Amelia’s Magazine | Swap ‘Til You Drop – Why Clothes Swapping is Good for You

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea
and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from
New Zealand to the UK in 2005, medications and lives in London with her
adventurer/photographer partner, illness in a flat with no TV.
She spends most of her time writing, rx blogging, and running
her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although
initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates.
She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at
British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea
and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from
New Zealand to the UK in 2005, visit this site and lives in London with her
adventurer/photographer partner, website like this in a flat with no TV.
She spends most of her time writing, blogging, and running
her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although
initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates.
She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at
British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, viagra 40mg and lives in London with her adventurer/photographer partner, cheapest in a flat with no TV. She spends most of her time writing, blogging, and running her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates. She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Untitled (CCD) by Claire Roberts (detail)

The central premise of Silent City, sale the group comprised of artists Emily Whitebread, healing Cara Nahaul and Sally Mumby-Croft, physician whose first exhibition has just opened in Brick Lane, is intriguing. Their starting point was a reaction against what they perceived as the standard Climate Change exhibition. Cara explained the original thinking behind the group:

Wilberforce’s 7000 oaks by Susanna Byrne (detail)

“We went to the RA’s ‘Earth: Art of a Changing World’, and we were completely disappointed. There were one or two standout pieces, for example Lemn Sissay’s performance video ‘What If?’, but on the whole it was a very shallow, one-dimensional show. It didn’t provoke us at all. We found the bright red neon globes and concrete flowers both obvious and pious. The worst thing though, was that it seemed almost entirely from a Western perspective. We’re the ones who caused this mess with our industrialisation, but the Global South is paying the highest price. Bangladesh will be submerged by our actions, but at that show countries that are actually directly affected by climate change didn’t even get a look in.”

They founded Silent City the next day. Their objective was to redress this balance by putting on exhibitions that would seek to present the full implications of Climate Change – especially what it would do to those nearer the equator.

I went along to Brick Lane to see if their exhibition could match her admirable words, and I was suitably impressed. A group show of around 20 artists of various backgrounds whose work all deals with the environment have joined the three founding artists, and the result is a pleasing mix between professionally polished ideas and the kind of activist idealism that was missing from Earth: Art of a Changing World.

Relics of our Past (left) and Vanishing Point (right) and by Tutte Newall

The work, in various mediums from painting and film to dead insects, was of a very high standard. Highlights included Tutte Newall’s beautiful but disturbing paintings of monochrome animals who stand in pools of their own colour, Jools Johnson’s fascinating installations of dystopian cityscapes fashioned out of screws and random computer components, and Claire Robert’s presentation of dead bees, a commentary on the emergence of colony collapse disorder, which threatens bees worldwide, and therefore a third of the world’s food supply.

God Lives in Detail IX by Jools Johnson

Works such as the documentary Drowning By Carbon, by Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell, which featured Bangladeshi children planting the trees that they hoped would one day save them from the looming climate catastrophe, ensured that the original promise that the exhibition would deal with the Global South was kept.

Our Trees from Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell on Vimeo.

But perhaps the best thing about Silent City was that it managed to put forward a view of Climate Change that was not obvious, in spite of the fact that as a topic it has been talked to death from every angle. Featured documentary Mauerpark, for example, focused on the proposed development of the famous Berlin park. At first glance, this seems more a social than an environmental issue, but after watching the film its relevance to the Climate debate became clear: At its heart the film was about the choice between the short term pursuit of growth and a space that was for everyone, whose benefits could appear more intangible and immeasurable. It became easy to view Mauerpark as microcosm of the natural world itself.

Mauerpark Screening, Photograph by Stuart Sinclair

This outlook on Climate Change that seemed fresh and different, coupled with art that was as well thought out and made, as it was thought-provoking, made Silent City a big success. In fact it was so successful that the closing night film screening was such a scrum that people were camping out on the stairs, able to hear but not see the films. Silent City was apparently just the first of a planned series of exhibitions. It looks like next time they might have to rent out a bigger space.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Untitled (CCD) by Claire Roberts (detail)

The central premise of Silent City, viagra 100mg the group comprised of artists Emily Whitebread, viagra sale Cara Nahaul and Sally Mumby-Croft, page whose first exhibition has just opened in Brick Lane, is intriguing. Their starting point was a reaction against what they perceived as the standard Climate Change exhibition. Cara explained the original thinking behind the group:

Wilberforce’s 7000 oaks by Susanna Byrne (detail)

“We went to the RA’s ‘Earth: Art of a Changing World’, and we were completely disappointed. There were one or two standout pieces, for example Lemn Sissay’s performance video ‘What If?’, but on the whole it was a very shallow, one-dimensional show. It didn’t provoke us at all. We found the bright red neon globes and concrete flowers both obvious and pious. The worst thing though, was that it seemed almost entirely from a Western perspective. We’re the ones who caused this mess with our industrialisation, but the Global South is paying the highest price. Bangladesh will be submerged by our actions, but at that show countries that are actually directly affected by climate change didn’t even get a look in.”

They founded Silent City the next day. Their objective was to redress this balance by putting on exhibitions that would seek to present the full implications of Climate Change – especially what it would do to those nearer the equator.

I went along to Brick Lane to see if their exhibition could match her admirable words, and I was suitably impressed. A group show of around 20 artists of various backgrounds whose work all deals with the environment have joined the three founding artists, and the result is a pleasing mix between professionally polished ideas and the kind of activist idealism that was missing from Earth: Art of a Changing World.


Relics of our Past (left) and Vanishing Point (right) and by Tutte Newall

The work, in various mediums from painting and film to dead insects, was of a very high standard. Highlights included Tutte Newall’s beautiful but disturbing paintings of monochrome animals who stand in pools of their own colour, Jools Johnson’s fascinating installations of dystopian cityscapes fashioned out of screws and random computer components, and Claire Robert’s presentation of dead bees, a commentary on the emergence of colony collapse disorder, which threatens bees worldwide, and therefore a third of the world’s food supply.


God Lives in Detail IX by Jools Johnson

Works such as the documentary Drowning By Carbon, by Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell, which featured Bangladeshi children planting the trees that they hoped would one day save them from the looming climate catastrophe, ensured that the original promise that the exhibition would deal with the Global South was kept.

But perhaps the best thing about Silent City was that it managed to put forward a view of Climate Change that was not obvious, in spite of the fact that as a topic it has been talked to death from every angle. Featured documentary Mauerpark, for example, focused on the proposed development of the famous Berlin park. At first glance, this seems more a social than an environmental issue, but after watching the film its relevance to the Climate debate became clear: At its heart the film was about the choice between the short term pursuit of growth and a space that was for everyone, whose benefits could appear more intangible and immeasurable. It became easy to view Mauerpark as microcosm of the natural world itself.


Mauerpark Screening, Photograph by Stuart Sinclair

This outlook on Climate Change that seemed fresh and different, coupled with art that was as well thought out and made, as it was thought-provoking, made Silent City a big success. In fact it was so successful that the closing night film screening was such a scrum that people were camping out on the stairs, able to hear but not see the films. Silent City was apparently just the first of a planned series of exhibitions. It looks like next time they might have to rent out a bigger space.


Photography by Sally Mumby-Croft.

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, doctor and lives in London with her adventurer/photographer partner, salve in a flat with no TV. She spends most of her time writing, troche blogging, and running her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates. She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk


Illustration by Gemma Milly

I’ve never been very good at throwing away things, check especially clothes. Even before the environmental impact edged its way into my subconscious (how do you recycle denim?) there was always that nagging little voice, suggesting that “maybe I will wear it again someday”. Or, more frustratingly, “but someone else might like this”.  ?Who is this someone else? And how are they supposed to make use of my cast-offs when they’re hanging despondently in the back of my wardrobe?  ? 

?Then one day I found my answer. I stumbled across the concept of clothes-swapping; also known, since its rise in popularity, as “swishing”. The idea is simple – swap clothes you no longer wear for other people’s clothes that they no longer wear. It’s economical, it’s environmentally friendly, and it’s fun. Not surprisingly, more people are getting involved, whether it be through swishing events (bring your items, and take as many items away with you), clothes-swapping parties in clubs, and swishing websites. ? ?

My introduction to swishing began online. I found a website where you can list all of your unwanted clothes and accessories, and then swap them with the neglected items of other people. I was intrigued… but could such a system really work? ? ?


Illustration by Aniela Murphy

With two years of clothes swapping behind me now, I assure you it does. I still use the website on an almost daily basis, window-shopping when new items are uploaded. I browse with the thrill of retail therapy, but without suffering from consumer guilt. The only money spent is on postage, and suddenly my “not-quite-me-but-too-good-for-Oxfam” clothing items have become precious currency. Imagine if you could go into a vintage, second-hand clothing, or high-street shop and pay for your purchases with clothes you don’t want anymore?  ?

 ?I have found some of my favourite items this way, and when people ask where I got my bag from I’m not afraid to tell them I swapped it for a blouse. ? 

?In fact, another great benefit I hadn’t considered when I started is the freedom I have felt in trying new styles. Experimenting with fashion is a lot easier when there is no real money at stake, and I for one have become more creative in wearing the same item in various ways. Unlike shopping, if the items you swap for don’t work, don’t fit or are not as expected (which does happen, but that’s the gamble) you merely swap it on for something else again. This can even be a good thing, as adding new items updates your wardrobe and keeps your ‘currency’ fresh and interesting. I have found that no matter what you have to offer, there is always someone who will be interested. ? 

?Of course, while the fashion and financial benefits are clear, another great reason to swish is to prevent waste. The truth is that we live in a society where shopping is a hobby, not a necessity, and where clothing is so cheaply and readily available that we no longer keep items for as long as we once did. The amount of clothing which ends up in landfill each year is heartbreaking.  ?There is also desperate confusion over fashion and trends, and too often items are bought, worn once, and never see the light of day again. The silver lining of the recession was that it made us wake up to our “wear once, then toss” frame of mind, and instead of worrying about being seen in the same dress twice, we are slowly regaining the art of recycling our outfits. So put your credit card away, dig out the discarded items in your wardrobe (I bet you have at least one thing with the labels still on – right?) and make several positive changes at once.  ? ?


Illustration by Gemma Milly

Two Tips For Smart Swishing ?
A lot of people ask me: what stops other swappers from stealing? Naturally there is an element of risk, but using common sense will help prevent being conned by “swaplifters”, those (atrociously tight-fisted) people who you agree to swap with but who never send their item. This does happen, but I have never had this happen to me and I attribute this to my two main rules: 

?1) The “Post-First” Rule. 
?Almost every swap website has a feedback system in place, and most regular users like to enforce the “post first” policy – where, if someone has lower feedback than you do, you can ask them to post their items first. Don’t post their item until you receive yours. If someone is unwilling to oblige this, then they’re not worth swapping with. Everyone who starts out is asked to abide by this rule, and you work your way up the ladder of trust. 

?2) The “If in Doubt, Don’t Swap” Rule. ?
My second rule is that if I think someone is untrustworthy or unreliable – (and you can often gauge this by their feedback, the authenticity of their listings, and their attitude in communication prior-swap) – I don’t trade. Taking a risk is never worth the time and frustration. Of course, if this ever does happen, then do remember… it was something you didn’t want anymore.  ? ?

Swishing ?websites
?Swishing.co.uk?
BigWardrobe.com
?WhatsMineIsYours.com
?PoshSwaps.com 

Categories ,Aniela Murphy, ,Big Wardrobe, ,Claire Nelson, ,Clothes swapping, ,environment, ,fashion, ,Gemma Milly, ,internet, ,oxfam, ,Posh Swaps, ,Recession, ,recycling, ,Swishing, ,Whats Mine Is Yours

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Oscars 2011 – they’re a comin’

Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester
Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester.

I knew you could get yellow tomatoes, erectile more about but apparently there are purple and yellow carrots. Agricultural regulations have increasingly stifled the basic trading of seeds that was standard practice in an age gone by, and there is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available out that are not even available at local greengrocers let alone at the big supermarkets. To counteract this local gardeners and enthusiasts have been clubbing together for Seed Swaps for the past decade. These are great places to swap your own seeds and discover little known but fabulously named plants and vegetables.

To find out why this practice is becoming vitally important to the environment I speak to Sara Cundy who becamse fascinated by the interaction between people and the natural environment during her degree in Geography. She has carried out research into consumers’ understanding of Fairtrade, and is currently Waste Minimisation Officer at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust where she works with communities to help reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill. Trained as a Compost Ambassador, she also volunteers as co-ordinator for the Wiltshire Fairtrade Coalition; who are in the process of organising events during the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight 2011. Phew! I have no idea how she also found the time to organise a successful Seed Swap!
 
Seed Swap Gent by Velimir Ilic
Green Fingered Gent by Velimir Illic
 
You organised Bradford-on-Avon’s first seed swapping event, did you go to many before you decided to run one yourself? Do you know how these swaps started?
??I went to some of the very early seed swaps in Brighton (well Hove actually) and it was about the same time that I got an allotment with friends. ?? 

I hope it was successful! Do these events educate people or are gardeners already quite clued up on this practice???
The event on Sunday was fantastic! We had over 300 people attend, and around 40 volunteers either helping on the seed swap stall, making refreshment and running the other 20 or so stands that where at the event. There was an amazing buzz for a really concentrated 2 hour slot. The stalls that we invited to the event had a connection with growing your own and gardening and where from the local area. We also had stands on Composting, food waste, Wiltshire Wood Recycling (who are part of a national network of wood re-use organisations), Beekeepers, Hen Keepers and Tools for Self Reliance, who send tools for use in Africa, but also gave advice on the day on how to maintain your own gardening tools. Freecycle which is very active in our local area also ran a garden book swap, and promoted the fact that you can advertise through them if you have unwanted gardening equipment or are looking for someone, such as a chap wanting to try out Wormeries. We had three different children’s activities also; Growing Micro-Greens, Fitzmaurice Primary School Gardening Club; making bug houses, The Mead School Wingfield Gardening Club; and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, making your own willow woven hanging flowerpot holder.  Friends of Fitzmaurice Schools Gardening Club also made the fantastic cakes (cake is always a winner!) to raise funds for infrastructure such as raised beds at the school. ??We had a number of volunteers who were able to give advice such as the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Compost Ambassadors. One of the compost ambassadors is also a ‘seed guardian’ for the Heritage Seed Library and she was able to give advice on the some of the seeds that where available at the swap that had been kindly donated by the Heritage Seed Library, but also how to go about saving your seeds.
 
Sounds like a fun and interesting afternoon well spent. I read on the Seedy Sunday webpage that this event ” …shows up the idiocy of draconian seed laws and the Gene Giants’ restrictive practices: in this warming world we need to exchange more diversity of uncontaminated plants to secure future food.” Can you explain to us what these laws and practices are?
??Yes – Seedy Sunday started in Brighton & Hove 10 years ago back in 2001.  Over the last decade the idea has caught on around the country and so from the original there are now numerous seed swaps around the country (which some combine with potato days – the selling of seed potatoes), the founders I think stumbled across the idea of seed swaps in America.  ?There are EU and national laws regarding the selling of seeds – requiring them to be registered on a national list. This was brought in to maintain quality, but has had the knock on effect of being illegal to sell seeds that aren’t listed. As it costs money and a considerable amount of paper work to list seeds it’s really only the commercially viable seeds that are on these lists.  Some of these heritage seeds produce fantastic tasting crops, but aren’t commercially worth growing.
 
 seedswap by cat palairet
Seed Swap by Cat Palairet.

??I’ve been a member of the Heritage Seed Library which is hosted by Garden Organic in Warwickshire for just over a year (but been aware for much longer) last year we had some Bronze Arrow Lettuce – this year I’ve got Cherokee Trail of Tears which was traditionally grown with other crops such as squash and maize which constituted the Three Sisters that provided the foundation of Native American agriculture. The connection to the growers and the history behind the various seed is fascinating – and you feel like you are playing a part in our agricultural history – food is fundamental to our life. It also helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity.?

How does swapping seeds benefit the environment?
??It helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity to support the future of agriculture and food security particularly in a time of changing climate. I also think that it re-connects us to the land and the importance of working in harmony with nature, the fragility and frustrations of growing your own can hopefully I think help us appreciate and value our food more. With the resurgence of growing your own, thrift, making and mending etc – I think that seed saving is an important skill that many of us could learn. The seed swap also feeds into tackling waste higher up the chain, by growing your own you can cut down on the amount of packaging that you consume (even if it’s just herbs in your window box), you tend to value food more so less likely to throw it away (hopefully!). Many people also get into composting which is part of the natural cycle of returning nutrients to the soil. Many people don’t realise that disposing of biodegradable waste in landfill, which is buried and then decomposes anaerobically, you produce methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more damaging than C02 – which you avoid with home composting.

Colourful Swappers by Velimir Ilic
Colourful Swappers by Velimir Illic ???

These events also appear to create a brilliant excuse for communities to come together, will you organise anymore Seed Swaps?
I organised the event this year on behalf of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, working in conjunction with Climate Friendly Bradford-on-Avon and hopefully we will be able to run similar events in future years. We very generously got funding from the co-operative membership which helped with a lot of the costs, such as hall hire, advertising, producing banners/flyers/posters and distributing seed envelopes – which meant that this year we did not have to charge any stall holders (who were principally other charity groups) or entrance fee.

Find out where the next Seedy Sunday is taking place in your area by visiting their website.

Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester
Seed Swap by Gilly Rochester.

I knew you could get yellow tomatoes, discount but apparently there are purple and yellow carrots too. Agricultural regulations have increasingly stifled the basic trading of seeds that was standard practice in an age gone by, and there is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available out there that you cannot even buy at your local greengrocers let alone at the big supermarkets. To counteract this local gardeners and enthusiasts have been clubbing together for Seed Swaps over the past decade. These are great places to swap your own seeds and discover little known but fabulously named plants and vegetables.

To find out why this practice is becoming vitally important to the environment I spoke to Sara Cundy, who became fascinated by the interaction between people and the natural environment during her degree in Geography. She has carried out research into consumers’ understanding of Fairtrade, and is currently Waste Minimisation Officer at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust where she works with communities to help reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill. Trained as a Compost Ambassador, she also volunteers as co-ordinator for the Wiltshire Fairtrade Coalition; who are in the process of organising events during the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight 2011. Phew! I have no idea how she also found the time to organise a successful Seed Swap!
 
Seed Swap Gent by Velimir Ilic
Green Fingered Gent by Velimir Illic
 
You organised Bradford-on-Avon’s first seed swapping event, did you go to many before you decided to run one yourself? Do you know how these swaps started?
??I went to some of the very early seed swaps in Brighton (well Hove actually) and it was about the same time that I got an allotment with friends. ?? 

I hope it was successful! Do these events educate people or are gardeners already quite clued up on this practice???
The event on Sunday was fantastic! We had over 300 people attend, and around 40 volunteers either helping on the seed swap stall, making refreshment and running the other 20 or so stands that where at the event. There was an amazing buzz for a really concentrated 2 hour slot. The stalls that we invited to the event had a connection with growing your own and gardening and where from the local area. We also had stands on Composting, food waste, Wiltshire Wood Recycling (who are part of a national network of wood re-use organisations), Beekeepers, Hen Keepers and Tools for Self Reliance, who send tools for use in Africa, but also gave advice on the day on how to maintain your own gardening tools. Freecycle, which is very active in our local area, ran a garden book swap, and promoted the fact that you can advertise through them if you have unwanted gardening equipment or are looking for someone, such as a chap wanting to try out Wormeries. We had three different children’s activities also; Growing Micro-Greens, Fitzmaurice Primary School Gardening Club; making bug houses, The Mead School Wingfield Gardening Club; and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, making your own willow woven hanging flowerpot holder.  Friends of Fitzmaurice Schools Gardening Club also made the fantastic cakes (cake is always a winner!) to raise funds for infrastructure such as raised beds at the school. ??We had a number of volunteers who were able to give advice such as the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Compost Ambassadors. One of the compost ambassadors is also a ‘seed guardian’ for the Heritage Seed Library and she was able to give advice on the some of the seeds that where available at the swap that had been kindly donated by the Heritage Seed Library, but also how to go about saving your seeds.
 
Sounds like a fun and interesting afternoon well spent. I read on the Seedy Sunday webpage that this event “…shows up the idiocy of draconian seed laws and the Gene Giants’ restrictive practices: in this warming world we need to exchange more diversity of uncontaminated plants to secure future food.” Can you explain to us what these laws and practices are?
??Yes – Seedy Sunday started in Brighton & Hove 10 years ago back in 2001.  Over the last decade the idea has caught on around the country and so from the original there are now numerous seed swaps around the country (which some combine with potato days – the selling of seed potatoes), the founders I think stumbled across the idea of seed swaps in America.  There are EU and national laws regarding the selling of seeds – requiring them to be registered on a national list. This was brought in to maintain quality, but has had the knock on effect of being illegal to sell seeds that aren’t listed. As it costs money and a considerable amount of paper work to list seeds it’s really only the commercially viable seeds that are on these lists.  Some of these heritage seeds produce fantastic tasting crops, but aren’t commercially worth growing.
 
 seedswap by cat palairet
Seed Swap by Cat Palairet.

??I’ve been a member of the Heritage Seed Library which is hosted by Garden Organic in Warwickshire for just over a year (but been aware for much longer) last year we had some Bronze Arrow Lettuce – this year I’ve got Cherokee Trail of Tears which was traditionally grown with other crops such as squash and maize which constituted the Three Sisters that provided the foundation of Native American agriculture. The connection to the growers and the history behind the various seed is fascinating – and you feel like you are playing a part in our agricultural history – food is fundamental to our life. It also helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity.?

How does swapping seeds benefit the environment?
??It helps to maintain our agrobiodiversity to support the future of agriculture and food security particularly in a time of changing climate. I also think that it re-connects us to the land and the importance of working in harmony with nature, the fragility and frustrations of growing your own can hopefully I think help us appreciate and value our food more. With the resurgence of growing your own, thrift, making and mending etc – I think that seed saving is an important skill that many of us could learn. The seed swap also feeds into tackling waste higher up the chain, by growing your own you can cut down on the amount of packaging that you consume (even if it’s just herbs in your window box), you tend to value food more so less likely to throw it away (hopefully!). Many people also get into composting which is part of the natural cycle of returning nutrients to the soil. Many people don’t realise that disposing of biodegradable waste in landfill, which is buried and then decomposes anaerobically, you produce methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more damaging than C02 – which you avoid with home composting.

Colourful Swappers by Velimir Ilic
Colourful Swappers by Velimir Illic ???

These events also appear to create a brilliant excuse for communities to come together, will you organise anymore Seed Swaps?
I organised the event this year on behalf of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, working in conjunction with Climate Friendly Bradford-on-Avon and hopefully we will be able to run similar events in future years. We very generously got funding from the co-operative membership which helped with a lot of the costs, such as hall hire, advertising, producing banners/flyers/posters and distributing seed envelopes – which meant that this year we did not have to charge any stall holders (who were principally other charity groups) or entrance fee.

Find out where the next Seedy Sunday is taking place in your area by visiting their website.


Rachel Freire S/S 2011, more about illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, dosage maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


Illustration by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


S/S 2011, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford

Rachel Freire S/S 2011, treat illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, information pills who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman was fantastic though, and has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 awards in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network: David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit:Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours: Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone:An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!

Categories ,127 Hours, ,Abby Wright, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Annette Bening, ,BAFTAS 2011, ,Black Swan, ,Blue Valentine, ,Coen Brothers, ,Colin Firth, ,Ellen, ,Ethan Coen, ,film, ,Gemma Milly, ,Georgia Coote, ,Hailee Steinfeld, ,Helen Martin, ,Helena Bonham Carter, ,James Franco, ,Jeff Bridges, ,Joel Coen, ,Johnny Depp, ,Julianne Moore, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Middleton, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Michelle Williams, ,Natalie Portman, ,Nicole Kidman, ,Oscars, ,Oscars 2011, ,Prince William, ,Rabbit Hole, ,Russty Brazil, ,Ryan Gosling, ,The Kids Are Alright, ,The King’s Speech, ,Toy Story, ,Toy Story 2, ,Toy Story 3, ,True Grit, ,Winter’s Bone

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Amelia’s Magazine | Minna: an interview with ethical fashion designer Minna Hepburn


Vintage fashion, stomach illustrated by Matilde Sazio


Vintage shop, price illustrated by Karolina Burdon

What gave you the idea for Preloved, Reloved in the first place?
Well I always like to dress a little differently. My style is mainstream with a retro edge, I suppose. I always seem to end up with a daft New Year’s resolution – last year I cycled from London to Paris for The Institute of Cancer Research. I like using my time to help others and spread awareness.

Were you a fan of vintage and upcycling before you started the project?
Yes! I always admire my friends’ outfits; well, those who wear vintage and second-hand fashion. Upcycling is something I have experimented with for ages at home and now is the time to make sure I actually finish some projects!

Where will you source your outfits?
Charity shops, vintage stores, eBay, my mum’s wardrobe…! I made a lined cape last night from linen and satin for balmy summer nights (booking a holiday soon!).


Charity shops, illustrated by Rukmunal Hakim

What does the project hope to achieve?
I want to raise awareness of numerous charities related to my Dad’s illnesses. I want my friends to know that too much of an unhealthy lifestyle is probably going to lead to an early demise. I also want to raise the profile of vintage and second-hand fashion; I remember as a kid we use to take the mick out of anyone who dressed from a charity shop. I myself as a student had a stigma against them. Now it’s become kitsch, cool and quirky. It’s good for the enivroment.

How much do you hope to raise and what are the funds likely to be used for?
£2500 is my Just Giving target – it goes directly to Macmillan. However, with my shopping at many different charity shops, my cash goes straight to them – win win all round! I have my thinking cap on about how to expand the project though.


eBay! Illustration by Avril Kelly

Why did you choose Macmillan?
My dad (and his dad) had cancer – he died last week unfortunately. And it wasn’t the cancer that killed him, it was his heart and his adult-onset diabetes. A poor lifestyle in his twenties and thirties caused it and he was only 57 when he passed. So as I said before, this project benefits other charities focussing on these causes too through me spending money at their outlets.

Not that far in, but have you come accross any problems so far? Has anything that happened that you weren’t expecting?
Avoiding shops is quite hard as I realised I can’t just pop into the Topshop sale and treat myself – which I suppose is good for my wallet and I’m going to do less impulse-buying on the way home from work.
With my Dad passing, I haven’t had as much time to go browsing shops as much as I’d like. This weekend, however, I’m going to the Girls of Guildford vintage fair and gig – for some serious retail therapy, cupcake-nomming and also to check out some great live music away from the bustle of London.


Vintage, illustrated by Jess Holt

What are you wearing today? Where’s it all from?
Dark blue skinny jeans, leather knee boots that I already owned with black and cream patterned blouse from River Island that I bought from Cancer Research UK. I’m also wearing red rose earrings from Magnolia Jewellery.

Do you plan to make or alter any of your clothes? If so, how?
Yes – I love sewing and making jewellery too – I made a cape last week and have upcycled a pair of old, torn jeans from my uni days into a denim mini. I have a small collection of retro patterns including a lovely dress with a pussy bow. I love being able to create something out of fabric I love: last year I went to a lovely Indian wedding and couldn’t find The Outfit – so I made a purple maxi-dress with a halterneck and glammed it up with ribbons dangling down my back. Saved myself a fortune too!


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

What else do you get up to?
I run Never Enough Notes – a music e-zine, and I’m cycling the London-Brighton this summer with my brother and friends to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

What would be your perfect Preloved, Reloved outfit?
For daytime it would easily be vintage jeans, brown boots that look a bit worn-out, a floaty shirt or cheeky tee, a tweed jacket and a battered satchel.
For evening, I love ball gowns and retro dresses so would be something glam that I could wear with a pair of 1970s heels! Oh there’s way too much choice, I love it!
Faye West Gossypium Sewing Kit
Gossypium with Amelia’s Magazine Sewing Kit A/W 2008, mind featuring print design by Brie Harrison. Illustration by Faye West.

Gossypium worked with Amelia’s Magazine and Brie Harrison to create a Clothkits-inspired kit fashion dress and bag to accompany the final print issue of Amelia’s Magazine. Run by Abigail and Thomas Petit, it is a family business based in Lewes, East Sussex.   

What is your process of creating your garments?
We do things the opposite way around to the rest of the fashion industry. I was working as a textile engineer with Indian farmers when we started Gossypium, so fabric comes first: from the spinning of the yarn to the final stitching of the garments is a long and complicated process. We have an extremely close working relationship with our producers and a huge respect for their hard work and care of the environment.

Why is transparency more important than certification?
In some instances enforced standards have some value, for example it is good to be able to label something organic or fairtrade, but sometimes the point of certification gets clouded and this can limit good honest business practice. Transparency and brand trust are the most precious and valuable assets. Knowing our trade and suppliers so well shows in the quality of our products, and this benefits our customers. And it means that no one can copy us or take those relationships away.  

Why did you decide to collaborate with Amelia’s Magazine and Brie Harrison?
We are pioneers who have built our entire business from scratch so it was lovely to concentrate on something that was more fashion-based for a change. Working with Amelia’s Magazine allowed us to have a fantastic burst of creativity and we sure enjoyed that moment. Nula Shearing, who is a daughter of the Clothkits family, has just created a lovely tea towel for us, and we hope to do more fashion-led designs in the future… 

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

You can still buy issue 10 of the Amelia’s Magazine which comes with a free Brie Harrison designed kit bag from my website here, and you can also still buy the kit dress from the Gossypium website here.
Minna S/S 2011 by Gemma Milly
Minna S/S 2011 by Gemma Milly.

How has the way you create your clothes progressed since you first started out?
I think fashion should be fun; I just love to put on a dress which brings a smile to my face. We have kept our feminine, patient vintage inspired, view playful style but the collection is a bit more grown up, ask which has helped us to find a new audience. Lace still plays a big part in the collection but we have also started to use heavier fabrics such as wool jersey. I prefer to keep our colourways simple but we are designing a print to use for linings and dresses in our next collection. The recession has also played a role in our design process – we have had to think about our price points and make sure that our pieces are multi-functional. We still focus on UK-made fabrics and all production is based in London, since this is integral to the brand.

Minna 2010 by Faye West
Minna by Faye West.

Where do you source your fabrics from?
Sourcing fabrics is a big part of the job so we do a lot of networking. I am lucky to have designer friends who are happy to share information about their suppliers, and sourcing fabrics online has improved massively over the last two years, but I still find it very difficult to source UK-made fabrics: we desperately need a good supplier database. Sourcing vintage lace is a fun part of the job because I love strolling around antique markets. Unfortunately I have very little time to do that these days so I go on Ebay instead and when travelling I can’t resist visiting the local antique fairs. Lace can be very expensive if you go to proper antique shops so I rely on local grannies who know where to buy it in bulk.

How do you ensure a commercial collection?
We buy Scottish lace in massive quantities and mix it with other fabrics, but we don’t produce entire one-off pieces because these would be tricky to sell online. However, because most of our pieces are embellished with offcuts and antique lace they are unique. This is very labour intensive so the price has to reflect that…

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

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Eco fashion, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Faye West, ,Gemma Milly, ,lace, ,Minna, ,Minna Hepburn

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Kingston MA

Amelia_LFW1_Yasmin Siddiqui, gaarte
Yasmin Siddiqui opens the Kingston MA show. Illustration by Gaarte.

Sometimes it’s hard to be heard amongst all the chatter and noise of LFW so it’s either very foolish (who’s got time to come?) or very inspired (you’ve got a ready made captive audience) to hold your MA show at the same time. I suspect Kingston University leaned the latter way, thinking why not jump on the fashion week bandwagon? They’d even secured a slot in the hallowed Freemasons’ Hall.

Kingston MA by Katherine Tromans Helen Taylor
Helen Taylor by Katherine Tromans.

Kingston MA by Katherine Tromans Alison Firth
Kingston MA by Katherine Tromans Alison Firth
Alison Firth by Katherine Tromans.

But it was late in the day, those of us who had been trogging around all day were pretty bloody knackered. Then the show was running behind and it was bloody hot in the hall… and we didn’t even have seated tickets. It seemed those had gone to the copious quantities of friends and relatives brought along by so many participants. Note to PRs – if you give us shit tickets you’ll probably get shit photos – I was hardly able to snap anything decent from my vantage point. And if you desperately want to be heard it really does pay to get the press on your side. With pretty pics.

Abby_Wright_Kingston_show Stacey Grant
Judy Zhang by Abby Wright.

Luckily we’ve got a crack team of illustrators who can make a proverbial silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or a beautiful image out of… well… not very much to look at, (which is just as well). But still, I like to have the option of good photos too. Pick ‘n’ mix and all that.

Amelia_LFW2_gaarte Yasmin Siddiqui,
Yasmin Siddiqui by Gaarte.

Amelia_LFW3_gaarte Faraz Hussain
Faraz Hussain by Gaarte.

And then the show went on… and on… Okay, so there’s a bonus to seeing several designers at once – when they’re of a very high calibre and you haven’t got a million other things to see and do. But I have to say, Kingston Uni, that this wasn’t up to the standard that London Fashion Week has become accustomed to. People were sneaking off all around me. Which leads me to my second piece of advice. Only go up against the best of what London design has to offer if you’re sure you can match it!

LFW-KingstonMA-Gemma-Milly Victor Chan
Victor Chan by Gemma Milly.

I’m sure many of the Kingston MA students are very talented, but I’m struggling to remember anything that stood out, and that is a bad thing. A lot of it was very similar in feel, nondescript in colouring with draping, oversize accessories and protrusions everywhere (they seem to be very much du jour) And I’m sorry, but a load of polygonally moulded leathers do not a fashion designer make.

LFW-KingstonMA2-Gemma-Milly Raine Hodgson
Raine Hodgson by Gemma Milly.

Stand outs, if I’m pushed? Obviously the first piece, courtesy of Yasmin Siddiqui, was a great piece of statement jewellery. There was some strong colouring combinations in the menswear from Faraz Hussain and Helen Taylor’s male jumpsuit was fun, as was her styling with wooden head frames. Generally I had a strong sense of shapelessness going on. But hey! I’ll let you make up your minds for yourselves, and in the meantime I think you’ll agree that my illustrators have done sterling work.

Kingston MA Yasmin Siddiqui photo by Amelia Gregory
Kingston MA Yasmin Siddiqui photo by Amelia Gregory
Yasmin Siddiqui. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kingston MA Stacey Grant photo by Amelia Gregory
Stacey Grant

Kingston MA Faraz Hussain photo by Amelia Gregory
Faraz Hussain

Kingston MA Judy Zhang photo by Amelia Gregory
Kingston MA Judy Zhang photo by Amelia Gregory
Judy Zhang

Kingston MA Alison Firth photo by Amelia Gregory
Alison Firth

Kingston MA Helen Taylor photo by Amelia Gregory
Kingston MA Helen Taylor photo by Amelia Gregory
Helen Taylor

Kingston MA Victor Chan photo by Amelia Gregory
Victor Chan

Kingston MA Patricia Osbahr photo by Amelia Gregory
Patricia Osbahr

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Alison Firth, ,Faraz Hussain, ,Gaarte, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gemma Milly, ,Graduate Show, ,Helen Taylor, ,Judy Zhang, ,Katherine Tromans, ,Kingston MA. LFW, ,London Fashion Week, ,Patricia Osbahr, ,Raine Hodgson, ,Stacey Grant, ,Victor Chan, ,Yasmin Siddiqui

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Temperley London

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

I have always been a huge fan of Alice Temperley; in fact my whole family has, web with both my 19 year old sister and my mother owning pieces by Temperley London. This is testament to the timeless nature of the designs- its a label that seems above trends and fads, link always unmistakeably Temperley, unhealthy with monochrome patterns, flowing silhouettes and oodles of embellishment. Inspired by Venetian fans, this collection had a decidedly Spanish feel, with flared flamenco style skirts and splashes of red.The focus went back to the brand’s roots: eveningwear- with delicate tulle dresses covered with either embroidery or encrusted with crystals.

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Gemma Milly

The opulence and extravagance reminded me of Marchesa’s latest collection, and dare I say it, even some of the last McQueen pieces. Other dresses were covered in stars, harking back to Alice’s love of the circus evident in earlier collections. A collared dress with 50s style skirts brought a vintage feel to the collection, whilst stunning shoes from Charlotte Olympia kept the whole thing contemporary.

Illustration by Donya Todd

The obligatory chunky knit and even a feminine take on the tux with a ruffled shirt meant that there was actually a huge range within a collection that still managed to maintain one coherent aesthetic. Described as a ‘coming of age’ collection for Temperley, it really does prove Alice to be at the top of her game. There are no gimmicks here- just luxury, feminine, red-carpet worthy looks that your grandchildren will be whipping out as ‘vintage’ in years to come.

Photos by Katie Antoniou

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Gemma Milly

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

Categories ,Alice Temperley, ,British Museum, ,Donya Todd, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Joana Faria, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,temperley london

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: Cassette Playa

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, search about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, and and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, visit web about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, medicine and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, viagra 60mg about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, treatment and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, cialis 40mg discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.

You can see more work by Zarina Liew in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

I’ve always approached Cassette Playa with caution. She’s responsible for making Shoreditch look like a live Pump up The Jam video and has a lot to answer for when it comes to one of my good friends’ questionable fashion choices.


All photography by Matt Bramford

And then what happened? Well, thumb I can’t tell you, more about but I at least didn’t here anything for a while; I’m sure Carrie Mundane didn’t disappear, you probably had to look a bit harder than I was (i.e, not at all). Then, when the schedules were released at the beginning of the year, there was Cassette Playa on Menswear Day. I have to admit I got a little excited – last season’s KTZ show was one of the highlights and really mixed up Menswear Day in a sea of classic tailoring and less-than-experimental clobber for blokes, and I expected Cassette Playa would do the same.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Unsurprisingly the show was packed with all sorts of fashion-forward dressers, including one flamboyant gent sporting a Katie Eary PVC rabbit mask. At regular intervals he removed it to deeply inhale because he clearly couldn’t breathe behind it. Well, I ask you.

As the glamorous polythene sheet was removed from the catwalk and the lights began to dim, a rather flustered PR boy shoved me along the front row shouting ‘We’ve got to seat Charlie! We’ve GOT TO SEAT CHARLIE!’ As I pondered the different Charlies that could warrant such a reaction, Charlie Porter from Fantastic Man took a seat at the side of me and I wondered if that was all really necessary.


Illustration by Gemma Milly

I don’t know what’s changed since nu-rave had its day, but I bloody loved this show. A marriage of rude boys, rockers and thugs, this comeback collection had a bit of everything. This definitely wasn’t a collection for the sartorial dresser; not a single (or doubled-breasted) blazer in sight.

Leather and denim jackets were jazzed up with all sorts of various emblems representing various subcultures: rocker flames and hip-hop graffiti, for example. Cable-knit hooded sweaters in grey (worn on the most tattooed man I’ve ever seen, save on the pages of Pick Me Up Magazine) were embellished with embroidered graphic logos and teamed with baby pink shorts, and one of my favourite pieces was an oversized grey jersey t-shirt with an enormous leather motif in pink.

Padded jackets famed on East End market stalls were emblazoned with the Cassette Playa logo came in varied, vibrant colours and were worn with oversized rucksacks and trousers with acid graphic prints that bordered on hallucinogenic.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

A bit of womenswear showed up to – more references to music subcultures on body-conscious short dresses with sleeves. These were modelled by a curvaceous chick who swaggered up and down to the sounds of metal music, and it was bloody marvellous to see a model with sex appeal rather than the dead-behind-the-eyes waif I’d grown accustomed to this season.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

The lights dimmed, and the second half of the show brought out models sprayed head-to-toe in gold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ken (of Barbie fame) – the ‘ultimate boyfriend’. CP X Ken is a capsule collection which features mostly black garments with Cassette Playa’s unique mix of prints and embellishments – silk rose-printed shirts, baseball jackets with patches, that sort of thing. I have to admit, when a model is gold and has enormous breasts (I’m talking about a menswear show, here) the clothes can go unnoticed.

So, consider me now a fan of Cassette Playa. Soz, Carrie, that I ever doubted you. Welcome back!

See more of Gareth A Hopkins, Gemma Milly, Antonia Parker and Krister Selin’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Antonia Parker, ,AW11, ,Barbie, ,BFC, ,Carrie Mundane, ,Cassette Playa, ,catwalk, ,East End, ,Fantastic Man, ,Gabriel Alaya, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gold, ,Ken, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,menswear, ,metal, ,Nu-rave, ,Pick Me Up Magazine, ,Pump Up The Jam, ,review, ,shoreditch

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Rachel Freire

Nick25
Gemma Milly_Nicholas Stevenson
Illustration by Gemma Milly

Nicholas sent me his CD and tape, approved accompanied by a lovely letter about living and musing about in Bristol. One of my favourite pastimes – we may have been staring into the same middle distance…! Like a quill pen into my heart, recipe I am a sucker for a personal letter. Especially on such nice paper. After reading his scribe, I listened to Nicholas’s album: Phantom Sweetheart, available now on Hilldrop Records.

phantom sweetheart cover by nicholas stevenson
Album Cover, Phantom Sweetheart, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

It’s a splendid listen. Thoughtful and wistful. It’s like a less brash (blah). It has a Californian, surf sound, mixed with a smattering of New York – and the mighty UK. This mixture of locations is perhaps a reflection of Nicholas’s various home locations from birth. Since my initial listen, I now enjoy playing the album when I’m in my own little zone, cleaning. Because you could be anywhere. And if you don’t overly want to be where you are right now, there’s your ride. This interesting, sentimental man will take you away. Or indeed in my present case, scrub that flat ‘til in shines like the summer sun reflecting in my – prematurely purchased, cat eyed – sunnies. I miss you sun. I’d like to meet him to discuss travel, home, love and art. Oh yes, he’s an illustrator too. As Nicholas was so eloquent in his letter, I thought an interview would be perfect. So here it follows:

Nicholas Stevenson with phantom

Could you introduce yourself for us Nicholas…?
Hi there, my name is Nicholas Stevenson and I’m a songwriter and illustrator.

Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I currently reside in Cambridgeshire, but I was born in Scotland, lived on an island in the Seychelles for a while, and then moved back to England. I’m also half American so I sometimes have a confusing accent; it’s all a bit confusing actually. I usually give people fake biographies about growing up in the North Pole or being found in the wilderness to avoid explaining the complicated truth…

The Aeroplane Darling cover by Nicholas Stevenson
EP Cover, The Aeroplane Darling, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

How long have you been playing music? Could you describe it?
It would be hard to say when I started making music, but I found a tape of myself shouting a song I made about giraffes aged four the other day. The music in the shape it is now probably started about three years ago when I moved away to go to Art College. I had a band in high school that made fuzzy alt rock like the Smashing Pumpkins, but when we went our separate ways I started recording songs on my own in my room. It’s a sort of alt folk sound, with lots of layers, and a big emphasis on melodies.

How long have you been illustrating? Could you describe your style?
I’ve been drawing a lot longer than I’ve been making music, but I don’t think I could ever have considered myself an illustrator up until the last couple of years. I try to make work that’s fun, mysterious and occasionally a bit unsettling where possible.

chase in a sketchbook by Nicholas Stevenson
Chase In A Sketchbook, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Do you use your illustration and music to compliment/influence each other?
Most definitely. I think both of these activities really boil down to an urge for me to be story telling. Both my music and illustration usually revolves around some sort of implied narrative and it’s pretty common for a drawing to influence a lyric or vice versa.

What inspires your creativity, both re: music and illustration?
Cosmography, polar exploration, time travel, childhood, memory, feral children, miniature painting, amateurs and outsiders; a lot of things that I read about or places I visit. I try not to rule anything out as potential fodder for making stories and art about.

bayonets album sleeve
Bayonets Album Sleeve, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Have you ever had a ‘phantom’ sweetheart?
Well not a sweetheart per-se, but in the Seychelles I had two childhood ghost friends called Coco and Silent. Coco lived in a palm tree, and Silent lived on an abandoned ship. They were both only a foot tall, and wore white sheets with eyeholes, although I think Silent wore a baseball cap. The name ‘Phantom Sweetheart’ came about partly because all of my records have had terms of endearment in the name (Dearest Monstrous, The Aeroplane Darling) and I wanted this album to be really ghostly and spectral. Phantom Sweetheart just seemed to be the perfect title.

And what do you think about love and ‘being in love’ ? 
I think it’s a really nice special thing, I’m probably a bit of a softy and a romantic. It might seem like I’ve written a few songs from an anti-love position, but as Harvey Danger once said: “Happiness writes white”.

Have you been in love?
Oh yes mam.

hilldrop business card blank small
Hilldrop Business Cards, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Who else is in your band?
Dan Lewis plays the drums, Tom Harrington plays the bass guitar and glockenspiel whilst Oliver Wilde plays lead guitar.

When/how did you get together?
I met Dan and Tom in Hereford where I was studying at Art College. My manager Joe introduced us and we started arranging my songs and got performing almost straight away as a three piece. Oliver joined the band just last autumn. He not only signed me to his label Hilldrop Records, but he also produced and recorded the album with me in his house in Bristol. We worked really closely together on Phantom Sweetheart and Oliver had a big impact on the way those songs turned out. Of course by the end he knew how to play them all back to front and it seemed like a no-brainer that he should come out on tour with us.

And who is your record label, and how did you get signed?
Hilldrop Records are my label. I think they requested I send them some of my demos in the mail over a year ago. They liked what they heard and I played some gigs for them and we hit it off pretty fast, I started making posters for their shows too. We were all coming from a similar direction and they were interested in promoting art and building it in to the performances. We’d got to know each other reasonably well by the time we decided to sign a contract and make the album.

hilldrop cult 1300_1300
Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

What was it like going on tour? Did you get inspired?
It was a blast, definitely not glamorous, but great fun. Our car broke down on the way to a sold out show in Bakewell and we had to jettison half the gear and get a taxi. We arrived just in the nick of time with no drums or drummer, and played entirely unplugged to a wonderfully attentive packed room. We spent the night in a big old house; there were teddy bears in the beds. Bakewell is such an old fashioned and charming town (home to the bakewell tart) everyone was so kind and interesting there, it sort of inspired us to play more small places on tour. It doesn’t seem fair that the big cities get all the tour dates, where people can sometimes be so jaded towards the barrage of live music anyway.

Nick25

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully doing the same things I’m doing now, but more masterfully. I’m fully aware I have a long way to go and lots of room to grow before I’m satisfied… I just hope I’m fortunate enough to find time for it all.

What about now, what is coming up for you?
At the moment I’m working on a sort of audio zine project called ‘Dead Arm’. It’s going to be a series of cassette tapes, each with a different set of new songs and sounds. Its quite fun telling myself to sit down and make a continuous twenty-minute tape, rather than getting too hung up on individual songs; it makes me less precious and hopefully more inventive. I’m quite excited to see where it goes… 
You can buy Phantom Sweetheart, on Hilldrop Records, here.

Gemma Milly_Nicholas Stevenson
Illustration by Gemma Milly

Nicholas sent me his CD and tape, ailment accompanied by a lovely letter about living and musing about in Bristol. One of my favourite pastimes – we may have been staring into the same middle distance…! Like a quill pen into my heart, buy more about I am a sucker for a personal letter. Especially on such nice paper. After reading his scribe, I listened to Nicholas’s album: Phantom Sweetheart, available now on Hilldrop Records.

phantom sweetheart cover by nicholas stevenson
Album Cover, Phantom Sweetheart, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

It’s a splendid listen. Thoughtful and wistful. It’s like a less brash (blah). It has a Californian, surf sound, mixed with a smattering of New York – and the mighty UK. This mixture of locations is perhaps a reflection of Nicholas’s various home locations from birth. Since my initial listen, I now enjoy playing the album when I’m in my own little zone, cleaning. Because you could be anywhere. And if you don’t overly want to be where you are right now, there’s your ride. This interesting, sentimental man will take you away. Or indeed in my present case, scrub that flat ‘til in shines like the summer sun reflecting in my – prematurely purchased, cat eyed – sunnies. I miss you sun. I’d like to meet him to discuss travel, home, love and art. Oh yes, he’s an illustrator too. As Nicholas was so eloquent in his letter, I thought an interview would be perfect. So here it follows:

Nicholas Stevenson with phantom

Could you introduce yourself for us Nicholas…?
Hi there, my name is Nicholas Stevenson and I’m a songwriter and illustrator.

Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I currently reside in Cambridgeshire, but I was born in Scotland, lived on an island in the Seychelles for a while, and then moved back to England. I’m also half American so I sometimes have a confusing accent; it’s all a bit confusing actually. I usually give people fake biographies about growing up in the North Pole or being found in the wilderness to avoid explaining the complicated truth…

The Aeroplane Darling cover by Nicholas Stevenson
EP Cover, The Aeroplane Darling, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

How long have you been playing music? Could you describe it?
It would be hard to say when I started making music, but I found a tape of myself shouting a song I made about giraffes aged four the other day. The music in the shape it is now probably started about three years ago when I moved away to go to Art College. I had a band in high school that made fuzzy alt rock like the Smashing Pumpkins, but when we went our separate ways I started recording songs on my own in my room. It’s a sort of alt folk sound, with lots of layers, and a big emphasis on melodies.

How long have you been illustrating? Could you describe your style?
I’ve been drawing a lot longer than I’ve been making music, but I don’t think I could ever have considered myself an illustrator up until the last couple of years. I try to make work that’s fun, mysterious and occasionally a bit unsettling where possible.

chase in a sketchbook by Nicholas Stevenson
Chase In A Sketchbook, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Do you use your illustration and music to compliment/influence each other?
Most definitely. I think both of these activities really boil down to an urge for me to be story telling. Both my music and illustration usually revolves around some sort of implied narrative and it’s pretty common for a drawing to influence a lyric or vice versa.

What inspires your creativity, both re: music and illustration?
Cosmography, polar exploration, time travel, childhood, memory, feral children, miniature painting, amateurs and outsiders; a lot of things that I read about or places I visit. I try not to rule anything out as potential fodder for making stories and art about.

bayonets album sleeve
Bayonets Album Sleeve, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Have you ever had a ‘phantom’ sweetheart?
Well not a sweetheart per-se, but in the Seychelles I had two childhood ghost friends called Coco and Silent. Coco lived in a palm tree, and Silent lived on an abandoned ship. They were both only a foot tall, and wore white sheets with eyeholes, although I think Silent wore a baseball cap. The name ‘Phantom Sweetheart’ came about partly because all of my records have had terms of endearment in the name (Dearest Monstrous, The Aeroplane Darling) and I wanted this album to be really ghostly and spectral. Phantom Sweetheart just seemed to be the perfect title.

And what do you think about love and ‘being in love’ ? 
I think it’s a really nice special thing, I’m probably a bit of a softy and a romantic. It might seem like I’ve written a few songs from an anti-love position, but as Harvey Danger once said: “Happiness writes white”.

Have you been in love?
Oh yes mam.

hilldrop business card blank small
Hilldrop Business Cards, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Who else is in your band?
Dan Lewis plays the drums, Tom Harrington plays the bass guitar and glockenspiel whilst Oliver Wilde plays lead guitar.

When/how did you get together?
I met Dan and Tom in Hereford where I was studying at Art College. My manager Joe introduced us and we started arranging my songs and got performing almost straight away as a three piece. Oliver joined the band just last autumn. He not only signed me to his label Hilldrop Records, but he also produced and recorded the album with me in his house in Bristol. We worked really closely together on Phantom Sweetheart and Oliver had a big impact on the way those songs turned out. Of course by the end he knew how to play them all back to front and it seemed like a no-brainer that he should come out on tour with us.

And who is your record label, and how did you get signed?
Hilldrop Records are my label. I think they requested I send them some of my demos in the mail over a year ago. They liked what they heard and I played some gigs for them and we hit it off pretty fast, I started making posters for their shows too. We were all coming from a similar direction and they were interested in promoting art and building it in to the performances. We’d got to know each other reasonably well by the time we decided to sign a contract and make the album.

hilldrop cult 1300_1300
Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

What was it like going on tour? Did you get inspired?
It was a blast, definitely not glamorous, but great fun. Our car broke down on the way to a sold out show in Bakewell and we had to jettison half the gear and get a taxi. We arrived just in the nick of time with no drums or drummer, and played entirely unplugged to a wonderfully attentive packed room. We spent the night in a big old house; there were teddy bears in the beds. Bakewell is such an old fashioned and charming town (home to the bakewell tart) everyone was so kind and interesting there, it sort of inspired us to play more small places on tour. It doesn’t seem fair that the big cities get all the tour dates, where people can sometimes be so jaded towards the barrage of live music anyway.

Nick25

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully doing the same things I’m doing now, but more masterfully. I’m fully aware I have a long way to go and lots of room to grow before I’m satisfied… I just hope I’m fortunate enough to find time for it all.

What about now, what is coming up for you?
At the moment I’m working on a sort of audio zine project called ‘Dead Arm’. It’s going to be a series of cassette tapes, each with a different set of new songs and sounds. Its quite fun telling myself to sit down and make a continuous twenty-minute tape, rather than getting too hung up on individual songs; it makes me less precious and hopefully more inventive. I’m quite excited to see where it goes… 
You can buy Phantom Sweetheart, on Hilldrop Records, here.


Rachel Freire S/S 2011, site illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, viagra 60mg maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, viagra sale so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Bex Glover

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Abby Wright, ,Bloody Gray, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,Dace Road studios, ,East London, ,Ecco, ,estethica, ,Fifth Element, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gold, ,Jean Paul Gaultier, ,Joana Faria, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mark Fast, ,Mary Kantrantzou, ,Naomi Law, ,Netherlands, ,Nipples, ,Rachel Freire, ,Rui Leonardes, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011, Catwalk Review: Fashion Mode No.3 Carlotta Actis Barone (by Helen)

Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, viagra 100mg help somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, seek and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, cure but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don etc. and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing crude oil wholeheartedly, he has studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator who I saw at the end of the show. “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, viagra 100mg somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don etc. and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing crude oil wholeheartedly, he has studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator who I saw at the end of the show. “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, viagra approved somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, try and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing crude oil wholeheartedly, he has studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator who I saw at the end of the show. “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, unhealthy somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, tadalafil and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing the concept wholeheartedly, he studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator. I saw him at the end of the show. Statement on James Hillman follows: “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, nurse somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, view and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Anne N’Toko

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing the concept wholeheartedly, he studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator. I saw him at the end of the show. Statement on James Hillman follows: “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

I will confess now. I may have gone over the top. Yes, information pills this blog is positively popping at the seams with illustrations. And it’s the FOURTH, order yes the FOURTH one to hit our website. But really it’s no surprise that Prophetik is such a big draw for both writers and illustrators, capsule peddling as he does an uber romantic view of the world that is steeped in a deep love for the natural world.

For his A/W 2011 Artist Wonderment collection designer Jeff Garner once again referenced times past, this time the “frivolous snobbery” of the court of Louix XV, an epoch that for him epitomises the falsity of impulsive consumption. Having interviewed Jeff Garner for my book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration I know how important to him it is to live a fully accountable life, and it seems to me that the title of this collection refers to the purity of artistic vision with which he himself attempts to live his own life.

It was the detailing which really stood out as the models swept past me. His ball gowns and corseted dresses were awash with gorgeously constructed patchwork, twirly brocade, gilded buttons and ruffles. But the absolute stand outs were a couple of stupendous quilted jackets. And by quilted I really do actually mean made out of an antique quilt, one of which belonged on his childhood bed that he must surely have baulked at destructing – just a tiny bit. But as his stylist Rebekah Roy pointed out to me later on, it makes absolute sense to refashion a quilt in this way – a quilt that in the very first place was made from fabric remnants.

This approach of continuous upcycling is certainly innovative, and what I love most about Jeff is his dedication to sustainable practice. All his fabrics are painstakingly hand dyed with a magical potion of herbs in a process that takes many weeks to accomplish – this season’s special plum colour was obtained by mixing up a blend of madder root, sorrel, logwood and indigo. Of anyone on the ethical fashion scene I really feel that Prophetik is pushing the way forward by putting on a ambitious catwalk show that ensures excitement amongst mainstream fashionistas. Prophetik opened Fashion Scout for the third season running and the Freemasons Hall was packed to the rafters, including famous front row attendees in the form of Hilary Alexander and Livia Firth, erstwhile wife of Colin and celebrity advocate of ethical fashion.

I can only hope that Jeff’s dedication to the ethical cause will rub off on other members of the fashion industry. Soon.
I will confess now. I may have gone over the top. Yes, store this blog is positively popping at the seams with illustrations. And it’s the FOURTH, yes the FOURTH one to hit our website. But really it’s no surprise that Prophetik is such a big draw for both writers and illustrators, peddling as he does an uber romantic view of the world that is steeped in a deep love for the natural world.

For his A/W 2011 Artist Wonderment collection designer Jeff Garner once again referenced times past, this time the “frivolous snobbery” of the court of Louix XV, an epoch that for him epitomises the falsity of impulsive consumption. Having interviewed Jeff Garner for my book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration I know how important to him it is to live a fully accountable life, and it seems to me that the title of this collection refers to the purity of artistic vision with which he himself attempts to live his own life.

The show opened in typical Jeff style, with live vocals followed by a madly thrashing classical violinist, who strutted down the catwalk as if her life depended on it. But it was the finer detailing which really stood out as the models swept past me. His ball gowns and corseted dresses were awash with gorgeously constructed patchwork, twirly brocade, gilded buttons and ruffles. But the absolute stand outs were a couple of stupendous quilted jackets. And by quilted I really do actually mean made out of an antique quilt, one of which belonged on his childhood bed that he must surely have baulked at destructing – just a tiny bit. But as his stylist Rebekah Roy pointed out to me later on, it makes absolute sense to refashion a quilt in this way – a quilt that in the very first place was made from fabric remnants.

This approach of continuous upcycling is certainly innovative, and what I love most about Jeff is his dedication to sustainable practice. All his fabrics are painstakingly hand dyed with a magical potion of herbs in a process that takes many weeks to accomplish – this season’s special plum colour was obtained by mixing up a blend of madder root, sorrel, logwood and indigo. Of anyone on the ethical fashion scene I really feel that Prophetik is pushing the way forward by putting on a ambitious catwalk show that ensures excitement amongst mainstream fashionistas. Prophetik opened Fashion Scout for the third season running and the Freemasons Hall was packed to the rafters, including famous front row attendees in the form of Hilary Alexander and Livia Firth, erstwhile wife of Colin and celebrity advocate of ethical fashion. At the end Jeff took a demure bow dressed in a cream silky top and powder blue peddle pushers: if there’s one major advocate for dressing this way it’s the ever dapper Jeff Garner himself.

I can only hope that Jeff’s dedication to the ethical cause will rub off on other members of the fashion industry. Soon.
Carlotta_Actis_Barone_Abby_Wright_LFW

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Abby Wright

Well the third of Fashion Mode’s designers this Sunday was simply put: stunningly pretty and explosive. Frosted make up, and backcombed and massive hair, more about beige skyscraper heels and icy pouts – all complimented utterly beautiful pieces from the designer. Carlotta Actis Barone drew gasps and ‘ooohs’ as her models sashayed down the catwalk. These girls were ice princesses. With enormous hoods, view fluffy shrugs, pom poms, exposed zips, extravagant fishtail dresses, flamboyant netting and super sleek, pencil skirts; they all had a heavenly, intense, snowy fairytale vibe.

Gemma Milly-Carlotta Actis Barone-Fashion Mode-A-W11

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Gemma Milly

Reading about the designer, her artistic training has been life -long. Carlotta Actis Barone is the daughter of Italian visual artist Manuela Corti and writer Gianni Actis Barone. Although she discovered her true passion for fashion at the age of 24. During her study at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design for a BA in Fashion Print, she went on a gap year, working with Korean designer Moon Young Hee, B.C.B.G Max Azria Manoukian and Balmain.. Explaining the bold colour use in her collection, we discover that Carlotta’s pieces are based around strong, feminine women. She often also has a political edge to her designs, and is extremely passionate about the ethical issues surrounding fashion. These ethical opinions are often reflected in her designs, this season being no exception. The Autumn/Winter 2011 collection focuses on cruelty against animals, with particular focus on fur, and seals. We all know fur is wrong, our animals should be celebrated, not worn. We at Amelia’s feel very fiercely about this. See Amelia’s own ethical fashion book, here.

Gareth A Hopkins Carlotta Fashion Mode AW11

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Hence for Carlotta, the frosted lipped models, beige faux fur and red, white and navy blue palette. The seals being the beige faux fur, the blue the cold sea, and the white symbolic of the snow and ice. Red is obviously the horrendous slaughter of the seals, shown in the underskirts and showpieces.

Carlotta Actis Barone

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The enormous, white eyelashes, iced lips and enormous hair, paired with fitted 50s influenced dresses, short knitted, luxurious, hooded pieces… faux fur shrugs, hand muffs, sleeves and collar details… were so strong and and almost, beautifully angry. Carlotta also referenced Inuit people in her designs, each of the skirted models wore transparent leggings and geometric patterns ran through the collection, similar to their attire. The whole collection represents how I’m sure many girls would love to look in the winter time. It’s so feminine, heavenly and bold. A mixture of prom dresses, Narnia and Victorian fashion – a fantasy, a drama – and of course in terms of the seals; a harsh reality.

LFW Kayleigh Bluck

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

I adored the pronounced peplum dress, the fitted black coat, with full skirt from the waist. The blue, white and red mixed beautifully, if slightly shocking. Which of course, is part of the message Carlotta is making with her show. Without doubt the finale piece, a red fishtail, strapless dress, with a faux fur beige, large shrug, was just INCREDIBLE. I was in love with that dress. I still am in love with that dress. It was the perfect ending to a show that inspired, amazed and informed. This fabulous collection, left me in awe.

Carlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia Gregory

LFW A/W 2011 Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Buy Amelia’s Book on Ethical Fashion: here. You will also find illustrations by Abby Wright, Gemma Milly and Gareth A. Hopkins in the book.

Categories ,Abby Wright, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Carlotta Actis Barone, ,Fashion Scout, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Milly, ,Helen Martin, ,Kayleigh Bluck, ,lfw, ,LFW A/W, ,Matilde Sazio

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Temperley London

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

I have always been a huge fan of Alice Temperley; in fact my whole family has, web with both my 19 year old sister and my mother owning pieces by Temperley London. This is testament to the timeless nature of the designs- its a label that seems above trends and fads, link always unmistakeably Temperley, unhealthy with monochrome patterns, flowing silhouettes and oodles of embellishment. Inspired by Venetian fans, this collection had a decidedly Spanish feel, with flared flamenco style skirts and splashes of red.The focus went back to the brand’s roots: eveningwear- with delicate tulle dresses covered with either embroidery or encrusted with crystals.

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Gemma Milly

The opulence and extravagance reminded me of Marchesa’s latest collection, and dare I say it, even some of the last McQueen pieces. Other dresses were covered in stars, harking back to Alice’s love of the circus evident in earlier collections. A collared dress with 50s style skirts brought a vintage feel to the collection, whilst stunning shoes from Charlotte Olympia kept the whole thing contemporary.

Illustration by Donya Todd

The obligatory chunky knit and even a feminine take on the tux with a ruffled shirt meant that there was actually a huge range within a collection that still managed to maintain one coherent aesthetic. Described as a ‘coming of age’ collection for Temperley, it really does prove Alice to be at the top of her game. There are no gimmicks here- just luxury, feminine, red-carpet worthy looks that your grandchildren will be whipping out as ‘vintage’ in years to come.

Photos by Katie Antoniou

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Gemma Milly

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

Categories ,Alice Temperley, ,British Museum, ,Donya Todd, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Joana Faria, ,LFW A/W 2011, ,temperley london

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2010 Catwalk Review: Hermione de Paula

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Jamie Shovlin        ‘Every victim and manner of death in Friday the 13th film series’

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Moral turpitude is quite a fantastic term. According to wikipedia, click medications it’s an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen”
And it was under the grounds of ‘Moral Turpitude’ that artist Sebastian Horsley was unceremoniously denied access to the USA.
Despite failing in his duties as a fellowman, Horsley’s resume is impressive. Voluntarily crucifixion, pulling a loaded colt on a journalist, and of course, the requisitory opiate and prostitution dependencies.

Tonight, Horsley, amongst a myriad of others (Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk to name but a few) displays work at The Vegas Gallery’s ‘Peeping Tom’ group exhibit. The concept of the exhibition is focused on exploring the unseen, the private moments, which often bear no spectators.

stehliJemima Stehli       ‘Tit with card 3′

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Out of all the artists, I am curious to see what Horsley contributes to the exhibition, as his artwork is usually scandalous, sensationalist and well, brimming with all sorts of moral turpitude.
Inside The Vegas Gallery, the walls are a chessboard of artwork, with no descriptions or names around them; which in itself references the theme of the ‘Peeping Tom’; by the viewer and subject interacting anonomously, the sense of voyeurism is heightened.
Some are self-evident; Tracey Emin’s ‘Sobasex’ (My Cunt is Wet With Fear) is easily recognizable as a blueprint for the neon version hung beside the now infamous Tracey’s Bed.
And Sebastian Horsley’s work is easily disguisable, but not quite by the same standards.
“That’s appalling, how horribly vulgar!”
Says one patron, walking briskly away from a framed photograph, featuring Horsley quite graphically performing coitus on a quadruple amputee.
At first I don’t recognise that it’s an amputee; one might say it’s the carnal dance of limbs that confuse the image, but honestly, that’s not what the eye is drawn to.
It’s easy to find Sebastian Horsley in a crowd; his top hat is probably the same size as me. Intrigued to know more about the piece, I wrangle him away for a moment to discuss the piece.
“Well, it was taken in a brothel in Amsterdam.” He begins, surprisingly soft spoken and friendly for a “vile degenerate”
“The concept was about what beauty is…the body as sculpture. I thought about Ancient Greece and the Elgin Marbles, how originally they must have looked like any other statue, quite plain, then without limbs suddenly they evoke mystery and beauty. ”

The concept is interesting; I wonder if the aghast patrons are more concerned about the depiction of a sexual act, or whether that’s a façade for a deeper routed sense of disgust about having sex with a quadruple amputee. Discrimination against disability is still insidious, and commonplace. By placing the spectator into a position where they are forced to confront the image in such a visceral way, perhaps Horsley is in fact making the viewer confront their own prejudices; a true ‘peeping tom’ insight into their own bigotry…
Or perhaps he’s just a narcissistic pervert who likes banging prostitutes. Art is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

eob_peeping_tom1Emer O’Brien Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

For those who aren’t overtly into the obscene, Peeping Tom displays many other artworks that don’t cause regurgitation.
I really liked Emer O’Brien’s white horse, which is a simple photograph, beautifully shot and almost looks like a painting. Also, white horses make me think of unicorns. Got to love a unicorn.

Jemima Stehli managed to speak to me for a few moments about her self portraits, aptly titled ‘Tit with Card 3’ which is pretty much what it sounds like.
“My inspiration behind it, was turning the body into separate sculpture by separating it with card, and presenting it to the world.”

In total, I’d advise to set a few hours aside to browse around The Vegas Gallery. With such a rich and varied supply of artwork, from the sublime to the obscure, there’s definitely an aspect for everyone to enjoy.

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Jamie Shovlin  Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Moral turpitude is quite a fantastic term. According to wikipedia, viagra order it’s an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen”
And it was under the grounds of ‘Moral Turpitude’ that artist Sebastian Horsley was unceremoniously denied access to the USA.
Despite failing in his duties as a fellowman, Horsley’s resume is impressive. Voluntarily crucifixion, pulling a loaded colt on a journalist, and of course, the requisitory opiate and prostitution dependencies.

Tonight, Horsley, amongst a myriad of others (Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk to name but a few) displays work at The Vegas Gallery’s ‘Peeping Tom’ group exhibit. The concept of the exhibition is focused on exploring the unseen, the private moments, which often bear no spectators.

stehliJemima Stehli Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Out of all the artists, I am curious to see what Horsley contributes to the exhibition, as his artwork is usually scandalous, sensationalist and well, brimming with all sorts of moral turpitude.
Inside The Vegas Gallery, the walls are a chessboard of artwork, with no descriptions or names around them; which in itself references the theme of the ‘Peeping Tom’; by the viewer and subject interacting anonomously, the sense of voyeurism is heightened.
Some are self-evident; Tracey Emin’s ‘Sobasex’ (My Cunt is Wet With Fear) is easily recognizable as a blueprint for the neon version hung beside the now infamous Tracey’s Bed.
And Sebastian Horsley’s work is easily disguisable, but not quite by the same standards.
“That’s appalling, how horribly vulgar!”
Says one patron, walking briskly away from a framed photograph, featuring Horsley quite graphically performing coitus on a quadruple amputee.
At first I don’t recognise that it’s an amputee; one might say it’s the carnal dance of limbs that confuse the image, but honestly, that’s not what the eye is drawn to.
It’s easy to find Sebastian Horsley in a crowd; his top hat is probably the same size as me. Intrigued to know more about the piece, I wrangle him away for a moment to discuss the piece.
“Well, it was taken in a brothel in Amsterdam.” He begins, surprisingly soft spoken and friendly for a “vile degenerate”
“The concept was about what beauty is…the body as sculpture. I thought about Ancient Greece and the Elgin Marbles, how originally they must have looked like any other statue, quite plain, then without limbs suddenly they evoke mystery and beauty. ”

The concept is interesting; I wonder if the aghast patrons are more concerned about the depiction of a sexual act, or whether that’s a façade for a deeper routed sense of disgust about having sex with a quadruple amputee. Discrimination against disability is still insidious, and commonplace. By placing the spectator into a position where they are forced to confront the image in such a visceral way, perhaps Horsley is in fact making the viewer confront their own prejudices; a true ‘peeping tom’ insight into their own bigotry…
Or perhaps he’s just a narcissistic pervert who likes banging prostitutes. Art is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

eob_peeping_tom1Emer O’Brien Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

For those who aren’t overtly into the obscene, Peeping Tom displays many other artworks that don’t cause regurgitation.
I really liked Emer O’Brien’s white horse, which is a simple photograph, beautifully shot and almost looks like a painting. Also, white horses make me think of unicorns. Got to love a unicorn.

Jemima Stehli managed to speak to me for a few moments about her self portraits, aptly titled ‘Tit with Card 3’ which is pretty much what it sounds like.
“My inspiration behind it, was turning the body into separate sculpture by separating it with card, and presenting it to the world.”

In total, I’d advise to set a few hours aside to browse around The Vegas Gallery. With such a rich and varied supply of artwork, from the sublime to the obscure, there’s definitely an aspect for everyone to enjoy.

On Monday I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the Hermione de Paula AW10 show presented at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. As a big fan of Hermione (having written about her ethical brand and interviewed her for Amelia’s magazine previously) I was very excited to see what she had come up with for the forthcoming winter season.

!cid_B2FEA8A2-F9AE-48FF-B9B6-9AD65D56FD7D@localIllustration courtesy of Gemma Milly.

With jewelled dresses in sight I was instead treated to a more futuristic collection than I had seen from this designer previously, viagra with space-age themes prevailing. Taking inspiration from the concept of an enslaved femininity the collection is entitled ‘Poly Crystalline’, sildenafil taken from the structures of ice.

P2222776Photography courtesy of Rachael Oku

With this collection aiming to both accentuate and celebrate the female form, each dress appears like sculpted ice, with a purposeful Jessica Rabbit style figure which exudes glamour and femininity. With concentrated prints of flowers peppered throughout the collection, these added bright flashes of colour to primarily black dresses. With futuristic panels appearing on the front of many of the dresses for me this was by far Hermione’s edgiest collection yet.

P2222778

With accentuated shoulders, fur trim hoods reminiscent of Snow White and beautiful cut out detailing this was a superb collection. I loved the diverse use of textiles with Hermione sampling everything from sheer iridescent fabrics and vinyl to pleated plastics. A truly futuristic super hero inducing collection that looks set to be bang on trend for next season.

Categories ,Caryn Franklin, ,Gemma Milly, ,Hermione de Paula, ,Jessica Rabbit, ,lfw, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,‘Poly Crystalline’

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