Monday 19th January
For fans of the drug-n-whisky soaked darker side of life this intimate venue should be the perfect place to catch the full intensity of this bad boy duo’s melancholic rumblings.
15-piece Californian band/orchestra/whatever headline with their sunny but diverse indie pop. Plus cool electro pop from We Have Band.
Tuesday 20th January
Kasms, White Heat, London
Noisy and shambolic guitar sounds from these metal-tinged black-haired Londoners.
Wednesday 21st January
Wire, Cargo, London
Sometimes gigs from old favourites can be a risky business, often liable to disappoint when your heroes have become sad old has-beens. With any luck these late 70s punk stalwarts were too cool to age badly and this should be a great gig.
Little Joy, Dingwalls, London
Strokes drummer Fab Moretti becomes a front man on this side project. Expect New Yorkey, indie-pop in a similar vein to, um, The Strokes via Brazil.
Thursday 22nd January
La Roux, Cockpit, Leeds
She’s in Issue 10 so she must be pretty good but don’t just take our (and every other music journalist in England’s) word for it. Check out her fun dance pop live.
Friday 23rd January
Sky Larkin, Barfly, Cardiff
Cute but clever indie rock from Leeds with a definite off-beat edge.
David Grubbs, The Croft, Bristol
Once the founder of 80s punk metallers Squirrel Bait, David Grubbs now plays grungy post-rock as a solo concern.
Saturday 24th January
James Yuill, The Macbeth, London
Think Jose Gonzalez without the advert but with plenty of electronic sounds to accompany the quiet and introspective acoustic numbers.
Of Montreal, Digital, Brighton
Much loved indie pop, spreading a little happiness whilst supporting Franz Ferdinand on their latest tour.
Sunday 25th January
Le Corps Mince de Francoise, Library, Lancaster
Daft Finnish pop in the same vein as CSS, Chicks on Speed and others of that ilk. Crazy make up and fun party girls = a great end to the weekend.
Rows of fish heads preserved in salt – even in the quirky world of Tatty Devine, viagra 60mg that’s an unexpected sight. They peer out from a long black board mounted on the gallery wall like hunting trophies. Next to them, buy cast copies of ripe oranges burrow into blocks of dark red velvet, rx as if victims of a bloody fruit massacre.
This is the first solo show of sculptor Amaia Allende, which opened on Thursday at the Tatty Devine boutique and gallery space in Brick Lane, east London. Allende claims to tackle the “subject of belonging” by assembling similar everyday items into tidy rows. It looks suspiciously like she has emptied her kitchen bin around the shop.
By the front door, some sort of green pear-like fruits line up on a narrow shelf. Poking out of the top are long strands of polyester blond hair, which make them look like a family of Mrs Pear Heads. So they belong together, you see, while at the same time having individual personalities (because of the hair).
Tatty Devine is famous for its unique jewellery and edgy art exhibitions, including “Jane Amongst the Birds”, a competition for the best foreign bird or budgie (complete with Tatty Devine trophy) held in September last year. So when it comes to belonging, it seems that Allende and her sombre line-up of fish heads and old fruit, have found an appropriate home.
The most glamorous way of recycling clothes is buying vintage. Last week atelier-mayer.com was launched by luxury fashion PR, viagra order Carmen Haid, about it and fashion journalist, Alice Kodell, and it is a literal vintage heaven. It’s not the place to go if your vintage needs are met by Beyond Retro but if you want a designer dress to suit your decadent palette, you’ll love it.
In the 1930′s Carmen Haid’s grandmother, Klaudia Mayer ran a haute couture atelier in Vienna, selling exquisite clothes sourced from all over the world and it is this that atelier-mayer.com recreates as an online boutique.
The launch truly indicated the splendour of the site, as we entered Marks Club – gentlemen’s club extraordinaire – in Mayfair, we were greeted with roaring fireplaces, country estate décor and the elegant melodies of the violinists could be heard wafting down the staircase.
Photograph by Tilly Pearman
Such a grand setting was fitting for the designer and couture gowns on show, a taste of what can be bought on the site. As well as on rails, the clothes were worn by models and the violinists, to show off the true beauty of them.
Photographs by Tilly Pearman
The site not only allows you to browse through the clothes online, the style me section acts as your very own personal shopper, taking into account your size and preferences and finding appropriate pieces and accessories for you.
Atelier-mayer.com is also a great source for brushing up on your fashion knowledge, it has biographies of designers and fashion houses, guides to buying vintage and the style minute section contains a collection of fashion videos, including a fabulous Audrey Hepburn montage and an interview with key sartorial players including Coco Chanel, which is in her native French but we (Prudence Ivey – bilingual Music Editor) has done a handy translation of the key questions for you:
Could you give me a definition of elegance?
Coco: It’s difficult, you ask a difficult question, what is elegance? It’s many things. I will say something which I repeat all the time that for me is obvious but which many people don’t understand: that you can never be elegant enough.
Many of the dresses you designed last year have been copied or imitated in practically every country in the world. The Chanel style has descended to the street. Are you happy about this?
Coco: I am delighted. That was my goal. I don’t believe in defending fashion. You can’t have fashion if you are against imitation. There is no fashion if no-one sees it. Not me but many of the couturiers have an insane fear of imitation but you can’t be successful without it. For me success is the copy. You can’t be successful without that and imitation.
Wise words Coco.
photograph from Gavin Cullen
I should confess that I don’t come to First Love with impartial ears, information pills but more as an inadvertent geek, verging-on-groupie, who has faithfully been following the movements of Emma-Lee Moss since first stumbling across the girl who sang out prophecies of premature death and the difficulty in distinguishing between love and a stomach disorder. Assembling whoever I could, I stood among many a rowdy crowd turned to enchanted silence – the boys would always fall in love and the girls would come away a little jealous.
Now her album has appeared on our desk and I am all excitement and nerves. The name is taken from Samuel Beckett’s depressing novella about a violently misogynistic lover, whilst Emmy’s First Love is a “hard-won innocence-to-experience saga about a destructive but ultimately character forming relationship, in which songwriting process was her final act of catharsis”. But the tracks that most explicitly fit this bill are the ones I find hardest to warm to, stripped of the subtlety and delicacy of earlier songs, they can be a little sour to the taste. For the most part however, the album shines with all the appeal that makes Emmy great. Lyrics that are dark, humorous and full of brilliantly evocative imagery – all veiled beneath teasingly playful melodies and a disarmingly sugared deliverance – “Our guitarist Euan says our songs are passive aggressive – people think we’re harmless unless they’re really listening”.
We went along to 12 Bar to see her play an acoustic set of before an intimidating crowd of straight clothed industry folk, though she was unfazed, always confident, “we’re used to much bigger stages” she joked …. and so Emmy the Great enters into the mainstream, and perhaps it is just the natural preconditioning of any fan but I think I preferred her on intimate stages when it was just her, her guitar, and a pool of admirers. Saying that, ‘We are Safe” is my new favourite song, full band.
Opening with a Billy Bragg mockney cry, web you expect Napoleon IIIrd’s mini-album to be a fairly straightforward chronicle of the times, viagra sale Jamie T stylee with shades of Blur in the guitars. All fine but all a little 2006 and not terribly promising. And then the second track, A Strong Nuclear Force, hits you very much as it says on the tin, with its Prince via Beck falsetto and electro beats and you realise there may be more to this boy. A Leeds music scene stalwart, having played with iLikeTrains, iForward Russia! and The Research and remixed a whole bunch of his Northern counterparts, it is perhaps no wonder that there is a little more variety and interest in this collection of songs than might be expected.
So much variety in fact, that it is easy to feel a little disorientated by the broad mix of genres which Napoleon IIIrd introduces, apparently on a whim. He certainly keeps you on your toes with his playful approach to continuity but challenging the audience is no bad thing and just a couple of listens bring out a common thread running throughout the record. The songs seem to build up to and around the pulsing, driving and crashing The Sky Is Too High, which at around 7 minutes certainly stands apart from the punchy observational territory of the rest of the disc, lacking as it does any discernable lyrical content. Proceedings are then rounded off on a dramatic note with the electro-hymn See Life, down-tempo enough to fall asleep to but interesting enough to give your full attention to on a long dark wet afternoon of the soul. It may take a little perserverance but this mini-album is definitely worth the time.
Now based in London, pill Finnish designer Minna Hepburn is showing her A/W 09 collection as part of Esthetica, and the ethical branch of London Fashion Week. Her beautiful and delicate designs caught our eye and even better, they’re eco-friendly, with all her materials being locally sourced, organic and fair-trade. She took the time to talk to us about her ideas and work:
When did you decide to persue a career in fashion design?
After I graduated, I went travelling with my husband and we ended up in Asia. I felt lost in terms of my career as I had studied War Studies at Kings College and worked a bit in the city, neither of those options really inspired me. Travelling and my ever so encouraging husband gave me the confidence to do something that I really loved – which is fashion.
What are you currently working on?
I am putting together my A/W 09 collection that I am showing at London Fashion Week, Esthetica in February. I think Esthetica will be bigger and better this year. I am really looking forward to it!
I am also finalising designs for my online boutique, which will be launched at the end of February.
What designers do you admire?
I absolutely love Rodarte. What they have achieved without any proper training in fashion is incredible and very inspiring!
Who or what inspires your work?
My biggest inspirations are lace and antique markets. England has such amazing antique markets. We never had anything like that in Finland. It’s amazing that you can find gorgeous pieces from the early 1900′s and they are still in wearable condition. Sometimes I might find an old buttons or a postcard and get an amazing design idea.
When I am travelling I always look out for antique markets, France has some of the best ones I have seen!
What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?
Being accepted to do London Fashion Week and putting a collection together after just having a baby. My son Hayden was merely days old and I was still sore after a cesarean when I returned to work to finish the collection. I could not have done it without my friends though!
Also, I think one of the proudest moment was when A la Mode, started stocking my designs. They are such an institution, old and respected shop with impressive list of labels. They have been such a joy to work with!
Why did you decide to create an eco-friendly label?
With my first label, SE1 London, I experienced fast fashion as its worst. It was a range of silk dresses, tops and skirts that were made in Vietnam but I did a lot of traveling and it opened my eyes. It made me re-think the whole fashion industry and how it operates. I decided that second time round I would do it differently. I took some time to research the ethical fashion market, suppliers and the whole concept. I noticed that there was a gap in the high end of the ethical fashion market. A lot of the other ethical fashion brands were doing lots of wardrobe staples and there was not much choice, so I wanted to focus on that and provide some.
I really wanted to create not just a label, but a brand, and to feel that I was doing something differently and maybe setting an example.
Is it important to you that your materials are locally sourced?
I wanted to show that beautiful and affordable garments can be made in the UK, which is where Scottish lace came into the picture. Also, I have always loved antique markets and found Scottish lace to have that vintage look and appeal.
I started testing my designs with high end shops in Bath and London and got positive feedback. Encouraged by this, I applied to London Fashion Esthetica and decided to produce a full collection for S/S 09.
How do you feel ethical fashion is perceived by the public?
I think ethical fashion is getting better every season. It’s important to show people that ethical fashion can also be commercial, affordable and in line with the current trends.
The media has played a very big part in bringing the message that eco-fashion is in vogue. With the current economical climate, I think people are more aware how they are spending and what they want to spend their money on. With lots of cool ethical brands emerging, I think fashion with conscience has never been more in fashion.
How would you describe your personal style?
At home, as a mother of two young children I try to keep things simple. White lace tops and baby sick does not go well together…
But when I go out, it’s all about antique cocktail rings, pieces from my collection, dresses, high heels and vintage.
Do you like to wear ethical brands yourself?
I wear lot of vintage and I have discovered this amazing French brand, Ekyog, who have a shop on the Kings Road. They have the softest organic knitwear I have ever worn! But I have to say that most of the time I wear my own designs. Also by wearing it, I am testing each design, the fit and the fabrics before I put anything to production. It’s important to know how the garment will behave and last.
Thanks for talking to us Minna, have fun at Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week runs from 20th-25th February 2009.
- Minna: an interview with ethical fashion designer Minna Hepburn
- Post-London Fashion Week Interview: Minna
- Nina Dolcetti: an interview with ethical shoe designer Elisalex Grunfeld de Castro
- Julia Smith Interview
- Eco-Design Christmas Fair