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

Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp
Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp.

Outside the BFC tent I noticed a strange character wobbling towards the entrance in huge pink platforms. It was only when she de-robed inside that I realised it was in fact Paloma Faith – dressed in a suitably over the top manner. Apparently M.I.A. was there as well, information pills pharm having provided the suitably edgy soundtrack.

Paloma Faith at Ashish by Kellie Black
Paloma Faith at Ashish by Kellie Black.

I haven’t been to an Ashish catwalk show – this despite him being amongst my very favourite designers of all time. He featured in the first ever issue of Amelia’s Magazine and I always used his clothes when I was working as a stylist. Needless to say I was very excited about attending this show…

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker
Ashish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp
Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp.

Ashish describes this collection as an ode to the “archetypal poor little rich girl”, sickness the kind you might find slumming it in Dalston courtesy of mum and dad, decked out in posh clothes that have seen better days. In practice this meant lots of his signature sequinned garments, oversized tartans, ripped jeans and moth eaten jumpers.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia ParkerAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker
Ashish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker.

I loved the press release, replete with descriptions of a “layabout laird” who mixes “detritus with deluxe”. Hers is a London punk aesthetic thrown against Scottish Highland heritage. It’s a story that the industry can surely relate to: there’s a reason why so many people working in fashion come from the upper echelons of society. Unless you hit the big time it certainly won’t make you rich, so another source of support is often standard requirement.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Daria HlazatovaAshish A/W 2011 by Daria Hlazatova
Ashish A/W 2011 by Daria Hlazatova.

Models were expertly cast: lanky girls with greasy dip-dyed hair and bored expressions. Spiderwebs crawled across the knees. Boys wore DMs and girls sported black and white patterned brothel creepers. Statements, Teen Idle and Hard Times, were appliqued on frayed jumpers that had been attacked by killer moths. My favourite pieces were undoubtedly the supremely wearable sequinned jumper dresses, but to be honest I adored it all.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashish A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Ashish A/W 2011 by Madi
Ashish A/W 2011 by Madi.

You can see more work by Erica Sharp, Antonia Parker and Kellie Black in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Antonia Parker, ,Ashish, ,BFC, ,Brothel Creepers, ,dalston, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Erica Sharp, ,Highland, ,Jeans, ,Kellie Black, ,M.I.A, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,MIA, ,Moths, ,paloma faith, ,punk, ,scotland, ,Somerset House, ,Spiderwebs, ,Tartan

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

Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp
Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp.

Outside the BFC tent I noticed a strange character wobbling towards the entrance in huge pink platforms. It was only when she de-robed inside that I realised it was in fact Paloma Faith – dressed in a suitably over the top manner. Apparently M.I.A. was there as well, information pills pharm having provided the suitably edgy soundtrack.

Paloma Faith at Ashish by Kellie Black
Paloma Faith at Ashish by Kellie Black.

I haven’t been to an Ashish catwalk show – this despite him being amongst my very favourite designers of all time. He featured in the first ever issue of Amelia’s Magazine and I always used his clothes when I was working as a stylist. Needless to say I was very excited about attending this show…

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker
Ashish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp
Ashish A/W 2011 by Erica Sharp.

Ashish describes this collection as an ode to the “archetypal poor little rich girl”, sickness the kind you might find slumming it in Dalston courtesy of mum and dad, decked out in posh clothes that have seen better days. In practice this meant lots of his signature sequinned garments, oversized tartans, ripped jeans and moth eaten jumpers.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia ParkerAshish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker
Ashish A/W 2011 by Antonia Parker.

I loved the press release, replete with descriptions of a “layabout laird” who mixes “detritus with deluxe”. Hers is a London punk aesthetic thrown against Scottish Highland heritage. It’s a story that the industry can surely relate to: there’s a reason why so many people working in fashion come from the upper echelons of society. Unless you hit the big time it certainly won’t make you rich, so another source of support is often standard requirement.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011 by Daria HlazatovaAshish A/W 2011 by Daria Hlazatova
Ashish A/W 2011 by Daria Hlazatova.

Models were expertly cast: lanky girls with greasy dip-dyed hair and bored expressions. Spiderwebs crawled across the knees. Boys wore DMs and girls sported black and white patterned brothel creepers. Statements, Teen Idle and Hard Times, were appliqued on frayed jumpers that had been attacked by killer moths. My favourite pieces were undoubtedly the supremely wearable sequinned jumper dresses, but to be honest I adored it all.

Ashish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryAshish A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashish A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Ashish A/W 2011 by Madi
Ashish A/W 2011 by Madi.

You can see more work by Erica Sharp, Antonia Parker and Kellie Black in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Antonia Parker, ,Ashish, ,BFC, ,Brothel Creepers, ,dalston, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Erica Sharp, ,Highland, ,Jeans, ,Kellie Black, ,M.I.A, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,MIA, ,Moths, ,paloma faith, ,punk, ,scotland, ,Somerset House, ,Spiderwebs, ,Tartan

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Amelia’s Magazine | Hetty Rose: shoes with stories

Everything we do at Amelia’s Magazine is a collaborative and creative endeavor, order and this extends to the upcoming book launch of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration (released this week) and the subsequent exhibition of 10 of the books illustrators. Seeing that the book takes pride in championing fresh new talent in the world of illustration, try it makes sense that we would want Tuesdays book launch at Concrete Hermit in East London to reflect this. Letting our illustrators run riot, adiposity Concrete Hermit has turned its gallery space, and their walls over to them to bring their illustrations of renewable technologies from the Anthology to life. The results can be seen from Tuesday, 8th December onwards, and the exhibition will run until January 1st 2010.

 

Anthology1-Concrete-Hermit-Dec-09-001

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-044

Our dedicated illustrators pitched up this Sunday to lend their unique talents to this project. Given that the gallery space is pretty compact, and that at any given time there were roughly ten illustrators, as well as Amelia’s staff on hand to document the day and decorate the outside window,  the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and supportive – even if space was definitely at a premium! I was especially pleased to see some of the illustrators that I had been given the opportunity to interview for the Anthology, such as Jess Wilson, Craig Yamey and Chris Cox. While David Bowie played on the radio, coffee was consumed and cookies and cheese bagels were munched for much needed sustenance. I watched as white walls were transformed into bright and colourful ecological utopias, adorned with mythical creatures, talking whales and flying kites. Interesting and unexpected collaborations unfolded between many of the illustrators who were meeting each other for the first time; for example, when Chris Cox, Barbara Ana Gomez and Jess Wilson realised that their illustrations about renewable technologies all featured bodies of water such as lakes and the sea, they decided to share a large wall space, and while the illustrations are kept separate, they also seamlessly blend in with one another, each one complimenting the other. On another wall space, Karolin Schnoor (who was illustrating underwater technologies) and Andrew Merritt (whose work featured above water tech) shared the top and bottom half of the wall to weave their respective illustrations together.

Anthology2-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-016

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-064

Anthology3-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-035

Anthology5-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-036

Illustrating a wall space on a tight time span is a very different process to how the illustrators are used to working; while Jess revealed that the process was ”less stressful than I thought it was going to be”, others were conscious of the fact that they only had one take. Despite this, all were incredibly proud of their work for the Anthology and were delighted to be able to showcase their work at the gallery. By 5pm, there was the slightly worrying fact that due to unforeseen circumstances, part of one of the main walls still stood glaringly untouched. Undeterred, Craig, Barbara Ana and Amelia stepped in to collaborate on what was quickly termed the ‘mad panic corner’. Despite the time constraints, everyone was in good spirits, and I look forward to see how the mad panic corner has taken shape!

Anthology6-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-041

Anthology8-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-061

Leona Clarke adds some finishing touches

Anthology9-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-073

Saffron Stocker gets to grips with her piece of the wall.

Anthology10-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-085

If you are London based, please come along to the launch, which starts at 6.30 and runs until 9.30pm. Once here, you can pick up a copy of the book which will be signed by Amelia. There will also be carbon neutral beer provided by Adnams and Macs Gold Malt Lager by Madison on hand. If you can’t make it on Tuesday evening, you have a few more weeks to see the work of our super talented illustrators adorn the walls of Concrete Hermit. We are expecting it to get very busy on Tuesday night, so please turn up early!
Everything we do at Amelia’s Magazine is a collaborative and creative endeavor, rx and this extends to the upcoming book launch of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration (released this week) and the subsequent exhibition of 10 of the books illustrators. Seeing that the book takes pride in championing fresh new talent in the world of illustration, it makes sense that we would want Tuesdays book launch at Concrete Hermit in East London to reflect this. Letting our illustrators run riot, Concrete Hermit has turned its gallery space, and their walls over to them to bring their illustrations of renewable technologies from the Anthology to life. The results can be seen from Tuesday, 8th December onwards, and the exhibition will run until January 1st 2010.

Anthology1-Concrete-Hermit-Dec-09-001

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-044

Our dedicated illustrators pitched up this Sunday to lend their unique talents to this project. Given that the gallery space is pretty compact, and that at any given time there were roughly ten illustrators, as well as Amelia’s staff on hand to document the day and decorate the outside window,  the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and supportive – even if space was definitely at a premium! I was especially pleased to see some of the illustrators that I had been given the opportunity to interview for the Anthology, such as Jess Wilson, Craig Yamey and Chris Cox. While David Bowie played on the radio, coffee was consumed and cookies and cheese bagels were munched for much needed sustenance. I watched as white walls were transformed into bright and colourful ecological utopias, adorned with mythical creatures, talking whales and flying kites. Interesting and unexpected collaborations unfolded between many of the illustrators who were meeting each other for the first time; for example, when Chris Cox, Barbara Ana Gomez and Jess Wilson realised that their illustrations about renewable technologies all featured bodies of water such as lakes and the sea, they decided to share a large wall space, and while the illustrations are kept separate, they also seamlessly blend in with one another, each one complimenting the other. On another wall space, Karolin Schnoor (who was illustrating underwater technologies) and Andrew Merritt (whose work featured above water tech) shared the top and bottom half of the wall to weave their respective illustrations together.

Anthology2-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-016

Anthology7-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-064

Anthology3-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-035

Anthology5-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-036

Illustrating a wall space on a tight time span is a very different process to how the illustrators are used to working; while Jess revealed that the process was ”less stressful than I thought it was going to be”, others were conscious of the fact that they only had one take. Despite this, all were incredibly proud of their work for the Anthology and were delighted to be able to showcase their work at the gallery. By 5pm, there was the slightly worrying fact that due to unforeseen circumstances, part of one of the main walls still stood glaringly untouched. Undeterred, Craig, Barbara Ana and Amelia stepped in to collaborate on what was quickly termed the ‘mad panic corner’. Despite the time constraints, everyone was in good spirits, and I look forward to see how the mad panic corner has taken shape!

Anthology6-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-041

Anthology8-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-061

Leona Clarke adds some finishing touches

Anthology9-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-073

Saffron Stocker gets to grips with her piece of the wall.

Anthology10-Concrete-Hermit06122009-Dec-09-085

If you are London based, please come along to the launch, which starts at 6.30 and runs until 9.30pm. Once here, you can pick up a copy of the book which will be signed by Amelia. There will also be carbon neutral beer provided by Adnams and Macs Gold Malt Lager by Madison on hand. If you can’t make it on Tuesday evening, you have a few more weeks to see the work of our super talented illustrators adorn the walls of Concrete Hermit. We are expecting it to get very busy on Tuesday night, so please turn up early!
HETTY ROSE - HR Keep and Love 3

All imagery courtesy of Hetty Rose.

Upcycling, side effects the practice of reusing old clothing in new designs, is having something of a vogue moment. Amelia’s Magazine have frequently featured work by designers who recycle vintage pieces, including MIA and Clements Ribeiro. Next to step up to the mark is foot wear designer Hetty Rose.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 front view

Hetty’s shoes are made from recycling old Kimono fabrics. The shoes are all unique and made to fit, providing a truly individual shopping experience. Within an industry saturated with boring ballet flats and static stiletto heels, Hetty Rose shoes offer something different. Now in her third Kimono inspired collection, there’s plenty to choose from to (literally) stand out from the crowd.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 5 back view

The use of Kimono fabrics draws attention to the historical story behind the shoes, something which often appeals to vintage shoppers. These fabrics were once worn by Japanese Geishas in a world that has slowly disappeared post World War II (Think: Memoirs of a Geisha for inspiration). The hidden story of these fabrics makes these shoes even more desirable in my eyes. Who wouldn’t want to walk a mile in the shoes (almost literally) of historical women miles and years apart from us?

Keep and Love 1 back view

What’s also great about the collection is that it’s simple. These aren’t off-the-wall, barely wearable designs. Instead they are shoes your mother might even pick out. Flats feature vibrant, colourful prints but in classic, comfortable shapes. Strappy t-bars come in beautiful fabrics, and round-toed platform heels look positively walkable. Very much Eastern in influence, these pieces aren’t something you would find easily on the high street. With their unique patterns combined with simple designs, these shoes wouldn’t fit in with the hordes of uncomfortable, uninspiring bad boys out there at the moment.

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 front view

The most attractive quality of the shoes lies in the tailoring service. Each pair of shoes is made specifically to fit your feet perfectly à la Cinderella’s glass slipper. The shopper chooses the shoe, selects the fabric, measures her own feet and waits for her perfect pair to materialise in Hetty’s workshop. And hey-presto, shoe magic is done!

HETTY ROSE - Keep and Love 4 close up

So who is Hetty Rose? Well, unsurprisingly, Hetty is a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion in Footwear Design and Development. She set up her own business in 2007 and has been stocked across the country (and abroad) ever since. Find her at Cerise Boutique, Che Camille Boutique, Last Boutique and The Natural Store in the UK or online at her website.

Categories ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Becky Cope, ,Cerise Boutique, ,Che Camille Boutique, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,Hetty Rose, ,Japanese Geishas, ,Last Boutique, ,London College of Fashion, ,Memoirs of a Geisha, ,MIA, ,The Natural Store

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Northumbria

I always look forward to the Northumbria University BA fashion degree show for two reasons. One, price because it’s always effing good – the innovation, salve technique and creativity on display is second to pretty much nobody at Graduate Fashion Week. Secondly, I studied at the university, so this review might seem like a big fat plate of bias – I assure you, though, that it isn’t.

Nestled on the front row in between Style Savage Steve and the ever wonderful Hilary Alexander (who bopped, sketched and scribbled her way through the show) I was a little concerned that my big lens (baaaooowappp) might block the view of either of these fashion journalists. Neither said anything though, so I think I got away with it…

Opening the show with an explosion of glam-rock-meets-Elvis-meets-Lady-Gaga, Naomi New presented a very polished micro-collection featuring exaggerated shoulders of leather, spikes and studs, and horse-hair tails. Models strutted back and forth with real sex appeal and the quality of Naomi’s craftsmanship looked, from what I could see, incredible.

The key theme in this year’s show was digital prints, and it’s a testament to the late, great Alexander McQueen’s legacy that this is such a mainstay on graduate catwalks. Faye Chamberlain’s was the most striking of collections, owing to its wild neon prints reminiscent of MIA’s Kala album cover, and blingy embellishment. Short, short dresses with spikey hips challenged the traditional constraints of the female form.

Further print patrons included the work of Sophie Dee and Ludmila Maida. Sophie Dee presented a feminine, playful collection of vibrant prints, micro shorts and bubble skirts, accessorised with childlike objects such as candy floss and helium balloons, harping back to the glory days of the seaside. Ludmila Maida’s collection was a slightly more mature one, with elegant maxi dresses in neon, gathered into sections to create flattering asymmetrical shapes.

Gemma Williamson also hopped on the print train, with her slightly eery collection making use of religious iconography.


Illustration by Gemma Williamson from her graduate work

Menswear was, as always, well represented; one of the few menswear graduates to win the prestigious Gold Award in recent years was a Northumbria student. Sara Wilson set the standard with a mixture of soft tailoring and Japanese influence – loose fitting blazers were teamed with skinny trousers and shorts, while snood-like pieces of material attempted to cover the face, giving each outfit a martial-art feel.

Louise Dickinson’s inspired outfits seemed to draw influence from historical Britain and tradition in general. An oversized Barbour-style jacket here and a triangular-shaped cape printed with a vintage map there made for a intriguing and genuinely unique collection.

But it was Caroline Rowland’s eccentric tailoring that captured my imagination the most. A bit Sebastian Flyte, a bit Dries Van Noten, it was the perfect mix of traditional tailoring and quirky design flair. Ill-fitting gingham shirts (I presume on purpose) were teamed with tucked-in waistcoats and patterned bow ties, while cropped blazers looked great with high-waisted tailored trousers. You can never go wrong with a sock suspender either.

And now for a quick round of some of my favourite womesnwear collections. It’ll have to be a whistle-stop tour because I have 3 other shows to write up and I’m having my hair cut in an hour.

One of my absolute faves was Julie Perry, who combined body-concious all-in-ones with Meccano-style leather creations. These outfits had real sex appeal – not one for the supermarket but definitely for the fierce fashionista who isn’t afraid to show off. Julie’s pieces were architectural in shape and hinted at a little bit of kink.


Illustration by Julie Perry from her graduate work

Holly Farrar’s super sleek collection toyed with masculine tailoring and models had structured shoulders with outfits tapering downwards. Defined v-necklines gave the outfits an overall geometric look and were very sophisticated indeed.


Illustration by Holly Farrar from her graduate work

These gemoetric-slash-linear-slash-structured themes ran through many a collection, executed most effectively by Stephanie Price. Her futuristic collection married materials with aesthetic appeal with flattering shapes – mesh covered body-concious shift dresses had a dazzling effect, as did this dynamic jacket…


Illustrations by Stephanie Price, from her graduate work

Closing the show was Victoria Kirby, who had clearly been selected for her fresh innovation and coutourier-like craftsmanship. Elegant floor sweepers made from silk and velour had the appearance of two dresses in one, cut and merged down the middle. Exaggerating the shoulders and synching in at the waist created beautiful feminine shapes that flattered.


Illustration by Victoria Kirby, from her graduate work

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,Barbour, ,Bow Ties, ,Caroline Rowland, ,Digital Prints, ,Dries Van Noten, ,Elvis, ,Faye Chamberlain, ,Gemma Williamson, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2010, ,Hilary Alexander, ,Holly Farrar, ,japanese, ,Julie Perry, ,Kala, ,Lady Gaga, ,Louise Dickinson, ,Ludmila Maida, ,McQueen, ,Meccano, ,menswear, ,MIA, ,Naomi New, ,Neon, ,Newcastle, ,Northumbria, ,print, ,Sara Wilson, ,Sebastian Flyte, ,Sophie Dee, ,Stephanie Price, ,Style Savage, ,Victoria Kirby, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Swedish musician Lykke Li


Photography by Lee Goldup

Sweden is a small country but it has produced some big exports. Whether it’s infectious pop, this web affordable furniture or fashionable, well-priced clothes (take a stab at guessing the brands!), the Swedes know what it takes to satisfy their consumers. Now if we extend these categories to ‘hip young musicians’, you’ll find that they have their bases covered here too.

We first featured Lykke Li back in February 2008 when she was just an emerging artist, relatively fresh to the gig circuit. Since then, she has well and truly blossomed amongst the underground and commercial elite of the music scene, building up a set of credentials to leave most of her peers looking on with green-eyed envy.

She released her debut album ‘Youth Novels‘ to critical acclaim in 2008 and has since performed with The Roots and hip hop legend Q-Tip, collaborated with Kayne West and MIA, and currently features on a track called ‘Miss It So Much’ on Roysopp’s latest album. As if that weren’t enough, she also penned the track ‘Possibility’ for the second installment of lovey-dovey vampire Twilight saga ‘New Moon’, gaining herself a healthy teen following in the process.

On the award front, Lykke’s musical talent and fashion sense have not gone unnoticed; she has received nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Female Artist” at the Swedish Grammy Awards and was voted “Best Dressed Woman” at the Swedish Elle Magazine Awards in 2009. Is there an end to this list of fabulousness?? (And she’s only 24!)


Photography by Lee Goldup

Dressed in an oversized black tassled jacket, a short black mini-skirt, bulky black boots and lashings of thick black eye make-up (and with few words), on meeting Lykke, I couldn’t help but feel that she exuded the demeanor of a slightly irked teenager.

I caught up with the Swedish starlet briefly, prior to her set at the Volvo Subject 60 launch party in London last week, for a rather intriguing interview in a drafty stairwell to talk about her international background, performing in front of big crowds and desert island necessities…

So how are you feeling about your set tonight?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do some new songs tonight which I haven’t done before. The sets are also going to be more acoustic so it will be different and quite interesting.

You’ve had a very international upbringing – have you found that this has influenced your music?

I don’t know because I’ve never known any different. I don’t know how I would write music if I only lived in one place. I feel that my music comes more from within – not so much from the outside.


Photography by Lee Goldup

Who are your biggest musical influences to date?
There are just so many. I don’t really listen to a lot of new music. I get really inspired by weird chanting, like Voodoo music. I recently found these field recordings from the 1920s which I’ve been listening to a lot.

What bands currently excite you?
I really enjoy Beach House – the singer has a great voice and their songs are very well written. I am also listening to The Big Pink and a lot too who have an interesting sound. Of course, there’s always Leonard Cohen.

How have you found the transition of playing in big venues compared to small venues?
It’s been fine although I still enjoy playing small venues the most because there’s more of an intimacy you share with your audience.

How do you find playing in front of a UK audience in comparison to a Swedish audience?
It’s kind of crazy because I almost never play in Sweden; it’s so rare. I guess every audience is different but I find that in big cities, people tend to be slightly more reserved – there’s more of an effort that people make to be cool.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
Last summer there was a festival on an island just outside Holland so we had to take the smallest boat to get there, but it was during severe storms and the water was really rough. Everyone on the boat thought that we were going to die. And then there was the coming back part when we were super drunk in the middle of the night. It was crazy but we had a great time.

Who would you most like to work with?
Leonard Cohen as always.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone starting out?
It’s hard to maintain yourself in this industry. I think the main thing I would say is to be honest and always stay true to yourself. It’s clichéd but it’s true.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m looking forward to going for a swim in the lakes in Sweden when it’s finished. It’s going to be a long summer for me as I’ll going to be in the studio for most of it. It’s exciting but I can’t sleep anymore because I’m thinking so much – my brain is working all the time.

What three items would you bring with you if you on a desert island?
A hot man, a Swiss army knife and some erotic novels by Anaïs Nin.

Categories ,Anais Nin, ,Beach House, ,CSI, ,Elle, ,Grey’s Anatomy, ,Kanye West, ,Kat Phan, ,leonard cohen, ,Lykke Li, ,MIA, ,Q-Tip, ,Royksopp, ,the big pink, ,twilight, ,Volvo S60, ,Voodoo

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Swedish musician Lykke Li


Photography by Lee Goldup

Sweden is a small country but it has produced some big exports. Whether it’s infectious pop, affordable furniture or fashionable, well-priced clothes (take a stab at guessing the brands!), the Swedes know what it takes to satisfy their consumers. Now if we extend these categories to ‘hip young musicians’, you’ll find that they have their bases covered here too.

We first featured Lykke Li back in February 2008 when she was just an emerging artist, relatively fresh to the gig circuit. Since then, she has well and truly blossomed amongst the underground and commercial elite of the music scene, building up a set of credentials to leave most of her peers looking on with green-eyed envy.

She released her debut album ‘Youth Novels‘ to critical acclaim in 2008 and has since performed with The Roots and hip hop legend Q-Tip, collaborated with Kayne West and MIA, and currently features on a track called ‘Miss It So Much’ on Roysopp’s latest album. As if that weren’t enough, she also penned the track ‘Possibility’ for the second installment of lovey-dovey vampire Twilight saga ‘New Moon’, gaining herself a healthy teen following in the process.

On the award front, Lykke’s musical talent and fashion sense have not gone unnoticed; she has received nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Female Artist” at the Swedish Grammy Awards and was voted “Best Dressed Woman” at the Swedish Elle Magazine Awards in 2009. Is there an end to this list of fabulousness?? (And she’s only 24!)


Photography by Lee Goldup

Dressed in an oversized black tassled jacket, a short black mini-skirt, bulky black boots and lashings of thick black eye make-up (and with few words), on meeting Lykke, I couldn’t help but feel that she exuded the demeanor of a slightly irked teenager.

I caught up with the Swedish starlet briefly, prior to her set at the Volvo Subject 60 launch party in London last week, for a rather intriguing interview in a drafty stairwell to talk about her international background, performing in front of big crowds and desert island necessities…

So how are you feeling about your set tonight?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do some new songs tonight which I haven’t done before. The sets are also going to be more acoustic so it will be different and quite interesting.

You’ve had a very international upbringing – have you found that this has influenced your music?

I don’t know because I’ve never known any different. I don’t know how I would write music if I only lived in one place. I feel that my music comes more from within – not so much from the outside.


Photography by Lee Goldup

Who are your biggest musical influences to date?
There are just so many. I don’t really listen to a lot of new music. I get really inspired by weird chanting, like Voodoo music. I recently found these field recordings from the 1920s which I’ve been listening to a lot.

What bands currently excite you?
I really enjoy Beach House – the singer has a great voice and their songs are very well written. I am also listening to The Big Pink and a lot too who have an interesting sound. Of course, there’s always Leonard Cohen.

How have you found the transition of playing in big venues compared to small venues?
It’s been fine although I still enjoy playing small venues the most because there’s more of an intimacy you share with your audience.

How do you find playing in front of a UK audience in comparison to a Swedish audience?
It’s kind of crazy because I almost never play in Sweden; it’s so rare. I guess every audience is different but I find that in big cities, people tend to be slightly more reserved – there’s more of an effort that people make to be cool.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
Last summer there was a festival on an island just outside Holland so we had to take the smallest boat to get there, but it was during severe storms and the water was really rough. Everyone on the boat thought that we were going to die. And then there was the coming back part when we were super drunk in the middle of the night. It was crazy but we had a great time.

Who would you most like to work with?
Leonard Cohen as always.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone starting out?
It’s hard to maintain yourself in this industry. I think the main thing I would say is to be honest and always stay true to yourself. It’s clichéd but it’s true.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m looking forward to going for a swim in the lakes in Sweden when it’s finished. It’s going to be a long summer for me as I’ll going to be in the studio for most of it. It’s exciting but I can’t sleep anymore because I’m thinking so much – my brain is working all the time.

What three items would you bring with you if you on a desert island?
A hot man, a Swiss army knife and some erotic novels by Anaïs Nin.

Categories ,Anais Nin, ,Beach House, ,CSI, ,Elle, ,Grey’s Anatomy, ,Kanye West, ,Kat Phan, ,leonard cohen, ,Lykke Li, ,MIA, ,Q-Tip, ,Royksopp, ,the big pink, ,twilight, ,Volvo S60, ,Voodoo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Celebrating Women in Music: Producing It For Themselves

FKA Twigs by Tiffany Baxter
FKA Twigs by Tiffany Baxter.

The music industry would have us believe women are dominating the music scene right now. Fierce, female, singer/songwriters are in abundance. We’ve got Miley on her wrecking ball, Beyonce grinding her surf board, Lady Gaga covered in ham. We’re winning ladies… I digress, we shouldn’t be laughing. Whilst the dominant, mainstream female artists claim to be writing their own music and be heavily involved in the creative process, the other side of the mixing desk is another story. The domination does not extend to production.

Trina Shoemaker mixing desk
There are plenty of high flying women in other areas of the music business. But despite the BBC starting to train female sound engineers in 1941, it is still a predominantly male playing field. Trina Shoemaker is a brilliant exception to this and was the first woman to take home a Grammy for ‘Best Sound Engineer’ in 1998 for her work on Sheryl Crow’s album Globe Sessions.

Women in music illustration Louise Andersone
Women in music: illustration by Louise Andersone.

However, only three women in history have been nominated for ‘Best Producer’ at the Brits and Grammys and we are yet to see the day a woman goes home with the prize. Perhaps this isn’t even a gender issue. According to The Music Producers Guild, women only hold 4% of the equity in music production. There just aren’t enough women in the sector. There are an array of arguments on the reasons behind this figure, ranging from women being disinterested in the technical side of things to sexism, to the age old restraint of becoming a mother and its incompatibility with the lifestyle and all consuming nature of a being a studio producer. Who knows what the truth is. Perhaps it’s a mish mash of the lot of them and then some.

Joni Mitchell Clouds Album Cover
Joni Mitchell complained that whichever man was in the room with her when she was recording, he would take credit for her work. Bjork has recently echoed a similar sentiment in a recent interview with Pitchfork stating that time and time again she has been denied due credit for the production of her albums. In another Pitchfork interview in 2007, the highly skilled MIA laid into the interviewer regarding the production of her records, ‘I just find it a bit upsetting and kind of insulting that I can’t have any ideas on my own because I’m a female… After the first time it’s cool, the second time it’s cool, but after like the third, fourth, fifth time, maybe it’s an issue that we need to talk about, maybe that’s something important, you know.’

Delia Derbyshire Radiophonic Workshop
Despite their low numbers, there have been some formidable women sitting behind that mixing desk throughout the history of recording. Take Delia Derbyshire for starters. Delia who? Derbyshire. Despite being told in 1959 by Decca Records that the recording studio was no place for a woman, she persevered and joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1960. A genius to sound, Derbyshire was responsible for the recording of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme in 1963 and earned herself an incredible reputation as an innovator in sound before the age of the synthesiser. At a time when groups and composers were exploring Psychedelia, she was feted by musicians all over the world including McCartney, Hendrix and Pink Floyd and in her latter days she co produced with Sonic Boom and heavily influenced modern experimental groups including Portishead, Orbital and The Chemical Brothers.

sylvia-robinson
Remember The Sugar Hill Gang and their hit ‘Rappers Delight’? Product of a woman. The first commercially successful rap recording that brought rap music to a global audience was produced by the late Sylvia Robinson in 1979. For this alone she should be a household name, but by no means was that the extent of her success. At the age of 16 she had a number 1 hit in America, she penned hits for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, produced one of the first ever disco singles and founded multiple record labels. In the late sixties she was one of the few women to be producing records and in 1979, when she started Sugar Hill Records, almost all of the recordings were still produced in house and overseen by herself. That other big hip hop classic ‘The Message’ by Grand Master Flash? She was the driving force behind that too.

Women may be few and far between in production roles but that doesn’t take away from their ability. As music technology is becoming more accessible, a new generation of self taught, self sufficient, women are rising, producing their own records, and taking the music industry by storm. Check out this lot.

lykke-li-portrait
Lykke Li
Lykke Li plunged onto the music scene back in 2007 with her debut EP ‘Little Bit’. Her voice was quirky and her tracks an intriguing take on indie pop. Writing her own songs, composing melodies and recording demos, Lykke has then worked with male counterparts Björn Yttling and Lasse Mårtén to produce the finished product. As co producer on her latest LP ‘I Never Learn’ she had more creative input than ever and has come up with all the ideas for her music videos since she started. Having established herself as a credible artist and three albums into her career, she still notices and comments during an interview with The Guardian that ‘the rules for women in music are tacitly different… If I’m on stage and it’s warm and I don’t want to wear trousers all of a sudden I’m a victim, but if Iggy Pop takes his shirt off? Oh, that’s fine.’ Thought she was just another female performer surrounded by great people producing and directing her? Think again. She’s business savvy too having created LL Recordings in 2007. Releasing all of her work under her own label to protect and give herself freedom, this woman is a power house of vision.


Tw-ache – Twigs remixed one of her first tracks ‘Ache’, co directed the video with Tom Beard and shows off her dance moves. A force to be reckoned with.

FKA Twigs
English Singer/songwriter FKA Twigs has taken the world by storm. After teaching herself the music software package Ableton, Twigs went on to produce her debut EP in 2012 entitled EP1, which she self released on bandcamp. In 2013 she worked with top producer Arca and released her second EP, EP2. Having proved herself, Twigs collaborated with several other producers including Arca, Emile Haynie, Devonté Hynes, Paul Epworth and Clams Casino on her debut album LP1 to help her fill in the gaps in areas she felt she needed guidance. Both male and female artists employ these methods. As a professionally trained dancer, Twigs has also taken full control of her music videos. She knows what she wants and refuses to sacrifice her creativity for popularity. It seems to be a winning philosophy as in her few years on the music scene she’s already been nominated for a Brit, a Grammy and the Mercury Prize. This woman is fierce and a real inspiration to young women.

snowapple illusion album cover

Video for Snowapple’s latest single ‘California’

Snowapple
This unassuming, all girl trio are another wonderful example of women taking control of their music. Snowapple play dozens of instruments, layering beautiful harmonies over the top, creating an eclectic folk sound. Being entirely responsible for the creative side of things they’ve gone one step further and are also in charge of their own bookings, management and production. The Amsterdam based trio have many self made women as colleagues and see a shift in the way things are moving, ‘The music industry is still an old boys club but we believe the decisiveness of female entrepreneurs is very powerful and we are conquering more and more space!’ Their new album ‘Illusion’ is out now.

Isolde women in music
Isolde
An emerging artist from Bristol, Isolde is yet another young female, producing her own material. Creating each track from scratch, she then gets busy fleshing them out with instrumentation and samples. She knows what she wants to hear and has taught herself how to communicate that. However she notes ‘I feel a lot of pressure, when entering this predominantly white, affluent, western male playing field, to prove my ‘techni-ness’. What I care about is the music, and how the technology enables me to create it.’ I don’t think she has to worry too much. Her debut EP ‘Seed Bud Bloom’ is a glorious patchwork of sounds she has collected over the years and full of her own personal essence.

There is a real platform now for women to have a shot at commercial success as producers and artists in their own right, moving away from the traditional glamourised and sexualised image. Women are becoming more confident in their abilities in all aspects of the music business and are reflecting their own identities and ideals.

It’s been a long road and there is still a considerable amount of distance to cover but it’s an exciting time as more and more women are challenging traditional perceptions.

Categories ,Ache, ,Arca, ,BBC Radiophonic Workshop, ,Best Producer, ,Best Sound Engineer, ,bjork, ,Björn Yttling, ,Brits, ,Clams Casino, ,Decca Records, ,Delia Derbyshire, ,Devonté Hynes, ,Emile Haynie, ,EP1, ,EP2, ,FKA Twigs, ,Globe Sessions, ,Grammys, ,Grand Master Flash, ,I Never Learn, ,Ike and Tina Turner, ,Illusion, ,Isolde, ,Joni Mitchell, ,Lasse Mårtén, ,Little Bit, ,LL Recordings, ,Louise Andersone, ,LP1, ,Lykke Li, ,MIA, ,Music Industry, ,Music Production, ,Paul Epworth, ,Pitchfork, ,Rappers Delight, ,Ron Grainer, ,Seed Bud Bloom, ,Sheryl Crow, ,Snowapple, ,Sonic Boom, ,Sugar Hill Records, ,Sylvia Robinson, ,The Message, ,The Music Producers Guild, ,The Sugar Hill Gang, ,Tiffany Baxter, ,Tom Beard, ,Trina Shoemaker, ,Women in Music

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