Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Tata Naka

Taka Nata S/S 2012 by Alison Day
Taka Nata S/S 2012 by Alison Day.

Turning up to the Tata Naka presentation I had very little idea of what to expect but I had been most intrigued by their invitation, a dance card with mini pencil attached as if to list dances. I have always loved Tata Naka; their combination of colourful painted print designs and loose fitting but cleverly cut shapes is right up my street.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

The presentation was held in the Portico Rooms and as I walked in I felt as though I’d chanced upon a private studio session. Huge lights, photographer, stylist. It took me right back to the days when I spent a lot of time loitering around on fashion shoots for magazines such as The Face and I-D. And, it turns out that this was the entire intention. By combining their time in Somerset House with the creation of look book images, Tata Naka had very cleverly made the most of their time and money as well as opening up the creative process for all to see. Absolutely genius.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

The shoot had been going for some hours when I arrived, and the team were onto the last look of the day – seven girls clad in fabulously colourful drop waist, oversized and kaftan shaped tropical dresses. For S/S 2012 Tata Naka were inspired by 1950s east coast chic, combined with flowery resort glamour… and these last garments screamed Aloha.

Taka Naka S/S 2012 by Clare Twomey
Taka Naka S/S 2012 by Clare Twomey.

The models stood in formation on chairs against a black background with rose petals scattered across the floor, in an approximation of a famous Pina Bausch dance sequence. The much loved choreographer’s work had inspired the whole shoot, hence the dance card invitations.

Tata Naka Fashion Illustration By Vicky Newman
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Vicky Newman.

Attendees were served fresh lemonade in Tata Naka themed bottles decorated with carnations as we circulated around the shoot. We were able to take our own photos and see the others on a computer screen as the team scrutinised the latest official shots.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Twin sisters Tamara and Natasha Surguladze graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2000, and their label, Tata Naka, celebrated it’s tenth anniversary recently. The brand, which encompasses diffusion lines Stolen Memories and Tata Naka Shrunk for children, is celebrated worldwide yet curiously they have no stockists in the UK. It seems utterly bizarre to me that these talented designers are not more widely feted in the country where they trained and have chosen to make their home. Let’s hope that changes soon.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,Aloha, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Choreographer, ,Clare Twomey, ,dance, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Look Book, ,Pina Bausch, ,Portico Rooms, ,Presentation, ,S/S 2012, ,Shoot, ,Somerset House, ,Stolen Memories, ,Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, ,Tata Naka, ,Tata Naka Shrunk, ,Twins, ,Vicky Newman, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Tata Naka

Taka Nata S/S 2012 by Alison Day
Taka Nata S/S 2012 by Alison Day.

Turning up to the Tata Naka presentation I had very little idea of what to expect but I had been most intrigued by their invitation, try a dance card with mini pencil attached as if to list dances. I have always loved Tata Naka; their combination of colourful painted print designs and loose fitting but cleverly cut shapes is right up my street.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

The presentation was held in the Portico Rooms and as I walked in I felt as though I’d chanced upon a private studio session. Huge lights, photographer, cure stylist. It took me right back to the days when I spent a lot of time loitering around on fashion shoots for magazines such as The Face and I-D. And, it turns out that this was the entire intention. By combining their time in Somerset House with the creation of look book images, Tata Naka had very cleverly made the most of their time and money as well as opening up the creative process for all to see. Absolutely genius.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

The shoot had been going for some hours when I arrived, and the team were onto the last look of the day – seven girls clad in fabulously colourful drop waist, oversized and kaftan shaped tropical dresses. For S/S 2012 Tata Naka were inspired by 1950s east coast chic, combined with flowery resort glamour… and these last garments screamed Aloha.

Taka Naka S/S 2012 by Clare Twomey
Taka Naka S/S 2012 by Clare Twomey.

The models stood in formation on chairs against a black background with rose petals scattered across the floor, in an approximation of a famous Pina Bausch dance sequence. The much loved choreographer’s work had inspired the whole shoot, hence the dance card invitations.

Tata Naka Fashion Illustration By Vicky Newman
Tata Naka S/S 2012 by Vicky Newman.

Attendees were served fresh lemonade in Tata Naka themed bottles decorated with carnations as we circulated around the shoot. We were able to take our own photos and see the others on a computer screen as the team scrutinised the latest official shots.

Tata Naka SS 2012 LFW review -photo by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Twin sisters Tamara and Natasha Surguladze graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2000, and their label, Tata Naka, celebrated it’s tenth anniversary recently. The brand, which encompasses diffusion lines Stolen Memories and Tata Naka Shrunk for children, is celebrated worldwide yet curiously they have no stockists in the UK. It seems utterly bizarre to me that these talented designers are not more widely feted in the country where they trained and have chosen to make their home. Let’s hope that changes soon.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,Aloha, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Choreographer, ,Clare Twomey, ,dance, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Look Book, ,Pina Bausch, ,Portico Rooms, ,Presentation, ,S/S 2012, ,Shoot, ,Somerset House, ,Stolen Memories, ,Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, ,Tata Naka, ,Tata Naka Shrunk, ,Twins, ,Vicky Newman, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Jayne Pierson (featuring Pierson Lawlor)


Jayne Pierson S/S 2012, order illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Oof, visit this site I love a new fashion week site. I took a Boris from the action at Somerset House all the way to Old Street to see Jayne Pierson‘s show at the LSO St Luke’s venue. This historic Anglican church is almost three hundred years old, buy information pills and was rescued by the LSO when controversial plans to turn the beauty into offices were proposed. Thank heavens.


Jayne Pierson S/S 2012, illustrated by Tina Reidy

The church is set in a beautiful garden, and as I sweated my way through it, I thought what a romantic setting for a fashion show. These are thoughts I only have when suffering from sleep deprivation and RFSI (Repetitive Fashion Show Injury). Inside, some of the former glory has gone to make way for inevitable modernisations, but the imposing ceiling and cold stone walls still exist. A catwalk had been temporarily constructed where the aisle would once have been, and a film played on loop at the end of a photography shoot starring a rather dishy ballet dancer. It was all very exciting.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

The show eventually started after the mandatory bunfight for seats and flashbulb shower for Pandemonia. A man whose name I didn’t have a chance to write down explained that, this season, Jayne Pierson had worked with the ballet and we were in for a treat. The models were to be ballet dancers. I almost audibly ‘whooped’ at how refreshing it all was.


Jayne Pierson S/S 2012, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Models appeared cheekily from behind a partition, moving gracefully down the catwalk en pointe. I know this is one of life’s wonders and people train for years to get this right, but it doesn’t half make me cringe (perhaps that’s Black Swan‘s influence, too). I imagine the agony you put your body through to achieve such a graceful poise.


Photography by Matt Bramford

A mixture of male and female models appeared, wearing Jayne Piersons S/S 2012 collection. This was clearly a collection influenced by dance and drama of all kind. They floated past, some faster than others, some acting a little like they might have been drinking, but nonetheless looking equally as beautiful. The theatrics, as splendid as they were, did distract a little from the clothes, and it’s only since I’ve reviewed my pictures that I’ve got a real flavour for what Jayne Pierson has produced this season.


Jayne Pierson S/S 2012, illustrated by Gilly Rochester

Jayne Pierson‘s now statement shapes flooded the catwalk; exaggerated shoulders, tight waists. Corsets in high-gloss leather were playfully applied to looser garments in similar colours. Micro shorts were leather. A muted graphic print was used on a dangerous bikini and a halterneck onesie. Modest pastel vests had been sexed up with black pom-pom like shoulder details. A bodycon dress carried theatrical orange fringing; sophistication, glamour and exquisite craftsmanship evident in every piece.


Jayne Pierson S/S 2012, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Jayne Pierson‘s clever use of material and colour was as evident as it has been during her five fashion week outings. Leathers, suedes and silks all flow organically throughout this cohesive collection, helped along by a colour palette of stone, taupe, grey, champagne and sand.


Photography by Amelia Gregory

I’m not sure if it was the Royal Ballet dancing element having an influence, but the clothes were very dramatic, and I did wonder what they might look like modelled in the usual fashion. But a finale that brought the dancers pairing up to perform some dramatic lifts really raised eyebrows and audible gasps echoed around St Luke’s. Sitting across from me, it was clear Caryn Franklin loved it. And I did too.


Photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,Amelia, ,ballet, ,Black Swan, ,Caryn Franklin, ,catwalk, ,dance, ,Derek Lawlor, ,drama, ,En Pointe, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Jayne Pierson, ,leather, ,LSO St Luke’s, ,Matt Bramford, ,Onesie, ,Pandemonia, ,review, ,RFSI, ,Royal Ballet, ,S/S 2012, ,Suede, ,Tina Reidy, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | LFW 09 – OLANIC – Love to Love You, Baby…

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I’ll put up my hands and admit that as a girl, health medications not yet a quarter of a century old, remedy talking about music is utterly intimidating. Yet I try. At some point in my life I’ll make a concerted effort to dance about architecture too. There is an endless wealth of information on bands that have already been, that I am never, ever going to be able to catch up on. Yet I try. As a music fan (enough to write about it), I’m embarrassed to admit that I only really discovered my, now, all time favourite band, Talking Heads within the last five years. I know, shoot me down. My convoluted point is that, as much as I try and piece it together, I can only imagine what The Slits releasing ‘Cut’ meant to the females and general youth and music fans of 1979. Yes there was a sex bomb fronted Blondie, intriguingly androgynous Patti Smith and unconventional Kate Bush, but an all female, punk rock band that posed naked on their album sleeve and generally didn’t give a f***. No one saw that coming and their influence has reverberated ever since.

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Fast forward then 30 years and their new album, Trapped Animal, has been unleashed to a society that is certainly far from sorted. But can the music still have the same punch? The garage approach of Cut has inevitably given way to a slicker product all round. That same mixture of reggae rhythms, scratchy guitars, anger and mischief abounds. Rather than sounding like a band thirty years past their prime, as could be said of many a reunion album, there is a freshness that means you could be mistaken for thinking you’re hearing the latest South London council estate collective. This could be explained by the new multi-generational line-up that features Sex Pistol Paul Cook’s daughter, Hollie. You also get the impression that frontwoman Ari Up has as much energy as her fourteen year old self that met original member, Palmolive, at a Patti Smith gig.

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Lyrically, the album doesn’t stretch the boundaries of the concept of rhyming but you wouldn’t hear Girls Aloud bemoaning of “Men who want us to be their mother/Men who hate us because of their mother.” Where the Pop Idol-ers are concerned with their “cappuccinos to go-o”, Up and her girls are hollering about ‘Peer Pressure’, “issues with child abuse” and eschewing the shackles of a nine to five: “We don’t pay rent with a passion, and we don’t wanna follow fashion.”

The fact that foul-mouthed Lily Allen launched her career on the wave of reggae-tinged pop is no accident. The Slits invented the model for anti-establishment, men-bashing, unselfconscious pop and even though this new offering will never live up to Cut standards, it’s a welcome return of punk’s finest.

Helping to keep the pressure on governments across the world, health activists in Australia held a mass action last week against Hazelwood Coal Power Station, erectile one of the dirtiest in the world. The climate camp held a day of planning and workshops, nurse followed by the day of action where a group of over 500 people placed a ‘Community Decommission Order’ on Hazelwood to switch on the renewable energy transition.

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Images from Hazelwood Flickr

Twenty-two people were arrested on the day and, with the Governments lack of conviction, it seems many more are ready for the same sacrifice. As one secondary school teacher put it, “not such a big sacrifice in the scheme of things.” Looking at pictures and reports as well as listening to the radio report, it looks like a well planned day of disobedience. Affinity groups such as the Wombat Warriors, Radical Cheerleaders and Climate Clowns show great initiative. Apparently the police wouldn’t let “bikezilla”, a massive 8-person bike, join the protest though. Shame.

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I caught up with Louise Morris, one of the organisers of the action to get her account of the action and see what’s in store for climate action in Australia.

How long have you been involved in the protest movement in Australia and was there a catalyst for getting involved?

I’ve been involved in campaigning in Australia for over a decade, starting off with the campaign to stop the Jabiluka Uranium mine in Kakadu National park and spending many years as a forest activist and blockader in Tasmania (as a result now one of the Gunns 20) and Western Australia.

I decided to devote my time to climate campaigning in 2006, as the realisation set in that no matter how many pieces of forest we saved through campaigning and blockades etc – if climate change is not dealt with, the climatic conditions forecast will spell the end for all the places we have campaigned for and protected over the years.

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I grew up in mining towns in Western Australia, so am very aware of the sort of environmental and social scars the mining and logging industry inflict. My decision to work on climate issues has been heavily based on the mitigation angle. I am a strong believer in trying to solve a problem, rather than trying cope with the problem as best we can through adaptation measures. This has led me to focus strongly on coal issues and to work within the grassroots realm of climate campaigning. I really do think it’s in the grassroots community movement that we have the most power.

What was your personal experience on last weeks action?

I was one of the key organisers of the Switch off Hazelwood – Switch on Renewables weekend. My experience ranged from having to deal with the police in the lead up to the event and during the event with their complete over-reaction to the whole affair, talking with people who were prepared to be arrested and acting as media spokesperson for the group.

My experience of the action and watching other peoples reaction to the day was extremely positive.

This action was the first of it’s type for the Victorian Climate Movement. For the past few years people have lobbied, rallied in cities etc but never actually taken action at the site of the pollution and been prepared to be arrested.

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We had 500-plus people from all possible walks of life turn up. A lot of families, older folk and a massive representation from the quite mainstream ‘Climate Action Group’ demographic that is strong in Australia. We had 22 people manage to scale the security fences and police lines that were put up prior to our action. In that list of arrestees are doctors, teachers, electricians, stay at home mums… the list goes on.

Our state government tried to label us as eco-terrorists in the lead up to the event. This failed dismally, as our lead up media campaign was very solutions focused (just transition to renewable energy) and we were very open in our aim of civil disobedience… this combined with images of the people who were at the action, got out to the wider world of so many kids, families, professionals and respected members of the community were taking action. We have had a lot of support from the public and arms of the mainstream media.

The feeling post this action is that people are ready for more peaceful community driven direct action, and more people are prepared to get arrested to push the government into some real action on climate change.

How did the mainstream media and the public react?

There has been a noticeable shift in public and media attitudes to people taking action on climate change, post our federal Government’s pathetic announcement of 5% emission reduction by 2020.

In the lead up to this event we put a lot of thought and energy into talking about our message of switching on a transition to renewable energy and switching off coal. Part of this outreach included a public meeting at the town of Morwell, which is the heart of coal country in our state. This was a ‘robust’ meeting but we got great feedback from everyone who came about the transition message and we were supported by unions representing coal workers that we were pushing for a just transition to renewable energy.

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In terms of media – we ran a pretty tight messaging strategy around the fact that this is a community driven event that is calling for a switch from renewable energy and this requires that we switch off coal.

At first we got very little interest, but as the word that people were going to partake in peaceful mass civil disobedience got out, the interest grew. On the whole, we got a pretty fair run in the media in the lead up to the event. A lot of time was spent explaining what civil disobedience was, as Australia has not had a strong activist culture in recent years. Once again the core message that we were calling for a switch from coal to renewables, with a just transition was central in a lot of the willingness of commercial media to hear us out.

Obviously on the day of the action some of the conservative media ran the ‘rowdy protester’ line and showed the fence shaking but considering the sort of coverage we usually get in the mainstream Australian press, I think we have seen a shift in how community protest and civil disobedience is being covered. That said, the large representation of families and ‘ordinary looking folk’ really did help that.

Do you think Australia is ready for a broader movement relating to climate change and what do you think the comparison is to movements across the world?

Yes. We had our first climate camp last year in Newcastle [NSW] and from this it was decided that in 2009 we would have state based events, of which the Switch off Hazelwood event was one. The reasons for this were many, including the fact that Australia is so geographically large that it’s not feasible (financially or environmentally) for people to trek across the country to come to a single climate camp.

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For the next 3 months there will be Climate Camp style events across the country from South Australia, New South Wales to Western Australia. The interest and willingness is there for a movement that is prepared to take action at the site of the big polluters and put some targeted pressure on government and the big polluters who are shaping the climate policy.

In terms of the broader movement relating to climate change there is definitely a lot more scope for more varied forms of action and campaigning. We are currently organising a bunch of movement building events and workshops using the lessons learnt from many countries and campaigns, including elements of the Obama community mobilisation strategy.

Comparisons are hard to make as we live in a massive continent with quite a sparse population, in comparison to many other countries who have strong climate movements. We also have a populace that has been alienated from the concepts of protest, civil disobedience and strong social movements from previous (and still current) governments who have demonised such things as ‘Anti-Australian.’

As one of the organisers of the action, what have you learnt from the process?

Honestly, the importance of networks, community and talking to people face-to-face to get them involved and part of creating the event they want to be a part of. Another lesson we always learn from these events is that people need to have fun organising and being part of events like this – best way to keep them coming back and get more people involved.

The Affinity Group and Working Group model was central in making a lot of elements of this event work. From the public meeting, the promotions, independent media to the action itself.

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What’s next for Climate Camp in Australia?

There are still a number of state based Climate Camps to come in the next few months across Australia after the ‘Switch off Hazelwood – Switch on Renewables’ event. The next immediate one is in South Australia and after that is the one at the Helensbugh coal mine in NSW. So much more Climate Camp action is on the cards. And here in Victoria we are looking ahead to what is next in the lead up to Copenhagen as a national climate event.

Looks like a lot going on in Australia, shame it would have to be a carbon intensive flight away, that or a 6 month cycle mission, hmmm.. now thats an idea.
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MATT AND KIM are a destructive dance duo hailing from Brooklyn, pilule NYC. There are very few bands that can always guarantee you a real good time with one single push of a button, but Matt & Kim never let me down. Ever. We caught this Brooklyn duo live back in June and they knocked our socks off.

Yeah, there are tons of happy-go-lucky bands with that high-energy, high-on-life exuberance, throwing shapes and keeping their toothy smiles fixed, verging on the robotic and the slightly scary. But there’s always the inevitable grating after a few listens as the cheer morphs into a cheesy mess of slobbery, over-enthusiastic group hugs and high-fives that leave you backing away into the safety of Morrissey‘s comforting drones, vowing never to venture away again. Promise.

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The weird thing is, Matt & Kim are super cheesy, but they seem so genuinely fun and unaffected that it’s tough not to abandon any self-concious hang-ups and just leap along with their carefree charm. And if their new tracks are anything to go by, they show no sign of quietening down and getting all mature on us.

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As the jaunty keys and sharp, tapping sticks that start ‘Daylight”s introduction trip and pop, the call and response of “We cut the legs off of our pants/Threw our shoes into the ocean/Sit back and wave through the daylight/Sit back and wave through the daylight” gets louder and fuller, there an immediate hit of teenage nostalgia. It’s a reminder to never grow up too much and when that alarm rings to get you out of bed in the morning – it’s time to wake up.

Watch the duo having fun in their DIY-esque video here:

‘Daylight’ is out on 28th September on Fader Label/Nettwerk.
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Obstinately avoiding the typical artistic “nude” and the potential sexist connotations of the form, medicine Sheila Wallis’s Threadneedle Prize-winning “Self-portrait” does feature the artist without clothes, medical but avoids rendering herself as a sexual object. Instead the artist describes herself as appearing to be a “small, look naked creature” rather than a coquette.

The painting feels very real as opposed to a being a fantasy of female sexiness. She gazes back at the onlooker with a slightly knotted brow but, despite being aware of the attention, doesn’t seem either to play up to it or to be exploited by it. She is vulnerable but remains in control through the action of painting herself. Perhaps a deciding factor in seeing the painting without sexual connotations as a female viewer is knowledge of the gender of the artist and that she is also the subject of the painting; it’s easier to enjoy a nude for what it is without the overtones of an artist/muse relationship.

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The prize is voted for online by visitors to the exhibition, at the Mall Galleries. This year’s exhibition was strong and there was a theme of interaction between man-made structures and nature. For example, Jennifer Godlieb’s eerie “Lurker” (below) seems to depict a gasometer set in a future time when cities are devoid of people and all is overgrown and transformed into a spookily beautiful Scandinavian forest. The message could be an environmentalist one: despite the messages about “saving our world” from climate change, eventually Mother Nature will reclaim all our efforts.

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In contrast to the fairy-castle appearance of Godlieb’s post-human architecture, Zachary Peirce’s painting of “Pripyat, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone 1” bleaches the colours out of the natural landscape, leaving washed-out pinks, bruise purples and a colour the same yellow tone as human skin. A slight touch of green appears murky and poisonous. In the background there is a building that appears to be melting: the black outlines drip down the canvas into the overgrowth. Here the impact of humanity’s failings on nature has created a dirty, deserted area without any of the peace of Godlieb’s twilight scene.

Peter Wylie’s brutalist tower block “Goldfinger four (with Le Corbusier flaking paint from Villa La Roche)” is actually still occupied but the exterior of the worn old concrete monster offers little comfort. The golden windows that presumably inspired the title do seem to imply little pockets of cosy humanity lurking within.

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Dotted across the image are pieces of flaking paint taken from a Le Corbusier building – perhaps the remains of a previous, shining image, gradually chipped away to reveal the reality of high-rise communal living? Le Corbusier’s use of concrete has led to some grim surroundings for those living there and it has been noted that as a material it wears much worse in the wet conditions of Britain compared to the sunnier climes of the South of France.

The buildings in “Goldfinger” block out any glimpse of sky and look like they belong in the pages of “1984”; but it’s unclear what commentary Wylie is making beyond the appearance of the building. How do these designs impact of the lifestyle of those who live in them? As in the other works, people are invisible but here they are not absent. I didn’t feel comfortable making assumptions about whether this represented a dystopian future or present because of the possibly classist assumptions – these buildings are usually destined for lower-income people. Can high-density urban estates ever live up to the utopian dreams of those who design them?

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The exhibition overall was extremely thought-provoking and varied, from the landscapes to the portraiture. A large-scale religious painting of the crucifixion of Saint Peter, by Louis Smith, was among the most physically imposing of the works on display along with a knitted bear and a huge photo-real “forensic examination” of a bespectacled man, painted in minute gory detail by Oliver Jones.
The Ethical Fashion Forum has been popping up all over the place at here at Amelia’s Magazine. Back in June we covered the first section of their biannual competition established to reward good deeds regarding sustainability in Fashion. Titled PURE, cialis 40mg the winners – South African designer Lalesso and Malawi designer MIA– would display their designs at the PURE tradeshow. Yesterday in the rather lovely setting of the Hospital Club, the EFF announced the second half of their competition, the Esthetica awards. Judged by Dolly Jones from vogue.com.

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MIA

As the crowd waited perched on sofas, leaning against walls as we huddled round the catwalk Dolly Jones announced the winners: Mark Liu, Henrietta Ludgate (who was championed by Amelia’s Magazine earlier this year as a one to watch), MIA and Lalesso (both of whom you will have noticed were mentioned earlier in reference to winning the PURE awards in June).

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MIA

After the announcements, the catwalk begin to sounds of bouncing pop and the models began to work the room. Each designer sent two designs down the catwalk, as teasers for their entire line. I would have loved to have seen more of the collections. Especially as the majority, if not the entirety, of what was sent down the Innovation catwalk was jump-off-the-catwalk-and-onto-my-back wearable.

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Lalesso

To accompany the catwalk, the Ethical Fashion Forum provided recycled cardboard handouts detailing the reasons behind each designer’s selection. Mark Liu for developing a pattern cutting process that minimizes the amount of waste material produced by each garment, helping to “pioneering Zero Waste Fashion”. This made me think instantly of the “A-POC” line by Issey Miyake or taking it out of the acronym; the A piece of cloth project. From which the wearer is able to create endless items out of a single well-cut piece of fabric. Myakke is said to be continuing to develop this idea after becoming concerned about the impact of textile waste on the environment. It’s great to see young and established designers tackling the industry’s waste problem and turning it into a conceptual wearable idea. To compliment Liu’s pattern cutting he uses organic fabrics, low impact dyes and water based pigments. The two dresses, sent down the catwalk, were reminiscent of Peter Pan or an elfish child as they hung playfully off the models. Perfect for a summer’s day in the park.

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Lalesso

Henrietta Ludgate worked with Osman Yousefzada after graduating from St. Martins and is now starting her own label. Ludgate’s philosophy lies in the maintenance of British craftsmanship. All the materials are sourced from British Mills and the collection is made entirely in a traditional Scottish crofting village. Her dresses really intrigue me being a combination of what appears to be felt and fleece. The pieces (not shown on the catwalk, but worn by members of the audience) had a similar feel in their shapes as Matthew Williamson’s graduate collection at St Martins. The new collection contained a wearable jersey dress with interesting piping detail to structure the back. Alongside a maxi dress which appeared to be an extended bankers shirt.

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Henrietta Ludgate

Lalesso creates women’s wear out of traditional East African Fabrics, which translate perfectly for a Saturday spent walking around town and sitting in parks. The bold floral patterns were instantly eye catching.

MIA’s recycled fabrics and traditional Malawain textiles produced a refreshing take on up-cycling old urban sportswear into summer dresses.

The Innovation competition is importantly drawing attention to the numerous ways new designers are tackling challenges of sustainability that the fashion industry faces as a whole.

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Henriette Ludgate

MIA is tackling craftsman’s jobs lost through the abundance of cheap second hand clothes on Malawi’s market stalls by employing local people in the process of up-cycling. All profits are put back into the community support, as well as buying equipment and training to maintain market access and community livelihoods. Furthermore (thanks again to the cards handing out by the Ethical Fashion Industry at the show), Lalesso recently founded SOKO – an ethical and eco fashion production plant in Kenya. Offering opportunities for other design companies to produce collections with the profits and increased job market to benefit communities in Kenya.

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Mark Liu

The Ethical Fashion Forum and Innovation are proving not only that designers are environmentally aware when making their clothes and considering waste. But importantly they are using their businesses to recreate jobs and a skill based workforce in local communities effected by both the waste and desire for Fast Fashion.
The 25th London Fashion Week began yesterday in its new haunt of Somerset House. Turning up to register, stuff there was the expected photo crush as numerous street style photographers selected those most fashionably dressed to stand before their lens. Not surprisingly London Fashion Week has been a lesson on how to be scarily on trend. Leather studded Jackets check. Harem pants in black and multiple prints. Check. Statement shoes check.check.check. Big Power Shoulders. Check. The most amazing outfit –outside the catwalk- was on the front row at Ashley Islam (more to come on this collection later). Sitting next to Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child immaculat in Vivienne, what is ed was a rather beautiful man with an Anna Wintour bob,
complete with a dress made from nails. This often disregarded material was transformed into the ultimate disco dress, that tinkled out of shows.

On|Off presents their off schedule designers at 180 the Strand. Down in the industrial stylebasement, the catwalk appeared from behind plastic sheets and the ever ready crowd of journalists, photographers and buyers took their seats to view collections from Prose Studio, Yang Du, Michela Carraro and Joanna Vaderpuije.

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The Prose Studio Collection of bold oil slick printed dresses was first down the catwalk. The feminine fluent dresses billowed around the models, falling down from the neck, along the arms and tacking tightly in at the waist to fall once more to the knees.

Remember blowing paint across water’s surface to create marbling patterns when pressed onto paper? Prose Studio’s harem pants felt as if the fabric had been dipped into the solution and hung out to dry. The drapes of the pants were delicately covered leaving the leg fabric bare.

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The collection finished with a free flowing printed white tunic over white marbled dripped leggings.

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Next up were Michela Carraro’s deconstructed geishas complete with rags tied into bondage shoes, big 80′s shoulders remain on the catwalk alongside constructed sheer blouses.

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The shapes and layering were reminiscent of John Galliano’s personal style and diffusion line with an injection of Vivienne Westwood’s pirate’s collection. As the light blue piece sashayed down the catwalk, it suddenly struck.

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What was being offered was a re-invention of a feminine suit, capable of expressing personality rather than smothering it underneath a shapeless blazer. This was a collection representing the intriguing daywear as represented with the gallantly bold, bordering on the garish printed trousers, under tucked beneath the swashbuckling floating blouses held together at the front with delicate stitching. Completed with the bandaged shoes, the piece formed an illustrious silhouette when framed by photographers.

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Third was Joanna Wanderpuije’s elegant collection of modern shapes complete with the return of the perspex stars from the A/W collection, for S/S the stars are attached to the hips of the cotton skirt. Plenty of well cut shorts and printed tanks for effortless lux.

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Leather bra tops – continuing previous seasons’ trends for underwear as outwear- hardened the collection appearing under a cropped print jacket nestling above the high-waisted cream trouser. A splash of colour was provided with the up-pleated tunic dress. The collection was incredible wearable with Wanderpuije’s prints elegant in their application and beautifully sculpted from material.

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Fashion provides the opportunity to dive into new worlds, peer into another’s imagination. It can function similarly to illustration and convey a sense of being in the world and by being idiosyncratic tap into the public consciousness. The last piece from Yang Du‘s collection was one distinctive outfit from the Louis Vitton-esque rabbit ears combined with bold blue and white striped constructed-to-be-slouchy oversized dress.

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The outfit instantly burned into the retina, this was something to wear as unemployment rates soar, it’s warm and it’s bright. This was fun fantastical fashion and I loved the oversized knitted bag that followed the models down the catwalk as if a rather petulant child.

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As with all three previous designers, at Yang Du it was all about the detailing; tunic dresses were altered with cut away bra holes overlaid with fringing. Grinning cartoon faces contrasted wide blue knitted stripes, tight tight dresses were sent down with bold geometric black and white prints. Not forgetting the head adornments.

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A great start to London Fashion Week, a mix of eccentricity and wearable shapes with most importantly the clothes bringing a smile to one’s face.

the depths of 180 The Strand, dosage where this year’s On|Off catwalk be, Bernard Chandran is about to present his S/S2010 collection. I’m excited.

I saw Chandran’s A/W collection back in February. It was incredible, and I was concerned that this season’s couldn’t live up. I need not have worried.

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Yet another diverse and inspired collection, the first model appeared wearing a silk muzzle with a graphic pattern. These unusual face decorations featured prominently in the show. Printed, bejewelled, moulded from the shape of the face – it was clear they were making a statement. “It’s my reaction to climate change,” Bernard told me afterwards. It’s a provoking image we’re accustomed to seeing – during the SARS crisis and more recently with the swine-flu pandemic. Chandran has translated this evocative image and created masks of beauty.

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Dresses were striking, bold statement pieces, in hues ranging from ochre to pewter. Folds and flaps created geometric silhouettes, showcasing Chandran’s skills as a craftsman, and revealing a possible Hussein Chalayan influence.

Other pieces consisted of simple shift dresses enveloped by folded, dynamically-cut fabric, creating exaggerated shoulders and wing-like forms, apposing the contours of the female form.

I loved this glittered interpretation of the bustier. Fashion-forward women only, need apply:

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Patterns on masks and clothing had been translated directly from objects that surround Bernard in his day-to-day life. A stunning linear print in amber and black had been taken directly from “a basket that people give [Bernard} flowers in!” Bernard recalled. Looking again at the print makes sense of it – it appears almost photographic.

Another key look was the Chinese coolie hat, worn by a handful of models. Bernard in interesting in their form. “I like the way they fold, the way they are created – which can be said for a lot of my work,” Bernard told me. “The way an envelope folds, for example – like here,” as he gestured to a photograph on the wall backstage of a structured, geometric dress.

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The more feminine consumer need not worry, as the show also included elegantly draped smock dresses and sumptuous blouson skirts, in chiffon, with organic, natural prints. These pieces were the most surprising considering his A/W 09/10 collection was so bold and striking. “Sometimes you just have to,” Bernard laughed.

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There were so many different looks in this collection. It may sound as if the pieces were too disparate but this was not the case, as one after the other complimented each other, almost magically. Take the structured dress with exaggerated hips, fast becoming Bernard’s signature, juxtaposed with the softer sheer fabric pieces draped effortlessly over the models; juxtaposed with the hooded smock reminiscent, again, of an envelope; the prints and tones of each piece somehow beautifully transforming into the next.

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Soul singer Estelle is a huge fan of Chandran’s work, shunning major fashion houses to wear his looks at awards ceremonies, so it was no surprise to see Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and Beverley Knight wide-eyed on the front row. A Bernard Chandran woman is a glamorous, confident, ostentatious creature. It’s time this design hero took centre stage on-schedule. Sort it out, BFC!

All photographs and text by Matt Bramford
In the uninspiring BFC tent situated in the beautiful Neoclassical courtyard of the totally inspiring Somerset House, click Turkish-born Bora Aksu presented his Spring/Summer 2010 collection yesterday. He drew a huge turn-out, website like this and the buzz surrounding this designer is palpable.

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It’s easy to see why. Bora’s style is elegant meets grunge, viagra buy decorative meets diverse. Inspired by a children’s story, Bora’s was a collection of confident charm. Monochrome, sequinned leggings were semi-concealed by free, floating lace dresses, making use of a pale pink palette. Ostentatious, almost cape like billowing sleeves, complimented basic mini dresses, and garments were accoladed by additional design quirks such as the bow and pussy-bow ties.

Tailored shrunken jackets with exaggerated shoulders (fast becoming a LFW S/S 2010 trend) were embellished with lace and severe gold appliqué, creating mysterious shapes off-set by neutral shirts and tulip skirts in pale tones, bordering on white.

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Bora’s inspiration was most apparent through his use of romantic baroque prints in light pink and black. Used on accessories and corseted belts, these were married with softer fabrics such as organza. Dramatic, high necklines gave a nod to the Victorians whilst the hair was reminiscent of the French Revolution through delicate braiding and extravagant backcombing.

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The collection grew in confidence, beginning with the aforementioned, almost apologetic pale hues and climaxing with more provocative pieces in black and silver. The air sizzled as these structured pieces, with the reappearance of the shoulder-enhancing blazer, had real sex appeal.

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Vests and trousers were teamed for a sharper, masculine look, and featured organic and interesting knitted shapes, as if torn or ripped. These additional adornments hung between the modal’s neck and chest evoked images of the human anatomy. The model and designer laid bare for all to watch.

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Bora Aksu’s signature style is ‘romanticism with a darker edge,’ which pretty much summarises this unique and considered collection.

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All text and pictures by Matt Bramford
Nova Dando designs are and for theatrical performance – as well as being a DJ, pill stylist to many of music’s finest, ailment including La Roux, order a creative fashion designer and a burgeoning music director. Dando is high achieving at 26.

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So, on the first evening of LFW, we are treated to a peak at her eagerly awaited Rainbow Collection in true party style, away from the confines of a straight and restrictive runway. Fun and frollicks was the theme down at The Hospital Club amongst an audience of the UK’s music glitterati. And for me, the whole evening encapsulated our fashion capital – music, creativity and wanting to be seen or scene in London.

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First off was the video portrait series by music video director, Saam Farahmand, showing an assortment of Boombox types cutting loose to their favourite tracks. Don’t ask me how, but this was mixed live before our very eyes. After that, The House Of Dangerkat sprung onto the stage to liven things up. Wearing items from the Rainbow Collection, that included long tassled pom poms for sleeves and colourfully layered crop tops, the dance collective gratingly displayed the versatility and excitement of Nova’s dramatic garments.

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The aforementioned flame-haired one, all over our fashion pages and radio airwaves, provided the musical entertainment. With a skyscraper quiff, gelled to cartoon proportions, thrusting out of her fedora and technicolour glitter accessorising her eyes, it’s no wonder the synth club kid and Nova have made such a winning team. Shout outs to the designer abound La Roux’s performance and the audience whooped.

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After bouncing to some hits, there was nothing else for it but to view what we were all there for, Nova Dando’s Rainbow Collection. Ever unconventional, the pieces were displayed in a film, directed by Saam Farahmand. With the strobe lighting and the latent sexiness of the short, you could have easily mistaken the model for a gothed up Britney Spears. The downside of a film projection is that, you are left not totally sure what the clothes looked like – there were characteristically big shoulders, theatricality, black, lace and possibly leather. The upside, it leaves you so intrigued yet impressed by the ingenuity of the collection’s presentation. That the name, Nova Dando, will no doubt be reverberated throughout the remainder of London Fashion Week and a few music videos too.

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Nova Dando is currently a Creative In Residence at The Hospital Club. See picture’s of the rainbow collection on Twitter and watch Nova’s designs on film here:


So it’s the first day of London Fashion Week 2009 and beady-eyed Amelia’s Magazine have already spotted Joan Collins at the top of a ramp doing a royal wave, viagra buy Boris Johnson looking a bit shifty, buy more about and various T4 presenters looking undeservedly pleased with themselves. The circus aside, there’s also the opportunity to see some exciting fashion. That’s what we’re here for after all, and this year’s hosting venue is Somerset House, which really is as grand and fabulous as the city itself deserves, especially as last year LFW was nearly munched by the beastly New York fashion week.

My first show of the week was courtesy of London-based Korean designer Eun Jeong, who after completing the MA at Central St Martins went on to win last year’s Fashion Fringe with a collection of draping, tailoring and Grecian gowns. Building on the same aesthetic this year, Jeong’s wholly feminine designs were intricate and weightless, with a cream and ivory colour palette that seemed to be out of somebody’s naughty bedroom up in castle of clouds, and was accompanied by a soundtrack of twisted baroque guitar.

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Treating her fabrics to beading, ruching, pleating, and folding with oodles of lace and delicate foil appliqués, the collection practically had the word bridal scrawled over it in gigantic neon letters. Yet with sharp tailoring and consistently lighter-than-light fabrics it was beautifully modern, with the big-barneted models sporting ankle socks and pairs of bright white trainers with satin bows. Sex (as with any righteous honeymoon) was on the agenda, with the pyjama-esque looks and draping often reminiscent of a girl wrapped in a lover’s bed sheets, making it a collection dressed in intimacy.

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As with last year (and with about a million other designers) some big old power shoulders were on show, with Amelia’s Magazine’s particular favourite a fabulous blazer with a jagged foil print – with Jeong proving that her woman can bloody well be a business-bride if she wants to. Whilst – generally speaking – I enjoy fashion at its biggest and weirdest, Jeong’s dreamy vision was gloriously inviting and is the sort of thing to sell like hot cakes. A great first show, thanks for having us.

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The new collection from Osman Yousefzada (whose label is now called just “Osman”, for sale possibly because the fash industry was incapable of saying his Afghan surname) felt short and sharp, hospital possibly because the clothes were all riffs on the theme of white, viagra approved and although inspirations from around the globe seemed to abound, the supremely restrained colour palette held it together. Against the background of completely pure white, even the patches and splashes of glimmering gold looked muted and discreet.

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In some ways this show felt like a polite refusal to join in with the other children. While fashion gets into its 80s swing and the shoulder becomes king, Osman sent a deeply 90s slinky maxi dress down the catwalk, with one white, square pocket and one gold one. Some garments featured a cut-out where the shoulder should be, which my next-door neighbour at the show, Debbie from Tank magazine, whispered was like the “anti-shoulder”, a snub to Balmainia.

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This was certainly not a blingy collection despite the gold, and the 90s reminders persisted with capri trousers, crinkle blouses and nautical rope details. As for silhouettes, as well as chic Orange County grandma, there were prim Park Avenue princesses in coats and polo shirts, as well as the hint of the Middle East and North Africa in the beaten quality of the gold, in rings around models’ ankles and necks and in the undone shapes of tunics and long dresses.

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Osman’s inspiration was in fact Wallis Simpson, the woman who lured away a king, visiting President Nixon. It’s hard to imagine that meeting in general, let alone occurring in these clothes, but perhaps this is the wardrobe of a worldly American in the Henry James vein, a far cry from the brash stereotype of the American tourist and instead beautiful, charming, interested in the world and yet conservative in comparison to her European cousins.

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The strength of this collection was in its refusal to follow current manias and it felt a step apart from the recent explorations into the dark and the gothic by many designers. Quietly confident shapes and the use of soft but resilient-looking fabrics, which looked much prettier and more wearable away from the harsh flashes of the professional photographers. The fabrics were made possible by Osman’s collaboration with a new Italian fabric company and the quality shows in a collection that resists either sexiness or girly prettiness and instead prefers to be worn by women who make history.
Finally. Finally, viagra sale finally, viagra 100mg finally. I had been gagging for some good ol’ fashion glamour this Fashion Week, viagra dosage with previous shows only dampening the appetite and never satisfying. Thanks be to God for OLANIC – aka Niki Taylor – who served up a plate full of the stuff, with a huge dollop of disco and a side order of sexy.

In the spectacular Freemason’s Hall, the venue for this year’s Vauxhall Fashion Scout and by far the most inspiring venue, the show began. Heaven knows how they managed to squeeze all those models backstage – the hair was so huge and oh so Studio 54. I hope back-combing makes a comeback.

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It’s difficult to do disco that works – it’s a fine line between seductive chic and terrible pantomime. OLANIC hit exactly the right combination of aesthetic materials and design quirks allied with confident cutting and supreme tailoring, making OLANIC’s collection a winner.

Transparent tops were teamed with geometric leggings and cropped jackets. Simple shift dresses were pinched in at the waist with deep belts, enhanced by polka-dot lace sleeves, or given full sleeves for a more masculine look.

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Disco wasn’t the exact influence; more dance as whole (save anything ballroom). Elements of tap and ballet were there, but I don’t expect the overall collection would go down too well with, say, Margot Fonteyn or Debbie Reynolds!
The show featured two fantastic jump-suits – the epitome of the disco era and no mistake. One was a gold lamé number with grey marl jersey sleeves and bat-wing shoulders, creating an almost bionic silhouette.

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The other, a racy little one piece, body-conscious in lace and embellished with jewels from right shoulder to left hip. Hot Stuff.

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Although these pieces stood out as the strongest, delicate florals and bow embellishments should not be overlooked. These were teamed with masculine tailoring, re-working the suit and exaggerating the female form.

Fabulous fringing, inspired by flamenco but re-worked for today, transformed simple yet sassy body-con dresses into outfits fit for the dancefloor…

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…while this beaded sash teamed with lamé, or maybe even leather, completely summarises this sleek collection.

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OLANIC’s show is definitely one of my LFW highlights so far. That’s The Way I Like It.

All photographs by Matt Bramford

Categories ,25th, ,70’s glam, ,dance, ,London Fashion Week, ,olanic, ,platforms, ,Somerset House

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week Interview: Northumbria’s Naomi New

Illustration by Dan Heffer

Around the monolithic event that is Graduate Fashion Week at Earl’s Court, unhealthy there exists what might be known as satellite events. This is no way refers to the quality of work that is on display only to the difference in size between shows. I was lucky enough to visit the millenary on show at Kensington and Chelsea College’s end of year show.

I’m not sure whether it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the constant press attention regarding the ladies hats at certain races (hello Ainscourt) but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear.

Illustration by Lauren

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and a joy to photograph through the sculpture shapes. Each Milliner had created a story around their final product, treatment some of the topics covered envoked narcassim, link Alice in Wonderland to old myths and Legends.

Illustration by Krister Selin

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer

Around the monolithic event that is Graduate Fashion Week at Earl’s Court, prescription there exists what might be known as satellite events. This is no way refers to the quality of work that is on display only to the difference in size between shows. I was lucky enough to visit the millenary on show at Kensington and Chelsea College’s end of year show.

I’m not sure whether it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the constant press attention regarding the ladies hats at certain races (hello Ainscourt) but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear.

Illustration by Lauren

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and a joy to photograph through the sculpture shapes. Each Milliner had created a story around their final product, some of the topics covered envoked narcassim, Alice in Wonderland

to old myths and Legends.

Illustration by Krister Selin

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Naomi New was undoubtedly one of the highlights at Graduate Fashion Week 2010. Her incredible costumes dazzled the press and had me bouncing up and down on my seat at the Northumbria show and the Gala Show, medical for which Naomi was one of very few students selected.

I had a chance to have a chat with Naomi about her experience of Graduate Fashion Week, her advice for next year’s brood, and what the future has in store.

Why did you choose to study fashion?
I have always been fascinated with clothes, how they define who we are and communicate that to others. When I was young I used to dance and loved designing my own costumes, picking fabrics and even helping sewing on sequins; so from early on I have always known I was going to be a fashion designer.

Did you undertake any placements during your studies?
I did two internships. I spent one month with womenswear designer Aimee McWilliams, then went on to spend five months with a high street supply company, Pentex Ltd. This gave me a fantastic insight into working in fashion in two different areas.

What inspires you, both for this collection and generally?
I am a hands on designer who immerses themselves into the brief. I believe that inspiration is all around us and never leave home without a camera or a sketchpad. I like to visit as many exhibitions and museums as possible, visit archives to get a closer look at my subject and always feel inspired by theatre and film. The inspiration for my collection came from my life long love of horse riding and a visit to the royal armouries at the Tower of London where they were showing Henry VIII armour. As my research developed I looked at military wear and most importantly the post-apocalypse films Mad Max.
The concept behind the collection really came from the Mad Max Road Warrior film, where Max battles with both good and bad to survive in a world that had been abused; where survivors were left with nothing. I felt that the story wasn’t too dissimilar to what we are living now, with the recession. I wanted to make a collection to equip the modern day woman in her quest to be successful throughout her life.

Your collection was one of the most flamboyant and creative of any I saw at GFW. Did you consciously decide to avoid commercial viability, or was this not a factor?
I didn’t set out to make something crazy and out there, I just knew that that was what was going to happen – it’s just me and I am very happy you think my collection was one of the most creative at GFW. That’s a massive compliment.
When designing and making the collection I was very conscious of the fact that this was probably going to be the only chance I would have to do something totally me and totally the way I wanted it. I took a risk in doing so but I worked very hard to ensure the collection was theatrical and flamboyant while still beautiful with intricate and authentic details. I think the risk paid off, the collection is everything I dreamed of.

You made use of materials with high aesthetic appeal and avoided bright colours. Is there any reason for this?
The colour story of my collection was inspired by the Mad Max film I have mentioned – in the film two rival gangs fight, one dressed in white and the other black, so I decided to have halve the collection with these colours.
I wanted each look to make a statement, so I decided to have each look mainly one-block colour for the most graphic impact.
From my equestrian and armour influence I knew I wanted to use leather, suede, metal and neoprene, all fabrics that protect the body. But the Mad Max film inspired me to push the metal hardware content and look to further alternative materials such as ostrich, bone, chain, horse hair and human hair.

What did you like about Northumbria and Newcastle in general?
I chose to study at Northumbria for its amazing reputation and facilities. I couldn’t have asked for better tutors and technical staff. I’m also based close by in Sunderland and at the time of applying for universities I felt it would be foolish to move away when I live so close to a great university. Living at home also ment that I have been able to really focus on my studies.

How did it feel to be selected for the Gala show? Did you expect to win?
I never in a million years thought I would be chosen for the gala. I was delighted to show at GFW and that was enough for me, seeing my collection open the Northumbria show was amazing. In fact, as soon as the last look in my collection left the catwalk, I couldn’t stop crying! It was so overwhelming and what I had dreamed for.
When I found out about the gala I couldn’t believe it, it is such an honor that the judges liked my work and it was a privilege to show the gala judges my portfolio. The gala show itself was amazing and I got to meet some great people through it, too.

Does this open even more doors?
I think being in the top ten has opened more doors for me, I have had a lot of interest from stylists and photographers who want to use pieces after seeing them in the gala show, which is fantastic. A few looks are possibly going to China in the next couple of weeks for a promotion event for GFW, which is amazing too.


Photographs by Matt Bramford

You received a lot of attention from the press, who compared your collection to both Lady Gaga and Elvis‘ wardrobes. How does that feel?
I was over the moon with all of the press attention. My muse is Lady Gaga, so when I read the references to her I was delighted. I admire her strength and individuality and feel she is the prime example of a woman who has had to use dramatic fashion in the battle to be noticed and be successful. When working on the collection having Lady Gaga as my muse gave me confidence to keep pushing myself further and further, to create something people could see her wearing, it would be a dream to see them on her. The Elvis suggestions are a compliment too, I grew up with my dad always playing Elvis’ music and I have always regarded him as one of my personal fashion icons, so this must have shown through.

Which designers do you admire or look to for inspiration?
As you can see from my collection I like drama in fashion and have always admired Alexander McQueen’s showmanship and rebelliousness. I am also really inspired by the work of Iris Van Herpen; she uses a lot of leather in her collections with amazing detail so I worked hard to aspire to her standards when making my collection.

What advice would you give to students preparing their collections for GFW 2011?
I would tell them to go with their heart and work harder than you ever thought you could work. Always look for ways that you can improve and develop your work and ask for and listen to feedback from tutors and peers. It is the most amazing year you will ever have and all the hard work really does pay off – you will want to do it all over again.

What do you have planned for the coming months?
In the next couple of months I will be sending some pieces to China as I said and will also be showing some pieces from the collection at Pure London where they are organising a similar GFW show, which is really exciting. I want to continue making one off pieces that have a similar feel to my collection. Other than that I will be looking to relocate in London where I will be open to all opportunities that (hopefully) come my way!

Categories ,Aimee McWilliams, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Armour, ,China, ,dance, ,drama, ,Elvis, ,fashion, ,film, ,Gala Show, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Henry VIII, ,Iris Van Harpen, ,Lady Gaga, ,london, ,Mad Max, ,Matt Bramford, ,Naomi New, ,Newcastle, ,Northumbria, ,Pentex Ltd, ,Pure London, ,Sequins, ,theatre, ,Tower of London, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion in Motion at the V&A: Osman Yousefzada

Thumbnail Born Ruffians

God Bless Canada. Quietly producing some of the most influential and downright awesome musicians known to all mankind (I’m talking Neil Young, information pills Joni Mitchell, prostate Leonard Cohen & Arcade Fire here rather than Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams, by the way. Although, lets face it, after a few Camparis ‘Summer of 69’ is a chooon…) the Canucks are still chucking out quality music at an alarming rate these days.

Having cemented themselves firmly into the collective consciousness of the indie scenesters in 2008 with their successful debut album ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’, Toronto’s jangly pop darlings Born Ruffians are back with ‘Say It’, the notoriously tricky second album. And tricky it certainly is.
The first thing to clear up is that there is nothing as instantly toe-tappingly poptastic as ‘Hummingbird’ on this record. What we get instead is a sense of impending maturity and a feeling that our kids are all grown up.

Having happily settled into their own skins on this album, they seem less frantic and desperate to impress. This newfound maturity may mean a less instant record musically, but what we do get is a more laid back affair and what I believe will eventually been seen as more impressive an album than their debut. Still replete with the familiar jerky vocal twitchings of lead singer and guitarist Luke LaLonde, whose voice on this record goes from Alex Turner to David Byrne to Ben ‘Band of Horses’ Bridwell from one track to the next, ‘Say It’ displays a wider variety of influence and style which subsequently paints a much broader musical picture than it’s slightly one dimensional predecessor. This ability to develop and grow musically pulls them gently out of the indie schmindie pop kids category, placing them on the periphery of ‘respectable musical outfit’. Luckily they manage this shift in style without entirely losing the cheeky twinkle in the eye that saturated ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’ so appealingly.
Lead single ‘Sole Brother’ is the most radio friendly track on offer here, with a lazy slacker melody line and charmingly mellow weaving guitars. This is the one that inadvertently burrows into your ear and pops up on your internal jukebox a week later when you’re in the queue at Sainsburys. And then stays there for the next two weeks.

Best named track of the year, ‘Retard Canard’, is clearly indebted to Talking Heads early output, with mildly threatening heartbeat pounding exercise in eccentricity ‘The Ballad Of Moose Bruce’ seeing the band forget the commercial future of their music for a second and genuinely get stuck into some cheeky geeky indie eccentricity. And it works. For the most part. What is frustrating about this record is that every song throws up so many overt musical references that it becomes more an exercise in ‘what track/band does this remind you of?’ than in appreciating Born Ruffians on their own merit. Yet this album certainly gets under your skin.
In ‘Retard Canard’ we hear LaLonde yelp about wanting to set the world on fire. Sadly it is unlikely that this record is going to get even close to doing that, but it is still a fine example of a band developing their sound and style, yet not losing their ‘wink at the camera’ playfulness. They still have some way to go before they are up there with the likes of fellow Toronto exports Broken Social Scene in experimental musical terms, but they are getting there. Perhaps if they stopped wrapping up their dark and pain-laden lyrics in such a shiny pop sheen, we might start to see the real band and hear what they are truly capable of. ‘Say It’ makes me hungry to hear what they are going to deliver to us next, which can only be a good thing. This record is, for want of a better term, a ‘grower’ that, if you can be bothered to put the work in, pays dividends in the end. Give it a listen. Or five. It’s well worth it.

God Bless Canada. Quietly producing some of the most influential and downright awesome musicians known to all mankind (I’m talking Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, viagra 40mg Leonard Cohen & Arcade Fire here rather than Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams, by the way. Although, lets face it, after a few Camparis ‘Summer of 69’ is a chooon…) the Canucks are still chucking out quality music at an alarming rate these days.

Having cemented themselves firmly into the collective consciousness of the indie scenesters in 2008 with their successful debut album ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’, Toronto’s jangly pop darlings Born Ruffians are back with ‘Say It’, the notoriously tricky second album. And tricky it certainly is.
The first thing to clear up is that there is nothing as instantly toe-tappingly poptastic as ‘Hummingbird’ on this record. What we get instead is a sense of impending maturity and a feeling that our kids are all grown up.

Having happily settled into their own skins on this album, they seem less frantic and desperate to impress. This newfound maturity may mean a less instant record musically, but what we do get is a more laid back affair and what I believe will eventually been seen as more impressive an album than their debut. Still replete with the familiar jerky vocal twitchings of lead singer and guitarist Luke LaLonde, whose voice on this record goes from Alex Turner to David Byrne to Ben ‘Band of Horses’ Bridwell from one track to the next, ‘Say It’ displays a wider variety of influence and style which subsequently paints a much broader musical picture than it’s slightly one dimensional predecessor. This ability to develop and grow musically pulls them gently out of the indie schmindie pop kids category, placing them on the periphery of ‘respectable musical outfit’. Luckily they manage this shift in style without entirely losing the cheeky twinkle in the eye that saturated ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’ so appealingly.
Lead single ‘Sole Brother’ is the most radio friendly track on offer here, with a lazy slacker melody line and charmingly mellow weaving guitars. This is the one that inadvertently burrows into your ear and pops up on your internal jukebox a week later when you’re in the queue at Sainsburys. And then stays there for the next two weeks.

Best named track of the year, ‘Retard Canard’, is clearly indebted to Talking Heads early output, with mildly threatening heartbeat pounding exercise in eccentricity ‘The Ballad Of Moose Bruce’ seeing the band forget the commercial future of their music for a second and genuinely get stuck into some cheeky geeky indie eccentricity. And it works. For the most part. What is frustrating about this record is that every song throws up so many overt musical references that it becomes more an exercise in ‘what track/band does this remind you of?’ than in appreciating Born Ruffians on their own merit. Yet this album certainly gets under your skin.
In ‘Retard Canard’ we hear LaLonde yelp about wanting to set the world on fire. Sadly it is unlikely that this record is going to get even close to doing that, but it is still a fine example of a band developing their sound and style, yet not losing their ‘wink at the camera’ playfulness. They still have some way to go before they are up there with the likes of fellow Toronto exports Broken Social Scene in experimental musical terms, but they are getting there. Perhaps if they stopped wrapping up their dark and pain-laden lyrics in such a shiny pop sheen, we might start to see the real band and hear what they are truly capable of. ‘Say It’ makes me hungry to hear what they are going to deliver to us next, which can only be a good thing. This record is, for want of a better term, a ‘grower’ that, if you can be bothered to put the work in, pays dividends in the end. Give it a listen. Or five. It’s well worth it.

God Bless Canada. Quietly producing some of the most influential and downright awesome musicians known to all mankind (I’m talking Neil Young, treatment Joni Mitchell, healing Leonard Cohen & Arcade Fire here rather than Celine Dion, viagra dosage Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams, by the way. Although, lets face it, after a few Camparis ‘Summer of 69’ is a chooon…) the Canucks are still chucking out quality music at an alarming rate these days.

Having cemented themselves firmly into the collective consciousness of the indie scenesters in 2008 with their successful debut album ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’, Toronto’s jangly pop darlings Born Ruffians are back with ‘Say It’, the notoriously tricky second album. And tricky it certainly is.
The first thing to clear up is that there is nothing as instantly toe-tappingly poptastic as ‘Hummingbird’ on this record. What we get instead is a sense of impending maturity and a feeling that our kids are all grown up.

Having happily settled into their own skins on this album, they seem less frantic and desperate to impress. This newfound maturity may mean a less instant record musically, but what we do get is a more laid back affair and what I believe will eventually been seen as more impressive an album than their debut. Still replete with the familiar jerky vocal twitchings of lead singer and guitarist Luke LaLonde, whose voice on this record goes from Alex Turner to David Byrne to Ben ‘Band of Horses’ Bridwell from one track to the next, ‘Say It’ displays a wider variety of influence and style which subsequently paints a much broader musical picture than it’s slightly one dimensional predecessor. This ability to develop and grow musically pulls them gently out of the indie schmindie pop kids category, placing them on the periphery of ‘respectable musical outfit’. Luckily they manage this shift in style without entirely losing the cheeky twinkle in the eye that saturated ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’ so appealingly.
Lead single ‘Sole Brother’ is the most radio friendly track on offer here, with a lazy slacker melody line and charmingly mellow weaving guitars. This is the one that inadvertently burrows into your ear and pops up on your internal jukebox a week later when you’re in the queue at Sainsburys. And then stays there for the next two weeks.

Best named track of the year, ‘Retard Canard’, is clearly indebted to Talking Heads early output, with mildly threatening heartbeat pounding exercise in eccentricity ‘The Ballad Of Moose Bruce’ seeing the band forget the commercial future of their music for a second and genuinely get stuck into some cheeky geeky indie eccentricity. And it works. For the most part. What is frustrating about this record is that every song throws up so many overt musical references that it becomes more an exercise in ‘what track/band does this remind you of?’ than in appreciating Born Ruffians on their own merit. Yet this album certainly gets under your skin.
In ‘Retard Canard’ we hear LaLonde yelp about wanting to set the world on fire. Sadly it is unlikely that this record is going to get even close to doing that, but it is still a fine example of a band developing their sound and style, yet not losing their ‘wink at the camera’ playfulness. They still have some way to go before they are up there with the likes of fellow Toronto exports Broken Social Scene in experimental musical terms, but they are getting there. Perhaps if they stopped wrapping up their dark and pain-laden lyrics in such a shiny pop sheen, we might start to see the real band and hear what they are truly capable of. ‘Say It’ makes me hungry to hear what they are going to deliver to us next, which can only be a good thing. This record is, for want of a better term, a ‘grower’ that, if you can be bothered to put the work in, pays dividends in the end. Give it a listen. Or five. It’s well worth it.

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, find although previously I had been taking photographs for a long time, information pills it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use my photographs as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvally in November’ which I re read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on Short Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath; since training as a photographer, drugs Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, ed Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on Short Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath; since training as a photographer, cialis 40mg Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on short film Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath, ask since training as a photographer, Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on short film Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath, discount since training as a photographer, this Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on short film Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath, find since training as a photographer, Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on short film Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

GUS AKERMAN aka AUGUSTA AKERMAN is an incredibly talented polymath, website since training as a photographer, Akerman has turned her hand and eye to a variety of creative endeavors: Art Direction, Set Design, Still and Fine Art Photography, Illustration and costume design. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Augusta with regards to this skilled multi-tasking whilst picking her brains for any tips she has for budding creatives…

The work is rooted in a sense of humanity, questioning human behaviour and ideas of natural selection, photography and illustration lend themselves to this action of watching and recording the minutie of everyday life (See Amelia’s Magazine’s Review on the new Tate Show exploring the Voyeristic nature of the Camera). With this in mind lets delve into the interview…

What came first photography or illustration?

I started taking photography seriously during my A levels, although I had been taking photographs for a long time, it was my Design Technology teacher who encouraged me to use them as my final piece. As for drawing, it is quite a new thing for me, I was very unconfident with my drawing skills at school and quit Art as a subject due to an ongoing struggle against Art teachers who despaired at my dysfunctional representations of still lives and self-portraits. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art I started to keep small drawing books that I would show to no one, and then suddenly I realized I was drawing every day and forcing people to look at them!

How did the illustration drawing book project develop?

The book project developed over a long period of time in which I drew every day. It started as a way to try and improve my drawing “practice makes perfect etc, etc” and ended up being a culmination of everything I did that month. The shows I went to see, the books I read, the conversations I overheard until I then put the drawings, scribblings and photographs into some kind of order. The book as a format is such an amazing instrument for an artist to explain themselves, and without sounding too dictatorial, can direct the viewer through handpicked images in sequence with a kind of reveal. I love making the books, as everything however small or silly suddenly becomes something in its own right when put alone on a page or sat opposite another image.

What inspires you on a day to day basis?

It changes all the time. Mostly its social histories, how people lived and how they survived, what they did/ do with their time. I’m inspired by a lot of literature from science fiction to The Moomins especially ‘Moominvalley in November’ which I re-read recently and found it to contain such perfect descriptions of the funny character traits of humans. The Imperial War Museum is one of my favorite places and one I find especially inspiring as well as the British Museum with its collection of the ‘Lewis Chessmen’. Working on jobs where you meet so many different people every couple of weeks, becoming very close very quickly due to waking up at 5 in the morning looking awful! And spending the whole day together whilst having to be completely silent during takes is quite inspiring.

You’ve been involved in a range of projects from photography to short films as well as illustration. Could you perhaps talk a little about how you manage all your different projects?

Working freelance I think is the most wonderful thing, although tough and discouraging at times I think that it allows me to really enjoy all the projects I happen to be involved in, be them personal or as part of a bigger production. Creating a website for me was also a fantastic way to keep working privately and still have the chance to allow others to see the work I was making as an artist who is also looking for a job! Balancing working as part of the Art Department for productions and Photography I find is very natural. I enjoy creating sets and props, thinking about characters and colour and then find that Photography allows me to see the reality as an image. I feel that when I take stills on a film I have worked on as an art director or part of the art department I am more sensitive to the character within the set environment we have created, celebrating the set and including it within the photograph with I think is sometimes unfortunately overlooked when filming begins. Where illustration and drawing is concerned I draw with the hope of perhaps making a new book or exhibiting, this is generally done in the studio in my spare time.

How did these projects develop? And in a difficult market do you have any tips for graduates/art students currently thinking about job prospects outside of the relative safety of university?

After leaving art school I spent months on the internet looking for Photography jobs or jobs that would allow me to still be involved in making things and thinking about artists and talking about creative making to people. Which is I think what many recent graduates miss when coming out of university and not having anyone to talk to about arty farty things. After a while I started e-mailing Photographers, Art Directors, Production designers all people whose work I had seen and really enjoyed. Some got back to me some didn’t, but through the safety of email I managed to convince some people that I was hard working and a willing assistant. For someone coming out of University I would say once again that making and maintaining a website is such a fantastic tool to show people that you do work, you do make things and that you are interested.

What has your favourite project been so far?

Most recently I made a short film with my brother, a collaboration between several art schools in different countries. It was his project but I said I would like to help out, we made huge Bauhaus inspired costumes out of paper and fabric and filmed still tableaux’s of them destroying their property, it sounds crazy but it was so much fun! I also recently worked on a short film called ‘AilemA’, about a young girl coming to terms with Dyslexia who mixes words and drawings together on paper and all over her bedroom wall. I made a lot of the artwork for the film and used many of my drawings to cover a wall in the girl’s bedroom. It was not only the fact that I got to do a lot of my particular style of drawing for the film but I also had rather sentimental feelings for the story due to being a dyslexic myself.

What was your experience working on short film Rain? How did this opportunity develop?

Working on ‘Rain’ was a fantastic and yet surreal experience for me, the Production designer and I went to stay in the location for nearly two weeks, we dressed the sets all day and then withdrew to the attic to sleep at night. It definitely was one of the bigger short films I have worked on highlighted by the fact we had to have a rain machine on constantly throughout the whole shoot. I was fortunate to get this opportunity through the fantastic production designer; Miren Maranon, who I often work with. She is fantastic to work with and extremely talented I owe a lot to her.

What was your role on set?

Usually on set I work as a standby art director, art department assistant or stills photographer. I do enjoy working on set but my favourite part is definitely the pre production. Coming up with ideas and colour palates, finding and making props, its always quite sad breaking down the set at the end of the shoot.

You have shown in an extensive range of galleries – what is the nature of your work in these exhibitions?

In most of these exhibitions the work I have shown has been Photographic with perhaps some of the handmade books. It is only recently that I have shown a video piece and have never had a show based solely around the drawings. The subject matter of the exhibitions is dependant on what I am interested in at the time. For ages I was obsessed with this book ‘England in Particular’ and would go to National Trust properties photographing Dovecotes and village Yew trees. Although coming from a fine art background my photography has more of a documentary style to it. Whereas my illustrations are not realistic at all, but completely the opposite, they try to get the right size, shape and proportion but fail and maybe because they fail so spectacularly I like them.

Who are your favourite designers/photographers/illustrators?

I have many favorite artists, designers, and photographers. The ones I can think of at the moment are… the photographer Rinko Kawauchi, sculptor Richard Long, writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, writer and illustrator Rudyard Kipling, photographer Martin Parr, writer Douglas Adams, photographer Tierney Gearon, photographer Richard Billingham, photographer Homer Sykes, illustrator Pauline Baynes, artist David Shrigley and artist Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on….

Do you look at any blogs or use twitter to communicate as part of your creative practice?

No I do not really use twitter, but I do look at quite a lot of blogs to do with fashion, drawing, photography, magazines, news and opinion etc. I really respect people who create blogs and websites in their own spare time about the subjects they are enthusiastic about. It’s interesting to see how this generation has become so confident in themselves as a singular inventor or creator. Drawings and artwork don’t have to hide away in the corner of a studio or under a bed, someone somewhere will accidentally come across them and think “hey! That’s great!”

What role do you see photographers and illustrators playing in society?

A role with as much importance as anything else, illustration is such a natural way of communicating ideas to people and provides a kind of escapism for both the drawer and the viewer. Photography has provided us the perfect mirror and document of the time we live in and the ability to really see the past. Both mediums contribute to society by allowing us to take a step back and enjoy human invention and imagination.

What’s next for Augusta?

Not long ago I moved into a new studio in Elephant and Castle with my friend Carolyn here we come up with lots of ideas for projects and spend the evening drawing and talking, mostly talking! We are hoping to have a small exhibition in the studio later this year. During the summer I am starting work on my first feature film, which is so exciting, fingers crossed it will all go well!

Could you tell me about your short film plan for the summer?

Im not sure how much I can say! Its a kind of dark british comedy being shot in and around London about a burglar. The production company and crew is made up of lots of people I worked with before so I am very excited to see them all again. We have been discussing the films atmosphere and colour palate for some time now and I cant wait to get started in the next couple of weeks choosing materials and seeing locations.

Illustration by Eugenia Tsimiklis

In my honest opinion, drug the V&A is the single most wonderful museum in the world. Where else can you pass by Medieval sculpture, viagra 60mg breeze by centuries-old Japanese textiles and pass under Renaissance frescos to marvel at Dame Edna’s full-english-breakfast frock? At the V&A, I tell ya!

I was here today for the latest Fashion in Motion catwalk show – events that bring the runway to the public and make watching fashion, in this sense, accessible.

This time it was the turn of Osman Yousefzada, Afghan-born and British-based fashion designer.


Illustration by Leah Wilson

Taking my seat on the front row, it’s always incredible to look around and see what type of people attend these events. Today’s crowd was made up mostly of the usual breed of fashionista-slash-scenester, but it’s always great to see how diverse this crowd is – particularly the two little old dears who were sitting by my side. They were in the mid-to-late seventies I’d say, but they looked absolutely gorgeous and told me ‘they love a catwalk show!’

The show began with a burst of loud music and a very muscular man appeared wearing one of Osman’s body-concious floor-length creations (womenswear, I hasten to add). As he moved down the catwalk robotically, whoops and cheers were heard, and his lean frame began to dance in that fascinating interpretative style that I defy anybody to fully explain or understand. He was joined by a girl who came hurtling and spinning down the catwalk, her aesthetic a-line pleated Osman creation getting maximum exposure from her delicate moves.

When the ‘fashion’ part of the show kicked in, it was easy to see why Osman is celebrated internationally for his forward-thinking fashion. In this semi-retrospective of his work, the key themes were glamour, sophistication and body-concious ensembles. These four strutted their stuff first.

Quickly the show gathered pace and we were treated to a whistle-stop tour of Osman’s previous and present collections. Body-con was again high on the list of things to see, along with a range of delicate and very, very feminine short dresses.


Illustration by Eugenia Tsimiklis

Osman’s style is hard to pin down. It’s glamorous, at times futuristic but never, ever boring. At first glance many of the pieces are wonderfully simple, but always with a twist: like an oversized tafetta corsage in post-box red, or a metallic gold bodice.

Osman relies on a natural colour palette; futuristic grays are a strong theme along with fashionable nudes, and it is the craftsmanship and engineering of these Japanese-inspired pieces that work the hardest.

…Whilst some pieces, like this beautiful bell-like creation, seemed to float over the model as she effortlessly walked the catwalk.

Hot pink blouses and gold lamé macs brought a welcomed splash of colour, however.


Illustration by Leah Wilson

Oh, and the shoes were pretty amazing, too – and looked surprisingly comfortable (although I’m not sure I’ll be wearing any anytime soon)

We’ll look forward, then, to Osman’s future collections now we’ve revelled into this little delve into his past. If you want to find out more about Fashion in Motion and future events, check out the listings section or the V&A website.

You can also see the previous Fashion in Motion event, Erdem, here.

Categories ,Body-con, ,Dame Edna Everage, ,dance, ,Eugenia Tsimiklis, ,Fashion in Motion, ,Full English, ,Glamour, ,Leah Wilson, ,london, ,Osman, ,Osman Yousefzada, ,va, ,Victoria & Albert Museum

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland Off Out Of Schedule S/S 2012 in Łódź: Martyna Czerwinska

Martyna Czerwinska by Cruz
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012 by Cruz.

Martyna Czerwinska was first to show on the Off Out Of Schedule catwalk on Friday morning bright and early. Her show was set to an old-school silhouette dance and featured plenty of elegant dresses that would be fit for an afternoon tea dance. Long dresses with inset patchwork fishtail trains were off set by the shortest of shorts, in velvet and patchwork. Men wore dashing patterned shirts with skinny ties and curious pink mountain brooches, but the stand out outfit for men was a dashing mustard zig-zag suit worn with a casual t-shirt underneath.

Martyna Czerwinska by Sarah Jayne Draws
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012 by SarahJayneDraws aka Sarah Jayne Morris.

Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Cruz, ,dance, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Lodz, ,Martyna Czerwinska, ,menswear, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,Patchwork, ,Sarah Jayne Morris

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland Off Out Of Schedule S/S 2012 in Łódź: Paulina Plizga

Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Cruz
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Cruz.

For her S/S 2012 collection Paulina Plizga was inspired by dance, so leading the Flesh & Bone collection down the catwalk was contemporary dancer Kaya Kolodziejczyk, who threw a series of crazy shapes in front of the unsuspecting crowd. The next models walked at a stately pace, some fast, some two by two or in hand – the back lighting emphasised their tousled hair and their blackened eye sockets gave the classical ballet aesthetic a dark, distressed edge. Paulina Plizga showed us a predominantly white collection with intermissions of grey, ochre and black in a range of textures, from holey knits and ancient lace to patchworked fabrics and reappropriated sheers.

Paulina Plizga SS 2012 by Geiko Louve
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Geiko Louve.

When I spoke with Paulina Plizga after the show she described how all of her outfits are constructed from scraps which she forages from the couture houses in Paris (where she lives) and these are mixed with antique laces that she finds in markets. For relaxation she likes nothing better than to go to the cinema, and so recent viewings of Black Swan, The Red Shoes and Pina Bausch films helped form ideas for S/S 2012, along with the Greek story of Pygmalion, wherein a statue comes to life. This was a welcome second chance for me to view Paulina Plizga’s clever design aesthetics; read my review of Paulina Plizga‘s previous A/W 2011 collection here.

Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,ballet, ,Black Swan, ,couture, ,Cruz, ,dance, ,Eco fashion, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Flesh & Bone, ,Geiko Louve, ,Kaya Kolodziejczyk, ,knitwear, ,Lodz, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,paris, ,Patchwork, ,Paulina Plizga, ,Pina Bausch, ,Pygmalion, ,recycled, ,Red Shoes, ,Sheer, ,The Red Shoes, ,Upcycled

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sunrise Off Grid 2010: Festival Review

Triumph Inspiration Award Xu Yi
Triumph Inspiration Award
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

So, information pills you’re a sports celebrity, buy but your sporting career has long since ended. What to do to keep in the spotlight? Why, turn up to a fashion show. And watch pretty models parade around in their keks. Purfect! And so it was that I found myself sitting behind not only Nicky Hambleton-Jones (fabulous skin since you ask, and a forehead as smooth as a baby’s bottom) but that well known fan of underwear Linford Christie. Well, he’s a man isn’t he?

Triumph Inspiration Award

I got to the awards as people were being seated, so just had a chance to whisk past a clutch of uncomfortable looking models posing in underwear beneath coloured lights as guests blithely sipped vodka tonics in front of them, and men (only men, and me) snapped them for posterity.

Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone
Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone I’ve never heard of.

Triumph Inspiration Award

And so I sat behind the celebs as they had a suitably celeb-y chit chat, and then we were subjected to a bombastic intro which involved a lengthy and dramatic collage of lady silhouettes and then some misogynistic words from a male dancer who I’ve never heard of, and then the judges arrived. Helena Christensen looked vaguely uncomfortable as she was introduced and Matthew Williamson, Rankin and her passed notes like giggly schoolkids. I wonder how much they all got paid for this little shindig? A pretty penny I shouldn’t wonder.

Triumph Inspiration Award judges
Triumph Inspiration Award judges.

In the goodie bags were the first of many hair products that I expect to receive this week, a pair of pants that might fit around my thigh if I’m lucky, and a very glossy brochure of Helena wearing the outfits designed by the 27 finalists chosen from 2300 students from countries all over the globe. And how old is Helena Christensen anyway? A cheese lover apparently, no less, she’s still outrageously good looking in the flesh, though of course she has been airbrushed to oblivion in the promo shots.

Triumph Inspiration Award Helena Christensen

Luckily the actual show was short and sweet, and some of the designs – based on the theme Shape Sensation – were really rather good. It was all over very quickly as we finished with a nod to burlesque; a girl exploding balloons full of coloured paint powder all over the catwalk.

Triumph Inspiration Award

The winners were announced in a manner reminiscent of the Eurovision contest, Ludovico Loffreda of Italy, then Amaya Carcamo of Spain, both designs that I liked. Unsurprisingly the first prize went to a design that clearly had commercial potential, though I would have picked Amaya’s beautiful armoured contraption myself. The winner, Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria looked utterly dazed as he paraded down the catwalk with Helena Christensen on one arm.

Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria
Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria.

Here then, are my favourites, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The Sublime:
Triumph Inspiration Award Suzanne Ferncombe
Suzanne Ferncombe.

Triumph Inspiration Award Justin Singh
Justin Singh.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy.

Grace Eliana Sugiarto.

Triumph Inspiration Award winner
The winning design by Nikolay Bojilov.

Triumph Inspiration Award Eugenia Dimopoulou
Eugenia Dimopoulou.

Triumph Inspiration Award Isolde Mayer
Isolde Mayer.

Triumph Inspiration Award Anette Boman
Anette Boman.

Triumph Inspiration Award Dennis Lyngso
Dennis Lyngso.

Triumph Inspiration Award Benjamin Blarer
Benjamin Blarer.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo.

Triumph Inspiration Award Manuel Marte
Manuel Marte.

Triumph Inspiration Award Tovah Cottle
Tovah Cottle.

Onward, London Fashion Week here I come. Look out for a live sketch blog from the awards from the wonderful Jenny Robins coming up soon.

Triumph Inspiration Award
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

So, visit you’re a sports celebrity, but your sporting career has long since ended. What to do to keep in the spotlight? Why, turn up to a fashion show. And watch pretty models parade around in their keks. Purfect! And so it was that I found myself sitting behind not only Nicky Hambleton-Jones (fabulous skin since you ask, and a forehead as smooth as a baby’s bottom) but that well known fan of underwear Linford Christie. Well, he’s a man isn’t he?

Triumph Inspiration Award

I got to the awards as people were being seated, so just had a chance to whisk past a clutch of uncomfortable looking models posing in underwear beneath coloured lights as guests blithely sipped vodka tonics in front of them, and men (only men, and me) snapped them for posterity.

Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone
Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone I’ve never heard of.

Triumph Inspiration Award

And so I sat behind the celebs as they had a suitably celeb-y chit chat, and then we were subjected to a bombastic intro which involved a lengthy and dramatic collage of lady silhouettes and then some misogynistic words from a male dancer who I’ve never heard of, and then the judges arrived. Helena Christensen looked vaguely uncomfortable as she was introduced and Matthew Williamson, Rankin and her passed notes like giggly schoolkids. I wonder how much they all got paid for this little shindig? A pretty penny I shouldn’t wonder.

Triumph Inspiration Award judges
Triumph Inspiration Award judges.

In the goodie bags were the first of many hair products that I expect to receive this week, a pair of pants that might fit around my thigh if I’m lucky, and a very glossy brochure of Helena wearing the outfits designed by the 27 finalists chosen from 2300 students from countries all over the globe. And how old is Helena Christensen anyway? A cheese lover apparently, no less, she’s still outrageously good looking in the flesh, though of course she has been airbrushed to oblivion in the promo shots.

Triumph Inspiration Award Helena Christensen

Luckily the actual show was short and sweet, and some of the designs – based on the theme Shape Sensation – were really rather good. It was all over very quickly as we finished with a nod to burlesque; a girl exploding balloons full of coloured paint powder all over the catwalk.

Triumph Inspiration Award

The winners were announced in a manner reminiscent of the Eurovision contest, Ludovico Loffreda of Italy, then Amaya Carcamo of Spain, both designs that I liked. Unsurprisingly the first prize went to a design that clearly had commercial potential, though I would have picked Amaya’s beautiful armoured contraption myself. The winner, Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria looked utterly dazed as he paraded down the catwalk with Helena Christensen on one arm.

Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria
Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria.

Here then, are my favourites, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The Sublime:

Triumph Inspiration Award Suzanne Ferncombe
Suzanne Ferncombe.

Triumph Inspiration Award Justin Singh
Justin Singh.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy.

Grace Eliana Sugiarto.

Triumph Inspiration Award winner
The winning design by Nikolay Bojilov.

Triumph Inspiration Award Eugenia Dimopoulou
Eugenia Dimopoulou.

Triumph Inspiration Award Isolde Mayer
Isolde Mayer.

Triumph Inspiration Award Anette Boman
Anette Boman.

Triumph Inspiration Award Dennis Lyngso
Dennis Lyngso.

Triumph Inspiration Award Benjamin Blarer
Benjamin Blarer.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo.

Triumph Inspiration Award Manuel Marte
Manuel Marte.

Triumph Inspiration Award Tovah Cottle
Tovah Cottle.

The Ridiculous:

Triumph Inspiration Award Da Da Tang Sze Man
Da Da Tang Sze Man.

Triumph Inspiration Award Peet Dullaert
Peet Dullaert.

Triumph Inspiration Award Pha Thi Cam Tu
Pha Thi Cam Tu.

Triumph Inspiration Award Karine Feldman
Karine Feldman.

Triumph Inspiration Award Cristina Homen de Gouveia
Cristina Homen de Gouveia.

Triumph Inspiration Award Caroline du Chastel
Caroline du Chastel.

Triumph Inspiration Award Yadvi Aggarwal
Yadvi Aggarwal.

Triumph Inspiration Award Ayumi Kawase
Ayumi Kawase.

Triumph Inspiration Award Elin Engstrom
Elin Engstrom.

Triumph Inspiration Award Xu Yi
Xu Yi.

Onward, London Fashion Week here I come. Look out for a live sketch blog from the awards from the wonderful Jenny Robins coming up soon.

Sunrise Offgrid

Having been to each and every Sunrise festival since it started in 2006 I became one of the Sunrise Off Grid organising team this year. It’s only the second time this offshoot has happened but as I watched the site take shape with a mix of anxiety and hope I realised that of course it would be a wonderful event. Sunrise has never failed me, see so why would it now?

Us Brits we love to talk about the weather right? Well, Off Grid was WET and I saw this as a healthy test of how good the event really was; sunshine softens the edges but water is transparent. If people could leave the rainy site saying they had the best weekend ever then we had done it, and they did! An incredible display of enthusiasm and participation took place: people made soap under an umbrella over a fire with one of the guys from Lush, went for rainy walkabouts to find herbal remedies and hacked away at tin cans to make rocket stoves – there was a constant crowd of students at the Off Grid college in the Transition Towns Tin Village, all studying an alternative lifestyle.

Sunrise Offgrid view

There is nothing more gratifying after months of work than to know that something is going well. A momentous moment for me was dropping in on the Future Farming Conference and witnessing of key agriculturalists moving towards sustainability and co-operation in the South West. A Transition Towns phrase used by Sunrise was echoed by Tamsin Omond of Climate Rush, who gave an inspirational talk on the direct action side of things. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world – it’s the only thing that ever does.”

Sunrise Offgrid indoor workshop

Not only did the event inspire me and many others in practical ways, but the emotional aspect was also huge. The Kindness Offensive gave a talk which further deepened my faith in human action, offering a simple insight into why doing good and being kind is infinitely powerful. Mark Boyle explained why living free doesn’t come at such a high cost as we sometimes think, and venues all over this tiny and manageable site gave forums to those with bright ideas and amazing initiatives into ‘Spiritual activism’ – ways to be happy, healthy, helping each other and the planet.

Sunrise Offgrid workshop

Obviously a festival wouldn’t be a festival without any music, and even though Off Grid is a small festival of 500 punters, the music played a large part, as tends to happen at Sunrise. The Zia Solar main stage, in the barn, was powered entirely by wind and sun (along with the rest of the festival) and had a great line up of local and distant musicians who gave performances as valued contributions to the event. Thursday started things off with a harmonica and the amazing vocal talents of Phillip Henry of The Roots Union (watch that one), followed by some Afrocelt treats from Simon Emmerson DJ-ing (after his talk on bird species and bird song, a pastime of his outside of AfroCelt Soundsystem). The weekend continued in the same exciting fashion with funky soul 10-piece, Glastonbury-based Gente, easy-skanking Avalon Roots, foot-stomping Celtech, circus-swinging, slightly spooky, theatrical showmen Spanner Jazz Punks (!), modern traditional folk from Forcenra, musical activsts, Seize The Day and many many more marvelous minstrels about whom I could ramble for hours!

Sunrise Offgrid weave

Poetry didn’t miss a beat at Off Grid and dance workshops prepped people for the lively nights. However, all of this I know and trust will come from Sunrise each year. What really moved me, personally, was the display of determination to make something beautiful in the rain, to learn something essential and gather together to discuss and network over something truly important: our relationship with this planet. I work for Sunrise because I don’t think that a single person leaves either Sunrise Celebration in June (check out www.sunrisecelebration.com), or Off Grid (www.sunrise-offgrid.com), unaffected by the energy in the heart of the event, which drives us to reassess our lives, our actions, and to love it all just a little bit, even a lot, more.

Categories ,AfroCelt Soundsystem, ,Avalon Roots, ,Celtech, ,Climate Rush, ,dance, ,Forcenra, ,Future Farming Conference, ,glastonbury, ,lush, ,Mark Boyle, ,poetry, ,Seize the Day, ,Simon Emmerson, ,Spanner Jazz Punks, ,Sunrise Festival, ,Sunrise Off Grid, ,Tamsin Omond, ,The Kindness Offensive, ,The Roots Union, ,transition towns, ,workshops

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Amelia’s Magazine | More Soup and Tart at the Barbican: a review

More Soup & Tart by Ben Jensen
More Soup and Tart by Ben Jensen.

It was always going to be a tall order to recreate the seminal work of underground performance artists, viagra but the Barbican programmers clearly like a challenge: to accompany the current exhibition Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, more about New York 1970s (read my review here) More Soup and Tart was staged as a topical update of Jean Dupuy‘s legendary 1974 Soup and Tart. The premise was simple, order the audience was served with leek and potato soup on arrival, then treated to performances from over 30 artists who were each given a two minute window of opportunity to showcase new work. During the interval we were served (slightly dry and greasy) apple tart.

7. Ryan Styles. MST, Barbican 2011
Ryan_Styles_MST_Barbican_2011_by_Lou_Cloud
Ryan Styles by Lou Cloud.

What ensued was a very mixed bag of work, featuring short pieces from established names such as Martin Creed, Ryan Styles and Simon Bookish alongside some lesser known artists. Quality was variable and there were a couple of instantly forgettable performances (particularly film) but those that did work were punchy and engaging, creating a long lasting impression. The giggly Friday night audience were prone to outbursts of chuckling at the slightest suggestion of humour, which was just as well since there was much to be had. Here’s my pick of the best…

11. Simon Bookish. MST, Barbican 2011
Simon Bookish. He appeared in Amelia’s Magazine some time ago!

Edwina Ashton,  MST, Barbican 2011
Edwina Ashton – Lobster Song/Lobster Singing.

In the first half Edwina Ashton entertained with Lobster Song/Lobster Singing, featuring two creatures with lobster features who plucked at upturned guitars in a vaguely depressive manner before shuffling offstage. The success of this piece lay in the offbeat juxtaposition of crazy costume and very ordinary stage set up, a pretty girl in undefinable traditional dress at hand to turn the sheets of music. We are currently listing her exhibition at the Jerwood Space.

Stewart Home Barbican
Stewart Home – Spam Turned Upside Down.

Stewart Home then highly entertained with Spam Turned Upside Down, whereby he stood on his head and recited cock enlargement offers for celebrities. It was short, memorable and again, crucially, amusing.

Nicoletta Tiberini led a Sounding Poem of carefully placed harmonies from her choir, which were dotted around the auditorium.

Mothball Marcia Faquhar by Ashley Fauguel
Mothball performed by Marcia Faquhar. Illustration by Ashley Fauguel.

For Mothball Marcia Faquhar removed a giant fake fur coat from a vacuum bag and proceeded to dance around underneath it, flinging her heels off in several directions before being forcibly removed from the stage. This was, I imagine, the closest to the spirit of performance art in the 1970s, which is maybe why it worked so well.

2. Andrew and Eden Kotting, MST, Barbican 2011
Andrew and Eden Kotting.

Andrew & Eden Kotting performed the most poignant piece titled Hiding From the Big Guns (Can I Kick It? Yes I Can) which consisted of a man leading a shrouded figure as it kicked a can across the stage against a backdrop of slides that showed the same camouflaged figure in different locations. On reaching a record player the figure was encouraged to kick at the turntable until the shroud was removed to reveal Andrew’s daughter Eden, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Joubert Syndrome. It was a profoundly strange and awkward moment that served to enhance the preceding piece.

13. Frauke Requardt. MST, Barbican 2011
Clowns_Barbican_MST_2011_by_Lou_Cloud
Frauke Requardt by Lou Cloud.

Frauke Requardt‘s Episode consisted of two androgynous leotard clad clowns who danced in acrobatic synchronicity against an eery backlight… this was presumably a preview for the new show starting at The Place in June. It was a very effective taster because I now wish I was going to the full performance.

Holly_Slingsby_MST_Barbican_2011_by_Lou_Cloud
Holly Slingsby by Lou Cloud.

The first half ended with Holly Slingsby performing Minotaur in a China Shop (Golden Calf Version) which entailed a lady in bull mask and gold dress chucking plates against the floor.

Lucy Beech and Edward Thompson, MST, Barbican 2011
Lucy Beech and Edward Thompson.

Into the second half: for Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson‘s 7 Year Itch a group of amateur dancers took to the stage in costumes reminiscent of childhood gym classes. They then created a sport inspired sequence which broke down into its component parts to reveal the thrashing, groaning, sighing sounds of the act of sex – very clever indeed.

Tom Woolner by sanna dyker
Tom Woolner by Sanna Dyker.

Tom Woolner donned a huge blow up head to perform An Early Episode from the Life of Archimboldo, wherein he proceeded to pick his nose in slow motion until a vast green goblet descended to the floor.

Penny Arcade. MST, Barbican 2011
Penny Arcade.

Bad girl performance artist Penny Arcade had flown in from America to give her acerbic take on the Vagina Monologues: this was in effect a short comedy skit.

Dog Kennel Hill Project, MST, Barbican 2011
Dog Kennel Hill Project.

Dog Kennel Hill Project performed Death Scene 347 with the aid of random objects to create the sound effects: concrete blocks, sacks of potatoes and a belt. It was delicately beautiful but I have a burning question… why was it necessary for one of the performers to appear in her pants?

Sam Lee, folk singer and old friend of mine, then stood to perform from the middle of the audience. It was the perfect musical interlude and rightly received a great round of applause.

Tai Shani 2, MST, Barbican 2011
Tai Shani.

In the second half of Tai Shani‘s To Dream and Die in America a group of extras appeared, I think to represent various Hollywood icons. Apparently it is de rigour for every piece of performance art to feature a random naked lady, and this was the piece to do the honours in More Soup or Tart.

Potentially the most absurd performance came courtesy of Tim Etchells, whose And Counting purely relied on members of the audience to shout Now at random intervals. Cue much cackling.

Christian Marclay‘s Smash Hits 1991 upset me greatly: for his two minutes he proceeded to smash a large heap of records and through it all I kept thinking: but what if there’s something good in there? This kind of wanton destruction pains me greatly.

33. William Cobbing, MST, Barbican 2011
William Cobbing – Mobile Home.

We finished on William Cobbing‘s surreal Mobile Home… a globular slab of clay tugged across the stage as the inhabitant pushed it’s arms out of holes to smear and slap the wet clay around in a nosily seductive manner. Like all the best performances of the night it was simple, surreal and instantly engaging.

I hope there is More More Soup and Tart soon.

Categories ,1974, ,7 Year Itch, ,An Early Episode from the Life of Archimboldo, ,And Counting, ,Andrew & Eden Kotting, ,Ashley Fauguel, ,barbican, ,Ben Jensen, ,Christian Marclay, ,comedy, ,dance, ,Death Scene 347, ,Dog Kennel Hill Project, ,edwina ashton, ,Episode, ,film, ,folk singer, ,Frauke Requardt, ,Hiding From the Big Guns (Can I Kick It? Yes I Can), ,Holly Slingsby, ,Jean Dupuy, ,jerwood space, ,Joubert Syndrome, ,Lobster Song/Lobster Singing, ,Lou Cloud, ,Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson, ,Marcia Faquhar, ,Martin Creed, ,Minotaur in a China Shop (Golden Calf Version), ,Mobile Home, ,More Soup and Tart, ,Mothball, ,New York 1970s, ,Nicoletta Tiberini, ,Penny Arcade, ,Performance Art, ,Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, ,Ryan Styles, ,Sam Lee, ,Sanna Dyker, ,Simon Bookish, ,Smash Hits 1991, ,Sounding Poem, ,Soup and Tart, ,Spam Turned Upside Down, ,Stewart Home, ,surrealism, ,Tai Shani, ,The Place, ,Tim Etchells, ,To Dream and Die in America, ,Tom Woolner, ,Vagina Monologues, ,William Cobbing

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