Amelia’s Magazine | Zeynep Tosun: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Preview Interview

Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman
Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman.

Last season I was blown away by the discovery of Zeynep Tosun, an ambitious Turkish designer with a penchant for beautiful embellishment. This season Zeynep Tosun takes inspiration from the androgyny and sexual freedom of the 1920s for her Hidden collection. Yesterday I caught up with her in the studio to get a sneak peak of what to expect – beautifully illustrated by Laura Hickman.

Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman
Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman.

I loved your show last season, how did you construct such elaborate pieces, and who does all the handiwork such as embroidery for you?
I have my own atelier in Istanbul which allows me to experiment with intricate and innovative haute couture techniques. All my embroidery is done in-house.

You have had your own brand since 2008, what has been the journey so far?
It’s been a rollercoaster ride…

What did you learn working with the likes of Alberta Ferretti and Dice Kayak?
Working at Ferretti was my first experience after graduating from Istituto di Maragoni in Milan, so it shaped my character and allowed me to hone my skills to haute couture.

This season you’ve been inspired by the 1920s – how have you translated this time period into a modern collection?
The collection denotes concealed sexuality and merges androgynous shapes with allusive femininity.

What kind of materials have you worked with for the new collection?
Luxe stone-washed silk and silk chiffon, S/S 2014 plays on transparency in a muted palette of white, smoke, navy and candy pink.

How easy was it to set up a flagship store in Istanbul and who are your customers?
My success in Istanbul led to the opening of my flagship store in Akmerkez, and the demand from my private clients mean it has grown every season. My next goal is to open stores in London and New York.

What is it like to work in Turkey in the fashion industry: what are the perks and the challenges?
I am well established as a designer in Turkey so I have much support. London is the platform to build the label internationally.

Zeynep Tosun shows on the catwalk at Freemasons’ Hall with Fashion Scout on Saturday 14th September.

Categories ,Akmerkez, ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Dice Kayak, ,Fashion Scout, ,Ferretti, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Hidden, ,interview, ,Istanbul, ,Istituto di Maragoni, ,Laura Hickman, ,preview, ,S/S 2014, ,Zeynep Tosun

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ong-Oaj Pairam: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Preview Interview

ONG-OAJ PAIRAM by Gaarte
ONG-OAJ PAIRAM S/S 2014 preview by Gaarte.

Thai born designer Ong-Oaj Pairam takes to the catwalk this season as part of Fashion Scout at the Freemasons’ Hall. Having trained with the likes of Proenza Schouler and Roland Mouret, he combines precise tailoring with an eye for decorative detail. I caught up with Ong-Oaj for an exclusive preview of the new collection.

Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

You studied at Brighton University (so did I!) What is the best thing about the course these days?
I found the course really tough, and found I had a hard time just keeping my head down. The beauty of studying in Brighton is the ability to escape from it all when you need to switch off. You are surrounded by the beautiful countryside and the sea. The aftercare I have got from my tutors has been really valuable and they have been really supportive of me launching my own brand. The friends I made at uni are friends for life: many are taking the day of work for me and chipping in backstage to help with the show.

What three words best describe your style?
Confident, elegant, fun.
 
Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

What did you learn from working at Proenza Schouler and Roland Mouret?
Proenza Schouler was only a small company when I started with them so I had to adapt very quickly to various roles. I would be pattern cutting, managing a runway show and running sales all in the same week. I was very lucky that Jack and Lazaro exposed me to everything. New York is also great place for people watching, and because I saw people making really brave yet sophisticated choices in what to wear it helped me develop my own style. Roland Mouret helped me refine my pattern cutting skills: he is a master at the body conscious dress. I learnt that simpler design is often harder to achieve yet just as impactful.
 
Ong-Oaj Pairam Spring Summer '14 Preview Collection by Rose Crees
Ong-Oaj Pairam S/S 2014 Preview by Rose Crees.

How have you translated the idea of Drew Barrymore’s character in ET into a fashion collection? It sounds most intriguing. 
Haha, inspiration comes in the most extraordinary forms. Gertie (Drew Barrymore’s character) inspired me in many ways. Initially I emulated her childish curiosity in the creative process, exaggerating what is exciting and removing all the usual rules. She’s one tough cookie, despite her age, and I admired her strength. Without giving too much away, there are lots of cues to her character in the collection, including fabric choices, patterns, colour and perspectives. (Although there’s no gingham cowgirl uniforms or cut out bed sheet in this collection… yet…)
 
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013 by Zoe Gotts
Ong-Oaj Pairam S/S 2014 preview by Zoe Gotts.

Why is it so important to you to print on British textiles, and where do you get this done?
We have so many skilled factories and teams in Britain and there is so much talent, yet it’s very easy to get work done overseas to save on cost. You miss out on a wealth of local talent, craft and inspiration if you save a few pennies by getting work done abroad. All the textiles in this collection were sourced and printed in Britain, and all my embroidery and my shoes have been manufactured here. It’s nice building a relationship with the companies and you learn so much more from the people. 
 
Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

Embroidery was all done by Jenny King and her team, her studio is a five minute walk from my studio and she has a huge portfolio of spectacular embroidered pieces. My shoes were manufactured by Thomas Murphy, who is an incredible designer and has a small workshop in London. The textiles come from various factories, unfortunately they are mainly in Yorkshire so a bit too far for me to bribe them with cup-cakes. Printing is done through the Silk Bureau.
 
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

How has your Thai heritage affected your approach to design? 
My Thai background has mainly affected my approach to business and my work ethic. My parents grew a successful (food) industry from nothing and inspired me to work very hard and achieve my dreams. Always start with the end in mind and keep focussed. They are also good at making sure I keep my business head on.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Brighton University, ,Drew Barrymore, ,ET, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gaarte, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gertie, ,interview, ,Jenny King, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Ong-Oaj Pairam, ,Pop PR, ,preview, ,Proenza Schouler, ,Roland Mouret, ,Rose Crees, ,S/S 2014, ,Silk Bureau, ,Thai, ,Thomas Murphy, ,Zoe Gotts

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week Emerging Talent A/W 2011: A Preview

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, treat taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, view which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, viagra order played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, symptoms taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, seek taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, no rx which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, recipe played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly. The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, decease taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, viagra dosage which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, buy information pills played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime and I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?

Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift
Flesh and Blood by Stacie Swift.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl was inspired by photographs of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, information pills taken many years after the city was abandoned to radiation. They show the buildings and streets overtaken with plants and animals, which have happily returned to build homes amongst the human detritus.

Flesh and Blood office

The impressively depressing (yet realistic) stage set features the interior of an office for Convenience Foods: dead plants and old mugs litter the desks and the walls sprout crumpled charts and post it notes. It is into this nightmarish world that Jerry, played by Geoff Sobelle, emerges, rolling gracelessly out of a dumpster inside which he has presumably spent the night, and hobbling a few steps to his desk.

Office Deer by Sarah Matthews
Office Deer by Sarah Matthews.

The lengthy intro features a zany fight with a buzzing fly that refuses to die, before we’re introduced to his office colleague Rhoda, played with relish by Charlotte Ford. Despite their dysfunctional relationship she’s clearly interested in developing a more intimate arrangement with her middle management foe, artlessly arching her bottom in his direction as she microwaves her lunch repeatedly.

Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews
Office Squirrel by Sarah Matthews.

The only time they communicate with words is in cringeworthy office jargon against the backdrop of a wonky Leadership poster featuring a lion’s head superimposed over a mountain. It’s all too easily recognisable as the kind of office that litters the business estates of the UK, which is interesting because Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is performed by Americans.

Office-Bear-by-Sarah Matthews
Office Bear by Sarah Matthews.

Both Geoff Sobelle and Charlotte Ford are trained clowns, adept at using exaggerated body movement and facial expressions to convey repressed feelings that eventually rise to the surface as the theatre set is taken over by a series of stuffed animals and plastic undergrowth.

Mime Festival Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan
Rhoda by Sarah Alfarhan.

Before long they are mating loudly in the dumpster, from which Jerry emerges disgusted that his animal instincts have at last taken over, immediately spraying his body with disinfectant. As the animals continue to stake their claim over the environment Jerry desperately clings to obsessive compulsive means of control, all of which eventually fail.

Flesh and Blood And Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia
Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl by Mira Tazkia.

The programme says very little about the meaning of Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, preferring instead – in the great manner of mime – to leave the story to unfold through the telling. But it seems clear that this is a tale of human folly, and how, ultimately, our environment will have the last laugh of all. It’s a testament to the performers’ clowning expertise that what could so easily have come across as uncompromisingly depressing is instead one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte Ford & Geoff Sobelle

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl is showing at The Pit in the Barbican as part of the London International Mime Festival for the rest of this week. Surreal, funny, disturbing and thought provoking, as I twittered on the night of the performance, this was a brilliant piece of mime: I urge you to grab a ticket now. The Mime Festival is London’s longest running annual theatre event, encompassing visual theatre of all kinds. It runs from 15th-30th January and features a huge range of performances. Why not check out their calendar of events here?


Sarah Baardarani, sickness illustrated by Naomi Law

With Fashion Scout releasing their Ones to Watch for the coming season last week, find it was only going to be a matter of fashion minutes before the British Fashion Council announced who was going to feature on the stands this A/W 2011 fashion week. And here they are!

I like the exhibitions a lot. You get to really get a feel for the collections – you can see them up close and touch them – hell, viagra 40mg you can even smell them if that’s your bag. While a big-budget catwalk show has the atmosphere to accompany the clothes, I often miss many of the design quirks and fabric features because I’m just too damn busy photographing, tweeting and scribbling what will later become illegible notes. With the stands, you can see the colossal effort that a designer has put into their collection and often they’re hanging around, so you can EVEN chat to them too.

It’s also a great place to find up-an-coming design talent: fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. Sod the oldies on the catwalks. This year looks like it won’t disappoint. Here’s a round of the ‘Emerging Designers’ that the BFC has added to its roster:

Teatum Jones

Illustration by Alexandra Rolfe
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have done what no other designer duo have done before by cleverly combining their surnames to form new fashion label Teatum Jones. I mock, but this is a label to most certainly watch. Luxurious fabrics drape on models in their sleek look-book, with intriguing, organic prints and deep colours. Diagonal shapes keep this rich collection fresh, with fabrics like crepe and spandex. It will be interesting to see where all this drapery and elegant fabric usage takes the twosome this season.

Ongwat

Illustration by Abby Wright
Ongwat, surname of its founder Paranee, offers understated contemporary jewellery with architectural references; infinitely wearable but bold enough to stand out. Previous pieces include geometric ‘Scaffold’ rings, braceletss like bike gear rings and cuffs that a Gladiator might wear, should he be in London in 2011 on a mission to modernise his look.

Draw in Light

Illustration by Paolo Caravello
Harriet Barford and Polly Wilkinson, aka Draw in Light, studied at the University of Brighton in 2008. Since then, they’ve notched up awards, including Liberty’s Best of British this time last year. Their aesthetic is “elegant, minimal jersey shapes” with hand silk-screen techniques. Their beautiful, ethereal garments air on the body-con cious side, with mystical, loose patterns. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with for A/W 2011…

Shao-Yen Chen

Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim
A Central Saint Martins graduate (oh, here we go again…), Shao Yen Chen is currently curating a window at Selfridges alongside assembling the A/W 2011 collection. He must be knackered. It seems like this will be the season for sculptural ready-to-wear and innovative accessories (well, I seem to be writing about them a lot at the moment…) Shao-Yen’s work has a sleek Japanese aesthetic but also combines elements of architecture and is full of surprises. In the past he’s knocked up voluminous frocks that defy gravity and his graduate collection from CSM was instantly snapped up by the people at the BFC. A showman in the making, I imagine he’ll progress to catwalk next season, or at least I hope he does.

Wing

Illustration by Holly Trill
Another jewellery designer, another bunch of geometric shapes. Wing Paris’ differ though – they’re discrete, slim-line and sophisticated. Designed by Jenny Wing Chan, a graduate from Studio Bercot in Paris, these pieces combine metallic colours with black and bright purple. Jenny hopes to create “timeless, statement jewellery” which oozes femininity. I think she’s on it already, and with her A/W 2011 collection inspired by “black metal”, I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Joana Faria
My prediction is that Tze Goh will be this season’s hot tip. He’s everywhere. First, Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced him as part of their ‘Ones to Watch’ show, and now he’s on this fashionable list. I saw a special collection exclusive to LN-CC (more about them soon) and it is just mind-blowing. Come February, he’ll be everywhere. Promise.

Joanne Stoker

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins
Nicholas Kirkwood better watch his derriere, as I think Joanne Stoker might be in the running for his fashion crown. Joanne has a background in, well, all sorts – architecture, model making, engineering and, of course, shoe design. Her Art Deco-inspired S/S 2011 collection featured geometric shapes, transparent neons and patent leathers in all sorts of dreamy colours. The bold, statement shoes are for the fashion-forward only. Despite the zany colours and unusual shapes, there’s a real decadent period feel to them. Hopefully A/W 2011 will bring lots more colour and decadence from this First into Fashion winner.

Sarah Angold

Illustration by Karolina Burdon
Sarah Angold’s jewellery is pretty unique. Bold, geometric shapes create enormous statement pieces, and looking at her previous collections, it’s no surprise that her previous employers include Swarovski and Hussein Chalayan. Her work has both an industrial and futuristic aesthetic, and it’s “mathematical graduation” that’s inspiring her for this coming season. I can’t wait to see this stuff in the flesh.

Sarah Baardarani

Illustration by Naomi Law
Sarah Baardarani‘s graduate collection in 2009 was one of the highlights of all the graduate shows. Powerfully elegant, her collection featured luxurious fabrics that twisted and turned around models in an incredibly arcane fashion, as if by magic. The showpiece, adorned in beading, was breathtaking. She’s set to continue her delightful drapery over the coming season, and is inspired by “the fusion of contrasting textures and shapes.”

Keep an eye out in the run up to Fashion Week for lots more previews, interviews and coverage!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Abby Wright, ,Alexandra Rolfe, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Draw in Light, ,fashion, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Holly Trill, ,Joana Faria, ,Joanne Stoker, ,Karolina Burdon, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Ongwat, ,Paolo Caravello, ,preview, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sarah Angold, ,Sarah Baadarani, ,Shao Yen Chen, ,Teatum Jones, ,Tze Goh, ,Wing

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Preview – A few more favourites…


Mr and Mrs Collingham, case illustrated by Krister Selin

When my oldest pal Lydia announced her engagement and subsequent wedding, I struggled to imagine her having a generic do with a meringue dress and posed pictures. Her list of likes include folk and rock music, vintage fashion and living a sustainable day-to-day life. So it was no surprise when she declared that her wedding would take place in the woods.

I apologise in advance if this article may seem a little self-indulgent, and the truth is, it probably is. Well, sod it.


Lydia and Nathan

Lydia and Nathan’s day began at the local town hall, with a low key ceremony. I had been so nervous about my continous blubbing throughout, but as The Beatles’ Love Me Do skipped on an old portable CD player, my tears turned to laughter. Lydia entered in a floor length Grecian-inspired dress with an artificial pose of sunflowers. Blimey, these civil ceremonies don’t last long do they? Before I knew it, they were Mr and Mrs Collingham and we were ushered outside to pose on the lawn. (Is it a civil ceremony when you get married at a registry office? I hope so).


Camping! Illustrated by Natasha Thompson

Anyway, the festivities began. Car-sharing had been arranged prior to the day (unfortunately there isn’t any easier way of getting around our small network of tiny villages) and guests had been discouraged from travelling from overseas. We arrived at the reception, set in our friend Alice’s beautiful garden. Lydia and Nathan are really fortunate to have such lovely friends who already take sustainability and climate change very seriously. The newlyweds had tried to create a festival vibe, whilst keeping carbon emisions to a minimum. We were all camping! A little camping area had been set up at the entrance to the woods, where tents had been pitched, and for a split second I could have been at any of the summer festivals – coloured tapers adorned the trees and homemade signs with directions had been painted.

Next up – food and booze. The food was incredible, and all locally sourced to reduce environmental impact. Organic elderflower champagne was provided as a reception drink, served with delicious vegan canapés. A delicious hog roast, provided by local butchers, was layed on for the meat eaters, but the menu was, by and large, vegan. Lydia’s mum had made a gorgeous mushroom en croute to accompany Ecoworks’ delicious selection of salads and nut roasts, and some of the vegatables had been sourced right here from the gardens!




The food! Illustrated by Kayleigh Bluck

Ecoworks is a community organisation based in Nottinghamshire with ‘the interests of people and the environment at its heart’. They work on conservation and restoration projects and run the FRESH project, which champions regeneration, education in sustainability and health.

They also run courses that encourage people to grow the good stuff and eat sustainably. Their Harvest Café van (a gorgeous converted vintage Citroën H van, no less) caters at festivals and events and specialises in vegetarian and vegan food, They provided spuds in the evening, with chilli or dahl, and a veggie breakfast the following day. I didn’t manage any of the latter because I had the world’s worst hangover, but I’m told it was a delight…

Lydia and Nathan’s dog Polly even managed to get in on the action, dressed to the nines in a ruffle of sunflowers…

Illustration of Polly by Naomi Law


I’m always hot for a Stella McCartney shoe – especially sourced on eBay at a bargain price. You can put the girl in the woods, but she’ll still wear hot shoes. AND Stella would have been proud. Sorry, I couldn’t resist… arrrrr!


Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

And so, very quickly, the afternoon turned to the evening and it was time to party, after taking a visit to one of the garden’s many eco loos. A total shock for many, this was. Wails of ‘Is that really where I go to the bloody lav?’ could be heard in the camping area, but just about everybody got used to it pretty quickly. One guest, who shall remain nameless, was even caught photographing down one…

Hay bales covered in vintage blankets created space for guests to mingle, while the epicentre was The Dome.

This recycled space appeared like a vision of the future from the 1960s, and Alice’s mum kindly informed me that it used to operate as a swimming pool cover. It was in here that local live bands played, including the wonderful 10 O’clock Horses – a suitable blend of folk, rock, roots and punk. Lydia and Nathan had their first dance to this band’s first song (as I stood aghast) and then we all had a good ol’ jig.


10 O’clock Horses, illustrated by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Candles lit the gardens, which was a bit of a struggle to begin with but we all soon got used to it and danced into the small hours. And so after a few too many organic beers and far too much shameful dancing on my behalf, it was time for bed. What a fabulous, fabulous day.

We retired to our tents, and Lydia and Nathan skipped off to their tepee to consumate their marriage…


Lydia and Nathan in front of their teepee, photographed by Paul Saxby

I have no idea if they did or not.
David Longshaw

For Spring Summer 2011, seek David Longshaw says he was inspired by ‘chav dogs, information pills feathers and a ruffle or two and a story I wrote’. The tale apparently describes the outcome when some hoodies break into a stately home and end up dressing up in period clothing. I am waiting with baited breath to see the results! Don’t miss David’s upcoming round up of London Fashion Week exclusively for Amelia’s Magazine.

Eudon Choi

A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Eudon Choi has been much talked-about over the six months that have passed since the last London Fashion Week. As well as being awarded Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Merit Award, he was named as a winner of the BFC Elle Talent Launch Pad. His Merit Award collection has been greatly anticipated; expect industrial references, masculine tailoring and military embellishments, cutting an edgy yet sophisticated silhouette.

Bernard Chandran


A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Malaysia’s Prince of Fashion, Bernard Chandran, continued to impress with his powerful, glimmering A/W 2010 collection. Glamour prevailed; power shoulders were paired with luxe beading, sequins, feathers and exposed backs, providing the ultimate in wearable opulence. Look out for Lady Gaga and Florence Welch queuing up for his fresh flamboyance.

Eley Kishimoto

A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Eley Kishimoto never fail to impress with their unmistakable graphic prints. Expect another eclectic mix for S/S 2011, with inspiration cited as “imitation, 3D on 2D and clothes drying on a rack”. After a notably scaled-down, pop-up shop presence last Fashion Week, it will be interesting to see what they show this time at Shoreditch Studios.

Ziad Ghanem

Ziad Ghanem couture, illustrated by Joana Faria

When Matt Bramford recently interviewed couturier Ziad Ghanem for Amelia’s Magazine, he revealed that he has been making a film for his new collection. After February’s show-stopping runway performance from Immodesty Blaize, the onscreen unveiling of his latest collection is eagerly anticipated.

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Bernard Chandran, ,BFC, ,british fashion council, ,David Longshaw, ,Eley Kishimoto, ,Elle Magazine, ,Eudon Choi, ,illustrations, ,Joana Faria, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Naomi Law, ,preview, ,S/S 2011, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Preview: Menswear Day


Wintle, viagra order A/W 2010, illustrated by Antonia Parker

So it’s the last day of womenswear today, which means no more frocks and no more tits and arse. This is good. The womenswear press will jet off to Milan but London Fashion Week isn’t over – it’s MENSWEAR DAY tomorrow!

To celebrate, I’ve put together a list of the best of the best that we’ll be looking out for. This is by no means exclusive, because menswear day is usually pretty wonderful from start to finish. I pretty much like everything. I haven’t even touched on Matthew Miller, Morgan Allen Oliver, Christopher Shannon, KTZ, Hardy Amies, Tim Soar or Mr Hare. But, here we go anyway. In no particular order:

Carolyn Massey

Illustration by Paolo Caravello

I was hoping by now to have interviewed Carolyn Massey, but it’s a testament to her success that I haven’t managed to pin her down as yet. She only works around the sodding corner from my gaff, but it’s proven impossible in the run up to fashion week, so hopefully I’ll catch up with her when things slow down a bit (Oh my, how I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit!)
Carolyn is easily one of my favourite menswear designers and she has an unparalleled approach to how men dress with her discrete military references and intelligent cuts. She describes a Carolyn Massey man as ‘someone with excellent taste, of course.’

E. Tautz

Illustration by Gabriel Alaya

E. Tautz, under the direction of Patrick Grant, is the epitome of Saville Row tailoring. His collections transport us to the golden age of tailoring’s most famous avenue; his cutting is second to none, his styling is extraordinary and he combines, with ease, classic English dressing with wit. Last year’s double-breasted jackets and three-piece suits had the menswear press practically falling over themselves.

Lou Dalton

Illustration by Kellie Black

I first saw Lou Dalton‘s work exactly a year ago at her salon show in the Portico Rooms, and what jolly good fun I had viewing her diminutive models sporting jazzed-up tricornes and luxurious knitwear. Last season saw Lou produce a more mature collection, featuring more great knitwear and exquisite tailored suits in vibrant tartan. Oh, I wish I’d bought that suit, I could swan around in it tomorrow. Damn.

Omar Kashoura

Illustration by Naomi Law

Omar Kashoura first caught my attention when Amelia and I caught his fantastic presentation last year in a swanky bar off the Strand. It was a superb setting in which his tailoring slotted in perfectly – dynamic suits with an exotic twist in all sorts of lovely pastel colours made for great photographs and an even better wardrobe. He’s quite rightly received NEWGEN sponsorship this year, so I am sure he’ll dazzle us again.

JW Anderson

Illustration by Chris Morris

JW Anderson has gone from strength to strength since his debut, er, whenever it was. He’s launched womenswear this year, which I haven’t seen yet, but his collections for men have been the highlight of menswear day for the past two seasons. Last season’s punk-inspired collection avoided being cheesy and instead showcased JW’s eye for styling and a fashion-forward aesthetic. The collection had it all – tartans, knits, bombers, love hearts, the lot. I can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with this year.

Sibling

Illustration by Rob Wallace

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Sibling. They really do make the most amazing knits, don’t they? Last year’s quirky striped numbers with hypnotic cartoon eyes were presented as part of the MAN installations and were by far the most enjoyable. This will be their fifth collection, and if last year’s contrasting graphic patterns and vibrant greens are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat this time around. It’s fun, it’s progressive, and it’s inspired by Frankenstein and zombies. What more could you want?

Wintle
It appears that Wintle isn’t showing this season, well not in London anyway. Bit of a shame, but last year I commissioned these beautiful illustrations by our Antonia Parker. I didn’t manage to post them last year, and I’ve been guilt ridden ever since. I’ve been worried sick and I haven’t slept. So, to quash my anxiety, I’m posting them now. Enjoy!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Antonia Parker, ,Carolyn Massey, ,Chris Morris, ,Christopher Shannon, ,E. Tautz, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Hardy Amies, ,JW Anderson, ,Kellie Black, ,knitwear, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lou Dalton, ,Man, ,Matthew Miller, ,menswear, ,Morgan Allen Oliver, ,Mr Hare, ,Naomi Law, ,Omar Kashoura, ,Paolo Caravello, ,preview, ,Rob Wallace, ,S/S 2011, ,Sibling, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring, ,Tim Soar, ,Wintle

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Womenswear Preview: On|Off


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, recipe for sale illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, sildenafil he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crosses atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, visit this illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, try he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, about it Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crosses atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, page illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Aminaka Wilmont A/W 2010, viagra illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

London Fashion Week is renowned for showcasing up and coming design talent – and nowhere is more uniquely ‘London’ than On|Off. Now in it’s twelfth season, this is an independent fashion showcase away from the major players at Somerset House.

Helping launch the careers of off-schedule designers like Mark Fast, the On|Off Presents…  catwalk show is a go-to for international press and buyers looking for the next big thing.

The main exhibition has expanded to a mammoth 22 designers, with fourteen catwalk shows and three presentations, and has attracted exciting on-schedule talent like Gareth Pugh and Jasper Conran, looking for a ‘freer’ space to showcase their work. So who can we look forward to this year? Here’s our pick of the ones to watch…

Roksanda Ilincic

A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

After the massive success of her catwalk show last season, Roksanda Ilincic returns to show at On|Off. With three capsule collections with high-end high street chain Whistles under her belt, the London-born designer is most famous for her beautifully draped dresses in jewel tones. Roksanda loves to dress up, and her signature looks are dreamy flowing dresses in asymmetrical lengths, toughened up with exposed zips and raw hems. Her AW 2010 show, inspired by “Dark clouds, metal flowers and the Brontë sisters” was as romantic as ever – with draped dresses in jersey and rich plum tones.

Bryce Aime

A/W 2010, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Adding some French flair to proceedings will be Bryce Aime, a Parisian born designer who honed his craft in London and opened his first store in Chelsea in November 2009. With an emphasis on modern, architectural design, A/W 2010 was a futuristic affair, with lots of clean lines, and black sculpted pieces paired with abstract prints – manipulated into headbands and skintight leggings. But for S/S 2011 it sounds like Bryce is looking east, with the “Beijing opera, Kabuki and the modern Far East Asia” as inspirations.  

Pam Hogg

A/W 2010, illustrated by Stéphanie Thieullent

Pam Hogg is best known for her skintight cat suits (and with The Runaways just out, they would be just perfect) so expect a collection of rebellious body conscious looks from this designer with attitude. This woman knows how to dress the female form, and her A/W 2010 collection saw models parade around in sheer capelets, bodystockings and thigh high boots. One thing’s for sure, Hogg sure can fill a front row – Peaches Geldof, Jodie Harsh and Nick Cave were just some of the turnouts last season.  

Aminaka Wilmont

A/W 2010, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Japanese/Swedish/Danish duo Aminaka Wilmont are also a dab hand at draping – their last collection was a riot of ruched dresses in mini and maxi lengths, with some feminine florals and futuristic headwear thrown in for good measure. This season we can look forward to a collection inspired by “Sleep psyche and surrealism”, with the designers testing “new shapes and silhouettes…more intricate fabric manipulations… and an emphasis on couture hand-embroidery.”

Julian J Smith

A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Our one to watch is new label Julian J Smith. After stints working with Erdem and Jonathan Saunders, this designer is “obsessed” with print and pattern, contrast and colour, creating vibrant dresses that have been snapped up by Victoria Beckham and Olivia Palermo. True to form, our favourites from his A/W 2010 collection were the modern dresses – skater skirts, mini shifts – in a blown up ikat print in mustard and cornflower blue. We’re excited about this ‘Prints Charming’ already… 

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Aminaka Wilmont, ,Bryce Aime, ,catwalk, ,Erdem, ,florals, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Headwear, ,Jasper Conran, ,Jodie Harsh, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julian J Smith, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mark Fast, ,Nick Cave, ,onoff, ,Pam Hogg, ,paris, ,pattern, ,Peaches Geldof, ,preview, ,prints, ,Roksanda Ilincic, ,S/S 2011, ,Somerset House, ,Victoria Beckham

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Preview: Jayne Pierson


Rachel Freire S/S 2011, order illustrated by Krister Selin

‘I’m terrible at interviews’ I announce shortly after arriving at Rachel Freire‘s East London studio. A bit of a melodramatic introduction, this site maybe; but as I now sit staring at my notes which resemble the scribbles of a toddler I now know why I said it.

My trouble is that I just like to listen to people. I get lost in conversation and forget to write anything down. I refuse to record interviews because I hate the sound of my own voice and I find it a bit of a distraction, so my erratic notes are all I have to record our meeting. Sometimes, if I meet up with somebody and they don’t say much, I can manage it; when I meet people like Rachel Freire – gorgeous, mesmerising, opinionated, articulate – I’m left with nothing.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

Rachel is based at the Dace Road studios, home also to the likes of Christopher Raeburn (featured in ACOFI) and Rui Leonardes. Ex-tennants include Mark Fast and Mary Kantrantzou who’ve now moved to Shacklewell Studios, aka hipster central, but despite her successes, Rachel’s staying put. I meet her on a grey Saturday afternoon, she’s been up for most of the night, but you wouldn’t notice despite her protests.

”Whoever says January is a dead month is LYING!’ Rachel exclaims as she makes the tea. I do find that I get on better with people who drink lots of tea. I just don’t trust people who don’t like it. I know, as she gives them a stir, that we’re going to get along. We sit at a big oak desk in the centre of the studio, Rachel lights a cigarette and we begin our conversation. I ask Rachel how it’s going, and she seems pretty positive. She has an army of interns and creates ‘a sense of family’ in her studio, which is adorned with all sorts of interesting antiquities like skulls and baseball paraphernalia. A sign above the door, Rachel’s mantra, reads ‘IF IN DOUBT, SPRAYPAINT IT GOLD,’ a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Naomi Law

Rachel brands herself as a ‘costumier’ who happened to fall into fashion, which explains her unique and innovative approach to dressing. ‘I’ll never lose track of my costumier routes,’ she tells me, ‘I’m pretty anti-fashion. It dictates what we wear and how we feel, and I’ve never subscribed to that.’ Her models ‘need to have an arse’ and she’s conscious of the responsibility a fashion designer must adopt, whether that be ethical or environmental. ‘I am the cheapest person!’ Rachel admits, ‘but I will never shop in Primark. I look at the clothes and think ‘somebody suffered for this’. I want customers to hold things knowing somebody’s crafted it – that something is special.’


S/S 2011, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Rachel won’t compromise. She’s staying true to herself and won’t put her name on anything that she hasn’t rigourously vetted and knows exactly where everything has come from. Rachel is as much an ethical designer as any of the Estethica designers – if not more so. She values the work of other people and believes that you ‘have to be ethical in so many different ways’. How you treat your interns, where you source your fabrics, how you communicate with suppliers – all these things, Rachel believes, are necessary for good business, not just opting for ethical fabrics.

Rachel’s previous collections provide sculptural, architectural pieces with innovative techniques (read all about her glow-in-the-dark S/S 2011 collection here) and it seems A/W 2011 will be even more exciting. As we chat about the boy Rachel’s texting and get mixed up with whose tea is whose (easy mistake – Rachel’s recently got a new mug but the Queen of Fucking Everything option she’s given me still has sentimental value) we’re surrounded by leather nipples. REAL nipples.

Rachel and her team of merry men (and women) have been hard at work in the previous weeks to marry them together to make roses. They’re absolutely beautiful to touch and look at but there’s something rather unsettling about them. ‘That’s my aesthetic!’ Rachel declares.

A sneak peek at some of the fabrics, techniques and colours Rachel’s preparing to show this week:


A/W 2010, illustrated by Joana Faria

Rachel’s also working with Ecco, who are developing processes for leather manufacturing for couture houses. Rachel has devoted a lot of her time visiting the Netherlands tannery working alongside them in their quest to transform how we produce and approach leather goods. ‘I’m obsessed with materials!’ Rachel tells me. ‘It’s much nicer to make a jacket out of something that you’ve had an input in from the start.’ She shows me a new process she’s working on (damned if I can remember the name) which gives leather an ethereal ripple-like pattern that looks as if it’s been photoshopped. I’m speechless, and we both sit caressing it for a while until I can think of something to say.


S/S 2011, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

So what’s up next for Rachel? Well, A/W 2011 looks set to be her bravest collection yet, and I had a sneak peek at some of the fabrics, textures, techniques and cuts she’s working on. On a grander scale, she ‘loves to teach’ and wants to establish a system where the efforts of designers to instil good practises and skills into their army of interns is recognised. She describes mainstay teaching as ‘box ticking’ and, as someone whose never done what she was told to do, feels there’s more to give in a studio-based environment than anything in the classroom. I hear ya, love.

Rachel’s excited about the future. She plans to dazzle once a year at the A/W 2011 shows while maintaining commissions with an ever-expanding roster of clients and other projects during the rest of the year. She also wants to live on a boat and explore costume design in cinema. She references Jean Paul Gaultier‘s work on flicks like The Fifth Element and is excited by the prospect of applying her unique aesthetic to film. It all comes down to financing. ‘Money dictates and creates a standard,’ Rachel tells me. ‘The system to support new designers is very small, but I won’t compromise my values. I’m here to stay.’

I should bloody hope so.

Rachel’s original draqing for her collaboration with Neurotica:

All photography by Matt Bramford
Illustration by Mina Bach

Chad Valley is Hugo Manuel. Oxford born and bred, viagra buy this musician and producer is a member of the recently established Blessing Force Collective and the frontman of alt-folk band Jonquil. As the cold light of the new year dissolved in February, sale Hugo Manuel finished a tour with Twin Shadow and participated in Blessing Force’s recent Warehouse Party at The Old Bookbinders in Oxford. In the days inbetween, Manuel chatted to Amelia’s Magazine about his latest solo venture and what would happen if he ever went for tea with Neil Young…

First things first, how are you finding 2011 so far?

2011 has so far been a blur and feels like its about 10 days old. Its still fresh, and there are lots of plans being hatched.

What’s the story behind the name Chad Valley? I see in previous interviews you’ve mentioned that it’s the name of a toy company begun in the Victorian era?

Chad Valley is actually a place near Birmingham where the toy company was based and it just a wonderful sounding pairing of words. I have no connection with the toy company and when I first knew of the word it wasn’t anything to do with toys. In fact, a friend of mine used it as his stage name when he was in a punk band. Its a kind of generational thing though, because people of my age don’t tend to know about the toy company whereas older generations are like ‘why did you name yourself after Chad Valley!?’ I guess it is a bit like calling myself Argos.


Video for Chad Valley’s Up and Down by Katie Harrison

Which era or decade would you say has inspired your music the most?

For Chad Valley specifically I would have to say the late 80s to very early 90s. Its a kind of end of the decade thing where there is change and new things coming in, a rebellion against what has come before. I think the production values of electronic music had, by then, reached something of a pinnacle and things had got so slick that its almost sickly, but quite amazing at the same time. Outside that though, I think the period of 1969 to 1974 is probably the time I would most love to be making music. The records that came out of that era by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Crosby, Still and Nash, Jackson Browne are all some of my favourites of all time.

What’s the musical inspiration behind Chad Valley? Are you still listening to Studio and The Tough Alliance or have you moved on to pastures new?

I still have so much love for those bands, absolutely. And Ceo, which is one of the guys from TA’s new project, is also great. That was definitely the jumping off point for Chad Valley, but things are moving on, for sure. I’m listening to a lot more R&B at the moment, and that is having a big impact on the stuff I’m making right now. I’m delving deep into R Kelly’s back catalogue for inspiration.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

If Chad Valley were a geographical landscape, what or where would it be? How would you map Jonquil?

It would be New York in the early 70s, just like in Taxi Driver. Jonquil would be LA, in the early 90s. Like in the Ice Cube videos.

What are your thoughts on Up and Down being described in the Guardian as “a slinky Hot Chip on downers, a disco-infused summer “joint” featuring some shimmering synths, padded drum beats and Manuel’s impressive croon”?

That was nice to hear. I like Hot Chip a lot, I think they’ve done pretty amazing things considering how weird a band they are. Also, it’s nice to get press in places like the Guardian because you can show your parents, and they can be very impressed.


Video for Chad Valley’s Portuguese Solid Summer by Katie Harrison

Who is the most inspirational person you have come across? What would a meeting between the two of you be like?

Neil Young, without a shadow of a doubt. I would love to have a cup of tea with him and just talk about writing music. I’m sure I would be 100% intimidated and just drool or something weird like that.

What is the most exciting or scary thing that 2011 will throw at you?

At the moment I’m fairly petrified about writing and producing an album. Because it’s just me and I don’t have other people to bounce ideas off, it can be very quite scary making the big decisions about lyrics, or song titles, artwork… those kind of things. But I’m getting way ahead of myself… I have about 2 and a half tunes for the album I guess.

I really like the ambient atmosphere of the video for Up and Down – how did the idea behind the video develop? How did you come across the footage?

It was actually made by my girlfriend when she had the summer off, and a lot of free time on her hands. It’s all stuff from across the internet, so it’s a pretty amazing patchwork of different people’s home videos, pretty much. I like that idea a lot, and its fairly mind-boggling, the fact that that is at all possible!

Illustration by Alia Gargum

What’s been your favourite gig to play at so far?

There are two that I’ll mention, and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for live shows. One was at a launderette in Hackney. A working laundrette that had been closed for the night and fixed up with a PA and some projectors. They place was heaving, in the best possible way, and everyone danced. Everyone. So at the other end is the show I did with Foals on New Years Eve at the Kentish Town Forum. I was on first, but being NYE there was excitement in the room, and the vibes were excellent.

What impact does being based in Oxford have on your sound?

The scene we have here… the whole Blessing Force thing, is so supportive and encouraging that I think being from Oxford has had a huge affect on the way I make music, and just simply the fact that I do make music. Being surrounded by other musicians all doing similar bedroom-recorded stuff gives you a huge amount of drive to make shit happen. But the things that make Oxford great are also the things that make Oxford not so great. People are always coming and going from Oxford… its in a constant state of flux and this give it an uneasy feeling sometimes. Like, if you stay here for a long time there must be something wrong with you. I can see myself leaving Oxford in the future for sure, but right now it offers so much to me, that I couldn’t keep away.

Illustration by Mina Bach

Chad Valley is Hugo Manuel. Oxford born and bred, see this musician and producer is a member of the recently established Blessing Force Collective and the frontman of alt-folk band Jonquil. As the cold light of the new year dissolved in February, medicine Hugo Manuel finished a tour with Brooklyn’s acclaimed Twin Shadow and participated in Blessing Force’s recent Warehouse Party at The Old Bookbinders in Oxford. In the days inbetween, approved Manuel chatted to Amelia’s Magazine about his latest solo venture and what would happen if he ever went for tea with Neil Young…

First things first, how are you finding 2011 so far?

2011 has so far been a blur and feels like its about 10 days old. Its still fresh, and there are lots of plans being hatched.

What’s the story behind the name Chad Valley? I see in previous interviews you’ve mentioned that it’s the name of a toy company begun in the Victorian era?

Chad Valley is actually a place near Birmingham where the toy company was based and it just a wonderful sounding pairing of words. I have no connection with the toy company and when I first knew of the word it wasn’t anything to do with toys. In fact, a friend of mine used it as his stage name when he was in a punk band. Its a kind of generational thing though, because people of my age don’t tend to know about the toy company whereas older generations are like ‘why did you name yourself after Chad Valley!?’ I guess it is a bit like calling myself Argos.


Video for Chad Valley’s Up and Down by Katie Harrison

Which era or decade would you say has inspired your music the most?

For Chad Valley specifically I would have to say the late 80s to very early 90s. Its a kind of end of the decade thing where there is change and new things coming in, a rebellion against what has come before. I think the production values of electronic music had, by then, reached something of a pinnacle and things had got so slick that its almost sickly, but quite amazing at the same time. Outside that though, I think the period of 1969 to 1974 is probably the time I would most love to be making music. The records that came out of that era by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Crosby, Still and Nash, Jackson Browne are all some of my favourites of all time.

What’s the musical inspiration behind Chad Valley? Are you still listening to Studio and The Tough Alliance or have you moved on to pastures new?

I still have so much love for those bands, absolutely. And Ceo, which is one of the guys from TA’s new project, is also great. That was definitely the jumping off point for Chad Valley, but things are moving on, for sure. I’m listening to a lot more R&B at the moment, and that is having a big impact on the stuff I’m making right now. I’m delving deep into R Kelly’s back catalogue for inspiration.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

If Chad Valley were a geographical landscape, what or where would it be? How would you map Jonquil?

It would be New York in the early 70s, just like in Taxi Driver. Jonquil would be LA, in the early 90s. Like in the Ice Cube videos.

What are your thoughts on Up and Down being described in the Guardian as “a slinky Hot Chip on downers, a disco-infused summer “joint” featuring some shimmering synths, padded drum beats and Manuel’s impressive croon”?

That was nice to hear. I like Hot Chip a lot, I think they’ve done pretty amazing things considering how weird a band they are. Also, it’s nice to get press in places like the Guardian because you can show your parents, and they can be very impressed.


Video for Chad Valley’s Portuguese Solid Summer by Katie Harrison

Who is the most inspirational person you have come across? What would a meeting between the two of you be like?

Neil Young, without a shadow of a doubt. I would love to have a cup of tea with him and just talk about writing music. I’m sure I would be 100% intimidated and just drool or something weird like that.

What is the most exciting or scary thing that 2011 will throw at you?

At the moment I’m fairly petrified about writing and producing an album. Because it’s just me and I don’t have other people to bounce ideas off, it can be very quite scary making the big decisions about lyrics, or song titles, artwork… those kind of things. But I’m getting way ahead of myself… I have about 2 and a half tunes for the album I guess.

I really like the ambient atmosphere of the video for Up and Down – how did the idea behind the video develop? How did you come across the footage?

It was actually made by my girlfriend when she had the summer off, and a lot of free time on her hands. It’s all stuff from across the internet, so it’s a pretty amazing patchwork of different people’s home videos, pretty much. I like that idea a lot, and its fairly mind-boggling, the fact that that is at all possible!

Illustration by Alia Gargum

What’s been your favourite gig to play at so far?

There are two that I’ll mention, and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for live shows. One was at a launderette in Hackney. A working laundrette that had been closed for the night and fixed up with a PA and some projectors. They place was heaving, in the best possible way, and everyone danced. Everyone. So at the other end is the show I did with Foals on New Years Eve at the Kentish Town Forum. I was on first, but being NYE there was excitement in the room, and the vibes were excellent.

What impact does being based in Oxford have on your sound?

The scene we have here… the whole Blessing Force thing, is so supportive and encouraging that I think being from Oxford has had a huge affect on the way I make music, and just simply the fact that I do make music. Being surrounded by other musicians all doing similar bedroom-recorded stuff gives you a huge amount of drive to make shit happen. But the things that make Oxford great are also the things that make Oxford not so great. People are always coming and going from Oxford… its in a constant state of flux and this give it an uneasy feeling sometimes. Like, if you stay here for a long time there must be something wrong with you. I can see myself leaving Oxford in the future for sure, but right now it offers so much to me, that I couldn’t keep away.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Welsh designer Jayne Pierson won the Graduate Fashion Week Ecological Design Award in 2007 and since then has quickly risen up the fashion ranks. Her latest collection, capsule S/S 2011, was a riot of colour and military influences, with luxurious fabrics and bold tailoring.

Jayne’s previous employers include Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, and their influence is evident in her collections. She debuted solo-stylee in 2009 which saw her featured in Vogue Italia, Vogue and Grazia to name a few.

It’s Jayne’s combination of superior fabrics and innovative design concepts (as well as her extraordinary cutting ability) that makes her a stand-out label in a sea of new designers.

I caught up with Jayne in the run-up to fashion week A/W 2011 to find out how she’s coping and what the rest of the season holds…

Your SS11 collection went down a storm – can you tell us a bit about it?
My Spring/Summer 2011 was based on The Twin Parallel.  The theory of space and time and the existence of gravitational time dilation.  It engages with the notion that one could change the past to recreate the future. I wanted to create a collection that was ultimately timeless.


Illustration by Karolina Burdon

What’s inspiring you for A/W 11?
Black, bondage, gloss and industrial.

What can we expect to see on the catwalk from Jayne Pierson this season?
The silhouette juxtaposes the two opposites of restrained tailoring and freeform drape. The organic shapes and the mystery between the folds represent an unknowing, an uncertainty and an alienation. This inexpicably draws me in.

Have you had any major hurdles or experiences in the run up to this season? 
Not really but I can always do with another few months to schedule a holiday somewhere…??

What techniques/fabrics/patterns are you using?
Opposites of restrained tailoring and freeform drape; leather with taffeta.??

How do you gage the response to each collection? Do you read reviews?
Not really as I usually base it on how well the sales are doing.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

??What kind of woman wears Jayne Pierson? Has this changed? 
I’m developing wearable garments with a high-end finish that retains a knowing irony for women that choose to march to the sound of their own drum. ??

What do you make of the current London Fashion scene?
I don’t really follow it as I’m based in Wales. I think it helps to give me space to reflect.

Which fashionable London hotspots would you reccommend to relax?
Tate, Hakkasan, Whiskey Mist and Spitalfields Market.

What does the rest of 2011 have in store for Jayne Pierson?
Paris Fashion Week and a well needed rest at my mum’s house in Dallas, Texas.

Jayne will show her A/W 2011 collection at On|Off today

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hakkasan, ,interview, ,Jayne Pierson, ,leather, ,London Fashion Week, ,preview, ,S/S 2011, ,Spitalfields Market, ,Tate, ,The Twin Parallel, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,wales, ,Whiskey Mist

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Amelia’s Magazine | Keiko Nishiyama: Ones to Watch S/S 2015 London Fashion Week Preview

Keiko Nishiyama by Sarah Rossignol
Keiko Nishiyama by Sarah Rossignol.

Japanese born fashion designer Keiko Nishiyama is another LCF graduate, whose work I fell in love with last year, so I am super excited to see her new collection on the Fashion Scout Ones to Watch catwalk tomorrow, where she will debut her S/S 2015 collection.

Keiko Nishiyama by daria hlazatova
Keiko Nishiyama by Daria Hlazatova.

Keiko Nishiyama mood board SS 2015 3
Keiko Nishiyama S/S 2015 mood board.

When did you first begin your love affair with print design?
I really grew to treasure the way that print could be used on my MA course at London College of Fashion, but I have always loved colour and painting. My parents took me to museums on many occasions and gave me painting tools when I was young, so I have been surrounded by creative inspiration since I was child.

Keiko Nishiyama mood board SS 2015
Keiko Nishiyama mood board SS 2015 2
Keiko Nishiyama S/S 2015 mood boards.

What inspirations have influenced your new collection?
This season the collection is inspired by the themes of Aquarium and collections of objects known as Wunderkammer, or Cabinets of Curiosities. These have again become a forward-looking movement in museums today, with the creation of interesting, odd collections or rooms that are designed to provoke people’s curiosity. The S/S 2015 collection’s iconic model is a mermaid that was inspired by the film Night Tide, directed by Curtis Harrington.

Keiko Nishiyama 2013 aw collection by Ema Koshigoe
Keiko Nishiyama A/W 2013 collection by Ema Koshigoe.

What were the highlights of studying at the London College of Fashion?
The LCF MA course gave me a chance to become accomplished in my style and techniques of creation, as well as teaching me time management as a professional designer. Through my final collection, I learned how to minimise and balance my garment silhouettes with the print design. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to go on this course and gain so much experience in fashion.

Keiko Nishiyama
What are your hopes for the future?
I want to create collections that feature highly ornate design, especially where the print of the textiles is concerned. I hope that my designs will give women the chance to gain another dimension and confidence both introspectively and physically. In the future I want to help women coordinate my print world in both their clothing and lifestyles.

Categories ,Aquarium, ,Cabinets of Curiosities, ,Curtis Harrington, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Ema Koshigoe, ,Fashion Scout, ,interview, ,japanese, ,Keiko Nishiyama, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Night Tide, ,Ones To Watch, ,preview, ,S/S 2015, ,Sarah Rossignol, ,Wunderkammer

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