Amelia’s Magazine | Scandinavian womenswear designer Eyglo: New S/S 2012 Season Presentation Preview and Interview

Eyglo S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc.



Eyglo Magret has been designing clothes since the age of 17. Graduating from the Iceland Academy of Arts in 2005 with a degree in Fashion Design, artistic Eyglo went on to intern with a number of highly respected fashion houses including Bernhard Willhelm, threeAsFOUR and Jeremy Scott – an impressive start, not to mention formidable resume for a first time graduate.


I first met Eyglo during Paris Fashion Week and instantly decided that I liked both her and her small, but expertly designed collection. Following our conversation, I discovered the thinking and creative process behind her refreshingly original concepts: talk dinosaur themes and sea-green hair and you’ve got my attention. 


Eyglo by Aysim Genc
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc.


Eyglo’s collections are often described as feminine and timeless with a signature nudge nudge, wink wink thrown in for added humour. I was drawn to the architectural simplicity of each piece for S/S 2012, particularly the sporty, easy to wear shapes found on funnel neck coats and wide fitting dresses; a big trend for next year if Paris’s spring/summer trade shows are anything to go by. Always one for working with natural fabrics, Eylgo is continuously reinventing her approach towards detail and pattern cutting, often giving a slight futuristic feel to her impishly charming creations that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tim Burton-esque fantasy.

Eyglo S/S 2012
Eyglo S/S 2012
Not only is 28-year-old Eylgo Magret a creative soul, but she also has one heck of a business orientated head on her shoulders. In 2010, she and nine other designers set up Icelandic-based boutique collective, Kiosk. The store pulls together a group of young designers under one roof offering something new and original to the fashion conscious youth of Reykjavik, Iceland.


Parallel to that of the Icelandic fashion scene itself, Eyglo has slowly but surely been creeping into the world’s international fashion radar over the past few years. Following our brief chat in Paris, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to speak to the Scandinavian designer in more depth about the direction for S/S 2012 and what the future holds for Icelandic brainchild, Kiosk.

Eyglo S/S 2012
Eyglo S/S 2012
After graduating from the Iceland Academy of Arts you interned with Jeremy Scott. How was it working with him, and what did you take away from the experience?

It was great! But the best part was probably the people that were there at the same time – Gerlan from Gerlan Jeans and Ingrid Gutto who is now the head designer for Alexander Wang Menswear. It was also amazing staying in the Hollywood hills with small deer, raccoons, skunks and other funny little animals running around outside the studio. I was mainly involved in pattern cutting and costume making, but I also got to design a dress for Madonna and Fischerspooner whilst I was there. I was also lucky enough to intern with ThreeASFOUR and Bernhard Willhelm. Each experience was completely different to the next. I’m really into experimental pattern making and I was lucky enough to be involved with different ways of acting out this process at three different companies.


Eyglo by Katie Gill
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Katie Gill.

You designed a dress for Madonna! Did you get to meet the lady herself?

No, I didn’t get to meet Madonna unfortunately; she had an assistant running around for her. I just got hold of the measurements and a reference picture and did my thing, but she did wear the dress in one of her music videos so I guess I fulfilled my duty! 
 
Which other designers do you look to for direction?
It can vary from season to season, but usually Givenchy, Lanvin, Mary Karantzou and many more. It’s always nice to look to the graduation collections from Central Saint Martins as well.



 
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Grace Duignan-Pearson
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Grace Duignan-Pearson.
 
What’s the inspiration behind your S/S 2012 collection?
It all stems from when my son came home from the library with a dinosaur book one day. That’s where I got the idea for the pattern and pleats, and I also scanned my own hair onto silk satin dresses. The collection has a bit of a sporty, animalistic vibe to it I guess.  
 
You and nine other designers co-own the Icelandic boutique store, Kiosk. Where did the idea behind the venture come from?
I’d originally been selling in KronKron and Liborius here in Reykjavik for some time; they’re both really nice boutiques so I had nothing to complain about. The whole idea for Kiosk came from my friend and we grouped together. Now it’s possible for me to sell my products cheaper, and I get more in my pocket at the end of the day. The nicest thing is that you get to stay in much better contact with your customers, for special orders and so on. We work one day a week each, split the rent and have a lot of fun being a group. We’re taking in three new brands at the beginning of November, whilst two of the original owners take a break to work on other things. I’d recommend this way of doing business for all young designers, it takes up a lot of time but pays back in so many ways in the end.

Eyglo S/S 2012 by Katie Gill
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Katie Gill.

Iceland is becoming more and more known for its emerging talent. Recession aside, what do you think the future holds for the Icelandic fashion scene?
It’s slowly growing. I remember when I was a teenager there was only mall shops and one second hand store – that was it! I guess that was the reason why I went into fashion design. I couldn’t find any clothes that were interesting enough for me. I graduated in 2005, and that was only the second year of graduates studying fashion in Iceland. Just 10-20% of each year’s graduates go on to actually do their own thing. We’ve held Reykjavik Fashion Festival twice now and hopefully it will be held again early next year. The event managed to get a lot of press here last time and I wouldn’t hesitate in taking part again.

Eyglo S/S 2012
Eyglo S/S 2012
When did you first decide that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I was 17 and studying at business school – ha! It almost happened over a night and I’ve never looked back since. Not once. There’s nothing else that I would like to do, this is it. 
 
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Grace Duignan-Pearson
Eyglo S/S 2012 by Grace Duignan-Pearson.

How would you describe the typical Eyglo girl?
Clothing wise, I would say playful and classic but a total nerd! Though a happy and a confident nerd at that.  

What’s next for Eyglo?
I’m currently working on my designs for A/W 2012. I’m looking into crop circles; clearly I’ve been watching too many ancient aliens programs. I wouldn’t be surprised if I started a cult before the collection is actually shown, ha!

Categories ,Alexander Wang, ,AsFour, ,Aysim Genc, ,Bernhard Willhelm, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Eyglo, ,fischerspooner, ,Gerlan Jeans, ,Givenchy, ,Grace Duignan-Pearson, ,Hollywood, ,iceland, ,Iceland Academy of Arts, ,Jeremy Scott, ,Kate Rose Gill, ,Kiosk, ,KronKron, ,Lanvin, ,Liborius, ,Madonna, ,Mary Karantzou, ,Paris Fashion Week, ,Reykjavik, ,Reykjavik Fashion Festival, ,S/S 2012

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sheena Matheiken’s The Uniform Project

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp
Can it really be a year since the last Glastonbury? In 2009, viagra sale more about for the first time, Climate Camp was given it’s very own space in the Dragon Field just above the Craft Field as you wend your way down to Shangri La. This year we’re back to once again educate and entertain festival goers at our beautiful site only a few minutes walk from the Old Railway Line.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp workshop
Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp paddling pool
Glastonbury-June-2009-First Aid Kit
Workshops, at play, and First Aid Kit playing at the Climate Camp Tripod Stage in 2009.

In 2010 Climate Camp is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been bailed out with £50 billion of public money that is now being used to finance the extraction of fossil fuels across the world, with no regard for climate change or the destruction of communities that it causes. We will be camping near the RBS global headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, between 19th-25th August, but in the meantime to find out more about why we decided to focus on RBS this year come along and take a look at our exhibition at Glastonbury, then pick up a copy of our Never Mind The Bankers newspaper to peruse over a cup of tea or share with friends. We will be running DIY screenprinting workshops where you can learn how to screenprint your clothing with an anti RBS slogan. Simply bring your own or print onto one of our tshirts or bags. A great activity for kids! There will also be a chance to take part in Tripod Training: Tripods are used to blockade and secure a space on a direct action protest; come find out how to put them up and climb them safely. Good fun, and no previous experience or skills required.

Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Tripod Training.

Then of course there is our fabulous music, poetry and comedy line up, put together by yours truly. Read on to find out who will be gracing our Tripod Stage…. Pyramid Stage eat your heart out, this is where the real talent is.

Green-Kite-Midnight
Green Kite Midnight.

When I wrote up about the Climate Camp presence at Glastonbury in 2009 in my blog I talked about my hope that my band Green Kite Midnight would be able to play as the Climate Camp house band in 2010, so I’m very excited to report that we will be doing daily gigs this year. Five years ago I co-founded the barndance troupe Cutashine out of a desire to make traditional collective dancing more fun: after all, what’s better than a dance where you get to meet other people and really work up a sweat?

YouTube Preview Image

With Cutashine I played at gigs all over Glastonbury for several years, then left to start Green Kite Midnight through my contacts in Climate Camp; a band that supports and plays at direct action protests. Our first gig was at the Climate Camp in Bishopsgate during the G20 in April last year, we played to 800 people at the Blackheath Climate Camp in August 2009, and more recently we went on a 10 day solidarity bike ride together to play gigs to support the struggle against the Shell gas pipeline at Rossport in Ireland. With myself as emcee (I’m a gobby shite, so turn your mind away from those boring barn dances you might have attended as a child) we can teach anyone how to barn dance, so please come and join us.

And now for the rest of our fabulous line-up:

anna log
Anna Log
My Luminaries
My Luminaries, photography by James Dean White.

On Thursday we kick off four days of renewably powered music with a fabulous folky female. Anna Log – singer with pop folk band We Aeronauts – will be doing a solo set accompanied by her trusty uke. After our first ceilidh Glastonbury Emerging Talent winners My Luminaries round the evening off with a special semi-acoustic set of their epic indie rock.

Kirsty Almeida
Kirsty Almeida
Danny and the Champions of the World
Danny and the Champions of the World

On Friday Kirsty Almeida opens for us with her bass heavy soulful Bayou blues, then we’re pleased to welcome the epic musical dreamscapes of Newislands, described as Pink Floyd meets Depeche Mode. After that it’s time for some other Climate Camp regulars, Danny Chivers, Claire Fauset and Merrick, to grace the stage with their “triple-headed tag team political poetry extravaganza”. They’re all friends of mine that I’ve seen perform before so I highly recommend their set, which will be repeated on Sunday afternoon. As a closer we have the country-tinged big band folk of Danny and the Champions of the World.

kyla la grange
Kyla la Grange
Patch William
Patch William
Dry the River
Dry the River

To kick the day off on Saturday we welcome an exclusive Glastonbury appearance from a talented newcomer with a stunning voice; Kyla La Grange creates soaring melodies and is nearing completion of her debut album. Then comes Patch William – the dreamy lovechild of Nick Drake and Jimi Hendrix, who are followed by the scuzzy rock sound of York boys The Federals, described as a cross between the White Stripes and The Beatles. Then, time for a very special guest. Following my interview with Robin Ince a few weeks he very kindly promised to come by and do us a *special secret set* which will be a must see for all comedy fans at the festival. Tell all your friends! And come on by for a very intimate set from this well known comedian. Dry the River end the day with their beautiful melodic folk, singing songs of religion, history and community to rival those of Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons.

Pete the Temp
Pete the Temp
Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

On Sunday we’ve got another packed day to end the festival. Pete the Temp returns to wow us with his comedic eco-political music and spoken word, then we look forward to hearing the bittersweet gospel blues of latecomer Pete Lawrie, who confirmed just as our flyer had gone to print. I am particularly pleased to welcome Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. the official moniker of singer songwriter Sam Duckworth. He will be showcasing music from his new album due for release later this year, and I’ve got a soft spot for him because he appeared in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine. Robinson will play a gypsy cajun folk set before we round off the festival with our GRAND RAFFLE. If you see our outreach team out and about please give generously to support Climate Camp and come along to our grand prize giving, which will be hosted by the inimitable Danny Chivers.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers
The Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers in 2009.

Don’t forget to follow myself and Climate Camp on twitter to find out how the festival is going; we can always live in hope that 3G reception will be better than it was last year! But most of all, don’t forget to come and visit us… and bring your friends along with you. I will of course write up a full report on my return. For a reminder of what to expect read my blog from last year here.

For a map and full timing information for all bands and workshops see this listings page.


Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

School’s almost out for summer. Soon blazers and ties will be ditched, adiposity with delight, cost for butterfly-bright bathers; and mortar boards tossed in glee at graduations everywhere. Uniforms may seem the antithesis of lazy, check hazy holidays and fantastic futures, but in cyberspace there’s one – albeit self-imposed – uniform showing us there’s a wealth of creativity to be found in the economical and ethical capsule wardrobe.  Will the Uniform Project please stand up!

May 1st 2010 saw the Uniform Project graduate with flying colours. An “exercise in sustainability”, in 2009, one Sheena Matheiken had pledged to wear one Little Black Dress, everyday for one year, for the Akanksha Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation educating kids in Indian slums.  Sheena and designer friend Eliza Starbuck, created a LBD which could be worn front, back, undone, for every season and all occasions. And for anyone wondering, “When did she wash the blighter?” she had seven all the same; adapting and accessorising with trinkets and treasures found on eBay, Etsy, or donated by ethical designers, like London’s own, Goodone – oh, and Sheena’s mother! 

Throughout its daily blog posts, the UP showed us how to put individual style into sustainable dress. From Day 1, “Albeit the rain and the swine”, in “classic black form”, through homage to Michael Jackson chic on Day 57, an Indian Independence Day sari ensemble, even an ‘evil sea sprite’ costume on Halloween – “Sprite seaweed and ocean foliage made entirely from UP accessory donors’ packaging material” – the UP proved there was more creativity to be had in one LBD than the whole Haus of Gaga. Well almost. 

In fact the LBD became the perfect backdrop for designers to display their wares.  Day 191 saw Sheena sporting a cape by Raffaele Ascione, “handcrafted from a satin overthrow blanket his grandmother used to own.” A Central Saint Martins student keen to raise funds to support his MA, Ascione’s designs have been donned by Lady Gaga herself, and in donating pieces to the UP he’s gained a web-wide audience eager to lap up his ethical ingenuity.  


Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With some 5,500 Twitter followers and even more Facebook fans the UP has created an on-line social network to be reckoned with. At a recent New York symposium, Sheena said some of the UP’s ideas, like LBD Fridays, where supporters, worldwide, wore their own LBD ‘uniforms’ in aid of the project, had come directly from the UP community. Philanthropy, she said, should be ‘fun’, “… it’s about engaging on an intimate level and creating awareness in a way that allows people to really be a part of the change you are instigating.” 

At the ‘end of term’ party the UP celebrated kitting out over 260 Indian children for school.  And in the true spirit of sustainable style its Head Girl, Sheena, graduated in a “ reclaimed, recycled, renovated and refashioned” LBD; signalling the future’s not just bright for the kids it has helped into education, but also for the UP itself. 

When Chanel declared the LBD  “the new uniform of modern women”, back in the 1920s, its simplicity symbolised freedom. Freedom from status anxiety and constrictive fashion – another uniform of sorts, only one we didn’t always knowingly sign up to. Perhaps because the perfect LBD is glorified as style’s holy grail the simplicity of its message is often lost amongst all-consuming fast fashion fads. But it’s this very simplicity which has made the UP so successful.  Thus the Uniform Project has proved to be a much needed less-on to us all, to “Aspire. Achieve. Be the change.” (Akanksha Foundation motto).  

Categories ,1920s, ,Akanksha Foundation, ,Central Saint Martins, ,chanel, ,ebay, ,Eliza Starbuck, ,etsy, ,Facebook, ,goodone, ,Hallowe’en, ,Helen Davis, ,India, ,Lady Gaga, ,LBD, ,Little Black Dress, ,london, ,Maryanne Oliver, ,Michael Jackson, ,new york, ,Philanthropy, ,Raffaele Ascione, ,Sheena Mathelken, ,sustainability, ,Sustainable Style, ,The Uniform Project, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Small Show Very Pro

In the festival preview vein, no rx malady here’s one that promises stimulating discussion, patient music, viagra order dance, crafts and walks with fellow readers and contributors to the spiritual and ecologically aware Resurgence Magazine. A more enchanting and vibrant mix is barely to be found outside the Resurgence Reader’s Weekend and Camp.

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The camp will be hosted in Europe’s only tented conference centre, Green and Away, situated on an idyllic site near Malvern, Worcestershire. They’ll feed us ‘mostly local, mostly organic’ food, there’ll be wood-burning hot showers to bathe away sleep-shod morning eyes, solar and wind-sourced electricity, and saunas too, as if this camp didn’t sound chilled out enough already.

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Entertainment and conversation stimulation will come from a host of speakers : Jenny Jones, Green party member of the London Assembly; Miriam Kennet, founder of the Green Economics Institute; Satish Kumar, Earth pilgrim and current editor of Resurgence magazine; Peter Lang, an environmental consultant and researcher, John Naish, author of Enough and initiator of The Landfill Prize, Brigit Strawbridge, of the BBC’s ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ fame and founder of The Big Green Idea.

There’s to be a glut of creative workshops – on poetry, Deep Ecology, Tai Chi, finding your voice, and one that should see us sitting comfortably for a round of storytelling.

Music’s coming from the UK, Europe and beyond : bands like Dragonsfly, a wonderfully energetic live band, rocking a pretty unique Celtic-Eastern-Folk Fusion sound, and Bardo Muse – an improvisational acoustic trio, who say they play music simply inspired by life and love.

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Do get booking, as previous events have tended to sell out. For a gently spiritual, artistic weekend a little off the the beat of the usual track, have a listen to the Resurgence Weekend.

Contact – Peter Lang,
Events Director for Resurgence Magazine,
Tel: 0208 809 2391
Email: peterlang(at)resurgence.org
As with a lot of art, order what is taken out or omitted is as important, online if not more so, malady than what is put in. Kako Ueda, a Japanese artist working and living in the US, applies this principle to paper with intricately beautiful results. There is something haunting yet delicate about these shadow like cut-outs; the skulls, spiders, jellyfish, butterflies, feathers, insects and serpents all intertwined in designs in which one may gladly lose hours visually disentangling.

kako1.jpg

Her choice of medium was inspired by the cut patterns used for producing kimonos, and Ueda’s appreciation for the history, flexibility and simplicity that using paper entails. The everyday throwaway relationship our society has with materials such as paper makes me evermore excited and sympathetic to artists using these seemingly basic mediums for creating innovative and aesthetically wonderful pieces of work. It was a true honour to pick Kako’s brain about her work, as well as her likes, hates and aspirations.

kako3.jpg

How long does it take you to create the average sized piece?
It used to take me a couple of months to make one mid-size work but lately my works are getting bigger and more complicated that sometimes it takes 6 months or longer to finish an installation or bigger work with
separate parts with paint and 3-D objects.

What equipment do you use for cutting paper?
It is called in the US, an Xacto knife (with no. 11 blade), I suppose in Europe or Japan they have a similar knife with different names.

kako4.jpg

Who is your art for? What space does your art work best?
I don’t limit/choose my audience; anybody who would look at my work and have a reaction positive or negative. So far my artworks need a wall/walls. So they don’t work so well in the outer space.

Do you have a different reaction here in the UK and in Europe compared to in Japan?
Honestly I have no idea. I would love to have a show in the UK, any European countries or Japan to find out. The only European country I exhibited so far was Finland. Although I was born in Japan I moved to the States as a teenager and my active/public artistic life began here in the US.

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Which artists do you most admire?
There are too many to mention and the list gets longer every day. So today and at this moment I say Salomon Trismosin.

Who or what is your nemesis?
My biggest nemesis is my brain; obsesses too much on energy sucking thoughts and is critical of everything.

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?
It is too difficult to choose but at this moment I would say Edo period in Japan (mid. to late 18th century). I want to experience the urban life/culture in Edo (present Tokyo).

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?
Jackie Mittoo’s “Summer Breeze” or “Oboe”. I have a CD called “Cambodian Rock”, which is a collection of various rock bands from Cambodia playing and singing in Cambodian; really cool sound.

kako8.jpg

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

What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?
Tolstoy novels.

Who would your top five dream dinner guests be? Who would do the washing up?
Duchamp, one of the cave dwellers who made those awesome animal drawings, Hildegard of Bingen, Utamaro, Buddha. I guess we cannot ask a cave dweller to wash up, can we?

kako9.jpg

What piece of modern technology can you not live without?
My electric mind-reader.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Doing nothing.

Tell us something about Kako Ueda that we didn’t know already.
My eyelashes are naturally curly so I never have to use a lash curler in my entire life.

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Kako Ueda is definitely one to cut out and keep.
It was a peaceful Sunday morning in the City like any other, drug when:

‘Slowly it reared like a ridge of golden rocks… from which the sea fled away in clouds of smoke; and now we saw it was the head of the Leviathan… advancing towards us with all the fury of a spiritual existence.’

So wrote poet and prophet William Blake in his iconoclastic work ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.’ Over two centuries and a plethora of literary Leviathan motifs later, symptoms musician and composer John Harle has unleashed his own re-imagining of the monster from the deep on London’s Square Mile. Taking a leaf out of weighty tomes from The Book of Job to Hobbes, pilule from Milton to Melville, Harle has conceived a work in which the clamour of 800 saxophonists evokes the satanic spirit of chaos itself. Crikey. When I strolled out of Liverpool Street Station at 11:30am and followed the strains of an al fresco band practice I was, admittedly, greeted with a rather benign pyjama-clad presence in monochrome. So much for the demonic display of Old Testament torment, I thought.

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The City of London Festival, an independent arts organisation which is none the less jointly supported by the City of London Corporation and the business community, commissioned Harle to compose an Ode to the City of London. But a straightforward gala tribute this isn’t; Harle boldly intends both homage and criticism, in light of the economic havoc of recent months. Notably, the event is not for profit. His aim in orchestrating a saxophone procession on an unprecedented scale is to ‘purge the City of its crisis of confidence.’ We’re in for a sort of musical exorcism, then? Well, of the humanist variety. Although biblical references to the Walls of Jericho are made in the promotional material, by way of metaphor, you understand. Through the medium of MP3, audio recordings and commentary are available for download on the Sustain! website. Accessibility is all; the score itself was written with a range of musical abilities in mind. Harle’s voice-over informs voluntary participants that through music, they will be ‘taming the forces of chaos by concerted, unanimous effort.’ No mean feat for a Sunday morning, then! But it is no coincidence that the event is scheduled to coincide with the Summer Solstice, and also commemorates the 800th anniversary of the first stone bridge across the Thames. Organisers envisage a renaissance of optimism and inspiration as music pours from the City’s four historic gates on to those same streets which just three months ago were the scene of violent discontent.

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In spite of these lofty sentiments, passers by on their way to potter round Spitalfields might have been forgiven for mistaking the motley crew assembled outside Starbucks for a Morris Dancer outreach group, or perhaps an avant-garde yoga collective- is this really what city workers get up to on their day off? However, those that found themselves in earshot when the clock struck noon could not fail to be arrested by the pandemonium that simultaneously wended its way from Bishopsgate, Aldgate, Moorgate and Ludgate to descend on London Bridge.

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Snaking through the winding historic streets past countless architectural landmarks and disgraced monuments to capitalism, the gleaming white and gold troop cuts quite a dash in the midday sun. Less of a march, more of a meander, but the ungodly din they generate en masse quite literally stops traffic. Bemused bystanders are both attracted and repelled, from an amused rickshaw driver given a rude awakening from his nap to a disgruntled OAP with his fingers defiantly shoved in his ears. Each saxophonist has been instructed to repeat a set phrase ad infinitum, but with rhythmic independence and free reign to improvise on the theme (and take a breather) when they please. Only when all four groups converge on the Monument can the true discord of four different keys played uproariously be heard in all its dissonant glory. An unlikely assortment of soulful characters, hippie types, consummate professionals and Brassed Off-esque blokes rub shoulders in eccentric solos, father and daughter duos, jazzy trios of mates and whole family bands. Never have I seen such an array of instruments going by the name of saxophone- alto, tenor, soprano and baritone of all shapes and sizes, even one spectacular specimen in pillar-box red! On reaching the foot of the Bridge the various strands begin to unite on one key before the pivotal moment of transition, as all fall under the aegis of Harle himself, conducting in a pinstripe blazer atop a makeshift podium. Order and harmony is restored as the collective serenely parades across the water towards Southwark, before settling on a final, triumphant ‘concert C,’ fading to silence.

And relax. Or, alternatively, begin impromptu jam session. These are saxophonists after all. In between riffs I managed to snatch a moment with three minstrels of the Aldgate crew, congregated in the shadow of a towering office block. ‘We had no rehearsal whatsoever, just downloaded the music off the web and turned up,’ said Denver of South London. ‘It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,’ he explains. ‘We usually play gigs at the Vortex or at Effra. This was mad chaos, but it worked!’

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‘He got me into it,’ chimed in band mate Len who travelled up from Brixton to take part. ‘It was tiring- I’m used to playing sitting down or standing up, not on the go! It’s tough.’ When asked about the logistics of playing on the move and in so big a group, Len admitted that despite the fetching pinstripe, ‘I couldn’t even see the conductor! I just had to listen for the change, that was the biggest challenge.’ Fellow Brixton sax player Dave was similarly enthused: ‘I’ve got a day job so I just play when I can, but this was absolutely brilliant. I just heard about it at the last minute- on Front Row on Friday night. I’d definitely do it again.’
‘Never in the rain though!’ Len added before they were lost to another round of spontaneous play.

Amid the swirling, laid back notes I catch the eye of the affable maestro himself who tells me that the event has ‘surpassed all my expectations.’ But generously he insists that its success is ‘all down to the participants- I did the least work of anyone here today. The work took on a life of its own.’ This will be key to the future of the piece, the recording of which will be recycled via the Sustain! website until it is revisited for the Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2012. A momentous year in more ways than one it seems, but surely even London can only cope with one Leviathan at a time?

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C.R.A.S.H. Contingency is a useful urban survival manual that points at the target seriously whilst disguised as a funny game.

What I enjoyed the most about this experience was my complete ignorance of the whole thing. I would feel a little bit guilty if this had been the preview of the performance, treatment but since the show is now over, I will just describe how it went.

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Photos by Marta Puigdemasa

After checking Two Degrees festival’s website, a week-long programme of work by radical and politically engaged artists about climate change, I decided to bet on a theatre play: C.R.A.S.H. Contingency. At the beginning of the play I felt like I did watching the shows of the wild Spanish theatre company La Fura dels Baus (well-known for their opening show in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics) : that is, excited about the unexpected, but this time without the fear of getting naked or soaked to the skin.

We were led in pairs, in complete darkness, to our seats – which were actually placed on the stage. “We are not actors, we’ll need your help, and this is not a theatre play.” And it was not. Defining themselves as an experiment in three acts in which to imagine a post-capitalist future, the performance was run by a mixture of artists, activists and permaculturists (permaculture being the design of sustainable human environments based on the relationships found in natural ecologies) and performed along with the audience. It was something in between resistance and creativity, culture and politics, art and life. We started with a game that made us laugh and forget the fact that we were on a theatre stage.

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The second part was more or less like a workshop. We split into small groups and the supposed actors fed us with little doses of urban self-sufficiency. They taught us how to make a home-made radio station, a vegetable garden and an origami flower; always taking into account some of permaculture’s core values : earth care and people care. When our tasks finished, they gave us another challenge, the final performance. At that point, we used a new old technique for taking group decisions : consensus. They explained to us how to show agreement and disagreement just with the use of our hands, and how to measure the “temperature” of a decision with our arms.

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When we all finally agreed about how and where to make our intervention (all, except a woman who said she was starving and wouldn’t have time for it, and a girl who didn’t understand the purpose of the action), we put on our lifejackets, took our tools (a wheelbarrow for each pair) and started walking towards Bishopsgate. Once there, in the middle of the financial district, we built our own patch of paradise : a shelter made of wheelbarrows, canvas, vegetables, an umbrella, and piles of imagination. We warmed up some water for the tea, ate some lettuce leaves and chilled out for a while. We reclaimed the streets. I felt like a child ringing on a doorbell and running away. But this time we didn’t run. We stood up and waited for the slap or, as was the case, the smile of those that ran into our tiny harmless outside-of-the-law act.

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Unfortunately (for my adrenaline’s childish need), the police didn’t come. But in less than three hours we had learnt many things, too many in fact to explain in six hundred words. It was a condensed degree in Life. It also made me understand that another kind of education, non-academic, humble and free (all the meanings of this word included), was possible. I admit that possibly some of their suggested proposals were just utopian. This may be. But it is far better to live dreaming of utopia than sleeping or wandering aimlessly in a rotten world, isn’t it? Good work, guys.

An ear shattering shriek comes down the line, treat the noise of a passing child’s tantrum. As I tentatively return the phone back to my ear Jan Williams, side effects one half of The Caravan Gallery, illness chirps amusedly “Oooh, Greetings from Portsmouth!” and adds, almost by some way of explanation; “We’re just approaching Asda now.” It may not set a perfect picture postcard scene, but that’s not what The Caravan Gallery are about.

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The Caravan Gallery are Portsmouth based artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale. You may already be aware of their work from the postcards they produce. If you’ve ever rifled through a spinning stand of postcards at a tourist attraction and chanced upon a card that portrays the grittier, gaudier and, let’s be honest, more realistic side of Britain then chances are The Caravan Gallery duo are behind it. Their best selling postcard is entitled ‘Bank Holiday Britain’, which brings together familiar images of Britons ‘enjoying’ the British sea side in the pouring rain.

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Although Williams and Teasdale have created 170 postcards in total, these are an offshoot of a much larger artistic endeavour. The pair have been travelling the length and breadth of Britain since 2000, capturing unusual and unexpected scenes of its leisure, landscape and lifestyle. The photographs are displayed at each location for the local community to see. Their rather unique, portable gallery allows them to do this; a mustard-coloured, egg-shaped 1969 caravan that is white walled and wooden floored inside. “We don’t really treat it as a caravan,” Williams tells me during our initial phone conversation, “We just think of it as a gallery that happens to be in a caravan.”

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This little gallery on wheels came along to Spitalfields market on Sunday the 14th of June, as part of a promotion with The White Stuff clothing company. After having chatted with Williams on the phone a few days before, I couldn’t wait to go along and see this unique art space for myself.

Plonked on the side of Spitalfields, the little caravan was a charming sight from the outside, but held plenty more charming sights awaiting within. With over 60,000 photographs in their archive, Williams and Teasdale had plenty to choose from to exhibit on their new tour. In their previously released book ‘Welcome to Britain’ their images were separated into chapters such as ‘Concrete’, ‘Smut’, ‘Conifers (thriving)’ and ‘Conifers (dead)’. “We cover all sorts of stuff.” Williams tells me, “A lot of it’s about the built environment and regeneration, how Britain is and how it’s changing.”

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Whilst many of the images throw light on dilapidated areas or the more tasteless aspects of Britain (shut up shops and naughty gnomes), The Caravan Gallery’s work never feels snobbish or patronising. Good humour shines through with every image.

“I think a lot of what we do is a celebration,” Williams admits “and even though places get tarted up there are quite a lot of little bits that refuse to give up the ghost. We really like this juxtaposition of things, it gives places character.”

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Whilst the caravan has travelled the whole of the UK, from Glasgow to Cornwall, North Shields to the Isle of Wight, one unexpected recent jaunt saw the artists taking their work all the way to Japan for an event with Paul Smith.

“Quite a lot of our photos are to do with language and signs so we weren’t quite sure if it would work. But Paul Smith’s staff said that the people there would love anything colourful, anything rude and anything a bit cheeky.”

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And the reaction? “They absolutely loved it!” Williams laughs. “They were saying how it’s just really refreshing to see how Britain really is, instead of just all the same old clichés of Big Ben and the Queen.”

So with us Britons already aware that a bowler hat is not obligatory day wear, and that cucumber sandwiches are actually quite rubbish, what can The Caravan Gallery’s more accurate portrayal of our nation tell us that we don’t already know?

“I suppose the idea is to provoke people and say ‘There’s all this stuff going on around you, have you noticed? What do you think?’” Williams muses. “We’re not saying it’s good or bad but just; ‘Look at it!’”

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But never mind the intricacies of social commentary and the seriousness of urban reflection; at heart The Caravan Gallery is a great laugh. When confronted by the absurdity of a man mowing the pavement outside his home, or a sign advertising ‘Have your photo with a ferret and certificate – £2.60′, there’s nothing you can do but laugh about this crazy place we call home.

And humour, The Caravan Gallery artists have found, is a brilliant social lubricant; “It ends up as like a little social club on wheels,” Williams says. “If we get invited to some kind of prestigious art event, we get the art loving audience, but then maybe we’ll also get a Big Issue seller and someone walking the dog. Shoppers, tourists and passers-by will come in and take a look. We end up with a whole mixture of people in the caravan who never normally have much to do with each other and they end up talking, which is really good.”

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This is certainly true, as I witness the caravan become filled with Spitalfields shoppers. Soon everyone, strangers and friends, are pointing out the most humorous and shocking pictures to one another and the caravan is filled with laughter. If it’s true that us Brits are a reserved bunch then The Caravan Gallery certainly loosens our collective stiff upper lips!

If you’d like to have your upper lip un-stiffened, go see The Caravan Gallery visit the White Stuff stores of Chichester on the 28th June (that’s this Sunday, folks!) and Battersea on the 11th of July.

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We are giving The Caravan Gallery our stamp of approval.
It was a night of contrasts. A contrast between a halcyon past and the here-and-now. It was also a contrast in the ages of the audience, viagra dosage from the veteran disciples to the new believers. Brought together, pill under some nebulous Mojo Magazine honour, generic on the same bill for probably the first time since the opening night of the long defunct Vortex on Wardour Street in July 1977, the evening opened with the original punk poet, John Cooper Clarke. Looking exactly the same as he did over 30 years ago, with wild Robert Smith-style hair, black, skinny drainpipe jeans and black shades, sardonic Salford drawl still intact, this one time partner in crime with the doomed former model, Fellini starlet and Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico (after she fetched up in the unlikely surroundings of early 80′s Manchester) entertained the crowd with a series of gags that literally creaked with age. He finished his brief set with a rendition of one of his most famous poems, Evidently Chickentown, a quick fire dissection of the grim everyday mundanities of life in a no hope town (which also appeared in the recent Joy Division movie, Control, with John Cooper Clarke bizarrely playing himself).

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The friend I was with had never seen the Fall before. I just told them that it’s never a dull moment. Never a truer word spoken. The Fall are only predictable in their (or rather Mark E Smith’s) unpredictability. Even so, it must have proved a novelty (if an unwelcome one) for Mark E Smith to play second fiddle to someone, regardless of their pedigree. Coming on stage typically late, with yet another band line-up (save for keyboardist and current Mrs Smith, Elena Polou), Mark E Smith launched into his trademark stream of consciousness delivery. Movement hindered by a recent broken hip, Smith nevertheless wandered around (and occasionally off) the stage, switching microphones and fiddling with assorted amps, even nonchalantly borrowing Buzzcocks’ snare drum for some impromptu bashing (much to their roadies’ undoubted annoyance), whilst the rest of the Fall thundered ominously around him. The Fall are uncompromising live, rarely given to such trifling matters as pleasing the audience. Their set lists resolutely stick to whatever their current or forthcoming material may be, rarely playing anything more than even a couple of years old (though that may be as much to do with Smith not remembering the songs as much as artistic integrity). True to form, tonight’s set consisted heavily of new songs and tracks from last year’s rather patchy effort, Imperial Wax Solvent. That said, Wolf Kidult Man and 50 Year Old Man did go down a storm. Unusually, there was a rare display of nostalgia with the inclusion of Psykick Dancehall and Rebellious Jukebox, from the Fall’s first two albums. Smith must have been feeling particularly charitable, as not only did we get an encore, but he actually ambled out to join it!

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As for Buzzcocks, well, what is there left to be said? The band that defined the term “indie” with their self-released debut EP, Spiral Scratch, which set the template for the likes of Factory, Rough Trade and Creation? The band that brought the Sex Pistols to the provinces and, with two shows at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall, inspired the likes of Messrs Morrissey, Curtis, Sumner, Hook, Wilson et al? The band that toured with Joy Division as support? Well, that was then, what about now? After their initial reformation over a decade ago, Buzzcocks are now a core of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, and basically what they gave us (in contrast to the Fall) was a greatest hits package. But who are we to complain, when you have a back catalogue such as theirs? After a sardonic “thanks to the support band” from Diggle, Buzzcocks launched into Boredom, from the aforementioned Spiral Scratch.

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Even after all these years, that two note guitar solo still sounds ludicrously glorious. Shelley may now look like a middle-aged geography teacher and Diggle was in danger of going all Pete Townshend with his guitar, but they can still rock a joint – a fact proved by the amount of moshing going on by a lot of people who were old enough to know better. The set did flag a little in the middle with the lesser known tracks, and the sound quality from the balcony (particularly the quality of the vocals) was a bit ropey, but Buzzcocks ramped it up for the not-quite-encore (due to the Fall’s tardiness, much to Steve Diggle’s obvious annoyance). After a rousing What Do I Get?, we headed inexorably towards that evergreen classic of pop-punk, Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve), which raised the Forum’s roof off. The set climaxed (as it were) with Orgasm Addict, Buzzcocks’s first post-Howard Devoto single, a song that still sounds so cheekily enjoyable.

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And so the sweat (and beer) soaked masses headed out into the Kentish town night, and our ears were left ringing with a little slice of musical history, one that proved so influential and can still be heard in venues like the Old Blue Last, Water Rats, the Macbeth and the Windmill almost every night of every week.
If you are a London resident, more about then head over to the East End this weekend for a fashion show with a difference. First of all, information pills there will be no door bitches or clipboard Nazi’s on hand to block your entry. You will be surrounded by friendly folk; ethical folk in fact. And that is the premise of the festivities, this a collaborative between Eco -Design Fair and Fashion-Conscience.com to highlight up and coming ethical designers in the fields of fashion, accessories, home furnishings, health and beauty, and stationary and cards.

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To mark the occasion, Friday night will see part of the Truman Brewery transformed into the location for the aformentioned fashion show complete with a recyling party. On hard will be design stalls, DJ’s and organic food and drinks. Kicking off at 7pm, there will be free entry for those bringing old mobile phones that they want recycling, otherwise an optional donation will be requested.

With sustainability in fashion being a key message of the event, those attending who are clearly – and cleverly garbed in vintage and charity shop outfits will be in with a change of being picked by the roving fashion spies to go into the draw for the Style Competition with prizes galore promised. Elsewhere, there will be makeovers, discussions and advice on how to “dress ethically for your shape.”

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Illustration by Sachiko

Saturday and Sunday sees the Design Fair on from 10 am – 6 pm in the same location. All the exhibitors will be showcasing their work in stalls around the building. An example of designers at the event include Believe You Can, Childstar Samantha, Hemp Garden, It’s Reclaimed, and Reestore Ltd. Also taking place will be weaving workshops courtesy of Catherine Daniel, who will be demonstrating how to make pouches, trays and boxes out of reclaimed cardboard, greeting cards and juice cartons – or anything else that you choose to bring along! These sessions will be held in the mornings and afternoons and booking is required. Email info@ecodesignfair.co.uk to reserve your place, stating your name and age. A donation of £3.00 is also requested.

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I spoke with the founder of Eco Design Fair, Louise Kamara to find out more about her work. Founded six years ago, when the concept of ethical and sustainable fashion and design was simply not an issue for both the high street shopper and the supplier, Louise had a lot of explaining to do to a bemused audience. Bringing new awareness to the general public was paramount to her. Having been brought up on a co-operative community, where creative workshops would be run, and food was collectively grown and shared, Louise was shocked by what she saw when she became an adult and entered the ‘real’ world. Thus the twice yearly design fair was sprung from the desire to feature and promote those who lived and worked closer to nature and to showcase work that had not sprung from a sweatshop. It also encourages the public to step away from the large brands who are claiming that their products are environmentally friendly to lure us back into their shops. “When somewhere like Primark says that they have an ‘ethical’ range, they are just using a trendy word” Louise tells me, “Whereas the Eco Design Fair is from the heart, for us it is a fundamental concern; and that is the huge difference. ”

So see you there then. Don’t forget to come in your charity shop finest!

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Illustration by Sachiko
If you thought that graduate fashion week had passed and you’d seen it all, viagra think again. In a small studio on Charring Cross Rd this week, viagra stood the works of a small, perhaps lesser known group of graduates…yet another gifted brood to emerge from the fertile loins of Central St.Martins. In something of a bridge between an MA and a BA, students of the the Graduate Fashion Diploma course spend a lightning 9 months or so working on various self directed projects under the tutelage of David Kappo.
Although open to all, the names listed showed a decidedly Pacific contingent, perhaps due to the school’s overseas reputation. And in part to the program’s fees which are democratically the same no matter where you’re from. Sorry EUers, no discounts here. Also notable was the fact that many of these fledgling designers signed onto the course when the ink was barely dry on their BA’s, which accounts for the elevated quality and a few research sketchbooks of biblical proportion. Which brings us to the first stop on our tour…

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Bevan Avery

New Zealander Bevan Avery who took his first swing at womenswear…and hit it right out of the park with a collection “based on antique medical photographs and Victorian deformities recorded in the Mutter Mueseum.” As an art student on the East Coast myself, many an hour was spent drawing in the creepy catacombs of that museum. Fun for the whole family! Back to Bevan… “I wanted to create a dark collection which focused on shaping an unusual silhouette through the shoulder and tilting the hems forward and focused on the black and gold colouring of the stained photographs.” This creator of bloated and beautiful sketchbooks says of previous collections he has “…used Voodoo, East London working men and Mongolian queens and wrestlers as inspiration.” Now THAT I would love to see.

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Nancy Stella-Soto

Next to bat is Nancy Stella-Soto’s brilliantly styled, loose and transparent blushed silk dress over a nude crotched slip. WIth vintage colored cottons (dyed using yesterday’s coffee) 1920′s steamer trunks and Charlie Chaplin canes, this writer would love to be a stowaway on Stella-Sotos’ next voyage.

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Sol Ahn

Seoul born Sol Ahn is on her way to an MA at RCA. Barely taking a breath between degrees this designer has got momentum a plenty. Fantastic textures and a balance of exaggerated proportions this menswear collection, with its DIY bleach splatter jeans and mammoth pompom (it IS a trend, believe it!) sweaters is so very London. Sol Ahn cites skinheads’ obsessive meticulousness about how they dress and the mixed up dressing of Diane Arbus’ mental subjects in ‘Untitled’ as her influences.

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Marian Toledo-Candelaria

Marian Toledo-Candelaria has a modern-day Boudicca in mind when he designs. For his final collection he drew ideas from the Roman Invasion of Britain, focusing on the cultural clash between the invading Romans and the native Celts. Heavy on adornment the dark silk dresses are topped with a snakepit of golden jewels, oversized beads and gold suede. The deep blue of the silks being inspired by the woad plant, “a European plant used for the extraction of a indigo pigment that the Celts used for painting their bodies when summoned to war. ”

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bouza

Bouza displayed an elegant tomato colored mini dress with a draping shoulder. An asymmetry mimicked by a single stone colored legging. Lucky for us there is also a website full of their previous works. But It was the display of dip dyed rubber bands and shocking red hairy wool samples that really got my motor running. Let us know when we can see the manifestation of those terrific textiles!

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Kim Kwang

Beijing born Kim Kwang who is already working alongside Jimmy Choo on his couture shoe collection, presented an amazing felted wool jacket complete with contrast lacing. The fibrous wads of wool formed a mystery of moulding whose shapes were victorian corsetry and medieval armor all at once.

These designers have high expectations, industry experience and another diploma shoved into their back pockets. We’ll be sure to let you know their latest and greatest as they hack their own paths through the fashion jungle.

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,design, ,graduates, ,textiles

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Amelia’s Magazine | Trash Fashion Exhibition at the Science Museum


Marie Anne Lynch, more about illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, stomach from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Marie Anne Lynch, drugs illustrated by Antonia Parker

This week the London College of Fashion exhibits work from eight of its 2011 MA fashion courses, online from photography to footwear. Housed in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square, where the ON|OFF catwalk shows take place during London Fashion Week, it’s open to the public until 9th February. I went to the opening to see if I could spy some fashion stars in the making.


Vesna Pesic


Paul Kim


Oliver Ruuger


Yan Liang


Nam Young Kim. All photography by Katie Wright

If you visit, be careful not to walk straight past the main event on the way to the basement – the clothing from the Fashion Design Technology MA is in the foyer on the ground floor. The well-deserved winner of Collection of the Year was Matteo Molinari (his name already sounds like a successful Italian brand), whose all-black menswear collection played with the proportions of sharp suits – a longer sleeve here, a higher waist there – and added crochet and cable-knit elements.


Charlie Goldthorpe, illustrated by Sarah Matthews

Another shortlisted designer, Jo Power showed dresses so long, black and formless I wondered if she’d been commissioned by the Church of England to create ecclesiastical wear. But in reality, Power could be well-placed to ride out a current fad: her brand of monochrome minimalism (save for the odd splash of scarlet red) is, along with Phoebe Philo, Jil Sander et al, the kind on which the fashion world is heaping masses of praise at the moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tatwasin Kahjeenikorn’s dresses were so densely encrusted with heavy hematite beads and trinkets they were difficult to lift off the rail. One black sleeveless sack dress was covered in rows of metal components you’d be more likely to find in a hardware shop than a haberdashery.


Paul Beckett, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Paul Beckett experimented with sportswear for men to great effect as tracksuit tops were rendered in leather and silk in muted brown tones. Who’d have thought the midpoint between chav and luxe could be so chic? His collection looks like an ideal portfolio for an interview at Adidas. Equally employable, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miuccia Prada offered Jennifer Morris a job in future – I can easily imagine Morris’s turquoise and blue silk pajama-esque trousers and matching jacket on the Miu Miu catwalk.


Zoe Grace Fletcher, illustrated by Gemma Smith

Over in the Fashion and the Environment MA room, students presented a variety of approaches to solving the problems of the unsustainable and wasteful nature of clothing production. If there was a prize for the best collection title, I would give it to Zoe Grace Fletcher. ‘Britain needs Ewe’ explored the local sourcing route to sustainability, and saw Fletcher learning how to shear sheep and dig for Madder roots to extract dye for her hand-knitted wool dresses. Focusing on clothes that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle when living in a hot climate, Lu Yinyin took a hundred-year-old Chinese dying technique using yams and mud to create a silk that helps to keep the wearer cool. Lu found that air conditioning, a huge source of energy consumption, could actually be turned down a degree or two when Sun Silk garments were worn.


Paul Kim, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

From the title alone I wasn’t even sure what the Fashion Artefact MA course entailed, but it may as well have been called Fashion Accessories because hats, bags and shoes were the artefacts of choice for most designers. In fact, Charlotte Goldthorpe told me she started on the footwear course before the tutor decided she was ‘too weird’ (her words) and she made the switch. A wise decision, if you ask me, as her standout collection took found objects that had lost their functionality (a broken key, a locket that wouldn’t open) and cast them in spheres of silicon. Paired with traditional shapes like a doctor’s bag and an old-fashioned suitcase in flesh-coloured leather, the collection had a wonderful almost medical feel to it. Also in the weird and wonderful artefact category, Oliver Ruuger took the anonymous bowler-hatted businessman archetype and turned it on its head; his umbrella with a ponytail and briefcase covered in soft spikes and metallic studs are the antithesis of conservative dressing.


Ivan Dauriz, illustrated by Alison Day

All in all, the LCF collections may not be as avant-garde and ground-breaking as that other great London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, but there’s clearly a lot of talent on show at this exhibition. It’ll be interesting to see which of these graduates return to show at Victoria House in the future in its London Fashion Week capacity.


Illustration by Aysim Genc

Did you know that we’re all buying a third more clothing than we did a decade ago? Yep, cialis 40mg you read that right. A third more in only 10 years. And are you also aware that today’s average household contributes 26 items of wearable clothing to landfill every year? Tallied up, that’s well over 600,000 garments in the UK alone. Can you visualise that waste? It’s A LOT.

The appropriately-named Trash Fashion exhibition is a relatively small presentation with a big message. Be honest, you can’t remember the last time that ‘textiles’ sprang to mind when thinking of world waste and pollution. Something along the lines of ‘oil’ or ‘water’ or ‘plastic bottles’ would be up there; never the words ‘clothes’, ‘dyes’, ‘fabric’. And yet, it’s a big deal. For example, a huge 17-20% of worldwide industrial water pollution is down to textile dye. The truth is that the concept of waste produced by the textiles industry is dangerously underestimated. Fact.


Illustration by Ankolie

Okay, so I didn’t predict a fashion-related exhibition at the Science Museum either. And, in its allotted space, Trash Fashion did rather stick out like a sore-thumb. One also is required to walk through the entire ground floor to actually reach the exhibition, which features steam trains, outer-space and other extravaganzas along with a large population of noisy children. As it was a Saturday, immersed in engines and spaceships, I’m guessing either über-nerdy kids or über-nerdy parents. However, I just used the word ‘über’ twice in one sentence so I’m clearly the nerd here.


All photographs courtesy of Lois Waller/Bunnipunch

Moving on, I learnt shed loads about ‘designing out waste’ in the fashion industry by wandering through. For one, I learnt that an initiative, led by Central Saint Martins, is being developed. An idea that started with a small mat of cellulose being immersed in green tea in order for it to grow into usable fabric. Fabric that is literally living and breathing. It turns out rather like leather and, having a feel of the fabric myself, couldn’t believe that it came from some bacteria bathed in green tea. Weird. Anyway, it turns out that, at this early stage, the so-called ‘Bio Couture’ is way too heavy and gooey to wear and would practically disintegrate in the rain. Nevertheless, it’s a damn-good start – the product is natural, non-toxic and compostable and scientists are working on developing the idea further all the time.


Illustration by Stephanie Melodia

Another part of the exhibition that I found enthralling was a project hosted by the London College of Fashion called ‘Knit to Fit’. It puts forward the concept of ‘Mass Customisation’, something that I could definitely see materialising in the near future. It starts with an individual having a 3D Body Scan done by a special computer that reads all, and even the very intricate, measurements of the body. This information, along with personalised details such as colour and pattern, is then transmitted to a fairly new machine in the textiles world that, before one’s very eyes, produces an entirely seamless 3D garment. No off-cuts. No waste. Considering that fashion designers are known to leave a whole 15% of the fabric they work with on the cutting-room floor, these are absolutely imperative pieces of technology in the movement towards sustainable and efficient textiles of the future. The idea is that, in the not-too-distant future, the average shopper will be able to stroll into a clothing store and have a custom-made garment made there and then that is unique to us and, most importantly, will leave absolutely no waste.


Illustration by Caroline Coates

Without a doubt, the most immediately imposing feature of the exhibition was a large, flamboyant dress, made out of 1000 pieces of folded scraps of the London Metro newspaper. It stood tall at the entrance and its grandeur seduced a small crowd to gather around and take photographs.
In my opinion, however, it just isn’t enough to rip up a few copies of the London Metro, origami fold them into numerous pieces and make a dress – not to wear, but to make a statement. Not to dismiss the skill that goes into constructing such a fiddly garment, or the fact that it DOES make a pretty huge statement. It relates waste and fashion to one another, which is crucial, through something impressive and, ironically, quite beautiful. But it’s been done. I’ve seen countless garments like these, designed for that shock-factor yet completely un-wearable. It’s time to stop representing the problem and to instead turn to the solution – to science. And this, bar the newspaper dress, is where ‘Trash Fashion’ came up trumps.

So, despite being a little late-in-the-day with this one, might not be worth trekking all the way to South Kensington to see this exhibition alone. If you do, time it in with a trip to the National History Museum or the V&A, both right next door. After all, it’s free entry. You’ll just have to hurdle past the children screaming at steam engines and Apollo 10 and I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it.

Trash Fashion: designing out waste is supported by SITA Trust as part of the No More Waste project and is free to visit at the Science Museum in London.

As part of the exhibition, there is an interactive competition whereby members of the public can submit photos of their ‘refashioned’ old garments, before and after, and could land their new design a spot in the exhibition. To upload pictures of your customised clothes go to www.flickr.com/groups/trashfashion

Categories ,Bio Couture, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dress, ,environment, ,Ethics, ,fashion, ,Flickr, ,Knit to Fit, ,Landfill, ,London College of Fashion, ,Mass Customisation, ,Metro, ,No More Waste, ,Science Museum, ,SITA Trust, ,South Kensington, ,textiles, ,Trash Fashion, ,Waste

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2011 – A Preview


Kirsty Ward, cialis 40mg pilule illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Oh God, doctor more about is it really that time again? Do I really have to stay up, approved night after night, sending all those emails? Worrying about outfits? Processing 12,000 photographs? Yep, London Fashion Week is just around the corner, and yesterday Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced their line up for their extra special Ones to Watch show.

Previous winners of the accolade include Ada Zanditon and Lu Flux (both in Amelia’s new book) as well as Eudon Choi and David Longshaw. Last season’s outing was an ecclectic mix of ‘dandyish’ menswear, cream pleats and yellow ruffles. The line up this time around looks certain to impress, though – Central Saint Martins’ graduates Anja Mlakar and Kirsty Ward, along with Sara Bro-Jorgensen and Tze Goh.

While we all get excited about London’s most fashionable five days, here’s a little round up of the new design talent.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Lana Hughes

Tze Goh graduated with a BA from Parsons in New York before completing an MA at Central Saint Martins. Tze’s collections to date have had that strong, minimal aesthetic with emphasis on shape and sculpture.

They’re definitely futuristic, and each garment appears to have been moulded from an unknown material rather than sewn from jersey. Pieces emphasise the shapes of his models – exaggerated shoulders and discrete twists in fabric make for modern, appealing clothes. Hopefully he’ll stick to his minimalist principles during his outing this coming season.

Kirsty Ward

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Kirsty Ward is brilliant. She’s one of the most unique designers I’ve seen in ages, and it’s no surprise that she’s, yep – you guessed it – Central Saint Martin’s alumni and went on to work with Alberta Ferretti in Italy. Amelia reviewed her collection last season , a vertiable wonder of sculptural jewellery and clothing that echoes the contours of the body.

I loved her work with David Longshaw (creating jewellery that he teamed with his collection) during his debut on the very same Ones to Watch stage a year ago This season promises another fashion-forward outing.

Anja Mlakar

Illustration by Willa Gebbie

Anja Mlakar is – you guessed it – another Central Saint Martins graduate. I’m feeling fatigued typing those three words already and the shows haven’t even started. Anyway, Her debut collection harboured much interest and having only graduated last year, Anja is set to cement herself in fashion this coming season.

Her S/S 2011 collection was a welcome ray of sunshine, with bursts of pastel yellows and pinks. Her aesthetic features structural forms and body-concious frocks, and her style straddles the fine line between flattering and futuristic. The most diverse collection, it will be intereting to see if Anja develops a particular element or mixes it up again.

Sara Bro-Jorgensen

Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Sara, a Royal College of Art graduate (at last!) takes a different approach to fashion and is heavily influenced by 2D forms like black and white photographs. She’s been nominated for awards here and there.

Her previous collections contain a mix of knits and deconstructed pieces, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this girl digs black. As it’s the A/W 2011 we’re looking forward to, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of fashion’s favourite colour on Sara’s outing, but then what do I know?

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Alberta Feretti, ,black, ,Central Saint Martins, ,David Longshaw, ,fashion, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Italy, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Lana Hughes, ,London Fashion Week, ,new york, ,Ones To Watch, ,parsons, ,Royal College of Art, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Willa Gebbie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2011 – A Preview


Kirsty Ward, cialis 40mg pilule illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Oh God, doctor more about is it really that time again? Do I really have to stay up, approved night after night, sending all those emails? Worrying about outfits? Processing 12,000 photographs? Yep, London Fashion Week is just around the corner, and yesterday Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced their line up for their extra special Ones to Watch show.

Previous winners of the accolade include Ada Zanditon and Lu Flux (both in Amelia’s new book) as well as Eudon Choi and David Longshaw. Last season’s outing was an ecclectic mix of ‘dandyish’ menswear, cream pleats and yellow ruffles. The line up this time around looks certain to impress, though – Central Saint Martins’ graduates Anja Mlakar and Kirsty Ward, along with Sara Bro-Jorgensen and Tze Goh.

While we all get excited about London’s most fashionable five days, here’s a little round up of the new design talent.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Lana Hughes

Tze Goh graduated with a BA from Parsons in New York before completing an MA at Central Saint Martins. Tze’s collections to date have had that strong, minimal aesthetic with emphasis on shape and sculpture.

They’re definitely futuristic, and each garment appears to have been moulded from an unknown material rather than sewn from jersey. Pieces emphasise the shapes of his models – exaggerated shoulders and discrete twists in fabric make for modern, appealing clothes. Hopefully he’ll stick to his minimalist principles during his outing this coming season.

Kirsty Ward

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Kirsty Ward is brilliant. She’s one of the most unique designers I’ve seen in ages, and it’s no surprise that she’s, yep – you guessed it – Central Saint Martin’s alumni and went on to work with Alberta Ferretti in Italy. Amelia reviewed her collection last season , a vertiable wonder of sculptural jewellery and clothing that echoes the contours of the body.

I loved her work with David Longshaw (creating jewellery that he teamed with his collection) during his debut on the very same Ones to Watch stage a year ago This season promises another fashion-forward outing.

Anja Mlakar

Illustration by Willa Gebbie

Anja Mlakar is – you guessed it – another Central Saint Martins graduate. I’m feeling fatigued typing those three words already and the shows haven’t even started. Anyway, Her debut collection harboured much interest and having only graduated last year, Anja is set to cement herself in fashion this coming season.

Her S/S 2011 collection was a welcome ray of sunshine, with bursts of pastel yellows and pinks. Her aesthetic features structural forms and body-concious frocks, and her style straddles the fine line between flattering and futuristic. The most diverse collection, it will be intereting to see if Anja develops a particular element or mixes it up again.

Sara Bro-Jorgensen

Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Sara, a Royal College of Art graduate (at last!) takes a different approach to fashion and is heavily influenced by 2D forms like black and white photographs. She’s been nominated for awards here and there.

Her previous collections contain a mix of knits and deconstructed pieces, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this girl digs black. As it’s the A/W 2011 we’re looking forward to, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of fashion’s favourite colour on Sara’s outing, but then what do I know?

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Alberta Feretti, ,black, ,Central Saint Martins, ,David Longshaw, ,fashion, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Italy, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Lana Hughes, ,London Fashion Week, ,new york, ,Ones To Watch, ,parsons, ,Royal College of Art, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Willa Gebbie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yifang Wan, Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

Fashion Week A/W 2013 got off to a cracking start on Friday, for anybody who actually turned up. I didn’t, thanks to the effects of an anti-Valentine’s cocktail binge, instead spent the evening in bed with fish and chips and half a bottle of Rioja. So it was Saturday morning where my season started, heading as I did to this season’s Fashion Scout Merit Award winner – Yifang Wan.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

Previous Merit Award winners including David Koma, Felder Felder, William Tempest and Leutton Postle have all gone on to establish successful labels and the pressure of such previous acclaim must be terrifying — but its effects weren’t evident in this polished collection by Yifang Wan.


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink


All other photography by Matt Bramford

Record numbers packed the ‘white room’ of the Freemasons’ Hall, and so my view of the show was framed by a diminutive Frenchman wielding a vogue.fr microphone like a maniac and a very excitable girl with masses of hair. Her head was all over the place trying to secure a good shot and I was forced to perform a strange sort of swaying dance with my zoom lens, not unlike an Emperor penguin.


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

I’d briefly taken an interest in Wan‘s work when the Merit prize was awarded at the beginning of the year, and her previous collections draw inspiration from her Asian heritage and long, draped silhouettes dominate her previous outings. So it was no surprise, in the best possible way, to see these themes continued for A/W 2013, with inspiration from performance artist ‪Marina Abramović‬, most famous for sitting in a smock and staring at New Yorkers in the MOMA for 700 hours.

Only four rich colours featured in this collection – deep blue, green, red and black in thick fabrics. Jackets came with triangular slices removed almost with abandon as fabrics draped asymmetrically and architecturally. Almost every piece skimmed the floor, while fabric swayed and draped in different directions with emphasis on Far Eastern cuts. Each piece was accessorised with intriguing angular sculptural pieces, some worn around necks, others carried almost like weaponry.

Yifang Wan is no stranger to awards, having won the L’Oreal Professionel Award at Saint Martins as an MA student. Her £25,000 prize this season will hopefully propel the designer’s label in the direction it deserves.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,A/W’13, ,catwalk, ,Central Saint Martins, ,East, ,Fashion Scout, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Kimono, ,marina abramovic, ,Matt Bramford, ,Merit Award, ,Orient, ,review, ,Yifang Wan

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yulia Kondranina: Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by youdesignme
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by youdesignme.

Russian designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Yulia Kondranina was last to show at Ones to Watch, with a small collection of immaculate construction: models stepped out on the catwalk in heavily tasselled dresses, the threads swaying gracefully around legs and arms as they walked. Black threads on black created an elegant gothic feel, whilst white on black was a very on trend nod to the monochrome colour palette which has been omnipresent this season.

Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

My favourites were undoubtably the three colourful dresses with which Yulia Kondranina ended her show, jewel coloured and swinging flatteringly around hips over the top of tube skirts. I was able to check out the dresses up close at the Fashion Scout exhibition, where I discovered that the delicate threads were given substance with clever internal hoops. I’m not sure how easy they would be to wear, but the collection was beautifully conceived.

ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Laura Hickman, ,Ones To Watch, ,review, ,Russian, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Eugene Lin

“It was when we were awarded a giant golden penis at the Erotic Awards, prostate malady that has to be my best moment here so far. It was a fashion show that went really well and everything came to plan.” Holly Jade picked up, check with grinning pride, a huge, winged and golden figurine of male genitalia. As manager of a successful London business, you might expect a more contained answer from Holly, who sits adorned with silver chains, ripped tights and purple streaked hair. Wait a second. Scrap that.

Prangsta Costumiers is far from conventional. “We don’t try and be something that we’re not.” And quite rightly so. Why play the fashion game when their concept already oozes the type of London decadence, imagination and crisp tailoring that one would expect from the likes of Westwood? Seem like an overstatement? Well, yes. But don’t knock this place until you’ve seen it.

I first came across Prangsta when strolling through the streets of New Cross with my mum (as you do). We stopped outside the barred up, clouded shop window and strained our eyes through the metal, trying to fathom what this place was. Despite my mum’s adamance that it was a brothel, she confidently ducked under the corrugated iron and called out for any possible inhabitants. A French lady emerged. She beckoned us inside, casually wearing a riding helmet (as one also does).

An Aladdin’s cave still is the only way to describe it. Trunks and dressers spilling with jewels, brooches, elaborate belts, crowns and masks; dishevelled bustiers heaped with wigs and mad fabric; a trapeze swinging from the ceiling. There was no order. It was undisputed beautiful chaos.

The best part? Every costume is hand-made and tailored by the tight-nit Prangsta team. “We try to purchase as little material as possible so we go to a lot of vintage markets and also get a lot of materials donated to us. We take apart old costumes and old fabrics and then restore them and make them into our own Prangsta designs.” This kind of eco-awareness has been a core principle of Prangsta ever since Melanie Wilson founded the company in 1998. “She studied fashion at Central Saint Martins and really hated how wasteful the fashion industry was portrayed to her.”

Theatrical and period costume dominates Prangsta’s extensive mish-mash gallery of stunning work. A Victorian suited wolf, a burlesque fox or perhaps a two of diamonds playing card? (The shop does have an astonishingly brilliant Alice in Wonderland collection). Simply enter their hidden world and you could transform into characters you barely knew of. Hell, you could make up your own! Or at least leave the imagination to Holly herself, who styles her clients’ costumes rather than creating the pieces in their 1500 square foot studio in Deptford.

I of course guided the conversation onto that 21st birthday party of one Daisy Lowe. Daisy, her mother Pearl and several members of the star-studded guestlist were dressed by Holly and her talented team. Daisy, in particular, wore floor-skimming jaw-dropping ‘Ice Queen’-esque attire. “It was great… They are rock n’ roll royalty. Daisy is a lovely girl and a pleasure to dress.”  ? ?And their impressive list of clients doesn’t end there. Prangsta have also dressed The Noisettes (Shingai, the lead singer, used to work for the company), the Moulettes, the White Stripes, the BBC2 comedy drama ‘Psychoville’ and, get this, have even dressed Florence & The Machine.

Holly insists, however, that dressing such high-flying stars aren’t considered amongst Prangsta’s greatest achievements. I know. ‘You what?’ was my reaction too. But she continued… “I think it’s more of an achievement that we’ve been going like this for 12 years. We’ve made everything ourselves and we’re a London-based local business. Everyone works really hard. We work long hours, sometimes 12 hour days, and keeping the business running I think is more of an achievement.”

And she’s right. The Prangsta team do seem to work incessantly hard. They don’t just simply lend beautiful costumes to individuals. They tour all different festivals throughout the summer. They organize community nights for local performers and artists. They scour markets and thrift stores for the beautiful trinkets and treasures you’ll see placed around their shop. They even run their own dressmaking classes which take place in their Deptford studio. “Classes are taught by Mel and two of her seamstresses,” she says. I then of course comment on the advantage to the class members by being taught by Melanie, being an ex-Saint Martin’s student and pioneer of this mad palace. Holly even mentioned to me how Melanie began squatting in the building that we were sitting in. “Mel started out completely alone, from nothing. She now owns this row of shops and rents them out and also has Prangsta.”How’s that for a success story?

I also just HAD to ask about that haunting but quirky shop-front that had my mum so convinced we were about to come across prostitutes. Holly laughed when I told of her of this.  ?“We do what we can. We’re in New Cross, not in Soho. And I guess we’re quite an urban team. We’re quite subversive, eccentric characters. It is quite dilapidated but we’re a small business in a rundown area.” But no excuses were necessary. I really and truly loved the subversive exterior. And, well, the mysterious look of Prangsta is certainly parallel with the mysterious Melanie, who apparently prefers not to do interviews (damn, eh?).  ? ?Prangsta sure has got a good thing going, but they’re not stopping there. They have pretty big plans for future expansion. “One day we will have an online shop. People will be able to click on, say, a little hat and will be able to request one to be made for them. Within the next five years I’d say we’d like to be working on expanding our costume collection and maybe pump out a fashion collection aswell. We’d like to break through this wall to next door so that we can have an exhibition space and put a lot of costumes up on the walls like a bit of a gallery, have some music playing with a DJ, have some chai on the go. Above all, we want to provide a really quality service by restoring and recycling aswell as contributing to the community.”

After seeing the place for the second time, and speaking to Holly, it appears that not only Prangsta’s enchanting costumes, but also it’s intriguing story and extensive achievement is a true example of what those young, fun, London minds are made of.

Prangsta can be found at 304, New Cross Road, London. ?Costumes are between £80-100 to rent for 5 days and are also sold at individual prices. ?Their next dressmaking classes begin on Wednesday 22nd September from 7 – 9.30pm and cost £200. There is a maximum class size of 10 (so get in there quick if you’re interested!).

Eugene Lin, page A/W 2010, stomach illustrated by Abby Wright

It is the impeccable designs of Eugene Lin that have captivated us here at Amelia’s Magazine. The Central Saint Martins graduate’s intricate and feminine designs are a force to be reckoned with in the near future, patient and it is his expertise in pattern cutting that has given him this power. While we wait for Eugene Lin’s ultra-swish designs to bulldoze their way into magazine editorials and on the bodies of celebrities alike, we get to know the designer behind his eponymous label…

Your autumn/winter 2010 collection ‘The Gordian Knot’ and your spring/summer ?2010 collection both have a unique, tailored simplicity that flatteringly ?emphasises the feminine form. Is this a key factor when designing your collections, or do you feel it comes naturally to you? 
In the words of the great Hubert De Givenchy ‘Adding a flower or piling on details is not couture. But make an utterly simple dress, with a simple style line, this is the key to haute couture.’  The legendary Coco Chanel also said, ‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.’ My clothes are not haute couture, but the essence of what the two aforementioned designers is something I totally agree with and embody in my work. Simplicity should not be confused with plainness; the elegance of my work becomes very evident on closer inspection and that is what the women who buy my pieces appreciate and love. While some of the pieces from both collections are very feminine, there are also large appropriations taken from menswear, right down to the fabrics of the S/S 2010 collection where I used fine menswear shirting for the best-selling dresses. Ultimately, it is a combination of both a feel and a conscious reminder that it is a womenswear line after all. ?


S/S 2010

You’ve spent a lot of time with influential British designers – Preen, Vivienne WestwoodRoksanda Ilincic and Ashley Isham. Do you feel your designs exemplify what British fashion is all about? Would you define your aesthetic as British, or otherwise?
I love British fashion. I always have and always will.  British fashion for me stands for designers who are bold, directional and cutting edge. There is a burning spirit and huge support for new British designers which far surpasses any other city, including the other three fashion capitals. While the catwalks are teeming with unwearable showpieces which often draw flak from the public and other cities, there are also other designers such as myself which push the boundaries in a quieter, unexaggerated way in terms of innovative cut, fabrication and wearability.  Jackie JS Lee and Joana Sykes are examples of this.

I would define my aesthetic as Euro-centric, but not necessarily British. A designer can say all they want about who they think they are or are like, but at the end of the day, the buyers and customers are the ones who ultimately decide because customers never lie with their money. They are the ones who, through the pure forces of economics, decide which market responds the best and whose collections sit alongside yours in the multi-brand boutiques. So far, my work has been described as very chic, very Italian and very Parisian. But I am stocked along other great British designers both in the UK and in Asia, hence I feel the label has a broad European appeal. ?


A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Your spring/summer collection made use of a beautiful royal blue colour, ?whilst your autumn/winter collection visited a flattering and seductive red. Do you find inspiration in the rich colours, or do the rich colours inspire you? Do you feel you must be selective in your colour choices to match ?your aesthetic? 
There is always an accent colour in each of my collections, but the question is finding it and making it work in harmony with the rest of the palette. I choose my colours very carefully, and if I cannot envision a piece in a certain colour, I will re-evaluate the entire palette.  The accent colours are rich, but the rest tend to be muted to balance it. Sometimes, the fabric jumps out at me and I immediately know I will use it, like the rich blue for S/S 2010. For the red in A/W 2010, the inspiration came from the concept; red is the colour of Mars, the Roman God of War. Finding the right shade, weight and texture is very tricky especially for new designers who cannot afford large minimums. The colours have to sit in blocks across the collection, as well as in the order of silhouettes. This process is a constant delicate juggling act, but getting it right really pays off as it makes each collection cohesive – something that all my buyers have really appreciated when visiting my stands and buying into the collections for their stores.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Katherine Tromans

Your intricately made ‘Bella’ top (above) is both draped and unmistakeably tailored to fit the female form. Is your unique tailoring going to be a pleasantly recurring theme in your future work, like a calling card or so to speak?
The key difference between a Eugene Lin piece and many other designer pieces is the amount of attention that is paid to the intelligent cut and detail, both in draped and tailored pieces.  The entire front of Bella is actually draped out of one single piece, being pinched together at the knot. With such a rich experience in pattern cutting, it came as a natural progression to my work, and it’s one of the few things that is incredibly difficult to imitate due to the level of technical difficulty in my work. S/S 2010 had a lot of panels and pieces which were cut from a single piece of fabric – draped or intricately split, while A/W 2010 revolved around the knots and loops.  I have been accused of being a minimalist, but ask any one of my interns or machinists who have worked on my pieces and they will laugh it off. As I mentioned before, my work always reveals something on closer inspection.  I find it incredibly insulting to both customers and other designers who really put in a lot of effort into creating a real designer garment when a pretender slaps a couple of metal studs and rings onto a piece of leather and calls it a designer dress or jacket. I would never insult my customers this way. I will always push my tailoring in different directions each season to give them something new, yet draw them back because of the familiar guarantee of quality of an impeccable fit.   ?



A/W 2010

Speaking of your future work, what do you have in store for the future of the ?Eugene Lin label? Can you divulge any information on future ventures, or even ?Spring/Summer 2011?
I will be exhibiting my third collection, S/S 2011 ‘The Vanishing Twin’, on-schedule at Somerset House this coming London Fashion Week, and for the first time taking the collection to Paris Fashion Week to an even bigger international audience. S/S 2011 was inspired by Stephen King’s novel ‘The Dark Half’ and based on the medical condition foetus in fetu (FIF), commonly known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome, whereby a foetus develops around its twin in the womb. The result, although rare, causes cases where a foot has been found growing in a boy’s brain, and limbs growing in stomachs.  However, for me a concept is only as good as its translation, and I’d like to think I’ve translated all my themes successfully so far. The pieces for S/S 2011 feature tailored trousers with extra ‘grown in’ features like an extra waistband, mutated skirts and dresses and separates which have been draped to resemble muscle and tissue.  Bottom line, I am selling clothes, and even if the customer is not aware of the inspiration or does not buy into the concept, they can always walk away with an incredible designer piece.  The concept becomes a bonus for those interested in more than just a beautifully created garment. ? ?


A/W 2010, illustrated by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?
I prefer constructing them, although I do sketch of course. Seeing the piece come to life is like birthing an idea, and sometimes I discover things on the stand which makes it even more beautiful than the sketch. Anyone can draw a sketch, but a woman is not going to walk into a boutique to buy a sketch to wear to an event now, is she?
 
?What do you like most about designing clothes?
The fulfilment of seeing women buy and wear a piece of their identity based on my aesthetics which originated from a simple thought. It’s like watching a seed grow right to fruitation.

?Describe your personal style in three words.
Clean, precise, elegant. In that order.

What does fashion mean to you in three words?
Love. Life. Light.

What advice would you give to those that would like to get into fashion ?design? 
Haha!! Where do we start on this….It’s really not for everyone, you have got to be really, really tough – it’s not a profession for little farm girls. Ask yourself WHERE exactly you want to be in the industry – a designer of your own label or designing for a house, and WHY you want to do it. For some like myself, I know that I will never be happy working under someone else and I wanted my own career, but for others they enjoy a design team. There is no right or wrong solution, and you should never expect to emulate another designer’s path. Internships are vital, do as many as you can to see the real face of our industry.

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Abby Wright, ,Ashley Islam, ,Asia, ,Bella, ,british, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Coco Chanel, ,Eugene Lin, ,europe, ,fashion, ,FIF, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hubert De Givenchy, ,Jackie JS Lee, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Joana Sykes, ,Katherine Tromans, ,London Fashion Week, ,Parisian, ,Preen, ,Roksanda Ilincic, ,S/S 2010, ,S/S 2011, ,Simplicity, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring, ,UK, ,Vanishing Twin Syndrome, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ronaldo Fraga AW10 at Sao Paulo Fashion Week- Exclusive Report

The third day at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week saw the show of one of the hippest brands among Brazilian youngsters. Triton has been showing at the biggest fashion week in Brazil for a while now, prostate with the main inspiration behind their designs having always been music, technology and a cool lifestyle.

trit_i10_093_altaImages throughout courtesy of Triton

For AW10 they invited CSS‘s lead singer Lovefoxxx (who used to work for the brand before becoming famous) to design not only some of the prints, but also the show’s soundtrack, which started dense and melancholic, with the sound of Crystalised, by English band The XX.

trit_i10_063_altaPrimarily inspired by the trendy Japanese area of Harajuku, Lovefoxxx, together with Triton’s designer Karen Fuke, created one of the most playful scenarios seen on the runways of Sao Paulo. With models made up to look like Gothic Lolita’s taking to the runway Triton superbly illustrated the epicentre of Japanese excesses to a Brazilian audience.

trit_i10_001_altaThere were so many patterns, so many shapes, so many references, that it was impossible to sort the designs in any distinct trend. The kooky prints referenced everything from spider webs and owls to mushrooms, teamed with heavy boots with super high heels which broke the romantic vibe. It couldn’t have ended better than with a rainbow coloured jumpsuit, making Luisa Lovefoxxx’s input and presence clear to all.

trit_i10_084_altaTriton’s AW10 show was a great example of creativity and coherence, from a brand to its public. No wonder it had one of the most amazing finales so far; with a standing ovation from the fashion-hungry crowd.

trit_i10_015_alta
The third day at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week saw the show of one of the hippest brands among Brazilian youngsters. Triton has been showing at the biggest fashion week in Brazil for a while now, visit this with the main inspiration behind their designs having always been music, ask technology and a cool lifestyle.

trit_i10_093_altaImages throughout courtesy of Triton

For AW10 they invited CSS‘s lead singer Lovefoxxx (who used to work for the brand before becoming famous) to design not only some of the prints, approved but also the show’s soundtrack, which started dense and melancholic, with the sound of Crystalised, by English band The XX.

trit_i10_063_altaPrimarily inspired by the trendy Japanese area of Harajuku, Lovefoxxx, together with Triton’s designer Karen Fuke, created one of the most playful scenarios seen on the runways of Sao Paulo. With models made up to look like Gothic Lolita’s taking to the runway Triton superbly illustrated the epicentre of Japanese excesses to a Brazilian audience.

trit_i10_001_altaThere were so many patterns, so many shapes, so many references, that it was impossible to sort the designs in any distinct trend. The kooky prints referenced everything from spider webs and owls to mushrooms, teamed with heavy boots with super high heels which broke the romantic vibe. It couldn’t have ended better than with a rainbow coloured jumpsuit, making Luisa Lovefoxxx’s input and presence clear to all.

trit_i10_084_altaTriton’s AW10 show was a great example of creativity and coherence, from a brand to its public. No wonder it had one of the most amazing finales so far; with a standing ovation from the fashion-hungry crowd.

trit_i10_015_alta
The third day at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week saw the show of one of the hippest brands among Brazilian youngsters. Triton has been showing at the biggest fashion week in Brazil for a while now, treatment with the main inspiration behind their designs having always been music, information pills technology and a cool lifestyle.

trit_i10_093_altaImages throughout courtesy of Triton

For AW10 they invited CSS‘s lead singer Lovefoxxx (who used to work for the brand before becoming famous) to design not only some of the prints, medicine but also the show’s soundtrack, which started dense and melancholic, with the sound of Crystalised, by English band The XX.

trit_i10_063_altaPrimarily inspired by the trendy Japanese area of Harajuku, Lovefoxxx, together with Triton’s designer Karen Fuke, created one of the most playful scenarios seen on the runways of Sao Paulo. With models made up to look like Gothic Lolita’s taking to the runway Triton superbly illustrated the epicentre of Japanese excesses to a Brazilian audience.

trit_i10_001_altaThere were so many patterns, so many shapes, so many references, that it was impossible to sort the designs in any distinct trend. The kooky prints referenced everything from spider webs and owls to mushrooms, teamed with heavy boots with super high heels which broke the romantic vibe. It couldn’t have ended better than with a rainbow coloured jumpsuit, making Luisa Lovefoxxx’s input and presence clear to all.

trit_i10_084_altaTriton’s AW10 show was a great example of creativity and coherence, from a brand to its public. No wonder it had one of the most amazing finales so far; with a standing ovation from the fashion-hungry crowd.

trit_i10_015_alta
The third day at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week saw the show of one of the hippest brands among Brazilian youngsters. Triton has been showing at the biggest fashion week in Brazil for a while now, abortion with the main inspiration behind their designs having always been music, buy more about technology and a cool lifestyle.

trit_i10_093_altaImages throughout courtesy of Triton

For AW10 they invited CSS‘s lead singer Lovefoxxx (who used to work for the brand before becoming famous) to design not only some of the prints, but also the show’s soundtrack, which started dense and melancholic, with the sound of Crystalised, by English band The XX.

trit_i10_063_altaPrimarily inspired by the trendy Japanese area of Harajuku, Lovefoxxx, together with Triton’s designer Karen Fuke, created one of the most playful scenarios seen on the runways of Sao Paulo. With models made up to look like Gothic Lolita’s taking to the runway Triton superbly illustrated the epicentre of Japanese excesses to a Brazilian audience.

trit_i10_001_altaThere were so many patterns, so many shapes, so many references, that it was impossible to sort the designs in any distinct trend. The kooky prints referenced everything from spider webs and owls to mushrooms, teamed with heavy boots with super high heels which broke the romantic vibe. It couldn’t have ended better than with a rainbow coloured jumpsuit, making Luisa Lovefoxxx’s input and presence clear to all.

trit_i10_084_altaTriton’s AW10 show was a great example of creativity and coherence, from a brand to its public. No wonder it had one of the most amazing finales so far; with a standing ovation from the fashion-hungry crowd.

trit_i10_015_alta
rfra_i10_100_altaImagery throughout courtesy of Marcelo Soubhia / Ag. Fotosite

Being one of the most eagerly-awaited collections of every season of São Paulo Fashion Week, treatment it wouldn’t be inappropriate to think of Ronaldo Fraga’s fashion shows as art installations. Each season, about it the designer brings a new theme to the catwalk and makes up a world of beauty and dreams. His AW10 collection saw the German choreographer Pina Bausch as a muse because, in Ronaldo’s own words, “While you expect of Pina some kind of German discipline, she would put up a circus!”

rfra_i10_005_altarfra_i10_034_alta

Born in Brazil, Ronaldo graduated in Fashion Design and then finished a post graduation course at Parson’s School in NY. From there he travelled to London and undertook another degree at Central Saint Martins. His official debut as a fashion designer was in 1997 and he has been showing his collections at SPFW since 2001.

rfra_i10_020_altaDuring the AW10 men and women’s collection, everyone’s attention was caught by the play with forward and reverse. The models were hiding in their ambiguity having their faces covered with wigs and a mask placed on the back of their heads. They walked around wooden chairs with a purposeful rhythm, as if they were dancing.

rfra_i10_094_altaThe strongest highlights of the collection were the construction of several suits designed back to front, and the intense volume on the frilled shoulders and fringed coats. Silhouettes were loose and there was a clear kaleidoscope of colours that ranged from grey and black to bright warm tones such as yellow, pink, red, and orange. To top off what was a unique show the models came down from the catwalk to shake hands with random people in the audience.

rfra_i10_109_altaPina broke through the boundaries and barriers between dancers and audience and made a revolution in the concept of dancing. Without trying to understand Pina Bausch’s processes, Ronaldo just tried to have fun with it, delivering one the most entertaining show of the season.

rfra_i10_113_altaThe designer himself- Ronaldo Fraga.

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,Mariana Guimaraes, ,Parsons The New School for School of Design, ,Pina Bausch, ,Ronaldo Fraga, ,Sao Paulo Fashion Week

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