Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week SS08: Sinha-Stanic

Myself and three of the design team at the lovely Amelia’s Magazine headed down to Gloucester Road – where all the swanky hotels be – for the SuperSuper/ Vauxhall Fashion Scout Show last night. Why did we bother? I don’t know. I felt uneasy about going as soon as it was mentioned… just not my bag baby… but we went along, thumb look safe in the knowledge that there would more than likely be something for us to laugh about. We spent an hour queuing. Oh Yes. Here we are (below)…


Now, abortion may I add we wouldn’t have queued for this amount of time had we not been moved from the left side of the building to the right side roughly five times, with false promises that this is exactly where the press should be. What started out as hopeful, soon transpired into an understanding – that the jumped up door staff were only letting in their jumped up friends. I swear the guy with the Guest List was actually an actor, just pretending to hear the cries…

What really topped it was when “Katie” – who the fuck is Katie?! – was called by one of the camp doormen over and over and over again in this desperate “Kaaatie” sort of tone, because the poor cow had a bag. By the time she managed to squeeze through, massive hat still just about balancing atop her special head – there was some guy carrying her bag for her. NIGHTMARE – this was a nightmare, but absolutely ridiculously hilarious at the same time.

The other hooded, Michael Jackson-esque doorman was so far up his own arse I could have cried for him, it must be horrible up there. “Can press, celebrities and anyone credible PLEASE come forward” was a great line, especially as everyone pushed forward dramatically, some raising their hands, others shouting their names or publications, occassionally sparking attention from behind the metal bars. “Oh my God darling come through. Can you all move aside please? Make some room, come on!?”

My back was aching, I hadn’t smiled in an hour, nor had anyone else, what was this? What really ruined this lovely little set-up that they had going on, was when the 40 year old resident who was staying in the hostel above this glooorious venue came barging through the glam crowd demanding that she needed to get to her room. She was sort of sneaked through so as not to cause too much of a fuss.

So, anyway after all of this kerfuffle, the venue owner comes out to announce. “We are full to capacity.” What A Joke. He stuck to this statement loosely, as the actor with the Guest List (I did feel for him – he seemed like a nice guy) proceeded to let in Wayne Hemingway’s daughter and her buddies along with another few “credibles.”

SuperSuper? SuperStupid more like.

Photography: Matthew Bramford at Amelia’s Magazine
Models: Jess, Sophie (the sexy one), James at Amelia’s Magazine

End if the Road really was at the end of a very long, visit this site winding and scarily narrow road. After eventually parking up and getting out of the car to hear the last of the Midlake’s set (the beautiful ‘Head Home’) we headed to what was to be our home for the next few days; slightly disappointed about the torturous getting-out-of-London-on-a-Friday-night traffic making us miss not only Midlake, buy information pills but Scout Niblett, Jim White and Viking Moses, but very excited about the weekend to come.

After setting up camp we got a taste of things to come from various house bands and DJs: Simon Taffe’s (the festival’s co-organiser) DJ set in the Big Top and Yo La Tengo. But having missed Friday’s musical highlights, our highlight of the night came in the form of thousands of fairy lights adorning the wood area. Hands down the best decorated festival. There was no effort spared, both on the production side of it and the attention to detail.


Colourfully lit, awe-inspiring huge trees lead up to the wooded area, where you enter into an extended canopy of branches bedecked with infinite fairy lights. This magically lit subterranean world was further adorned with mini-art installations on individual branches of the trees ranging from My Little Ponies trekking along the tree limbs to action-men having a picnic.

The tunnel of trees leads to a clearing, which revealed a piano in a box and mannequins disconcertingly disappearing into the foliage. Comprendez? No, neither did we, but it wasn’t necessary as all that mattered was that it was simply mind-blowingly beautiful. The obvious effort and thought that had gone into the artistic curation, boded very well for what the music had in store for us.


Saturday morning saw cloudless skies and a generally buoyant mood. Lonely Dear commenced the Scandanavian Showcase on the Garden Stage, followed by I’m From Barcelona – who were fun, full of lustre and decidedly camp. Their music did seem a bit superficial (but not in the insincere sense) after Hush The Many’s hauntingly epic set (which peaked with ‘Paper Doll’). Having said that, I’m From Barcelona’s medley of balloons, jumping around and their plinky-plonky style certainly entertained the kids who were bouncing up and down on their parents’ shoulders, and as if by osmosis I was loving it almost as much. The Young Republic were next to delight our ears in the Bimble Inn.


They played an up-beat yet weighty set, with the lyrics of songs such as ‘Blue Skies’ delivered beautifully by the lead’s amazing voice. Next to the Garden Stage where King Creosote played songs from his new album. This went down well, but, as my friend said, they felt a bit like a band who had been touring and plugging their album for so long they had bored themselves with it.

The Local then hosted Fireworks Night, which turned out to be one of the unexpectedly enchanting experiences of the weekend. Complex, delicately poetic lyrics and images were accompanied by a musical variety that saw Nick Gill, one half of the core band with singer James Lesslie, bring out a screwdriver and saw from his tool box. These guys did anything necessary to create the right sound, including the stamping violinists and well-annunciated, thoughtful lyrics. The Bees were next on our agenda and the Garden Stage, where they delivered their dynamic and fun set, rotating instruments and vocals, ending with the funky and hilarious ‘Chicken Back’.


Unfortunately this up-lifting mood was not continued by the Super Furry Animals. After coming on nearly half an hour late (rudely, not fashionably) and then unsatisfactorily making up for their lack of energy with a large amount of pretension (singing through a helmet, and not in a funny way). No amount of bright lights and raising of hands could get us excited and we swiftly left in search of something more fun. What we found was Port O’Brien. It might not have been the most musically together set ever, but fun it was. Before they came on the Bimble Inn was pumping with excitement after their track ‘Five and Dime’ had been playing on the EOTR website for months. Although their live set wasn’t quite the same (a lot less neat, tidy and considered) it didn’t lack energy.


Good times were had by all, especially King Creosote and his crew who were very “happy” by that point in the night. Port O’Brien responded well to us, their lively and receptive audience, by delighting us with a weird but wonderful cover of Ludacris’ ‘Move Bitch’ and ending with the catchy ‘I Woke Up Today’.

Sunday brought a fresher, cloudier day and a chilled out crowd lounging in from of the Garden stage to slightly more sober performances from Port O’Brien and The Young Republic. Seasick Steve was then embroiled in a ‘Mojo Session’, which unfortunately consisted of embarrassingly ill-thought out questions from the audience: “What’s your favourite drink?” “I think you’d really enjoy it if I accompanied you on the drums” (to which the reply was an admirably cool “I play alone, man.”) and, appallingly, “Have you got your fairy wings to keep you safe?” We couldn’t stomach it for long, which meant we missed the few tunes he was to play at the end. Some good things just aren’t worth waiting for.

We trundled down to The Local to shelter from the drizzle and were pleasantly surprised by Salter Cane – who impressed us with their brooding vocals, the most unlikely looking bassist ever (alternative occupation, such as librarian spring to mind) and their mesmerisingly skilful drummer.


Dan Sartain was no where to be seen in the Big Top, but disappointment soon turned to joy when Charlie Parr started setting up on stage (especially seen as we were set to miss him later on that evening). Charlie blew us all away; his dexterous fingers and medicinal voice eased us into every story he told. I had heard of his legendary status and will be eternally thankful that I was able to experience it first-hand. Someone shouted back as the painfully self-deprecating Charlie thanked us profusely for appreciating his music despite subbing, “We love you Charlie!” Indeed. Not a mean feat to follow Mr. Parr, but Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit managed it. Another perfect set for the Bimble Inn’s low ceilings and intimate atmosphere, which was filled with Johnny’s resonant, crystal clear voice narrating surreal tales of foxes and furrows, keeping my mood elevated until the end of our road.


EOTR was refreshing. It is small enough not to dread losing people and big enough to have cavernous spaces to disappear into. It is a highly beautiful festival – both in terms of design and music and it left me wanting to linger in Larmer Tree Gardens to escape the onset of Monday. I saw loads of bands/people I didn’t know and want to know more about: it was a magical mystery tour. The organisers have stated their determination to give bands a longer than usual time to play; 45 minutes, as opposed to the standard festival 30. This speaks volumes about EOTR’s commitment to supporting the burgeoning nu/anti/whatever folk scene. The standard of unknown, small acts is much higher than at other festivals – EOTR may be a slightly niche, folky enterprise, but they take their music seriously, and it shows.

Ah, tadalafil Sinha-Stanic, more about where to start? A 40 minute delay had already caused the crowd to become a little twitchy and things didn’t improve when we reached the catwalk entrance only to be told ‘sorry folks, we’re full’ by the main-man; a rather well-dressed Ray Winstone look-alike. I was unhappy to say the least but took comfort in the fact that I was surrounded by the chattering, slickly-groomed ladies of Elle and Vogue’s very own Alexandra Shulman.

The push towards the door was pretty silly and I was glad to see the two Italian ladies who’d rugby tackled me out of the way to get to the front were the first to be refused. When you have security shouting ‘GET BACK!! GET BACK!!’ as the entrance wall begins to buckle over (nearly crushing the oblivious Ms Shulman) you can’t help thinking ‘is this all worth it?’. Well, we didn’t get to find out, instead being offered Option B; watching the show live on the ‘Projection wall’. Hmmm, Fancy.

Although very much the consolation prize it was (just about) better than nothing. So, what have the London couple got to offer for SS08? Heavy Turquoise silk was the order of the day-in trouser suits, 50s swing coats (full marks for the matching rockabilly hair), updated shift dresses, both long and short length jackets and some nice pencil skirts. The fabric used throughout the collection kept a certain stiffness whilst allowing movement-especially on some of the fuller top pieces. The contrast of light and heavy really worked and their reinterpretations of some old classics were simple and fresh.

Burnt orange and muted silver made a brief appearance but it was their use of all-black on some gorgeous puffball skirts and sheer sleeveless shirts that really stood out, as well as some ‘blink or you’ll miss it’ leather. Lots of attention was paid to the waist, short boxy jackets, nipped in tulip dresses and deep-v necklines with contrasting panels. A difficult to fault collection *sigh* If only I could’ve seen it in person…

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