Amelia’s Magazine | Lesley Craze Gallery: Christmas Late Night Opening 2011

Photography preseves a moment forever – it marks and preserves time as it has been spent. It is, information pills to draw Barthes into the conversation, a memento mori. Amy Gwatkin’s photographs (BA Editorial Photography, Brighton) blur the boundaries between fashion, editorial and fine art. Amy’s frequently updated blog documents shoots, time spent in the studio with models or other-sometimes-coffee-relative-activities, and has an incredible talent for turning personal adventures into moments representing a snapshop of a life.

An exhibition late last year – Interior Politics – and the launch of a new website introduced me to Amy’s exploration into the minuite obsqure moments that life has to offer. More recently Amy has been experimenting with film, and has kindly taken the time to answer questions for Amelia’s Magazines.

Amy! When and why did you first pick up a stills camera?

Because using the film camera involved waiting on unrealiable people! And I instantly loved it. I was supposed to do something more bookish at uni, but the minute I found a camera I was smitten. I had been obsessed with fashion since I could toddle into my grandma’s/mum’s wardrobes; suddenly I had found a way that I could make imagery without having any drawing ability!

LIGHT from Amy Gwatkin on Vimeo.

Recently you’ve been experimenting with video: debuting with a video of the Cooperative Designs S/S 2010 Collection at London Fashion Week to the recent Light submitted as part of the Shaded View of Fashion, Fashion Film Festival – What inspired the expansion from static to moving?

I always wanted to make films…. Photography offered a way of making images that wasn’t reliant on other people. I’m still a total megalomaniac though! Very often it’s literally just me and a camera.

Showstudio have been attempting to develop the moving fashion photograph since the inception of their website, I love both the static and the moving – What are your favourite fashion videos?

I loved Ruth Hogben’s spanking movie. Sunshowers by Elisha Smith-Leverock. Chris Cunningham’s Flora film for Gucci. Gwendoline by Jez Tozer. And the men’s Dior one in a corridor, was it Dior? It was on Nowness and it was lush. I find at lot of fashion films very hit or miss though – the best were the re-edited Guy Bourdin footage that was on SHOWstudio, that I could, and do, watch over and over and over….

What made you decide to set up your blog? What do you think the advantages are of a blog vs a website?

Originally it was to give me some online presence as my old website was out of date and my new one was being built…then I just really got into it. I like that the blog can have more laidback images, where I have less of a professional front to put up. But I love how clean and tidy the site is.

Collage for the Cooperative Design Zine produced as part of London Fashion Week February 2010

You appear to be quite involved with the internet from your great twitter feed to your blog – what advantages do you think the system of blogs and twitter has created for photographers and fellow creatives?

Well, I guess it opens up little internet wormholes you wouldn’t have known about before…although I can follow a link and find myself, 2 hours later, marvelling at how many photographers there are doing the same sort of thing.

It’s a good platform for self promotion, though it does blur the line between business and pleasure a little uncomfortably at times

Do you streetcast your models?

I often see people on the street that I’m too nervous to ask! But sometimes I overcome my nerves long enough to street cast. I think I have a few characteristics I like, though its hard to nail them in words. A certain bad-temperedness maybe.

Your photograph reflects both fine art and fashion photographic interests – could you tell Amelia’s readers more about the photographs recently exhibited? (I’m thinking of the Familiarity breeds contempt and Modern Miniture series)

Familiarity Breeds Contempt is an extension of my long term project tentatively titled The Housewife – it’s hopefully the start of a longer project exploring sexuality, fantasy and what goes on behind closed doors. Which is also what Modern Miniatures was about in a way – only without the overt sexuality. I have a interest in the domestic, with other people’s domestic/private space, putting myself in them, and also, if I’m honest, with the risk involved in contacting strange men on the internet, asking them to get naked, and them taking pictures of me standing on them etc…

With fashion how do you make the decision between colour or black and white? Does it Matter?

I’m always trying to make things b/w, without sounding mental/pretentious/partially sighted, I see better in b/w. sometimes there’s someone else’s prerogative to take into account, like a client etc. black and white can sometimes make things instantly nostalgic and a bit too soft or romantic. Depends on the situation, but there are few where b/w doesn’t rock in my opinion!

Photograph for Corrie Williamson

Favourite photographers/people to work with/Set designers/fashion designers?

I rarely DON’T have a wicked time on shoots.

Sets – Alex Cunningham, David White’s sets for Coop a/w10/11 were mint
Designers – Cooperative Designs, Scott Ramsay Kyle, Corrie Williamson, Fred Butler, Atalanta Weller
Photograhers I admire – Wee Gee, Helmut Newton, Collier Schorr, Les Krims, Duane Michals, David Armstrong among MANY others!

What is it like being a london based photographer?

Fun! Busy. Forces you to work a lot to make ends meet, which can wear you down. Over saturated. Very youth orientated

What accompanies you in the studio?

My crappy selection of music! I always download the weirdest selection of stuff. Some proper howlers on there, but sometimes you have to listen to the Outhere Brothers. Also the lovely Anna Leader and Bella Fenning with whom I share my space.

What do you hope your photographs convey?

Tough…. I find it quite hard to look back, to edit etc, but having to do my website forced me to do that, and there is a certain strength in the characters I hope. I know some of the shots are quite moody, or gentle, but I don’t like it when models look too winsome or fashion-fierce or posed. Hopefully somewhere between the two, though I do seem to shout things like ‘you’re at a bus stop!’ or ‘You’re a sexy eel!’

How do your shoots come together?

Mostly ideas from films, dreams, or pacing the streets of London which is my fave thing to do. Or maybe a drunken overenthusiastic chat with friends

What are your plans for the future?

Hmm….more pics. More films, maybe a move to proper films with dialogue and a plot!

Born in Peterborough but escaped to London after a 3 year stint studying in the wild terrain of Wales. Currently, medications I’m the Buying Assistant for Jewellery and Accessories at Liberty. I like mint tea, vintage playsuits, F. Scott Fitzgerald novels, and hunting for treasure in charity shops. One day I plan to write my memoirs in Barcelona, but until then I will continue to build up a collection of vintage clothing, worthy of a wing in the V&A.

John Moore's anodised aluminium earrings by Janneke de Jong

John Moore anodised aluminium earrings by Janneke De Jong

It’s the evening of Thursday 8th December, stomach a rainy night, and I’m peering through the windows of the Lesley Craze gallery with anticipation. The windows are currently decorated with a glittering Christmas tree, jewels nestled in its branches, but it’s those it holds inside I am interested in. I have visited the gallery quite a few times in the last year, originally drawn in by the work of a personal favourite, Wendy Ramshaw. Earlier in the week, I had received an invitation for a special Christmas late night opening, and as always, intrigued to see what they have in, I’ve come along for a look, and a welcoming glass of wine.

I’m always surprised when I mention the gallery in conversation, to find out that many people are unaware of it’s presence. I credit the gallery with being well curated, well presented and the staff as always smiling and helpful. The glass cabinets are always gleaming with wares, and as I wander down to the lower room, my attention is grabbed by a huge cabinet that contains the work of John Moore.

John Moore earrings by Miranda Williams

John Moore earrings by Miranda Williams

Moore, now based in Brighton, is without a doubt, the embodiment of the label ‘jewellery artist’. With a degree in 3D design, his work is wearable art. The gallery was showing work from two of his collections, but it was the 5 pairs of earrings that enchanted me. These are part of his ‘Elytra‘ collection – an eyecatching range of brightly coloured anodised aluminium designs.

Moore worked on this collection whilst in his final year at university, and is inspired by nature and natural forms. I found some great images of birds feathers on his website; the vibrant colours of the exotic plumes now reflected in his Elytra collection. Apparently the shape was initally inspired by a beetles wing, an influence that you can also identify in the gleaming colour of the treated aluminium. His statement earrings are wondrous. They also hide a secret feature. They can be reversed by passing the top hoop through the opposite end of the drop, to invert the metal petals, or feathers. Combined with their emphasis on colour, they fit perfectly into the S/S 2012 trend for large, statement earrings.

Thomas David Bangles by Karolina Burdon

Thomas David bangles by Karolina Burdon

I spotted a familiar collection of work that I had seen at New Designers earlier this year, a bangle set from Sheffield Hallam graduate Tom Wilson, who works under the brand name Thomas David. His designs are dark and moody – blackened copper bangles, which have been made to look like corrugated card – industrial and hard wearing. I also really like the intricate patterns in the bangle collection made from stainless steel and birch plywood. Inspired by now retro spirograph kits, they remind me of when I was a child and plastering pieces of paper with concentric circles. Tom’s designs are a converse combination, tough and uniform, but detailed and delicate.

Ebony Revolution rings courtesy of Simone Brewster

Ebony Revolution rings, photo courtesy of Simone Brewster

British designer Simone Brewster’s Ebony Revolution rings are the perfect example of her influences from African woodwork and geometric forms. She graduated from the RCA, and I first came across her work when she designed a copper necklace for the store DARKROOM, as part of a charity event in June this year called Love from Darkroom. The rings are made from materials such as ebony, tulipwood, copper, bronze and leather. I also like her large necklaces, which are like Art Deco murals.

Maud Traon Rings by Stephanie Brown

Maud Traon rings by Stephanie Brown

On one of my previous visits to the gallery, I was wowed by Maud Traon’s rings for obvious reasons. Her designs conjure up thoughts of My Little Pony on a strong acid trip. The rings demand attention – pops of neon colours, sprayed with glitter, and sometimes mixed with star shapes, or kitsch toy objects. Maud likes to explore the relationship between the idea of value and wearability.

The rings are made from combinations of materials such as clay and copper. I’m not exactly sure just how wearable these are for most, bulky, and often extended height, but they certainly will please those who like their jewellery to be noticed, and would be a great addition to any collection.

Dorothy Erickson brunhilde collar by Karolina Burdon

Dorothy Erickson brunhilde collar by Karolina Burdon

The work of Western Australian born and trained jeweller Dorothy Erickson is always a pleasure to see. She is known for her ‘kinetic’ jewellery, or body pieces as they are alternatively called. She makes jewellery for the body that includes the wearer as part of the principal design – the jewellery reacts to the wearer’s every move.

I really love the articulated metal choker and bracelet, which reminds me of jewels to be found in collections at the British Museum, or vintage YSL pieces. Chunky, bold and well crafted – I’d wear this necklace and feel empowered. The gold clasp, paired with the silver metal, makes it even more special, a combination that I’m not always a fan of, but works so well here.

Dorothy Erickson bracelet by Fay Newman

Dorothy Erickson bracelet by Fay Newman

One of Erickson’s main inspirations is the unique flora of her native Australia, which has helped to produce the beautiful designs of her precious stone rings. She is also influenced by the work of Viennese painter Gustav Klimt. Big solid rocks hold a firm place in these rings, but they are elegant and refined.

Wendy Ramshaw Geometric Earrings by Sam Parr

Wendy Ramshaw Geometric Earrings by Sam Parr

Last but certainly not least, Wendy Ramshaw’s selection of works continues to wow me. Wendy is one of Britain’s best known jewellers, and looked up to by many other well-known designers such as Dorothy Erickson. She was born in Sunderland, studied illustration and fabric design in Newcastle, and then undertook postgraduate studied at Central Saint Martins.

Wendy’s signature designs are her divine ring sets, made up from abstract designs in precious metals and finished with gemstones. The stands they are frequently displayed on have also become ornamental designs in their own right.


Wendy Ramshaw Lucciole Necklace by Sam Parr

Her designs are heavily influenced by geometry, and as a fan of this, I always find myself lusting after her geometric gold drop earrings. Made with gemstones such as amethyst, pink tourmaline, blue topaz, and fire opal, they are a gorgeous combination of colour. A design that I had not seen before, the Lucciole necklace, a blown glass ball run through with gold thread was fantastic.

So from one champion of contemporary jewellery, back to another, I urge you all to take a visit to the Lesley Craze Gallery, and enjoy the great selection of work from British, and global, designers.

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,Christmas, ,Clerkenwell, ,colour, ,craft, ,David Bowie, ,Dorothy Erickson, ,Earrings, ,fashion, ,Fay Newman, ,Feathers, ,Gold, ,Gustav Klimt, ,Janneke de Jong, ,jewellery, ,John Moore, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Lesley Craze Gallery, ,Maud Traon, ,metal, ,S/S 2012, ,Simone Brewster, ,Thomas David, ,Wendy Ramshaw

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing the Closet Swap community from Channel 4: Don’t Shop – Swap!

Closet Swap by Pia Bramley
Closet Swap by Pia Bramley.

Introducing Closet Swap, a new online fashion community site from Channel 4 Education. As part of a wider debate about sustainable and ethical fashion, Closet Swap allows users to share and customise clothes with their friends via Facebook. What I particularly like is the associated iPhone Closet Swap Fashion Finder app which helps users to locate local vintage and charity shops, perfect for a second hand magpie like myself. It’s no surprise that the girls at Tatty Devine support the idea, given that their new book How to Make Jewellery is based on the concept that ‘one girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure‘. Ethical designer Ada Zanditon has also given it the thumbs up, and so do I. Get involved! Here’s the link to the Closet Swap Facebook page.

Channel 4 Closet wap - Amelias Magazine - Janneke de Jong
Channel 4 Closet Swap by Janneke de Jong.

Illustrator Janneke de Jong also runs a very inspiring website called Small Scale Samaritan, where she gives away (beautifully illustrated) clothing that she doesn’t want. It was covered recently in the Guardian too and she is looking for more people to get involved so get in touch with her if you fancy it, either to give away your own clothing or help illustrate donations from others.

Mother's Pearls by Richard Parson
Mother’s Pearls by Richard Parson.

Vintage Clothing Swap by Viktorija Semjonova
Vintage Clothing Swap by Viktorija Semjonova.

Vintage Bag Illustration by Harriet Alice Fox
Vintage Broach Illustration by Harriet Alice Fox
Vintage Shoe Illustration by Harriet Alice Fox
Vintage Finds by Harriet Alice Fox.

Vintage hat by Fay Newman
Vintage perfume bottles by Fay Newman
Vintage hat and perfume bottles by Fay Newman.

Categories ,Ada Zanditon, ,book, ,Channel 4 Education, ,Closet Swap, ,ethical, ,Facebook, ,Fashion Finder, ,Fay Newman, ,Harriet Alice Fox, ,How to Make Jewellery, ,iphone app, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Pia Bramley, ,Richard Parson, ,Small Scale Samaritan, ,sustainable, ,Tatty Devine, ,Viktorija Semjonova

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Emesha: the Hungarian born ethical fashion designer who now lives in Shoreditch

Lisa Stannard, <a target=illness shop Emesha S/S 2010″ title=”Lisa Stannard, Emesha S/S 2010″ width=”480″ height=”576″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-32247″ />
Emesha S/S 2010 by Lisa Stannard.

Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Eco fashion, ,Eco Fashion Week Vancouver, ,Emese Nagy, ,Emesha, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Hungarian, ,Hungary, ,Jasper Conran, ,Lisa Stannard, ,shoreditch, ,Sporty-Luxe, ,vegetarian, ,Vivienne Westwood

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with the creators of Jessie and Buddug, the Shop

JASPER GARVIDA lfw s/s 2011 Rachel Clare Price
A selection of Jessie’s corsarges

Walking around Broadway Market, approved one cold wintery Saturday, feeling hungry and looking at all the delicious food I could ill afford, (oh the joys of being a student!). I came across a treasure trove of a stall run by the delightful Jessie and Buddug and instantly fell in love with their charming designs. Since this initial visit, I have returned time and time again to buy unique necklaces as birthday (incredibly successful!) gifts.

So you can imagine my delight coming across their Columbia Road shop, originally located in the upstairs of one the picturesque houses adorning the street. Jessie and Buddug have recently expanded ‘downstairs’, and in celebration of their success, I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented textile artists for Amelia’s Magazine.

I first noticed your designs at Broadway Market on Saturday, was this your first venture?

Buddug: We started broadway market after we graduated 5 years ago and got the shop 2 years ago.

What was your experience of the market? Do you still have a stall there?

Buddug: We still have a stall at Broadway Market, we feel it has grown so much since we started. It’s been cold and wet at times but it’s been great learning what people buy. Its been great socially too, speaking with our friends and customers.

As friends from home, what has it been like to work together?

Buddug: We met when we were on art foundation and always said we we would like to collaborate together in the future. We find it easier that we both do our own work and then display together because we both have different working hours.

You previously occupied an upstairs room in Columbia Road, how did the opportunity to expand into a downstairs space arise?

Buddug: We got offered a place at ground level by Bev who had the shop before us, she made handmade clothes and toys etc, she offered it to us before anyone else which was an honour and we jumped at the chance.

What was your experience of the Goldsmiths Textiles course (which sadly no longer exists?)

Jessie: I was at Goldsmiths, at a very tricky time, the course was going through a real denial period, as they were finding the debate about what to do with textiles and fine art really hard. Which made it hard for us as students and as someone who is passionate about cloth and textiles and most of all making, I found the course incredibly frustrating!

But I had very supportive parents; Primmy Chorley and I am close friends with Audrey Walker and Eirian and Denys Short. So I always had a huge back up behind me in the textile world. I did feel incredibly pulled between the two worlds though and I was lucky enough to come out fighting, determined to set up my own business and to carry on my making process.

Overall I am pleased I went through the Goldsmiths experience, as the academic and written side of it, (for me) has helped me today to think the way I do and pushed me in other ways.

What course did you study Buddug and what was your experiences?

I studied at London Guildhall (now London Metropolitan University)in Jewellery, silversmithing and other crafts. I enjoyed the experimenting with different materials. It was very much a hands on course.

Buddug’s designs for Urban Outfitters.

Buddug, what was it like to work for Urban Outfitters?

It was quite difficult working for URBAN OUTFITTERS, due to the ammount i had to make! and I waited a long time for payment!

Jessie, what role does recycling play in your practice? Why is it important to you and how did you first become interested in using recycled materials?

Recycled materials has and I believe will always be a huge part of my work, I like it that it creates a timeless feeling, I guess it started from the scrap books I made with my Mum when I was young and colleting and using found and recycled items for me creates a story, old clothes and books hold some kind of story and depth to them.

A detail from Jessie’s seating plan for her Wedding Collection.

And how did the wedding collection develop?

I was asked to create a whole wedding theme for a lady who used to buy my cards at Broadway Market, I handmade her invites, table names and a seating plan and really from here I got other customers and then early this year I designed some invites which were slightly quicker to make and I did a huge wedding show in London and its kind of gone from here I have made for several weddings this summer and I am already making for 2011-2012 weddings.

An enamel plate by Buddug.

Buddug, how did you start designing the Home Ornaments collection?

I’ve always been interested in developing the enamel process since university and always liked/inspired by objects mother and grandmother had in the kitchen, I invested in a bigger kiln, which was a challenge to make bigger things!

What materials do you like working with and why?

Jessie: Fabrics, worn clothing, paper they all hold such a good quality and are embedded with an excisting narrative

Designs by Jessie Chorley

Buddug: I’ve always tried to use things that are around me and be inventive with the materials i already have/been thrown away and in old/secound hand things, there’s such a quality in materials and making process and a added charm in old things and it’s actually nicer to use…

Broach by Buddug

I like to combine different materials metal and fabric. fabric and paper or wood…but i mostly enjoy metal and enamel. I really like the solidness of metal and the duribility of it as a raw material.

What was it like to make the stage set for: the launch of Laura Dockrill’s book Ugly Shy Girl and how did you became involved in this?

Buddug: I can’t remember were we met Laura Dockrill, but she asked if we were interested in doing the stage for her. It was quite a challenge because we didn’t know the size of the stage but the best thing was Jessie’s bunting it was really big and yellow!

Have you made or participated in Set Design before? Is this something you will continue to participate in?

Jessie: Yes for me it is a real passion, I love to create things and watch others create a story with the objects I make. A lot of quite random masks and house like boxes which I display in the shop are often borrowed for shoots, and I always like the outcome. For me styling our shop is like creating a stage set I love making it all different each week and then watching the customers come in and their response to it!

My degree show was also about staging and the response of the audience and the creator, for this I made a huge seven foot book which you could walk inside.

Buddug: I haven’t done much set design before, but wold love to, it’s been quite good having practice doing the shop window.

What are the inspirations for your collections?

Jessie: Story telling, people places and preserving memories creating beautiful things from lost or found objects.

Buddug My inspiration for my work is a collection of things I find and come across, I usually collect and draw in sketch books. Nature, a sense of home comforts and memories/naustalgic sences. It’a quite a mish mash of ideas and influencs.

Design by Buddug

We have a few pieces in the shop were we bring things together such as the fabric bows with enamel buttons, but we find it easier to make our own work and display together.

Do you both run and participate in the organisation of the workshops?

Jessie: No I run the workshops I have done for quite a few years now. For me I love to go out and meet other people and hopefully change the way they see the world through making, I have worked with a lot of charities, which is both frustrating and very rewarding at the same time, I am always touched by certain characters which can feed directly in to my work.

The whole workshop trend has gone huge now though and people expect so much more, and have so much more since places like hobby craft became so big and shows like The Knit and Stitch.

I am currently organising my Christmas workshops which will be in November in North London. I will have some day workshops creating simple gift wrap and gifts.

Jess Chorley

Buddug Jess does a lot of workshops, I’m yet to start, but it might be something I would be interested in doing when I’m a bit older.

What’s next for Jess Chorley and Buddug?

Buddug: At the moment we are preparing for christmas, thinking of making stocking filler ideas and promoting our little shop. Nothing too big, taking up projects as they come along…

To find out more please visit:, and

Categories ,Broadway Market, ,Columbia Road, ,goldsmiths, ,Home Ornaments, ,Laura Dockrill, ,London Metropolitan University, ,textiles, ,wales, ,Weddings

Similar Posts: