So London Fashion Week is officially in full swing. It couldn’t have kicked off with a nicer day on Sunday as fashion folk of all shapes and sizes donned their finest and turned up at the various venues around the capital to see what’s in store for Spring/Summer 2009. Of course Team Amelia couldn’t possibly miss out on the chance of spotting new talent, medical try so putting all thoughts of Sunday roast firmly to the back of our mind, more about we joined the rest of the fashion community at some of the weeks opening shows.
Now in day 4, price my highlights would have to be the eccentric desert tribe meets punk-rocker collection presented by Horace; a breathtaking show by Quasimi which opened with a dancing violin playing duo and ended with a couture clad Erin O’connor; an exotic Hawaiian themed collection from Antoni and Alison complete with beach scenery, deck chairs and complimentary coconuts, and finally the beautifully detailed range of sculptured metallic shift dresses, oversized caps and two-piece suits from Bernard Chandran.
According to this weeks reoccurring trends, delicate pastels and neutral shades are set to dominate our wardrobes next summer alongside layered ruffles on just about everything. Don’t bother to ditch your gladiator and patent heels too fast because it looks like eccentric heels are set to stay for another season.
That’s all for now, but keep checking the website for detailed reports and pictures from each of the each of the shows.
Musicians at Qasimi show
Finale at Qasimi show
We should have seen the nipples coming, viagra order really. After all, we were greeted on the door by the most exciting clipboard wielder I’ve ever laid eyes on. A taste of what was to be expected…he checked our names off the list showing not one sign of embarrassment over his outfit (nor should he! He was fabulous, dahling), an ensemble that consisted of Russian army hat atop blue hair and teeny shorts held up by Union jack braces. And nothing on top. So, if we had had our wits about us, we should have known that nipples would be on the menu for the night.
We were, of course, at the Under/Current Magazine launch at Cafe OTO in Dalston. All the cool kids were in attendance (tired of heading West for Fashion Week, presumably) with many guys rocking the Giles Deacon/Terry Richardson big glasses look. There were some not so cool ones, too; we were rather put off by a guy who’s jacket was covered in dead foxes – not big, not clever. Still, we averted our eyes by taking a sneak peek at the first, ‘Dynasty’ issue of the new arts and fashion magazine. After taking in the beautiful cover shot by Babette Pauthier we had a good flick through. It’s a lovely size (30cm x 23cm, to be exact), full of avante garde fashion photography and I’m sure it’s set to become a firm favourite of mag junkies like myself. Lot’s of pictures, not so many words – just the way I likes ‘em.
On to these nipples then. As we watched a few members of Cleckhuddersfax setting up, we noticed a rather foppish guy step on the scene and begin disrobing. ‘How alarming! Would there soon be nudity?’ we whispered amongst ourselves. Alas, no, as we soon realised that this was the lead singer, rather than some strange streaker, and he was only taking off his top layers to reveal his official stage outfit. Suitably under-dressed, and giving us no time to prepare ourselves, Cleckhuddersfax got stuck in.
Cleckhuddersfax describe themselves as sounding like ‘Fake-Prog Musique Con-cretin’ on their myspace page. Erm… yep, it’s actually a fairly good description. From the looks of the band (excepting the lead singer, of course) long hair and beards had led us to believe that things would be getting pretty old school rock, and we were not disapointed. Cleckhuddersfax also have a bit of that mental operatic thing going on, which did feel pretty prog, but on top of this there’s keyboards and voice warping devices a-plenty.
Cleckhuddersfax make the most alarming noises; it’s as if Wyld Stallyns had found a Korg and got into Devo. Perhaps it all sounds a little strange, but it was very fun and definitely dance-able with much toe-tapping taking place at the front of the crowd.
Toe tapping wasn’t enough for the tango-ed front man, however. Seen below giving it his all in front of a video-projection by Adham Faramawy, he rampaged his way into the first few layers of crowd, shouting into audience members faces and daring everyone to dance. Many were glad to take him up on his offer, and things got a little messy in the front row.
After getting all hyped up by Cleckhuddersfax, it was unfortunate that we had to take our leave. Ahh, well, I suppose Fashion Week is about cramming in as many parties as possible and, to be honest, I think I’d seen quite enough nipples for one evening…
The Greengaged event organisers (left to right) Sophie Thomas (co-founder, erectile thomas.matthews), price David Kester (CEO, Design Council), Sarah Johnson of [re]design and Anne Chick (Director, Sustainable Design Research Centre, Kingston University)
As the girls were busy planning their outfits and getting their hair done I grabbed my notepad, A-Z and sandwiches and off I trundled in seek of the Design Council. I won’t bore you with the details of my nightmare journey, but all I will say is that London Transport and I have been the least of friends this week. My galloping through Covent Garden and colliding with dawdling tourists payed off and I eventually arrived at my destination to be greeted with a sticky name badge, coffee and biscuits. I poured myself a quick fix and pulled up a pew in the rather minimalist, swish function room (what else was I expecting?!).
Simon Terry of Anglepoise
With pen and paper poised I sat and listened attentively as the first speaker opened the lecture on the sustainability of Product and Fashion Design. As the managing director of the lighting and manufacturing company Anglepoise, Simon Terry stressed the importance of that “a product should be a pleasure to use” not purely an aesthetic beauty. When addressing the query of how they as designers of the future can help to change the conscience of a consumer Terry spoke of the term ‘world view.’ Within this he outlined that it is not possible to make a consumer conform, instead you must enter their awareness (or world view) through their own agenda.
Cressida Granger, founder of DeWeNe a product design company mirrored these thoughts with their motivation in creating designs consumers ‘need’ not purely desire. Designs are based on utility and function over the ‘look’ of a product, very different to her background career with lava lamp company Mathmos. ‘Hook and Go’, one of their more popular product lines works with the current climate of shopping bag reduction, using a recycled steel trolley with wheels to transport shopping. Carrying up to 8 bags (32 kilos) of produce this design aims to reduce our carbon footprint, decreasing the need to use the car around town.
Hook…. and go
A future addition is the ‘eco cooler’ worked on by David Weatherhead of the Royal College of Arts. Working with a terracotta dish and bowl, water is dispensed into the dish below which then evaporates and acts to cool the contents of the bowl. Designed for the preservation of our fruit and veg, Granger hopes that this will encourage consumers to use smaller fridges, thus dramatically cutting down our demand on energy. Keen to work with an ethically friendly product line, Granger has set up two places of manufacture, allowing the customer to decide for themselves what is high on their agenda. The cheaper option is made in India and imported, whereas the more expensive same design is constructed in Wales by the social project Crafts for All which employs people with physical and mental complaints.
The eco cooler by David Weatherhead
Closing this talk was Tom Fishburne of the Method product company. The brainchild of an American product designer and scientist, this product line has only recently cropped up on British shores. They have quite a charming story behind the birth of their cleaning product company…. once upon a time Adam (the scientist) considered why we are encouraged to use registered pesticides (which in turn pollute) when we clean? Meanwhile the product designer was shopping and realised the disgusting array of nasty shaped and coloured cleaning products and began making thoughts on how to develop these. I am a little sceptical of the story (it is a bit cheesy and convenient) but, there is no doubt Method have found a gap in the market with 95% of current cleaning products refusing to bridge into the 21st mentality of green products. Non toxic and sourcing natural ingredients is absolutely the way we should be cleaning.
The natural ingredient Method product line
In much similarity to the ideas expressed by Terry and Granger, Fishburne spoke of the need of how to shape clients. You can’t make the consumer consume less, instead you have to make them smarter. They are certainly achieving this, with product lines established in John Lewis, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and of course online.
Insightful, inspiring and free… to all those designers out there, get your free spaces on the last few days of the workshops here!!
Carianne Laguna may look like a fresh-faced intern entering a building standing among lofts owned by fashion models in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. However, unhealthy the 28-year-old is Vice President and General Manager of Blackheart Records, viagra a label that rock legend Joan Jett helped create in 1980. Laguna, drugs who resides in Brooklyn, tirelessly commutes to her office, where she signs new artists to the label, including punk acts like Girl in a Coma and The Cute Lepers. Not only does she spend days promoting artists, but she manages the “I Love Rock N‘ Roll” rebel. In the music industry – where few women take behind-the-scene roles in impacting listeners, Laguna does it all with a toothy grin. Yet, she wouldn’t have been crowned queen of indie music management if it wasn’t for her family.
The Cute Lepers
Her father is Kenny Laguna, a music producer who, in 1980, began managing a 17-year-old Jett. Despite Jett joining a band when she was just 15 and befriending Sid Vicious, 23 music labels turned her down, causing her manager to sell demos from the trunk of his car. Consequently, the duo started Blackheart Records, one of the first music labels owned by a woman. Jett would go on to sell millions of albums, becoming one of rock’s top-charting females in history. Laguna, who grew up traveling around the world as Jett performed for thousands, would later carry on her father’s legacy. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2001, where she took several internships to fully understand the business of music. “When I got to Blackheart Records, I said ‘I’m going to do this, but I would like to sign a lot of new bands that are in it for the music and not the fame,’” she says.
Laguna did just that, all while proving herself. “People tend to dismiss you if you’re a girl,” she reveals before groaning at how few females are leaders in the music business. “People think it’s just a fabulous thing to look as young as an intern, until you have to be taken seriously.” After many frustrations from Devil Wears Prada archetypes, she chose to keep moving without ever looking back. She takes a deep breath before gushing about her love of finding overlooked musicians and giving them a chance. “It just makes me feel good that I’m spreading their music. That beats out all those days when people would look down at you just because they had their own hang-ups.”
Just like her father perfected, Laguna is still applying the DIY method. From designing all the artwork, to selling merchandise during Warp Tour, Laguna isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. At times, she would even pass out Cds in bars, restaurants, and any place that plays music. Yet, it’s this technique that’s going to help save the suffering music industry. “This is a great time for indie labels and artists to get their art out there,” she explains. “A lot of people are discovering bands on the internet. You have to hit all the networking sites and play live as much as you can. There’s just no better way of finding new music.”
Speaking of upcoming hits, Laguna happily shared some exclusive news, including of Girl In A Coma and The Dollyrots going to the studio this fall. If that isn’t enough, she also revealed that Lana Davies, daughter of The Kinks founding member Dave Davies, was recently signed to the label and will be recording soon. It’s certain that as long as this bubbly brunette keeps challenging the all-male club known as the music industry, good music, with a woman’s touch, will always prevail.
Appointed with the responsibility of covering London Fashion Week’s opening show – Dublin born and well established Paul Costelloe, there I had dreamt about providing a fabulous and detailed write up complimented by stunning pictures taken with my Canon 5D camera that I’d managed to get in without a hint of a bag search. I was rather perturbed, click as you can imagine then, to find that my review button didn’t work, which meant I couldn’t delete any photographs. From a FULL memory card. So whilst I struggled trying to get it to work, the show started. As guests including Erin O’ Connor and Hilary Alexander enjoyed the show, I went into panic mode in a desperate attempt to fix it. The poor guy sat at the side of me, clearly unsettled by my constant rummaging in my bag with beads of sweat pouring down my face, slid as far across the bench as he could. Before I knew it the show was over, I’d looked up 3 or 4 times, and the delighted audience were clapping while I clacked my teeth and painfully giggled at the irony of Fashion Week’s head sponsor – Canon.
This opening show whizzed by in seconds, or so it seemed, but what I saw of it through the tears in my eyes looked fabulous. With a colonial and uplifting soundtrack, models were adorned in sharp tailored suits (the designer’s signature) nipped in at the waist with a hint of military (just enough, not overdone) first in neutral beige and navy and then in stunning vibrant yellows and hot pinks. Shape here was key – hoods and shoulder emphasis was a fine element and reinforced the female silhouette – as did a combination of a-line and tulip skirts. The third segment displayed even more military flavour along with elegant yet discreet floral patterns. The shoes, supplied by ALDO, were understated and complimented each of the looks.
You’ll be glad to know that my camera is still under warranty, it seems to be working, and I’ll be covering shows later in the week. I do hope I can redeem myself.
Images courtesy of www.catwalking.com
FELDER • FELDER are German twins Daniela and Annette Felder. They first launched their womenswear line in 2007 whilst studying at Central Saint Martins.
A folksy guitar track begins the show, web complimenting the altogether floaty and feminine look of the first few dresses to hit the runway. High neck lines add to the modesty of these dresses whose natural spectrum includes greys, website like this beiges, sickness mosses and mints. Waterfalls of ruffles flow across the body of each dress, which hang loosely from the tighter fit around the top. Multiple chiffon layers give weight and movement.
The hues soon turn darker, pebble moving to slate, and ruffles move on to shoulders and skirts. As the music moves to an electro beat we are surprised by a pale teal coloured dress that reveals a bright aqua flash within its ruffles. More shocking is the entirely turquoise piece, a definite ‘neon pastel’, the hot new hue that everyone’s banging on about.
The music begins to pound as a track from The Duke Spirit breaks out of the sound system and Felder Felder fall in to their stride showcasing a more rock chick look. This is an area that the duo became confident in with their AW08/09 collection that featured black fur, gold studs and leather. For SS09 leather embellishments, short shorts, cropped jackets and cuffs translate their harder edge to become more wearable in the more temperate months. Chiffon overlays soften the look.
This bandage dress was the real stand out piece of the collection. In an interesting turn, dresses began to emerge on to the catwalk that were made up of shimmering oyster bands of fabric. Much clingier, these dresses accentuated the body and glittered like scales as the models moved. The tops of these dresses were tighter, cut more in the style of a biker vest, again falling into the rock chick category. Bright coral chiffons provided another splash of colour in this segment.
With this show I was left in two minds about Felder Felder’s direction. I felt the loose silhouettes with frills over the front were unremarkable and perhaps included to fulfil a feminine sensibility associated with the Spring season. However, I enjoyed the self assured woman who later appeared in Felder Felder’s work summoned in by edgier styling and bolder colours.
Watch the show for yourself here.
10.15am may not be early in the real world, mind but in the world of London Fashion Week (especially on Thursday, ailment this is day 5 of 6 for gawdsakes!) 10.15am may as well be dawn. Skip that, I’m sure most fashionistas were still partying at dawn with ‘Mr Diamond-head’ or ‘The Turban Woman’. But, well, you get what I mean.
By Thursday I was already scraping the bottom of the little pot of Benefit ‘EyeCon’ that had come in a goody bag earlier in the week. With eye bags suitably smothered I yawned all the way to the Royal Academy of Arts for the Romina Karamanea show. I was greeted by a very small crowd of hard-core fashion enthusiasts and a helpful girl who told me the show would be starting at least half an hour late. Late? But this is the first show of the day! Oh well, I suppose the later the start the more hung-over LFW visitors they were be able to round up.
When we were eventually allowed to take our seats I was excited to see the whole first 4 rows decorated with goody bags (surely a reward for all those dedicated enough to get out of bed), each one complete with a bottle of Sabai Wine Spritzer and a packet of vodka filled chocolates. Hair of the dog, anyone?
But of course, goody bags aren’t enough to prise a gal out of bed. No, the crowd was eager to see what Karamanea, a St Martins graduate who has worked with leading designers such as Clements Ribeiro, Robert Cary-Williams and Preen, had to offer us. And with the knowledge that Karamanea impressed the late, great Isabella Blow (she reportedly took a shine to an ‘origami dress’ from the SS07 collection) we were expecting a lot.
The feel of the show was utilitarian, yet sexy. Karamanea has admitted in past interviews that she is influenced by the functionality of the Bauhaus movement and this showed in her SS09 pieces. The clean simplicity of cut brought uniform to mind, indeed it often felt that we were being presented with visions of ‘uniforms of the future’. I don’t really want to reference Star Trek, but I might have to…
Karamanea’s sculptural style that had been apparent in her origami creations of old came to the fore once more in her new works with almost absurdly boxy shoulders. The often harsh shapes were tempered down, however, with varying techniques. The occasional flash of neon blue found its way underneath garments, whilst sunglasses and Doc Marten boots punkified outfits to give a youthful edge. A very of-the-moment translucent softly flowing tangerine dress even cropped up in the collection.
More flowing shapes were evident which, twinned with geeky brogues and shades, gave the look of a studious bad girl or an art teacher with a naughty past.
Slightly less forgiving than the more flowing silhouettes were the tight playsuits, which I imagine the average woman would steer well clear of for fear of the dreaded camel toe.
Front row fashion is, of course, one of the other spectacles of Fashion Week. Romina Karamanea’s show saw one guest robed in a rather revealing yellow dress, only hiding her modesty by covering her head with the biggest, pinkest hat I have ever seen. I captured her below in some sort of hat stand-off between herself and a model sporting a large black mesh visor. Which one will win in the style stakes?
Karamanea’s jewellery was note-worthy, with plastic neck pieces that almost looked like ammo straps. High waisted shorts also found their way into Karamanea’s collection, yet another clue that we can be sure that they will feature heavily in our SS09 wardrobes.
The styling of the models was definitely a hugely interesting part of the show. With hair that was slicked back at the sides but flowed in waves down the back (a look that nodded to Alice Dellal, surely) the girls looked cool and androgynous. Femininity was never girly; even the chosen heels were the brogue-ish Rosie shoe from B Store, their clever sculpted heel adding to the modernist feel. Clever uniforms accompanied by a sound-track that included a tune that told tales of motor cycles setting you free, this truly was a show for the bad girl with brains.
I really enjoyed viewing Karamanea’s daring pieces and the whoops of appreciation that came at the end of the show meant that I definitely wasn’t alone. I look forward to see the shapes she will create in the future.
Watch the show for yourself here and here.
In 2005 Helen, page Myra and Cathy, online three graduates from the London College of Fashion, decided to join forces (and the first two letters of each of their names) to become Hemyca. With their first show at London Fashion Week, we were promised a ‘Dream Of Time’, and the show was chimed in, quite literally, by the trilling, ticking and whirring of clocks.
The ‘Dream of Time’ soon transpired not to be a dreamy Alice in Wonderland style flight of fancy, but rather the modern dream everyone shares of having more time; with models in sharp tailoring marching business-like around the catwalk. Pleats a-plenty softened and added interest and made sure the sillhouettes were anything but straight-laced.
Catching our eye on the front row of this show was the (now almost legendary) Mr Diamond Head. I wonder if he was a fan of the Hemyca high-waist?
Well, the high-waists in this collection really caught my eye, with the ensemble below being a particular favourite. Simple and smart, with an elegant attitude, the wide, loose trousers flowed beautifully as they moved and looked hot teamed with the racer back white vest. Inspiration for this collection had apparently come from the idea of a broken clock and garments were printed with illustrations along the same theme. The ensembles were topped off with wire mesh hats by Monique Luttin.
Just as I was becoming comfortable with the show and enjoying the interesting shapes before me, I was a little bit shocked by some rogue brightly coloured pieces creeping in. ‘Neon Pastels’ is a palette that we’ve been warned to expect from SS09, and many designers have showcased lemon sorbets, candy pinks and aquas with aplomb. Hemyca, however, had concentrated on the ‘neon’ side a wee bit too much, sending a couple of warm canary yellow pieces down the catwalk. This was later followed by a cold, acrid lime coloured dress. The colours felt confusing, as I can’t imagine the two sitting together very well on a clothes rail. The miss-match felt like a curdle in the collection.
I also can’t claim to be a fan of Hemyca’s use of bright blue tartan. My only explanation for the inclusion of the two tartan pieces was perhaps an over-exposure to Henry Holland. I can’t fathom, however, why yellow ruffles had crept in to one of the tartan dresses. The result was an unfortunate cheapening of some actually well cut dresses.
After this acidic hiccup the rest of the show carried on as before, demonstrating Hemyca’s love of interesting shapes. Cocooned hips made their way back into the Hemyca catalogue (a hark back to their last SS collection, entitled ‘Secret Garden’), with some lovely jumpsuits. Yes, jumpsuits again! Seen at Olanic and Jacob Kimmie, amongst others, there’s no doubt these will be part of the idealised 2009 wardrobe. And if I’m going to have to struggle in and out of one of these bad boys every-time I need the loo then only the black, bodice topped Hemyca jumpsuit will make it all worth it. Seriously, I heart it.
On the subject of wearability, that old conundrum the playsuit made yet another appearance on the LFW runway. Of course it looked amazing on the Amazonian model with legs up to her armpits, but how it would translate on the average woman? I just don’t know.
With their last offering, Hemyca showed us that they can also do full on glamour. A beautiful, billowy, draped dress flowed down the catwalk, embellished with strings of jewels and metallic pieces reminiscent of a watch’s inner workings. Cog like embroidery over the back was a delicious, delicate touch.
I know I will be keeping an eye on Hemyca, as I really love their interestingly structured garments. I do hope, however, that in the future they will stick to their more restrained colour palette. Either that, or take control of their own colours and not feel pressured by trend forecasts that predict ‘neon pastels’ or way too much tartan.
We’re rather taken with London based Turkish designer, cialis 40mg Bora Aksu, physician here at Amelia’s. Not only was he featured by us way back in issue 1, but his ongoing collaboration with fair-trade fashion pioneer People Tree has got him into our good books AND our forthcoming issue 10. Needless to say, we were looking forward to see his Spring/Summer 09 collection debut at the British Fashion Council Tent.
It looked like the designer has been partaking in one or two viewing sessions of The Sound of Music as we were greeted by a girl in a white dress and satin sash as the show began. Okay, so the sash was pink, and not blue, but girlish dresses did seem to be amongst Aksu’s favourite things for next Spring/Summer.
The femininity presented at Aksu’s show was not all young and frilly, however, with wonderfully tailored pieces (cropped jackets, high necks and puffed sleeves) giving an assured and womanly aspect to the collection. The head wear veered between youthful oversized bows and grown up Sunday-best hats (both by milliner Misa Harada).
Aksu’s colour palette was spot on for the season; with frosted peaches, pistachios and lemon tones gracing the runway at the start of the collection. With talk of pastels (from candy colours right up to neon hues) being a big part of our warmer-month wardrobes next year, Aksu’s collection looks set to be bang on trend. Personally, I’m a little hesitant to go all out sugar-sugar with my own attire next Spring, so I was relieved to see daring combinations of purple and black further in to the show.
The striking thing about many of Aksu’s creations was the Art Nouveau style embellishments that drew attention to the contours of the wearer. Ribbon like piping ran across the garments, mapping out curves and acting like the leading in a stained glass window; it was a technique that allowed Aksu to bring in panels of new colour and texture.
There has been much talk of ‘the modesty dress’ this London Fashion Week, the term referring to a trend for enveloping unforgivingly skin tight body-con dresses with billowing translucent over dresses. The double dresses were seen at Issa, Graeme Black, Aquascutum and, of course, on the Bora Aksu catwalk. Aksu’s take on the modesty dress involved anything from pink chiffon capes cinched in over dresses to Grecian style draping of fabric pieces that concealed choice areas.
The stand out piece, for me, was a bubbly black party frock. A bustier front over a body of black mesh was both modest and sexy in it’s half revelation of back and shoulders, but this simplistic top soon burst out into an eruption of petal-like layers in the skirt. The movement of this skirt was flighty and fun, being especially voluminous at the back. Can you spy my favourite frock at the rear of the model queue?
Romantic and whimsical, Aksu’s fairytale collection was the epitome of Spring/Summer 09 style. In a show backed by floaty folk and violins, ruffles and pleats took centre stage and won our hearts.
Watch highlights of the show for yourself here. And look out for our profile of Aksu and People Tree in our forthcoming Issue 10!
Soft pastel patterns, pill ruffles and high-waisted shorts filled the Trinity Building near Regents Park last Sunday as Poltock & Walsh featured their Spring/Summer 09 collection at London Fashion Week. Think French Riviera in the 1930′s, which is what designers, Fiamma Poltock and Katie Walsh used as inspiration to create this line of elegant, wearable womenswear.
High-waisted shorts seem to be back for yet another season, and Poltock & Walsh paired them with silk three-quarter length blouses and jackets. The shorts were slimmed for a flattered silhouette, but the tops used ruffled sleeves and square cuts to enhance shape. While the overall appearance may be a bit simple, they’ve accessorized it with just the right block belts to give it enough excitement to perk my interest.
The ruffles and enhanced shapes continued to be the trend in their lively cocktail dresses. Cut graciously to show off the legs, some were slimming to show off curves, and others hung freely for a looser fit. I also caught a glimpse of print designs in blue and yellow pastels, inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 30′s.
The duet met while studying fashion design at Kingston University and formed their label in 2006. Although fairly new, they already have quite a portfolio with a successful showing of their Spring/Summer 08 collection at Style 360 during New York Fashion Week. They have since returned to the homebase of London for Autumn Winter 08/09 and this latest show. Already discovered by Vogue as one of the new designers to keep an eye on, they are sure to be a hit in the seasons to come. Their collection is available for purchase at Sefton if you fancy splurging for the look of Poltock & Walsh.
Olanic‘s collection took inspiration from the British summertime, stuff or lack of it as is often the case. The unpredictability of Spring/Summer09 resulted in a collection of geometric shapes blown sideways. The weather theme was further worked upon within the fabrics, a collaboration with Scottish textile companies. Designed by Niki Taylor the fabrics used abstract weather symbols executed in clashing colours.
Summery colours of pink, green and blue, were mixed with muted tones more associated with the rainy days a British summer is famed for. Simple silhouettes of shift dresses, blouses and shorts were given a breath of fresh air with subtle details. These simple shapes were adorned with plaited necklines, shoulder wing-tips and fabric bows.
The jumpsuit, which seems to be a firm favourite with designers for next summer, was reworked into an elegant evening wear piece. Only revealing its shorts form when the model strode down the catwalk. Sequins were sprinkled over a ladylike bustier, a pair of leggings and a cropped tux jackets. Other highlights included balloon tapered trousers in silk styled with an upside ballet wrap draped top, both in jewel colours.
Olanic almost trademarked punkish Edwardian overtones were also present, the blues and greens gave way to red and black. Vertical striped spray on trousers, striped tux jackets and a marching band style red cape sashayed down the runaway in quick succession.
Creating highly wearable designs (often ignored in fashion), Olanic showed an accomplished collection which will only strengthen the label’s ‘one to watch‘ status.
Monday 22nd September
Rolo Tomassi – Macbeth, London
I’m hardly the biggest fan of metal, but Rolo Tomassi are something else. I haven’t heard a band so forward thinking in ages and i think a live show would be very exciting.
Tuesday 23rd September
Islands – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
‘Rough Gem’ is one of those songs that has stayed in my favourite, despite frequent listenings, and although none of their songs have really matched up to it again, they’re still an ace band.
Black Affair, The Oscillation and Hearts Revolution – White Heat at Madame Jo Jo’s, London
Ladyhawke – Pure Groove Records, London
Attack Attack – Rock City, Nottingham
Hope and Social, Muarena Helena, The Dodo Fightback, Royston Jones and Funny Face – Monto Water Rats
White Lies – Rough Trade East, London
Wednesday 24th September
O’Death – Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Friendly Fires – The Joiners, Southampton
Little Man Tate and Inner City Pirates – Islington Academy, London
Rolo Tomassi – Barfly, Glasgow
Pete Doherty – Opera House, Bournemouth
Thursday 25th September
Broadcast 2000 and Gold Teeth – Proud Galleries, London
Dragonforce – Carling Academy, Glasgow
Thomas Tantrum – Cockpit 3, Leeds
Esser and Your Twenties – The Macbeth, London
Hot Club De Paris – Banquet Records, Kingston upon Thames
Friday 26th September
Midnight Juggernaughts and Heartsrevolution – ULU, London
Barringtone – Louisiana, Bristol
Chas and Dave – Rayne Theatre, London
Micachu – Down The Rabbit Hole at Barghouse, London
SCUM, Futurism vs Passéism, Vegas Whores and Wire Rooms – Whitechapel Gallery, London
Pete Doherty – Kasbah, Coventry
Lovvers, Bromancer and Sad Shields – Old Blue Last, London
Metronomy and Tubelord – The Macbeth, London
Saturday 27th September
Gig of the week
A very interesting line-up which promises to be the most interesting event in town on this Saturday night.
Future of The Left, Bearsuit, Calories, Cats In Paris, Chris T-T, Copy Haho, The Deirdres and more – This Ain’t No Picnic at KCLSU, London
The Spinto Band – Arts Centre, Norwich
Primary 1, Frightened Rabbit and The Hair – Weather Club @ 93 Feet East, London
Let’s Wrestle – Push at Astoria 2, London
Artefacts for Space Travel – Down The Rabbit Hole at Bargehouse, London
Sunday 28th September
I know it’s been long since Bestival, advice but I’ve literally only just finished cleaning the mud off me. Seriously. Okay, viagra dosage maybe not. But it did take a long time and I have also sadly reached the conclusion that perhaps I am not as young as I used to be because it took me a good three days to properly recover from three days of fun, mud, music and random happenings. Still, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy my early bird tickets for Bestival next year.
So, after my copious amounts of fruit smoothies and milk thistle tablets to get me on the mend, I can finally positively reflect on what was a bloody awesome weekend. After a comic session of wading through the mud-river that was the road to the campsite and then setting up our tents in an equally hilarious manner (to any onlookers not hiding in their tents) we gave up hope of ever being dry and warm, and sat and got drunk on rose boxed wine instead.
Friday night started off poptastically perfectly with Alphabeat, and continued with Chromeo. We were gutted when Sam Sparro and Black Kids had cancelled, however. Something about the BBC Introducing stage being too muddy – um, what? Why not cancel the whole festival then? Bloody squares. (I later found out that Sam did do a set to a small crowd at the X-Box tent, but with no way of communicating this to the crowds, we all missed out.) Anyway we tottered along to CSS instead who were awesome, (although I think the sound technician was on acid) and then we headed to the Bollywood tent for a DJ set.
Saturday was never going to be dry so we decided to hide in the Restival section instead and after a few games of Shithead, we were treated to some brilliant poetry performances from Hammer & Tongue. Seriously, if you live in London or Brighton or somewhere where they perform regularly, check them out. It’s a night you won’t forget.
Why I even bothered wasting my time going to see Amy Winehouse on Saturday, I don’t know. Hot Chip were awesome and well worth pushing our way to the front for, but after that we had over an hour of waiting for Miss Amy should-go-to-Rehab-immediately Winehouse to pratt about on stage and manage to sing about 4 recognisable songs. It was pretty funny at the time, but looking back, it meant that I was so knackered after standing around in the cold I had no energy left to dance.
Miracle of miracles, it didn’t rain on Sunday and we made the most of it by finding all the places we hadn’t been to. Bramble FM was a highlight – a seemingly imaginary radio station which appears at all the festivals and gets the crowds dancing around in a circle or cheesy tunes – true story. And actually, it was awesome fun. Which is what festivals are all about – being just plain silly sometimes.
We kept our blood pumping after a brilliant set by Six Nation State by heading to the ‘come dancing’ tent and showed ourselves up by being the only ones dancing to RnB. After the organisers realised that no true festival goer lowers themselves to enjoying RnB music, let alone dancing to it, they started a dance lesson, teaching us the ‘cha-cha’. That got everyone on the dance floor and after working up a suitable sweat, we watched a powerful performance by thecocknbullkid.
As it had finally stopped raining, we actually managed to have a meal outside our tent for the first time all weekend, and refuelled we headed to the main arena, having a bit of a boogie in the X-Box tent (Bournemouth clubs come to Bestival – hurray! – please note the sarcasm) and then checked out the Cockney Knees Up tent, which was supposed to have some drag acts on, but was actually just a bunch of transvestites dancing around to eighties music. Not really what we were looking for.
The Rizla arena was awesome, and we ended the night in true Bestival style by meeting some randoms and bringing them back to our tent for pointless conversation and more alcohol.
Getting off the island was less than pleasant – after a muddy session of packing up our tents we struggled with our backpacks up numerous mudslides and eventually made it back to land of solid ground.
Museum of Brands, online Robert Opie Collection: Until 31st May 09
2 Colville Mews, off Londsdale Rd, W11 (£5.80, concs £3.50, kids £2)
Robert Opie‘s 12,000 original items from his collection moves to Notting hill after seventeen years in Gloucester. Think back to the good ol’ days of vintage postcards, Skippy chocolate bars, cadburys toffee buttons. O.k. you may not be old enough to get too nostalgic but the collection of toys, posters and magazines ensure even the most cynical will get doey eyed at the past as consumer culture is revealed decade by decade. In short, this is a retro lover’s heaven on earth.
(Adults £5.80, Children (7-16) £2.00, Family £14.00, Concessions £3.50. Group discount 10% (groups of 10 or more, pre-booking appreciated).
The Gallery at BFI Southbank, London, ‘The all seeing Eye’: An installation by Pierre Bismuth and Michel Gondry: until 16th November
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XT
A mesmerizing video installation by the inventive French duo Pierre Bismuth and Michel Gondry, celebrated for their Oscar award winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The installation consists of a well furnished apartment involving a central camera revolving around a room where the room spins, armchairs, magazines, houseplants, rugs, mirrors and a dining table appear only to disappear during successive rotations until the apartment is stripped bare. First conceived and shown in Paris in 2005, this new version of The All Seeing Eye has been commissioned and specifically conceived by Bismuth and Gondry for the Gallery at BFI Southbank. A series of films selected by Pierre Bismuth and Elisabetta Fabrizi, BFI Head of Exhibitions, on the theme of erasure has also been included.
BISCHOFF/WEISS: ‘Our Immortal Souls’: Maya Hewitt: Until 1st November
95 Rivington Street?London ?EC2A 3AY
British born Hewitt juxtaposes childish fantasy with an adult perspective in intricate pieces loaded with symbolism and iconography. Characters are displaced from their original context from the past and placed in the present, allowing for an ambiguous and eerily surreal landscape.
Transition Gallery, ‘Mime 1′ Mimei Thompson: Until 5th October
Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Rd, London E8
Recent RCA graduate Mimei Thompson‘s work depicts dark, mutating cosmic worlds, populated by clouds, probing eyeballs and cartoon brains. Surreal portraits including alien beings connects the real with imagined worlds, evoking questions such as death, decay and regeneration.
Jaguar Shoes, ‘Horse Tears’: Matthew Hodson: Preview Show
32 Kingsland Rd, London, E2: 25th September: 7pm till late
Why not join us to the preview show of Hodson‘s weird, melancholic and rude illustrations and comic books? Hailing from a small village in Yorkshire Dales, Hodson was soon drawn to the mean streets of London, although he still retains a soft spot for wind, dogs and trees. Although he adopts a simplistic style, do not be tricked into thinking all his work is as sweet as pie-With contemporary references and dark undertones, Hodson allows us to be kept on our toes.
The Photographers’ Gallery, ‘Soho Archives: 1950s &1960s’: Until 16th November
5 & 8 Great Newport St, London WC2H 7HY
Three archives from Jean Straker, David Hurn and the Daily Herald newspaper documents Soho in the 1950s and 1960s. They capture a Soho that provided a haven for those dissatisfied by Britain’s provincialism. Also a place known for it’s criminal activity and creativity, as well as scandal and sexuality, images document the vibrancy and eroticism of the time.
Paradise Row, ‘The Day Nobody Died’: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin: Until 26th October
17 Hereford St, (off Cheshire St) London, E2 6EX
In June of this year Broomberg and Chanarin traveled to Afghanistan along with the British Army units on the front line in Helmand Province. What results is strange abstract passages and patterns of black, white and variegated hues – all modulated by the heat and the light invites us to question the nature of violence, culture, politics and morality.
Hamiltons Gallery, ‘Bokuju Kitan/ Marvelous Tales of black ink’: Nobuyoshi Araki: Until 19th October
13 Carlos Place, London W1K 2EU
Born in 1940 Nobuyoshi Araki’s photography, heralded as Japan’s foremost contemporary photographer blurs the line between art and pornography. He selects 88 images from over 30 years worth of Kinbaku work (bondage art) and hand-painted calligraphy on each photograph. His erotically charged pieces are both lyrically beautiful and steamy, without being brash. Phwaorr indeedy!
It doesn’t take much for the East End glitterati to migrate West, generic so a good old fashioned strip show had them flocking in their dozens last night. The reason: the opening of the latest Coco de Mer store in South Kensington in conjunction with London based design duo Fleet Ilya.
Fleet Ilya are son of Russian sculptor Ilya Fleet (see what he did, physician there?) and London gal Resha Sharma. Together they are a ‘taboo-breaking accessories label’ who create stunning, pilule exotic, erotic leather goods, from luggage to, er, strap ons.
The lusty store on Kensington’s chic Draycott Avenue wasn’t too difficult to find. The pummelling music (Studio 54 meets Miss Chuckle Cherry) and flashing lights instantly drawing attention, and quite a crowd of bemused onlookers too. It was hardly Fort Knox:
‘Hi, we should be on the list’
‘Oh, really? Oh, just say who invited you, that will do.’
I think if my companion had said we were pals with Coco (de Mer), we’d have been granted access.
Inside the store
Inside was quite the occasion. The music loud, the lights low, packed to the foundations – punters spilled out into the street or into the changing rooms just for a gasp of air. Canapés were creatively supplied by Passion Organic (an apt title for even the caterers) and pink champagne was aplenty – so much so that just another glass and I might have been tempted to slip into a harness myself. Not that I was without action – whipped and tickled as we all were.
Clockwise from top left: a Coco de Mer girl; the Dj; Coco de Mer lingerie; A Fleet Ilya harness and corset; An erotic bust, part of the store’s merchandising; Fleet Ilya girls
At the beginning tension was high, you could feel it, and it was down to some very liberated male and female performers with sizeable attributes to get us in the mood for an outrageous romp. Fleet Ilya’s ladies wore constructivist themed black soft leather conical bras, off white corset style belts, brown ponies tails at the rear and harnesses with a nod to equestriana. They carried whips, wore handcuffs and brandished other quintessential bondage paraphernalia. A rotund gent, clearly a professional in the art of erotic movement, gave what can only be described as an eye-watering performance, which I’ll keep censored so you can use your own imagination, but the baying raucous crowd certainly enjoyed his fruitful achievements.
Models show off Fleet Ilya in the window
The model who ‘spoilt’ us with his one man strip show
CdM aint no Ann Summers – it’s a tasteful exploration of erotic merchandise and has something for everyone. If you’re not in the market to make a hardcore purchase, then, well, shame on you frankly – but you could be tempted by something from their decadent soft furnishings range, or a discreet title from their vast collection of literature – maybe Tickling or Flogging or The Complete Guide to Cunnilingus. Just suggesting.
Fleet Ilya aren’t just about erotica – their Classic and Concept lines deal in luxury leather goods including oversized luggage and accessories. There wasn’t much of this on show this evening but it’s definitely worth looking out for and you can see a full range of their products on their website – but only click into the Restraint area if you can handle it…
The Coco de Mer girls
The Fleet Ilya girls
Pictures by Matt Bramford
Back in the mist of time now, stuff well…namely a fortnight ago, viagra order Sarah and I had a rather arty night of mischief and mayhem. First we ventured to the ‘Drawn to each other’ event where I got to go back to A level art years. After drawing various colourful characters with charcoal and also getting my portrait done, see we were in the mood for another dollop of fun. So we went to 93 feet east where ‘Laser fingers’ had an event called ‘Do you want fries with that?’ Unfortunately we didn’t get a serving of fries but we did get to view some cool zines and talk to some art collectives.
My first pit stop was Middleboop , a graphics collective headed by Gordon Reid and Simon Stroud. They describe themselves as ‘two designers who enjoy moaning about the state of art, design, film and music at the moment.’ If you’re a graphics-head check out their blog and let them know what you think.
Next I talked to ‘Laser Fingers’ Collective who organized the whole affair. The team from Hertfordshire consists of Sophie Buckle (Graphic Design) and two illustrators, Nikki Hemmings and Ella Tamplin-Wilson. With a colourful array of designs and fresh faced illustrations, they are creating quite a buzz within the art collective scene.
sarah having fun with a ‘laser finger’ pizza box
derv modelling a felt sandwich badge by ‘laser fingers’
Unkle Baxta is a fashion design label and this girl loves what she’s doing as she pipes her creations are ‘original, unique and they look boss!’ It’s not exactly my cup of tea but if you’re into your bold designs, and indie rock prints have a peek.
One zine that caught my eye was called ‘the smell of the wild’ by Gareth Brookes. Delicately drawn and with poetry recording the ageless beauty of the countryside, the zine both tickles and delights. It sure is worth the £1.50. Gareth Brookes also contributes to the banal pigs publications.
Another favourite was Sally Faulkner‘s beautifully naïve zine, English Grub-filled with pastel coloured sprinkled cakes and whippy ice creams. Just graduated from Kingston Uni, and with a recent illustration in the Guardian Magazine; she is definitely one to watch.
So all in all a good night! After all this creative mingling-it was time for a tipple at the bar.
- Art Listings
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- New Designers 2011 Part One: Surface Design Graduate Show Review
- London Zine Symposium
- ELCAF 2014 review