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

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 | BIBA is BACK!

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

BIBA, viagra 60mg illustrated by Abi Daker

It was the now legendary Barbara Hulanicki that brought Biba into the lives of so many young people.  Barbara, capsule with her husband Stephen, advice had previously run a small mail order company before opening Biba, a small boutique on Abingdon Road, South Kensington, in 1964.  It was an instant success and customers flocked to the boutique to buy clothing that was inspired by Art Nouveau and Deco designs, as well as Hollywood glamour of the 1920s and 1930s.  The interior of the shop was designed to suit the original and covetable clothes perfectly; it was ornately decorated with beautiful furniture and antiques. Hanging out at the Biba shop was the thing to do, it was the hippest place to be seen and young celebrities of the time such as Twiggy, Julie Christie and Brigitte Bardot were loyal customers.  

‘Big Biba’ illustrated by Alia Gargum

Following its quick success, Biba moved to a further two stores but it was in 1973 that it relocated to the Art Deco department store Derry’s and Toms on Kensington High Street.  Barbara and Stephen spent £1m on refurbishing the store that became known as ‘Big Biba’.  It sold everything that the contemporary household needed and desired, from furniture, food, cosmetics and other household goods, alongside Barbara’s clothing and accessory designs.  Behind the scenes, Biba had become a profitable venture and Dorothy Perkins became a large stakeholder when the company was privatised.  For Barbara and Stephen, their personal relationship with the brand had soured and they were frustrated with the lack of control that they had over the everyday running of the business. In 1975 the nationwide recession forced Big Biba to close, and the couple relocated abroad.   

In 2005, Biba was given new life under the reins of designer Bella Freud.  As creative director, Freud and the company who had bought the rights to Biba tried to capitalise on the legacy that Barbara and Stephen had left behind them.  Freud’s vision was not well received and the collection was criticised for being over priced, and lacking the spirit that Barbara had instilled in the brand.

Daisy Lowe wears Biba, illustrated by Natasha Thompson

It is now at the hands of House of Fraser that Biba has its third revival.  House of Fraser will offer three ranges; Biba, Biba Blue and Biba Boutique.  Biba Blue will carry popular denim styles, whereas Biba Boutique will offer limited edition dresses.  For this season, bang on trend, there are 11 statement maxi dresses. There will be approximately 160 pieces for the launch, and also available will be jewellery, handbags and scarves.  There is a strong contemporary feel to the collection, but sensitivity to the Biba history is clear.  The design team at House of Fraser have been busy delving into the archives and sourcing inspiration from original pieces.  For this season the collection contains maxi dresses, heavily embellished tops and dresses, metallic colours and sheer panelling.  Materials such as velvet, faux fur, marabou feathers and sequins give a nod to the original decadence and Art Deco inspiration of the brand.  With an average selling price of £100, House of Fraser aims to avoid the ‘disposable clothing’ concept that Hulanicki championed.  This does not mean, however, that the collection should be cast with the same contempt that Freud’s fell victim to.  The collection contains some fantastic offerings.  Daisy Lowe has been selected as the face of new Biba, and in one marketing shot she coquettishly wraps herself up in the must have piece of the season – the floor length leopard print faux fur coat.  Other must have items include a wine coloured velvet maxi dress and a range of marabou feather jackets. 

The new collection, illustrated by Jenny Robins

The resurrection of vintage brand Halston shows that with the right creative direction an enterprise like this can be successful.  House of Fraser CEO John King spoke recently of the requests he received from American retail giants Macy’s, Saks and Bloomingdale’s about when they were able to place orders for the Biba collection to sell in their department stores.  The interest in Biba is mammoth; it always has been.  Hulanicki’s capsule collection for Topshop was a huge triumph, but even she has closed the doors on Biba for the foreseeable future.  Available to buy in store now, perhaps it will be a case of third time lucky.

Categories ,Abi Daker, ,Alia Gargum, ,Art Deco, ,Art Nouveau, ,Barbara Hulanicki, ,Bella Freud, ,biba, ,Bloomingdales, ,boutique, ,Brigitte Bardot, ,daisy lowe, ,Glamour, ,Hollywood, ,House of Fraser, ,Jenny Robins, ,John King, ,Julie Christie, ,Macy’s, ,Natasha Thompson, ,Saks, ,South Kensington, ,twiggy

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Amelia’s Magazine | Black is the new Black- Hannah Marshall Interview

When you think of the humble pom-pom you think of children’s clothes, order buy of gigantic sombreros for tourists, generic unsightly snow boots and poodles with dodgy haircuts. Experimenting with pom-poms always seemed to be a bit like tequila shots – one was fun, two was adventurous, any more was way overboard and enough to make you gag.
NOT ANY MORE! Somebody somewhere decided it was time to wrench those pom-poms from the cheerleader’s sweaty grasp and boom! Stick them in the right places and we’re in love – and it turns out you can have hundreds of them!



They might have come to our attention bobbling out all over the catwalks in fashion week and with the high street following suit, but this is a look that could be even cheaper for the creative recessionistas amongst you. Make your own! Check it.
If you ever find yourself sat staring into space on the tube, you could be churning out a whole lot of pom-poms instead. Worn the right way I think it’s a really easy and fun accessory to jazz up an outfit– this cute Peter Jensen ring as a prime example:


We’ve seen some girls wearing them in their hair, which make a nice woolly alternative to bows, and of course the contentious scrunchie.








Don’t be wearing those in the cinema mind you.

It’s amazing that something so simple has been culturally reinterpreted so often over the course of history. That might sound grand but something that’s gone from dangling off the edges of sun hats in Central America, to being mass marketed to children all over the world to making on the Paris catwalks is pretty unique. Yikes, Pom Pom international even reckons they can promote world peace. Maybe that’s one tequila too many. Sporting them could almost seem a throwback to childhood, a fashion revival harking back to the days of hats and mittens (I’d like to say ‘and snow and toboggans’ but let’s face it, it doesn’t snow THAT often).
The last thing we can learn about pom-poms is from cheerleaders everywhere, who if nothing else, seem mind-bogglingly happy. Why? POM-POMS!
“At a T-cross-section go to the left. On your left hand you will see a hill. At the end of the hill, tadalafil on the top, this you will see a green cottage. That is where you can find me. If I am not there I might be outside doing some experiments.”
Holland’s answer to a modern day Darwin, Theo Jansen has spent the last 19 years playing god and taking evolution into his own hands. An arrogant way to spend the best part of two decades you might say, but not when you see what incredible results this passing of time has produced. Jansen’s kinetic creature creations exist in a carefully crafted overlap of art and engineering.
From a physics background to a study of painting via an interest in aeronautics and robotics Jansen arrived at 1990 with a thirst for breathing autonomous life into mechanical sculpture. What started as a highly technical computer animation program is now only reliant on the power of the wind with no machine assistance and only minimal human input required, and even that Jansen hopes to eventually phase out.
My personal attraction to what Jansen does comes from my deep seated loathing of plastic waste, which he cleverly conquers by incorporating discarded plastic bottles as part of a complicated wind energy storage system and he sources metres and metres and metres of yellow plastic tubing- 375 tubes per animal to be exact- to create the skeletons for his beautiful monsters.
He claims he started to use the plastic tubing because it was unbelievably cheap and readily available although he quickly discovered that a more perfect material for the project would be hard to find as they are both flexible and multifunctional. He draws comparisons between the plastic required in his art and the protein required for life forms. “in nature, everything is almost made of protein and you have various uses of protein; you can make nails, hair, skin and bones. There’s a lot of variety in what you can do with just one material and this is what I try to do as well.”
The heads of his giant beings act as sails, directing the intricate frames to glide gracefully across the nearby beaches to Jansen’s home and laboratory. The insect-like wings catch gusts of wind and propel the body forward. When there is no wind not even for ready money, the stored energy in the belly of the beasts can be utilized.
Jansen’s vision is of a landscape populated by herds of these sculptures taking on entire lives of their own. The versions of models that made it into existence have raced and won survival of the fittest contests through his computer program and having studied these ‘winners’ Jansen designed creatures so developed they are even capable of self preservation, burrowing themselves in the sand when the gusts are too powerful for them to use constructively.
His imagination like his Strandbeests (literally translated as ‘Beach Animal) is an ever evolving self perfecting organ. He envisions a point at which he will release his creations ‘into the wild’, which he speaks about in the same loving tone you would expect from a parent preparing their nest to be flown by their offspring. “I imagine that two animals will meet each other and compare their qualities in some way; have a demonstration somewhere on how they run and how fast they can run and also do some quality comparison on how they survive the winds. And the one with the better quality kills the other one and gives the other its own genetic code. There could be 30 animals on the beach, running around all the time, copying genetic codes. And then it would go on without me.” It’s not so far fetched after all to consider what Jansen does as god-like. He plainly and rather humbly philosophizes, “I try to remake nature with the idea that while doing this you will uncover the secrets of life and that you will meet the same problems as the real creator,” he added. Theo Jansen is simply a genius though his genius is far from simple. Amen.

It has been a while since I have found a political party that I feel that I can get behind. Politics seem to have descended into a misguided mess. Anytime I read about a Tory or Labour MP, more about it is usually because of a scandal. What is going on environmentally and economically seems to play second fiddle to infighting and lies. Meanwhile, living in East London, I have become friends with a couple of people who are involved in the Hackney Green Party. They don’t seem to lie, or cheat, or claim expenses – this is a party that I can support! I wanted to find out more about them, so I sat down for a cup of tea with Matt Hanley, who is the Green candidate for Stoke Newington Central.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

I really liked the political broadcast; I thought it was very astute. The message is not that we have to step outside of our comfortable lives, but that the Green Party are the only political group who can deal with the contemporary and current issues that the world is facing; both politically and environmentally.

We have changed in almost a 180-degree way, twenty years ago the stereotype was beards, sandals, pipes, hemp clothes, it was almost like lecturing the public – it was unsophisticated. Twenty years ago was what, 1989? Scientists for the first time had come to an agreement that climate change was happening, and that it appeared to be man made. I guess when that news was first out there; people were like ‘look, its GOT to change’. Now we are a bit savvier. We have to present policies which are palatable to the voting public; there is no point in standing on the side lines and finger wagging, if we present a policy which will save money but drive down carbon emissions – that is what we are all about. I see the environment agenda of the Green Party very much subset of our core goal, which is social justice. Everything we do, we put the welfare of the human being at the very core. If they are not benefiting from our policies then… I don’t want to know…. that is what the Green Party stands for. So we work for human rights, LGBT rights, promoting the local economy, promoting local business, right though to reducing carbon emissions, they are all under this umbrella of social justice. We are providing a very electable platform, which will improve people’s lives. We are a very well run political party with extremely good innovative ideas to get ourselves out of this economic mess and we are also challenging climate change and enabling our communities to do the same and preparing ourselves for peak oil.

There have been a many protests organised recently, a lot of people who have never protested before are taking to the streets. What is the Green Party’s stance on direct action?

We are the political wing of the New Social Movement; we are the only party who advocate non-violent direct action. The Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas, is probably the only leader with a criminal record, she has been arrested at a nuclear base up in Scotland. We support legitimate protest. There is a place for the protesting, and a place for the parliamentary process. So we are the elected wing of the protest movement.

Illustration by Aarron Taylor

Other parties don’t like their protesters do they?

Absolutely not, they just want you to nod along. Like good citizens, nod along like The Churchill Dog! (Laughs)

For people who have only heard of Hackney and have not been here, the first words that would come to mind would not be “sustainability”, “communities” or “grow your own”, but plenty of people are living by these ideals here and there is actually quite a healthy sized green movement in Hackney….

There is a massive opportunity for a green movement here, and massive support for us. It is unbelievable. In the last elections, the Greens reached second or third in every single ward in Hackney.

And you have a good relationship with Transition Town Hackney as well?

Yes, but they are completely different organisations. The Transition Town movement doesn’t want to be in the thrall of the political party. We definitely support the parties and their principles. We are all about a localised economy, we should be able to feed ourselves, produce our own energy, and I should be able to send my kid to the local school. The Transition Town model is about preparing for the onslaught of climate change and equipping communities for that transition, and that is also what the Greens are all about.

Can you see Hackney functioning well under a Green Party council?

Absolutely! They are doing it in Lewisham at the moment, which is a similar demography. They are doing all these fantastic things, for example, they have set a system up where you can go to the library and hire energy reading meters which you can take home and fix into your energy meter and this allows you to do an audit of your energy usage. I definitely want to see this launched in Hackney. It’s an innovative, creative way of thinking. It’s about putting sustainability at the core of everything, which also saves lots and lots of money!

I see The Green Party as being very accessible to young people as well.

The average age of people joining is mid to late 20′s. They are not wedded to 20th century politics, a lot of older labour supporters can’t bring themselves to leave. We have the same agenda that Labour did, back when they were good Labour. Only we can add the environmental agenda. We stand up for peace. We stand up for nuclear disarmament, no other party does that. We want public services to stay public. We want to renationalise the railways – the cost of rail tickets hits young people very, very hard. Younger people can see that we are standing up to big businesses, supporting local shops, and standing up for individuals. We have a whole plethora of progressive policies……..

Illustration by Aarron Taylor

And also The Green Party a very media savvy bunch – you are on Facebook, you organise lots of activities….

Absolutely! In fact next week we are going paintballing – ‘Paintballing for Peace’

(Laughs) What other way is there to find peace?

(Laughs), and we are going on a Hackney Greens bike ride down to Brighton, we are organising a summer solstice away down to the coast. And we go on alternative pub-crawls. (Laughs)

Speaking of young people, Matt, you are 30 years old and you are standing for Stoke Newington Council for next May. What prompted this move?

I don’t like politicians – they are all the same, especially with what is going on with news about their expenses at the moment.
Working for the Green Party, and seeing the good that they are doing, I thought, you have to step up. I know that I can do a good job. Labour are failing miserably both in Hackney and in the country. The Conservatives are the same, the Liberal Democrats are no different, and so as a Green, you just have to step up.

What will you do if you won and had the power to implement any idea? What’s the first thing that you would do?

Free insulation! It’s a scheme that stems from European legislation, which states that energy companies are obliged to give a certain percentage to energy efficiency schemes. But the councils have to apply for that. The Green Party in Kirklees is on the local council, so every single person in Kirklees gets free insulation. It drives down energy costs, and drives down the carbon emissions and creates local jobs, so it’s a win win situation. Why every single council on the country is getting on this I don’t know. It saves everyone money, make peoples homes warmer, make them healthier – it stops people going to NHS with colds and flu and also reinvigorates the local economy by producing jobs. It creates a programme of very sustainable jobs. We tried to implement it before, but the Labour Councellors called it ‘daft’, dismissed it out of hand and didn’t give a reason beyond that!

That doesn’t make any sense!

The Labour and Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats are on the wrong side of history, but there is a new movement, and it takes into account the Green Party, Transition Town and Friends Of The Earth…. Amnesty International, trade unions, CND etc and all these community grass routes organisations. This is a wonderful new social movement that can be called green with a small g and is a new paradigm of social and political engagement…. this is what the 21st Century is coming to now, but the three big parties are still clinging onto the coat tails of 20th Century ideology. This whole new multifaceted social movement (of which the Green Party are the political wing) is the new politics of the 21st century.

Illustration by Faye Katirai

Can you tell us the best changes that we can make to our lives to make our world more sustainable?

Number one is vote Green! Although I don’t want to lecture people about being ” eco trendy”. Eco trendiness and eco consumption is not going to sort this mess out. We need strong government action to allow this country to change to a sustainable economy. But back to things that you can do as an individual: don’t use your car as much. Don’t eat as much meat. Cut down, you don’t have to stop eating meat completely, just don’t buy from supermarkets. Stop shopping at supermarkets altogether, because that is killing the environment, and your local towns. Support your local shops instead.

Wise words! Thanks Matt.
While the rest of us spent the winter windblown and wet-toed, viagra knitwear designer Craig Lawrence was dreaming of a resort escape, prostate with all the bells and whistles. And what hard earned sunburn doesn’t deserve to be soothed by an embarrassingly oversized tropical drink with all the tacky accoutrements. And ‘splash’ inspiration is born! Those fanciful toxic colored fishbowls of liquor with their cascading garnishes were all the visual inspiration Craig needed to create his first collection since graduating from St.Martins last July. Knitted up with satin ribbons and swirling metal yarn, the knitwear newcomer’s sugar sweet confections made it to Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s runways and onto the lips of the fashion heavies.


I understand sweets and cocktails were the inspirations for your recent collection. What are some of your favorites?
After my degree collection for St.Martins I needed a bit of time to catch my breath so when I started designing again it was winter…cold and grey. I was eating sweets in my studio and daydreaming of beaches and tropical drinks. Some of my favorite things are peach daiquiris, parma violets. My favorite sweet is probably chewy toffee and favorite drink is that fizzy orange drink irn-bru.
What do you recall as the first piece of knitwear you ever made?
A wooly, salmon colored scarf that I actually lost on the train. That and an awful grey ruched square-shaped polyester thing I had to make for my A levels.
If given the chance to collaborate with anyone who would you have in mind?
I’ve always thought of doing pieces for a more theatrical environment. I would love to work with Slava Snowshow.


You recently worked with stylist Katie Shillingford on a shoot for your recent collection. There’s so much movement in those images which really brings your knits to life, how did you manage to capture that?
I’d wanted dancing and movement but the studios’ ceilings were too low and they were all too expensive. So we brought a 9 ft family size trampoline to a rooftop overlooking the city and had the girls bouncing up and down on it. A bit risky actually as there was really not much there to stop them from going over if we weren’t careful. We did the hair and make up at home with the help of my boyfriend and flatmates, one of which is a model, which definitely helps when you need someone for fittings.
Did you start out interested in knit or did you find your way to it while studying fashion?
Actually, I wanted to do menswear while I was at London College of Fashion, by the time I got to St.Martins they encouraged me to do knit because they saw that all my stuff to that point had been designed in jersey. And I loved the chunky quality of knit.


I hear you managed to do the impossible and actually design 6 seasons of knitwear for Gareth Pugh, while doing your BA, AND working a retail job once a week. How were you able to do that and how many of yourself did you have to clone?
I was in school at the time and had knitted a scarf for a friend who’s flatmate wore it on a date with Gareth, who mentioned he was looking for a knitwear designer. He got in touch and said he needed to have pieces made up in a week. So it was all quite fast. All that while doing my BA degree and working in the stock room at John Lewis on Saturday mornings, sometimes having to be there at 6 am. You get used to not sleeping.
And a year after graduating you were showing at Vauxhall Fashion Scout?
My PR agency BLOW called me up a week before the show and said they had an opening for me, so I made up some accessories and a few pieces to fill out the collection I’d been working on. I was given a team of hair and make up artists and we were off.


Which comes first for you, the yarn or the garment?
Usually the textiles come first for me. I’ve learned alot about them along the way, like for example needing to use a flat knit for tight fitting garments.
Are there any textiles, practical or not that you’re really keen to use?
I’d like to do something with little leather strips or pvc something shiny and bright. Maybe even strips of diamante.
What is one of the more random things you’ve used to knit with?
You know those yellow rubber gloves used for washing up/ i found a guy in Dalston Market selling a gaint roll of it and bought it. I cut it up into tiny little strips and started knitting it up but as a garment it was incredibly heavy and totally unweareble.
Could you give us a peek into the inspirations for your next collection?
At the moment I’m interested in accessories, chenille, and fireworks!
Look out! That is some recipe. Craig Lawrence wants to expand our minds and preconceptions, to push knitwear into places we’d least expect it. Can’t wait to see what Molotov cocktail awaits us next season!

Prepare yourself for copious amounts of black eye liner as this week sees us take an awe-inspiring look at one of London’s fashion firmament Hannah Marshall. A rapidly establishing icon Marshall has been injecting a healthy dose of rock and roll back onto our catwalks since her break through debut in 2007.

I tracked down Hannah to find out more about this talented lady


How are you doing? It’s a lovely sunny day in London; hope your enjoying the sunshine?

I have escaped from London to work from home today in the beautiful Essex countryside; the weather is beautiful here too.

Take me through life since you’re A/W 09 collection showcased at London Fashion Week?

The Autumn/Winter 2009 collection ‘Armour’ was shown at London Fashion Week as part of the New Generation exhibition sponsored by Top Shop. In addition, store I did my first presentation at the On|Off space with Ipso Facto in the Science Museum. The collection was also shown in Paris and New York and there has been a very positive reaction with UK and International press and buyers alike. Since fashion week, ed I have started working on more music collaborations, approved which is really exciting.


Your one of the few designers I have come across that you really get the sense that your personal style plays prominence in your designs, would you agree?

I think it’s important to practice what you preach, and at the end of the day I am designing what I want to wear, that I believe isn’t out there already. I am obsessed with black, shoulder pads and eyebrows. My brand is an extension of me and my aesthetic and vision, which is about empowering women through clothing.

Every girl needs her staple black dress, for me anyway there is a sort of salvation and self-assurance in black clothing, would you agree?

When I design, I design in black. It’s the strongest and most powerful colour there is. Black is the perfect tone to create bold and interesting silhouettes with. For me, the iconic Little Black dress is the epitome of timeless clothing and is the wardrobe staple that is exudes a powerful elegance, authority and quiet confidence. When I launched my label in 2007, I just showed 12 black dresses – for me, a black dress is all you need.


What would you say stimulates you to create your collections?

This season the Hannah Marshall woman wears her own suit of armour. Her body is encased in steel line panels, protected with angular breastplates, concealed with pronounced contours and shielded with moulded hips. This body armour concept allows pieces to offer the illusion of strength and lend the wearer a sense of security.

My design philosophy stems from my continuing obsession with the human form and bodily contours, resulting in carefully orchestrated designs that fit to perfection, inspired insect exoskeletons references such as the beetle’s armoured shell, mimicked through protective interconnecting segments. Black takes the main stage once again, in contrasting and tactile fabrics to create a second skin concealing what lies beneath. The introduction of caviar- look stingray, luxurious stretch velvet and taught elastic is added to my ritual butter soft leathers and lustrous stretch silks

I know it’s a generic question, but which designers out their would you
pinpoint as inspirations?

I am obsessed by Thierry Mugler and the super tailored, sexy designs from the 80′s period. I love the minimalism of Jill Sander in the 90′s and appreciate the sculptural shapes from Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto.

You utilise black very heavily within your work, would you say “black is
the new black?’

Always – black is irreplaceable and will always be around throughout each season.

I know you’re enthused by music, you recently used Ipso Facto as muses for you’re A/W 09 collection, which other bands blast out of your headphones?

Ipso Facto of course, as well as The Kills, Iggy Pop, Skunk Anansie, The Black Keys, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Florence & The Machine, Prince, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Nirvana, Siouxie & The Banshees, and more…

If you could work with any iconic figure from the past, who would you choose any why?

Cristobal Balenciaga – pure genius.


Do you have any advice for budding designers eager to break into the fashion sphere?

Believe in yourself, otherwise how can you expect others too. Also, I would advise any young designers to get a mentor and do their ground work.


The more that I delve into the world of Hannah Marshall the further in awe I become. Marshall creates collections that are not merely appreciated as catwalk objects, she creates pieces that tap into every woman’s subconscious. Her Designs follow a distinctive aesthetic, beautifully crafted with architectural precision but with a sensibility that just screams wearability.


I think on a subconscious level we are all black aficionados, when your endlessly trawling the deepest realms of the wardrobe on those bleary eyed mornings, what brings us the utmost in self-assurance and feistiness? Without a doubt it is the quintessential little black dress that consoles all dilemmas. Its been engrained into our sub conscious, think avante garde, think Audrey Hepburn. The back dress prevails time, it still retains the same stylish potency now as ever. Regardless of occasion Its my one true ally admist the abysses of print and colour that can often just make the head spin. Blacks connotates effortless dominance, sexiness and style.


So watch out world we have a new queen of darkness on our hands!

(images supplied by Victor De Mello)

Categories ,Black, ,Fashion, ,Hannah Marshall, ,Interview, ,London Fashion Week, ,Rock and Roll

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Amelia’s Magazine | Portfolio: an interview with illustrator Claire Kearns aka Curly C


Felder Felder by Claire Kearns.

In the first of my interviews to introduce the wonderful portfolio illustrators who will appear on the soon to be relaunched Amelia’s Magazine, let’s meet the wonderful Claire Kearns. Claire has been drawing for Amelia’s Magazine for several years, regularly contributing beautiful and very unique fashion illustrations.

Claire Kearns Portrait

What kind of illustrations do you most like to create?
People are my favourite thing to draw, especially if they’re wearing intricate clothing as I like to draw folds and stitching. Great tumbling tresses are frequently a feature in my work, as are swishing dresses. I’ve also found great joy in drawing from nature as well, with sea creatures such as jellyfish being another favourite.

Claire Kearns Studio

Can you talk us through your creative process: where do you start and what kind of materials do you use?
I usually start by looking through a variety of reference materials to get a feel for my subject matter before getting started with the actual drawing. My line art is done by hand, this means that I don’t have a lot of room for error but I find creating the bones for my work digitally to be extremely difficult and just like paper more in general. 

Claire Kearns WIP

I very roughly sketch with pencil on Bristol board before working into it with a range of thick brush pens and a delicate dip ink pen with carbon black ink. I used to use fine liners but found that I was having to buy a new one every few weeks so a more permanent pen suits me better- even if it is getting a little battered now.

Claire Kearns WIP

After I’ve finished with the line art I scan it in (having an A3 scanner is so useful, I hugely recommend it to anyone who works larger than a4) then clean it up in Photoshop CC before colouring. I usually colour with a variety of found textures; walls, paper, fabric etc, I have all sorts; and a large collection of Photoshop brushes. I have also been known to work with more traditional colouring media such as drawing inks, screen tones and alcohol based marker pens. 

Emilio de la Morena by Claire Kearns

Emilio de la Morena by Claire Kearns.

What were the best things you learnt on your Graphic Design course at the Uni of Lincoln?
The best thing that I learnt was that sometimes you have to compromise a little on what you’re creating. Your client should have a say in things as well and although you may sometimes need to argue your corner against a bad change working with people is a give and take thing. If you choose to ignore what they’re saying and do what you want you’re not always gonna be able to create the best work that you can and you won’t push yourself out of your comfort zone and improve. Being comfortable is nice but it’s not always constructive.

Claire Kearns WIP

Who or what inspires you, and why?
I grew up watching a lot of Japanese anime and from that got interested in the comic medium- manga. Here’s where I found some of my favourite artists, Kaori Yuki (Angel Sanctuary), the artists collective CLAMP (Chobits, Cardcaptor Sakura, X/1999) and Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon). All three create beautiful intricate work full of flowing hair, beautiful wings and gorgeous clothing. You can take any of the pages in the thousands that they’ve created and they work beautifully as pieces on their own as well as telling a story when placed with their peers.

Kingston MA show by Claire Kearns

Kingston MA show by Claire Kearns.

I also have a love of Art Nouveau, especially Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley, Japanese woodblock ukiyo-e prints, Chinese brush paintings, and modern day artists Audrey Kawasaki and Tara McPherson. I have a large collection of art books that I like to sit down and flip through- everyone should own some, they’re wonderful.

I find following a lot of people on Twitter is great for getting inspiration as well. Sure it can be a little depressing when your peers work seems so much better than your own but you have to stop and remember that we’re all different and that its better to look at what you admire in someone else’s artwork and think about how you can bring that into your own work process than it is to flat out copy someone else’s work or even worse be struck down with a bad case of the green eyed monster. 

Grace Hamilton Necklace by Claire Kearns

Grace Hamilton Necklace by Claire Kearns.

You make amazing hair for your characters: where do you think this love of creating such intricate detail in hair comes from?
As silly as it may sound I think at least a bit of it stems from my own hair. Having grown up with insanely curly hair (hence the brand name!) I’ve always had much more of a challenge than other people while doing self portraits and as school art lessons featured creating a few of these I got lots of practice as an early age. I find hair is quite soothing to draw, its nice and rhythmical. I can happily sit and illustrate tendrils of hair all day- they’re like waves, beautiful and always different.

Liz Black by Claire Kearns

Liz Black by Claire Kearns.

You’ve been working for Amelia’s Magazine for a few years now, how did you get involved and what has been the highlight so far? 
Yeah, it’s been about two and a half years now, blimey. I actually started completely by chance. I was getting more active on Twitter and spotted a retweet asking for people to help with illustrations. I got in contact and went from there! It’s one of the reasons why if I spot a callout now that I’ll often retweet it – I could be helping someone else find Amelia’s Magazine for the first time and starting another beautiful relationship. 

My first few illustrations were for graduate fashion week and were the first real fashion based illustrations that I had created. I’ve definitely improved since then though!

For me the highlight is aways when the person that I have drawn / the person who created the product that I have drawn contacts me to say thank you or puts something on their website to say thank you and how pleased they are. That’s always such a great feeling. Getting to work on a live project from Triumph Bras was also a huge highlight for me, actual industry work is very invigorating!

Frankie Rose by Claire Kearns

Frankie Rose by Claire Kearns.

What would you say to other illustrators who are considering getting involved with the website, but haven’t quite made the leap yet?
I’d say stop dithering and just do it! It’s a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, create something that perhaps you wouldn’t choose to do on your own and work to a much tighter deadline than you may be used to (especially if you’re still a student where deadlines can be quite expansive).

You’ll come away with some new work and a little practice at minimum and will likely have made a new contact and got yourself a little good publicity. What’s not to like?

Claire Kearns WIP

Can you give us a snapshot of your studio space? what would we find if we took a peek in?
I’ve only actually had a proper studio space for the last two years. Growing up as the oldest of three I mostly worked from the kitchen table or my bed and did the same throughout university because of a lack of space. I have drawers full of art materials including a large collection of inks, fine liners, pastels, paintbrushes, papers etc and also have a lot of meticulously ordered boxes of beads. My drawing board was a brilliant purchase to  help prevent an ever increasing amount of headaches and backaches (remember to look after yourself guys!). I wouldn’t be without it now. I work alongside my boyfriend at the moment, his desk is just out of shot to the left of the image. It’s nice to be able to have a creative space that we can work in together and as our studio space is half of our living room it also means that when things get on top of us its easy to just stop and take a break on the sofa for a while.

Claire Kearns Beads

What kind of jewellery do you make in your ‘spare’ time?
I mainly make bead necklaces for myself to wear. These are usually bright and colouful with some form of a pendant. I collect beads from all over the country and always make sure to check if a city has a bead shop when I visit. Just today I’ve sat down and made necklaces with a Sailor Moon pendant, a dotty clay rose and a large metal fish. I’ll enjoy showing off all three of them. 

Claire Kearns Beads

I also have a large collection of hama beads (perler beads to a lot of the world) extremely small beads that are placed onto a grid in a pattern and then heated so that they melt and fuse together. I use them to make geeky imagery which I then attach to necklaces and make into brooches and earrings. I’ve got a nice collection of video game inspired jewellery because of this. I’ve only been working with jewellery for about a year so my stuff isn’t perfect but it’s a really enjoyable pastime and I love being able to wear what I produce.

Kingston MA by Claire Kearns

Kingston MA by Claire Kearns.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?
I’ve not finished it yet but unless it takes a massive detour somewhere bad then I think Wool’ by Hugh Howey is the best book that I’ve read for a while. I picked it up completely on a whim while I was stuck in town with nothing to do and a money off voucher for WHSmith and am glad that I did. It’s a dystopian story where man is living in an underground silo as the world above them is too poisonous to inhabit. Where the ultimate punishment for a crime is to be sent outside to clean the sensors that allow a view of the world to be projected into the silo for them all to see- the only view of the outside they will get from birth to death. It’s a little 1984 meets the Hunger Games and it’s short chapter format means that I can pick it up and indulge in a few chapters when I feel like it. It’s quite addictive though and I have found myself moodily looking across at the cover wanting to know what happens next. Also, I have a huge amount of respect for the author as he originally self published the novel as five parts on the Amazon Kindle store. Shows me that with enough determination and hard work you can make your dream come true. 

Outside of traditional fiction I’ve also recently been enjoying the manga series Nana’ by Ai Yazawa. It’s a fairly gritty and realistic setting based on two girls; both with the name Nana; who by chance end up living together in Tokyo. I can’t go into it too much without ruining the story but there’s laughter, there’s tears and there’s heart pounding moments. It’s definitely one that you can relate to and I’ve been quite happily buying all of the volumes for my bookshelf- I have 16 of them so far. Ai has a background in fashion so her work is rich with real fashion imagery and it’s really refreshing that the characters actually change their clothes every day (so many comics are guilty of the one outfit problem).

KTZ by Claire Kearns

KTZ by Claire Kearns.

I hear you’re a fan of video games – what should a novice like me start with?
I’ve been playing video games since I was a child and got into them majorly when my parents bought me and my sister a PS2 (I still have that exact PS2 now, it’s well over a decade old and ailing a little bit it still works).

As for a good game for a beginner, it depends what sort of thing you’d be looking for. I personally am a big fan of jRPGs such as Final Fantasy (VIII in particular) and Shadow Hearts. The gameplay isn’t too fast, they’re full of interesting characters and the story lines tend to be quite appealing and interesting. They are, however, big time sinks- I’ve been playing my current game Persona 3 for 42 hours so far and will likely have at least another 20 hours to play before I finish it.

If you’re looking for something a bit more bite sized then a good puzzle game is always nice, especially with friends around. Bust-a-Move is the only game to have ever united my entire family. I once woke up to hear my parents playing it together in the middle of the night. A decade after I initially purchased it I still like to get it out now and then for a tournament or two.

Yeashin by Claire Kearns

Yeashin by Claire Kearns.

What do you hope for the future when it comes to Curly C illustration, the brand?
I’d like to be able to quit my day job and work exclusively in the creative industry. Mobile phones isn’t the worst job in the world but it certainly isn’t where my heart lies. I’d also like to see my work in more commercial areas of the industry, as well as in peoples homes. The idea of people opening a book or looking at their walls and seeing something that I created warms my heart and is something that keeps me going.

Categories ,Ai Yazawa, ,Alphonse Mucha, ,Angel Sanctuary, ,Art Nouveau, ,Aubrey Beardsley, ,Audrey Kawasaki, ,Bust-a-Move, ,Cardcaptor Sakura, ,Chobits, ,Claire Kearns, ,CLAMP, ,Curly C, ,Final Fantasy, ,Hama beads, ,Hugh Howey, ,Kaori Yuki, ,Nana, ,Naoko Takeuchi, ,Persona 3, ,Sailor Moon, ,Shadow Hearts, ,Tara McPherson, ,Triumph Bras, ,wool, ,X/1999

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cover
I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately, getting inspired by the adult colouring community and discovering colouring artists such as Hanna Karlzon, who has created the beautiful Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming), a gorgeous volume chock full of dreamy imagery inspired by nature. Hanna talks to us about a love of Art Nouveau and Vikings, memories of childhood, and longings for summer. I can’t wait for Hanna’s next offering, Sommarnatt (Summernight), due out early next year.

HannaKarlzon portrait
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cat and bee
I believe Dagdrömmar means Daydreaming – what do you daydream about and how did this influence the images that appear in this book?
Yes, Dagdrömmar means daydreams and I think the illustrations in my colouring book give you quite a good idea of what I daydream about myself. I have been living in Umeå, which is quite a big town in the north of Sweden, for about 15 years, but I grew up in a small village about one and a half hours drive from here. So I have lived my life growing up close to nature and animals but now that I live in the middle of a city I really long for that closeness to nature that I used to have as a kid, and all that longing often ends up in my illustrations. I love nature, forests, growing stuff, flowers, animals, the quiet life on the countryside and I’m really not a city person at all. It’s a little bit hard to explain how or why I draw – I just do and I don’t reflect about it to much, but in a way I feel like I want to capture that closeness to nature I used to have and mix it with that fantasy world I often lived and played in as a kid, and I guess you could say that that’s the essence of my daydreams and my art.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon owls
How did your first colouring book DagDrommar come about?
For years I had been thinking and dreaming about making a coloring book. Just putting some illustrations together and printing it myself, that was my plan, but I had a lot of other work to do at the time so the coloring book idea kinda got pushed aside. But last year in November I got an email from Pagina, a book publisher based in Stockholm, Sweden, asking if I was interested in making a coloring book with them and my answer then was of course YES! They had been looking around for Swedish illustrators and had gotten a tip from a woman (who I don’t know) about me and my instagram account and well, Pagina liked what they saw and contacted me and the rest is kinda history.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon 1
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon crown
There were no clear directions about what kinda book they wanted, more than an actual coloring book, so I got to choose and direct most if it myself so it has been quite a journey since I had never done a book before. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a hard cover and for it to be a handy size of book. I came up with the name Dagdrömmar, the illustrations grew from that, and it took me about 5 months to complete the book, from start to finish. I did everything, from drawing the 100 illustrations to designing the layout of the book. The one thing that my publisher commented on was the cover, so we changed it back and forth a few times but I think the final one turned out nice. Making Dagdrömmar was the biggest task I have ever made in my work life as an illustrator, so far, and I’m really happy and proud that I pulled it off!

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke.

Dagdrömmar has been causing a bit of a stir in Facebook colouring communities (which is where I first discovered it). Have you looked online to see how people are colouring your pictures and which ones are the favourite, and does this influence how you are producing the next book at all?
I’m a member of some coloring groups on Facebook but I actually seldom scroll through those gropus since a few times I read some updates from people who didn’t like my book at all and that was kinda hard to read when I had put my heart and soul into the book, so I stopped looking after that. Of course I understand that not all people like my books but it’s easier for me not to read about I guess, it keeps me sane, haha. But I do look at coloring pics that people post on Instagram and I really like that. It’s so fun to see and I try to keep up and “like” all the pictures that get posted.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtney Personious.

And as to the question of whether all these posts and pics influences me and my work on my next book, well, not really. It might sound harsh but I get ALOT of emails from people who want me to do this and that for my next book, soft cover, bigger format, more details, less details, another paper, less girls, no spreads, one sided print, more flowers, less flowers… and so on and I can’t do all that, I can’t make everyone happy when everyone wants different things so I just have to rely on myself and do what I think is best and hopefully you will all like that in the end. On the other hand we (me and my publisher) try to make a diversity of products, for example postcard books, poster books etc. so that there will be a bigger chance that everyone will find a product that suits them.

Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
What can people expect of your next volume, Sommarnatt? Will the pictures evoke midsummer nights for people around the world or will they be quite Scandinavian in feel? (WIP above)
As my first book, Dagdrömmar, was inspired a lot by my surroundings, growing up in the north of Sweden, my next book Sommarnatt (Summernight) will be even more focused on that. I draw the animals and nature that can be found around me but with a dreamy touch as usual. So yes, it most def will have a Scandinavian feel!

Vinterdrömmar Hanna Karlzon
Vinterdrömmar postcard by Hanna Karlzon
You’ve just released a beautiful postcard book called Vinterdrömmar, what are your favourite parts of this time of year? And will this be produced in book format at some point?
To be honest I’m a summer junkie. I love hot weather, sun, blue skies and green surroundings. So, winter is kinda hard for me, at least that part from November to the end of January/February, it’s just really dark and cold, we don’t get a lot of sun hours here in the north during the winter and that really gets to me. But, in the end of winter when it’s almost spring and the sun starts to visit us again and it’s all white outside, glistening snow, and you can spend the day outdoors, skiing with the kids or making a fire, then it’s just so beautiful here! But, winter is not as inspirational to me as summer is, so it was actually kinda tricky to make the Vinterdrömmar (Winter dreams) postcard book, the illustrations doesn’t come to me as natural as they do when it’s a summer theme. So there is no book format planned for Vinterdrömmar, I have a hard time to imagine that I actually could come up with 100 illustrations on that theme, haha. But there might be another postcard book next fall, who knows!

Poster by Hanna Karlzon
Poster by Hanna Karlzon

How do you create your drawings?
I have a small studio in an old house almost in the center of the city. It’s really cosy and not big at all but I have everything I need here; it’s my own space. I have two kids and I leave them at kindergarden/school every morning and then I take my bike down to my studio and work about 8 hours before I go back home. My work days vary a lot depending on what commissions I have, but right now when I’m working on my book I usually draw almost all day. And when I draw I’m doing it the old school way, just a pen and paper, nothing fancy at all, no computer. Thats the way I like it. I often listen to a podcast on Swedish science radio with a history theme, and I love listening to that while working. The programs cover everything from everyday life at Versaille, to Vikings, to what did people eat 500 years ago and so on, super fun and nerdy, love it! If I’m not listening to that I’m hanging out at Spotify listening to everything from Country to Punk and Thrash Metal, it depends on my mood.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt.

Which pens and pencils do you recommend for use in your colouring books and why?
I recommend that you use the kind of colored pencils that you can sharpen, for example Staedtler ergo soft or Faber Castell polychromos. With them you can blend and make nice shadings. If you want colored (ink) pens Staedtler triplus fineliners with a fine tip or Steadtler triplus with a little thicker tip are good, they don’t bleed through the paper as other pens might do. I know that there are a lot of different pencils/pens out there and some might like another brand better but I like these, it can actually vary a lot what kind of pens you like depending on the way you hold your pen while drawing so the best thing is really to try different ones and see for yourself what kind you like. And keep in mind that when publishers in other countries make translations of my book they might use a different paper inside the book than the one we use in the Swedish version so always try your pens in a small corner of the book to see that they don’t bleed through.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose
Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose.

You draw a lot of birds, why is that, what do you find so appealing?
Well I don’t know why, it has just ended up that way I guess. Maybe it’s because you can alter the pattern of the feathers every time, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just because I love watching the swallows during summer, how they fly… well, haha, I don’t know, can’t answer that, next question!

Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker.

You have said you are quite influenced by the art nouveau period, what other time periods have had a bearing on recent work and how?
Well, I’m a nerd when it comes to old things, people and time periods. I love thinking about “how was it then, what did they think about, what did they eat, how did it sound, smell“… and so on. I don’t know why I find that so fascinating, I just do, and all that spills over into my art I guess. Now I have really been into the Viking age for a while and I’m really inspired by the jewelry and craftsmanship from that age, but I don’t know if it shows as much in my art as the Art Nouveau inspiration does. Art Nouveau is really decorative and it feels like it has a natural part in my art but the Viking stuff is more in the background. A few years back I was all about Marie Antoinette and drawing BIG hair… well, wait, when I think about it I might just still do that, haha.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria
Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria.

I see you have some tattoos and have read you are fascinated by tattoo culture, how has this influenced your approach to art making?
I just admire the skill of tattooing and the many great artists that perform this art so brilliant. It’s something really cool and terrifying about the fact that you only get once chance to make a good job, you can’t erase and start over. I like the thought of that.

Mural idea by Hanna Karlzon
You have done some amazing murals – where are they and how did they come about?
Well, I have only made one actual mural so far, in an apartment building here in Umeå, but I made this little project on Instagram that got a lot of attention. I snapped pictures of boring buildings that I passed on my way to work and then I photoshopped my illustrations onto these buildings and uploaded on instagram under the tag #mittumeå and it got a lot of positive attention amongst people and media. With the pictures I wanted to show that maybe the city we live in doesn’t have to be that static, maybe it could look another way, maybe it could be happier, more people friendly, less boring? Maybe we, as residents, could change our city together? And as I said, I got a lot of positive feedback and I think that shows that we often take the city for granted, the way it is and looks, but if someone shows you a better/different picture of the city, we start thinking “aha, maybe this is what it actually could be like, what can we do to change it?!“. I find that really interesting.

DagDrommar by Cheryl Doerner Vogel
Dagdrömmar coloured by Cheryl Doerner Vogel.

Where did you study art (and what discipline?) and how has your style evolved since you left college?
I have always loved art, and I have been drawing since I was a kid and I have an art teacher degree from Umeå University. My style of drawing has evolved just over the last 2-3 years, ending up in the ink drawings I make now but before that I used to paint a lot and before that I was into graphite drawing. So, my style changes over time, thats a natural process I guess, you want to try new things. In the future I hope to be able to make more art oriented ink drawings, black and white, super big and with lots of details and shadings. I kinda miss shading doing all these coloring book illustrations that are really clean, if you understand what I mean.

Dagdrömmar by Jessica Harrison
Dagdrömmar coloured by Jessica Harrison.

Why did you study to be a teacher and why did you make the decision to go freelance and run your own business?
Studying to become a art teacher wasn’t really my plan, it kinda just happened. I did realize after a year or two at the university that I didn’t really like the teaching part, it was just the art part I was after, but I decided to finish and graduate anyways. After graduating I had some different jobs (factory, shops etc) but after being unemployed for a while I decided it was time for me to start my own business. This was about 3 years ago and I have been working full time on my business since then. But now I’m kinda thinking about that teaching part again, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I have been doing some lectures lately, talking about my job and so on, and I really like that now so well see how that evolves and how I maybe can incorporate that into my current business in the future.

Dagdrommar by Shannon Dager
Dagdrömmar coloured by Shannon Dager.

What do you like to do to relax and zone out?
Well, when I get home from work I just hang out with my family and do as little as possible and when the kids are in bed I watch series to relax, like Vikings, Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders and stuff like that. On weekends we often visit my mom who lives in a really beautiful place, near the forest, with a big garden and nature around the corner. It’s my favorite place in the world. But, when I’m not a nature (or history) nerd I like to go to Punk Rock shows and hang out with my friends. Haha, It’s a good mix of this and that I guess.

Hare by Hanna Karlzon
Hare by Hanna Karlzon

What other projects are you working on and what are your hopes for 2016?
Well, right now I’m working on my second big coloring book, Sommarnatt (Summernight) that will be released in spring 2016. And, I have some other fun projects with my publisher that also will be released next spring/summer. My schedule is fully booked until August 2016 with new books/postcardbooks etc. that need to be made and after that’s done I’m hoping to get some time off work in August to spend some time with my family. And my hopes for 2016 are, first of all, that my family and I will be healthy and happy, and when it comes to my work I hope that my new book will turn out well and that everyone will like it and I hope, hope, hope that I will have the chance to keep doing what I do today; draw.

If you live in the US you can buy Dagdrömmar through Allison Camille Tucker at Colouring Creations, many thanks to Colouring Creations members for their lovely coloured artwork. Other photos are taken from Hanna Karlzon‘s website and instagram feed. Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming) is currently unavailable in the UK but can be ordered online from the Pen Store.

Categories ,#mittumeå, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Allison Camille Tucker, ,Angelina Victoria, ,Art Nouveau, ,Cheryl Doerner Vogel, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Creations, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Courtney Personious, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Daydreaming, ,Downton Abbey, ,Faber Castell Polychromos, ,Facebook, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustrations, ,instagram, ,interview, ,Jessica Harrison, ,Marie Antoinette, ,Pagina, ,Peaky Blinders, ,review, ,Scandinavian, ,Shannon Dager, ,Sommarnatt, ,Spotify, ,Staedtler ergo soft, ,Staedtler triplus fineliners, ,Steadtler triplus, ,Stephanie Rose, ,Summernight, ,sweden, ,Swedish, ,Tina Locke, ,Tonya Gerhardt, ,Umeå, ,Umeå University, ,Vikings, ,Vinterdrömmar, ,Winter dreams

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Amelia’s Magazine | Cheapzine launches an open brief to find artists/designers for their Art Nouveau book

illustration by Brett Manning
illustration by Brett Manning

Anyone who has heard me lecture will be aware that I do like to bang on about what a great idea it is to produce your own fanzine: they’re cheap, dosage this site flexible and mean you can spread yourself around easily. NO NO not like some slutty yoga bunny – more like the best way eva to promote yourself if you’re an up and coming artist or writer. Plus, troche a whole network of zine fairs has now grown up to support this most underground of art industries.

cheapzine art nouveau book

That point aside, view I am a particular fan of zines that talk about Amelia’s Magazine and Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – you know how it goes. And of course the fact that the creators of such zines are interested in my work means that OBVIOUSLY they have good taste – goes without saying that they are worth talking about in return then.

Some aspects of zines exist online because of course one cannot exist without a webtastic presence these days, but as someone who is a massive fan of cold hard print, I believe you still can’t beat something which you can actually hold in your hands. So, it is with pleasure that I’d like to promote Cheapzine’s latest project, which sees them moving from the (okay, somewhat limited) world of photocopied zines and blog posts into a four colour print book project, choosing as its subject the influence of Art Nouveau on contemporary art. This A5 book will collate the best examples of such work alongside a collection of essays on the subject from Tommy Eugene Higson – a self-confessed art history obsessive – and artwork from current Cheapzine contributors such as Brett Manning whose work is featured above (she’s a girl okay), purveyor of wonderfully detailed drawings.

Martyn Mills-cheapzine
illustration by Martyn Mills

“Until recently I’d kinda thought of Art Nouveau was just a nice little discourse in art history that died out with the rise of high Modernism, but this isn’t the case at all,” explains chief Cheapziner Tommy. “Most of the fashion illustrators that we like appear to take inspiration from artists such as Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt.” He thinks that the influence of this particular period of design can be seen in everything: from high art, such as Chris Ofili’s Upper Room (currently the highlight at his Tate Britain solo show) to ‘lowbrow’ art, contemporary illustration, poster art, fashion design and even ‘business’ art.

Sarah Ontiveros
illustration by Sarah Ontiveros

“We decided to make the book cause we’ve been making the zine for a while now,” he continues, “and we’ve been working with some really cool people so we wanted to make something a bit nicer and more ‘proper’ than the zine.” So far Tommy and his cohort Nikki Marie have produced nine issues of Cheapzine, with issue 10 likely to be the last for the time being due to their new projects. Just like Amelia’s Magazine, it seems that 10, not 3, really is the magic number.

Tommy is hoping to publish 500 copies of this limited edition book sometime towards the end of summer. Whether you’re a photographer, illustrator or designer, this will be an ideal place to get your work seen, and who doesn’t love a bit of Art Nouveou, really? The deadline is 31st March 2010 and all work should be sent to

Categories ,Art Nouveau, ,Brett Manning, ,Cheapzine, ,Chris Ofili, ,illustration, ,Nikki Marie, ,Open brief, ,Tate Britain, ,Tommy Eugene Higson

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