Amelia’s Magazine | Tatty Devine and Supermarket Sarah Launch Party!

Feelin’ hot hot hot… we arrived at the field with a blanket and straw hat, viagra stuff and headed straight to the bar. Queuing for what felt like a life-time in the blistering heat, price cheap sounds of Johnny Flynn drifted through the air along with the smells of barbecued sausages. Queuing aside, we were happy.

Ciders in hand we weaved through camping chairs and stepped apologetically over blankets, occasionally catching the odd sandaled foot or splashing a little cider over a resting head… all part of the joy of festivalling, we found a spot, lay the blanket on the ground just in time for Laura Marling to take to the stage. ‘Afternoon everyone!’ Laura’s soothing voice echoed over the masses, ‘what a day!’…. people woo’d and clapped and cheered. In two years, Marling’s voice and lyrics have matured from pretty ditties to soulful folk… and her performance this weekend reeled in an eclectic crowd. Folk of all ages stood, eyes fixed and humming and Marling’s voice resonated. Songs from Marling’s latest album I Speak Because I Can mixed with original tracks from My Manic and I had us reminiscing, spinning around and singing-along.

Between sets we ate, drank and lay gazing into the brilliant blue ether… catching a bit of celebrity football, Mumford & Sons giving it their best. Seasick Steve was next up, and took to the stage with crowds-a-roaring. Unfortunately, due to minor sunstroke, we weren’t around for the whole set, but from what we saw, as always Seasick gave a cracking performance.

Mumford & Sons belted out there emotive country-inspired folk, now well-known from their vast radio coverage, and had the audience fixed. Looking and sounding the part, and slotting in perfectly to the Hop Farm scene.

Whilst queuing for a lamb kofta and chatting to a wonderful lady who lives on a pig farm in Cambridgeshire, who told me stories of her days as a festival queen in the 70s… (she was so small she used to crouch on the loo seat, feet on the seat – to avoid sitting on it… little ladies – take note!) Ray Davies performed and it came as pleasant surprise to hear the well-known Kinks records: Lola, You Really Got Me and all the rest. At the age of 66, Ray’s voice carried across fields, still very much in tact.

Last but not least, good old Bob Dylan appeared on stage, his (very) husky tones hooking the expectant field of fans, and taking them on a tumultuous journey through a plethora of songs steeped in sentiment.

Finally, an incredible set from Devendra Banhart ensued; no longer the long-haired folky-dolky guy that once plucked at our heartstrings, Devendra has completely reinvented his style: short-back-and-sides, checked shirt and long yellow cardie buttoned up; the sounds were funky and playful, his voice endearing and still with that jagged edge that made him famous. Even a few Roxy Music covers were thrown in to get us grooving. We danced until the cows came home.

All in all, a grand day out. Thank you Hop Farm!


Illustrations by Jenny Costello

With businesses struggling to survive through the recession armageddon, this site a few innovative individuals are thriving, using their imagination and collaborations with other creatives to succeed. Sarah Bagner, or ‘Supermarket Sarah‘ transformed a wall of her own home into a window dresser’s dream; featuring both vintage finds and handmade creations from the likes of Donna Wilson. Inviting shoppers into her home for tea and cake has gained her such a following that Selfridges even invited her to curate a wall for them.


Supermarket Sarah, illustrated by Emma Block

Her latest collaboration is with the queens of cool, Tatty Devine, whose Brick Lane store has been transformed into an Aladdin’s cave of Sarah’s goodies. Tatty Devine is also famous for pioneering the collaborative spirit, teaming up with the likes of Rob Ryan, Charlie le Mindu and Mrs Jones to make their iconic statement jewellery ranges. Last night fellow creatives Fred Butler and Anna Murray were spinning some tunes on the decks, whilst cupcakes were supplied by Fifi and Lola.

I snapped Sarah wearing her Tatty Devine ‘Supermarket Sarah’ necklace in front of her wall which will soon be online here. The installation will be in store until the 16th August, alongside Tatty Devine’s regular stock which is currently on sale. This is your one stop shop for sorting your festival outfits; grab some neck candy from Tatty Devine and something from Sarah’s vintage dressing up box and you’re set! 

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

Categories ,Anna Murray, ,Brick Lane, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,cupcakes, ,Donna Wilson, ,Fifi and Lola, ,Fred Butler, ,london, ,Mrs Jones, ,rob ryan, ,Sarah Bagner, ,Selfridges, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Tatty Devine, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | We Are All In One: The return of the jumpsuit

FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, find which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, sales and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, hospital which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, visit and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, approved which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, clinic and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, buy information pills which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, website and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, sale or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

Yeti Lane should know what they doing; with three quarters of now defunct band Cyann and Ben making up the ranks they have all the experience and credentials for making reflective, healing dreamy music. But Yeti Lane are no limp reincarnation, online instead they’ve taken on a new challenge in their self titled debut to produce a light yet layered sound, sale driven by an unavoidable love affair with the playful elements of pop and rock.

You’re more likely to see members Ben Pleng, Charlie Boyer and LoAc poring over their menagerie of synths, organs and drum machines than smashing guitars in a new found cliché rock madness but nevertheless Yeti Lane place their emphasis on the dazzling relationship between rumbling drumbeats and soaring guitars.

YETI_LANE_LJ2

Yeti Lane never insists on your attention, instead drawing you in slowly, hypnotized by a galaxy of layered electronic waves and hushes, but can at times appear in the wider context like a supporting cast to The Flaming Lips’ Oscar winning performance.

A naturally quiet subtlety runs through the songs of Yeti Lane but unless you can apply your full attention span to the task, the album sometimes slips away from your consciousness, an unfairly forgettable face in a crowd. First-Rate Pretender opens the album heralding the positives of Yeti Lane, all soft vocals that lead you by the hand into their world of delicate anti-romance.

first rate

The band are clearly eager to experiment with different avenues of sound and songs such as Only One Look and Lucky Bag catch glimpses of an interest in glitchy loops and synthesizers but they never truly announce themselves in the foreground. An indulgence in a fresh direction stirs an excitement for the record that is never quite satiated until standout track Lonesome George. The haunting echoes permeating previous tracks have momentarily disappeared as Yeti Lane indulge in a poignant dedication to youthful resilience and unfazed anticipation, led by stirring organs, xylophones and horns.

YETI_LANE_LJ1

The trio aren’t giving much away about their French origins and lean towards an unavoidable American sensibility, though Pleng’s sweet Parisian lilt adds a bonbon charm to darker edges. A contention with stereotypes doesn’t stop there as home for Yeti Lane is the traditionally shoegaze associated label Sonic Cathedral, though the band seem to have enough ideas to distance themselves from being pigeonholed too easily, even if these adventures can come across a little diluted. They bend and navigate the framework of a pop sound, but often this meandering leads to some indulgent deviations.

And so it seems Yeti Lane, overflowing with ideas in the second phase of their musical careers, aren’t quite sure where exactly they’re heading but are taking the road travelled more confidently by stalwarts of the New York scene of decades before. Plaudits for their own ability in melding the vast array of instruments with each other to a pleasant and intriguing effect should not be denied them, though perhaps in time Yeti Lane can mature this sound to a more arresting result.

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

Yeti Lane should know what they doing; with three quarters of now defunct band Cyann and Ben making up the ranks they have all the experience and credentials for making reflective, cialis 40mg dreamy music. But Yeti Lane are no limp reincarnation, instead they’ve taken on a new challenge in their self titled debut to produce a light yet layered sound, driven by an unavoidable love affair with the playful elements of pop and rock.

You’re more likely to see members Ben Pleng, Charlie Boyer and LoAc poring over their menagerie of synths, organs and drum machines than smashing guitars in a new found cliché rock madness but nevertheless Yeti Lane place their emphasis on the dazzling relationship between rumbling drumbeats and soaring guitars.

YETI_LANE_LJ2

Yeti Lane never insists on your attention, instead drawing you in slowly, hypnotized by a galaxy of layered electronic waves and hushes, but can at times appear in the wider context like a supporting cast to The Flaming Lips’ Oscar winning performance.

A naturally quiet subtlety runs through the songs of Yeti Lane but unless you can apply your full attention span to the task, the album sometimes slips away from your consciousness, an unfairly forgettable face in a crowd. First-Rate Pretender opens the album heralding the positives of Yeti Lane, all soft vocals that lead you by the hand into their world of delicate anti-romance.

first rate

The band are clearly eager to experiment with different avenues of sound and songs such as Only One Look and Lucky Bag catch glimpses of an interest in glitchy loops and synthesizers but they never truly announce themselves in the foreground. An indulgence in a fresh direction stirs an excitement for the record that is never quite satiated until standout track Lonesome George. The haunting echoes permeating previous tracks have momentarily disappeared as Yeti Lane indulge in a poignant dedication to youthful resilience and unfazed anticipation, led by stirring organs, xylophones and horns.

YETI_LANE_LJ1

The trio aren’t giving much away about their French origins and lean towards an unavoidable American sensibility, though Pleng’s sweet Parisian lilt adds a bonbon charm to darker edges. A contention with stereotypes doesn’t stop there as home for Yeti Lane is the traditionally shoegaze associated label Sonic Cathedral, though the band seem to have enough ideas to distance themselves from being pigeonholed too easily, even if these adventures can come across a little diluted. They bend and navigate the framework of a pop sound, but often this meandering leads to some indulgent deviations.

And so it seems Yeti Lane, overflowing with ideas in the second phase of their musical careers, aren’t quite sure where exactly they’re heading but are taking the road travelled more confidently by stalwarts of the New York scene of decades before. Plaudits for their own ability in melding the vast array of instruments with each other to a pleasant and intriguing effect should not be denied them, though perhaps in time Yeti Lane can mature this sound to a more arresting result.
FAK 2

Since hearing First Aid Kits debut album The Big Black and The Blue we’ve been incredibly impressed with the sibling duo. The album is full of lush harmonies, about it moody melodies and lyrical narratives. I was able to catch up with Klara and Johanna before their gig at Rough Trade East. The girls were eating dinner at a curry house on Brick Lane with their father Benkt before the gig and I dropped in afterwards to ask them a few questions.

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

Klara. Oh we just got here but we’re already enjoying it. It’s like coming home because we spent so much time here last year when we were on tour.

AD. You have a three month tour coming up. Is that something you ever imagined doing when you first started recording songs?

Klara. I guess, search we imagined it, but not so soon. It was definitely in the plan, but we thought it’d be in about five year’s time. It’s happened really fast, but we’ve always wanted to make music.

AD. On the Whichita site it says that you were finishing school while you were recording your debut album. How did you manage to find the time to do both.

Johanna. We recorded it during weekends and holidays and at night when we were finished with homework.  It was really stressful.

hardbelieverpackshot

AD. How long did it take you to finish recording it?

Klara. From November 2008 to the summer 2009. It was because we were at school that we couldn’t do it quickly.

Johanna. Yeah we didn’t have all the songs; they were finished gradually.

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

AD. You’re both from Sweden but all of your songs are sung in English. Is there any particular reason why?

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

K. So it made sense. We’re also really into American and English culture and almost all the music we listen to is in English so when we make songs that’s the way they come out.

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and your songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 1

AD. OK, you’ve said that you’re interested in Folk music, but is there anything else which inspires you to write the music that you do?

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

AD. Anything particularly or are you just absorbing it from everywhere?

K. Well I mean some songs have direct songs which we’ve been inspired by. Like, the movie Into The Wild, I was really inspired by it. I wrote a song that’s on our album called ‘Wills of the River’ which I literally wrote while I was watching the movie. I wrote a poem and then we made a song about it. That’s one quite extreme example of how we’re inspired.

AD. What do you think of the British folk scene, and is it similar at all to Sweden’s.

K. We love it, and we’re inspired by it.

J. There’s no such thing in Sweden at all.

K. No

J. I mean we’re the only band really doing this. I think.

AD. Do you play much at all in Sweden then?

K. Yeah.

J. We did at the beginning, we played in Stockholm for a year, or something like that but now we only really play over here.

firstaidkiteppackshot

AD. Do you find that being siblings makes it easier to write songs together.

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

K. Yeah, I mean we haven’t really recorded with anyone else, but definitely. It might just be us, I don’t know if every sibling would be able to but we’re on the same page almost all of the time, and we get along most of the time. I think.

AD. When you met Amelia at Glastonbury you had your parents with you, and obviously your dads along with you this time. How do you find that, does it mean you can’t get up to any classic touring antics?

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

J. But I don’t think it’s because he’s a family member, it’s just being with someone all the time.

K. Yeah, all bands become a family eventually. I mean our dad, it feels a bit weird talking with him sat there.

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

K. But he does a lot. He’s our sound technician on the tour as well so we really need him.

J. He’s been doing it too, in the 80’s, he had his own band for a few years. He’s very experienced. So it’s very good for us to talk to him about these things.

(At this point Benkt brings out a copy of Mick Jaggers autobiography and points at it knowingly)

AD. You played on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury last year. Is that something that’s quite important to you?

K. Yeah sure

J. We think about it alot. I don’t know if it shows in our songs but it’s important to us. We have this thing in Stockholm now which is called No More Lullabies.

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

J. Yeah, we all played 10 minutes each. There’s a film on the website where you can watch it and that was to get awareness to the issue.

K. It was really nice.

J. We love to do those kind of things. We’re not afraid of it and talking about it with people.

AD. OK, finally, what is it you’re most looking forward to doing this year?

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

J. Yeah, we want to go the US and try to make some new songs.

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

The Big Black and the Blue was releasd on Monday and can be found in all decent record stores.

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and you’re songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 2

Since hearing First Aid Kits debut album The Big Black and The Blue we’ve been incredibly impressed with the sibling duo. The album is full of lush harmonies, troche moody melodies and lyrical narratives. I was able to catch up with Klara and Johanna before their gig at Rough Trade East. The girls were eating dinner at a curry house on Brick Lane with their father Benkt before the gig and I dropped in afterwards to ask them a few questions.

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

Klara. Oh we just got here but we’re already enjoying it. It’s like coming home because we spent so much time here last year when we were on tour.

AD. You have a three month tour coming up. Is that something you ever imagined doing when you first started recording songs?

Klara. I guess, dosage we imagined it, but not so soon. It was definitely in the plan, but we thought it’d be in about five year’s time. It’s happened really fast, but we’ve always wanted to make music.

AD. On the Whichita site it says that you were finishing school while you were recording your debut album. How did you manage to find the time to do both.

Johanna. We recorded it during weekends and holidays and at night when we were finished with homework.  It was really stressful.

hardbelieverpackshot

AD. How long did it take you to finish recording it?

Klara. From November 2008 to the summer 2009. It was because we were at school that we couldn’t do it quickly.

Johanna. Yeah we didn’t have all the songs; they were finished gradually.

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

AD. You’re both from Sweden but all of your songs are sung in English. Is there any particular reason why?

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

K. So it made sense. We’re also really into American and English culture and almost all the music we listen to is in English so when we make songs that’s the way they come out.

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and your songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Club. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 1

AD. OK, you’ve said that you’re interested in Folk music, but is there anything else which inspires you to write the music that you do?

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

AD. Anything particularly or are you just absorbing it from everywhere?

K. Well I mean some songs have direct songs which we’ve been inspired by. Like, the movie Into The Wild, I was really inspired by it. I wrote a song that’s on our album called ‘Wills of the River’ which I literally wrote while I was watching the movie. I wrote a poem and then we made a song about it. That’s one quite extreme example of how we’re inspired.

AD. What do you think of the British folk scene, and is it similar at all to Sweden’s.

K. We love it, and we’re inspired by it.

J. There’s no such thing in Sweden at all.

K. No

J. I mean we’re the only band really doing this. I think.

AD. Do you play much at all in Sweden then?

K. Yeah.

J. We did at the beginning, we played in Stockholm for a year, or something like that but now we only really play over here.

firstaidkiteppackshot

AD. Do you find that being siblings makes it easier to write songs together.

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

K. Yeah, I mean we haven’t really recorded with anyone else, but definitely. It might just be us, I don’t know if every sibling would be able to but we’re on the same page almost all of the time, and we get along most of the time. I think.

AD. When you met Amelia at Glastonbury you had your parents with you, and obviously your dads along with you this time. How do you find that, does it mean you can’t get up to any classic touring antics?

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

J. But I don’t think it’s because he’s a family member, it’s just being with someone all the time.

K. Yeah, all bands become a family eventually. I mean our dad, it feels a bit weird talking with him sat there.

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

K. But he does a lot. He’s our sound technician on the tour as well so we really need him.

J. He’s been doing it too, in the 80’s, he had his own band for a few years. He’s very experienced. So it’s very good for us to talk to him about these things.

(At this point Benkt brings out a copy of Mick Jaggers autobiography and points at it knowingly)

AD. You played on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury last year. Is that something that’s quite important to you?

K. Yeah sure

J. We think about it alot. I don’t know if it shows in our songs but it’s important to us. We have this thing in Stockholm now which is called No More Lullabies.

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

J. Yeah, we all played 10 minutes each. There’s a film on the website where you can watch it and that was to get awareness to the issue.

K. It was really nice.

J. We love to do those kind of things. We’re not afraid of it and talking about it with people.

AD. OK, finally, what is it you’re most looking forward to doing this year?

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

J. Yeah, we want to go the US and try to make some new songs.

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

The Big Black and the Blue was releasd on Monday and can be found in all decent record stores.

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and you’re songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, viagra which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, cost and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, buy information pills or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, cost which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, try and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, for sale or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
Polka Lace copy Image courtesy of All In One, this photographed by Stephanie Sian Smith.

What attracts you to the idea of the onesie jumpsuit / all in one?
I just think they’re pretty unusual and fun to wear – and when you find an amazing one you just look mega cool.

How did you develop your idea into a business? From your blog you’ve sold to a variety of people from Burning Man and bankers to vitamin water and a variety of performers including Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
A friend of mine had a blue jellyfish sting protection suit that she’d nicked when she went diving in Australia. When I saw it I instantly fell in love and commandeered it as my festival outfit for the next few years! I soon built up a collection of these suits and got a bit of a reputation as being ‘the onesie girl’ – when the festivals finished I realised that there were hardly any all-in-one’s out there that I could just wear normally. So I started making my own – it kind of seemed natural for me to just start my own business making things which I love. Now, page I sell a mixture of my own work and custom costume designs.

African One copyAbove and all images below courtesy of All In One, information pills photographed by Dan Wilton.

What would you say is Nina Ribena’s design aesthetic?
Massive hoods.

Who or what are your design inspirations?
I’m hugely inspired by the circus. I just got a massive book of old circus photos for Christmas, which is a great reference for one-piece related costumes. I really love bright, crazy, repeat patterns. I love Brian Lichtenberg, Cassette Playa, JCDC and Jeremy Scott’s work…and I would say M.I.A is quite a big inspiration (probably because she wears quite a lot of the aforementioned designer’s clothes!). I love the whole 90′s revival that’s happening at the moment as well, I can’t get enough of tacky gold jewellery and R Kelly.

originals3 copyWhat materials do you particularly like to work in/with?
The majority of my designs are in cotton jersey or anything with a bit of stretch to it. I’ve also been working with PVC quite a lot recently – I quite like the sculptural qualities it can have.

What do onesie’s make you think of?
Fun. Stretching. A good night out. Grace Jones.

all in one .01 (5 of 1) copyHow would you describe your creative process?
I am super organised in some ways and a complete mess in others. So, I usually spend my time trawling the Internet looking through fashion blogs and pulling out anything that catches my eye – this can be anything from London Fashion Week to Where the Wild Things Are to Cheryl Cole. Then I go through them all and decide the themes, that I want to work within – which usually end up being about 7 or 8 different things. I’ll draw some ideas and designs down and then just make the ones I like the most. I’ve never studied fashion – I’m completely self-taught, so I don’t have the ‘correct’ way of designing a collection mastered, at all.

What’s been your favourite appearance of your onesie so far?
I think it has to be the one I made for Fred Butler recently. I.D Magazine are running a feature of 100 portraits of creative/influential people – Fred Butler being one of them – and she asked me to make her an amazing holographic inspired all in one for the shoot. The photos were taken by Nick Knight for his SHOWstudio project so you could watch the whole shoot live on their website. So yeah, my design will be in I.D Magazine, shot by a famous photographer and worn by a really talented designer. Definitely my favourite onesie appearance!

blue african trim copyWith Fashion Week slowly creeping up on us which designers will you be watching out for?
I’ve always been really interested in Gareth Pugh’s work – especially his last collection – I thought everything from the clothes to the lighting and feel of the catwalk just looked amazing. I always like to check out the new designers supported by Fashion East/ Vauxhall Fashion Scout etc…it’s always good to study the sort of designers who win these opportunities.
Aside from that – House of Holland, Ashish, Givenchy, Pam Hogg, Viktor & Rolf, Mark Fast and Jeremy Scott, of course. He always make things a bit more interesting!

As a holder of a blog – what are your thoughts on the blogging ‘sphere’?
I think it’s really important to have a blog if you’re a designer. Just having an online shop or website doesn’t really cut it these days. I think the people who buy your clothes (and are ultimately fans of your work) want to have more of an insight into your creative processes and the things that inspire you. Plus it’s a brilliant way to network with people and get your work out into the open. I wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities or ideas I’ve had without having access to all the blogs out there.

all in one .01 (3 of 5) copyWhat’s next for Nina Ribena?
Lots. I’m really enjoying printing my own fabric at the moment so you can expect to see a lot of zebras, puffins and multi-coloured leopard skin prints making appearances on my designs soon! I want to bring out my own line of leggings and a friend and me have just started our own dance/club night collective.
I’m also planning an exhibition of all my designs to be shown at the end of the year, which is going to involve a mixture of fashion, art and theatrics – all in onesies, of course. It’s going to be a busy year!

Categories ,Ashish, ,Brian Lichtenberg, ,Burning Man, ,Cassette Playa, ,Cheryl Cole, ,Fashion East, ,Fred Butler, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Givenchy, ,Grace Jones, ,House of Holland, ,I.D Magazine, ,JCDC, ,Jeremy Scott, ,London Fashion Week, ,M.I.A, ,Mark Fast, ,Nick Knight, ,Nina Ribena, ,Pam Hogg, ,R Kelly, ,Stephanie Sian Smith, ,Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Viktor & Rolf, ,We Are All In One, ,Where the Wild Things Are

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Amelia’s Magazine | We Are All In One: The return of the jumpsuit

FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, find which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, sales and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, hospital which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, visit and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, approved which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, clinic and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, buy information pills which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, website and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, sale or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

Yeti Lane should know what they doing; with three quarters of now defunct band Cyann and Ben making up the ranks they have all the experience and credentials for making reflective, healing dreamy music. But Yeti Lane are no limp reincarnation, online instead they’ve taken on a new challenge in their self titled debut to produce a light yet layered sound, sale driven by an unavoidable love affair with the playful elements of pop and rock.

You’re more likely to see members Ben Pleng, Charlie Boyer and LoAc poring over their menagerie of synths, organs and drum machines than smashing guitars in a new found cliché rock madness but nevertheless Yeti Lane place their emphasis on the dazzling relationship between rumbling drumbeats and soaring guitars.

YETI_LANE_LJ2

Yeti Lane never insists on your attention, instead drawing you in slowly, hypnotized by a galaxy of layered electronic waves and hushes, but can at times appear in the wider context like a supporting cast to The Flaming Lips’ Oscar winning performance.

A naturally quiet subtlety runs through the songs of Yeti Lane but unless you can apply your full attention span to the task, the album sometimes slips away from your consciousness, an unfairly forgettable face in a crowd. First-Rate Pretender opens the album heralding the positives of Yeti Lane, all soft vocals that lead you by the hand into their world of delicate anti-romance.

first rate

The band are clearly eager to experiment with different avenues of sound and songs such as Only One Look and Lucky Bag catch glimpses of an interest in glitchy loops and synthesizers but they never truly announce themselves in the foreground. An indulgence in a fresh direction stirs an excitement for the record that is never quite satiated until standout track Lonesome George. The haunting echoes permeating previous tracks have momentarily disappeared as Yeti Lane indulge in a poignant dedication to youthful resilience and unfazed anticipation, led by stirring organs, xylophones and horns.

YETI_LANE_LJ1

The trio aren’t giving much away about their French origins and lean towards an unavoidable American sensibility, though Pleng’s sweet Parisian lilt adds a bonbon charm to darker edges. A contention with stereotypes doesn’t stop there as home for Yeti Lane is the traditionally shoegaze associated label Sonic Cathedral, though the band seem to have enough ideas to distance themselves from being pigeonholed too easily, even if these adventures can come across a little diluted. They bend and navigate the framework of a pop sound, but often this meandering leads to some indulgent deviations.

And so it seems Yeti Lane, overflowing with ideas in the second phase of their musical careers, aren’t quite sure where exactly they’re heading but are taking the road travelled more confidently by stalwarts of the New York scene of decades before. Plaudits for their own ability in melding the vast array of instruments with each other to a pleasant and intriguing effect should not be denied them, though perhaps in time Yeti Lane can mature this sound to a more arresting result.

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

Yeti Lane should know what they doing; with three quarters of now defunct band Cyann and Ben making up the ranks they have all the experience and credentials for making reflective, cialis 40mg dreamy music. But Yeti Lane are no limp reincarnation, instead they’ve taken on a new challenge in their self titled debut to produce a light yet layered sound, driven by an unavoidable love affair with the playful elements of pop and rock.

You’re more likely to see members Ben Pleng, Charlie Boyer and LoAc poring over their menagerie of synths, organs and drum machines than smashing guitars in a new found cliché rock madness but nevertheless Yeti Lane place their emphasis on the dazzling relationship between rumbling drumbeats and soaring guitars.

YETI_LANE_LJ2

Yeti Lane never insists on your attention, instead drawing you in slowly, hypnotized by a galaxy of layered electronic waves and hushes, but can at times appear in the wider context like a supporting cast to The Flaming Lips’ Oscar winning performance.

A naturally quiet subtlety runs through the songs of Yeti Lane but unless you can apply your full attention span to the task, the album sometimes slips away from your consciousness, an unfairly forgettable face in a crowd. First-Rate Pretender opens the album heralding the positives of Yeti Lane, all soft vocals that lead you by the hand into their world of delicate anti-romance.

first rate

The band are clearly eager to experiment with different avenues of sound and songs such as Only One Look and Lucky Bag catch glimpses of an interest in glitchy loops and synthesizers but they never truly announce themselves in the foreground. An indulgence in a fresh direction stirs an excitement for the record that is never quite satiated until standout track Lonesome George. The haunting echoes permeating previous tracks have momentarily disappeared as Yeti Lane indulge in a poignant dedication to youthful resilience and unfazed anticipation, led by stirring organs, xylophones and horns.

YETI_LANE_LJ1

The trio aren’t giving much away about their French origins and lean towards an unavoidable American sensibility, though Pleng’s sweet Parisian lilt adds a bonbon charm to darker edges. A contention with stereotypes doesn’t stop there as home for Yeti Lane is the traditionally shoegaze associated label Sonic Cathedral, though the band seem to have enough ideas to distance themselves from being pigeonholed too easily, even if these adventures can come across a little diluted. They bend and navigate the framework of a pop sound, but often this meandering leads to some indulgent deviations.

And so it seems Yeti Lane, overflowing with ideas in the second phase of their musical careers, aren’t quite sure where exactly they’re heading but are taking the road travelled more confidently by stalwarts of the New York scene of decades before. Plaudits for their own ability in melding the vast array of instruments with each other to a pleasant and intriguing effect should not be denied them, though perhaps in time Yeti Lane can mature this sound to a more arresting result.
FAK 2

Since hearing First Aid Kits debut album The Big Black and The Blue we’ve been incredibly impressed with the sibling duo. The album is full of lush harmonies, about it moody melodies and lyrical narratives. I was able to catch up with Klara and Johanna before their gig at Rough Trade East. The girls were eating dinner at a curry house on Brick Lane with their father Benkt before the gig and I dropped in afterwards to ask them a few questions.

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

Klara. Oh we just got here but we’re already enjoying it. It’s like coming home because we spent so much time here last year when we were on tour.

AD. You have a three month tour coming up. Is that something you ever imagined doing when you first started recording songs?

Klara. I guess, search we imagined it, but not so soon. It was definitely in the plan, but we thought it’d be in about five year’s time. It’s happened really fast, but we’ve always wanted to make music.

AD. On the Whichita site it says that you were finishing school while you were recording your debut album. How did you manage to find the time to do both.

Johanna. We recorded it during weekends and holidays and at night when we were finished with homework.  It was really stressful.

hardbelieverpackshot

AD. How long did it take you to finish recording it?

Klara. From November 2008 to the summer 2009. It was because we were at school that we couldn’t do it quickly.

Johanna. Yeah we didn’t have all the songs; they were finished gradually.

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

AD. You’re both from Sweden but all of your songs are sung in English. Is there any particular reason why?

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

K. So it made sense. We’re also really into American and English culture and almost all the music we listen to is in English so when we make songs that’s the way they come out.

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and your songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 1

AD. OK, you’ve said that you’re interested in Folk music, but is there anything else which inspires you to write the music that you do?

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

AD. Anything particularly or are you just absorbing it from everywhere?

K. Well I mean some songs have direct songs which we’ve been inspired by. Like, the movie Into The Wild, I was really inspired by it. I wrote a song that’s on our album called ‘Wills of the River’ which I literally wrote while I was watching the movie. I wrote a poem and then we made a song about it. That’s one quite extreme example of how we’re inspired.

AD. What do you think of the British folk scene, and is it similar at all to Sweden’s.

K. We love it, and we’re inspired by it.

J. There’s no such thing in Sweden at all.

K. No

J. I mean we’re the only band really doing this. I think.

AD. Do you play much at all in Sweden then?

K. Yeah.

J. We did at the beginning, we played in Stockholm for a year, or something like that but now we only really play over here.

firstaidkiteppackshot

AD. Do you find that being siblings makes it easier to write songs together.

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

K. Yeah, I mean we haven’t really recorded with anyone else, but definitely. It might just be us, I don’t know if every sibling would be able to but we’re on the same page almost all of the time, and we get along most of the time. I think.

AD. When you met Amelia at Glastonbury you had your parents with you, and obviously your dads along with you this time. How do you find that, does it mean you can’t get up to any classic touring antics?

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

J. But I don’t think it’s because he’s a family member, it’s just being with someone all the time.

K. Yeah, all bands become a family eventually. I mean our dad, it feels a bit weird talking with him sat there.

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

K. But he does a lot. He’s our sound technician on the tour as well so we really need him.

J. He’s been doing it too, in the 80’s, he had his own band for a few years. He’s very experienced. So it’s very good for us to talk to him about these things.

(At this point Benkt brings out a copy of Mick Jaggers autobiography and points at it knowingly)

AD. You played on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury last year. Is that something that’s quite important to you?

K. Yeah sure

J. We think about it alot. I don’t know if it shows in our songs but it’s important to us. We have this thing in Stockholm now which is called No More Lullabies.

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

J. Yeah, we all played 10 minutes each. There’s a film on the website where you can watch it and that was to get awareness to the issue.

K. It was really nice.

J. We love to do those kind of things. We’re not afraid of it and talking about it with people.

AD. OK, finally, what is it you’re most looking forward to doing this year?

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

J. Yeah, we want to go the US and try to make some new songs.

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

The Big Black and the Blue was releasd on Monday and can be found in all decent record stores.

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and you’re songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 2

Since hearing First Aid Kits debut album The Big Black and The Blue we’ve been incredibly impressed with the sibling duo. The album is full of lush harmonies, troche moody melodies and lyrical narratives. I was able to catch up with Klara and Johanna before their gig at Rough Trade East. The girls were eating dinner at a curry house on Brick Lane with their father Benkt before the gig and I dropped in afterwards to ask them a few questions.

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

Klara. Oh we just got here but we’re already enjoying it. It’s like coming home because we spent so much time here last year when we were on tour.

AD. You have a three month tour coming up. Is that something you ever imagined doing when you first started recording songs?

Klara. I guess, dosage we imagined it, but not so soon. It was definitely in the plan, but we thought it’d be in about five year’s time. It’s happened really fast, but we’ve always wanted to make music.

AD. On the Whichita site it says that you were finishing school while you were recording your debut album. How did you manage to find the time to do both.

Johanna. We recorded it during weekends and holidays and at night when we were finished with homework.  It was really stressful.

hardbelieverpackshot

AD. How long did it take you to finish recording it?

Klara. From November 2008 to the summer 2009. It was because we were at school that we couldn’t do it quickly.

Johanna. Yeah we didn’t have all the songs; they were finished gradually.

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

AD. You’re both from Sweden but all of your songs are sung in English. Is there any particular reason why?

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

K. So it made sense. We’re also really into American and English culture and almost all the music we listen to is in English so when we make songs that’s the way they come out.

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and your songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Club. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK 1

AD. OK, you’ve said that you’re interested in Folk music, but is there anything else which inspires you to write the music that you do?

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

AD. Anything particularly or are you just absorbing it from everywhere?

K. Well I mean some songs have direct songs which we’ve been inspired by. Like, the movie Into The Wild, I was really inspired by it. I wrote a song that’s on our album called ‘Wills of the River’ which I literally wrote while I was watching the movie. I wrote a poem and then we made a song about it. That’s one quite extreme example of how we’re inspired.

AD. What do you think of the British folk scene, and is it similar at all to Sweden’s.

K. We love it, and we’re inspired by it.

J. There’s no such thing in Sweden at all.

K. No

J. I mean we’re the only band really doing this. I think.

AD. Do you play much at all in Sweden then?

K. Yeah.

J. We did at the beginning, we played in Stockholm for a year, or something like that but now we only really play over here.

firstaidkiteppackshot

AD. Do you find that being siblings makes it easier to write songs together.

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

K. Yeah, I mean we haven’t really recorded with anyone else, but definitely. It might just be us, I don’t know if every sibling would be able to but we’re on the same page almost all of the time, and we get along most of the time. I think.

AD. When you met Amelia at Glastonbury you had your parents with you, and obviously your dads along with you this time. How do you find that, does it mean you can’t get up to any classic touring antics?

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

J. But I don’t think it’s because he’s a family member, it’s just being with someone all the time.

K. Yeah, all bands become a family eventually. I mean our dad, it feels a bit weird talking with him sat there.

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

K. But he does a lot. He’s our sound technician on the tour as well so we really need him.

J. He’s been doing it too, in the 80’s, he had his own band for a few years. He’s very experienced. So it’s very good for us to talk to him about these things.

(At this point Benkt brings out a copy of Mick Jaggers autobiography and points at it knowingly)

AD. You played on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury last year. Is that something that’s quite important to you?

K. Yeah sure

J. We think about it alot. I don’t know if it shows in our songs but it’s important to us. We have this thing in Stockholm now which is called No More Lullabies.

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

J. Yeah, we all played 10 minutes each. There’s a film on the website where you can watch it and that was to get awareness to the issue.

K. It was really nice.

J. We love to do those kind of things. We’re not afraid of it and talking about it with people.

AD. OK, finally, what is it you’re most looking forward to doing this year?

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

J. Yeah, we want to go the US and try to make some new songs.

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

The Big Black and the Blue was releasd on Monday and can be found in all decent record stores.

AD. Ok, you’ve probably heard this one quite alot, but, you’re still quite young and you’re songs show a lot of maturity

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

AD. You show a lot of maturity, especially in the lyrics. Do these come from your own experiences or are they just stories?

K. We are young, and we haven’t experienced that much. We haven’t run away from our husbands after long marriages. We just like the tradition of telling stories in the country/folk scene. I mean if you go way back to The Carter Family and all of those guys and they all tell these sad stories about outlaws and things.

AD. Last year you were over here supporting Fanfarlo and Slow Dive. How does it feel this year to be coming back and you’ll be headlining your own gigs?

K. Well the Fanfarlo tour was meant to be a double headline

AD. Oh Really?

J. But it didn’t quite work like that, for some reason.

K. I mean they’re six and we’re only two so …

J. Yeah, it’s new and exciting and we’re both a little nervous.

FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, viagra which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, cost and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, buy information pills or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
FAK_BBB_packshot

The first time I heard First Aid Kit was when they supported Slow Club during their tour last year. They were kicking around the empty venue watching Slow Club’s sound check.

The Swedish sisters looked so young that I thought someone had snuck their daughters into the venue before the doors opened.

I have been a massive fan of First Aid Kit since that gig in October. I listened obsessively to their Drunken Trees E.P and I’ve been counting down the days til their release of their debut album The Big Black and The Blue.

It was completely worth the wait; the album sounds fantastic from the get go. The Big Black and The Blue opens with the stunning ‘In The Morning’; it starts with an acappella harmony, cost which leads into the quietest and gentle strums of an acoustic guitar, try and instantly grabs your attention and steals your heart.

FAK 1

The interesting thing about First Aid Kit is the contradiction in two young girls writing the occasional song about middle-aged women, for sale or tackling stories that seem beyond their teenage years. Just like You’re Not Coming Home Tonight from their E.P, ‘In The Morning’ is just one of the songs about a life the musicians are too young to lead themselves.

It sounds patronising, but there really aren’t any other musicians as young as these girls writing lyrics of this depth or maturity.

The Big Black and The Blue alternates between acappella styled harmonies and country tinged guitars to create 11 beautifully crafted songs that you won’t get bored of. Hard Believer is the standout song of the album; it’s another track that shows off the maturity and wisdom in the lyrics.

On first listen this isn’t in the same league as their Drunken Trees E.P, but if you give it enough time, it’ll grow on you. I think there’s a space in everyone’s music collections for this stunning release. I shall be upgrading my press CD for a vinyl version next week.
Polka Lace copy Image courtesy of All In One, this photographed by Stephanie Sian Smith.

What attracts you to the idea of the onesie jumpsuit / all in one?
I just think they’re pretty unusual and fun to wear – and when you find an amazing one you just look mega cool.

How did you develop your idea into a business? From your blog you’ve sold to a variety of people from Burning Man and bankers to vitamin water and a variety of performers including Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
A friend of mine had a blue jellyfish sting protection suit that she’d nicked when she went diving in Australia. When I saw it I instantly fell in love and commandeered it as my festival outfit for the next few years! I soon built up a collection of these suits and got a bit of a reputation as being ‘the onesie girl’ – when the festivals finished I realised that there were hardly any all-in-one’s out there that I could just wear normally. So I started making my own – it kind of seemed natural for me to just start my own business making things which I love. Now, page I sell a mixture of my own work and custom costume designs.

African One copyAbove and all images below courtesy of All In One, information pills photographed by Dan Wilton.

What would you say is Nina Ribena’s design aesthetic?
Massive hoods.

Who or what are your design inspirations?
I’m hugely inspired by the circus. I just got a massive book of old circus photos for Christmas, which is a great reference for one-piece related costumes. I really love bright, crazy, repeat patterns. I love Brian Lichtenberg, Cassette Playa, JCDC and Jeremy Scott’s work…and I would say M.I.A is quite a big inspiration (probably because she wears quite a lot of the aforementioned designer’s clothes!). I love the whole 90′s revival that’s happening at the moment as well, I can’t get enough of tacky gold jewellery and R Kelly.

originals3 copyWhat materials do you particularly like to work in/with?
The majority of my designs are in cotton jersey or anything with a bit of stretch to it. I’ve also been working with PVC quite a lot recently – I quite like the sculptural qualities it can have.

What do onesie’s make you think of?
Fun. Stretching. A good night out. Grace Jones.

all in one .01 (5 of 1) copyHow would you describe your creative process?
I am super organised in some ways and a complete mess in others. So, I usually spend my time trawling the Internet looking through fashion blogs and pulling out anything that catches my eye – this can be anything from London Fashion Week to Where the Wild Things Are to Cheryl Cole. Then I go through them all and decide the themes, that I want to work within – which usually end up being about 7 or 8 different things. I’ll draw some ideas and designs down and then just make the ones I like the most. I’ve never studied fashion – I’m completely self-taught, so I don’t have the ‘correct’ way of designing a collection mastered, at all.

What’s been your favourite appearance of your onesie so far?
I think it has to be the one I made for Fred Butler recently. I.D Magazine are running a feature of 100 portraits of creative/influential people – Fred Butler being one of them – and she asked me to make her an amazing holographic inspired all in one for the shoot. The photos were taken by Nick Knight for his SHOWstudio project so you could watch the whole shoot live on their website. So yeah, my design will be in I.D Magazine, shot by a famous photographer and worn by a really talented designer. Definitely my favourite onesie appearance!

blue african trim copyWith Fashion Week slowly creeping up on us which designers will you be watching out for?
I’ve always been really interested in Gareth Pugh’s work – especially his last collection – I thought everything from the clothes to the lighting and feel of the catwalk just looked amazing. I always like to check out the new designers supported by Fashion East/ Vauxhall Fashion Scout etc…it’s always good to study the sort of designers who win these opportunities.
Aside from that – House of Holland, Ashish, Givenchy, Pam Hogg, Viktor & Rolf, Mark Fast and Jeremy Scott, of course. He always make things a bit more interesting!

As a holder of a blog – what are your thoughts on the blogging ‘sphere’?
I think it’s really important to have a blog if you’re a designer. Just having an online shop or website doesn’t really cut it these days. I think the people who buy your clothes (and are ultimately fans of your work) want to have more of an insight into your creative processes and the things that inspire you. Plus it’s a brilliant way to network with people and get your work out into the open. I wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities or ideas I’ve had without having access to all the blogs out there.

all in one .01 (3 of 5) copyWhat’s next for Nina Ribena?
Lots. I’m really enjoying printing my own fabric at the moment so you can expect to see a lot of zebras, puffins and multi-coloured leopard skin prints making appearances on my designs soon! I want to bring out my own line of leggings and a friend and me have just started our own dance/club night collective.
I’m also planning an exhibition of all my designs to be shown at the end of the year, which is going to involve a mixture of fashion, art and theatrics – all in onesies, of course. It’s going to be a busy year!

Categories ,Ashish, ,Brian Lichtenberg, ,Burning Man, ,Cassette Playa, ,Cheryl Cole, ,Fashion East, ,Fred Butler, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Givenchy, ,Grace Jones, ,House of Holland, ,I.D Magazine, ,JCDC, ,Jeremy Scott, ,London Fashion Week, ,M.I.A, ,Mark Fast, ,Nick Knight, ,Nina Ribena, ,Pam Hogg, ,R Kelly, ,Stephanie Sian Smith, ,Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Viktor & Rolf, ,We Are All In One, ,Where the Wild Things Are

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Amelia’s Magazine | Supermarket Sarah meets Fred Butler for London Fashion Week 2009

I’ve been on the road with Climate Rush, more about erectile with 3 horses, erectile a couple of caravans, cheapest plenty of publicity and a heck of a load of energy. We’ve been on a mission to raise awareness about the threat of climate change.

cr1.jpg

cr2.jpg

On the tour of the rural South West, the group has been focusing on solutions to the looming climate chaos and towards positive initiatives rather than looking to attack the corporations and government. The starting point of the month-long journey was the village of Sipson, under threat from the third runway we talked to concerned locals and held activity days for the community.

cr3.jpg

At an impromptu kids activity, we made some amazing potato faces sourcing all the veg from the Green plot allotment.cr8.jpg
…which also provided our meals for the 3 days we camped, thanks to the dedication of some of the local residents.

cr7.jpg.

We also held a tea party and provided daily evening entertainment for the local community.
Peggy Sue, who recently headlined the Secret Garden party, was a highlight. Our caravan stage was a unique experience for the locals and the band alike, and with a full moon over us it was a night to remember.
Climate Rush have roped in a range of guests to join them along the route with climate scientists, comedians, politicians and plenty more special guests. Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory who were sacked after it closed down came to offer their experiences and views as well as representatives from the welsh climate camp. Locals also showed their grievances and it was heartening to see how people can become so radicalised when the threat from corporate expansion and climate change affects them.
Today we are in Aylesbury and have held our very own Green fair in the centre of the town, with screen printing, music and free fruit, we’ve chatted to a fair few locals and hopefully spread our message a little further. Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP,also joined us to speak to the locals about the threat of climate change and outlined the importance of community led action and debate.

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Climate Rush are ending their journey at Totness at the end of the month, it is a ‘Transition Town’ model where the community has looked at how to live in a post-oil world and it feels like a fitting way to end the journey, especially with the motto “Deeds not words” used by the climate suffragettes.
If you can’t make it to Totness, fear not, there are a host of place you can catch up with the group, they are planning to hold a demo at Oxford airport to protest against the planned airport expansion and will also be in Bristol for the International Peace day as well as joining in with‘Co-mutiny’ hosted by the city. Check the website for the whole route and I really recommend joining them at some point. There is always space around the fire, blankets to go around and a great learning and rewarding experience to have. Never thought I would be learning how to put a bender tent up or learning how to groom a horse in the few days I’ve been with Climate Rush.

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As always the police have been keeping a watchful eye and often seem to know more about our plans than we do ourselves. Luckily the rambling Climate Rush party haven’t yet ruffled too many feathers apart from the long line of cars and lorries we manage to accumulate behind the 5 mile an hour caravans. But watch this space to see how things progress and are getting on later on this month.
Supermarket Sarah is a lovely online shop with an intriguing alternative homepage to the usual multiple image interface popular with online shopping websites. The website loads a picture of Sarah’s living room wall decorated with vintage and recycled items looking for a new home. After having great fun perusing the wall and hovering the mouse over bottles transformed into lamps and carefully selected vintage dresses. The viewer can select their favourite item, viagra approved by clicking the mouse and hey presto! be taken into Sarah’s shop to examine the chosen item. The wall display changes regularly and is often themed check out the red and white version of the Sarah’s Wall!

supermarketsarahredwall.jpg

supermarketsarahwhitewall.jpg

For Fashion Week September 2009 Fred Butler, designer extraordinaire has designed Supermarket Sarah’s wall. Amelia’s Magazine are particularly excited to see the result having previously featured Fred Butler’s innovate designs. View her film for February’s London Fashion week here. .

supermarketsarahmixedwall.jpg


Hello Sarah! Where did the inspiration for Supermarket Sarah come from?

It’s a supermarket with a personality. I guess it’s a fun spin on consumer culture. In today’s world of homogenous brands this is a shop where items have no sell-by date and everything is a one of a kind. It’s my selection of weird and wonderful things and great young talent.

I worked as a creative online and really wanted to touch and feel the real world again. I started doing Portobello market and loved meeting people and really interacting with the world again. I was also assisting top stylists and getting a feel for my own style. My boyfriend Henrik Delehag is an artist and helped me to find my voice.
For Fashion week I asked the extraordinary props stylist and accessories designer, Fred Butler, to guest curate my supermarket wall and I’m so excited with the result. It is a blast of colour and creativity! I aim for my wall/homepage to occasionally be a canvas for artists that I admire and I couldn’t have hoped for anyone else to kick-start the guest curation. The ‘Browse’ section will continue to be populated with my finds and new designers.

In today’s world of homogenous brands Supermarket Sarah is all about putting a fun spin on consumerism. All items are a ‘one of a kind’ with a story to tell. Fred’s work really resonates with me, as her creativity is idea based and full of humour. I felt Fred’s work really fitted with the Supermarket Sarah ethos as she often works with recycled every day objects like J-cloths and sponges to create beautifully crafted work. I love these hairpieces By Fred Butler for Kate Phelan / Tim Walker.

fredbutlerjclothestimwalker.jpg

They are made of recycled J-cloths. They are such fun and beautifully crafted. I think when you work with odd materials like this, attention to detail is so important otherwise it might just look like rubbish. This is definitely my kind of recycling!
What makes Fred so unique is that she is conceptually brilliant but is also is an amazing crafter. A true creative genius!

fredbutlerwall.jpg

We have some super guest curators and super Sarah walls coming up so keep checking in! I aim for the wall/homepage to act as a gallery that will keep changing with the idea being to inspire and surprise users on every visit. There is no time limit on the walls online presence. Some may be up for a day; some might be available to view for a month, the idea being that you have to be quick as items sell out. The ‘browse’ section will be populated regularly and acts like the inside of the shop. We have a great Art Wall coming up to coincide with Frieze Art Fair.

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Art Director Fred Butler is a props stylist and accessories designer based in London. See examples of her designs in the above still from La Roux’s latest video. Her fashion collection A/W08 won official sponsorship for A/W09 and Fred will officially be opening Fashion week on the 18th September at 10 Downing Street! Find Fred here.

Categories ,consumerism, ,Fred Butler, ,La Roux, ,LFW, ,online, ,shopping, ,Supermarket Sarah

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Amelia’s Magazine | Swatch True Colours – A look at the entries


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Well things haven’t changed for me much over the last twenty years. I yearned for a Swatch watch when I was a boy, mind decease and I’m yearning for one now. I never actually got one – well, sickness visit web that’s what happens when you’re brought up in a mining village and there are more important things in life, here prostate like food, for example. Anyway, who cares? Swatch have recently launched their New Gent collection – a painfully sophisticated selection of watches for gentlemen who appreciate a discreet, slick timepiece with style.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

To celebrate the launch (and promote it, of course) the Swiss watchmakers have collaborated with some of the biggest fashion magazines to pitch stylists, photographers and fashion editors against each other. The result is a fabulous selection of shoots, published in said magazines, with readers given the opportunity to vote for their favourite.

Without any particular brief, the results are breathtaking and very, very different. Here’s a round up of my faves:

Wallpaper*

Wallpaper‘s ‘Hanky Panky’ shoot is inpired by the plight of 1970s gay casual-sex seekers to find an ‘appropriate’ match. A fascinating subject, I have actually no idea what the different placements mean (honestly, guv’nor – but Wikipedia does throw some light on the situation) but the team at Wallpaper, overseen by fashion director Sebastien Clivaz, have used the phenomenon to great effect.

This gent, on the left, apparently is a submissive gentleman who is fond of sexual practises such as fisting, piercings, S&M, military sex and masturbation only (somebody needs to make his mind up, love…) You can’t go wrong with a bit of camp cowboy styling.

Open Magazine

I love love love Open Magazine’s vibrant colours and hint of eroticism. A pair of flexible friends writhe on top of each other in various poses (but this ain’t gymnastics).

The watches on the models go unnoticed, but this is rectified with backdrops of said watches, blatant in the background. And if that girl can really get a Swatch around her neck, she needs to eat more.

Vice Magazine



In a shock move, Vice‘s entry is a little subdued, but I love their stark shoot featuring up-and-coming musicians. Lots of different photographs feature, from different angles, with Jeremy Shaw, Polina Lapkovskaja and Hugo Capablanca sporting a couple of watches each…

Cleo Magazine


Cleo’s option makes great use of wonderful illustrations. Chiho’s dreamy water-colours envelop their models, blending with body art influenced by the magazine’s Singaporean roots, photographed by Skye Tan.

Tom Magazine


Tom’s quirky offering is all about food. 6 models are pictured gorging on a selection of East Asian treats whilst nonchalantly wearing a variety of the watches. I really like the candid format and saturated colours of Dean Lee’s photographs.

WAD Magazine


I love WAD‘s quirky and eccentric shoot, featuring modern gentlemen in a mix of twee tweeds. These dandies wear a mix of Scandinavian and British tailored items. You don’t see much of the watches, but who cares? These photographs are great!

Kinki Magazine


Kinki‘s offering is probably the most unique, and utilises coloured powders that have been splashed all over models’ faces. It’s a really conceptual shoot and stands out from the rest.

ID Magazine


ID Magazine makes use of ‘streetstyle’ photography, using prolific fashion blogger Bryanboy and accessories designer Fred Butler as subjects. The layouts also feature this pair casually going about their businesses wearing armfuls of Swatch watches, as you do.

To see the rest of the entries and to vote in the competition, visit the Swatch website (where you can also check out some of the fantastic videos produced to accompany the shoots!)

Categories ,Asia, ,Bryanboy, ,Chiho, ,Cleo Magazine, ,Cowboy, ,fashion, ,Fred Butler, ,Gymnastics, ,Hanky Panky, ,Hugo Casablanca, ,ID Magazine, ,Jeremy Shaw, ,Kinki Magazine, ,Magazines, ,New Gent, ,Open Magazine, ,Polina Lapkovskaja, ,Singapore, ,Skye Tan, ,streetstyle, ,styling, ,Swatch, ,Switzerland, ,Tom Magazine, ,Vice Magazine, ,video, ,WAD Magazine, ,Wallpaper, ,Watches

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Craig Lawrence


Illustration by Jo Cheung

Presentations are funny things; done badly they can leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed, case but done well they can be even more effective than a big catwalk show. Craig Lawrence’s A/W 2011 presentation fell into the latter category for me; a series of presentations meant that there was plenty of room to find a seat, this but still impressive front row faces like Susie Bubble and Fred Butler. A voiceover narrated the details of each outfit which really shed a lot of light on the intricacies of the designs that might have been lost on me otherwise; like garments being turned inside out to expose filigree textures beneath the surface.


Photography by Katie Antoniou

The shoes were also real show-stoppers, medical the result of a collaboration between Craig and Crisian & McCaffrey, featuring killer heels and knitted panels. The colours of the collection were inspired by the night; dark blues, purples and navy blues; a brilliant alternative to the blacks and greys autumn/winter collections often resort to. Craig’s alternative textiles like cellophane and Kyototex give a shimmery finish to evening wear, whilst knitted tights worn underneath sheer knits created striking, layered patterns. Some pieces were made up of large circles and stripes woven into the fabric, subtle details which only really showed up in the texture of the garments.


Illustration by Jo Cheung


In striking contrast to the dark clothes, the models’ eyes were accentuated with a neon orange stripe on each eyelid; in keeping with the ‘brights’ make-up trend. Statement tights were also omnipresent in the LFW crowd and Craig’s offerings imply they’re going nowhere.

When the presentation finished, Craig didn’t seem to be making an appearance, until his mum left her place on the front row to drag him out to much applause. He certainly deserves it for pioneering a totally innovative approach to textiles and knitwear which has made him a firm fixture on the London fashion scene.

You can see more of Jo Cheung’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Craig Lawrence, ,Fred Butler, ,Jo Cheung, ,knitwear, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,Presentation, ,Susie Bubble

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Craig Lawrence


Illustration by Jo Cheung

Presentations are funny things; done badly they can leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed, case but done well they can be even more effective than a big catwalk show. Craig Lawrence’s A/W 2011 presentation fell into the latter category for me; a series of presentations meant that there was plenty of room to find a seat, this but still impressive front row faces like Susie Bubble and Fred Butler. A voiceover narrated the details of each outfit which really shed a lot of light on the intricacies of the designs that might have been lost on me otherwise; like garments being turned inside out to expose filigree textures beneath the surface.


Photography by Katie Antoniou

The shoes were also real show-stoppers, medical the result of a collaboration between Craig and Crisian & McCaffrey, featuring killer heels and knitted panels. The colours of the collection were inspired by the night; dark blues, purples and navy blues; a brilliant alternative to the blacks and greys autumn/winter collections often resort to. Craig’s alternative textiles like cellophane and Kyototex give a shimmery finish to evening wear, whilst knitted tights worn underneath sheer knits created striking, layered patterns. Some pieces were made up of large circles and stripes woven into the fabric, subtle details which only really showed up in the texture of the garments.


Illustration by Jo Cheung


In striking contrast to the dark clothes, the models’ eyes were accentuated with a neon orange stripe on each eyelid; in keeping with the ‘brights’ make-up trend. Statement tights were also omnipresent in the LFW crowd and Craig’s offerings imply they’re going nowhere.

When the presentation finished, Craig didn’t seem to be making an appearance, until his mum left her place on the front row to drag him out to much applause. He certainly deserves it for pioneering a totally innovative approach to textiles and knitwear which has made him a firm fixture on the London fashion scene.

You can see more of Jo Cheung’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Craig Lawrence, ,Fred Butler, ,Jo Cheung, ,knitwear, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,Presentation, ,Susie Bubble

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011; Streetstyle: Frontrow Showstoppers

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

The pages of glossies, page newspapers,blogs and even whole books are testament to the rise of the ‘streetstyle snapper’; being papped by Facehunter and co is now seen by some as the holy grail of LFW achievements. Whilst I have no problem avoiding the cameras, I do like to grab the odd shot of some of the more ‘out there’ get-ups, and of course, some friendly faces. So here are a few of my snaps from this LFW- starting with Illamasqua make-up artist Mika and Viktoria Modesta; muse to Ada Zanditon,(above); both with flawless make-up and hair at Ada’s presentation on Day 1.I also bumped into Amber and Nisha; the Broken Hearts DJs who were wearing spectacular headpieces by Tour de Fource.

Illustration by Antonia Parker

It seemed the DJ duo were everywhere you turned at LFW- having collaborated with Paperself on a range of stunning paper false-eyelashes, as well as featuring in Elizabeth Lau‘s lookbook for her Autumn/Winter collection. Elizabeth’s cousin, Susanna Lau also modelled a jumper for the lookbook; one that reads ‘Having a bubble’; appropriate given her blog name Style Bubble.In fact, I thought the jumper had been specifically designed for her, but Elizabeth explained to me that all the jumper slogans come from Cockney slang and ‘Having a bubble’ means Having a laugh.It was just a happy coincidence that Susie was the perfect model for it!

Illustration by Ankolie

Susie Bubble

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler was sitting next to Susie Bubble front row at the Craig Lawrence presentation, wearing her own fantastically colourful accessories.

At Charlie le Mindu Daphne Guinness graced the front row, sitting next to Diane Pernet from A Shaded View of Fashion. Also in attendance was one of LFW’s most dedicated over-dressers, usually clad from head to toe with PVC.Here he accessorised with a blow up wig and blow up pet dog.

Illustration by Karina Yarv

Also in attendance was He of the big hair, another LFW regular. I’d spotted him at Jacob Kimmie the night before where he’d kindly posed for me, dressed in a religious ensemble, complete with oversized crucifix.

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Wearing jewellery from her own line, it was nice to catch up with Kirsty Ward at her stand at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. I’ve recently been working with her boyfriend David Longshaw who also uses Kirsty’s jewellery in his collections. This couple are both talented and lovely enough to be firm fixtures on the LFW scene for years to come.

Categories ,Ankolie, ,Antonia Parker, ,broken hearts DJs, ,Daphne Guinness, ,David Longshaw, ,Diane Pernet, ,elizabeth lau, ,Fred Butler, ,frontrow, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kirsty Ward, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Susie Bubble

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Cooperative Designs

Caroline Charles drew quite the crowd on the first day of London Fashion Week. Her AW10 collection specifically drew my attention due to the vast variety on offer; with the collection separated two key sections; day and evening.

 

Shiny leather hats lightened the mood with a playful edge, stomach along with large sunglasses, there and fur coats. Fur was present throughout samples in scarves and hats too, making the statement that it is most definitely set to be big once again come next winter. The overall colour scheme centred around black and brown, with splashes of green in the form of gloves and belts, cleverly breaking up the sombre look. Pattern was everywhere, ranging from lines, checks and tweeds, leaning towards nature-inspired prints.

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Images courtesy of Fashion156.

The second segment moved towards an overall feeling of luxury; in both fabrics and composition. Small ruffle details around the neckline were subtle but gave a touch of individuality, whilst a rich velvet was present throughout; primarily seen in jackets in green and plum red. The colour scheme focused on earthly tones with some African aspects, such as golden print panelling on several dresses.

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Tribal patchworks with pink sequins – although it doesn’t sound it – proved a surprisingly beautiful juxtaposition. Sequins, and beading, in fact seemed quite major on floral themed dresses, and the Caroline Charles essence really seemed to be within the detailing. Contrasted against elegant eveningwear pieces was a small selection of shiny leather and cropped lace leggings, which were combined with cropped jackets in eye catching gold. Caroline Charles brought a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to London Fashion Week’s first day, with spot on colour combinations and a range of sartorial references everyone can benefit from.

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 Caroline Charles drew quite the crowd on the first day of London Fashion Week. Her AW10 collection specifically drew my attention due to the vast variety on offer; with the collection separated two key sections; day and evening.

 

Shiny leather hats lightened the mood with a playful edge, pill along with large sunglasses, information pills and fur coats. Fur was present throughout samples in scarves and hats too, making the statement that it is most definitely set to be big once again come next winter. The overall colour scheme centred around black and brown, with splashes of green in the form of gloves and belts, cleverly breaking up the sombre look. Pattern was everywhere, ranging from lines, checks and tweeds, leaning towards nature-inspired prints.

96863991_10

Images courtesy of Fashion156.

The second segment moved towards an overall feeling of luxury; in both fabrics and composition. Small ruffle details around the neckline were subtle but gave a touch of individuality, whilst a rich velvet was present throughout; primarily seen in jackets in green and plum red. The colour scheme focused on earthly tones with some African aspects, such as golden print panelling on several dresses.

96864006_10

Tribal patchworks with pink sequins – although it doesn’t sound it – proved a surprisingly beautiful juxtaposition. Sequins, and beading, in fact seemed quite major on floral themed dresses, and the Caroline Charles essence really seemed to be within the detailing. Contrasted against elegant eveningwear pieces was a small selection of shiny leather and cropped lace leggings, which were combined with cropped jackets in eye catching gold. Caroline Charles brought a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to London Fashion Week’s first day, with spot on colour combinations and a range of sartorial references everyone can benefit from.

96864020_10
coop

Early on a Sunday Morning, viagra order Cooperative Designs were to be found in the quiet backstreets of Charing Cross. Following on from last season’s epic Bahaus Inspired set the design duo produced another stellar presentation. The ground floor walls of Proud Central Gallery were adorned in portraits of the clothes worn and made unique by the likes of Fred Butler and Louise Gray.

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The ability of these designs to transform the wearer and be transformed by the wearer themselves was continued in the fanzine accompanying the presentation. Featuring work by collaborators such as Amy Gwatkin, treat Fumi Nagaska, Gillian Wilkins, Pavel Ivancic and Alex Cunningham to name but a few, the magazine shows the clothes how they need to be born, whilst retaining that London essence of endless creativity.

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On the back wall of the upstairs gallery, a beautiful film of the new collection was provided courtesy of the designers: Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann and White Night Films. Set within a corridor, the monochrome print adorning the walls was designed by David White. The additional graphic lines set off Cooperative Designs’ Autumn Winter Collection, whilst the camera captured the fluidity of graphic print on knitted fabric. The innovative patterns mesmerising, not surprising for a team who designed for Hussein Chalayan Autumn Winter 2008 and 9, following this in 2010 with a collaboration for Stefanel.

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Downstairs it was a delight to discover the live presentation, occuring against the wallpaper featured in the film, in the flesh the clothes became startling, finished off with the bold jewellery from Corrie Williamson and head pieces provided by Noel Stewart.

cooperative-aw10-1-katie-harnett

In particular I love the sense of play that arises from these designs, dresses, cardigans contain exaggerated proportions, pushing the seams of tradition dress, Cooperative Designs offer the opportunity to layer upon layer or to wear one stand alone dramatic piece. From the quality each season so far, the productions are nothing short of an investment.

Thanks to Katie Harnett for the wonderful illustrations.

Categories ,Alex Cunningham, ,Amy Gwatkin, ,Autumn Winter 2010, ,Cooperative Designs, ,David White, ,Fred Butler, ,Fumi Nagaska, ,Graphic Prints, ,knitwear, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Gray, ,Presentations, ,Proud Central Gallery, ,teabelle, ,The Magnet Agency

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fred Butler – Bright Said Fred!

The eponymous release from New York based The Pains of Being Pure at Heart has everything you could want from a summer album. A certain been-in-the-sun-too-long hazy-headyness without the too-much-ice-cream sugariness of many indie-pop summer albums. No-No! I’m rallying for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart being trail-blazers for a new genre we shall call ‘Sandalgaze” aka Shoegaze for when it’s not raining out.

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From the rip-roaring opener ‘Contender’, buy more about the album manages to be catchy without being twee, shop noise without being dreary, imagine My Bloody Valentine on a beach doo-wopping and you’re halfway there.
Whilst treading this line The Pains of Being Pure at Heart consistently avoid being schmaltzy. The track; Young Adult Friction is danceable, its lyrics of a whimsy worthy of Stuart Murdoch yet reflect on themes like first love with a sort of yearning nostalgia, again souring the sweetness. Here the oft-overdone boy/girl singing duo is slightly off-kilter and the effect is more reminiscent of early Yo La Tengo or Jesus and Mary Chain than Belle & Sebastian.

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The Pains of Being Pure of Heart is definitely tinged with nods towards the 80s and early 90s,yet it is perhaps too easy to criticise the album for this. The band manage to utilise certain stylistic tropes without being too retrospective or shallow.
In fact The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is refreshing in it’s redefinition of certain preconceptions: summer isn’t all about whistling and tambourine jangling anymore and Shoegaze is reinterpreted with a sunny touch rather like enjoying a 99 flake with Kevin Shields!

The album ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’ is available now and the single ‘Young Adult Friction’ is released on 18th May (Fortuna Pop!)
They play The Lexington, London on 15th May

Kitsuné has really got its groove on this time. Left eyebrows are often tilted to a 74-degree angle at the mention of a Parisian fashion boutique that puts out compilation CDs, symptoms amongst other music releases. At first, tadalafil you kind of expect endless Dimitri From Paris types churning out catwalk-flavoured lint, but Kitsuné really knows what it is getting, and won’t be holding onto the receipt. With utter confidence and bravado, you see, it was Kitsuné that released Wolfmother’s ball-busting old-metal limited edition EP. Benetton scratches its head in confusion.
For all that, Compilation 7 is a danceable disc, with lots of European disco-beats, and plenty of fruity basslines in the Frenchified Electro style. But it’s not the kind of thoughtless, juvenile poppy end of it. You won’t hear anything approaching “Lady, give me tonight, cos my feeling is just so right”, since the Maison-people (Maisonettes?) are clued up. They listen to Tangerine Dream and Elvis Costello, and anything they select from the here and now is selected with a certainty that reminds me of the chap who picks the leaves for PG Tips: He just knows where the good stuff’s at.
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Highpoints include Chateau Marmont’s Beagle, filled with synths fresh from Tomorrow’s World demonstrations, sidewinding through arpeggiated chords, with the occasional crash-bang with a wooden spoon by the stove, and Beni’s Fringe Element, which popcorns along with hi-hats before going to a thoroughly spiffing hiatus of slap bass with one of the squidgiest, wiggly-wormiest synth solos since Mr.Scruff’s Shrimp. Probably the most exciting track here is Crystal Fighters’ (above) Xtatic Truth, a journey involving Epic-Ragga-Happy-Hardcore, hints of Chinese Folk, and a choir of the ether.
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But it’s a plentiful CD. There are nineteen songs, in all, and although everything chugs along to the metronomic pulse of cubase, there is pacing and variety to the beast overall. Gentle relief comes best of all in This Sweet Love by James Yuill (above), as remixed by Prins Thomas, a ponderous chillscape based on the warmest fingerpicking, and an embrace of vocals. You will feel truly hugged. And once you’ve digested it all, you can take that lovely warm glow on the Eurostar with you, and buy yourself the bestest clothes (I’m not a fashion writer, actually) in all Pareeee!

You can buy the Maison’s goodies at www.kitsune.fr or at their myspace.
If you are a university student, online what do you make of your schools environmental policies? Do they even have green policies to speak of? This week, the students of the University of Arts London have been bringing environmental issues to the forefront, and discussing the various ways that both themselves, their campuses and the courses themselves can be more environmentally aware.

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The Go Green Week, also known as Green: The New Black has been running for the last few days and culminates in talks and workshops on Friday, that include Fashion Forward: Creating an Ethical Label between 4pm-6pm RHS East Space, LCF, John Princes Street
which asks: “How can you create a label that looks good, but is also good to the environment?” ECCA and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion present fashion design businesses that are sustainable throughout from their manufacturing processes and materials, to marketing methods that aim communicate and promote their ethical processes to their customers.
Also on Friday afternoon at LCC is the meeting “Students Going Green” –top of the agenda are the following points “Fed up with the lack of recycling at your College? … Want sustainability on the curriculum? … Think Arts London should GO GREEN?” Speaking with the Press Officers of the Student Union, I learnt that a large number of students have voiced their concerns over this topic. The recycling issue specifically has been on ongoing and much debated subject. Many students feel that not enough is being done to provide facilities to recycle. The Green Charter laid out by the Student Union demands that “Sufficient recycling facilities should be available at all Arts London Sites and all Halls of Residence, with consideration also given to specialist recycling e.g. textiles, wood at relevant sites.”

Also on the agenda is for the issues of sustainability to feature more heavily in the Universities curriculum, either in the form of specific modules, or integrated as a whole, and for the campuses to switch to a green energy provider. The student union also explained that they are setting up an “Ethical and Environmental assembly” that will set future Go Green Assembly’s. They have also been encouraging students to sign a petition that is campaigning for a greener Arts London. Realising that strong visuals are the best way to get the point across, the students were asked to be photographed with the green charter and upload their pictures to the blog. An example would be these brave folks.

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Learning about the concerted efforts to raise environmental awareness amongst students started me wondering how other universities and student bodies broach this subject. As this is a topic that is dear to our heart, we would love your input on whether your schools and universities are committed to the environmental cause, and if so, do you feel that they are doing enough? . Tell us more at hello@ameliasmagazine.com and maybe we can help to highlight the issue.
Be featured in this limited edition anthology of the best new illustrators engaged in environmental thinking. Read on to find out more…

***Please note that this brief is now closed: you can now order a copy of this book online by clicking here***

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an illustration by Laura-Maria Arola from issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

Now, malady anyone who is following me on Twitter – my new favourite thing in the whole world – will know that I asked my dad to do the research for this book. I know what he’s like – apart from being a typical male who loves nothing more than “disappearing down the rabbit-hole” as my mum calls it (also known as busying himself in new projects) – he also loves a challenge. So I asked him to dig up some info on all the most obscure new alternative technologies currently being explored, sale so that I could put together a brief for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration.

He rose to the challenge and then some… almost immediately I started receiving email updates on strange new ways of producing energy. But not only that… it seems I have been the unwitting catalyst for a whole new venture – or a whole new rabbit warren to explore, depending on your point of view. A trained if somewhat out of practice scientist, Bruce (that’s my dad, I know, wierd, I call him by his first name)- gleefully told me on Bank Holiday Monday that he’s just designed the best new wave power technology not yet invented. Having read nearly 2000 patents for various wave power technologies he has, in his inimitable way, decided that his idea is quite clearly the best (my dad ALWAYS knows best). Except he won’t share it with me, cos I might, like, post it on the internet or something, before he’s applied for a patent.

Still, exciting stuff, and just the kind of thing I hope to do more of with both this open brief and the resulting book that comes out of it. Amelia’s Magazine in print may be no more, but I could never leave print entirely, and so the idea for this book has been mulling around in my head for sometime now. What we need right now is a whole heap of imagination, because humans need to make a big leap forward if we want to get out of the mess we currently find ourselves in. And whilst the scientists and boffins of this world busy themselves with the minutae of complicated chemical reactions and intricate moving parts, we also need the skills of artists to make these technologies a concrete reality. Without both visions together we will continue to move at a snail’s slither, so my aim is to help quicken that pace. If I can inspire designers and illustrators to better consider the way their energy is produced by drawing alternatives, then maybe they will make better choices about where their own energy comes from. Of course I don’t believe that technology alone is a cure all for all our ills, but it’s a move in the right direction, and I aim to produce a book that provides a comprehensive resource of all the best new illustrators capable of engaging with environmental issues and envisaging future alternative energy sources.

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an illustration by Allan Deas for issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

What will be in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration ?
The book will be a compendium of profiles on the best illustrators who submit to this brief. Anyone is eligible to submit work, from anywhere in the world. I would particularly encourage new illustrators; those who are still at college, just graduating, or new to the field. Amelia’s Magazine is used by many influential creatives looking for new talent to employ, and this will be an even better way of getting your work noticed globally.

What will the book look like?
The book will be the same dimensions as Amelia’s Magazine, thereby sitting nicely on the shelf with any copies of the magazine that purchasers might already possess! It will be designed in a similar fashion but also expect some new ideas.

When will it be published and where will it be sold?
Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration will be self-published (again!!!!) The lead-times are just too long with the big publishers, plus they would want more design control than I am prepared to give to them. The ones I have spoken to also insist on producing all their books in the Far East, something I am very uncomfortable with given the dodgy environmental credentials of many industrial operations in that part of the world. It will be produced in the UK by Principal Colour as a limited edition hardback towards the end of 2009, in time for Christmas. Advance orders should be available to purchase on my website by the end of the summer, and will be much appreciated in order to finance the production process as it is going to cost me much more to keep production in the UK. The book will be sold worldwide at specialist art book shops such as those that already stock the magazine. I will aim to produce a second (possibly softback) edition the following year to be made much more widely available.

What can I do to contribute?
I need a number of different artworks from aspiring contributors, so please read the following information carefully and make sure that your submissions meet the criteria before you send them in to me.

Submission criteria

EXCLUSIVE WORK: produced specifically for AMELIA’S ANTHOLOGY OF ILLUSTRATION

1. Most importantly:
ONE EXCLUSIVE LARGE PIECE done specifically for this anthology and not featured anywhere else.

This should feature an alternative technology that has not yet been built or mass-produced in any great scale. NO RUN-OF-THE-MILL WINDMILLS AND SOLAR PANELS PLEASE!

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an intriguing design for a line of windmills on a bouncing rod

This is a challenging theme, but thanks to my dad there are dozens of links below that will lead you off in the right direction. You will need to disappear down the rabbit hole for awhile for this brief requires time and thought to complete. It also requires huge amounts of imagination, which is what illustrators specialise in! And my dad! I’ve always held a belief that the scientific mind and the artistic mind are not really so different from each other. How else do you explain me? The child of two scientists?! but rubbish at science….

Anyway, I digress. In this illustration I want to see ways that a new technology would be integrated into our future lives… so interaction with the surroundings or people will be good. This is not a technical illustration, it’s an aspirational one, but you should imagine this technology in some detail, however fantastical it may be. You could even look back at technologies that were patented as far ago as the 1800s, but that have never become part of the mainstream. Your chosen technology should be the main focus of your whole picture, but don’t forget to add detail.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing why you picked this particular technology and what the illustration means to you. This should be no more than 300 words.

A word to the wise: the more obscure your choice of technology the better, since I will probably choose different technologies for each illustrator that I choose to profile.
You can choose to work in two sizes:
Double page (as was used in Amelia’s Magazine)
SIZE: page size: 400mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 406mm x 251mm.
or
Single page
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your image into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)
GUTTER: please also note that the book will have a very deep gutter in the middle so it is good to keep important parts of your illustration away from the centre of the spread in double page images.
MY STYLE: if you want to know about my taste in illustration you should check out the current issue of the mag, or buy a back issue here!

2. A exclusive PICTORIAL LOGO on an environmental theme

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Logo designed by Adrian Fleet for Climate Camp in the City at the G20 protests

If you have submitted something for the Climate Camp logo open brief then you would be able to resubmit it for this brief, irrespective of whether it was used or not. The logo could be for an event or a company or a product or anything at all, but it must be promoting environmental themes and ideas. I will be looking for colourful and engaging logos. Consider the work of Adrian Fleet for the G20 Climate Camp in the City logo when thinking about what to enter for this. My style tends to be maximalist, but the words must always be a bold and easy part of the logo to read. It could be work that you have already created and has already been used by a brand (though please check with them before sending it to me) or you could create a new piece of work for a real or fictional brand. It should encompass a creative use of typography with illustration. There will be plenty of food for thought amongst the alternative technologies you will already have researched.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing what the logo has or would be used for. 50 words max.
It can be any size, but please create work at 300 dpi to a largish size.

3. Typography: YOUR NAME!
Please create your name in the most imaginative way possible. This could be done by hand, or on a computer, but you should really go to town! Amelia’s Magazine is well known for the use of creative typography, and for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration the floor is open to you to create your own type for your own name (or how you would like to be known professionally) Don’t think of it as branding, but as something to go to town with. If your work is chosen it will be used to head your page, and it should therefore be really creative and fun. Think of this as your chance to really grab the reader’s attention!
For this reason please work to these dimensions and no smaller. (it could be bigger)
SIZE: 200-400mm wide x 40mm high
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

4. A Border
Again this should fit a single page and reflect an environmental theme. Be sure to work with 3mm bleed and no more than 25mm in from the edge.
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your border into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

NON EXCLUSIVE work:
4. Two other bits of illustration.

These should be your best recent work. They do not necessarily need to be on an environmental theme but should showcase as wide a range of imagery as possible, eg. people, things, places, typography etc. If you have created artwork for any of my previous open briefs this could form part of your submission although I would prefer to see new work. Be sure to stick to one style though – illustrators with a strong style of their own will always make the biggest mark, and I am unlikely to pick anyone who does not show a strong style throughout their submissions.
These can be any size, but please label each illustration clearly with a name and date of creation.
SIZE: as big as possible to fit the book’s page sizes.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

CLOSING DATE: Monday 3rd August, by midnight please.
Please send lo res versions of your images (saved for web) to info@ameliasmagazine.com in an email clearly marked ANTHOLOGY OF ILLUSTRATION so that I don’t lose sight of it in my inbox if I am rushing through things on the day it arrives.
(This should be 6 pieces of work altogether. PLEASE DON’T SEND MORE THAN THIS)

If you are chosen for inclusion in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration then you will be notified shortly after this date, once I have made my decisions. I have yet to decide how I will put together the profiles, but I may well need a photo from you and a short interview. If this is the case you will be notified later on in the summer.
And if you have any questions that are not answered above then please email me for clarification.
Join the facebook event here to ensure you get updates as they happen.

Best wishes and happy drawing!

Links
Below is a very long list of links, courtesy of Bruce: this is by no means conclusive, and the technologies may never work, but they are all being explored and would be valid ideas to illustrate. Youtube and Google Images are both a great source of innovative technologies, and I am sure you can find more. Feel free to go off and google you heart out – but you must illustrate something real and possible, and not a fantasy idea of your own. (unless you are also a scientist of course)

Wind turbines

Wikipedia wind power info

Magenn’s revolutionary wind power system on youtube

Magenn Air Rotar system

Magenn’s home page

The Floating Balloon Wind Generator

Motorwind Camping Set Wind Turbine

Knex wind turbine

Magnetically Levitated wind turbine

Great pic of huge Maglev wind turbine

Wikipedia entry about Maglev wind turbines

Maglev wind turbines homepage

Mag-Wind Vertical Axis Turbine

A Flying Wind Machine!

Floating Wind Turbines

A great blog about lots of different alternative energy projects including wierd and fantastical wind turbines

Huge Kites

Optiwind accelerating turbine

Selsam superturbines

Rotating wind power towers

Broadstar’s Aerocam

FloDesign wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of airborne wind turbines

downloadable PDF containing interesting info about different types of airborne wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of Kitegen

Kitegen website – plans for a huge airborne wind farm!

Great picture of how kites could generate electricity

Guardian article about kite power

Video showing how a kite ladder would work

Makani Power high altitude wind kites

Google have put money into the Makani vision

Makani “wind dam” picture

Great article about Saul Griffith — wind energy entrepeneur, and president of Makani

Tom Van Sant makes amazing kite ladders as sculpture

Wind Harvesting farms

Helix Wind

More Helix Wind porn

Google search results for wind power technologies

Mariah Power wind turbines

Google videos about wind power

The huge offshore aerogenerator

Quiet Revolution wind turbines

Wave power

Oscillating water columns

Anaconda wave technology

SIE-CAT wave energy accumulator

A list of wave power patents going back to the 1800s

Danish Wave Energy Society

the Wave Dragon

Wave Star Energy

Wave Energy Centre

CWave Power

the Aegir Dynamo

CETO

Columbia Power

Float wave electric power station

the Manchester Bobber

Orecon oscillating water column

OE Buoy

Aquamarine power

Sperboy wave energy converter

SSG Concept

The Seadog Pump

Buoys technology

Floating power plant

Surf Power

Power Buoy

the Wave Roller

Langlee Wave Power

the WRASPA

video about Harnessing the Gulf Stream! (is this a good idea?)

Wikipedia entry about wave power

Pelamis on wikipedia

Pelamis wave power

Pelamis being tested in Portugal

Google videos on wave power

Biowave power system

video showing Biowave power working

Video – giant rubber snakes!

SRI wave powered generator

Ocean Power Technologies

video – Aqua Buoys

Aqua Buoy movie

Oyster wave power

Tidal power

Wikipedia on tidal power

Video – tidal wave energy

youtube – idea for tidal energy barrage in florida

Sea Gen

google video links for Sea Gen

Marine Current Turbines

video of Biostream tidal power system

Gorlov helical water turbine on wikipedia

Gorlov Helical Turbine

3D interactive model that shows blades of Gorlov turbine

Severn Barrage

Solar Energy

Wikipedia on solar energy

Thermal

wikipedia on thermal solar energy

wikipedia on solar energy generating systems

wikipedia on solar power tower

BBC news report on solar power stations

Solar Power tower in Spain

image of Solar Power tower

more images of solar power tower in spain

Bright Source solar power on wikipedia

Bright Source Energy

Solar Reserve

youtube on solar tower energy

solar tower energy in spain on youtube

Enviromission solar tower

Suncatchers

Dual axis solar tower structure

Voltaic

photovoltaic energy

youtube on israeli solar energy

First Solar free field power plants

youtube about plastic solar cells producing solar power

Konarka power plastic

Standard geothermal

Geothermal power on wikipedia

youtube geothermal energy vid

Enhanced geothermal

Wikipedia – enhanced geothermal systems

youtube video on enhanced geothermal systems

Hot Rock Technology

Alta Rock Energy

Petratherm

Geodynamics
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The Reluctant Photojournalist

Features a variety of vintage and modern prints from Werner Bischof’s well known humanitarian photography including the Bihar famine, more about Europe post WWII and the South Korean war. Alongside these sit Bischof’s equally beautiful but perhaps lesser known early experiments with abstracts and nudes.

Photographic co-op Magnum Photos Ground Floor, 63 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RS, 0207 490 1771
Free Entry
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re.orient.ate

Reorienting common notions of contemporary Arab art and lifestyle and debunking ‘Orientalist’ depictions. Arab artists Marianne Catzaras, Dora Dhouib and Wael Shawky explore themes of mass media, Diaspora and religion via film and photography.

Selma Feriani Gallery, 23 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2QN
7th Apr – 13th May 2009
Free entry
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The Abyss

A new joint exhibition by former Wimbledon College of Art students, Nicola Stead and Dan Jupp.

The Outside World, 44 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
7th May – 13th May By appointment Thursday to Saturday
Free entry
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The Hiding Place

Lewis Chamberlain
Exquisitely rendered pencil drawings whisk the viewer away into muted landscapes
which toy with scale, suburbia and the surreal.

James Hyman Gallery Savile Row, London W1S 3PD, 020 7494 3857
30th April – 30th May
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Crafted
Contemporary Craft and Fine Art

An exhibition celebrating the materials, processes and techniques involved in making extraordinary objects, the exhibition will feature nine artists from different arts and craft and design fields.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Church Lane, Carmarthen SA31 1LH
4th Apr – 16th May 09, 10 – 5 Mon – Sat
Free entry
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Monday 11 May

Telepathe are a too-cool-for-school three piece from Brooklyn. They’re playing 93 Feet East. They get obtuse Krautronica and make it go “POP!” – maybe they’ll be the next Animal Collective… Supported by Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.
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Tuesday 12 May

Dan Mangan plays The Electroacoustic Club, salve housed at The Slaughtered Lamb, viagra Clerkenwell. He’s a heartfelt songwriting kind of guy, information pills sings like he means it, and he’s much better than that Elbow record. Support comes from Deer Park.
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Wednesday 13 May

Our new favourite boyfriend-girlfriend duettists, Young Paul, will be giving The Cobden Club, 107 Kensal road a taste of 80s electronic treats. get in touch with the band for hassle-free entry, as it’s a private members club. Not just a fine gig, then, but also a chance to see where the Old Etonians schmooze.

Thursday 14 May

Alice and The Cool Dudes at Barden’s Boudoir. This is the high point of our music week. Alice Grant of Fulborn Teversham, is leaving her jazzhead buddies to one side to unveil some pensive indie songs, delivered by a totally unique voice that totters across a tightrope of uncannily powerful and tearful exhaustion. Surely she won’t disappoint?????
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Friday 15 May

Up in Nottingham, North-East London’s finest jokeshop salesmen of parallel-universe, narrative ska will be testing out some new material where they think no one can hear them. If you can find a place called Demo, you must prove Hothead Show wrong. Prepare for shockingly tight wizardry of the jerky-jerky groove.
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Saturday 16 May

A night of so-angry-we-can-only-tell-you-very-very-slowly Metal, with some catatonically droning Grunge, and atonal noise that may cause loss of balance on all but the lowest of seating. Roll up at The Constitution and enjoy Dethscalator, Scul Hazzards and Batrider. If you don’t take earplugs, then take cotton wool to mop up you bleeding lugholes.

Sunday 17 May

Always a good bet for a sunday night is Cross Kings, 126 York Way, in King’s Cross. On the ground level, David Goo will jolly along an open mic, which always has a few very eccentric envelope-pushers pencilled in. The avant-gardishness couples nicely with the family warmth, houmous and pitta that makes this a great pub. It’s worth paying a few quid to be allowed into the basement also. Things are a bit more organized (sound-checks and everything) but happily, there’s still no obvious divide between the musicians and the audience. What sundays are for.

Tuesday 12th May

Climate (Mis)behaviour
7pm
Dana Center
The Science Museum’s Dana Centre, dosage
?165 Queen’s Gate?, sildenafil
South Kensington
?London?SW7 5HD
?talk@danacentre.org.uk
+0044 (0)207 942 4040

Rescuing the planet requires behavioural change on an unprecedented scale. From individual action to global politics, what are the different strategies attempting to achieve this? Social psychology, advertising, policy and direct action are all thrown into the mix in this debate. ??This event is trying out a new format called Policy Slam, which is funded by the Democratic Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Justice. With the help of the experts, you will discuss, present and vote on several different options.

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Illustration by Lea Jaffy

Wednesday 13th May
Morphic Resonance, Collective Memory and Habits of Nature – An evening with Rupert Sheldrake

6.30pm drinks & buffet at Gaia House, 
(18 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1LD)

7.30pm Talk & discussion at Burgh House 
(Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, Hampstead, NW3 1LT)

When Rupert Sheldrake first put forward his idea of Morphic Resonance more than twenty years ago, it caused a great stir in the scientific community.  The Editor of Nature denounced it as “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years” and proclaimed that it was “heresy”.  In his recently published new edition, available on the evening, Rupert documents the evidence that has built up in support of this hypothesis.  He will reflect on the Human Genome Project and other reductionist ideas, where few of the grand claims have come to fruition, not unlike the economic bubble that has recently burst.
 
The paradigm shift that Morphic Resonance offers is coherent with the Gaia Hypothesis, where the cosmos is understood to be a developing organism, where nature is alive, interconnected and creative.  There is an inherent memory in nature, and evolution is an interplay of habit and creativity, like our own lives.  According to this way of seeing formative causation, all self-organising systems, including crystals, plants and animals contain an inherent memory, given by a process called morphic resonance from previous similar systems.  
 
These ideas also resonate with diverse indigenous traditions around the world, including those of European ancestry.  For much of our history humans have experienced our relationship with the Earth, and indeed the Universe, to be fluid and reciprocal.  Rupert has taken up the challenge of exploring this ancient wisdom thorough the modern scientific tradition.
You can reserve your place online at: www.gaiafoundation.org/learning/online.php
Or send  a cheque for £10, made payable to The Gaia Foundation.

For further details please contact Sarah at: sarahn@gaianet.org or 020 7428 0055.
 
Rupert Sheldrake is recognised as one of the world’s most innovative biologists.  He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project.  He is author of more than 80 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and many books, including ‘The Presence of the Past’,  ‘The Sense of Being Stared At’, ‘Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home’  and  ‘Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness’. His web site is www.sheldrake.org

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llustration by Eco Labs

Thursday 14th May
TAKE BACK THE POWER!? THE IMPORTANCE OF DIRECT ACTION TODAY

6:30-9pm
?Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre?
17 – 25 New Inn Yard
London EC2A 3EA
Nearest tube: Old Street

Free entry, refreshments and snacks provided
RSVP: london@climatecamp.org.uk or call 07534 598 733 (Early booking recommended!)
Find out what YOU can DO to stop climate change.?Throughout history ordinary people have been responsible for all major social changes – women’s rights, civic rights and even democracy itself in many places can be said to be result of direct action. Taking action is the very first step in making big changes happen. Direct action is taken by people who feel that the political process is not working to address profoundly important issues.
Climate change is the most urgent challenge we’ve ever faced – and politicians are not showing the strength of character needed to actually address this problem. Instead of serious sustainable solutions we see new runways and new coal fired power stations- deals that benefit the bottom line of the big players and not the wider population. Climate Camp believes that people everywhere need to work out what they can do – and then do it. Taking action yourself to make the world you want to see is a logical response to a very serious situation.

Are you interested in doing more to highlight the urgency of climate change? Or the relevance of direct action to struggles for jobs, peace and justice? Are you intrigued but feel uncomfortable about going outside the mainstream political process? Would you consider getting involved but don’t know how? Are you nervous about the consequences?
‘Take Back the Power! The Importance of Direct Action Today’ will be unique opportunity to hear about direct action from people who have participated in different ways. Speakers will range from people on the front line to those helping in the background. This includes Deborah Grayson – one of the Parliament Climate Rush – who is on bail and will be speaking about Climate Rush (photgraphed below)
To reserve a place/s please RSVP to london@climatecamp.org.uk or call 07534 598 733.

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Photograph by Amelia Gregory

Saturday 16th May
Euroflashmob: Europe United Against Airport Expansion
Stop Airport Expansion

Saturday 16 May 2009. The day of the Eurovision Song Contest. 12 noon on the dot at Heathrow
Terminal 1 Departures. Join Heathrow Flashmobbers in a Europe-wide Flash Mob – taking place on the same day at 6 airports across Europe.
Flash Heathrow! Flash Paris! Flash Frankfurt! Flash Schipol! Flash Brussels! Flash Dublin!
Each flashmob will be singing Eurovision classics (song-sheets provided), so download your favourite eurovision song onto your ipod or phone and bring your friends, instruments, hats, wigs, and your dancing shoes and let’s party. Now for the serious bit: airport expansion is seriously bad for local people, increased noise, air pollution, and especially the climate. The aviation industry want to expand airports across the UK and Europe, but opposition is huge, and the scientists are telling us we have to drastically cut emissions if we are to beat climate change. Flashmobs are a fun way to highlight the real opposition there is to expansion at airports across Europe. Here’s another big chance to show our opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.
See you in Heathrow Terminal 1 Departures at 12 noon on the dot!
Tell BAA to get in tune: No Third Runway.
www.euroflashmob.com

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Illustration by Sachiko

Green Wedge II
A major Green Party benefit gig, to aid the Euro Election campaign.

£5 entry.
Venue:
Pangea Project
72 Stamford Hill,
Stoke Newington,
N16 6XS

http://www.pangeaproject.co.uk/

The highly eclectic lineup includes:
The Refinements (Raucous Ska)
Sarah Ellen Hughes Duo (jazz singer)

Contacts:
Selim: 07853 725476
Come along and support the local bands by cheering loudly, the Green Party by giving us your money and support, and the Pangea Project by drinking copious amounts.
It’s all shaping up to be a fun night, ably facilitated by your host Matt Hanley (ahem), with comprehensive Eurovision updates throughout the evening!
You can buy advance tickets here:?http://www.skiddle.com/tickets/
I love good days. Days that unfold in a series of pleasant surprises that put a spring back in your step and remind you that the world can be a good place. Three such things occurred today, buy well, four if you include the free coffee I was given for no reason, and five if you take into account the particularly magnificent texture of the water in which I swam early this morning (a good start surely), breathing fresh and clean from the night’s rain, silk to the touch and causing my skin to tingle for hours after; but silk water aside, only one of these things is relevant to you Zach, can I call you Zach?

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There was a moment at tonight’s concert where you clasped your fingers behind your head, raised your eyes towards the ceiling, and sighed a private smile – do you sometimes not quite believe it? I couldn’t believe it. I’d given up the hope of seeing you (you the object of a little musical infatuation), play at the Forum tonight – a torment when that venue is within spitting distance of my home. I’d cycled past and seen the queues outside (one of the nicest looking crowds to gather outside the Forum, believe me I know), my head hung low and my pedal stilted, perhaps I could sneak in, how could I live here so long and not know a secret entrance? Just as I was reconciling myself to a night of listening to Gulag Orchestra within the confines of my bedroom and strumming Postcards from Italy alone on the roof, a good thing happened – buzz buzz in my back pocket.

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“Hey Luisa how are you?”
“I’ve been better, well actually it’s been a pretty good day, but – ”
“Yeah well listen, you like Beirut right?”
“Like them? I Love – I mean yeah, they’re ok. I guess they’re ok.”
“Well you couldn’t do me a favour. I know it’s late notice and you’ve probably got plans”
“Erm, yeah I’ve got plans”
“Well I’m supposed to be reviewing them tonight but they wouldn’t give me a plus one and I don’t want to go alone, you wouldn’t go instead would you?”
(I’ve pulled over and am silently raising my fists to the sky)
Hmm…I suppose I could, I mean I would like to see them but then I don’t know what I’d write, I’m sure I’ll think of something-”
“So you’ll go?”
“Yes, yes I’ll go.”
“Oh great, thanks, just say you’re me, get some pictures, you know the drill, thanks again,”
“No problem, really,” (jumping up and down a little bit),
“What’s that noise?”
“Oh, nothing, some kid, thanks a lot, have a good night,”
“You too, byeeeee.”

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So that’s how a good day found me watching you tonight, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a gig. You came out to rapturous applause, rewarding the audience kindly with Nantes, how does it feel to have a crowd sing your songs along with you? It was as though you were singing old folk songs of a collective homeland from which we’ve all strayed, not something created from a photograph and a few months in Eastern Europe and Paris. And now you’ve moved over to Mariachi influences? I was raised on Cumbia, and I’ve always thought the sound is very similar to that of Eastern Europe, accordions and trumpets and powerful melodies. Everyone around me was in hushed silence for the entirety of the performance, and you seemed so relaxed, demure, a sound like yours doesn’t require anything else – I did like the occasional hand conducting though. On behalf of the audience, not that anyone would make me spokesperson for anything, thank you, it was wonderful incredible; but then you know that, not everyone gets two encores. See you again soon I hope, and erm, if you ever need someone to tap a tambourine or a cowbell, or maybe an old foot pedal harmonium just rescued from cobwebs, then … hi.

Yours,

Lulu Lampshade

SM (small print): emotional content may have been exaggerated slightly for effect.
Will Morgan is an excellent photographer, store clever person and all round nice guy. His photographs are subtle and dream-like; intimate yet austere, information pills all of us here at Amelia’s Magazine are big fans of his beautiful and exciting work. I was lucky enough to catch up with Will to talk about his work and the politics of photography.

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Hi, patient Will, how are you today?

Hello Roisin, I’m very good today thanks , the sun’s out and things are pretty much perfect.

I really love your photographs especially your use of light and attention to details- what makes a good photograph for you?

Thank you, that always nice to hear. Images work for me when they inspire an emotional response or are successful at conveying a mood and atmosphere. It’s the same for me with any art work really, every discipline. When I was at college I was really interested in domestic photography, family albums and the like, I always felt that these images were incredibly powerful because they are loaded with so much meaning, they tie into notions of memory, loss, happiness, sadness and the passage of time. I’m sounding a bit pretentious here but never mind eh? I think that an image can stand on it’s own purely by being beautiful as well, ideally one would combine the beauty with an emotional response. I think photographs are a form of language so it’s nice if they say something.

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Can you tell me about your average working day?

I don’t really have an average working day, I shoot a lot of editorial so the jobs are varied and my personal work is even more so. If I’m on a commissioned job it’s usually an early start, double check the equipment as I have been known to leave vital bits behind. Drink some very strong coffee, try not to smoke (fail) and head to the location, be very nice to everybody and start to shoot. Obviously keep to the deadline, work in close conjunction with the art director and hope the client is happy! All my commissioned work is digital these days so there’s normally an hour at the end of the shoot to go through the images then I retouch and deliver. My personal work is far looser I identify a project I’m interested in and shoot on my own, with minimal equipment. I do get up a lot later on these days, probably smoke more cigarettes though.

Do you have a favourite camera?

I started off using a 1960′s Hassleblad and I still love it, but these days I mainly shoot with a 645 contax and a P30 back, with the advent of digital clients just won’t pay for film and now days they want to see everything immediately, plus you get used to the freedom of digital, you can shoot to your hearts content. I do like my contax but the Hassleblad is probably my favourite although I rarely shoot film these days, I used to have a Polaroid land camera which I throughly enjoyed but I lost it. Lets move on I’m getting a little emotional

What do you make of the whole film vs. digital photography debate? I mean do you view the advent of digital photography as a completely bad thing?

I’m not sure it’s even a debate anymore, digital photography is here and it’s a photographic tool, you just have to learn to use it and I think to deny it is a bit self defeating. I do believe that images shot on film look better than digital raw files but the technology is so good now and if you know a little about digital retouching I can’t really tell the difference. Digital has a huge amount of freedom, film is expensive with digital after the initial investment you shoot for free really, you can really experiment and as I’ve said all my commissions assume I’m shooting digital. I don’t think digital is a bad thing or a good thing really it’s just the way photography has evolved. Different jobs/projects lend themselves to different platforms/cameras and so on, whatever works for you is the best really. Even when I do shoot film I scan it and tweak it in photoshop so it becomes a digital image anyway.

I think that’s really interesting, it’s quite taboo I think to be positive about digital photography, it’s refreshing to hear that you’re pro-digital and proud; whilst film is beautiful, people can always become purist about things like that and I agree that digital technology can add something great to photography- as we can see in your work!

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Continuing with this foray into the ethics or politics of photgraphy, do you agree with the idea that a photograph is the truest form of representation?

I’m probably misinterpreting the question but umm, not really, I think a photograph captures how someone or something looked in that split second the shutter clicked, it’s a tricky one but as a photographer you’re imposing yourself on the scene, you crop in camera, use apertures and f-stops different focal lengths, different formats, you edit your images, decide how to present them, all of this creates a selective reality, I’m not even sure if reality is the right word, also now with the computer technology you can completely alter the original image . All of these things have a huge bearing on whatever you’re photographing and of course you want it to look good. I don’t think it’s a true representation of reality but it has the edge over painting I think.

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Can you tell me about your journey to where you are today (career-wise rather than transport-wise!)? Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Well I went to India for a year when I was 20, I picked up a camera there for the first time and really enjoyed it, I’d stayed in India too long so I missed my University place to study English so i did a part time course in photography. I loved it so went the route of art foundation, photography BA at LCP (also this got me to London). I did well at LCP I won a few prizes and it gave me the confidence to believe I might actually be able to make a living from photography. After my degree I worked part time at the National Film Theatre and assisted various photographers as well as picking up a few commissions for my self. It’s only really been the last three years that I’ve made a reasonable living purely from my own photography but it’s always been fun and I’ve never wanted to stop. I think getting over the fear of the portfolio meetings was crucial! The only advice I would give is to keep at it, never be afraid of showing your work, shoot as much as you can and enjoy it, I think it’s the best job in the world (apart from rock star maybe)

Which photographers inspired you early on in your career?

I was always hugely impressed with Philip Lorca-di Corcia in particular his Hollywood Hustler series, I was and still am a big fan of Eva Vermendel and Martina Hoogland-Ivanow, Paolo Roversi’s work is always beautiful, Christian Boltanski, Stephen Gill, Bruce Davidson, Azim Haidaryan, Nadav Kander, there’s a lot of them but I’ll leave it there.


What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few, I’m shooting a series of confessional boxes in Catholic churches, a series on cineastes based around the National Film Theatre and bus stops at night.

I can’t wait to see them!

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All photographs appear courtesy of Will Morgan
At first glance, mind you might have thought that activism, arts and permaculture would make the strangest of bedfellows, but don’t let any preconceived notions cloud your judgement. The imaginative people behind ArtsAdmin are laying on a fortnight of activities which will demonstrate how effortlessly these subjects can work together. Under the name of Two Degrees , and with the recent quote by George Monbiot acting as a kind of frame of reference – ‘We have to stop treating climate change as an urgent issue, we have to start treating it as an international emergency” – the week long series of performances, activities, exhibitions and installations will have one thing in common; our relationship with the environment and the impact of climate change.

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I chatted recently with ArtsAdmin, in their beautiful and unexpectedly peaceful surroundings (well, they are on Commercial Road!) of Toynbee Studios (also the setting of many of the forthcoming events). They explained that even the title of the festival is apposite. ‘Two Degrees’ is in reference to the reports that global temperatures are set to rise by that amount in around 40 years. A relatively ‘small’ rise such as this could lead to catastrophic changes on our planet.

While the message is serious, many performances will be light hearted, and all will be engaging. A case in point, the ‘set list’ reads thus;  
“A reconstructed airplane serves real airline food delivered from City Airport; permaculturists and artists lead a foraging exploration of the City; a crowd of Londoners, an artist and a water dowser trace the course of a great London river; radical temporary transformations of lunchtime London; an artist-activist family confess to past flights they have taken; climate change cabaret; an urban-rural walk to City Farm; a bicycle-powered DJ set (run by good friends of Amelia’s Magazine; Magnificent Revolution) and a filmed rural idyll accompanied by passenger jet noise form Two Degrees”

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Personally, I like the sound of the climate change cabaret. It’s about time that cabaret branched out a little, don’t you think? Speaking of avant-garde performances, a particular highlight of the week will be C.R.A.S.H. A Postcapitalist A-Z, a collaboration between ArtsAdmin and the fantastically named collective that is The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. While it is difficult to predict exactly what will occur, (it’s best just to come down to the City of London to watch), C.R.A.S.H will be creating a phantasmagorical world where “Eight postcapitalist commissions transform lunchtime in the City including the very last opportunity to purchase a real woman, a soup kitchen distributing bowls of gold soup to City workers, a lone cyclist pedalling a field kitchen around the Square Mile, a forum of bankers, ex-bankers, climate activists, artists and others confessing their capitalist tendencies, and a café of equivalence where a bowl of food costs the same as a banker’s daily salary in parallel with food costs in the developing world.” I believe it is safe to say; brace yourself!

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Elsewhere, the issue of airline travel is of course, a pertinent topic in an event that is engaging in dialogue about climate change. At Toynbee Studios, it will be dealt with in an unexpectedly humorous way. In an activity that Dada would be proud of, the artist Richard DeDomenici (and his cabin crew) will be serving out helpings of airplane food, in its airline style packaging. Just in case you didn’t think that this was authentic enough, your meal will be served as you sit in a recycled airplane interior, which Two Degrees hasten to add, also includes in flight entertainment. For any of you who would pitch up just because you like the taste of airline meals (someone has to…?) there is a deeper meaning behind this. DeDomenici is responding to a recent quote by chef Marcus Wareing about British pub food, which he declares being of poor quality, so much so that for a proper meal, “you would be better off getting on a plane”. Now, I would disagree with chef Wareing on both counts. Has he never eaten at The Eagle? Moreover, it is an irresponsible comment to make, one which highlights the ease in which we get on and off flights, almost as if they were trains. So, rather than getting on a plane, you can experience all the wonders of a flight (but without the guilt of actually flying). Hurrah!

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If you are anything like me; a bit of a hippy with a nerdish fondness for maps and discovering secret, ancient rivers, ( I’ll admit that there are very few of us around!) then you will especially enjoy the outing that Two Degrees have planned. The artist Amy Sharrock will be leading a walk which she describes as her response to global concerns. This will come in the form of an excursion from Islington to the Southbank, tracing the lines of the ancient, and lost Walbrook River. Not obscure enough for you? Did I mention that any participants will be dressed in blue and tied together to resemble water molecules?

All of the events can be booked online at www.artsadmin.co.uk. It promises to be a thought-provoking and engaging week. Knowing ArtsAdmin and the people behind this event, however out of left field the performances may be, the message will be central: we are running out of time in which to save the planet, and the time in which to act is now.

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Crochet, help shells and pipe cleaners…beasts banished forever to the chasmic closet of craft have broken free of the plastic furniture covers and dried flowers to be resurrected as one of the most entertaining young collections to have paraded down the catwalks in some time. Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the Australian born and bred design team behind Romance Was Born have glued-gunned themselves firmly in place as the merry pranksters of Sydney.

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No one would blame you for crinkling your nose at the idea of a fashion collection inspired by someone’s nana. But peeking through the kaleidoscopic vision of these wizards of Oz . Driven by textures, shapes and above all colors, Romance Was Born in the fertile imaginations of these two talented designers when they met while studying fashion at the East Sydney Technical College.

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After graduating in 2007 they were invited to attend the Fourth International Support Awards in Italy where they turned down internships with Galliano because “their fashion fairytale had another date with destiny”. These young (water)guns were intent on starting their own label with, and why not, the suitcase size booty of Galliano laces and silks they’d received as a prize from the competition.

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These two confectioners are just as much substance as they are style. Clever tailoring and feminine shapes pepper the opulent couture showpieces. Collaborations with Australian artist Del Kathryn Bartonproduced original digitally printed fabrics and a 12 piece collection entitled ‘Garden of Eden’, which was exhibited at Kaliman Gallery alongside Barton’s work.

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Romance Was Born has also found its way onto the figures of Debbie Harry, Lily Allen, MIA, Cyndi Lauper and Karen O (who opted for a red tulle dress with googly eyes) and rising star rockers Architecture in Helsinki, who wore their puppetry inspired glo-in-the-dark pieces for the filming of their band’s new clip. They must surely have tagged one particular Icelandic songbird for their next mark. we can’t wait to see what they pull out of their party hats next!

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When you first gaze upon the work of Accessory designer Fred Butler it’s all rather indigestible, case flying from one medium to the other with all the energy and flair of an excitable child. She is constantly adding more layers, no rx depth and colour to her pieces, help the result culminates in mind bogglingly colourful and decidedly hap hazard pieces.

With such gusto It’s hard to fathom how to predict her, one instance you could be presented with a outlandish mathematical headpiece rather reminiscent of a futurist rubix cube. Then next your met with a piñata style headdress (lets hope the model isn’t planning on attending any children’s parties, it may conclude in a rather unpleasant knock to the head) Each piece is as brilliant as it is unique, Butler is one of the few designers it’s hard to typecast, her work has been vaguely linked to that of fellow kitsch designers Peter Jensen and Alistair Carr but apart from these she seems a law unto herself.

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Her latest collection featured a hallucinogenic short film entitled “Conspicuous consumption” to which ethereal models clad in swarouski encrusted headpieces serenely sway in a rather hypnotic manner, its all rather like a trip back to Kate Bushes Wuthering Heights video, alas minus the haunting vocals!

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Fred Butler is an infamous character in the fashion sphere; regularly her work adorns the pages of the magazine elite from Elle, I-D, Vogue, Lula, and Hommes Japan to Wonderland. She even graced the pages Amelia’s Magazine to which she featured in issue 10, which is still up for grabs for the record, it’s worth taking a peak!

Her success is universal, making waves not merely within the fashion sphere but within Music also. She boasts eccentric followers from electro folk icon Patrick Wolf to the elegant Bishi. But she doesn’t just appeal to London’s Underground sphere, she has a whole host of high calibre clients from MTV, Selfridges to the V&A!

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Who knows what Fred Butler has hidden under her brightly coloured sleeve, I for one can’t wait to find out!

Categories ,Colourful, ,Conceptual, ,Fashion, ,Fred Butler, ,London, ,Peter Jensen

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