Amelia’s Magazine | R/H Label, fashion design from Finland: meet Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi

Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi RH Label
Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label.

I met Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label on my trip to Moscow, click where they came by train (very jealous) to pitch their brand to a panel of experts for feedback, website of which *ahem* I was one. The girls studied together for six years at the University of Art & Design Helsinki, and have forged a strong partnership which made them a delight to hang out with during my stay in Russia and I was utterly charmed by their playful style, for which they are the best ambassadors. In the first of two blog posts here’s a summary of what R/H Label are up to.

RH Label by Fawn Carr
RH Label by Fawn Carr.

R/H Label was named for a combination of the girls’ surnames, and was founded only last June in Helsinki after being in the planning for way longer, both girls having studied and worked in fashion at home and abroad after graduation – I actually met Emilia a few years ago when I borrowed clothes from Agency V, where she worked as a PR. Small world eh? They took this time in the industry to learn about the commercial sides of the business and analysed what they could do best when starting their own label: clever girls. It is no surprise that their designs perfectly encapsulate the Agency V aesthetic; playful, colourful, printed. All good things in my book!

RH Label by June Chanpoomidole
RH Label by June Chanpoomidole.

Whilst the Finnish design scene is strong on the international stage, the fashion scene is something new, and so for them indigenous inspiration comes from the likes of well known furniture designers Alvar Aalto and textiles supremo Marimekko who mainly produces textiles for the home. IVANNAhelsinki is one of the only major Finnish fashion designers to have a profile abroad, as well as Laitinen menswear which has a high profile in Milan and Paris.

Hanna Riiheläinen of R/H Label in Moscow
Hanna Riiheläinen of R/H Label in Moscow.

But now is an exciting time because there is a new generation of creatives coming through. Ones to check out include fashion photographer Susanna Majuri and Helsinki based illustrator Laura Laine. Emilia and Hanna work with creatives across lots of disciplines and are inspired by Finland’s location between the east and west – a place where different visual aesthetics easily meet and mingle. Functional solutions come over from Sweden, but there is plenty of rich decorative detail to play with from the eastern side.

RH Label SS 2011 blue dressRH Label SS 2011 jacket leggings dahlia
R/H Label S/S 2011.

RH Label SS 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou
R/H Label SS 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou.

S/S 2011 was R/H Label’s first commercial collection, inspired by Dolly Parton, Mickey Mouse, Black Magic and the Nordic Summer Sky. You don’t get much more fun than that! It features a mix of local reindeer leather and bamboo jersey and all the bespoke prints were digitally printed onto silk – they like to create every element of the collection. I particularly love the purple sky and dotty dahlia prints, and was thoroughly enamoured of their ceramic eyeball necklace, created in collaboration with a local ceramics studio.

RH Label AW 2011
R/H Label A/W 2011.

RH Label AW 2011 by Michalis ChristodoulouRH Label AW 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou
R/H Label AW 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou.

For A/W 2011 they were inspired by Dragons, Mountains, Acrobats and Vagabonds. Another rich inspirational mash up! Role models that helped to inspire the collection included the strong character of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, and Finnish author Sofi Oksanen. Lots of black is offset again with bright prints in louche easily wearable shapes.

RH Label AW 2011 coat
R/H Label A/W 2011

Production is mainly done in Tallinn, Estonia which is 80km away, but the reindeer bags are made in Helsinki and they are keen to do more with local materials. Interest in the collection has been quick and enthusiastic and as well as stocking at home in Finland they already have stockists in Berlin, Vienna and New York. Naturally Agency V has been looking after press, which is also going pretty darn well for such a new label.

RH Label AW 2011 jumpsuit
R/H Label A/W 2011

Now they just need to figure out a way to grow the brand organically whilst retaining their creative control… it’s all about achieving that balance, which is why they came to Moscow for advice. In my next blog Hanna and Emilia answer a few questions. In the meantime take a browse around the R/H Label website and R/H Label online shop. Let’s hope they find stockists in the UK soon.

Emilia Hernesniemi RH Label
Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label talking to Michael Salac of Blow PR.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Acrobats, ,Agency V, ,Alvar Aalto, ,berlin, ,Black Magic, ,Blow PR, ,ceramic, ,colourful, ,Dolly Parton, ,Dragons, ,Emilia Hernesniemi, ,Estonia, ,Eyeball Necklace, ,Fawn Carr, ,finland, ,FInnish, ,Helsinki, ,IVANNAhelsinki, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,Laitinen, ,Laura Laine, ,Lisbeth Salander, ,Marimekko, ,Michael Salac, ,Michalis Christodoulou, ,Mickey Mouse, ,Mountains, ,Nordic Summer Sky, ,pr, ,prints, ,R/H Label, ,Reindeer Leather, ,Riiheläinen, ,S/S 2011, ,Silk, ,Sofi Oksanen, ,Stieg Larsson, ,Susanna Majuri, ,Tallinn, ,University of Art & Design Helsinki, ,Vagabonds, ,Vienna, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Hats for Kate: New headwear from Canadian Designers to welcome the British Royals

Hats for Kate by Amy Rogers
Hats for Kate, approved Bully Beaver, abortion by Amy Rogers.

If you’ve been reading the papers you will know that our Kate and Wills have arrived for their first state trip in Canada, price in Alberta to be precise. In honour of their visit to the home of the Tarsands *the most destructive project on earth* some lovely Canadian designers have put together a range of possible hats for Kate to wear.

Hats-For-Kate-by-Gabrielle-Brittney
Hats for Kate, Tar and Feathers, by Gabrielle Brittney.

The hats were commissioned by Environmental Defence Canada and will be modelled today for the media in Ottawa.

Hats for Kate by Fawn Carr
Hats for Kate, Tar and Feathers, by Fawn Carr.

Needless to say they’ve been planned to show a more accurate picture of Canada than the Royals are likely to be shown – a *highlight* will be the impact of Tarsands extraction, busy damaging the Canadian reputation globally.

Hatsforkate_PIPELINEMEDUSA
Pipeline Medusa.

The eight hats represent new and old Canadian themes and include:

Maple Beatrice – an adaptation of the hat that got us all talking hats.
Tar and Feathers – to mark the day Canada achieved infamy when a flock of ducks mistook a massive toxic lake in the tar sands for a good place to land.
Kate’s Road to Avonlea – in honour of Anne of Green Gables.

Hatsforkate_CLIMATEDENIER
Climate Denier.

In the UK our very own UK No Tar Sands Network has been giving them some press. There should be banner advertising running on Grazia today… and of course I couldn’t resist asking a few illustrators to have a go. Follow UK No Tar Sands on Twitter and see more hat designs at Hats for Kate.

Hatsforkate_TARANDFEATHERS
Tar and Feathers.

Categories ,Alberta, ,Amy Rogers, ,Beatrice, ,Bully Beaver, ,Climate Denier, ,Environmental Defence Canada, ,Fawn Carr, ,Gabrielle Brittney, ,Grazia, ,Hats for Kate, ,Kate and Wills, ,Kate’s Road to Avonlea, ,Maple Beatrice, ,Ottawa, ,Pipeline Medusa, ,Royal Visit, ,Tar and Feathers, ,Tar Sands, ,Tarsands, ,UK No Tar Sands Network

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland Off Out Of Schedule A/W 2011 in Łódź: Maldoror

Maldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011 by Fawn Carr
Maldoror A/W 2011 by Fawn Carr.

The hissing sighs of Diamandas Galas provided the musical backdrop to this edgy show from Maldoror by Grzegorz Matl?g, pills which featured street cast models who I had seen around already in the audience at Fashion Week Poland – a refreshing change from the same old faces on every catwalk. Black outfits opened the show, high necked and lacy for both men and women, culminating in a butt revealing suit made entirely of net. Grzegorz Matl?g works with recycled materials, his aim being to challenge the wearer “to create their own look without the cultural restraints and defects of consumerism.” High ideals indeed, and ones which I of course heartily applaud.

Maldoror by Rebecca Strickson
Maldoror by Rebecca Strickson.

Things really started hotting up for me with the introduction of bright devilish red. I particularly loved the short-legged man’s red silk shantung suit paired with shiny red loafers and tied loosely at the waist, followed by a round shouldered coat for women and two interesting sequinned patchwork pieces.

Maldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia Gregory

Maldoror had constructed some stunning garments for this show but as was true of many other Polish collections successful ideas were not developed to their full potential with The Accuser – which was a shame because I love what he is doing. The show ended to the sound of clanging bells, again. A sound which was done to death at Fashion Week Poland, but which was just about justified in this case. Maldoror is available in the UK at Not Just a Label.

Maldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia GregoryMaldoror Off Out ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011-photography by Amelia Gregory
Maldoror A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,bells, ,black, ,Diamandas Galas, ,Eco fashion, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Fashion Week Poland, ,Fawn Carr, ,Grzegorz Matląg, ,Lodz, ,Maldoror, ,Not Just a Label, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,Palgue Mass, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,recycled, ,Red, ,The Accuser, ,Upcycled

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

Ziv Gill Kazenstein by_Alison Day
Ziv Gill Kazenstein by Alison Day.

Menswear is usually not as fun to talk about as womenswear, viagra order but despite the huge reliance on a similar sandy colour theme there were some very strong collections at Central Saint Martins:

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kristy Longman photography by Amelia Gregory
Kirsty Longman opted for a pastel and camouflage collection that incorporated long shapes and interesting textures.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Suzannah Gardner photography by Amelia Gregory
Suzannah Gardner went for pale shades of grey and camel in a very strong collection that took inspiration from school boy style, the Scouts and the Brownies. Think toggles and shirted shapes… with the occasional pleated mini skirt.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Ziv Gill Kazenstein photography by Amelia Gregory
Ziv Gill Kazenstein showed an explosion of print and oversized shapes. A drop hemline gorilla shirt was the most normal outfit in a fun collection of baggy feathered suits. The kind of menswear we like to draw! (see above)

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Daisy Lowe Josh Bullen photography by Amelia Gregory
Josh Bullen must have friends in high places. His fairly ordinary sports inspired collection was given an injection of excitement by the appearance of Daisy Lowe in skimpy shorts. Well, if you’ve got the contacts why not milk ‘em?

Daisy Lowe for Josh Bullen at Central Saint Martins by Fi Blog
Daisy Lowe for Josh Bullen at Central Saint Martins by Fi Blog.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Kopi Akasaka photography by Amelia Gregory
Kopi Akasaka went for a literal approach with his very costumey collection, featuring three-legged twins, breast plates and a bearskin hat. Most successful was a wide pinstriped pants suit worn by a dashing ginger model.

Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory Central Saint Martins Ba Show 2011-Noriyuki Doi photography by Amelia Gregory
Noriyuki Doi had a fun take on the omnipresent butterscotch colourway. Red, white and blue print detailing gave the collection a summery lift. He’d also created an inventive see through bib and skirt to be worn over a normal suit if the look should so take your fancy.

And of course the menswear from Ivan Nuria Nunes won a prize in the L’Oreal awards.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,Central Saint Martins, ,daisy lowe, ,Josh Bullen, ,Kirsty Longman, ,Kopi Akasaka, ,menswear, ,Noriyuki Doi, ,print, ,Suzannah Gardner, ,Ziv Gill Kazenstein

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Moko Sellars, Founder of Design Studio Moko

Moko

Based in East London, Moko is a Design Studio with a passion for form. Set up by Moko Sellars in 2012, Moko burst onto the design scene with the launch of Ceramiko, a slip-cast ceramic stool produced in Stoke-on-Trent. This was closely followed by a range of bone china rings (to give your fingers a bit of pizzazz). Looking through her portfolio, you can see a strong focus on space and a passion for design. The simplicity of her pieces reminds me that it’s simple, well executed ideas that have the most impact. This is shown by her chopstick drumsticks and prototype book-shaped book light.

Moko

Moko’s pieces are always unique, and nourished by a fanatical passion for product design and antiques, she creates ‘simple, contemporary products with a nod towards the familiar’. Made to be cherished, her work puts an individual slant onto traditional homeware and accessories; resulting in neat little ‘inventions’ that you will treasure forever. More than just products, her work represents a study of how people interact with the world around them, and this influences their design. Simple but beautiful, these minimalist products are all handmade, which only adds to their appeal. I spoke to founder Moko Sellars about notebooks, furniture and unexpected paperwork.

Moko

Moko

You set up Moko in 2012, is there anything you wish you’d known when you started out?
There’s more admin to do than you’d think!

Where do you get your inspiration?
It can come from the past, maybe an object from the past or how they used to do things ‘back in the day’. I love looking around antique markets and I tend to buy vintage clothes and old furniture. Also by watching people! I find that the best ideas come to you when you’re not trying. You see someone doing something and it just clicks and you’re like “bingo”, I’ve got a product!

Moko
Moko

Have you always had a strong interest in design?
I always liked making things: cards, clothes, bags etc. I remember when I was young, when something broke, I would take it apart and try and work out what happened to it and how to fix it. Sometimes successfully, sometimes I’d break it even more.

How did you develop such as strong knowledge of materials?
I studied Furniture and Product Design then worked as a Packaging/ Product Designer for few years, so I had the chance to work with different materials. My favourite materials to work with are ceramics and paper.

Moko

Books appear a lot in your work, are you a big reader?
I do love books, but I think more their form rather than the contents! I love notebooks, I have about twenty on the go at the moment! I actually have a notebook design coming out next month which I designed for a company called Suck UK.

Moko
Moko

You’re also an illustrator, do you feel your drawing is a vital part of developing your ideas?
My illustrations are just for fun really, I find mocking things up in three dimensions (usually in paper) more important and enjoyable than sketching.

Moko

You design both packaging and products; do you feel the two are inextricably linked?
I think so. I’m really passionate about packaging design and how it can make or break a product. I sometimes spend double the amount of money on things just because they have nicer packaging!

Your work is very conceptual, is it important to you that your products are more than just functional objects?
Definitely! Function is very important, but I think concept is as important, if not more.

Moko
Moko

Do you have any favourites among your pieces?
I love all my designs equally. BUT the new Bone China ‘Diamond’ Ring Collection is the first design that people can wear on them for others to see, which is very exciting.

What’s your own most cherished piece of furniture?
It would have to be my ceramic stool. It took a while to get it made but I’m very happy with the result and I think it’s very cute.

Moko

What are your plans for the future?
I would like to design some more jewellery pieces, whether it will be a whole new collection or just a few select pieces; you’ll have to wait and see! I also love food so it would be fun to do some food related projects!

You can see more of Moko‘s work at www.mokosellars.com

Moko

The beautiful photos (which remind me of craft mag Mollie Makes) are by Wang Wei & Moko.

Categories ,Antiques, ,Bone China, ,ceramic stool, ,Furniture, ,Graphic Design, ,handmade, ,illustration, ,jewellery, ,Moko, ,packaging design, ,slip cast, ,Suck UK

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Royal Wedding in Illustrations: Kate & Wills

Will & Kate by Gemma Milly
Will & Kate by Gemma Milly. Available to buy as a print here.

I suppose I should start this blog with a disclaimer: I am for sure no ardent royalist. The only Royal Wedding memorabilia that I’ve collected has been a kitsch charity shop find – a scuffed up Charles and Di mug. And up until Friday last week I’d given the Royal Wedding barely more than the thought that it would be nice to have the day off and encourage participation in the plethora of street parties taking place.

The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover
The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover. Available to buy as a print here.

But then Friday arrived and there I was, page sat in front of the telly with a glass of champers – tweeting frantically through the banal commentary as I heard news of pre-emptive arrests of anarchist friends who had planned to stage street theatre demonstrations. And you know what? Despite the horrendous political policing that took place to ensure a *trouble free* Royal Wedding I have to admit that I enjoyed the spectacle massively.

Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett
Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett.

My fashion head marvelled at the wedding attire, some truly hideous (princesses Beatrice and Eugenie please stand up) but much of it truly fabulous. And all of it an illustrator’s dream! I’ve heard not one bad word about Kate’s undeniably beautiful dress by Sarah Burton for McQueen, and despite his protestations even the boyfriend perked up when she stepped out of her royal carriage, carefully scooping up the lengthy folds of her train.

Kate waving by Jenny Robins
Kate waving by Jenny Robins.

Yes, the little girl in me woke up. The one who despite my parent’s valiant attempts to mould me into a total tomboy nevertheless loved to draw princesses with flowing gowns and elegant crowns. It seems that even I could not help but get sucked into this Royal fairy tale: all it took was a momentary suspension of reality: the reality that this Royal Wedding was paid for by our taxes at a time when the severest of cuts are being felt across the nation. Like so many others I pushed it to the back of my mind. To be continued….
Read my second blog round up of Royal Wedding illustrations by clicking here! (once you’ve looked at everything here of course)

Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique
Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Pippa & Kate byKarla Pérez Manrique
Pippa & Kate by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla.

William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Royal wedding by Fawn Carr
Royal wedding by Fawn Carr.

Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv
Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv.

wills and kate by izy penguin
Wills and Kate by Izy Penguin.

Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne
Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne.

William and Kate's wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate’s wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,Becca Thorne, ,Bex Glover, ,Catherine Middleton, ,Fawn Carr, ,Gemma Milly, ,Izy Penguin, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karina Yarv, ,Karla Pérez Manrique, ,Kate, ,Kate Middleton, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Royal Wedding, ,Sara Japanwalla, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Sarah Burton, ,Severn Studios, ,Wills

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Amelia’s Magazine | Anarchidinner, an Experimental Banquet by Companis at the Barbican: a review

Anarchidinner-by-Claire-Sells-splotd
Anarchidinner by Claire Sells.

I loved the art exhibition Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, tadalafil New York 1970s, visit web currently showing at the Barbican, so when an offer was extended for me to join a live performance inspired by Matta-Clark’s Food project how on earth could I refuse? I arrived at the entrance to the Barbican roof gardens and upon entry was motioned to don a disposable plastic raincoat so that I could enjoy some entertainingly served aperitifs, gin and tonic squirted over umbrellas into the brave mouths of those who stepped forward. I declined when I saw the stinging eyes and instead set off to explore the top floor garden.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Only some time later did I realise that the bizarre film being made in the jungle was nowt to do with Anarchidinner but was instead a live film project from Lucky PDF. Unfortunately this meant that I missed the first bit of performance art and arrived at my seat to find a molten stream of honeycomb spattered down the centre of the communal table, metal implements embedded inside.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

At the head of the room the professional chefs were staged on a raised platform with microphones and industrial kitchen equipment. Once our St. George’s Mushroom Soup and axe-hacked bread had been served the boiler suit clad waiters surrounded us with drill bits and microphones, attacking the the table underside and creating a cacophony over which I chatted to my neighbours. This was a Spectacle titled Handphone Soup, an ‘aural and visual stimulation’ inspired by Laurie Anderson.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

The main course involved a ‘sawn roast belly of pork’ which left me regretting that I had not asked for a veggie option, but I did very much enjoy the ruby red apple rings, potatoes pummelled with a soft mallet and gravy applied with an industrial funnel.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Alejandra Espino
Anarchidinner by Alejandra Espino.

Part two of Accumulative Gestures, after Trisha Brown, involved some fairly freestyle hand waving from our erstwhile waiters, before the final denouement of Incendiary Wafers, after Gordon Matta-Clark. The large slabs of blow torched minty marshmallow were designed to eat with the honeycomb, but alas our table had decided that this was an avante garde starter and we were already operating on hyperactive sugar overload having demolished the lot before we started on soup.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

I had worried inordinately about sitting on my own for supper but one of the highlights of Anarchidinner was sharing a meal with new friends. The aim of Companis‘ work is ‘to push the boundaries of the diners’ comfort and expectations, the end result being one of spectacular encounter’. The end result was often amusing and at times uncomfortable, but it definitely could have been more spectacular… I would have liked there to have been more of a climax instead of what felt like a fading away as guests drifted homeward.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

If you’re going to do things back to front why not go the whole hog? On my way out I had a sneaky squirt of alcoholic aperitif with my new found friends. I hope that their later partying went with a bang.

Anarchidinner by Fawn Carr
Anarchidinner by Fawn Carr.

If the Anarchidinner concept tickles your fancy why not read my review of Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s? It runs until the 22nd of May 2011 and there are performances daily.

Categories ,Accumulative Gestures, ,Alejandra Espino, ,An Experimental Banquet, ,Anarchidinner, ,barbican, ,Barbican Garden Room, ,claire sells, ,Companis, ,Fawn Carr, ,Food, ,Gordon Matta-Clark, ,Handphone Soup, ,Incendiary Wafers, ,Laurie Anderson, ,Lucky PDF, ,Meal, ,New York 1970s, ,Performance Art, ,Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, ,Splot Designs, ,splotd, ,Trisha Brown

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review of album Dig Down Deep and interview with Vandaveer

Vandaveer by Gemma Sheldrake
Vandaveer by Gemma Sheldrake.

Dig Down Deep opens the latest album from Vandaveer of the same name. It’s a rousing ditty that traces the journey of a merry band of vagabonds as they traverse a snowy landscape. Well that’s what happens in the brilliant video at any rate, this site on which Mark Charles Heidinger is joined by the delightful harmonies of Rose Guerin. Vandaveer is steeped in old world folk and southern roots, web but there’s a driving beat that keeps this album moving forward no matter how keenly it looks to the past… pounding cello or sparse piano keys accompanying the duelling voices of Mark and Rose as they narrate stories of war and loss, love and life. I’d be hard pushed to pick out a favourite tune from this wonderful and emotionally rich album. Just buy it, okay? But first, here’s a Q&A with the man behind it all: Mark Charles Heidinger.

Vandaveer Dig Down Deep cover

Dig Down Deep is your third album. How has your sound and approach changed since your first album?
Vandaveer essentially started out as a fling with my first record, then turned into something more serious for me a short time later, so I suppose I’m a bit more conscious that it’s a career of some sort these days. I can’t really say precisely how that has affected my sound or approach to writing and recording, but I’d like to think that with age comes better filtering. I’d like to think I’ve become a bit more discerning, but I’d be foolish to declare such a thing to be wholly true, for that would be anything but discerning.

vandaveer by daria
Vandaveer by Daria Hlazatova.

What is the title single Dig Down Deep about? It’s a very cold looking video… was that painful to film?! I imagine there were a lot of cold fingers.
I suppose it’s about the great getting on with things. Life is incredibly beautiful and profound, but it’s also full of heavy sadness and tumult. It can be quite a struggle to remain buoyant and focused. But it’s important and more than a bit comforting to know that this is a common experience. As for the video, yes, it was very, very cold. 8 degrees Fahrenheit cold. Took two days to shoot in Long Island, NY this past January. I’ve never known such cold. But we did it, and that’s the point I think. It all made sense. A cold, painful sense of accomplishment.

Who are the rag taggle band of followers in Dig Down Deep?
True believers, esteemed colleagues and luminaries, each and every one, deserving of accolades galore for bearing with us that very long weekend. Musicians, painters, photographers, singers, comic artists, lovers, tenders, fixers, and great conquerors of cold. But most importantly, they are our friends.

Vandaveer by Fawn Carr
Vandaveer by Fawn Carr.

There is a very old world feel to your music and to your imagery – why do you think this is?
I can’t really say why that might be the case, but as the world is in fact a very old place I think it makes sense that music seems to reflect that. What we do as Vandaveer is contemporary by default, but themes and ideas can be quite old at their core, and I’ve always considered myself a thief and a pilferer, musically speaking. But I think that’s the way this game is played in general, really…

vandaveer by neonflower
Vandaveer by Neonflower.

How have your Kentucky roots come to the fore in recent times?
From a purely logistical viewpoint, Kentucky is all over and inside each Vandaveer record. My longtime producer/studio collaborator, Duane Lundy, has a wonderful studio in Lexington, KY, so we find ourselves working there quite a bit. In addition, we end up with a lot of our friends from Kentucky playing on the records… Amazing folks like Ben Sollee, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Justin Craig and Robby Cosenza (they of These United States infamy)… Kentucky is in my bones. From the songs to the studio to the folks who we make music with. Then there’s the bourbon…

Vandaveer by Katie Chappell
Vandaveer by Katie Chappell.

Have you ever had any really dodgy jobs to support your music career, and if so what was the one you hated the most, and loved?
I think every job is dodgy in some respect, playing music amongst the dodgiest, honestly. The fact that I call singing songs a career is quite dodgy. The best job I ever had happened to fall in my lap straight out of college. I was actually paid a handsome monthly sum to write music trivia questions for a dot com before the bubble burst. Doesn’t get dodgier than that.

Vandaveer by Vanessa Lovegrove
Vandaveer by Vanessa Lovegrove.

Why do you think you often don’t like your own songs once you’ve recorded them and is there any remedy for this?
Did I say that? Firstly, I can’t be trusted. Secondly, recordings are more like polaroid snapshots of songs, really. They shouldn’t be treated as definitive versions in my book. That being said, they do end up serving some sort of archival role, so you want them to sound satisfactory. I find recording to be an entirely arbitrary process. Who’s to say that a song should only have 8 tracks or 64 tracks on it? When is too much too much or too little too little? The fact that you have to call a song finished at some point in the process is what I find frustrating. I like to think of songs as living things. They change over time. But recordings stay the same.

Vandaveer by Rhiannon Ladd
Vandaveer by Rhiannon Ladd.

How did your relationship with singer Rose Guerin come about?
Rosie and I met during the heyday of a little folk collective we had in DC called The Federal Reserve. Was a ramshackle bunch to be sure, but it produced golden memories for me. Meeting Rose and casually stumbling into a musical relationship was one such moment. She is truly special. 

YouTube Preview ImageWoolgathering.

What are you most looking forward to next time you come to the UK?
I am most looking forward to the next time we tour the UK. Everything else will be dessert.

Vandaveer by Nicola Ellen
Vandaveer by Nicola Ellen.

Dig Down Deep by Vandaveer is out now.

The Nature of Our Kind

Categories ,Ben Sollee, ,Cheyenne Marie Mize, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Dig Down Deep, ,Duane Lundy, ,Fawn Carr, ,folk, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Harmonies, ,Justin Craig, ,Katie Chappell, ,Kentucky, ,KY, ,Lexington, ,Long Island, ,Mark Charles Heidinger, ,neonflower, ,Nicola Ellen, ,ny, ,Rhiannon Ladd, ,Robby Cosenza, ,Rose Guerin, ,The Federal Reserve, ,The Nature of Our Kind, ,These United States, ,Vandaveer, ,Vanessa Lovegrove, ,Washington, ,Woolgathering

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Amelia’s Magazine | Interview with Swedish singer Cornelia about new single Aquarius Dreams

Cornelia by Lisa Stannard
Cornelia by Lisa Stannard.

New music sensation Cornelia was introduced to me by Manchester based illustrator Lisa Stannard, abortion who features in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Cornelia's Aquarius Dream by Fawn Carr
Cornelia’s Aquarius Dream by Fawn Carr.

Cornelia is a talented singer, songwriter and producer who hails from Sweden but is now based in London. Her new single Aquarius Dreams was released a few weeks ago, accompanied by a wonderful animated video. Let’s find out more…

Peaceful Intensity for Cornelia by Joanne Oatts
Peaceful Intensity for Cornelia by Joanne Oatts.

How do you know our lovely Lisa Stannard? One of the featured illustrators in my new book told me about you…
Lisa fluttered into my life by coincidence, sharing common friends and flowers. Her distinct laughter and lashes swift as butterflies’ wings made me curious. They say creative hearts draw to each other.

Cornelia by Finn O'Brien
Cornelia by Finn O’Brien.

How did you growing up in a remote rural location affect your creativity?
?Growing up on a barren island gave me a big, colourful palette to play with. No physical instruments or tools except my piano. But a lot of sky, lone walks and time to read books.

Cornelias by Sam Parr
Cornelias by Sam Parr.

How did you get from Sweden to London? There must have been some steps in between…
?A few years back I followed the path from Stockholm to Barcelona, where I met some of my first London friends. They persuaded me that London was the city for me. I started exploring this curious melting pot, and eventually moved here.

cornelia Aquarius Dreams
Photography by Christopher Hunt.

What was your previous band called and how would you describe it in three words?
I’ve been in many musical constellations, but only one traditional band before I decided to explore music on my own. It was called Popshop. I remember I didn’t really like that name, it made us sound like something plastic. Which we weren’t. But I liked my band. It was naïve, charming and a good learning curve.?

Cornelia by Jane Young
Cornelia by Jane Young.

In starting your own label you have planted your own ‘savage seed’ in order to control your own destiny. What have been the best and hardest things about this process?
?You can never fully control your own destiny? But you can plant your creativity where it has the potential to grow freely, organic and unique. The trick is to find the right soil, and it took me a long time to get settled.

What happens on Camp Mozart? Are you planning to release other musician’s music too? Do you produce for others?
I write songs for others. Maybe because I like the challenge. And I hope to put out more music by other musicians but there will be a time and place for that.

Cornelia_Jellyfish_by_Lina_Hansson
Cornelia by Lina Hansson.

Who or what inspires you vocally?
Hauschka’s music. It makes me sing. ?

Aquarius Dreams by Jane Young
Aquarius Dreams by Jane Young.

You are inspired by the hip hop and electronic scenes – how did you get involved with these?
Music comes to you a bit like friends do. You have a few things in common but still there’s something interesting and different with them that you want to find out more about.?

YouTube Preview ImageAquarius Dreams

How was the video made for Aquarius Dreams?
The video is made by Martyn Thomas from Stitch That. Martyn used stop motion techniques with each frame of film sketched by hand, then individually photographed against a backlight. It’s the work of a champion. Everything of flesh and blood in this video is sketched by hand like they are made up beings, whilst dead things like metal robots or lampshades looks perfectly real. I guess I’m trying to describe how it can be to get caught up in your own creativity and loose concept of reality.

Cornelia by Sally Jane Thompson
Cornelia by Sally Jane Thompson.

What are you doing for the rest of your summer? Any recommendations?
I’m rehearsing my live set, supporting Portico Quartet in London in August. I’m slowly finishing my album with my co-producer Utters and I’m also working on some productions with Scratcha DVA for his next album. I’ve been travelling so much this spring that I’m going to try and stay put for a bit. Enjoy that I’m living in one of the most culture hectic capitals of the world, not too far away from some stunning nature scenery.

Cornelia by Camille Block
Cornelia by Camille Block.

A long walk around the lake district is one of the most soothing yet energising things I’ve done in my life. If anything that’s my recommendation.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,animation, ,Aquarius Dreams, ,barcelona, ,Camille Block, ,Camp Mozart, ,Christopher Hunt, ,Cornelia, ,Fawn Carr, ,Finn O’Brien, ,Hauschka, ,Jane Young, ,Joanne Oatts, ,Lina Hansson, ,Lisa Stannard, ,London Kills Me, ,Martyn Thomas, ,Popshop, ,portico quartet, ,Producer, ,Sally Jane Thompson, ,Sam Parr, ,Scratcha DVA, ,singer, ,songwriter, ,Stitch That, ,stockholm, ,Swedish, ,Utters

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Amelia’s Magazine | Interview with Swedish singer Cornelia about new single Aquarius Dreams

Cornelia by Lisa Stannard
Cornelia by Lisa Stannard.

New music sensation Cornelia was introduced to me by Manchester based illustrator Lisa Stannard, abortion who features in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Cornelia's Aquarius Dream by Fawn Carr
Cornelia’s Aquarius Dream by Fawn Carr.

Cornelia is a talented singer, songwriter and producer who hails from Sweden but is now based in London. Her new single Aquarius Dreams was released a few weeks ago, accompanied by a wonderful animated video. Let’s find out more…

Peaceful Intensity for Cornelia by Joanne Oatts
Peaceful Intensity for Cornelia by Joanne Oatts.

How do you know our lovely Lisa Stannard? One of the featured illustrators in my new book told me about you…
Lisa fluttered into my life by coincidence, sharing common friends and flowers. Her distinct laughter and lashes swift as butterflies’ wings made me curious. They say creative hearts draw to each other.

Cornelia by Finn O'Brien
Cornelia by Finn O’Brien.

How did you growing up in a remote rural location affect your creativity?
?Growing up on a barren island gave me a big, colourful palette to play with. No physical instruments or tools except my piano. But a lot of sky, lone walks and time to read books.

Cornelias by Sam Parr
Cornelias by Sam Parr.

How did you get from Sweden to London? There must have been some steps in between…
?A few years back I followed the path from Stockholm to Barcelona, where I met some of my first London friends. They persuaded me that London was the city for me. I started exploring this curious melting pot, and eventually moved here.

cornelia Aquarius Dreams
Photography by Christopher Hunt.

What was your previous band called and how would you describe it in three words?
I’ve been in many musical constellations, but only one traditional band before I decided to explore music on my own. It was called Popshop. I remember I didn’t really like that name, it made us sound like something plastic. Which we weren’t. But I liked my band. It was naïve, charming and a good learning curve.?

Cornelia by Jane Young
Cornelia by Jane Young.

In starting your own label you have planted your own ‘savage seed’ in order to control your own destiny. What have been the best and hardest things about this process?
?You can never fully control your own destiny? But you can plant your creativity where it has the potential to grow freely, organic and unique. The trick is to find the right soil, and it took me a long time to get settled.

What happens on Camp Mozart? Are you planning to release other musician’s music too? Do you produce for others?
I write songs for others. Maybe because I like the challenge. And I hope to put out more music by other musicians but there will be a time and place for that.

Cornelia_Jellyfish_by_Lina_Hansson
Cornelia by Lina Hansson.

Who or what inspires you vocally?
Hauschka’s music. It makes me sing. ?

Aquarius Dreams by Jane Young
Aquarius Dreams by Jane Young.

You are inspired by the hip hop and electronic scenes – how did you get involved with these?
Music comes to you a bit like friends do. You have a few things in common but still there’s something interesting and different with them that you want to find out more about.?

YouTube Preview ImageAquarius Dreams

How was the video made for Aquarius Dreams?
The video is made by Martyn Thomas from Stitch That. Martyn used stop motion techniques with each frame of film sketched by hand, then individually photographed against a backlight. It’s the work of a champion. Everything of flesh and blood in this video is sketched by hand like they are made up beings, whilst dead things like metal robots or lampshades looks perfectly real. I guess I’m trying to describe how it can be to get caught up in your own creativity and loose concept of reality.

Cornelia by Sally Jane Thompson
Cornelia by Sally Jane Thompson.

What are you doing for the rest of your summer? Any recommendations?
I’m rehearsing my live set, supporting Portico Quartet in London in August. I’m slowly finishing my album with my co-producer Utters and I’m also working on some productions with Scratcha DVA for his next album. I’ve been travelling so much this spring that I’m going to try and stay put for a bit. Enjoy that I’m living in one of the most culture hectic capitals of the world, not too far away from some stunning nature scenery.

Cornelia by Camille Block
Cornelia by Camille Block.

A long walk around the lake district is one of the most soothing yet energising things I’ve done in my life. If anything that’s my recommendation.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,animation, ,Aquarius Dreams, ,barcelona, ,Camille Block, ,Camp Mozart, ,Christopher Hunt, ,Cornelia, ,Fawn Carr, ,Finn O’Brien, ,Hauschka, ,Jane Young, ,Joanne Oatts, ,Lina Hansson, ,Lisa Stannard, ,London Kills Me, ,Martyn Thomas, ,Popshop, ,portico quartet, ,Producer, ,Sally Jane Thompson, ,Sam Parr, ,Scratcha DVA, ,singer, ,songwriter, ,Stitch That, ,stockholm, ,Swedish, ,Utters

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