Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Caroline Charles

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

It was Day 1 at Somerset House and I was surrounded by all those fashion bigwigs at Caroline Charles; sure to have just flown in first-class from the closing New York Fashion Week and before that whichever glamorous corner of the Earth they resided. The BFC Catwalk space, page therefore, kicked off with a sure-fire reminder of where we were; London. Just in case anyone forgot.

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

??It was all about the classic, home-comfort elements of good-old British style. You had your checks, your lace, your chiffon, your wool winter coats that your mother forced you in when you were young and now just can’t get out of.??

Most garments were intrinsically minimalistic. There was very little print. The fabric palette didn’t stretch too far and no real attempt towards a-symmetric cuts or daring features was made. Despite such profuse amounts of plain-Jane style, however, a subtle sexiness arose from those full-sequined dresses in bright red and sultry black as well as the odd combination of tiger and leopard print. It was bad taste turned classy.??

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

The collection’s silhouette held a strong focus on the waist with delicate belts cinching-in wool shift dresses and chiffon floaty creations. There was a barely a bold moment throughout the entire show but one thing was for sure: everything had style.
Furthermore (as has been featured countless times this season), bows were a primary focus for Charles. She placed them on bowler hats, made them out of black ribbon tied around the neck and pulled them round to the rear of high-waisted trousers.

Illustrations by Maria Papadimitriou

Some of the combinations of textures, however, were a little iffy for me. Black leather pencil skirts with brown lady-like jackets? It just didn’t click. I also wasn’t keen on the injection of equestrian riding hats and low pony-tails. It was oh-so-boring and that kind of look, for me anyway, completely lacks any sort of style or attitude. Perhaps a ploy made my yet-another designer to turn the head of Kate Middleton as the Royal Wedding approaches? Maybe so.

Photographs by Georgia Takacs

Amidst the elegant and some-what calming classical music, however, I was agitated by lady-with-hideous-hat who was inconveniently featured in most of my photographs. There was a bit of a frenzy around her and THE HAT after the show. I couldn’t begin to understand why and marched past indifferent and utterly confused.??

All in all, a largely predictable and collection from a classic London dress-maker. It’s endearing, however, to see a leading designer of 47 years to continue delivering a fail-safe iconic style which will forever be appreciated. And with so much sophisticated femininity around this Autumn/Winter season, it certainly set the scene for what was to come and offers a solid reference to anyone embracing ‘The Woman’ next season.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Autumn/Winter, ,Bows, ,british, ,Caroline Charles, ,catwalk, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Kate Middleton, ,ladylike, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,review, ,Royal Wedding, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Style, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Easter Biscuits from the Biscuiteers

Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin
Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin.

Think buttered icing is over-rated? Fed up with cupcakes? Sick of chocolate eggs? Then how about trying something a little different this Easter? Biscuiteers have a knack of producing wonderful decorated biscuits for every occasion.

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-crown
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers.

And in the run up to Easter the nice folks at Biscuiteers have sent me a delightful selection of Faberge inspired Easter eggs to sample. The tin contains nine gorgeous decorated biscuits, sick thick with sugary icing, crystals and crunchy baubles – my favourite ones feature crown designs. The Easter Egg mini collection costs £30 but if you feel like splashing out there is also the Easter Family Tin for £38.50, containing bunnies, ducklings and lambs alongside the eggs – a sure fire hit for the kids.

Biscuiteers Easter Egg Biscuits mini collection

Or, for those on a smaller budget there is also an Easter Bunny Card, with two bunnies for £9. In true Easter style the biscuits are chocolate flavoured. My one quibble would be that it’s a shame the tin is decorated with very pretty Easter illustrations that have been printed onto stickers rather than integrated into the tin so that it can easily be washed and re-used: something for the future?

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-bunny tin

For the monarchists out there there is also the Royal Wedding Tin, which contains crowns, Union Jacks, sparkly heels fit for a princess, a cake, a wedding dress (possibly not THE ONE, whatever that might be) and the world famous engagement ring. These biscuits come on a vanilla flavoured base as a tin of 16 for £40. Perfect if you feel like celebrating… for whatever reason.

Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham
Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham.

NEWS JUST IN: use the discount code AMELIA when ordering to get 10% off the Biscuiteers Easter range up until midday on Thursday 21st April 2011.

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,chocolate, ,Crown, ,Cupcake, ,Easter, ,Easter Bunny Card, ,Easter Egg mini collection, ,Easter Eggs, ,Easter Family Tin, ,Engagement Ring, ,Holly Rogers, ,Icing, ,Princess, ,Rosemary Cunningham, ,Royal Wedding, ,Royal Wedding Tin, ,Union Jack, ,Wedding Dress

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Royal Wedding in Illustrations: Kate, Wills and the rest of the guests

Kisstch Wedding by Faye West
Kisstch Wedding by Faye West.

Continued from my first Royal Wedding blog post here
Kate and Wills For Ever by Sarah Arnett
Kate and Wills For Ever by Sarah Arnett.

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

Miriam in Coral by Elsabe Milandri
Miriam in Coral by Elsabe Milandri.

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

Watching the Royal Wedding drift past me on my TV screen I thought: if only everyone could afford to pay skilled craftspeople to conjure up metres of the most wonderful handmade lace for their wedding dresses. Just think, cialis 40mg it would be the most fabulous way to keep traditional skills alive. But unfortunately Kate’s beautiful dress will be copied widely and copied badly because something this marvellous is just not attainable for the majority. Dresses this good are only made for future Queens.

Kate and Wills take their vows by Jenny Robins
Kate and Wills take their vows by Jenny Robins.

Miriam Gonzalez at the Royal Wedding  by Karla Pérez Manrique
Miriam Gonzalez at the Royal Wedding by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri
Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri.

Sketches of the guests and procession by Jenny Robins
Sketches of the guests and procession by Jenny Robins.

I loved the minutiae of the occasion… roguish Prince Harry with his broad shoulders and the rakish glint in his eye… I’ve always loved a ginger and he’s no exception to the rule. Pippa Middleton upstaging the procession down the aisle with her perfectly shaped swaying bottom. Elton John miming to the hymns (not to your taste then Elt?) Never a Labour MP in sight.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice by Elsabe Milandri
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice by Elsabe Milandri.

Royal wedding by Graham Cheal
Royal wedding street party by Graham Cheal.

Royal Wedding by Melanie Chadwick.

Seeing the playful page boys in their red and yellow finery, cialis 40mg and the Queen, drug always a fan of this season’s most on trend look, in her matching lemon yellow colour blocked outfit. The funny little girl with her hands on the ears for the infamous balcony kiss. Kate bending down to fiddle with something, her head at groin level (chortle chortle).

Royal Wedding - Pippa Middleton and bridesmaids by Sara Japanwalla
Pippa Middleton and bridesmaids by Sara Japanwalla.

Royal Wedding guests by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding guests by Sara Japanwalla.

Royal Wedding Miriam Gonzalez Durantez by Michalis Christodoulou
Royal Wedding Miriam Gonzalez Durantez by Michalis Christodoulou.

tara palmer tomkinson by Sara Japanwalla 4
Tara Palmer Tomkinson by Sara Japanwalla.

Here then, are the illustrations produced from my wonderful illustration twitter followers. Enjoy. Why not? It will be our dirty little secret….

Royal Wedding_Tara Palmer-Tomkinson_by Michalis Christodoulou
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson by Michalis Christodoulou.

Tony & Gord by Izy Penguin
Tony & Gord by Izy Penguin.

Eugenie & Beatrice by Izy Penguin
Eugenie & Beatrice by Izy Penguin.

Prince Harry and the Royal Wedding Clean Up by neonflower
Prince Harry and the Royal Wedding Clean Up by Lizzie Campbell, aka neonflower.
An explanation for this final wonderful image from neonflower: In this illustration of Prince Harry, I wanted to acknowledge his down-to-earth approach both as Prince William’s best man, and as a member of our royal family. Eschewing the pomposity and formality of the aristocracy, we’re told that Harry organised bacon butties for peckish wedding guests partying until the wee hours at Buckingham Palace. I’m sure that he displays regular acts of such easy-going, ‘everyman’ behaviour. As such, I’ve created a visual representation of Harry, together with his namesake vacuum cleaner, clearing up after the previous night’s royal wedding celebrations.

Categories ,Carole Middleton, ,Elsabe Milandri, ,Eugenie & Beatrice, ,Faye West, ,Graham Cheal, ,Izy Penguin, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karla Pérez Manrique, ,Kate & Wills, ,Kate Middleton, ,Lizzie Campbell, ,Melanie Chadwick, ,Michalis Christodoulou, ,Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, ,neonflower, ,Page Boys, ,Pippa Middleton, ,Prince Harry, ,Queen, ,Royal Wedding, ,Sara Japanwalla, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Street Party, ,Tara Palmer Tomkinson

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Royal Wedding in Illustrations: Kate & Wills

Will & Kate by Gemma Milly
Will & Kate by Gemma Milly. Available to buy as a print here.

I suppose I should start this blog with a disclaimer: I am for sure no ardent royalist. The only Royal Wedding memorabilia that I’ve collected has been a kitsch charity shop find – a scuffed up Charles and Di mug. And up until Friday last week I’d given the Royal Wedding barely more than the thought that it would be nice to have the day off and encourage participation in the plethora of street parties taking place.

The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover
The Royal Wedding Dress by Bex Glover. Available to buy as a print here.

But then Friday arrived and there I was, page sat in front of the telly with a glass of champers – tweeting frantically through the banal commentary as I heard news of pre-emptive arrests of anarchist friends who had planned to stage street theatre demonstrations. And you know what? Despite the horrendous political policing that took place to ensure a *trouble free* Royal Wedding I have to admit that I enjoyed the spectacle massively.

Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett
Royal wedding dress by Sarah Arnett.

My fashion head marvelled at the wedding attire, some truly hideous (princesses Beatrice and Eugenie please stand up) but much of it truly fabulous. And all of it an illustrator’s dream! I’ve heard not one bad word about Kate’s undeniably beautiful dress by Sarah Burton for McQueen, and despite his protestations even the boyfriend perked up when she stepped out of her royal carriage, carefully scooping up the lengthy folds of her train.

Kate waving by Jenny Robins
Kate waving by Jenny Robins.

Yes, the little girl in me woke up. The one who despite my parent’s valiant attempts to mould me into a total tomboy nevertheless loved to draw princesses with flowing gowns and elegant crowns. It seems that even I could not help but get sucked into this Royal fairy tale: all it took was a momentary suspension of reality: the reality that this Royal Wedding was paid for by our taxes at a time when the severest of cuts are being felt across the nation. Like so many others I pushed it to the back of my mind. To be continued….
Read my second blog round up of Royal Wedding illustrations by clicking here! (once you’ve looked at everything here of course)

Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique
Kate Middleton in her wedding dress by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Pippa & Kate byKarla Pérez Manrique
Pippa & Kate by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla.

William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate exchanging the rings by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Royal wedding by Fawn Carr
Royal wedding by Fawn Carr.

Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv
Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv.

wills and kate by izy penguin
Wills and Kate by Izy Penguin.

Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne
Wills and Kate by Becca Thorne.

William and Kate's wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva
William and Kate’s wedding by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,Becca Thorne, ,Bex Glover, ,Catherine Middleton, ,Fawn Carr, ,Gemma Milly, ,Izy Penguin, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karina Yarv, ,Karla Pérez Manrique, ,Kate, ,Kate Middleton, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Royal Wedding, ,Sara Japanwalla, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Sarah Burton, ,Severn Studios, ,Wills

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Amelia’s Magazine | Londoners: an interview with film maker Joseph Ernst

joseph ernst londoners
Joseph Ernst has created a unique project: a documentation of Londoners in the 21st century which has eschewed the usual high tech approach in favour of an old hand cranked wooden 35mm camera. This short film is accompanied by a soundtrack by Bat for Lashes that emphasizes a warm hearted feeling at odds with the more familiar tales of rioting and isolated disfunction. I spoke with Joseph to find out more.

How did you pick the scenes you shot?
From the very beginning, we wanted to focus entirely on crowd shots, and try to fill every frame with people. This forced us to focus on certain locations, at certain times. We started with a much longer list of locations. And we shot in most of them, although not every location made it into the final film. Interestingly though, it was usually the locations that I thought would be impossible to film in that were the least problematic (for example, at the royal wedding, or outside the Emirates Stadium just before a match). Whereas some of the shots I had assumed would be easy, were much more complex such as train stations – I won’t name which ones!!!
joseph ernst londoners
Why did you choose the beatific tones of Bat for Lashes as the musical soundtrack? it creates a very relaxed and laid back ambience, even when we are at notting hill carnival. What do you hope this achieves?
That was a bit of luck actually. I was looking for something piano based, to allude to the old silent films – something timeless. I found a CD of instrumental tracks by Bat For Lashes and gave Moon and Moon to editor Adam Marshall to use whilst we were working on the cut. We needed a mesmerizing instrumental track, to pace the film whilst we edited. And this just worked so well, much better than anything else we tried over the following weeks. So we approached their record labels with the project. It is fitting that the artist (Natasha Khan) was born in Wembley, not far from where we filmed some scenes at the Ace Café.
joseph ernst londoners
There’s real joy to some of these scenes with people really enjoying the interaction with the camera – was that a surprise in this day and age of mass documentation?
No. That was always the intention. Or rather, that was what I wanted to try to demonstrate. It was a bit of a gamble, as there really wasn’t much precedence for this kind of thing. Most people shy away from a camera, ignore it, hide from it, turn away, especially in the era of the digital camera. And here we were, trying to get people to look at the camera, to interact directly and freely with the lens, in the same way they would have 100 years ago. But I was convinced that it could be done, with the right set up.

joseph ernst londoners
However, I should probably point out that the first 4 or 5 set ups we did resulted in near zero interaction with the camera. And it was pretty scary as for a moment I thought this whole project might be a total failure. But we had bought the film, and we’d assembled a great team of really talented people, so there was no choice but to go on, and refining our set ups, locations, angles, etc. And by the end of day one, we shot the scenes at Oxford Circus during rush hour, and I knew we would be OK. 
joseph ernst londoners
Was it important to you that people responded to the gaze of your lens? You don’t try to hide it. Why was this?
Yes, absolutely. To capture people reacting to the camera, happily or not, but reacting directly into the lens. I had stumbled across the incredible films of Mitchell and Kenyon (from around 1900), and wondered if it would be possible to produce such a document today, about this day and age.

joseph ernst londoners
So this was the thesis of the project – that people would react. At times it was hard to achieve, in other instances it was very natural and infectious and we wouldn’t have to do a thing. But each time was unique. I knew I wanted to focus on crowd scenes, not on portraiture, but we never knew what we were going to get, and we only really had one take per setup. Initially I wanted to use the exact same camera Mitchell and Kenyon used, but that wasn’t feasible. I knew it had to be an original old wooden hand cranked camera though. I would never have got this kind of footage with a digital camera, that is for sure.
joseph ernst londoners
Does it surprise you to learn that I spotted two people I know? Despite it’s vastness London can also be a very small place sometimes…
Wow! Two people? Yes, that is surprising. But then again, on roll one of day one, I also caught an old friend as he cycled past on his way to work! So you are absolutely right – London can be small. (mine were both on bikes too! – Amelia)
joseph ernst londoners
What did you learn through the process of making the film?
Technology is a wonderful thing. When filming on a 100 year-old wooden hand-cranked camera, the limitations are quite real – so whilst it was an amazing experience to make this documentary and work with 35mm film in such a hands-on way, I don’t think I would do it again. The process is so complex and expensive, it just doesn’t make sense. Digital is the way.
Why did you decide to do this project and where do you hope it will lead?
I do lots of projects, all the time. I normally have around 10-15 on the go at any one time. Some of these projects naturally come together, but most fail or die along the way (which is probably not a bad thing!). I particularly like working on film projects. I love the way you can show things from a completely different perspective (my first film – Feeder – was filmed entirely inside a mouth!). But film is also the most time consuming and expensive medium to work in, so I have to be very picky about which film projects to press ahead with. And a film is no one-man-show either, so you really need a great team to help pull it off. This particular film would probably not have been possible without the help and support of the brilliant producer Gwilym Gwillim, and DOP Oliver Schofield, and my ex-colleagues at Channel 4. Lets just hope this project leads on to many more!!!
Follow Joseph Ernst‘s projects on his Londoners facebook page and on his main page as well.

Categories ,35mm, ,Ace Café, ,Adam Marshall, ,Bat for Lashes, ,Channel 4, ,documentary, ,Emirates Stadium, ,Feeder, ,film, ,Gwilym Gwillim, ,Joseph Ernst, ,Mitchell and Kenyon, ,Moon and Moon, ,Natasha Khan, ,Oliver Schofield, ,Oxford Circus, ,Royal Wedding

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Amelia’s Magazine | My Big Fat Royal Wedding with East End Prints at Maiden

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding

You know an exhibition is a success when you come away having bought something that you absolutely didn’t need and didn’t plan to buy…. as I’ve just done at the Maiden shop in Shoreditch High Street, find run by Noah, cheapest here seen sitting on his Union Jack bedecked staircase.

Noah of Maiden and his Big Fat Royal Wedding
Noah of Maiden and his Big Fat Royal Wedding.

Maybe it’s the lover of kitsch in me, but there’s something about Royal Wedding memorabilia, both faux and real… that is just too too tempting. Thanks to Noah you no longer have to scour ebay for exciting royal themed gifts… because he’s gathered them all in one spot for your deletion, including mugs, decorated mirrors, annuals, teatowels, badges, plates…

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding
Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding

Oh, and he’s also scavenged across the land to find exciting new artworks to celebrate this ridiculous event. I don’t think he’s really appealing to the blue-blooded royalists amongst us, featuring as his shop does, a selection of printed paper plates – limited edition, £5 a pop for Will with his alternative bride, Kate Moss, by Bark Design Ltd.

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding-BARK DESIGN LTD
Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding-BARK DESIGN LTD
Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding by Bark Design Ltd

Or by former Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Jess Wilson… a lady of wonderment creating delightful objects as always. Queen Kaffy. Love it.

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding-Jess Wilson
Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding-Jess Wilson
Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding. Commemorative plate by Jess Wilson

East End Prints are installed downstairs in an area where the Cakes for Japan sale was held, and which Noel tells me is open to anyone (for free) if they have a cool project they want to promote, providing he likes your idea of course.

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding. East End Bloc by Dr. D. £35 unframed.
One for the anarchists. East End Bloc by Dr. D. £35 unframed.

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding. High Tea by Arthouse. £80 for original artwork
High Tea by Arthouse. £80 for original artwork.

Maiden Big Fat Royal Wedding-Oh for fuck's sake! by Helen Lang
Oh for fuck’s sake! by Helen Lang.

I tell you, artists everywhere are having a field day over the wedding. And it’s not because they’ve suddenly become raving Royal fans, it’s because the kitsch potential is so bloomin’ huge. I’ve just been on the phone to Tatty Devine and discovered that they’re currently decking out their shop too. Look at these fab cameo brooches!

My dissertation was on kitsch. What can I say? I make no apologies and I will be popping new Royal Wedding stuff on here as I find it. Get in quick I say, before all the best stuff goes….

Full listing here.

Categories ,Arthouse, ,Bark Design, ,Bark Design LTD, ,Cakes for Japan, ,Dr. D, ,East End Prints, ,Helen Lang, ,Jess Wilson, ,Kate & Wills, ,Kate Moss, ,kitsch, ,Maiden, ,Memorabilia, ,Noah, ,Plates, ,Royal Wedding, ,Tatty Devine, ,Union Jack

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