Amelia’s Magazine | Shao Yen: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Taiwanese-born Shao Yen is no stranger to success. This knitwear graduate has caught the eye of other designers such as Nicola Formichetti, created a bespoke dress for dress-up queen, Bjork, and has been showing at London Fashion Week ever since his graduate Central Saint Martin’s MA show for A/W 2010.

Shao Yen AW 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

As soon as I was directed to one of the spacious upstairs rooms at The Freemason’s Hall, I knew this presentation would be an altogether more relaxed affair than the dizzying thrills of earlier catwalk shows. If you’ve never visited the venue before, I would recommend it. Vauxhall Fashion Scout has used the iconic Art Deco building for their off-schedule shows for ages, and with good reason. The high ceilings, beautifully decorated walls and marble floors set the tone for equally enticing clothes.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

As I passed through large doors into the presentation space, I think I audibly sighed in delight of what I saw. Several models stood on plain white podiums, beautifully lit, while a cello player produced soothing classical melodies, setting a relaxed yet formal tone. Although the room was busy, it was a visual treat to be able to come up close and admire a collection. At London Fashion Week, you become used to models practically running past on the catwalk, while you desperately try to take everything in over blaring music and not much room to breathe. For this presentation, it was the audience who couldn’t keep still, moving around the models that posed for every single photographer.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

What I loved most about this collection was the mix of themes. Upper-class met underground/sports culture in a zillion different and clever ways. Sports socks were worn with simple black stilettos, tweed suits had elasticised cuffs and hoods, mesh baseball hats matched knitted dresses or silk two-piece suits. Vintage-looking embroidered dresses were dotted alongside stark black leather pieces, as though the Shao Yen woman will wear her mother’s antique dresses, but likes to sharpen things up with masculine tailoring, too.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

The colour palette was just as fresh as the models, who I could have hugged for being so patient, even when an over-eager photographer almost knocked one over. Fizzy oranges and bright turquoises were perfectly offset by tweed and monochrome. Hair was pulled into simple, carefree ponytails and roughly backcombed, paired with bright orange-red lips and some blush.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

The message for this collection was simple, understated country luxury done in an urban sportswear way. Tweed doesn’t have to be stuffy, and in fact was a massive hit this November when Rugby Ralph Lauren celebrated the opening of their Covent Garden store with a ‘Tweed Run’ where hundreds of Londoners donned their best tweeds and rode bikes around the town whilst stopping for tea and general merriment. We’ve chatted tweed and it’s cycling appeal before too, in an interview with the founders of Bobbin Bicycles, which you can read all about here. Shao Yen has created a whole new look by taking two quite fussy clothing cultures and stripping them down to something fresh and accessible (and more wearable than his previous beautiful yet revealing collections) for A/W 2012. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

All photography by Amelia Gregory and Alia Gargum

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,bjork, ,Bobbin Bicycles, ,Central St Martins, ,Dana Bocai, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,knitwear, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Shao Yen Chen, ,sportswear, ,Tweed, ,Tweed Run, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | New A/W 2013 Season Interview: Meet Fashion Designer CC KUO

CC KUO by Laura Hickman
CC Kuo by Laura Hickman

I’ve always wondered about the phrase ‘the sun has put his hat on’. What does it mean exactly? What kind of hat is it? Is it a sombrero or a sunhat, a beret or a beanie? Maybe even a boater tipped stylishly to one side? And why does everyone assume the sun is a ‘he’? Even the French language, with its masculine and feminine nouns describes it as ‘le soleil’, but, I’ve always thought of it as a bit more femme. With CC Kuo around, this is a question (and philosophical debate) that doesn’t need to be answered (or explored in a neverending cycle of questions). Forget the sun putting his headgear on, you can get your sun on.


CC Kuo‘s latest collection is a range of clothes patterned with skylines and sunsets. The pieces feature cloud-cover on dresses, sunlight peeking out of coat shoulders, and even beams bursting out of busts. What more could a gal want than to have something as beautiful as dawn and dusk right there on her lapel?! Just looking at these togs makes me think of the imagery in the (ever overused but still undeniably wonderful) Auden poem Funeral Blues that they read on Four Weddings and a Funeral all that time ago. Maybe even a hint of the sun in Wordsworth’s Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 thrown in for luck.


Ok, I know you’re probably a bit dubious now, ‘who compares clothes to poetry?’ you ask? Well, the sky is probably one of the most beautiful things that there is, and we, (or at least, I) with our heads in our laptops and our fingers on our keypads, don’t often take notice of those funny, fluffy white things up there or the beautiful yellow gassy lightblub that gives our daylight. Unless of course you’re a big Instagrammer, or it’s about to rain.


CC Kuo brings our attention back to nature. Born in Taiwan CC graduated from Central St Martins. Her signature digital prints and both beautiful and wearable, and her clothes have graced the catwalk at Vauxhall Fashion Scout which is swiftly becoming part of the initiation for young designers. She launched her namesake label in 2010 and since then she’s been featured by a whole army of mags and the like, including Elle, Pop and The Independent.

Whether it’s in the form of a handbag, a heel, a dress or a coat, what could be better than having your very own chunk of the world’s ceiling? With her S/S 2014 collection on the horizon I spoke to CC Kuo about her sunset patterned collection White Lovers, the recently released video to accompany it and what inspires her to make these pretty pieces.


Can you describe CC Kuo in just three words?
Modernism, simplicity and fantasy.

YouTube Preview Image
How did your video collaboration with Robert Rogan and Meng-Chia Lai come about?
I have been friends with Meng-Chia for a long long time since our CSM days and we’ve always talked about working together. My PR (and good friend) Roxanne suggested the idea of an illustrative film this season as a different format of expressing the collection. I thought this would be a good opportunity to work with Meng-Chia and she introduced me to Robert Rogan.

CC Kuo by Maya Beus

Your new A/W 2013 collection is named ‘White Lovers’ and lists swans as one of the inspirations, is this to do with the fact that swans mate for life?
Not in particular as I was more focusing on the contrasting elements within the collection. I didn’t know that swans mate for life but now I know, I love the fact they do.


When did you go on the trip to Lake Balaton in Hungary that inspired this collection?
I went to Hungary last winter. I am inspired by my trips abroad and often use this as an inspiration.

Water and trees are the backdrop of this collection, do you feel that nature and fashion can coexist?
Of course it does! Nature is so important to us as human beings and I hope to use fashion to better illustrate how beautiful nature is.

CC KUO 2 by Laura Hickman
CC Kuo by Laura Hickman

Your print designs are really distinctive, where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by everything I see, everything around me.

Is it important to you for your clothes to be wearable?
Yes, extremely important. I think clothing only makes its biggest impact when it’s wearable.


You’ve learnt from the likes of Alexander McQueen and Michiko Koshino, how do you feel this helped you develop as a designer?
My experiences working with these designers has taught me that discipline and passion are essential. Determination and a great work ethic is also a necessity.

CCKuo by Jordan Andrew Carter
CC Kuo by Jordan Andrew Carter

Your graduate collection was featured in Pop magazine, how does it feel to see your clothes featured in magazines?

What draws you to opulent fabrics like silk and velvet?
For me, clothing should make women feel good about themselves, so I always use the best materials in a collection.

What projects do you have lined up for the next few months?
I am working on my next collection at the moment but also looking for a good collaborator to develop a diffusion line.


Do you feel like there’s a lot of pressure for each collection to be better than the last?
No, because I put in everything I can into each collection.

What’s your personal style?
I wear a lot of my own designs. I am very comfortable in my own skin.


Don’t be a chicken little, afraid that the sky is falling, grab a piece of it yourself by checking out the CC Kuo website

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Bags, ,CC KUO, ,Central St Martins, ,Dresses, ,fashion, ,Hungary, ,illustrative film, ,Jordan Andrew Carter, ,Lake Balaton, ,Laura Hickman, ,Meng-Chia Lai, ,Michiko Koshino, ,nature, ,Pop magazin, ,Robert Rogan, ,sunsets, ,swans, ,trees, ,Velvet, ,wearable, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Peter Jensen

Manchester’s never been quite the same for me since the first day I ever saw Kid Carpet, side effects buy information pills AKA Ed Patrick, at the Academy some 4, 5 years ago. It was like losing your virginity. After a few sold out gigs more than a year ago, Manchester has been dry, an endless desert waiting for an oasis. The man hasn’t been on the road for some time, having kids and what not so to arrive tonight to a crowd of about 15 was a massive shock to say the least. The supporting bands all had their family contingents, but they’d all scarpered before the real show began. Talk about gratitude. You’d think after being given the opportunity to support one of the most exciting artists of the last five years they’d at least stick around and show their support. Some people!


That said this in no means distracted him from putting on his regular and exuberant performance. In fact he seemed to enjoy the chance to get the few members of the crowd really involved in the set. He also got an opportunity to perform a bunch of stuff I hadn’t heard before. He introduced a ditty for a cosmetic surgery advert and ‘Help Yourself’ a re-working of the Tom Jones classic (for a porno film about the Welsh crooner’s most used appendage).


Plus if I’m not mistaken I also spotted a pastiche to Moondog’s ‘Enough about human rights’ and a Metallica cover re-titled ‘Back to the shops’. All the while the 15 strong crowd kept the energy going the entire way though.
After the encore, he came out to give everyone in the audience free copies of all his 7” singles, signed on request. What a kind man, he’s a very kind man. He told me he’ll be back soon and with a much bigger crowd in tow. We should all look forward to that.

It seems Scandinavian designers have been occupying my thoughts this week, more about what with Peter Jensen yesterday and today I salute print designer Karl Grandin. I just can’t seem to get enough of their effortlessly stylish and innovative approach to design!

Karl Grandin is as prolific as print designers get, visit this the Swedish based artist has such an endless list of clients it made my head spin just attempting to digest it all. Where to start, pharmacy well there are his worldwide exhibitions in far-flung realms from Amsterdam to Tokyo (just imagine the air miles there, I bet he boasts a fine passport) Then In conjunction to his extensive array of shows he works closely with humanitarian charities such as Amnesty International. Then the crème de la crème has to be his endless list of magazine contributions with fashion giants Wallpaper, Vogue, Tokion and Pop Magazine. It’s a boastful array of clients if ever I saw one.

Then as if that wasn’t enough he has been working closely with top designers to create capsule collections for the likes of hip collaborative Cheap Monday and Wknd. My favourite has to be his vivacious hurricane designs. His cut and paste aesthetic is almost reminiscent of a child’s collage book!




The piece that left me completely enamoured however had to be this animal print sweater. Its almost like Noah and his ark has re-formed but this time instead of a boat for refuge they all bundled onto this sweater! Its like an animal where’s Wally! 180 animals run wild in this computerized knit, go on I urge you to count them all!



Inspired to create a piece to politicise the plight of endangered pieces, Grandin pays homage to mother nature emphasising its beauty and fragility. Nature is a topic so often broached by designers; fashion is brimming with animal prints or floral motifs to which we enjoy on merely face value so much so it’s almost become banal. Grandin is attempting in his piece to encourage a more thought provoking approach to nature, he states “ We have cultivated nature for our own convenience. Now it is instead man-made cultural constructions that are becoming increasingly autonomous and slipping out of our control. Wild systems like brands, stock markets and traffic is the wilderness of today. Nature has become culture and culture is turning into our new nature”.

Grandin is a designer that doesn’t merely create aesthetically pleasing pieces; you get a real sense of his devotion to change within the design sphere to create ethical yet energetic pieces. He gets a big Amelia’s Magazine thumbs up, hoorah!
Artist AJ Fosik’s sculpted characters look like your high school mascot that went AWOL and ended up at a full moon party in Thailand. Or perhaps the stuffed and mounted head of some big game he vanquished in a spirit dream and was able to sneak back under the border patrol of consciousness (quite a feat really I hear they’re rather tight). His technicolor wooden sculptures certainly carry the sense of having seen the otherside and with their hypnotic fluorescent eyes they seem all too than eager to take you there as well.


According to his myspace page AJ Fossik is 66 years old. Sure, stomach maybe on his second time round on the carousel of life. perhaps wise beyond his years, cost what is for certain is that this Philadelphia born artist is onto something. Currently exhibiting printed works at Giant Robot Gallery in NY, it is his psychedelic sculptures which have really roared onto the scene. Made of hundreds of small, individually cut and hand painted wood, his animal effigies and their symbolism strike a chord with the collective consciousness, especially in the US. Aside from being the California state animal, a campsite mischief, cartoon character and omnipresent sports team icon, the bear is one of the largest and most regal North American animals, a reminder of the vastness and awesome natural beauty experienced by the earliest pioneers.


A country whose experience at the moment consists of what is referred to as a “bear market”, one in which stockholders, all in the same blind panicked, decide to sell! sell! sell!, driving the value of stocks deep into the ground (sounds familiar). Not that far off really from the wooly winter hibernator’s image of reclusion and introspection. To Native American shamans the bear represents qualities of steadfastness and patience making excellent teachers. In dreams, bears represent a healing cycle, where the dreamer has retreated into himself in order to regenerate and to create something new and valuable in his life.


For this particular breed of artist the road out was not a conventional one. After years as a teenage urban nomad on the streets of Philadelphia, a city often at odds with itself, Fosick eventually drifted to NY where he obtained a degree in illustration from New York’s Parson’s and a 2007 solo show in the city’s Jonathan Levine Gallery. The name he goes by he adopted from an Australian “verb to describe the act of people sifting through mine washings or waste piles to look for any gold that might have been missed; sorting through the garbage to find gold.” However, like many things in our global soup it apparently seeped into another language where it means something different altogether. “From what I can gather,” he says with a good natured appreciation of irony, “the spelling I use means ‘to shit oneself’ in Hungarian.”


A peek into the global origins of this furry ursine idol is just as intriguing. In Hindu mythology the bear’s name “riksha”
(also in Sanskrit, Celtic, Greek and Latin believe it or not) derive from the word for star, which in turn comes from the word light, shine, illuminate. Ahhhha.
The term for Great Bear, “sapta riksha”, is also the symbolic dwelling of the Seven Rishis, whose name is related to “vision” and are called the Seven Luminaries. It was through them that the wisdom of the past was transmitted to the present. A rich past for the unassuming bear.


AJ Fosick is an artist who, one could argue, has an abnormal fixation with carving his own path through the great unknown. No wonder then that he refers to his pieces as “existential fetishes”. And hey, who couldn’t use one of those? And perhaps the missing little league mascots and unemployed stockbrokers of the world have joined Albert Camus on a beach somewhere in South East Asia and are doing some soul searching. In my dreams.

This Sunday we’re off to The Rag Factory , see for 2009′s London Zine Symposium to celebrate DIY and radical culture in all its handmade glory.
(2007 London ZIne Symposium)

There will be readings from several zine favourites and veterans including Chris from Lipgloss and Chella Quint from the fantastically named Adventures in Menstruating. Plus talks and Q&A sessions about the politics and future of zine publishing- very interesting stuff indeed!
(detail from Shebang Zine)

For those who want to get involved, ambulance there will plenty of workshops including a collective zine which will be compiled and published on the day in collaboration with the Footprint Workers Co-op then given to contributors for free- so bring a page of wrting, viagra approved illustration, ancient Sanskrit or whatever else you fancy, along.
As if all this isn’t enough, there will be stalls selling all sorts of goodies alongside all shapes and sizes of zines such as Fever Zine, Brighton-based, blue-covered favourite Shebang Zine and Meow Magazine– a student run treasure trove of illustrations.
(Meow Magazine’s Christmas cover)

Cakes will be provided of both the edible and knitted variety- the latter being provided by Amelia’s very own Melodie Ash, so get there quick before these gems are gobbled up!
Hope to see you there.

London Zine Symposium at The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ free entry, 12- 6pm on Sunday 3rd May 2009
Today to pay homage to our faithful companion the sun gracing us with rays the past few days. I thought what better time to usurp the weatherman and bring you some extra rays of warmth myself in the form of the vibrant and jovial new collection from Peter Jensen.


He is no newcomer to the big smokes eccentric fashion sphere. Jensen came to our shores from Denmark in 2005 to study Fashion at Central St Martins. After propelling through his degree with flying colours he went on to form a cult following with his menswear designs, viagra causing waves in the fashion circuit in Paris. Eventually Jensen succumb to the allure of Womenswear, much to us ladies relief!


Peter is a designer with a whole array of strings to his bow, not only is he accomplished in print, but both embroidery and graphic design. His garments play host to a myriad of different fabrics and techniques which create a cut and paste aesthetic to his pieces. It’s a slap dash blaze of conflicting colours and prints. To me the collection evokes all the nostalgia and whim of a childhood rummage through a fancy dress box.



The collection packs a whole load of gusto! Playfully throwing all conventions of colour coordination out the window. Your vision is almost impaired as it tries to digest the layers of colour and print. We see florals juxtaposed against vivid checks finished off with beautifully delicate beaded capes, and adorable knitted socks to boot!


The prints are a salute to kitsch design, exuding a decidedly twee “butter couldn’t melt “ feel, its hard to imagine anyone in one of Jensen’s polar bear clad jumpers inciting trouble. Other then catching the eyes of a few infamous celebrities, most notoriously the eccentric artist Cindy Sherman.


Jensen’s work has been taking the high streets by storm with collaborations with retail titans Topshop, Topman, Fred Perry and B store and stock supplied in Ebonyivory, Falbe, and Buddahood. Jensen boasts an impressive list of followers!


So keep your eyes open for any polar bear jumpers on the shopping rails near you!

Categories ,Central St Martins, ,Embroidery, ,Fashion Designer, ,Graphic Design, ,Peter Jensen, ,Twee

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Show 2007: Central St. Martins

Five albums in, medications malady and with only mild commercial success to date, it would be a reasonable assessment to describe Rufus Wainwright’s dramatic, theatrical pop as something of an acquired taste. For many, he over eggs the pudding , and then some. But whilst bold ambition may be a deterrent to some, his loyal fans will rejoice at this offering. This is classic Rufus, and whilst it wont be winning him many new fans, this simply doesn’t matter. This is a record to admire, it may even be his most satisfying work to date.

As expected, Wainwright offers up his usual mix of epic and restrained throughout the 13 songs, and there are a number of gems. Striking orchestration and characteristically high in the mix Rufus vocals lead us into opener Do I Dissapoint You. It is a brilliant opening song to set the tone for what is to follow. The diversity of instruments employed here alone is staggering, and like many songs throughout the album the arrangement is gloriously ambitious. The recurring operatic theme, present throughout all his previous work has been thankfully maintained.

First Single Going To A Town (which was B listed by Radio 2) follows. Its mournful tones echoing latter day Beatles balladry (think Fool On The Hill) and it features the albums most engaging lyrics. Amidst numerous misforgivings with his homeland, Wainwright again finds himself lost in the confusion of love and religion (another recurring theme here), “Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved?” he pleads. For all the record’s grandiose, it is these moments of human insecurity that really strike a chord. It is also one of a number of outstanding vocals on the record.

The pace doesn’t let up throughout the opening half – Nobody’s Off The Hook, Between My Legs and Tiergarten sit easily amongst the artists best work. But, it cannot quite be maintained throughout the second half – a better focus on sequencing next time perhaps. But this is a minor gripe. With each listen, hidden depths are revealed, suggesting that this is a record that will endure also. It is a joy.

Troubles! That’s exactly what the Concretes got into during the last year. One of the three founding members and nonetheless the lead vocalist of the band decided to quit to start her solo project Taken by Trees. If that was not enough the destiny decided to punish them furthermore and as a result they had all their equipment stolen during the U.S. tour. Quite a difficult time for a band, sildenafil isn’t it? However, The Concretes decided to look ahead and continue their career as a seven piece band, giving Maria Erikkson the difficult task to substitute the charismatic and easily recognisable voice of Victoria Bergsman.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing new designer on the block Holly Russell

pharmacy diagnosis Helvetica, buy information pills sans-serif;">Recently Holly Russell graduated from Manchester University with a First class degree, and in the few months since has caught the eye of Nicola Formichetti (Stylist to Lady GaGa and Dazed and Confused regular) and has been shot on Alice Dellal in the Evening Standard, and featured on Vogue online. I conducted a brief interview to find out more about her: 


What first attracted you to fashion design? I can’t identify one moment where I made a decision to follow this path. I am a very ambitious person and have always had a strong interest in design and all things artistic.

What is your defining memory of fashion? I don’t think I can pin-point one particular moment in fashion and I don’t think I would want to. Everything I have seen over the years has helped inform my opinion of fashion and subconsciously influenced my design style. 

Who or what inspires you? There’s not one thing in particular that inspires me. My ideas and inspiration usually develop from something completely unrelated to fashion. I don’t think I have ever once looked at a person for inspiration or a said period in fashion. I don’t find that exciting. I like to look at objects, unusual materials, art, sculpture, science…I love the initial stages of design, the research, concepts and finding fabrics and materials to work with. I find a lot of my best ideas come to me at strange times and places. 

powermesh top

Who would you love to see wearing your designs? I would love to see Bjork in one of my pieces or perhaps Roisin Murphy. I have been approached by Florence and the Machine’s stylist and would love this to develop into something in the future. I think Florence Welsh would look incredible Machine’s in some of the pieces from my collection. She would bring out the more eerie and darker side to the clothes.

Do you wear your designs? No, I’ve never even tried anything on that I have made. I think it would ruin it for me. I suppose the clothes I create are something I aspire to. 

The hair  used on your garments, where did these ideas come from? These materials were used to mimic textures, colours and surfaces found within the natural world. I like to use materials that perhaps you wouldn’t expect to see on clothes, things that will create intrigue. The human hair was used to bring out the animalistic nature of the garments.

black and white cape

As a recent graduate, what are your plans for the forthcoming future? An MA? Perhaps your own label? Next year I am hoping to carry out an MA either at the Royal College of Art or Central St Martin’s. I am under no illusion that just because I have received press attention from this collection that I am now ready to start my own label. So many young designers do this and fail because they don’t understand how a business functions and I don’t want to do the same. In the future I would like to set up my own label but for now, I need industry experience to help me understand how these fashion houses work so that when the time comes, I know what I’m getting myself into. 

Categories ,Alice Dellal, ,bjork, ,Central St Martins, ,Dazed & Confused, ,Evening Standard, ,fashion, ,Florence and The Machine, ,Holly Russell, ,Lady Gaga, ,Manchester University, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Roisin Murphy, ,Royal College of Art, ,Vogue online

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Amelia’s Magazine | Karen Karam – Hard Cover Candy

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we’re all about nurturing design newbies, particularly if they’re as innovative and inspiring as Karen Karem. We first encountered Karen way back in the days of issue 6. Fresh out of Central St Martins and brimming with ideas, she caught our eye with her funky range of horse shaped bags inspired by childhood dreams of magical fantasy lands. After two long years of hard work and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, she’s now back to launch her debut Spring/Summer 09 clothing collection, Hard Cover Candy.

A peak into Karen’s treasure trove of inspirations reveals a concoction of nostalgic teenage memorabilia combined with a haphazard assortment of British items from eras past. Kitch accessories and pastel coloured cupcakes bump shoulders with jars of jellybeans, fluffy cotton candy, 60′s platforms, teenage heartthrobs and images of elegant ladies at brunch.

The collection itself consists of a range of dresses. Each contain a childlike quality but still manage to maintain a sense of femininity and elegance. Like her playful horse bags, Hard Cover Candy is for women who remember raiding their mothers wardrobes and dressing up in pretty frocks for birthday parties at the age of 9. They’re for women who like to daydream and still feel like little girls at heart.



With a mixed colour palette of soft pastels and vibrant electrifying tones, Karen’s selection of baby doll dresses and floor length evening gowns use chiffon and ruffles to ensure a high level of grace and movement.



With Vogue and Vanity Fair already showing an interest in the collection, it’s likely that Karen Karem will soon be sweeping us all along into her magical daydream world.


Categories ,Central St Martins, ,Hard Cover Candy, ,Karen Karem, ,Vanity Fair, ,Vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | Clements Ribeiro’s Ethical Half & Half Project

On Monday evening as the sun set and the lights from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) blared onto the street, ask over a hundred protesters gathered to call for an end to government subsidies on biofuels.


Agrofuels are seen as a green alternative to conventional oil but cause even more damage, indigenous communities are being dispossessed, land that was used for food is being handed over for the production of palm oil. The production of biofuel contributes the the acceleration of climate change through deforestation and its twin results of water and soil degradation . This ‘green’ subsidy is even starting to need carbon offsetting for it to meet government agenda.
Due to protests against biofuels power stations, plans to build have already been stopped at Ealing and Portland among others. However protests are still needed to push the government into action, currently agrofuel power is awarded double the number of subsidies compared to offshore wind farms.


Joining the demo were a range of musicians that kept up spirits and entertained with witty biofuel songs, as well as several speakers highlighting the issue.


John Stewart,Fight The Flights, spoke about the aviation industry plans to incorporate biofuels. Companies like BA complain about the increasing tax on fuel consumption using the inequality agenda as an argument. But when considering how agrofuels are largely made by exploiting poor countries while the rich benefit, their argument is quickly invalidated.


The demo was also held on the International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People, which ironically falls on the same date Columbus discovered the Americas. A large group, part of ‘Global Mobilisation for Mother Earth’ called by Andean indigenous peoples joined us outside DECC and a speaker highlighted the problems faced by indigenous peoples in Latin America.


The police set up a pen as per usual, making sure the left hand side pavement wasn’t blocked which would obviously have a huge detrimental effect. Instead they crammed us all inside the narrow fences; health and safety you know, can’t have a protest stopping people from having to cross the road to the other pavement to get passed. Anyway we all managed to listen and rally in any little space we could find and as darkness fell continued to put pressure on the energy department in the 100-watt bulb luminous lit rooms above.

Clements Ribeiro Project #3 - 2

‘Catwalk designer’ and ‘ethically friendly’ are two terms that usually do not go hand-in-hand. As awful as it sounds, malady doing your bit for the environment or the community rarely scores you fashion brownies points. Using fur and starved models, stuff however, search often conversely puts you somewhere near the top of the leader board.

However, there are fashion designers, and successful ones at that, who care about the greater good. Design couple Clements Ribeiro are two such people, working on projects that aim to give something back through upcycling.


A year after their collaboration with Karen Nicol in 2008, an embroidery star who stitches for the likes of Chanel and Marc Jacobs, the team have created the obscurely titled project 3. The inspiration behind the projects was the recycling of ‘rubbish’ materials to make them into something beautiful; surely a key goal and undeniably rewarding challenge for any fashion designer.


The Karen Nicol collection , proved extremely popular on release with its range of delicately embroidered antique cashmere cardigans made from one-of-a-kind lost-and-found fabrics. Garnished with a dash of flower motif and beading, the designs were snapped up by net-a-porter, Dover Street Market and Barneys USA.

From projects 1 to 3, the capsule collections celebrate Clements Ribeiro’s innate eye for design and their unique ability to source materials. Trawling Brick Lane better than Kate Moss, the pair know what they are looking for and how to adapt the found materials into their designs. Handcrafting unique pieces for each collection, there is an undeniable element of fondness and care in their upcycling of individually cherished items.

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “objets trouveés”, each piece of found fabric is transformed into works of art. Duchamp’s theory of modern art rested on the claim that artists project meaning onto the found object giving it validity as an art object. Clements Ribeiro’s collection however, is artistic in its own right without the imposition of meaning. If any meaning were to be enforced, it would presumably be to encourage the reusing of the past to secure a healthier sustainable future.


A fashion compost heap if you like. On the other slightly less in-depth, artistic-spieled hand, the designers green concerns are apparent, through their use of good old fashioned recycling.

Clements Ribeiro Project #3 - 3

The second project capsule favoured the use of antique lace and luxury Italian knits, the pair had a lot to live up to with number 3. An ambitious project, with slim fit, v-neck dresses constructed half and half from brocade skirts and sequin busts. Each dress features the same simple shape but in a rich variety of fabrics and colours. Aptly termed ‘collage dresses’ these works of art combine radically different skirts and tops to produce a dress, which as the project code name suggests are “Half & Half”.

Clements Ribeiro Project #3 - 8

These limited pieces are available from Matches and Couture Lab in the not too distant future. If you are to invest in a single piece this season, try Clements Ribeiro’s project 3 and show your support for innovative ethical fashion.

Categories ,Brocade, ,chanel, ,ClementsRibeiro, ,Collage Dresses, ,Found Objects, ,Karen Nicoll, ,Marc Jacobs, ,recycling, ,Upcycling

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Amelia’s Magazine | Designer Spotlight: Brooke Roberts- Part Two

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa Front cover - The 99Illustration by Naif Al-Mutawa courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

What do you do when your freedom of expression has been seriously hampered? What happens when an artist has to muster all the courage and strength in the world to plough on amidst censorship, dosage opposition, cheapest intimidation and threats? The Freedom to Create Prize aims to encourage and support artists all over the world who operate in a stifling climate where they are isolated. Created as “a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists around the world who use their talent to build the foundation of open societies, this site promote social justice and inspire the human spirit”1., this prize is unique in that it celebrates the power of art to fight oppression, break down stereotypes and build trust in societies broken by conflict, violence and misunderstanding.

image009Photograph of Moshen Makhmalbaf courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

There are more than 1,000 entrants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, eastern Europe and the Middle East and Human Rights advocate Bianca Jagger presented the main prize yesterday night to Moshen Makhmalbaf, the Iranian filmmaker dedicated to the Green Movement. “People of my country (Iran) are killed, imprisoned, tortured and raped just for their votes. Every award I receive means an opportunity for me to echo their voices to the world, asking for democracy for Iran and peace for the world.” Guests from the worlds of art and the human rights attended the reception in the grand surroundings of the Victoria and Albert museum. The prize is worth $50,000, but they give half to an organization that will advance the cause their work highlights. Representatives from Burmese refugee women’s group The Kumjing Storytellers who use giant paper maché dolls to represent their stories of ethnic persecution in Burma and the plight of migrants and refugees from around the world received the second place prize winner, The director from The Zugdidi Shalva Dadiani State Drama Theatre, David Alan Harris from Poimboi Veeyah Koindu and Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai were all there along with last year’s inaugural winner, the Zimbabwean dramatist Cont Mhlanga.

image002Logo courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Set up by Richard Chandler, a billionaire New Zealand-born philanthropist based in Singapore, the arts prize shines a light into those parts of the world where creative freedom is not a given. This year alone, we have had the Obama cartoon in The New Yorker and Osama Bin Laden as a cameo on family Guy; there are societies in greatest need but these awards is a reminder that we must always remember not to take for granted the civil liberties we enjoy in this country. In 2006, a Kuwaiti doctor, Naif Al-Mutawa, launched a comic called The 99, featuring 99 superheroes, each based on a virtue expounded in the Koran. “Some of the more conservative places in the world weren’t so happy to let The 99 in,” he says.

Graham CrouchArtist Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Women artists are showing strong pieces this year; Third- prize winner Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai has created an installation piece about the traditional suicide method of abused Afghan women: “I recognized the similarity between these ancient events and contemporary world events, so I decided to show my feelings about what is happening: more than 40 women are dying every day.” Pakistan’s Sheema Kermani entered a series of dance and theatre pieces about the veil, polygamy, sexual abuse and honor killings: For long periods, it has been almost like a life underground,” she says.

View-of-Installation-work-bInstallation by  Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Judges in attendance included leading international human rights lawyer and jurist on the UN’s Internal Justice Council Geoffrey Robertson QC, BBC arts correspondent Razia Iqbal, Time Out founder and chair of Human Rights Watch Tony Elliot, and award-winning Anglo-Indian artist Sacha Jafri. Nick Broomfield presented the Imprisoned Artist Prize; Geoffrey Robertson QC presented the Youth Prize. And there was an enjoyable performance by Emmanuel Jal.

It is suitably symbolic that the awards ceremony took place in the UK, home of the Magna Charta as it shows that engaged artists are not alone in this fight. Prosperous societies are founded upon creativity. Britain has a history of encouraging artistic expression and is a leader in showing other countries how to build strong foundations for economic, political and cultural development in order to lead tomorrow’s world. Political cartooning is a great British institution that prides itself in rocking the boat and rightfully getting away with it! Freedom to Create is a worthy initiative; their desire to seek to improve lives by addressing society’s ability to support and sustain creativity is to be commended. In the end, everyone was a winner!

1. Press release courtesy of PagetBaker Associates
Incase you missed the first instalment (where have you been?) Amelia’s magazine caught up with London based women’s wear designer Brooke Roberts to find out about her inspired new collection.
7Sinnai dress (reversible) in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard knit.

Can you tell our readers a little more about your SS10 collection?
Right at the beginning of the project I took a brain scan which took about 50 image slices through the brain. I then artworked the images with a CAD designer friend who helped to manipulate them into python skin effect, buy and repeat patterns that I then merged with Yoruban sculpture. To learn about this Nigerian tribe I went to the British Museum and looked at all of the sculptures and masquerade videos, site taking colour inspiration and texture ideas from their artwork. The collection is a mixture of medicine, science and Yoruban culture.

You’ve said that you take a lot of your inspiration from your work as a radiographer and with that in mind I wondered if you were interested in fashion trends and if you try to reflect current trends in your collections?
As a designer I can’t really ignore the industry behind my profession, but I try not to let outside influences take over my inspiration and vision. Trends are really important. I try not to follow them or reference them too much in my work. Trends happen to find their way into my collection one way or another, often from working with suppliers. For example my thread and fabric suppliers have their own seasonal trends, textures and colours for the season which I end up inevitably incorporating. I’ve also been known to look on WGSN from time to time.

13Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing, sinnai leggings in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard leggings and silver and red gold skull slice earrings.

PB242088Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing (ortho fringing is made from metal plates that are used to straighten and repair bones within the body).

Do you have any design heroes?
I love Thierry Mugler. It doesn’t matter how many times I look at his work. I’ve got quite a few of his vintage pieces and I love wearing them! Rifat Ozbek is another I like and John Galliano is great too. It’s like a dream for a designer to work in a house like that (Dior) where you can create your own fabrics; it’s a beautiful fusion of craft and technology. I also love Alber Elbaz, he’s so commercially brilliant – I think most women want to wear his clothes! His designs are so romantic; I think he’s got a real sensibility with fabric and movement. I also love Gareth Pugh; he would be the young designer I like.

What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is fast approaching?
I’m looking forward to just developing my label, growing it and evolving. I want to learn more, as in this kind of job you’re learning everyday and are exploring new ideas and techniques. I’m trying to work with the Australian wool industry to integrate Australian merino into my knitwear because it’s a beautiful product and I love knitwear so I’d like to explore it and at the same time if I can help out the Australian wool industry it’s a good move, especially as my family are wool growers!

19Silver and red gold spinning skull slice pendant- diamond set.

Lastly, do you have any strategic tips or advice for anyone toying with the idea of a career in fashion, with the ambition of going it alone as a designer?
You need to have a strong idea of what you want and what you want to be first. Then I’d suggest going out and finding the best experience you can so intern and put in a lot of hours. Learn, develop and once you feel ready to start a label get some good business advice and then apply for all the awards as a way of getting support. Just work really hard!
Brooke’s current collection is stocked at King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Categories ,Alber Elbaz, ,Australian wool industry, ,British Museum, ,Brooke Roberts, ,Gareth Pugh, ,King and Queen of Bethnal Green, ,Rifat Ozbek, ,Thierry Mugler, ,WGSN, ,Yoruba

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dolling up in Dalston


Usually I’m loathe to talk in breathy, click hero-worship tones but let’s make no bones about it, clinic I absolutely gawked when I first encountered the work of art director Petra Storrs – she’s a set, prop and costume designer who has worked some serious origami- fashion magic with lots of bits of paper, amongst other things. Having been recently featured in Dazed and Confused, Storrs has been dressing a series of super brilliant muso-types like MGMT, Telepathe and Paloma Faith, for the latter constructed a ruddy brilliant umbrella dress out of mirrors.


Her work with paper and other inexpensive materials is testament to the potential for creativity to flourish even when times are hard. Practically speaking you’d be wise to stay away from water, flames and people with scissors, but these are minor quibbles, all that matters is that you’d look pretty damn cool.

Tell me a bit about your DIY ethos – when did you start experimenting?

Well, I design and make things, so I-do-it-myself, and I think it’s important the designing and making processes go together as they inform each other. I have been working professionally as an art director and designer for a couple of years now, but previous to that I have always been very busy making art and my mum taught me and my friend to sew when we where very young (maybe 4 or 5 years old), and all our next door neighbours where painters, sculptors or keen quilt makers so I have always found it very appealing.

Do you think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it? Is creativity changing?

I don’t know, it is hard to have an overview when you’re in this little bubble! I think its important to try to work in a way that means you get the most creative output from what you put in be it time, materials or money. East London is choc a block with talented creative people working away for next to nothing, I think they should all be paid lots of money, that would be a nice change!


What is it about the materials – in particular your use of paper – which you find appealing?

I often work in paper because it is very immediate, and gives you license to experiment, almost like a maquette, or a three dimensional drawing, a blue print of how it might be. I think objects and designs have the most potential just before they are finished. Also I like how fragile and delicate paper is, as lots of my work is for the photographic industry, it really only needs to last for a few days until it is captured in a picture,

What is it you hope people will take away from your work?

I would like people to be pleased and for them to remember it, but my primary motivation is really for me, its like art therapy!



What has been your favourite project that you’ve worked on in the last year?

The Mirror Dress is my favourite project so far I think. It is collaboration with singer Paloma Faith, she’s so theatrical and such a wonderful performer, it really comes alive, and its curved surfaces are completely reflective so it almost seems liquid as she moves around the stage. It’s also different in every environment like a chameleon reflecting the surrounding colours, shapes and audience.

What or who else do you find inspiring?

Everything and anything, lots of sculptural shapes and structures, architecture, pictures from the National Geographic, Planet Earth, I love all the tiny underwater creatures and small insects beetles and bugs: they are really extraordinary iridescent, brightly patterned and beautiful.


What advice would you have for anyone hoping to break into fashion right now?

Work for as many different people as possible to gain experience of all the element that go in to having a small business and at the same time concentrate on a few projects of your own and make them amazing and create a website. Say Yes to everything because you never know what it will lead to.
Naomi Thompson set up Vintage Secret in response to the increasing demand for good quality, sildenafil reasonably priced vintage clothing. Running the venture from her little boudoir in Dalston, the site has gone from strength to strength, with Vintage Secret styling fashionistas like Mademoiselle Robot, artists and DJs Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton (pictured here as styled by Naomi), and singers Catherine AD and Tallulah Rendall. Vintage Secret’s events page and blog have become part of every London vintage fan’s bible, with the site’s newsletter offering competition winners tickets to the best parties that give you a chance to air your best gladrags! We had a chat with Naomi as she launches Vintage Secret homeware…


Have you always had a passion for all things vintage?

As far back as I can remember I have loved the shape of classic vintage
dresses. I haven’t always had the guts to do the full on 50′s look but
that was when I was much younger. Then I just decided to embrace it. Life
is too short to follow the crowd.

When did you decide to set up your own company?

I had a bit of a eureka! moment when I saw a rubbish M&S dress on sale for
£30 on a vintage website a few years ago. I had got the same one from a
jumble sale in Portsmouth for 50p. I thought ‘my dresses at home are much
nicer and better quality’ so why not start a site selling beautiful good
quality items instead of al the rubbish that is passed of as vintage.

Where do you find your stock?

Well that’s would be telling! I do buying trips out of London. Tip – head
to the seaside towns. It’s morbid but the best vintage has been lovingly
looked after by little old ladies who have moved to the beach.


We hear you’re expanding into vintage home-ware- is this true?

Yes I have found some amazing crockery sets and lots of fabulous tea cups
and cake stands. I now have over 400 items of vintage crockery, including
50′s toast racks! They are perfect for a tea party or even a small
wedding. I have a full 80 piece baby pink 50′s dinner set that can be
hired for a special occasion. We also have the most beautiful hand
embroidered vintage table clothes, linen napkins and bunting. We can even
come and set it all up for you. If you are looking for gifts I also have a
huge collection of 30′s bevelled mirrors and 30′s dressing table sets but
those are by appointment only.


Any tips on how to keep vintage clothes in good condition?

Keep them out of light and away from moths. Don’t put them on metal
hangers and always clean items before you put them away.


You’ve styled lots of fans like vintage blogger Mademoiselle Robot- can
you share your vintage style Dos and Don’t with us?

Dress according to your shape. I don’t wear 60′s clothes as much as I love
them, as they just don’t look right. That’s the great thing about vintage,
you can pick an era depending on your figure and if you stick to it you
can instantly know what will fit and suit you in the future. I would also
say, push your boundaries. The amount of times I have had to cajole
someone into a frock which hanging up is their idea of hell, only for them
to fall in love with it when it is on.

Photographs by Matt Kent
Make up by Bella Cruickshank

Categories ,Boutique, ,Dalston, ,East London, ,Interview, ,Vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Emma Ware: the sustainable designer who makes jewellery from tyres

Lisa Stannard, diagnosis cheapest Emesha S/S 2010
Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, look who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, for sale all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, case and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, erectile who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, troche all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, seek and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Lisa Stannard, <a target=adiposity Emesha S/S 2010″ title=”Lisa Stannard, online Emesha S/S 2010″ width=”480″ height=”576″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-32247″ />
Emesha S/S 2010 by Lisa Stannard.

Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, approved who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Lisa Stannard, <a target=rx Emesha S/S 2010″ title=”Lisa Stannard, buy Emesha S/S 2010″ width=”480″ height=”576″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-32247″ />
Emesha S/S 2010 by Lisa Stannard.

Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, pill who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Joana Faria_Emma Ware_S-S 2011
Emma Ware by Joana Faria.

Jewellery from tyres.
I have always been attracted to colourful, sildenafil shiny, fun pieces of old broken jewellery, toys and bottle tops; stuff that others would consider rubbish or of no use. It doesn’t make ecological or economic sense to manufacture new materials when there is so much out there already. Reusing materials changes the way you design because it forces you to work within the limits of the material you have and I am constantly on the lookout for new waste materials to use. One day my friend had a puncture, and seeing potential in the rubber ring of the inner tube I had a go at chopping it up and immediately knew I was onto something.

Elegance in rubber.
I create designs based on what the rubber wants me to do, playing with the natural shapes when it is cut up in different ways. Making repetitive cuts in graduated sizes of inner tubes rings seems to result in designs that imitate naturally occurring organic patterns; similar to those found in wings, feathers, leaves, shells or even waves. My signature pieces are based on cutting the tube in a specific way, from which I figure out how I can make something to complement the human form…

Read the rest of this interview with Emma Ware in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Eco fashion, ,Emma Ware, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Feathers, ,Joana Faria, ,leaves, ,organic, ,recycling, ,Rubber, ,shells, ,wings

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