Amelia’s Magazine | Royal College of Art: Fashion Design Graduate Show 2011 review. Menswear.

RCA Graduate Show 2011 Calum Harvey by Sam Parr
Calum Harvey by Sam Parr.

Fine tailoring appears to be an RCA speciality, find and several students had collaborated with high end Italian brand Brioni to produce a series of gorgeous tailored coats in shades of fawn, here dust, greyhound and sharp reds.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni photography by Amelia Gregory
RCA Brioni collaboration. Coat by Alexander Lamb. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni by Peter Bailey photography by Amelia Gregory
Brioni coat by Peter Bailey.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni by Rebecca Neary photography by Amelia Gregory
Brioni coat by Rebecca Neary.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni by Zac Marshall photography by Amelia Gregory
Brioni coat by Zac Marshall.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni by Benedicte Holmboe photography by Amelia Gregory
Brioni coat by Benedicte Holmboe.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Brioni Zac Marshall photography by Amelia Gregory
Brioni coat by Alex Mullins.

Over-sized round shoulders and trench coat styling was the order of the day, all worn with dark shades. Loved it all. Especially the ones above.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Aleksandra Domanevskaya photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Aleksandra Domanevskaya photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Aleksandra Domanevskaya photography by Amelia Gregory
Aleksandra Domanevskaya opted for a colourful collection based around stripey woven shantung silk in peach and caramel shades, also worn with moody sunglasses.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Sol Ahn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sol Ahn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sol Ahn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sol Ahn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sol Ahn photography by Amelia Gregory
Sol Ahn created a sports casual collection, with inspiration taken from baseball jackets, faded denim, school boy shorts and traditional duffel coats. I liked the way that big waist rope ties became integral features of the look.
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RCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Calum Harvey photography by Amelia Gregory
Calum Harvey‘s collection was a clear standout amongst a sea of great talent. Riffing on traditional shapes and fabrics he showed high belted tweed suits and long boxy coats in peachy shades, accessorised with wide shaggy collars and jaunty hats. I particularly liked the wide trousered grey tweed suit. Very stylish indeed. Check out Calum Harvey’s website here.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Josefine Jarzombek photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Josefine Jarzombek photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Josefine Jarzombek photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Josefine Jarzombek photography by Amelia Gregory
I wasn’t so keen on Josefine Jarzombek‘s collection, mainly because she did the fur sponsorship thing, but also because those orange leather gloves with the maroon silk shirt were a wee bit scary.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Bennet Loveday photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Bennet Loveday photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Bennet Loveday photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Bennet Loveday photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Bennet Loveday photography by Amelia Gregory
Bennet Loveday produced some wonderful print effects on the inside of long cardigan and kagoul-like lightweight coats. Loved the slouchy shapes and tie-waist detailing (again).

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Samuel Membery photo amelia gregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Samuel Membery photo amelia gregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Samuel Membery photo amelia gregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Samuel MemberyRCA graduate fashion 2011-Samuel Membery
Samuel Membery‘s collection combined tailoring with casual wear with varied success. I liked the marled grey knitwear. Catch him on his blog and website.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Emily Jane Murray photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Emily Jane Murray photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Emily Jane Murray photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Emily Jane Murray photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Emily Jane Murray photography by Amelia Gregory
Emily-Jane Murrays obsession with sandy coloured suede or suede type materials paid off in a very dapper collection. She has a website here.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Yejon Park photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Yejon Park photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Yejon Park photography by Amelia Gregory
Yejon Park launched his collection with an amazing tailored and zippered striped jacket, which was followed by some deconstructed tailoring and a fun bi-coloured jumpsuit.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Stefan Orschel-Read photography by Amelia Gregory
Stefan Orschel-Read has already been on my radar for some time as he is represented by Felicities PR and he’s also an old pro when it comes to catwalk shows. He showed an immaculately cut collection of sharp suits with intriguing detailing such as knitted shoulder cutouts and unusual collars. I loved the grey marl shorts suit.

Fah Chakshuvej by Sandra Contreras
Fah Chakshuvej by Sandra Contreras.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Fah Chakshuvej photography by Amelia Gregory
Fah Chakshuvej closed the menswear selection with a regal looking collection that included metallics, heavy embossing and laser cut detailing. High collars and horns completed the look. His website is FahChak.com and he has a twitter feed too.

Don’t forget to check out some excellent menswear knitwear design here too.

Categories ,2011, ,Aleksandra Domanevskaya, ,Alex Mullins, ,Alexander Lamb, ,Benedicte Holmboe, ,Bennet Loveday, ,Brioni, ,Calum Harvey, ,Coats, ,Embossing, ,Emily-Jane Murray, ,Fah Chak, ,Fah Chakshuvej, ,Felicities PR, ,Fur, ,Graduate Fashion Show, ,Italian, ,Josefine Jarzombek, ,menswear, ,metallics, ,Peter Bailey, ,rca, ,Rebecca Neary, ,Royal College of Art, ,Sam Parr, ,Samuel Membery, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sol Ahn, ,Stefan Orschel-Read, ,tailoring, ,traditional, ,Tweed, ,Yejon Park, ,Zac Marshall

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Amelia’s Magazine | Royal College of Art: Fashion Design Graduate Show 2011 review. Womenswear Accessories.

Anna Schwamborn by Lorna Scobie
Anna Schwamborn by Lorna Scobie.

A couple of the collections on the catwalk at the RCA graduate show focused on accessories, medications namely millinery and bags.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Alexandra Gold photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Alexandra Gold photography by Amelia Gregory
Alexandra Gold opted to make the most of that pesky fur sponsorship, creating a series of oversized baseball caps, some of which were adorned with fur. Which just leaves me with the overwhelming question: WHY?

Paul Stafford by Lorna Scobie
Paul Stafford by Lorna Scobie.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Paul Stafford photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Paul Stafford photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Paul Stafford photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Paul Stafford photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Paul Stafford photography by Amelia Gregory

Paul Stafford did something far more interesting with oversized brims that loomed over the eyes. Some appeared to be part of a garment, fabric draped over the top of the hat then flowing down the body and belted in at the waist. Totally unwearable on an every day basis but nonetheless beautiful.

Anna Shwamborn by Sandra ContrerasAnna Shwamborn by Sandra Contreras
Anna Shwamborn by Sandra Contreras.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Schwamborn photography by Amelia Gregory
Anna Schwamborn presented an unusual bag collection that included some interesting tooled leather and ruffled collars and hand cuffs. Horned straps held capacious bags across the body. She has a website!

All photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,accessories, ,Alexandra Gold, ,Anna Schwamborn, ,Bags, ,Fur, ,Graduate fashion shows, ,hats, ,horns, ,Lorna Scobie, ,millinery, ,Paul Stafford, ,rca, ,Royal College of Art, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Royal College of Art: Fashion Design Graduate Show 2011 review. Womenswear.

Philipp Schueller by Casey Otremba
Philipp Schueller by Casey Otremba.

It’s time to meet the rest of the RCA graduating womenswear designers… so much talent amongst this lot, clinic but who will the be the ones who make it? Your guess is as good as mine.

RCA - Hao Feng Li by Kristina Vasiljeva
Hao Feng Li by Kristina Vasiljeva.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Hao Feng Li photography by Amelia Gregory
Hao Feng Li opted to explore the furthest boundaries of pleats, thumb cascading out of dresses, visit this site exploding out of arms and swirling around legs.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Sayaka Kamakura photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sayaka Kamakura photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sayaka Kamakura photography by Amelia Gregory
Shapes for Sayaka Kamakura‘s collection were clean and simple, asymmetric sculpturing sweeping into shrouded shapes in luminous orange. Find Sayaka Kamakura online here.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Amelie Marciasini photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Amelie Marciasini photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Amelie Marciasini photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Amelie Marciasini photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Amelie Marciasini photography by Amelia Gregory
Amelie Marciasini did the fur thing, this time in a riot of over-dyed fluorescent colours. Which once again begs the question, why? Surely fake does the job just as well, especially in a collection that pushed the boundaries of good taste. Just because Russian oligarchs have a lot of money does not make it a good idea to pander to their sense of style…

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Katie Hildebrand photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Katie Hildebrand photography by Amelia Gregory
Katie Hildebrand collaborated with textiles designers Amelia Mullins and Andrew Kenny on a sophisticated collection that featured sheer wrap tops in shimmering greens or encrusted with tumbling beads. She has the basics of a web presence – find her here.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Nicola Morgan photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Nicola Morgan photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Nicola Morgan photography by Amelia Gregory
Nicola Morgan produced a very interesting collection focused on svelte tailoring techniques and integral beaded shaping. Nicola Morgan has the beginnings of a nice website where you can see previous collections.

Abbnit Nijjar by Sandra Contreras beigeAbbnit Nijjar by Sandra Contreras blackAbbnit Nijjar by Sandra Contreras red
Abbnit Nijjar by Sandra Contreras.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Abnit Nijjar photography by Amelia Gregory
Abnit Nijjar explored the layering of fabrics, sometimes in different block shades and with protruding patterns of overlaid perspex.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Saskia Schijen photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Saskia Schijen photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Saskia Schijen photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Saskia Schijen photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Saskia Schijen photography by Amelia Gregory
I really liked Saskia Schijen‘s relaxed approach: sheer tops worn with wide legged trousers and big belts, oversized cardigans floating on top.

April Schmitz by Karolina Burdon
April Schmitz by Karolina Burdon.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-April Schmitz photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-April Schmitz photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-April Schmitz photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-April Schmitz photography by Amelia Gregory
April Schmitz used leather to create knotted fringing that swooshed from shoulders and dangled from waists in deep jewel colours.

RCA_Philipp_Schueller_by_Katie_Woodger
Philipp Schueller by Katie Woodger.

Philipp Schueller Graduate Fashion Week 2011 by Sarah Harman
Philipp Schueller by Sarah Harman.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Philipp Schueller photography by Amelia Gregory
Philipp Schueller apparently took inspiration from the psychedelic 60s and the rave-tastic 80s to produce his phosphorescent collection of plastic, sheer, fake fur, ruffled, over the top, eye catching garments… fit for the most extravert of songstrels.

RCA_Sarah_Seaton_Burridge_by_Katie_Woodger
Sarah Seaton-Burridge by Katie Woodger.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Sarah Seaton-Burridge photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sarah Seaton-Burridge photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sarah Seaton-Burridge photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sarah Seaton-Burridge photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Sarah Seaton-Burridge photography by Amelia Gregory
Sarah Seaton-Burridge also used fringing alongside laser cut layers and monochrome prints evocative of wild animal pelts.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Smit photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Smit photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Anna Smit photography by Amelia Gregory
Anna Smit produced a series of round shouldered coats and dresses with an intriguing print that merged contrasting colours in the manner of an airbrush. This was a seriously beautiful and original collection. Visit Anna Smit on her website here.

RCA graduate fashion 2011-Itziar Vaquer photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Itziar Vaquer photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Itziar Vaquer photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Itziar Vaquer photography by Amelia GregoryRCA graduate fashion 2011-Itziar Vaquer photography by Amelia Gregory
Last but very much not least Itziar Vaquer showed an astonishing collection of pearlised plastic slouch shoulder capes and dresses. It shouldn’t have worked but it did, with bells on.

Like I said, your guess is as good as mine…

All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Abnit Nijjar, ,Amelia Mullins, ,Amelie Marciasini, ,Andrew Kenny, ,April Schmitz, ,Casey Otremba, ,Hao Feng Li, ,Itziar Vaquer, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Katie Hildebrand, ,Katie Woodger, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Nicola Morgan, ,Oligarch, ,Philipp Schueller, ,rca, ,Royal College of Art, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sarah Harman, ,Sarah Seaton-Burridge, ,Saskia Schijen, ,Sayaka Kamakura

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Amelia’s Magazine | UCA Rochester: Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk Review


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

UCA Rochester is always a hot ticket at Graduate Fashion Week. It usually takes a late evening slot, so there’s always a more ritzy atmosphere. This year was no different.


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

When I joined the queue I was pleased to note that I was maybe 10 or 15 attendees from the front. ‘Marvellous’, I thought to myself as I politely waited. As the door-opening grew closer, one by one various other press, sponsors and ‘VIPs’ did that hilarious thing that only fashion people know how to do. I marvel every time it happens. It’s the Magical Fashion Queue Jumper. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

1. Look for somebody you’ve vaguely met once, follow on Twitter, are connected with on LinkedIn, or somebody who looks like somebody you know;
2. Scream ‘HAI darling!‘ at them and swing from their neck with glee;
3. Go a bit red, hoping nobody has noticed you’ve been incredibly rude and pushed in;
Voila – you’ve jumped the queue.

Sigh. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it. It’s just so impolite. I’d tell you how I then got kicked off the front row but managed to get back onto it with half a dozen seats going begging, but then I’d just be a big moaner.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Anyway, yes, back to the show. An usual start unfolded – I’d already noticed that there were a sole pair of shoes and a selection of menswear on hangers to the right of the stage. The lights dimmed and a model appeared wearing white underclothes. Two men wearing white lab coats, I presume students, dressed the man in silence. As soon as he was dressed and styled, the lights shone brightly, the music pounded, and the tattoo-clad model stormed the catwalk.

Here’s a round-up of my favourites from UCA Rochester:

Daniel Holliday

It was Daniel’s model who was dressed live on stage and opened the show. It was a strong menswear opener, with digital print shirts, tweed blazers with contrasting sleeves and flashes of neon green juxtaposed with a dark colour palette.

Lucy Mellor


Graduate collection by Lucy Mellor

Lucy’s collection was our first taste of Rochester womenswear. Fitted knee-length dresses were sculptured at the shoulders and hips, creating futuristic silhouettes, embellished with organic felt shapes.

Richard Sun


Graduate collection by Richard Sun

The future according to Richard Sun sees women wearing utilitarian geometric dresses accessorised with wire cages. Inspired by Hong Kong architecture, this was an innovative fashion vision.

Olivia Salmon


Graduate collection by Olivia Salmon

Juxtaposed to Richard’s fashion future came Olivia Salmon‘s playful collection of cute floral dresses. Silhouettes were soft and prints were hand-drawn – a welcome break from digital. Models were styled with clusters of flowers in this uplifting collection.


Olivia Salmon graduate collection by Sandra Contreras

Emily Houghton


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

Emily also took her inspiration from architecture – notably Richard Rogers‘ ‘inside-out’ Lloyds building. Visible seams and outer pocket bags explore this concept – a dark colour palette with some flashes of neon and some elements of sportswear made this a really polished collection.

Annie Mae Harris

Blink and you might miss Annie Mae’s attention to detail in this fusion of print and materials. Soft silks and organzas were treated with hypnotic, organic swirls that elegantly floated by. Leather accessories, including a headpiece embellished with gold teeth, added an extra dimension.

Jenny Prismall


Graduate collection by Jenny Prismall

War Horse was the inspiration for Jenny’s womenswear and was one of my favourite collections of the week. Military cuts were given a chicer treatment. Leather straps like horses reins were carefully added to garments creating a luxurious look with a hint of kink, whilst also sculpting silhouettes. Oh, and the digital-print sunset – just wonderful.

Marianne Sørensen


Graduate collection by Marianne Sørensen

Marianne presented a beautiful all-black collection teaming luxury materials with dynamic cuts: one of the most polished presentations of the week.

Callum Burman
Callum’s modern Miami Vice male had me squealing. Influence had come from the TV show and the Art Deco buildings of Miami (love). Cropped-sleeve shirts, short shorts, oversized sweater and skinny trousers all in a range of cool pastel colours. It was fun, relaxed and infinitely wearable.

Sharon Osborne
Sharon presented a beautiful collection of flattering, body-hugging dresses of varying glamorous lengths. Ruching around the necks and into seams was used to dazzling effect, with cloud-like forms printed onto the garments. But it was Sharon’s transparent perspex accessories that really caught my eye; beautiful, organic shapes creeping up models’ arms.

Elisabeth Boström


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

Elisabeth’s offering was another contender for my favourite collection of this year’s graduates. Sweeping frocks in gorgeous silks featured digital streaks of varying bright colours fused with natural browns. Elisabeth was inspired by natural vs. unnatural, effortlessly blending the two together. Some dresses were embellished with hair for a fashion-forward look with maximum appeal.

Emma Beaumont


Graduate collection by Emma Beaumont

I wasn’t at all surprised to see Emma’s collection nominated for the Gold Award at the Gala ceremony the following evening. Inspired by harvest, Emma’s feminine cuts and adept use of the most visually stimulating materials provided a real treat. I loved the aesthetic appeal of the opening woven coat and a gold woven dress.

Until next year, UCA Rochester!

Categories ,2012, ,Annie Mae Harris, ,Callum Burman, ,catwalk, ,Daniel Holliday, ,Elisabeth Bostrom, ,Emily Houghton, ,Emma Beaumont, ,fashion, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Jenny Prismall, ,knitwear, ,Lucy Mellor, ,Marianne Sorensen, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Olivia Salmon, ,review, ,Richard Sun, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sharon Osbourne, ,UCA Rochester, ,University, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentino: Master of Couture at Somerset House


Valentino A/W 2005 by Krister Selin

A recent viewing of the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, a film dedicated to the infamous fashion editor’s pioneering feats, highlighted that going to a gallery to view exhibitions of living fashion designers is a relatively new concept. When Vreeland launched an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983 at the Costume Institute, she set a precedent for a legion of future fashion fairs.

In the modern era, fashion fans have no qualms about trading their hard-earned cash to gaze at frocks on mannequins and fashion retrospectives have dominated galleries with record-breaking visitor numbers. Presenting these exhibitions comes as a challenge to curators: no longer is it a case of whacking a few frocks on mannequins like you’re assembling a high street window display. A quick look at Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican, McQueen at the Met or Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Decoratifs shows the dedication and commitment necessary to present fashion as art.


Valentino A/W 2002 and Natalia Vodianova by Cathleen Naundorf

What better way, then, to present Emperor of Couture Valentino Garavani‘s illustrious history than on one long catwalk? Avoid temptation to sashay past the tableaux as mannequins appear amongst elegant white chairs on either side of a runway, on which you’re the model. The Embankment Galleries at Somerset House have been transformed; no longer tiny catacombs, but brought together for dramatic effect.


Valentino A/W 2002 by Maya Beus

The lower floor showcases a number artefacts appearing in glass cabinets at the start of the exhibition. Letters from prominent designers and magazine editors celebrate Valentino‘s last milestone, his 45th anniversary as King of Couture, showering the Italian with praise for his record-breaking anniversary couture show at the Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. Glorious fashion sketches line other cabinets, but as was with Margiela and other exhibitions here, I found myself skimming past these in order to get to the main event upstairs.


Photographs courtesy of Somerset House/Peter MacDiarmid

And so the catwalk comes alive on the upper level, with a breathtaking 130 haute couture creations on models appearing as guests. They are arranged pretty haphazardly amongst the aforementioned white chairs, almost with abandon, without any rigid chronological order. Empty seats bear the names of the great and the good that have worn Valentino and attended countless shows: Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Carla Bruni, Diane Kruger, Iman; Diana Vreeland herself.


Valentino S/S 1998 by Annie Rickard Straus


Valentino A/W 1992 by Sandra Contreras

La dolce vita comes alive as you make your way along the displays, featuring floor-sweeping gowns, kaftans, trouser suits and capes. I particularly enjoyed the 1990s section – creations designed with the decadent abandon of an era when the supermodel ruled fashion and Valentino, Gianni Versace and pals were bending over backwards knee-deep in gold chains to appease them. These pieces were without doubt the height of fashion, but have dated the most. Compare these to some numbers from the 1960s: they’re indistinguishable from the output of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli, heading Valentino, over recent seasons.


Valentino S/S 2005 by Jamie Wignall


Valentino S/S 1969 by Maya Beus

The show’s dramatic finale sees Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece‘s wedding dress come to life on a dramatic platform. This pearl-encrusted ivory silk gown features a 4.5m train and 12 kinds of lace. Sure.


Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress

While I wouldn’t wear it, it’s one of the greatest examples of dressmaking in history and this presentation allows you to see the astonishing detail in the flesh.


Valentino S/S 2004 by Krister Selin

I particularly enjoyed a personal tribute to le regazze – the girls – the loyal atelier that have produced innumerable tulles, mock-ups and eventual red-carpet-ready frocks for the Grand Master’s enormous following. They’re the stars of groundbreaking documentary film Valentino: The Last Emperor, bickering as they lovingly stitch the last couture collection by the man himself. In the exhibition we’re spoiled with an education of Italian atelier terms – such beauties as ‘Incrostazioni‘ ‘Drappeggio‘ and ‘Budellini‘, a couture technique specific to Valentino where double charmeuse silk is rolled and sewn around a looped length of wool. Each term has a visual representation, occupying a glass box and highlighting the important role that these individual processes have played in Valentino‘s roaring success.


Valentino A/W 2002 by Jamie Wignall


Valentino S/S 1998 by Sandra Contreras

Unmissable. Go.

Categories ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Budellini, ,catwalk, ,couture, ,Drappeggio, ,Embankment Galleries, ,emperor, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Grand Master, ,Incrostazioni, ,Italy, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Krister Selin, ,le regazze, ,london, ,Marie-Chantal, ,Matt Bramford, ,Maya Beus, ,Natalia Vodianova, ,Peter MacDiarmid, ,Rome, ,runway, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Somerset House, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino Garavani

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lucy in Disguise Launch Party: With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam
muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, side effects the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, more about the repetition of the jingly notes, for sale a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra sale the repetition of the jingly notes, here a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, physician the repetition of the jingly notes, this a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, page the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, rx the repetition of the jingly notes, find a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, information pills the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras
Rapha/Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras.

In need of a last minute man gift? Is he a stylish cyclist? If so help could be here in the form of the new Rapha and Paul Smith cycling collection. Rapha are purveyors of high performance roadwear (which means they know what they are doing) and Paul Smith is of course the doyen of all things stylish. As well as the simple good design of the main collection – which includes a highly technical jacket, cure knitted winter hat, leather town gloves and a jaunty polka dot scarf – I am particularly enamoured of their collaborative wash bag which comes in two fun Paul Smith colourful cycling inspired prints, complete with sturdy leather details.

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

Years ago Paul Smith gave me a wash bag as a gift – and not only is it by far the best quality wash bag I have ever owned (don’t you find that cheap ones fall apart ridiculously quickly?) but my boyfriend has had his eagle eye on it ever since we met, even with the remnants of girl make up scattered across its insides. The collection also features a shoulder bag and a courier bag for those more inclined to show off their stylish wares in public.

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

So, if you’re still really stuck on what to get the man in your life check out the Rapha and Paul Smith range for something stylish and eminently practical (plus, shhh, he doesn’t even need to be a fully technical cyclist to enjoy the bags). The collection will be added to next year, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it might include something for the lady cyclist.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, decease the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra dosage the repetition of the jingly notes, price a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, prescription the repetition of the jingly notes, viagra a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, side effects the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, approved the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, cheapest the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary and is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the classic in (approximately) the 1940s. He was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting – awww. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Vintage is having a cultural moment: from parties, doctor to interiors, salve to food. Of course, fashion never lost interest. A red-carpet star wearing ‘vintage’? Best-dressed lists, watch them go. A bride in a 1940s gown? The toast of the wedding season. Apparently, you can elevate your look and even personality, with vintage. Designers consult the past for inspiration (let’s face it, nearly every trend has been done before), but you can’t beat an original. Cue successful fairs like Frock Me! or London’s Portobello. But really, why this vintage love affair? Well, if we can access fashion’s entire history, wardrobe choices become infinite. Individuality is also more likely. And, our nostalgia for days gone by? Vintage fashion keeps (the stylish) memories alive. Unfortunately, it’s never been the easiest trend. Sourcing the perfect 1980s jumpsuit or 1920s evening gown, equals time, money and relentless rummaging. At least that was true until September, when sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, opened Lucy in Disguise. Vintage pieces spanning all eras are said to be expertly edited, well-presented and affordable (for the most part). A vintage revolution? When Lucy in Disguise launched its With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room, I couldn’t wait to find out.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Snug under numerous layers (and token vintage cape, hiding somewhere), I arrived at LID’s King Street store for the launch party. Just a hop, skip and a jive away from ‘Theatreland’, it’s an apt location for the drama associated with vintage fashion. Marveling at ‘The 12 days of Kissmas’ cheeky window-display, I soon remembered my icy fingers and rushed inside. The store was sleek-looking, spacious and well, atypically vintage. Almost immediately, my sights were set on a flowing Ossie Clark 1970s gown, 1960s shift and 1940s tea dress. The layout upstairs, even though the entire collection looks unified, is designed to resemble an apartment (Lucy’s), split into era-defining sections. Browsing the meticulously arranged clothing and accessory displays, it became evident that buying and styling standards are high. Each item appears a unique ‘statement’ and carefully chosen. Pricier pieces aside (Ossie and co), you could just about find something for £30; most are £60+. For beloved must-haves that stretch the pennies too far, it’s useful to remember that nearly everything can be hired. Fashion aside, it’s also worth a visit for the spectacularly glamorous mannequins and lighting fixtures.


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I was soon ushered downstairs to the launch party, the laughter and music rapidly rising in volume. Was the pristine storefront a façade? Hiding a speakeasy-type vintage marketplace below? Not quite. The 1930s With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is a decadently girlie boudoir and the crux of Lucy in Disguise as a concept store. A soft-carpeted dressing/lounging space, it epitomizes the customer’s journey to a bygone era. No doubt, the retail signature and marketing strategy of Lucy in Disguise. ‘Lucy’ has asked you to enter her world (dressed for your chosen decade) and, as her glamorous VIP friend, you couldn’t possibly say no. At least that’s where my imagination was taking me, as I reclined on the sofa with partygoers, admired the ‘vintage gold’ hanging around us (YSL, Dior, Pucci) and read classic editions of Vogue. Unsurprisingly, all guests were revelling in this world of make-believe. As Lucy clearly knows, the act of getting ready is almost as fun as the outfit itself.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

So, who is Lucy (apart from a playful nod to the Beatles song)? She is a decade-defying fantasy figure, who “rock and rolled through the fifties”, “wigged out in the sixties” and “disco danced the seventies away”. An ageless persona, Lucy enables Lily and Sarah to stock pieces from the 1920s to the 1990s (yes, the 90s are now vintage), hoping to offer something for everyone. On party night, Lucy’s ‘presence’ was everywhere, flitting through the fashionable crowd, which included Sarah Owen. And, as I discovered, it’s not just the VIP Dressing Room downstairs. An extension of her apartment, this is where Lucy comes to play. You could picture her at the beauty parlour, where we asked for Jackie’s hairdo and make-up (courtesy of Bumble and Bumble and Illamasqua), before completing our look with WAH nails. Surely she was propped up alongside us at the Grey Goose bar, sampling era-inspired cocktails and enjoying live Jazz. And suddenly, several lovely Lucy’s were entertaining the crowd in head-turning party dresses, while we savoured raspberry Ladurée macaroons. How elegant! Some flared sleeves, peplums and exquisite headpieces later, I was contemplating which era I should call my own.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

According to Lily and Sarah, Lucy in Disguise is the “modern girl’s way to do vintage”. It’s a clever description, and I could become accustomed to this slick and well-groomed version. Formerly fearful vintage shoppers will no doubt join me. Perhaps others will miss the hunt and haggle, but I suspect they’ll still enjoy the all-encompassing LID experience. Because, beneath this (revolutionary?) fashion business, lies a girl who wants you to have fun. Judging by the glammed-up, cocktail-swilling crowd, our vintage love affair is still going strong.

See the website for Lucy in Disguise opening hours and contact details. You can book a hair/make-up/WAH nails appointment over the phone.

The With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is available for group bookings and events including ‘Evelyn’s Roaring Tea Party’ and ‘Cynthia’s Sparkling Soiree’. You can also hold a bespoke event, or hire out the entire downstairs, bar and beauty salons included.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bumble and Bumble, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Ingram, ,Ladurée, ,lily allen, ,Lucy in Disguise, ,Portobello, ,Pucci, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sarah Owen, ,tea, ,vintage, ,VIP, ,WAH Nails, ,With Diamonds, ,YSL

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lucy in Disguise Launch Party: With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam
muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, side effects the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, more about the repetition of the jingly notes, for sale a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra sale the repetition of the jingly notes, here a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” . Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, physician the repetition of the jingly notes, this a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, page the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas”.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, rx the repetition of the jingly notes, find a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, information pills the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras
Rapha/Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras.

In need of a last minute man gift? Is he a stylish cyclist? If so help could be here in the form of the new Rapha and Paul Smith cycling collection. Rapha are purveyors of high performance roadwear (which means they know what they are doing) and Paul Smith is of course the doyen of all things stylish. As well as the simple good design of the main collection – which includes a highly technical jacket, cure knitted winter hat, leather town gloves and a jaunty polka dot scarf – I am particularly enamoured of their collaborative wash bag which comes in two fun Paul Smith colourful cycling inspired prints, complete with sturdy leather details.

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

Years ago Paul Smith gave me a wash bag as a gift – and not only is it by far the best quality wash bag I have ever owned (don’t you find that cheap ones fall apart ridiculously quickly?) but my boyfriend has had his eagle eye on it ever since we met, even with the remnants of girl make up scattered across its insides. The collection also features a shoulder bag and a courier bag for those more inclined to show off their stylish wares in public.

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

So, if you’re still really stuck on what to get the man in your life check out the Rapha and Paul Smith range for something stylish and eminently practical (plus, shhh, he doesn’t even need to be a fully technical cyclist to enjoy the bags). The collection will be added to next year, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it might include something for the lady cyclist.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, decease the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

I Like Trains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, viagra dosage the repetition of the jingly notes, price a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, prescription the repetition of the jingly notes, viagra a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, side effects the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, approved the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary. is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the song in (approximately) the 1940s, when he was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.

muppet-xmas-by-lorraine-nam

Illustration by Lorraine Nam

When I worked in retail I found that the Christmas cd was despised. It was locked away, cheapest the repetition of the jingly notes, a killer. I’ve hated the horrendous error of the repeating (SOLITARY) 90s ‘joyful’ cd myself. Is it laziness, the desire to inflict pain on co-workers, a smug middle management decision, or because without it shoppers would be confused and think Christmas aint on?

children's choir by daria hlazatova

Choir by Daria Hlazatova

I guess I am talking about pre-i pod years without choice and 20 plus tracks. The cd was awful kids! Possibly the worst case of ‘play…play’ I’ve experienced, incidentally not at Christmas, was whilst I was working as a ‘Visitor Operations Team Member’ at a Cornish Castle in my summers. I’d avoid working in the gift shop because the Shop Manager was so hideously obsessed with the children’s films soundtrack. It was on all day – nine hours, “because the kids love it.” I would try and absolutely fail (she was like a caffeinated swooping bird of prey) to put on the ‘Tudor’ cd, or if there was a wedding on: ‘Romance’, or even ‘Classical/Sweet/Explosive Dreams’… If I was trapped in the gift shop all week, that was 45 whole hours of tying sashes back to their wooden swords, polishing fudge and listening to Harry Potter prancing about. Awful.

Girl with Christmas Jumper and headphones

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

However I digress, back to CHRISTMAS. This blog post is a round up of Christmas songs that are jolly good to listen to whilst wrapping the beloved’s gifts with the Muppets Christmas Carol on in the background, or a frivolous Christmas night with the drinks cabinet… or simply trying to get home.

Last year I couldn’t get enough of the Christmas music (not sure why), and as a child it absolutely shaped my Christmas. The films, the carols, the fight to number one. East17 Vs Take That was a pivotal moment when I was ten – “Stay now, stay now…” Whilst 2003’s Mad World was a dramatic number one for a (dramatic) nineteen year old on the brink of a year long world trip. Admittedly I don’t care who is number one now (Matt Cardle – blah), but bands still make some marvelous Christmas music that should not be overlooked. I speak of tunes like 6 Day Riot’s 2000 Miles from Home and Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa.

And just how sweet is Snowman by Esperi? Take it as my first recommendation:

Bing Crosby’s; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas has to be this high in the post, because the dreaming looks like it’s over. Every year as a child I would look to the skies and ask Mr Sky whether he would make my garden white. Pre the last two years, snow was rare in the South East. Only a few semi snow sessions in the 80s, the occasional snow flurry in March throughout the 90s, and a few days of snow splats in the noughties. Now, aged 26 it is finally here and blimey, it’s beautiful. And awful. However, the song is legendary and is the best selling single of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Irving Berlin wrote the classic in (approximately) the 1940s. He was looking back nostalgically to an old fashioned Christmas setting – awww. With a nice mix of melancholy and comfort, it’s a beauty.

Next comes Louis Armstrong: Zat You Santa Claus? Naughty and strutty, that voice is incredible.

Louis Armstrong Mina Bach

Louis Armstrong by Mina Bach

Marshmallow World by Kotki Dwa plays on ‘The Weather Siituation’. With lighthearted, cheeky and sweet lyrics, it’s fun “the world is your snowball…go out and roll it along… In winter it’s a marshmallow world.” The video shows news footage of everyone trudging through the snow, attempting to shop and travel (horrendous) to smiley sledging. It ups the sprits and the electro bubble sound throughout makes you feel like your in an actual snow and marshmallow factory!

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms. Makes one jive for some reason. Move the hips, pout and hands halfway up in the air. Always good at the office Christmas party. Put those bellinis down!

jingle bells rock by daria hlazatova

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

The Carpenters: There’s something about Karen’s voice that creates an urge to sing, the simple rising and falling notes…she puts her arm around you with her voice and runs up a hill with you. In starlight. Add to this a Laura Ashley dress flowing about, knitted tank tops and pineapple and cheese on sticks and you have yourself a thoroughly 70s Christmas shindig. The Carpenters cracked out a few Christmas tunes, but Merry Christmas Darling is a corker. They’re apart but in her dreams, they’re ‘Christmassing’ together. Everyday is a holiday when she is near to him… HEART.

A 70s Christmas with The Carpenters by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Who hasn’t rocked around the Christmas Tree? Another song that get’s the majority on the floor: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee. It’s the slightly straining voice, the upbeat screeching and the having fun with wild abandon feel. I’m listening to it now and I literally can’t stop the need to put in exclamation marks and use capital letters- CHRISTMAS!!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree by Chloe Cook

Illustration by Chloe Cook

iliketrains is a slowed down version of Last Christmas. It’s a dramatic and sentimental with a wink. Brooding and beautiful – listen to this whilst you look in the mirror and pretend to be a femme fatale in a 30s silent movie.

Christmas Music illo by Avril kelly

Illustration by Avril Kelly

Elvis the King etc. Blue Christmas is a great one. So Here Comes Santa Claus. He just makes me want to morph into a stereotypical 50s gal with a husband who’s hair is permanently fixed with gel. And his man body in a perfectly fitting suit. Elvis is H.O.T. and full of a variety of indulgences!

Elvis Snow Globe by Claudia Fumagalli

Illustration by Claudia Fumagalli

6 Day Riot, 2000 Miles From Home is thriller of a tune – in that it’s goosebump perfect. If my (currently flu ridden) boyfriend wasn’t here, I’d be pining with this song on repeat. Soft voice, delicate notes and simple sweetnesses.

Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody. The song that people roll their eyes to and seems to be in every gift shop, everywhere. It was in my post office this morning. Standing in line, it was belting it out. When I was at the counter with my parcel ‘going’ to Jersey, the man behind the counter said “Is it for this Christmas, or next?!” Then proceeded to chuckle (hahaha). I saw the mince pies and Quality Street in the background of the post office crew’s quarters. They were having fun, the staff, which makes a change from grumpy staff with an inability to smile or look you in the eye at all. Combined with Slade’s music, I chuckled with the chap. They can be cheeky because nice people are best. I still have no idea why they sporadically play music throughout the year in there though.

This had to go on, Carol of The Bells. The version from Home Alone, when Kevin goes into the Church. He’s alone and the fun’s over. Kevin wants his family back. Have a watch of the video:

The Snowman, We’re Walking In The Air. I don’t feel I even need to use words to accompany this. Raymond Briggs wrote and illustrated the book in 1978, whilst the film was created in 1982 by Diane Jackson. Howard Blake composed the wonderful music. I particularly like the fact they go past Brighton Pier (near my heart home) and that they see whales.

Finally, Mariah Carey. Puppies in knitwear. Red jumpsuit. “All I want for Christmas” So catchy and sounds amazing on Karaoke.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Vintage is having a cultural moment: from parties, doctor to interiors, salve to food. Of course, fashion never lost interest. A red-carpet star wearing ‘vintage’? Best-dressed lists, watch them go. A bride in a 1940s gown? The toast of the wedding season. Apparently, you can elevate your look and even personality, with vintage. Designers consult the past for inspiration (let’s face it, nearly every trend has been done before), but you can’t beat an original. Cue successful fairs like Frock Me! or London’s Portobello. But really, why this vintage love affair? Well, if we can access fashion’s entire history, wardrobe choices become infinite. Individuality is also more likely. And, our nostalgia for days gone by? Vintage fashion keeps (the stylish) memories alive. Unfortunately, it’s never been the easiest trend. Sourcing the perfect 1980s jumpsuit or 1920s evening gown, equals time, money and relentless rummaging. At least that was true until September, when sisters Lily Allen and Sarah Owen, opened Lucy in Disguise. Vintage pieces spanning all eras are said to be expertly edited, well-presented and affordable (for the most part). A vintage revolution? When Lucy in Disguise launched its With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room, I couldn’t wait to find out.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Snug under numerous layers (and token vintage cape, hiding somewhere), I arrived at LID’s King Street store for the launch party. Just a hop, skip and a jive away from ‘Theatreland’, it’s an apt location for the drama associated with vintage fashion. Marveling at ‘The 12 days of Kissmas’ cheeky window-display, I soon remembered my icy fingers and rushed inside. The store was sleek-looking, spacious and well, atypically vintage. Almost immediately, my sights were set on a flowing Ossie Clark 1970s gown, 1960s shift and 1940s tea dress. The layout upstairs, even though the entire collection looks unified, is designed to resemble an apartment (Lucy’s), split into era-defining sections. Browsing the meticulously arranged clothing and accessory displays, it became evident that buying and styling standards are high. Each item appears a unique ‘statement’ and carefully chosen. Pricier pieces aside (Ossie and co), you could just about find something for £30; most are £60+. For beloved must-haves that stretch the pennies too far, it’s useful to remember that nearly everything can be hired. Fashion aside, it’s also worth a visit for the spectacularly glamorous mannequins and lighting fixtures.


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I was soon ushered downstairs to the launch party, the laughter and music rapidly rising in volume. Was the pristine storefront a façade? Hiding a speakeasy-type vintage marketplace below? Not quite. The 1930s With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is a decadently girlie boudoir and the crux of Lucy in Disguise as a concept store. A soft-carpeted dressing/lounging space, it epitomizes the customer’s journey to a bygone era. No doubt, the retail signature and marketing strategy of Lucy in Disguise. ‘Lucy’ has asked you to enter her world (dressed for your chosen decade) and, as her glamorous VIP friend, you couldn’t possibly say no. At least that’s where my imagination was taking me, as I reclined on the sofa with partygoers, admired the ‘vintage gold’ hanging around us (YSL, Dior, Pucci) and read classic editions of Vogue. Unsurprisingly, all guests were revelling in this world of make-believe. As Lucy clearly knows, the act of getting ready is almost as fun as the outfit itself.


Illustration by Karina Yarv

So, who is Lucy (apart from a playful nod to the Beatles song)? She is a decade-defying fantasy figure, who “rock and rolled through the fifties”, “wigged out in the sixties” and “disco danced the seventies away”. An ageless persona, Lucy enables Lily and Sarah to stock pieces from the 1920s to the 1990s (yes, the 90s are now vintage), hoping to offer something for everyone. On party night, Lucy’s ‘presence’ was everywhere, flitting through the fashionable crowd, which included Sarah Owen. And, as I discovered, it’s not just the VIP Dressing Room downstairs. An extension of her apartment, this is where Lucy comes to play. You could picture her at the beauty parlour, where we asked for Jackie’s hairdo and make-up (courtesy of Bumble and Bumble and Illamasqua), before completing our look with WAH nails. Surely she was propped up alongside us at the Grey Goose bar, sampling era-inspired cocktails and enjoying live Jazz. And suddenly, several lovely Lucy’s were entertaining the crowd in head-turning party dresses, while we savoured raspberry Ladurée macaroons. How elegant! Some flared sleeves, peplums and exquisite headpieces later, I was contemplating which era I should call my own.


Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim

According to Lily and Sarah, Lucy in Disguise is the “modern girl’s way to do vintage”. It’s a clever description, and I could become accustomed to this slick and well-groomed version. Formerly fearful vintage shoppers will no doubt join me. Perhaps others will miss the hunt and haggle, but I suspect they’ll still enjoy the all-encompassing LID experience. Because, beneath this (revolutionary?) fashion business, lies a girl who wants you to have fun. Judging by the glammed-up, cocktail-swilling crowd, our vintage love affair is still going strong.

See the website for Lucy in Disguise opening hours and contact details. You can book a hair/make-up/WAH nails appointment over the phone.

The With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room is available for group bookings and events including ‘Evelyn’s Roaring Tea Party’ and ‘Cynthia’s Sparkling Soiree’. You can also hold a bespoke event, or hire out the entire downstairs, bar and beauty salons included.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bumble and Bumble, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,Frock Me, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Illamasqua, ,Karina Yarv, ,Kate Ingram, ,Ladurée, ,lily allen, ,Lucy in Disguise, ,Portobello, ,Pucci, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sarah Owen, ,tea, ,vintage, ,VIP, ,WAH Nails, ,With Diamonds, ,YSL

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Amelia’s Magazine | New S/S 2013 Season Interview: Michelle Urvall Nyrén of Ever Rêve

Ever Reve by Sine Skau
Ever Reve by Sine Skau.

Readers of my second book Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration will recognise the name Michelle Urvall Nyrén: in those pages you can find wonderful examples of her beautiful watercolour fashion illustrations. In the years since the book was published Michelle has been busy designing and launching her very first fashion collection, inspired by both her love of watercolour design and her ethical education. Not surprisingly, the Ever Rêve S/S 2013 collection is a beautiful first outing for this talented lady.

ever rêve
Your beautiful inaugural collection was put together in collaboration with Swedish writer Hanna Ricksten. What was the process of meeting and deciding to work together?
At the beginning of my working process there is always a persona. I always use characters and fictional stories as an inspiration to build up a collection as it helps me to create an ambience and gives me a set to work in. My choices of colours, patterns and cuts can be traced in this story or in the character.
Hanna and I have known each other for a long time and she has been writing stories for as long as I have been working with textiles. When I started working with Ever Rêve I talked a lot to Hanna and realised that we share many ideals and dreams, which is why we decided to create a story together. I sent Hanna all of my inspiration work; notes, photos, colour samples and sketches and she based the story on that. It was a very stimulating process of reciprocal creativity.  
 
ever rêve
The model in your look book has a very unique look: how did you come to cast her?
I cast Aleksandra at a distance from photos sent by friends we have in common. She lives in Poland where we took the photos and I didn’t get to actually meet her until the day of the photo shoot. I love her look; she expresses both strength and vulnerability at the same time. I am always looking for something unique in models; Aleksandra was perfect for this collection. She is also very hard working. On the day of the shoot, it was about 35 degrees. We decided to take photos of the knitwear in the late afternoon, but the temperature remained really high. Once I asked her to put the knitted jumper on I could see a look of terror on her face, but she quickly covered it up with a smile. She is a great girl and a very professional model.
 
ever rêve
What inspired the patterns you have used?
There is a strong yet rough expression in some Polish graphic designs that have inspired me a lot, working with straight lines and simple shapes. I found it challenging to work with strong graphics in combination with the water colours, as the technique automatically softens it up a bit. I have also been strongly inspired by textiles that my grandmother made in the sixties.
 
 Ever Reve by Sandra Contreras
Ever Reve by Sandra Contreras.

Can you tell us a bit more about your family’s textile history?
My grandmother was a textile artist and designer and she worked a lot with traditional wax batik in the early sixties. She used this technique to make bright and colourful graphic patterns on pieces of clothing. I have never met my grandmother as she died when my mother was born, but I have been told my whole life that I am like her. I found it very hard to relate to this when I was younger but then I was given a box full of clothes made by her a couple of years ago and I clearly saw the connection.  
 
 ever rêve
How did your fashion illustrations inform the creation of this collection?
I was intentionally looking to link my illustration and textile work together with Ever Rêve. I have been working with water colours for as long as I can remember and it is a technique I feel confident with. A couple of years ago I experimented with silk dyes and found that the effect I was searching for was similar to silk painting. I think this has been a quite natural progress: coming out of experiments and a need to explore new materials and surfaces.
 
 ever rêve
How have your ethics affected the making of this collection?
Ethics, environment and sustainability were a big part of my education and are still something I pay a lot of attention to. I looked at every part of the production process and asked myself how I can improve. For example, the parts of the collection that are hand painted are made on an organic silk (a production without insecticides or pesticides) and the knitted garments are made out of recycled silk/viscose yarn. The only tricky part is to find someone who does digital printing on organic fabrics, something that I am still searching for. I was also very careful selecting the printers and the seamstress – they are both small family run businesses which care about their employees. I am still concerned about all the travelling the fabrics need to do before they get a final steam on the hanger, but I have spoken to some charities who advised me on how to reduce and offset our carbon footprint. There is always room to improve!
 
Ever Reve by Grace Nikobari
Ever Reve by Grace Nikobari.

Where are the garments made and by whom?
The Ever Rêve garments are made in Łódź, Poland. My partner has got contacts in the textile industry and they recommended a seamstress and her team. They are very skilled and experienced and they have worked with many international designers before.
 
ever rêve
Who do you hope will wear these clothes. What will she do in them?
I hope that Ever Rêve appeals to women in many different ages, doing many different things. Because some of the garments are hand painted and very luxurious I don’t expect them to be worn every day; however my friend who has a six month old baby wears her stripy silk shirt for most things, washes it in water with some shampoo and irons it dry. The clothes are made to be worn, living life with their wearers; at work, on holiday, at parties or celebrations.
 
ever rêve
Who are your dream stockists?
I would love to see the clothes in Liberty, because of their long tradition and history of fabrics and prints. Browns is another dream stockist.
 
ever rêve
What are your next plans for Ever Rêve?
I am currently working on the A/W 2013 collection. With this collection I am hoping to participate in more events for young designers, competitions and shows during London Fashion Week. I am trying to make a solid ground for Ever Rêve to stand on and to build it up from there, little by little and with patience. Big dreams and fantasies trigger you to work hard, but only when they are mixed with a sensible attitude and realistic goals can they actually come into fulfilment. 


All look book photography and film by Sejin Ahn. I can’t wait to see how Ever Rêve develops.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Aleksandra, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Browns, ,Ever Rêve, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Grace Nikobari, ,Hanna Ricksten, ,liberty, ,Lodz, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,poland, ,S/S 2013, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sejin Ahn, ,Sine Skau

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rapha and Paul Smith Collaborative Cycling Collection

Timothy Hunt
Illustration by Timothy Hunt.

In my second round up of fabulous ideas from twitter friends for late Christmas gift shoppers I bring you the best of art, more about for sale jewellery and homewares.

Firebird Lesley Barnes
Lesley Barnes Firebird horse

We love Lesley Barnes, decease oh yes we do! The Firebird concertina epitomises the way that Lesley has embraced colour since I *forced* her to design my Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration end pages in full colour only a year ago. This is a stunning narrative piece that is designed to be interacted with, but if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous there are also some simpler Lesley prints available at a cheaper price available from the ace Soma Gallery (as well as work from some other great artists).

Alice Potter polar bear

There are loads of fabulous illustrators and artists producing screenprints that are available via their shopping sites, but I’ve tried to steer clear of them here as we’ve talked about them a lot on the blog recently… and there’s only so much room on your average wall. But I do like Alice Potter‘s polar bear.

Platform License to Spill postcards

For someone who cares about the world and prefers a gift with meaning, why not buy a collection of postcards from Platform, supporting art activism? The Liberate Tate: Collected Works postcard book contains lovingly reproduced images from some great direct actions against oil sponsorship of the arts (read more about the ongoing campaign in our blog here) All proceeds will go towards Platform’s new crowd funding initiative, Licence to Spill – a five day participatory exhibition to explore how we kick oil out of the arts.

Ana Montiel wallpaper

I’m really impressed by Ana Montiel‘s designs. She’s got that continuing to be trendy despite the years passing scrawled biro thing down a treat, and I like the fact that she’s not just rehashing florals. Printed on high quality sustainably sourced paper from Finland, this wallpaper would be one for that stylish someone with plans to redecorate their space.

Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines
Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines inside

Illustrator Simon Wild has just published his first book, and it’s a veritable feast for the eyes and senses. Fantastical Flying Machines features a pop up race between the likes of a hot air balloon, a flying tea cup and a bubblegum rocket, and in this age of pop up shops and exhibitions it’s a welcome reminder of the simple brilliance of pop up books. Definitely one for the child in your life!

handmadebyemily

Or Handmade by Emily does a great range of recycled floral fabric owl cushions and mice. Ideal for a child’s bedroom.

Ella necklace Georgia Coote

Onto the jewellery: always a winner for Christmas… just be sure you know the recipient’s tastes. Georgia Coote makes adorable necklaces out of vintage buttons that she has scoured from charity shops. I like the way they become entire statements themselves as in this Ella necklace.

Stark at Beads headband

For those retro stylistically inclined there are also Stark at Beads vintage plastic flower head bands, based in Lisbon.

Summer Garden earrings chain of daisies

I have an unhealthy love of sparkly earrings – I hardly wear them but that doesn’t stop me hankering after the nicest pairs I see. From Chain of Daisies, Neptune Earrings are made out of gorgeous vintage gems as are the lovely Amelia Earrings – I had to mention them didn’t I?! And Summer Garden are made of vintage German plastic cabochons.

eve tv screen necklace

For something that makes a bit more of a statement how about this necklace from Eve at Howkapow, featuring recycled TV screen beads of all things. How fantastic! This is where all TVs should go to die. The Howkapow website features some great up and coming designers and is definitely worth checking out in detail.

Tatty Devine gin bottle cufflinks

Or you could try the newly reworked miniature bestselling Pegasus Necklace from Tatty Devine, or for a boy, these utterly charming Gin bottle cufflinks created in collaboration with cult Shoreditch artists Gilbert and George. You can find them on their newly revamped men’s section For Chaps – why not take a gander.

handcrafted black ninja

Boys, I find, are always a bugger. If the man in your life is a fan of small collectible toys these little hand crafted ninjas from Lilley might just be the thing for you to give him, attached to a keyring, or not – especially since they eschew the usual factory production for Etsy handmade status.

Emma loves Retro cushions

Homewares: Emma Loves Retro does a great job of recycling bold vintage fabrics into scatter cushions, and she has a wide colour and design range to choose from.

london kills me placemats

London Kills Me do all their own screenprinting in London, producing everything from ties and cushions to Christmas decorations. I really like the reclaimed slate planters and some of the printed dresses are very very cute.

meera lee sushi sets

Illustrator Meera Lee creates decorated sushi tea sets from upcycled crockery, which are very pretty but delicate – only for those who are happy to handwash! However the maker is stateside so only for those the other side of the pond at this late stage in the day.

Carlotta Morandini rug

Carlotta Morandini makes amazing sea creature inspired rugs. When I see stuff like this how I wish I had a bit of money! But maybe you do, and if so this would be the making of a room.

Carrie Reichardt plate
Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt sells at new eco fashion store 123 Bethnal Green Road: I just love her reworked crockery – what a find for the anarchist in your life. Unfortunately these are not online at the 123 Bethnal Green Road website, but I highly recommend a visit to their shop, choc-a-bloc with upcycled goodies at just the right price point for Christmas shopping.

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration

And of course, how could I finish this blog without mention of my own book? Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – perfect for the book/illustration/fashion lover in your life. Having had confirmation that the wondrous Royal Mail has already delivered the first copies of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, sent out on Friday, I now feel a bit more confident that you will still be able to take delivery of any of the mentioned gifts above should you decide to order them very soon for Christmas. You can order my book here.

Timothy Hunt
Illustration by Timothy Hunt.

In my second round up of fabulous ideas from twitter friends for late Christmas gift shoppers I bring you the best of art, viagra dosage jewellery and homewares.

Firebird Lesley Barnes
Lesley Barnes Firebird horse

We love Lesley Barnes, approved oh yes we do! The Firebird concertina epitomises the way that Lesley has embraced colour since I *forced* her to design my Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration end pages in full colour only a year ago. This is a stunning narrative piece that is designed to be interacted with, information pills but if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous there are also some simpler Lesley prints available at a cheaper price available from the ace Soma Gallery (as well as work from some other great artists).

Alice Potter polar bear

There are loads of fabulous illustrators and artists producing screenprints that are available via their shopping sites, but I’ve tried to steer clear of them here as we’ve talked about them a lot on the blog recently… and there’s only so much room on your average wall. But I do like Alice Potter‘s polar bear.

Platform License to Spill postcards

For someone who cares about the world and prefers a gift with meaning, why not buy a collection of postcards from Platform, supporting art activism? The Liberate Tate: Collected Works postcard book contains lovingly reproduced images from some great direct actions against oil sponsorship of the arts (read more about the ongoing campaign in our blog here) All proceeds will go towards Platform’s new crowd funding initiative, Licence to Spill – a five day participatory exhibition to explore how we kick oil out of the arts.

Ana Montiel wallpaper

I’m really impressed by Ana Montiel‘s designs. She’s got that continuing to be trendy despite the years passing scrawled biro thing down a treat, and I like the fact that she’s not just rehashing florals. Printed on high quality sustainably sourced paper from Finland, this wallpaper would be one for that stylish someone with plans to redecorate their space.

Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines
Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines inside

Illustrator Simon Wild has just published his first book, and it’s a veritable feast for the eyes and senses. Fantastical Flying Machines features a pop up race between the likes of a hot air balloon, a flying tea cup and a bubblegum rocket, and in this age of pop up shops and exhibitions it’s a welcome reminder of the simple brilliance of pop up books. Definitely one for the child in your life!

handmadebyemily

Or Handmade by Emily does a great range of recycled floral fabric owl cushions and mice. Ideal for a child’s bedroom.

Ella necklace Georgia Coote

Onto the jewellery: always a winner for Christmas… just be sure you know the recipient’s tastes. Georgia Coote makes adorable necklaces out of vintage buttons that she has scoured from charity shops. I like the way they become entire statements themselves as in this Ella necklace.

Stark at Beads headband

For those retro stylistically inclined there are also Stark at Beads vintage plastic flower head bands, based in Lisbon.

Summer Garden earrings chain of daisies

I have an unhealthy love of sparkly earrings – I hardly wear them but that doesn’t stop me hankering after the nicest pairs I see. From Chain of Daisies, Neptune Earrings are made out of gorgeous vintage gems as are the lovely Amelia Earrings – I had to mention them didn’t I?! And Summer Garden are made of vintage German plastic cabochons.

eve tv screen necklace

For something that makes a bit more of a statement how about this necklace from Eve at Howkapow, featuring recycled TV screen beads of all things. How fantastic! This is where all TVs should go to die. The Howkapow website features some great up and coming designers and is definitely worth checking out in detail.

Tatty Devine gin bottle cufflinks

Or you could try the newly reworked miniature bestselling Pegasus Necklace from Tatty Devine, or for a boy, these utterly charming Gin bottle cufflinks created in collaboration with cult Shoreditch artists Gilbert and George. You can find them on their newly revamped men’s section For Chaps – why not take a gander.

handcrafted black ninja

Boys, I find, are always a bugger. If the man in your life is a fan of small collectible toys these little hand crafted ninjas from Lilley might just be the thing for you to give him, attached to a keyring, or not – especially since they eschew the usual factory production for Etsy handmade status.

Emma loves Retro cushions

Homewares: Emma Loves Retro does a great job of recycling bold vintage fabrics into scatter cushions, and she has a wide colour and design range to choose from.

london kills me placemats

London Kills Me do all their own screenprinting in London, producing everything from ties and cushions to Christmas decorations. I really like the reclaimed slate planters and some of the printed dresses are very very cute.

meera lee sushi sets

Illustrator Meera Lee creates decorated sushi tea sets from upcycled crockery, which are very pretty but delicate – only for those who are happy to handwash! However the maker is stateside so only for those the other side of the pond at this late stage in the day.

Carlotta Morandini rug

Carlotta Morandini makes amazing sea creature inspired rugs. When I see stuff like this how I wish I had a bit of money! But maybe you do, and if so this would be the making of a room.

Carrie Reichardt plate
Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt sells at new eco fashion store 123 Bethnal Green Road: I just love her reworked crockery – what a find for the anarchist in your life. Unfortunately these are not online at the 123 Bethnal Green Road website, but I highly recommend a visit to their shop, choc-a-bloc with upcycled goodies at just the right price point for Christmas shopping.

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration

And of course, how could I finish this blog without mention of my own book? Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – perfect for the book/illustration/fashion lover in your life. Having had confirmation that the wondrous Royal Mail has already delivered the first copies of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, sent out on Friday, I now feel a bit more confident that you will still be able to take delivery of any of the mentioned gifts above should you decide to order them very soon for Christmas. You can order my book here.

Illustration by Timothy Hunt
Illustration by Timothy Hunt.

A couple of days ago *ahem, viagra more like a week* I put a callout on twitter for people to send me their fabulous ideas for Christmas presents – here, medications finally is a round up of the best clothing and skincare gifts alongside some of my own recommendations. My second post will cover art, homewares and jewellery.

Bonbi Forest equus scarf

Lee May Foster of Bonbi Forest never fails to produce delightful stuff, my current favourite of which is this stunning Equus scarf, new just in time for Crimbo. It comes in either a pink or blue colour way and will certainly catch people’s attention with it’s lovely sustainably handprinted pattern of horses and zebras.

Natasha Rae Richardson hankie

At the upper end of the market check out this rabbit skeleton organic cotton hankie from Natalie Rae Richardson at Tout Nouveau, a website which offers the work of some fantastic emerging designers – perfect for a super stylish man to flourish when out and about.

Natasha Wood cardigan

I wish I had discovered ethical clothing designer Natasha Wood in time to include her in my book… but alas it is too late. These upcycled leather trousers are made from old leather jackets and above is her special two cardigans coatigan. Just fab.

Bradley Beanie Hat and Bow Brook Top by Maria del Carmen Smith
Bradley Beanie Hat and Bow Brook Top by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Continuing on an ethical clothing bent I really do love the simple good designs of Liv. I’ve been wearing her delightful Bow Brook top non stop this winter, and her Bradley knitted beanie is oh so cute. Liv works exclusively in fairtrade and organic materials. Better still she is running a wee Christmas competition – just join her on Facebook for the chance to win a lovely Shell Ford Cardi in her Berrrry Christmas competition. (but make sure you do it this morning as the offer ends at noon today)

Dr Hauschka bath care kit interior
Dr Hauschka bath care kit

Over on the beauty gift set side of life I recommend the Dr. Hauschka bath oils set – I am a real sucker for a hot steaming sweetly smelling bath and these smell just divine. A Bath Care Kit contains small starter versions of the oils and costs just £12.50. What a blooming’ bargain for the bath lover in your life. Dr. Hauschka is running a similar chance for a Facebook fan to win a beautiful make up set. Just join their Facebook page before noon.

Dr Hauschka rose tea

Many of Dr. Hauschka’s lotions make use of the wondrous properties of rose, and I particularly like the Rose Body Hamper Body Moisturiser Gift Set, which includes Organic Loose Tea with Rose Petals – since I started drinking black tea on it’s own I’ve discovered that rose tea is absolutely my favourite, yet it is still relatively hard to come by in your average supermarket, making this gift all the more special.

Pai serenity kit

As you can probably tell I am a big fan of a long luxurious bath, especially in this cold weather. Pai Skincare is another fabulous organic brand that has produced a bath care kit – and the Serenity Bath and Body Collection will go down a treat with anyone like me.

Savonnerie-Naughty Weekend Kit

For the lover in your life, there’s always the Savonnerie Ever So Slightly Naughty Weekend Kit. Why wait for the wedding anniversary or Valentine’s Day when you can drop a ginormous hint at Christmas? This boxed kit includes yummy Love Soak bath bits, Vetiver massage oil, a tender kissing glaze… and a blindfold and feather for a truly erotic experience. All this pleasure for both you and the recipient comes at a very reasonable price.

Savonnerie-soaps

Savonnerie specialises in high end hand made soaps encrusted with all sorts of delicious goodies, and their beautifully packaged luxury handmade soap box makes the perfect gift. They are based over in Brushfield Street near Spitalfields Market so if you live in London there is still plenty of time to go and visit them. Yum yum yum.

For fans of yummy skincare products there are plenty more Christmas gift suggestions in some of my previous blog posts about ethical beauty brands, so do go check them out.

Timothy Hunt
Illustration by Timothy Hunt.

In my second round up of fabulous ideas from twitter friends for late Christmas gift shoppers I bring you the best of art, health jewellery and homewares.

Firebird Lesley Barnes
Lesley Barnes Firebird horse

We love Lesley Barnes, oh yes we do! The Firebird concertina epitomises the way that Lesley has embraced colour since I *forced* her to design my Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration end pages in full colour only a year ago. This is a stunning narrative piece that is designed to be interacted with, but if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous there are also some simpler Lesley prints available at a cheaper price available from the ace Soma Gallery (as well as work from some other great artists).

Alice Potter polar bear

There are loads of fabulous illustrators and artists producing screenprints that are available via their shopping sites, but I’ve tried to steer clear of them here as we’ve talked about them a lot on the blog recently… and there’s only so much room on your average wall. But I do like Alice Potter‘s polar bear.

Platform License to Spill postcards

For someone who cares about the world and prefers a gift with meaning, why not buy a collection of postcards from Platform, supporting art activism? The Liberate Tate: Collected Works postcard book contains lovingly reproduced images from some great direct actions against oil sponsorship of the arts (read more about the ongoing campaign in our blog here) All proceeds will go towards Platform’s new crowd funding initiative, Licence to Spill – a five day participatory exhibition to explore how we kick oil out of the arts.

Ana Montiel wallpaper

I’m really impressed by Ana Montiel‘s designs. She’s got that continuing to be trendy despite the years passing scrawled biro thing down a treat, and I like the fact that she’s not just rehashing florals. Printed on high quality sustainably sourced paper from Finland, this wallpaper would be one for that stylish someone with plans to redecorate their space.

Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines
Simon Wild-Fantastical Flying Machines inside

Illustrator Simon Wild has just published his first book, and it’s a veritable feast for the eyes and senses. Fantastical Flying Machines features a pop up race between the likes of a hot air balloon, a flying tea cup and a bubblegum rocket, and in this age of pop up shops and exhibitions it’s a welcome reminder of the simple brilliance of pop up books. Definitely one for the child in your life!

handmadebyemily

Or Handmade by Emily does a great range of recycled floral fabric owl cushions and mice. Ideal for a child’s bedroom.

Ella necklace Georgia Coote

Onto the jewellery: always a winner for Christmas… just be sure you know the recipient’s tastes. Georgia Coote makes adorable necklaces out of vintage buttons that she has scoured from charity shops. I like the way they become entire statements themselves as in this Ella necklace.

Stark at Beads headband

For those retro stylistically inclined there are also Stark at Beads vintage plastic flower head bands, based in Lisbon.

Summer Garden earrings chain of daisies

I have an unhealthy love of sparkly earrings – I hardly wear them but that doesn’t stop me hankering after the nicest pairs I see. From Chain of Daisies, Neptune Earrings are made out of gorgeous vintage gems as are the lovely Amelia Earrings – I had to mention them didn’t I?! And Summer Garden are made of vintage German plastic cabochons.

eve tv screen necklace

For something that makes a bit more of a statement how about this necklace from Eve at Howkapow, featuring recycled TV screen beads of all things. How fantastic! This is where all TVs should go to die. The Howkapow website features some great up and coming designers and is definitely worth checking out in detail.

Tatty Devine gin bottle cufflinks

Or you could try the newly reworked miniature bestselling Pegasus Necklace from Tatty Devine, or for a boy, these utterly charming Gin bottle cufflinks created in collaboration with cult Shoreditch artists Gilbert and George. You can find them on their newly revamped men’s section For Chaps – why not take a gander.

handcrafted black ninja

Boys, I find, are always a bugger. If the man in your life is a fan of small collectible toys these little hand crafted ninjas from Lilley might just be the thing for you to give him, attached to a keyring, or not – especially since they eschew the usual factory production for Etsy handmade status.

Emma loves Retro cushions

Homewares: Emma Loves Retro does a great job of recycling bold vintage fabrics into scatter cushions, and she has a wide colour and design range to choose from.

london kills me placemats

London Kills Me do all their own screenprinting in London, producing everything from ties and cushions to Christmas decorations. I really like the reclaimed slate planters and some of the printed dresses are very very cute.

meera lee sushi sets

Illustrator Meera Lee creates decorated sushi tea sets from upcycled crockery, which are very pretty but delicate – only for those who are happy to handwash! However the maker is stateside so only for those the other side of the pond at this late stage in the day.

Carlotta Morandini rug

Carlotta Morandini makes amazing sea creature inspired rugs. When I see stuff like this how I wish I had a bit of money! But maybe you do, and if so this would be the making of a room.

Carrie Reichardt plate
Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt sells at new eco fashion store 123 Bethnal Green Road: I just love her reworked crockery – what a find for the anarchist in your life. Unfortunately these are not online at the 123 Bethnal Green Road website, but I highly recommend a visit to their shop, choc-a-bloc with upcycled goodies at just the right price point for Christmas shopping.

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration

And of course, how could I finish this blog without mention of my own book? Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – perfect for the book/illustration/fashion lover in your life. Having had confirmation that the wondrous Royal Mail has already delivered the first copies of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, sent out on Friday, I now feel a bit more confident that you will still be able to take delivery of any of the mentioned gifts above should you decide to order them very soon for Christmas. You can order my book here.

You can check out my ethical fashion and skincare suggestions on this blog here.
Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras
Rapha/Paul Smith scarf and cap by Sandra Contreras.

In need of a last minute man gift? Is he a stylish cyclist? If so help could be here in the form of the new Rapha and Paul Smith cycling collection. Rapha are purveyors of high performance roadwear (which means they know what they are doing) and Paul Smith is of course the doyen of all things stylish. As well as the simple good design of the main collection – which includes a highly technical jacket, page knitted winter hat, more about leather town gloves and a jaunty polka dot scarf – I am particularly enamoured of their collaborative wash bag which comes in two fun Paul Smith colourful cycling inspired prints, complete with sturdy leather details.

Paul Smith Rapha wash bag
Paul Smith wash bag

Years ago Paul Smith gave me a wash bag as a gift – and not only is it by far the best quality wash bag I have ever owned (don’t you find that cheap ones fall apart ridiculously quickly?) but my boyfriend has had his eagle eye on it ever since we met, even with the remnants of girl make up scattered across its insides. The collection also features a shoulder bag and a courier bag for those more inclined to show off their stylish wares in public.

Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras
Paul Smith by Sandra Contreras.

So, if you’re still really stuck on what to get the man in your life check out the Rapha and Paul Smith range for something stylish and eminently practical (plus, shhh, he doesn’t even need to be a fully technical cyclist to enjoy the bags). The collection will be added to next year, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it might include something for the lady cyclist.

Categories ,cycling, ,Knitted Winter Hat, ,Leather Town Gloves, ,menswear, ,Paul Smith, ,Polka Dot Gentlemen’s Hat, ,Rapha, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Silk Scarf, ,Technical, ,Wash bag

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bryce Aime

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

Christopher Beales has been working at the coal face of fashion for his entire career thus far, order in places as diverse as Voyage (the bizarre hippyluxe shop that you had to be a member of to even enter) and for Primark. He’s worked for Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, as a costume designer for films such as Harry Potter and Robin Hood, and he’s dressed eccentric individuals such as Prince.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

On Friday evening I popped along to his A/W 2011 presentation When The Crystal Crack’d, which was conveniently held in the Rag Factory off Brick Lane – thereby ensuring a steady stream of inquisitive fashionistas who were no doubt heading home to their East London nests after a long first day of shows.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

Arranged on a sculptural arrangement of silver mesh mannequins, themselves constructed by Christopher Beales, this was a stunning debut for LFW: low key but very clever in its presentation. When The Crystal Crack’d is a collection of cocktail and evening dresses that features the precision tailoring that Christopher has perfected over many years of pattern cutting for famous names. Based on lots of asymmetric shapes in pastel and metallic silk, my favourite bit of the collection was most definitely in the details. Unexpected bows held aloft draped fabric, metal spikes accentuated the subtle curve of an exposed back and knobbled wool traced the contours of a waist.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I look forward to seeing what next season will bring.
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

Christopher Beales has been working at the coal face of fashion for his entire career thus far, page in places as diverse as Voyage (the bizarre hippyluxe shop that you had to be a member of to even enter) and for Primark. He’s worked for Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, sick as a costume designer for films such as Harry Potter and Robin Hood, website and he’s dressed eccentric individuals such as Prince.

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

On Friday evening I popped along to his A/W 2011 presentation When The Crystal Crack’d, which was conveniently held in the Rag Factory off Brick Lane – thereby ensuring a steady stream of inquisitive fashionistas who were no doubt heading home to their East London nests after a long first day of shows.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

Arranged on a sculptural arrangement of silver mesh mannequins, themselves constructed by Christopher Beales, this was a stunning debut for LFW: low key but very clever in its presentation. When The Crystal Crack’d is a collection of cocktail and evening dresses that features the precision tailoring that Christopher has perfected over many years of pattern cutting for famous names. Based on lots of asymmetric shapes in pastel and metallic silk, my favourite bit of the collection was most definitely in the details. Unexpected bows held aloft draped fabric, metal spikes accentuated the subtle curve of an exposed back and knobbled wool traced the contours of a waist.

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I look forward to seeing what next season will bring.
Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Rebecca Strickson
Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Rebecca Strickson.

Bryce Aime: a man not afraid to experiment with scale, order volume and angular surfaces in clothing. I missed his show last season but I certainly enjoyed the theatricality of his Egyptian inspired collection a year ago.

Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras
Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras.

Unfortunately we were offered just the one ticket, information pills and a pretty duff seat at that. Given the lack of options I did very well to find a spot from which I could take decent photos of the models as they were propelled onto the catwalk, the LED screen at On/Off providing a futuristic slither of abstract background which worked especially well with the Bryce Aime aesthetic, always modern and angular.

Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras
Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras.

In shiny shiny fabrics combined with light absorbing wools and leather Militarium was a mix of body con stretch and uber slick tailoring. Unfortunately ink splurge stretchy leggings did not exactly work too well on the bony legs of the models, who sported a selection of serious camel toe action. Despite the very masculine up and down nature of the tailored jackets this felt like a collection that would have better suited a bodaciously curvy creature.

Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras
Bryce Aime A/W 2011 by Sandra Contreras.

Occasionally a model swerved onto the catwalk sporting a giant geometric head mask, but I was more taken by a fetching range of matching handbags that have been created in collaboration with bag designer Bracher Emden, whose handiwork I admired up close on the On/Off stands. SO WANT ONE. Particularly the seriously 80s cross body version.

Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Bryce Aime A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Bryce Aime is known for ending on an outfit that would better suit an outre pop star rather than a normal member of the buying public. This time it was the headwear that he extended into an entire dress… sheeny shiny, an oily print glistening over its surface. A great great showpiece – and just the ticket to shift those very desirable handbags, which were undoubtedly my favourite part of this show.

Categories ,Bracher Emden, ,Bryce Aime, ,Handbags, ,Militarium, ,onoff, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,Sandra Contreras

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