Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Clements Ribeiro


Illustration by Avril Kelly

Finally escaping the intermittent drizzle, pilule I find myself standing in a beautiful hall within the restored Northumberland House in Trafalgar Square. The ornate ceiling is touching the sky and the splendour of its Victorian past hushes the crowd. The audience here appears slightly subdued. Notepads out, here pens uncapped and eyes focused on the catwalk. Tiptoeing at the back, viagra 40mg I strain to view the runway. I’m anticipating what Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro will bring to the catwalk to tease our fashion palettes. Spotlights alight causing the last of the whispers to subside and all gaze expectantly at the white path ahead, as the soundtrack strikes.

Enter structured jackets embellished with heraldic embroidery and printed silk skirts, jumpsuits and dresses in autumn colours, burnt orange and berry red. The prints vary, from pretty paisleys to luxurious leopard print. I’m not usually attracted to animal print, but I’m longing for the paisley meets leopard print dress, sporting blue silk detail on the neck and shoulders. It’s simple and elegant but not at all banal. High necks, low cinched waists and midi length skirts in vivid blue and red make for graceful dresses that suggest a marriage of Victoriana and 1970s styles. Bold and neutral colours follow, sheathed in dazzling gems that revive nostalgia for the 1950s.


Live catwalk illustration by Jenny Robins

The colours fade into cloudy greys, biscuit beiges and ice blues for the inconspicuous in you and luxurious brocades make up beautiful jackets, not unlike those gentlemen’s smoking jackets of a bygone vintage era. The catwalk darkens and we’re engulfed in black. Black lace, black wool, black silk – all combine to forge pretty, yet formal, dresses and blouses. I’m rarely taken in by designs in black, but these really are lovely. The vintage inspired shoes and patterned tights play a key part in the presentation, complimenting a largely conservative but beautiful collection.

My height has failed me and my photographs are painfully poor, but I leave contented and pleased to have spied a wonderful show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Avril Kelly, ,Catwalk review, ,Classic, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Formal, ,Inacio Ribeiro, ,Jenny Robins, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Northumberland House, ,Suzanne Clements, ,The Show Space, ,Upcycling, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Clements Ribeiro


Illustration by Avril Kelly

Finally escaping the intermittent drizzle, pilule I find myself standing in a beautiful hall within the restored Northumberland House in Trafalgar Square. The ornate ceiling is touching the sky and the splendour of its Victorian past hushes the crowd. The audience here appears slightly subdued. Notepads out, here pens uncapped and eyes focused on the catwalk. Tiptoeing at the back, viagra 40mg I strain to view the runway. I’m anticipating what Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro will bring to the catwalk to tease our fashion palettes. Spotlights alight causing the last of the whispers to subside and all gaze expectantly at the white path ahead, as the soundtrack strikes.

Enter structured jackets embellished with heraldic embroidery and printed silk skirts, jumpsuits and dresses in autumn colours, burnt orange and berry red. The prints vary, from pretty paisleys to luxurious leopard print. I’m not usually attracted to animal print, but I’m longing for the paisley meets leopard print dress, sporting blue silk detail on the neck and shoulders. It’s simple and elegant but not at all banal. High necks, low cinched waists and midi length skirts in vivid blue and red make for graceful dresses that suggest a marriage of Victoriana and 1970s styles. Bold and neutral colours follow, sheathed in dazzling gems that revive nostalgia for the 1950s.


Live catwalk illustration by Jenny Robins

The colours fade into cloudy greys, biscuit beiges and ice blues for the inconspicuous in you and luxurious brocades make up beautiful jackets, not unlike those gentlemen’s smoking jackets of a bygone vintage era. The catwalk darkens and we’re engulfed in black. Black lace, black wool, black silk – all combine to forge pretty, yet formal, dresses and blouses. I’m rarely taken in by designs in black, but these really are lovely. The vintage inspired shoes and patterned tights play a key part in the presentation, complimenting a largely conservative but beautiful collection.

My height has failed me and my photographs are painfully poor, but I leave contented and pleased to have spied a wonderful show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Avril Kelly, ,Catwalk review, ,Classic, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Formal, ,Inacio Ribeiro, ,Jenny Robins, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Northumberland House, ,Suzanne Clements, ,The Show Space, ,Upcycling, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Hetty Rose: shoes with stories

Everything we do at Amelia’s Magazine is a collaborative and creative endeavor, order and this extends to the upcoming book launch of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration (released this week) and the subsequent exhibition of 10 of the books illustrators. Seeing that the book takes pride in championing fresh new talent in the world of illustration, try it makes sense that we would want Tuesdays book launch at Concrete Hermit in East London to reflect this. Letting our illustrators run riot, adiposity Concrete Hermit has turned its gallery space, and their walls over to them to bring their illustrations of renewable technologies from the Anthology to life. The results can be seen from Tuesday, 8th December onwards, and the exhibition will run until January 1st 2010.

 

Anthology1-Concrete-Hermit-Dec-09-001

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-044

Our dedicated illustrators pitched up this Sunday to lend their unique talents to this project. Given that the gallery space is pretty compact, and that at any given time there were roughly ten illustrators, as well as Amelia’s staff on hand to document the day and decorate the outside window,  the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and supportive – even if space was definitely at a premium! I was especially pleased to see some of the illustrators that I had been given the opportunity to interview for the Anthology, such as Jess Wilson, Craig Yamey and Chris Cox. While David Bowie played on the radio, coffee was consumed and cookies and cheese bagels were munched for much needed sustenance. I watched as white walls were transformed into bright and colourful ecological utopias, adorned with mythical creatures, talking whales and flying kites. Interesting and unexpected collaborations unfolded between many of the illustrators who were meeting each other for the first time; for example, when Chris Cox, Barbara Ana Gomez and Jess Wilson realised that their illustrations about renewable technologies all featured bodies of water such as lakes and the sea, they decided to share a large wall space, and while the illustrations are kept separate, they also seamlessly blend in with one another, each one complimenting the other. On another wall space, Karolin Schnoor (who was illustrating underwater technologies) and Andrew Merritt (whose work featured above water tech) shared the top and bottom half of the wall to weave their respective illustrations together.

Anthology2-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-016

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-064

Anthology3-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-035

Anthology5-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-036

Illustrating a wall space on a tight time span is a very different process to how the illustrators are used to working; while Jess revealed that the process was ”less stressful than I thought it was going to be”, others were conscious of the fact that they only had one take. Despite this, all were incredibly proud of their work for the Anthology and were delighted to be able to showcase their work at the gallery. By 5pm, there was the slightly worrying fact that due to unforeseen circumstances, part of one of the main walls still stood glaringly untouched. Undeterred, Craig, Barbara Ana and Amelia stepped in to collaborate on what was quickly termed the ‘mad panic corner’. Despite the time constraints, everyone was in good spirits, and I look forward to see how the mad panic corner has taken shape!

Anthology6-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-041

Anthology8-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-061

Leona Clarke adds some finishing touches

Anthology9-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-073

Saffron Stocker gets to grips with her piece of the wall.

Anthology10-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-085

If you are London based, please come along to the launch, which starts at 6.30 and runs until 9.30pm. Once here, you can pick up a copy of the book which will be signed by Amelia. There will also be carbon neutral beer provided by Adnams and Macs Gold Malt Lager by Madison on hand. If you can’t make it on Tuesday evening, you have a few more weeks to see the work of our super talented illustrators adorn the walls of Concrete Hermit. We are expecting it to get very busy on Tuesday night, so please turn up early!
Everything we do at Amelia’s Magazine is a collaborative and creative endeavor, rx and this extends to the upcoming book launch of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration (released this week) and the subsequent exhibition of 10 of the books illustrators. Seeing that the book takes pride in championing fresh new talent in the world of illustration, it makes sense that we would want Tuesdays book launch at Concrete Hermit in East London to reflect this. Letting our illustrators run riot, Concrete Hermit has turned its gallery space, and their walls over to them to bring their illustrations of renewable technologies from the Anthology to life. The results can be seen from Tuesday, 8th December onwards, and the exhibition will run until January 1st 2010.

Anthology1-Concrete-Hermit-Dec-09-001

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-044

Our dedicated illustrators pitched up this Sunday to lend their unique talents to this project. Given that the gallery space is pretty compact, and that at any given time there were roughly ten illustrators, as well as Amelia’s staff on hand to document the day and decorate the outside window,  the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and supportive – even if space was definitely at a premium! I was especially pleased to see some of the illustrators that I had been given the opportunity to interview for the Anthology, such as Jess Wilson, Craig Yamey and Chris Cox. While David Bowie played on the radio, coffee was consumed and cookies and cheese bagels were munched for much needed sustenance. I watched as white walls were transformed into bright and colourful ecological utopias, adorned with mythical creatures, talking whales and flying kites. Interesting and unexpected collaborations unfolded between many of the illustrators who were meeting each other for the first time; for example, when Chris Cox, Barbara Ana Gomez and Jess Wilson realised that their illustrations about renewable technologies all featured bodies of water such as lakes and the sea, they decided to share a large wall space, and while the illustrations are kept separate, they also seamlessly blend in with one another, each one complimenting the other. On another wall space, Karolin Schnoor (who was illustrating underwater technologies) and Andrew Merritt (whose work featured above water tech) shared the top and bottom half of the wall to weave their respective illustrations together.

Anthology2-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-016

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-064

Anthology3-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-035

Anthology5-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-036

Illustrating a wall space on a tight time span is a very different process to how the illustrators are used to working; while Jess revealed that the process was ”less stressful than I thought it was going to be”, others were conscious of the fact that they only had one take. Despite this, all were incredibly proud of their work for the Anthology and were delighted to be able to showcase their work at the gallery. By 5pm, there was the slightly worrying fact that due to unforeseen circumstances, part of one of the main walls still stood glaringly untouched. Undeterred, Craig, Barbara Ana and Amelia stepped in to collaborate on what was quickly termed the ‘mad panic corner’. Despite the time constraints, everyone was in good spirits, and I look forward to see how the mad panic corner has taken shape!

Anthology6-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-041

Anthology8-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-061

Leona Clarke adds some finishing touches

Anthology9-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-073

Saffron Stocker gets to grips with her piece of the wall.

Anthology10-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-085

If you are London based, please come along to the launch, which starts at 6.30 and runs until 9.30pm. Once here, you can pick up a copy of the book which will be signed by Amelia. There will also be carbon neutral beer provided by Adnams and Macs Gold Malt Lager by Madison on hand. If you can’t make it on Tuesday evening, you have a few more weeks to see the work of our super talented illustrators adorn the walls of Concrete Hermit. We are expecting it to get very busy on Tuesday night, so please turn up early!
HETTY ROSE - HR Keep and Love 3

All imagery courtesy of Hetty Rose.

Upcycling, side effects the practice of reusing old clothing in new designs, is having something of a vogue moment. Amelia’s Magazine have frequently featured work by designers who recycle vintage pieces, including MIA and Clements Ribeiro. Next to step up to the mark is foot wear designer Hetty Rose.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 front view

Hetty’s shoes are made from recycling old Kimono fabrics. The shoes are all unique and made to fit, providing a truly individual shopping experience. Within an industry saturated with boring ballet flats and static stiletto heels, Hetty Rose shoes offer something different. Now in her third Kimono inspired collection, there’s plenty to choose from to (literally) stand out from the crowd.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 back view

The use of Kimono fabrics draws attention to the historical story behind the shoes, something which often appeals to vintage shoppers. These fabrics were once worn by Japanese Geishas in a world that has slowly disappeared post World War II (Think: Memoirs of a Geisha for inspiration). The hidden story of these fabrics makes these shoes even more desirable in my eyes. Who wouldn’t want to walk a mile in the shoes (almost literally) of historical women miles and years apart from us?

Keep and Love 1 back view

What’s also great about the collection is that it’s simple. These aren’t off-the-wall, barely wearable designs. Instead they are shoes your mother might even pick out. Flats feature vibrant, colourful prints but in classic, comfortable shapes. Strappy t-bars come in beautiful fabrics, and round-toed platform heels look positively walkable. Very much Eastern in influence, these pieces aren’t something you would find easily on the high street. With their unique patterns combined with simple designs, these shoes wouldn’t fit in with the hordes of uncomfortable, uninspiring bad boys out there at the moment.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 front view

The most attractive quality of the shoes lies in the tailoring service. Each pair of shoes is made specifically to fit your feet perfectly à la Cinderella’s glass slipper. The shopper chooses the shoe, selects the fabric, measures her own feet and waits for her perfect pair to materialise in Hetty’s workshop. And hey-presto, shoe magic is done!

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 close up

So who is Hetty Rose? Well, unsurprisingly, Hetty is a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion in Footwear Design and Development. She set up her own business in 2007 and has been stocked across the country (and abroad) ever since. Find her at Cerise Boutique, Che Camille Boutique, Last Boutique and The Natural Store in the UK or online at her website.

Categories ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Becky Cope, ,Cerise Boutique, ,Che Camille Boutique, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,Hetty Rose, ,Japanese Geishas, ,Last Boutique, ,London College of Fashion, ,Memoirs of a Geisha, ,MIA, ,The Natural Store

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with fashion designer David Longshaw

Latitude 2010-Ivo Graham Blind Date by Amelia Gregory
James Acaster by Kathryn Jones
James Acaster by Kathryn Jones.

Over the course of Latitude I saw numerous comedians, online some of whom appeared as comperes on other stages when not performing to surely one of their biggest ever audience (of thousands) in the Comedy Arena. The Cabaret Arena was much favoured, cialis 40mg as of course was the Literary Arena – hanging out with Robin Ince and his fabled posse.

Kevin Eldon, sildenafil Phil Jupitas, Josie Long… they all dropped by, frequently.

Latitude 2010-Phil Jupitas by Amelia Gregory
Phil Jupitas. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Robin Ince by Stacie Swift
Robin Ince by Stacie Swift.

My favourite part of the longstanding Book Club was a guide to one of Robin Ince’s favourite bad books: Mens’ Secrets, set to a duelling musical accompaniment.

Latitude 2010 James Acaster by Amelia Gregory
James Acaster.

James Acaster was one such novice who I saw happily entertaining pre-act literary crowds with clever improv. Teenage wonder Ivo Graham kept the Cabaret crowd thoroughly entertained with his impromptu rendition of Blind Date – amusingly he is so young he had to be told of Cilla’s name. Weird to think of Blind Date already consigned to ancient TV history.

The main Comedy Arena was my favourite place to hang out in 2007, and it’s popularity continues to grow. Despite additional wing tents on each side of the huge central marquee, the arena remained unable to contain the enthusiastic crowds, who kicked up huge volumes of dust with every new exodus and influx.

Abi Daker - Ivo Graham
Ivo Graham by Abigail Daker.
YouTube Preview Image

One of the biggest draws of Latitude is the chance to discover new talent. Ivo Graham is a mere 19 years old, which made his ability to engage a massive audience all the more impressive. With jokes centred around Facebook, pesky younger brothers and getting in trouble with mum, he still struck a chord with the older folks.

Eric Lambert by Gareth A Hopkins
Eric Lambert by Gareth A Hopkins.

Eric Lambert was winner of the Latitude New Act of the Year 2010, although from what I heard Ivo would have been way more deserving…. or James. Eric’s winning performance centred around an improv routine that wasn’t always quite up to scratch.

Latitude 2010-Eric Lambert by Amelia Gregory
Eric Lambert.

He was cheeky and sexual, no doubt a hit with the ladies. It’s proved nigh on impossible to do any research into Eric since he seems to have zero internet presence… but I would guess from his demeanour that he’s a big fan of Russell Brand.

docbrown_by_iamanoctopus
Doc Brown by Iamanoctopus.

Of the better known comedians I really enjoyed the guide to slang courtesy of Doc Brown, who was formerly a rapper and just happens to be younger brother of Zadie Smith. Sucking snot out of his small child and inappropriate comments on packed buses define his descent towards the normality of family life.

stephen-k-amos-suziewinsor
Stephen K. Amos by Suzie Winsor.

Following him on Friday South Londoner Stephen K. Amos was suitably un-PC, berating his previous Yorkshire audience for its lack of diversity, ripping the piss out of posh people, bemoaning his old age (he’s 35. there’s no hope for me) and generally causing loud if somewhat uncomfortable chuckles across the arena.

On Sunday we caught the tail end of Rufus Hound, who was indeed face-painted up like a dog, if somewhat lacking of a tail. He spoke of the trials and tribulations of marriage and babies… which led onto the misogynistic diatribe of Richard Herring, a 43 year old singleton who made jokes about tit wanks and gay sex, accompanied by a signer for those hard of hearing. Or perhaps just to afford the opportunity to make yet more lewd jokes.

Richard Herring by Sine Skau
Richard Herring by Sine Skau.

He also over-milked an incredibly tedious tirade about Mars Bars that met with a fairly frosty reception… that became part of the act… that increased it’s tediousity. I think he was my least favourite comedian at Latitude.

ANDREW LAWRENCE Faye Skinner
Andrew Lawrence by Faye Skinner.

Next up Andrew Lawrence was really quite sinister but also strangely endearing, geared as his jokes were around his all round lack of appeal. Hey, why the sadness? I’ve always had a soft spot for scrawny gingers! Leaning back at a jaunty angle and grinning demonically he spoke of his semi-autistic relationship with his current (long-suffering) girlfriend. Hey, doesn’t that cover most men?

Lastly, Deborah Francis White put on a genius show on Sunday in the Cabaret Arena. “Every actor wants to be in a sitcom, every man wants to be in a woman,” she informed us, talking us through a series of pie charts that showed the different state of mind for women. Whilst we’d like practically every man we meet to want to sleep with us (approximately 95% according to Deborah) the reverse is true when it comes to the amount of men we actually want to sleep with.

Deborah Francis White Oversees a Bra Fight by Gareth A Hopkins
Deborah Francis White Oversees a Bra Fight by Gareth A Hopkins.

To a chorus of knowing laughter from women, slightly nervous laughter from the men, she talked us through the best way to pull the opposite sex. “Be a Scorsese movie!” she opined, extolling the virtues of confidence. “You’re probably not going to get a part in me…” But the point is that every man should want to. Even if the reason they’re so fixated on lesbian porn is simply “two tits good, four tits better.” She persuaded the women in the audience to stroke themselves on the breast to turn the men on, pulled people out of the audience to follow her instructions on how to tell a girl on the tube she’s gorgeous, and finished with a bra wrestling match between two men. Because who wants to sleep with a man who can’t get a bra off with one hand?

The comedy at Latitude Festival is undeniably one of its biggest selling points… now if only they could figure out how to accommodate the heaving numbers of people that yearn to be amused.


David Longshaw, patient illustrated by Abigail Wright

David Longshaw is a man of many talents. Aside from designing his own label, look he is passionate about writing and illustrating not only for various publications but as part of the creative process behind his collections. 

After his passion for fashion lead him to an open day at the famous Central St Martins, try where all his favourite designers had attended, before even completing his GCSE’s, he decided to go ahead with A Levels at his local Grammar school whilst taking Wednesday afternoons off to study  pattern cutting at an Adult education centre as his first step onto that ladder towards success. It worked.  

Now, with an impressive resume boasting a degree, an MA, various awards, work with designers such as Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara and his own label, he is as motivated as ever and yet to satisfy that inner taste for success in the fashion industry. 


AW10, illustrated by Krister Selin

How did you get from such humble beginnings, attending just one pattern cutting class a week, to working with such big designers and creating your own label? 
During the summer that followed my A Levels, I did a work placement with Adam Entwisle, working on his LFW debut collection. I then studied Art Foundation at Manchester Metropolitan and carried on my pattern cutting, studying the advanced course. Then, during that summer I did work experience at Clements Ribeiro and Hussein Chalayan before starting at St Martins, where I studied BA (Hons) Fashion Design Womenswear. 

The fabric for my graduate collection was given to me by Richard James after doing a work placement there on Savile Row during my second year and the collection won the Colin Barnes Drawing Prize and the Esme Fairburne Award. 

After St Martins I went straight on to the Royal College of Art studying  (MA) Fashion Design Womenswear. I was asked to design for Alberta Ferretti before I finished my graduate collection but said I wanted to finish my MA, so the day after graduating I moved to Italy to design for Alberta. It was great being offered the job before graduating as it meant I could concentrate on my collection and I knew I’d get great experience from designing in Italy. 

My MA collection was selected for the Final of ITS#6 (Trieste) and Le Vif Weekend (Belgium) and I then went on to design for Max Mara in Italy before coming back to start my own label. 


David Longshaw at Ones to Watch, AW10, photographed by Matt Bramford

Where do you get inspiration from for your own label?  
I’m inspired by short illustrated stories I create specially for each new season. My last collection was called ‘Escaping Emily’, it was about a puppet who was discovered by a slightly disturbed fashion designer called Emily who had moved to work in Italy.

Some of the illustrations I then turned in to prints for the dresses – and the cogs that were in some prints and sewn on to some garment, came from the section where Emily finds the puppet in a hamper style basket that’s full of camera and watch parts. The colours, shapes and prints all come from the story.  


Illustration from David’s sketchbooks

Are there any designers that you would compare yourself to or that you admire? 
I wouldn’t compare myself to any one really but I really admire a variety of designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada and Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy. Kirsty Ward is a really exciting designer who’s launching her own label this September, after working for Alberta Ferretti and doing jewellery for my collections. 

Are there any pieces from your collections that you are particularly fond or proud of? 
I have a few favourites. One of them is a cog print cropped jacket from my last collection that wasn’t actually on the catwalk in the end as I felt there was enough going on with the dresses and it would have detracted from the total look. I also like the pleated dresses from the last collection as they were the trickiest to construct but after a severe lack of sleep, wither out how I wanted. 


Illustration by David Longshaw

What else do you get up to in any spare time that you manage to have? Is there anything other than designing that you like to immerse yourself in? 
I also do some writing and illustrating for different magazines which you can find links to on the press section of my website. There’s also a section called ‘Maudezine’ where I’ve interviewed Holly Fulton and JulieVerhoven. I’ve also written about up and coming designers with fictional character Maude for Disorder magazine which is quite amusing. 

Other than that, I really love going to galleries and the theatre with my girlfriend when we both have the time! I also really like watching rugby and football, especially live.  I’ve not had much time to go since starting working for myself but I get the odd match in with my dad or friends.   


AW10, illustrated by Krister Selin

So, what’s next for David Longshaw?  
Well short term I’m working on my new collection for September, which I’m planning on exhibiting in London and then Paris. I’m expanding my collection to include some more, simpler pieces using my illustrations as prints so they are more accessible for shops and customers. That will also mean I can have a few more extreme pieces in the collection to balance it all out which should be fun. I’ll also be continuing writing and illustrating. 

Where do you see yourself in the future? 
Hopefully still being as creative as possible – designing , writing and illustrating, just hopefully on a bigger scale with my own larger creative company.



David Longshaw at Ones to Watch, AW10, photographed by Matt Bramford

Categories ,Abigail Wright, ,Adam Entwisle, ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Central St Martins, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,David Longshaw, ,Disorder Magazine, ,Emily, ,Givenchy, ,Holly Fulton, ,Hussein Chalayan, ,JulieVerhoven, ,Karl Lagerfeld, ,Kirsty Ward, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,ma, ,Manchester Metropolitan, ,Maudezine, ,Max Mara, ,Miuccia Prada, ,Ones To Watch, ,paris, ,Pattern Cutting, ,Ricardo Tisci, ,Richard James, ,Royal College of Art, ,Savile Row, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with illustrator Petra Börner

EMMA Jane Austen Petra borner
I have long admired the work of Swedish born illustrator Petra Börner, who brilliantly mixes Scandinavian and Arts and Crafts influences to create a style all her own. Her book cover for Emma by Jane Austen (artwork above) is nominated for the 2012 V&A illustration awards so I thought I’d find out what makes her tick. Be very inspired…

Petra Borner -studio
Petra Borner -studio
You have a very distinctive style – what are your greatest influences?
I still draw inspiration from objects and books I’ve collected since I was a teenager, books on school posters and photographic references on anatomy and plants and DIY books form the 70’s.
I like studying LP covers, especially ‘classical’ ones and browsing antique shops and I like drawing in public and from life.
I’ve been taught to be hands-on and ‘do’ from my family and I’ve learnt creative skills from my mother.
I like work by Max Ernst, Niki De Saint Phalle, Carl Johan De Geer and Katja of Sweden.
 
Petra Borner -studio
How long did it take you to come up with your look – was it a gradual process or were you always attracted to working in this way? 
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t really into drawing and making things.
It’s taken me a roundabout way to get to a place where drawing is central and a means to living though.
I suppose it’s good to pack many things in your bag along the way.
A friend of mine sent me a drawing I did when I was 18 and it looks just like my current work – that was quite shocking!
 
Petra Borner -studio
You trained as a fashion designer and had your own label until 2004 – why did you decide that your heart was in illustration and was it a hard decision to make? Any regrets?
It wasn’t a very hard choice to make at all.
I’ve always wanted to be an artist and my experience from the fashion helped build my drive.
I had quite a few tough and interesting years creating my label with partner Tove Johansson, but it felt right to finally focus on my goal.
In fashion I felt like a cowboy, a strange fish in a big pond!
 
Petra Borner -studio
Petra Borner -field print for Cacherel SS 2007
Petra Borner – field print for Cacharel SS 2007

In terms of moving across industries, did you have to develop a new set of contacts for illustration or was there a lot of crossover?
I’d illustrated a little for magazines parallel to my work in fashion, so I had a few contacts.
But generally, I had to start a fresh and it took a while to generate an interest.
With a fashion angle I broadened my chances and managed to bridge fashion and illustration into an interesting mix of commissions.
 
Petra Borner -studio
You’ve been based in London since 1994 – what brought you here and what keeps you here?
I came here to study Fashion whilst improving my English during a one- year foundation course.
It turned out to be an intense and exciting year leading onto a degree in Fashion at Central St Martins and my London roots grew deeper.
I lived in NY for a while which was great fun, but I seldom contemplate moving anywhere else now.
Having family ties here and in Sweden at times makes for an ambivalent longing for ‘home’.
London always keeps me on my toes.
 
Petra Borner -studio
Petra Borner -partridge bowl for Seto Seikei
Petra Borner – partridge bowl for Seto Seikei.

When you are working on illustration in a decorative capacity (on 3D objects etc.) what has been your favorite project to date? And why?
It’s amazing to be able to work on projects with open briefs, but with technical support to maximize the result.
I often wish I had more knowledge and skills of many crafts to increase the level of intricacy and open possibilities within a project, but sometimes it’s good not to know all the limitations before you start.
Collaborating with Studiothomson, Clements Ribeiro, Bally, Aquascutum, Seto Seikei and Jonathan Adler has also been interesting.
 
Petra Borner -studio
Petra Borner -gift box for systemet
Petra Borner – gift box for Systemet.

If we were to take a peek inside your inspiration library what would we find?
Books, paper scraps, comic books, postcards and photocopies on arts and crafts, design, pottery, folklore, nature, portraits, travelling and maps,  anatomy, animals, foods and eating, antiques, DIY books, interior design and architecture, rubbings and sculpture.
 
THE_LOVER petra borner
You have illustrated lots of book covers – which was the best book you had to read for a job?
I love ‘The Lover’ by Marguerite Duras.
 
How do you balance looking after a toddler with work? You are incredibly busy!
She’s managing me.
 
Petra Borner -summer papercut for Harper Collins
Petra Borner – summer papercut for Harper Collins.

Your logo adopts your father’s signature – do you come from a creative family and if so what do they do?
On my mums side of the family there is an army of hands on, inspiring creativity, a well of skills within all sorts of arts and crafts.
My father’s side holds many in a row of painters, a photographer and a composer.
Most of the paintings are portraits, still life’s and scenes from the sea, as we come from an island.
Most of my family members prosper academically and save their creativity for relaxation.
 
Petra Borner -studio
Petra Borner -greetings card for Habitat
Petra Borner – greetings card for Habitat.

Can you tell us about your new product range in collaboration with Studiothomson, aimed at encouraging writing and correspondence?
I’ve always been a keen letter writer and as a teenager I’d spend hours decorating envelops before posting them.
I like the time and thought that goes into handwritten letters and though it it’s ‘out-of-date’ as soon as it’s posted, it ‘s magical to receive them.
We are currently developing the prototypes for a range of bold products, which will make staying in touch with your friends a treat.
We are launching the collection early autumn 2012.
 
Petra Borner -studio
What kind of imagery can we expect in your new range of hand tufted fair trade rugs for the Design Museum?
This is an early collaboration and my designs are in the making.
The project is directed by Chris Haughton for Design Museum and involves a group of artists including Sanna Annukka, Donna Wilson, Jon Klassen and Neasden Control Centre, so the rugs should be a striking collection!
The limited edition rugs will be handmade in Nepal according to Fair Trade regulations and will be on display at the Design Museum this autumn.
 
Petra Borner -studio
You are also writing your own book about collectables – tell us more! What do you collect?
This is exciting!
Having been a keen flea-marketeer and collector since I was five, I am now in contrast ruthless about what I keep.
What I’ve kept has a real value (to me!) and I am assembling these objects into a journey of sorts.
 
Petra Borner -studio
Finally and not least you are nominated for the V&A illustration awards, and the winners will be announced tonight – what inspired the Emma artwork?
The first ideas for the cover of ‘Emma’ by Jane Austen, was sketched in the V&A.
I aimed to create a bold and lush interpretation of the novel in contrast to it often soft and feminine covers.
I decided to let her hand symbolize elements of the story.

Petra Borner -studio
Petra Börner sells her book cover artwork and much more on big cartel – so you can own your very own piece! See what else she’s up to on her website. I hope you win tonight Petra!

Read my review of the 2011 V&A Illustration Awards here.

Categories ,Aquascutum, ,Arts and Crafts, ,Bally, ,Cacharel, ,Carl Johan De Geer, ,Chris Haughton, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,Design Museum, ,Donna Wilson, ,Fair Trade, ,fashion, ,Habitat, ,Harper Collins, ,Jon Klassen, ,Jonathan Adler, ,Katja of Sweden, ,Made by Node, ,Marguerite Duras, ,Max Ernst, ,Neasden Control Centre, ,Niki De Saint Phalle, ,Petra Borner, ,rugs, ,Sanna Annukka, ,Scandinavian, ,Seto Seikei, ,Studiothomson, ,Systemet, ,Tove Johansson, ,V&A Illustration Awards

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