Amelia’s Magazine | Something Old, Something New

Undercover: Lingerie Exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

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“Welcome to Limehouse.” With those words, about it Jarvis Cocker set off on the latest instalment of his 30 year musical odyssey, visit this site launching into set opener Pilchard from his new solo album, Further Complications. For such a long, often tortuous journey which began at a Sheffield secondary school and the formation of what was originally known as Arabicus Pulp, the Troxy did seem a rather apt stopping point – a former theatre turned bingo-hall in the deepest End End, where Stepney and Limehouse blur into each other, now restored and reborn as an unlikely concert venue.

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In fact, Cocker did remark, in his own inimitable way, that the place reminded him of an ice-rink from his youth, where he went to “cop off” with someone, and you still half expected to hear calls of “clickety click” and “legs eleven”, even as support band the Horrors were going through their Neu! meets Echo and the Bunnymen infused motorik indie.

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There were a few half-hearted requests from parts of the audience, but tonight was most definitely a Pulp-free zone (the presence of longtime sidekick Steve Mackey on bass was as near as we got). The set leant heavily on Cocker’s sophomore solo effort, which has a rockier, heavier edge to it than its’ predecessor (not surprising given the pedigree of producer Steve Albini). That said, old Jarvis still has the wry wit and subtle smut that made albums like Different Class such stand outs back in the day (witness news songs Leftover and I Never Said I Was Deep), and he still has plenty of those weirdly angular dance moves up his sleeves. As if that weren’t enough, he even dusted off his old junior school recorder skills on the introduction to Caucasian Blues.

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A couple of numbers from Cocker’s debut solo album made an appearance towards the end of the set, including a driving Fat Children, whilst the encore opened with Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time. We ended on the closer from Further Complications, You’re In My eyes (Discosong), where Jarvis appears to channel the spirit of Barry White – there was even a glitterball to dazzle the Troxy’s faded glamour.
As Jarvis took the adulation of the massed faithful, it seemed like, after a bit of a wilderness period post-Pulp, old Mr Cocker has most definitely got his mojo back.

12 June – 27 September 2009

The Fashion and Textiles Museum‘s summer exhibition hopes to present the evolution of underwear over the last hundred years. The result is a lacklustre exhibition with a thrown-together-in-minutes appearance.

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The exhibition is organised into areas covering research, more about innovation, seek materials, order celebrity, marketing, print and colour. Despite the ‘evolution’ title, there isn’t any sense of a chronological representation, apart from a small part of the opening corridor of the exhibition where underwear is displayed by year.

It is here where the most interesting pieces are displayed. Beginning with a Charles Bayer corset from the 1900s, we take an (albeit short) walk through the brief history of underwear. There are great examples from Triumph International – then a pioneering underwear brand, now underwear powerhouse governing brands like Sloggi.

We see a sanfor circular conical stretch bra, reminiscent of Madonna’s iconic bra designed by John Paul Gaultier in the 80s (which the placard reveals, to nobody’s surprise, is where JPG sought his inspiration).

In the main arena, there are corsets hanging from the ceiling, of which there are 8 or 9 examples. The corset, as the information details, is one of fashion’s most iconic items. So how can so few examples tell us anything we didn’t already know? Only one of the artefacts is pre 21st century – most are borrowed from burlesque ‘celebrities’ such as Immodesty Blaze and Dita von Teese – hardly representative of underwear’s evolution.

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The bulk of the exhibition centres around print, pattern and colour, and again the exhibition relies too heavily on modern pieces, with a small scattering of interesting M&S items. This area, again, relies too heavily on modern underwear – usual suspects La Perla and Rigby & Peller extensively featured – but other key brands, such as Agent Provocateur, fail to get even a mention.

Pioneer of modern underwear Calvin Klein isn’t covered nearly enough as he should be, save for a couple of iconic 1990s white boxer shirts. In fact, men’s underwear isn’t given any coverage at all, which is a shame considering this exhibition’s bold title.

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This exhibition does hold some key pieces, and regardless of what I think, it’s definitely worth seeing if you are a fashion follower. Its many flaws could have been ironed out with more attention to detail, and it’s a shame that the FTM isn’t more of a major player in London’s fashion scene. If you want to see stacks of salacious, expensive, modern-day underwear, why not just take a trip to Harrods? They have a larger selection and don’t charge an entry fee!

Dear Readers, symptoms

I am writing to share something a little bit special with you. We all know that warm butterflies-in-the-belly feeling when envelopes arrive through the letterbox with your name and address handwritten carefully on the front with a return address of a friend or lover on the reverse, pilule a beacon of personal correspondence among a mundane plethora of bills, more about takeaway menus and bank statements. How much more sincere is a ‘Thank You’ or a ‘Sorry’, how much more romantic is an ‘I Love You’ or ‘Marry Me’ when it comes in pen to paper form rather than digitalised and, heaven forbid, abbreviated via modern technological means.

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Letter writing may be an old fashioned and somewhat dying art, one that we all claim to still do or intend to do, but actually don’t make time for in a world of convenient instant messaging, free text plans and social network sites, but Jamie Atherton and Jeremy Lin refuse to abandon the old worldly ways of communication just yet.

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Finding their stationery was like being invited to a secret society for letter writers, a prize from the postal Gods to congratulate and reward all those who participate in mail exchanges, to inspire us to keep going to strive on and not let the Royal Mail network collapse from lack of traffic. The more I find out about this creative pair of gents the deeper I fall under their spell. Two handsome young men, madly in love with each other, one English one American, live together in London nowadays but in the 12 years that have passed since they fell head over heels they have lived in San Francisco too and co-created Atherton Lin, the name under which they produce, distribute and sell their products.

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Their work, such as the collections of Winter and Summer greeting cards, is as collectable as it is sendable. Each of the four cards in a set tells a tale; funny, sentimental, melancholic and earnest. They strive to avoid clichés or overused formulaic recipes for ‘commercialised cute’, but instead the boys have created a world of butterflies, badgers, bicycles and balloons, using recycled materials and harm-free inks. It is not just their illustrated correspondence materials that Atherton Lin have become known and adored for, that paved the way to being noticed by and sold alongside Marc Jacobs’ wears and tears, as well as being stocked at places such as London’s ICA, LA’s Ooga Booga and San Francisco’s Little Otsu.

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Working on the basis that not all correspondence is text, stationery therefore does not have to be exclusively on paper. With a nod to their burgeoning passion for mix tapes, which featured heavily through their transatlantic courtship, they created artwork for a series of blank CDs. The pair have collaborated with a number of talented outfits such as the musicians Vetiver and Elks, and for a book of poems published by Fithian Press, in addition to eye wateringly lovely calendars.

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They cite their inspirations to include the charmingly unaware wit of Japanese stationary with its mysteriously nonsensical English translations, Peanuts comic strips, the lyrics to strumming shoe gaze bands such as Ride and poet Dylan Thomas. Having conducted the first three years of their blossoming relationship as long distance partners, they perhaps know better than anyone the value and worth of the handwritten word, the virtues of patience while awaiting the postman and the magnified importance of every tiny detail when letters are sustaining your longing heart.

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Now that I’ve been well and truly bitten by the Atherton Lin bug, I have an overbearing urge to dig out my address book and scribe catch up letters to friends in far-flung corners of the globe, and those just around the corner. And for the scented pastel coloured envelopes about to reach the letterboxes of my acquaintances in the next couple of weeks, you have Jeremy and Jamie to thank, for restoring my faith in the romantic, timeless pastime of writing letters.

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Yours ever so faithfully,

Alice Watson
Last Thursday, order I negotiated my bicycle through the customary crush of Trafalgar Square to the RSA, find for a talk by R Beau Lotto in association with the Barbican Radical Nature series. Beau heads up Lotto Lab, whose aim is to explain and explore how and why we see what we do (do check out their website) – mainly through looking at how we see colour, which is one of the simplest things we do.

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All images by R Beau Lotto, courtesy of Lotto Labs

Here’s a quick science bit, which he gets in at the beginning of the talk to a packed full lecture theatre – light and colour are not the same. Light can be represented on a linear scale. It has just wavelength and intensity. Colour has three bits to it. So it’s much more complicated to describe : hue (red-green-blue-or-yellowness), brightness, and saturation (greyness).

The whole talk is full of questions I asked as a six-year-old, and I’m left with a kind of wide-eyed amazement at how clearly everything is explained and presented – I’ll pick out one of the most satisfying.. Why is the sky blue? This is one to try at home. Get the biggest glass bowl or see-through container you can find, and fill it with water. Shine a desk lamp through it – the lamp’s now the sun and the water space. If we had no atmosphere, the sky would be black with a bright sun – as it is from the moon. Now add a little milk at a time to the water, stirring as you go. As it spreads through the water, the milk will scatter the light like the atmosphere does, and at the right level, will scatter blue. Add a bit more, and you’ll make a sunset – the longer-wave red light scatters when it goes through more atmosphere, as sunlight does when it’s low in the sky. Add more again, and it’ll go grey : you made a cloud, where all the light scatters equally.

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The colour of space changes. We never quite see the surface of anything in the world – we see the result of the light shining, the character of the surface, and the space in between. So colours really are brighter in St Ives than Old Street. So the patterns of light that fall onto the eye are strictly meaningless.

We learn to see. We find relationships between things we look at – the context of anything we look at is essential to how we see it. This is what the ‘illusions’ spread through this article show so bogglingly. And context is what links the present to the past – we associate patterns with what we did last time, and learn from it. Beau asked at one point for a volunteer from the audience. I was desperately far back, in the middle of a row – smooth escape from that one. But the demonstration itself was quietly mind-blowing. A target was projected on the screen, and Rob the lucky volunteer was asked to hit it (this as a control – the exciting bit comes next). Next, he put on a pair of glasses which shifted the world 30 degrees to his right. Throwing again, he missed by miles. After a few goes, though, Rob’s whole body movement changed and he hit the target every time. Then he took the glasses off again, and immediately missed the other way – his mind had learnt for that moment to see the world utterly differently.

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We don’t see the world as it is – in fact it doesn’t make much sense to talk about the world ‘as it really is’ – only what’s useful. Colour, for example, is great for not being eaten by orange tigers in a green jungle. We constantly figure out what is ‘normal’ – and what should stick out from this normal. So… there are no absolutes – only perceptions of a world relative to a changing normal. No one is outside of this relativity. We are all defined by our ecology. We all learn to live in the world that’s presented to us – and that in a very relative way.

Beau has four ‘C’s that he leaves as teasing thoughts – Compassion, Creativity, Choice and Community. And this is where, if you’ve been reading along wondering quite why I thought this was a good idea for an ‘Earth’ article, I started thinking about the way we tell stories about the environment, the way we tell stories about what happens in the world around us. Getting your head around different mindsets could be wonderfully informed by these ideas – things like understanding how to persuade business profit-heads that sustainability is the only way to long-term profit, or grassroots activists that FTSE 500 companies have been organising and managing disparate groups of employees for years – there’s surely something to learn there.

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Knowing that everything we do – down to something so simple as seeing colour – is essentially informed by what we did before, and the kinds of context we’ve ever been exposed to – this can only add possibility to whatever buzzes round our brains : more compassionate, as we see where others might have come from; more creative, questioning these reflexes; more conscious in our choices, if we think a little past the instinctive; and more communal, in a broad sense, as we’re each a unique part of a whole, all sharing in individual perceptions and histories.

That was what I took from it, anyway. Do get in touch, or leave a comment, if you saw any other cool patterns here – I’d be intrigued to hear.

Come July 16th, ampoule Amelia’s Magazine will be packing the bikini’s, sunglasses and factor 15 to rock up to one of the biggest highlights of our social calendar. Continuing our Festival season round up, we are going to focus our attention on the Daddy of the European festivals; Benicassim. Building rapidly in status, this cheeky Spanish live wire began its incarnation in 1995, but even then it was reaching for the stars, with heavy hitters such as The Chemical Brothers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Stone Roses headlining. Now firmly established as a major player on the summer festival season, Benicassim is the ultimate go-to when you want your music fest to go easy on the mud, and heavy on the sand, sea and sun.

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Desde Escenario Verde by Oscar L. Tejeda

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Getting back to the music, the organisers have come up trumps for this years festival. Just in case you were unaware of the lineup, allow me to share the treats that will be in store if you’ve got tickets. Top of the bill will be Oasis, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. It is not just about the headliners though, Beni makes sure that there is something for everyone, and while most acts indie rock , the many stages showcase plenty of other genres, such as electronica, experimental and dance. Each night will see a plethora of fantastic and diverse acts and my personal favourites that will make me nudge through the crowds to the front are Telepathe, Glasvegas, Paul Weller, Tom Tom Club, Friendly Fires, The Psychedelic Furs, Lykke Li and my BFF Peaches. With guaranteed sunshine and a beachside backdrop, it promises to be a memorable event. While the 4 day passes have all sold out, there are still one day passes available for Thursday 16th July. You might consider it impractical to get down there for just one day (not that we are going to stand in your way), but if you happen to be passing through the Costa De Azahar around that time, then why not get yourself a wristband, grab a Sol and pitch up?

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You know, the more we think about it, the more we realise that Benicassim is tailor made for Amelia’s Magazine. As our loyal readers know, we are strong supporters of all things sustainable and environmentally friendly and Benicassim is leaps and bounds ahead of many of the other festivals in terms of environmental awareness. Having been awarded the Limpio Y Verde (Clean + Green) Award by The European Festival Association, Beni is serious about taking initiatives which minimise the impact that a festival causes. For example, to offset the Co2 emissions that are generated while the festival is underway, they are creating an authentic Fiber forest, which has come as a result of planting over 2,000 trees during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 festivals. For those attending the festival, the organisers have laid on a number of shared transport facilities to get to and from the site, including frequent shuttle services into town and bicycle hire. Once inside the site, ticket holders will find that there is a strong and active recycling policy, with different bins for glass, plastic and paper and reusable glasses in the bars and restaurants which are made from biodegradable material. Several charities and NGO’s will be on hand – look out for the stands where Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Action Against Hunger and Citizens Association Against AIDS amongst others will be distributing information.

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Bear in mind for future visits to the festival (or if you haven’t yet booked flights to get there), that there are various options for how to get to Benicassim that don’t involve flying. While most people will be boarding planes, the options of rail, or even ferry as transport can turn the holiday into a completely different experience. Spain has a fantastic and well regulated rail system, with all major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia operating trains to the town of Benicassim. Full details on how to arrange your rail itinerary are here . If you were interested in beginning the journey by ferry, (information on routes can be found here there are regular services from Plymouth to Santander, or Portsmouth to Bilbao (both cities have rail links that will get you to Benicassim). Otherwise, there are plenty of ferries from Dover to France, if interrailing it through part of Europe was also a consideration. Obviously, these options are considerably longer than flying, but there is something much more civilized about this way of travelling, and you get to see much more of the country which is hosting the festival, and that can only be a good thing.

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Fibers En Zonas De Acampada by Pau Bellido

For more information on Benicassim, go to Festival Internacional De Benicassim
Bless-ed: Superimposing The Thought Of Happiness

Cosa
7 Ledbury Mews North
London W11 2AF

10th July – 31st July

11am – 6pm Tuesday – Friday
12pm – 4pm Saturday

Free

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“Artworks created from smashed vinyl records and recycled packaging. Hot on the heels of their highly successful New York show, no rx Robi Walters & Leanne Wright, side effects aka ‘Bless-ed’, dosage hit London with their unique series of collages and constructed works featuring smashed vinyl and recycled packaging. “

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Robots

The Old Sweet Shop
11 Brookwood Road
London SW18 5BL

10th July 2009 – 25th July

Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm
or by appointment

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Image: Doggy Robot (Detail) by Ellie Alexandri

“Do you remember when robots were a futuristic fantasy? The Old Sweet Shop gallery’s latest exhibition takes a warm hearted look at these retro-tinged creations through the eyes of up-and coming artists and illustrators, peeking into the inner world of clunking creatures built to make human lives easier. ‘Robots’ will appeal to all ages, and features a diverse range of talent in many different media.”

Robots exhibition featuring work by: Alec Strang, Emily Evans, Freya Harrison, Moon Keum, Vinish Shah, JMG, Catherine Rudie, Hanne Berkaak, Cristian Ortiz, Elli Alexandri and Serge Jupin.

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Antony Gormley: One & Other

Fourth Plinth
Trafalgar Square
London

6th July – 14th October

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Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth, ordinarily reserved for statues of the bold and brave, is staging one of the most exciting art ventures of the year. Under the direction of Anthony Gormley a steady stream of voluntary contributors will, every hour on the hour for the next 100 days, be occupying the space to create, make, do or perform as they wish. One such selected applicant is Tina Louise, whose slot will be Sunday 12th July, at 11am. She plans to stage “involves a bit of a sing-along where I am inviting various choirs, a Muslim call to prayer man, some whirling Dervishes (fingers crossed)” and invites you all to get down there this week and help celebrate human diversity in all it’s glory.

Find out more about Tina here.

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The Museum of Souvenirs – The Surrealist Photography of Marcel Mariën

Diemar/Noble Photography
66/67 Wells Street
London W1T 3PY

Until 25th July

Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm

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An exciting UK premiere of Belgian Surrealist Marcel Marien’s photographs taken between 1983 and 1990. Marien was a master of many trades, and not all of them art based; as well as being a poet, essayist and filmmaker, he branched out as a publisher, bookseller, journalist and even a sailor.

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The Importance of Beauty – The Art of Ina Rosing

GV Art
49 Chiltern Street
Marylebone
London W1U 6LY

Until 25th July

Tuesday to Friday 11am to 7pm
Saturday 11 am to 4 pm
or by appointment

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Inspired by her interest in inner silence and beauty, Ina Rosing’s work sails through immovable mountains and vibrant red flowers with dignified grace and spirituality. She explores the personal yet universal connections with landscape and culture, asking where and how can we capture the true importance of beauty using graffiti-like political and environmental messages.

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James Unsworth: I Love You Like a Murderer Loves Their Victims

Sartorial Contemporary Art
26 Argyle Square
London WC1H 8AP

8th July – 30th July

Tuesday – Friday 12:30pm – 6pm
or by appointment

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James Unsworth is not a new name for us here at Amelia’s Magazine, having featured him a short while ago in Issue 8 of our publication, but this new collection of work from the controversial outspoken illustrator and filmmaker takes his hyper-unreal visions of all things dark and disturbing to a new level. The movies and photographs use low-budget charm and dangerously close to the bone references to murder, sex and dismemberment to win us over, free our minds and freak us out, not particularly in that order.

Monday 6th July
Why? The Garage, buy London

“Why should I go and see Why?” you ask.
Well, cialis 40mg because Why? are probably one of the most innovative exciting bands around at the moment their albums Alopecia and Elephant Eyelash are very high up on my “Most-Listened-To List”. Fronted by the excellently named Yoni Wolf, Why? fuse hip hop and indie rock to create something totally unique. Wolf’s lyrics are strangely intimate and often funny; bar mitzvahs and Puerto Rican porno occassionally pop up- and why not?

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Tuesday 7th July
!!!, The Luminaire, London

Here are two facts about !!!
1. You have probably had the best time dancing to them.
2. According to Wikipedia: !!! is pronounced by repeating thrice any monosyllabic sound. Chk Chk Chk is the most common pronunciation, but they could just as easily be called Pow Pow Pow, Bam Bam Bam, Uh Uh Uh, etc.
So go along to the Luminaire and make strange noises (“thrice”) and dance your socks off.

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Wednesday 8th July
White Denim, Heaven, London

White Denim are the best thing to come out of Texas since ribs and good accents, they have been compared to Os Mutantes and Can which is no mean feat. Expect a healthy dose of psychadelia with a smudge of grubby rock n’roll

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Thursday 9th July
The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Kill It Kid, The ICA, London.

What are Fat Cat doing on Thursday?
Oh, you know, just being as awesome as ever at the ICA.
Fat Cat seem to have excellent taste in music, and the three bands playing tonight carry on the high standards of Fat Cat label veterans like Animal Collective. Expect melancholy and sweetness from The Twilight Sad and post-punk from the others. Lashings of fun all round.

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The Weekend
Loop Festival, Brighton.

Let’s go to the sea! Brighton’s Loop Festival; a celebration of music and digital art has the most mouth-watering line-up ever. Fever Ray, Karin from The Knife‘s solo project, play alongside múm, the hot-to-trot Telepathe (pictured) and Tuung to name but a few. If I were going I’d invite them all to make sandcastles with me afterwards…hopefully they would.

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Monday 6 July

Whose landscape is it anyway?

Nicholas Stern and Ramachandra Guha consider the tensions between environmental concerns and industrial and economic development in South Asia today.

£5 including day pass to Royal Botanic Gardens, mind Kew.
6.30pm, cost British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1.

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Illustration by Joanna Cheung

Tuesday 7th July

Garbage Warrior Film Screening

The epic story of radical Earthship eco architect Michael Reynolds, and his fight to build off-the-grid self-sufficient communities.

7pm (86min), Passing clouds, Dalston (review + directions)

An Alternative Energy Evening?·

Lecture and Panel Discussion?· Professor Vernon Gibson, with Jonathan Leake, ??Chief Chemist of BP, in discussion with key experts in the field of sustainable and renewable energy.
Please join us to hear the latest on this hot topic.

Free to attend. Admission is by guest list only.
??Email events@weizmann.org.uk to reserve your place.
+44 (0)20 7424 6863?  www.weizmann.org.uk

7pm
Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR

Wednesday 8th July

Renewable Energy, All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group meeting with WWF

Dr Keith Allott leads the discussion.

4-6pm, House of Commons, Westminster SW1

Thursday 9th July

Conflicting Environmental Goods and the Future of the Countryside

Caroline Lucas MEP talking on possible futures.

Contact – judithr@cpre.org.uk
5-7pm, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1

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Illustration by Faye Katirai

A Climate Mission for Europe: Leadership & Opportunity

Lord Browne, Roger Carr, Lord Giddens, John Gummer MP and Roland Rudd

8–9.30am
Royal Academy of Engineering,
3 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y

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Illustration by Michaela

Wise Women Speaker Event: John D Liu

John D Liu speaks on integrated poverty eradication and large-scale ecosystem rehabilitation. Since the mid-1990′s he has concentrated on ecological film making and has written, produced and directed films on many aspects of the ecology. In 2003, Liu wrote, produced and directed “Jane Goodall – China Diary” for National Geographic. Hailed as a visionary for the future, Lui is director of the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP) and will discuss his groundbreaking work.

RSVP: polly@wisewomen.me.uk

7pm, ?£10 on the door
The Hub,Islington,
Candid Arts Trust,
5 Torrens Street, London,
EC1V 1NQ

Friday 10th July

The End of the Line

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Imagine an ocean without fish. Imagine your meals without seafood. Imagine the global consequences. This is the future if we do not stop, think and act. The End of the Line is the first major feature documentary film revealing the impact of overfishing on our oceans. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Rupert Murray.

7pm, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2.
Contact – events@frontlineclub.com

Saturday 11th July

The Artic And Us

Lemn Sissay discusses the making of the poem “What If”, inspired by his recent trip to the Arctic to highlight climate change.

£7, 3.30pm, South Bank Centre

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Illustration by Lea Jaffey
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This year I spent a record six days at Glastonbury. On Tuesday we set off from London with a mission to “tat” along the way. Tatting is a favourite occupation of the fictional Wombles and is a process central to Climate Camp – it basically means relieving skips and front gardens of useful discarded objects – such as sofas, pilule chairs, tables and carpeting – for reuse in another situation. En route to Glastonbury we managed to fill the van up with various items including a full set of dining chairs that looked swanky but collapsed as soon as we sat on them and a rather manky looking mouldy mattress. It was pointed out that this would seem the lap of luxury after a couple of days in a field with no soft surfaces to rest upon, so we duly lugged it into the van. In fact we needn’t have worried – the mattress was left out to air as soon as we arrived and stolen almost immediately. Desirable already!

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Our journey had an added frisson of excitement given the rumour that everyone was being locked out of the site at 10pm every night. Fortunately (and thanks to GPS on my poncey new iphone) we made it to Pilton Farm on time, whereupon we were greeted by the cheery sight of our big red and yellow marquee. It seems that making merry in the fields of Somerset has turned into a week long affair for many, so vast quantities of people were already cruising the fields, beers in hand.

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For us there was still much work to be done, so in the morning we dressed our area with significant amounts of bunting and colourful flags that we had screenprinted beforehand, all bearing Mia Marie Overgaard‘s beautiful artwork.

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Climate Camp was given a generous corner of an otherwise predominantly camping field – with a big fire pit in the middle and a yurt (housing Ecolab‘s Future Scenarios exhibition) demarcating one corner. Around the yurt I strung the story of Climate Rush so far – printed upon weather resistant banners that billowed dramatically in the gusty winds.

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By the field boundary a “tripod stage” had been constructed – an inspired bit of naming that made reference to the grand pyramid stage down where the rabble doth hang about.

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As we beavered away to beautify the site some classic festival munters pitched up and decided to erect their box fresh tents directly under our Welcome to Climate Camp banner – thereby easily misleading the public in to believing that they were indeed Climate Camp. Within minutes they were yelling “Ogee-ogee-oy” at each other through a megaphone. I kid you not. They were the perfect festival munter cliche right on our doorstep. Needless to say these same creatures left an absolute disaster zone in their wake when they left the festival – but more on that later…

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Many more Climate Camp kindred spirits arrived as we sorted out our space, and by Thursday many curious festival-goers were stopping by to listen to a bit of music or take a wander around our exhibition. Danny Chivers delivered his usual wonderful poetry to a rapt audience and Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors (set up in honour of Joe Strummer and named after a Clash song) took a turn on the stage.

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Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors provides guitars with which to rehabilitate prisoners through music, and the two lads playing for us had since left prison and are trying to build a career in music. After a shy start they were soon regaling the receptive crowd with tales of prison life and left amidst promises that they would return, possibly with the real Billy Bragg in tow – a rumour that quickly gained momentum but was sadly never fulfilled.

Then out of nowhere came possibly our most exciting idea yet; instead of just teaching how to take direct action in workshop form, we would actually do some mock actions right there in Glastonbury. It all seemed too good an opportunity to miss – this year Greenpeace had created a full-on third runway experience, including a miniature Sipson with it’s own international airport which was clearly ripe for the blockading.

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We all donned one of the Climate Camp t-shirts that I’d printed up (I’ve been on a bit of a screenprinting frenzy) and marched noisily down to the Greenpeace field with our tripod and an orangutan in tow. As you do.

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Twenty people blockaded the entrance to the bemusement of passersby, as faux security guards tried to pull them off and the orangutan climbed triumphantly to the top of the tripod. It was a pretty good re-enactment of a real direct action, until actors hired by Greenpeace waded in and stole our thunder with some attention grabbing shouting.

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On Thursday night there was the most spectacular storm, with torrential rain pouring down off our Climate Change is Pants bunting (made from, erm, pants, of course) and into the tent as we sheltered from the monsoon. It stopped just in time for our Mass Night Game, for which I played the part of a security guard (they’re never far away on a direct action)

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As each team arrived at our base in the stone circle they had to climb the tripod as fast as they could before the guards could pull them off. In one surreal moment as the dusk fell some real Glastonbury stewards materialised in pink dayglo waistcoats to my yellow dayglo one, and really confused both themselves and those playing the game.

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As evening fell a group of us went off to discover the new Shangri-La area, where a gaggle of totally drunk pre-pubescent girls fell into us yelling “Michael Jackson’s dead!” Soon the whole festival was ringing with the news – as well as his back catalogue – though we all remained uncertain about the veracity of the rumours and decided to spread a counter rumour that Timmy Mallett was dead. Looking back it was odd that noone seemed particularly sad to hear the news, but then I think most of us have already mourned the cute little black boy who vanished under drastic surgery long ago. It was almost as if Michael Jackson had been one big fat joke for so long that his death was as fantastical and unreal as his life had become, and therefore hard to take seriously.

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The rest of the festival was spent in a whirlwind of outreach and fundraising. I wasn’t so comfortable with the bucket rattling, but luckily others were brilliant at it and we managed to raise loads of much needed cash to help put Climate Camp on this year.

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I spent most of my time chatting to people, both in our field and out around the Green Fields area. And of course taking lots of photos – because that’s where I feel most comfortable of all, recording everything that we do for future posterity.

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We facilitated another few mini direct actions – one day in defiance of the cheap flights on offer in the mock travel agents in Shangri-La, and on another using arm tubes to blockade the mini village of Sipson.

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Friends wandered by to see me but I didn’t really go further than the Green Fields for much of the festival. I have a love hate relationship with Glastonbury and tend to be happiest away from the seething crowds down near the main stages. There were a lot more police on site this year and there were at least two arrests in our field, presumably for drug dealing – thus we found ourselves offering solidarity to the friends that were left behind “we get arrested quite a lot you see…” We got the paddling pool out when it was especially roasting, and I jumped in with all my clothes on before rushing onto the path to offer wet hugs to passersby.

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On my rare trips down to “Babylon” I got in a mild panic – huge crowds of fucked people crashing into me is not my idea of fun. Bruce Springsteen was a major disappointment and I only saw brief bits of Blur from the very back of the field before wandering off to find a friend at the Prodigy, where I got thoroughly freaked out by the gazillions of men and women screaming “smack my bitch up” at the top of their voices, I mean – I like the tune, but there are some totally suspect lyrics going on there. Over by the John Peel stage I was amused to see a huge (high as a skyscraper) board of protest banners bearing one of the Climate Rush picnic blankets from our Heathrow protest.

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It was very surreal to see it high above me, when last it was sitting in a crumpled mess in my hallway. On more than a few occasions we found ourselves at the uber decadent Arcadia area of an evening.

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It was the ultimate irony that the closest stage to Climate Camp featured hugely wasteful gas flares that shot into the night and made a mockery of our frugal ways; any energy savings made by our solar powered camp so obviously swallowed in the dystopian heat of the dramatic flames. Needless to say we were drawn to Arcadia like fossil fuel moths, dancing under the sizzling spectacle with all the other revellers, all part of the same species careering towards self-destruction.

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But back to the beautiful green space of Climate Camp, where our little tripod stage proved to be a real winner. My trusty music editor Roisin had contacted some music prs a mere day or so before I left for Glastonbury and secured performances from the wondrous First Aid Kit and the equally brilliant 6 Day Riot. First Aid Kit arrived fresh from a gig on the Park Stage with their parents in tow, and wowed everyone with a simple acoustic set that highlighted their delicate use of harmonies.

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Unfortunately I missed 6 Day Riot due to outreach with our “aggie animals” whereby a homeless alcoholic orangutan, polar bear and tiger went out to engage with the general public.

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The idea was to subvert the traditional cutesy perception of said animals, a plan which worked really well during the day, but in the evening faltered as the distinction between performance art and actual fucked festival munter blurred to the point of impossibility. Especially when one of our animals spewed into the bushes in a prize bit of method acting (she’d just downed a pint of homebrewed cider)

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On Sunday afternoon we held a random raffle, which was made possible by blagging prizes from various stalls and performers during the course of the festival. A large amount of people were happy to part with cash to purchase a raffle ticket, and a small crowd was persuaded to attend the actual event, compered with aplomb by our resident poet Danny. Prizes included the beer can that Jack Penate had allegedly drunk from (won by a child, woops)

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It was all beautifully ramshackle but seemed to entertain. The girl who has inadvertently become part of this year’s logo (by virtue of an image of her at the Kingsnorth camp that is strewn across the interweb) stopped by and did some dazzling acrobatics on our tripod stage.

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By the evening I still hadn’t managed to figure a way to get out of the festival so I ended up staying on until Monday evening for “tat down” – taking down the tents and sorting stuff to be transported back home. The mattress that we had lovingly cleaned made a sudden return, and small children started to circle our site like hyenas on the look out for valuable abandoned belongings, and undrunk alcohol (festie children eh?! Cheeky buggers!)

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Stories reached us of people leaving their tent for one moment and returning to find it removed within moments by opportunistic “tatters”. I went on a roam of our general area to search for useful stuff, but returned feeling sick to the pit of my stomach and unable to take anything for myself.

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Is it really that much hassle to take your pop-up tent home? What kind of person abandons so many reusable things? Do you really have that much disposable income in the age of the credit crunch? The festival munters camped under our welcome banner departed leaving a wasteland behind. Piles of rubbish streaming across the ground, a stereo, blow up mattresses, perfectly good tents (not pop-up!) – debris of an unaware society.

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I returned home exhausted, but already formulating plans to put forward Green Kite Midnight as the Climate Camp house band next year – a celidh would really have set things off a treat. Until then there’s always the Big Green Gathering, where we’re house band for the Last Chance Saloon. Come see us there!
At Glastonbury when not navigating through guy ropes clutching half drunk bottles of cider with dirty shorts, order haystack hair and generally looking like I’ve emerged from the mountains, medicine I like to ‘do’ things. Last year, store I paid eight pounds to have an astrology reading, where I crouched goggle-eyed in a small tipi opposite a warm, smiling, apple-cheeked evil money-sucker who ethereally told me the biggest pack of lies you’ve ever heard.

Eight pounds! Not going back there, NO WAY JOSÉ! Given the size of Glastonbury, there are, of course, a multitude of ways to enjoy yourself in the most concrete and non-superstitious of manners – in fact, in the spirit of ‘Reclaiming Craft’ making something with my hands seemed the perfect antidote. On the Thursday Amelia’s Magazine floated on over to the Green Craft Fields where we found ourselves in a tent filled with lots of small drawing children. On the other side were some adults milling around a life model like no other. Life-drawing: a sensual sketching of the nude human physique? Less so if it’s an unshaven superhero clad in a spandex bodysuit and purple pants – and that’s Mr Spandex to you and I. So I got involved, producing a multi-angled ‘sketch-book’ of questionable quality that sadly got ruined when my tent turned out not to be waterproof, but while it’s destruction is in fact probably a blessing for the art world, I appreciate that such a catastrophe may have accidentally granted my artistic skills with an unearned aura of mystique.

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Chatting to the mistress of ceremonies Leanne afterwards, she told me a bit about R-ART, their creative collective based in East London. They are fusing ideas of art and fashion in an interactive and educational capacity, providing holiday workshops, after-school clubs and Saturday schools; all with a push towards sustainable making, free-thinking and responsibility that’s locking horns with that image of the pie-eyed child with a peanut-butter sandwich in one hand and a Nintendo controller in the other on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

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Set up by Leanne and her friend Ita and developed with eco-entertainment company BASH Creations, they naturally play the big sister role to the kids, with a sole mandate to lighten the ecological footprint of the British entertainment industry and to teach them the heart behind the making of things with your own two hands. Given my own scribbling skills, I too belong at the children’s table, a bit like Jack out of that Robin Williams film (except not really, I do get ID’d a lot, so I don’t look that old. But I digress.)

One of their projects involved working with Nova Dando, constructing a couture gown out of old copies of the Financial Times, which again, in its trashionista spirit hammered home the process of recycling making and getting everyone involved – children doing couture! Great stuff.

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To get in touch and to find out their workshops and other upcoming projects, visit their website at www.r-art.co.uk, or e-mail Ita and Leanne at us2@r-art.co.uk. Look out for a report on how it all went down at Glastonbury for them too – if you too managed to swing by their tent let us here at Amelia’s Magazine know about it!
Futuresonic is one of the most stellar event’s on Manchester’s musical calender. Not only does it symbolise (to me) the beginning of the summer festival season but it’s one of the most musically challenging and varied events of the year. Unlike so many other festivals it doesn’t concentrate on the commercial or press friendly artists but solely musicians and artists alike who constantly flaut convention, view breaking boundaries and sticking flags in musical territories previously unchartered. Rarther than touting the Guardian‘s Top ten of 2009 it digs a little deeper and promotes some of the more interesting artists from around the globe in a myriad of genres like Electronic, drugs Metal and Bastard Pop!

After 13 years of pushing the envelope the organisers have managed to do it again this year. Beginning with Murcof, information pills they have shown that music can be ever changing and that when seamlessley combined with other mediums of artistic endeavor can create something truly original and mind expanding.

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First on the RNCM main stage is Manchester based (Skelmersdale born) Denis Jones with his bone shaking ryhthm’s and dirge infused shouts and beats looped back through a whole host of pedals and electronic gadgetry. Projected behind this is a sextuplet of Denis’s, or should that be Den-i, layered on toip on one another to compliment the layering of clucks, slaps, plucks and claps. Having seen a few artists these days who do a similar thing it’s great to see someone do it so intricately and beautifully on a large stage to a strong audience. It can be rather sloppy and the point can be lost in the masses of equipment that I don’t know the first thing about. As he meanders his way into a vibrant crescendo it’s easy to see why Denis is being hyped as a musical giant of the future.

To contrast with this high octane solo operation comes Icelandic composer Johan Johansson with the Iskra Quartet, who create sombre laptop and piano accompanied string pieces that I feel comfortable in equating to classical Estonian Raconteur Arvo Part. These pieces are complex but the delicate sounds are all somewhat identifiable to a techno dope like myself. The sounds are highly mellifluous and they toggle between Melancholy and high drama evoking the counterpoint of Moondog at times. With a break before Murcof I had an opportunity to reflect on the beauty of the moment which led me almost to tears, the air was rife with emotion but anxiety of what was to come soon remedied this.

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As the curtain re-opened, behind a sheet of white, is lurking who we can only assume to be Mexican electronic music pioneer Murcof. We know Anti VJ (comprised of Joanie Le Mercier, Simon Geilfus and Nicolas Boritch) must be hiding somewhere but as there is only one other face in the shadows we can’t be sure who it is. As a faint hum begins, a tiny spec of light appears in the centre of the sheet which grows as the music explodes into loud bursts. The dot becomes a sprawling mass of spider webs and creates a haunted house like atmosphere that’s not for the faint hearted. From this we travel through a myriad of imagery such as a multifarious star system and regimentally swirling, shooting stars accompanied by Lygeti-esque composition. The imagery at all times compliments the minmal soundscaping of Murcof fantastically but neither is at any point subdued. For me there couldn’t have been a better way to kick off the 13th Futuresonic and the festival season as a whole.

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All photos by Anne-Laure Franchette
From previous years, viagra this looks set to be the one summer gathering any activist or aspiring campaigner needs to attend. A report of last year’s camp speaks warmly of the ‘lasting sense of genuine kindred spirit and camaraderie’, viagra 100mg between old hands and newcomers alike.

If the Resurgence Reader’s Weekend will provide a few days of quiet reflection, the Earth First! Summer Gathering promises an inspirational week of skill sharing and planning for direct action.

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Illustrations by Adam Bletchley

Earth First! is all about networking and building strength through community and communication. Direct action is what they do – not relying on government or industry to act sufficiently, this network without leaders takes action to them. And whether your campaign takes up the issue of opencast mining, genetic engineering, agrofuels, dam-building, hunt-sabbing, general climate actions, oil pipeline resistance, road stopping, anti-whaling, squatting, or rainforest protection, you’re sure to find something to learn here.

The gathering will be communally run, non-hierarchical, in true anarchist tradition. So far, there are over eighty workshops planned – but everyone coming along will contribute and help run the camp. Get in touch in advance if you’ve an idea for a workshop, or want to help with the setup or takedown of the site.

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Too many workshops on practical skills for direct action are already planned to list here – though to whet your appetite, they include tree climbing, activist medic first aid, and a full day of water based training. This should help to build on the several campaigns already taking to the water – at Rossport against Shell’s pipeline laying, and the Great Rebel Raft Regatta of last summer’s Climate Camp.

There will also be the chance to brush up your practical ‘sustainable’ living skills – grounding that ever-slippery term in real things : field trips, learning to recognise plants and animals, wild food, getting your own power from the sun and wind, squatting and bike maintenance. And vegan cake making, which for me is quite the cherry on top.

Have a collective think, too, about ecology, ecocentric ethics and alternatives to the corporate world of exploitation. Which should come neatly round to an excursion to some of the beautiful vallies of the area, on the Monday (24th August), to visit communities threatened by an expansion of coal mining around the North East.

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Here are the practicalities:

BRING
Bring tent and sleeping bag. You can either cook food for yourself or for £4 per day chip in with collective cooking of delicious vegan organic food – organised by the wonderful Anarchist Teapot collective. There’ll be quiet sleeping areas, toilets and running water, a children’s space and spaces for workshops and info stalls. Veggies will provide vegan cake and snacks. Children and young adults welcome with subsidized meals.

WHEN
19th-24th August 2009 – Arrive Tuesday afternoon. Workshops run from Wednesday morning until Sunday afternoon.

WHERE
The site is in or near the Lake District, Cumbria. The nearest train station is Penrith and there is a bus service to the site, there are car and living vehicle spaces outside the camp.

The exact location will be announced the week before the gathering so that it doesn’t turn into a festival. For travel directions check the website where they will be posted on 12th August.

DOGS : This year well behaved owners with dogs on leads can be accommodated, but think about whether your dog will feel comfortable in workshops. Please call beforehand so we know numbers.

COST : £20 – £30 according to what you can afford. It’s not for profit – all extra cash goes to help fund next year. Under 14′s free.

CONTACT
summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk
www.earthfirstgathering.org.uk
Or ring 01524 383012 – though it might take a while to get back to you.

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Central St Martin’s graduate Phil Hall draws in the same way that some of us dream; streams of consciousness, information pills themes interspersed with sudden hints and whispers of unrelated recollections. Some of his work contains snippets of dialogue, viagra often witty and astute but again with an undertone of the surreal and reminiscent of muddled hallucinogenic dream talk (yes, sick that is a technical term).

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His commissions to date include the magazines La Bouche, Crafty and Torpedo, as well as for the G2 Guardian supplement and animation company Kanoti. Animals, both actual and fictitious, are nestled between cityscapes and underwater worlds, while everyday objects are comically personified and everyday scenes playfully reinterpreted.

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Figures and portraiture are also common threads throughout Hall’s work, which he has an incredible skill for undertaking. Subtle use of lines and marks, but nonetheless full of expression, the characters are often solemn and appear loss in thought. I wondered whether this was a reflection of Hall’s own state of mind and so challenged him to a quick fire round of questions. Turns out he’s actually a pretty sharp guy.

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So, Phil, what makes you so awesome?

I don’t know about that, but I think people who want to create, try new things, provoke through art are pretty awesome.

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

Anybody who is trying new and interesting things, especially people who take risks.

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Who or what is your nemesis?

That darn negative voice in my head

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?

New Radiohead stuff, i know, i know…

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I say Modern Art is Rubbish, you say…?

Some of it

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

climbing the walls

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What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?

90′s video games, yes, I’m slightly embarrassed by this but as an 80′s child in was such escapism.

What advice would you give up and coming artists?

Believe in your own ideas, but always question them.

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What piece of modern technology can you not live without?

The Internet and hoverboard

What is your guilty pleasure?

Crap TV

Tell us something about Phil Hall that we didn’t know already.

I’m a triplet, I have two sisters, ones a florist the other a teaching assistant.

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When I fall asleep tonight, when I slip into that state of meditative relaxation and my mind lets go of the reality of my day, I hope my dreams are as vibrant and vivid as Phil Hall’s illustrations.

What do you dream about?

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So. A whole new batch of graduates all with a different vision – and what to do with them? With the music industry completely revolutionised beyond recognition by the internet, sale the world of fashion has also recognised the lucrative possibilities of the online community to spread the word beyond the catwalk and the pages of glossy magazines. Networking sites like Nineteen74.com are making an obsessively international industry international for the earliest of starters, viagra approved connecting stylists, unhealthy designers, editors, make-up artists, press and hairdressers across the waters.

But with fashion as a site where art and commerce (especially when globalised) traditionally sit uneasily alongside one another, individual expression so often has to be tamed and tapered to fit. Yet Stefan Siegel, owner and founder of the website NOT JUST A LABEL believes that “fashion finds its freedom in the art of individuals”, so set up an online store dedicated to embracing such creativity, and crucially taking it to an accessible level but making it a place where “everything goes”. It’s an online base of up and coming designers, giving its members an esteemed platform where they can showcase and sell their clothing without having to compromise. This is 2009, and this is the world showroom. Here, Stefan talks to Amelia’s Magazine about his designers, his successes and his motivations.

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When and why did you start NJAL and what motivated you to open the shop-section of the website?

Young aspiring fashion designers face enormous hurdles at the beginning of their career; we wanted to provide a stage where designers could showcase their collections at no costs. The goal was to formulate and implement a vision; linking designers with the fashion industry.

How long did it take for the shop to materialize?

Only 10 weeks, we decided during Paris Fashion Week in March that it would be a good idea and all our designers supported the idea. We started developing it in April.

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How do you decide which designers to sell?

The recently launched Not Just A Label shop gives birth to a new kind of online shopping experience offering unique, one-off designer garments. Addicts and admirers alike now have the opportunity to purchase special and limited edition pieces from designers recognised as the leaders in avant-garde fashion.

With so many people wanting to get their work out there, how is it possible to keep up?

Selected collaborators like Robin Schulié and Diane Pernet hand-pick designs from the collections. On a monthly basis a new key industry figure will be asked to join us in the selection process, resulting in a different monthly collection. The chosen participants will be launched as a group to the press a month before their launch on the website.

Have you been successful as of yet?

The response has been amazing, we had thousands visitors on our page when we launched and the reactions are all positive so far. We believe it was really something the market was missing.

How do you think attitudes are changing in young designers?

Young designers recognise the responsibility in creating sustainable fashion. By applying artisan craftsmanship they are known to create products that have classic values with longer lasting qualities and we hope that consumers and buyers will soon recognise this opportunity. Every item displayed on THE SHOP is unique or part of a small production, we believe it is more valuable and eco-friendly to buy an item you can keep for more seasons.

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Having a snoop around the website, it’s great to see that designers can create their own free individualised showrooms online with personalised web addresses, with picture and video galleries and contact information. It’s in essence a place where the individual wields the power – what NJAL has called ‘the black sheep’s environment’. Here you’ve got to be the black sheep or else! Now just imagine what this flock would look like – pretty fabulous we bet.

Blundering, sildenafil mistake-making fashion followers believe that style is about fitting in, find but the true sartorial clan know that individuality has always been the on-trend approach to dressing. These days the high street seems to offer little more than weak duplicates of catwalk designs. The same styles circle the streets over and over again. Standing out has become a difficult endeavour: but there is hope. Forget hitting the shops, adiposity stay at home and spend your style pennies via the happy medium of your computer. With online retail expanding every day (check out our article on NOT JUST A LABEL), the web has become a virtual mall, brimming with quirky garments, capable of satisfying the most eccentric of fashionistas. The obstacle is discovering them, but Amelia’s Magazine has picked out some of our favourites that might mean you would never have to get out of your pyjamas to actually wear any of the clothes you might hypothetically buy. C’est la vie, etc.

Modcloth Indie Clothing:
The pitch: Granny in space
FYI: An emporium of funky fashion finds: from more conventional tea-party dresses to crazy PVC high-waisted shorts. It is a fashion cocktail that will quench all styles of thirst: from grunge to gran- glam to more sophisticated tastes: Modcloth embraces it all. Their stock is as diverse as it wearable, with a collection of pendants particularly expansive; from roses to miniature clocks to birds to robots – and all for less than thirty pounds.

Spanish Moss Vintage

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The pitch: It’s a New York state of dress
FYI: If Lady Gaga owned a vintage shop, it would most definitely resemble Spanish Moss Vintage: most of the models sport her iconic platinum bob and the clothes have a bold, eccentric New York appeal. You can choose between either their New or Vintage Stock, with both lines evoking what can only be described as a wild-nocturnal-hippie-bohemian vibe. Designer pieces are jumbled between quirky one-offs. Jumpsuit aficionados will be especially impressed, from shoulder-padded, to floral covered to striped: each number reflects a different era, it’s like buying a piece of fashion history!

PIXIE MARKET

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The pitch: Olsen Twins at a rock concert
FYI: Everything speaks rock with a capital R. Garments at Pixie Market are subdued but sharp at the same time, sometimes merging with a beautiful grunge-inspired sloppy look. Acid-wash , spray-painted tees, hard-ass leather; its Soho chic at its most dirty. Especially covetable are the studded sandals, which are a harsher twist on the elegant Balenciaga numbers.

ABSOLUTE VINTAGE

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The pitch: Schoolgirl chic
FYI: Endless collections of handbags, dresses and shoes straight with the oh-so-stylish Brick Lane twist. This is old-lady chic heaven, 75% of all stock would work wonderfully with knee-socks, wayfarers and a dashing blazer. The website is incredibly easy to navigate, and the interminable rows of product images evoke a genuine market-shopping vibe. Forget Portobello, Absolute Vintage is where it’s at!

ROLLING STONE VINTAGE
The pitch: Acceptable in the 70s, 80s and 90s
FYI: The people over at Rolling Stone Vintage believe that a vintage dress is a “fashion staple”, and they make sure to provide this staple what seems like a gazillion different varieties. From American-Indian motifs to glitzy sequins to prom-styles, there is a frock for every girl (or boy, for that matter, we won’t put people in a box). Other vintage highlights include their sporadically placed bright graphic tees that seem to scream “Viva las 80s!”

So come on people – pick up that virtual shopping basket, it’s ever so light. And readers, do you have any more online vintage sites you’d like to recommend? Don’t be a meanie and keep them to yourselves!

Categories ,1980s, ,Indie, ,New York Style, ,Online shopping, ,rock, ,vintage

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

Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Daniel Alexander
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Daniel Alexander.

Since Tata Naka returned to London Fashion Week it has become customary for Tamara and Natasha Surguladze to create a wonderful set that they photograph live for their upcoming season’s look book: it’s a great concept and always a lot of fun to watch from the sidelines: the whole experience more akin to voyeurism than the traditional catwalk show. This season the Georgian twins were inspired by American High School movies and the multitude of references that underpin these down the decades. So here we had very preppy 50s styles abutting up against the big bouffant hair of the 1980s, a very direct reference to which was found in the graffiti wall that provided the backdrop to one set up, ‘Breakfast Club‘ written in bubble writing above a heart. Sugary coloured tweeds were layered over stripes and trademark graphic prints that merged Mondrian blocks with Pop Art faces, the illustrative elements of which were inspired by iconic scenes from key 80s movies. As we milled around we were served cocktails in milk cartons by ‘dinner ladies’ courtesy of Bompas & Parr.

Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Rebecca French
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Rebecca French.

In the locker room sweethearts covered a simple pencil dress, the detail echoed in a cute cut out back. An A-line skirt was worn with a baseball jacket: other girls wore big quiffs and pastel blocks, both tapered trousers and pencil skirts given sheer mesh slices at the hemlines. Sets were changed with alarming speed and confidence, but the downside of this way of showing is that unless you have an hour or so free you will only manage to see a small portion of the collection. I managed to see two set changes by Chameleon Visual: Jenny Robins took photos of the cheerleaders at the bleachers, and there was also a Prom shoot, where sweethearts emerged yet again as a major theme. The talented Tata Naka twins once more showcased their inventive A/W 2013 collection in wonderfully inimitable style. I have come to expect nothing less.

Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka A/W 2013. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Tata Naka by Jenny Robins
Tata Naka by Jenny Robins
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Jenny Robins.

Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Cissy Hu
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Cissy Hu.

Tata_Naka by_Daniel_Alexander
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Daniel Alexander
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Daniel Alexander
Tata Naka A/W 2013 by Daniel Alexander.

Categories ,1980s, ,50s, ,A/W 2013, ,American High School movies, ,Bompas & Parr, ,Breakfast Club, ,Chameleon Visual, ,Cheerleaders, ,Cissy Hu, ,Daniel Alexander, ,Georgian, ,Jenny Robins, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mondrian, ,Movies, ,Pop Art, ,Prom, ,Rebecca French, ,Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, ,Tata Naka

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kirsty Ward: The London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview

Kirsty Ward by Kassie Berry
Kirsty Ward S/S 2012 by Kassie Berry.

In the past few seasons I’ve been super impressed with the work of up and coming designer Kirsty Ward. She won’t be taking to the catwalk this season but I still thought I’d do a sneaky catch up interview with her to find out what she’s got in store for S/S 2012. Here goes…

Kirsty Ward by Claire Kearns
Kirsty Ward by Claire Kearns.

How did you come up with your signature look: sculptural boning of organza to create many layered shapes?
It’s something I have been obsessed with since my MA at Central Saint Martins and has evolved since then, check and there’s always a way each season that I want to push it. I probably won’t ever tire of it.

Kirsty Ward S/S 2012
When did your love of the 80s start?
I’m not sure when, and im not sure if its because I was born in 1982 but I like the possibility and forward thinking of the era, it’s when people started to break the mould more.

Kirsty Ward by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Kirsty Ward S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs.

You can’t bear stud earrings: do you ever feel the physical effects from your love of such big jewellery? Do you take a break from them when you are working or would we find you hunched over a sewing machine with 3 inch earrings dangling dangerously close to the mechanisms?
Haha when I’m working I will generally be jewelleryless – I like wearing teenage boy clothes, with nothing dangling inbetween pattern cutting and sewing. I’m sure there have been some jewellery related accidents as I’m quite clumsy but I cannot think of any specific incidents.

Why do you think that jewellery is so important these days and what can good jewellery offer to an outfit?
Jewellery is great as it can totally make a boring outfit look cool and it’s also not sizeist, so bigger people can wear it too, as not everyone is built for high fashion garments.

Kirsty Ward SS 2012 inspiration girl
You find lots of jewellery components in hardware shops. Do you have any favourite haunts? eg. Have you ever discovered a treasure trove of ancient hardware bits and if so where was this eureka moment?
I tend to favour the great British institutes such as B&Q, theres this online floristry supplier that I love called Micheal dark and my dad is a carpenter so he has lots of fun stuff in his van/tool box. I also like alot of trade only places filled with guys in high vis vests etc wondering what the hell I’m doing in there buying x40 plumbing parts!

Kirsty Ward by Debbie Ajia
Kirsty Ward S/S 2012 by Debbie Ajia.

Are you still collaborating with David Longshaw and if so what can we except from him this season, any insider tips?
Of course he’s my boyfriend, he can’t get rid of me! Well there’s lots of prints (of course) of his beautiful illustrations mixed with some fucked up florals (fucked up in a good way).

Kirsty Ward SS 2012 blue
Why did you decide to forgo a catwalk show this season and instead present the collection on a static stand with a film? What can you tell us about the film?
To be honest as a young designer a catwalk show is far too expensive for me at the moment. I thought it would be far more sensible to meet with buyers and press in an environment where I can talk them through my collection, this way they can see all the details and craftsmanship.
The film will be one word – FUN!

Kirsty Ward SS 2012 inspiration
Last season you’d been watching a lot of Star Wars and that seemed to sneak into some of the dress shapes. Have you been watching some influential movies this season and if so what?
I’ve been watching quite a few shit sci-fi movies – generally the crapper they are the more I will like it, I especially like bad acting and awful special effects. I don’t think it has rubbed off too much in the collection, but we will see in the final lookbook photos!

Kirsty Ward SS 2012 inspiration
This season you’ve been inspired by a “mundane mix of officewear, stationary, menswear detailing and suspended layering.” How can stationary influence clothing?!
It’s more about the stationary being used in the jewellery, its taken over from the hardware of past seasons. 

What new fabrics have you used for the upcoming S/S 2012 season?
Well there’s always a sheer, then there’s a mix of luxurious vs sporty with sand washed silks, neoprene, cotton drills and striped shirting.

Kirsty Ward by Samantha Eynon
Kirsty Ward by Samantha Eynon.

Is music important to you and if so what will you be listening to in the run up to Fashion Week? Any favourites on the decks?
Definitely – I hate working in silence, it puts me on edge. At the moment in the studio were playing: Metronomy, Hot Chip, The Knife, Peaches, Lykke Li, Little Dragon, Yelle.

I’m sure you have loads to do, but what will an average day be like in the final run up to LFW? What will you do to rest and relax?
To be honest my life at the moment revolves around ss12, so if I’m not working on it I’m thinking about it, but as we touched on before I so like to watch the odd shit sci-fi movie.

Kirsty Ward inspiration
No more nipples for S/S 2012: you’ve collaborated with designer Josefine Wing of Mint Siren for an underwear collection this season. What has been the best bit about this project?
It’s good to have another persons knowledge and skills to work with as I didn’t have a clue about the technical side of underwear.

Who is the ideal woman to wear your clothes? Do you think you would ever branch out into menswear?
There’s not a specific example, just someone who likes to have fun with their clothing/jewellery and someone that appreciates the hidden details. I wouldn’t say no to menswear – I often do made to measure pieces for male friends, but who knows about an actual collection!

Where can people get their hands on a piece of Kirsty Ward?
My pieces can be found in China, Japan, Amsterdam, and Italy but In the UK my pieces can be found at Young British Designers, Bengt Fashion and I will be selling select and limited edition pieces on my website (www.kirsty-ward.com)

If you’ve only just discovered Kirsty Ward why not check in with our other blogs about this talented designer (with loads of illustrations):

Kirsty Ward S/S 2011
Kirsty Ward Ones to Watch A/W 2011 Preview
Kirsty Ward Ones to Watch A/W 2011
and another blog about Ones to Watch A/W 2011

You can find Kirsty Ward at the static stands during London Fashion Week.

Categories ,1980s, ,B&Q, ,Bengt Fashion, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Claire Kearns, ,David Longshaw, ,Debbie Ajia, ,Earrings, ,Film. Mint Siren, ,Hardware, ,Hot Chip, ,interview, ,jewellery, ,Josefine Wing, ,Kassie Berry, ,Kirsty Ward, ,Little Dragon, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lykke Li, ,ma, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,metronomy, ,Peaches, ,preview, ,S/S 2012, ,Samantha Eynon, ,Sci-Fi, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Star Wars, ,Stationary, ,Structural, ,The Knife, ,Yelle, ,young british designers

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Amelia’s Magazine | KTZ: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review


KTZ S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

After the Felder Felder show I trekked from Somerset House to Goldsmith’s Hall over by St Paul’s to catch PPQ. As is standard, the PPQ show was massively oversubscribed and with the queue already blocking off streets I didn’t even bother to be turned away with my standing ticket. There was no way I was going to risk missing the mighty KTZ.


KTZ S/S 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

So I legged it to Somerset House like some sort of deranged fashion yo-yo and got seated for the action. Lida from The First to Know who handles KTZ‘s PR looked impeccable in one of their A/W 2012 creations with oversized gold religious emblems. As I waited for the show to start I fantasised about what we might see this season. From 1980s Memphis design to religion, via Africa, it’s been an ever exciting journey with Kokon to Zai and I couldn’t wait to see what they’d crafted this season.


All photography by Matt Bramford

When the pounding music started and the first model appeared I knew instantly that I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Slightly androgynous with a slicked back hair-do and loose pony tail that swished as she marched, the model wore a cropped lace shirt and intricate capri pants with cutaway details, accessorised with oversized pearl earrings and clutch bag. KTZ is one of those rare shows where the audience whoop and cheer at every look.


KTZ S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

The KTZ aesthetic came shortly afterwards, with a model sporting a baseball cap in an intriguing lace full-sleeve dress and a face mask akin to something worn by a very, very fashionable surgeon.

The aesthetic structure of each garment had been inspired by the intricate delicacies of Art Nouveau patterns, in particular William Morris; classic cuts transformed by the whiplash motifs of the era and the fluid, organic lines that differentiate Art Nouveau from other movements. These were expertly applied to the fronts of corseted frocks and the hemlines of short, circular skirts.

The colour black featured heavily as is pretty standard at a KTZ show – translucent tops with thick, black Art Nouveau-inspired embellishments and thigh-high boots in patent leather, teamed the KTZ with huge gold logo accessories, such as an epic bracelet that enveloped the full length of a model’s arm.

Now I would normally say that if you’re a fan of cutesy florals on feminine dresses, steer well clear of KTZ. While that’s still strictly true of this fantasy label, we were then treated to some feminine shapes with sculpted upper halves and playful bulbous skirts. It allowed me to think that this might almost be wearable by people other than Rihanna and Will.i.am.


KTZ S/S 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

Welcomed bursts of colour began to fill the catwalk: a peach tone not seen since 1980s bridesmaids dresses that worked effortlessly with this monochrome-heavy collection, and an effervescent green number for good measure seemed a bit of an odd choice, but if KTZ ever become predictable I’ll stop bloody going.

The detail, craftsmanship and translation of a theme was simply awe-inspiring and rendered me breathless in under 12 minutes – a sensation I sadly haven’t experienced in a while.

Long may KTZ reign!

Categories ,1980s, ,Art Nouveau, ,Bridesmaids, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Harajuku girls, ,Kokon To Zai, ,Krister Selin, ,KTZ, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Peach, ,Pearlescent, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,SS13, ,William Morris, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Frock Me! Vintage Fair at the Brighton Corn Exchange


Illustration by Rosie Shephard

Coming in from a freezing cold Brighton day, here dosage I was welcomed with the warm glow of row upon row of vintage. A cornucopia of vintage clothing and accessories including 1950s lace wedding dresses, link 1960 shifts, information pills 1970s smocks and 1980s mohair. This was Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fair at the Brighton Corn Exchange. An enticing collection of clothes, bags, jewellery, shoes and even a whole stand dedicated to vintage buttons.

Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fairs, a vintage fashion institution no less, have been running since the mid 1990s. With awareness and demand for vintage apparel rising massively since the early 1990s, it’s clear to see Frock Me haven’t missed a trick. Walking in to the Corn Exchange was like stepping in to a props and costume department, no surprise really as Matthew Adams, who runs Frock Me, studied Costume and Theatre Design during the mid 1970s.

There’s something quite liberating about rummaging through row upon row of vintage clobber. The feeling that you’re buying a one-off,  something that’s built to last, something that’s stood the test of time, something with a history. Why would you want to buy anything new and mass produced ever again? Vintage is big business with everyone searching for one-of-a-kind fashion, and fairs like this attract an eclectic bunch adorned in various clothes throughout the ages, 1940s swing mixes seamlessly with 1960s kitsch, like a history lesson in style.


Illustration by Rosie Shephard

There was an overwhelming choice from over 70 exhibitors, but something caught my eye, all feathers and netting and appliqué, so like a magpie swoops on something shiny, I swooped in on a hat stall. To me these millinery marvels were the stars of the show. Lovely 1920s cloches, 1950s pillboxes and 1960s fur felt styles were begging to be tried on.

Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fairs have become a regular face on the vintage fashion circuit with fairs being held several times a year at Chelsea Town Hall and Brighton Corn Exchange.  Check out frockmevintagefashion.com for more details.

Categories ,1920s, ,1940s, ,1950s, ,1960s, ,1970s, ,1980s, ,brighton, ,Chelsea Town Hall, ,Corn Exhange, ,Costume, ,Dress, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Matthew Adams, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Northampton

It may have been the first ever International Show at Graduate Fashion Week, erectile but the designers did all they could to leave a lasting impression on London; collections came courtesy of universities spanning Europe with one show from students as far as Singapore.

The show launched with a strong start with Wolfgang Jarnach from the Akademie Mode & Design in Munich, ambulance his dark collection was made up of voluminous skirts and shoulders teamed with striking tailored jackets, cost topped off with a dramatic Count Dracula style cape.

In an equally theatrical fashion came Vicole Lang’s collection, which racked up the most air miles for GFW, coming in from the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. The show kicked off with a distinctly fetishism theme opening with a PVC bandage body suit, but seemed to become more gradually demure with each outfit, until the stunning Balenciaga-esque spiked and padded dress closed her a collection in show-stopping fashion.

After Vicole’s electrifying garments, a much needed cool off came courtesy of Lidya Chrisfen’s collection which swished down the runway to the calming sounds of an ebbing tide. The neutral palette, twisted rope detailing and seashell embellishments brought to mind shipwrecks and desert islands, whilst the daringly cut, printed maxi dresses injected a touch of red-carpet glamour to the collection.

Wearability was an apparently unimportant factor for a number of the international designers, as spectators at Earl’s Court witnessed recurring ‘head coverings’ as opposed to headwear from several collections. This theme was kicked off by Linda, hailing from Singapore’s LaSalle College of the Arts, who sent a seemingly ‘blind’ model down the runway in a denim hooded thigh-skimming mini dress, which zipped up balaclava style to the top of her head.

Linda, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

The concept continued in Anna Sergnova’s collection, whose medieval-inspired garments were dreamt up in the halls of Saint Petersburg’s State University of Technology & Design. Four of her six garments completely covered the model’s faces with knight style armour, metal visors and chain-mail helmets, teamed with gauntlets and protective Balmain style padded hips and shoulders. Unfortunately the safety of the models was somewhat blighted by the towering heel-less wedges in which they were precariously balancing on as they walked the runway.

Anna Sergunova, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Things only got stranger when Amsterdam Fashion Institute student, Floor Kolen’s creations took to the stage, she too showed a penchant for covering the eyes, this time through the medium of masks, rather scary looking plastic bird masks to be precise. She also took the acrylic route for a selection of her garments and accessories including a moulded bust style T-shirt, plastic feet shoes and demi-gloves which only covered the front part of the hand, but would nethertheless render the wearer helpless.

It is often the English that are often regarded as the most eccentric people in the world; but maybe it is time to rethink this stereotype, because actually stranger things can and certainly do happen – just ask the international designers at GFW. 

Images courtesy of catwalking.com

Garry Butterfield, viagra photographed by Matt Bramford

We are almost at the end of Graduate Fashion Week for another year, viagra but there’s still plenty of talent left to see. 

After hearing that one of the Northampton students, see Garry James Butterfield, had been snapped for Vogue by no other than Rankin I was intrigued to see how the show would pan out.

And it was a right old mix between the neutral pallets and technical draping (grey and navy was everywhere this year) and the ever so slightly eccentric. Perfect! 

Hayley Powell: Powell erred on the neutral side sticking to a delicious mix of chocolates, khaki and creamy silks. Even more enticing was the oversized proportions of the high waisted trousers shown with a tucked in top and tied up with a battered leather belt. Definitely a contender to take Chloé’s throne and a winner in my eyes, if only for featuring a beautiful pair of printed culottes. 


Hayley Powell, illustrated by Abi Daker

Lauren Dewer: Now the first look in this grouping didn’t have such an appeal but as the models waltzed out the bigger picture became clear. Using piping detail to create frills on skirts and structure on dresses, Dewer pulled off the bumblebee pallet and brought each individual piece together. To top it off, models sported yellow socks over their black tights, still a big look for autumn following on from London Fashion Week in February. 

James Cottle: This was the first menswear collection I’ve seen in a while designed by a man. I digress. Cottle pulls together a simplistic uniform of peg leg trousers worn rolled up with romantically bibbed shirts and easy grey marl tops. Finished off with desert boots, the look was so laid back and perfect, the only thing I want to know is what did the badges on the jackets say? A mystery.

Eleanor Burton: A flashback to Dynasty and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video aren’t uncommon musings to conjure when watching Burton’s pieces stomp down the catwalk. It was red. It was Black. It was all about shoulders and bodysuits. Simple, yes; but totally wearable all the same. And it shows you don’t need the glitz and glamour to make a statement in fashion.  


Eleanor Burton, illustrated by Krister Sellin

Amy Robinson: Nirvana. One simple word that pretty much sums up Robinson’s nod to the 90s. It was grungy lace intertwined with silky vest tops and….cycling shorts? Ok so maybe that’s a piece best left on the catwalk but I’m ready to get me a pair of net curtains and start sewing… (Sorry Gran)! 


Amy Robinson, illustrated by Naomi Law

What was nice about the Northampton shows was that they had clearly planned the manoeuvres down to a T. Each designers end pose related to the theme and their collection, and the hair was swept cleanly on top of the head and finished intertwined with ribbon. Beautiful show, well done guys. 

Images courtesy of catwalking.com

Categories ,1980s, ,1990s, ,Addicted to Love, ,Amy Robinson, ,Chloe, ,Dynasty, ,Earls Court, ,Eleanor Burton, ,Garry James Butterfield, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2010, ,Hayley Powell, ,James Cottle, ,Lauren Dewer, ,london, ,menswear, ,nirvana, ,Rankin, ,Robert Palmer, ,vogue, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Northampton

It may have been the first ever International Show at Graduate Fashion Week, erectile but the designers did all they could to leave a lasting impression on London; collections came courtesy of universities spanning Europe with one show from students as far as Singapore.

The show launched with a strong start with Wolfgang Jarnach from the Akademie Mode & Design in Munich, ambulance his dark collection was made up of voluminous skirts and shoulders teamed with striking tailored jackets, cost topped off with a dramatic Count Dracula style cape.

In an equally theatrical fashion came Vicole Lang’s collection, which racked up the most air miles for GFW, coming in from the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. The show kicked off with a distinctly fetishism theme opening with a PVC bandage body suit, but seemed to become more gradually demure with each outfit, until the stunning Balenciaga-esque spiked and padded dress closed her a collection in show-stopping fashion.

After Vicole’s electrifying garments, a much needed cool off came courtesy of Lidya Chrisfen’s collection which swished down the runway to the calming sounds of an ebbing tide. The neutral palette, twisted rope detailing and seashell embellishments brought to mind shipwrecks and desert islands, whilst the daringly cut, printed maxi dresses injected a touch of red-carpet glamour to the collection.

Wearability was an apparently unimportant factor for a number of the international designers, as spectators at Earl’s Court witnessed recurring ‘head coverings’ as opposed to headwear from several collections. This theme was kicked off by Linda, hailing from Singapore’s LaSalle College of the Arts, who sent a seemingly ‘blind’ model down the runway in a denim hooded thigh-skimming mini dress, which zipped up balaclava style to the top of her head.

Linda, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

The concept continued in Anna Sergnova’s collection, whose medieval-inspired garments were dreamt up in the halls of Saint Petersburg’s State University of Technology & Design. Four of her six garments completely covered the model’s faces with knight style armour, metal visors and chain-mail helmets, teamed with gauntlets and protective Balmain style padded hips and shoulders. Unfortunately the safety of the models was somewhat blighted by the towering heel-less wedges in which they were precariously balancing on as they walked the runway.

Anna Sergunova, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Things only got stranger when Amsterdam Fashion Institute student, Floor Kolen’s creations took to the stage, she too showed a penchant for covering the eyes, this time through the medium of masks, rather scary looking plastic bird masks to be precise. She also took the acrylic route for a selection of her garments and accessories including a moulded bust style T-shirt, plastic feet shoes and demi-gloves which only covered the front part of the hand, but would nethertheless render the wearer helpless.

It is often the English that are often regarded as the most eccentric people in the world; but maybe it is time to rethink this stereotype, because actually stranger things can and certainly do happen – just ask the international designers at GFW. 

Images courtesy of catwalking.com

Garry Butterfield, viagra photographed by Matt Bramford

We are almost at the end of Graduate Fashion Week for another year, viagra but there’s still plenty of talent left to see. 

After hearing that one of the Northampton students, see Garry James Butterfield, had been snapped for Vogue by no other than Rankin I was intrigued to see how the show would pan out.

And it was a right old mix between the neutral pallets and technical draping (grey and navy was everywhere this year) and the ever so slightly eccentric. Perfect! 

Hayley Powell: Powell erred on the neutral side sticking to a delicious mix of chocolates, khaki and creamy silks. Even more enticing was the oversized proportions of the high waisted trousers shown with a tucked in top and tied up with a battered leather belt. Definitely a contender to take Chloé’s throne and a winner in my eyes, if only for featuring a beautiful pair of printed culottes. 


Hayley Powell, illustrated by Abi Daker

Lauren Dewer: Now the first look in this grouping didn’t have such an appeal but as the models waltzed out the bigger picture became clear. Using piping detail to create frills on skirts and structure on dresses, Dewer pulled off the bumblebee pallet and brought each individual piece together. To top it off, models sported yellow socks over their black tights, still a big look for autumn following on from London Fashion Week in February. 

James Cottle: This was the first menswear collection I’ve seen in a while designed by a man. I digress. Cottle pulls together a simplistic uniform of peg leg trousers worn rolled up with romantically bibbed shirts and easy grey marl tops. Finished off with desert boots, the look was so laid back and perfect, the only thing I want to know is what did the badges on the jackets say? A mystery.

Eleanor Burton: A flashback to Dynasty and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video aren’t uncommon musings to conjure when watching Burton’s pieces stomp down the catwalk. It was red. It was Black. It was all about shoulders and bodysuits. Simple, yes; but totally wearable all the same. And it shows you don’t need the glitz and glamour to make a statement in fashion.  


Eleanor Burton, illustrated by Krister Sellin

Amy Robinson: Nirvana. One simple word that pretty much sums up Robinson’s nod to the 90s. It was grungy lace intertwined with silky vest tops and….cycling shorts? Ok so maybe that’s a piece best left on the catwalk but I’m ready to get me a pair of net curtains and start sewing… (Sorry Gran)! 


Amy Robinson, illustrated by Naomi Law

What was nice about the Northampton shows was that they had clearly planned the manoeuvres down to a T. Each designers end pose related to the theme and their collection, and the hair was swept cleanly on top of the head and finished intertwined with ribbon. Beautiful show, well done guys. 

Images courtesy of catwalking.com

Categories ,1980s, ,1990s, ,Addicted to Love, ,Amy Robinson, ,Chloe, ,Dynasty, ,Earls Court, ,Eleanor Burton, ,Garry James Butterfield, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2010, ,Hayley Powell, ,James Cottle, ,Lauren Dewer, ,london, ,menswear, ,nirvana, ,Rankin, ,Robert Palmer, ,vogue, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fash Off! Closing LFW Party

The Israli born Inbar Spector‘s gothic collection certainly raised eye brows and expectations in an explosion of delicate laces, ask buy more about zipped corsetry and mass of tulle. Her pieces consisted of futuristic and OTT couture-like constructivism with an edgy twist which made her designs captivating.

Taking the nomadic immigrant as her muse for autumn/winter 09-09, there was a mix of energetic movement created by the twisted chiffon, zips and pvc trousers, but there was also a sense of structure. Tight corsets, belted waists and armoured tops, ensured an empowered woman emerged.

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one of my favourites from the collection

The last two pieces twisted tulle ballgowns was greeted by whoops of applause. This was a perfect finish for a collection that bursted with intelligently conceived modern gothic pieces.

inbar%20spector%209.jpg

inbar%20spector%2010.jpg
i want this dress!

After a whole week of hot footing it to fashion shows and cocktail swigging after parties, help we wanted to celebrate the last day in style. Cue an invite to ‘Fash Off‘- a Closing LFW Party at the fancy Beach Blanket Babylon in association with Stimuli magazine.

When we first got there we were excited but we were soon confused at the long queue at the door. After much waiting around we were eventually let in. However I must note that there was a rather annoying PR lady who kept disappearing, information pills then reappearing only to haphazardly look at a chart and exclaim ‘only guess list!’ brushing people aside like flies. I like to think of her as dragon lady.

However when we were eventually in we went downstairs for a much needed drink. It wasn’t until 11ish that things hotted up with Skin spinning some tunes and people dancing along. Amongst those at the party were Daisy Lowe, the model Lara Stone and plenty of Stimuli magazine people. Although I was much more excited about the music and a big fan they had in a corner (perhaps you had to be there!)

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sarah and mel lookin’ beauuutiful

fash%20off%20party.jpg
sarah’s sexy fan pose

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…and it’s mel’s turn

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this girl even gets in on the act-gettin’ down and dirty on the floor

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what look is that guy trying to go for?! well at least he’s having fun!

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skin getting the party started

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and the crowd goes wild…well comparatively..

After toasting to this years LFW Sarah, Mel and I parted ways, with fond memories of all things fashion.

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Emete and Amy from Make Lemonade

Woman in politics by Sandra Dieckmann

Illustration by Jenny Robins

I didn’t plan on staying up so late on Election night. I had well- meaning plans involving a cup of tea, viagra sale my pajamas and being tucked up in bed with a book by 10pm. But like many people, this as soon as the exit polls rolled in, more about I was hooked. My emotions swung from disbelief to elation, despair to complete confusion, the latter being the prevailing feeling.

I am not sure if there is any other point in the year where this is the case, but all eyes were on Sunderland. Initially I was baffled by the focus on rushing to count the votes. I would rather it was accurate than rushed, it isn’t Total Wipeout (although how I wish it was! Imagine- the party leaders racing round the course, being pounded with mechanical fists and squaring up to the Big Balls?!) But as the first, second and third result came in, I realized that for a brief, bizarre moment, we had a 100% female government. Imagine that. And bloomin bizarre it was. But why? Why is it so hard to imagine an all female government?

The sad reality is that women are still dramatically under-represented in key areas of public, political and economic life: In the last British Parliament of 646 there were only 126 female MPs. This is abysmal. We lag far far behind countries like Afghanistan, Rwanda, Senegal and Latvia when it comes to women’s representation. The majority of UK senior civil servants, directors of FTSE 100 companies, senior lawyers, and key figures in the media are men. No wonder so many teenage girls cite Katie Price as their role model, though that does make me want to eat my own face. If women are excluded from the top jobs, half the talent of the nation is wasted.

llustration by Jenny Robins

I went to bed around 2.30am unable to keep my eyes open any more, with an excited, but admittedly naïve, confidence that this election would see a significant increase In women in parliament. According to the Centre for Women and Democracy and the Fawcett Society, Thursday’s General Election resulted in… wait for it….. drum roll…… 142 women MPs. Yes! That’s an extra 16! Oh- no, wait a minute… 142 female MP’s in a parliament of 649…. that’s only 22% of parliament. On a positive note, this included Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, and the election of Britain’s first ever female Asian MPs. A tiny bit better, but overall its pathetic, quite frankly. Fuck.

This has to change. We are well behind the majority of other European countries in this regard. If women’s representation continues to creep up in 1 or 2 percentage points like it has done up until now it will literally take decades before women are fairly represented in our country. Women only shortlists may sound drastic to some but when you consider the state of women’s representation nationally, you realize that it’s drastically needed.

And then there is proportional representation. Oh sweet, fair, idolized proportional representation! How we long for you! It is a clear olive branch standing out from the mushy confused mess of the election result. (Lib-lab, lab-con, Con-dem anyone?) The case for voter reform is more convincing than ever.

There are apparently gazilillions of different proportional representation systems, but roughly it means that if a party receives 10% of the vote, they receive 10% representation, which is hundreds of miles better than the system we have now when a party receives 51% of the vote but 100% of the influence in parliament. The Electoral Reform Society explains one system thus; “At present, constituencies are represented in parliament by just one MP. Under a Single Transferable Vote system, each constituency is represented by a small group of representatives…This makes it possible for representatives of different parties to be elected in each ward, thus allowing more people to have representatives of the parties of their choice.” Having a group of representatives in each constituency will mean that it will be even more blindingly obvious if women are not represented there (same for other minority groups too). In many other countries more women are nominated under PR and the more women are nominated the more they are elected. Proportional representation also means that people can vote according to what they actually believe in (like, for example, electing more women to parliament, amongst other things) rather than tactically to keep certain parties in or out.

So yes. Women are still dismally under represented. Yes, teenage girls are growing up saving for boob jobs. Yes, we heard more about the dresses of the leaders wives than we did the policies of the female candidates. But it is time to say no. We wont stand for our outdated, old fashioned, unfair voting system any more… Takebackparliament , a coalition of a range of different voter reform groups have organised a demonstration calling for voter reform on Saturday. When you’re talking to your kids and grandkids in years to come about this bonkers election, don’t say you watched it on facebook and TV. Say you got involved and made a difference.

Join them this Saturday At 2pm at Parliament Sq.

*climbs down off soap box and sneaks away quietly….*


Photograph by Matt Bramford

A few Saturdays ago when the sun was shining brightly (think hard, capsule you’ll remember sunny Saturdays) I met up with the girls behind Make Lemonade. We met at Yumchaa, the delightful tea shop in Soho. We should really have organised a picnic, and in hindsight it might have been the best day of the year for it.

Make Lemonade, both vintage e-store and fashion blog, is the baby of Emete Yarici and Amy ‘The Mysterious Blonde’. This fashionable pair are like chalk and cheese – Emete the cutesy type, resplendent in polka dots and denim, and Amy the more devilish, Debbie-Harry-esque part of the partnership dazzling in sequins. It seems Amy has a bit of a reputation – her friend arrived at Yumchaa moments into the interview accusing her of having a hangover. Charming!


Illustration by Matt Thomas

As we settled into our teas (after Amy had dropped the lid of her teapot into her teacup, but we won’t dwell on that), the girls swiftly turned the tables on me to ask how long I’d been with Amelia’s Magazine. As I began describing the tale, I suddenly realised it was me who was being interviewed! I quickly put a stop to that.

We’d decided to meet up and have a chat because the Make Lemonade site had recently been given the Pearl Law treatment – one of our finest illustrative contributors, Pearl has revamped the site with fun illustrations of the pair at work.


Make Lemonade website illustration by Pearl Law

Make Lemonade began as Emete’s fashion blog in 2007. She was interested in contributing to the ever-expanding fashion blogosphere, but inevitably needed a source of income (I hear ya, sister). She decided to set up a ‘blog shop’ through Big Cartel, and landed a buying slot at a local vintage wholesale outlet. The girls went to uni together, and Emete naturally called upon Amy to go with her to the sale. Make Lemonade the store was thus born.

‘We found that we really liked working together, and that the pieces we picked out complimented each other,’ revealed Emete, or Amy, I can’t quite remember because it was so long ago. It also transpired that they each went for different items – Emete for trousers, Amy for tops.

The girls also run the odd real-life stall here and there, which have been huge successes. ‘In two days, we cleared almost three rails of items,’ Amy told me. Emete revealed that they might have sold more if Amy had not tried half of the things on and refused to let them go, casually explaining that, when worn with the tag hanging out, it would boost sales. I guess that’s the trouble with retailing a product you genuinely love, and that’s clear from this pair.

Their philosophy, they told me, came from the all-too-familar fact that ‘so many vintage shops rip you off’ and it has always been their policy to retail clothes under £20 – little on the site (go on, have a look) sells for over £15. The website has been met with acclaim by many a fashion blogger and stylist, and they’ve heralded a lot of respect from the industry. I find the idea of vintage shopping online, where items have been cherry-picked by two vintage-lovers, far better than in a vast warehouse where any old thing will be squashed onto a rail.

Both the e-store and the blog act as a ‘creative outlet’ for both Emete and Amy, who are currently studying at the London College of Fashion and have a range of part-time jobs, too.

So what influences them when they’re on their buying trips, or in general? ‘The 70s!’ declares Emete. ‘I like the floaty, romanticism of that era. I also love looking at old family photographs, old magazines, that kind of thing. The LCF library is incredible. They have every edition of Vogue. I can spend ages down there!’

Amy, in contrast, is a 1980s child. ‘I love Debbie Harry, and everything 80s!’ she tells me. She’s a big music lover, too, so naturally is influenced by a range of bands. It’s this stark contrast that makes the site work, they (and I) believe. Sometimes you meet people who totally overestimate their influences but with this pair you can see all of these things at work.


Illustration by Pieter de Groot

The name stems from the olde English saying ‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ but there doesn’t seem to be many sour lemons with this twosome. They get on so well – that is clear – at times I totally lost control of the interview with either me, them or all three of us in hysteric fits of laughter. I find it difficult imagining them ever disagreeing about anything. Of course, as an intrepid journalist, I had to ask. ‘We do argue,’ confesses Emete, ‘but hardly ever, and it’s always sorted within minutes.’ They pretend to have meetings, telling friends and family that they are discussing the future of the business when really they’re out looking for the best place to drink tea, or, on one occasion, sipping champagne at Fortnum & Mason.

Emete is the self-declared realist, while Amy is a dreamer. Amy tells me ‘Emete does get a little stressed sometimes, while I’m shouting ‘We’ll be FAMOUS!’, so I have to pat her head every now and again!’ The success of the site is in part thanks to friends and family who’ve been ‘roped in’ on numerous occasions – driving vans, designing leaflets, and loads of other tasks. They often feel guilty about this but most often everybody’s happy to help.


Illustration by Matt Thomas

So how did the collaboration with Pearl come around? ‘Pearl had been a customer of the site,’ the girls explained. ‘She bought a tweed jacket, and had emailed to ask how she could alter it. We got chatting from there, and told her we were looking to revamp.’ They gave Pearl a brief, discussed how the website works, et voila! As Pearl is a vintage-lover, they naturally paid her in clothes.

We chatted about influences, likes and dislikes, reading lists, that sort of thing – both Amy and Emete read Vogue Magazine as a base and vary their reading from there. Emete confesses to ‘occasionally’ reading Look magazine. She told me, Sometimes, Beyoncé just does it for you,’ – a statement with which I agree wholeheartedly.

So what does the future hold for Make Lemonade? ‘We want to grow the site,’ the girls told me, ‘and make MakeLemonade more than a shop. We’d like to create a community of people, through hosting events, workshops, that kind of thing. Something that draws people together.’

Already on the agenda is to increase the quantity of menswear, a t-shirt collaboration, and the girls recently branched out into being London tour guides (well, who better to ask than a pair who have meetings at Fortnum & Mason?) They produced this cute little guide detailing where and when to visit London hotspots, using lemons and as a meter. More lemons = more expensive. Simple!

As much as I could have enjoyed drinking tea and discussing Beyoncé all day, we all had things to do, including taking some snaps of the girls, one of which appears at the top of this article. Naturally I looked like a prize pervert photographing two girls in Soho Square at 11.30 in the morning, but it was a fun end to a fun meeting.

You can find both the store and the blog here.

Categories ,1970s, ,1980s, ,Amy, ,beyonce, ,Big Cartel, ,Debbie Harry, ,Emete Yarici, ,LCF, ,London College of Fashion, ,Look magazine, ,Make Lemonade, ,Matt Thomas, ,Pearl Law, ,Pieter de Groot, ,Polka dots, ,Soho, ,Soho Square, ,tea, ,vintage, ,Vogue magazine, ,Yumchaa

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Amelia’s Magazine | Uniqlo UT Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat T-shirts fashion illustration competition

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt red
Uniqlo UT today launch a new range of UT T-shirts bearing the iconic imagery of New York artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Keith Haring was one of the greatest pop artists of the 1980s, well known for his joyful graphic artworks featuring instantly recognisable symbols such as the Radiant Baby. His dancing figures surrounded with bursts of movement were a reflection of the energetic underground scene, and the socio-political subtext that bubbles beneath his deceptively bright images fits well with the current climate. Jean-Michel Basquiat took a far more chaotic approach to image creation, combining figurative painting, abstract brushstrokes, words and pictograms to describe his view of society. His spontaneous impressionist style combined with primitivist elements continues to be a big influence on creatives today.

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt green
Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt yellow
UT T-shirts by Keith Haring.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt car
Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt cream
UT T-shirts by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

And now for the exciting part: we would like you to style your choice of T-shirt on a man in a bespoke fashion illustration for us. All submissions will be showcased on my website once a winner has been chosen by myself and Uniqlo and announced on the 6th May. Selected submissions will also be showcased and credited across Uniqlo’s social channels in May and one artist picked by Uniqlo and Amelia’s Magazine will win 2 x return tickets from London to Paris on the Eurostar (up to the value of £200 and to be booked by the end of June) and 2 x tickets to the Keith Haring exhibition at the Musee D’Art Moderne. Above and below are some of my favourite T-shirt designs but you can find the whole range of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat T-shirts on the Uniqlo website, so please work with whichever style tickles your fancy.

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt beige
Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt little man
UT T-shirts by Keith Haring.

To celebrate the launch of this latest range of Uniqlo UT T-shirts there will be a unique UT POP-UP! LON event open from Friday 19th April until Saturday 27th April at The Hoxton Gallery. Expect art installations from artists Damian Weighill and Dan Freeman, as well as a pop up store selling limited edition UT collection and related events. Together with Vice Magazine, Uniqlo UT presents two weekends dedicated to ART and MUSIC. I particularly like the sound of the Secret UT Cinema on Friday 19th April, where visitors will be able to see a private screening of a documentary on the life of Keith Haring. On Saturday 20th April influential artists will lead an ARTSHOP creative session. Visitors to UT POP-UP! LON will be invited to step into the UT CAMERA Photo Booth and shoot a looping video portrait on Uniqlo‘s new UT CAMERA smartphone app: the best will be projected onto the walls of the venue and there will be prizes galore for the best themed videos. Customers and fans can apply for exclusive limited passes to the private events taking place in the UT POP-UP! LON via Uniqlo.com/uk/ut.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt green
Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt orange
UT T-shirts by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

DESIGN BRIEF:

TECHNICAL DETAILS: Submissions must include a visual reference to at least one of the Keith Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat Uniqlo T-shirts (above). Artists can incorporate images of the actual T-shirts in their artworks or create illustrated interpretations of these.

SIZE & LABELLING: Your design should be submitted in a jpg format of A4 size, 297 x 210 mm. Please make sure you include UNIQLO and your name in the label.

RESOLUTION: Please create your artwork at a resolution of 300 dpi, but please only send me a 72 dpi version to avoid huge emails. If a larger resolution is needed we will let you know at a later date so keep your original safe!

SENDING IN YOUR DESIGN: Send your design to to me on an email clearly headed UNIQLO ART any time before the closing date.

CLOSING DATE: Closing date for entries is Sunday 28th April. The winner may be invited to take part in follow-up promotional activity.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt
UT T-shirt by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Categories ,1980s, ,ARTSHOP, ,competition, ,Damian Weighill, ,Dan Freeman, ,Eurostar, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Jean-Michel Basquiat, ,keith haring, ,Musee D’Art Moderne, ,Photo Booth, ,Radiant Baby, ,Secret UT Cinema, ,T-shirts, ,The Hoxton Gallery, ,Uniqlo, ,Uniqlo UT, ,UT CAMERA, ,UT POP-UP! LON, ,Vice Magazine

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