidsson by Antonia Parker.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Emelie Arvidsson‘s End of Line played with sportswear styling: oversizing the familiar stripes on maxi dresses and jackets.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
For Duo Klara Hobbs played with simple panels of fabric that exposed the unexpected.

Swedish School Of Textiles SS14 2 by Gareth A Hopkins
Gustav Falgen by Gareth A Hopkins.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Gustav Falgen looked to multiple subcultures to create a bleached, puffered, braced and booted collection that was not for the faint hearted. Bears on the Loose, indeed.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Emma Lindqvist had fun layering abstract prints on different opacities of fabrics to create optical illusions as the clothes moved.

Swedish School of Textiles SS14 by Vicky Ink
Karolina Persson by Vicky Ink.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Persson took next season’s favourite powder pink and spruced it up for colder climes. Her incredibly clever collection featured a round shouldered coat that had been quilted to resemble a chunky knit. Further garments played with this tromp l’oeil effect, emphasising cables with print and stitch. It was a great collection to end on. Graduates of the Swedish School of Textiles never fail to impress.

All photography by Amelia Gregory. Watch a video featuring all of the designers below:

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bears on the Loose, ,Chickipedia, ,Duo, ,Emelie Arvidsson, ,Emma Lindqvist, ,End of Line, ,Exit 13, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,graduate, ,Gustav Falgen, ,Karolina Persson, ,Klara Hobbs, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Novemto Komo, ,review, ,Saina Koohnavard, ,Swedish, ,Swedish School of Textiles, ,textiles, ,Vicky Ink

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Amelia’s Magazine | Trash Fashion Exhibition at the Science Museum


Marie Anne Lynch, more about illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, stomach from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Marie Anne Lynch, drugs illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, online from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.


Vesna Pesic


Paul Kim


Oliver Ruuger


Yan Liang


Nam Young Kim. All photography by Katie Wright

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Illustration by Aysim Genc

Did you know that we’re all buying a third more clothing than we did a decade ago? Yep, cialis 40mg you read that right. A third more in only 10 years. And are you also aware that today’s average household contributes 26 items of wearable clothing to landfill every year? Tallied up, that’s well over 600,000 garments in the UK alone. Can you visualise that waste? It’s A LOT.

The appropriately-named Trash Fashion exhibition is a relatively small presentation with a big message. Be honest, you can’t remember the last time that ‘textiles’ sprang to mind when thinking of world waste and pollution. Something along the lines of ‘oil’ or ‘water’ or ‘plastic bottles’ would be up there; never the words ‘clothes’, ‘dyes’, ‘fabric’. And yet, it’s a big deal. For example, a huge 17-20% of worldwide industrial water pollution is down to textile dye. The truth is that the concept of waste produced by the textiles industry is dangerously underestimated. Fact.


Illustration by Ankolie

Okay, so I didn’t predict a fashion-related exhibition at the Science Museum either. And, in its allotted space, Trash Fashion did rather stick out like a sore-thumb. One also is required to walk through the entire ground floor to actually reach the exhibition, which features steam trains, outer-space and other extravaganzas along with a large population of noisy children. As it was a Saturday, immersed in engines and spaceships, I’m guessing either über-nerdy kids or über-nerdy parents. However, I just used the word ‘über’ twice in one sentence so I’m clearly the nerd here.


All photographs courtesy of Lois Waller/Bunnipunch

Moving on, I learnt shed loads about ‘designing out waste’ in the fashion industry by wandering through. For one, I learnt that an initiative, led by Central Saint Martins, is being developed. An idea that started with a small mat of cellulose being immersed in green tea in order for it to grow into usable fabric. Fabric that is literally living and breathing. It turns out rather like leather and, having a feel of the fabric myself, couldn’t believe that it came from some bacteria bathed in green tea. Weird. Anyway, it turns out that, at this early stage, the so-called ‘Bio Couture’ is way too heavy and gooey to wear and would practically disintegrate in the rain. Nevertheless, it’s a damn-good start – the product is natural, non-toxic and compostable and scientists are working on developing the idea further all the time.


Illustration by Stephanie Melodia

Another part of the exhibition that I found enthralling was a project hosted by the London College of Fashion called ‘Knit to Fit’. It puts forward the concept of ‘Mass Customisation’, something that I could definitely see materialising in the near future. It starts with an individual having a 3D Body Scan done by a special computer that reads all, and even the very intricate, measurements of the body. This information, along with personalised details such as colour and pattern, is then transmitted to a fairly new machine in the textiles world that, before one’s very eyes, produces an entirely seamless 3D garment. No off-cuts. No waste. Considering that fashion designers are known to leave a whole 15% of the fabric they work with on the cutting-room floor, these are absolutely imperative pieces of technology in the movement towards sustainable and efficient textiles of the future. The idea is that, in the not-too-distant future, the average shopper will be able to stroll into a clothing store and have a custom-made garment made there and then that is unique to us and, most importantly, will leave absolutely no waste.


Illustration by Caroline Coates

Without a doubt, the most immediately imposing feature of the exhibition was a large, flamboyant dress, made out of 1000 pieces of folded scraps of the London Metro newspaper. It stood tall at the entrance and its grandeur seduced a small crowd to gather around and take photographs.
In my opinion, however, it just isn’t enough to rip up a few copies of the London Metro, origami fold them into numerous pieces and make a dress – not to wear, but to make a statement. Not to dismiss the skill that goes into constructing such a fiddly garment, or the fact that it DOES make a pretty huge statement. It relates waste and fashion to one another, which is crucial, through something impressive and, ironically, quite beautiful. But it’s been done. I’ve seen countless garments like these, designed for that shock-factor yet completely un-wearable. It’s time to stop representing the problem and to instead turn to the solution – to science. And this, bar the newspaper dress, is where ‘Trash Fashion’ came up trumps.

So, despite being a little late-in-the-day with this one, might not be worth trekking all the way to South Kensington to see this exhibition alone. If you do, time it in with a trip to the National History Museum or the V&A, both right next door. After all, it’s free entry. You’ll just have to hurdle past the children screaming at steam engines and Apollo 10 and I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it.

Trash Fashion: designing out waste is supported by SITA Trust as part of the No More Waste project and is free to visit at the Science Museum in London.

As part of the exhibition, there is an interactive competition whereby members of the public can submit photos of their ‘refashioned’ old garments, before and after, and could land their new design a spot in the exhibition. To upload pictures of your customised clothes go to www.flickr.com/groups/trashfashion

Categories ,Bio Couture, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dress, ,environment, ,Ethics, ,fashion, ,Flickr, ,Knit to Fit, ,Landfill, ,London College of Fashion, ,Mass Customisation, ,Metro, ,No More Waste, ,Science Museum, ,SITA Trust, ,South Kensington, ,textiles, ,Trash Fashion, ,Waste

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Amelia’s Magazine | LU FLUX – Sowing old fabrics into something new.

luflux6

“The clothes act as an antithesis to the way of the disposable modern world, store making something new out of something old, website reducing waste and consuming less” Lu Flux

Ethical fashion is definitely a buzz word at the moment. Branching out from the confinements and stereotypes of hemp clothing and hippie cast offs, store designers are reinventing ethical fashion with distinct creative flair and a dash of compassion. I would like to introduce the fashion industry’s latest compassionate creative mind, Lu Flux.

luflux5

With a passion for refashioning and reusing materials, Lu Flux works with organic, vintage and salvaged fabrics to create sartorially sound garments bursting at the seems with originality and natural elements. Off the wall clothes and hand crafted collections with quirky accents make Lu Flux the polar opposite of throw-away fashion. The ethical fashion designer showcases a distinct passion for textiles, and says “I’ve always been excited by textiles. That’s why I got into fashion.”

Vintage has received a massive resurgence recently, with fashionistas’ trolling charity stores and vintage treasure troves for pre-loved garments to rework and give a modern twist. Lu is no exception to the trend. Seeking out fabrics which have relished a former life, She scours charity shops for new finds to inspire and in some cases, create her collection.

luflux3

“It all started when I was volunteering at Shelter. I used to sort through all the donated clothes. Now when I’m looking in charity shops I take the clothes that have either bobbled, ripped or simply aren’t selling. London is increasingly expensive and difficult to get high quality fabrics. Whenever I visit the Isle of Wight to visit my parents, I raid the island!”

Whilst studying fashion at the Edinburgh College of Art, she discovered her love of the “antiqued way pre-loved fabric looks. You can’t replicate it. I love the look of the cotton that’s been washed and worn.” But soon, her whimsical designs ventured out from the confinements of the college studio and onto the Fashion Scout catwalk. Proving to be the turning point in her career, Lu was selected against fierce competition to showcase her designs as part of the “Ones to Watch” show.

luflux2

Boasting exceptional quality, Lu Flux fashion has an underlying tone of British eccentricity with a touch of child-like nostalgia. After viewing her garments, you can see a definite love of different techniques and interesting detailing. Lu Flux salvages yarns to weave, knit and patchwork to form her ethical yet fashionable creations. “I love mixing in the traditional techniques that are getting forgotten. I love the textures you can create through different mediums. I don’t want to use just one technique. I want to design for men and women, knit and up cycle.”

luflux

Full to the brim with sartorial panache and an extraordinary mishmash of cherry picked vintage fabrics, she provides the perfect harmony between fashion and ethical motives. Lu Flux is changing the general perspective of ethical fashion, one salvaged fabric at a time.

Photography by Markn for more details see the Lu Flux Website

Categories ,charity shopping, ,Fashion Scout, ,knitting, ,Lu Flux, ,oxfam, ,shelter, ,textiles, ,Throw Away Fashion, ,unique, ,Upcycling, ,vintage, ,weaving

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Amelia’s Magazine | New S/S 2013 Season Interview: Martina Spetlova

Martina Spetlova S/S 2013 by Sharon Farrow
Martina Spetlova S/S 2013 by Sharon Farrow.

Innovative fashion designer Martina Spetlova introduces her new S/S 2013 collection and explains why you should help fund the movie to showcase her upcoming season on Kickstarter.

Marina Spetlova 'The Print & The Jacket' by Dom&Ink
Marina Spetlova ‘The Print & The Jacket‘ by Dom&Ink.

You are a textile innovator – what is it about different textures that you find so appealing?
Texture is like print for me, juxtaposing diferent textures together gives my designs the power I like to achieve in my collections. I tend to experiment with contrasting colours and opposing textures. I am always trying to find ways to treat standard fabrics to give them different structural properties – for instance by bonding, pleating and weaving satin through leathers – which helps me create a point of difference. That is how I can make my designs stand out but I also have lots of fun creating new collections. I am minimalist in shapes but maximalist in texture.

MartinaSpetlova_SS13_Look11
MartinaSpetlova_SS13_2
Your colour palette is also always very distinctive – what inspired this current season’s colour range?
My selection of colours is always little bit random. I usually start with 3 or 4 colours I like and are available and add more of them while working on my fabric samples.

Where did the graphic patterns come from?
From a photograph of my mum in the 70s.

Martina Spetlova by Alexandria Coe
Martina Spetlova by Alexandria Coe.

How do you source your fabrics?
This season I mainly worked with leather. My supplier in London has certain sustainable policies: I am concern about environment and I try to be as eco friendly as possible with my label.

Who creates your pieces?
All the knitwear is created in my studio in London, which does all samples and production at the moment. We work on domestic knitting machines.

MartinaSpetlova_SS13_Look4
MartinaSpetlova_SS13_1
What was the inspiration for the abstractions in your S/S 2013 film?
I wanted to create a land of Martina Spetlova. Shooting the collection froma microscopic view, showing the collection as a diverse landscape of bold colour and glistening mountains of fabric. It captures the detailed focus of this collection.

Martina Spetlova by Ashley Fauguel
Martina Spetlova by Ashley Fauguel.

Looking forward, what can we expect from the new collection?
The new collection is entirely leather and knitwear and features lots of textures and colours again… My simple twisted yarn knitted dresses and neckpieces accompany every look of 15 silhouettes and are a great compliment to raw edged, un-lined leather jackets, tops, skirts, shorts and trousers. Collars are created by patch-working fish skin leathers and off-cuts of sheep skin and no piece in the collection is flat. Amongst the techniques used are the playful exploration of accordion pleats on leather, cuts punched through soft leathers to create grids on the surface and my satin tape hand-woven technique from last season combined with graphic pattern (seen also on knits). I’m using softly twisted stretchy yarns for knitted neckpieces and dresses in black, light grey and graphic patterns. A/W 2013 uses soft colours of pale blue, moth green, mustard orange, white and black together with acid yellow and orange. I use a high quality of craftsmanship, making pieces by hand in the studio.

MartinaSpetlova_SS13_Look13
Martina Spetlova SS13 by Isher Dhiman
Martina Spetlova S/S 2013 by Isher Dhiman.

You are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter – what will these funds go towards and what can contributors expect in return?
I have set up Kickstarter to help me fund my film presentation in Somerset House during London Fashion Week, which will pay for the space to showcase my film in the Portico Rooms. Everyone who sponsors this event will be invited to Somerset House, and pieces from my collections will be gifted to generous backers. Of course there will also be a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who supports me!

There are six days left to help Martina Spetlova raise £1000 for her film presentation at the LFW – help out on Kickstarter here.

Categories ,Alexandria Coe, ,Ashley Fauguel, ,Dom & Ink, ,Dom&Ink, ,Dominic Evans, ,ethical, ,film, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Kickstarter, ,leather, ,London Fashion Week, ,Martina Spetlova, ,Portico Rooms, ,S/S 2013, ,Sharon Farrow, ,Somerset House, ,textiles

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Amelia’s Magazine | Northumbria University: Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Catwalk Review Part 1


Graduate collection by Emily Edge

It will be ten whole years in September since I started university at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Gulp. However old I may feel, I’m still incredibly attached to Northumbria and I’d never, ever say anything negative about their talent – not that there is ever anything negative to say (and I’m not just saying that, know what I’m saying). Yet again they didn’t fail to dazzle with their wondrous collections. I chatted with Chris Hodge, senior lecturer at Northumbria, who told me I was in for a surprise and that more than half of the collections this year represented menswear. When I asked why, he said there’d been a shift in interest towards menswear; maybe that it was a more career-viable option, and that teaching had focussed on cut, texture and material.

I took my seat and as I reviewed the show notes an over-enthusiastic student came jogging by me, tripping over my camera case and going arse-over-tit right in front of the photographer’s pit. It was both hysterical and extremely worrying – it was an ambulance-chasing CLAIMS4U-style nightmare and I buried my head into the handouts hoping that the girl was okay. She was.

Anyway, as I plot my asylum elsewhere, here’s a rundown of Northumbria’s best talent:

Emily Edge

Graduate collection by Emily Edge

Emily opened the show with her astonishing menswear collection and Chris’ comments immediately made sense. Rich yellow jackets were teamed with digital print tailored shirts, which also appeared on a blazer and trousers. With emphasis on the aesthetic properties of materials and sharp cuts, I wondered how anybody was going to match such a strong start. I’ve since learned that Emily’s been shortlisted for the Gala show (this evening) and I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t scoop the award for menswear.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Oliver Moores

Oliver Moores followed with more exemplary tailoring. Exaggerated lengths, contrasting colours and luxurious materials made for a well produced collection.

Felicity Bradshaw

Felcity placed her emphasis on the silhouette, showing body conscious, sexy numbers alongside more shapely pieces. A cropped top with a light under it seemed a little out of place but provided interest, nonetheless.

Charlotte Sowerby

Charlotte’s collection drew inspiration from the angst-ridden youth sub-cultures of the past and, diversely, scrap yards. Creeping metal patterns were found at the base of shirts, and a rust-coloured coat stood out amongst her strong tailoring.

Rebecca Byers


Graduate collection by Rebecca Byers

Rebecca’s architectural collection of chunky knits and golden conceptual pieces was a delight. I have endured so many ‘fashion’ shows where the quality of the craftsmanship and the uniqueness of the designs don’t even come close to this.

Zoe Eastham


Graduate collection illustrated by Zoe Eastham

Zoe presented a sophisticated menswear collection, taking inspiration from aviation and, interestingly, folds created by origami. Cue aviator leathers, rich knitted sweaters and a light grey shirt with triangular darts running down the front that I’d rather like to get my hands on.

Kellie Fountain


Graduate collection by Kellie Fountain

Kellie also used aspects of aviation as inspiration, but with a whimsical, playful approach applied to womenswear. Bright, vintage-esque colours worked wonders on playful skirts and structured coats. Perspex aeroplanes added even more fun to this stand-out collection.

Chloe Horsfield

I adored Chloe’s take on 1990s hip-hop culture and her use of big and bold prints. Patchworks formed from pre-worn garments and vibrant knits had me clinging to my seat to avoid jumping onto the catwalk and stealing the lot.

Amelia Smith


Graduate collection by Amelia Smith

Amelia sought inspiration from the architecture in Moscow’s Red Square. Shapely frocks were decorated with intricate monochrome patterns and gold embellishments that mirrored each piece’s silhouette.

Categories ,Amelia Smith, ,catwalk, ,Charlotte Sowerby, ,Chloe Horsfield, ,Chris Hodge, ,Earls Court Two, ,Emily Edge, ,fashion, ,Felicity Bradshaw, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2012, ,Kellie Fountain, ,knitwear, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Newcastle, ,Northumbria University, ,Oliver Moors, ,Rebecca Byers, ,review, ,Sunday, ,textiles, ,Womenswear, ,Zoe Eastham

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Amelia’s Magazine | Northumbria University: Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Catwalk Review Part 1


Graduate collection by Emily Edge

It will be ten whole years in September since I started university at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Gulp. However old I may feel, I’m still incredibly attached to Northumbria and I’d never, ever say anything negative about their talent – not that there is ever anything negative to say (and I’m not just saying that, know what I’m saying). Yet again they didn’t fail to dazzle with their wondrous collections. I chatted with Chris Hodge, senior lecturer at Northumbria, who told me I was in for a surprise and that more than half of the collections this year represented menswear. When I asked why, he said there’d been a shift in interest towards menswear; maybe that it was a more career-viable option, and that teaching had focussed on cut, texture and material.

I took my seat and as I reviewed the show notes an over-enthusiastic student came jogging by me, tripping over my camera case and going arse-over-tit right in front of the photographer’s pit. It was both hysterical and extremely worrying – it was an ambulance-chasing CLAIMS4U-style nightmare and I buried my head into the handouts hoping that the girl was okay. She was.

Anyway, as I plot my asylum elsewhere, here’s a rundown of Northumbria’s best talent:

Emily Edge

Graduate collection by Emily Edge

Emily opened the show with her astonishing menswear collection and Chris’ comments immediately made sense. Rich yellow jackets were teamed with digital print tailored shirts, which also appeared on a blazer and trousers. With emphasis on the aesthetic properties of materials and sharp cuts, I wondered how anybody was going to match such a strong start. I’ve since learned that Emily’s been shortlisted for the Gala show (this evening) and I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t scoop the award for menswear.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Oliver Moores

Oliver Moores followed with more exemplary tailoring. Exaggerated lengths, contrasting colours and luxurious materials made for a well produced collection.

Felicity Bradshaw

Felcity placed her emphasis on the silhouette, showing body conscious, sexy numbers alongside more shapely pieces. A cropped top with a light under it seemed a little out of place but provided interest, nonetheless.

Charlotte Sowerby

Charlotte’s collection drew inspiration from the angst-ridden youth sub-cultures of the past and, diversely, scrap yards. Creeping metal patterns were found at the base of shirts, and a rust-coloured coat stood out amongst her strong tailoring.

Rebecca Byers


Graduate collection by Rebecca Byers

Rebecca’s architectural collection of chunky knits and golden conceptual pieces was a delight. I have endured so many ‘fashion’ shows where the quality of the craftsmanship and the uniqueness of the designs don’t even come close to this.

Zoe Eastham


Graduate collection illustrated by Zoe Eastham

Zoe presented a sophisticated menswear collection, taking inspiration from aviation and, interestingly, folds created by origami. Cue aviator leathers, rich knitted sweaters and a light grey shirt with triangular darts running down the front that I’d rather like to get my hands on.

Kellie Fountain


Graduate collection by Kellie Fountain

Kellie also used aspects of aviation as inspiration, but with a whimsical, playful approach applied to womenswear. Bright, vintage-esque colours worked wonders on playful skirts and structured coats. Perspex aeroplanes added even more fun to this stand-out collection.

Chloe Horsfield

I adored Chloe’s take on 1990s hip-hop culture and her use of big and bold prints. Patchworks formed from pre-worn garments and vibrant knits had me clinging to my seat to avoid jumping onto the catwalk and stealing the lot.

Amelia Smith


Graduate collection by Amelia Smith

Amelia sought inspiration from the architecture in Moscow’s Red Square. Shapely frocks were decorated with intricate monochrome patterns and gold embellishments that mirrored each piece’s silhouette.

Categories ,Amelia Smith, ,catwalk, ,Charlotte Sowerby, ,Chloe Horsfield, ,Chris Hodge, ,Earls Court Two, ,Emily Edge, ,fashion, ,Felicity Bradshaw, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2012, ,Kellie Fountain, ,knitwear, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Newcastle, ,Northumbria University, ,Oliver Moors, ,Rebecca Byers, ,review, ,Sunday, ,textiles, ,Womenswear, ,Zoe Eastham

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Amelia’s Magazine | Quilts 1700 – 2010

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One lovely spring day in March, ailment I found myself in the company of fellow Amelia’s Magazine writer Satu Fox (see her quilt here) on a trip to see the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Quilts exhibition. I was excited and intrigued to see what form this exhibition to take – thinking as I travelled along the Piccadilly line through the swarms of excited tourists: how to display quilts? How to convey their memories and the time taken to craft them without overwhelming the audience with text? Fascinated by the process of recording oral history I was keen to experience history that had been stitched, online adorned, tessellated, hung on walls and spread across beds.

It turns out the exhibition is simple in concept; quilts are laid on beds or hung upon walls, spilt into bite sized chunks of quilting history namely: Making a living, Meeting the Past, Virtue and Virtuosity, Private Thoughts – Political Debates and the Domestic Landscape. Enabling the visitor to move between quilts – viewing the changes between quilts from different areas, houses and for different purposes. Throughout, modern quilts are interjected amongst the archive; their use of structural materials a stark contrast to the homely nature of the rest. It is intriguing to see the consideration of quilt as an art object due to the stance of the modern artist, however I think an unexplored potential of this exhibition is the latent object hood inherent in quilts. They are expressions of being confined to a single space of existence. Modern artists differ perhaps because they make a more aggressive exploration of the notions of femininity and the worth of different types of work. Art and Craft (A debate intensified during the establishment of the Royal Academy of Art under Joshua Reynolds) have long been in argument about their ‘status’.

Whilst I found it difficult in the exhibition to do anything other than absorb them visually, the exhibition is well documented with the quilts placed into context through accompanying letters.

Not surprisingly, considering the emphasis placed on an idea called home, the exhibition is incredibly popular. Quilts is reminiscent of the permanent exhibition at the Geffrye Museum, a fascinating insight into the development of the modern home. Quilts enables us to trace the development of ideas on comfort, sleep and protection whilst demonstrating a continued desire for beautiful objects. Whilst I can no longer read the illustrations present on them, these quilts act as memory holders for lost stories and precious family moments.

Quilts is an interesting glimpse into the V&A’s extensive collection, and exictingly the museum are encouraging people to upload their quilts onto the website developing a new archive of homemade quilts from the 21st Century. They are also hosting extensive workshops on making quilts, the hidden history of quilts and a variety ways to make quilts find more information here.

You can also read the curator of Quilts blog.  

Quilts 1700 – 2010
Until 4th July, £10 adults, £6 students, free for members

Categories ,exhibition, ,Geffrye Museum, ,Interior Decoration, ,Joshua Reynolds, ,Natasha Kerr, ,Picadilly Line, ,Quilts, ,textiles, ,Texture, ,va, ,Victoria & Albert Museum

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ravensbourne: Graduate Fashion Week 2013 Catwalk Review


Illustration by Francesca Valorsa

As Northumbria University alumni, I haven’t missed one of their Graduate Fashion Week shows in the last eight years. Sadly, I broke this record this time around due to a rather tedious, but completely incapacitating 30th birthday hangover.

On top of this, I’ve had a holiday on the brink of collapse and a molar having a disco in my mouth. My chances of having any fun at GFW this year, thus, were minimal, but I couldn’t resist hot-footing along to Ravensbourne‘s outing on Monday. I had to get my fix of the latest fashion talent somewhere.

The A/W 2013 womenswear shows feel like only days ago and London Collections: Men kicks off in a couple of weeks. I always forget that it’s bloody hard work with the graduates: Ravensbourne presented no less than 25 collections, covering womenswear, menswear and textiles; all capable of catwalk conquering away from Earl’s Court. What I’m trying to say is that it’s like viewing 25 on-schedule shows at once – pretty exhausting.

Do you care? Probably not, so here’s a fruity rundown of some of my favourite graduates:


Graduate illustration by Phiney Pet

Josephine Pettman, aka Phiney Pet, opened the show with a stunning display of vibrant, illustrated textiles, sporty cuts and badge-emblazoned jackets.

Sofie Malmgren swiftly followed with a collection that couldn’t have been more different: a futuristic set of white, linear pieces with contrasting panels in varying materials and rectangular transparent clutch bags:

Tabitha Williamson‘s ethereal collection followed. Floor-sweeping numbers with balaclava hoods and masses of thick fabrics enveloped her models:


Illustration by Jack Bebbington

Menswear was abundant, with as much emphasis on radical fashion as well as commercial viability. William Baxter was the first to bring menswear to this show, presenting a selection of sharply tailored suits with an enlarged herringbone pattern, styled with a Great Gatsby influence:

Jane Swansbury‘s men were covered in tropical prints, featuring gorilla faces, hibiscus leaves and fruit and vegetables:


Illustration by Jane Swansbury

Sarah Frances Ratcliffe‘s expedition aesthetic proved popular, particularly metallic overcoats with hoods:

Jack Bebbington‘s oversized faux fur jackets and shorts also favoured the A/W season – I liked this a lot:


Illustration by Leanne Warren

Leanne Warren‘s capes featured intricate illustrations in vibrant colours:


Illustration by Chen-Yu Wang

…whilst Chen-Yu Wang drew inspiration from childhood, with this playful collection mastering oversized silhouettes. Knitted eyeballs and doll-like frayed hems featured:

Clio Peppiatt‘s collection was one of my favourites. Plastics, acid prints, chavvy styling, ridiculous blingy heels, burger handbags on chains and graffiti-esque burger patterns – what’s not to love?

In stark contrast, Madeleine Ayers‘ sleek collection drew comparisons to Japanese couturiers, with straight lines, unfinished hems and a monochrome colour palette:


Illustration by Anne Lina Dingsor Uudelepp

Anne Lina Dingsor Uudelepp‘s street fashion featured lots of striking prints and textures, styled with gold hoops and ghetto-gold jewellery:

Francesca Valorsa‘s ethereal veils, decorated with obscure faces, created drama and complimented her collection of intricate, haphazard fabrics:


Illustration by Charlotte Harris

…but it was to Charlotte Harris to close the show, whose collection of chunky knitwear, vibrant colours and metallic jackets brought whoops and cheers.

Categories ,2013, ,Anne Lina Dingsor Uudelepp, ,catwalk, ,Charlotte Harris, ,Chen-Yu Wang, ,Clio Peppiatt, ,Earls Court, ,Francesca Valorsa, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Great Gatsby, ,Jack Bebbington, ,Jane Swansbury, ,Leanne Warren, ,london, ,Madeleine Ayers, ,menswear, ,Phiney Pet, ,ravensbourne, ,review, ,Sarah Frances Ratcliffe, ,Sofie Malmgren, ,Tabitha Williamson, ,textiles, ,William Baxter, ,Womenswear

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