Amelia’s Magazine | The Golden Thread Awards at Fashion Week Poland A/W 2011: The Pastel, Petrol and Beige

Paulina_Matuszelanska_Fashion_Week_Poland_Soni_Speight
Paulina Matuszelanska by Soni Speight.

These three designers showed collections in tones of pastels, information pills petrol and beige.

Gareth A Hopkins Marta Gos Golden Thread
Marta Gos by Gareth A Hopkins.

Marta Gos
Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Marta Gos Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Marta Gos had fun with holes and dangling bits. The strange armour-like silhouettes were rendered wearable in a creamy pastel and buttermilk colour palette.

Paulina Matuszelanska AW'11 by Kristina Vasiljeva
Paulina Matuszelanska by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Paulina Matuszelanska
Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011Paulina Matuszelanska Golden Thread Fashion Week Poland AW 2011
Paulina Matuszelanska showed a very strong collection in lemon yellow, medical camel, mint green and powder blue. There were boxy shoulders aplenty, maxi length pleats and fluffy cropped jumpers – this catwalk show was a rare example of good styling, with slicked back high ponytails and chunky colour block necklaces completing the look. Definitely one of my favourites. Many of the clothes were stuff that I might actually want to wear, hurrah!

Alicja Antoszczyk by Alia Gargum
Alicja Antoszczyk by Alia Gargum.

Alicja Antoszczyk
Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011Alicja Antoszczyk Golden Thread ?ód? Fashion Week AW 2011
Alicja Antoszczyk sent all her models out with hands slipped nonchalantly into pockets. Long rain macs and calf length skirts came in dull gold and petrol blue matt plastic fabrics. Black, powder blue and rosy red lent colour to the remaining layered pieces. A very strong and coherent collection.

Categories ,80s, ,Alia Gargum, ,Alicja Antoszczyk, ,Beige, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Fashion Week Poland, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Lodz, ,Marta Gos, ,pastels, ,Paulina Matuszelanska, ,Plastic, ,Soni Speight, ,The Golden Thread

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Amelia’s Magazine | Water Cooler Moment

Over the years it has become routine that designers are often been as much defined by their clothes as by the manner in which they are presented. Fashion and spectacle have long been well married together and it’s the most spectacular that are the most memorable: Alexander McQueen ‘s psychiatric ward in SS01′s ‘Voss’. Viktor and Rolf often hold unauthorised, underground shows during Paris fashion week and have even tap-danced in one of their own shows. Maison Martin Margiela has used dummies and giant dolls instead of models. It’s well-known that McQueen in particular has developed an almost Artaudian approach to his shows, attaching value to the sensory experience beyond the clothes themselves.

Fashion and art label Cosmic Wonder, owned by Yukinori Maeda, sees its fashion cell Cosmic Wonder Light Source also experimenting with the boundaries in which collections can be presented, attempting to evoke a response from consumers who perhaps don’t always engage with a designer’s thought-process. In the case of its SS09 collection, we find the garments on show in perhaps the least exciting of arenas – an office.

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Upon entry, it seems like a regular day. Desks, shelves, pot plants, whitewashed walls – that sense of despair. Yet there’s something dodgy going on. Have you seen The Truman Show? That bit where he suddenly bangs into the skyline? Well, here, the office workers just so happen to be models, the books and magazines are blank, and there are box files that simply read ‘Business Business Business’. The office, as a site perhaps most associated with loss of identity that manifests even in what we wear, seems an ideal centre to explore different ways to express yourself via the medium of fashion. Similarly by choosing the most utilitarian of spaces, the functional aspect of the clothing is examined, whilst eliciting the idea that on a day- to- day basis there is something intimate about the garments we choose to live our lives in. The line itself is chic and edgy, sometimes androgynous and with voluminous silhouettes – with soft pastels playing with ideas of light with the aim to produce an environmental effect.

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Achieving a cult status after appearing in Paris Fashion Week in the Pompidou Centre in 2001, Cosmic Wonder shares with Comme de Garcons the wish to operate outside of pop culture. Instead it shows a willingness to examine how art, fashion and commerce can successfully interact together that prioritises wearability at the appropriate times, at one point showing a giant bra that filled a whole space by itself (now that’s not for a faint-hearted fellow). Cosmic Wonder’s line can be bought on b-store: gigantic bras not currently available much to our disappointment!

Categories ,Art, ,Avant-garde, ,Modern Tailoring, ,Pastels, ,Volume

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Teatum Jones


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Faye West

On Friday afternoon I took myself up the Strand to the RSA‘s grand London venue, viagra 60mg a little past the Savoy. It’s a bloody nightmare trying to get up the Strand these days. You’re either barging tourists out of the way with your London Fashion Week tote bag or stopping to give them directions. I hate that Londoners have such a mean reputation when it comes to tourists so I always smile and say ‘yes, the Ly-SEE-um is just that way, m’love’ and save my expletives until they’re out of earshot.


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Emma Block

I was heading for a presentation by Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones – collectively Teatum Jones, who promise ‘effortless chic‘ and ‘contemporary elegance.‘ Well, they certainly served up heaps of this on Friday. I first heard about them six months ago when they were listed on the BFC’s emerging talent roster, so it was exciting to finally get the chance to check out their wares in person.

It’s so easy to get a presentation wrong. This miserable age of austerity that we’re currently living in has forced many designers to abandon the catwalk in favour of a static set-up, but you never really know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s a film screening, sometimes one model stooped and forlorn in a corner while people ‘yah, yah‘ around him or her. This was a good presentation, thankfully; an amazing one, in fact. I knew it was going to be good when a gentleman who wouldn’t look out of place on a runway thrust me a vodka martini. At last: a big ol’ drink.

The RSA‘s venue is quite something. Its Georgian interior couldn’t have been a better match for this stunning collection of exquisite clothes. The room where the presentation was held had huge ceilings, enormous fireplaces and period features; the pastel colours of the walls appearing as if they had been painted especially for the occasion. A mock sort of sitting room-like set had been constructed in the centre, and people filed around this voyeuristic set-up in practical silence. A soundtrack of the Flamingos’ I Only Have Eyes For You (the second time I’d heard that song that day – TREND ALERT) and Patsy Cline’s Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray almost made me weep – saved from tears only by the feeling of excitement that this design duo had got it so right.

Illustrator/contributor extraordinaire Emma Block and her live fashion illustrations

I should probably stop banging on about the bloody room and talk about the clothes, right? Well, they were equally flawless. A handful of models, positioned on a central island, moved slowly around various pieces of furniture in flowing frocks with huge trains. Each frock featured discreet digital prints in gorgeous muted pastel colours, and the models were styled with a hint of 1920s/30s glamour – full red lips, tight curls. They didn’t smile much (that would have ruined it) but as they playfully crept around the set, an imposing chandelier hanging above, it actually looked like they were enjoying themselves. Result!


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Faye West

These dresses were expertly cut and the craftsmanship was faultless – that’s another good thing about a presentation, it sorts the men from the boys (I mean, it exposes poorly made garments). Layers of fabric had been fused together in a slightly oddball fashion but this provided a perfect marriage of classic and contemporary. In their own words, there’s ‘structure and fluidity‘. I couldn’t have put it better myself, which is why I copied it.

A row of static mannequins along the window edge displayed the rest of the collection – more dreamy yet subtle colours mixed with vivid yellows. These pieces showed Teatum Jones‘ commercial flair, but the winners were the show pieces, best viewed with a martini through a fake window.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,1920s, ,1930s, ,Catherine Teatum, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,London Fashion Week, ,Martinis, ,Matt Bramford, ,pastels, ,Patsy Cline, ,Presentation, ,review, ,Rob Jones, ,rsa, ,S/S 2012, ,Savoy, ,Strand, ,Teatum Jones, ,The Flamingos, ,Trace PR, ,Trace Publicity, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Teatum Jones


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Faye West

On Friday afternoon I took myself up the Strand to the RSA‘s grand London venue, viagra 60mg a little past the Savoy. It’s a bloody nightmare trying to get up the Strand these days. You’re either barging tourists out of the way with your London Fashion Week tote bag or stopping to give them directions. I hate that Londoners have such a mean reputation when it comes to tourists so I always smile and say ‘yes, the Ly-SEE-um is just that way, m’love’ and save my expletives until they’re out of earshot.


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Emma Block

I was heading for a presentation by Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones – collectively Teatum Jones, who promise ‘effortless chic‘ and ‘contemporary elegance.‘ Well, they certainly served up heaps of this on Friday. I first heard about them six months ago when they were listed on the BFC’s emerging talent roster, so it was exciting to finally get the chance to check out their wares in person.

It’s so easy to get a presentation wrong. This miserable age of austerity that we’re currently living in has forced many designers to abandon the catwalk in favour of a static set-up, but you never really know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s a film screening, sometimes one model stooped and forlorn in a corner while people ‘yah, yah‘ around him or her. This was a good presentation, thankfully; an amazing one, in fact. I knew it was going to be good when a gentleman who wouldn’t look out of place on a runway thrust me a vodka martini. At last: a big ol’ drink.

The RSA‘s venue is quite something. Its Georgian interior couldn’t have been a better match for this stunning collection of exquisite clothes. The room where the presentation was held had huge ceilings, enormous fireplaces and period features; the pastel colours of the walls appearing as if they had been painted especially for the occasion. A mock sort of sitting room-like set had been constructed in the centre, and people filed around this voyeuristic set-up in practical silence. A soundtrack of the Flamingos’ I Only Have Eyes For You (the second time I’d heard that song that day – TREND ALERT) and Patsy Cline’s Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray almost made me weep – saved from tears only by the feeling of excitement that this design duo had got it so right.

Illustrator/contributor extraordinaire Emma Block and her live fashion illustrations

I should probably stop banging on about the bloody room and talk about the clothes, right? Well, they were equally flawless. A handful of models, positioned on a central island, moved slowly around various pieces of furniture in flowing frocks with huge trains. Each frock featured discreet digital prints in gorgeous muted pastel colours, and the models were styled with a hint of 1920s/30s glamour – full red lips, tight curls. They didn’t smile much (that would have ruined it) but as they playfully crept around the set, an imposing chandelier hanging above, it actually looked like they were enjoying themselves. Result!


Teatum Jones S/S 2012 by Faye West

These dresses were expertly cut and the craftsmanship was faultless – that’s another good thing about a presentation, it sorts the men from the boys (I mean, it exposes poorly made garments). Layers of fabric had been fused together in a slightly oddball fashion but this provided a perfect marriage of classic and contemporary. In their own words, there’s ‘structure and fluidity‘. I couldn’t have put it better myself, which is why I copied it.

A row of static mannequins along the window edge displayed the rest of the collection – more dreamy yet subtle colours mixed with vivid yellows. These pieces showed Teatum Jones‘ commercial flair, but the winners were the show pieces, best viewed with a martini through a fake window.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,1920s, ,1930s, ,Catherine Teatum, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,London Fashion Week, ,Martinis, ,Matt Bramford, ,pastels, ,Patsy Cline, ,Presentation, ,review, ,Rob Jones, ,rsa, ,S/S 2012, ,Savoy, ,Strand, ,Teatum Jones, ,The Flamingos, ,Trace PR, ,Trace Publicity, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Myrza de Muynck: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West.

Myrza de Muynck is a Dutch designer showing for the first time as part of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch. She graduated from Central Saint Martins this year and her focus is on combining luxury embellishments with a youthful sports inspired silhouette – using lots of handpainted prints, embroidery and an 80s-esque pastel palette.

Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West.

Stomping down the catwalk, ponytails swinging, girls wore minty tracksuit combos, scallop edged puff collared cardigans and loosely knitted leggings. Lightweight cream zippered jackets and skinny shorts might not be everyone’s winter taste, but when paired with bursts of pillar box red or black I can see how they would work for a certain brave kind of woman.

Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Myrza de Muynck AW 2012 by Rebecca Strickson
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Rebecca Strickson.

Categories ,A/W 2012, ,catwalk, ,Central Saint Martins, ,embroidery, ,Fashion Scout, ,Faye West, ,lfw, ,Luxe, ,Myrza de Muynck, ,Ones To Watch, ,pastels, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,review, ,sportswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: Best of the Fashion East Menswear Installations

Lupen Crook Interview
By Rob Harris

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, troche I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, rx sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, clinic but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, cure I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, remedy sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, shop but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, sick I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, more about sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, viagra 60mg but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Well, pills they’d really gone to town with this season’s menswear installations. Menswear Day is great, but it’s bloody hard work – you get five days to absorb what’s on offer for women, but only one for the guys – even though the quality and breadth of talent is just as vast.

So in between shows I managed to leg it around the installations, taking photographs, collecting press releases, bumping into people I knew and desperately tried not to steal Mr Hare shoes, all at the same time. It was hard work, I tell ya.

Katie Eary



I LOVE Katie Eary‘s work and this year was no exception. Moving away from skeletal masks and those joke glasses that have me in stitches whenever I see a pair, this season saw Katie collaborate with Lonsdale to create a 1950s boxing scene. It was GREAT – genuine boxers in Katie’s leopard-skin silk shorts, jewel-encrusted boxing helmets and embellished gloves fought on one side of the space behind traditional boxing ring ropes. A genuine coach jeered in his East End accent and Katie, resplendent in a leopard-skin number herself, styled the models/boxers like a glamorous ringside moll.



Tartans featured as boxers rested in the other half of the installation, surrounded by red roses and walls covered in the same fabric. Despite being mesmerised by the shirtless boxers I did also notice some neat tailoring, studded trousers and yet more leopard skin numbers. Amazing.

Mr Hare



Delicious shoes. Again. What else to say? It’s hard to stand out designing shoes exclusively for men, I’m sure, unless you design panto clown shoes – but Mr Hare managed it again – this season presenting an entirely black collection (strange, I thought, for S/S). Suede, patent leather and reptile skin all featured.

Matthew Miller

I am seriously excited about interviewing Matthew Miller in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that. His unique fusing of modern tailoring with a sport-luxe aesthetic really gets me going. A model stood looking a little perplexed outside his little hut, wearing a double-breasted blazer in rich cotton with a banded white stripe straight through the middle. It seems this theme ran through his entire collection, giving well-tailored clothing a contemporary twist. Crisp white shirts with stripes are teamed with tailored shirts to achieve the MM look.

Omar Kashoura

Illustration by Antonia Parker

It’s no secret that I loved what Omar Kashoura had to offer last season, and it’s no surprise that he’d been awarded NEWGEN sponsorship this time around. Moving on from formal tailoring, this season he presented a more playful collection packed full of wit, humour and great checks.



A jazz band modelled the clothes, but every time I went in they were hanging around posing and not actually playing instruments (that modelling opportunity had obviously gone to their heads) but I’m told they were very good. Twill double-breasted blazers, some with piped lapels, toyed with the idea of English dressing, and whimsical handkerchiefs were placed in pockets. A general colour palette of tones of blue was enhanced with flashes of red and some pastel colours, while the models wore Edward Green shoes (HOT).

The rest of the room featured look-book shots (above) with hilarious catalogue-style captions – ‘Andreas looks comfortable in a viscose and cotton knitted vest with a zipper front…’

Christopher Raeburn


Christopher Raeburn fits into many categories, and his collection this year was his best outing yet. Spots were the key theme, as were coats of many colours. Read a little bit more about him in Amelia’s review here.

Baartmans and Siegel


Great colours up for grabs here, with pastel blue tapered trousers and silk scarves and navy trenches, teamed with pastel blue suede shoes. Ones to watch, I’d say, with their mix of European influences and luxurious fabrics.

Mattio Bigliardi

…wins the award for biggest jacket. Love this colour…

Christopher Shannon

Another season brings another collaboration with Eastpak, and even more silly bags, that I actually really like. The colours echoed his catwalk collection, featuring lemon, aqua and grey.

Morgan Allen Oliver


Illustrations by Aniela Murphy
Last, but by no means least, Morgan delighted again this season with fabulous knitwear and polka dot shorts. As much as I loved his offerings in February, this time around he seems to have grown in sophistication and his collection seemed smarter and infinitely more wearable, while still maintaining that contemporary, humorous wit that we’re steadily gettting used to. Muted colours featured, along with luxurious-knit cardigans, spotted jumpers and said polka-dot shorts, modelled by previous fashion editor Jonno Ovans!



Categories ,Aniela Murphy, ,Antonia Parker, ,Baartmans and Siegel, ,Boxing, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,Christopher Shannon, ,Fashion East, ,jazz, ,Katie Eary, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mattio Bigliardi, ,menswear, ,Morgan Allen Oliver, ,Mr Hare, ,Newgen, ,Omar Kashoura, ,pastels, ,S/S 2011, ,Sheds, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Swedish School of Textiles BA


Isabella Falkirk (BA) Graduate Collection, mind by Faye West

On Saturday evening a selection of students from the Swedish School of Textiles transported their graduate collections to our fair city to give us a taster. A year ago, graduating students from Sweden did the same thing and Amelia was bowled over by what was on display, so I was pretty eager to see what this year’s offering offered.

The Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue at Freemason’s Hall wasn’t packed wall to wall like it usually is, which suits me fine – I was only mildly sweating as opposed to my usual soaking-wet state. A glance down the running order while I waited for the show to start revealed that this was to be pretty epic – no less than 17 BA and 4 MA graduates. Here goes!

Isabella Falkirk
The show kicked off with Isabella Falkirk. Foam shapes took centre stage, squared off to control the contours of the female form. The model was essentially wearing a foam box. The aesthetic was pleasing, but the model looked miserable, and I did have to wonder to myself how viable or groundbreaking this show opener was. A similar creation followed atop a model’s head, and I wondered further; this wasn’t fashion to wear on a visit to the shops to pick up milk. Despite this, underneath the shock tactics was some extremely wearable and well-tailored formal attire – sleek trousers and well-cut blazers. A reaction to the strains of work, the collection finished with a conceptual jacket with four or five layers, showing Falkirks’ vision a little more clearly. I liked this piece a lot.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Per Axén
Next came chic and crisp tailoring courtesy of Per Axén, whose concept through the juxtaposition of materials was a little more commercial but equally as enjoyable. A leather cape flirted with cream free-flowing trousers that looked elegant and futuristic at the same time. Other leathers had been married with cottons for the same effect, and geometric shapes featured, a la Mondrian.

Freja Sundberg

Freja Sundberg‘s BA Graduate Collection, illustrated by Christina Demetriou

Up next came Freja Sundberg‘s homage to the working class people of Havana and their music and culture. A lively collection, it featured Cuban prints in a multitude of colours, plastic skirts and lively wigs with flashes of red. Statement jewellery also appeared, and the final piece, an extravagant gold silk dress with a discreet print, had been gathered with drawstrings and rucksack pulls. A real winner.


Sofi Svensson

Sofi Svensson (BA) Graduate Collection, by Faye West

The standout collection for its sheer bravery, conceptualism and bloody amazing craftsmanship, was Sofi Svensson’s masked creatures. Models appeared like they had landed from a Doctor Who novel, wearing ghoulish masks with eyeholes that became long, wide dresses. Each had been encrusted and embellished to the max – jewels, crystals, plastic objects and mirrors filled every piece of the garment. Again, this was fashion as expression and conception rather than as a commercial commodity. Breathtaking, too.

Maja Dixdotter
Maja‘s collection brought us back in to the real world a little, but was by no means boring. Beautiful pastel shades in lemon, lavender and blush were the colour palette. A structured jacket had been juxtaposed with a sheer micro dress, while a skirt and a top carried gorgeous flower details.

Linnéa Woxinger Sköld
Living creatures affect me in a way nothing else can,’ exclaims Linnéa Woxinger Sköld on the handout, ‘…and fashion, at its best, gets very close to this fascination. How close can I get?‘ Pretty close, love. Linnéa’s collection was a fusion of organic shapes and experimental materials. An unusual mint-coloured translucent number opened her showing, which had been gathered together working against the model’s body. A body-concious number followed, then other dresses with organic twists and turns. This was like something I’d never seen before, but I really liked it.

Elin Engström

Elin Engström‘s BA Graduate Collection, by Christina Demetriou

Questioning the conquer-all ethos of the suit and fashion’s fascination with it, Elin Engström presented an expertly tailored collection in monochrome. The first model appeared with a large tube covering her face that looked a bit like those things you put on dogs to stop them sniffing their arses (is that what they’re for?) and was teamed with a large cloak. Later came a onesie, in which the model’s arms were unable to escape. Wild vase-like shapes were worn over the eyes, creating an ethereal effect. More tailoring followed with horse-hair details, but the real showstopper was an embellished translucent jacket with matching strange-vase-like-sunglasses-thingies.

Ida Klamborn
Closing the BA section of the show in dramatic fashion, Ida Klamborn presented an all-red collection of floor-length numbers. The colour choice and use of grand fabrics made for a sophisticated, luxurious collection of pleated skirts and high-waisted trousers. Sweet.

At this point I was desperate for the loo, and I just couldn’t make up my mind if I thought attendee Jay from E4 show Dirty Sexy Things was attractive*. I do love seeing graduate shows – they have fewer constraints and no worries about commerciality. But during London Fashion Week, with so many shows to think about, I did find it a little exhausting. The show wasn’t over, though, and we quickly launched into the MA graduates – you can read all about them in Akeela‘s review here!

*I decided in the end that yes, he probably is.

Categories ,BA, ,catwalk, ,Christina Demetriou, ,Cuba, ,Dirty Sexy Things, ,Doctor Who, ,E4, ,Elin Engstöm, ,Fashion Design, ,Faye West, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Freja Sundberg, ,Front Row, ,Havana, ,Ida Klamborn, ,Isabella Falkirk, ,Jay, ,Linnea Woxinger Skold, ,London Fashion Week, ,ma, ,Maja Dixdotter, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mondrian, ,pastels, ,Per Axen, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sofi Svensson, ,sweden, ,Swedish School of Textiles, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Inbar Spector: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Mitika Chohan

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Mitika Chohan

I first came across an Inbar Spector dress on a ‘wall’ created by Gabby Young and Katie Antoniou’s Gabberdashery for Supermarket Sarah. It was a voluminous, twisted, tulle dress in a gorgeous light ocean blue which instantly made an impression on me. Since then I have followed Inbar Spector’s work via her strong presence on Facebook, which has enabled me to have peaks into her studio, see pieces in progress, and get a glimpse of her sweet personality. I also had the pleasure of seeing one of her creations in real life worn by Gabby Young – a fan of Spector’s designs – during Gabby Young and Other Animals’ Koko gig last October.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

So I was quite excited to see Inbar Spector‘s A/W 2012 collection at Fashion Scout’s venue, Freemasons’ Hall. I was certain that I was going to have my dose of the extraordinary, which I very much craved after a couple of less than thrilling London Fashion Week experiences the night before. I was not disappointed: I felt a smile forming the moment the show began. The models, beautifully styled by Hope Von Joel, walked slowly towards the photographers’ pit accompanied by a great soundtrack mixed by Todd Hart.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Love Amelia

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Love Amelia

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

There was a lot of continuity from S/S 2012. Inbar Spector displayed again her amazing skills in constructing, twisting and knotting generous amounts of silks in soft pastels on metallic faux leather laser cut bodysuits and dresses. The slightly 80s disco metallic bodysuits seemed to me to match perfectly with Todd Hart’s mix, which featured heavily electric keyboard sounds from that decade.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax Illustrated Moodboard

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax Illustrated Moodboard

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

This 80s aura helped us escape for a few moments back to a time when we were younger – and maybe richer. The theme to Inbar Spector’s show was indeed Escapism. She quotes ‘fairytales, manga, dreams and circus clowns’ as some of her inspirations for this season. She also makes a connection between the perforated faux leather elements in her clothes – which allow a lot of skin to show through so that one does not know where the real body starts and ends – and people being ‘ruffled’, like some of her clothes, by having plastic surgery and so escaping from the reality of their bodies.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW 2012 Lara Jensen headpiece by Love Amelia

Inbar Spector AW 2012 Lara Jensen headpiece by Love Amelia

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Escaping or changing one’s identity or hiding behind something were relevant themes to another star in the show: the elaborately jewelled headpieces by Lara Jensen which fell in front of the models’ faces like masks. They certainly reminded me of lavishly adorned princesses and maidens from tales of exotic places, but I could not help thinking they also had an element of S&M to them, which again created a link to escapism. I think I was aided in this thought by the constant recurrence in the soundtrack mix of the song ‘Obsession’ by the band Army of Lovers.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Novemto Komo

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Novemto Komo

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Reed Rainer

Inbar Spector AW 2012 by Reed Rainer

Again similarly to what she has done in previous shows, Inbar Spector presented her collection building an impressive crescendo by starting with less theatrical pieces, gradually sending out more and more voluminous garments, finishing off with two numbers which were so heart stopping and exciting the audience could not help but clap, cheer and whistle in keen approval. When in the end a tiny, adorable Inbar walked down the catwalk holding hands with the model who was wearing her gigantic closing number, she was drowned by it in physical terms, but her potential and creativity seemed just as gigantic – and then some.

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Inbar Spector AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,80s, ,Army of Colours, ,Bodysuit, ,Bride, ,Circus, ,Constructivism, ,Crinolines, ,disco, ,Escapism, ,Exotic, ,fairytales, ,Faux Leather, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gabberdashery, ,gabby young, ,Gabby Young and Other Animals, ,Headpiece, ,Hope Von Joel, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Inbar Spector, ,jewellery, ,Katie Antoniou, ,Kerry Jones, ,lace, ,Lara Jensen, ,Laser Cutting, ,London Fashion Week, ,Love Amelia, ,Manga, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Masks, ,Metalic, ,Mitika Chohan, ,Novemto Komo, ,Obsession, ,Pastel Colours, ,pastels, ,Perforated, ,Plastic Surgery, ,Reed Rainer, ,Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, ,Ruffles, ,S&M, ,Sadomasochism, ,Silks, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Todd Hart, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fred Butler: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Presentation Review

Fred Butler AW 2012 by Mitika Chohan

Fred Butler AW 2012 by Mitika Chohan

I love Fred Butler. She has been one of my favourite accessories and props designers for a few years now and apart from what she makes I also adore the fascinating and playful way in which she dresses as well as the way she expresses herself in interviews, which reveals a really quite special person indeed. I had seen her props pop up here and there in magazines, like in Amelia’s Magazine Issue 7 for which she made a Noah’s Ark shaped paper hat – in fact Amelia Gregory was one of the first to commission props from Fred. But I think a story I saw in i-D’s The Agyness Deyn Issue from May 2008, titled ‘Attitude’, featuring an inflatable rockets bra by Fred among other striking props, was what made me an official fan.

Fred Butler AW 2012 Charli XCX photo by Maria Papadimitriou

While queueing to see Fred’s live presentation of her A/W 2012 collection at The Portico Rooms in Somerset House on the 20th of February I was extra happy because – apart from the obvious reason – my young friend and budding stylist Isabella Sumner of Secret Danger Sister was texting me from backstage. Isabella became Kim Howells’ assistant for this London Fashion Week season after I forwarded to her a post by Kim I saw on Facebook asking for help! Kim has styled numerous Fred Butler presentations, films and lookbooks. Fred’s presentation took the form of a mini catwalk show which repeated itself over and over to a different audience each time. And there was quite a crowd to get through. During the four times in and out from the Portico Rooms – I saw the show twice – there were queues extending all the way to and down the stairs leading to the ground level of Somerset House. In those queues I spotted an array of some of the coolest, cutting edge creatives around, like Piers Atkinson, Bishi, Alùn Davies and Diane Pernet and filmmaker Konstantinos Menelaou from ASVOF, to name a few, all of whom of course love Fred’s original work.

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou 9

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Refreshingly the show opened with pop singer Charli XCX singing her catchy song ‘I’ll Never Know’ live with a band. Fred Butler, who’s twitter feed is full of #thismorningimlisteningto and other music related tweets, has a special relationship with music. She often DJs, she has made props for musicians such as Patrick Wolf, Nicki Minaj, Beth Ditto, La Roux AND Lady Gaga and, according to her, looking at the way musicians were dressed on album covers when she was little has been very inspiring. So it seems entirely natural that this season Fred, enabled by Red Bull Catwalk Studio, collaborated with Charlie XCX on a bespoke soundtrack for the collection. In general I think that the way Fred uses different art forms to enhance and show her work works incredibly well – for example she has made beautiful fashion films of her previous collections with talented young directors such as Zaiba Jabbar and Elisha Smith-Leverock.

Fred Butler AW 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Fred Butler AW 2012 by Nicola Ellen

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler 2012 by Catherine Meadows

Fred Butler 2012 by Catherine Meadows

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Another notable and interesting thing about Fred Butler’s collections is the way she titles them using combined, long and sometimes made up words and phrases that seem to describe an other worldly thing or process in exactly the same intricate and imaginative way her pieces are made. The title of this collection was Tank Top-Ranking, Tong-Tied and Twisted. Her S/S 2012 collection was called Sonic Sinuate Supertemporal Sequestador and a 2011 collection went under the name of Incandescent Meta-morph-incessant.

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler AW 2012 LFW  by Deborah Moon

Fred Butler AW 2012 LFW by Deborah Moon

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Following her S/S 2012 collection which featured more round shapes, frills and quite a bit of fabric, I was personally happy that in this collection Fred returned to origami folding techniques and body props with more clear cut, geometric shapes. This time I thought that the four colour goddesses that stepped out looked impeccable from head to toe. Each model had a monochrome base formed by beautiful knitted undergarments – a collaboration with EDE who specialise in English produced hand knits – and a matching colour wig. Placed on top of that base were a quilted, high collar gilet, origami obi belts, a marshmallow hued harness with twisted tubes, more belts and headbands out of twisted strings and more origami inspired, sculptural body pieces. The outfits were completed by colour matching shoes designed in collaboration with Rosy Nicholas. According to the press release there was a sushi related theme under all of this, especially in relation to the colour palette used. Usually I am very intrigued by the designers’ influences and references – and I have fun making up quite a few of my own when looking at collections – but Fred Butler’s work is for me so striking and fulfilling visually that my mind feels too drunk with pure aesthetic pleasure to care for any explanation in other terms.

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Fred Butler AW 2012 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,A Shaded View on Fashion, ,accessories, ,accessories designer, ,Agyness Deyn, ,Alun Davies, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,ASVOF, ,Beth Ditto, ,Bishi, ,Catherine Meadows, ,Charli XCX, ,Collaborations, ,Deborah Moon, ,Diane Pernet, ,EDE, ,Elisha Smith-Leverock, ,Ella Dror PR, ,Fashion Film, ,Fred Butler, ,i-D, ,Isabella Sumner, ,japanese, ,Kim Howells, ,Kimonos, ,Knits, ,Knotted, ,Konstantinos Menelaou, ,La Roux, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mitika Chohan, ,monochrome, ,music, ,Nail Art, ,Nicki Minaj, ,Nicola Haigh, ,Noah’s Ark, ,Obi Belts, ,origami, ,pastels, ,Patrick Wolf, ,piers atkinson, ,Portico Rooms, ,Props, ,Quilting, ,rainbow, ,Red Bull Catwalk Studio, ,Red Bull Music Academy, ,Secret Danger Sister, ,Somerset House, ,Sushi, ,Twisted, ,Zaiba Jabbar

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