Amelia’s Magazine | The Wonderful World of Prangsta Costumiers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories ,Aladdin, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,BBC2, ,Costume, ,daisy lowe, ,Dress, ,fashion, ,Florence & the Machine, ,Holly Jade, ,london, ,New Cross, ,Pearl Lowe, ,Prangsta, ,the Noisettes, ,Victoriana, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bodyamr

Kingston MA Patricia Osbahr photo by Amelia Gregory

LFW Daks Catwalk Show Spring Summer 2011

I rolled into Daks at the bright and early time of 9am on a Saturday morning – expecting to be one of the few who made in out of bed. But the crowd was bright eyed and bushy tailed – shame some of the models looked pale and in need of some shut-eye!

When the Daks press release proclaimed the collection was inspired by a “British traveller on a journey through India” I envisaged either a ‘gap yah’ nightmare or colonial outfits complete with G&T’s. Thankfully what ended up on the catwalk was far from it. Daks S/S 2011 was an easy, patient breezy collection of crisp designs in white, pilule pale grey, approved and stone.

Daks Spring Summer 2010 collection illustration by Abi Daker

Rather than going for swathes of layers, embroidery and hippy trippy designs, Daks decided to translate the ‘traveller’ theme in a much more sophisticated way – splashes of mustard yellow (my FAVOURITE colour) were meant to represent the spices of India, and the lightweight fabrics were chosen to be suitable for hot climates. I can’t see myself donning a drop waisted skirt and chic leather satchel to trek through the Himalayas, but Dak’s ‘grand tour’ was fun to watch – and felt oh-so English.

Daks Spring Summer 2011 fashion illustration by Abi Daker

Referencing the 1930s, there were some gorgeous mid length pleated skirts, high-waisted trousers and a standout mustard yellow shirt dress. I was even convinced that I needed the knitted shorts and onesies in my life. But considering how great the accessories were in the rest of the collection – with little round sunglasses and convertible leather rucksacks – the shoes (cheap looking wedges and flip flops) seemed a bit of an afterthought.
Amelia_LFW1_Yasmin Siddiqui, <a target=ailment gaarte” title=”Amelia_LFW1_Yasmin Siddiqui, online gaarte” width=”480″ height=”480″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-25158″ />
Yasmin Siddiqui opens the Kingston MA show. Illustration by Gaarte.

Sometimes it’s hard to be heard amongst all the chatter and noise of LFW so it’s either very foolish (who’s got time to come?) or very inspired (you’ve got a ready made captive audience) to hold your MA show at the same time. I suspect Kingston University leaned the latter way, physician thinking why not jump on the fashion week bandwagon? They’d even secured a slot in the hallowed Freemasons’ Hall.

Kingston MA by Katherine Tromans Alison Firth
Kingston MA by Katherine Tromans Alison Firth
Alison Firth by Katherine Tromans.

But it was late in the day, those of us who had been trogging around all day were pretty bloody knackered. Then the show was running behind and it was bloody hot in the hall… and we didn’t even have seated tickets. It seemed those had gone to the copious quantities of friends and relatives brought along by so many participants. Note to PRs – if you give us shit tickets you’ll probably get shit photos – I was hardly able to snap anything decent from my vantage point. And if you desperately want to be heard it really does pay to get the press on your side. With pretty pics.

Abby_Wright_Kingston_show Stacey Grant
Stacey Grant by Abby Wright.

Luckily we’ve got a crack team of illustrators who can make a proverbial silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or a beautiful image out of… well… not very much to look at, (which is just as well). But still, I like to have the option of good photos too. Pick ‘n’ mix and all that.

Amelia_LFW2_gaarte Yasmin Siddiqui,
Yasmin Siddiqui by Gaarte.

Amelia_LFW3_gaarte Faraz Hussain
Faraz Hussain by Gaarte.

And then the show went on… and on… Okay, so there’s a bonus to seeing several designers at once – when they’re of a very high calibre and you haven’t got a million other things to see and do. But I have to say, Kingston Uni, that this wasn’t up to the standard that London Fashion Week has become accustomed to. People were sneaking off all around me. Which leads me to my second piece of advice. Only go up against the best of what London design has to offer if you’re sure you can match it!

LFW-KingstonMA-Gemma-Milly Victor Chan
Victor Chan by Gemma Milly.

I’m sure many of the Kingston MA students are very talented, but I’m struggling to remember anything that stood out, and that is a bad thing. A lot of it was very similar in feel, nondescript in colouring with draping and protrusions everywhere (they seem to be very much du jour) And I’m sorry, but a load of polygonally moulded leathers do not a fashion designer make.
LFW-KingstonMA2-Gemma-Milly Raine Hodgson
Raine Hodgson by Gemma Milly.

Stand outs, if I’m pushed? Obviously the first piece, courtesy of Yasmin Siddiqui, was a great piece of statement jewellery. There was some strong colouring combinations in the menswear from Faraz Hussain and Helen Taylor’s male jumpsuit was fun, as was her styling with wooden head frames. Generally I had a strong sense of shapelessness going on. But hey! I’ll let you make up your minds for yourselves, and in the meantime I think you’ll agree that my illustrators have done sterling work.

LFW Daks Catwalk Show Spring Summer 2011

I rolled into Daks at the bright and early time of 9am on a Saturday morning – expecting to be one of the few who made in out of bed. But the crowd was bright eyed and bushy tailed – shame some of the models looked pale and in need of some shut-eye!

When the Daks press release proclaimed the collection was inspired by a “British traveller on a journey through India” I envisaged either a ‘gap yah’ nightmare or colonial outfits complete with G&T’s. Thankfully what ended up on the catwalk was far from it. Daks S/S 2011 was an easy, advice breezy collection of crisp designs in white, pale grey, and stone.

Daks Spring Summer 2010 collection illustration by Abi Daker

Rather than going for swathes of layers, embroidery and hippy trippy designs, Daks decided to translate the ‘traveller’ theme in a much more sophisticated way – splashes of mustard yellow (my FAVOURITE colour) were meant to represent the spices of India, and the lightweight fabrics were chosen to be suitable for hot climates. I can’t see myself donning a drop waisted skirt and chic leather satchel to trek through the Himalayas, but Dak’s ‘grand tour’ was fun to watch – and felt oh-so English.

Daks Spring Summer 2011 fashion illustration by Abi Daker

Referencing the 1930s, there were some gorgeous mid length pleated skirts, high-waisted trousers and a standout mustard yellow shirt dress. I was even convinced that I needed the knitted shorts and onesies in my life. But considering how great the accessories were in the rest of the collection – with little round sunglasses and convertible leather rucksacks – the shoes (cheap looking wedges and flip flops) seemed a bit of an afterthought.

fashion illustration by Amy Martino

Illustration by Amy Martino

At the Bodyamr show, page the celebrities nearly outshone the clothes. Lily Allen, viagra Nick Grimshaw, Keisha from the Sugababes and the TV Chef Gizzi Erskine all waltzed in past us mere mortals crammed outside the Vauxhall Fashion Scout hall, (made more manic by the decision to cram two presentations into one catwalk show) cue much jostling and craning of necks by my fellow bloggers to get a good photo.

Once inside, the celeb fest continued – the press release reeled off a list of starlets who loved Bodyamr (Florence Welch, Beyonce, and Cheryl Cole dontcha know), and the crowd whispered about Daisy Lowe opening the show and Kanye West’s girlfriend Amber Rose closing. The scrum for goodie bags as everyone sat down added to the excitement – a recent collaboration with Rixos hotels meant a rather bizarre mix of hotel freebies and glossy brochures was under every seat.

As for the clothes – Bodyamr do a fine line in creating flattering, skin-tight looks for powerful women (hence the appeal for starlets). True to form, their inspiration for S/S 2011 was a cross between Josephine Baker wrapping jewels ‘seductively around her naked body’ and a 90s supermodel. It was a fun, glamorous collection, with pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in Studio 54 (sequins, kaftan style dresses, jersey, Grecian draping), a nice dose of body con and some sheer chiffon dresses printed with art deco jewels (there’s the naked Josephine Baker for you). There was even some slouchy, slinky daywear amongst the goddess dresses tailor-made for the red carpet. And yes, Daisy looked amazing – I just hope people weren’t too star-struck to notice her beautifully draped white jersey jumpsuit.

Categories ,Amber Rose, ,Bodyamr, ,daisy lowe, ,fashion, ,gizzi erskine, ,jersey, ,jumpsuit, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,review, ,Sequins, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Gala Awards Ceremony: Part One


Matthew Williamson by Ruth Joyce

Twelve hundred students descend on Earls Court Two for Graduate Fashion Week every year. About a quarter of them get the opportunity to showcase their collections during one of the 16 fashion shows that are held over four days. In a dramatic climax – the Gala Awards show – 10 students are selected to present their work for a second time in the hope of receiving the coveted Gold Award.


All photography by Matt Bramford

So, like the fashion industry itself, chances of making it are pretty slim. 10 incredible collections graced the catwalk in the finale and I honestly couldn’t pick a winner – celebrity judges like Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald commented on the incredible standard exhibited of not only those who had been selected as a Gold Award nominee, but every college.


Julien Macdonald by Claire Kearns

Here’s a photographic whistle-stop tour of the awards ceremony:

INTERNATIONAL AWARD


Yvonne Kwok – Amsterdam Fashion Institute


Zhu Liyuanzi – Istituto Marangoni Milan


WINNER: Karen Jessen – ESMOD Berlin, presented by Julien Macdonald, Sara Maino from Vogue Italia & Caroline Burstein from Browns.

STUART PETERS KNITWEAR AWARD


Emma Walsh – Nottingham Trent University


Jousianne ProppManchester Metropolitan University


Caitlin Charles Jones – Kingston University


Judges Ruth Chapman from Matches, Erica Peters from Stuart Peters and knitwear designer Mark Fast couldn’t decide, so Caitlin and Jousianne both scooped the award!

ZANDRA RHODES TEXTILES AWARD


Daisy Lowe by Ruth Joyce


Amelia Smith – Northumbria University


Dae-Byn Lee – Nottingham Trent University


Roz Lamkin – Manchester Metropolitan University


WINNER: Xiaoping HuangUCLAN, presented by Daisy Lowe and Mary Katrantzou

BARCLAYS NEW BUSINESS AWARD


Holly Reid – UCLAN, presented by Tabitha Somerset-Webb (Project D) and Michelle Mone OBE

FASHION INNOVATION AWARD


Ami Collins – UCLAN, presented by Lorraine Candy of ELLE magazine and designer David Koma

MEDIA & DESIGN AWARD


Kerrie Donelly – UCA Epsom, presented by Fashion Editor-at-Large Melanie Rickey and ID magazine‘s Jefferson Hack (swoon)

STAND DESIGN AWARD


Edinburgh College of Art, presented by designer Fred Butler and Harvey NicholsYuri Nakamura

GEORGE BEST OF BRITISH AWARD


Susanna Yi – University of East London, presented by TV presenter Caroline Flack and ASDA fashion director Fiona Lambert

GEORGE CHILDRENSWEAR AWARD


Harriet Simons – Colchester, presented by singer Louise Redknapp and Fiona Lambert

MULBERRY ACCESSORIES AWARD


Laura Smallwood – Kingston University, presented by Mulberry‘s Tori Campbell

ETHICAL AWARD


Sarah Murphy, Northumbria – presented by stylist Jocelyn Whipple and film producer/eco hero Livia Firth

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


Legendary catwalk photographer Chris Moore, presented by designer Jeff Banks

Part Two, featuring the major players and the menswear, womenswear and Gold Award winners, coming soon…!

Categories ,accessories, ,Amelia Smith, ,Ami Collins, ,Amsterdam Fashion Institute, ,ASDA, ,Awards, ,Caitlin Charles Jones, ,Caroline Flack, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Catwalking.com, ,Ceremony, ,Childrenswear, ,Chris Moore, ,Claire Kearns, ,Colchester, ,Dae-Byn Lee, ,daisy lowe, ,David Koma, ,Earls Court Two, ,Eco Age, ,Elle, ,Emma Walsh, ,Erica Peters, ,ESMOD Berlin, ,Essex, ,fashion, ,Fiona Lambert, ,Fred Butler, ,Gala, ,George, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Harvey Nichols, ,Holly Reid, ,ID Magazine, ,international, ,Istituto Marangoni Milan, ,Jeff Banks, ,Jefferson Hack, ,Jousianne Propp, ,Julien McDonald, ,Karen Jesson, ,Kerrie Donnelly, ,Kingston University London, ,knitwear, ,Laura Smallwood, ,Lifetime Achievement, ,Livia Firth, ,Lorraine Candy, ,Louise Redknapp, ,Manchester Metropolitan University, ,Mark Fast, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,matches, ,Matt Bramford, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Melanie Rickey, ,menswear, ,Michelle Mone OBE, ,Mulberry, ,New Business, ,Northumbria University, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Project D, ,Roz Lamkin, ,Ruth Chapman, ,Ruth Joyce, ,show, ,Stuart Peters, ,Susanna Yi, ,Tabitha Somerset-Webb, ,Tori Campbell, ,UCA Epsom, ,UCLan, ,UEL, ,Womenswear, ,Xiaoping Huang, ,Yuri Nakamura, ,Yvonne Kwok, ,Zhu Liyuanzi

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Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: Ba Fashion Graduate Show 2011 review. Pleats.

Steven Tai Central Saint Martins by Sam Parr
Steven Tai by Sam Parr.

At a time when the high street has gone totally crackers for pleats quite a few Central Saint Martins graduating fashion designers decided to tackle the theme, drug with added oomph.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Steven Tai photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Steven Tai photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Steven Tai photography by Amelia Gregory
Steven Tai. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Steven Tai delivered an extremely original and confident reinterpretation: models in serious looking wire-framed spectacles sported bulky pleats that called to mind the weathered pages of an old book.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Jake Wiseman photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Jake Wiseman photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Jake Wiseman photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Jake Wiseman photography by Amelia Gregory
Jake Wiseman (jumps up and down with barely contained excitement because this designer *actually has a website*) showed a seriously orange and quite 80s influenced collection that melded pleats with ruched layers and heavy draping.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ondrej Adamek photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ondrej Adamek photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ondrej Adamek photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ondrej Adamek photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ondrej Adamek photography by Amelia Gregory
Ondrej Adamek appears to have shown at Prague Fashion Week a few years ago. I suppose there could be two fashion designing Ondrej Adameks, but it seems unlikely and if indeed this is he then his style has developed in leaps and bounds: I loved this clever collection of fringed metallic pleating worn with silver strip bubble shoes.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Zi (Ji Yun) Kim photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Zi (Ji Yun) Kim photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Zi (Ji Yun) Kim photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Zi (Ji Yun) Kim photography by Amelia GregoryCentral Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Zi (Ji Yun) Kim photography by Amelia Gregory
Zi (Ji Yun) Kim didn’t show pleats as such but it was a similar look, relying on shimmering strips of fabric for effect. False trousers made up of taut strips began underneath shoes and stretched up to high waists, moving seductively with the models’ steps.

It seems that there is plenty of life in pleats yet…

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Jake Wiseman, ,Layered, ,Metallic, ,Ondrej Adamek, ,Orange, ,pleats, ,Prague Fashion Week, ,Sam Parr, ,Steven Tai, ,Zi (Ji Yun) Kim

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Fashion Blogger turned Fashion Designer Coco Fennell

Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan
Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan.

I discovered via good old Facebook that my talented ex intern Jenn Pitchers has been creating bespoke print designs for gorgeous curvaceous dresses made by the blogger turned fashion designer Coco Fennell, so of course I had to check them out. Here Coco describes her career move and how she hooked up with Jenn.

Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie
Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie.

What is your education and what brought you to this point in your fashion career?
After school I did a great graphic design course in East London which then led me on to art direct a magazine where I met Jenn Pitchers, the illustrator who I work with on my prints! 

Coco Fennell Louie_Banks

Did being a blogger first help you to launch your own label and what has it taught you about the business?
Yes for sure, working on my fashion blog made me realise that what I really wanted to do was design dresses and that with the internet it could be possible. It showed me that it wasn’t impossible to have an online shop to start a label with low overheads when you don’t have terrifying things like shop rent to deal with!

Coco Fennell new tricks
What does your blog focus on, and has the focus changed since you started your own label?
Yes I think so. I probably blog more about editorials and look books where as before I was focusing on key pieces to buy. It’s just like an online scrapbook. I love that I can find great websites I blogged about ages ago which I would have otherwise forgotten. 
 
Coco Fennel Veronica Rowlands
Coco Fennell by Veronica Rowlands.

What is the process of working together with Jenn to create your unique print designs?
I come up with a theme, pull together lots of imagery and then we meet up, talk about it, Jenn sketches up some awesomeness and we go from there! 

Coco Fennell kiss me
Why was it so important that you create your own bespoke print fabrics and what do you think makes them so different to anything else on the market?
I’ve always loved designers like Jeremy Scott and Swash and when I met so many illustrators working at the magazine it inspired me to make some of my limited edition pieces in cool, unusual prints.

Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings
Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings.

What else inspires your designs?
The female form is the first thing because I want to achieve a flattering shape – if the dress isn’t flattering then girls don’t feel as wonderful as they could and I don’t think there’s any point in making something that doesn’t make you feel good! I love 60′s and 70′s designers too like Biba and Ossie Clark.

coco fennell 1
How have you managed to acquire such a good relationship with celeb fans such as Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Bip Ling?
I’ve just been lucky enough to get in touch with stylists and have been even more lucky that the girls like my dresses so have worn lots of different pieces.
 
Gypsy Heart Dress by Jamie Wignall
Smokin' Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall
Gypsy Heart Dress and Smokin’ Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall.

Who is the model in your current look book and how did you achieve that amazing hair? what was the inspiration?
She is such a babe! She’s called Mimi Wade and she already had that amazing green hair we just added in some yellow extensions. I love big Dolly Parton hair!

coco fennell  2
How many collections do you create a year?
Around three, but it depends. I haven’t really been making set collections so sometimes there are bits inbetween.

Coco Fennell, Circus,Circus by EdieOP
Coco Fennell: Circus,Circus by EdieOP.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I want to grow my brand: promoting fun, friendliness and a positive body image! I love brands like Nasty Gal and Wildfox and the way they work – I aspire to build something like that. There’s a big aim to set myself!

Find Coco Fennell‘s collection online here.

Categories ,70s, ,Amyisla Mccombie, ,biba, ,Bip Ling, ,Blogger, ,Coco Fennell, ,daisy lowe, ,Dolly Parton, ,EdieOP, ,Fashion Designer, ,illustrator, ,Jade Boylan, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Jenn Pitchers, ,Jennifer Matignas Pitchers, ,Jennifer Pitchers, ,Mimi Wade, ,Nasty Gal, ,Ossie Clark, ,Pixie Lott, ,Print Design, ,Rebecca Rawlings, ,retro, ,Veronica Rowlands, ,Wildfox

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with jewellery designer Daisy Knights


Illustration by Emma Block

From student life to Vogue fame in one action packed year, page cure Daisy Knights’ creations have already been snapped up by our most loved style icons and proved that ethically responsible jewellery can still be achingly cool.  

Splitting her time between the simple life in the countryside and the rush of her production process, buy Daisy tells us a little bit more about the passion and inspiration behind her jewellery collections and what the future holds for this wonderfully British label. 

Your collection has taken off at incredible speed, viagra dosage how does that feel?
It’s great, I’m so happy that people want to buy and wear my designs! I saw my bracelets in Vogue this month and had a moment of “wow, this time last year, I was at university and now my jewellery is in Vogue!” 


Illustration by Holly Trill

Two of your pieces, the Oxidised Feather ring and the 22 Karat Skull ring have recently been worn by Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung, two of the UK’s biggest style icons. Did they approach you personally or was it just a wonderful surprise?
Well, we share the same publicist who made them aware of my pieces and happily, they seemed to love them! 

Which inspirations lie behind your jewellery designs?
Every collection is named after a friend and I use them as a muse for that collection. I aim to embody that person in the collection, My new one is Talullah, after my friend Tallulah Harlech. 

You pride yourself on having an ethically responsible ethos throughout your collection, is this something you have always had a strong belief in?
My workshop is in Britain and even my pouches are made here. I really try to be responsible but it’s not possible yet to get everything transparent sourced, which is what I hope for one day! There are so many grey areas within the industry in regards to where things come from. Keeping things in Britain means I know every person working for me, I know exactly how things are made and every person in my workshop is a highly skilled craftsman/woman. It means that my prices are higher than if I used a factory in India or China but I think the kind of people who buy my jewellery respect that it is very high quality and British made. 


Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Each one of your pieces is hand made from recycled materials, which is becoming increasingly popular in a society where everything seems so disposable. Is this something you aim to maintain and something you think your buyers appreciate above anything else?
I don’t want the main aspect of my jewellery to be that it is recycled. For my brand, it’s about the design and the recycled silver is just a plus! Not every piece is recycled silver but the majority is. For example, the chain is not recycled because it’s not possible to obtain. I would love my jewellery to be made from ethically mined silver rather than recycled but right now, not enough is produced and I’m not even sure it is possible yet, so right now recycled is better than nothing. I do hope, however, for it to be ethically mined silver one day in the future. My fine jewellery and bespoke engagement rings are ethically mined gold and diamonds. 

You personally make one of your designs, the Studded Wrap Around ring, at your home workshop away from production, is there any particular reason as to why you chose this one to work on alone?
I don’t ever want to be separated from the making process and this is a very popular piece so it’s nice to feel involved. I also make the Michelle stacking rings and a few others. It keeps my skills up for when I make engagement rings and bespoke pieces! I hate being away from the bench and I’m constantly making new samples for collections or adding pieces to existing ones. 


Illustration by Cat Palairet

Are there any designers out there that you would compare yourself and your work to?
At this early stage in my career, (I only graduated from Central Saint Martins last year) I’m not sure I could compare myself to anyone yet! However, my favourite designer is Matthew Williamson and I like to think my jewellery matches his clothing quite well! 

 Which of your pieces are you the most fond of?
My favourite piece has to be the new skull ring that I’ve done in an exclusive collection for Urban Outfitters… it’s not out yet though so you will have to wait and see! 

What do you get up to in the spare time that you have away from designing?
I live in the Cotswolds and I love going for country walks with my boyfriend and our dog, Ace Ventura Pet Detective (Ace for short). There’s a great pub in my village called the Falcon Inn which serves amazing locally sourced food and I love sitting by the fire there. I also love to sail and surf and when my boyfriend is back from work (he’s a pilot in the RAF) we go on surf trips together. I also love going to the British Museum and the V&A

What does the future hold for Daisy Knights?
Well hopefully it holds a long and happy career. But for the immediate future keep your eyes peeled for my new Spring/Summer collection…

Categories ,Ace Venturer Pet Detective, ,Alexa Chung, ,Britain, ,British Museum, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cotswolds, ,Daisy Knights, ,daisy lowe, ,Diamonds, ,Emma Block, ,ethical, ,Falcon Inn, ,Feathers, ,Gold, ,jewellery, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Silver, ,skulls, ,Talullah Harlech, ,Urban Outfitters, ,va, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | BIBA is BACK!


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins


BIBA, viagra 60mg illustrated by Abi Daker

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


‘Big Biba’ illustrated by Alia Gargum

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

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


Daisy Lowe wears Biba, illustrated by Natasha Thompson

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


The new collection, illustrated by Jenny Robins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BIGGER:

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BIGGEST:

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THE KITCHEN SINK:

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

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

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

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Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

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

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

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

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

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Illustration by Aarron Taylor

Other parties don’t like their protesters do they?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Illustration by Aarron Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That doesn’t make any sense!

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

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Illustration by Faye Katirai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What would you say stimulates you to create your collections?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cristobal Balenciaga – pure genius.

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

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

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

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

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

(images supplied by Victor De Mello)

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alice by Temperley’s 1st Birthday

Akamuti-replenishing rose facial oil
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd.

I first became enamoured with Akamuti skincare products when I discovered the brand in 2008 and subsequently interviewed them for the last print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. A family run business in Wales that creates gorgeous organic fairtrade products – what’s not to like? Time to find out what founder Lindsey Hedges is up to these days…

Why did you decide to set up business?
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, no rx herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, mixing up tiny amounts of creams and balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
It’s good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

Akamuti skincare by Karina Yarv
Lindsey Hedges, founder of Akamuti. Illustration by Karina Yarv.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too. We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater. 
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

Akamuti-by-Nina-Hunter
Akamuti by Nina Hunter.

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world.

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
lindsey_akamuti_darren fletcher
Lindsey Hedges by Darren Fletcher.

Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future.

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one. 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
What do you expect to top your Christmas bestsellers list this year?
At the moment, our Replenishing Rose Face Cream is selling very quickly so we are making lots of it to try to keep up with demand. Over the winter the skin tends to dry out much more (I know mine has!) so your skin will really appreciate a good, rich moisturiser to put back all the goodness which the cold weather takes out of it. Replenishing Rose Face Cream is a welcome treat for tired, hungry skin because it is very rich and softening, combining nourishing raspberry, precious pomegranate and rosehip oils with luxurious Rose Otto oil. I expect all our face creams and exotic butters to be the bestsellers over Christmas because they make lovely, unusual presents that are totally natural and ethical.

***************************

I recently chanced upon a bottle of Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil that had been kicking around in the back of my bathroom, and let me tell you it is a glorious treat after a brief interlude of using a cheap Superdrug moisturiser. It smells utterly heavenly and soaks in really well, leaving a delicate waft of essential oils in its wake. You too can shop with Akamuti on their website and at independent retailers across the country.
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd
Akamuti by Jenny Lloyd.

I first became enamoured with Akamuti skincare products when I discovered the brand in 2008 and subsequently interviewed them for the last print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. A family run business in Wales that creates gorgeous organic fairtrade products – what’s not to like? Time to find out what founder Lindsey Hedges is up to these days…

Why did you decide to set up business?
Akamuti grew out of my passion for plants! I’ve always been interested in their role in tree medicine, more about herbalism and aromatherapy so it feels very natural to work with all these wonderful ingredients. Akamuti began in 2003 when I was only 20 years old and keen to start my own business. I think that being home schooled from the age of 10 instilled in me a very independent outlook on life and this streak has grown with me! The business started off in a really small way, search mixing up tiny amounts of creams and balms from raw ingredients – always using only the best natural ingredients that we could source. Then I would set off to the local health shops with my little box and try to sell them. It was really exciting to get a positive response and this spurred me on to set up a website so that people could order online. From these humble beginnings the business slowly but surely began to grow. Nowadays the whole family are involved in the business, with five of us working together. Our combined enthusiasm for a holistic way of living, eating and healing keeps our creativity focused, ensuring that our products reflect our ethics.

Akamuti skincare by Karina Yarv
Lindsey Hedges, founder of Akamuti. Illustration by Karina Yarv.

Why is being part of a family business so satisfying?
It’s good to work together because you have people you know that you can rely on in a crisis. We understand each better than anyone else and thankfully we all seem to rub along nicely so we make a good team.

How did you train yourself to make skincare products?
When I was 17 I did a herbal medicine course that taught me how to make balms and macerated oils, which was great fun to do in the kitchen. I loved drying herbs, hanging them from the airer so that they made a mess on the floor. I experimented, researched and got my hands dirty until I found a recipe that I was happy with. I’ve also worked in aromatherapy for many years so I know my ingredients inside out.

Akamuti-rose & marshmallow beauty mask
Akamuti’s Rose & Marshmallow beauty mask.

How is your organic vegetable garden, and do you grow any of your own ingredients?
I really love gardens and I’ve been trying my best to grow veg for years. This year I managed to coax some lovely potatoes out of the ground as well as salads, tomatoes and a million cucumbers. Sadly, my onions and garlic didn’t even get chance to see the sunshine this year (slugs!) but I plant them every year because it feels wrong not too. We have plenty of space so it’s been a dream of mine to grow our own ingredients for a few years now… I just need to find the time. I’m hoping to plant a lavender and rose garden at some point so that I can make a small amount of my own rosewater. 
 
Can you describe the set up in Wales?
We work from our workshop in a beautiful valley in south west Wales overlooking the Brechfa Forest. We have a smallholding so it’s not only home to us but a few unruly animals as well. It’s a truly inspirational place to live, with nature literally on the doorstep and natural beauty around every corner. I love the peace and quiet here, it really nourishes the soul.   

Akamuti-by-Nina-Hunter
Akamuti by Nina Hunter.

When you have visitors where do you take them out?
I would take them to our little town of Llandeilo to shop for organic bread and homemade ice cream, then we would visit Carreg Cennen Castle, dramatically perched on a limestone outcrop. I’d make sure we visited the seaside where there are countless coves to choose from, so we might just do them all. And to finish, we would end up in our local pub which has the best beer garden in the world.

What are the benefits of being in Wales, and the pitfalls?
I love the wild side of Wales most. It’s great to nip out the door and within minutes be in a forest, a meadow, or on a mountain. I love the trees and fields, the castles, the coastline, the views out to the Brecon Beacons, the stunning drive through the Towy Valley. There is a strong craft community here, we have several community run shops, and there is a lot of great food and farm produce about too. The pitfalls… what pitfalls!?
 
lindsey_akamuti_darren fletcher
Lindsey Hedges by Darren Fletcher.

Been anywhere else lately?
I’ve just got back from southern Snowdonia where I stayed at the foot of Cadair Idris. There is a beautiful lake there which I love. It is very cool and quiet – you could be anywhere in the world. I’ve also recently discovered the New Forest – I particularly like all the animals wandering freely through the villages.

How do you source your fairtrade organic ingredients?
Thankfully the internet makes this very easy. We find new suppliers quite quickly and many come by word of mouth. A lot of the time I stumble across people doing amazing things which I note down for the future.

What is the first thing you do when you want to invent a new product?
I make myself a coffee, find a comfy spot, get my notebook out and start writing. I think of what I want to achieve with the product and what I would like to go in it and then I start putting them together. I also brainstorm with everyone else. A bit like planning a garden, the best part is picking the plants! 

Akamuti-buttered rose & almond hand cream
Akamuti’s Buttered Rose & Almond Hand Cream.

What exciting new products are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a flower based perfume at the moment, so I’m playing around with sandalwood, rose, jasmine and a number of other oils to get the best combination. I’ve decided to keep the perfume as an oil, much like the ancient Attar perfumes, which were based on sandalwood oil. I am a big fan of eastern aromatherapy and I like the way the scents make me drift away to the ancient lands of Persia or Anatolia in my mind.  

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?
I’ve got a few favourites but I’ll try and narrow them down. My first love is definitely Rose Otto oil – it works so well for many physical and emotional problems, as well as smelling beautiful. I also love working with Neroli essential oil because it is so uplifting. If an oil could have the quality of kindness then this is the one. 

Why should people buy your products?
Because they are good for the skin and the soul! They are made with 100% natural ingredients from start to finish without any additional rubbish, and we try our best to harness all of the natural goodness of trees, plants and flowers in each product so that our customers get the very best we can make. Our products are people and planet friendly, and they are affordable too.
 
Akamuti-replenishing rose facial oil
Akamuti’s Replenishing Rose Facial Oil.

What do you expect to top your Christmas bestsellers list this year?
At the moment, our Replenishing Rose Face Cream is selling very quickly so we are making lots of it to try to keep up with demand. Over the winter the skin tends to dry out much more (I know mine has!) so your skin will really appreciate a good, rich moisturiser to put back all the goodness which the cold weather takes out of it. Replenishing Rose Face Cream is a welcome treat for tired, hungry skin because it is very rich and softening, combining nourishing raspberry, precious pomegranate and rosehip oils with luxurious Rose Otto oil. I expect all our face creams and exotic butters to be the bestsellers over Christmas because they make lovely, unusual presents that are totally natural and ethical.

***************************

I recently chanced upon a bottle of Kalahari Watermelon Body Oil that had been kicking around in the back of my bathroom, and let me tell you it is a glorious treat after a brief interlude of using a cheap Superdrug moisturiser. It smells utterly heavenly and soaks in really well, leaving a delicate waft of essential oils in its wake. You too can shop with Akamuti on their website and at independent retailers across the country.
Contacts:

For all Press, buy information pills Marketing, Advertising and General Enquiries: Amelia

Please only email me with personal requests, NOT listings or mailouts, which I will simply delete without looking at. I check all accounts so your press releases will be seen and answered if I am interested.

Please note that we only tend to list an event if we think we can also review it, so we’re really quite picky about what we devote our time to promoting.

Fashion editor: Matt Bramford

Art PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Music PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Earth PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Submissions:

If you would like to have something reviewed, write or illustrate for the website, then please contact the relevant email above, more details on this page.

Please note that if you don’t follow the guidelines then your email is likely to be ignored, as we get absolutely inundated with emails.
Contacts:

For all Press, this Marketing, page Advertising and General Enquiries of a PERSONAL NATURE: Amelia

Please only use the email above to contact me with personal requests, stuff NOT listings or mailouts, which I will simply delete without looking at. I check all accounts so your press releases will be seen and answered if I am interested.

Please note that we only tend to list an event if we think we can also review it, so we’re really quite picky about what we devote our time to promoting.

Fashion editor: Matt Bramford

Art PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Music PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Earth PR mailouts and Listings: use this email please.

Submissions:

If you would like to have something reviewed, write or illustrate for the website, then please contact the relevant email above, more details on this page.

Please note that if you don’t follow the guidelines then your email is likely to be ignored, as we get absolutely inundated with emails.

All photographs by Ester Kneen

The Paradise pub in Kensal Green played host last week to the first birthday celebration of fashion label Alice by Temperley.
The ‘English Eccentric’ theme attracted a crowd of fabulously dressed guests who drank Chambord cocktails, page aptly named; ‘Blushing Alice’ and ‘Somerset Breeze’ and ate haute-English-cuisine canapés prepared by head chef Tim Payne, former executive chef on Marco Pierre White’s Hells Kitchen. Some dressed in top hats and coat tails, this whilst others sported symbols of Britishness like Union Jacks and tartans.

Designer, Alice Temperley wore head to toe leopard print including a foot high hat from the Spring/Summer collection.
The star-studded guest list included Daisy Lowe, Ellie Goulding, Nick Grimshaw and Edith Bowman who turned out to celebrate the brand’s recent success.

The sister brand of Temperley London, Alice by Temperley has “it’s own fresh and accessible aesthetic,” and it’s first ever ‘Cruise’ collection, launched this month will be stocked in all leading international stores. The brand also has plans for it’s own London flagship store for 2011.

Since its creation last year the brand has gone from strength to strength, gaining a number of fans such as Beyoncé and Jessica Biel, along the way. The Notting Hill based label encompasses Britishness, making clothes for the ‘London girl’. The brand’s accessibility and affordability will no doubt lead to further success and we’re likely to see the growth of the brand in years to come.

Happy Birthday Alice by Temperley!

Categories ,Alice Temperley, ,british, ,daisy lowe, ,Edith Bowman, ,Ellie Goulding, ,fashion, ,Kensal Green, ,Leopard Print, ,london, ,Nick Grimshaw, ,Notting Hill, ,Paradise, ,party, ,Tim Payne

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vintage at Goodwood Review, by vintage enthusiast and fashion blogger Maria Domican


All photography by Maria Domican

I was nervous upon arriving at Vintage at Goodwood… Nervous because I had called in sick to work, more about this nervous because I had been hearing bad press about the event and mainly nervous because I had no idea what to expect.

I have to admit, web no matter how fashionable, arty and eco driven a festival is, a major emphasis has always been on being drunk and having a great, if somewhat crazy time… I couldn’t imagine myself getting wasted on ‘classic cocktails’ or ‘gin and tonics’, parading around campsites in my beloved vintage treasures and sleeping through bands in a dusty heap at Goodwood. Apparently that was exactly the crowd that organiser Wayne Hemingway was eager to discourage, not wanting those “out on the lash that leave a load of empty tins at their ripped tent”.

Goodwood was billed as ‘the first of what will be an annual music and fashion led celebration of creative British cool’ ‘The new festival of Britain’. But what was it? A vintage Fashion Fair? An exhibition? Or a festival? Featuring music, art, fashion, film and design I was puzzled as to how it would all come together.

None the less I was excited… I had packed a few of my 2nd favourite dresses (the dirt was still a worry!) far too many hats (and yes I carried them in a vintage hat box) and even two matching vintage parasols, for my friend and I to parade around with; in short, more than I would usually take on a week long holiday.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a red carpet and the famous British High Street. Made up like a spaghetti western, all wooden fronted shops, I felt like I had wandered onto a film set. The high street catered for the big brands: John Lewis, The Body Shop and Dr. Martins all had large stores with all the facilities of any other high street shop. It also was the home for the vintage cinema, a traditional British pub and even an Indian take away! The draw of the festival to many though – the vintage stalls – were down the two side streets in tents. These were much more bazaar-like in style; small cramped lines of tents exploding with clothes, accessories, and when it rained (which it did a lot) crammed in people unable to move.


Vintage shopping at Goodwood.

Bands such as The Faces, Buzzcocks, Heaven 17 and the Noisettes entertained the crowds but it was the fashion that was the main draw of the festival. Workshops taught sewing and knitting while Hardy Amies and Pearl and Daisy Lowe were among those with runway shows.


The Noisettes on the main stage.


Pearl and Daisy Lowe at their runway show.

Divided into eras, the festival celebrated five decades of British cool, with each area having a different ‘curator’ (supposed experts in that field).


The 1970s and 1980s zone curated by Greg Wilson featured a warehouse with interactive graffiti wall and a roller disco.

Also in the 1970s era was Eddie Miller’s Soul Casino nightclub – replicating a mid 70s ballroom and reminiscent of many a bad wedding reception, complete with 1970s swirly carpet, sprung dance floor, pool tables and low lighting – it was here that Wayne Hemingway performed his own DJ set on the Sunday.


Wayne Hemingway

The emphasis of the festival was definitely the 1940s and 1950s, however, with the majority of outfits being so themed and with one of the highlights being leading percussionist, producer and 1940s enthusiast Snowboy’s Tanqueray sponsored ‘Torch Club’: a 1940’s style supper club which served 3 course meals over the weekend, with waiter service and a full orchestra playing while you eat. Behind the club forties allotments and land girls held guess-the-weight-of-the-pumpkin competitions and the guys from The Chap held an Olympian event with cucumber sandwich tossing and tug-o-moustache.


Cucumber sandwich tossing at The Chap Olympiad


Moustache tug-o-war

Still in its first year, the festival organisers have room for improvement before next year’s. The website promised ‘an unparalleled attention to design and organisational detail’ which is a little optimistic considering the press pass debacle. Still, this was upheld in areas such as the attention to period detail in all shops and stages and that all events were first come first served and not fully booked up beforehand.
It’s possible the press pass debacle was a result of the PR company giving all 150 staff free weekend and camping tickets… of which apparently only 8 were used!

One stall holder also complained that they felt the festival had been miss-sold as they thought that the vintage stalls were going to be on the main high street not crammed into the side tents.

Whilst a lot of events over the weekend such as dance classes and the cinema were free, the main grumbles were still about the commercial emphasis of the festival, Bonham’s high profile auction, chain stores and a huge emphasis on shopping and spending money left a lot of people disgruntled, but apparently still willing to spend; Oxfam reportedly made £1000 in the first half hour of opening! Lily Allen‘s no-show to launch ‘Lucy in Disguise’ was probably a blessing in disguise as it prevented the focus of the weekend from being celebrity.

The ‘Glamping’ was on all accounts also seen to be a big disappointment. Situated at the bottom of the hill in the woods this area quickly became a muddy bog with the torrential rain and at £1200 for a tent with an airbed was seen as a complete rip off by many who didn’t even have hot showers. The same was true of the pods which had to move some people to tents due to complaints about size and not being able to stand up.


Glamorous campers.

For the regular campers, though, there were no problems. Many vintage tents, bunting strewn camps and campervans were on a chalk based slope which quickly drained and dressing rooms with full length mirrors and power points enabled everyone to dress up.


Dressing up rooms. Photography by Madeleine Lowry

…And dress up they did! Whilst the day trippers favoured fancy dress over true vintage and stuck to the high street, the weekend crowd were the highlight of the festival. A huge ego-boosting weekend, everyone went out of their way to compliment each other on their outfits and a general blitz spirit coupled with the friendly campsite and interactive nature of events ensured that everyone was quick to make new friends.

Overall the weekend offered an overwhelming range of activities to take part in or witness, and hopefully with the kinks ironed out before next year, things can only get better for Goodwood.



Fashion at Goodwood.

You can read our insightful preview of Vintage at Goodwood here, and Amelia’s experience of the festival here.

Categories ,1940s, ,1950s, ,1960s, ,1970s, ,1980s, ,art, ,British cool, ,British High Street, ,Buzzcocks, ,Cocktails, ,daisy lowe, ,Dr. Martins, ,Eddie Miller, ,fashion, ,Gin & Tonic, ,Glamping, ,Hardy Amies, ,Heaven 17, ,Indian takeaway, ,John Lewis, ,lily allen, ,Lucy in Disguise, ,music, ,Noisettes, ,Olympiad, ,oxfam, ,Parasols, ,Pearl Lowe, ,Snowboy, ,Soul Casino, ,Tanqueray, ,The Blitz, ,The Body Shop, ,The Chap, ,The Faces, ,Vintage at Goodwood, ,Wayne Hemmingway

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