Amelia’s Magazine | The Golden Thread Awards at Fashion Week Poland A/W 2011: Oversized and Bulbous

Dominika Piekutowska Swed by Lesley Barnes
Dominika Piekutowska Swed by Lesley Barnes.

There was a lot of bold egg like shapes going on at the Golden Thread awards. Bulbous shoulders, cost plump skirts, rotund headpieces, you name it. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. A word to the braver fashion designers of the world: make sure that your idea looks good on a moving model. It’s kind of important when it comes to clothing.

Dominika Piekutowska Swed by Alia Gargum
Dominika Piekutowska Swed by Alia Gargum.

Dominika Piekutowska Swed
Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Dominika Piekutowska Swed Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
I really liked Dominika Piekutowska Swed‘s minimal collection of carefully constructed creamy shapes that called to mind the delicate design of butterfly wings, insect scales and coral, all put together with a dash of silver leather. Very wearable in many ways but with a strong innovative edge. I’ll be very interested to watch her career progress.

Renata ‘Miyabi’ Molik
Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Renata Miyabi Molik Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Renata ‘Miyabi’ Molik obviously aspires to dress dear Lady Gaga. With their hands planted firmly on their hips the models paraded a series of sculptural bodies in metallic finishes with strange jutting padded scissor handles for shoulders. Fun for editorial.

Igor Galas AW 2011 by Kristina Vasiljeva
Igor Galas AW 2011 by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Igor Galas
Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Igor Galas Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Croatian designer Igor Galas showed a predominantly brown and oatmeal collection that featured some truly frightening menswear (more burly male models with hairy thighs in hotpants. gah). For women there were some successful puffy tulip shaped knitwear garments, but in what looked like cotton they didn’t work so well – ideas that may have looked good on a drawing board were rendered far less flattering on the catwalk.

Laura Holeczek
Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Laura Holeczek Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Laura Holeczek is probably best glossed over as quickly as possible: this fashion nightmare was set to Bollywood music and featured a total mishmash of traditional styles plucked with random from across the world. Men and women wore harem pants, clogs and headwear inspired by Morocco and, erm, Holland. This was pantomime costume not fashion; there was potential buried in there somewhere but it needed so much more development.

Martyna Idzikowska
Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Martyna Idzikowska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Martyna Idzikowska sent out a great collection that featured huge egg shaped layered dresses accessorised with blood red encasing neck braces and red slashed under layers. But again, a major quibble with the way the fabric moved when the models walked. Strange lumps and bumps appeared where on a mannequin all must have looked fabulously shaped. A problem to be overcome for the next collection?

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Bollywood, ,Croatian, ,Dominika Piekutowska Swed, ,Egg, ,Fashion Week Poland, ,holland, ,Igor Galas, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Lady Gaga, ,Laura Holeczek, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Lodz, ,Martyna Idzikowska, ,Morocco, ,Renata ‘Miyabi’ Molik, ,Sculptural, ,The Golden Thread, ,Złota Nitka

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yves Saint Laurent : Retrospective : Petit Palais, Paris


A couple of weeks ago, order I was sifting through work emails and idly wondering how my forthcoming weekend was going to shape up; it seemed to be taking on the familiar pleasures of the default setting – drinks, lazing around Shoreditch Park, catching a gig or two, having a coffee at Columbia Road flower market; the same old same old essentially, and then an email dropped into my inbox that quickly made me revise my plans. It was from Ben, an old friend of Amelia’s Magazine from French-Music Org, and Liz from Brittany Tourism who were both involved in the French music festival des Vieilles Charrues in Brittany, and wanted to know if Amelia’s Magazine was interested in coming along to check it out. Being a champion of all kinds of festivals, both in England and abroad, but at the same time staying true to the ethics of not flying wherever possible, I was pleased to see that the festival encourages all non-flight forms of travel, and had a good deal with Brittany Ferries worked into one of the ticket packages that also includes transfers to and from the festival. I had a quick look at the line-up, which included performances from Phoenix, Midlake, The Raveonettes, Fanfarlo and Julian Casablancas. Then I checked my ipod and saw that apart from a little Francoise Hardy and Charlotte Gainsbourg, it was woefully lacking in French music and decided that this Gallic version of Glastonbury could be my guide to France’s vibrant music scene, especially seeing that Chapelier Fou, Revolver, Indochine, Fefe and the brilliantly named Sexy Sushi were all headlining. So that was that. All I needed to do was grab my trusty pillow and I was off to France! A few hours later, after a bumpy ferry ride that unfortunately took place on the windiest day of the year, I found myself in the picturesque town of Carhaix, home of the festival, and about 45 minutes inland from the coast.


Sune and Sharin of The Raveonettes give us a shock and awe performance.


Watching The Raveonettes with my friends – wet and bedraggled but happy.

It was straight to the festival and to the front of the crowd to watch The Raveonettes do a typically kinetic set of howling, fuzzy guitar riffs, liberally sprinkled with lots and lots of noise. Just how the audience like it. The Danish duo, made up of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are a dark force to reckon with and played an incredibly tight set, featuring songs from their fourth album, In And Out Of Control. I hadn’t see them play before and I came away thinking that the bands waiting in the wings such as Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Crystal Castles and Vivienne Girls still have a long way to go before they steal the crowns off of these two. Later I managed to get in some talk time with Sune who refused the offer of dinner with his bandmates in favour of shooting the breeze over mugs of vodka cranberries for a whole hour. (Interview to come in the next few weeks)

The next day, when I was a little less exhausted from twelve straight hours of travelling, and no sleep, I was able to properly explore the festival and see it through renewed eyes. Truth be told, it was refreshing to find myself at an overseas festival. The crowd were relaxed, extremely friendly (stand next to any random group of strangers and within a few minutes you will be conversing away happily in a garbled mix of Franglais) and the FOOD (and drink)! It doesn’t matter how many boutique festivals are springing up over England, festival des Vieilles Charrues trumps us with champagne bars all over the site (to be sipped insouciantly while you watch French rock gods Indochine) and food tents which can provide you cheese plates and fruits de la mer to go with your choice of wine. It being slightly earlier in the day, I was trying out the regional cider which was so tasty it practically made me weep, and made my way over to watch the Fanfarlo set. Unexpectedly, this was probably my favourite performance of the festival. Having toured constantly for the past year (watch the mini documentary on their website which painfully documents their incessant and exhaustion-inducing schedule), the performances of the songs from their 2009 release Reservoir have taken on a whole new level. Each band member seamlessly flitted between a myriad of different musical instruments; no-one ever held onto a guitar, trumpet, violin, mandolin or musical saw for more than a few minutes before doing some musical-chairs. I’m not sure how well France was aware of Fanfarlo, but the full audience loved every song they played, and noisily demanded an encore – which unfortunately they didn’t get, but then, the band do only have about twelve songs in their back catalogue.


Fanfarlo talk about life on the road and divulge the little known fact of lead singer Simon’s childhood love of ham radios.


Traditional Breton music. Everyone knew the dance moves but me.

Night time gave me a chance to flit between the bands playing. I watched Midlake, the indie Texans who are fast gaining popularity over on this side of the pond, serenade the audience as the sun set, their hazy Americana sound drifting over the breeze and through the fields. Then it was a hop, skip and a jump to watch Sexy Sushi, the raw Parisian rap of Fefe and – I didn’t see this coming – some traditional Breton music involving some old men, a couple of accordions and a lively crowd who were all versed in the dance moves that accompany the traditional folk style. Then the midnight hour was upon us and the audience was heading in droves to watch Phoenix, who are clearly the prodigal sons of France. I’ve heard before that some of the French don’t appreciate the fact that Phoenix record all of their tracks in English, as opposed to their mother tongue, but there was no such bad feeling in the crowd that stood around me that night, sending waves of love and adulation towards the stage which prompted lead singer Thomas Mars to briefly lie on the stage in slightly dazed wonder at this epic night.

It was frustrating to have to leave on Sunday, as I missed performances by Pony Pony Run Run, Julian Casablancas and Etienne De Crecy, but work commitments dictated an early departure. Nonetheless, I had such a great time that I am already planning next years Festival des Vieilles Charrues (which will be the 20th anniversary of the festival). Brittany was the perfect setting for such a chilled festival, and a welcome addition to the festival calendar.


Yves Saint Laurent, buy information pills illustrated by Kayleigh Bluck

When in the fashion capital, sildenafil to miss a much talked about exhibition that focuses on the ‘prince of fashion’ would be a crime. Two years on from Yves Saint Laurent’s death in June 2008, information pills the Petit Palais Museum in Paris hosted a magnificent showcase of his work, his life and his history and I went to check it out.

A queuing time of one hour and a ticket price of 11 euros later, I arrived at the beginning of the exhibition which was a history of himself and through to ‘The Dior Years’; a fascinating look at how he was recognised for his beautiful fashion sketches and taken onboard by the famous couturier. Spending much of his time at Dior doing mundane tasks such as decorating, doing the paperwork and designing accessories, Yves Saint Laurent continued to submit his own sketches for new collections which, in time, lead to him being appointed to succeed as designer after Dior, who died suddenly at the age of 52 from a heart attack, promoting YSL sooner than expected and at only 21 years old.


Tribute to Piet Mondrian, 1965, illustrated by Lesley Barnes

The exhibition moved through to his first collections including the famous ‘Trapèze’, which were not approved of as he had hoped and slated by the press who didn’t think too highly of his beatnik designs.  A long line of mannequins, donated from the Foundation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, modelled his wonderful safari jackets, skin tight trousers and the famous Le Smoking suit, which were so perfect and impeccably designed. As the first French couturier to produce a prêt -a-porter line, his rise in fame is recognised with yet another dozen or so mannequins showcasing his ‘silhouette’ designs and a room dedicated to the film Belle de Jour, starring Catherine Deneuve and many of his garments. Film clips of the beautiful actress wearing his suits and dresses lit up the room alongside his very desk where he worked on his fashion drawings and paperwork as he left it and of course, those famous glasses of his which added such a personal and almost emotional touch to the whole exhibition. An almost pitch black room beside it showing beautifully constructed evening gowns and video clips of his inspiration, ranging from old movies to photographs of Marilyn Monroe and pieces of art such as Van Gogh, Mondrian and Matisse. Leaving this, several areas full of his more exotic work which had taken inspiration from the far flung places Yves loved to visit such as Russia, India and Morocco to name but a few, showed a different, refreshing side to his talent. 


Le Smoking, illustrated by Abi Daker

As his prêt-a-porter line became more and more popular with the public, despite it’s initial reputation, YSL became considered one of the ‘Paris Jet Set’ which, although glamorous, created a worrying relationship with alcohol and drugs and a lack of interest in the production of his work. Despite this sad self destruction, his work was evidently still as fantastic as it was years before. A room decorated in red carpet and full of his best evening gowns, named as ‘The Last Ball’ shimmering underneath the spotlights and producing a lot of gasps and ‘wows’ from visitors, proved that his talent was ever-growing despite his sad personal life. Moving on to his final designs, ‘The Collision of Colours’ which were slightly different in that they were modern, classic and slightly more tamed than the extravagant previous collections, the exhibition came to a close with a few words about his last movements.  


Velvet and satin evening dress, 1983, illustrated by Emma Block

With the historical photographs, films and words alongside real life evidence of his blossoming talent from assistant to famous couturier, the exhibition was personal, thorough and highly favourable of this talented French designer whose contribution to the fashion industry is colossal. After a total of 307 of prêt-a-porter and haute couture designs and around two hours of wonderful education, I walked away feeling that I could definitely go back for another visit and would hope that any visitor to Paris would make time to go and be amazed too. He may be gone in person, but his talent lives on in memory and those who took over. If it is good enough for the fashion capital, who’s to say otherwise?

Categories ,Belle de Hour, ,Catherine Deneuve, ,Christian Dior, ,france, ,Hollywood, ,India, ,Le Smoking, ,Marilyn Monroe, ,matisse, ,Morocco, ,paris, ,Paris Jet Set, ,Petit Palais, ,Pierre Berge, ,Piet Mondrian, ,Pret-a-porter, ,Red carpet, ,Russia!, ,Silhouette, ,Trapeze, ,van gogh, ,YSL, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yves Saint Laurent : Retrospective : Petit Palais, Paris


Yves Saint Laurent, illustrated by Kayleigh Bluck

When in the fashion capital, to miss a much talked about exhibition that focuses on the ‘prince of fashion’ would be a crime. Two years on from Yves Saint Laurent’s death in June 2008, the Petit Palais Museum in Paris hosted a magnificent showcase of his work, his life and his history and I went to check it out.

A queuing time of one hour and a ticket price of 11 euros later, I arrived at the beginning of the exhibition which was a history of himself and through to ‘The Dior Years’; a fascinating look at how he was recognised for his beautiful fashion sketches and taken onboard by the famous couturier. Spending much of his time at Dior doing mundane tasks such as decorating, doing the paperwork and designing accessories, Yves Saint Laurent continued to submit his own sketches for new collections which, in time, lead to him being appointed to succeed as designer after Dior, who died suddenly at the age of 52 from a heart attack, promoting YSL sooner than expected and at only 21 years old.


Tribute to Piet Mondrian, 1965, illustrated by Lesley Barnes

The exhibition moved through to his first collections including the famous ‘Trapèze’, which were not approved of as he had hoped and slated by the press who didn’t think too highly of his beatnik designs.  A long line of mannequins, donated from the Foundation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, modelled his wonderful safari jackets, skin tight trousers and the famous Le Smoking suit, which were so perfect and impeccably designed. As the first French couturier to produce a prêt -a-porter line, his rise in fame is recognised with yet another dozen or so mannequins showcasing his ‘silhouette’ designs and a room dedicated to the film Belle de Jour, starring Catherine Deneuve and many of his garments. Film clips of the beautiful actress wearing his suits and dresses lit up the room alongside his very desk where he worked on his fashion drawings and paperwork as he left it and of course, those famous glasses of his which added such a personal and almost emotional touch to the whole exhibition. An almost pitch black room beside it showing beautifully constructed evening gowns and video clips of his inspiration, ranging from old movies to photographs of Marilyn Monroe and pieces of art such as Van Gogh, Mondrian and Matisse. Leaving this, several areas full of his more exotic work which had taken inspiration from the far flung places Yves loved to visit such as Russia, India and Morocco to name but a few, showed a different, refreshing side to his talent. 


Le Smoking, illustrated by Abi Daker

As his prêt-a-porter line became more and more popular with the public, despite it’s initial reputation, YSL became considered one of the ‘Paris Jet Set’ which, although glamorous, created a worrying relationship with alcohol and drugs and a lack of interest in the production of his work. Despite this sad self destruction, his work was evidently still as fantastic as it was years before. A room decorated in red carpet and full of his best evening gowns, named as ‘The Last Ball’ shimmering underneath the spotlights and producing a lot of gasps and ‘wows’ from visitors, proved that his talent was ever-growing despite his sad personal life. Moving on to his final designs, ‘The Collision of Colours’ which were slightly different in that they were modern, classic and slightly more tamed than the extravagant previous collections, the exhibition came to a close with a few words about his last movements.  


Velvet and satin evening dress, 1983, illustrated by Emma Block

With the historical photographs, films and words alongside real life evidence of his blossoming talent from assistant to famous couturier, the exhibition was personal, thorough and highly favourable of this talented French designer whose contribution to the fashion industry is colossal. After a total of 307 of prêt-a-porter and haute couture designs and around two hours of wonderful education, I walked away feeling that I could definitely go back for another visit and would hope that any visitor to Paris would make time to go and be amazed too. He may be gone in person, but his talent lives on in memory and those who took over. If it is good enough for the fashion capital, who’s to say otherwise?

Categories ,Belle de Hour, ,Catherine Deneuve, ,Christian Dior, ,france, ,Hollywood, ,India, ,Le Smoking, ,Marilyn Monroe, ,matisse, ,Morocco, ,paris, ,Paris Jet Set, ,Petit Palais, ,Pierre Berge, ,Piet Mondrian, ,Pret-a-porter, ,Red carpet, ,Russia!, ,Silhouette, ,Trapeze, ,van gogh, ,YSL, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alex Czinczel presents Burro de Change at Prick Your Finger

Prick Your Finger-Burro de Change
Burro de Change by Alex Czinczel at Prick Your Finger.

Prick Your Finger always host the most wonderful little exhibitions in their Globe Road yarn shop, ampoule and at the moment they have an animation inside a volcano courtesy of Alex Czinczel, viagra approved aka The Chinchilla. Burro de Change is a charming piece of work that features knitted donkeys and lots of… furniture. For now you can see it exclusively in their capacious window. I decided to find out what Burro de Change is all about, viagra 100mg and what else its creator has been up to.

Alex Czinczel Burro de Change volcano

Why a donkey?
44 years after Robert Bresson made Au Hasard Balthazar, it was clearly time to redress the balance of donkey cinema by making a film about a happy, carefree donkey. His only worry is how to find the perfect furniture. He is pretty lucky!

Prick Your Finger-Burro de Change

What’s it all about anyway?
Nothing really, just an inexplicable love of terrible puns. The installation Burro de Change is the third part of the Burro Trilogy. The film El Burro y Los Muebles is the first part. El Burro y Los Churros, which is announced at the end of the film, is the second part. The second part exists only as an idea, as it has been announced but not made. The idea is enough though, because we can all imagine exactly what happens. It is also all very much about this imaginary landscape which is inspired by Coconino County where Krazy Kat lives. Until very recently I thought George Herriman had made it up and I was almost disappointed to find out that Coconino County is real. It even has its own website. It tells you how to get a special event food permit, but makes no mention of George Herriman, the only person who ever had anything interesting to say about Coconino County. Life is much stranger than fiction.


Vladimir and Dragopov by Alex Czinczel

You seem to be a bit obsessed with furniture… where did this come from and why do you think this is?
A large unsightly piece of furniture fell on me and nearly killed me when I was three and a half years old, and ever since then… no, no, I’m lying. It comes from a road trip from London to Morocco: While travelling through Spain, I was constantly noticing signs for furniture shops, even in areas that appeared not to be inhabited by humans. I loved the absurdity of it and came up with the story of a donkey looking for furniture.


Two by Alex Czinczel

How do you make your creatures?
For the sewn creatures like the donkey, I start by designing a paper pattern, then sew it by hand in felt. Usually I have to adjust and change the pattern a few times until it looks right, which can take quite a long time. The knitted creatures are all done without a pattern, I usually start at the nose and then just increase, decrease and do short rows to get the 3D shaping. It’s much more fun that way than making a pattern, and it means if I do several creatures of the same kind they all look slightly different. For the big cat that’s in the film, I tried to knit everything but I couldn’t make the teeth look convincing so I had to crochet them in the end. 

Alex Czinczel at Prick Your Finger with a friend
Alex Czinczel at Prick Your Finger with a friend.

What next? What other ideas or projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on another animated film which will be shown in July as part of Kaleid Edition’s Art on Poetry season of exhibitions at the Saison Poetry Library in the Royal Festival Hall. I am also planning another donkey adventure. Who knows, maybe El Burro y los Churros will turn into a film after all.

Prick Your Finger-thimblesPrick Your Finger-threadsPrick Your Finger
More Prick Your Finger inspiration.

Why not visit Alex Czinczel‘s Burro de Change at Prick Your Finger for yourself? Amongst the knitted donkeys you will also find a fabulous selection of amazing wools, yarns, books, thimbles, spinning wheels…. and do say hello to the wonderful owners of this unique shop. Louise and Rachael are on hand to help with all your crafting needs.

Categories ,Alex Czinczel, ,animation, ,Art on Poetry, ,Au Hasard Balthazar, ,Burro de Change, ,Burro Trilogy, ,Cat, ,Coconino County, ,Donkey, ,El Burro y Los Churros, ,El Burro y Los Muebles, ,film, ,Furniture, ,George Herriman, ,Globe Road, ,Kaleid Edition, ,knitting, ,Krazy Kat, ,london, ,Louise, ,Morocco, ,Prick your Finger, ,Rachael, ,Robert Bresson, ,Royal Festival Hall, ,Saison Poetry Library, ,Spinning Wheel, ,The Chinchilla, ,Yarns

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