Amelia’s Magazine | Style Passport: An interview with fashion retail website entrepreneur Sarah Walter

Sarah Walters by Gemma Cotterell
Sarah Walter by Gemma Cotterell.

Style Passport is the brainchild of Sarah Walter, formally a fashion director at Marie Claire, now retail entrepreneur. Realised as a one stop shop for the ultimate holiday wardrobe, Style Passport champions many smaller designers and artisan makers. I caught up with Sarah to find out how she got into the internet business, how her previous career has impacted her work and what she recommends for the ultimate vacation look this season.

Style Passport Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress blue
Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress in blue.

Hi Sarah, I believe I did a short work experience stint in the fashion cupboard when you were still at Marie Claire… what drew you to working in magazines during the first part of your career?
Did you really? How did you find that experience? I too started in a cupboard in a fashion department at Vogue, it still seems to be the only way to break into the business. Why was I drawn to magazines? Well, when I started they were wildly creative with photo shoots taking up 20 pages and really extending the editors’ and photographers’ imagination. Coming from art college this merged my two great loves – art and style – so was the perfect career path for me.

Nicole Fahri by Chloe Douglass
Nicole Fahri Easter patchwork print shirt dress. Illustration by Chloe Douglass.

How did becoming a mother inspire your career swerve into retail?
I experimented in retail just before I had my first daughter and found the whole experience pretty interesting. Not only was I trying to create something interesting to wear but then I got to see if it was actually bought and worn by someone. My daughters became experts in spotting a dress or bag I had created and we all shared the same excitement. It’s pretty addictive actually. Oh, and the pay is generally much better.

Fiona paxton coral and wood necklace £175 style-passport
Fiona Paxton coral and wood necklace.

How has your experience of working on fashion editorials influenced the way that you approach retail?
Creating a story in a magazine has all the same elements as creating a window in a shop or a page on a web site. All need a good idea to start with, then great creative and copy that hooks you in. The fact that more and more editors have left magazines in recent years to move into e-commerce and retail just shows you how blurred these worlds are now, whereas 20 years ago there were distinct barriers. The internet and technology has changed and will continue to change everything.

Style Passport Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top charcoal
Cool Change Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top in charcoal.

What factors do you consider when looking for a new brand to stock on the website?
Well, we start by thinking ‘Where is she going and what does she need to take with her to ensure she has the easiest and most stylish trip possible?‘ We love colour (we do mostly think of holidays in colour, not black and white, don’t we?), print and items that are easy to fold up, so jersey features strongly and unstructured jackets too. Some brands particularly scream ‘holiday’ like Matthew Williamson and Antik Batik; you can literally imagine yourself on the beach when you see them. We have a broad price architecture too, it’s very much the Fashion Editors‘ choice, so we try to choose what you can get for a reasonable amount of money (Armor Lux bretons for example are perfect, you don’t need to buy a designer version).

Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress by Shy Illustrations
Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress. Illustration by Shy Illustrations.

What have been your most exciting discoveries when hunting down new labels? Are there any particular finds which stick in your mind?
I’m very excited about Visconti & du Reau gladiators which will be on the site in March. Sam and I saw them in Paris and literally dropped everything on the spot.

Matthew Williamson style-passport
Matthew Williamson hat, an exclusive collaboration with Style Passport.

Where do you source your artisanal goods from, and why are these products so exciting to you?
Artisanal goods to me have always been the holiday ‘finds’ which tell the stories of your adventures and create your personal style. They are personal and remind us of the best times in our lives. We find our artisanal items from our own travels and now increasingly, artisans approach us with their goods and we love to find out about them and bring their stories to our customers.

Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit Style Passport
Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit and Vida Vida embroidered leather clutch.

How do you balance your stock of expensive high end products with more affordable items?
It’s all determined by our approach to style. Items on the site are there because they are loved and we believe they are worth the money. Sometimes it’s a designer piece that will make all the difference and sometimes a trusted basic or artisanal find. To me, this combination is true style.

Matthew Williamson by Isher Dhiman
Matthew Williamson oversized digital blossom cutout t-shirt. Illustration by Isher Dhiman.

How do you decide which beauty brands to promote on Style Passport?
Again, we try to focus on brands we love which support our travel ethos. We have to have suncream and mosquito spray so our customers really can come to us and get their bag packed in one place.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

You’ve spoken of plans to expand the website to include menswear and kidswear – what else would you like to do with Style Passport in the future?
One step at a time! We would love to eventually have our own label associated with the best travel items, so let’s see what happens.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

What have been the best and hardest parts of going it alone with your own business?
The best is creating what you want in the way you want to and surrounding yourself with hugely passionate, talented people. The worst is raising money to drive forwards and getting the call at 1am when the alarm goes off in the warehouse.

Style Passport mood board
Putting it all together: Style Passport looks.

Lastly, what are the three most important things to pack: for a hot destination?
1. A scarf that keeps you relaxed on the plane, is nice enough to wear out at night, can be doubled and belted to make a skirt and of course used as a beach coverup or a hair protector…… I can go on about scarves for ever.
2. Great sunglasses. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous and in the mood like these. Plus, after a long journey they cover puffy and tired eyes.
3. Your favourite dress. Dresses are the easiest way to get dressed as most decision making is removed. For me they are the most versatile of items. Very little work is required to take the same dress from a market shop (basket, flats, headscarf) to a dinner (heels, lipstick, ear rings).
Some of my key holiday looks are included in this blog. For S/S 2013 I’d go for a Matthew Williamson blue shirt waister dress, an Indonesian sarong – always a sarong, the gladiators in lizard and neon by Visconti & du Reau and a Seafolly Goddess swimsuit which just fits and improves every body that it is put on. 

And for a winter holiday this season?
A down coat. ADD and Barbour are great. Light, warm and stylish.
Lip salve – the cold really affects your lips. Carmex is the original and best in my view and the yellow pot is very friendly.
Base layers. American Vintage cotton fitted longjohns and roll necks should be the first thing you put on after your underwear.

Thanks Sarah! It’s so interesting to hear from someone who has created a successful retail experience. Do visit Style Passport to discover more great holiday ideas.

Categories ,ADD, ,American Vintage, ,Antik Batik, ,Armor Lux, ,Barbour, ,Beauty, ,Carmex, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Cool Change, ,fashion, ,Fashion Editors, ,Fiona Paxton, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Hoilday, ,Holiday Wardrobe, ,interview, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Key holiday looks, ,Marie Claire, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nicole Fahri, ,S/S 2013, ,Sarah Walter, ,Seafolly Goddess, ,Shy Illustrations, ,Style Passport, ,summer, ,Swimwear, ,Tam Tam, ,Vida Vida, ,Visconti & du Reau, ,vogue, ,Winter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tata Naka: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Presentation Review

Tata-Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall
Tata Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall.

I always look forward to the Tata Naka presentation and this season was no exception: this time the twin sisters had chosen to direct their models posed as if at the end of a diving platform against a skyline of palm trees. It was a clever piece of set design that suited their slightly retro style, all 80s power hair and nipped in waists. When I arrived they were shooting a range of glossy purple dresses on offer for S/S 2013. Centre stage a beautiful hourglass silk dress featured dramatic cut outs around the shoulders and hemline. Floral offerings flanked a bold placement print cutout dress, the ginger hair of a painted girl placed at hip level. For a more casual look the same image was applied to a swimming costume, worn with very high hot pants.

Tata Naka SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2013, photography by Amelia Gregory.

I only stayed at the ‘pool party’ presentation long enough to get a shot of this particular look, but a glance at a set of images on Vogue tells me that this collection was notable for its subtlety – cream and mint separates for daytime and jewel block colours for night providing a commercial counterpoint to the colourful clashing ditsy prints and painted life size faces: eye catching in house prints that the Tata Naka girls are known and loved for. It all worked brilliantly, as always.

Categories ,80s, ,Claire Kearns, ,cutout, ,Jamie Wignall, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Portico Rooms, ,prints, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,Tata Naka, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | Thirty Years of Ally Capellino at The Wapping Project

little comets

Photos by Jazzy Lemon

It’s not often that a support band makes your ears prick up and pay attention; too often I’ve been to gigs where sub-standard support acts make the wait for the headliners feel that little bit longer. I doubt in their short career that Little Comets have ever had that problem.

They caught my attention when they supported the Noisettes on their national tour last year, and so it was exciting to see the band headline the Joiners in Southampton last week.

Little Comets are already favourites with the music press after a few well publicised stunts such as playing on the Metro, purchase or in the bakery isle of the local Marks & Spencer store, sales in their hometown of Newcastle. Their single ‘One Night In October’ reached No. 1 in the independent singles chart, so they’ve already got a relatively huge following.

It was the busiest I’ve seen the Joiners; it was a room full of sweaty, drunk lads who were all pretty excited for the band to start. When Little Comets play live they breathe life into their bouncy, poppy songs. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the fun of their live sets. At such an intimate venue, the gig really felt like we were watching something special.

Yes, Little Comets are a guitar band and that’s nothing new, but their songs and the way they approach them really are. In a genre that’s been done to death already, Little Comets are unexpectedly unique. In half an hour they convinced me that there is a future for guitar bands; something that no one has been able to do for a good year or so.

The audience sang along to pretty much every song as the band bounced their way through their perfectly formed pop-tracks such as ‘Friday Don’t Need It’ and ‘Adultery’, but it was ‘Joanna’ that really stood out. Unlike their other guitar-pop tunes, this a capella track quietened the room. It’s the song that sets them above their contemporaries and proves they’re not just four guys playing poppy lad-rock. They’re not a grown-up version of McFly, they’re a group of proper musicians who write proper lyrics and know how to engage the crowd.

Someone in the crowd shouted up to singer Rob, confessing that his girlfriend loved him. Rob got a lot of love that night; a couple of tracks in someone shouted that they loved him too. His witty responses, which were quicker than a heartbeat, had the crowd laughing throughout the set. Little Comets are the kind of band that will do well during the festival season. The fun they radiate is infectious and I can imagine nothing nicer than dancing in the afternoon to one of their sets.

They won over my friend whose CD collection extends to a collection of Now albums and the Glee soundtrack If they can do that, I have no doubt they’ll charm their audiences on the rest of the tour, and wherever else they get to play this summer.

Illustration by Aniela Murphy

The other Saturday I took a little trip down to The Wapping Project to see the rather splendid Ally Capellino exhibition. Completely under-publicised, drugs I have to thank Susie over at Style Bubble for bringing it to my attention. I’m a huge fan of this understated label, and I often pop into their store on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch to salivate over their rather wonderful bags, rewarding myself with a coffee at Leila’s afterwards.

Turns out I’m a mere moment from The Wapping Project too, so I popped down with a couple of pals, only to be told by a florist, who shall remain nameless, that the exhibition was closed due to a wedding. Saddened, we stood outside hoping that we could at least get a glimpse through the window. LUCKILY, the director of the WP ushered us in. The wedding wasn’t due to start for a while (the International Sales Director of Topshop’s wedding, none-the-less, lah-de-dah) so we had twenty-two minutes to zip round.

The Wapping Project is ‘an idea consistently in transition’ and is set in the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Its interior remains pretty much as it would have done when in commercial use, with power hydrants and various power station ephemera still clinging solidly to the floors, around which the space is managed. During the evenings, the main room is transformed into an a la carte restaurant, and said wedding looked pretty incredible.

In the lower, darker, damper room, the Ally Capellino exhibition occupies the entire space. The central exhibition, made from recycled doors and different types of wood, tells the story of this intriguing brand, encircled by portraits of various fashionistas modelling different luggage and apparel.

Ally Capellino is the baby and brainchild of Alison Lloyd, began in 1980 (obv, being its thirtieth birthday). It’s gone from being a very small operation to an acclaimed British leather label. In her own words, she’s gone from ‘young designer to old bag lady’ and this exhibition sees Alison take a nostalgic and sometimes ‘embarrassing’ trip down memory lane.

The essence of Ally Capellino is predominantly British, with sneaky and slight European influences – often the simple style of the Scandinavians. The choronilogical exhibition explains, in just the right amount of detail, the progression of the label year-on-year.. The focus is it’s creative bag and luggage range, with clothing peppered here and there.

The label was originally set up as a clothing brand, and some of the examples on display of early garments are a total treat. It’s only been the past ten years where the accessories have shone through and become the stronghold, but the label has produced some exciting and innovative clothing throughout its existence.

There were graphic patterns, floral prints and neat tailoring in the 1980s:

…While a more futuristic style came through in 1990s with clean lines and masculine shapes:

…and childrenswear has remained fun and hip, reflecting the styles of the mens and womenswear whilst remaining playful:

The focus of the exhibition is the ‘bag wall’ – a huge wall dedicated to said bags – a mixture of new styles and vintage examples sent in by dedicated followers of the brand. Each bag has it’s only story to tell and numbers attached to the bag link to a wall of numbered stories. The essence of the brand is it’s focus on quality – some of these bags, which appear relatively new, are twenty years old for God’s sake!

Rupert Blanchard is behind the recycled, industrial look of the exhibition, and he shares Alison’s ‘passion for salvage and dread of waste’ and nothing looks out of place in this historical landmark.

There’s also a great selection of press material and advertising spanning the whole Ally Capellino era, with some great menswear advertisements, photographic thumbnails, and Vogue featured-in cards:

What does the future hold for the brand? Well, more of the same, please. With a host of collaborations with the likes of the Tate galleries and Apple, I expect there’ll be more of this in the pipeline. And what to say of the bags? Well, hopefully these beautiful creations, in a variety of subtle leathers and complimentary materials, will be produced for years to come.

Head down to the exhibition fast because it’s not on for long – go on, you’ll have a whopping time, even if fashion’s not necessarily your bag. (With puns like these, I should really work in Wapping for a certain tabloid newspaper.)


Illustration by Aniela Murphy

Check out all the important deets here.

Categories ,Alison Lloyd, ,Ally Capellino, ,Apple, ,Bags, ,Calvert Avenue, ,fashion, ,Hipstamatic, ,leather, ,Leila’s Café, ,Recycled wood, ,Rupert Blanchard, ,Salvage, ,shoreditch, ,Tate, ,The Wapping Project, ,vogue, ,wapping

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Amelia’s Magazine | R. D. Franks – R.I.P?

Our Broken Garden Golden Sea
Ashley Dean by Russty Brazil
Ashley Dean, thumb as depicted by Russty Brazil.

I recently reviewed the superb second album from Our Broken Garden, page so when Ashley Dean got in touch to tell me he was making their latest video Garden Grow I couldn’t resist taking a peek… it’s a delightful lo-fi Fraggle Rock inspired few minutes that should tickle even the coldest of hearts, and here’s the story of how it was made…

What inspired the treatment for the video? 
The starting point for this video was a suggestion by Simon Raymonde of Bella Union. He said he’d love to see Anna of Our Broken Garden performing in a Muppet Show style set. It was this video that inspired him, so we started off from there… I love the Muppet Show, but my favourite Jim Henson creations are Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. They were big inspirations for the look of this video and it was a challenge to do justice to these great fantasy works, but lots of fun at the same time.

The little beasties are great… where did you get the idea from them from?
The three main puppets (the Spider, the Bird and the Tree Beast) were based on the Guitarist, Bassist and Drummer from Our Broken Garden; Søren, Moogie and Poul. My collaborator, Kevin Roper did some great concept sketches of the guys as animals and we ended up making the models pretty close to those original drawings. The little white things in the mines (we called them ‘Pale Moles’) were inspired by the Doozers from Fraggle Rock. I wanted to create a rich and detailed world for Anna to perform in; these creatures were a another layer of the eco-system, and an excuse for me to do some animating..!


The video for Garden Grow by Our Broken Garden.

Who made the little knitted spider monsters?
The jumper that the Spider wore was knitted by my Mum over 20 years ago! I thought it would look great on Søren so Kev cut it up and re-made it with 8 sleeves. I sculpted Søren’s face in clay and cast it in latex, then we used all kinds of techniques to bring the puppets to life. I like to use recycled materials in my work; Moogie is a big bundle of old clothes coated with feathers from a discarded pillow. 

How did you make the video, and where was the studio set? 
We worked in a old flax mill in Leeds called Temple Works. It is an amazing, vast place and they have big plans for the future of it. 
It took myself, Kevin and my parents a week to construct the set. The trees took a long time, with Kev spending several days coating the skeletons I made with wall paper paste and brown paper. We bought out the entire stock of gaffer tape at the local Maplin, I think we got close to consuming a mile of the stuff! On the last day of the set build, Graham Pilling from Army of Cats came to the set and painted the background scenes then my wife, Lydia helped me finish everything off on a final, exhausting Saturday. There were so many details that had to be designed and manufactured on site, I was amazed when we were finally ready to light and shoot the video! I brought in Danny North to be Director of Photography (a long time collaborator with Amelia’s Magazine:Ed) and Tim Blackwell was my assistant director and puppeteered Søren. My parents were in charge of the catering. There was a great community feel during the whole process.

What was it like to work with Anna?
Anna Bronsted came over from Denmark to star in the video. She was a pleasure to work with and was willing to try out any of the shots and effects we had planned. We she feints amongst the apples, she is leaning against a step ladder that I gradually let fall backwards… That required a lot of trust from Anna and there are a lot of out-takes where I was a bit too enthusiastic with the simulated fall. 

Any funny stories from the shoot that you can tell us about?
Although Kev didn’t find it at all funny, it was a very peculiar atmosphere on set when everyone was operating their puppets. My Dad was making Moogie bounce around on his branch, Tim was hidden behind a tree, straining to put his hand up the back of Søren, and Kev was dressed in the Poul Costume, crouched behind another tree in a horribly painful position. When all the puppets came to life, it was a magical sight and we shot dozens of takes of the ‘band’ all playing together. Eventually we took a break so that everyone could relax, but as we were getting a coffee, an anguished groan came from the set. I had totally forgotten Kev was still in his costume and he had almost passed out from the pain he was in and couldn’t move (or take his mask off, which was tied on to his head). His legs didn’t work properly for days afterwards and he cursed the day he offered to go in the Poul suit. He didn’t like it when I became Poul for a scene in his absence though, so I get the impression he was at least quite proud of his exertions…

Garden Grow Group shot
The whole ‘Garden Grow’ crew on set with Anna Bronsted of Our Broken Garden.

Do you have any plans to work with Our Broken Garden again?
I would love to. It will depend on both our schedules, but the rest of the album is great and Anna is a fantastic creative force to work with. She did mention that she wanted to make some more trees and characters to take with her on tour, but they will have to be a lot less fragile than the ones we made for the shoot!

You used to be in iliketrains, which I love (and were featured in the printed version of Amelia’s Magazine many a moon ago). Why did you leave the group?
It was the band’s decision. Our label Beggars Banquet had recently dissolved and they wanted a new start, and I think they thought it was a bit of a luxury to have a projectionist as a full time member of the group. I was quite relieved when we had the final conversation; I would have never had the heart to leave, but my film making ambitions were starting to clash with the schedule of the band and in the end, it was the best option for us all. I still have a good relationship with the guys, and I’m pleased to see how well their recent Pledge campaign (to raise money for the new album) went. I’ll just be sorely jealous when they play Glastonbury or shoot a video in the Bahamas…

Are you still making your own music?
My cornet is gathering dust under a table, just like it did in the years between school and joining the Trains… But I do have a couple of (barely) musical projects on the back burner. One involves making my own instruments and singing in Japanese. Me and Guy from iLT recorded 3 songs together years ago and I would love to bring the idea back to life one day…

What other stuff are you working on with your company Broken Pixel?
My next project is with Napoleon IIIrd. We are going to make some crazy, mashed-up projections using all kinds of old technology. I’ll be trying to bring my Super8 projectors back to life and we’ve got some old OHPs to play with. It should be a fun day out. I’ve got a couple of long term film projects in production and I’m always interested to work with new bands. I recently got a part time job as a chocolate taster (seriously!) and I’m about to launch a range of miniature sets, built into the back of canvases and inscribed with a fragmented, intertwined narrative.

My brain doesn’t sleep.
Our Broken Garden Golden Sea

Our Broken Garden is fronted by vocalist Anna Bronsted, troche sometime keyboardist with Efterklang, this web the Danish group fabled for the same lush orchestrations that sweep throughout her second album Golden Sea. It was recorded in the countryside with friends Søren Bigum on guitar/keyboards, Moogie Johnson on bass and assorted other musicians when needed.

The ebb and flow of the ocean has influenced not just the name of Golden Sea but the entire rhythmical feel of the album, over which Anna’s luscious vocals float like the call of a modern day siren. It opens with the undulating notes of The Departure, a gentle wash of sound like the sleek undertow of waves, then moves into a more grandiose classical feel in the rich production of The Fiery and Loud, where choppy strings set the tone to create a dramatic backdrop for the staccato vocal. It’s as if the swell of the sea has picked up. “I’m all on fire… burns and blood…” Anna’s lyrics do not always make conventional sense, but the fluidity of English as a second language is poetically evocative.

In Garden Grow the beats have become more tribal. “Rip out my heart, if you have to…” Behind the angelically sweet notes there’s the dramatic threat of lurking doom but by Nightsong all is calm again as Anna channels the ethereal lyrics of Bat For Lashes, sighing of moons and tears… Share hypnotises with an intensely beating heart and The Darkred Roses ends with the lyrics “and the black waters arising…” before the eery sounds of a church organ emerge gently as if from the sea mists.

A totally hypnotic album to soundtrack those long winter nights. Golden Sea by Our Broken Garden comes out today on Bella Union.

Listen to it streamed on Sound Cloud here, or check out their myspace. They have just announced their biggest UK headline show at St. Giles-In-The-Fields, the parish church in the heart of London’s West End, on Wednesday 17th November. Tickets can be bought here.

The Departure by Our Broken Garden:
YouTube Preview Image


Illustration by Paul Shinn

R. D. Franks has, sale since 1877, visit this site been a hub for fashion students and journalists alike. The store, which recently relocated to Winsley Street, stocked everything a fashion fan could desire: every international edition of Vogue, rare trend magazines, the latest coffee table books and a whole load of reference literature for budding fashion designers.

So it came as a bit of shock a few days ago when R. D. Franks curiously sent Twitter users into a frenzy, tweeting ‘R. D. Franks is now closed until further notice. Kindest regards to all our lovely customers.’ Are they closed for refurbishment? Are they closed for good? Maybe they’re just swishing up their opening hours, which were bizarre enough anyway – closed on Saturdays? Ridiculous!

I’m currently putting together a feature of the best places to buy fashion literature in London, and R. D. Franks was to be top of the list. It was a big supporter of Amelia’s Magazine when we were in print, flogging many copies despite being difficult to deal with (Amelia’s words, not mine!) It was the one-stop-shop for research and bagging those hard-to-find copies of books and magazines that you couldn’t source anywhere else. I’d asked our fantastic contributor Paul to illustrate the stores I’d selected and R. D. Franks was the first one he produced, so this is somewhat of a sneaky opportunity to also showcase his brilliant drawing.

If they are closed for good, it’s a real shame, but not the world’s greatest surprise. Their stocklist had declined slightly in previous months and the few times I’d been in recently there was never much of an atmosphere. Add to the mix difficult opening hours and your business isn’t going to flourish.

So, R. D. Franks – if this is the end, thanks for being there and we’re sorry to see you go. You will be missed! (If it isn’t, what the hell is going on?)

If you know any more, do let us know!

Categories ,books, ,fashion, ,literature, ,Magazines, ,Paul Shinn, ,RD Franks, ,RIP, ,students, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Winsley Street

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Amelia’s Magazine | R. D. Franks – R.I.P?

Our Broken Garden Golden Sea
Ashley Dean by Russty Brazil
Ashley Dean, thumb as depicted by Russty Brazil.

I recently reviewed the superb second album from Our Broken Garden, page so when Ashley Dean got in touch to tell me he was making their latest video Garden Grow I couldn’t resist taking a peek… it’s a delightful lo-fi Fraggle Rock inspired few minutes that should tickle even the coldest of hearts, and here’s the story of how it was made…

What inspired the treatment for the video? 
The starting point for this video was a suggestion by Simon Raymonde of Bella Union. He said he’d love to see Anna of Our Broken Garden performing in a Muppet Show style set. It was this video that inspired him, so we started off from there… I love the Muppet Show, but my favourite Jim Henson creations are Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. They were big inspirations for the look of this video and it was a challenge to do justice to these great fantasy works, but lots of fun at the same time.

The little beasties are great… where did you get the idea from them from?
The three main puppets (the Spider, the Bird and the Tree Beast) were based on the Guitarist, Bassist and Drummer from Our Broken Garden; Søren, Moogie and Poul. My collaborator, Kevin Roper did some great concept sketches of the guys as animals and we ended up making the models pretty close to those original drawings. The little white things in the mines (we called them ‘Pale Moles’) were inspired by the Doozers from Fraggle Rock. I wanted to create a rich and detailed world for Anna to perform in; these creatures were a another layer of the eco-system, and an excuse for me to do some animating..!


The video for Garden Grow by Our Broken Garden.

Who made the little knitted spider monsters?
The jumper that the Spider wore was knitted by my Mum over 20 years ago! I thought it would look great on Søren so Kev cut it up and re-made it with 8 sleeves. I sculpted Søren’s face in clay and cast it in latex, then we used all kinds of techniques to bring the puppets to life. I like to use recycled materials in my work; Moogie is a big bundle of old clothes coated with feathers from a discarded pillow. 

How did you make the video, and where was the studio set? 
We worked in a old flax mill in Leeds called Temple Works. It is an amazing, vast place and they have big plans for the future of it. 
It took myself, Kevin and my parents a week to construct the set. The trees took a long time, with Kev spending several days coating the skeletons I made with wall paper paste and brown paper. We bought out the entire stock of gaffer tape at the local Maplin, I think we got close to consuming a mile of the stuff! On the last day of the set build, Graham Pilling from Army of Cats came to the set and painted the background scenes then my wife, Lydia helped me finish everything off on a final, exhausting Saturday. There were so many details that had to be designed and manufactured on site, I was amazed when we were finally ready to light and shoot the video! I brought in Danny North to be Director of Photography (a long time collaborator with Amelia’s Magazine:Ed) and Tim Blackwell was my assistant director and puppeteered Søren. My parents were in charge of the catering. There was a great community feel during the whole process.

What was it like to work with Anna?
Anna Bronsted came over from Denmark to star in the video. She was a pleasure to work with and was willing to try out any of the shots and effects we had planned. We she feints amongst the apples, she is leaning against a step ladder that I gradually let fall backwards… That required a lot of trust from Anna and there are a lot of out-takes where I was a bit too enthusiastic with the simulated fall. 

Any funny stories from the shoot that you can tell us about?
Although Kev didn’t find it at all funny, it was a very peculiar atmosphere on set when everyone was operating their puppets. My Dad was making Moogie bounce around on his branch, Tim was hidden behind a tree, straining to put his hand up the back of Søren, and Kev was dressed in the Poul Costume, crouched behind another tree in a horribly painful position. When all the puppets came to life, it was a magical sight and we shot dozens of takes of the ‘band’ all playing together. Eventually we took a break so that everyone could relax, but as we were getting a coffee, an anguished groan came from the set. I had totally forgotten Kev was still in his costume and he had almost passed out from the pain he was in and couldn’t move (or take his mask off, which was tied on to his head). His legs didn’t work properly for days afterwards and he cursed the day he offered to go in the Poul suit. He didn’t like it when I became Poul for a scene in his absence though, so I get the impression he was at least quite proud of his exertions…

Garden Grow Group shot
The whole ‘Garden Grow’ crew on set with Anna Bronsted of Our Broken Garden.

Do you have any plans to work with Our Broken Garden again?
I would love to. It will depend on both our schedules, but the rest of the album is great and Anna is a fantastic creative force to work with. She did mention that she wanted to make some more trees and characters to take with her on tour, but they will have to be a lot less fragile than the ones we made for the shoot!

You used to be in iliketrains, which I love (and were featured in the printed version of Amelia’s Magazine many a moon ago). Why did you leave the group?
It was the band’s decision. Our label Beggars Banquet had recently dissolved and they wanted a new start, and I think they thought it was a bit of a luxury to have a projectionist as a full time member of the group. I was quite relieved when we had the final conversation; I would have never had the heart to leave, but my film making ambitions were starting to clash with the schedule of the band and in the end, it was the best option for us all. I still have a good relationship with the guys, and I’m pleased to see how well their recent Pledge campaign (to raise money for the new album) went. I’ll just be sorely jealous when they play Glastonbury or shoot a video in the Bahamas…

Are you still making your own music?
My cornet is gathering dust under a table, just like it did in the years between school and joining the Trains… But I do have a couple of (barely) musical projects on the back burner. One involves making my own instruments and singing in Japanese. Me and Guy from iLT recorded 3 songs together years ago and I would love to bring the idea back to life one day…

What other stuff are you working on with your company Broken Pixel?
My next project is with Napoleon IIIrd. We are going to make some crazy, mashed-up projections using all kinds of old technology. I’ll be trying to bring my Super8 projectors back to life and we’ve got some old OHPs to play with. It should be a fun day out. I’ve got a couple of long term film projects in production and I’m always interested to work with new bands. I recently got a part time job as a chocolate taster (seriously!) and I’m about to launch a range of miniature sets, built into the back of canvases and inscribed with a fragmented, intertwined narrative.

My brain doesn’t sleep.
Our Broken Garden Golden Sea

Our Broken Garden is fronted by vocalist Anna Bronsted, troche sometime keyboardist with Efterklang, this web the Danish group fabled for the same lush orchestrations that sweep throughout her second album Golden Sea. It was recorded in the countryside with friends Søren Bigum on guitar/keyboards, Moogie Johnson on bass and assorted other musicians when needed.

The ebb and flow of the ocean has influenced not just the name of Golden Sea but the entire rhythmical feel of the album, over which Anna’s luscious vocals float like the call of a modern day siren. It opens with the undulating notes of The Departure, a gentle wash of sound like the sleek undertow of waves, then moves into a more grandiose classical feel in the rich production of The Fiery and Loud, where choppy strings set the tone to create a dramatic backdrop for the staccato vocal. It’s as if the swell of the sea has picked up. “I’m all on fire… burns and blood…” Anna’s lyrics do not always make conventional sense, but the fluidity of English as a second language is poetically evocative.

In Garden Grow the beats have become more tribal. “Rip out my heart, if you have to…” Behind the angelically sweet notes there’s the dramatic threat of lurking doom but by Nightsong all is calm again as Anna channels the ethereal lyrics of Bat For Lashes, sighing of moons and tears… Share hypnotises with an intensely beating heart and The Darkred Roses ends with the lyrics “and the black waters arising…” before the eery sounds of a church organ emerge gently as if from the sea mists.

A totally hypnotic album to soundtrack those long winter nights. Golden Sea by Our Broken Garden comes out today on Bella Union.

Listen to it streamed on Sound Cloud here, or check out their myspace. They have just announced their biggest UK headline show at St. Giles-In-The-Fields, the parish church in the heart of London’s West End, on Wednesday 17th November. Tickets can be bought here.

The Departure by Our Broken Garden:
YouTube Preview Image


Illustration by Paul Shinn

R. D. Franks has, sale since 1877, visit this site been a hub for fashion students and journalists alike. The store, which recently relocated to Winsley Street, stocked everything a fashion fan could desire: every international edition of Vogue, rare trend magazines, the latest coffee table books and a whole load of reference literature for budding fashion designers.

So it came as a bit of shock a few days ago when R. D. Franks curiously sent Twitter users into a frenzy, tweeting ‘R. D. Franks is now closed until further notice. Kindest regards to all our lovely customers.’ Are they closed for refurbishment? Are they closed for good? Maybe they’re just swishing up their opening hours, which were bizarre enough anyway – closed on Saturdays? Ridiculous!

I’m currently putting together a feature of the best places to buy fashion literature in London, and R. D. Franks was to be top of the list. It was a big supporter of Amelia’s Magazine when we were in print, flogging many copies despite being difficult to deal with (Amelia’s words, not mine!) It was the one-stop-shop for research and bagging those hard-to-find copies of books and magazines that you couldn’t source anywhere else. I’d asked our fantastic contributor Paul to illustrate the stores I’d selected and R. D. Franks was the first one he produced, so this is somewhat of a sneaky opportunity to also showcase his brilliant drawing.

If they are closed for good, it’s a real shame, but not the world’s greatest surprise. Their stocklist had declined slightly in previous months and the few times I’d been in recently there was never much of an atmosphere. Add to the mix difficult opening hours and your business isn’t going to flourish.

So, R. D. Franks – if this is the end, thanks for being there and we’re sorry to see you go. You will be missed! (If it isn’t, what the hell is going on?)

If you know any more, do let us know!

Categories ,books, ,fashion, ,literature, ,Magazines, ,Paul Shinn, ,RD Franks, ,RIP, ,students, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Winsley Street

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Amelia’s Magazine | Me & Zena… and me too please!!

HeroesAll Illustrations courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Imagine never having done any presentation to more than 30 people in your lifetime and that did not really matter because they were your schoolmates; if you were to fall flat on your face in front of them, medicine price you knew you were all in the same bath water (so to speak) assessed by mean lady Big Goggled Eye! But what happens when it is your own lifework compiled over many years of blood, viagra 40mg sweat and tears you are showing to complete strangers and there happens to be upwards of 400 of them there. Am I being overdramatic? Maybe…

Pecha-Kucha-crewThe Pecha Kucha crew. All photographs courtesy of Valerie Pezeron except when stated otherwise

I’ve always been fascinated by Pecha Kucha. The first time I heard it mentioned was a few years ago when it sent shockwaves throughout Europe as the latest craze among designer types. Pecha Kucha is a presentation format hailing from Japan. It’s usually pronounced in three syllables like “pe-chak cha” (???????), dosage although most people don’t bother trying to be authentic with the original pronunciation and I admit I have been just as lazy! The name Pecha Kucha is a Japanese term that stands for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat”). More than 170 cities now host such event.

cityscape

Climate

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in 2003 of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) are the instigators of this worldwide phenomenon; Klein and Dytham sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night.

le-ruffiant-AOI

Did I know what I was getting myself into? A little bit. I was told I needed to show 20 images for 20 seconds a piece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Apparently, the secret of a good presentation is thorough preparation, so I selected my 20 slides and stood in front of my computer with a fake mike all week-end, well…faking.  Why put myself through it? I wanted to shine a spotlight on my upcoming graphic novel, a collection of illustrations and extracts from the bible titled “Written by Men, Blame it on God” that I am currently developing. The publisher is selected (New Humanist and the Rationalist Association) and all that is left to do is finish the book in the upcoming months. I intend to exhibit the original artwork along with the launch of the book this year.

the-smart-french-company2

At the helm of this new brand of Pecha Kucha are Sian and . Sian’s passion for Pecha Kucha Redux is infectious; she tells me the format previously lost its way in the UK when it ended up being open exclusively to high-profile and well established figures from the design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields. They wanted to go back to its roots as a platform for up and coming professionals and I was in good company on the night. Among the diverse and distinct line-up were a conceptual artist exploring desire and the female gaze( Nerys Mathias), a kick-ass rockstar who tore down the house ( Bruno Wizard), a printmaker and sculptor and mountaineer (Martin Barrett) and the aptly named Minxy McNaughty!

Pecha-Kucha-ladyPhotograph courtesy of Pecha Kucha

Bruno-and-I Bruno Wizard of The Homosexuals band with artist friend and I.

I was terrified when I took to the stage. But the reception was overwhelmingly positive and the interaction with the public was very intoxicating; I heard laughter, cheers and received positive feedback from many women who encouraged me to complete the book! All in all it was a great night and I now can say: “I fell into the deep end and I survived Pecha Kucha!”

Video Courtesy of Pecha Kucha

HeroesAll Illustrations courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Imagine never having done any presentation to more than 30 people in your lifetime – and that did not really matter because they were your schoolmates. If you were to fall flat on your face in front of them, doctor you knew you were all in the same bath water (so to speak) assessed by Mean Lady Big Goggled Eye! But what happens when it is your own lifework compiled over many years of blood, website like this sweat and tears you are showing to complete strangers? And there happens to be upwards of 400 of them there! Am I being melodramatic? Maybe…

Pecha-Kucha-crewThe Pecha Kucha crew. All photographs courtesy of Valerie Pezeron except when stated otherwise

I’ve always been fascinated by Pecha Kucha. The first time I heard it mentioned was a few years ago when it sent shock waves throughout Europe as the latest craze among designer types. Pecha Kucha is a presentation format hailing from Japan. It’s usually pronounced in three syllables like “pe-chak cha” (???????), price although most people don’t bother trying to be authentic with the original pronunciation and I admit I have been just as lazy! The name Pecha Kucha is a Japanese term that stands for the sound of conversation (“chit-chat”). More than 170 cities now host such events.

cityscape

Climate

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in 2003 of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) are the instigators of this worldwide phenomenon; Klein and Dytham sought to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. They devised a format that kept presentations very concise in order to encourage audience attention and increase the number of presenters within the course of one night.

le-ruffiant-AOI

Did I know what I was getting myself into? A little bit. I was told I needed to show 20 images for 20 seconds a piece, for a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Apparently, the secret of a good presentation is thorough preparation, so I selected my 20 slides and stood in front of my computer with a fake mike all week-end, well…faking.  Why put myself through it? I wanted to shine a spotlight on my upcoming graphic novel, a collection of illustrations and extracts from the bible titled “Written by Men, Blame it on God” that I am currently developing. The publisher is selected (New Humanist and the Rationalist Association) and all that is left to do is finish the book in the upcoming months. I intend to exhibit the original artwork along with the launch of the book this year.

the-smart-french-company2

At the helm of this new brand of Pecha Kucha are Sian and . Sian’s passion for Pecha Kucha Redux is infectious; she tells me the format previously lost its way in the UK when it ended up being open exclusively to high-profile and well established figures from the design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields. They wanted to go back to its roots as a platform for up and coming professionals and I was in good company on the night. Among the diverse and distinct line-up were a conceptual artist exploring desire and the female gaze( Nerys Mathias), a kick-ass rockstar who tore down the house ( Bruno Wizard), a printmaker and sculptor and mountaineer (Martin Barrett) and the aptly named Minxy McNaughty!

Pecha-Kucha-ladyPhotograph courtesy of Pecha Kucha

Bruno-and-I Bruno Wizard of The Homosexuals band with artist friend and I.

I was terrified when I took to the stage. But the reception was overwhelmingly positive and the interaction with the public was very intoxicating; I heard laughter, cheers and received positive feedback from many women who encouraged me to complete the book! All in all it was a great night and I now can say: “I fell into the deep end and I survived Pecha Kucha!”

Video Courtesy of Pecha Kucha

Me & Zena Geek glasses (1)Images throughout courtesy of Me and Zena

Re-engage with your 15 year old self and fall in love with massive ‘Broken Heart’ gold necklaces, viagra approved give in to your inner nerd in the chic ‘Geek Glasses’ necklace, this and take the ‘Love-o-meter’ pendant for a spin. If you want to channel Prada then there’s an ‘Atomic Robot’ key charm, or for those greedier customers, why not take the whole shop home in one of the great shopper bags, with ‘You Have The Right To Remain Romantic’ emblazoned on the side. No need to worry those of you who like a bit of matchy-matchy when it comes to accessorising, many of the pendants come in cute charm bracelet form too.

CharmBraceletThis new line of kitsch accessories comes courtesy of the eponymous, up and coming London based designer Zena McKeown. With a BA in Visual Communication from Edinburgh College of Art, Zena moved to London in 2005 to live the dream, and has seen her homemade designs go from their humble beginnings at the Brick Lane Backyard Market to gracing the pages of Vogue. Of her collection she says: “Me and Zena is about satisfying your inner stroppy teenager.”

TV SILVER 300Not only is Me & Zena jewellery easy on the eye, but it won’t break the bank either with key rings starting from £8, bracelets from £10 and necklaces from £14, a welcome relief at this time of year!

DeerBoyGold300You don’t have to go far to get your mitts on a piece of these fabulous designs, with stockists ranging from Ad Hoc, Jules and Gems and Lazy Oaf– and that’s just London. So for a bit of fun, eye-catching bling to make a bland outfit pop, hit up Me and Zena and indulge your adolescent self.

Categories ,Ad Hoc, ,Brick Lane Backyard Market, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Jules and Gems, ,Lazy Oaf, ,Me and Zena, ,Prada, ,Rachael Millar, ,vogue, ,Zena McKeown

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham

Michael Van Der Ham by Joe Turvey
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Joe Turvey

You can tell that Michael has fun with his designs; much like, troche say, fellow Newgen designers Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff. He seems to have a less disciplined and somewhat more carefree vibe that runs through his work and for his Spring/Summer 2012 collection this revealed itself in playful prints that darted from block colour to illustrative lines to teeny-tiny florals. It was gorgeous! And landed itself firmly in my LFW top three.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-010
Anna Dello Russo, posing as soon as she spotted Amelia‘s camera.

He had the front row that London designers dream of – Alexandra Schulman, Hilary Alexander, Anna Dello Russo (who looked ah-mazing in Prada), good ol’ Harold Tillman and many fashion editors, including ELLE UK fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis (many wouldn’t recognise the ELLE UK team, but I’m a little obsessed. I went into still shock when Rebecca Lowthorpe passed me at Erdem last season; best fashion writer ever). And all without a popstar poser in sight! Okay, I know that it may be fun and exciting to have Marina Diamond or Paloma Faith sit their buttocks on your front row, but there must be something about having this professional fash pack that makes your work feel truly respected.

Harold Tillman BFC at Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council. Photograph by Georgia Takacs.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-021

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-025

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-029

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-035

It’s been a treat to follow Michael’s journey since his initial sponsorship by BFC Newgen (OH those Newgen designers!) and his collage creations have always been seen as, well, a little bit mad (see Spring/Summer 2011). And his recent collaboration with equally mad Bjork (I love her) on her Biophilia project is clear patchwork evidence of this. Naturally, however, I have often found his designs so playful and daring that they’re often un-wearable. But with this collection? I wanted it all. And so, I imagine, did every other woman in the room. A bold statement, yes. But with a perfectly balanced Spring/Summer colour scheme, casual-luxe dressmaking and just the right amount of garish glamour, Michael was almost spot on.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-038

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-043

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-051

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-056

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-059

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-064

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-068

Michael Van Der Ham 2 by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

The collection’s appeal all lay in the casual, feminine dresses and pencil trouser/shirt combo that was all oh-so-embellished with colour and print upon a subtle mix of matte, jersey and sheer textures. That extra-long sentence made it all seem too much, I know. But there was absolutely nothing try-hard about this collection. There was no black floor-skimming dress in the finale (it’s done much too much) or crazed props sticking out of heads or hanging off models. It was straight-forward, good womenswear that still remained surprising and unpredictable as each look was revealed.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-083

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-088

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-095

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-096

And not forgetting the accessories, which were the type that, rather than giving a brief appreciative nod, were all-round oggleworthy; you just wanted to stare at them and look in closer at their bright, ornate detail. These bold, chunky-but-delicate pieces acted as an extension of the mismatched intricate print, as did the sequined colourful clutches (some of which had the overdone Chanel-esque chain straps that I’m no longer a fan of) which were carried by many of the models.

Michael Van Der Ham by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-102

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-105

Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Photograph by Georgia Takacs. All other photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-108

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-116

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-119

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-121

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-125

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-128

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-131

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-133

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-137

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-139

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-141
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Since his initial sponsorship from BFC’s Newgen, Michael van der Ham has grown up in leaps and bounds. There was a hype around him this season that has evolved from the previous ‘Keep an eye on him! He’s up-and-coming!’ to the sort that screams ‘I’m an established designer, showing my work at London Fashion Week; respect.’ And we do, Michael. We do.

Categories ,Alexandra Schulman, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,BFC, ,BFC Newgen, ,bjork, ,british fashion council, ,chanel, ,Collage Dresses, ,Elle, ,Erdem, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Hilary Alexander, ,jewellery, ,Joe Turvey, ,Joseph Turvey, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Louise Gray, ,Marina Diamond, ,Meadham Kirchhoff, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Newgen, ,Nicola Ellen, ,paloma faith, ,Prada, ,print, ,Rebecca Lowthorpe, ,Topshop Newgen, ,Topshop Venue, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham

Michael Van Der Ham by Joe Turvey
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Joe Turvey

You can tell that Michael has fun with his designs; much like, troche say, fellow Newgen designers Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff. He seems to have a less disciplined and somewhat more carefree vibe that runs through his work and for his Spring/Summer 2012 collection this revealed itself in playful prints that darted from block colour to illustrative lines to teeny-tiny florals. It was gorgeous! And landed itself firmly in my LFW top three.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-010
Anna Dello Russo, posing as soon as she spotted Amelia‘s camera.

He had the front row that London designers dream of – Alexandra Schulman, Hilary Alexander, Anna Dello Russo (who looked ah-mazing in Prada), good ol’ Harold Tillman and many fashion editors, including ELLE UK fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis (many wouldn’t recognise the ELLE UK team, but I’m a little obsessed. I went into still shock when Rebecca Lowthorpe passed me at Erdem last season; best fashion writer ever). And all without a popstar poser in sight! Okay, I know that it may be fun and exciting to have Marina Diamond or Paloma Faith sit their buttocks on your front row, but there must be something about having this professional fash pack that makes your work feel truly respected.

Harold Tillman BFC at Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council. Photograph by Georgia Takacs.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-021

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-025

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-029

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-035

It’s been a treat to follow Michael’s journey since his initial sponsorship by BFC Newgen (OH those Newgen designers!) and his collage creations have always been seen as, well, a little bit mad (see Spring/Summer 2011). And his recent collaboration with equally mad Bjork (I love her) on her Biophilia project is clear patchwork evidence of this. Naturally, however, I have often found his designs so playful and daring that they’re often un-wearable. But with this collection? I wanted it all. And so, I imagine, did every other woman in the room. A bold statement, yes. But with a perfectly balanced Spring/Summer colour scheme, casual-luxe dressmaking and just the right amount of garish glamour, Michael was almost spot on.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-038

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-043

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-051

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-056

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-059

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-064

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-068

Michael Van Der Ham 2 by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

The collection’s appeal all lay in the casual, feminine dresses and pencil trouser/shirt combo that was all oh-so-embellished with colour and print upon a subtle mix of matte, jersey and sheer textures. That extra-long sentence made it all seem too much, I know. But there was absolutely nothing try-hard about this collection. There was no black floor-skimming dress in the finale (it’s done much too much) or crazed props sticking out of heads or hanging off models. It was straight-forward, good womenswear that still remained surprising and unpredictable as each look was revealed.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-083

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-088

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-095

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-096

And not forgetting the accessories, which were the type that, rather than giving a brief appreciative nod, were all-round oggleworthy; you just wanted to stare at them and look in closer at their bright, ornate detail. These bold, chunky-but-delicate pieces acted as an extension of the mismatched intricate print, as did the sequined colourful clutches (some of which had the overdone Chanel-esque chain straps that I’m no longer a fan of) which were carried by many of the models.

Michael Van Der Ham by Nicola Ellen
Michael van der Ham S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-102

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-105

Michael Van Der Ham S/S 2012 - by Georgia Takacs
Photograph by Georgia Takacs. All other photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-108

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-116

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-119

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-121

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-125

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-128

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-131

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-133

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-137

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-139

Michael Van Der Ham SS 2011 review-141
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Since his initial sponsorship from BFC’s Newgen, Michael van der Ham has grown up in leaps and bounds. There was a hype around him this season that has evolved from the previous ‘Keep an eye on him! He’s up-and-coming!’ to the sort that screams ‘I’m an established designer, showing my work at London Fashion Week; respect.’ And we do, Michael. We do.

Categories ,Alexandra Schulman, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,BFC, ,BFC Newgen, ,bjork, ,british fashion council, ,chanel, ,Collage Dresses, ,Elle, ,Erdem, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Hilary Alexander, ,jewellery, ,Joe Turvey, ,Joseph Turvey, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Louise Gray, ,Marina Diamond, ,Meadham Kirchhoff, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Newgen, ,Nicola Ellen, ,paloma faith, ,Prada, ,print, ,Rebecca Lowthorpe, ,Topshop Newgen, ,Topshop Venue, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham (by Amelia)

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, order sickness having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, doctor I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design supremo Georgia Hardinge.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and sexily louche and accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, pharmacy having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, here I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, sildenafil so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design supremo Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and sexily louche and accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, rx having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, case I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, more about so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, prescription having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, remedy I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love: I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, stomach so now my big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent years there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Loving the fairy light look!

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the models of more normal size.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, more about having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, no rx I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love: I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, so now my big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent years there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Loving the fairy light look!

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the models of more normal size.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Jenny Lloyd
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Jenny Lloyd.

Michael Van Der Ham was held at the New Gen space in Billingsgate, visit this site and in the queue I bumped into *name drop alert* Courtney of Forward PR, rx Jeff Garner of Prophetik, Louisa of Cent Magazine and Jessica of Vogue. Usually I just slink in and out of shows as fast as possible, so it was nice to have a friendly little crew to hang out with as we made the most of free food laid on courtesy of Topshop… glasses of champagne, or juice… and creamy butternut squash risotto served in dinky little pots: quite possibly the best risotto I have ever tasted.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

This was only Michael Van Der Ham‘s second stand alone show, and as we were ushered in to our seats I was left wondering why the hell it had been so hard to get tickets for New Gen shows… the Billingsgate venue is huge, and the PR girls had to hurry standing tickets into seats as the lights went down. It was not exactly busy for either of the shows that I attended here, so it’s a shame that allocation of tickets was so tight.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie HarnettMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett.

Michael Van Der Ham has made his name from a unique cut and paste approach to fashion. Last season he mashed up all sorts of clashing fabrics to create something universally lauded but perhaps not wholly wearable. This season he appeared to address the commerciality question, so first out onto the catwalk came a series of eminently desirable velvet outfits in a range of jewel brights. Each one featured his signature asymmetric draped tailoring, but rendered all in one shade: delicious rose, fuchsia, lime, turquoise and orange.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Madi
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Madi.

From then on in we were in more familiar territory: assorted fabric panels and intarsia knitwear inspired by vintage floral paisleys in 70s style shades of purple and orange, complete with accents of lurex. Heavily tasseled trousers were fun for editorial but of questionable taste for the buying public; far more successful were the wide legged high waisted trousers worn with panelled wool crop jackets.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril KellyMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

But for me the standouts were unquestionably the range of sumptuous velvet dresses. Want. One. Experimenting with more wearable concepts suits Michael Van Der Ham well.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

You can read Jemma Crow’s review of this show here and see more of Katie Harnett’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Assymetrical, ,Avril Kelly, ,Billingsgate, ,Cent Magazine, ,Champagne, ,Courtney Blackman, ,Forward PR, ,Intarsia, ,Jeff Garner, ,Jemma Crow, ,Jenny Lloyd, ,Jessica Bumpus, ,Katie Harnett, ,Louisa Lau, ,Lurex, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Michael van der Ham, ,New Gen, ,Old Billingsgate, ,Prophetik, ,Risotto, ,topshop, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Ada Zanditon on Sustainability

Oscars – Georgia Coote thumb
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, approved who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, cialis 40mg on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, abortion Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone
An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 Preview by Rebecca Strickson
Ada Zanditon A/W 2011 Preview by Rebecca Strickson.

For Ada process is everything. “I don’t want to sit at a desk using Illustrator to design clothes that will be made many miles away. I love the hands on process of choosing the fabrics and creating the clothes.” But she does want to conquer the luxury goods market. “I want to make clothes that are desirable and exciting but also ecological.” The luxury goods market is one that is saturated with leathers and furs, ed but Ada will only use leather by products that have been vegetable tanned. “It’s very hard to find good enough quality fake leather and the biggest crime is waste, approved so it is better that skin is used. Things are getting better but we still have a long way to go.” She describes a trip to the Wastesavers deep in Huddersfield as part of an initiative with Jane Shepherdson and Oxfam. There was such a huge amount of waste that it boggled her mind. She dreads to think how much more goes into landfill every day.

Ada Zanditon comission by The Lovely Wars
Ada Zanditon (commission) by The Lovely Wars.

We ponder the ethics of sustainably produced fur where the animals are treated well, but she’s not really interested in fur from a aesthetic point of view, and worries too much about the air miles and poor conditions of most farmed animals.

Ada Zanditon SS 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

Ada tries to fly as little as possible – preferring instead to find inspiration in the English countryside when she goes on holiday. “My favourite way to travel is by Eurostar!” She is not interested in the idea of being against things, and would rather look at the relevant alternatives and ways in which to do things with purpose.

Ada Zanditon by Avril Kelly
Ada Zanditon by Avril Kelly.

She is analytical in her approach to sustainable practise. “A lot of the environmental debate comes from an emotional place,” she says. “I used to be both veggie and vegan but now I just try to buy local, organic and free range… I find that meat answers my needs as an adult who needs a lot of energy.” But then her decision to stop eating meat was never based on the killing of animals in itself – she ponders the irony of vegetarians who wear non organic cotton – the pesticides from which have no doubt adversely affected local wildlife.

Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon S/S 2011 by Dee Andrews.

She thinks that there is a lot of fluffy thinking in western culture and much prefers to take a scientific perspective. “It takes emotion out of the equation. Emotion is good when it comes to fashion, but sustainable design needs a common sense approach to see ideas with clarity.” With her analytical mind she looks for ways to reduce environmental impacts and ensure positive outcomes within resource management and production.

Ada Zanditon by Dee Andrews
Ada Zanditon by Dee Andrews.

Even though she is a designer of high fashion she concedes that how to make affordable sustainable clothing is one of the biggest problems that needs tackling. “I have my own part in the wheel, but it would be false for me to design differently than what comes naturally.” Despite the possibility of an adverse “trickle-down effect” whereby her high fashion designs could easily be copied at a cheaper price level without using sustainable materials Ada is hopeful that her values of using sustainable materials and local production will inspire others if she can communicate them strongly and excitingly enough. I am inclined to agree.

Ada Zanditon by Maria del Carmen Smith
Ada Zanditon by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Ada occasionally lectures students, and is about to embark on a project in fashion and sustainability at La Cambre in Brussels. “To teach fashion you have to put a lot in. I love giving one off lectures and working on specific projects but I don’t have time for more.” One of the things she finds most inspiring in ethical fashion is that there are more people who are now coming to ethical fashion from a fashion perspective. “In the past ethical fashion companies were set up by environmentalists, but nowadays designers who come from a fashion background are able to bring a distinct handwriting to their designs.” She classifies herself amongst this new wave of designers, alongside names such as Beautiful Soul, Christopher Raeburn, Goodone, The North Circular and Henrietta Ludgate (all of whom feature in my new book). “We feel supportive of each other and it’s really good to see a relevant aesthetic growing and gaining momentum.”

Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews.

Most recently Ada has been commissioned for a couple of exciting fair-trade projects: a collective collaboration with ASOS, for which she designed a scarf to coincide with the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight and a project in conjunction with Vogue Magazine to celebrate the release of fair-trade gold. “They rang on Thursday wanting a substantial geometric piece that spoke of luxury: the perfect project for me. And by Saturday it was sorted!” Ada rightly feels that it is really important to show that fine jewellery can be made sustainably and with awareness for the impact of manufacture on human lives.

Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews
Ada Zanditon A/W 2010 Pre-Collection by Sarah Matthews.

Her business partner is entrepreneur Philip Levine, who is good at networking and looking out for opportunities. “There is so much pressure on young brands to build a successful business at the same time as being creative,” she says, “but people spread themselves too thinly and can’t always see the best choices in business. Many fashion brands come and go but I want longevity.” She loves evolving illustrations into prints and hopes to expand her prints onto a wide range of products in the future.

At just 28 years old it looks as though Ada Zanditon is already building a brand to remember, and most importantly of all, it is a fashion brand that has ethics at the very heart of it. I look forward to her LFW presentation this Friday with much anticipation. Read our taster of what to expect right here.

Ada Zanditon features in my new book: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Ada Zanditon, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Ani Saunders, ,ASOS, ,Avril Kelly, ,Beautiful Soul, ,Brussels, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,Dee Andrews, ,Eurostar, ,Fairtrade Fortnight, ,Fur, ,goodone, ,Henrietta Ludgate, ,Jane Shepherdson, ,jewellery, ,La Cambre, ,leather, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,oxfam, ,Philip Levine, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,Sarah Matthews, ,Stylist Magazine, ,sustainability, ,The Lovely Wars, ,The North Circular, ,vegan, ,vegetarian, ,vogue, ,Wastesavers

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