Amelia’s Magazine | Say It With Knit!

Time and Place

Bridget Macdonal
New paintings and drawings from the artist’s new figurative and landscape work.

Art First, online abortion 1st Floor, 9 Cork St, W1S 3LL
Apr 28 – May 21, 2009

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Where Eagles Tremble

Vic Reeves
TV comedian Vic Reeve’s art work mixes the surreal and the mundane in an amusing way,
the exhibition features a new series of paintings that focus on aviation.

Mews of Mayfair
, 10-11 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, Mayfair W1S 1EY
2nd April – 29th April 2009
Weekdays 10am – 6pm

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Optimistic Immigrants

Performances and films from a group of London based immigrants as Part of the East End Film Festival 2009.

Vibe Live and V Gallery, The Vibe Bar, The Truman Brewery. 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Main event: Tuesday 28th April 7-11pm

Tickets £7. £5.50 concessions.

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Avoision

Dan Mort
This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Museum 52 gallery.

Museum 52, 52 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
20th March – 30th April 2009, Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6 pm or by appointment

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Still Life

Robin Conway
An exhibition of stunning underwater photography.

Red Gate Gallery
, 209a Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8RU
24th- 30th Apr 09, Monday – Saturday: 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Free

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Swedish Fashion: Exploring A New Identity

This exhibition showcases fashion and jewellery from a group of Swedish designers.

Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, Tower Bridge, SE1 3XF
6 February 2009 – 17 May 2009, from 11am – 6pm
How Much: £5 tickets, £3 Concessions

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Monday 27th

Don`t let a rainy and grey Monday discourage you from having a fun and joyful evening out. Go for curry and great indie/electro in Bricklane where Blitz And The Sheets, find Beta Rays, side effects Richard Peter Snapes and The Lie Awakes will be playing at 93 Feet East.
7:30pm. Free.

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Blitz and The Sheets

Tuesday 28th

Let the beat – and one more of ICA`s awesome musical nights – control you. This time is Micachu and The Shapes performing their delicious electro pop.
7:30pm. £8.50.

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Micachu and The Shapes

Wednesday 29th

Better and more creative than band names only venue names, right? This one is called Last Days of Decadence and is welcoming the very ladylike sound of My Toys Like Me.
8pm. £6.

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My Toys Like Me

Thursday 30th

That`s a night we were all waiting for! Straight from St Albans comes Friendly Fires, three lovely boys who came up with one of the most catchy and totally danceable things from last year. I just can`t stop listening to “Jump in The Pool”. Support comes from Boy Crisis and they will all be at the HMV Forum.
7pm. £12.50.

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Friendly Fires

Friday 1st

Start your long weekend at a fantastic venue that is Koko. Hosting Joe Gideon and The Shark + White Man Kamikaze in another Club NME night.
10:30pm. £7, £5 before 11pm, concs £4.

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Joe Gideon and The Shark

Saturday 2nd

Presenting their fourth album entitled “Kingdom of Rust”, Doves will be stepping up Brixton Academy`s stage on Saturday. Don`t pass out the opportunity to check this historical band out and their new stuff for this year.
7pm. £20.

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Doves

Sunday 3rd

Some easy and boyish vibes can`t never hurt so pray for a better weather to come and plan your Sunday to enjoy the Sheffield`s boys from Skeletons at Barfly.
7pm. £5.
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Skeletons

Here at Amelia’s we go barmy for all things yarn! As an avid knitter, pharmacy I am always trawling the abyss of the net seeking out the underground realms of knitting blogs for zany new projects to get my needles stuck into. As always the world of the web came up trumps with a whole myriad of bizarre knitting creations in every form, literally!

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I unearthered some utterly peculiar specimens ranging from the humble beer bottle, knitted paint brush scarves and for the particularly neurotic a knitted gas mask!

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So if your sitting at home idly tonight, scouting for something remotely stimulating on the box but are only confronted with re runs of Top Gear or Britain’s Got Talent while slowly self deprecating. I urge you to pick up your knitting needles from the darkest realms of that cupboard and indulge in a little light relief!

If your bored of your locks, why not try a chemical free make over with this knitted wig pattern!

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One size fits all!

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

8 inches wide at widest point when flat (unstretched)
11 inches long when flat

MATERIALS

[ MC] Red Heart Kids [100% acrylic; 5oz.]; color: Pink, shade 2734
1 pair US #8/5mm needles? 1 set of 5 US #8/5mm double-pointed needles OR? 2 US #8/5mm circular needles (any length)? 4 stitch markers, 2 each of 2 different colors? Tapestry needle

STITCH PATTERNS

[Knitty’s list of standard abbreviations can be found here]
2 X 2 rib?Row 1 [RS]: K3, [p2, k2] to last st, k1.?Row 2 [WS]: P3, [k2, p2] to last st, p1.

GAUGE

28 sts/22 rows = 4 inches in 2×2 rib (unstretched)

DIRECTIONS

Using straight needles or one set of circulars, cast on 96 sts.
Work in 2 x 2 rib until the piece is as long as the distance between the bottom of your chin, and your eyebrow (about 6.5″), ending with a WS row.
NOTE: The extra stitches along the edge of the work will balance the width of the first and last ribs. Later on, when the bangs are added, these stitches will become parts of purl ribs.
If more length in the main body of the wig is desired, work more rows at this point.?Next row [RS]: work as before, but slip the first and last stitch.
Bangs?With RS facing and using backward loop cast on, loosely CO 32 sts. The backward loop cast on allows for plenty of stretch.?Div sts onto DPNs or circulars and join to work in the round with the RS of the wig facing out, being careful not to twist stitches. The first stitch will be a p; follow rib pattern after that. ?Work in 2×2 rib for 10 rows.?NOTE: The extra stitches that were at the beginning and end of the work up to this point become parts of purl ribs where the bangs join – see diagram A below for example.

Our thriving knitting communities out there are spreading the knittivism ethos so get your needles out! Here is a pick of the crème de crème of the best knitting blogs to get your creative juices flowing. Subversive cross stitching is an online blog championing our quintessential past time of cross stitching, however this is not the kind to boast to your grandma about, her idealized perception of you may be impaired afterwards. Then there is Etsy who supply a whole backlog of kitsch patterns, check out this adorable toilet paper creation (I know that’s two concepts I never envisaged I would utlise in one sentence) Just make sure you put this fella far enough away from your actual paper! My favourite however has to be Stitch Witch, who supply a whole forum of zany ideas for projects from an Elvis Wig for those rock and roll moments, to a knitted womb, very eclectic!

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In addition to Etsy there is a whole backlog of smaller blogs that are also raising the flag in innovative textiles. So many infact it’s hard to have left all stones unturned. I throw this one out to you, the faithful reader for more investigative work! Over and out.

Categories ,Fashion, ,Knitting, ,London, ,Pattern

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Amelia’s Magazine | Taylor Made Menagerie

With many universities leaning heavily towards womenswear – in some cases wholly – Epsom pleased many with several of its strongest collections coming from menswear designers. One of the running themes throughout the Epsom show seemed to be an obsession with blood, advice buy the body and corporal violence (you’ve got to wonder what’s going on down there) with one dress revealing a Westwood-esque red, cialis 40mg jewelled wound-like gape on its back.

Not pandering to this was Antigone Pavlou, viagra buy who opened the show with loud, bold and funky collection for the streetsmart city boy, with bomber jackets, tracksuits and distressed denim (the latter a phrase that struck fear into my heart when I first read it in the notes, only to be pleasantly surprised). With coloured headphones carelessly slung around the models’ necks, the designer plainly had a clear lifestyle in mind and played to its strengths in all the right ways, combining strong block primary colours with clashing graphic prints.

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If some previous designers during GFW have shown a tendency to elevate and romanticise the pastoral, I think Pavlou successfully did the same for the city, offering an attractively laid-back vision of urban life where you pull on some comfortable but sharp threads, plug into your walkman and swagger down the street, content to shut the outside world away for a moment, a sentiment I’ve evidently been drawn to in featuring CTRL and Daniel Palillo in recent weeks. Another menswear designer of note was James E Tutton, whose reversible designs (addressing the issue of functionality in contemporary fashion) we’ll be featuring later in the week.

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Soozi Welland’s ‘Geeks Know Style’ penultimate menswear collection was best received by the audience, with an endearing ode to all things geeky: spectacles, anoraks, bobbled hats, bow ties, and socks tucked into trousers. The geek has oft been described as the personification of a roll of duct tape, with functional apparel that will always get you out of a sticky situation, and Welland’s designs seem to celebrate this idea, with an abundance of oversized pockets, accessorising her looks with binoculars and cameras.

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By the last look, though, this geek had got himself a makeover, and was now spec-free, with the bow tie sexily hanging loose and sporting a satin and velvet playboy jacket. An endearing and humorous collection that I thought was commercially viable too, and that’s no mean feat.

Amongst the womenswear Stephanie Moran gave us a hard-hitting collection about desire, fabulously quoting Mae West ‘s ‘Ten men waiting for me at the door?…send one of them home I’m tired’, and a vision of the glamorous dominatrix. One of the standout pieces was a cream PVC dress with a cinched feather corset around the waist, and for better or worse, one of the most popular trends during GFW was feathers. This was certainly one of the better examples:

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Considering Epsom had given us notes on each designer and their collection, I think it was admirable that Moran’s designs needed no explaining whatsoever, with her models bombing down the runway dressed in all manner of things naughty.

A particularly well-crafted collection was April Schmitz’s, who gave us a series of garments with some serious work put into unusual fabrics including hardware, folded leather and metal rings and eyelets. Entitled ‘Visions of the Future’ it gave a throwback to 1930s aviation with leather flight caps, a retro colour palette and the repetition of some swinging circles, with panels ejecting out of the garments providing strange contraption-esque silhouettes that you expected to take off at any moment.

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Feathers popped up again, this time from Lucie Vincini with a stunning jacket from an eclectic menswear collection. Mixing embroidered jumpers with carrier bag trousers, basket weave coats with a jacket constructed out of Royal Mail bags, it showed that it is possible to draw from resources across the board and still construct a cohesive collection. A thrifty delight, and with its recycling sensibilities, obviously an Amelia’s Magazine favourite!

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Photos: Catwalking.com

Radical Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969–2009

Barbican Art Gallery
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS
19 June – 18 October

Daily 11am-8pm except Tue & Wed 11am-6pm
Open until 10pm every Thursday

Tickets: £8/£6 concs, ailment £6 online

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A new season of ecologically focused exhibits, talks, events and screenings is taking place over the Summer at the Barbican. Kicking off the proceedings is this fascinating exhibition which deals with land art, environmental activism, experimental architecture, and inspiring ideas about utopian solutions to the urgent matter of climate change.
See the Barbican website for full details of all events over the next few months.

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Sarah Bridgland: In Place- New Collage Works

Man and Eve Gallery
131 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4JJ
19th June – 1st August

Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm

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Bridging the gap between sculpture and collage, Sarah Bridgland’s intricate paper creations combine her own made printed media with junk shop treasure to form nostalgic pieces of meticulous craftsmenship. Simultaneously dreamlike and miniature while remaining technically genius, Bridgland’s collection of new work will transport you to other colourful, playful worlds.

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Various Artists: Two Degrees 2009

Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London E1 6AB
16-21 June

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The opening night of Two Degrees, Artadmin’s week long programme of politically, socially and environmentally charged events, is this Tuesday. Getting it’s name from last month’s report that a hugely damaging global temperature rise of 2C could be a mere 40 years away, the 20 or so artists involved are putting the issue of climate change at the forefront of our concerns.
The opening night features among other things Daniel Gosling’s video installation ‘I Can Feel the Ice Melting’ and the forward thinking London based group Magnificent Revolution generating music for the evening with a live bicycle-powered DJ set.

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R-art assist BASH@The Sustainable Art Awards 2009

BASH STudios
65-71 Scrutton Street
London EC2A 4PJ
June 16th

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Open Sailing by Cesar Harada

“The Sustainable Art Awards are open to any UK artist working within on the themes of sustainability, environmental issues, climate change and ecology. R-art will provide the awards for the SAA, these mini eco sculptures are the oscars of eco art! Sustainable Art Awards are a 2 week showcase of eco talent @ BASH Studios.
The Sustainable Art Awards is part of Respond! who aim to engage arts audiences in discussing and questioning environmental change. Respond! highlights how the arts industries are in a unique position to communicate environmental issues. Featuring exhibitions, talks, programmes, workshops and other activities. Respond! is an initiative co-founded by the Arts and Ecology center at The Royal Society of The Arts and BASH Creations.”

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Swapshop

Camden Arts Centre
Arkwright Road
London NW3 6DG
20th June
12:00 – 5:30pm

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Current artist in residence Alexandre da Cunha is putting together a Swapshop, which is becoming an ever increasingly popular means for people to get together and shed some of their unwanted belongings in exchange for new. Anything goes at this particular exchange; buttons, furniture- even art. To book your own stall please contact Ben Roberts on 0207 472 5500.

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Out of Range

The Rag Factory
16-18 Heneage Street
London E1 5LJ

12th June 22nd June
12-6pm daily, Saturdays 10-6pm
Free

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Tigran Asatrjan

If the extensive material on show at Brick Lane’s Free Range isn’t enough to satisfy your graduate show cravings, hop along to The Rag Factory to catch Out of Range where work from 29 emerging UK and European photographic artists recently set free from the University for the Creative Arts at Rochester is on display. The work promises to be fresh, innovative, exciting and diverse.

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Dominic Allan: The Irresistible Lure of Fatty Gingo 

Transition Gallery
Unit 25a Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN

13th June – 5th July
Fri – Sun, 12-6 pm
Free

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With what might just be the best title of an exhibition I’ve ever heard, Allan’s work is self described as ‘a world of rotten teeth, bubble and squeak and uncommon sense.’ With an unhealthy interest in British seaside culture and the bizarre link-ins local holiday getaways have with sugar coated junk we feast on, Allan’s work is repelling, alluring, mysterious and addictive all at once.

Monday 15th June
The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo at the Southbank Centre, sales London.

Tonight’s gig is one not to be missed- The Jonas Brothers at Wembley, health only joking of course. If you like your music a little more deflowered and lots more awesome, then I excitedly announce that Yo La Tengo will be playing the Southbank Centre tonight as part of Ornette Coleman’s Meltdown Festival. Yo La Tengo have shaped what is almost the last 20 years with their beautiful music which moves between eerie girl boy woozy vocals and minimal keyboards, to rocking genre bashing highs. Also ‘I’m Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass’ is the best album title ever!

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Tuesday 16th June
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at Pure Groove, London.

I really love dinosaurs, so imagine my delight when I saw that a band called Totally Enormous Extinct Dinousaurs are playing Pure Groove on Tuesday evening. Being a music editor and planing gig going around loving extinct creatures is never the best idea so I checked their myspace and I can conclude my top 3 favourite things about this band, in descending order are:
3. They dress as dinosaurs a lot!
2. They have the longest list of alphabetised dinosaurs listed as their band members (Alphabetisation being my second favourite thing after fore-mentioned dinsosaurs)
1. Their keyboard tinged synthy-fun electro sounds so fun it makes me want to make up all kinds of dances called things like the ‘Triceratops Jive’ and the ‘Stegosaurus Shake’.
What’s your favourite dinosaur?

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Wednesday 17th June
Jolie Holland at Dingwalls, London.

When Tom Waits says he likes something you can pretty much tell it’s going to be good and Jolie Holland doesn’t disappoint. This Texan singer has had Waits’ outspoken support since the very beginning of her career, and her fresh take on traditional folk, country, blues and jazz place her as a definite protegée of Waits, as well as a talented musician in her own right.

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Thursday 18th June
A Hawk and a Hacksaw at Cecil Sharp House, London.

A Hawk and Hacksaw have skittered and clattered their way into my heart with their Klezmer- Indie hybrid loveable mess music. It sound like if Neutral Milk Hotel (indeed they share a drummer) got lost in the Baltic States for several decades in the early 20th century, armed only with a full brass band and a trusty band of wolves who were also in their own Mariachi band- and quite frankly how could that not sound amazing?

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Friday 19th June
Clinic at The Lexington, London.

I was lucky enough to see Clinic play last year and they are terrifying (they wear surgical masks) and brilliant in equal measure- like a melodic nightmare, lots of keyboards, creepy samples, garage-y clatters and wails are a-given, yet they manage to be as enjoyable as they are creepy.

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Saturday 20th June
Kitsuné Maison Party at La Scala, London.

We reviewed the Kitsune Maison 7 compilation a while back and liked it, they’re having a party at La Scala featuring Delphic (pictured below underwater), Chew Lips, We Have Band and Autokratz to name but a few. I can’t help but compare it to the Strictly Come Dancing tour that happens after the show ends; with everyone’s favourites appearing live, so maybe it’ll be like that but a very hip, French version.

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Continuing our festival preview adventure

I don’t like camping. Going to bed shivering and waking up sweating doesn’t appeal to me much, mind and claustrophobia in a two-man tent isn’t fun either. Don’t even mention the word ‘porta-loo’…But all this I will get over for Lounge on the Farm.

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For the past four years, sickness thousands of people have invaded Merton Farm in Canterbury, with a view to enjoying laid-back choons and getting down to some serious lounging. Despite it’s status as a ’boutique’ festival (one of The Time’s top twelve Boutique festivals, dontchaknow), there’s plenty to muck in with, down on the Farm.
Each of the six stages caters to a different taste, The Cow Shed hosting The Horrors, Edwyn Collins and The King Blues (as well as whoever you want, thanks to the You Say, They Play initiative – just mind the dung), Farm Folk, leaning towards a more acoustic experience and The Bandstand, rockin’ out the opera and punk rock karaoke.

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I’ll be spending most of the weekend with Gong, Canterbrerians of the ’60s who sing of teapot taxies, and the Wolf People, hairiest band I’ve ever seen who weren’t actually animals, down at the psychedelic Furthur Tent, and doubtlessly joining Mr. Scruff for an epic six hour afternoon tea mash-up at the Hoedown – blanket and thermos a!
requisite.
Lounge is foremost a local festival (for local people…) and it wouldn’t be, well, right, without Psychotic Reaction, Amber Room, Cocos Lovers, Syd Arthur, Electric River and Zoo For You, to name but a meagre few of the Kentish best performing this year.

It’s not all about the music though, in fact, in the Meadows area it’s not even about the music. New for 2009, the Meadows contains an outdoor theatre, petting zoo (pigs or partay?!) and The Red Tent if you feel in need of some spiritual healing after all the exhausting lounging about. Natural Pathways will be providing bushcraft courses, fulfilling all your wild wo/man fantasies and the Make do and Mend lane focuses on local craftsmen and their skills, with workshops running all weekend.

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Whatever tickles your pickle, solar powered cinema or life-drawing class – and music too – Lounge on the Farm is the perfect place to do exactly that.

Lounge on the Farm runs from the 10th to the 12th of July, at Merton Farm, Canterbury. Weekend tickets £85, day tickets, £35

Free Range at The Old Truman Brewery is Europe’s largest graduate art and design show with free admission. Graduates of everything from interior design to fine art who studied outside of London finally get a chance to showcase their talents in the countries capital.
I’ve been to a few Free Range shows this summer already, approved but last Thursday’s exhibition of photography graduates was the one I was most excited about.

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In this age art can really be anything, web Kant has been moved to the back seat and nobody thinks art has to be beautiful anymore. That said it’s almost impossible for photographers not to take images that look good. Just by being photographed the most mundane subject is rendered interesting and the most ugly object or person becomes so lovely that you just want to lick their glossy surface.

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The best of all the exhibitions on that week had to be Swansea, stuff Farnham and Maidstone. With so many photographers on show it seems pointless to make a reductive comment on whether entire graduate years were good or bad so I’ve decided to create a contact sheet if you will, of the people whose photographs looked that bit extra special.

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Jack Davis

I spent my first ten minutes in Free Range looking at Jack Davis’ landscape photographs. In them great colour and composition immediately makes the viewer forget that the scenes are completely empty.

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Lauren Eldekvist

In Lauren Eldekvist’s evocative series Landscapes, unmade beds are photographed and shown huge on the Truman Brewery’s walls. For the artist the bed “connotes the human condition; birth, life, sex, sleep, illness and death”. The pieces remind me very much of one of my favourite artists Felix Gonzalez Torres and his billboard photographs of an empty, but obviously slept in, bed.

Also intriguing were James Rugg’s photographs, which aim to capture small instances, chance meetings and gestures. In them the simple act of a girl twirling string around her fingers becomes something we should give our undivided attention to.

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James Rugg

Over at Maidstone University College of the Arts there were some strong conceptual works.
Lee Gavin presented an installation of Mapping a project that he undertook after the death of his Grandfather, he decided to cycle to Elvington in Kent, the birthplace of his Grandfather. Lee showed as his work the tent and bike he used for the trip and an interactive google map of the journey (available from his website and well worth a look.)

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Lee Gavin

As a lover of old box televisions and a distruster of 40” LCD monstrosities I almost cheered when I saw Jack Quick’s work. The artist is stepping into Nam June Paik rather large shoes with his television manipulation photographs and sculptures in which he attempts to challenge uses for, sadly, now defunct technologies.

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Jack Quick

Cassandra Vervoort questions the role of the photographer and the weight of their influence and command over the photographed. In these “social experiments” she asks subjects to have a five-minute sleep in her bed while she is naked underneath the covers.

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Cassandra Vervoort

There were other photographers creating situations for their unwitting volunteers to perform in. Gemma Bringloe was one, “Can you turn around, sit down, stand up and sit down” … “Can you take off as many clothes as possible”.

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Gemma Bringloe

And finally Laura Jenkins, who produced my favourite project of the entire show. The Tender Interval is brilliant in it’s simplicity. Actors were called forward in complete darkness and instructed to kiss. The photographs provide a record of the interval immediately before the kiss.

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Laura Jenkins

Free Range exhibitions continue until the middle of July. The Private view for the next group of photography shows is 6PM on Thursday. For a full list check out the Free Range website.

Words like ‘buzz’ and ‘hype’ sometimes transpire to be untrustworthy words bandied around by desperate press offices, ed but with the mid-afternoon Ravensbourne show the anticipation is undeniably huge. And rightly so – after rave reviews (two more alarm words) as well as producing the winner for the past two years, search we’re expecting an awful lot, ambulance and luckily we were not disappointed. In fact, far from it – it would be easy to ramble hyperbolically about how consistently brilliant the show was, or to point out how as a university it’s completely isolated in GFW by its galactically high standard, as elitist as that sounds, so I’ll try and keep focused.

If you’ve been following our reports (and you will have done if you know what’s good for you) you’ll have been aware of this years’ output of some truly outstanding menswear. Ravensbourne, of course, was no exception, with menswear designers Calum Harvey and Hannah Taylor opening and closing the show respectively (both of whom I’ll be interviewing in the coming days). Harvey had made a collection constructed from raw materials scavenged from car interiors, attesting to the strengths of the transformative powers of recycled fashion and making something beautiful – and indeed, wearable – out of something normally perceived as solely functional.

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A selection of huge knits (the oversized scarf on the opening look was a favourite) were followed by jackets layered with woven and shredded seatbelts worn over sheer shirts and gold pinstripe trousers. Making it no surprise that he later won the http://www.gfw.org.uk/event/winners.aspxTextile Award, Harvey had created a gorgeous paisley pattern on a shirt out of frayed gold zips, while seatbelts also served to layer and tier to help create voluminous silhouettes, in one case a high collar for a knitted jumper, whilst continuously coupling the industrial looking wool with plaid and tweed to neutralise the effect.

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The last look – an enormous tulle tiered cape in grey and black – seemed to typify a collection that was eminently wearable whilst staying on the right side of theatrical, and as for the patent leather bag with seatbelt fastener – yes please.

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Mehmet Ali’s menswear (which later won the Menswear Award) was a gorgeously sophisticated collection in a neutral palette of pink, cream and wine, layering summer jackets and waistcoats for the occasional Brideshead-lite feel. A series of simple and exquistively crafted designs that was lent a sweet personal touch by the use of Ali’s own suitcase with his initials emblazoned across.

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A strong showing for the womenswear came from Hannah Buswell ‘s collection of Missoni-esque knits, combining multi-patterned cardigans with knitted dresses for a beautiful and commercial winter collection.

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Laura Yiannakou was girly, quirky and unusual, working with digital prints and synthetic fabrics to create a colourful and seriously modern collection for the fashion forward woman.

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Yasmina Siddiqui also impressed with a series of Viktor & Rolf-style illustrated prints tied to ordinary silk dresses; surrealist prints that created unusual silhouettes, attempting to understand and rebrand perceptions of art and fashion:

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Hannah Taylor’s knitwear as the closer was easily the evening’s most enjoyable and surprising. Entitled ‘You’ll Grow Into It!’ it was a selection of oversized knits covered in animals ranging from tiny ducks to guinea pigs to foxes, paired with multicoloured balaclavas and enormous pom-pom headpieces (what did I tell you last month?)

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It successfully recreated the endearing sense of childlike fun in trying on something too big and it falling around your knees; combining loud designs with mustard-colour Rupert Bear pants, tweed trousers and enormous pom-pom collars. I especially loved the knitted balaclavas (creating an ironic sense of menace that could never be fully realised when you’ve got a massive guinea pig plastered across your body).

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Aside from this, irony is something that would elude such a collection that by nature was so ostensibly warm and affectionate, with a strong sense of sentiment that I think appealed to an awful lot of people (including Erin O’Connor who was whooping in the crowd). Hannah was later nominated for the Gold Award, and despite missing out was given a special mention by the judges, and currently has her collection on display in River Island.

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A truly fantastic show and a great way to finish Amelia’s Magazine’s stint at Graduate Fashion Week – look out for our interviews with a few of the graduates over the next couple of weeks!

Photos: Catwalking.com

Way back in 2006, view Neil Boorman lit a bonfire in Finsbury Square and burnt all of his branded possessions. Of course, there was a back story to this, rather than it simply being a case of a pyromaniac getting one over on the City of London council. Neil made this bold statement for two reasons. To protest the all pervasive consumer culture and to address his own issues and addictions to branded and labelled goods. In one fell swoop, £20,000 worth of designer products were incinerated. Since then, Neil has been living his life brand-free, and documenting the results on his blog, and in his book, Bonfire Of The Brands.

While this bonfire took place three years ago, the argument about consumer culture, and the willingness of the general public to spend money that they don’t have on something simply because it ‘looks cool’ is as pertinent now as it was then. Few people in 2006 could have predicted the economic and environmental mess that we are now in. By raising concerns over the irresponsible actions of large corporations who would use every trick in the bag to entice us to buy their products, Neil was already drawing attention to the cracks in the system. As often happens, a prophet is never appreciated in his time, and Neil’s actions were met with a flood of negative responses, many from people who argued that his posessions should have been donated to charity rather than burnt. Exploring the reasons behind the criticism, he suggested that “this reaction has less to do with charity than the overall value that we have come to place on branded things; nowadays, to willingly destroy an expensive bag amounts to the same moral and cultural neglect as burning a book.”

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Having seen that Neil was going to be speaking recently at the Arcola Theatre’s Green Sundays event in Dalston, I was interested to hear an update on how his brand-free life is working out, and what he made of the new, paired down version of consumerism that is being peddled to us. While brands are wising up to the facts that a) we don’t have much money to spend on non-essential items and b) we are savvier about how these products are being produced, many labels are going out of their way to champion phrases in their marketing, such as ‘fair trade‘, ‘ethically produced’, ‘locally sourced’ etc, but is this all a white wash? And if we continue buying from the big brands – no matter what placatory words they might throw at us – are we still missing the point?

When you came up with the idea for the book in 2006, consumerism was still king. Now in 2009, the Bonfire of The Brands manifesto has become all the more apparent in the current economic climate and environmental chaos. Do you feel a element of schadenfreude seeing that you were one of the first to voice your concerns?

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It does feel like the country’s mood towards shopping has changed in the last few years. Recently someone confessed to me that they used to nip out to buy a new pair of sunglasses whenever they felt down, but now that money was tight, they felt stupid about it all. I get a lot of people confessing their consumer sins to me. I’m not sure how I feel about that – I didn’t write the book to make people feel embarrassed. If anything, I wanted people to feel angry that consumer culture is rammed down our throats so often. I definitely would have sold more copies of the book had it come out this year. But what would I spend the money on? There’s only so many non-branded plimsolls a person can buy.

Are people more responsive to your message now then when your book was first published?

People think I’m slightly less bonkers than before, but they’ve not stuck my poster on the wall in Selfridges just yet. We all got sidetracked by the boom a few years back, and most sensible people have snapped out of it for the time being. It’s the legions of people still flooding into Primark that I can’t work out. So many people buy gear on the never-never that the recession is meaningless to them. People laughed at me when I suggested that we are a nation hooked on shopping, but you can see it for your own eyes on the high street every day. The world might be on meltdown, but there’s still time to buy a pair of deck shoes.

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Do you think that the big brands have responded appropriately to the economic crisis and new wave of consumer awareness about where their products are coming from?

Recessions strike at the heart of big brands. Not just at the till, but at the value of the brand. Luxury is based on the principle that more is more – the more you spend, the more luxury you get. As soon as you start to discount your stock, that myth goes out of the window.  And all those uber-luxe ads you see in Sunday Supplements look ridiculous next to reports of mass unemployment. Luxury is a house of cards like that. The best they can hope for is that the economy picks up, and consumers forget about all this ‘ethical nonsense’.

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Are there any brands that you would consider buying from again?

I’m slightly less militant now than I was after the bonfire. I’d be happy to buy something from a brand that has it’s house in order – a brand that looks after it’s staff and doesn’t needlessly pollute. But there’s no way I’d wear their logo on my chest ever again. Looking back, I was like a human billboard. Back in the 1920′s, companies used to pay people to pin company slogans on their clothes. Now we do it for free – in fact we pay for the privilege. How on earth did we get here?

Amelia’s Magazine are always keen to support ethical designers and products. Do you find that a non-brand generally equals something ethical? I would think that on the one hand you can spot the holes in a large brand, and it is easier to find out information about them, but if you were to pick up, say, a plain t-shirt from a charity shop, you would have no way of knowing if it had potentially come from a sweat shop. What are your thoughts on this? 

You’ve found the gaping hole in my argument – brands do help us to identify which product does what, and how it was made. But then there’s so much greenwash about right now its difficult to decide which brand is telling the truth. I mean, American Apparel boasts that it only uses American labour. But as far as I know, they still pay a rock bottom minimum wage and only Mexican immigrants on skid row that can afford to work in their factories. Those kooky young things in the ads – they don’t stitch liquid tights for a living.

The easiest way to cut through all these dilemmas is to concentrate on wants and needs. Every time I’m tempted to buy something new, I ask myself if I really need it. If the answer is no, then I put it back on the shelf and walk out the store a richer man. Life goes on. 

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Going back a few years ago, you founded the infamous Shoreditch Twat; having experienced many Londoners in perhaps their least appealing and most pretentious forms, do you ever doubt the sincerity of those who are now jumping on the anti consumerism bandwagon?  And if so, is this necessarily a bad thing if the outcome of non brand buying is still a positive one? 

I don’t know about people in Shoreditch, but I do slightly worry about all the Sloaney fashion journalists that have started banging on about frugal chic. Alarm bells have got to start ringing when people at The Sunday Times call something ‘chic’. They’re terrified of committing to anything meaningful in case it goes out of style. And then where would they be? Trust me, they’ll be back down to Hermes when the economy picks up. But what the hell, I reckon its better to dip in and out of anti-consumerism than not at all.

What is news with your blog now? Will this remain an ongoing issue for you, and will you continue to write about your experiences with anti-consumerism?

I’m writing less but campaigning more. I’ve got a few stunts that I’m going to pull later in the year, and a big push in the run up to the election. Right now, I feel like less talk and more action. When shopping isn’t a Saturday afternoon leisure option, you have to find other things to do.
How important is the relationship between an artist and her aunt? For Miriam Zadik Gold, approved whose latest exhibition ‘Who is Mary Jane’ opens at Prick Your Finger on June 18, online it’s a pretty damn important relationship.

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Photo by Kirsty Hall

In fact, visit this it’s fair to say that the work in the show wouldn’t exist without Miriam’s Aunt Sue, a car-boot sale connoisseur who runs a stall selling buttons, badges and old Ladybird books every Saturday at Broadway Market. It was Aunt Sue who found six old ceramic dolls heads in a charity shop and bought them for her niece whom she thought would like them. Miriam did like them, but couldn’t think what to do with them and put them high on a shelf in her studio for a few years.

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It wasn’t until she was crocheting a pair of Mary Jane shoes for her own daughter that Miriam began to wonder about Mary Jane – why were the shoes named after her? Who was she? And why did so many musicians name-check her in their songs?

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Things began to take shape. Miriam spent hours on the internet, noting down every Mary Jane-related song lyric she could find, from Nick Drake through to John Lennon to Mary J. Blige. Taking the lyrics as her inspiration she created a different Mary Jane persona for each of the dolls’ heads, and began to craft bodies, clothes and backgrounds for each one. When she came across things she couldn’t make, such as a tiny denim jacket, she turned to dolls’ clothes makers on etsy.com and commissioned miniature pieces for her band of tiny muses.

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Miriam hopes that by giving these dolls a little more of an identity, she will bestow more of an inner life to the somewhat submissive Mary Janes described in the songs: ‘There was something quite passive about the way the dolls were waiting on the shelf for me to give them a story, to give them a life. For each one, I quickly had a clear sense of a little story of my own that sat behind the lyrics.’

Click here for more information about Prick Your Finger and their upcoming events.
It was Daniel Almeroth’s “The Birth of Feminism” series that formed an entry into Dazed & Confused’s Free Range competition that first caught my eye and drew me in. These sparsely yet beautifully constructed collages are not only visually pleasing but make a bold statement about the feminist movement too. He explains the work as “moments of metaphorical and symbolical events before and after this dramatic political movement. The point of the series is to highlight the tight control Men had over Women throughout our past; through religion, symptoms marriage and general social attitudes.”

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Delving deeper into Almeroth’s work, I notice a similar thread of stunning aesthetics teamed with clever insights running through his artistic repertoire. The Injured Body, for example, “tries to highlight the factor of deformities due to accidents and incidents. It comments on the relationship of a figure of heroism and the true reception they may receive.”

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The sign of a good artist in my opinion is one who can create work with meaning or a message, yet leave it up to the audience to form their own perspectives, drawing on individual personal references and experiences. Nothing is less attractive then artists who dictate your reactions and responses. Almeroth concurs, saying “I want to leave these images open to interpretation, to challenge the observer to reach a personal conclusion of the images intent.”
It was a pleasure to get to know him a bit better and find out what makes him tick.

When did you first realise you were creative?

I first got into illustration when I was a little’n, I use to draw landscapes of cities being destroyed by dinosaurs, covering it in glitter and dry macaroni. I like to think I’ve changed since then!

Tell me about your school days.

I completed my A’levels at Shenfield High School (where Richard from Richard and Judy, and Des from Diggit went to school!). I then studied my foundation at Thurrock & Basildon College, Essex. Then got into the Arts Institute at Bournemouth studying the Ba Hons Animation Production course, changing to Ba Hons Illustration at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in my second year.

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Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?
Klaus Voorman is top notch, Tara Donovan is definitely my artist of the hour and the illustrator Meyoko is particularly phenomenal.

Who or what is Crabwolf and what is your involvement?

Recently I have joined a collective with four other illustrators/designers under the name of CRABWOLF. Crabwolf was born one night over dinner, beers, drawings, some roulette and a scorpion. All consisting of graduates from the illustration course at the Bournemouth Arts Institute. We commonly all collaborate on projects such as our recent Limehouse Magazine front covers, greeting cards, promotional posters/materials, possible exhibitions in London and Dublin are lined up, a zine or two in the pipeline and discussing ideas for t-shirt ranges and hand screen printed posters that are just so good for the environment. Today Bournemouth, tomorrow? …The world.

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Tell us something about Daniel Almeroth that we didn’t know already.

I’m an Essex boy, born and raised, at Eastgate shopping centre is where I spent most of my days.

If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

I’d go back to the Victorian times, making a couple of stop offs along the way. Firstly the 90′s and don an under cut then the 70′s to acquire a taste for free love, then become the most insanely popular/rich/famous man that ever lived in the Victorian era.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

Probably get started on making that time machine.

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?

Mulatu Astatke. Brilliant.

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I say Modern Art is Rubbish, you say…?

“MODERN ART = I COULD DO THAT + YEAH BUT YOU DIDNT” Craig Damrauer.

What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?

Probably a mixture of Arts, Entertainment, Geography, History, Sports, Nature, Food and Miscellaneous. They call me the quiz meister, a necessity for every team!

Who or what is your nemesis?

Tomato Ketchup & Moths.

What piece of modern technology can you not live without?

My desktop iMac. Her name is Selina.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Having a pint, a rollie and drawing in the garden.

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What has been keeping you busy of late?

I’ve recently received briefs for editorial work in a few magazines, promotional posters and flyers for events, I also had my work exhibited in a local exhibition named Ishihara (which is possibly branching out to London in the near future). Me and fellow illustrator Selina Kerley also have produced a three edition Fanzine named Chien Schuanz that promoted ourselves and other local artists, selling them on the internet and local events in Bournemouth. I have also produced a limited stock of screen printed t-shirts and jumpers that are selling like hot cakes that’s keeping me warm from the recession!

What advice would you give up and coming artists?

Shameless self promotion, self initiated projects, collaborating, spending all day on the internet and with a pencil in your hand.

Who would your top five dream dinner guests be? Who would do the washing up?

I think it would have to be in a Come Dine With Me layout with Frieda Kahlo, Jean Claude Van Damme, Ghandi, Sir Alan Sugar and Picasso. I’d make Ghandi and Sir Alan Sugar wrestle, the loser would do the washing up.

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What’s next for you then?

At the beginning of July some friends and I are exhibiting and manning a stool at the next D&AD space in Earl’s Court, so pop along for a chat and some freebies! I also plan to help create and brand a Fashion magazine which is currently starting to emerge on the drawing boards.

All hail Daniel Almeroth and The Crabwolf Collective. You heard it here first.
All good superheroes have an alter ego; Peter Parker/ Spiderman, doctor Clark Kent/ Superman, Bruce Wayne/ Batman, and now Randolph J. Shabot/ Deastro. As super-hero names go it’s a pretty good one, and his new album ‘Moondagger’ plays like a soundtrack to an epic sky scraper top battle between ultimate super-powered nemesis, whist retaining a bashful sweetness of a superhero’s geeky quotidian alter-ego.
What’s more Deastro is exactly the same age as me, which on a personal level makes him all the more awesome, whilst I get finger cramps from trying to play my ukulele, he has created an epic synth-driven outer space soundscape; of course it’s not a competition but if it was he’d win.

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How did you get into music?
My Uncle bought me a guitar when I was 5 and taught me to play ’3 Little Indians’, and I’ve been singing in choirs since about then too, and so I guess I’ve always been into it.

If you had to pick someone as a main influence who would it be?
It’s really a tie between Brian Wilson and Steve Reich.

Ok, good choices! Who would provide the soundtrack to your life?
I would have to say Starflyer 59, they’re like this Christian shoegaze band and they have these lyrics that are about really simple things. It’s great, I love it.

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If you weren’t making music right now what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d be a teacher.

What piece of modern technology could you not live without?
Probably my laptop, it’s what I make music on so it’d be hard to live without it.

Who or what is your nemesis?
(laughs) My guitar player is my nemesis.

Really? Is he a secret nemesis or is it quite an open thing?
It’s pretty open, We love each other but we fight all the time.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate ice-cream, you can’t put me in front of a thing of chocolate ice-cream, I’ll eat the whole thing!

If you were making a mixtape for me which 5 songs would you put on it?
‘Come on, Let’s Go’ by Broadcast

Ahh I love Broadcast!
‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys
‘I Drive A Lot’ by Starflyer 59
‘California Shake’ by Margo Guryan
‘Teenager’ by Department of Eagles
That would be a really fun mix.

If you had a time machine which era in the past or future would you travel to?
This is going to sound really lame, but I’d probably go back to the dinosaur era.

That’s not lame at all! Dinosaurs are ah-mazing…
Yeah, it would be really interesting to see another evolutionary path, just mind-blowing.

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What would be your quiz specialist subject?
Bible trivia, I went to school to be a pastor when I was 17, I’m not really a Chrisitan anymore but I was the 10th ranked Bible quizzer for a short minute there when I was a kid.

Wow! Do you have any good Bible trivia for me?
Who was the oldest man in the Bible?

Errm…God?
(laughs) God’s not technically a man…It’s Metheuselah who lived to 969 allegedly…

Which 5 people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Socrates, Michael Jackson, Jesus…ermm this sounds ridiculous Michael Jackson and Jesus!, Chris Martin just because I’d like to see him in a room with those people and Mahatma Gandhi.

…and who would do the washing up?
Chris Martin (laughs) no, I’d probably end up doing it myself actually.

Tell us a secret…
A lot of mine are really disgusting, I’m trying to think of one that’s kosher…both my front teeth are fake, I fell of my bike and chipped them as a kid.

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After a week of technicolored, malady although not always technical, capsule undergraduate shows, ailment rife with misdirected or altogether unmanned piloting of a laser cutter, and occasionally some superior sparks of creative genius, we come to the much anticipated collections of MA graduates from the Royal College of Art. A troop of fine tailoring, sophisticated textiles and stellar styling, this year’s cadets are ready for the fray. Recurring in various forms were the bow tie a la 1920′s, pom poms which echoed the catwalks overseas, silicone, galaxy prints and leather in more variations than you can shake a needle at.

WOMENSWEAR

johanne%20andersonX.jpgJohanne Kappel Anderson

Johanne Kappel Anderson’s magpie inspired collection was full voluminous fabrics and illustrative prints, solar dust blasted leathers and super oversized graphic pastels on black. Digitally printed leotards flashed patterns comprised of jewelry, spoons, bolts and found objects just the kind of shiny thing a magpie might take home to his nest. A few prints and shapes seemed to conjure up another winged creature…moths.
Some earthy prints with contrasty ‘eyes’ fluttered down the catwalk… there was even a cocoon jacket!

Heidi-WikarX.jpgHeidi Wikar

Heidi Wikar ‘s collection ‘Singing Silence’ was a series of diaphorous clouds said to be inspired by a Scandinavian landscape’s emptiness. Makes sense…if you were planning to experience it through a window, from the downy comfort of your bed. Puffy duvets appeared trapped in spiderwebs of muted greys, ochres, creams and white. All the shape and volume of modern silhouettes but without the overly structured and cresting shoulders prevalent in so many other collections this year. What resembled a bright orange parachute with clever gathers and seaming became a dress filled with pockets of air and completely weightless. Air itself acted as a material, giving shape and structure to the pieces. Apparently part of a design challenge the entire collection can be packed into one 20 kg rucksack. As if those rosey cheeked fraus needed anymore help looking amazing in the dead of winter.

siofraX.jpgSiofra Murphy

Up from the realm of textiles rose an innovative take on shibori by Siofra Murphy. What seems to have started as a super large muted floral print soon condensed into a rippled shell of body-con dresses with necklines that rose around from behind the shoulders like neck supports. Paired with stretchy basics the nuanced surface went from bold to muted but remained incredibly intriguing.

liamX.jpgLiam Evans

Liam Evans presented one the best examples of laser cutting in a year rife with its abuse. Transcending the weighty characteristics of leather, he exploited the laser cutter for the impossible precision it was made to do. With the aid of sturdy zips Evans jigsawed his garments into a collage of ultrafine leathers. Loose motorcycle jackets were studded with an organic arrangement of thorny spikes and paired with chiffon dresses a la 90′s.

rachaelX.jpgRachael Barrett

Inspired by photos in Corinne Day‘s Diary, Rachael Barrett’s collection was a modern assortment of soft feminine silhouettes constructed of a soft silicone rubber. Conservative hemlines and generous shaping gave the illusion of transparent shells revealing moments of black chiffon lace. Clever cutting allowed for ease of movement and portrayed the designers interest in the “trapped space between body and dress”.

MENSWEAR

AlexMattsonX.jpgAlex Mattson

Based on a post-apocolyptic Mexican hi-tech tribal gang in LA (that explains the Hollywood flash) that has reverted to Aztec/Mayan rituals and beliefs (still with me?) Alex Mattson’s collection is like a well tailored Malibu super hero’s wardrobe. Full of comic book colors and supple leathers the foam helmets and neckpieces were a cartoony take on the tooth-n-claw talismans of ancient Incans. Only a matter of time before they make their way onto the set of an ‘Empire of the Sun’ video, yes?

keith%20grayX.jpgKeith Gray

These delicately squiggly pinstriped suits made for one hot ice cream parlor attendant. Keith Gray presented a series of bright and fresh menswear in expertly tailored shirts and snug trousers with tromp l’oeil knits. Dropped crotches and retreating hems kept the whole look impossibly modern 20′s chic.

LouiseX.jpgLouise Loubatieres

The only textiles MA graduate to send a collection down the runway did not disappoint. Louise Loubatieres juggled an exotic mix of bold ikat prints and roomy knits. A rich palette and roomy shapes complete with a 20′s beachsuit. Wonder if Walter Van Beirendonck will be knocking on this one’s door.

luis%20lopez-smithX.jpg Luis Lopez-Smith

As this was a show it’s safe to say that Luis Lopez-Smith was the circus leader. Marching band jackets in various forms and a few green googly-eyed caterpillars adorned a few torsos with the piece de resistance being a puffy vest that looked as though it’d walked right off the set of Terry Gilliam ‘s ‘Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen’
A fantastic display of craftsmanship and impeccable tailoring lent it’s support to an impressively balanced offering of innovative textiles and experimental shapes. All the intelligent risk taking one can continue to expect from such a world class school.
Have you got a favorite of your own?
Browsing old PhD theses, this as you do of the odd grey Sunday evening, you might come across the quiet mindbend that is Stephen Stirling’s ‘Whole Systems Thinking as a Basis for Paradigm Change in Education: Explorations in the Context of Sustainability’. Gosh. Well, you made it past quiet armchair moments (not quite The Foundry of a Friday night) and the obligatory don-speak of Stephen’s title – and somehow you’re still reading, and maybe you’re starting to get the problem I see before us in this article : that, shrouded in the ivory mist of academia, someone has written clearly and thoughtfully about changing the way we think, but a first glance all too easily sees a glut of Greek and runs away. Instead, try putting your head into a mindset quite different:

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Illustrations by Rui Sousa

Everyone tells themselves stories about the world. I’m a student, a writer, a brother. Don’t worry, you’ll not have my life story – not tonight, anyway – but there is one, or several, smoothly edited to my audience’s appetite for imaginary journeys around the world, or encounters with mad professors. But before you pin me down as some grand raconteur, check yourself out, last time you introduced yourself or got chatting to someone new.

Here’s the story-about-the-world jam. We look at the world, then we have a think about it, then we decide what to do.

Mostly, we look at the world bit by bit. Everything has a reason, and we try to find *the* reason. When something needs to be done, the straight way is best. Results delivered, satisfaction guaranteed. Kiss frog, find prince, all shiny.

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Thing is, this doesn’t quite do our complex world justice, and imagining the world inadequately means we’ll make wrong decisions. Instead, Stephen suggests we look at everything all together, relations and systems rather than objects and actions. Be much more sensitive to all of the causes and consequences – the stone scudded across a river sends ripples in all directions, cheers me up a moment, and sinks, tickling a snoozing whiskered fish. Turns up a hundred years later, tumbled bumped and rounded to perfection, and stubs a distant relative’s toe on Brighton beach.

This systems approach was pioneered in, amongst other works, Limits to Growth by Dana Meadows, Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers – an awesome book, classic of eco-lit, stuffed with graphs from the future that go shwoop-kerbang as people and pollution go up, food and farmland go down, and all the balance of the world’s systems are shown together. There’s a new edition out, a thirty-years-on update, which I haven’t read yet, but is high up on my list, just after ‘The Italian’s Defiant Mistress’.

Stephen Stirling is concerned with getting this kind of joined-up thinking a matter of course, throughout design education, but also throughout education in the more general, lifelong way. There’s a way to go, I can tell you from a wee bit of personal experience. Sat in the back of a GCSE Electronic Products class six or seven years ago, the three marks of my coursework dedicated to sustainability caught my attention for a long three minutes as I knocked off a paragraph to tack on to my project, jumping another hoop. This is about as far as sustainability in design education goes for now.

First off, says Stephen, is changing things we do without changing how we think. So, less waste makes more sense because I’ll save money, whether I care about where it goes or not. Similarly, not growing one single kind of crop year in year out won’t wear out the soil, and helps against pests and disease – good business plan.

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Next level is the change in the way of thinking that goes along with this. Understanding our relation with the world not in the straight ‘man conquer forest’ way but ‘man use a bit of forest but is careful before his greed comes back and kicks him in the teeth’. Stephen Stirling calls it the ‘postmodern ecological worldview’ and suggests it as the best way forward from mechanical modernism and text- and sign- obsessed postmodernism. The 2012 imperative Teach-in, which Amelia’s magazine blogged about back in January, puts sustainability right at the centre of design education in this way.

Finally there’s the kind of wondering that Stephen’s thesis looks to – thinking about thinking about thinking, if you’re that way inclined. Wondering about how we tell stories about the world, and how our ways of telling might change, how they might need to change if we are to learn to live many many moons longer under these skies.

‘Whole Systems Thinking’ and ecological literacy are no longer just things to know about. They should certainly not be mere buzzwords tacked on a Corporate Social Responsibility statement or curriculum check-box and forgotten about. They need to start informing our every action. Eventually, they’ll be as mundane as sitting in a quiet armchair of a grey Sunday evening, flicking through a history of the early twenty-first century green-shift. Here’s to that.

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For anybody out there who ever got given a jumper that was too big for them by doting aunt or grandparent – Hannah Taylor, order the Ravensbourne graduate whose praises I was singing on Tuesday, there is right there with you. Her collection is a paene to the nostalgia attached to the big old jumper, when things were less complicated, when the hemline fell below your knees and when somebody had to tie your shoelaces for you (velcro was always easier, no?). Sometimes, though, you wouldn’t be caught dead in said jumper. Spare a thought for the Weasley children. Mrs Weasley WISHES she could knit this good.

Tell me about making your collection.

Well, most of them I knitted using my domestic knitting machine, and the two with the ‘balaclava faces’ on them, including the balaclavas themselves are hand knitted. Everything is either oversized somehow or has shrunken sleeves, the collection is called “You’ll Grow Into It!”

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Why animals?

As in traditional knitwear which features ‘motifs’ of animals or objects, each animal is a motif to represent ‘Victor’ (my dad) and the North, and kind of tells its own little story. For example, there’s a pigeon because stereotypically everybody up North keeps pigeons in a shed next door to their outside toilet.. The 3 flying ducks are after Hilda Ogden’s living room wall in Coronation Street, and also at home where Victor lives, we had 3 pet ducks. The Fox is a symbol of English Heritage and the sad fact that Victor only now has two ducks because at Christmas one was eaten by, yep, a fox, and the guinea pig is there because i used to keep them when I was younger, and Victor would tell me off for never cleaning them out as much as I should have done. Oops.

What’s your favourite piece?

I love each one you know, they’ve all got their own little stories to tell! However I think it has to be Nigel the Guinea Pig jumper as he is the first one I knitted in the collection.

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It was probably one of the best received in the whole of Graduate Fashion Week – why do you think it appealed to people so much?

Aw thank you! I am really glad people enjoyed it, people were probably a bit surprised by it to be honest, and weren’t expecting that to come out on the catwalk! I had fun with my collection, in both the designing and the making, and hope the light-hearted element was was portrayed as I think everyone has an affinity with knitting in some way, shape or form, be it jumpers knitted for them by relatives or someone else they know. I think in the past few decades knitting has become percieved as ‘humorous’ too, so that tends to make people laugh whereas in the past knitters (and knitting) were taken much more seriously.

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What was it that drew you to knitwear initially?

I just love knitting! I was shown when I was younger by my mum but I was AWFUL – I lost my patience with it but picked it up again when I got a bit older and taught myself. Before I started at Ravensbourne I used to run knitting groups in my hometown of Warrington! I think there’s alot of potential in men’s knitwear, I like to think of a boy and ‘dress’ him in a certain way or feeling. I am looking forward to continuing with it.

There seemed to be a massive amount of knitwear at GFW – have you noticed an increase too and why do you think it’s becoming more popular?

Knitting is becoming more popular, especially the social aspect of it and I wonder if it’s going to die down again at some point. If more people are learning the techniques and processes then they will use this for constructing a garment. I also wonder if it is because people are wanting something hand-made or hand-finished, one offs.

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Apparently Giles Deacon was trying on your stuff afterwards – what did you make of that?

Surprising to say the least! It was quite a fast paced few days going from a bit of last-minute linking an hour before it was due to start(!) to then being put forward for the Gala Shows – I wonder if Giles is reading this? I’m taking orders soon if you want one!

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In the aftermath, would you have alterered anything at all?

No I don’t think so – if it’s not broken don’t fix it.

Where next from here? Where could you see yourself working?

I like Walter Van Beirendonck‘s work, I think he’d be great to work for, although there’s a couple of people i’d knit for as it’s the knitting I enjoy the most. I wouldn’t mind my own studio actually, and be able to do all the knitting there. I’ll be starting at the Royal College of Art in September to do my MA in Men’s Knitwear, a 2 year course in which I’m really looking forward to and eventually knitting up another collection!

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To keep up with Hannah, make sure to keep checking both her website and her blog.

Categories ,Animals, ,English Heritage, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Knitting, ,Ravensbourne

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Craig Lawrence

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Meagan Morrison

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Meagan Morrison

I’m quite partial to a knitted design – one of my favourite designers is Mark Fast, order whose spun creations I yearn for, and I loved the A/W 2010 work of graduate student Phoebe Thirlwall. I’m also very fond of Craig Lawrence, whose work I have followed and celebrated, and so I was eagerly anticipating his intimate salon show at The Portico Rooms at Somerset House, the perfect surrounding for the debut of his S/S 2012 collection. An excitement it appeared that was shared by everyone else attending London Fashion Week… The queue for the presentation wound round the marble staircase of Somerset House, and snaked along the grand hall – a bit of a change from what Matt Bramford had seen the previous year.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 – All photography courtesy of Ella Dror PR

Craig Lawrence is a London Fashion Week must-see. For six seasons, before he graduated from Central Saint Martins and set up his own label, Craig produced knitwear for the outlandish designer Gareth Pugh. He showed his debut collection for A/W 2009, which won him The British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN sponsorship. The Council’s faith and support continues, as this season sees Craig celebrating his sixth season under the sponsorship. As I was finally ushered into the room and asked to find myself a square inch of space, I spotted blogger Susie Bubble on the front row. I realised what a hot ticket this show was, and thought that maybe next year’s space should be rethought, regardless of the atmospheric surroundings. By the time the doors were closed, every seat in the room had been taken, but in this close setting, I couldn’t have asked for a better view of the clothes.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 - All photography courtesy of Ella Dror PR

Craig’s primary inspiration for the collection was the seaside photo sets of British documentary photographer Martin Parr. Parr is known for projects that explore modern life in England, and for his sense of humour that runs through his photos. He claims that the seaside is one of the most fascinating places for people watching, where we lose our inhibitions and where true personalities are unveiled. As the first looks of Craig’s collection were presented, the influence of the British seaside towns was clear, but rather from the depths of the sea, instead of the beach and its holiday makers. The models were enchanting sea creatures. Adorned in the metallic threads of a fisherman’s net or wrapped seaweed, in the colours of the ocean and washed up treasures and sun baked sand, with headpieces like sea coral reefs. Craig presented a rich and textured collection of knitwear in a palette of pastel and muted hues, run with metallic details.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012

Last season’s moody palette of dark metallic blues, purples and black was replaced with a lighter, gentler combination of creams, pale mint greens and pinks. As the models swayed down the short catwalk they glistened with every step. Craig Lawrence collaborated with Swarovski Elements for this collection which gave a sparkle of luxury to his intricately knitted designs. Swarovski Pale Crystal yarns and fibres had been woven into individual pieces, which caught the bright lights of The Portico Rooms as the models revolved to face each wall of the room. The Swarovski crystals were also sewn in to other designs as pure embellishment.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Megan Thomas

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Megan Thomas

It was apparently the idea of the Essex phenomenon ‘vajazzling’ that inspired Lawrence’s use of Swarovski crystal fibres for this season, but with this influence aside, it was a sophisticated and refined concept that pushed the collection to another level. Craig’s material of choice, unique Kyototex metallic yarns, keeping to the sea-theme in cream and shell colours, were woven into the designs, adding to the luxuriance and feminine appeal of each look.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 - All photography courtesy of Ella Dror PR

Layering was an important detail across the whole collection. The dresses and skirts were flowing, with knitted bralets, metallic leggings and tights worn underneath. There was also a mix of body-con wrap pieces, worn over designs such as a flowing lace-hole knitted maxi skirt, or tank top dress, and super wearable raglan-sleeved tops with elasticated vests which would add a perfect metallic shimmer for day or night. The Swarovski crystal embellishments added texture, and luxuriance. The draped designs left the body effortlessly, as the narrator explained how the pieces were knitted without elastic to create a looser, relaxed fit.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 - All photography courtesy of Ella Dror PR

One of the best things about a salon show is the chance to gain a greater understanding of the make up of the collection. For each of the 18 looks, a very well spoken narrator took the audience through the individual components, and explained the techniques undertaken. This replaced the usual upbeat modern song, and was a welcome point of difference. Through this, the salon show to me felt like a proper couture show, harking back to old fashion houses and buying appointments. There was a real sense of charm and nostalgia to this which I know is also an influence that Craig cites from his childhood in the countryside town of Ipswich.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012

It was great – the audience was able to learn so much from the commentary. The narrator gave away details of craftsmanship that made you study Craig’s work as it came out one by one. We learnt that many of the pieces were created from a single thread to maintain the weightlessness. Indeed some of the designs looked like finely spun gold fisherman’s nets, and the models were beautiful sea creatures that had been caught in the webbing. The narration really helped to emphasise the level of work that had gone into creating this collection.

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

This was not the only aspect of the salon show that ensured it achieved a polished finish – the show was also styled by Dazed and Confused’s fashion editor Kate Shillingford, who has been a strong support of Craig’s career from the start, and oversees the creative direction of the label. Her expertise was really evident – no hanging yarn was out of place, the handmade shoes from Natacha Marro shoes fitted with the otherworldly air, and the delicate woven headpieces made by Steven Doherty were a superior finish acting as sparkling coral reefs, encased around the models heads.

I was mesmerized by Craig Lawrence’s embellished and shimmering sea-bed inspired offering. The pastel tones, metallic yarns and crystal details were subtle, serene and luxuriant. It was a fantastic collection that fully demonstrated his ability for producing knitwear that is challenging yet wearable, and significantly as a young designer, constantly pushing forward.

Categories ,british fashion council, ,Craig Lawrence, ,Crystals, ,Ella Dror PR, ,fashion, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Katie Shillingford, ,knitting, ,knitwear, ,lfw, ,Mark Fast, ,Martin Parr, ,Matt Bramford, ,Meagan Morrison, ,Megan Thomas, ,Metallic, ,Miranda Williams, ,Newgen, ,Phoebe Thirlwall, ,Presentation, ,S/S 2012, ,Salon Show, ,Somerset House, ,Swarovski, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | LU FLUX – Sowing old fabrics into something new.

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“The clothes act as an antithesis to the way of the disposable modern world, store making something new out of something old, website reducing waste and consuming less” Lu Flux

Ethical fashion is definitely a buzz word at the moment. Branching out from the confinements and stereotypes of hemp clothing and hippie cast offs, store designers are reinventing ethical fashion with distinct creative flair and a dash of compassion. I would like to introduce the fashion industry’s latest compassionate creative mind, Lu Flux.

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With a passion for refashioning and reusing materials, Lu Flux works with organic, vintage and salvaged fabrics to create sartorially sound garments bursting at the seems with originality and natural elements. Off the wall clothes and hand crafted collections with quirky accents make Lu Flux the polar opposite of throw-away fashion. The ethical fashion designer showcases a distinct passion for textiles, and says “I’ve always been excited by textiles. That’s why I got into fashion.”

Vintage has received a massive resurgence recently, with fashionistas’ trolling charity stores and vintage treasure troves for pre-loved garments to rework and give a modern twist. Lu is no exception to the trend. Seeking out fabrics which have relished a former life, She scours charity shops for new finds to inspire and in some cases, create her collection.

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“It all started when I was volunteering at Shelter. I used to sort through all the donated clothes. Now when I’m looking in charity shops I take the clothes that have either bobbled, ripped or simply aren’t selling. London is increasingly expensive and difficult to get high quality fabrics. Whenever I visit the Isle of Wight to visit my parents, I raid the island!”

Whilst studying fashion at the Edinburgh College of Art, she discovered her love of the “antiqued way pre-loved fabric looks. You can’t replicate it. I love the look of the cotton that’s been washed and worn.” But soon, her whimsical designs ventured out from the confinements of the college studio and onto the Fashion Scout catwalk. Proving to be the turning point in her career, Lu was selected against fierce competition to showcase her designs as part of the “Ones to Watch” show.

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Boasting exceptional quality, Lu Flux fashion has an underlying tone of British eccentricity with a touch of child-like nostalgia. After viewing her garments, you can see a definite love of different techniques and interesting detailing. Lu Flux salvages yarns to weave, knit and patchwork to form her ethical yet fashionable creations. “I love mixing in the traditional techniques that are getting forgotten. I love the textures you can create through different mediums. I don’t want to use just one technique. I want to design for men and women, knit and up cycle.”

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Full to the brim with sartorial panache and an extraordinary mishmash of cherry picked vintage fabrics, she provides the perfect harmony between fashion and ethical motives. Lu Flux is changing the general perspective of ethical fashion, one salvaged fabric at a time.

Photography by Markn for more details see the Lu Flux Website

Categories ,charity shopping, ,Fashion Scout, ,knitting, ,Lu Flux, ,oxfam, ,shelter, ,textiles, ,Throw Away Fashion, ,unique, ,Upcycling, ,vintage, ,weaving

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Amelia’s Magazine | Marie-Louise Vogt: The New Era Knitter

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Maire-Louise Vogt a designer from Hamburg, sickness has created an up-to-date take on knitting for her Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Her focus on traditional creative methods, pills does not allow – even an inch of – the colloquial, prescription elaborate take on fashion to disappear, complicated and intense designs remain the focal point.

Vogt recently showed at Berlin Fashion Week, whilst also featuring on a number of blogs, including the notorious Style Bubble.

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Her collection incorporates ideas Amelia’s Magazine is renowned for promoting; the use of ethically sound, natural materials, attempting to avoid worldly damage whilst focusing on originality. By using organic-style processes and unconventional textiles, Marie-Louise products hold a handmade appearance and in the main avoid the environmentally destructive idea of mass production.

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The look is quite an unusual one, but Marie-Louise creates something that’s wearable, and quirky in comparison to high street creations.

The Spring/Summer 2010 collection is titled, ‘Hey Gorgeous,’ and encompasses a look that is both boho and modern. There are lots of bright and bold colours, suggesting a playful edge to the pieces. This fits well with the idea of the flower child, which is evident in Vogt’s floral based dresses and accessories.

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A focus on cut-out’s is apparent, while aspects of the lingerie look are present in the dresses see-through sections. Spaces between fabric petals appear in a variety of Vogt’s designs, presenting potential issues regarding wearability – not everyone is comfortable to bare all. However, team these intricate creations with leggings or a light under slip and your problem is solved whilst keeping a splash of sartorial independence.

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Vogt has created beautiful creations that play against the stereotypical look associated with knitting. She has brought a contemporary, stylish flair to her collection, through the use of complex shapes, fresh colours and strong unique designs. Her passion for nature is a clear inspiration in all aspects of her design process, from the techniques she creates her designs from – such as knitting, weaving and crochet – to the ornaments that adorn them and the earthly style shapes Vogt uses.

Belts, cardigans and other accessories bring outfits together and Vogt has designed her own jewellery line. These spectacular, and rather large creations, could be worn instead of her dresses, with a t-shirt and jeans if you want a Marie-Louise piece, but don’t quite suit her unstructured designs. The jewellery replicates her crochet effect and comes in a variety of colours from nude subtleties  to vivid and audacious.

Black, sheer dresses fit snugly, but keep with her typical style through the knitted spiral shapes that embellish the fronts of these designs.

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In comparison with previous collections she has definitely put her focus into a crochet, cut-out style. Although wearing it as the lookbook portrays may be difficult, it is easy enough to develop our own look based on just one of these elaborate pieces, and that is what fashion is all about – an individual approach. Something that Marie-Louise Vogt, with her knitted, handmade and organic style outfits, does so well.

Categories ,Berlin Fashion Week, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Hamburg, ,jewellery, ,knitting, ,Marie Louise Vogt, ,SS10, ,stylebubble

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pom-pom circumstance

When you think of the humble pom-pom you think of children’s clothes, order buy of gigantic sombreros for tourists, generic unsightly snow boots and poodles with dodgy haircuts. Experimenting with pom-poms always seemed to be a bit like tequila shots – one was fun, two was adventurous, any more was way overboard and enough to make you gag.
NOT ANY MORE! Somebody somewhere decided it was time to wrench those pom-poms from the cheerleader’s sweaty grasp and boom! Stick them in the right places and we’re in love – and it turns out you can have hundreds of them!

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They might have come to our attention bobbling out all over the catwalks in fashion week and with the high street following suit, but this is a look that could be even cheaper for the creative recessionistas amongst you. Make your own! Check it.
If you ever find yourself sat staring into space on the tube, you could be churning out a whole lot of pom-poms instead. Worn the right way I think it’s a really easy and fun accessory to jazz up an outfit– this cute Peter Jensen ring as a prime example:

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We’ve seen some girls wearing them in their hair, which make a nice woolly alternative to bows, and of course the contentious scrunchie.

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BIGGER:

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BIGGEST:

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THE KITCHEN SINK:

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Don’t be wearing those in the cinema mind you.

It’s amazing that something so simple has been culturally reinterpreted so often over the course of history. That might sound grand but something that’s gone from dangling off the edges of sun hats in Central America, to being mass marketed to children all over the world to making on the Paris catwalks is pretty unique. Yikes, Pom Pom international even reckons they can promote world peace. Maybe that’s one tequila too many. Sporting them could almost seem a throwback to childhood, a fashion revival harking back to the days of hats and mittens (I’d like to say ‘and snow and toboggans’ but let’s face it, it doesn’t snow THAT often).
The last thing we can learn about pom-poms is from cheerleaders everywhere, who if nothing else, seem mind-bogglingly happy. Why? POM-POMS!

Categories ,accessories, ,catwalk, ,knitting, ,pom-poms, ,trend

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pom-pom circumstance

When you think of the humble pom-pom you think of children’s clothes, order buy of gigantic sombreros for tourists, generic unsightly snow boots and poodles with dodgy haircuts. Experimenting with pom-poms always seemed to be a bit like tequila shots – one was fun, two was adventurous, any more was way overboard and enough to make you gag.
NOT ANY MORE! Somebody somewhere decided it was time to wrench those pom-poms from the cheerleader’s sweaty grasp and boom! Stick them in the right places and we’re in love – and it turns out you can have hundreds of them!

pompom14.jpg

pompom16.jpg

They might have come to our attention bobbling out all over the catwalks in fashion week and with the high street following suit, but this is a look that could be even cheaper for the creative recessionistas amongst you. Make your own! Check it.
If you ever find yourself sat staring into space on the tube, you could be churning out a whole lot of pom-poms instead. Worn the right way I think it’s a really easy and fun accessory to jazz up an outfit– this cute Peter Jensen ring as a prime example:

pompom12.jpg

We’ve seen some girls wearing them in their hair, which make a nice woolly alternative to bows, and of course the contentious scrunchie.

pompom15.jpg

BIGGER:

pompom13.jpg

BIGGEST:

pompom10.jpg

THE KITCHEN SINK:

pompom11.jpg

Don’t be wearing those in the cinema mind you.

It’s amazing that something so simple has been culturally reinterpreted so often over the course of history. That might sound grand but something that’s gone from dangling off the edges of sun hats in Central America, to being mass marketed to children all over the world to making on the Paris catwalks is pretty unique. Yikes, Pom Pom international even reckons they can promote world peace. Maybe that’s one tequila too many. Sporting them could almost seem a throwback to childhood, a fashion revival harking back to the days of hats and mittens (I’d like to say ‘and snow and toboggans’ but let’s face it, it doesn’t snow THAT often).
The last thing we can learn about pom-poms is from cheerleaders everywhere, who if nothing else, seem mind-bogglingly happy. Why? POM-POMS!

Categories ,accessories, ,catwalk, ,knitting, ,pom-poms, ,trend

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Amelia’s Magazine | ‘Jolie Fleur’: In My Garden I am Queene by Fleur Oakes


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event and exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, shop buy who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be inspiring both artistically and socially.
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Art Against Knives, price this Monday and Tuesday only, approved see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Fresh Meat, The First Cut
10th May from 7pm

Evening of live illustration, animation screenings, raffle brought to you by art whizz kid Rose Blake and the rest of the This Is It Collective to raise money for their degree show at Kingston. There will be DJs as well as live music from Sheeps and Arthur Delaney. General fun will be provided in abundance.
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Fresh Meat, The First Cut, 7pm until midnight 10th May, Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate London.

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009

Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists. You can see our review here.
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Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009

Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
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The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London.

Fleur Oakes- The Glass Pingle “In My Garden I am Quenne”
showing now

A simply beautiful piece mixing embroidery and corsetry by Fleur Oakes illuminates the front window of knitters’ paradise Prick Your Finger. Review and interview with Fleur to follow this week in the mean time check out the knitting projects here.
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“In My Garden I am Queene”, Prick Your Finger, open Monday – Saturday, 260 Globe Road, London.

Beneath the pavement… The beach

Sexton (London) & Dominique Lacloche (Paris)
The exhibition consists of new work by the two artists work.

Art wars project space, 23 – 25 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
1st Apr – 5th May 2009

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Swine flu art masks- an exhibition of plague masks

Exquisite masks made due to the media hysteria regarding Swine flu, These masks are hand stitched and made as delicate collectable art object.

Hepsibah Gallery, 112 Brackenbury Road, London W6 0BD
30th Apr – 6th May 2009

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Constellation

Clay Perry
The exhibiton showcases the photographers images of the 60′s avant-garde art scene.

England & Co
, 216, Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RH
Tuesday, 5 May from 11:00 – 18:00
Free entry

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Etchings (Portraits)

Glenn Brown
A new collection of etchings from the artist.

Karsten Schubert, 5-8 Lower John Street,London W1F 9DR
Ends on the 8th May 2009, Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm

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An exhibition of works by Paul Bennett and Ellie Good

Paul Bennett: expressionist paintings using oil and graphite on canvas.
Ellie Good: In this series of oil paintings and portraits exploring light.

Lauderdale House
, Highgate Hill, London N6 5HG
28th Apr – 10th May 2009, Tue – Fri 11-4pm, Sat 1.30-5pm Free entry

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Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event including exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, approved who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be both inspiring both artistically and socially.
art_against_kniveslistings.jpg

Art Against Knives, malady this Monday and Tuesday only, discount see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

Textured textile temptation at the Hayward’s retrospective of French feminist artist Annette Messager.
annette.jpg

Annette Messager, until 24th May 2009, The Hayward, Southbank Centre, London

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009
Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists.
artinmindlistings.jpg

Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009
Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
410159.jpg

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

Berlin- born Isa Genzken brings her colourful sculptures to the newly refurbished, East London favourite- Whitechapel Gallery
isa_genzkenlis.jpg

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame! Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event including exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, ampoule who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be both inspiring both artistically and socially.
art_against_kniveslistings.jpg

Art Against Knives, this Monday and Tuesday only, see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

Textured textile temptation at the Hayward’s retrospective of French feminist artist Annette Messager.
annette.jpg

Annette Messager, until 24th May 2009, The Hayward, Southbank Centre, London

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009
Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists.
artinmindlistings.jpg

Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009
Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
410159.jpg

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

Berlin- born Isa Genzken brings her colourful sculptures to the newly refurbished, East London favourite- Whitechapel Gallery
isa_genzkenlis.jpg

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame! Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London

The spirit is there, check but where are the green fingers? When I was little I used to love watching my mum tending to the garden. I remember the pride and excitement she would feel when her flowers were in full bloom. As I got older, information pills I imagined that the desire to start growing plants, flowers and veg would manifest itself….. but it never really bloomed. It doesn’t help that my ‘garden’ is a small concrete balcony in East End London, and I had always imagined that gardening was essentially a bit of a chore. Then I realized that I was approaching this issue completely the wrong way. Gardening is not just about allotments, trips to garden centres on a Sunday afternoon, and Radio 4 playing in the backround (not that there is anything wrong with these things), its about having fun – creating produce; eating it, drinking it – you won’t disagree when you see the recipe for Grow Your Own Mojito – fundamentally, it is about achieving that sense of intense satisfaction when you realize… “I made that!”. With this newfound understanding, I could see that my lack of gardening space excuse was pretty flimsy. When you grasp that the world is your oyster, you can also see that it is your flowerbed as well.

With this in mind, the imaginative people behind “Growing Stuff – An Alternative Guide To Gardening” have put together a how – to guide to everything horticultural. With sections on guerilla gardening, growing carrots in Wellington boots, and the aforementioned guide to making your own mojito’s; this is not your typical gardening book. There are contributions by ‘punk’ gardeners, ‘worm farming junkies’, teenagers and artists, which makes ‘Growing Stuff’ as accessible as you could hope for. Absolutely every person, no matter their level of gardening skills – or lack of – will be able to grow stuff after reading this book.
I spoke with two contributors to Growing Stuff recently about their involvement with the book, as well as their other activities. Emily Hill and Will Gould are also artists who create ‘living sculptures’ that aim to walk a line between the man-made and the wild.

Hey Emily, I like the suggestions that you and Will have done in Growing
Stuff. There is definitely an element of fun and whimsy to your
gardening ideas; like Cartoon Cress, and Carrot Wellies. Is this the
style in that you two both work? And do you feel that this is the best way to
initiate would be gardeners?

Emily: Life’s too short, get out there and get your hands dirty, just give it a go! Of course it should be fun, and if it isn’t, it’s time to take a minute to think about what’s out of balance in your life; gardening’s a great leveller, and can really help you work things out. There’s nothing like a home-grown cherry tomato bursting in your mouth to cheer you up!
Will: There are plenty of books out there which describe how to grow plants but they are not necessarily accessible to people who don’t see themselves as gardeners. By making the growing a bit more fun and whimsical we hope to de-mystify the growing of stuff. Plants want to grow and if you give them half a chance they will, so we feel it is better to have fun and be creative while trying to grow something. After all even if you fail to grow anything, you’ve had some fun.

What other easy-peasy suggestions might you have for gardening
novices- especially ones in an urban sprawl?

Will: Just try buying a packet of salad seeds-lettuce and coriander are dead easy, plant them on top of some moist compost in a pot and put them on your windowsill. It’s hard to go wrong.
Emily: Tease out a passion, try growing something bright purple, or something that smells nice, or both! You don’t have to do much, just buy a plant and water it! I started with French Lavender on my balcony.

Do you think that growing stuff is becoming more of a young persons
game now?

Will: It’s about time, why miss out on all those glorious years of growing.
Emily: It’s definitely something that has caught our generation’s imagination, maybe its something to do with our collective childhood memories. I remember picking raspberries with my granddad; it was like finding little ruby coloured droplets of edible treasure at the bottom of the garden!

How did you and Will get into gardening, and how did you end up
collaborating with this book?

Will: I grew up in a small house with a big garden, so it kind of came naturally. The book came from a request for artists who work with living things to submit ideas.
Emily: We both grew up in the country, all neglected and wild! For me, artistry came naturally, getting into gardening came later, when I found a bit of outdoor space to cultivate. We saw an advert on the Arts Council’s website and just went for it!

I have read that you two create ‘Living Structures’ – can you tell me a
little about this? What future projects are you working on?

Emily: We started off by making a portable composting toilet for our allotment with old bits of shed and two huge cartwheels; we made a cubicle that looked like a Victorian beach hut and planted a garden on the roof and gave it two window boxes full of flowers. We wanted to recycle ourselves, so we mixed our own wee with rainwater collected from the roof, and created a system to pump the mixture around the plants to feed them, anything left over drained into a reed bed at the back of the structure. It was quite charming really, and very popular…have a look, its called ‘The Jakes’ and was submitted for Margate Rocks last Spring (www.margaterocks.com).
Will: We are both interested in structures, which have a life of their own. For us, this involves growing plants, which either make up the structure, or contribute to the working of a functional building.
We are currently working on outdoor environmental projects in schools and incorporate the growing of stuff wherever possible and it is always possible!

Artist AJ Fosik’s sculpted characters look like your high school mascot that went AWOL and ended up at a full moon party in Thailand. Or perhaps the stuffed and mounted head of some big game he vanquished in a spirit dream and was able to sneak back under the border patrol of consciousness (quite a feat really I hear they’re rather tight). His technicolor wooden sculptures certainly carry the sense of having seen the otherside and with their hypnotic fluorescent eyes they seem all too than eager to take you there as well.

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According to his myspace page AJ Fossik is 66 years old. Sure, unhealthy maybe on his second time round on the carousel of life. perhaps wise beyond his years, what is for certain is that this Philadelphia born artist is onto something. Currently exhibiting printed works at Giant Robot Gallery in NY, it is his psychedelic sculptures which have really roared onto the scene. Made of hundreds of small, individually cut and hand painted wood, his animal effigies and their symbolism strike a chord with the collective consciousness, especially in the US. Aside from being the California state animal, a campsite mischief, cartoon character and omnipresent sports team icon, the bear is one of the largest and most regal North American animals, a reminder of the vastness and awesome natural beauty experienced by the earliest pioneers.

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A country whose experience at the moment consists of what is referred to as a “bear market”, one in which stockholders, all in the same blind panicked, decide to sell! sell! sell!, driving the value of stocks deep into the ground (sounds familiar). Not that far off really from the wooly winter hibernator’s image of reclusion and introspection. To Native American shamans the bear represents qualities of steadfastness and patience making excellent teachers. In dreams, bears represent a healing cycle, where the dreamer has retreated into himself in order to regenerate and to create something new and valuable in his life.

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For this particular breed of artist the road out was not a conventional one. After years as a teenage urban nomad on the streets of Philadelphia, a city often at odds with itself, Fosick eventually drifted to NY where he obtained a degree in illustration from New York’s Parson’s and a 2007 solo show in the city’s Jonathan Levine Gallery. The name he goes by he adopted from an Australian “verb to describe the act of people sifting through mine washings or waste piles to look for any gold that might have been missed; sorting through the garbage to find gold.” However, like many things in our global soup it apparently seeped into another language where it means something different altogether. “From what I can gather,” he says with a good natured appreciation of irony, “the spelling I use means ‘to shit oneself’ in Hungarian.”

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A peek into the global origins of this furry ursine idol is just as intriguing. In Hindu mythology the bear’s name “riksha”
(also in Sanskrit, Celtic, Greek and Latin believe it or not) derive from the word for star, which in turn comes from the word light, shine, illuminate. Ahhhha.
The term for Great Bear, “sapta riksha”, is also the symbolic dwelling of the Seven Rishis, whose name is related to “vision” and are called the Seven Luminaries. It was through them that the wisdom of the past was transmitted to the present. A rich past for the unassuming bear.

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AJ Fosick is an artist who, one could argue, has an abnormal fixation with carving his own path through the great unknown. No wonder then that he refers to his pieces as “existential fetishes”. And hey, who couldn’t use one of those? And perhaps the missing little league mascots and unemployed stockbrokers of the world have joined Albert Camus on a beach somewhere in South East Asia and are doing some soul searching. In my dreams.

The spirit is there, look but where are the green fingers? When I was little I used to love watching my mum tending to the garden. I remember the pride and excitement she would feel when her flowers were in full bloom. As I got older, ask I imagined that the desire to start growing plants, physician flowers and veg would manifest itself….. but it never really bloomed. It doesn’t help that my ‘garden’ is a small concrete balcony in East End London, and I had always imagined that gardening was essentially a bit of a chore. Then I realized that I was approaching this issue completely the wrong way. Gardening is not just about allotments, trips to garden centres on a Sunday afternoon, and Radio 4 playing in the backround (not that there is anything wrong with these things), its about having fun – creating produce; eating it, drinking it – you won’t disagree when you see the recipe for Grow Your Own Mojito – fundamentally, it is about achieving that sense of intense satisfaction when you realize… “I made that!”. With this newfound understanding, I could see that my lack of gardening space excuse was pretty flimsy. When you grasp that the world is your oyster, you can also see that it is your flowerbed as well.

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growingstuffbicycle.jpg
Photographs by Rosie French

With this in mind, the imaginative people behind “Growing Stuff – An Alternative Guide To Gardening” have put together a how – to guide to everything horticultural. With sections on guerilla gardening, growing carrots in Wellington boots, and the aforementioned guide to making your own mojito’s; this is not your typical gardening book. There are contributions by ‘punk’ gardeners, ‘worm farming junkies’, teenagers and artists, which makes ‘Growing Stuff’ as accessible as you could hope for. Absolutely every person, no matter their level of gardening skills – or lack of – will be able to grow stuff after reading this book.
I spoke with two contributors to Growing Stuff recently about their involvement with the book, as well as their other activities. Emily Hill and Will Gould are also artists who create ‘living sculptures’ that aim to walk a line between the man-made and the wild.

Hey Emily, I like the suggestions that you and Will have done in Growing
Stuff. There is definitely an element of fun and whimsy to your
gardening ideas; like Cartoon Cress, and Carrot Wellies. Is this the
style in that you two both work? And do you feel that this is the best way to
initiate would be gardeners?

growingstuffcress.jpg
Photograph by Rosie French

Emily: Life’s too short, get out there and get your hands dirty, just give it a go! Of course it should be fun, and if it isn’t, it’s time to take a minute to think about what’s out of balance in your life; gardening’s a great leveller, and can really help you work things out. There’s nothing like a home-grown cherry tomato bursting in your mouth to cheer you up!
Will: There are plenty of books out there which describe how to grow plants but they are not necessarily accessible to people who don’t see themselves as gardeners. By making the growing a bit more fun and whimsical we hope to de-mystify the growing of stuff. Plants want to grow and if you give them half a chance they will, so we feel it is better to have fun and be creative while trying to grow something. After all even if you fail to grow anything, you’ve had some fun.

What other easy-peasy suggestions might you have for gardening
novices- especially ones in an urban sprawl
?

Will: Just try buying a packet of salad seeds-lettuce and coriander are dead easy, plant them on top of some moist compost in a pot and put them on your windowsill. It’s hard to go wrong.
Emily: Tease out a passion, try growing something bright purple, or something that smells nice, or both! You don’t have to do much, just buy a plant and water it! I started with French Lavender on my balcony.

growing%20stuff1Carnivorous%20plants.jpg

Do you think that growing stuff is becoming more of a young persons
game now?

Will: It’s about time, why miss out on all those glorious years of growing.
Emily: It’s definitely something that has caught our generation’s imagination, maybe its something to do with our collective childhood memories. I remember picking raspberries with my granddad; it was like finding little ruby coloured droplets of edible treasure at the bottom of the garden!

How did you and Will get into gardening, and how did you end up
collaborating with this book?

Will: I grew up in a small house with a big garden, so it kind of came naturally. The book came from a request for artists who work with living things to submit ideas.
Emily: We both grew up in the country, all neglected and wild! For me, artistry came naturally, getting into gardening came later, when I found a bit of outdoor space to cultivate. We saw an advert on the Arts Council’s website and just went for it!

growingstuffEmily%20Hill-Will%20Goulds%20window.jpg

I have read that you two create ‘Living Structures’ – can you tell me a
little about this? What future projects are you working on?

Emily: We started off by making a portable composting toilet for our allotment with old bits of shed and two huge cartwheels; we made a cubicle that looked like a Victorian beach hut and planted a garden on the roof and gave it two window boxes full of flowers. We wanted to recycle ourselves, so we mixed our own wee with rainwater collected from the roof, and created a system to pump the mixture around the plants to feed them, anything left over drained into a reed bed at the back of the structure. It was quite charming really, and very popular…have a look, its called ‘The Jakes’ and was submitted for Margate Rocks last Spring (www.margaterocks.com).
Will: We are both interested in structures, which have a life of their own. For us, this involves growing plants, which either make up the structure, or contribute to the working of a functional building.
We are currently working on outdoor environmental projects in schools and incorporate the growing of stuff wherever possible and it is always possible!

Tuesday 05/06/09

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

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Permaculture Picture House
7.00pm
Upstairs at Passing Clouds, visit web
1 Richmond Road, salve E8, abortion ?just off Kingsland Road behind the pub. 

A monthly evening of films, presentations, poetry, drink, food and fun ?focusing on positive solutions in the current state of crisis.  Each evening ?will have a different theme and begin with a film or presentation followed by? space to meet with others till closing time.? ?When?
1st Tuesday of every month, doors open at 7pm.  Films, (when shown) start at 8pm. 
How much?
£2.00 donation on the door.
Please try to arrive by 8pm when films are being shown to avoid disruption. ?Entry may be restricted once film has started. ?5th May:   The Real Dirt on Farmer John. (82 mins)
Follows Farmer John’s astonishing journey from farm boy to counter-culture? rebel to the son who almost lost the family farm to a beacon of today’s ?booming organic farming movement and founder of one of the nation’s largest? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. The result is a tale that ebbs ?and flows with the fortunes of the soil and revealingly mirrors the changing ?American times.

Wednesday 06/05/2009

Controversies in The Economics Of Climate Change

London School of Economics
Houghton Street,
London WC2A 2AE, UK;  
Tel: +44 (0)20 7405 7686

The Stern Review stirred up the controversy surrounding the economics of climate change. This lecture will review these issues and give an assessment of the debate – where it is leading and what issues remain open.

Geoffrey Heal is a visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility, and professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School.

This event will take place from 6.30-8pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE, Aldwych. If you would like to attend this event, please email me on V.Pavey@lse.ac.uk

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LeaJaffyEnergy3world.jpg
Illustration by Lea Jaffy

Art Not Oil

6pm -7pm
British Museum
Great Russell Street,
London, WC1B 3DG
Oil goliath BP, already forced to postpone its centenary party at the British Museum on April 1st, has rescheduled the event for May 6th. Art Not Oil will be throwing A Wake for BP as guests arrive at the British Museum between 6pm and 7pm on the new date.
People wanting to come and say: “BP — your Party’s over!” and wish the behemoth a ‘happy last birthday’ are more than welcome. The British Museum’s main gate on Great Russell Street will find a contingent of the Brazen Pranksters playing tunes to usher in a new era of Climate Justice and Ecological Sanity.

Thursday 07/05/09

Earthwatch Lecture — Conserving Biodiversity in the Americas

7pm – 8.30pm
Earthwatch

Royal Geographical Society,
1 Kensington Gore, London
SW7 2AR

Contact: Simon Laman
(01865) 318856

events@earthwatch.org.uk

www.earthwatch.org/europe/get_involved/events08/lecture09-americas/

Speakers: Dr. Richard Bodmer (Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, and the Wildlife Conservation Society) & Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey (University of Miami). Chaired by explorer, writer and TV presenter Dr. George McGavin.??The very fact that the Amazon and the Caribbean are such attractive locations renders them all the more vulnerable to over-exploitation. Hear how Earthwatch scientists are addressing this issue in the Peruvian Amazon and on the coasts of the Bahamas.

Saturday 9/10th May

Permaculture Introductory Weekends

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Hornsey Rise Gardens, North London
For any further information or to register contact londoncourses@naturewise.org.uk
The Introductory weekend, is a ‘potted’ permaculture course, looking at the foundations of permaculture and learning about some of the practical tools it offers. The weekend course can be considered a ‘stand alone’ introduction to Permaculture ethics, principles and design, or else can be a lead-in to the more in depth full 72 hour Permaculture Design Course. Photos from past courses.

9/10th May, 8/9th August, 7/8th November.
Led by: Mark Warner Graham Burnett and, Nicole Freris ??Fees: Introductory Weekends: £120 full cost, concessions/flexibility available subject to discussion
                            
The beautiful window display this month at Prick Your Finger is bound to catch the eye of even the most unobservant passer-by; Fleur Oakes has embroidered a corset by with mystical and magical creatures and symbols that is bound to have the whole of Bethnal Green gaping.
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(front view of corset)

In My Garden I am Queene is a stitched homage to yester-year; Fleur sourced the corset pattern from 1585, sale and the style and many of the techniques were those used in the 17th century, cialis 40mg even it’s name is a play on a quote from Pre-raphealite painter Burne- Jones.
The past echoes through the piece from these aesthetic choices to the vintage kid gloves lining whose ghostly fingers that hang down in macabre decoration.
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(back view with faggot stitch detail)

The corset is lovingly embroidered with intricate flowers, viagra 100mg lace moths, eyes, a magnificent menagerie of bizarre creatures with some of the best names in the history of mytho-zoology, taken from the book ‘House of the Spirits’ by Isabelle Allende. A modern novel that still manages to fit into the quintessentially Elizabethan feel of the piece.
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(1 of 6 moths all in needle lace, they take 3 hours to make.)

Personal favourties here at Amelia’s Magazine HQ are the Marbat- a combination of marsupial with bat wings, the Maladapard – a mallard’s head with a leopard’s body (of course) and this chap: the Boarfinch.
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(Boarfinch detail in long and short stitch)

Fleur’s work really needs to be seen to be believed, so head down to Prick Your Finger for a peek and to pick up one of Fleur’s embroidered buttons.
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(Fleur Oakes embroidered buttons on sale now)

For all you embroidery aficionados more specific details about technique, the lovely staff at Prick Your Finger will be more than happy to oblige .

Prick Your Finger, 260 Globe Road, London.

Categories ,corsetry, ,embroidery, ,knitting, ,london, ,prick your finger

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Amelia’s Magazine | It’s National Wool Week!


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins


Illustration by Danielle Andrews

London is phenomenal, story a vast ever evolving metropolis where nothing stays still and sleep is for the dead. As much as it tires you out, the frenetic pace of life is what keeps us all going. The thing is: growing up in Dublin, there are times where I yearn for something a bit more relaxed. From almost anywhere in Dublin you can see the mountains and countryside, (From almost anywhere read: my house, and if I’m honest only the Irish call the Wicklow Mountains that, to most others they’re big hills). Try doing that in London. The parks are gorgeous, but they just dont cut it.


Sheep on Savile Row. Photography by Nick Bain

 On Monday though, Wool Week stepped up to the plate to help alleviate this pastoral longing. In order to champion the cause of the British Sheep Farmer, and the wonder natural resource that is wool, Savile Row was over run with our four-legged friends. Now, these were the cleanest sheep I had ever seen – but it was great to bring the countryside into town. The week was later launched in style by a fantastic party in Selfridges attended by the great and the good.

The initiative which was set up by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who champions the cause of wool. Shocked by the fact that it can cost a farmer more to shear a sheep than the value of its fleece, Charlie set up the cross-industry Campaign for Wool. Sure, we all have our favourite big wooly jumpers perfect for winter, but the fact is wool can be used in a huge variety of ways. From aerospace to insulation, wool has a huge range of uses. I’ll be honest though, I’m not too concerned about them. Championing great British fashion that uses wool on the other hand is another story.

The fine gauge knits of John Smedley, Pringle‘s innovative and directional intarsia, organic products from Daniel Hechter at John Lewis, traditional tweeds at Hackett and a lovely thick Crombie all show just how versatile wool is. There is a very good reason Britain used to be swamped from shore to shore in woolen products. Aran sweaters, cricket jumpers and kilts all make up part of our rich cultural heritage.  This should be celebrated! Yeah, they shrink in the wash – and some fibres can be itchy as hell (though with modern spinning techniques less so than the past) but don’t think of that awful school jumper you had growing up. Think of your gran knitting you that somewhat hideous jumper out of love. Think of the glamorous Tilda Swinton in Pringle. For heaven’s sake, think of the Queen in her twinset and pearls. Get behind Wool, leave the polyester blends behind.

If nothing else do it for the sheep….

National Wool Week runs until Sunday

Categories ,Aran, ,british, ,Crombie, ,Daniel Hechter, ,Dublin, ,Farming, ,Hackett, ,HRH, ,John Smedley, ,knitting, ,Prince Charles, ,Pringle, ,Queen, ,Savile Row, ,Selfridges, ,sheep, ,Tilda Swinton, ,Wicklow Mountains, ,wool, ,Wool Week

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Listings 14th 20th September

999 it’s time, sildenafil erectile is another green focused campaign. As the website notes “We are in a state of emergency – socially, store economically and ecologically. What do we do in an emergency? In the UK, viagra 100mg we dial 999…” Well that all sounds pretty heartening until you realise that the 999 campaigns reaction to this emergency hasn’t exactly been particularly speedy so far. I can’t help feeling that the climate emergency we are facing means groups should be advocating some real direct action rather than just planting a tree or joining the 10:10 movement. However the campaign has some great initiatives to get the ball rolling and hopefully get more people thinking about the global crisis.

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All illustrations by Suzy Phillips

Of course the campaign does have some credibility, it encourages people to get more environmentally friendly, and behind the celebrity endorsements 999 has some forward thinking ideas about how communities in particular can work together to create a more sustainable world. Transforming rural and urban spaces into shared land to grow food has been one of the most successful elements. Capital Growth is the place to start with a great run through of the process and steps and how to get involved. Land sharing empowers people by growing their own food and creating stronger links in communities as well as reducing the reliance on supermarkets. A definite step in the right direction.

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I caught up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the rural country celebrity chef, to talk about his part in the 999 campaign.

Can you outline what 999′s main priority is about and why you’re here today?

999 is about driving home the issue of climate change and what we ourselves can do to combat the emergency situation we have found ourselves in. I’ve come today because our aim ties in with the Climate Rush campaign, and its a great way to get talking with the local community, and of course it’s the 9th of the 9th 09.

How is the 999 campaign coming along? It doesn’t seemed to have gained as much prominence in the press such as campaigns like the recent 10:10?

It’s an on-going process, im specifically been looking at the food aspect, and as the ambassador I’m really interested in what small scale communities can do to combat the threat of climate change.

Can you please give some examples of the message your trying to get across in relation to the food aspect of the campaign?

With my books and TV series I’ve been highlighting the importance of locally grown produce and recently I’ve been pushing the idea of land sharing. The idea is to find land, whether in urban or rural spaces where people can grow their own food, there is so much land wasted around the UK that can be used. With over a thousand people on waiting lists for allotments especially in the south, it is vital we utilize all the land we can instead of relying on foreign markets for our vegetables. Food is a great way to create a cohesive community and bring people together.

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How is the land sharing campaign going, have you had much success?

We’ve had over a thousand land plots given to us and up to 30,000 people signing up to the website, so it’s defiantly getting people interested. The campaign is also working with groups like the Church of England and a range of British NGOs. The National Trust for example has just given us 1000 plots of land, so although it’s quite a slow process, there’s been a real positive reaction across the country.

With your interest in climate change, have the facts about the meat industry’s huge carbon footprint persuaded you to become vegetarian yet?

No, not yet, I’m aware of the issues, and I keep by own pigs and livestock, and always advocate buying locally soured meat to keep the carbon footprint low.

So let’s hope this campaign can help to stop this emergency from escalating, with 1 day, 11 hours, 9 minutes since 999 Day, the pressure is on.
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Designers in Residence @ the Design Museum
September 18 – October 31

The Design Museum’s annual exhibition of young designers begins on September 18 with site-specific works from Marc Owens and Dave Bowker. Owens is inspired by virtual realities – his work Avatar Machine replicates video gaming via a headset (above), order designed to make the wearer see themselves as a virtual character in the real world. Bowker works in data visualisation and will be re-examining the way visitors move about the Museum.

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Open House weekend

Once a year thousands of London’s most interesting and historic buildings are opened to the public, sale some of which are locked up tight for the rest of the year. Although some of the most popular buildings in the centre of London have already been completely booked, drugs there are still plenty of places worth visiting.

If you haven’t got your eye on anything in your local area, consider visiting the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, of “the dictionary” fame. It’s free to visit on Friday (there will be free cake on this day) and Saturday, in honour of the great man’s birthday.

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Radical Nature

This exhibition of works revolving around nature and inspired by environmentalism features pieces from architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and artists such as Joseph Beuys and Hans Haacke, as well as newer names such as Heath and Ivan Morrison and Simon Starling. Impactful and timely, there are lots of strong visual statements such as the Fallen Forest by Henrik Håkansson (above) and a visual record of the fields of wheat planted as an act of protest on a landfill site in Manhattan.

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Thames Festival

Sunday

One of the few fireworks displays allowed along the Thames will occur on Sunday when the Thames Festival fireworks are set off in all their glory, fired from barges between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge so everyone can get a perfect view. There are also events all day, including fire-eaters, an outdoor ballroom (starting to become the South Bank’s speciality) and the annual Night Carnival, where 2,000 costumed revellers bearing lanterns and luminous costumes will welcome the pyrotechnics.
Another load of talks, healing workshops and activities to get stuck into, information pills don’t forget Co-Mutiny is still on all this week in Bristol, Climate Rush are still on tour, and also make sure you get down to protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory this Thursday. Good luck with fitting it all in, I’m certainly going to struggle!

earth01.jpg
Illustrations by Emma Hanquist

Cambridge Climate Conference
Monday 14 Sep 2009 to Tuesday 15 Sep 2009 ?

An exciting event has been organised with international speakers and delegates involved in policy-making, business, and academia. Understanding the role of climate change policy is central to a business’s future success. Topics will include the political, economical, technological, and legal challenges and solutions for decarbonising electricity.
To register for a discounted ticket visit the website and enter ‘ge2009′ as the discount code.

Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
Website: www.cambridgeclimate.com/

A Global New Deal needs a Green New Protectionism
Wednesday 16 Sep 2009 ?

An evening to learn and discuss the ‘triple crunch’ that we face: climate change, energy insecurity, and financial and economic meltdown. Colin Hines, Author and convener of the Green New Deal Group will be leading the talks. Colin has worked in the environmental movement for over 30 years including 10 years at Greenpeace. His recent work focuses on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localisation. During the evening there will also be a tribute to ‘Teddy’ Goldsmith, founder of The Ecologist magazine.

Time: 6.30pm drinks and food, 7.30pm talk begins at Burgh House
Venue: Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, Hampstead
Contacts: To book email, book online or call 0207 428 0054.
Website: www.gaiafoundation.org

Protest against the closure of Vestas Wind Turbine Factory
Thursday 17 Sep 2009 ?

As well as the continuing protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory at the Isle of Wight, there will also be a chance for people to make their feelings known across the country. People are meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London to lobby against the government. There will also be speakers including John Mcdonnel, MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) and Tracy Edwards (Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union).
Couldn’t put it better than Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change “Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only significant wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need prevent a climate catastrophe.
Whilst the impact on employment on the Isle of Wight will be quite devastating, this is an issue not just about jobs or one factory but about whether the government is really going to match up its actions to its rhetoric on green jobs and the rapid decarbonisation of the British economy – whether its prepared to act with the kind of resolution and energy we need to cope with the Climate Emergency”.

Time: 5.30 to 6.30pm
Venue: Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.
?Website: www.campaigncc.org

earth02.jpg

Out of the Ordinary Festival
Friday 18 Sep 2009 to Sunday 20 Sep 2009
?
OOTO is a 3 day family friendly and eco friendly festival set in the beautiful Sussex countryside celebrating the Autumn Equinox. Featuring a variety of live music powered by solar panels and wind generators, fascinating talks and workshops, children’s activities, awesome performances, a green market place and many more out of the ordinary surprises. The festival is also offering Big Green Gathering ticket holders a discount for the event held over the weekend
Venue: Knockhatch Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
?
Website: www.outoftheordinaryfestival.com

Tree-Athlon
Saturday 19th September

Get fit and get your very own tree sapling to take home! Participants run a 5km race to raise money for Trees for Cities, an independent environmental charity working with local communities on tree planting projects. There is also music, entertainment, lots of tree-themed activities, whatever that may consist of, and plenty of other workshops to keep the whole family entertained.
The race is open to runners aged 14 and up and is ideal for beginners or experienced runners alike. Register now, to make sure you can raise as much sponsorship as possible before the day, and look forward to a grand day out.

Time: 9am-3pm
Venue: Battersea Park
Website: www.tree-athlon.org

earth03.jpg

The Urban Green Fair ?
Sunday 20th September

?The Urban Green Fair is held in Brockwell Park in London this Sunday, Its a free event and with plenty to do and see, the fair is also powered by solar and wind energy.
The annual family event, has a range of films, talks, workshops, kids activities, stalls, sunshine as well as some unusual bicycles. Unfortunatly no bars or big stages but this keeps the emphasis on education and communication. A chance to share ideas, meet familiar faces and make new friends. With little government action on peak oil and climate change there is plenty to discuss and lots we can do as individuals. ?

Time:11am-7pm
?Venue: Brockwell Park, Lambeth
Website: http://www.urbangreenfair.org/

Leytonstone Car Free Day
Sunday 20th September

Leytonstone Town Centre will car free day this Sunday. As well as having no vehicles hurtling around there will also be entertainment, stalls, live music, dancing, public art and childrens’ play areas. Simon Webbe from Blue and Aswad will be headlining! Get yourself down, and make sure you leave the car(if you’ve got one) at home.
Time: 1pm-7pm
Venue: Outside Leyonstone tube station
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Co-mutiny
Saturday 12th of September until Monday 21st September

A coming together of activists, eco-warriors gardeners, artists, community/political groups, cooks, builders etc. to demonstrate our creative power to build a city/world we would like to see. Co-Mutineers have taken an old cathedral (of the holy apostles) near the Triangle in the Clifton/Hotwells area, it’s a space to converge, eat, sleep meet and discuss, plan and skill-share!
There will be over a week of different activities, direct actions, workshops, film screenings, public demonstrations and parties. It’s happening all across Bristol and the wider South West.

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During the week there will be actions happening all across the city, which will climax in a fancy dress carnival through the financial district of Bristol on the Friday.
Venue: Bristol Pro Cathedral, Park Place, BS8 1JW
Website: http://comutiny.wordpress.com/
Monday 14th September
William Elliott Whitmore
The Garage, order London

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We can’t get enough of this distilled, medications gravelly bluesman. With Whitmore, it’s almost like you’re listening from inside a huge bottle of JD.

Tuesday 15th September
We Have Band
ICA, London

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This trio spin the grooves of Talking Heads via a stop off and natter with Hot Chip, it’ll make you jive and smile.

Wednesday 16th September
Beth Jeans Houghton
Rough Trade East, London

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Having supported folk heavy weights, Tunng, Bon Iver, and King Creosote, this ballsy 19 year old manages to blend the vocal lustre of Nico and Laura Marling whilst having an edgy stage presence more like Gwen Stefani. Beguiling.

Thursday 17th September
Alela and Laura Gibson
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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We chatted to Alela recently and she was as lovely as her music. Gibson toes a similar line of enchanting bluesy folk airs.

Friday 18th September
Metronomy, Male Bonding, Your Twenties and Drums Of Death
The Forum, London

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We’re particularly keen on the immaculate indie-pop of Your Twenties after meeting the lovely ex-Metronomy frontman. Nice to see they’re still close.

Saturday 19th September
Tom Paley and Birdengine
The Deptford Arms, London

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A traditional folk night in a scuzzy South-East London boozer. You want more reason that that? Well living legend, Tom Paley who played with Woodie Guthrie back in the day and enchantingly odd, Birdengine are two big ones.

Sunday 20th September
Viv Albertine and Get Back Guinozzi!
The Windmill, London

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The Slits guitarist has picked up a guitar again after a 25 year sabbatical and come up trumps with punk rock outfit, Albertine.


Monday 14th


Rankin at The Truman Brewery

It’s the last chance to see Rankin’s retrospective in Brick Lane this week. The exhibition moves through Rankin at university exploring the well worn art student quest to find a sense of self to portraying the plight of the Congo. After this introduction the exhibition opens onto his best know fashion, website erotic and beauty editorials. Featuring Kate, Hedi, Tilda Swinton and the Dame of British Fashion, Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Rankin’s strongest work comes through in the portraits where he has assumed a sense of a relationship with the sitter, tweaking out their quirks through the movement of an eyebrow, eye or twitch of the lips or neck. Throughout the exhibition Rankin moved his studio into the space to continue photographing the public portraits. A portion of everyone’s fee goes to support Oxfam’s to work in the Congo.
Until the 18th September.

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Tuesday

START KNITTING with prick your finger!

Recent years have seen a rise in designers revisiting craft techniques, with knitting proving to be especially popular with a range of creatives from Louise Goldin to Mark Fast. Last week Amelia’s Magazine participated in a Prick Your Finger discussion on the use and sourcing of local ethical wool and the continuing rise in the popularity of knitting.Join on a Tuesday 7-9 for beginners classes with all your knitting woes and joys.

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Thursday

Fashion Diversity at The Museum of London

The Museum of London is staging a three day fashion diversity event during London Fashion Week. On Thursday the museum hosts a range of workshops from a discussion of the development of sustainable fashion by CHOOLIPS, to a Moving Passion to Profit workshop in association with the MOORDESIGN salon finishing with the importance of branding. Colour Production, addressing how companies interact with their audience visually. Finally 7-16 year olds are giving the opportunity to unlock their creativity in a fashion drawing workshop teaching concentration, communication and dexterity.

Friday and Saturday host the fashion diversity catwalks: Emerging, Established and Honorary designers at 1pm or 3pm Friday and 1pm on Saturday, places are free. Honorary designers Junky Styling and Nico Didonna also present pieces for the runway.

To conclude Saturday’s event, at 3pm student and graduate designers from schools and colleges across London showcase designs inspired by 18th century pleasure gardens and related costumes from from the Museum of London’s archives.

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SHOWstudio : Fashion Revolution

Unable to go to Fashion Week? Fear not! As mentioned last week, the Fashion Revolution exhibition opens at Somerset House. The exhibition curated by Showstudio celebrates nine years of Showstudio.com. The website established by Nick Knight has pushed and developed the idea of communicating fashion ‘live’ through films, online live interviews and streamed performances involving photographers, models, stylists graphic designers and cultural figures to create ethereal fashion portraiture and communication through body and style. New fashion films have been commissioned to accompany the exhibition, alongside a live photographic studio that gives the viewer the opportunity to see the whimsical world of fashion in play.

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Saturday 19th


GIANT VINTAGE SALE

This just dropped into the inbox – The East End thrift store are inviting all budding clothing DIY’ers to come down to the store and fill a bag with all that you can for ten or twenty pounds. Open Saturday to Sunday from 10-7pm.

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The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the icon of 60′s British Fashion photography, Twiggy. Dedicating a room to the most iconic images created with her image by a range of photographers from Richard Avedon to Solve Sundsbo. The exhibition coincides with a publication of a new book: Twiggy : A life in photography. This exhibition is a must for anyone interested in the relationship between sitter and photography in fashion portraiture.

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Roll up Roll up and take part in Covent Garden’s fashion fete

Pull the fashion rope, roll around in dressing up boxes courtesy of Costume Boutique. Jump up and Down for the tombola, be styled by Super Super Magazine, scouted by models 1 or preview some of the hottest new design talent with the Fashion and Textiles museum.
Moreover TRAID are holding a stitching workshop on how to transform old clothes into new designs as demonstrated by their remade range.

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Categories ,Covent Garden, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Junky Styling, ,Knitting, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mark Fast, ,museum of london, ,New Designers, ,Nick Knight, ,Somerset House, ,TRAID, ,Twiggy

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