Amelia’s Magazine | Pam Hogg: London Fashion Week A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Marina Muun

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Marina Muun

I thoroughly enjoyed the Pam Hogg S/S 2014 catwalk show last September, bathed as it was in a joyous theatrical atmosphere. So I was a little surprised to find that this season the Pam Hogg A/W 2014 show felt like a deflated repetition of last year, with a couple of the outfits seemingly almost identical to those shown for S/S 2014. However, it all made much more sense when, afterwards, I found out more about how and why this collection was created. In fact, Pam Hogg had opted not to show this season, but had a change of heart after a last minute personal request from Amnesty International to give a nod to Russian punk band Pussy Riot during London Fashion Week, especially as the event coincided with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Therefore, there were only three weeks to put the collection together.

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Kit Wagstaff

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Kit Wagstaff

The show was titled COURAGE and opened with models carrying boards emblazoned with the statements “This is a dedication to Pussy Riot” and “This collection is not for sale“. The first section of the collection featured the distinctive coloured balaclavas which have become a widely-recognised symbol of the Pussy Riot girls, and was a straight dedication to the group. Pam Hogg sent ethereal bridal looks accessorised with ornate gold headpieces down the catwalk on a mixture of male, female and transexual models, perhaps in an effort to highlight the issues around gay marriage, especially in Russia. According to her, gold represents the church and white represents peace and love for everyone. The intense colours that were patchworked into her trademark catsuits were her tribute to the gay community and the richness that it has given culture.

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri

Pam Hogg A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Pam Hogg A-W 2014 catwalk photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,Amnesty, ,Amnesty International, ,Catwalk review, ,COURAGE, ,Fashion Scout, ,Jenny Robins, ,Kit Wagstaff, ,LGBT, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mitika Chohan, ,Mitika Suri, ,Pam Hogg, ,protest, ,punk, ,pussy riot, ,Russia!, ,Sochi, ,Winter Olympics

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Amelia’s Magazine | Whose City? The G20 Protesters Come To Town

IDIOT SON OF STELLA AND GEORGE

An eclectic mix of art work by a group of like minded people exploring expressionism through art.
Peckham Square, tadalafil page 28th of March 2- 6pm

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In the Pines

Jack Strange
Limoncello 2 Hoxton St London, rx opening 27th of March 6.30 – 8.30pm, case exhibition: 26th – 28th of March 11am – 6pm and by appointment until 2nd May 2009.

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Order and Disorder

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
A look at a very unique collection of paintings and prints, several have never been publicly exhibited before.
Art first in Cork street, 24th March – 23rd April

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One or Several Wolves

Priya Chohan, Coral Churchill, Annelie Fawke, Kwang-Sung Hong, Heidi Locher and Anne E Wilson.
A group of artists look at conceptual motivations within Art, using a variety of media each artist explores the relationship between concept, material and final work created.
Kingsgate Gallery, 20th March – 5th April Free

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Bandits present

New installation work from Glaswegian artists littlewhitehead.
The Bun House Bandits, 96 Peckham High Street London. Preview: 15th March 2009, 4pm. Exhibition: 16th March 2009 – 29 March 2009, 11am–11pm

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Being and nothing-ness

Youngmi Kim, Kiwoun Shin and Seunghyun Woo
Three Korean artists explore the notion of “being” through various multi media methods, the exhibition includes paintings, videos and sculptures.
Nolias Gallery, 60 Great Suffolk St SE1. Private view: 26thMarch at 6pm- 9pm, exhibition: 27th March- 7TH April 200 10:30Am-6pm,

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We are his body

installation art work inspired by the artist’s exploration of the cross in today’s society.
Viewing at Christ Church URC 663 Barking rd Plaistow E13 9EX, 25th March 6pm

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Kate Marshall: Live Painting.

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This dextrous figurative painter will be doing a live drawing and painting gig at Movida, Argyll Street on April 2nd. Arrive at 9.30pm, you might get a free drinky. She’ll be starting work at 10pm. Check out the event on facebook.
I just woke up from the best nightmare I ever had, store at least I think it was a nightmare. I mean, side effects I’ve heard of mutton dressed as lamb and a wolf in sheep’s clothing, health but last night I saw a couple of ladies, dressed as a wolf and a sheep respectively, among other things.

But what was this, what had I stepped into? Well I found the best person to ask, Annie Oldfield. A lovely young lady from Leeds, dressed as a wolf! I thought it would be fun to create a one-off themed party where you can listen to music all night that`s in some way related to animals: Animal Collective (Panda Bear), Deerhunter, Modest Mouse (the list is endless), eat crackers and, of course, what themed party is complete without fancy dresses. Shark, tiger, zebra, duck, crab, swan, cat (there were lots of cats) all had turned out.

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After Annie along with friend Bonnie Wan came up with the idea they went to
DJ/Promoter friend Dave Bassinder (Underachievers) and Filthy animals! was born.

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Not one for getting down on the dance floor, that was no problem here, you could keep yourself occupied by making animal balloons or watching films played on a big screen, obviously starring our fantastic furry friends. Or grab a piece of paper and give origami a go, make some sort of flapping pterodactyl. Of course the term filthy suggests more than balloon modeling so a few cheap drinks and many tunes later and the dance floor got the attention it deserved, well you spend all day making a costume you gotta show it off, right?

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It`s a real shame it had to end as there are no plans for further repercussions. If you read this Underachievers “BRING BACK THE ANIMALS and KEEP EM FILTHY”!
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I have something to admit, viagra sale I am a warehouse party virgin. By warehouse parties I mean not-really legal parties, treat which announce their locations via facebook messages about five minute before they start and you quickly have to get yourself to some remote north London spot in Zone 4. For me there is nothing fun about the obvious issue of trekking all the way out there just for the police to shut it down at twelve. Or 11.30 PM on New Years Eve, rx which is what happened to one of my friends!

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After one of our writers posted about their last exhibition I decided i couldn’t miss the LuckyPDF warehouse party, even better it was all above board and legal. There were rather fancy gold flyers promoting the event and they even hired their own bouncers, who were at the door all night checking ID. While this might take some of the thrill away for regular warehouse party goers I rather enjoyed being somewhere with plumbing and electricity. My favourite part was not having to trail across London to a Saw-esk industrial park, because the event was just off Peckham high street. As the LuckyPDF people boldly proclaimed before the event, “The people of South London shalt need to travel to East London any longer for their Huge Party needs.”

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I arrived at eleven and the queue to get in was absolutely insane, luckly i’d sent a RSVP email, but I still had to wait a good fifteen minutes to get into the rooms even once I was through the main gate. This was no thrown together event, they had obviously put a lot of effort into sound and lighting, which was refreshing and very welcome. As I entered the bottom room floor I was immediately hit with throbbing lights and heavy bass. There were hoards of people, I couldn’t even begin to count how many attended the event, but nothing was too serious. I think something about the fact it was in a warehouse just made the whole event more relaxed, there was a lot less people there just to smoke and be seen than there were people just wanting to have fun. No “this is the dance floor, this is the bar” locations usually explicit in gig venues meant people were just doing what they wanted where they wanted.
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The LuckyPDF warehouse party aimed to be “a rampant music/art extravaganza that will continue til the early morn..” The music was definitely there with the order of the day being, “Bass, Bass, Garage, Electro, Bass, Drum n Bass, Swing, Tango, Nintendocore and Bass”. There were Dj sets from 10 PM – 4AM from South London party circuit favourites, XXX, My Panda Shall Fly and Tomb Crew, plus many, many more. These Dj’s were well selected and well received (apart from whoever kept cutting tracks short in the top room!) effortlessly mixing cutting edge bass tracks with forgotten classics.

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However, I was completely perplexed about the other bit, you know the art. Unless really, really small (microscopic) art has come in fashion since the last exhibition I went to I would swear that there wasn’t any. It could have been hidden by the hoards of people there, but still if you’re going to advertise art it would be helpful if people could see it. Previously this would have annoyed me, but I feel i’m just starting to get the point of collectives such as LuckyPDF and it’s peers. Although these guys are artists, they’re not together to try and promote a certain type of art or medium over any other. With the exception perhaps being Off Modern who have a whole Off Modern manifesto on their website. As far as I know there is no particular theme or common interests in the work of the organisers of these events and if there were it would be purely incidental. It’s more a case of getting people excited about South London. Which something that hasn’t happened since (dare i say it) the YBA’s, and they all rushed off to live in the East End or houses in the country as soon as they could anyway.

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I will forgive the LuckyPDF guys just this once having an event light of the art and heavy on the music (which draws people in and allows them to charge entry fee), because they have stated that they’re a not for profit organisation, and I hope the money they made will be going into more exhibitions. And when they do I’ll be there, pen in hand, because I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next.
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Photography by Ted Williams

Monday 23th

The Rakes
release their third album, symptoms KLANG, buy information pills today and to celebrate the band will play a special gig at London’s Rough Trade East at 6pm tonight.
The follow up to ‘Ten New Messages’ is pure and the best of The Rakes as you can check out on lead track ‘1989‘.
Wristband collection 1 hour prior to gig, first-come-first-served basis-one per person.

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The Rakes

Tuesday 24th

It`s crunch time at The Social and the venue welcomes Kid Carpet to promote his new single, followed by Moonfish Rhumba with their electro beats and peculiar lyrics.
If great music is not enough to take your mind of recession, this month the venue provides the Crunch Time Rant where you can take your anger to the stage, step on to a soapbox and speak out your thoughts.
Doors 6pm, 99p.

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Moonfish Rhumba

Wednesday 25th

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen receives Joseph Mount, aka Metronomy and DJs, including the opulent pop of Your Twenties (whose harmonious frontman is Metronomy’s former bassist).
8pm, £7, adv £6.

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Metronomy

Thursday 26th

Plugs, My Tiger My Timing and Shock Defeat at the Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green for a bit of electro/disco rock.
7:30, £7, adv £5.

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My Tiger My Timing

Friday 27th

The three new yorkers forming The Virgins land in town for some dance rock at Koko London.
9:30pm, £7, £5 before 11pm, concs £4.

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The Virgins

Saturday 28th
Up for some healthy girlie pop? Betty and the Werewolves bring their female fronted indie-ditty-pop vocals (they do count with one boy on the drums!) to Bardens Boudoir next Saturday.
8pm, £6.

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Betty and the Werewolves

Sunday 29th
Close (or begin?) your week with the Society of New Music – an avant garde event featuring Wet Dog live at The Social.
7pm, £2.

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Wet Dog

To all you vintage addicts I bring you salvation!

On April the 4th a vintage bonanza will be hitting the streets of Bethnal Green to bombard you with their scandalously cheap vintage, viagra 40mg so prepare yourself Shoreditch! I understand if you are dubious, case “what makes it unique in comparison to the endless array of oversaturated vintage fairs and markets in London” I hear you say? Well, the differentiation is that at this event you won’t be leaving empty handed if you left the house with a mere twenty pounds. This is vintage on an extremely tight shoestring, for any savvy shopper the affordable vintage fair is akin to the sensation of being a child in a sweet shop again!

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Heralded as the largest vintage fair in north England, the organizers have delved the nation with their noble quest for affordable vintage, leaving no stone unturned. Our loyal travellers have unearthed hidden gems and want to bring you the fruits of their labour! So cast aside the idle and banal window shopper, let your hair down and embrace your style hungry primordial urges. The fair is an emporium of vintage wonderment; there are style advisors, a customisation and alternations area, swapping area as well as bundles of vintage clothes and furniture.

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But the most exciting element of the fair has to be the pay by kilo vintage stall. This really is vintage paradise; trawl to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge it’s not going to cost you much more then your weekly grocery shop. The phenomena is commonplace with our European counterparts, but kilo shopping will be making its debut here in the UK. So get trawling and scout some hidden gems, this might just be your chance to revive your wardrobe from the brink of darkness and inject a whole new burst of life. What other chances would you get to weigh out your clothes, just like you would weigh out your sugar?

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They have catered for your every whim feeding your ears and taste buds with a nostalgic trip down memory lane. With music spanning the decades from the bohemian 60s to the energetic 80s, not forgetting a whole host of cake stalls and beverages to whet your appetite.

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So don’t miss out, get down there 11am pronto on the 4th of April, I for one will be installing my vintage bargain radar and heading down myself!
Everyday at the office here, treatment while we`re writing our articles and drinking our teas, we try to go through the many cd`s we receive daily and now and then there`s one that catches everybody`s attention, making everyone in the room ask “who`s this”?
That`s exactly what happened when Cari put on the single from up and coming group My Tiger My Timing. In less than 30 seconds heads were bopping and legs were shaking unanimously. This Is Not The Fire is so catchy that I`ve been listening to it non stop since Tuesday.

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They play a delightful, totally danceable afro beat, electro-pop and still they compare themselves with bands like Metronomy and Casio Kids. While most of the groups desperately run away from extreme pop and commercial tracks, MTMT does exactly the opposite, recognizing their will for creating easy listening and fluid beats.

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The foursome was formed in 2008 in south east London and their debut single was produced by Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club and will be released April 6th 2009 downloadable through Silver Music Machine.

Tuesday I had the chance to see them live at Cargo and I`m definitely looking forward to the entire album, it was quite an electrifying performance. Here`s a little video of the last song:


Yesterday, buy a few of the Amelia’s Magazine girls went along to witness the G20 protests in the City of London. The day had dawned to brilliant sunshine, and clear blue skies, which meant that the sight and sound of the police helicopters hovering overhead was even more pronounced. The events which were due to unfold promised to be extraordinary, and I was keen to see what was going to happen. It was hard to know what to expect, but here was the run down. Four different carnival parades, were to converge around the Bank Of England, and protest the current economic and environmental climate. We were guided there by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, leading the processions from four rail stations. We were setting off from Liverpool Street, led by the Green Horse – representing climate chaos. Walking from Brick Lane to the station, I was struck at how different the city seemed. Spitalfields Market, and all the restaurants around it were closed. There were not many city workers around, but those who were out and about were dressed down. I didn’t see a single suit around me.

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G20protests4.jpgThe Barbican towards The Bank of England. It was enjoyable to be part of such a good natured crowd and it was fun to watch all the shop owners standing outside their establishments, watching with fascination at the colourful carnival proceeding past them.

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As we walked towards Bank we passed Northern Rock. Some clever jokers had hung a sign inside their office entitled ‘We Love Money”. As I went to take a picture they hastily pulled the sign down. I could only marvel at the thoughtlessness of that statement, wasn’t it hundreds of thousands of pensioners money that they had lost – was that the money in question that they loved so much? After a brief stop, we marched into the space around The Bank Of England. I was shocked by the amount of people who were here. Estimates at 4,000 are not an exaggeration. The place was packed. Having only ever seen this section in London as a thoroughfare for busy, frantic city workers, and crammed to the gills with buses, it was surreal to see it filled with so many protesters. No cars, just people.

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After about 45 minutes, we were ready to head back to the office. I went to walk past a row of police and quickly found that I couldn’t get through. Not quite understanding the situation I was unconcerned, thinking that they were guarding just one exit. Knowing there were plenty more exits around Bank station we wandered back to the road that we had come in on. Again, we were met with a throng of police. They stood arms locked. Still assuming that this was something that would be resolved soon, we sat down and scrounged some crisps off a girl sat next to us. (Not expecting to be there for long, we didn’t take any food, and not much water.)

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Then some of the police vans next to us started to move through the police and drive away. We thought that this was our cue to leave as well, and strode towards the police. They immediately closed ranks. It was at this moment that I took in the situation. They had cordoned us all in; we had unwittingly become kettled. (This word now chills me to the bone). No one was going anywhere without their say so. the crowds started to fill up and began asking questions. As I was nearest the front I asked how long this situation would last for. “Don’t know” came the response. Many people started asking why this was happening, but the police would not respond. Our crowd was large, and there was not an ‘anarchist’ in sight. Many tried to squeeze towards the police and told them that this was violating their human rights, and was against the law. Again, no response.

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We were soon packed so tightly that it was like being at the front of a gig, but instead of watching a band, we were staring into the hard faces of men who refused to talk to us, and would sooner beat and arrest us then let us get past them. At this point the crowd surged and we fell into each other. The police shouted at us “Get back!” a woman shouted “Where to?!” We were trapped in a scrum, and the police were pushing us back while we were being pushed forward. I saw riot police walk towards us and I felt a surge of panic. We had been trapped by the police and there was nothing that we could do. I pleaded with the officer in front of me to let us go (I can now see how futile that was). I said that we were scared, and asked if a riot were to kick off, who are they going to protect? “I can’t answer that” was the response. Women started shouting that they had children from school to pick up, jobs to get to. The most common cry to the police was “Why won’t you speak to us?” I got so fed up from this feeling of powerlessness that I phoned the news desk at BBC News. I shared my feelings of worry to the reporter on the other end of the phone; and told her the scenario. I relayed what the officers had told one girl to do who said that she needed the toilet – “you can go in the street”; what they told one boy who said that he wasn’t even part of the protest – “You are now”. The BBC reporter told us that this situation was happening at every exit of the march. She said, “You are all being tarred with the same anarchist brush, this is their tactic”.

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Around an hour later, still in the same position, a man passed out in front of me. He had been standing quietly, not trying to defy the police, and his only movement for the two hours that we were held was to quietly read a peace of paper that he had in his hands. I had looked at it at one point and could see that it was a Psalm. Thankfully, the officers took him away and led him to an ambulance. Just as I started to feel that it was going to be an all night cordon, my friends phone rang. A friend of hers told her that they had just opened one of the exits round the corner and we bolted for it. Walking to the tube, we were jumping up and down with exhilaration. We began receiving updates that the RBS building was being stormed, and that the police were beating protesters. What had started off as a peaceful and well meaning protest was quickly turning into something much darker, but who was at fault? If you asked anyone in the 4,000 strong crowd they would have no trouble telling you. The police’s tactic of kettling us, purposely providing us with no information and locking us in for two and half hours was easily going to generate the mayhem that they had predicted. Nonetheless, I am so pleased that I attended. It was always going to be an interesting day, I just wish that the peaceful protesters would have been treated better and not denied their basic human rights.

Categories ,activism, ,Direct Action, ,Environment, ,G20, ,Kettled, ,Police, ,Protest

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Amelia’s Magazine | Protest against RBS’s investment into Tar Sands

The Emerald Isles Lisa Hannigan has had a sparkling 2009. You may recognize her talents from album “O” by Damien Rice on which she featured on most of the tracks. The winds have since changed and she has set sail alone. The solo debut from Hannigan comes in the shape of the charming “Sea Saw”. The release of “Sea Saw” saw her nominated for numerous awards, cialis 40mg healing notably, ailment for sale for The Mercury Music Prize.

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The album includes the beautiful track “Sea Song“, which you can download for free, aswell as singles“Lille” and “I Don’t Know” that were visually represented with playful paper craft based videos. She has taken her “Sea Saw” stories on tour following a successful Glastonbury performance and sell out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and Union Chapel earlier this year.

Lisa returns to London on Monday 23rd of November to play at The Royal Festival Hall.
If you would like to win two tickets see the songbird please e-mail with a short seaside story (just a few lines is fine) music@ameliasmagazine.com by midday Friday the 20th with your contact details.

LISA1

Further dates that Lisa Hannigan and her band are playing this month include:

22nd Nov NORWICH, Waterfront
23rd Nov LONDON, Royal Festival Hall
24th Nov MANCHESTER, Club Academy
25th Nov BIRMINGHAM, Academy 2

For more details about Irish dates in December and news visit Lisa’s myspace or official site.
The Emerald Isles Lisa Hannigan has had a sparkling 2009. You may recognize her talents from album “O” by Damien Rice on which she featured on most of the tracks. The winds have since changed and she has set sail alone. The solo debut from Hannigan comes in the shape of the charming “Sea Saw”. The release of “Sea Saw” saw her nominated for numerous awards, visit this notably, for The Mercury Music Prize.

lisa

The album includes the beautiful track “Sea Song“, this which you can download for free, aswell as singles“Lille” and “I Don’t Know” that were visually represented with playful paper craft based videos. She has taken her “Sea Saw” stories on tour following a successful Glastonbury performance and sell out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and Union Chapel earlier this year.

Lisa returns to London on Monday 23rd of November to play at The Royal Festival Hall.
If you would like to win two tickets see the songbird please e-mail with a short seaside story (just a few lines is fine) music@ameliasmagazine.com by midday Friday the 20th with your contact details.

LISA1

Further dates that Lisa Hannigan and her band are playing this month include:

22nd Nov NORWICH, Waterfront
23rd Nov LONDON, Royal Festival Hall
24th Nov MANCHESTER, Club Academy
25th Nov BIRMINGHAM, Academy 2

For more details about Irish dates in December and news visit Lisa’s myspace or official site.
A group of Squatters have taken up residency in an iconic building, remedy Royal Park Primary School in Hyde Park Leeds, diagnosis with the purpose to reclaim the derelict school for the local community and to take a stand against the possible demolition of the building in the future.

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Padlocking the gates to prevent police intervention and armed with colourful banners and plenty of determination the group first set up camp in an old classroom right beside the old Headmaster’s office, and making sure they held the space until they could gain complete control before the building could be opened and enjoyed by the whole community.

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After various bids to the council from the community for the site to be handed over it was, of course, offered to private developers Rushbond PLC for the councils easy fix solution and a quick money making scheme. Thankfully the company had to pull out for financial reasons, and so after being left derilict for 5 years the school isn’t in the best condition and throughout the 30 rooms, including a large concert hall, there is a fair amount of damaged paintwork, plasterwork and flooring mainly due to the lead tiles on the roof being nicked 5 months ago letting in rain water.

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But thanks to the commitment from the small group of activists that seem more intent on creating a decent community space than the council the school is now becoming a flourishing space for the local residents and students in the area.

Last week a jumble sale was held by the Royal Park Community Consortium (RPCC), the people who are currently living at the school, to raise funds to restore the building. People of all ages attended to show their support and perhaps with the hope of picking up a few bargains too.

Bright posters and children’s work still feature on the walls inside, as well as that distinct school smell which still lingers to give it an almost melancholy feel. Even tour guides were on hand to lead you around the safer and less damaged rooms and also to explain more about the potential the building actually has.

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The concert hall has a stage and would be an ideal venue for gigs and other performances or even as our tour guide describes as a space for children’s indoor sports and activities. There has also been talk of transforming one room into music studio.

The school is currently open to the public daily and welcomes everyone, and there are plenty of ways you can get involved in saving this incredible building. It is easy to become a member of the RPCC, simply go along to one of their frequent meetings, which are advertised on signs at the front of the school and around the area. Help is needed in restoring the building, cleaning and maintaining the rooms and playground and donating building materials. You could even uphold the buildings security and become a night watch-person on the site. To see this building tore down and replaced with a supermarket would be unjust; and hopefully with more support we could soon see the school made into a fantastic site for arts, music, sport and more, to benefit the whole of Hyde Park.

The Emerald Isles Lisa Hannigan has had a sparkling 2009. You may recognize her talents from album “O” by Damien Rice on which she featured on most of the tracks. The winds have since changed and she has set sail alone. The solo debut from Hannigan comes in the shape of the charming “Sea Saw”. The release of “Sea Saw” saw her nominated for numerous awards, buy notably, website like this for The Mercury Music Prize.

lisa

The album includes the beautiful track “Sea Song“, which you can download for free, aswell as singles“Lille” and “I Don’t Know” that were visually represented with playful paper craft based videos. She has taken her “Sea Saw” stories on tour following a successful Glastonbury performance and sell out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and Union Chapel earlier this year.

Lisa returns to London on Monday 23rd of November to play at The Royal Festival Hall.
If you would like to win two tickets see the songbird please e-mail with a short seaside story (just a few lines is fine) music@ameliasmagazine.com by midday Friday the 20th with your contact details.

LISA1

Further dates that Lisa Hannigan and her band are playing this month include:

22nd Nov NORWICH, Waterfront
23rd Nov LONDON, Royal Festival Hall
24th Nov MANCHESTER, Club Academy
25th Nov BIRMINGHAM, Academy 2

For more details about Irish dates in December and news visit Lisa’s myspace or official site.
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Barbara Millicent Roberts, capsule you might know her better as Barbie, turned the big 5-0 in 2009, March 9th to be exact. Rather than getting down about this life milestone she’s been partying all year long! To celebrate makers Mattel have launched line upon line of specialist dolls throughout 2009. From Hollywood Stars to Supermodels, It is now the turn of three ladies who, probably safe to say, may lead Barbie astray. “The Ladies of the 80’s” are The Pop star, The Rock star and The Punk Star. Cindi Lauper, Joan Jett and Blondie Babe, Debbie Harry.

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Since her hit making heyday eccentric Miss Lauper has continued with music, just on a less successful scale. Saying that, her 2008 electronic album “Bring Ya To The Brink” was grammy nominated. Also in 2008 there was a strange collaboration between Cindi and The Hives when they recorded an almost anti-Christmas single entitled “A Christmas Duel”. This was only available in the bands native Sweden where it reached number 4. She continues to work with contrasting artists as she features on Wyclef Jeans latest track “Slumdog Millionaire”. Cindi shall present us with autobiography in 2010 as she continues to work with charities, appear in the odd crime drama and she shall surly find somebody else who nobody expected her at all to collaborate with. I’m wondering if anybody else thinks her doll looks more like Gloria Estefan though?

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Besides being Barbie-fied Joan Jett has had a pretty busy year. Appearing in crime dramas seems to be a reoccurring theme with the ladies as Joan has also appeared in such shows, including Law & Order. Jett is producing a film entitled “The Runaways” which tells the story of the girl group of the same name that she began her career in. Now, What is the best way to get your film attention? Get two of the most in demand young ladies in the world to play the leading roles of course. The film features “Twilight” stars Dakota Fanning and Kirsten Stewart, the later playing Jett. The film due for release in 2010 and will be complimented very cleverly with a Greatest hits album that shall feature two new tracks.

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Fellow CBGB alumni Miss Harry has also jumped onto the film bandwagon. She lends her voice to narrate “Downtown Calling” which features DJ:AM and Mos Def. The documentary film starts by looking back on a troubled NYC, circa 1970s. The developments in music and the arts are investigated and also how the city continues to be such a phenomenal influence in the industry today. In 2010 Harry shall contribute two tracks to a tribute album to Jeffrey Lee Pierce entitled ‘We Are Only Riders – The JLP Sessions Project’. Debbie’s Barbie captures the cover of “Plastic Letters” complete with microphone stand and pink PVC dress .

With the negative associations with Barbie as a role model its great that they have chosen three influential strong women to become the newest members of the gang and that these shall be in young girls toy boxes around the world. Introducing young girls to these great idols is a brilliant idea and shall perhaps provoke a new generation to look back and discover the stunning music of the ladies from the 80’s. Your Dad might also appreciate his own version of Debbie Harry in that revealing PVC dress before all the plastic surgery happened. If you think he will you can pre order the dolls that are released next month.
Yesterday a group of activists joined representatives from Canada’s First Nation communities to protest against RBS’s continued funding into Tar Sands.

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Tar sands is a particularly oily soil which is extracted by using huge open pit mining, page leaving huge 75 meter scars in the wake or by ‘In Situ mining’ which requires huge amounts of natural gas to operate.

Tar Sands extraction is also the dirtiest forms of oil, online producing 3 to 5 times as much Co2 per barrel as conventional oil, purchase which shows a desperate attempt by corporations and governments to profit from oil no matter the cost to the environment.

These ‘oil sands’ are found predominately in Canada, which means the US can look to have less reliance on oil from conflict regions such as the middle East. However it doesn’t stop them trampling over Indigenous communities in Canada, polluting the soil, water, turning forests and ecosystems into desolate wastelands and pushing groups of people that have lived sustainably for hundreds of years into extinction.

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Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, noted: “The tar sands is the world’s largest and most destructive industrial development. “It is destroying an area of ancient forest larger than England. Millions of litres a day of toxic waste are seeping into our groundwater and we are seeing terrifyingly high levels of cancer in our communities.”

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The three women also from the First Nation communities had previously attended a meeting in Parliament to deliver an open letter to the Chancellor, Alistar Darling outlining the threat to their homes and were later planning to deliver the letter to an RBS representative.
Shouting and using megaphones they got their messages across and thanked all the people for coming down and showing solidarity with the movement.

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Role-playing, shouting and mass dying everyone else on the protest organised by People and Planet, aimed to get their message across on the busy street, plenty of leaflets were also handed out even a fair few press turned up as well as the bankers themselves coming out for their lunch.

RBS is one of the big payers investing into Tar Sands, which they plan to expand production on over the next few decades. What is worse is that RBS is public owned since the banks bailout in 2008. We are effectively funding human rights abuses from Tar Sands extraction through our taxes and our treasury.

The protest yesterday was calling for RBS to shift investments away from projects like the tar sands as well as investment into things like the controversial new coal power plants planned by e-on.

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 A few of the bankers obviously found it really funny that people would choose to lie on the street and not, instead wear a suit and tie and play with peoples money in the stock market, but hopefully with the continued presence outside the bank hopefully something might start getting into their heads.

Categories ,Activists, ,bankers, ,canada, ,eco systems, ,First Nation communities, ,indigenous, ,mining, ,oil, ,parliament, ,people and planet, ,polluting, ,protest, ,RBS, ,Tar Sands

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Amelia’s Magazine | Protest: Why We Support The Student Occupations

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Josie Long and Darren Hayman support the occupations. All Photographs courtesy of UCLOccupation.

Since the first protest over two weeks ago, viagra 40mg there has been something palatable in the air; occupation, seek occupation, occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their University halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding Universities receive to aid their research and teaching budgets.

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In the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never-ending barrage of cuts targeting every section of the welfare state, there has been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all, in perpetuity?!). I was disappointed to see the always readable Polly Toynbee state: “Sorry Students, but you’re low in the pain pecking order” we should be avoiding the desire to turn the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of the most deserving.

Emmy the Great dropped by UCL…

Yet the students are fighting back against charges of indulgency, one of the demands made by the UCLOccupation is for all University employees to be paid the London Living Wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee and her more recent article “Thatcher’s Children can lead the Class of 68 back into action” signaled a change in approach. The Students are using their platform of occupation not only to campaign against sweeping changes to the perception of Higher Education, but to join forces -as I learnt whilst visiting UCLOccupation- with other groups (NHS, Library Workers, Legal Aid etc) to protest against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Céilí Dancing

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why they were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little in return. It made many students question the worth of their courses, which is what The Browne report wants to achieve – the commodification of learning. Education is not about financial worth and society will quickly become lacking in innovation and discussion if this thinking becomes the norm.

This is the inevitable problem when turning education into a competitive market rather than an individual choice about whether or not to further their learning. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but the sly cuts in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting against bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, compounded by the loss of workshops and studio space so small, people stopped coming into the studios. Luckily for our third year, we managed to claw back studio space and instigate a system of visiting tutors, but the depth of knowledge we lost with the axed tutors was unmistakable.

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Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

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I visited the UCLOccupation“>UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as all the occupied universities will be). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since my visit the protestors marched again on tuesday and ran circles around the police’s attempt to kettle them or in the words of newspeak, ‘detain.’ There are many excellent accounts of what happened available across the internet or join twitter for live updates.

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Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students, a move being instigated no doubt by all Universities currently occupied. It would be a breath of fresh air for the University bodies to support the students who fill their halls.

Do check out what events are happening at the various spaces, during my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the rousing support of the National Union of Journalists, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s rallying support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing discussing a brief and indept history to capitalism and Dan Hind talk about the ideas contained -democratising debate via a public editorial system, removing the power from the elite- within his latest book, The Return of the Public.

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This week Slade Art School students occupied in opposition to cuts that “threaten the existence of arts and humanities education in England and Wales…we vehemently oppose the transformation of the university system into a market based model; education should be a public debate, not a private economy.” Rather brilliantly the Slade are using their space as an assembly point for all art colleges to get together and organise “non-violent direct action” against the Government’s attacks on the arts. It is worth mentioning that course that appears de rigor for politicians -the PPE- would be considered a humanitarian subject and that the people who are forcing these changes on us, had free access to University, despite being millionaires. This weekend the Slade will be hosting lectures, events and workshops to “highlight the value of intellectual and cultural exchange within art courses.” Supported by the The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, the events run from the 3rd December to Sunday 5th.

This Saturday (4th) sees a national day of action against ALL cuts proposed by the coalition and another protest with teachers, students and parents is being planned for the 9th. This was originally and remains banking crisis, a crisis of capitalism, we can negotiate a new space if we work together. The government bailed out the banks and populations across the world are paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails as do the unchecked belief in unregulated markets. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??

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Categories ,Billy Bragg, ,Cuts, ,David Cameron, ,Education, ,Falmouth, ,Fees Increase, ,Josie Long, ,kettling, ,Kings College, ,Little Miss Wilde, ,Nick Clegg, ,protest, ,slade, ,SOAS, ,The New Left Project, ,UCL, ,UCLOccupation, ,UEL Occupation, ,University of East London, ,Whitehall

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Amelia’s Magazine | Reclaiming power at Copenhagen!

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Earlier last week I ventured down to Somerset House to see the eagerly anticipated SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution exhibition which charts this rise of the iconic website from its creation in 2000. This large-scale retrospective of sorts was bursting to the seams with installations of some of the best videos, and information pills podcasts, sales interviews and most importantly– live projects. Split over two levels, dosage as I entered I was greeted with a room comprised entirely of mirrors that were designed to make each person entering ‘really’ look at their reflection. After a few moments of looking at myself and feeling rather vain and awkward I felt obliged to move on and make way for the hoards of teenagers waiting to pull pranks on each other and the non-suspecting public.

Naomi- image courtesy of Showstudio.com

In the next room I found a giant 3-D sculpture of Naomi Campbell, which was linked to an etch-a-sketch computer where visitors could get involved and draw images which were in turn projected onto Naomi’s imposing frame. Interestingly I discovered after my visit that there were several hidden cameras dotted around the Naomi sculpture to record the best comments made by visitors, so I was very relieved that I had gone alone therefore having no one to talk to.

There were many great fashion moments and highlights peppered throughout this exhibition. I think the best was watching a loop of the project ‘More Beautiful Women’ which pays homage to Andy Warhol’s ‘Thirteen Most Beautiful Women’ screen tests of 1964. It’s based on a simple idea where Nick Knight invited several iconic models from the 1960’s through to the present day and asked them to stand in front of a video camera for two minutes. Models involved were Twiggy, Marie Helvin, Kate Moss, Liberty Ross, Stella Tennant and Gisele to name but a few. The best clip that I saw was that of Stephanie Seymour who looked rather bored throughout and remarked ‘This is the longest two minutes of my life!’ This was sheer brilliance in its subversive undertones both perpetuating and playing upon the underlying opinions most people have of models.

'Freedom of Love'- image courtesy of Showstudio.com

Another project that was popular with all visitors was the 2004 collaboration between Brad Pitt and SHOWstudio titled ‘Freedom of Love’. The short film depicted Pitt frantically painting over an enlarged passport sized photograph of himself adding in captions and blurbs, whilst reciting Breton’s sixty line poem of the same name. Whilst I was there this installation drew the biggest crowd and I believe was so popular due to Brad Pitt’s global fame and heartthrob status rather than everyone’s love of the great poet Breton.

'Sheela is a Punk rocker' image courtesy of Showstudio.com

Just when I thought the exhibition was coming to an end I stumbled upon a small section dedicated to Fashion Film, which was comprised of a reel of 16 short films created for SHOWstudio. My favourite was titled ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’ which depicted a topless and rather energetic Kate Moss doing a frantic pogo dance which saw her head banging. This was great as I feel it showed much more of her personality than you could possibly gleam from a still image and also had a funny moment near the end where she started ripping the paper background and gets so into it that she suddenly falls to the floor which is the finishing shot.

All fans of SHOWstudio.com would absolutely love this exhibition as it was great to see highlights of the work together in one place, but most importantly it was humbling to see how fashion in general has progressed during this past decade which I feel can partly be credited to Nick Knight and the wealth of contributors who make up the SHOWstudio team. Over the years it has really pushed the boundaries of what is possible and helped guide fashion into the mainstream sphere by applying and manipulating all the modern technologies available to bring it to the masses, whilst looking forward to new and innovative ways to make fashion even more engaging. SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution is running until 20 December.
COP15 is the next major convening of international governments to reconcile international protocol on climate change.
That’s a lot of long words, visit this what it boils down to is that we are boiling up and the world needs to tackle the issue of climate change head on.

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World leaders and delegates from 189 countries will meet in December in Copenhagen to try and create initiatives and agree on ideas on how we can stop climate change destroying the planet.

COP15 is the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Will this one be any different from the past COP’s, for sale which have so far failed to come up with any sound initiatives?

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With corporations still on the offensive, pill putting millions of pounds into trying to discredit the certainty of climate change as well as governments bickering among each other about who needs to make the first and biggest steps, a deal at this point seems unlikely.
Radically reducing the effect of climate change requires radical change and a just transition in countries across the world. With governments scared of losing electorate and backing by the rich corporations making a swift change away from profit based economics and our consumer lifestyle to a sustainable future is never going to be likely.

The struggle to change to sustainable and clean energies shows the tight grip oil corporations have and how as a society we are intent on quick and cheap energy no matter the impact on the environment around us.
With climate change predominately affecting people in the global south, rich western countries are still slow in waking up to the cold hard fact that due to climate change we too will be living in a third world state unless we act now. It is time to gather a mass movement to say it can no longer be business as usual.

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Over the past few years we have also been seeing a range of market based solutions to try and combat climate change, from carbon trading, tar sands and offsetting schemes, these initiatives fail to look at the root causes and are quick fix ideas that have so far failed to have any impact. Some kind of deal at Copenhagen could see a continuation of this. We need to make sure that we no longer look to using false solutions.

A huge movement of groups and individuals are at least going to make this COP one leaders will never forget, joining thousands of activists from around the world people are going to hold a week of protests from farmers actions to a peoples summit in the conference to show that we are no longer willing for governments and corporations to make the decisions and it is time to take the power back. There will be a chance to get involved from any level you are comfortable with, although with cold temperatures and swarms of police expected it is not something for the faint hearted.

Under the banner ‘Social Change not Climate Change,’ Climate Justice Action, a coalition of social groups have been organising like crazy to make it as easy as possible for people to get to Copenhagen and make their voices and presence be known.

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Climate Justice Action will bring together concerned individuals directly affected by climate change from the global south, progressive NGO’s, indigenous peoples as well as you and others from around the UK.
Buses are leaving from Leeds and London at a cut price of 100 pounds return that will give people a chance to get to know others and form an affinity with other protestors. Free accommodation is also being organised as we speak, in social centres and other spaces organised by CJA and networks in Copenhagen.
There are also activities, workshops and events in local neighbourhoods around the country in the next few weeks giving you the chance to get involved and meet up with other people and learn about what you can do and need to bring.

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Copenhagen is seen as one of the last chances to create a huge global movement that will bring about the change we need before it is too late, make sure you are there to join the thousands of others in the biggest and most important protest of the decade.

Categories ,Activists, ,Climate Change, ,Climate Justice Action, ,Cop15, ,copenhagen, ,corporations, ,delegates, ,earth, ,global south, ,indigenous, ,Politicians, ,protest, ,radical, ,social change, ,sustainable, ,Tar Sands, ,transport

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Amelia’s Magazine | Shutting down Didcot Power Station

pythia futuremap copy

Zoe Paul graduated from Camberwell BA Sculpture earlier this summer. Whilst there Zoe participated in numerous shows from the group exhibition Factory at the James Taylor Gallery organised by Royal College MA Curation graduate Dean Kissick and a solo show titled ‘Between the Eyes’ at Coleman Road. This year Zoe has been selected to participate in ‘Future Map 09’ and discussed the concept of sculpture with Amelia’s Magazine.

What is in particular that interests you about sculpture?

I am interested in the form and mass that is sculpture. I like the way we as humans relate ourselves to objects through their three dimensionalism. We are given the option to walk around and view the object from multiple angles and vantage points creating our own image from that object. We judge the object as being larger or smaller than human scale and this plays a large role in our perception of the object.

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You have made numerous paintings, information pills purchase have interests crossed over from painting into sculpture?

Well, I think I feel happier thinking in three dimensions and I have always felt more successful in making objects but I appreciate painting and drawing very highly. It’s a very different way of thinking. I’ve done quite a bit of life drawing and painting; I think it’s helped me to appreciate form. I strongly believe in drawing, if not as a final out come, then as a practice to learn to see. I think as a sculptor it is important to learn to look at things and see how they work formally then you understand them. I always think I can see things better after I draw from life because it forces me to really look and not just glance. I went to art school in Athens for a year and had this amazing classical training there before doing my degree in London. I definitely think it gave me a different perspective.

I think I am a bit shy to make paintings now because I feel like I expose too much of myself, but with sculptures I rely on the materials and the mass of the objects to defend themselves.

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At Amelia’s we love to hear about the creative process, would you mind explaining (however you like) your personal process of designing and developing a sculpture?

For myself the making process is a vital part of how I develop an idea. I make a lot, a lot doesn’t always work but I find it useful. I try not to think of anything as a definitive piece, the important bit is the process. My work is frequently based around materials. By using impoverished materials I am devaluing the monumentalism classical sculpture holds. Making ‘Pythia’ was a very labour intensive process. I relate the carving of the polystyrene armature and the precise measuring and cutting of each individual tile to the carving of ancient marbles. It was very industrial and ordered. I made them imagining I was making an architectural fitting, which is kind of what the classical sculptures were in their day. I also spent a lot of time in the British Museum taking photographs and working on them as drawings and sketches.
I try to have a strong studio practice as well. Just being in a space for work is important.

Do you start with an idea or a medium or are both equally important in your work. If this is a bit vague, I mean does the medium start the idea or does the idea influence the medium used?

I think the two go together, although I pay more attention to materials than I realize. I thought up ‘Sunset Island’ while I was in LA and I had a lot of time to think about it. I wanted to represent the crummy, grimy glamour of Hollywood with the cocktail sticks and the industrial fiberglass sphere. So yes materials make me think of things. My degree show work on temporal exoticism and classical Hellenistic sculpture came about from working with tiles and trawling the isles of hardware stores, and finding cheap marble effect ceramic tiles. This cheap marble effect alludes to the wealth represented by classical marbles.

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Do you prefer to work entirely on your own as you are creating a sculpture?

I need to think by myself and write but its really boring working alone. Now I’ve finished college, my studio is really small, crammed and damp. I miss always being able to find someone to get a coffee with when I want to take a break.

I also think sculpture is a social process. I didn’t really paint at college because the studios were really open and I need to be alone to paint, its much more personal. Sculpture however requires banter. However I pretty much had to make my degree show piece, ‘Pythia’ entirely on my own. The tile cutter makes such an awful noise I was as good as exiled out the studios at college.

Rock and tuft

Who or what are your artistic inspirations

My biggest inspiration was going to Los Angeles last year when I interned as a studio assistant for Mindy Shapero. College was OK but it was a bit grey, working for Mindy made me really hungry to make and really want to be an artist. There was so much energy and exuberance in the approach to life. I realized that I probably could do it if I wanted it badly enough. I also met some amazing artists out there, like Thomas Houseago. He was so inspirational and had so much energy.

I can’t help being inspired by greats such as Picasso and Brancusi. Recently I have been reading about Rodin’s love for Greek sculpture as it conveyed the ‘ravages of the time’ in its ‘fragmentary aspect’. Rodin was a pioneer of the existential being conveyed through representation of human form, which he showed through his tactile figures.

My interest in classical Hellenistic sculpture lies in the history attached to it, ‘the ravages of time’, and the wars fought around it. Also the way sculptors repeatedly revert back to it as true sculpture.

I love museums as well, especially the old musty sort. There is an exoticism in places like that: a longing for a bygone age. I am interested in the fragmentary discovery and understanding history, so I think museums are exciting transient spaces full of mystery and discovery.

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Do the paper drawings feed the physical process of making a sculpture?

The drawings are really beautiful. I started making them as plans for sculptures to understand the anatomy and form of classical sculptures. They are really just spruced up working plans, but I think that’s what’s attractive about them. I tried making sculptures directly from them but it was a complete failure so in a sense they are failures at working drawings. Again they were important for my process, especially as I was making work about existing work, it was important for me to understand the existing sculptures.

I also tried to convey the museum feel in them. They are displayed like old school posters or crumbling educational departments in museums. Places that explain history, like the classical sculptures I was looking at. They are objects, which represent an exotic bygone age, but essentially are just glorified rocks.

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What is next for Zoe Paul?

Well, its slow being out of school but I’m really excited to have been selected for ‘Future Map 09’, which is a selection of only a handful of graduating students from across University of the Arts London, of both graduates and post graduates. So that’s really exciting.

In terms of work I’m really excited about continuing with my idea of temporal exoticism and the allure objects hold. I was reading this amazing book this summer about a shipwreck, which was discovered off a Greek island in 1900. It was full of sculptures on their way to Rome during the Roman occupation of Greece in around 70BC. There are some amazing descriptions of the sculptures being all gnarled and eaten by the sea. I like the idea of these vast powerful sculptures lying rotting at the bottom with such a history attached to them. I want to make more tactile works now that show my process. I love the way Rebecca Warren’s figures do that.

Future Map 09 will be hosted by 20 Hoxton Square Projects and will run from the 25th November 2009.

This year the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2009 graces the walls of the Natural History Museum for another year and it’s safe to say this is one exhibition that cannot be missed. Owned by the museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, prostate the competition is one that prides itself on exposing and celebrating the diversity of life on the planet.

The room dedicated to this exhibiton is dimly lit and you discover that this is to make way for the photographs themselves. Each one is displayed on a screen, viagra 60mg illuminated from behind so that they stand as
The competiton is divided into categories, first showing the winner and then a selection of those that are highly recommended.

Under the heading of ‘Urban and Garden Wildlife’ I find the corresponding winner to be something of a stroke of genius. The entries are required to be poignant, beautiful or striking comopositions of wild animals or plants in urban or suburban settings. The judges look for uncommonly good images of common subjects. It’s easy to see why ‘Respect’ by Igor Shilpenok (Russia) was the judges favourite. The centre of the photo is a stage for a stand off – one small domestic cat against a considerably bigger wild fox. This is one cat that clearly has a ________ complex. There’s something quite triumphant about this scene. You feel a sense of jubilation in his victory over the intruder. Shilpenok was working as a ranger in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Kamchatka, Russia with his cat Ryska for company. He comments that, “One day Ryska, protecting me, ran to attack an approaching fox. The fox bottled it and Ryska instantly earned respect from the foxes – and me”.

In this exhibition, there are categories that are dedicated to the plant kingdom
pythia futuremap copy

In June 2009 Zoe Paul graduated from Camberwell BA Sculpture. Whilst at college Zoe participated in numerous shows around London from the group exhibition Factory at the James Taylor Gallery organised by Royal College MA Curation graduate Dean Kissick to ‘Between the Eyes’ at Coleman Road. Zoe Paul has recently been selected to participate in ‘Future Map 09’.

What is it in particular about sculpture that interests you?

I am interested in the form and mass that is sculpture. I like the way we as humans relate ourselves to objects through their three dimensionalism. We are given the option to walk around and view the object from multiple angles and vantage points, sildenafil creating our own image from that object. We judge the object as being larger or smaller than human scale and this plays a large role in our perception of the object.

DSCF1038

You have made numerous paintings, have interests crossed over from painting into sculpture?

I feel happier thinking in three dimensions and I have always felt more successful in making objects but I highly appreciate painting and drawing. It’s a very different way of thinking. I’ve done a fair amount of life drawing and painting; which I think has helped me to appreciate form.

I strongly believe in drawing, if not as a final out come, then as a practice to learn to see. I think as a sculptor it is important to learn to look at things and see how they work formally in order for you to understand them. I always think I can see things better after I draw from life because it forces me to look and not just glance. The art school in Athens I went to for a year before my degree in London provided amazing classical training. I definitely think it gave me a different perspective.

I am a bit shy to make paintings now because I feel like I expose too much of myself, but with sculptures I rely on the materials and the mass of the objects to defend themselves.

amazon boob

How do your sculptures develop through the design process?

For myself the making process is a vital part of how I develop an idea. I make a lot, a lot of which, doesn’t always work but I find the action useful. I try not to think of anything as a definitive piece, the process is important.

My work is frequently based around materials. By using impoverished materials I devalue the monumentalism classical sculpture holds. Making ‘Pythia’ was an incredibly labour intensive process. I relate the carving of the polystyrene armature and the precise measuring and cutting of each individual tile to the carving of ancient marbles. It was industrial and ordered. I made the sculptures imagining I was making an architectural fitting, similar to what classical sculptures were in their day. I also spent time in the British Museum taking photographs and working on these as drawings and sketches.

Do you start with an idea or a medium or are both equally important in your work. If this is a bit vague, I mean does the medium start the idea or does the idea influence the medium used?

I think the two go together, although I pay more attention to materials than I realize. I thought up ‘Sunset Island’ whilst in LA, I wanted to represent the crummy, grimy glamour of Hollywood with the cocktail sticks and the industrial fiberglass sphere. Materials make me think of ideas, my degree show work on temporal exoticism and classical Hellenistic sculpture developed from working with tiles, trawling the isles of hardware stores, and finding cheap marble effect ceramic tiles. This cheap marble effect alludes to the wealth represented by classical marbles.

GetAttachment.aspx

Do you prefer to work entirely on your own as you are creating a sculpture?

I need to think and write by myself, but its really boring working alone. Now I’ve finished college, my studio is really small, crammed and damp. I miss being able to find someone to get a coffee with, when I want a break.

Sculpture is a social process, I didn’t really paint at college because of the open studios and I need to be alone to paint, its much more personal. Sculpture, however, requires banter. Conversely I pretty much had to make my degree show piece, ‘Pythia’ entirely on my own. The tile cutter makes such an awful noise I was as good as exiled out the studios at college.

Rock and tuft

Who or what are your artistic inspirations

My biggest inspiration was going to Los Angeles last year when I interned as a studio assistant for Mindy Shapero. College was OK but working for Mindy made me really hungry to make and to be an artist. There was so much energy and exuberance in the approach to life. I realized that I could do it if I wanted it badly enough.

I met amazing artists out there, like Thomas Houseago. He was so inspirational and had so much energy.

I can’t help being inspired by greats such as Picasso and Brancusi. Recently I have been reading about Rodin’s love for Greek sculpture as it conveyed the ‘ravages of the time’ in its ‘fragmentary aspect’. Rodin was a pioneer of the existential being conveyed through representation of human form, which he showed through his tactile figures.

My interest in classical Hellenistic sculpture lies in the history attached to it, ‘the ravages of time’, and the wars fought around it. Also the way sculptors repeatedly revert back to it as true sculpture.

I love museums, especially the old musty sort. They contain an exoticism: a longing for a bygone age. I am interested in fragmentary discovery and understanding history, therefore museums are exciting transient spaces full of mystery and discovery.

ahrodite study double

Do the paper drawings feed the physical process of making a sculpture?

The drawings are really beautiful. I started making them as plans for sculptures to understand the anatomy and form of classical sculptures. Really, they are just spruced up working plans, but I think that’s what’s attractive about them. I tried making sculptures directly from them but it was a complete failure so in a sense they are failures at working drawings. Again they were important for my process, especially as I was making work about existing work, it was important for me to understand existing sculptures.

I tried to convey the museum feel in them. Displaying the images like old school posters or crumbling educational departments in museums. As museums attempt to explain history, the classical sculptures I was looking at. They are objects, which represent an exotic bygone age, but essentially are just glorified rocks

The Amazons1

What’s next for Zoe Paul?

I’m excited to have been selected for ‘Future Map 09’, a selection of a handful of graduating students from across the University of the Arts London, of both graduates and post graduates.

In terms of work I’m excited to continue my idea of temporal exoticism and the allure objects hold. I’ve been reading an amazing book about a shipwreck containing sculptures on their way to Rome during the Roman occupation of Greece around 70BC, discovered off a Greek island in 1900. The book delivers amazing descriptions of the sculptures being gnarled and eaten by the sea. I like the idea of these vast powerful sculptures rotting at the bottom with such history attached to them.

I would like to make more tactile works that show my process. I love the way Rebecca Warren’s figures do that.

Future Map 09 will be hosted by 20 Hoxton Square Projects and will run from the 25th November 2009.

Last week a group of 21 activists from around the country stormed Didcot Power Station in an awe inspiring action that managed to force the power company to switch from burning coal to gas, malady a much cleaner power source, decease dramatically reduce the output of the power station as well as inspiring protestors across the world.

did1

A group locked on to the coal conveyor belts halting the supply of coal to the furnace and at the same time 9 protestors scaled the 600 ft chimney, occupied a room and pitched tents next to the chimney flues. Unfortunately the plan to camp in the flues for a week was impossible as it became apparent that they were too hot too stay in for any long period of time.

Although the Didcot Power Station protest may ostensibly have come to a rather unsatisfactory and anticlimactic end, with the nine remaining protesters arrested when they descended last Wednesday having failed to disrupt power generation for a week as planned, the protesters achieved something more important in successfully raising more awareness of the threat of climate change.

did2

The group met at climate camp in London this year, and are not just an obscure group of radicals shrouded in secrecy, but just ordinary individuals from all sorts of trades and professions who felt compelled to do something. Initiatives for environmental action are constantly being developed by normal people who happen to meet, and agree that something needs to be done.

While the action did not gain quite the level of publicity it perhaps hoped for, given its dramatic and unusual nature, there was a reasonable degree of press coverage.

did4

What is surprising however, and perhaps indicative of heightened public concern regarding environmental issues, was that rather condemning the protest as the work of misguided hippies, coverage in the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, and even the Daily Mail seemed at worst objective, and at best sympathetic.

Although a mainstream newspaper clearly cannot condone ‘unlawful’ protests outright, the Guardian’s article condemning ‘punitive pre-charge bail conditions’, while not compromising its own position, showed a certain solidarity by emphasising the increasingly dubious actions of law-enforcers.

The article’s inflammatory title, ‘Didcot demonstration: Police use bail restrictions to stifle climate protest’ carefully negotiates a pro-environment position that put the actions of police, not protesters, in the spotlight.

did3
A previous action at Didcot

Of course, there will still be those who dismiss these facts as irrelevant, or outweighed by the jobs and electricity Didcot provides. But crucially debate is being provoked, and it is becoming increasingly clear that provocateurs are not extremists, they are people who feel that the current circumstances require extreme action. The demystification of environmental protest – making it seem more inclusive, distilling it down to an issue of personal choices just like any other political issue – will hopefully encourage others.

In a BBC article, John Rainford of RWE power is quoted as saying, “Sitting on top of a chimney isn’t going to affect climate change. The people who can – and do – really make a difference are the people at the bottom of the chimney – the power station workers. They are deeply passionate and absolutely committed to cutting emissions. These are the people who work in the community, live in the community and care about their community”. While it is true that sitting on a chimney did not stop climate change instantly and directly, there is more truth to his words than he knows. Protests are changing public opinion, and if wasn’t for public opinion there would be no call or incentive for a cut in emissions. It is small actions of the builders, receptionists and power station workers which together will determine the survival or demise of coal power in Britain.

Categories ,chimney, ,Climate Camp, ,coal, ,Didcot, ,environment, ,police, ,Power station, ,press, ,protest

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Great Climate Swoop 2009: A retrospective

jerwood drawing prize6
The Jerwood Drawing Prize is back again for another year and 2009’s hopefuls won’t disappoint. The longest running annual exhibition has been going since 1994 and is dedicated to promoting and rewarding excellence in contemporary drawing in the United Kingdom.

kate russo

Spaced over two rooms, more about the first piece I come to is by artist Kate Russo, side effects whose two works sit on top of one another. The first, shop “Dissolving Symmetrically” and the second, “The Key Is Repetition”. Both pieces are done on graph paper, working in the confines of grids. Amongst the mass of verticals and horizontals, Russo has rendered an extremely intricate network of minute coloured squares. Using coloured pencil and graphite she has systematically filled in alternate boxes to eventually build up a repeat pattern that you can only distinguish from a distance. It is clear that time and dedication has been taken to carry through this task she has given herself. It is interesting because the outcome of this drawing was predetermined by the system she chose to follow to colour in the squares. As I look closer the tiny dots almost look as if they’re vibrating, bouncing off one another like molecules in an atom. Or perhaps they even appear to be working ants, busying themselves around a nest. This is quite a satisfying piece of art to study, especially if you have a thing for mathematics, rules or systems.

kate russo2

The work of Catherine Nicholson is quite arresting as my gaze moves over to the next piece. “After The Storm” is in pen and ink on a large canvas. It is the most intrinsically rendered drawing of a collection of apparently decomposing branches, leaves and foliage. On closer inspection you see that Nicholson must have used an extremely fine nibbed pen to achieve the level detail, from the veins of the fern leaves, the cracking of the bark on the branches to the areas where the leaves are starting to decompose. At first this may appear to be a very well executed study of nature but the title makes it take on a new meaning. “After The Storm” makes you think that these are the debris of a natural disaster maybe. Where they all once growing peacefully somewhere in an undisturbed habitat? Perhaps now ripped from their surroundings and discarded in the dirt by the storm.

jerwood drawing prize2

Another two drawings by Japanese artist, Yumi Shimada are displayed to my far left. One sitting on top of the other, “Self Portrait 2008” is drawn in black ink on paper, showing an unknown formless being in the centre of each frame. The undeterminable origin of this creature, no visible facial features and its forthright position on the page is quite confrontational. The surface is made up of dark, black cross-hatching to give a sense of a thick, dense mass. The first drawing shows it slumped over the length of a small table, almost as if it can longer take it’s own weight. The second is far more disturbing, depicting the creature sending itself through a mangle and turning itself into a black, viscous liquid on the other side. The scene described is actually quite disturbing. It appears that it is performing this act of it’s own will. I am brought to mind the ‘stink-spirit’ character, Okusare, in Spirited Away – a sloth-like, sluggish being. I try to work out the connection between the two pictures. There is perhaps a sense of despair in the first, which may consequently lead to the macabre finality of the second. Shimada says that the portrait shows her squeezing negative thoughts through the mangle, somehow disposing of them. The world that this creature inhabits is not one I recognise. The influence from Japan and the Japanese fantasy genre is apparent. The ominous nature of it and connotations of the dark under-belly of somebody else’s imagination does not make for particularly comfortable viewing. At the same time, I have conflicting feelings that it is strangely compelling. A morbid curiosity to look at something you know will scare you.

jerwood drawing prize

The final artwork that I come to is also my favourite. The most reserved of all the pieces on show in size and yet the most monumental in its stature, Samuel Kelly’s “Tokyo Aero-abstraction 7” is quite awe-inspiring. If I had thought the previous drawings had a good eye for detail, it doesn’t compare to this. Drawn on a tiny square of paper, dimensions probably no more than 4cmx5cm, it appears to show an aerial view of a city or road system. Even standing at a normal distance away, it just looks like a grey block of colour. You are invited to stand much, much closer – my face is literally inches from it. Only then can you really see a tiny network of roads and buildings and appreciate its complexity. It is so tiny in fact, that I can only imagine that Kelly would not have been able to draw this with a pencil nib any finer than the point of a pin. I have to say, without delving any deeper into its underlying meaning, it is easily impressive enough as it is. The modest frame seems mammoth in comparison. It allows it so much space, emphasizing even more it’s miniscule proportions. There is something quite impressive about creating work on a microscopic level, like the artist who makes objects to fit on the head of a needle.
samuel kelly

There are many more notable examples of drawing on display today, even in a relatively small gallery space; you could spend hours soaking in the extraordinary talent showcased. This is the last week of the exhibition’s run, so head over soon to avoid disappointment.
Last weekend a thousand protestors descended on Ratcliffe-On-Soar power station to protest against the continued use of coal power, see which is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions.

SW8

The weeks leading up had been filled with outreach and preparation with neighbourhoods, thumb groups and individuals working tirelessly towards making the Great Climate Swoop a monumental event.

The action was a huge success for the movement, more about fences were scaled, camps were made, banners dropped, a railway blockaded, and the power station was effectively seiged for 24 hours.  With one of the prominent aims to create a social movement, the Climate Camp also showed it is a force to be reckoned with, as hundreds of people were prepared to use direct action and face arrest to make their point.

SW1

The weekend didn’t have the best start with the police using preemptive measures to arrest an activist from Leeds and charging him with conspiracy. Plane Stupid were also called and threatened with arrest if they attended the protest, which was a sign that the police were not even prepared to allow people to think about taking meaningful action.

Undaunted, on Friday night and Saturday activists from all over the country arrived at and around Ratcliffe. As the sun rose and the helicopter circled, huddled groups came across each other in woods and the surrounding area. Giving each other a nod and a grin at the impending action, people from the two blocs, ‘Take back the power’ and ‘False Solutions’, then made their way to the muster point.

SW2

At the same time, a few miles away, the bloc ‘False Solutions’ was being created with hundreds of protestors, as well as a critical mass of cyclists arriving at Nottingham train station.

SW4

At one o’clock everybody, organised, excited and nervous, swooped to the power station. Hundreds of protestors descended from the woods on mass, splitting up at the fences, some tearing, climbing and pulling down the barriers.

SW3

A handful of activists even managed to get over several fences and into the power station before they were arrested. With E.ON spending 5 million on new electric fences weeks before, as well as bringing out an injunction to give the police powers to arrest anyone they felt like, it was never going to be an easy task.

Sw6

A procession with banners, bikes, chants and noise rallied further around and made their voices be heard. Second swoops, rallies, makeshift camps and actions continued throughout the day and the £600,000 police force were kept on their toes whilst using riot gear and letting dogs off their leads to tackle the protestors. Dog bites only added to the range of injuries and concussions inflicted by the police. Medical care was very slow to come, if ever. Apart from the one police injury where a helicopter was quickly scrambled and zoomed off to create a cleverly crafted PR campaign for the London based media sitting in their offices.

A cat and mouse game continued through the evening and into the night, with 300 protestors managing to camp overnight, keeping a vigil on the power station. They were kept in spirits by Veggies who did an amazing job of providing food and drinks to the camp.

SW5

The movement is being replicated all over the world, with actions in Australia, that we covered here at Amelia’s Magazine, as well as in Denmark and beyond. Climate camps are being set up all over the world creating grassroots movements essential to combat the rise of climate change by putting pressure on governments and corporations.

SW7

The recent back out by E.ON from creating two new coal power stations at Kingsnorth as well as the end to plans for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, which were coincidentally both venues for past Climate Camps, show that we can really make change.

At the weekend activists from around the world also met in Copenhagen to finalise plans for similar actions during the UN climate talks taking place in December. These talks are seen as the stage for social movements worldwide to show a precedent to governments around the world that we need to take action into our own hands. The Camp for Climate Action will be there, so should you.

SW9

Categories ,action, ,banner, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Change, ,coal power, ,Copanhagen, ,Direct Action, ,dog bite, ,E-On, ,False Solutions, ,fences, ,helicopter, ,injury, ,march, ,Pictures, ,police, ,protest, ,Ratclife-On-Soar Power Station, ,Ratcliffe On Soar, ,social movement, ,swoop, ,The Great Climate Swoop

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Great Climate Swoop – the mass action of the year!

mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, drug ask the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, sildenafil for Amelia’s Magazine, sales an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like challenges! It starts with the challenge to find something you really love and suits you. Then when you find said item, it is the challenge to make it your own. It can be difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (if it is handmade). Vintage clothes are often more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past.

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest in something durable, like style advice in order to learn how to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

The idea is to learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take clients shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but will leave you feeling knowing exactly what to wear. Having discovered that most of it is already in your closet whilst knowing what pieces you need to buy to complete your style.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they only seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc).

I went there to work and to get some content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me ashamed for the blogging “community” and eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, as a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen, so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is an attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My advice is, if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are cheaper than their high-street counterparts.

mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, visit this site the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, pills for Amelia’s Magazine, an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like the challenges! It starts with a challenge to find something that suits you and that you really love. Then when you find it, it is the challenge to make it your own. It is difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that suits you and that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind the garments side of vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (for handmade stuff). Vintage clothes are more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest your money in something durable, like style advice, to learn to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take them shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but you will leave feeling like you know exactly what to wear, having found out that most of it is already in your closet and knowing exactly what pieces you need to buy to complete your style. The idea is to learn to shop, learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw some really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures, anything goes basically. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they just seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc). I went there to work, to get some good content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me really ashamed for the blogging “community” and very eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard for so long as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel like I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen though so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is a pretty attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My other advice is that if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are just more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are also cheaper than their high-street counterparts.
mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, approved the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, for Amelia’s Magazine, an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like the challenges! It starts with a challenge to find something that suits you and that you really love. Then when you find it, it is the challenge to make it your own. It is difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that suits you and that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind the garments side of vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (for handmade stuff). Vintage clothes are more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest your money in something durable, like style advice, to learn to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take them shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but you will leave feeling like you know exactly what to wear, having found out that most of it is already in your closet and knowing exactly what pieces you need to buy to complete your style. The idea is to learn to shop, learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw some really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures, anything goes basically. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they just seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc). I went there to work, to get some good content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me really ashamed for the blogging “community” and very eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard for so long as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel like I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen though so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is a pretty attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My other advice is that if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are just more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are also cheaper than their high-street counterparts.
mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, find the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, rx for Amelia’s Magazine, an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like challenges! It starts with the challenge to find something you really love and suits you. Then when you find said item, it is the challenge to make it your own. It can be difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (if it is handmade). Vintage clothes are often more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past.

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest in something durable, like style advice in order to learn how to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

The idea is to learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take clients shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but will leave you feeling knowing exactly what to wear. Having discovered that most of it is already in your closet whilst knowing what pieces you need to buy to complete your style.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they only seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc).

I went there to work and to get some content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me ashamed for the blogging “community” and eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, as a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen, so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is an attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My advice is, if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are cheaper than their high-street counterparts.

mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, prescription the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, sales for Amelia’s Magazine, information pills an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like challenges! It starts with the challenge to find something you really love and suits you. Then when you find said item, it is the challenge to make it your own. It can be difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (if it is handmade). Vintage clothes are often more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past.

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest in something durable, like style advice in order to learn how to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

The idea is to learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take clients shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but will leave you feeling knowing exactly what to wear. Having discovered that most of it is already in your closet whilst knowing what pieces you need to buy to complete your style.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they only seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc).

I went there to work and to get some content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me ashamed for the blogging “community” and eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, as a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen, so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is an attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My advice is, if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are cheaper than their high-street counterparts.

Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in it’s 7th year, cialis 40mg has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box fresh talent.

Their four course “Ones To Watch” was a menu of gothic grandeur, tea stained Venuses, spiny beaded suits and eco constructivism. The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and conceptual designer Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters must have provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s collection of black leather creations.

I was glad that the slow pace of the models allowed deep detail gazing of the Snakepits of leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, wove, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars with wire and boning supports.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life size foam antlers in hair, instantly elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags all produced in Belgrade.

This dark knight has no limits on creativity, the performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

The sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes of nude, caramel and ivories. These washes displayed the body through delicate shapes, created through the frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers. Her pieces possessed sensual magnetism, that could be attributed to DePaula’s muse being the anatomical Venus’s that were said the origins of this extremely feminine collection.

HDePaula3

The inspiration for the collection started with the ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery. DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” She took the idea a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to our tabloid fascination with celebrity and those papers’ knack for catchy nicknames with which to brand our those fallen stars.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder have little domino tracks of baguette beads running up and down them. The porcupining beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but it does so to great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon was all haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, when considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its 7th year, buy has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, cialis 40mg tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its seventh year, physician has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, page tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its seventh year, try has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, order tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its seventh year, about it has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, advice tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, viagra the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, sildenafil for Amelia’s Magazine, price an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like challenges! It starts with the challenge to find something you really love and suits you. Then when you find said item, it is the challenge to make it your own. It can be difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (if it is handmade). Vintage clothes are often more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past.

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest in something durable, like style advice in order to learn how to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

The idea is to learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take clients shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but will leave you feeling knowing exactly what to wear. Having discovered that most of it is already in your closet whilst knowing what pieces you need to buy to complete your style.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they only seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc).

I went there to work and to get some content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me ashamed for the blogging “community” and eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, as a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen, so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not one everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is an attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My advice is, if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are cheaper than their high-street counterparts.

mademoisellestyle5

Mademoiselle Robot is the Parisian journalist who relocated to British shores to write a hugely popular fashion blog. Full of style advice and celebrity interviews, remedy the blog has subsequently spawned another venture; Mademoiselle Style. Services range from a credit crunch consultation on how to look good for less to a lunch time session at your desk or a full blow introduction to vintage fashion.

Can you describe, for Amelia’s Magazine, an average day in the life of a professional blogger?

I wake up around 7.30, have breakfast while checking my emails, then I shower and get ready for the day. Mornings are spent writing and catching up with my Google Reader. In the afternoon, I do admin and PR stuff, although I now have an assistant to help me with this, so I can focus on editorial in the afternoon. I have a pretty strict routine, because I work from home while looking after my 2-year-old daughter, it can get quite strenuous! I have worked for myself for many years now and I love the freedom it gives me, but I also find that I work about 4 times more than when I worked in an office! I work roughly from 7.30 in the morning to 6, but my brain only stops working when I sleep!

mademoisellestyle4

What inspired you to start and how did the blog develop into the style service?

While in Paris, I worked as a journalist for many years and when I moved to London I had to start from scratch so I took on jobs that were interesting but straying from journalism. It was a personal blog to begin with, with ramblings about my life, pop culture to fashion & style.

My blog has been running for almost two years now and it has become my full time job and I am really proud of it. Mademoiselle Style came quite naturally as I was giving style tips on the blog and receiving emails and comments asking for more tips and advice. I thought it would be nice to take all this into real life. I love the internet, but sometimes you feel quite disconnected from the real world. Also, style advice is quite personal, so you can’t beat face to face when it comes to it.

mademoisellestyle

What do you think the impact of credit crunch on what people desire from fashion is?

I am divided about this… On one hand, I think it hasn’t really changed people’s attitude to fashion that much. We all say that it has, but really, if you walk down Oxford street, you still see people carrying loads of bags, shops are buzzing and it really doesn’t look like recession.

On the other hand, it might have helped making people more aware of over consumption in general and possibly drive people away from the high street and towards vintage, charity shops or young designers etc. At least I like to think so. In a perfect world, that would be the positive effect of the Credit Crunch, people would be more discerning about clothes and would stop the high street bulimia.

mademoisellestyle1

What do you love about vintage fashion?

I like challenges! It starts with the challenge to find something you really love and suits you. Then when you find said item, it is the challenge to make it your own. It can be difficult to wear an item of clothing that carries a lot of history without being swamped by it. If you find something you love that becomes “you”, then you’ve pretty much made it!

I like the obvious story behind vintage clothes… I like imagining what happened to the people who owned the items before me, I like making up stories about why they made a particular dress (if it is handmade). Vintage clothes are often more durable, I know it sounds like a massive cliché, but clothes were made much better in the past.

mademoisellestyle3

People are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, why is investing in a styling session with you a wise move?

I think when you are strapped for cash, it is actually the best time to invest in something durable, like style advice in order to learn how to shop better. That’s the idea behind MademoiselleStyle.

The idea is to learn to know yourself and invest rather than whip out the credit card as if it was some sort of comfort food.

I don’t want to push people to buy clothes all the time, I want them to learn what suits their style and what will help them feel like themselves. When I see people for consultations, I take clients shopping so they can try stuff on, but I have no particular interest in them buying things. My most expensive/comprehensive consultation is £350, but will leave you feeling knowing exactly what to wear. Having discovered that most of it is already in your closet whilst knowing what pieces you need to buy to complete your style.

mademoisellestyle2

As a Parisian living in London, are you a London Fashion Week fan, or does Paris Fashion Week hold a special place in your heart?Any highlights this year?

I like London Fashion Week because it’s short and sweet and has a lot of “fun” designers like Eley Kishimoto, Luella and Giles. Paris Fashion Week strikes me as more conservative. I went there when I was younger to see one of Hervé Leger’s first shows (Hervé is a friend of my former stepmum) but apart from that I don’t really have much experience of it other than as an outsider; Fashion wise in general, I am much more of a London fan!

mstyleheaderbig-1

Did you notice a big blogger community presence at LFW this year? Do you think this is changing the way fashion is covered in the press?

I am sorry if I ramble about this, but it actually made me really angry for the whole of LFW. It is an issue that really matters to me.

Let me start from the beginning: when I heard that quite a few bloggers were invited to LFW this year I thought “oh great, some familiar faces”. But actually, once there, apart from a few familiar faces (who had been invited to the previous seasons as well), I mainly found myself facing a lot of poseurs and hangers-on. I did see LOTS of bloggers at shows (mainly at the ON|OFF ones) but I am yet to see some solid coverage, with good photographs. I saw really poor coverage of shows, photos with the date stamp still on them, camera phone pictures. It just looked as if nobody cared about the collections and the designers’ work, they only seemed to care about the bullshit surrounding fashion (the celebs in the front row, the outfits of the fashion week goers etc).

I went there to work and to get some content about new season styles for my websites.

BC_1_1

(Photo Credit: Matt Bramford)

The whole thing made me ashamed for the blogging “community” and eager to separate myself from it to tell you the truth. Mademoiselle Robot is my full time job and I have worked very hard as a journalist/editor that I don’t really consider myself a blogger, more of an online editor. I know it sounds poncy as to most people, as a blog is a blog, but especially after LFW, I feel I need to differentiate myself from Fashion Bloggers. I went to LFW before this season, as my website was professional enough to earn me credentials and invitations to shows before inviting bloggers became the thing of the moment.

Favourite shows –

Without a doubt House of Blue Eyes… The show was absolutely amazing. It brought life and fun times to an otherwise fairly dull Fashion Week. There was gold and glitter, disco music, happy faces all around. I was completely mind blown by it. The collection itself was not necessarily something I’d see catching on and spreading into the mainstream come Spring, but the show was fabulous.

ss10peterjensen

Another favourite of mine was Peter Jensen. The presentation had a magical atmosphere and the clothes were beautiful. This time totally wearable too! I love Peter Jensen, so I am biased!

I also really enjoyed Bora Aksu’s interpretation of the rock chick trend that seems to be absolutely everywhere still and Eley Kishimoto was of course flamboyant and totally spot on. Luella’s collection was once more totally drool inducing.

luella

Top tips for autumn/winter 2009?

The denim look leggings paired with the accented shoulder jacket is not something everyone can rock. It’s been everywhere and it is an attractive silhouette to some, but please, take a good look at yourself in the mirror (not the magic mirror) before you step out of the house wearing this tricky trend…

I have quite defined shoulders already, so instead of wearing giant shoulder pads and looking like an American Football Player, I will opt instead for a more feminine, softer shoulder accent, ruffles.

My advice is, if you want to buy a new coat for the Winter, do it now! And buy vintage. Vintage coats are more durable, made of better, warmer fabrics and most of the time they are cheaper than their high-street counterparts.
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its seventh year, cheap has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, unhealthy tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Zanditon 2 red bl

Fashion Scout now in its seventh year, information pills has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch provided a menu of gothic grandeur, tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers coralled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

MMitanovski1

The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkloric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

MMitanovski2

According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

HDePaula3

HDePaula2

A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

HDePaula3

The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

Quinn1

Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

Quinn2

Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

zanditon 1

The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

zanditon 2 bl

Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
We have been gathering, sale preparing, joining with hundreds of others and almost ready to swoop for the most exciting mass action of the year.

sw1
Illustrations by Michael Maitland

Coal power is the biggest source of carbon emissions, with over 200,000 people dying each year from climate change alone, the government still isn’t taking it seriously. With only a one seventh of the amount bankers received in their bonus packages being put towards green stimulus projects shows we need to take action into our own hands to get the government to do more.

The Great Climate Swoop is happening this Saturday the 17th and 18th October; the plan is to take over Ratcliffe-on-soar coal-fired power station for at least 24 hours. There has already been a wave of international protests against coal power stations this year from Australia (an action we covered at Amelias magazine) to Denmark and we aim to make our action even bigger and better.

With the recent back out by E.ON on creating two new coal power stations at Kingsnorth, as well as the end to plans for a 3rd runway at Heathrow which were coincidentally both venues for past Climate Camp shows that we can really make change.

It is an exciting time to be involved in activism with the climate change issue really heating up it is time to get involved and be part of the movement.

With a group of volunteers spending months working hard for the swoop to be an success, the plan is in place and it is sure to be an engaging action that will spurn many new activists as well as pushing the debate on for no coal power. Maps are available to download and a text message service has been set up to keep everyone informed about what’s happening on the day.

sw2

Local neighborhoods meet up regularly and have organized a range of activist cut-price buses from around the country to descend to Nottingham at the end of the week. There really is no excuse not to be there.

The action has been split into four blocs, and each offers different objectives to suit every activist. FOOTSTEPS TO THE FUTURE will get to the main gate and create a vision of a better future, TAKE THE POWER BACK mission is to get to the control room and take back the power, FALSE SOLUTIONS will go to the coal pile and expose the false solutions and CAPITALISM IS CRISIS is the decentralized bloc which means affinity groups can take there own actions. The power station is going to be inundated with young and old, students, weathered activists and all in between to show we want to kick start massive transition to a low carbon future and we don’t see coal power as relevant in today’s world.

If you’ve left sorting out transport with your local group too late, don’t worry just get to Nottingham train station for 10am this Saturday and join the hundreds of protesters there ready to swoop. There will also be bike blogs setting off from Leeds on the 15th, and Sheffield on the 16th and Nottingham on the 17th all leaving from the train stations at 10am, the critical mass will even have boom pedal powered tunes to spur you on and bloc any of those high vis vehicles on the day.

Categories ,bike bloc, ,bloc, ,Climate Camp, ,coal power, ,critical mass, ,E-On, ,kingsnorth, ,nottingham, ,protest, ,Ratcliffe-on-soar power station, ,swoop, ,text message, ,The Great Climate Swoop

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Amelia’s Magazine | Gagging the Guardian – The truth is out, or is it?

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Fashion Scout now in its 7th year, medical story has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

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The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

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According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

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A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

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The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

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Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

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Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

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The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

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Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week in Parliament. However the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, online who specialise in suing the media for clients, viagra sale have attelpted to put a gagging order on the Guardian, this web preventing them from reporting on the debate. It is one of the most shocking media related story and the first of it’s kind to be seen in Britain for some time. However the tweeting nation and networking outlets have taken on the gauntlet. In a single day the story had been uncovered and spread around the world and became an instant twitter ‘trendsetter.’ The solicitors Carter-Ruck have just backed down from this gagging and means a great victory for twitter and freedom of speech.

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The concerned question relates to the Trafigura Corporation who have been revealed to be dumping toxic waste into the sea near the Ivory Coast. An action that has caused death and illness in the surrounding areas as well as an undisclosed amount of environmental pollution.

There is no such thing as bad publicity; if the gagging order hadn’t been put on the Guardian newspaper the story would have been swepped under the carpet like the numerous articles each day relating to atrocities around the world. As it happens the Trafigura story was largely ignored by the mainstream when it was reported in the media a few weeks ago. People would see the article in the newspaper or online, skim over it and move on to the latest shocking Jordan revelation.

Instead, because of an attempt to hide the story, it’s hit the big time and has aforementioned become an instant trendsetter on Twitter and other social networking sites. When the freedom of the media is threatened it seems everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

What it yet to be seen is if the bloggosphere will get onto the streets and do something other than sitting at their computers trying to get a few more hits. With the recent Speech DeBelle fiasco, where the huge following on the internet failed to reciprocate to the live gigs as well as twitter celebrities realizing they are just that. It makes me a little concerned with this growing trend of online activism, is it the modern day equivalent of the armchair complaint? Will the real action that we need to see become something of the past?

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The flashmob planned for this Thursday at 1pm out side the offices of Carter-Ruck will be an interesting event to watch, will it be comprised of the usual suspects; the people protesting tirelessly each week against the global crisis that threatens us from corporations just like Trafigura? People labeled by the blogosphere as the ‘liberal types and unwashed hippy do-gooders’ or will we see this unseen population, the thousands if not millions who seem concerned with this issue? Smittenkitten for example tweets – ‘RT @stephenfry Public disgust at barbaric assault on free speech is being collected under #trafigura who are accused of dumping toxic waste,’ check her previous tweets and they are about what she has been watching on TV every night this week or how much she loves her new tabby kitten. Will we see you on the streets smittenkitten? I think not.

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Saying this, I can see there is some integrity in social networks sites creating change and hopefully this backlash against the gagging order will uncover some truths. I appreciate there are many who are clearly concerned with the issue, and are helping to make get the truth out, like the intrepid new-gatherers who hunted down the Order Book for Parliament which meant that anyone could see what the story was really about. The solicitors Carter-Ruck have backed down from this gagging order but the real Trafigura problem is still there and lets hope the blogging world does not forget that.

Lets just hope people see it as a chance to become involved with real action on the streets, that we need to see to achieve change, something I hope to see as a mainstream ‘trend’ in the not so distant future.

Categories ,blog, ,Carter-Ruck, ,flashmob, ,Guardian, ,Guardian gagging, ,protest, ,streets, ,Trafigura, ,trends, ,trensetting, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Mass action at Hazelwood Coal Power Station

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I’ll put up my hands and admit that as a girl, health medications not yet a quarter of a century old, remedy talking about music is utterly intimidating. Yet I try. At some point in my life I’ll make a concerted effort to dance about architecture too. There is an endless wealth of information on bands that have already been, that I am never, ever going to be able to catch up on. Yet I try. As a music fan (enough to write about it), I’m embarrassed to admit that I only really discovered my, now, all time favourite band, Talking Heads within the last five years. I know, shoot me down. My convoluted point is that, as much as I try and piece it together, I can only imagine what The Slits releasing ‘Cut’ meant to the females and general youth and music fans of 1979. Yes there was a sex bomb fronted Blondie, intriguingly androgynous Patti Smith and unconventional Kate Bush, but an all female, punk rock band that posed naked on their album sleeve and generally didn’t give a f***. No one saw that coming and their influence has reverberated ever since.

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Fast forward then 30 years and their new album, Trapped Animal, has been unleashed to a society that is certainly far from sorted. But can the music still have the same punch? The garage approach of Cut has inevitably given way to a slicker product all round. That same mixture of reggae rhythms, scratchy guitars, anger and mischief abounds. Rather than sounding like a band thirty years past their prime, as could be said of many a reunion album, there is a freshness that means you could be mistaken for thinking you’re hearing the latest South London council estate collective. This could be explained by the new multi-generational line-up that features Sex Pistol Paul Cook’s daughter, Hollie. You also get the impression that frontwoman Ari Up has as much energy as her fourteen year old self that met original member, Palmolive, at a Patti Smith gig.

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Lyrically, the album doesn’t stretch the boundaries of the concept of rhyming but you wouldn’t hear Girls Aloud bemoaning of “Men who want us to be their mother/Men who hate us because of their mother.” Where the Pop Idol-ers are concerned with their “cappuccinos to go-o”, Up and her girls are hollering about ‘Peer Pressure’, “issues with child abuse” and eschewing the shackles of a nine to five: “We don’t pay rent with a passion, and we don’t wanna follow fashion.”

The fact that foul-mouthed Lily Allen launched her career on the wave of reggae-tinged pop is no accident. The Slits invented the model for anti-establishment, men-bashing, unselfconscious pop and even though this new offering will never live up to Cut standards, it’s a welcome return of punk’s finest.

Helping to keep the pressure on governments across the world, health activists in Australia held a mass action last week against Hazelwood Coal Power Station, erectile one of the dirtiest in the world. The climate camp held a day of planning and workshops, nurse followed by the day of action where a group of over 500 people placed a ‘Community Decommission Order’ on Hazelwood to switch on the renewable energy transition.

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Images from Hazelwood Flickr

Twenty-two people were arrested on the day and, with the Governments lack of conviction, it seems many more are ready for the same sacrifice. As one secondary school teacher put it, “not such a big sacrifice in the scheme of things.” Looking at pictures and reports as well as listening to the radio report, it looks like a well planned day of disobedience. Affinity groups such as the Wombat Warriors, Radical Cheerleaders and Climate Clowns show great initiative. Apparently the police wouldn’t let “bikezilla”, a massive 8-person bike, join the protest though. Shame.

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I caught up with Louise Morris, one of the organisers of the action to get her account of the action and see what’s in store for climate action in Australia.

How long have you been involved in the protest movement in Australia and was there a catalyst for getting involved?

I’ve been involved in campaigning in Australia for over a decade, starting off with the campaign to stop the Jabiluka Uranium mine in Kakadu National park and spending many years as a forest activist and blockader in Tasmania (as a result now one of the Gunns 20) and Western Australia.

I decided to devote my time to climate campaigning in 2006, as the realisation set in that no matter how many pieces of forest we saved through campaigning and blockades etc – if climate change is not dealt with, the climatic conditions forecast will spell the end for all the places we have campaigned for and protected over the years.

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I grew up in mining towns in Western Australia, so am very aware of the sort of environmental and social scars the mining and logging industry inflict. My decision to work on climate issues has been heavily based on the mitigation angle. I am a strong believer in trying to solve a problem, rather than trying cope with the problem as best we can through adaptation measures. This has led me to focus strongly on coal issues and to work within the grassroots realm of climate campaigning. I really do think it’s in the grassroots community movement that we have the most power.

What was your personal experience on last weeks action?

I was one of the key organisers of the Switch off Hazelwood – Switch on Renewables weekend. My experience ranged from having to deal with the police in the lead up to the event and during the event with their complete over-reaction to the whole affair, talking with people who were prepared to be arrested and acting as media spokesperson for the group.

My experience of the action and watching other peoples reaction to the day was extremely positive.

This action was the first of it’s type for the Victorian Climate Movement. For the past few years people have lobbied, rallied in cities etc but never actually taken action at the site of the pollution and been prepared to be arrested.

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We had 500-plus people from all possible walks of life turn up. A lot of families, older folk and a massive representation from the quite mainstream ‘Climate Action Group’ demographic that is strong in Australia. We had 22 people manage to scale the security fences and police lines that were put up prior to our action. In that list of arrestees are doctors, teachers, electricians, stay at home mums… the list goes on.

Our state government tried to label us as eco-terrorists in the lead up to the event. This failed dismally, as our lead up media campaign was very solutions focused (just transition to renewable energy) and we were very open in our aim of civil disobedience… this combined with images of the people who were at the action, got out to the wider world of so many kids, families, professionals and respected members of the community were taking action. We have had a lot of support from the public and arms of the mainstream media.

The feeling post this action is that people are ready for more peaceful community driven direct action, and more people are prepared to get arrested to push the government into some real action on climate change.

How did the mainstream media and the public react?

There has been a noticeable shift in public and media attitudes to people taking action on climate change, post our federal Government’s pathetic announcement of 5% emission reduction by 2020.

In the lead up to this event we put a lot of thought and energy into talking about our message of switching on a transition to renewable energy and switching off coal. Part of this outreach included a public meeting at the town of Morwell, which is the heart of coal country in our state. This was a ‘robust’ meeting but we got great feedback from everyone who came about the transition message and we were supported by unions representing coal workers that we were pushing for a just transition to renewable energy.

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In terms of media – we ran a pretty tight messaging strategy around the fact that this is a community driven event that is calling for a switch from renewable energy and this requires that we switch off coal.

At first we got very little interest, but as the word that people were going to partake in peaceful mass civil disobedience got out, the interest grew. On the whole, we got a pretty fair run in the media in the lead up to the event. A lot of time was spent explaining what civil disobedience was, as Australia has not had a strong activist culture in recent years. Once again the core message that we were calling for a switch from coal to renewables, with a just transition was central in a lot of the willingness of commercial media to hear us out.

Obviously on the day of the action some of the conservative media ran the ‘rowdy protester’ line and showed the fence shaking but considering the sort of coverage we usually get in the mainstream Australian press, I think we have seen a shift in how community protest and civil disobedience is being covered. That said, the large representation of families and ‘ordinary looking folk’ really did help that.

Do you think Australia is ready for a broader movement relating to climate change and what do you think the comparison is to movements across the world?

Yes. We had our first climate camp last year in Newcastle [NSW] and from this it was decided that in 2009 we would have state based events, of which the Switch off Hazelwood event was one. The reasons for this were many, including the fact that Australia is so geographically large that it’s not feasible (financially or environmentally) for people to trek across the country to come to a single climate camp.

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For the next 3 months there will be Climate Camp style events across the country from South Australia, New South Wales to Western Australia. The interest and willingness is there for a movement that is prepared to take action at the site of the big polluters and put some targeted pressure on government and the big polluters who are shaping the climate policy.

In terms of the broader movement relating to climate change there is definitely a lot more scope for more varied forms of action and campaigning. We are currently organising a bunch of movement building events and workshops using the lessons learnt from many countries and campaigns, including elements of the Obama community mobilisation strategy.

Comparisons are hard to make as we live in a massive continent with quite a sparse population, in comparison to many other countries who have strong climate movements. We also have a populace that has been alienated from the concepts of protest, civil disobedience and strong social movements from previous (and still current) governments who have demonised such things as ‘Anti-Australian.’

As one of the organisers of the action, what have you learnt from the process?

Honestly, the importance of networks, community and talking to people face-to-face to get them involved and part of creating the event they want to be a part of. Another lesson we always learn from these events is that people need to have fun organising and being part of events like this – best way to keep them coming back and get more people involved.

The Affinity Group and Working Group model was central in making a lot of elements of this event work. From the public meeting, the promotions, independent media to the action itself.

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What’s next for Climate Camp in Australia?

There are still a number of state based Climate Camps to come in the next few months across Australia after the ‘Switch off Hazelwood – Switch on Renewables’ event. The next immediate one is in South Australia and after that is the one at the Helensbugh coal mine in NSW. So much more Climate Camp action is on the cards. And here in Victoria we are looking ahead to what is next in the lead up to Copenhagen as a national climate event.

Looks like a lot going on in Australia, shame it would have to be a carbon intensive flight away, that or a 6 month cycle mission, hmmm.. now thats an idea.

Categories ,Australia, ,civil disobedience, ,Climate Camp, ,Hazelwood, ,mass action, ,Power station, ,protest

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