Amelia’s Magazine | Lug Von Siga: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Luc Von Siga by Louise Smith
Lug Von Siga LFW A/W 2013 by Louise Smith

At first I stand, then I kneel, and by the time the show starts, I’m sitting on the floor. Hardly the most elegant of positions, but comfortable and as an added bonus; clean-view camera shots can be achieved through this little-known ‘crouching tiger’ catwalk-reporting technique.

Luc von Siga by Louise Smith
Lug Von Siga LFW A/W 2013 by Louise Smith

I’m hooked from the moment the orchestral song starts playing at Lug Von Siga‘s A/W 2013 LFW show in Freemasons’ Hall. The music reminds me of listening to the Peter and the Wolf audiotape as a kid. Unnervingly, what drew me in comes back to haunt me and within minutes it sounds more like the distinctive shower-dagger scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. I suppose they do say you’d have to be crazy to be a designer…

Lug Von Siga AW 2013
Lug Von Siga AW 2013
All photography by Amelia Gregory

The clothes have a story-time feel to them; modernized fairytale-wear updated for the current era with a lashing of chic and well-cut to add some sophistication. What would a 2013 Little Red Riding Hood wear under her cape? What would a modern day Cap ‘o’ Rushes put on for work? There’s definitely an Upper East Side fairytale Queen among these outfits. A chain-mail like use of silver on one piece feels very knight in shining armour too; female of course.

Lug Von Siga AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Lug Von Siga AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Lug Von Siga AW 2013

Turkish designer Lug Von Siga offers this stylish collection on the opening day of LFW A/W 2013. An outfit is even complete with shards of mirror, seemingly confirming my suspicions that the collection is nodding to Snow White, although I soon discover they are actually inspired by Ottoman Empire superstitions. This ancient influence expresses itself through a futuristic look and there’s a hint of 1940s in the block shapes. Elegance is maintained throughout with long gloves and trilby hats. The colours are surprising, with magenta and gold popping up unexpectedly. A shiny jacket with a tinge of astronaut reminds me of Midas and his golden touch as well as hinting at 80s influences. The cherry on top of all this is some rich plum pieces. Combined with the unnerving soundtrack, this magenta makes me think of a certain Cluedo professor and gives the collection an air of mystery. “It was Lug Von Siga’s collection in Freemasons’ Hall with the monochrome that did it for me,” I think to myself.

Lug Von Siga by Rosemary Kirton
Lug Von Siga A/W 2013 by Rosemary Kirton

Lasalle Academy graduate Lug Von Siga has come up with a solid collection; high detatchable collars and androgynous styling define the look. Wool is contrasted against loose fitted jackets and faux-fur is brought into the mix. The pieces are notably well-tailored and there’s a large number of sleeveless garments.

Lug Von Siga AW 2013
Lug Von Siga AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Lug Von Siga AW 2013

I notice a boy in the audience has an almost identical hat to one of the models. I brush the dust-bunnies from my skirt as I move to get a better view. I’m sitting next to the press photographers. All hunched up together, sitting, standing, crouching; an android with two dozen eyes. What would Charlie Brooker say if he saw them, eh?! I imagine he would roll his eyes deliberately. There’s nothing as annoying as the snapping of the pappa’ during a show. The cameras are so loud they actually create an additional soundtrack, like some sort of rogue percussion instrument. I’m desperate to turn my camera on them and start taking pictures, it feels as though there’s something to document just in the press section. I decide this would be an act of defiance of epic proportions and refrain from listening to the itch of my camera. I look at the audience around me and there are cameras everywhere. iPhones, Nikons, even iPads are held up towards the models.

I put my own SLR down guiltily.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Fairytale, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Jessica Cook, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Smith, ,Lug Von Siga, ,monochrome, ,Orchestral, ,Rosemary Kirton

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Amelia’s Magazine | Asger Juel Larsen Vs T.Lipop: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review

T.Lipop A/W 2012 by Jo Ley

I’ve been keen to see more from Asger Juel Larsen since illustrating his S/S 2012 collection for Amelia’s Magazine. It’s not every day you get to draw a beard made out of leather and nails, and the post-apocalyptic aesthetic is one that I can naturally appreciate. That, and I’d read that at Copenhagen Fashion Week they sent a guy down the catwalk bloodied and with a chainsaw

Asger Juel Larsen A/W 2012 by Gemma Cotterell

A few incidents immediately prior to the show dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. For a start, while waiting in the Media Lounge at Freemason’s Hall, I found that a pot of Sudocrem that I had no recollection of ever having seen before had split in my bag (random pots of Sudocrem being one of the given perils of being a parent to a young child). There’s nothing cooler than a man whose hands are covered in Sudocrem, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Asger Juel Larsen A/W 2012 by Sam Parr

The queue into the show was a mess, not helped by the show starting half an hour late, although there was free frozen yogurt. I also realised too late that the ‘ST’ on my ticket meant ‘Standing’ and wasn’t code for something more exciting, like… I don’t know what I thought it would stand for, to be honest. I was just happy to get the ticket (it had my name on it and everything).

Once the crowd had been herded into the showroom and I’d baffled nearly everyone around me with my insistent politeness, I found myself smushed against a wall with a direct view into the catwalk’s entrance, which was pretty much as good as I could have got, considering, and it was totally fluked.

All photography by Gareth A Hopkins

The collection itself was predominantly inspired by Soviet Officers uniforms, which combined with solid tailoring, chunky zips and a limited palette of black, grey and crimson worked really well. The majority of the models were made to look gaunt and frozen by pale makeup, which played up the ‘fragility of war’ concept that Larsen was going for. Breaking away from the palette was a suit in brown and tan paisley; paisley seemed to have infiltrated everywhere this season, so if I was to pick out a ‘trend’ other than the whole arctic/Baltic aesthetic, paisley would be it.

The headgear was a problem for me, though. I’ve distrusted beanie hats since East 17 were first on Top Of The Pops, and there was a raft of them bobbing down the catwalk. More fundamentally problematic were the ginormous fur hats – the size and shape wasn’t a problem (I actually liked the look of them) but I’d hoped we’d all moved on from fur now, and for me its inclusion sullied my opinion of the rest of the collection.

Also: there was no chainsaw anywhere. Whether Health & Safety had been in touch or they’d run out of petrol, I don’t know. But I’d been promised a chainsaw and there wasn’t one.

T.Lipop A/W 2012 by Lo Parkin

Straight out of the gates after Larsen was T.Lipop, whose collection I’d also seen at the Fashion East installations earlier in the day. Similar to Larsen’s Soviet-in-the-trenches look, Lipop’s models were decked out to look like Victorian arctic explorers, with frost in their beards and eyebrows and carrying explorer gear. This hid a more muted but arguably more wearable collection with softer lines and a less harsh colour palette that included burgundies, oranges and tan along with a hit here and there of good ol’ Navy Blue.

T.Lipop A/W 2012 by Jo Ley

Once again, the fur card was played, this time right at the end with a digital-print coat with an enormous pelt hood, drew gasps of wonder from the crowd and a unified surge of camera clicks. The shape and the weight of the coat were satisfying, it’s just a pity that the arctic theme had to be held so rigidly that fur couldn’t have been avoided.

Not to put too much of a downer on either though, as both were very strong showings and I’m positive we’ll be hearing more from both in the future. Although next time, if you say there’ll be a chainsaw, bring a chainsaw.

Categories ,Arctic, ,Asger Juel Larsen, ,AW2012, ,Baltic, ,Big Zips, ,Chainsaw, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Frosty Beards, ,Frozen Yogurt, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Health & Safety, ,Jo Ley, ,Lo Parkin, ,London Fashion Week, ,military, ,Paisley, ,Sam Parr, ,soviet, ,Standing, ,Sudocrem, ,t.lipop, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | STACK Magazine Subscription Service: an interview with founder Steve Watson

Stack Magazines by Jo Cheung
Stack Magazines by Jo Cheung

There is something about print magazines; the aroma of them, sometimes thick and woody, sometimes fresh and glossy. There is something undeniably comforting about holding a magazine in your hands, the texture: solid and reassuring beneath your fingers. A magazine is something real and tangible that your eyes and tips can really get to grips with. There’s no feeling in world like getting your mitts on a virgin mag, previously unopened, your eye-balls the first to drink in the words and pictures of that copy. Even the ink-dust that sticks to your fingers on some mags; that’s something that I love, to have words physically rub off on my fingers. What could be better than that?

Little White Lies

For all these reasons, subscribing to Stack, a magazine subscription service which sends out a different independent magazine to its customers each month, is one of my indulgences. Every 30 days or so, I get an envelope in the mail. I collect it from the welcome mat and I bring it upstairs to digest. I open it like a kid at Christmas, cheeks flushed with excitement. I love the smell of magazines in the morning.

Stack Magazines

In the last year they’ve sent out: Boat, a magazine which transports itself to a new city for each issue; The Ride Journal, a magazine which weaves together the anecdotes of cyclists the world over; your new friend Oh Comely, a mag that wants to keep your curiosity alive. Old favourites such as Anorak, the kid’s magazine with a difference, make an appearance too. These are the mags that cross the divide between zine and art and with cover prices as high as £10.50 you’re likely to get your money’s worth if you subscribe.

Stack Magazines

With June came sun, and also Port Magazine, food lover’s heaven. Stylish and chic, it has a hint of glossy men’s mag about it. Kicking off with an open letter to Old Fulton Fish Market and complete with a pinch of Nigella Lawson, this mag will whet your appetite for future issues.

The July delivery brought me the music edition of Wooden Toy Quarterly, which not only came inside album-like packaging but also had little sister typography mag Lyrics and Type tucked inside. Put together by Kaleidoscope Festival co-founder Timba Smits, WTQ is a visual delight.

WTQ Music Issue Cover

Wooden Toy Quarterly Music Issue

Lyrics and Type

September brought issue 4 of Juke. With some of the adverts made in collaboration between brand and mag, this music magazine (with a side of fashion) takes a walk on the wild side. The editorial informs me that “it’s time to get your weird on” and it’s hard not to follow Juke through to obscurity and beyond.

Stack Magazines by Karen Brotherton
Stack Magazines by Karen Brotherton

Very Nearly Almost, a Stack staple, came one chilly October. Issue 20 was so devoted to its main subject matter: graffiti, that I initially thought that the name of the mag was Retna, one of the graffiti artists it covered. This mag caught hold of my imagination, filled with street art, this is an urban art mag at its best and strong visuals made up a large bulk of this publication.


These are just a few of the mags that have been sent to me in the post since I subscribed. August presented an issue of Rouleur packed to the rafters with “the world’s finest cycle racing reportage”, and Delayed Gratification, “the slow journalism” magazine also made an appearance in my mailbox around Xmas.

Delayed Gratification

Stack really is revolutionary. Each magazine comes with a letter which explains why the mag was picked and what it has to offer. In one side of A4 it tells you a bit about the contents, whether it’s some info about the mag creators, or how Stack stumbled across the mag. This gives the service a personal element and really helps you connect with the issue in-hand as well as get to know the team over at Stack headquarters. Most letters also make you privy to the ‘message’ of the mag, meaning that you have a little insight before you crick its back.

The founder of Stack, Steven Watson is a guy with a real lust for magazines; “magazines are constellations of ideas,” he says. He had the brainwave to start Stack in September 2008; merging the t-shirt subscription model with a blog post he read about consuming different independent magazines as a way to stay interesting. Stack was launched pretty soon after and was up-and-running by December 2008.


Steve‘s love for mags stems from their ability to display the bigger picture, “with a print mag you can glance at a spread and focus in on a small detail. They’re read in a different way…they haven’t quite got this with iPad and tablet mags yet.” He’s a passionate printy himself “I love the fact some of these are mags being made by people not getting paid, sometimes not even breaking even; they are just hugely passionate about the subject matter.”

Stack Magazines

He identifies a Stack Magazine as, “a mag with something to say, with a distinctive point of view and a stylish way of saying it”. He goes on to elaborate further saying the mags they choose are “niche but welcoming”.

His passion for the print stuff started when he was off sick from school and his mum got him a copy of Smash Hits. During his teens this progressed to a love for FHM and Steve currently works for The Church of London, the Creative Agency which makes Little White Lies (which coincidentally began life in Amelia’s house when publisher Danny Miller lived there.)

He notes that over time a lot has changed and Stack now have around 1,200 subs and hope to break 2,000 by the end of 2013. He explains that they sometimes send out additional mags “but it mainly depends on the weight. When we started, we had 300 or so subscribers and it was ok, but now our circulation’s higher, it’s harder to convince mags to send us more than a thousand copies for free.”

These additional mags are varied and include DOGEAR, which is both a magazine and a bookmark, and boasts illustration, poetry and fiction in its miniature pages. Each instalment comes on a different shade of pastel coloured card and the pieces in this nifty little bookmark are often short and pithy and many even take advantage of the mag’s small stature with their layout.

Your Days Are Numbered

I’ve also received a visually striking issue of Your Days Are Numbered which featured an interview in French which I think (although my French is a little rusty) is with Bastien Vives. This little mag is a real gem with a comic book slant and one of the pages gets up-close and personal with a member of the Judge Dredd team.

Shellsuit Zombie

Issue 3 of Shellsuit Zombie opens with a Trainspotting-style speech, and does not shy away from a well-placed profanity or two. A healthy shot of illustration and a young creative vibe give this mag its edge, making me draw comparisons to The Skinny because of both its colour newspaper format and street-savvy tone. These are just some of the mags which have been included with the main mag gratuit.

It’s been around a year since I subscribed to Stack. It’s been an emotional journey for me, whether it’s pulling apart a magazine and using the sheets to wrap my Christmas presents, as with the November 2012 delivery, issue 6 of Wrap magazine, or ohhing and ahhing over the vinyl like cover of Wooden Toy Quarterly, subscribing to Stack has been one of my highlights of the last 12 months.


Each month with the service is a surprise and all you know before you get the tell-tale envelope in the post is that you’ll be getting one of the best independent English-language mags out there. I can’t recommend it enough, whether you’re a word lover, a design fanatic, an illustrator looking for inspiration, or you just want something interesting to get your teeth into each month; this is the best purchase I’ve made in years. If you want a fresh perspective or you just want to make sure that your coffee table is the most beautiful of them all, then Stack is for you. Sign up on their website here.

The Ride Journal

People have been throwing round the phase lately that ‘print is dead’. And while it might be declining, I like to think that it will rise up in pulp zombie form and take on digital in a fight to the death. Stack is part of the changing evolution of print distribution and evidence that the last rasping gasp the papers have been shouting about might in fact have just been a yawn, while it waited for something like Stack to come along and shake it up a little. (Amelia: If only STACK had existed before I decided to stop producing Amelia’s Magazine in print: distribution through the usual channels was an absolute nightmare and one of the reasons I decided to pull out of print back in 2008.)

Steven Watson by Rosemary Kirton
Steve Watson illustration by Rosemary Kirton

Categories ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Church of London, ,circulation, ,Danny Miller, ,design, ,DOGEAR, ,illustration, ,Jessica Cook, ,Jo Cheung, ,journalism, ,Juke, ,Karen Brotherton, ,Little White Lies, ,Love Letter to Print Magazines, ,Magazines, ,Oh Comely, ,Port, ,print, ,Rosemary Kirton, ,Shellsuit Zombie, ,Stack Magazines, ,Steve Watson, ,Subscription, ,Very Nearly Almost, ,Wrap

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Amelia’s Magazine | Secret Garden Party 2011: Festival Review

The Secret Garden Party, buy illustrated by Sam Parr

A playground for all ages, ed The Secret Garden Party boasts a reputation as a festival where you can temporarily seek refuge from the hassles of real life and indulge in a few days of crazy creativity in a temporary community where a surprise lurks around every corner.

In my estimation, medical The Secret Garden Party is the closest you can ever get to Wonderland without reading Alice Through the Looking-Glass (It even has croquet). Held in the Cambridgeshire countryside just outside Huntingdon, this festival occurs on the grounds of Abbots Ripton Hall, home of Lord de Ramsey. These days the festival is a pretty badly kept secret and as many as 26,000 people attended this year, compared to the more petite 1000 or so that partied there back when it was begotten in 2004.

The grounds, as well as the festival goers, function as an impromptu art exhibit with fancy dress encouraged and contributing to the surreal ambience. Although marketed as both an arts and music festival, the lack of well-known bands means that more often than not the attendees are lured to the festival on the premise of the experience itself.

Illustrations by Lilly Allen

Festivals rest in the perilous hands of the weather and although our entrance to the festival was marked by the rain, an ominous start to the weekend, it was hot enough by Friday that we could mosey to the lake and go swimming with hoards of other eager beavers, desperate to wash off the glitter and UV paint from last night’s exploits. The lake is a vital part of the festival atmosphere, not only because you can swim and row across it, but because there is also a temporary stage in the centre that you can only get to by boat. This stage, in the shape of a dragonfly, was burnt on the Saturday night.

Blondie, illustrated by Sam Parr

This is a festival where you go with the flow, whether you choose to follow the trail of glow sticks being left by a person in the distance in the hope that it leads you somewhere, or you want to sit in front of the sand stage and relax burning marshmallows on the bonfire. Each festival experience is unique and as well as being handed some snacks by someone in a Kindness Initiative tabard we were approached by someone who presented us with a piece of paper reading “switch off your alarm clock”; SGP is a hands-on festival if ever there was one.

There are an impossible number of things to do. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but this is a place to satiate your interest, taking advantage of what’s on offer, whether that is life drawing or an introduction to fetishes: in a tent filled with pillows where you are required to take your shoes off at the entrance and a small make shift cinema (complete with popcorn). Forming just a sample of the odd attractions on offer, you’re guaranteed never to be bored. Other more mainstream activities to pep you up during the day include miniature golf and yoga. If you want to watch someone in a wasp spray costume chase a bee around, or throw paint at people you don’t know in the annual paint fight, then this is the place to do it. With so much on offer its impossible to sample everything in one visit and this festival will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

We got more than we bargained by watching mud wrestling, the climax of the show being impromptu nudity as well as a Mission Impossible style drop for items located in the mud pit. We also checked out Shitfaced Shakespeare, a performance of Romeo and Juliet for which the actors are completely and utterly trollied. Both of which made for unique experiences.

We were totally sheltered from the real world here: with no plug sockets, the news of Amy Winehouse and the Norway massacre filter through the crowds with shock, reminding us that we have to go back to our lives on Monday.

Married to the Sea, illustrated by Nicola Ellen

The majority of bands playing at SGP are relatively unknown and reading down the list makes me feel suddenly lacking in hipster knowledge. There are big names, too: Leftfield, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Mystery Jets and of course Blondie. We watched rising stars like Cosmo Jarvis and relative unknowns like Married to the Sea, wandering through the various stages in search of the best tunes. But mostly, we weaved in and out of the tents soaking up the atmosphere, picking up the phone of the random call box that lets you talk to strangers somewhere else on the festival and being glad that we were lucky enough to get tickets.

Cosmo Jarvis, illustrated by Rosemary Kirton
There is more to SGP than the music. This is the festival to end all festivals and has a certain je ne sais quoi that other festivals fail to achieve. If you want to dress up as a different animal every day then this is the place for you. It’s an art gallery with its visitors welcome to become part of the exhibit. The Secret Garden Party is one of the few experiences in life when the reality of the festival will no doubt outstrip your expectations.

All photography by Jessica Cook

Categories ,Abbots Ripton Hall, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,amy winehouse, ,art, ,blondie, ,dragonfly, ,festival, ,Glitter, ,Glow sticks, ,Golf, ,Jessica Cook, ,leftfield, ,Lilly Allen, ,Lord de Ramsey, ,Martha Reeves, ,Mission Impossible, ,music, ,Mystery Jets, ,Nicola Ellen, ,review, ,Romeo and Juliet, ,Rosemary Kirton, ,Sam Parr, ,Shitfaced Shakespeare, ,The Secret Garden Party, ,The Vandellas, ,UV paint, ,Yoga

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