Amelia’s Magazine | Valentino: Master of Couture at Somerset House


Valentino A/W 2005 by Krister Selin

A recent viewing of the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, a film dedicated to the infamous fashion editor’s pioneering feats, highlighted that going to a gallery to view exhibitions of living fashion designers is a relatively new concept. When Vreeland launched an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983 at the Costume Institute, she set a precedent for a legion of future fashion fairs.

In the modern era, fashion fans have no qualms about trading their hard-earned cash to gaze at frocks on mannequins and fashion retrospectives have dominated galleries with record-breaking visitor numbers. Presenting these exhibitions comes as a challenge to curators: no longer is it a case of whacking a few frocks on mannequins like you’re assembling a high street window display. A quick look at Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican, McQueen at the Met or Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Decoratifs shows the dedication and commitment necessary to present fashion as art.


Valentino A/W 2002 and Natalia Vodianova by Cathleen Naundorf

What better way, then, to present Emperor of Couture Valentino Garavani‘s illustrious history than on one long catwalk? Avoid temptation to sashay past the tableaux as mannequins appear amongst elegant white chairs on either side of a runway, on which you’re the model. The Embankment Galleries at Somerset House have been transformed; no longer tiny catacombs, but brought together for dramatic effect.


Valentino A/W 2002 by Maya Beus

The lower floor showcases a number artefacts appearing in glass cabinets at the start of the exhibition. Letters from prominent designers and magazine editors celebrate Valentino‘s last milestone, his 45th anniversary as King of Couture, showering the Italian with praise for his record-breaking anniversary couture show at the Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. Glorious fashion sketches line other cabinets, but as was with Margiela and other exhibitions here, I found myself skimming past these in order to get to the main event upstairs.


Photographs courtesy of Somerset House/Peter MacDiarmid

And so the catwalk comes alive on the upper level, with a breathtaking 130 haute couture creations on models appearing as guests. They are arranged pretty haphazardly amongst the aforementioned white chairs, almost with abandon, without any rigid chronological order. Empty seats bear the names of the great and the good that have worn Valentino and attended countless shows: Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Carla Bruni, Diane Kruger, Iman; Diana Vreeland herself.


Valentino S/S 1998 by Annie Rickard Straus


Valentino A/W 1992 by Sandra Contreras

La dolce vita comes alive as you make your way along the displays, featuring floor-sweeping gowns, kaftans, trouser suits and capes. I particularly enjoyed the 1990s section – creations designed with the decadent abandon of an era when the supermodel ruled fashion and Valentino, Gianni Versace and pals were bending over backwards knee-deep in gold chains to appease them. These pieces were without doubt the height of fashion, but have dated the most. Compare these to some numbers from the 1960s: they’re indistinguishable from the output of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli, heading Valentino, over recent seasons.


Valentino S/S 2005 by Jamie Wignall


Valentino S/S 1969 by Maya Beus

The show’s dramatic finale sees Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece‘s wedding dress come to life on a dramatic platform. This pearl-encrusted ivory silk gown features a 4.5m train and 12 kinds of lace. Sure.


Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress

While I wouldn’t wear it, it’s one of the greatest examples of dressmaking in history and this presentation allows you to see the astonishing detail in the flesh.


Valentino S/S 2004 by Krister Selin

I particularly enjoyed a personal tribute to le regazze – the girls – the loyal atelier that have produced innumerable tulles, mock-ups and eventual red-carpet-ready frocks for the Grand Master’s enormous following. They’re the stars of groundbreaking documentary film Valentino: The Last Emperor, bickering as they lovingly stitch the last couture collection by the man himself. In the exhibition we’re spoiled with an education of Italian atelier terms – such beauties as ‘Incrostazioni‘ ‘Drappeggio‘ and ‘Budellini‘, a couture technique specific to Valentino where double charmeuse silk is rolled and sewn around a looped length of wool. Each term has a visual representation, occupying a glass box and highlighting the important role that these individual processes have played in Valentino‘s roaring success.


Valentino A/W 2002 by Jamie Wignall


Valentino S/S 1998 by Sandra Contreras

Unmissable. Go.

Categories ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Budellini, ,catwalk, ,couture, ,Drappeggio, ,Embankment Galleries, ,emperor, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Grand Master, ,Incrostazioni, ,Italy, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Krister Selin, ,le regazze, ,london, ,Marie-Chantal, ,Matt Bramford, ,Maya Beus, ,Natalia Vodianova, ,Peter MacDiarmid, ,Rome, ,runway, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Somerset House, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino Garavani

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vivienne Westwood Shoes, An Exhibition 1973 – 2010, at Selfridges


Naomi Campbell wears Vivienne Westwood (1993), viagra sale illustrated by Krister Selin

It isn’t very often that a specific fashion designer is singularly celebrated for their contributions to fashion; when the V&A presented the Vivienne Westwood retrospective in 2004, medicine fashion fans were delirious at the opportunity to revel amongst the creations of our most fashionable Dame. This month, viagra the team at Selfridges reopen the Westwood archives and present a glorious exhibition devoted entirely to Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary footwear.


Vivienne Westwood, illustrated by Abi Daker

What began as a calm stroll into central London on a bank holiday Monday soon descended into chaos – it was absolutely heaving (and to those of you shouting OF COURSE IT WAS YOU BLOODY IDIOT at the screen – yeah, I know). A text to remind me I was going to a party at Shoreditch House as early as 6pm didn’t help either, so me and the other half legged it down Oxford Street to catch the exhibition, and thank heavens we did.

Located in the chic Ultralounge on the lower ground floor of Selfridges (where previous exhibitions and pop-ups have occurred, including the brilliant 100 years of Selfridges display), the room features long rows of glass cabinets holding a huge selection of Westwood footwear from over the years. The black walls are sparse, with a few large images from advertising campaigns and of Our Viv herself dotted here and there, and a show reel of some of Westwood’s awe-inspiring catwalk shows at the back of the room, featuring a soundtrack of sexed-up national anthems and punk hits. It is, however, row after row of shoes displayed like the crown jewels that capture the imagination the most.

Ordered chronologically, the exhibition charts the literal rise and rise of Dame Viv’s footwear, from surviving examples from SEX and Seditionaries, (including leopard mules worn by SEX shop assistant Jordan) right through to Propoganda pirate boots (worn mostly by the gays and people from Leeds) and pairs seen at the most recent fashion weeks. The most interesting comparison drawn when you’ve seen every pair is that there isn’t much of a comparison at all – similar shapes and themes are echoed through the ages, shoes that have been consistently daring and innovative.


Illustration by Joana Faria

There must be over 100 pairs on display, all of which are a delight to view, but here are some of my favourites:


Mock Crock Elevated Gillie from Anglomania, AW 1993


Frilly petit-pied sandal (there is a shoe in there somewhere) from Blue Sky, SS 2005


Elevated court shoe in PVC, 1994, illustrated by Dee Andrews


Can shoes, from Ultra Feminity, SS 2003


Biba shoes, from Le flou taillé, AW 2003


MAN coin sandals, from MAN, SS 2005


Swarovski court shoe with Gina, from 56, SS 2008

The exhibition is supported by Melissa, the wonderful Brazilian-born ethical label that champions Melflex®, the recycled plastic phenomenon that uses sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes. Beginning with plastic versions of iconic Vivienne Westwood shoes, the collaboration has grown to include many of the archive styles on display at the exhibition (re-imagined in plastic, of course).

Exhibitions of this calibre, celebrating our fashion designers and presented so brilliantly, don’t come around very often. So if you’re in London and anywhere near Selfridges, do check it out – you won’t be disappointed.


Illustration by Meera Lee

Until 22 September, admission free.

Get all the important details here.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,1973-2010, ,catwalk, ,Dame Viv, ,exhibition, ,footwear, ,Jordan, ,london, ,Meliflex, ,Melissa, ,Oxford Street, ,Plastic dreams, ,Seditionaries, ,Selfridges, ,SEX, ,shoes, ,Ultralounge, ,va, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | Quilts 1700 – 2010

alphabeat

One lovely spring day in March, ailment I found myself in the company of fellow Amelia’s Magazine writer Satu Fox (see her quilt here) on a trip to see the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Quilts exhibition. I was excited and intrigued to see what form this exhibition to take – thinking as I travelled along the Piccadilly line through the swarms of excited tourists: how to display quilts? How to convey their memories and the time taken to craft them without overwhelming the audience with text? Fascinated by the process of recording oral history I was keen to experience history that had been stitched, online adorned, tessellated, hung on walls and spread across beds.

It turns out the exhibition is simple in concept; quilts are laid on beds or hung upon walls, spilt into bite sized chunks of quilting history namely: Making a living, Meeting the Past, Virtue and Virtuosity, Private Thoughts – Political Debates and the Domestic Landscape. Enabling the visitor to move between quilts – viewing the changes between quilts from different areas, houses and for different purposes. Throughout, modern quilts are interjected amongst the archive; their use of structural materials a stark contrast to the homely nature of the rest. It is intriguing to see the consideration of quilt as an art object due to the stance of the modern artist, however I think an unexplored potential of this exhibition is the latent object hood inherent in quilts. They are expressions of being confined to a single space of existence. Modern artists differ perhaps because they make a more aggressive exploration of the notions of femininity and the worth of different types of work. Art and Craft (A debate intensified during the establishment of the Royal Academy of Art under Joshua Reynolds) have long been in argument about their ‘status’.

Whilst I found it difficult in the exhibition to do anything other than absorb them visually, the exhibition is well documented with the quilts placed into context through accompanying letters.

Not surprisingly, considering the emphasis placed on an idea called home, the exhibition is incredibly popular. Quilts is reminiscent of the permanent exhibition at the Geffrye Museum, a fascinating insight into the development of the modern home. Quilts enables us to trace the development of ideas on comfort, sleep and protection whilst demonstrating a continued desire for beautiful objects. Whilst I can no longer read the illustrations present on them, these quilts act as memory holders for lost stories and precious family moments.

Quilts is an interesting glimpse into the V&A’s extensive collection, and exictingly the museum are encouraging people to upload their quilts onto the website developing a new archive of homemade quilts from the 21st Century. They are also hosting extensive workshops on making quilts, the hidden history of quilts and a variety ways to make quilts find more information here.

You can also read the curator of Quilts blog.  

Quilts 1700 – 2010
Until 4th July, £10 adults, £6 students, free for members

Categories ,exhibition, ,Geffrye Museum, ,Interior Decoration, ,Joshua Reynolds, ,Natasha Kerr, ,Picadilly Line, ,Quilts, ,textiles, ,Texture, ,va, ,Victoria & Albert Museum

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Exhibition Review: Headonism

Frieze showcases a collection of pastel coloured trenches at London Fashion Week off schedule at Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

Illustration of Piers Atkinson by Kellie Black

The Headonism exhibition is hidden in the Embankment Galleries on the lower ground floor of Somerset house, order behind the BFC tent. I’ve been down there twice, once on Thursday and once yesterday – and both times it seemed very under attended. Actually, all the exhibitions around the scrum of the registration area seem very quiet but they are all well worth a look, even if it is just to take a closer look at some of the collections as I did upstairs for Louise Amstrup.

Curated by milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones, the Headonism exhibition is all about the hats and is the only section of London Fashion Week exclusively catering to the headwear market. There are only five exhibitors: J Smith, Little Shilpa, Noel Stewart, Piers Atkinson and Soren Bach, but the difference between the stands is remarkable. Disappointingly, the Soren Bach stand has no one looking after it, nor does Little Shilpa – merely a book to leave details in.

The only exhibitor to have put any real effort into their display is Piers Atkinson…but more on him later. The importance of showcasing your wares appropriately at London Fashion Week is shockingly something that many have left to the last minute. Read Katie Antoniou’s post on all the exhibitions to find out who did it well this year.

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

We were lucky enough to interview two of the exhibitors prior to the show, the first was J Smith Esquire. His exhibit is immediately to your right as you enter the exhibition, displaying his most recent foray into the high street market with a Mister Smith display of flat pack hats in colourful cut out leather. He told us about the collection: ‘Mister Smith is designed to be robust, accessible, affordable millinery with high design values, so everyone can have a J Smith Esquire hat’.

Photograph from Mister Smith collection by Florence Massey

Mixing together the ready-to-wear and couture, J Smiths talent shines with his main collections, the most recent entitled ‘Illuminated’ is sure to be as highly impressive as his previous efforts. The new collection promises to be VERY eclectic, ‘(it’s) inspired by vintage Italian fashion papers to create a modern-day Edwardian couture, and yes, expect a very colourful collection!’

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Little Shilpa’s stand is on each side as you exit the exhibition space, and displays an array of great headpieces, necklaces and hats. His work is crazy, but in a good way. The designs are definitely not for the wallflowers among us, something crystalised by his naming Bjork as a dream customer!

With an Indian heritage it is unsurprising to hear that the inspiration for his Headonism show picks up on this , ‘the pieces were inspired from Bombay and London, there was an obvious juxtaposition of the 2 cities …all the pieces were specially created for Headonism as it was my first formal showing in London hence a sort of introduction to my inspirations’.

Photograph of J Shilpa by Florence Massey

Little Shilpa agrees with Piers Atkinson’s very true comment that millinery has finally become more about having fun rather than the obligatory weddings and funerals, ‘working out of India it has always been about fun and design’. Long may that continue!

Talking of Piers Atkinson and the move away from wedding/funeral hats his stand is fantastic. More of an exploded flower stall mixed with Hollywood clichés and mini people, I spent a-g-e-s peering at every single one of his creations. With lots of green felt, and miniature people Atkinson definitely taps into the fun side of millinery and his collection is so good: silly, energetic and vibrant. Spilling with colours and quirks, the Hollywood sign features heavily, as do clashing flowers and little gold spikes. If you want a break from the oh so serious fashion upstairs at BFC, pop down to Atkinson’s stand for a giggle.

Illustration of Piers Atkinson by Kellie Black

Photograph of Piers Atkinson by Florence Massey

Categories ,british fashion council, ,couture, ,Embankment Galleries, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,hats, ,Headonism, ,headpieces, ,J Smith Esquire, ,Kellie Black, ,Little Shilpa, ,London Fashion Week, ,millinery, ,mister smith, ,piers atkinson, ,review, ,Somerset House, ,Stephen Jones, ,Yelena, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2014: Somerset House exhibition stands report

Jo Hayes Ward jewellery

Before I finish my coverage of London Fashion Week for another season here is a quick pictorial round up of my favourite exhibition finds… gathered from the exhibition space at Somerset House and beyond. At the main stands I only managed to get around the first floor, where I found lots of great jewellery, as always. Jo Hayes Ward goes from strength to strength with her amazing CAD designed jewellery – despite giving birth to her second child just three months ago. These kinetic earrings and pendant have fine articulated parts so that they twinkle beautifully when you move.

Cleo Mercury collar

Cleo Mercury silk scarf

Cleo Ferin Mercury makes colourful accessories with a playful edge. Her decorated collars offer a quirky alternative to wearing a necklace, and I love this shaped silk tiger scarf.

Alice Cicolini rings

I first noticed Alice Cicolini jewellery last season, but had the opportunity to meet the designer herself this time round. This talented lady is also an art curator and a mum; I absolutely adore the unique way she combines precious gems and colourful enamel, designed by herself and made by artisans in India. Sadly I didn’t get a good photo myself so the one above is taken from her website.

Imogen Belfield necklaces

I particularly like the new gem set Imogen Belfield jewels. Just check out that multi-layered chain!

Rachel Entwistle flint bracelet

Rachel Entwistle’s collection was full of desirable pieces such as the silver flint bracelet shown above.

Lily Kamper necklace

Lily Kamper continues to impress with her art deco inspired perspex jewels. New for this season: resins that look like marble, ombre colourings and inlaid sapphires. Lush.

K2 knitwear design

There were many familiar designers in the showrooms but I made a few exciting new discoveries including K2TOG or Knit 2 Together, a designer with a ‘waste not want not’ attitude and one of Estethica‘s Emerging Talents. Central Saint Martins graduate Katie Jones upcycles old aran jumpers with the application of bright embellishments inspired by European folk art. Very cool.

Over on the NewGen stands I was also very impressed by the work of South London based Irish designer Danielle Romeril, who has found a way to combine normally unrelated fabrics to create her own interesting silhouette with lots of tactile detail. Definitely one to watch in coming seasons: I apologise that I did not get a decent photo of this one either, but do take a peek at the video of her collection above.

Beautiful soul display LFW

Over at the Me Hotel I admired the pretty display by Beautiful Soul, part of the Felicities PR presentation.

George Styler knitwear

Finally, it was great to see the work of George Styler up close at the new designers installation at Freemasons’ Hall. Read my review of his catwalk show here.

Next up: finds at the off schedule Off Strand show at the Hoxton Gallery.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,Alice Cicolini, ,Beautiful Soul, ,CAD, ,Cleo Ferin Mercury, ,Danielle Romeril, ,estethica, ,exhibition, ,Felicities PR, ,George Styler, ,Imogen Belfield, ,K2TOG, ,Katie Jones, ,Knit 2 Together, ,Lily Kamper, ,London Fashion Week, ,Me Hotel, ,Newgen, ,Rachel Entwistle, ,Report, ,review, ,Somerset House

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Amelia’s Magazine | Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, ambulance so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, this including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, sale so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, ask including some from other part time contributors to this blog, order including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, information pills so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, discount including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, visit this so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, order so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, information pills including some from other part time contributors to this blog, shop including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…


Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons 1997, price illustrated by Faye West

The next few months are an absolute treat for fashion fans – there are exhibitions popping up all over the place. First on my fashionable list was the Barbican‘s offering – a retrospective of the last thirty years of the Japanese avant-garde.

Now anybody who saw the fabulous Viktor & Rolf extravaganza a couple of years ago will know that the Barbican sure knows how to put on a fashion exhibition – the art gallery on the third level of the brutalist ziggurat couldn’t be any better suited: concrete alcoves, information pills pebbled-dashed walls and hard stone floors all add to the atmosphere and with each show you’d be forgiven for thinking the space had been constructed solely for the current exhibition – particularly this one.


Junya Watanabe, dosage illustrated by Baiba Ladiga

To create the feeling of a journey, the gallery has been adorned with translucent drapes that lead you around various examples. We start with magnificent pieces from the grand masters – Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake feature heavily, as do the newer major players.

The lower level of the exhibition aims to bring together the key ideas and themes that define what we know of the Japanese avant-garde. Ideas like wabi-sabi (beauty in imperfection) and ma (which generally translates as the space between objects) are explained and brought to life with a broad range of examples from the great Japanese masters. Wabi-sabi is explored with examples from Junya Watanabe, Rei Kawakubo et al – fraid hems, unfinished seams and abnormal folds all appear in their collections, and it was this (un)attention to detail and deliberately unfinished aesthetic that first drew attention to the Japanese couturiers.

There are great examples of ma, too; where garments are constructed to work against the female form, they are celebrated. Cue works of wonder like Issey Miyake’s origami numbers, Tao Kurihara’s groundbreaking sculptural pieces and Koji Tatsuno’s ridiculous but wonderful golden brown nylon net dress, which turns the figure into a giant sphere (think pumpkin Hallowe’en costume with Japanese drama.)


Fruits! Illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

The lower levels also explore broader concepts that have been recurrent in Japanese fashion – shadows, flatness, tradition (and inspiration) and ‘Cool Japan’ (or Fruits as we lovingly refer to this fashion and their wearers). The ‘Cool Japan’ stuff doesn’t float my boat as much as the grand masters and their illustrious heritage. I used to like it, a lot, but I think it’s a little passé these days. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but when you’ve walked through three decades of expertly cut, uniquley tailored and innovatively crafted Japanese fashion, seeing Hello Kitty pyjamas and Manga t-shirts is a little deflating. Tao Kurihara’s exemplary cable-knit underwear does add some sophistication, though.


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

While I love getting my teeth into a good fashion theme, I often wish that they’d just give us a hand and put things in chronological order. This is a particularly difficult feat to overcome with Japanese fashion – a Junya Watanabe/Comme des Garçons black nylon taffeta coat slash padded puffa jacket with intricate gold chain sits side by side a Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons black gauze skirt and top with interlaced, looped bands from 1983. They could pretty much be from the same collection.

Similarly, a silk 1970s Kenzo blouse is positioned next to a 2005 kimono, which cold be 500 years old, even, but they still fit perfectly together. I guess it is this harmony that has strung Japanese fashion together over the years that makes it so inspiring.


Issey Miyake/A-POC, 1999, illustrated by Naomi Law

Upstairs is a different story and a different designer is celebrated in each of the concrete alcoves. The greats are covered – Yamamoto, Kawakubo, Miyake and Watanabe – along with newer labels like Mintdesigns and Jun Takahashi.

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto 1999, illustrated by Abby Wright

I do love Mr Yamamoto, who is described as the ‘most poetic’ of the Japanese fashion designers, and it’s easy to see why. But what I love most are his highly charged collections with a hint of cynicism. His juxtaposition of hopelessly romantic silhouettes (drawing inspiration from Western culture and, in particular, Dior’s New Look) and his androgynous forms is, I believe, totally unique even today. Who else combines elements of couture with workwear? Well, maybe Galliano, but that’s besides the point.

There’s a limited selection from his illustrious career in fashion – but I was pleased to see the quilted polyester dress with a modernist bone structure – totally feminine but innovative at the same time. Some Y-3 pieces appear, but they’re totally lost at the side of his master couturier craftsmanship.

Issey Miyake

Illustration by Joana Faria

At first, I thought presenting only Miyake’s latest project – 132 5 – was a bit of an odd choice. ‘Where are his innovative numbers that toyed with gender and influenced so many in the 1980s?’ I wondered. What a complete wonderer I am these days. Some of his A-POC pieces appear downstairs, in particular the dramatic and iconic red knitted numbers.

However, when I actually stopped wondering and had a look at this 132 5 malarkey, I was breathless. This new line, continuing Miyake’s boundary-breaking experiments in materials, feature intricately folded and steam pressed polygons of material – sustainable material, no less! Hooray for Miyake!

On the floor, they don’t look much – well, they’re beautiful but you don’t look like you get much frock for your buck. That is until they’re placed onto the body and they transform into incredible, geometric, sculptural, architectural wonders. Truly breathtaking stuff and my favourite pieces in the entire exhibition.

Rei Kawakubo

Illustration by Alia Gargum

Described as the ‘most influential living fashion designer’, we owe thanks for decades of innovative but wearable menswear to Kawakubo and her legendary brand, Comme des Garçons. With her army of influenceables (Watanabe, Kurihara and most recently, Chitose Abe), Kawakubo is the matriarch of Japanese fashion.

Her iconic Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body collection of 1997 broke all the rules, with biological lumps and bumps that challenged Western ideals of the perfect body shape – while the collection’s playful gingham fabrics added a whimsical element. And, while she can mix it up a bit, she can sure do beauty – the pink knitted sweater dress, embroidered with unrivalled craftsmanship and teamed with a tulle bustle, exudes femininity and sparks a nostalgic look at the past.

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe S/S 2003, illustrated by Maria del Carmen Smith

Watanabe is a bit of a character when it comes to fashion. His most shocking move to date was to show a collection entirely of Jacquard trouser suits, which says a lot about his work before that infamous S/S 2010 collection.

Described as the ‘techno couturier’, Watanabe trained under Rei Kawakubo, whose influence shines through in Watanabe’s collections. Sleeping-bag dresses and outlandish headgear features – but beyond the quirkier elements and performance fabrics, Watanabe’s pieces are infinitely wearable.

Mintdesigns

Mintdesigns, illustrated by Antonia Parker

Mintdesigns bring their own blend of innovation to the mix. A combination of unusual materials (translucent plastics, for example) and graphic patterns, this Tokyo twosome are at the forefront of modern Japanese fashion with a younger feel. And I totally dig the dinosaur hat.

Phew! Well, if you’ve got to the end of this post, well done. That was a long one, no? I hope I’ve convinced you to go… you won’t regret it.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Get all the visitors information in our listings section.

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Antonia Parker, ,Avant-garde, ,Baiba Ladiga, ,barbican, ,Chitose Abe, ,Comme des Garçons, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,Gallery, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hello Kitty, ,Issey Miyake, ,japan, ,Japanese fashion, ,Joana Faria, ,Jun Takahashi, ,Junya Watanabe, ,Kenzo, ,Koji Tatsuno, ,Lesley Barnes, ,ma, ,Manga, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,Mintdesigns, ,Naomi Law, ,Rei Kawakubo, ,review, ,Tao Kurihara, ,Wabi-sabi, ,Yohji Yamamoto

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Amelia’s Magazine | Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, ambulance so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, this including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, sale so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, ask including some from other part time contributors to this blog, order including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, information pills so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, discount including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston

New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, visit this so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, including some from other part time contributors to this blog, including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…

Love Amandine Gemma Milly
Illustration by Gemma Milly.

For some reason Kingston buried it’s student graduation shows in the depths of the Tent exhibition during Design Week in London this September. Due to severe overcrowding at the opening party for Tent I was thus unable to attend the graduation preview, order so I have yet to meet graduating illustrator and Amelia’s Magazine favourite Gemma Milly.

I returned the next day to find a real mix of illustration on display, information pills including some from other part time contributors to this blog, shop including the very good Laura Callaghan (we wish she would do more for us!) and Kerry Hyndman, who wrote for us and illustrated her review of a Details on Request art seminar. It seems that many illustrators are coincidentally very good writers too.

Kingston illustration MA Gemma Milly
Gemma Milly’s exhibition space.

Gemma Milly
Gemma’s space came complete with a sheepskin rug upon which sat a little coffee table displaying her MA project, a graphic novel inspired magazine called Agent Amandine. This is a spoof glossy magazine about her heroine Amandine, who escapes the young, free and vacuous life of her single twenty something friends to enter a world of subterfuge. Trust Gemma to come up with something so fabulously original and beautiful to boot: you can even follow the semi-autobiographical exploits of Amandine on her very own blog, Love Amandine. Gemma is known for her wonderfully delicate and desirable female figures so of course her work is perfectly suited to fashion illustration – expect to catch up with her in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Gemma Milly Italian straw hat
Gemma Milly Amandine cover

Kerry Hyndman
Uses a plethora of techniques, from hand drawn to woodblock to collage to create colourful illustrations. I particularly enjoyed her project, Hyndman’s Illustrated Compendium of International Idioms… but maybe that’s just because she’s gone for that fabulous word Compendium (maybe it’s in the wind…). Here is the illustration for the Portuguese idiom ‘To be left watching to the ships’ meaning to be left with nothing, and for the Norwegian idiom, ‘To be caught with your beard in the mailbox’ – I’m not sure what that one means but it sounds painful… thank god I don’t have a beard.

Kerry Hyndman sailor
kerry hyndman beardpostbox

Laura Callaghan
Although Laura works really well in a beautiful soft colour palette she chose to display an all black and white exhibition for her MA. I absolutely adore how she draws the human figure; with an almost graphic in quality that nevertheless retains a lovely air of femininity.

laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
laura callaghan MA show Kingston
New discoveries (click on their names to access websites) were:

Sheena Dempsey
Sheena is a brilliant children’s book illustrator who cunningly uses the scaling of objects to create an exciting narrative. She’ll be creating bespoke watercolours that would be an ideal gift for a child’s bedroom in the run up to Christmas – what a fab idea, hop on over to her website and order one if you want something you’ll appreciate just as much as your offspring (or possibly more…)

Sheena Dempsey detail

Suran Park
Until I discovered the Kingston University illustrator’s web page I was, at this point, about to have my customary gripe about the lack of online presence for some of the showcasing illustrators. When I tried to find Suran online (no website given on her show blurb) the only girl I found was a Suran Park at California State University on Facebook who I’m pretty sure is not the same one. Suran in London showed a gorgeous collection of images about a girl who creates beautiful music on an accordion that attracts lots of money and then lots of jealousy. Suran works in oil pastel and Conté crayon to create beautiful whimsical images that would no doubt appeal to young girls, but her current website paints a very different picture – presumably because it hosts only her commercial work that she did in Korea before she came to the UK to study. It’s a real shame she hasn’t updated it yet.

Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park
Kingston illustration MA Suran Park-2

Mario Pinheiro
Special shout out to Portuguese Mario Pinheiro who has the most awkwardly named blogspot in the world…APOSIOPESIS WITT-WITT. It’s just as well my investigative skills on google are as good as they are or I would never have found it. I mean, why make it so hard on yourself folks?! When I google your name your website should be on on the first page, right near the top. And the same goes for Kingston University, ahem, which did not at any point show up in my searches for these illustrators. Sort out your SEO, please. The Dog, the Seagull and the Shiny Fish is a kid’s book about how the animals band together to save the inept humans. Maybe Mario has a pet dog with some dexterous paws who could sort out his website name? Oh woops, I seem to have changed your url to Mario-Pinheiro.com. Well I never how did that happen? Woof.

Kingston MA Mario Pinheiro

Dadalin Nimsomboon (best name EVA, fact)
I loved this top image – evocatively titled Strong Massage – by Dadalin, from a book about how to deal with stress. Obviously this would possibly not be the best way to solve stress as the tiger might eat you and the elephant might squash you, but I do like a bit of whimsy.

Dadalin Nimsomboon strong massage
Dadalin Nimsomboon paint nails

Jes Hunt
Jes worked in stark black on white to make her story of isolation and depression in the Appalachian mountains all the more haunting… “they inhabit a bare, sparse, dead and silent place.” As the relationships in a family improve colour creeps into her work. Very effective.

Dawn Front Cover- jes Hunt

Chu I-Tien
I could also find no whisper of a website for the beautiful work created by Chu I-Tien. “Lily is always alone. She always wants to have a sister or brother. Lily is always alone. She always checks her phone every five minutes.” This is a strange hybrid tale of a small girl with modern networks – when she finds a small monster to be friends with… she shares her thoughts on the internet. Psst… get onto twitter then Scarlett…

Kingston illustration MA Chu I-Tien

Jinyoung Kim
Another seemingly web free illustrator inspired by fantastical tales, this time of a forbidden love between a human and a dragon, if I have this correctly! Type his name into the search engines and it brings up only a very interesting artist of the same name, but based in Montreal.

Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail2
Kingston illustration MA Jinyoung Kim detail

Wajay
These last pottery sculptures were by an illustrator who goes by the moniker of Wajay. Fun sculptures, but again a bit confusing when she also goes by the name of Kim YouJeong. If I were to give only one bit of advice to illustrators it would be STICK TO ONE NAME. It’s just way too confusing otherwise. Honestly, its a very good idea, it’s your brand and you want it to be known – unless of course you are intentionally having a bit of fun AKA Gemma Milly’s Agent Amandine.

Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery dont
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery just
Kingston illustration MA Wajay pottery

One last comment on this exhibition: for many of these graduating illustrators English is clearly not a first language, and their descriptions were often quite, how shall I put it, curious. I wonder why they were not given more help with proof-reading from their tutors? But then, why they haven’t been asked to maintain an immaculate web presence as an absolute prerequisite for graduating is another mystery to me…


Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons 1997, price illustrated by Faye West

The next few months are an absolute treat for fashion fans – there are exhibitions popping up all over the place. First on my fashionable list was the Barbican‘s offering – a retrospective of the last thirty years of the Japanese avant-garde.

Now anybody who saw the fabulous Viktor & Rolf extravaganza a couple of years ago will know that the Barbican sure knows how to put on a fashion exhibition – the art gallery on the third level of the brutalist ziggurat couldn’t be any better suited: concrete alcoves, information pills pebbled-dashed walls and hard stone floors all add to the atmosphere and with each show you’d be forgiven for thinking the space had been constructed solely for the current exhibition – particularly this one.


Junya Watanabe, dosage illustrated by Baiba Ladiga

To create the feeling of a journey, the gallery has been adorned with translucent drapes that lead you around various examples. We start with magnificent pieces from the grand masters – Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake feature heavily, as do the newer major players.

The lower level of the exhibition aims to bring together the key ideas and themes that define what we know of the Japanese avant-garde. Ideas like wabi-sabi (beauty in imperfection) and ma (which generally translates as the space between objects) are explained and brought to life with a broad range of examples from the great Japanese masters. Wabi-sabi is explored with examples from Junya Watanabe, Rei Kawakubo et al – fraid hems, unfinished seams and abnormal folds all appear in their collections, and it was this (un)attention to detail and deliberately unfinished aesthetic that first drew attention to the Japanese couturiers.

There are great examples of ma, too; where garments are constructed to work against the female form, they are celebrated. Cue works of wonder like Issey Miyake’s origami numbers, Tao Kurihara’s groundbreaking sculptural pieces and Koji Tatsuno’s ridiculous but wonderful golden brown nylon net dress, which turns the figure into a giant sphere (think pumpkin Hallowe’en costume with Japanese drama.)


Fruits! Illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

The lower levels also explore broader concepts that have been recurrent in Japanese fashion – shadows, flatness, tradition (and inspiration) and ‘Cool Japan’ (or Fruits as we lovingly refer to this fashion and their wearers). The ‘Cool Japan’ stuff doesn’t float my boat as much as the grand masters and their illustrious heritage. I used to like it, a lot, but I think it’s a little passé these days. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but when you’ve walked through three decades of expertly cut, uniquley tailored and innovatively crafted Japanese fashion, seeing Hello Kitty pyjamas and Manga t-shirts is a little deflating. Tao Kurihara’s exemplary cable-knit underwear does add some sophistication, though.


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

While I love getting my teeth into a good fashion theme, I often wish that they’d just give us a hand and put things in chronological order. This is a particularly difficult feat to overcome with Japanese fashion – a Junya Watanabe/Comme des Garçons black nylon taffeta coat slash padded puffa jacket with intricate gold chain sits side by side a Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons black gauze skirt and top with interlaced, looped bands from 1983. They could pretty much be from the same collection.

Similarly, a silk 1970s Kenzo blouse is positioned next to a 2005 kimono, which cold be 500 years old, even, but they still fit perfectly together. I guess it is this harmony that has strung Japanese fashion together over the years that makes it so inspiring.


Issey Miyake/A-POC, 1999, illustrated by Naomi Law

Upstairs is a different story and a different designer is celebrated in each of the concrete alcoves. The greats are covered – Yamamoto, Kawakubo, Miyake and Watanabe – along with newer labels like Mintdesigns and Jun Takahashi.

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto 1999, illustrated by Abby Wright

I do love Mr Yamamoto, who is described as the ‘most poetic’ of the Japanese fashion designers, and it’s easy to see why. But what I love most are his highly charged collections with a hint of cynicism. His juxtaposition of hopelessly romantic silhouettes (drawing inspiration from Western culture and, in particular, Dior’s New Look) and his androgynous forms is, I believe, totally unique even today. Who else combines elements of couture with workwear? Well, maybe Galliano, but that’s besides the point.

There’s a limited selection from his illustrious career in fashion – but I was pleased to see the quilted polyester dress with a modernist bone structure – totally feminine but innovative at the same time. Some Y-3 pieces appear, but they’re totally lost at the side of his master couturier craftsmanship.

Issey Miyake

Illustration by Joana Faria

At first, I thought presenting only Miyake’s latest project – 132 5 – was a bit of an odd choice. ‘Where are his innovative numbers that toyed with gender and influenced so many in the 1980s?’ I wondered. What a complete wonderer I am these days. Some of his A-POC pieces appear downstairs, in particular the dramatic and iconic red knitted numbers.

However, when I actually stopped wondering and had a look at this 132 5 malarkey, I was breathless. This new line, continuing Miyake’s boundary-breaking experiments in materials, feature intricately folded and steam pressed polygons of material – sustainable material, no less! Hooray for Miyake!

On the floor, they don’t look much – well, they’re beautiful but you don’t look like you get much frock for your buck. That is until they’re placed onto the body and they transform into incredible, geometric, sculptural, architectural wonders. Truly breathtaking stuff and my favourite pieces in the entire exhibition.

Rei Kawakubo

Illustration by Alia Gargum

Described as the ‘most influential living fashion designer’, we owe thanks for decades of innovative but wearable menswear to Kawakubo and her legendary brand, Comme des Garçons. With her army of influenceables (Watanabe, Kurihara and most recently, Chitose Abe), Kawakubo is the matriarch of Japanese fashion.

Her iconic Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body collection of 1997 broke all the rules, with biological lumps and bumps that challenged Western ideals of the perfect body shape – while the collection’s playful gingham fabrics added a whimsical element. And, while she can mix it up a bit, she can sure do beauty – the pink knitted sweater dress, embroidered with unrivalled craftsmanship and teamed with a tulle bustle, exudes femininity and sparks a nostalgic look at the past.

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe S/S 2003, illustrated by Maria del Carmen Smith

Watanabe is a bit of a character when it comes to fashion. His most shocking move to date was to show a collection entirely of Jacquard trouser suits, which says a lot about his work before that infamous S/S 2010 collection.

Described as the ‘techno couturier’, Watanabe trained under Rei Kawakubo, whose influence shines through in Watanabe’s collections. Sleeping-bag dresses and outlandish headgear features – but beyond the quirkier elements and performance fabrics, Watanabe’s pieces are infinitely wearable.

Mintdesigns

Mintdesigns, illustrated by Antonia Parker

Mintdesigns bring their own blend of innovation to the mix. A combination of unusual materials (translucent plastics, for example) and graphic patterns, this Tokyo twosome are at the forefront of modern Japanese fashion with a younger feel. And I totally dig the dinosaur hat.

Phew! Well, if you’ve got to the end of this post, well done. That was a long one, no? I hope I’ve convinced you to go… you won’t regret it.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Get all the visitors information in our listings section.

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Antonia Parker, ,Avant-garde, ,Baiba Ladiga, ,barbican, ,Chitose Abe, ,Comme des Garçons, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,Gallery, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hello Kitty, ,Issey Miyake, ,japan, ,Japanese fashion, ,Joana Faria, ,Jun Takahashi, ,Junya Watanabe, ,Kenzo, ,Koji Tatsuno, ,Lesley Barnes, ,ma, ,Manga, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,Mintdesigns, ,Naomi Law, ,Rei Kawakubo, ,review, ,Tao Kurihara, ,Wabi-sabi, ,Yohji Yamamoto

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Amelia’s Magazine | Georgia Hardinge collection at the On|Off exhibition

999 it’s time, sildenafil erectile is another green focused campaign. As the website notes “We are in a state of emergency – socially, store economically and ecologically. What do we do in an emergency? In the UK, viagra 100mg we dial 999…” Well that all sounds pretty heartening until you realise that the 999 campaigns reaction to this emergency hasn’t exactly been particularly speedy so far. I can’t help feeling that the climate emergency we are facing means groups should be advocating some real direct action rather than just planting a tree or joining the 10:10 movement. However the campaign has some great initiatives to get the ball rolling and hopefully get more people thinking about the global crisis.

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All illustrations by Suzy Phillips

Of course the campaign does have some credibility, it encourages people to get more environmentally friendly, and behind the celebrity endorsements 999 has some forward thinking ideas about how communities in particular can work together to create a more sustainable world. Transforming rural and urban spaces into shared land to grow food has been one of the most successful elements. Capital Growth is the place to start with a great run through of the process and steps and how to get involved. Land sharing empowers people by growing their own food and creating stronger links in communities as well as reducing the reliance on supermarkets. A definite step in the right direction.

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I caught up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the rural country celebrity chef, to talk about his part in the 999 campaign.

Can you outline what 999′s main priority is about and why you’re here today?

999 is about driving home the issue of climate change and what we ourselves can do to combat the emergency situation we have found ourselves in. I’ve come today because our aim ties in with the Climate Rush campaign, and its a great way to get talking with the local community, and of course it’s the 9th of the 9th 09.

How is the 999 campaign coming along? It doesn’t seemed to have gained as much prominence in the press such as campaigns like the recent 10:10?

It’s an on-going process, im specifically been looking at the food aspect, and as the ambassador I’m really interested in what small scale communities can do to combat the threat of climate change.

Can you please give some examples of the message your trying to get across in relation to the food aspect of the campaign?

With my books and TV series I’ve been highlighting the importance of locally grown produce and recently I’ve been pushing the idea of land sharing. The idea is to find land, whether in urban or rural spaces where people can grow their own food, there is so much land wasted around the UK that can be used. With over a thousand people on waiting lists for allotments especially in the south, it is vital we utilize all the land we can instead of relying on foreign markets for our vegetables. Food is a great way to create a cohesive community and bring people together.

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How is the land sharing campaign going, have you had much success?

We’ve had over a thousand land plots given to us and up to 30,000 people signing up to the website, so it’s defiantly getting people interested. The campaign is also working with groups like the Church of England and a range of British NGOs. The National Trust for example has just given us 1000 plots of land, so although it’s quite a slow process, there’s been a real positive reaction across the country.

With your interest in climate change, have the facts about the meat industry’s huge carbon footprint persuaded you to become vegetarian yet?

No, not yet, I’m aware of the issues, and I keep by own pigs and livestock, and always advocate buying locally soured meat to keep the carbon footprint low.

So let’s hope this campaign can help to stop this emergency from escalating, with 1 day, 11 hours, 9 minutes since 999 Day, the pressure is on.
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Designers in Residence @ the Design Museum
September 18 – October 31

The Design Museum’s annual exhibition of young designers begins on September 18 with site-specific works from Marc Owens and Dave Bowker. Owens is inspired by virtual realities – his work Avatar Machine replicates video gaming via a headset (above), order designed to make the wearer see themselves as a virtual character in the real world. Bowker works in data visualisation and will be re-examining the way visitors move about the Museum.

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Open House weekend

Once a year thousands of London’s most interesting and historic buildings are opened to the public, sale some of which are locked up tight for the rest of the year. Although some of the most popular buildings in the centre of London have already been completely booked, drugs there are still plenty of places worth visiting.

If you haven’t got your eye on anything in your local area, consider visiting the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, of “the dictionary” fame. It’s free to visit on Friday (there will be free cake on this day) and Saturday, in honour of the great man’s birthday.

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Radical Nature

This exhibition of works revolving around nature and inspired by environmentalism features pieces from architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and artists such as Joseph Beuys and Hans Haacke, as well as newer names such as Heath and Ivan Morrison and Simon Starling. Impactful and timely, there are lots of strong visual statements such as the Fallen Forest by Henrik Håkansson (above) and a visual record of the fields of wheat planted as an act of protest on a landfill site in Manhattan.

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Thames Festival

Sunday

One of the few fireworks displays allowed along the Thames will occur on Sunday when the Thames Festival fireworks are set off in all their glory, fired from barges between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge so everyone can get a perfect view. There are also events all day, including fire-eaters, an outdoor ballroom (starting to become the South Bank’s speciality) and the annual Night Carnival, where 2,000 costumed revellers bearing lanterns and luminous costumes will welcome the pyrotechnics.
Another load of talks, healing workshops and activities to get stuck into, information pills don’t forget Co-Mutiny is still on all this week in Bristol, Climate Rush are still on tour, and also make sure you get down to protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory this Thursday. Good luck with fitting it all in, I’m certainly going to struggle!

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Illustrations by Emma Hanquist

Cambridge Climate Conference
Monday 14 Sep 2009 to Tuesday 15 Sep 2009 ?

An exciting event has been organised with international speakers and delegates involved in policy-making, business, and academia. Understanding the role of climate change policy is central to a business’s future success. Topics will include the political, economical, technological, and legal challenges and solutions for decarbonising electricity.
To register for a discounted ticket visit the website and enter ‘ge2009′ as the discount code.

Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
Website: www.cambridgeclimate.com/

A Global New Deal needs a Green New Protectionism
Wednesday 16 Sep 2009 ?

An evening to learn and discuss the ‘triple crunch’ that we face: climate change, energy insecurity, and financial and economic meltdown. Colin Hines, Author and convener of the Green New Deal Group will be leading the talks. Colin has worked in the environmental movement for over 30 years including 10 years at Greenpeace. His recent work focuses on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localisation. During the evening there will also be a tribute to ‘Teddy’ Goldsmith, founder of The Ecologist magazine.

Time: 6.30pm drinks and food, 7.30pm talk begins at Burgh House
Venue: Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, Hampstead
Contacts: To book email, book online or call 0207 428 0054.
Website: www.gaiafoundation.org

Protest against the closure of Vestas Wind Turbine Factory
Thursday 17 Sep 2009 ?

As well as the continuing protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory at the Isle of Wight, there will also be a chance for people to make their feelings known across the country. People are meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London to lobby against the government. There will also be speakers including John Mcdonnel, MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) and Tracy Edwards (Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union).
Couldn’t put it better than Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change “Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only significant wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need prevent a climate catastrophe.
Whilst the impact on employment on the Isle of Wight will be quite devastating, this is an issue not just about jobs or one factory but about whether the government is really going to match up its actions to its rhetoric on green jobs and the rapid decarbonisation of the British economy – whether its prepared to act with the kind of resolution and energy we need to cope with the Climate Emergency”.

Time: 5.30 to 6.30pm
Venue: Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.
?Website: www.campaigncc.org

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Out of the Ordinary Festival
Friday 18 Sep 2009 to Sunday 20 Sep 2009
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OOTO is a 3 day family friendly and eco friendly festival set in the beautiful Sussex countryside celebrating the Autumn Equinox. Featuring a variety of live music powered by solar panels and wind generators, fascinating talks and workshops, children’s activities, awesome performances, a green market place and many more out of the ordinary surprises. The festival is also offering Big Green Gathering ticket holders a discount for the event held over the weekend
Venue: Knockhatch Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
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Website: www.outoftheordinaryfestival.com

Tree-Athlon
Saturday 19th September

Get fit and get your very own tree sapling to take home! Participants run a 5km race to raise money for Trees for Cities, an independent environmental charity working with local communities on tree planting projects. There is also music, entertainment, lots of tree-themed activities, whatever that may consist of, and plenty of other workshops to keep the whole family entertained.
The race is open to runners aged 14 and up and is ideal for beginners or experienced runners alike. Register now, to make sure you can raise as much sponsorship as possible before the day, and look forward to a grand day out.

Time: 9am-3pm
Venue: Battersea Park
Website: www.tree-athlon.org

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The Urban Green Fair ?
Sunday 20th September

?The Urban Green Fair is held in Brockwell Park in London this Sunday, Its a free event and with plenty to do and see, the fair is also powered by solar and wind energy.
The annual family event, has a range of films, talks, workshops, kids activities, stalls, sunshine as well as some unusual bicycles. Unfortunatly no bars or big stages but this keeps the emphasis on education and communication. A chance to share ideas, meet familiar faces and make new friends. With little government action on peak oil and climate change there is plenty to discuss and lots we can do as individuals. ?

Time:11am-7pm
?Venue: Brockwell Park, Lambeth
Website: http://www.urbangreenfair.org/

Leytonstone Car Free Day
Sunday 20th September

Leytonstone Town Centre will car free day this Sunday. As well as having no vehicles hurtling around there will also be entertainment, stalls, live music, dancing, public art and childrens’ play areas. Simon Webbe from Blue and Aswad will be headlining! Get yourself down, and make sure you leave the car(if you’ve got one) at home.
Time: 1pm-7pm
Venue: Outside Leyonstone tube station
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Co-mutiny
Saturday 12th of September until Monday 21st September

A coming together of activists, eco-warriors gardeners, artists, community/political groups, cooks, builders etc. to demonstrate our creative power to build a city/world we would like to see. Co-Mutineers have taken an old cathedral (of the holy apostles) near the Triangle in the Clifton/Hotwells area, it’s a space to converge, eat, sleep meet and discuss, plan and skill-share!
There will be over a week of different activities, direct actions, workshops, film screenings, public demonstrations and parties. It’s happening all across Bristol and the wider South West.

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During the week there will be actions happening all across the city, which will climax in a fancy dress carnival through the financial district of Bristol on the Friday.
Venue: Bristol Pro Cathedral, Park Place, BS8 1JW
Website: http://comutiny.wordpress.com/
Monday 14th September
William Elliott Whitmore
The Garage, order London

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We can’t get enough of this distilled, medications gravelly bluesman. With Whitmore, it’s almost like you’re listening from inside a huge bottle of JD.

Tuesday 15th September
We Have Band
ICA, London

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This trio spin the grooves of Talking Heads via a stop off and natter with Hot Chip, it’ll make you jive and smile.

Wednesday 16th September
Beth Jeans Houghton
Rough Trade East, London

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Having supported folk heavy weights, Tunng, Bon Iver, and King Creosote, this ballsy 19 year old manages to blend the vocal lustre of Nico and Laura Marling whilst having an edgy stage presence more like Gwen Stefani. Beguiling.

Thursday 17th September
Alela and Laura Gibson
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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We chatted to Alela recently and she was as lovely as her music. Gibson toes a similar line of enchanting bluesy folk airs.

Friday 18th September
Metronomy, Male Bonding, Your Twenties and Drums Of Death
The Forum, London

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We’re particularly keen on the immaculate indie-pop of Your Twenties after meeting the lovely ex-Metronomy frontman. Nice to see they’re still close.

Saturday 19th September
Tom Paley and Birdengine
The Deptford Arms, London

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A traditional folk night in a scuzzy South-East London boozer. You want more reason that that? Well living legend, Tom Paley who played with Woodie Guthrie back in the day and enchantingly odd, Birdengine are two big ones.

Sunday 20th September
Viv Albertine and Get Back Guinozzi!
The Windmill, London

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The Slits guitarist has picked up a guitar again after a 25 year sabbatical and come up trumps with punk rock outfit, Albertine.


Monday 14th


Rankin at The Truman Brewery

It’s the last chance to see Rankin’s retrospective in Brick Lane this week. The exhibition moves through Rankin at university exploring the well worn art student quest to find a sense of self to portraying the plight of the Congo. After this introduction the exhibition opens onto his best know fashion, website erotic and beauty editorials. Featuring Kate, Hedi, Tilda Swinton and the Dame of British Fashion, Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Rankin’s strongest work comes through in the portraits where he has assumed a sense of a relationship with the sitter, tweaking out their quirks through the movement of an eyebrow, eye or twitch of the lips or neck. Throughout the exhibition Rankin moved his studio into the space to continue photographing the public portraits. A portion of everyone’s fee goes to support Oxfam’s to work in the Congo.
Until the 18th September.

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Tuesday

START KNITTING with prick your finger!

Recent years have seen a rise in designers revisiting craft techniques, with knitting proving to be especially popular with a range of creatives from Louise Goldin to Mark Fast. Last week Amelia’s Magazine participated in a Prick Your Finger discussion on the use and sourcing of local ethical wool and the continuing rise in the popularity of knitting.Join on a Tuesday 7-9 for beginners classes with all your knitting woes and joys.

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Thursday

Fashion Diversity at The Museum of London

The Museum of London is staging a three day fashion diversity event during London Fashion Week. On Thursday the museum hosts a range of workshops from a discussion of the development of sustainable fashion by CHOOLIPS, to a Moving Passion to Profit workshop in association with the MOORDESIGN salon finishing with the importance of branding. Colour Production, addressing how companies interact with their audience visually. Finally 7-16 year olds are giving the opportunity to unlock their creativity in a fashion drawing workshop teaching concentration, communication and dexterity.

Friday and Saturday host the fashion diversity catwalks: Emerging, Established and Honorary designers at 1pm or 3pm Friday and 1pm on Saturday, places are free. Honorary designers Junky Styling and Nico Didonna also present pieces for the runway.

To conclude Saturday’s event, at 3pm student and graduate designers from schools and colleges across London showcase designs inspired by 18th century pleasure gardens and related costumes from from the Museum of London’s archives.

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SHOWstudio : Fashion Revolution

Unable to go to Fashion Week? Fear not! As mentioned last week, the Fashion Revolution exhibition opens at Somerset House. The exhibition curated by Showstudio celebrates nine years of Showstudio.com. The website established by Nick Knight has pushed and developed the idea of communicating fashion ‘live’ through films, online live interviews and streamed performances involving photographers, models, stylists graphic designers and cultural figures to create ethereal fashion portraiture and communication through body and style. New fashion films have been commissioned to accompany the exhibition, alongside a live photographic studio that gives the viewer the opportunity to see the whimsical world of fashion in play.

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Saturday 19th


GIANT VINTAGE SALE

This just dropped into the inbox – The East End thrift store are inviting all budding clothing DIY’ers to come down to the store and fill a bag with all that you can for ten or twenty pounds. Open Saturday to Sunday from 10-7pm.

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The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the icon of 60′s British Fashion photography, Twiggy. Dedicating a room to the most iconic images created with her image by a range of photographers from Richard Avedon to Solve Sundsbo. The exhibition coincides with a publication of a new book: Twiggy : A life in photography. This exhibition is a must for anyone interested in the relationship between sitter and photography in fashion portraiture.

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Roll up Roll up and take part in Covent Garden’s fashion fete

Pull the fashion rope, roll around in dressing up boxes courtesy of Costume Boutique. Jump up and Down for the tombola, be styled by Super Super Magazine, scouted by models 1 or preview some of the hottest new design talent with the Fashion and Textiles museum.
Moreover TRAID are holding a stitching workshop on how to transform old clothes into new designs as demonstrated by their remade range.

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The London Vegan Festival this year took place in Kensington Town Hall, ask and was absolutely heaving. Usually, store the odds of bumping into another vegan are slightly higher than those of two Esperanto speakers meeting, so hanging out in a hall packed full of them was a new experience – as was not having to ask ‘Is there dairy in this?’ at every food stall. Bliss.

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Almost as soon as someone mentions becoming vegan, people start to get a panicked look on their faces and tend to begin listing reasons why they couldn’t possibly give up cheese. The general consensus is that a vegan diet is deprived and difficult. Just a quick glance over these photos ought to give anyone with that mindset pause for thought.
Never-mind having never been in a room with so many vegans before, I’d never been in a room filled with so much vegan cake! I ate my way around the festival, starting with a deliciously gooey chocolate brownie, discovered vegan crème eggs half-way round, swung by the Conscious Chocolate stall for my free samples and a bar of Choca Mocha Magic, then hung out with Redwoods comparing the Lincolnshire sausages to the hot dogs. (Hawt dawgs won, hands done.) Veggies provided me with some real food, in the form of a massive Cheezley burger, giving me the energy I needed to head to some of the talks.

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Being vegan isn’t all about the food (though, let’s be honest. It is mostly about the food) and there was a wealth of information at the Festival ranging from talks on vegan nutrition (okay, food again), taking action against animal testing and extreme vegan sports (like regular extreme sports, but partaken of by vegans. Not like preparing scrambled tofu at 30,000 feet. Though, that would be something I would pay to see) to stalls run by the Secret Society of Vegans, animal rights groups and Active Distribution – a bookstall filled with vegan recipe books and anarchist ‘zines. There was information relevant to every level of vegan interest; aspiring, political, dietary…
There was plenty of entertainment too, in the form of magicians, musicians and comedians. (Never let it be said that vegans are without a sense of humour.) I saw Andrew O’Neill, a vegan comedian, who has recently come off the Fringe and was hilarious. Wibbling between whimsical and cruel, from the ‘scat-nav’ to “Kill a Fascist for Grandad” in replacement of the current “Hope not Hate” campaign, he had me laughing from start to finish.

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So, why vegan? We already have McCartney pushing for Meat-Free Mondays, do we really need Dairy-Free Days of the Week as well? I’m on the ‘Yes’ side for that one. Going vegan reduces support for the livestock industry down to zero, on a personal level. (Y’know the livestock industry I’m talking about. The one helping out with Climate Change by about 18%.) If you’re serious about wanting to reduce your environmental impact on the Earth and already cycle everywhere, reuse and recycle, turn your taps off when brushing your teeth, then this is the next step in armchair activism. You don’t need to head up to London to protest, or write letters to your MP. Just start buying dairy-free marge approved by the Vegan society, switch to dark chocolate instead of the sugar-filled sweet stuff, experiment with vegan recipes (hundreds of which are on-line) and have fun doing so. Going vegan isn’t scary or hard, but it is inconvenient. Learning to live without dairy, however, is going to be a lot less inconvenient than learning to live without our planet’s natural resources. If you need any more persuading, I make the most delicious vegan cookies. Drop me a line, and I’ll be sure to hook you up.
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2000 Light Years from Home, physician Neal Fox’s second exhibition, prostate opened at Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich this weekend.

A founder member of the infamous Le Gun collective and a character on the debaucherously creative Soho scene, Neal Fox’s reputation just grows and grows. His pen and ink drawings light up the pages of the Guardian and Dazed and Confused, whilst the Le Gun group shows are always packed to bursting on opening nights, providing the London art world with a much needed buzz of youthful excitement. Each picture features Neal’s grandfather Jonny Watson, by whom he was taken on drinking binges with the hedonist iconoclasts of our age. In this latest show he is taken on a doomsday rock and roll trip and psychedelic journey down the Nile.

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Fox has always drawn ( at school he made pocket money by drawing footballers for his fellow pupils) and became inspired by a discovery he made at his father’s friend Les Coleman’s house.
“…he has a massive collection of underground comics by people like Robert Crumb called things like ‘Amputee Love’. So, I was about eight and I would root through these alternative and psychedelic comics and I got really obsessed with Robert Crumb, I spent my teenage years locked up trying to draw like Robert Crumb.”

These years of drawing clearly paid off as Neal went on to study at Camberwell College and then to complete his masters at the RCA where he met Robert Greene, Chris Bianchi and the other founder members of Le Gun magazine.

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With the growing reputation of the Le Gun collective and the progression of Fox’s other work the whole thing is becoming very exciting and he has now exhibited in Soho’s French House, Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich and Loft 19 in Paris.

This latest exhibition shows great development in the work; the gin-soaked nights of his grandfather in Soho have become psychedelic journeys of the mind as we follow Joseph Conrad down the Nile on a Kenneth Anger inspired acid trip. This drawing is an astonishing 10 meters long. Fox’s work seems to grow in size with each exhibition as the content becomes more and more fantastical.

“Since I got into doing the big pictures, they’ve become much more layered…I think it makes your ideas bigger and makes you feel freer. Coming out of being an illustrator where you are tied to working in a certain size at your desk, I thought why not just make it bigger?”
While he was working on this gargantuan work he hung the drawing on an ‘elaborate contraption’ so he could roll it back and forth as the picture came to life.

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“It starts with the Heart of Darkness, it’s meant to be a mixture of the context of the novel, the pictures evoked by the books but rather than just illustrating the book I wanted to put in the context the books came from and how they bled into culture at the time it was published. “
This layering of influences and ideas is key to these amazing pictures. Drawing from many aspects of culture, from Kenneth Anger to colonial politics, Neal Fox sums up the multi-faceted representation of culture in the world we live in.

All theory aside, these are some pretty amazing adventures in pen and ink: not only will they test your imagination, they’ll tickle your fancy.

Leaving the last words to the artist: “I think the drawings have got a lot more context and my mind has opened up a lot more, the pictures in the last exhibition were more about depicting certain scenes, I’m opening up more to what just comes into my head as I work.”
I first noticed Georgia Hardinge’s exquisite autumn/winter collection for the designer’s transcription of fossil’s architecture into the folds of the collection. An idea embellished by the neutral colour palette of both the make up and the clothes themselves. This season sees Georgia Hardinge premiere her S/S 2010 collection at On|Off’s exhibition space at 180 The Strand. This event staged by On|Off is a separate event which coincides with the official London Fashion Week, tadalafil offering young designers the opportunity to show their collections while the fashion industry is in town.

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After graduating from Parsons Paris School of Design Georgia collaborated with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and was awarded the golden thimble for best designer at her graduation show. I particularly like the draping and pleating of the fabric to embellish the body’s architecture whilst remaining incredibly feminine pieces of design. The S/S 2010 designs continues themes present in earlier collections from the positioning as clothes as architecture for the body encased within sculptural designs based on landscapes and fossils. I look forward to seeing the entire collection at the On|Off exhibition.

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Georgia, check what inspired you to study fashion design?

Fashion is my way of translating my thoughts into living entities. I am inspired more by ideas of sculpture, science, and architecture than I am by the fashion industry I think clothing should be unique and trend-less.

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When did you creative interests start to develop?

Creating things always interested me, and I remember remaking my friends‚ clothes for fun, and collecting bits and pieces to turn into accessories. We would all go into our mother’s wardrobes and dress up in their clothes.

How important is the natural shape of the body to your designs?

Everyone has areas around their body that they are sensitive about. Manipulating the fabric to draw attention elsewhere makes people more confidant, if I can make people see beauty in what they thought were their faults then I’m happy.

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Which designers would you consider to be important currently?

I don’t consider any one designer to be more important than any other. Our work shows our opinions and everybody has an opinion that matters. It’s about what you like and what feels right at a specific moment.

What is your favourite fabric to work with?

I have this obsession with wool! I can always rely on it to structure my work the way I want, and I love playing with the raw edges of the fabric.

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How do you incorporate structure into your designs?

Architecture is my ultimate inspiration, if I wasn’t in fashion I would dedicate my time to making models of landscapes and buildings, I’m intrigued by doing this on a living body and challenging myself to turn my ideas into garments. On the body my work can travel, people are introduced to my concepts in the street without having to go to a gallery or museum.

So landscape is important to your SS10 collection?

I wanted each piece to map the lines and curves of a woman’s body. I was just experimenting with the idea of boundaries and contours on the body and trying to recreate this as something we can use everyday.

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How does it feel to be part of On|Off at London Fashion Week?

I’m quite excited. This is only my first collection working within my company so I’m just lucky to have this kind of opportunity.

What are your plans for the future?

I have a lot in store for the future. I think all designers have an idea of where they want to be in ten years time. I just hope people stay enthusiastic about my clothes and I keep challenging myself and coming up with fresh ideas.

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Categories ,Architecture, ,exhibition, ,Fashion Design, ,Fossils, ,Georgia Hardinge, ,London Fashion Week, ,MA, ,Off Schedule, ,On|Off, ,Parsons School of Design

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Amelia’s Magazine | Georgia Hardinge collection at the On|Off exhibition

999 it’s time, sildenafil erectile is another green focused campaign. As the website notes “We are in a state of emergency – socially, store economically and ecologically. What do we do in an emergency? In the UK, viagra 100mg we dial 999…” Well that all sounds pretty heartening until you realise that the 999 campaigns reaction to this emergency hasn’t exactly been particularly speedy so far. I can’t help feeling that the climate emergency we are facing means groups should be advocating some real direct action rather than just planting a tree or joining the 10:10 movement. However the campaign has some great initiatives to get the ball rolling and hopefully get more people thinking about the global crisis.

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All illustrations by Suzy Phillips

Of course the campaign does have some credibility, it encourages people to get more environmentally friendly, and behind the celebrity endorsements 999 has some forward thinking ideas about how communities in particular can work together to create a more sustainable world. Transforming rural and urban spaces into shared land to grow food has been one of the most successful elements. Capital Growth is the place to start with a great run through of the process and steps and how to get involved. Land sharing empowers people by growing their own food and creating stronger links in communities as well as reducing the reliance on supermarkets. A definite step in the right direction.

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I caught up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the rural country celebrity chef, to talk about his part in the 999 campaign.

Can you outline what 999′s main priority is about and why you’re here today?

999 is about driving home the issue of climate change and what we ourselves can do to combat the emergency situation we have found ourselves in. I’ve come today because our aim ties in with the Climate Rush campaign, and its a great way to get talking with the local community, and of course it’s the 9th of the 9th 09.

How is the 999 campaign coming along? It doesn’t seemed to have gained as much prominence in the press such as campaigns like the recent 10:10?

It’s an on-going process, im specifically been looking at the food aspect, and as the ambassador I’m really interested in what small scale communities can do to combat the threat of climate change.

Can you please give some examples of the message your trying to get across in relation to the food aspect of the campaign?

With my books and TV series I’ve been highlighting the importance of locally grown produce and recently I’ve been pushing the idea of land sharing. The idea is to find land, whether in urban or rural spaces where people can grow their own food, there is so much land wasted around the UK that can be used. With over a thousand people on waiting lists for allotments especially in the south, it is vital we utilize all the land we can instead of relying on foreign markets for our vegetables. Food is a great way to create a cohesive community and bring people together.

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How is the land sharing campaign going, have you had much success?

We’ve had over a thousand land plots given to us and up to 30,000 people signing up to the website, so it’s defiantly getting people interested. The campaign is also working with groups like the Church of England and a range of British NGOs. The National Trust for example has just given us 1000 plots of land, so although it’s quite a slow process, there’s been a real positive reaction across the country.

With your interest in climate change, have the facts about the meat industry’s huge carbon footprint persuaded you to become vegetarian yet?

No, not yet, I’m aware of the issues, and I keep by own pigs and livestock, and always advocate buying locally soured meat to keep the carbon footprint low.

So let’s hope this campaign can help to stop this emergency from escalating, with 1 day, 11 hours, 9 minutes since 999 Day, the pressure is on.
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Designers in Residence @ the Design Museum
September 18 – October 31

The Design Museum’s annual exhibition of young designers begins on September 18 with site-specific works from Marc Owens and Dave Bowker. Owens is inspired by virtual realities – his work Avatar Machine replicates video gaming via a headset (above), order designed to make the wearer see themselves as a virtual character in the real world. Bowker works in data visualisation and will be re-examining the way visitors move about the Museum.

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Open House weekend

Once a year thousands of London’s most interesting and historic buildings are opened to the public, sale some of which are locked up tight for the rest of the year. Although some of the most popular buildings in the centre of London have already been completely booked, drugs there are still plenty of places worth visiting.

If you haven’t got your eye on anything in your local area, consider visiting the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, of “the dictionary” fame. It’s free to visit on Friday (there will be free cake on this day) and Saturday, in honour of the great man’s birthday.

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Radical Nature

This exhibition of works revolving around nature and inspired by environmentalism features pieces from architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and artists such as Joseph Beuys and Hans Haacke, as well as newer names such as Heath and Ivan Morrison and Simon Starling. Impactful and timely, there are lots of strong visual statements such as the Fallen Forest by Henrik Håkansson (above) and a visual record of the fields of wheat planted as an act of protest on a landfill site in Manhattan.

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Thames Festival

Sunday

One of the few fireworks displays allowed along the Thames will occur on Sunday when the Thames Festival fireworks are set off in all their glory, fired from barges between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge so everyone can get a perfect view. There are also events all day, including fire-eaters, an outdoor ballroom (starting to become the South Bank’s speciality) and the annual Night Carnival, where 2,000 costumed revellers bearing lanterns and luminous costumes will welcome the pyrotechnics.
Another load of talks, healing workshops and activities to get stuck into, information pills don’t forget Co-Mutiny is still on all this week in Bristol, Climate Rush are still on tour, and also make sure you get down to protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory this Thursday. Good luck with fitting it all in, I’m certainly going to struggle!

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Illustrations by Emma Hanquist

Cambridge Climate Conference
Monday 14 Sep 2009 to Tuesday 15 Sep 2009 ?

An exciting event has been organised with international speakers and delegates involved in policy-making, business, and academia. Understanding the role of climate change policy is central to a business’s future success. Topics will include the political, economical, technological, and legal challenges and solutions for decarbonising electricity.
To register for a discounted ticket visit the website and enter ‘ge2009′ as the discount code.

Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
Website: www.cambridgeclimate.com/

A Global New Deal needs a Green New Protectionism
Wednesday 16 Sep 2009 ?

An evening to learn and discuss the ‘triple crunch’ that we face: climate change, energy insecurity, and financial and economic meltdown. Colin Hines, Author and convener of the Green New Deal Group will be leading the talks. Colin has worked in the environmental movement for over 30 years including 10 years at Greenpeace. His recent work focuses on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localisation. During the evening there will also be a tribute to ‘Teddy’ Goldsmith, founder of The Ecologist magazine.

Time: 6.30pm drinks and food, 7.30pm talk begins at Burgh House
Venue: Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, Hampstead
Contacts: To book email, book online or call 0207 428 0054.
Website: www.gaiafoundation.org

Protest against the closure of Vestas Wind Turbine Factory
Thursday 17 Sep 2009 ?

As well as the continuing protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory at the Isle of Wight, there will also be a chance for people to make their feelings known across the country. People are meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London to lobby against the government. There will also be speakers including John Mcdonnel, MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) and Tracy Edwards (Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union).
Couldn’t put it better than Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change “Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only significant wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need prevent a climate catastrophe.
Whilst the impact on employment on the Isle of Wight will be quite devastating, this is an issue not just about jobs or one factory but about whether the government is really going to match up its actions to its rhetoric on green jobs and the rapid decarbonisation of the British economy – whether its prepared to act with the kind of resolution and energy we need to cope with the Climate Emergency”.

Time: 5.30 to 6.30pm
Venue: Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.
?Website: www.campaigncc.org

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Out of the Ordinary Festival
Friday 18 Sep 2009 to Sunday 20 Sep 2009
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OOTO is a 3 day family friendly and eco friendly festival set in the beautiful Sussex countryside celebrating the Autumn Equinox. Featuring a variety of live music powered by solar panels and wind generators, fascinating talks and workshops, children’s activities, awesome performances, a green market place and many more out of the ordinary surprises. The festival is also offering Big Green Gathering ticket holders a discount for the event held over the weekend
Venue: Knockhatch Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
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Website: www.outoftheordinaryfestival.com

Tree-Athlon
Saturday 19th September

Get fit and get your very own tree sapling to take home! Participants run a 5km race to raise money for Trees for Cities, an independent environmental charity working with local communities on tree planting projects. There is also music, entertainment, lots of tree-themed activities, whatever that may consist of, and plenty of other workshops to keep the whole family entertained.
The race is open to runners aged 14 and up and is ideal for beginners or experienced runners alike. Register now, to make sure you can raise as much sponsorship as possible before the day, and look forward to a grand day out.

Time: 9am-3pm
Venue: Battersea Park
Website: www.tree-athlon.org

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The Urban Green Fair ?
Sunday 20th September

?The Urban Green Fair is held in Brockwell Park in London this Sunday, Its a free event and with plenty to do and see, the fair is also powered by solar and wind energy.
The annual family event, has a range of films, talks, workshops, kids activities, stalls, sunshine as well as some unusual bicycles. Unfortunatly no bars or big stages but this keeps the emphasis on education and communication. A chance to share ideas, meet familiar faces and make new friends. With little government action on peak oil and climate change there is plenty to discuss and lots we can do as individuals. ?

Time:11am-7pm
?Venue: Brockwell Park, Lambeth
Website: http://www.urbangreenfair.org/

Leytonstone Car Free Day
Sunday 20th September

Leytonstone Town Centre will car free day this Sunday. As well as having no vehicles hurtling around there will also be entertainment, stalls, live music, dancing, public art and childrens’ play areas. Simon Webbe from Blue and Aswad will be headlining! Get yourself down, and make sure you leave the car(if you’ve got one) at home.
Time: 1pm-7pm
Venue: Outside Leyonstone tube station
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Co-mutiny
Saturday 12th of September until Monday 21st September

A coming together of activists, eco-warriors gardeners, artists, community/political groups, cooks, builders etc. to demonstrate our creative power to build a city/world we would like to see. Co-Mutineers have taken an old cathedral (of the holy apostles) near the Triangle in the Clifton/Hotwells area, it’s a space to converge, eat, sleep meet and discuss, plan and skill-share!
There will be over a week of different activities, direct actions, workshops, film screenings, public demonstrations and parties. It’s happening all across Bristol and the wider South West.

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During the week there will be actions happening all across the city, which will climax in a fancy dress carnival through the financial district of Bristol on the Friday.
Venue: Bristol Pro Cathedral, Park Place, BS8 1JW
Website: http://comutiny.wordpress.com/
Monday 14th September
William Elliott Whitmore
The Garage, order London

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We can’t get enough of this distilled, medications gravelly bluesman. With Whitmore, it’s almost like you’re listening from inside a huge bottle of JD.

Tuesday 15th September
We Have Band
ICA, London

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This trio spin the grooves of Talking Heads via a stop off and natter with Hot Chip, it’ll make you jive and smile.

Wednesday 16th September
Beth Jeans Houghton
Rough Trade East, London

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Having supported folk heavy weights, Tunng, Bon Iver, and King Creosote, this ballsy 19 year old manages to blend the vocal lustre of Nico and Laura Marling whilst having an edgy stage presence more like Gwen Stefani. Beguiling.

Thursday 17th September
Alela and Laura Gibson
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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We chatted to Alela recently and she was as lovely as her music. Gibson toes a similar line of enchanting bluesy folk airs.

Friday 18th September
Metronomy, Male Bonding, Your Twenties and Drums Of Death
The Forum, London

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We’re particularly keen on the immaculate indie-pop of Your Twenties after meeting the lovely ex-Metronomy frontman. Nice to see they’re still close.

Saturday 19th September
Tom Paley and Birdengine
The Deptford Arms, London

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A traditional folk night in a scuzzy South-East London boozer. You want more reason that that? Well living legend, Tom Paley who played with Woodie Guthrie back in the day and enchantingly odd, Birdengine are two big ones.

Sunday 20th September
Viv Albertine and Get Back Guinozzi!
The Windmill, London

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The Slits guitarist has picked up a guitar again after a 25 year sabbatical and come up trumps with punk rock outfit, Albertine.


Monday 14th


Rankin at The Truman Brewery

It’s the last chance to see Rankin’s retrospective in Brick Lane this week. The exhibition moves through Rankin at university exploring the well worn art student quest to find a sense of self to portraying the plight of the Congo. After this introduction the exhibition opens onto his best know fashion, website erotic and beauty editorials. Featuring Kate, Hedi, Tilda Swinton and the Dame of British Fashion, Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Rankin’s strongest work comes through in the portraits where he has assumed a sense of a relationship with the sitter, tweaking out their quirks through the movement of an eyebrow, eye or twitch of the lips or neck. Throughout the exhibition Rankin moved his studio into the space to continue photographing the public portraits. A portion of everyone’s fee goes to support Oxfam’s to work in the Congo.
Until the 18th September.

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Tuesday

START KNITTING with prick your finger!

Recent years have seen a rise in designers revisiting craft techniques, with knitting proving to be especially popular with a range of creatives from Louise Goldin to Mark Fast. Last week Amelia’s Magazine participated in a Prick Your Finger discussion on the use and sourcing of local ethical wool and the continuing rise in the popularity of knitting.Join on a Tuesday 7-9 for beginners classes with all your knitting woes and joys.

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Thursday

Fashion Diversity at The Museum of London

The Museum of London is staging a three day fashion diversity event during London Fashion Week. On Thursday the museum hosts a range of workshops from a discussion of the development of sustainable fashion by CHOOLIPS, to a Moving Passion to Profit workshop in association with the MOORDESIGN salon finishing with the importance of branding. Colour Production, addressing how companies interact with their audience visually. Finally 7-16 year olds are giving the opportunity to unlock their creativity in a fashion drawing workshop teaching concentration, communication and dexterity.

Friday and Saturday host the fashion diversity catwalks: Emerging, Established and Honorary designers at 1pm or 3pm Friday and 1pm on Saturday, places are free. Honorary designers Junky Styling and Nico Didonna also present pieces for the runway.

To conclude Saturday’s event, at 3pm student and graduate designers from schools and colleges across London showcase designs inspired by 18th century pleasure gardens and related costumes from from the Museum of London’s archives.

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SHOWstudio : Fashion Revolution

Unable to go to Fashion Week? Fear not! As mentioned last week, the Fashion Revolution exhibition opens at Somerset House. The exhibition curated by Showstudio celebrates nine years of Showstudio.com. The website established by Nick Knight has pushed and developed the idea of communicating fashion ‘live’ through films, online live interviews and streamed performances involving photographers, models, stylists graphic designers and cultural figures to create ethereal fashion portraiture and communication through body and style. New fashion films have been commissioned to accompany the exhibition, alongside a live photographic studio that gives the viewer the opportunity to see the whimsical world of fashion in play.

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Saturday 19th


GIANT VINTAGE SALE

This just dropped into the inbox – The East End thrift store are inviting all budding clothing DIY’ers to come down to the store and fill a bag with all that you can for ten or twenty pounds. Open Saturday to Sunday from 10-7pm.

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The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the icon of 60′s British Fashion photography, Twiggy. Dedicating a room to the most iconic images created with her image by a range of photographers from Richard Avedon to Solve Sundsbo. The exhibition coincides with a publication of a new book: Twiggy : A life in photography. This exhibition is a must for anyone interested in the relationship between sitter and photography in fashion portraiture.

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Roll up Roll up and take part in Covent Garden’s fashion fete

Pull the fashion rope, roll around in dressing up boxes courtesy of Costume Boutique. Jump up and Down for the tombola, be styled by Super Super Magazine, scouted by models 1 or preview some of the hottest new design talent with the Fashion and Textiles museum.
Moreover TRAID are holding a stitching workshop on how to transform old clothes into new designs as demonstrated by their remade range.

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The London Vegan Festival this year took place in Kensington Town Hall, ask and was absolutely heaving. Usually, store the odds of bumping into another vegan are slightly higher than those of two Esperanto speakers meeting, so hanging out in a hall packed full of them was a new experience – as was not having to ask ‘Is there dairy in this?’ at every food stall. Bliss.

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Almost as soon as someone mentions becoming vegan, people start to get a panicked look on their faces and tend to begin listing reasons why they couldn’t possibly give up cheese. The general consensus is that a vegan diet is deprived and difficult. Just a quick glance over these photos ought to give anyone with that mindset pause for thought.
Never-mind having never been in a room with so many vegans before, I’d never been in a room filled with so much vegan cake! I ate my way around the festival, starting with a deliciously gooey chocolate brownie, discovered vegan crème eggs half-way round, swung by the Conscious Chocolate stall for my free samples and a bar of Choca Mocha Magic, then hung out with Redwoods comparing the Lincolnshire sausages to the hot dogs. (Hawt dawgs won, hands done.) Veggies provided me with some real food, in the form of a massive Cheezley burger, giving me the energy I needed to head to some of the talks.

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Being vegan isn’t all about the food (though, let’s be honest. It is mostly about the food) and there was a wealth of information at the Festival ranging from talks on vegan nutrition (okay, food again), taking action against animal testing and extreme vegan sports (like regular extreme sports, but partaken of by vegans. Not like preparing scrambled tofu at 30,000 feet. Though, that would be something I would pay to see) to stalls run by the Secret Society of Vegans, animal rights groups and Active Distribution – a bookstall filled with vegan recipe books and anarchist ‘zines. There was information relevant to every level of vegan interest; aspiring, political, dietary…
There was plenty of entertainment too, in the form of magicians, musicians and comedians. (Never let it be said that vegans are without a sense of humour.) I saw Andrew O’Neill, a vegan comedian, who has recently come off the Fringe and was hilarious. Wibbling between whimsical and cruel, from the ‘scat-nav’ to “Kill a Fascist for Grandad” in replacement of the current “Hope not Hate” campaign, he had me laughing from start to finish.

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So, why vegan? We already have McCartney pushing for Meat-Free Mondays, do we really need Dairy-Free Days of the Week as well? I’m on the ‘Yes’ side for that one. Going vegan reduces support for the livestock industry down to zero, on a personal level. (Y’know the livestock industry I’m talking about. The one helping out with Climate Change by about 18%.) If you’re serious about wanting to reduce your environmental impact on the Earth and already cycle everywhere, reuse and recycle, turn your taps off when brushing your teeth, then this is the next step in armchair activism. You don’t need to head up to London to protest, or write letters to your MP. Just start buying dairy-free marge approved by the Vegan society, switch to dark chocolate instead of the sugar-filled sweet stuff, experiment with vegan recipes (hundreds of which are on-line) and have fun doing so. Going vegan isn’t scary or hard, but it is inconvenient. Learning to live without dairy, however, is going to be a lot less inconvenient than learning to live without our planet’s natural resources. If you need any more persuading, I make the most delicious vegan cookies. Drop me a line, and I’ll be sure to hook you up.
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2000 Light Years from Home, physician Neal Fox’s second exhibition, prostate opened at Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich this weekend.

A founder member of the infamous Le Gun collective and a character on the debaucherously creative Soho scene, Neal Fox’s reputation just grows and grows. His pen and ink drawings light up the pages of the Guardian and Dazed and Confused, whilst the Le Gun group shows are always packed to bursting on opening nights, providing the London art world with a much needed buzz of youthful excitement. Each picture features Neal’s grandfather Jonny Watson, by whom he was taken on drinking binges with the hedonist iconoclasts of our age. In this latest show he is taken on a doomsday rock and roll trip and psychedelic journey down the Nile.

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Fox has always drawn ( at school he made pocket money by drawing footballers for his fellow pupils) and became inspired by a discovery he made at his father’s friend Les Coleman’s house.
“…he has a massive collection of underground comics by people like Robert Crumb called things like ‘Amputee Love’. So, I was about eight and I would root through these alternative and psychedelic comics and I got really obsessed with Robert Crumb, I spent my teenage years locked up trying to draw like Robert Crumb.”

These years of drawing clearly paid off as Neal went on to study at Camberwell College and then to complete his masters at the RCA where he met Robert Greene, Chris Bianchi and the other founder members of Le Gun magazine.

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With the growing reputation of the Le Gun collective and the progression of Fox’s other work the whole thing is becoming very exciting and he has now exhibited in Soho’s French House, Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich and Loft 19 in Paris.

This latest exhibition shows great development in the work; the gin-soaked nights of his grandfather in Soho have become psychedelic journeys of the mind as we follow Joseph Conrad down the Nile on a Kenneth Anger inspired acid trip. This drawing is an astonishing 10 meters long. Fox’s work seems to grow in size with each exhibition as the content becomes more and more fantastical.

“Since I got into doing the big pictures, they’ve become much more layered…I think it makes your ideas bigger and makes you feel freer. Coming out of being an illustrator where you are tied to working in a certain size at your desk, I thought why not just make it bigger?”
While he was working on this gargantuan work he hung the drawing on an ‘elaborate contraption’ so he could roll it back and forth as the picture came to life.

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“It starts with the Heart of Darkness, it’s meant to be a mixture of the context of the novel, the pictures evoked by the books but rather than just illustrating the book I wanted to put in the context the books came from and how they bled into culture at the time it was published. “
This layering of influences and ideas is key to these amazing pictures. Drawing from many aspects of culture, from Kenneth Anger to colonial politics, Neal Fox sums up the multi-faceted representation of culture in the world we live in.

All theory aside, these are some pretty amazing adventures in pen and ink: not only will they test your imagination, they’ll tickle your fancy.

Leaving the last words to the artist: “I think the drawings have got a lot more context and my mind has opened up a lot more, the pictures in the last exhibition were more about depicting certain scenes, I’m opening up more to what just comes into my head as I work.”
I first noticed Georgia Hardinge’s exquisite autumn/winter collection for the designer’s transcription of fossil’s architecture into the folds of the collection. An idea embellished by the neutral colour palette of both the make up and the clothes themselves. This season sees Georgia Hardinge premiere her S/S 2010 collection at On|Off’s exhibition space at 180 The Strand. This event staged by On|Off is a separate event which coincides with the official London Fashion Week, tadalafil offering young designers the opportunity to show their collections while the fashion industry is in town.

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After graduating from Parsons Paris School of Design Georgia collaborated with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and was awarded the golden thimble for best designer at her graduation show. I particularly like the draping and pleating of the fabric to embellish the body’s architecture whilst remaining incredibly feminine pieces of design. The S/S 2010 designs continues themes present in earlier collections from the positioning as clothes as architecture for the body encased within sculptural designs based on landscapes and fossils. I look forward to seeing the entire collection at the On|Off exhibition.

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Georgia, check what inspired you to study fashion design?

Fashion is my way of translating my thoughts into living entities. I am inspired more by ideas of sculpture, science, and architecture than I am by the fashion industry I think clothing should be unique and trend-less.

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When did you creative interests start to develop?

Creating things always interested me, and I remember remaking my friends‚ clothes for fun, and collecting bits and pieces to turn into accessories. We would all go into our mother’s wardrobes and dress up in their clothes.

How important is the natural shape of the body to your designs?

Everyone has areas around their body that they are sensitive about. Manipulating the fabric to draw attention elsewhere makes people more confidant, if I can make people see beauty in what they thought were their faults then I’m happy.

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Which designers would you consider to be important currently?

I don’t consider any one designer to be more important than any other. Our work shows our opinions and everybody has an opinion that matters. It’s about what you like and what feels right at a specific moment.

What is your favourite fabric to work with?

I have this obsession with wool! I can always rely on it to structure my work the way I want, and I love playing with the raw edges of the fabric.

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How do you incorporate structure into your designs?

Architecture is my ultimate inspiration, if I wasn’t in fashion I would dedicate my time to making models of landscapes and buildings, I’m intrigued by doing this on a living body and challenging myself to turn my ideas into garments. On the body my work can travel, people are introduced to my concepts in the street without having to go to a gallery or museum.

So landscape is important to your SS10 collection?

I wanted each piece to map the lines and curves of a woman’s body. I was just experimenting with the idea of boundaries and contours on the body and trying to recreate this as something we can use everyday.

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How does it feel to be part of On|Off at London Fashion Week?

I’m quite excited. This is only my first collection working within my company so I’m just lucky to have this kind of opportunity.

What are your plans for the future?

I have a lot in store for the future. I think all designers have an idea of where they want to be in ten years time. I just hope people stay enthusiastic about my clothes and I keep challenging myself and coming up with fresh ideas.

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Categories ,Architecture, ,exhibition, ,Fashion Design, ,Fossils, ,Georgia Hardinge, ,London Fashion Week, ,MA, ,Off Schedule, ,On|Off, ,Parsons School of Design

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Amelia’s Magazine | Carolyn Massey presents The Gentleman’s Code

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The London based duo Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton will be staging an event all day tomorrow (Thursday 29th) around London as part of their ‘ It Was The Best Of Times, mind It Was The Worst Of Times’ tour. Keep your eye out for a parking ticket on your car – you never know, viagra some lucky chosen few will contain a free signed mini screen print! Be sure to check out their work:http://www.tinseledwards.org/ and http://www.twinkletroughton.co.uk/.

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You’ve known each other since you were 9 years old – how long have work together creatively?

Edwards: We’ve worked together on lots of different creative projects over the years, rx we ran a little fanzine when we were about 10! There’s also the band we used to be in until recently and the record label we have set up.  When we were at college our art work was completely collaborative, we work separately now but often join forces for specific projects and to put on exhibitions.

Troughton: Tinsel has kind of said it all there. I think we are very much on the same wavelength work-wise and have been since we were 9. So ideas bounce off each other quite easily and i think it works really well to help us move things forward.

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Have you had formal training? How has this shaped how you work?

Edwards: We both went to art college in London, at the time it was really good to get regular feedback from tutors and students and that will have shaped the way we work in lots of ways. However we graduated in 2001 so it seems a while a go now! Now the way we work is shaped more so by our everyday lives and observations of our surroundings.

Troughton: It was quite funny because we went to separate art colleges, I went to Kingston which Tinsel was rejected from and Tinsel went to Goldsmiths which I was rejected from yet we ended up collaborating anyway and holding identical degree shows in each college. We had to go to each others crits and tutorials sometimes and so our work had quite a cheeky nature to it as it was a bit of an ‘up yours’ really, I think we still like to be playful in what we create together.

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How would you each describe your work individually and collaboratively?

Edwards: My work is a wide ranging commentary on all sorts of observations that I make in everyday life, I am interested in challenging and protesting about different things to promote and inspiring positive change.  I love the idea of Do-It-Yourself, and continually promote the idea of personal responsibility in my work.  I see my work as politically active, not because it references particular political events or current affairs, but because through my observations, questions, statements and slogans, I aim to instigate positive action and change on both an individual and wider level.  
The themes in my work vary widely, it can be an honest personal narrative, it can reference the everyday, or highlight social and cultural issues.  I often use humour to deal with these themes.

Troughton: I make work which is heavily influenced by Britain both now and as it was 2-300 hundred years ago. Up until recently my work was predominantly describing British quirks, questioning what we as Brits were modern day slaves to and using humour as a main tool to depict my ideas. While these elements are still running through my work it’s now got more political in many ways, I’m also questioning a lot of our cultural habits which actually stem back from a long time ago. I guess I’m looking at how on the surface everything changes yet underneath many things don’t change at all. 

Collaboratively: Both of our work stems from observation, and although in very different ways, the work is a response to life in Britain today.  The content and theme of each artist’s work is very different, but it stems from similar observations and concern. The approach is also similar, in that we both paint in bold colours and often use humour.

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Where does your inspiration come from? Childhood/training/location?

Edwards: Inspiration comes from all sorts of things, life in London is a massive influence, music and art, people’s attitudes and social observation.  Style and technique wise I love text and all things typographic, I love Pop art, big expressionist style painterly work, vintage graphic design.

Troughton: Inspiration comes from the media, newspapers mainly. I look at both snippets in the papers and the stories that dominate. Currently I am finding so much inspiration from more historical reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve been reading Dickens and factual books about the Victorians and am basing a lot of research on historical reading combined with the scouring of newspapers each day. I also am inspired just by basic observation of day to day life. As an avid people watcher there is plenty of inspiration on the streets of London alone! Visually, I don’t have a list of artists who inspire me, that can pop up at any moment when visiting exhibitions. Just a small example: I got masses of inspiration recently from the historical collections at National Portrait Gallery but was also very inspired by the HUGE Maggie Thatcher painting by Marcus Harvey (although I had already done my Maggie painting I do need to point out haha!) so I think I take artistic inspiration from all over the place.

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Who are the artists that you most admire?

Edwards:There are soooo many artists I like for lots of different reasons! But if I had to name a couple I would say that I love Bob and Roberta Smith, because he is honest, challenging, funny, political and very frank and open.  And I really like Tracey Emin, also because I really admire her honesty and fearlessness.  I’ve always found her work very compelling.

Troughton: I guess my answer above answers some of this. Artists I really like though… I also love Tracey Emins work for very similar reasons to Tinsel. I love Jeff Koons’ work, especially his paintings which I personally just thought were out of this world, it’s always good to see work which leaves you feeling like you’ve got so much to aspire to! It makes you want to change and move things on and think bigger.

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How important is it to have a presence on the internet these days? Do you use Twitter and other social networking sites?

Edwards: I’m a bit reluctant to get sucked in to Twitter, and it took me a while to join Facebook!  But it is really important to have online presence, its a brilliant way to showcase your work and promote exhibitions, and to find out about other artists too.

Troughton: Urgh I am not too good at things like Twitter…I’m not sure people would want to follow my daily thoughts and actions like that. I don’t mind using those things as a platform to show artwork and to let people know about events, and I also don’t mind them for keeping in touch with friends old and new…but that’s about it…

What would your dream commission be?

Edwards: Erm!!! It would be really funny to be asked to do something for the Queen, or perhaps a bonkers old millionaire rock star, or a politician…. I would love to work on album covers for bands.  On a more serious note it would be absolutely amazing to be commissioned to do something like the fourth plinth, a big public commission which could be used as a platform to voice something really important and relevant to people’s lives.

Troughton: Dream commission?? Haha, yeah something for the Queen would be excellent. At the moment I think I would love to be commissioned to make a very large scale painting for a pubic space which was going to be used as a future insight to modern British life and our social issues. Something which freezes time to show future generations what life in Britain was like in the 2000s-2010s, showing both good and bad elements. 

How did you come up with the idea for your event this Thursday?

Edwards: The screenprint in the parking ticket bags is an image of a Woolworths empty shop-front, across the posters in the windows is written ‘It was the Best of Times It was the Worst of Times’.  The work is talking about how although recession can be very difficult it can also be a time for positive change and growth.  We thought that producing a mini print as a very large edition would help to promote that message.  Disguising each one as a parking ticket tied in quite well, when people find them although they might be initially a bit disappointed, what’s inside is actually a nice thing – some free art!
Our previous gallerist Stella Dore actually helped us to come up with a very initial version of the idea about two years ago. Because of the nature of our work, it is often confined to the gallery space, we wanted to do something which would take our work out of the gallery and to a wider audience.

Troughton: The Traffic Warden part of the idea did come from Steph at Stella Dore. We just didn’t know what to do with it back then. Then along the way little flashes of inspiration came to us, such as from reading Dickens. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ is an opening line to one of his novels’ and both me and Tinsel felt that opening line was incredibly descriptive of modern life and was also a direct response to our own feelings about the recession. 

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Men designing womenswear is something that appears to dominate the fashion industry. We don’t know why, viagra 100mg but men are often able to create clothing for the opposite sex that oozes sex appeal and sassy beauty. Probably, hospital it’s down to the distance of being able to appreciate something that they are not, alongside the aesthete’s almost iconic hero-worship of the female form. Women designing menswear however, is not a similar occurrence, Menswear extraordinaire Carolyn Massey however is shaking up the status quo. With her creations gallivanting across Parisian runways and her third capsule collection hitting Topman stores, this lady knows a thing or two about how a man should dress; and it should be through wearing her pieces.

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Graduating from Royal College of Art four years ago, Massey is known for her attention to detail, tailoring and her menswear is branded as gentlemanly. The clothes are durable and investment-worthy, just like something your granddad would wear. During a recent talk entitled “The Gentleman’s Code”, as part of a fashion lecture series at The Museum of London, Massey discussed her interpretation and inspiration of the gentleman in the past and present.

Trawling through the archives of garment history, Massey accumulated an intense knowledge of how men used to dress from the turn of the century to the war and inter-war period. Bringing historical details back to contemporary design is no easy feat. Despite finding beautiful detailing on buttons and stitches, much of Massey’s research led her to conclude that things like personal designer touches (including errors) were maxims perhaps best left to the Victorians. Details such as hand-sewn embellishments would not be bothered with today on a grand scale. After all, our economy runs on a manufacturing basis, and there is unfortunately little swing for hand-stitching and “one-of-a-kind” designer details, despite the exquisiteness of entirely hand-sewn trousers.

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(Photography by Matt Bramford)

Instead of lock-stock reverting to historical design principles, Massey subtly attempts to alter impressions of menswear. Traditionally seen as distinctly “un-fashion”, there is an ongoing debate into whether menswear as a branch of the fashion industry even exists. As Massey persuasively argued, menswear changes less rapidly and more subtly than womenswear, and that this can be used to good cause. Menswear should therefore be durable and long-living. Men should buy a tailor blazer or suit or trousers, and keep them forever. What should be thrown out is our culture’s attitude of “throw-away-ability”, our IKEA spawn of buying something cheap because then we can replace it. Don’t get Massey started on Primark.

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Despite being influenced by dandy dressers of the past, who wore impeccably detailed and tailored pieces, Massey insists that the notion of the gentleman comes from within; stating during the talk that it’s an attitude and a style of life, not a 3 piece suit from Armani. Massey cannot create these items as a magic cure-all to transform the average gent into Oscar Wilde. Massey holds a great fascination for silhouettes and shapes; the pieces play within being eccentric but lightweight, vivacious but muted, sharp but comfy. Coding is important, and that’s why the military is highly prevalent in her work.

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Investigating old regulation army jackets and badging rules, Massey incorporated these touches into her own work. In the same way, functionality is a big deal for the boys; if they need a pocket – they want a pocket. Dappling in the ubiquitously difficult ‘man bag’ territory and Massey comes off strong, demonstrating functionality as key. What can’t this woman do?

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(photograph by Matt Bramford)

Carolyn Massey’s dip into the archives benefited menswear relevance greatly this season. Her SS10 collection was classic but contemporary, an increasingly hard balance to hit successfully. With the rise of metrosexuality and unisex brands, good old fashioned tough, eccentric, granddad clobber is hard to find. However, with designers like Massey taking the time to get into the mindset, clothing born from style’s past creates a functional contemporary gentlemen.

For more talks and events (FREE!) check out the Museum of London

Categories ,Bespoke designs, ,Carolyn Massey, ,London Fashion Week, ,menswear, ,military jackets, ,Victorians

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