Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Interview: Carlotta Gherzi

Carlotta Gherzi by Emma Block
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Emma Block

Carlotta Gherzi for Sado was one of the first catwalk shows I ever attended, page and I was enchanted from the start.

Garlotta GherzI by Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

emma_block_A/W 2011 carlotta_gherzi_
Carlotta Gherzi A/W 2011 by Emma Block

Since she completed her BA in Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing at the American University in London, Carlotta Gherzi has been a firm fashion week favourite. Her 2011 A/W collection Frozen Flora took the audience to a world of ice queens in dresses the colour of iced lattes with thick wool capes like rain clouds.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 sheer dress
Triassic Glamour, her S/S 2012 catwalk show, similarly captured the attention and imagination of the assembled LFW audience and, after the show, I was offered the chance to head backstage and find out a little bit more about her inspirations and working process.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 By Lydia Fee 1
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lydia Fee

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 purple dress
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer? How did you first get into it and what advice would you give to fashion graduates today?
I always wanted to be a designer since the age of 6. My grandmother was a tailor so I grew up looking at her sewing dresses for herself and my mum. Graduates should look at and acknowledge the business side of the industry, as it’s very easy to take the wrong decisions…

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 cream dress
How do you begin a collection? Does it start with sketchbooks, notebooks, photos, scrapbooks, in your head etc?
It’s a long process, first I look at fabrics; choosing what I like, then I select a theme and I start looking at it in more detail. Than sketching, dreaming and toileing makes it come to life.

Carlotta Gherzi By Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

Where do you go to be inspired?
Wherever is sunny and sandy does it for me. It makes me feel happier and I’m inspired by raw nature. For S/S 2012 I was inspired by fossils, re-designing them by hand into my new print. I then decided to use the color palette from the movie avatar; bright orange, blue-purple , sabbia, black and shades of ivory. I also go back in time, metaphorically speaking, looking at films from the past. For my new collection I was inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca, looking at the 1930’s silhouette, and re-inventing it for the modern woman. This is why I called the collection Triassic Glamour.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 aqua dress
Which bit is your favourite part of the process from initial conception to catwalk?
Playing with fabric weights and sketching fast. Then if I am not sure I enjoy modifying the final garment to suit the initial drawing.

Carlotta Gherzi by Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

How have these different countries you lived in and different cultures you’re experienced influenced your work?
I’m inspired by women from around the world. I really like the quirkiness of London and the sometime carefree look. I admire the New York look with nothing out of place or order. I laugh at yet admire the super careful match of colours going on in Italy, the brand loving in Russia…. I think about all these women when designing my clothing.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012
Who would you most love to wear your clothes?
When designing I take my favourite characteristics in women and then I unite them all in one. I try to read the mind of many women and I try to understand what they want and what I would look for in an outfit myself.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 swimwear
Which designers do you most admire?
I love Balenciaga and Isabel Marant.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 black dress
All photography by Emma Block.

What’s coming up next for SADO?
A possible diffusion line…

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 By Lydia Fee 3
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lydia Fee

Make sure you check out my review of Carlotta Gherzi‘s S/S 2012 catwalk show as well.

Categories ,1930s, ,American University, ,Balenciaga, ,Breakfast at Tiffany’s, ,Carlotta Gherzi, ,Casablanca, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing, ,fossils, ,Frozen Flora, ,interview, ,Isabel Marant, ,lako bukia, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lydia Fee, ,Triassic Glamour, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | Petra Noordkamp: Chasing the Male Gaze


All photographs courtesy of Petra Noordkamp

Louisa Lee: Your photos seem very spontaneous. Do you have an idea in advance of what you’re going to photograph?

Petra Noordkamp: Most of the time I have a specific idea of what I want to photograph: lovers in an intimate situation, healing men hanging around the streets or dark seventies hallways. Sometimes I just wander around in big cities and around their outskirts and photograph more intuitively. I search for situations and locations which have a cinematographic quality.

LL: Despite your photos suggesting a further narrative, information pills they have a real stillness about them. Is this something you intend?

PN: It is not something I intend but when I come home after a trip and make a selection from my negatives it is the photos which possess this stillness that I like the best.


LL: Some of the photos, for instance your ‘Lovers’ sequence, are very intimate. How do you go about capturing this?

PN: I have to admit I really sneak around people. I never ask for permission to photograph them because I want to capture the ‘real’ emotion of that moment. I have a small zoom lens and I make these photos like a paparazzi. I also like the tension and excitement which goes along with these secret operations.


LL: Your series of photos for the Purple Journal are very beautiful, what initially inspired them?

PN: For a long time I tried to photograph young and older men in public places. I like the way men hang around on the streets. How they just stand on a street corner and look and wait. I am fascinated by the male gaze. So in a book about modern architecture in Casablanca I saw beautiful pictures of men hanging around an enormous public swimming pool hollowed out of the rocks. Because most of the pictures were taken in the fifties it wasn’t clear if the swimming pool was still there. I found the photos so appealing that I bought a ticket to Casablanca to take a look for myself. I discovered that this large public swimming pool was demolished in 1986 to make way for Casablanca’s grand mosque, but to my joy there were still some swimming pools left on the boulevard de la Corniche. Unfortunately there were no men hanging around the pool but I really loved the architecture of the pools and the buildings around them so I decided to photograph them.


LL: You’ve also produced a series of book covers. Is text and photography important to you?

PN: I like it very much when my photos are used as a book cover or in a magazine together with a short story or a different kind of text.  I think it has to do with my love for magazines and books. I’ve worked in a bookshop for ten years now and I worked as an editor for magazines for quite a while. But I also think my work really comes to life in combination with a text, maybe it has to do with the narrative quality I am searching for. I would be very interested to do more with this. I am thinking of using a combination of a fictional story combined with photos like W.G. Sebald used to do in his books.


LL: Which author’s work would you like to produce a cover for?

PN: I am very inspired by the work of A.M. Homes, Lorrie Moore, J.M. Coetzee and Richard Yates so it would be great if I could produce a cover for a book of one of these authors.

LL: Who or what else influences your photographs?

PN: I collect second-hand film-scripts; books in which a scenario is combined with photos from the movies. These books are an enormous inspiration for my archive and photo project Cinecitta. This archive consists of photos of locations which remind me of images I have seen in films of Antonioni, Rosselini and Godard; filmmakers who really influenced my way of experiencing and looking at the world. I admire the way the artist Aglaia Konrad uses her photos of buildings and cities in installations and books and I love the songs of PJ Harvey. Her CD ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’, inspired me to make the photo series ‘Pictures of the Sea.’ Also, the book Youthby J.M. Coetzee made me look more intensely at ‘normal’ men.


LL: Where might we see your work next?

PN: I am working on different projects at the moment but I have no exhibitions planned in the near future. You can see my work on the internet on my website and on two blogs. One at where I write about my latest projects and publications and the other is a more commercial one where I post pictures which I think will work as book covers.


Categories ,A.M. Homes, ,Aglaia Konrad, ,Antonioni, ,black and white photography, ,boulevard de la Corniche, ,Casablanca, ,Cinecitta, ,film, ,Godard, ,interview, ,JM Coetzee, ,literature, ,Lorrie Moore, ,Petra Noordkamp, ,photography, ,PJ Harvey, ,Purple Journal, ,Richard Yates, ,Rosselini, ,W.G. Sebald

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Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing True Romance: Print Designs chosen for an exhibition curated by East End Prints

True Romance East End Prints Flyer
I am really pleased to share the designs that have been chosen by East End Prints to appear as part of the True Romance exhibition opening today at 70 Paul Street (full listing info here). Helen Edwards of East End Prints has picked the following work, made in response to my Valentines Art Open Brief, to feature on a specially curated wall alongside the rest of her prints. She will offer the ones which are best received during the show a publishing deal to be sold online, and all works will also be available to buy at True Romance. Scroll down to read more about the inspiration behind these pieces and the process of creating them. I’ll be sharing the rest of the designs that were sent in over the following week.

Wuthering Heights by Ashley Le Quere
Ashley Le Quere: Wuthering Heights
My submission is based on Wuthering Heights. I wanted to create something that was a bit whimsical as well referring to what happens in the story, so I started to draw icons that I thought represents parts of the book and the different parts of the story and I loved this quote! It feels very deep and reflects the obsessive, passionate and doomed romance that is the focus of the book. I hand drew the text so it would feel like the diary that Catherine writes about Heathcliff. I think that the texture in the ink reflects the stormy and miserable nature of the book but wanted the icons to be quite whimsical.

Ashley Le Quere is an Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer. You can see more of her work here.

Carly Watts: Only Lovers Left Alive
My illustration is based on Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’. The movie is based on two, centuries old vampire lovers called Adam and Eve. Adam is a musician who reconnects with Eve after a period of separation after he becomes depressed and melancholy. I wanted to create a highly stylised and graphic piece that would capture the main themes of the movie, Adam’s darkness, his love of music, and the quest to find where we fit into society. On a more visual level, Adam is primarily dressed in dark colours, and Eve in light throughout the course of the film; I thought this could be portrayed well through the guitar graphic.

See more work by Carly Watts here.

Death Valley Illustration Annie Hall
Death Valley Illustration: Annie Hall
The poster is designed to resemble a minimalist book cover, and includes the most romantic quote from the film, delivered in Woody’s inimitable style.  The paired back design also reflects the way that both of the characters approach their relationship throughout the film, and the cold reasoning that Alvy uses to reflect back on their time together.  The glimmers of romance in the film are shown by the sparing use of the vibrant pink. The fonts used were Rockwell, Futura and Georgia.

Gavin Shepherdson of Death Valley Illustration has been working as a freelance illustrator and designer since graduating from an Animation degree in 2009. See more work here.

emma russell casablanca
Emma Russell: Casablanca
For this print, I started by making line drawings of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at various points in the airport scene of Casablanca. I added colour and hand drawn type. As I worked I pared down and simplified the image until the two figures made a single silhouette framing Bogart’s parting words.

Emma Russell is a London-based freelance illustrator specialising in line drawings, flat colour, patterns and 3D paper sculptures. Her work often features unlikely champions, jokes and puns, memory, animals and fairy tales. Find Emma at 

Jessica Courtney-Tickle: My Fair Lady
I have recreated the film poster for the 1964 film and musical, ‘My Fair Lady’. At the heart of this love story there are (in my opinion) two very different characters with very different morals, lifestyles and ideas about falling in love. I wanted to describe how free and expressive Eliza the flower girl is compared to the upper classes who are shocked by her accent and way of life. But as you can see if you look closely at Professor Higgins he is actually intrigued by her character rather than put off. The florals are inspired by the very first scene of the film where Eliza is selling flowers in Covent Garden Market. This is the very first place the two characters meet. I created the work using gouache which I then scanned in and played around with on the computer. I added some digital colouring to give the poster more vibrancy and a smoother texture. I was most inspired by vintage picture book illustrations and posters which are rich in colour and character.

See more work by Freelance Illustrator and Designer Jessica Courtney-Tickle here.

Jordana Globerman: Edward Scissorhands
Growing up, I thought Edward Scissorhands was the most romantic film. It captures the fairy-tale feeling of a first love so perfectly. I created my homage to this wonderful film with a mix of media, laying out and ink drawing first before incorporating elements of collage and painted-in details. Different brush work was used to achieve the splashed figure of Edward and the lightly falling snow. I wanted to capture both how the town begins to see Edward and how Kim sees Edward. His figure looms ominously, evoking the fear he instills in the town toward the end of the film. Despite this, Kim can only think of him with a real love and devotion, which is why I made this same figure of Edward hunched into the shape of a heart. This was a fun image to create because the film is so nostalgic and romantic to me. I enjoyed playing with different textures and line quality to create a graphic, yet painterly poster.”

See more work by Jordana Globerman here.

Katie Edwards - True Romance
Katie Edwards: True Romance
I love animals, who doesn’t, I decided they were a great way to convey the idea of Love, Affection and Companionship. I think most people could relate to the imagery I used and feel some emotions. Using traditional photographic and screen printing techniques to produce my conceptual screen prints, which are occasionally combined with collage or freehand textures. My work is largely influenced by the animal world focusing on photographic representation, what images symbolise and their use metaphorically. Objects are often isolated and placed in unusual compositions to result in a surreal, humorous or thought-provoking illustration. Animals often feature in my illustrations because they are very symbolic, as they don’t change with time or technology. They will always stay the same, and so will their symbolic meanings.

See more work from Katie Edwards here.

Lindsay Lombard: The Notebook
The Notebook is one of my all time favourite love films, I love the setting of the film and the whole premise of the movie. The first quote that came to mind from the film was ‘If you’re a bird, I’m a bird’; meaning I’ll be whatever you need me to be to allow us to be together. I then set about creating the imagery – I developed some pencil drawings of two birds taking to flight. I then scanned these in, and set them upon a light background just to soften them slightly. I wanted the placement of the birds to be a representation of them flying freely away together. I added text and the cut out of an open book at the bottom, I tried drawing the book first but I couldn’t get the right amount of detail into the image so I decided to go with a white cut out – I think it works well to have the suggestion of a book but not be too obvious about it.

See more work by Lindsay Lombard here.

La-vie-en-rose by Sophie-Heywood
Sophie Heywood: La Vie En Rose

La Vie En Rose is probably my favourite love song. The melody is enchanting and somewhat haunting, uplifting yet sad, and I feel it conveys the different emotions of being in love more accurately than any other song. I love the original Edith Plaf version, but I think the Louis Armstrong version is my favourite rendition. When painting the hand drawn lettering, I let the soulful vocals dictate the shape of the composition. I wanted to create something simple, yet with an eye-catching pop of colour, creating a piece that can easily be framed and hung in someone’s home. The trouble with the theme of Valentines is creating something timeless and relevant all year long, but I feel this song is something everyone can relate to.

See more work by Sophie Heywood here.

All are welcome to attend the Private View on Thursday 12th February, 6-9pm. Don’t forget, the exhibition also features the beautiful gold leaf prints made for That Which We Do Not Understand.

Categories ,180, ,Annie Hall, ,Ashley Le Quere, ,Carly Watts, ,Casablanca, ,Death Valley Illustration, ,East End Prints, ,Edward Scissorhands, ,Emma Russell, ,Film Posters, ,Gavin Shepherdson, ,Helen Edwards, ,Jessica Courtney-Tickle, ,Jim Jarmusch, ,Jordana Globerman, ,Katie Edwards, ,La Vie en Rose, ,Lindsay Lombard, ,Movie Posters, ,Movie Prints, ,My Fair Lady, ,Only Lovers Left Alive, ,Sophie Heywood, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,The Notebook, ,True Romance, ,Wuthering Heights

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