Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with fashion designer James Hock


James Hock A/W 2011, viagra illustrated by Jaqueline Kishi

For some time, James Hock has been on our radar as an extraordinary, rising talent. Finally, we got the chance to speak to the fashion designer about his audacious collections, inspirations and Lady Gaga.

James, you recently exhibited your fourth collection for A/W 2011 at London Fashion Week (your third was visited by Amelia). How was that?
Yes I did. Becc from Bloody Gray PR was there to look after everything so I didn’t have to be there every day. But the feedback to the collection has been great. Very exciting.

This collection is entitled ‘Kpixoos Kaabos’. What’s the story?
It’s loosely inspired by Desmond Davis’ 1981 version of ‘Clash of the Titans’, so if anyone is a fan, they should know where KPIXOOS KAABOS pops up in the movie. Having said that, it’s not exactly the actual phrase but it’s something I anglicised.


James Hock A/W 2011, illustrated by Alia Gargum

Initially, you trained as an accountant. When did you fall for fashion and how did you make that transition?
Well, fashion has always been there. Perhaps not in the driving seat at that time but it’s definitely the co-driver and not a passenger that I just picked up. The transition was actually quite natural, it’s a matter of deciding who should be the driver and everything just changes organically.

As with your previous collections, your latest unveiled many wonderful textural contrasts. How do you select materials?
Hmm.. I don’t know. I guess you just do have a rough idea of what you want when you are sketching. And after that, it’s a matter of playing around with the different ideas and materials ‘til they feel right together.

You also continue to experiment with shape, which you began memorably in your first collection, ‘Sleeping with Dali’. How do you negotiate the balance between fashion as art, and wearable clothing?
I think I’m very much still learning to find the balance. It is sometimes too easy to just make something crazy. It does take a lot more to exercise restraint. But I think at the end of the day, you just have to stay true to what you are doing and also to the collection as a whole.


James Hock A/W 2010, illustrated by Karina Järv

Which are your favourite pieces, and why?
Oooh.. that’s a hard question. I have a new favourite piece with every new collection. But I do really like my EZ Cobra Trousers from the Sleeping With Dali collection. I have one in cotton drill with silver zippers and I literally live in them.

Your collection for S/S 2011 is called ‘The Unloved’ and features harlequin clowns. Tell me more!
It was a very emotionally sad collection and I kinda channeled the emotion through the eyes of harlequins, Stancyzk in particular, as painted by Jan Matejko. I think a lot of people see it as very ‘circus’ which it isn’t at all. To me, the collection was very lonely, very restrained and very regal.   

The name you choose for each season is highly evocative. To what extent do you create a backstory and how does that originate?
Every collection has a story and journey. It usually starts with an idea that could come from anywhere and anything. And then it’s a matter of exploring the idea and finding your narrative and creating your ending. It’s very much like writing a book I imagine.

Do you ‘revisit’ previous collections before starting anew, or are you keen to achieve something entirely different every time?
For me every new collection in a way is a re-action to the last. I don’t think I ever set out to  achieve something entirely different but after working on a collection for many many hours, you just kinda naturally want to try something else. It would be quite mundane otherwise.

Say I’m wearing one of your designs. How do you want me to feel?
I think a James Hock woman should always feel comfortable and confident. You should definitely feel that you are being yourself and totally nonchalant. But I guess deep down inside, you do feel a little special, just a little.

I can see Gaga wearing James Hock. Are you a fan?
I think she’s a very clever girl and I guess in terms of manufactured pop, she’s at least fun to look at. My only concern is that she has somehow trivialized the work of designers and made fashion very disposable. Having said that, I wouldn’t say no to a lil’ Gaga on the dance floor.


James Hock S/S 2011, illustrated by Sam Parr

In what ways do you find fashion an effective portal for addressing serious issues?
I think fashion is an effective portal only on a short term basis. And this is purely because the very cyclical nature of fashion itself. Fashion is about change and it is about now. After that, we move on. It doesn’t mean we have forgotten and not care about the previous issue but there are simply other issues that perhaps resonate more socially and culturally.

Your second collection, ‘The witch, the bitch and the…’ becomes increasingly dark. This culminates in the disarmingly dramatic ‘Roger II’. What were you saying there?
It was a rather angry collection. There’s a lot of element of being restricted and not being able to do what you want. It’s definitely an “I can’t take this anymore!” kinda collection.


James Hock A/W 2011, illustrated by Laura Wiggins

How do you help your models to portray the mood of each collection so effectively?
It takes a good team to get all things right and I’m lucky to have a team that I work with regularly. I do always have a vision but sometimes someone else’s idea can add a whole new dimension to the collection, and I find that to be extremely refreshing.

For ‘Sleeping with Dali’, you used mostly black and gold. ‘The witch, the bitch and the…’  and  ‘Kpixoos Kaabos’ consist of (nearly) all black. For ‘The Unloved’, it’s black and red. Why do you limit your palette and is this a James Hock signature?
I think it is (for now). I don’t try to stay away from colour but at this moment the very controlled palette just suits my direction better.  

Red and black certainly provide a contrast to typical Spring/Summer florals, nudes and holiday hues. Do you feel that designers complicate clothes with too much colour?
It is very much a matter of preference and usage. A piece of clothing can be over complicated regardless of whether it is monotone or have 100 hues. And yes, black and red is a huge contrast for spring but I guess not everyone wants to look like a bouquet just because the sun is out.

What are James Hock’s plans for 2011?
Ooh.. very exciting. Knitwear was introduced in the recent collection and is definitely an area that will be further explored. There is also an online project kicking off soon and a couple of other projects I’m keeping mum.

How can fans buy James Hock?
Through our website, www.jameshock.co.uk for this season. There will be a few others for the A/W collection, so that’s really exciting too.

Finally, James, how would you describe your personal style?
I asked my friend this question and the answer he gave was esoteric. So, there you go!

All photographs A/W 2011, courtesy of James Hock.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,black, ,Bloody Gray PR, ,Clash of the Titans, ,Desmond Davis, ,EZ Cobra trousers, ,fashion, ,Gold, ,illustration, ,interview, ,James Hock, ,Jan Matejko, ,Jaqueline Kishi, ,Karina Jarv, ,knitwear, ,Kpixoos Kaabos, ,Lady Gaga, ,Laura Wiggins, ,Red, ,Regal, ,Sam Parr, ,Sleeping with Dali, ,The Unloved, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Belle Sauvage: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Belle_Sauvage_AW_2013_by_Isabelle_Mattern
Belle Sauvage A/W 2013 by Isabelle Mattern.

Belle Sauvage hit Fashion Scout with the look for which they are known best: incredibly complex digital placement prints, as described in our exclusive preview interview with designers Virginia Ferreira and Chris Neuman.

Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage A/W 2013 by Victoria Haynes
Belle Sauvage A/W 2013 by Victoria Haynes.

The show opened with a trio of models, resplendent in massive hairpieces: swishing pigtails and gigantic dip dyed fringes that dominated each of the looks that were to follow. Sheepskin and fake fur topped eminently wearable silk shift dresses which were covered in swirls inspired by Chinese dragons and baroque ornaments, and lace trims appeared at the arms and thigh. Zip up black suede boots and laced patent platforms worked well with the simplicity of the looks, though to my mind they were of questionable styling taste. The intention of this collection was to mix up inspirations from East and West and there was certainly a wide range of styles on show. Classic Chanel styling appeared in the form of heavy contrast seams and big buttons on boxy suits and peplums paired with pencil skirts and mini capes provided a contrasting silhouette.

Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle_Sauvage_AW_2013_by_Isabelle_Mattern
Belle Sauvage A/W 2013 by Isabelle Mattern.

That this brand does well in the commercial sector abroad was evident in the more casual range that made up the middle section of the show. Amongst my favourite looks was the head of Botticelli‘s famous Birth of Venus reimagined in a repeat pattern on a loose fitting top and matching trouser set, but there was one odd look that didn’t appear to fit in at all: an intarsia knit cat portrait top which was accessorised with beanie and sunglasses.

Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
This was a lengthy show featuring many similar pieces and I must confess I became a little weary somewhere around the ten minute mark, but this was clearly intended as a showcase for plentiful looks that will no doubt gain lots of sales for this talented twosome. The show came to a screeching halt as the models massed for a final walk down the catwalk.

Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Belle Sauvage A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Belle Sauvage, ,Birth of Venus, ,Botticelli, ,chanel, ,Chris Neuman, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Isabelle Mattern, ,London Fashion Week, ,review, ,Victoria Haynes, ,Virginia Ferreira

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Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome, Snarfle Monkey

Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr
Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr.

Yesterday I finally registered the birth of my first child, a gorgeous little boy named Lucian Indigo whom I gave birth to 6 weeks ago. It’s taken me a good month to put thoughts to screen, and I’m still a little unsure of what I am going to say in this blog – and as those who know me will testify it’s not often that I am lost for words.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
This blog won’t become a baby centred place, but I feel I need to share his coming into my world because it has affected and will continue to affect how I can maintain this website – after all his needs come first and there are times when I just can’t work. In fact, as I have discovered, that’s quite often already… although I am getting adept at typing one handed as the little man breast feeds or kips between me and the computer on a pillow. And I am discovering a whole new world of baby stuff, some of which may make an appearance on here: for instance, illustrated reusable nappies?! Now that’s something I like.

Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester
Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester.

So briefly: Lucian Indigo, otherwise known as Snarfle Monkey, was born in the Royal London by emergency C-section – which was the exact opposite birth to the one I had hoped for. I had been booked into the Barkantine birth centre in the Docklands, but when my waters broke and then I didn’t go into labour that was out of the question. A day later (I stalled quite a bit, hoping to avoid induction) I found myself hooked up to a monitor in the hospital labour ward. Everything seemed fine for a few hours and I had almost convinced the doctor to let me go home when suddenly my baby’s heartbeat went haywire. Within half an hour (sign here!) I was in theatre having a spinal block whilst my partner looked as though he might faint: I personally think it was worse having the needle in my back. Just a few minutes later Snarfle was born, heaved out of my insides, checked over, cleaned and plonked on my chest. I was so drugged up that I barely registered they were still ferreting around in my stomach to stitch me up. All in all a long way from the natural Hypnobirthing water birth I had planned for.

Snarfle Monkey birth hospital April 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv.

Because of worries about infection, and then his weight, we ended up staying in the Royal London for 12 days. During which time I became just a bit too familiar with the post natal ward staff, not to mention the disgusting food (Jamie Oliver, do hospitals please!) It’s bad enough dealing with a newborn’s round the clock feeding requirements without constant interventions from well meaning doctors and nurses, usually just when I had managed to fall into some much needed sleep, but eventually we got out and started our somewhat belated life together in the outside world.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws.

So here we are, Snarfle, father and me… adjusting to our new lives as a family. Unlike many other new mums I of course don’t have official maternity leave, and my baby is what is known as *high needs* meaning that he doesn’t sleep much and wants constant attention day and night, so we’re having fun working together as the PR requests keep rolling in.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by Angela Lamb.

Snarfle Monkey 23rd May 2012
I will be there for my boy whenever he needs me, but I love my work too so we’ll see how it all pans out. For now I am knackered but happy…

Snarfle_monkey by simon mclaren
Snarfle Monkey by Simon Mclaren.

Categories ,Angela Lamb, ,Barkantine Centre, ,Birthing Experience, ,C-Section, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Hypnobirthing, ,Jamie Oliver, ,Karina Jarv, ,Natural Birth, ,Royal London, ,Sam Parr, ,Sarah-Jayne Draws, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Snarfle Monkey, ,Water Birth

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Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome, Snarfle Monkey

Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr
Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr.

Yesterday I finally registered the birth of my first child, a gorgeous little boy named Lucian Indigo whom I gave birth to 6 weeks ago. It’s taken me a good month to put thoughts to screen, and I’m still a little unsure of what I am going to say in this blog – and as those who know me will testify it’s not often that I am lost for words.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
This blog won’t become a baby centred place, but I feel I need to share his coming into my world because it has affected and will continue to affect how I can maintain this website – after all his needs come first and there are times when I just can’t work. In fact, as I have discovered, that’s quite often already… although I am getting adept at typing one handed as the little man breast feeds or kips between me and the computer on a pillow. And I am discovering a whole new world of baby stuff, some of which may make an appearance on here: for instance, illustrated reusable nappies?! Now that’s something I like.

Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester
Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester.

So briefly: Lucian Indigo, otherwise known as Snarfle Monkey, was born in the Royal London by emergency C-section – which was the exact opposite birth to the one I had hoped for. I had been booked into the Barkantine birth centre in the Docklands, but when my waters broke and then I didn’t go into labour that was out of the question. A day later (I stalled quite a bit, hoping to avoid induction) I found myself hooked up to a monitor in the hospital labour ward. Everything seemed fine for a few hours and I had almost convinced the doctor to let me go home when suddenly my baby’s heartbeat went haywire. Within half an hour (sign here!) I was in theatre having a spinal block whilst my partner looked as though he might faint: I personally think it was worse having the needle in my back. Just a few minutes later Snarfle was born, heaved out of my insides, checked over, cleaned and plonked on my chest. I was so drugged up that I barely registered they were still ferreting around in my stomach to stitch me up. All in all a long way from the natural Hypnobirthing water birth I had planned for.

Snarfle Monkey birth hospital April 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv.

Because of worries about infection, and then his weight, we ended up staying in the Royal London for 12 days. During which time I became just a bit too familiar with the post natal ward staff, not to mention the disgusting food (Jamie Oliver, do hospitals please!) It’s bad enough dealing with a newborn’s round the clock feeding requirements without constant interventions from well meaning doctors and nurses, usually just when I had managed to fall into some much needed sleep, but eventually we got out and started our somewhat belated life together in the outside world.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws.

So here we are, Snarfle, father and me… adjusting to our new lives as a family. Unlike many other new mums I of course don’t have official maternity leave, and my baby is what is known as *high needs* meaning that he doesn’t sleep much and wants constant attention day and night, so we’re having fun working together as the PR requests keep rolling in.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by Angela Lamb.

Snarfle Monkey 23rd May 2012
I will be there for my boy whenever he needs me, but I love my work too so we’ll see how it all pans out. For now I am knackered but happy…

Snarfle_monkey by simon mclaren
Snarfle Monkey by Simon Mclaren.

Categories ,Angela Lamb, ,Barkantine Centre, ,Birthing Experience, ,C-Section, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Hypnobirthing, ,Jamie Oliver, ,Karina Jarv, ,Natural Birth, ,Royal London, ,Sam Parr, ,Sarah-Jayne Draws, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Snarfle Monkey, ,Water Birth

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Designer Joseph Turvey – Part 2


Joseph Turvey S/S 2013 by Gemma Cotterell

Joe’s MA collection: vibrant orange and magenta lace with transparent panels and translucent trenches was a massive hit. Fake Tokyo completely sold out and they’re backing him again this season, amongst many others. I sense that Joe is pretty busy minded. He’s conquering Asia step-by-step. He opened Shanghai Fashion Week with said MA collection, an experience he’ll never forget. ‘The catwalk was MASSIVE!’ he tells me, ‘it was like a Madonna tour!’

Joseph Turvey MA collection

We take a look through the current Spring/Summer collection – a range of dazzling neon hues married with white t-shirts and his synonymous illustrative portraits. Joe demonstrates the heat-sensitive technique he’s pioneered for spring/summer, so the model’s face becomes clear when worn. I ask if the faces we’re now so familiar with are based on anyone in particular. ‘Not really,’ he says, ‘I merge a few faces together. A bit like Frankenstein’, he laughs. Joe tells me that people always ask the story behind his personal interpretations and influences on his collections. ‘People always look for hidden meanings,’ he says. ‘Maybe I should be more like Taylor Swift and feature exes.’

What else is in the pipeline? ‘I really like collaborations,’ he says, ‘I like the juxtaposition of things.’ Joe’s currently collaborating with Hush Puppies, pioneer of the men’s comfort shoe but currently undergoing a massive relaunch under the creative direction of Jack Hemingway. He’s excited to work with established brands and put his stamp on menswear staples.

I ask how S/S 2014 is going. ‘I’ve nearly finished!’ he says, excitedly. I ask what we might expect. ‘It’s very colourful,’ he tells me, careful not to reveal too much. ‘There’s a central figure, again, and it’s very illustrative.’ He’s obsessed with the aesthetics of fabrics and innovative textures and his ethos is to always move things forward: lace, vinyl-peaked caps, laser-cut florals; the contrast of gloss spots on a black bomber. Joe works closely with acclaimed London textile company Insley & Nash in his constant endeavours to advance fashion techniques.


Joseph Turvey S/S 2013 by Karina Järv

I take a few photographs of both collections as we chat about everything else. What other brands does he admire? Baartmans and Siegel (who are ‘amazing’) and close pal Domingo Rodriguez are high on his list, as is Christopher Kane, who manages to make clothes ‘sellable but with his stamp on it.’

What advice would Joe give to current graduates looking to follow in his footsteps? ‘The best thing I did was the MA,’ he declares. With Savile Row tutoring and free reign on his future, Joe developed his unique approach we’ve become so quickly familiar with. ‘I’d say – don’t rush in to anything. I spent a lot of money doing it, but it really helped me focus. It’s about developing your skills. Make it exactly what you want it to be.’

Categories ,Asia, ,beyonce, ,Fake Tokyo, ,fashion, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,interview, ,Joseph Turvey, ,Karina Jarv, ,lace, ,ma, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Shanghai Fashion Week, ,SS13

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Open Brief: Submissions Part 1

Chantelle Bell
I was thrilled to receive over 40 submissions for my Valentines Open Brief, nine of which were chosen by East End Prints to appear in their True Romance exhibition, open now (full listing here). Here is my first round up of the other submissions with text by the artists and links to their websites – I’m sure you will agree there are some stunning images here.

Chantelle Bell (above)
I heard this quote in a Twilight film and found it really sweet, no matter how cheesy it is. I think that the time we spend with our loved ones isn’t what is important, however what happens during this time is. We don’t have limitless lifespans, unlike some film characters, so we can only offer what we have, with the promise that if we had more, we would spend it with the one we love. I created this paper cut illustration with bright colours to keep it cheerful and drew the text with a fine liner before gluing it all down. The love hearts continue off the page to signify the infinite aspect of love. However childish or naive it may seem to believe love can last, there are the hopeful few who do, and these are the few who keep the hope alive.

owlpussycat print
Eugenia Tsimiklis
The Owl and the Pussycat: The poem is about an unlikely union between owl and pussy cat. It speaks of their complete devotion to one another and willingness to sail away together towards adventures unknown. The poem suggests the couple sacrifice their most worldly possessions to escape together and concludes as they dance by the light of the moon hand in hand. It’s a nursery rhyme with romantic sentiment, and I wanted the illustration to reflect this with a stark yet organic feel. I wanted the illustration to have a fluid quality with its linear linework and limited palette.

PRETTY WOMAN-Faye West
Faye West
I love the concept of alternative film posters. And a lot of my illustrative influences come from cult film poster artists such as Robert McGinnis. I wanted to depict romance via the classic film Pretty Woman (1990) and it’s more modern use of romantic language. We like our romances with a certain edge these days, and this is a film that is close to the hearts of many generations, not only because it stands the test of time, but also because it’s such a colourful representation of it’s era. I think this iconic film deserves referencing in fashion and art for future generations to come. And for me, is the ultimate romantic film.

for walls
For Walls
A print inspired by the Valentine’s Day tradition of giving flowers. I like to capture little domestic scenes in my prints, and these flowers are somehow in keeping with this. The print is designed to be celebratory and noisy, so I’ve included some process colours (and clashing colours) to really make it pop! The print is designed in Illustrator, and is made by creating lots of individual shapes to build up the image, then overlaying the outlines so the structure is visible. I like to show off the digital elements and background of a composition in a lot of my work. I’ve also played with transparency to add a bit of extra depth.

hello_DODO_Love_Beards_Design
Hello Dodo
Here at hello DODO we love creating simple graphic tricks that make people smile. We are a husband and wife team and are self-taught screen printers based in Brighton, designing and printing from our home studio. Over the years we’ve been hugely influenced by design legends such as Alan Fletcher & Milton Glaser and their witty eye for creating fun, timeless designs. This particular design was actually born when we sent Milton Glaser himself a little Christmas greeting with our own adaptation of his timeless ‘I heart NY’ design including this little bearded guy. Milton’s response is still one of our most treasured things and continues to encourage and inspire us:  
Thank you for your greeting, it is by far the best and cleverest adaptation of my time-worn logo and a Merry Christmas to you as well. Milton

together...JennyKadis
lovebirds...JennyKadis
Jenny Kadis
After graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University with a First Class (Hons), Jenny has developed a quirky and unique style based upon her pencil drawings which she combines with bold acrylic paint markings and collage.

jenny robins - VALENTINES ART
Jenny Robins
This is a re-working of a collage piece I did a few years ago, that’s where the text is from. I have hand rendered the found text in this version, but evoke the cut and paste aesthetic by keeping it in irregular boxes. The imagery is inspired by classic romance movies like those ones with Fred Astaire, Katherine Hepburn, suits, dresses, dancing dancing dancing and oh so meaningful glances. I painted everything first and just suggested some tones before adding the outline at the end, I like to do this with watercolour and ink as it keeps a sense of fluidity and motion in the work and it doesn’t get too exact or cartoony. The serendipity which led to the original wording was perfect, and I like how it adds a second reading to the picture as the cynical aside both laughs at the romance of the image and to some extent grounds it, as these onomatopoeic breathy words remind us of the physicality of love – heart racing, palms sweating etc. and certainly of dancing too. 

Karina Jarv
Karina Jarv
I’ve always loved this film – How to Steal a Million. Since I was a child I always thought this is the best way to start a relationship. Hah, of course I do not think so now. But I think Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole were such a great and beautiful couple. The ARE such a great and beautiful couple even after almost 50 years later. And when I feel myself sad in some cold winter evening I adore to watch this film seating in my chair with a cup of my Earl Grey.

Lorna_Scobie_Park
Lorna Scobie
My illustration, entitled ‘I smelt you from across the park’ is about True Love. Although the scene centres around two dogs who have found romance in a busy park, it also shows love in other forms. A man reads his favourite newspaper, a group of friends share a picnic, and a dog chases deer despite the wishes of his owner (Fentooooonnn!). Rather than planning an image before I start, I paint as ideas come into my head, which I hope makes the illustration feel more alive. My inspiration for this drawing came from a walk in St James’s Park in London last weekend, where I noticed that everyone seemed to be having a really, really good time. I don’t think love is limited to the feeling felt between two people, and this is what I hope to show in this illustration.

Netina
Netina
When I started thinking of a Valentine’s day illustration I immediately decided to base it around a heart image. But I didn’t want this heart to be a conventional one. Then for no particular reason I remembered how I had noticed in the past that two question marks facing each other look very much like a heart.That was it! That would be my idea for the Valentine’s illustration. Everyone’s familiar with the feeling of wondering whether a person you love/like/fancy has some feelings for you too. Well a question mark can easily be a symbol of that feeling. The characters in the illustration aren’t human for two reasons. Mainly because animal characters are sometimes more fun and secondly as a small tribute to one my most favourite romantic movie scenes: the candlelight dinner from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. When it comes to the technical details now the illustration has been hand drawn with water colours and scanned. Hope you like the result.

Rosie Bowery
Rosie Bowery
This piece was inspired by a love of Eastern European Folk Art- it’s colours, patterns and forms. My process is rooted in the tactile, my love of drawing and painting.

SarahUnderwood_ameliasmag
Sarah Underwood
More recently my work is based upon a love of nature, and constant observational drawing, an environment in which I can explore narrative and new techniques in my artistic practices. I use both traditional drawing skills and a digital environment to create my final pieces. This piece was inspired by my early teenage obsession with the 1960′s, and the music, illustrations and clothes from that era. Particularly, The Beatles and The Yellow Submarine, my favourite film at the time

Suzanne Walker
Susie La Fou
My work is a combination of pencil drawing / water colour / and digital art.  
The inspiration behind my work, is how two hearts find each other and fall in love in a seemingly random way. With so many hearts around us – i think its amazing that somehow we manage to seek out the one thats right for us. 

Victoria Wright Valentines art
Victoria Wright
This quote is based on a line from Baz Lurhman’s film version of ‘The Great Gatsby’, spoken by Daisy to Jay Gatsby “I wish I’d done everything on earth with you”.  It was apparently a line taken from a letter that Zelda Fitzgerald had written to her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald (the books’ author). It’s so romantic but has an element of sadness in the context of the story so I altered it to the slightly more hopeful phrase “Lets do everything on earth together”.  I wanted to create a simple image to encapsulate the idea of the scope and expanse of love, and the idea of hope and adventure.
My work always begins in a sketchbook. In this case the typography is hand painted and digitally coloured and the imagery began as a cut paper collage, which I have manipulated and layered digitally with different textures. I love reading classic fiction, and I am inspired by bold simple shapes and patterns. happy colours and the fun and excitement in the world all around me.

More to come in Part 2 tomorrow!

Categories ,Chantelle Bell, ,East End Prints, ,Eugenia Tsimiklis, ,Faye West, ,For Walls, ,Hello Dodo, ,Jenny Kadis, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karina Jarv, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Netina, ,Pretty Woman, ,Rosie Bowery, ,Sarah Underwood, ,Susie La Fou, ,The Owl and the Pussycat, ,True Romance, ,twilight, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Valentines, ,Valentines Open Brief, ,Victoria Wright

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Amelia’s Magazine | X Factor 2011: An Illustrated Retrospective

XFactor_LittleMix_by_AlisonDay
Little Mix by Alison Day.

Every year X Factor is my guilty pleasure, something to look forward to as the weather draws in – a comforting combination of manufactured spats, OTT styling and dance routines and rubbish songs. And it may be over for 2011, but I couldn’t resist seeing what my trusty twitter followers could come up with by way of illustrations…. was Amelia Lily so popular to draw because of all that pink, and what to make of the fact that runner up cutie-pie Marcus is totally unrepresented? Who knows: it’s never quite obvious who will do well out of the X Factor: scroll on and enjoy!

Amelia Lily by Karina Jarv
Amelia Lily by Karina Jarv.

Misha B by Karolina Burdon
Misha B by Karolina Burdon.

Kitty Brucknell by Stephanie Brown (FAIIINT)
Kitty Brucknell by Stephanie Brown (FAIIINT)

X Factor's Johnny by Ashley Fauguel
X Factor’s Johnny by Ashley Fauguel.

Amelia Lily by sarahjaynedraws
Amelia Lily by sarahjaynedraws.

Pick n Little Mix by Rhea Babla
Pick n Little Mix by Rhea Babla.

Amelia Lily by Veronica Rowlands
Amelia Lily by Veronica Rowlands.

pic n mix by Chris Sav
pic n mix by Chris Sav.

Categories ,Alison Day, ,Amelia Lily, ,Ashley Fauguel, ,Chris Sav, ,FAIIINT, ,illustration, ,Johnny, ,Karina Jarv, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Little Mix, ,Marcus, ,music, ,Rhea Babla, ,Sarah Jayne Morris, ,SarahJayneDraws, ,Stephanie Brown, ,Veronica Rowlands, ,X Factor

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Amelia’s Magazine | Mother’s Art: Celebrating Women Everywhere for Mothering Sunday

The Virgin of Guadalupe 2- Lally MacBeth
A week ago I posted an open brief to produce artwork inspired by women for Mothering Sunday (celebrated in the UK this weekend). Here are the wonderful results: thanks so much to everyone who took part. If you fancy getting involved there will be another open brief posted soon. In the meantime… enjoy, and make sure you spoil your mum this Sunday.

The Virgin of Guadalupe 4- Lally MacBeth
The Virgin of Guadalupe by Lally MacBeth.
My work almost always uses self-portraiture, exploring the many facets of women and their experience through characters and clothing. This series of photographs was inspired by The Virgin of Guadalupe and her role in Mexican culture as a mother, saint and icon. I have long been fascinated by the representation of saints in paintings and sculpture, in particular their ‘caring eyes’ and the strength they seem to exude. In these images I wanted to expand on this interest by looking at the archetypical mother figure, exploring what it is that draws people to The Virgin of Guadalupe and why it is that she has been such an enduring icon. I drew inspiration from the religious cards available in cathedrals and the poses of devotional sculptures.

BreakingThrough-Jenny Kadis
Breaking Through by Jenny Kadis.
When I read that Mothering Sunday was once associated with breaking fast by eating pie I immediately thought of a line from the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” – “when the pie was broken, the birds began to sing” – which seemed to be a great metaphor for womens’ global endeavor to break through the glass ceiling.  I often illustrate birds and so they seemed the perfect way in which to represent women breaking free from constraints and striving upwards towards achievement.  

Mother's who Work for their Families- Cressida Knapp
Mothers who work for their families, by Cressida Knapp.
When I was growing up I had a stay at home dad, and a mum who went to work. She would leave the house at 7am and be home twelve hours later. So whenever Mother’s Day came around we would try and spoil her, turning the house into a ‘love shack’, full of freshly picked flowers and sweet treats. Millions of women across the globe are the breadwinners for their families, and these women are my inspiration. I use watercolour to make my images, and nearly always use the first drawings as they have a loose, idiosyncratic look. I then scan the images into my cranky old Mac, and play around with them like a collage. I work fairly quickly, usually at night and always accompanied by some fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller audio book playing in the background, and my dog Sparky sleeping at my feet.

ElephantTeaPartybyCarlyWatts
Elephant Tea Party by Carly Watts.
Elephants are known to be compassionate and familial creatures; they are also one of my favourite animals! When I first read the brief, I knew I wanted to create a scene involving a little elephant family and I chose to feature a mother and daughter enjoying a small tea party together out in the wilds. I love these gentle creatures and am always astounded by the bond they share within their family groups, I think they’re the perfect animal to represent Mother’s Day.

Yellow Cathedral_Kat Hassan_LR_Amelia'smagazine
Yellow Cathedral by Kat Hassan.
During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Later it became a day that children and servants could return to their mother church to see family and would pick wild flowers along the way. My piece is a collage of images I’ve developed from drawings of Bath cathedral and flowers. I was interested in seeing how the strong graphic lines combine with the pretty shapes.

Woman in flowers by Karina Järv
Woman in flowers by Karina Jarv
For me every woman is a flower…
No matter what clothes you wear (studded leather jackets or chiffon dress), or style of music you listen, or book you read before sleep, you are a flower! This spring me and my mother found very nice Crocuses in the flower shop, they inspired me to create this artwork. Of course I couldn’t forget Mimosa flowers – the best known flowers in the beginning of the spring in Russia.

Kirsty Greenwood's Sedna-small
Sedna by Kirsty Greenwood.
Sedna is an illustration inspired by the Inuit creation myth of Sedna, Mother of the Sea – responsible for the life sustaining bounty of the Arctic Ocean. The story is a disturbing one in which Sedna, after falling overboard, has her fingers beaten and chopped off (which turn into whales, walruses and seals) by her father as she tries to climb back on board while they are both fleeing from the evil raven she was married off to by her father for a dowry of fish, as he pursues them after she escaped his confinement with the help of her father, who is now terrified and willing to sacrifice his only daughter for his own safety. This story fascinates me, and I feel encompasses the nurturing gift and sacrifice of mothers worldwide.

Nadine Z.R., 'Audrey Hepburn, a Tribute'
Ms.Hepburn by Nadine ZR.
In my attempt to express the limitless beauty of Ms. Hepburn, I drew her form (and that of her pet fawn, Pip) with a line that is both simple and soft – each an inherent quality of this lady. Her pose is one of my favourites, inspired from a fishing scene in the film Funny Face, whereby I place Ms Hepburn under a hail of pirouetting tulip tree blossoms (one of which conveniently adorns her hat). A tulip tree and a tulip are actually two different species of plant, but each illustrates both Ms Hepburn’s wonderfully delicate recital of a poem in another film, Two for the Road (featuring a tulip tree), as well as her preferred flower, the Dutch tulip. Audrey Hepburn is, in my eyes, what too many people are not, and because of this she herself is a blossom who should remain eternally respected.

Wietske Claessen-mother-of-all- birds
Mother of all Birds by Wietske Claessen
We all come from a Mother, who feeds us, takes care of us,loves us with her mother-instinct which she got from Mother earth,  she takes care and nurtures us to let us become who we are, to let us grow , to make the circle go round and so we can also become a Mother in all kinds of ways for everybody around us.

Vaso Michailidou_Joan
Joan Baez by Vaso Michailidou
This is an illustration of Joan Baez, folk musician, social activist, pacifist and all around legend. Produced with pencil, felt-tip pens and painted on Photoshop. She is an inspiration. Someone who used their art in a powerful way, to say important things and motivate people to protest for change. A brave, beautiful lady. I loved working on this and now I think I will be doing a ‘female legend’ related piece for every March to come. There’s millions! But my mom’s next.

Being a Mother by Gilly Rochester
Being a Mother by Gilly Rochester.
Qing is on the right, my incredible daughter-in-law since December. She is with her mum and grandmother in her rural hometown Borzhou – a centre for plant-growing for Chinese medicine and her family’s business, hence the flowers. I based the illustration on 2 photos Qing sent, taken at Chinese New Year 2014, having no idea then (or when we visited China last April) that by August my son & Qing would be living in London (nor they). I accepted that they would be in China for the foreseeable future but was feeling decidedly quakey and bereft. I haven’t met Qing’s mum and granny, I hope I do one day, but they are very much in my thoughts especially now, as although Qing is now back in China for visa reasons, she will be returning to London in May; and they will be bereft. It’s such a difficult thing to do.

True affection_oda valle
True Affection by Oda Valle.
My name is Oda Valle and I am a Norwegian illustrator. I illustrate for magazines and various clients around the world which I love. Screen printing is my latest passion in life. I spend most of my time drawing, listening to indie rock music, drinking my coffee and I dream of going back to New York City. I always bring my ink pens and my music headphones with me wherever I go. Quirky beauty, eccentric people and nature landscapes inspires me. At the moment I´m drawing owls and guinea fowls. I love the shapes and colors of their feathers. I am greatful to my mother for giving me life. I got my creative skills from her.

Categories ,Carly Watts, ,Cressida Knapp, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Jenny Kadis, ,Joan Baez, ,Karina Jarv, ,Kat Hassan, ,Kirsty Greenwood, ,Lally MacBeth, ,Mother of all Birds, ,Mother of the Sea, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,Nadine ZR, ,Oda Valle, ,Sedna, ,Squid Stew, ,The Virgin of Guadalupe, ,Vaso Michailidou, ,Wietske Claessen

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Amelia’s Magazine | Film Review: The Place Beyond the Pines


The Place Beyond the Pines by Krister Selin

Hollywood heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star alongside Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta in new action thriller The Place Beyond the Pines.


Ryan Gosling by Michael Arnold

I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit out of my depth here: regular film reviews at Amelia’s Magazine tend to be fashion, art or music based, but I was invited along to see a preview of this flick after reviewing the glorious Diana Vreeland documentary, so I thought – oh, why not. What I didn’t bank on was the film’s dramatic plot and radical twists and now I’m a totally stuck. But I’ll give it a go anyway. I am desperate to shout ‘AND THEN THIS HAPPENS’ but I’ll do my best not to as this is one of those films where the surprises make it enjoyable.


Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by youdesignme

Gosling plays heartthrob Handsome Luke, not dissimilar to other characters he’s portrayed: he doesn’t say a great deal, instead spending the majority of the film perfecting his vacant stare and sideways smirk; the latter will no doubt have its own Hollywood star before Gosling does. The film opens with him smoking in a grotty dressing room and then we follow him into a carnival tent, where he’s performing a terrifying stunt on a motorbike that involves riding around a huge metal sphere with two other performers. Eva Mendes shows up shortly afterwards as Romina, looking ridiculously hot as always. It’s pretty clear from their short exchange and Gosling’s glad eye that they’ve copped off recently. Cut to a year later and, you guessed it, Romina is with Handsome Luke’s child. Oh, those pesky carnival hunks and their maverick approach to contraception. Why I oughta.


The Places Beyond the Pines by Gemma Cotterell

Unfortunately in Gosling’s absence, Mendes has shacked up with another hunk, but this time a more suitable, stable one. Gosling is determined to win her and his son back, though, and with the help of Ben Mendelsohn‘s character Jack, decides that the best way to do this is to start robbing banks. He enters various establishments in his motorcycle helmet, screaming expletives at workers and ordering them to stuff his rucksack with dollar bills. Each time the process becomes more sinister and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this isn’t going to end well.


Bradley Cooper by Karina Järv

Bradley Cooper, in stark contrast, plays , a mature and sensible cop with a wife and kid and who seems to have it all together until a run-in with Handsome Luke ends badly and Cooper is hospitalised. Returning to work, he uncovers major corruption at his local cop shop and makes it his mission to overturn it. Cue lots of shouting and fists slamming on tables. Gripping stuff.


Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by Natasha David

The film jumps fifteen years into the future from the 1990s to the present day and explores the relationship between father and son, documenting the effect that each of the main character’s lives has had on their children. The pace slows down a little in the absence of daredevil motorcycle riding, punch-ups and gun fights, but the story is worth following.


Eva Mendes by youdesignme

Ryan Gosling is hotter than I’ve ever seen him (and I’ve watched a lot of his movies – often alone) and Bradley Cooper gives it his all as the charming, troubled cop-cum-chief. Eva Mendes dominates whenever she’s on screen, and I have decided that I actually quite fancy her and am less jealous that this film brought Mendes and Gosling together and I think they will have beautiful children. It’s not a short film, though, and with the dramatic twists the film is split into different parts; you’ll leave the cinema thinking you’ve watched three movies. The ending is a tiny bit disappointing with Hollywood predictability, but by that point I don’t think I could have handled any more drama. Police corruption, murder, family ties and carnival contraception are all explored. It’s a dramatic thriller that even the most cynical of movie-goers will like, if only to enjoy the good looks of the three billed stars. I’ll certainly give it another watch.


Bradley Cooper by Michael Arnold

The Place Beyond the Pines is released in cinemas on April 12.

Categories ,Ben Mendelsohn, ,Bradley Cooper, ,Carnival, ,cinema, ,Eva Mendes, ,film, ,Focus Features, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Handsome Luke, ,illustration, ,Karina Jarv, ,Krister Selin, ,Matt Bramford, ,Michael Arnold, ,motorcycles, ,movie, ,Natasha David, ,Ray Liotta, ,review, ,Romina, ,Ryan Gosling, ,The Place Beyond the Pines, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ahoy there Amelia’s Magazine! What’s your fave Christmas song?

snowdragon-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

Back with post two on Christmas music. I hope post one was enlightening. Now let’s see what the chaps at Amelia’s Magazine love to listen to at Christmas time. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE xx

2000 miles by Karina Yarv

Illustration by Karina Jarv

Karina Jarv – Illustrator
Of course there are always a lot of favourite Christmas songs… It’s Christmas, information pills there is a fantastic mood in the air and you want to listen to something very old and familiar to you. The same thing is with me. ONE of my favourites is ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby. But to be honest my current favourite is the ‘2000 miles’ cover by 6 Day Riot. Everything is so perfect there for me: magical voice, amazing sound… Yes, the original song is great, but this sounds a little bit more personal. When I hear this song I want to put the kettle on, take a warm bath and good book with me and wait for someone…very special…’to come back’ to me someday.

Amelia Xmas

Amelia Gregory

Amelia Gregory – Our Magazine Leader
Do they know it’s Christmas? from 1984 – because it reminds me of being young. I love that all the famous pop stars of the era are featured in it, but it was still so craply done – no stylists on hand in those days. Of course it was cheesy even then but I was given a 7″ for my birthday which I still treasure.

YouTube Preview Image

And as I discovered watching the Frisky and Mannish show at the Lyric Theatre, it encompasses all the essential elements of a Christmas tune – obvious references to Christmas, innuendo, pathos, political context, bells and a sing-a-long chorus. An absolute classic.

Faye

Faye West

Faye West – Illustrator
So hard to choose, but it will have to be Mariah Carey‘s All I Want for Christmas (is that what it’s called?!), reminds me of being 14, in New Look shopping for a Christmas Disco outfit in 1998, the year we did a dance to Spice Girls for the Christmas assembly. I chose a gold glittery vest top with a blue velvet mini skirt as had Geri Halliwell in mind. The song makes so many of us excited. And then the fun of dancing to it in summery June in ‘Boombox’ a few years ago!

hippo-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

Lorraine Nam – Illustrator
I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas is my favourite Christmas song. It’s funny and silly and it has a great background story to it. The little girl ends up actually getting a hippopotamus and donates it to the local zoo. 

Martin from Principal Colour Amelia’s Book Publisher
Amelia has been working with Principal Colour since 2004. They have a close relationship, enabling her to do lots of new, experimental things when printing covers – like the pearlescent cover in the latest book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration available now here. Martin says his fave Christmas song is: Without doubt it has to be “merry xmas everybody” by slade, when I was young it was what Christmas was about and then when a bit older in the pubs was the sing along of choice (and apparently I used to look a bit like Noddy Holder – don’t know if that’s a compliment or not to be honest).

Matt Bramford Christmas Grump

Matt Bramford

Matt BramfordAmelia’s Magazine Fashion Editor
Mine is Jona Lewie’s Stop The Cavalry because it’s so silly and I get to do my infamous fawn dance.

slow club by karolina burdon

Illustration by Karolina Burdon

Hannah

Hannah Bullivant

Hannah Bullivant – Writer Contributor – craft extraordinaire
Ok my favourite christmas song is It’s Christmas and You’re Boring Me by Slow Club, because its beautiful…even though i feel the opposite about my mister, I just love it.

Rob photo

Robert Harris

Robert Harris – Writer Contributor
I love Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon. It’s got a lovely lilting, folky melody – it’s actually based on an old folk standard called Stewball. It’s a protest song about the Vietnam War, which makes it 100 times more meaningful than anything by Slade, and it’s one of the few credible Christmas songs. Well, until Yoko Ono starts singing…

Elvis-Christmas-Album-by-Mina-Bach

Illustration by Mina Bach

Mina Bach – Illustrator
The Elvis Christmas Album is an absolute MUST at Christmas for me!

jess_upperstreet

Jessica Furseth

Jessica Furseth – Writer Contributor
My favourite Christmas song is probably ‘Silent night’. It reminds me of what Christmas was like when I was a kid, when it was sort of magic. Where I grew up there weren’t really any Christmas-themed pop songs, so I don’t really like those as they don’t hold any significance for me. So yes, I like the old-fashioned songs.

Wham illustration by Avril Kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Avril Kelly – Illustrator
Wham! Last Christmas. It is the ultimate cheesefest of Christmas songs, I hear it every Christmas in the car on the way to visit family and friends. Everyone always sings along loudly and rather terribly, it has to be said. It’s fun and cheesy and just I love it.

Abby Wright

Abby Wright – Illustrator
Well this is a hard question, I love Christmas songs, especially those I can sing or dance to. In particular I love Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie, Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Band Aid’s Do They Know it’s Christmas. My favourite ever though would have to be Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. It makes me so happy, and it’s a song that i’m guaranteed to dance to and get a sore throat singing to! It’s fun, cheerful and just what Christmas should be. I hope one year soon we will have an actual Christmas song for Christmas number one again!

Jingle Bell Rock by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Chloe Cook – Illustrator
Jingle Bell Rock by Billy Idol. I’ve chosen this song because I absolutely L-O-V-E Billy Idol, and I also love Christmas, so it’s putting my two favourite things together. Also I just think that it’s quite a funny thing that such a massively known punk rocker has done a cutesy little Christmas song, and I think more people should listen to it!!

Daria Hlazatova – Illustrator
I know what you’ll say about my favourite Christmas song being “Jingle bells rock” by Bobby Helms – “cheeky!” Well, I first heard it as a child in “Home Alone: Lost in NYC” and loved it. Since then it became associated with this city until finally some years later I found myself in NYC at Christmas completely alone. I remember hearing this song when passing Macy’s and being hit by a wave of nostalgia. Cheeky dreams come true at Christmas, I thought! Hope your Christmas is a happy one!

Helen Martin

Me – Helen Matin

Helen Martin – Writer Contributor
Christmas TV by Slow Club is my favourite Christmas song. It makes me happy. Tender, honest, true and full of yearning. Gorgeous.

Categories ,6 Day Riot, ,Abby Wright, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Avril Kelly, ,band aid, ,Bobby Helms, ,books, ,Chloe Cook, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Editor, ,Elvis, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,Frisky and Mannish show at the Lyric Theatre, ,George Michael, ,Geri Halliwell, ,Hannah Bullivant, ,Helen Martin, ,Jessica Furseth, ,John Lennon, ,Jona Lewie, ,Karina Jarv, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Lorraine Nam, ,Macy’s, ,Mariah Carey, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mina Bach., ,New Look, ,new york, ,principal colour, ,publishing, ,Robert Harris, ,slade, ,Slow Club, ,Spice Girls, ,Wham!, ,Yoko Ono

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