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

FAK_BBB_packshot

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

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

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

YETI_LANE_LJ2

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

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

first rate

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

YETI_LANE_LJ1

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

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

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

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

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

YETI_LANE_LJ2

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

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

first rate

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

YETI_LANE_LJ1

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

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

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

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

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

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

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

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

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

hardbelieverpackshot

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

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

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

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

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

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

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

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

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

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

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

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

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

K. No

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

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

K. Yeah.

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

firstaidkiteppackshot

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

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

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

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

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

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

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

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

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

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

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

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

K. Yeah sure

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

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

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

K. It was really nice.

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

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

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

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

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

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

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 2

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

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

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

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

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

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

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

hardbelieverpackshot

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

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

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

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

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

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

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

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

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

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

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

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

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

K. No

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

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

K. Yeah.

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

firstaidkiteppackshot

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

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

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

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

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

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

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

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

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

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

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

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

K. Yeah sure

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

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

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

K. It was really nice.

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

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

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

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

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

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

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK_BBB_packshot

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK_BBB_packshot

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

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

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

YETI_LANE_LJ2

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

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

first rate

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

YETI_LANE_LJ1

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

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

Yeti Lane rAll Photos Couresy of Sonic Cathedral

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

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

YETI_LANE_LJ2

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

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

first rate

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

YETI_LANE_LJ1

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

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

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

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

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

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

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

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

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

hardbelieverpackshot

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

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

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

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

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

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

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

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

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

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

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

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

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

K. No

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

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

K. Yeah.

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

firstaidkiteppackshot

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

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

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

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

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

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

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

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

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

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

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

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

K. Yeah sure

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

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

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

K. It was really nice.

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

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

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

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

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

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

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 2

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

Andy Devine. How’re you finding England?

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

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

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

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

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

hardbelieverpackshot

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

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

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

Klara. Yeah, along the way.

AD. How do you approach your song writing?

Joanna. Well they all just pop out eventually

Klara. Yeah

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

K. We both went to English school

J. Yeah, for four years

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

firstaidkitsinglepackshot

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

K. Sure, like films and books we read.

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

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

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

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

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

K. No

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

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

K. Yeah.

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

firstaidkiteppackshot

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

J & K. Yep

(laughter)

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

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

K. We get a little annoyed I guess

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

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

(Benkt puts his hands up in mock surrender)

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

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

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

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

K. Yeah sure

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

K. There were 24 Swedish artists all playing together.

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

K. It was really nice.

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

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

J. Touring

K. What we’re doing

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

K. And just enjoy ourselves.

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

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

K. (smiling) Oh really

(Laughter)

AD. Sorry

K. Oh no no

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

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

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

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

AD. Oh Really?

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

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

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

FAK_BBB_packshot

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAK 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: House of Holland

Lu Flux S/S 2011 collection was presented in the chapel of No. 1 Greek Street, visit web also known as the House of Saint Barnabas, a space supporting those affected by homelessness for over 160 years. It is an absolutely beautiful building, with an outside courtyard and lovely lounges. The non-for-profit private members club Quintessentially Soho uses the revenue generated by members to finance the House of Saint Barnabas’s support centre.

Illustrations by Alia Gargum

The presentation consisted of live painting, as the illustrator behind the stunning designs on the shorts suit drew the models, lots of cupcakes and fabulous shoes.

I absolutely love the dress the designer was wearing from last season’s collection:


The House of Holland Team! All illustrations by Lisa Stannard

House of Holland’s show this season was held at My Beautiful Fashion, information pills in the disused Old Sorting Office on New Oxford Street. There wasn’t too much hustle and bustle when I arrived and we moved swiftly in , look along with the huge clan of the HOH friends and family who were then greeted with champagne and showed to their seats in a block close to the front of the runway.

Then in came the HOH celebrity friends which included usual suspect Aggy Deyn, who ran in and over to her friends seconds before the lights dimmed to start the show. Nick Grimshaw, Lily Allen, Jamie Winstone and Pixie Geldoff were seated together in the front row. Other celebrities included Nicola Roberts and Amber Rose…

Anyway now I’ve got the celebrities out of the way, on with the show! The show opened with Donna Summer’s ‘Love to Love You Baby‘ when the first girl walked out with an ash blonde laid back 1970s hair do, metallic banana-leaf print blazer teamed with a pleated metallic leather mini skirt and chunky era wedges. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by the first instalment of sexiness and sophistication.

As the next girls continued to strut down the runway there was a recurring theme with the banana leaves, which were in fact a woven jacquard. These fabrics came in green, purple and blue and were used as part of shirt dresses (another recurring theme) with lots of lengthy fringing, and on cropped pants, fitted cropped jackets and flares. I was really enjoying the styling, it was preppy and cool, yet was mixed with a lot more sophistication than Henry’s past collections.

Then these pieces began to change and along came jumpsuits with appliquéd stars all over followed by flowing knee length pleated chiffon skirts teamed with slouchy vests in a bold pinky/purple print. I liked this look a lot. This was Henry’s recognisable print of the season, which was a lot tamer than past slogans, crazy paislies and polka dots.

My favourite outfit was Henry’s cropped (banana leaf) print t-shirt, with rusty metallic print pleated leather skirt. It had the most amazing oversized backpack with tan leather trims.  This wasn’t the only accessory in there; there was a lot of luxe towelling used on even more bags! Huge pom pom earrings, too – which I wouldn’t wear – but great fun for this catwalk show. There were also socks teamed with the huge metallic platforms with crazy fringing on them, I wonder if these will be sold amongst his hosiery range too?

Denim made a reappearance but this time it was decorated with metallic appliqued stars. I have to say that I did enjoy the non-star appliquéd pieces more.  The aquamarine pleated chiffon dress and the floor length banana leaf print dress were far nicer.

Henry didn’t leave out the glitz – just when you thought you had summed up the themes of this collection, out walks another 1970s disco queen in a slinky super sparkly gold dress.

I felt that the collection had moved far away from slogan tees and tights and was a more sophisticated reflection of his inspirations. Maybe I am biased – I’m totally with his fun vibe and 1980s references, but I suppose as one of his target consumers that’s entirely the point.

I’m looking forward to future collections from Henry, but desperate to get my hands on that oversized backpack…!

All illustrations by Lisa Stannard

Categories ,1970s, ,Agyness Deyn, ,Alexa Chung, ,Amber Rose, ,Banana Leaf, ,disco, ,Donna Summer, ,Glamour, ,Grimmers, ,Henry Holland, ,House of Holland, ,Jaime Winstone, ,lily allen, ,Lisa Stannard, ,London Fashion Week, ,My Beautiful Fashion, ,S/S 2011

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2014: Fashion Illustrations from the Catwalk

Burberry A/W 2014 by Emma Farrarons

Burberry A/W 2014 by Emma Farrarons.

Since I was unable to attend many of my favourite designer’s shows this season, and indeed had no help in covering the shows (apart from this post, written by the fabulous Maria Papadimitriou) I thought it would be a nice idea to do an open callout for illustrators to depict their favourite outfit from any of the London Fashion Week shows. Here are the results, in no particular order: I am sure you will agree that they are fabulous. Long live fashion illustration!

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker.

Erdem A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

Erdem A/W 2014 by xplusyequals.

Ashish A/W 2014 by Rebecca May Illustration

Ashish A/W 2014 by Rebecca May Illustration.

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss.

KTZ A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

KTZ A/W 2014 by xplusyequals.

Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014 by Carol Kearns

Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014 by Carol Kearns.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo.

Daks A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins

Daks A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins.

Sibling A/W 2014 by Calamusyychan

Sibling A/W 2014 by Calamus Ying Ying Chan.

House Of Holland A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker

House Of Holland A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker.

Erdem A/W 2014 by Jane Young

Erdem A/W 2014 by Jane Young.

Burberry A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri

Burberry A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri.

Vivetta A/W 2014 by Briony Jose

Vivetta A/W 2014 by Briony Jose.

Tata Naka A/W 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Tata Naka A/W 2014 by Isher Dhiman.

David Koma A/W 2014 by Gaarte

David Koma A/W 2014 by Gaarte.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Ashish, ,Briony Jose, ,Burberry, ,Calamus Ying Ying Chan, ,Carol Kearns, ,daks, ,Emilio de la Morena, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Erdem, ,Eudon Choi, ,Gaarte, ,House of Holland, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Jane Young, ,Jenny Robins, ,KTZ, ,Maelle Rajoelisolo, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mark Goss, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Mitika Suri, ,Rebecca May Illustration, ,Sibling, ,Tata Naka, ,xplusyequals

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Amelia’s Magazine | Flik Hall: New S/S 2012 Season Presentation Preview and Interview

Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.
 
Flik Hall is becoming a bit of a regular here at Amelia’s, and is it any wonder when the Central Saint Martins graduate continues to deliver covetable collections season after season? Speaking with Amelia’s earlier this year, she enlightened us on her past work with fashion heavyweights House of Holland and Giles Deacon; almost one year on and their influence and handed-down expertise is beginning to shine through more and more.


Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.

Flik Hall dubbed herself a novice back then, but with three successful London Fashion Week seasons under her belt, she could have quite easily fooled me otherwise. Since then, print-enthusiast Flik has gone on to create two more delectable collections, continuing to incorporate her love for printed leather and structured silhouettes. The latest collection sees a new direction from the London-based designer, and I was lucky enough to see, hear and learn a little bit more about the creative process behind such bold and imaginative designs.


Flik Hall SS 2012
Flik Hall SS 2012
 
I first clapped eyes on the new collection earlier this month at the Rendez-Vous Femme trade show in Paris, where Flik Hall was successful in ruffling a few Parisian fashion feathers with her experimental vision. Amongst the vast number of exhibitors, not to mention the throngs of buyers, journalists and trend reporters, there was one corner of the room that instantly caught my eye. Flik’s designs are the definition of innovative. Whilst many designers stick to a time-honoured formula resulting in them fading into a background of summery floral prints and tassels, Flik Hall’s ever-developing penchant for experimentation earns her some serious print-infused brownie points for S/S 2012.

Flik Hall SS 2012

Back in London, the press event for next season’s collection was held at the uber-cool Vyner Street Gallery: an underground platform for emerging talent nestled in the depths of Hackney and the heart of Londons contemporary art district. Walking into the gallery space was like entering into Flik Hall’s world: a world of mythical fantasy. Accompanied by an eerie soundtrack, a short spellbinding film directed by artist Ashley Joiner was projected across the back wall, whilst the clothes on show delivered a sense of femininity juxtaposed with a strong, dynamic edge.

Flik Hall SS 2012
The small, intimate space had a very personal feel to it, and it was a real pleasure to meet Flik Hall, who revealed to me that she didn’t always want to be a fashion designer, ‘I used to want to be an artist when I was younger,’ she disclosed. ‘But my designs always seemed to naturally fall around the figure, so it all eventually transpired into fashion.’ And is it any wonder? With her choice of ethereal colour tones and that trademark use of eye-catching prints, the collection was successful in capturing my attention all over again.


Flik Hall SS 2012
S/S 2012 takes its inspiration from the deep blue sea as Flik Hall looks to the texture and intricate detailing of octopi skin for direction. Never one to shy away from experimentation, it is this imagery that makes up the signature print within the collection incorporating close-up screen prints of octopus skin and tentacles transferred onto soft leather pieces. ‘I’ve always been interested in Roman mythology and mythical creatures,’ Flik explained. ‘I was interested in the octopus and how its fluidity can be interpreted in strange and wonderful ways.’ The result is unexpectedly beautiful prints that call to mind A/W 2011’s equally striking doll arm designs, confirming how Flik can expertly convert creepy connotations into something imaginative and wearable, whilst maintaining the label’s other-worldly appeal.
 
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Kate Copeland
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Kate Copeland.

Last season’s dark and moody colour palette of black, and more black (don’t get me wrong – I am a fan of black), has been overthrown next season with only the smallest dose of raven undertones to be seen. ‘I like to mix it up quite a lot with a dark collection followed by a lighter collection, my aim is to keep it fresh,’ said Flik. Keeping in with next season’s sea-theme, innocent whites and delicate creams are highlighted with muted sea shell tones of pink, peach and lilac, whilst rich sand and deep petrol blue give added depth to the range. When asked about the creative process behind each print that she creates, Flik Hall explained that the whole process is very hands on, ‘I take lots of pictures, print out lots of images, collage them and then distort them,’ she said. ‘It’s just all about trying to figure out what’s right for me.’

Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Kate Copeland
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Kate Copeland.

A delicate contrast to that of previous collections, next season offers a more feminine approach that is both ethereal and elegant. Layered silk and trademark printed leather was seen next to metal eyelet details: a representation of octopi suckers that reinforces Flik’s creative mind and attention to detail. Describing the collection as ‘ambiguous, sensuous and wet‘, Flik Hall has turned to opaque and sheer fabrics that contrast each other on narrow skirts and floor-length dresses, while her original flare is highlighted by the careful use of wetsuit-inspired Neoprene. As something that in my opinion could quite easily have gone horribly wrong, Flik pulls it off with structured mini dresses and voluminous jumpsuits that maintain a sense of femininity, whilst reconfirming that dynamic edge the label is beginning to be known for.
 
Flik Hall SS 2012
Though colour and print have been replaced with a more romantic aesthetic, Flik Hall‘s structured silhouette remains. The adoption of Neoprene is a clever addition to an already inventive collection, marrying structured shapes with semi-transparent fabrics. The overall desired effect is successful as I can’t help but conjure up swirling images of the deep sea, whilst one glance at the model’s intricately placed hair – mirroring that of curling tentacles – is enough to confirm the key influence of the mythical half-octopus-half-human creature known as Cecaelias

Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum
Flik Hall S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum.

I was mesmerised once in Paris, and mesmerised all over again in London; Flik Hall is constantly pushing herself forward and thinking outside of the box. Even if she does insist on keeping the label small and exclusive, S/S 2012 sees a stellar collection from one of London’s best up-and-coming designers that predicts a promising future for the Flik Hall brand.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Ashley Joiner Central Saint Martins, ,Cecaelias, ,film, ,Flik Hall, ,Giles Deacon, ,House of Holland, ,illustration, ,Kate Copeland, ,london, ,Milly Jackson, ,Neoprene, ,Octopus, ,paris, ,Rendez-Vous Femme, ,S/S 2012, ,Vyner Street Gallery

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Amelia’s Magazine | Diamond Jubilee Party and Gift Ideas!

This weekend (most of) Britain will come together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 glorious years on the throne. Here’s a selection of Jubilee-themed goodies we like for your delectation…

For Sweet Tooths…

Union Flag Cupcakes and Jubilee Biscuits by Biscuiteers

For Excited Royalists…

I’m So Excited I Could Wee… Tea Towel by House of Holland

For crafty types…

Make Your Own Bunting Tea Towel by Cerys Turner

For Tea Drinkers…

RoyalTea tea bags available at Oliver Bonas

For Souvenir lovers…

Alternative Her Majesty plate by Katie J Spragg

For Glamazons…

Corgi scarf by Liberty

For Hipsters…

Jubilee Tattoos by Lydia Leith

For Girlies…

HM Queen necklace by Jaymie O’Callaghan

For Help With the Dishes…

Jubilee Tea Towel by Jane Denham

For Decorators…

Recycled London bunting by Stephanie Wheeler

For Snarfle Monkey

Reusable Jubilee Cloth Nappy by TotsBots


Queen babygrow by Rosie Wonders

For Jewellery Addicts…

Crown necklace by Tatty Devine

For Illustration Fans…

Tea Towel by Charlotte Fleming

For Foodies…

Jubilee Jelly Mould by Lydia Leith available at Selfridges

For Fashion Lovers…

Union Flag Tights by House of Holland for Pretty Polly

For Thrifties

Free toys by Samantha Eynon – download the templates here!

…And for Republicans…

Jubilee Sick Bags by Lydia Leith

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,bunting, ,Cerys Turner, ,Charlotte Fleming, ,Cloth Nappy, ,cupcakes, ,Denham Design, ,Diamond Jubilee, ,House of Holland, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Jelly Mould, ,liberty, ,london, ,Lydia Leith, ,Nappy, ,Necklace, ,Oliver Bonas, ,Plate, ,Pretty Polly, ,Queen Elizabeth II, ,Rosie Wonders, ,RoyalTea, ,Samantha Eynon, ,Selfridges, ,Sick Bag, ,Stephanie Wheeler, ,Tattoos, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tea Bags, ,Tea Towel, ,tights, ,TotsBots, ,Toys

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with illustrator Hattie Stewart

Hattie Stewart

London-based Hattie Stewart, a ‘professional doodler’, originally from Essex, is taking the fashion world by storm with her ‘doodle-bombed’ magazine covers. Not just limited to putting her mark on mags, she’s also done a whole range of stuff from shop-fronts to call-girl cards. Youthful, quirky and comic book-esque, Hattie pens a place where all things happy, cartooney, dark and urban make an appearance. This exuberance with a tint of dark humour reminds me a little of Bart‘s beloved Itchy & Scratchy. Bold colours, unique characters, a wink and some swag all form part of her signature style. She’s a busy girl and Amelia recently mentioned Hattie in a review of Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival 2013.

Hattie Stewart

Having graduated from Kingston University, Hattie Stewart has worked on projects with House Of Holland, Marc Jacobs and Adidas to name a few. Her work is proving popular across the globe and has been exhibited in Miami, New York, Berlin and London. I spoke to this young illustration idol about graduation, her personal pen preference and how doodling her mark on the world is getting her eye-marked for great things to come.

Hattie Stewart

How do you get the ideas for your doodles?
I have no idea! Sometimes I like to pore over copies of Craphound to get ideas for motifs, but mostly I just start drawing. The best ideas always come from practice and the simple act of just drawing.

Do you feel like London is tied to your identity as an illustrator?
I guess so, I think the fun-loving attitude of my work with certain levels of underlying sarcasm is definitely an identity I would characterise with London.

Hattie Stewart
Hattie Stewart

Your style has a comic book feel, what comics did you read as a kid?
I was obsessed with Dandy and Beano comics but especially Beryl the Peril. She ruled. My interest in strong comic book styles and larger than life characters definitely began at a young age. My uncle’s always drawn comic book characters and taught me a lot about developing a style.

How did the reality of life after graduation compare to your expectations?
It kind of went more or less as I’d imagined. I knew work wasn’t necessarily going to happen straight after uni and I’d have to work really hard and have many part-time jobs before things started kicking off. Because I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve always wanted to draw, I had a feeling that if I worked as hard as I could and tried to maintain a good attitude things would eventually happen for me. It’s wasn’t easy and I definitely kept looking for many different opportunities and work.

Hattie Stewart
Hattie Stewart

Do you think your degree was an important part of your development as an illustrator?
Yes, definitely. It taught me what I wanted as an artist and who I wanted to be and the people I met helped form my character and became so valuable to me. I do think it’s an experience everyone should have – sometimes defining your character helps develop your work, and then you have an amazing wealth of facilities and experienced tutors to help your work grow. You definitely have to have faith in yourself though and listen to yourself and follow your instincts as much as you listen to and accept the advice offered, there always needs to be a balance.

Hattie Stewart

Hattie Stewart

Hattie Stewart

How did you get the idea to start doodling on mag covers?
I was watching telly and a copy of Dazed and Confused was sat in front of me. Like so many people I just started aimlessly doodling on the cover and when I’d finished thought it looked pretty cool – it all developed from there!

You’ve had some big clients, like Urban Outfitters, Luella, Diesel and Adidas, are there any big names you really want to work with in the future?
I’m not sure really. I know I’d love to do some set design and big 3D set pieces/ props! There are so many things I want to do with my work it really depends on who will let me do it rather than who it is I do it for.

Hattie Stewart
Hattie Stewart

I saw that you did an awesome project for Soda Pop illustrating call girl cards, how did this come about?
There is a magazine called Gypse Eyes and they were excepting contributions for their ‘Food + Sex’ issue, then the idea of the call girl cards popped into my head! My friend Jessica Abou Nassar who runs Soda Pop and the amazing Ghetto Nailz wanted to collab with me and I suggested using these – she agreed and the t-shirts were created! It was a great project.

Hattie Stewart
Hattie Stewart

You describe your style as ‘cheeky’, do you think that you like to take risks as an illustrator?
Absolutely. It’s important taking risks in all sides of life – How else does anything change? All the best ideas and opportunities come from moving outside of your comfort zone and as an artist that is extremely important.

Colour is an important feature of your work, what are your favourite shades?
Pink, especially fluro pink. In fact anything fluro. Right now though I’m loving primary colours! Especially red, always red.

Hattie Stewart
Hattie Stewart

What type of pen do you use?
Posca! The only pens I use and they go on every surface. I would never recommend any other but then again that’s just my preference.

Do you think the internet has made visual culture a vital part of everyday life?
Oh absolutely. It’s also made things move and grow very quickly, which can be thrilling but also exhausting. Trying to make and keep yourself relevant and motivated when there is so much talent and ideas constantly on show in front of you, it can be inspiring and demoralising at the same time. Ultimately though knowledge and learning and the immediacy of connecting to people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to contact is amazing.

Hattie Stewart

All the images in this post were provided by Hattie Stewart. You can see more of Hattie’s work on her portfolio and you can find her on Tumblr and Twitter too.

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