Amelia’s Magazine | Modern Love: S/S 2012 Preview Interview with designer Sarah Arnett

Modern Love by Ola Szpunar
Modern Love by Ola Szpunar.

Sarah Arnett is a multi talented designer who just happened to train at the same university as me. She graduated the year above, and since then has had an extremely interesting and varied career – from contributing illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine to creating a beautiful fashion line that is exclusively stocked in Liberty – it seems she is capable of turning her hand to all aspects of design! Prepare to be very inspired….

Modern Love SS12
sarah arnett Modern Love by angela lamb
Modern Love by Angela Lamb.

You’ve had an eclectic career, training firstly in woven textiles for fashion on the same course as me at Brighton Uni, and then moving into illustration, interior design and back into the world of fashion. Can you tell us more about your journey across these disciplines?
I found it very difficult to decide what to do in the first place, all I knew was that I wanted to go to art college, I grew up with a family of designers and makers so being able to sew and paint seemed normal and I used to watch my father work in his studio, everyone was able to draw, paint… in fact my great uncle designed fabrics for Liberty. Things happen in your life like having children, and other things become important… it’s the same with my work, other things become more exciting and more important. I am totally inspired by the process and that drives me to try more things. It’s an exciting time for crossing over disciplines and I have always just thought of my self as a designer… It could be fashion, interiors… or illustration. I am so inspired by working on a range of projects; in the last couple of years year I have shown in a couple of exhibitions at Somerset House, worked on Modern Love, designed the new look of the uniform for the National Trust, as well as creating illustrations for The Sunday Times Style Magazine. I also design a small bridal collection that I sell through a vintage shop in Brighton… and there is a long list of other things that I want to do!

Modern Love SS12
Sarah-Harnett-by-Laura-Griffin
Modern Love by Laura Griffin.

What is the highlight of working across disciplines?
No day is the same….

Modernlove ss12 Long v neck dress
And what have been the difficult parts?
I love and hate fashion, sometimes I think it’s a frivolous waste of time and on the other hand can make someone feel beautiful and have a real impact on their life… I don’t think I am a fashionable person and have never felt very comfortable in my own skin, but I am and have always been fascinated by clothes. I find fashion a very big challenge. The stress of running your own business is hard work, as is that freelancer’s worry of where the next job will be coming from… and there is always self doubt. But I look at all of these as things that drive me on to try and do better.

Sarah Arnett Modern Love by Isher Dhiman
Sarah Arnett’s Modern Love by Isher Dhiman.

Why did you name your clothing brand Modern Love?
Myself and my business partner Kim Hunt really liked the idea of a name that encompassed what we felt and admired about good design. The Love of beauty, vintage, heritage and the feminine and the Modern… a way of thinking, responsibility to the environment, ethical and local manufacturing, our vision, our way of working and maintaining a good work/life balance for ourselves (we did have our production meeting on the beach over looking a very calm sea today!) and a reference to David Bowie never hurt anyone! I

Modern Love print design SS 2012
Print design from the current collection.

For S/S 2012 Modern Love is all about a mix of tropical and country garden prints – described as earthy African hues meet the soft English sky (love that description) Where did you find inspiration for the imagery?
I find that I am constantly working and re-working the same themes which are a mix of my African, big sunshine early influences and my love of the softer, rolling South Downs up-bringing. I can’t ever choose between them. If I admire or value or find something beautiful or fascinating I am drawn to design with it, I think it’s a very similar sensation to eating something or collecting things. It’s a different way of owning or tasting something. I draw it.

Modern Love print design SS 2012
How do you reconcile living on the sometimes rainy south coast of Brighton with your fabulous African childhood? Are there ways to bring a bit of African sunshine back into your life?!
In a strange way having the coast and that big expanse of water and sky to look can be as dramatic and uplifting as the sunshine and dry African plains: I walk down to the sea every day I possibly can, it’s very important to me. Without it I would hate the winter even more than I do! My ideal situation would be six months here, six months there. 

Modern Love print design SS 2012
How easy is it to design shapes to suit your prints, or do you begin the other way around?
The collection starts out with shapes and a woman in mind first. Then I feel like I have to think about that woman, what she would wear and start to fit the prints around it. It’s always a bit of a narrative, there has to be a reason for the print to be there. Quite often we will find an image of a woman for each season and then we will always question whether she will wear each design. Kim and I design the shapes together so we talk and talk and draw and have to justify why it has to be there. Once we have the bones of the collection together I go into my own world for a few weeks getting the new prints together. I like to engineer the print to the pattern pieces of the garment.

Modern Love print design SS 2012
Why did you decide to print the fabrics in Como, Italy?
There is a fantastic tradition of textiles in Como. I first went there when I did a work placement in Switzerland. We were very near to Como and visited it often. If you have to choose a location for a factory visit, I can’t imagine anything more beautiful! The printers I work with have printed in a traditional way for a couple of generations and then moved over to digital twenty years ago when it was first being experimented with. The laying down of pigment, whether via digital or by screen print, is only part of the process. They are very skilled in the handling and finishing of the fabrics which makes them feel beautiful and gives them a longevity. The digital process is much cleaner than traditional screen printing and uses far less water and energy. I like the tradition and the finesse of the final production. What they lack in delivering on time they make up in the detail and quality!

Modern Love SS12
Modern Love SS12 5
Modern Love by Nanae Kawahara
Modern Love by Nanae Kawahara.

Who are the craftspeople who make the collection for you? Can you introduce us to them!
Brighton is so full of talented machinists and pattern cutters, it’s a very sociable place and over the years I have met lots of people I can call on to help me. I have used the same machinists for the last ten years. They work form home and small studios as well as working for me they are working for lots of top designers; a good machinist is worth her weight in gold! There used to be a lot of small garment factories in the area and it’s a shame they have all disappeared. There is a new initiative called The Fashion Trust based in Sussex which is trying to pull all the local resources together which will be great for designer just starting up.

Modern Love SS12
Sarah Arnett Modern Love by Jacqueline Valencia
Sarah Arnett’s Modern Love by Jacqueline Valencia.

Modern Love is stocked exclusively in Liberty – a dream for most clothing brands. How did you get the label into this most prestigious of shops?
Well, Liberty made it very easy, even with beautiful photographs and constant emailing it’s very difficult to get the attention of the buyers unless you see them face to face at a show. We lined up with everyone else at their Best Of British Open Call and were the only womens wear brand to have got through last year. It was a great experience because at least you knew you had a few minutes of complete attention to show your collection in the flesh. I think it has been a great success and we feel very proud to have our collection there, especially since it was our first goal when starting Modern Love.

Modern Love SS12
Modern Love SS12
Find Modern Love at Liberty right here.

Categories ,africa, ,Angela Lamb, ,Best of British, ,Best Of British Open Call, ,Bridal, ,brighton, ,Como, ,David Bowie, ,fashion, ,Fashion Textiles, ,illustration, ,Interior Design, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Italy, ,Jacqueline Valencia, ,Kim Hunt, ,Laura Griffin, ,liberty, ,Modern Love, ,Nanae Kawahara, ,National Trust, ,Ola Szpunar, ,print, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Somerset House, ,Sunday Times Style Magazine, ,Sussex, ,The Fashion Trust, ,University of Brighton, ,vintage, ,Woven Textiles

Similar Posts:






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate waving by Jenny Robins
Kate waving by Jenny Robins.

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

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

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

Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla
Royal Wedding by Sara Japanwalla.

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

Royal wedding by Fawn Carr
Royal wedding by Fawn Carr.

Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv
Royal Wedding by Karina Jarv.

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

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

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

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

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | The ACOFI Book Tour visits Castor and Pollux in Brighton

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 -000

Art and design shop Castor and Pollux is situated in three airy arches on Brighton seafront, ampoule a location that was formerly public loos and then a yoga studio.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011
The view outside the shop. How gorgeous is this?

The arches now house a beautifully curated collection of well designed goodies: there’s a kids’ section, for sale a book section, a gallery space and lots of cards, note books, homewares and hand made jewellery. It’s all highly desirable, so I’m super happy that my Roger La Borde cards now have a home in Castor and Pollux alongside Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. You really must visit the shop if you are in Brighton!

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011

Unfortunately I arrived last night for my ACOFI Book Tour with very little time to spare. (Thankyou traffic, in the four years since my beloved Cinquecento departed for the great car graveyard in the sky London streets have started to resemble the chaos of cities like Delhi, what with all the large trucks a-honkin’ and a-hootin’ at each other). Luckily April was on hand to help me shift piles of books down onto the seafront – aided by Suki and Alice Pattullo, who studied illustration at Brighton.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 postcards
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 ALICE Pattullo and April
Alice Pattullo and April of Castor and Pollux.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Suki, Alice with a guest
Suki and Alice with a guest.

I should have known that if I went to Brighton I was bound to bump into some people who studied on the same course as me at University of Brighton (Ba Hons Fashion Textiles with Business Studies since you ask). Turns out the fabulous illustrator Sarah Arnett, who I first discovered at Pick Me Up (and who has since started contributing to Amelia’s Magazine) was in fact a few years ahead of me.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Sarah Arnett
Lovely Sarah Arnett.

Sarah has taken an interesting route to illustration – she specialised in weave at college (we had a choice of print, knit or weave) and then went into the textiles swatch trade, before setting up a small studio making clothes that ended up becoming a shop. She only discovered the joy of illustration when a friend bartered some Illustrator lessons in exchange for a dress. Now, not only does she produce gorgeous illustrations, but she has also recently launched the most BEAUTIFUL collection of clothes featuring her inimitable flower designs. The label is called Modern Love and you can find it in Liberty.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Lou Taylor, Jo Vintage Brighton, Kate Jenkins, April
Lou Taylor, Jo of Vintage Brighton, Kate Jenkins and April.

When Kate Jenkins turned up I recognised her instantly, and not because we have run multiple blogs featuring her unique knitted artworks. She looked familiar because she too was the year above me at Brighton. How wonderful to discover that Brighton fashion textiles graduates are doing such diverse and interesting things that have fed into the world of Amelia’s Magazine.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Juiceology
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Angel Food Bakery
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Angel Food Bakery.

Before my talk started guests had a chance to once again try out the lovely Juiceology juices, which I have decided are a bit like a juice equivalent of Refreshers sweeties – they have such a wonderful tang to them, quite unlike any other juice I’ve tasted. April had also managed to source some outstanding cupcakes from the Angel Food Bakery – who, quite without my knowledge, had baked the most beautiful buttery creations featuring a transfer design of the Amelia’s Magazine logo.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Lahloo tea

This time round I also had a moment to drink a few cups of Lahloo Tea, and can confirm that both the Peppermint and Darjeeling were absolutely delicious, served very prettily in tea cosy covered china teapots. There were also of course samples of Dr.Hauschka aplenty to take away, much appreciated by those in attendance.

There were plenty of other interesting people at Castor and Pollux, and here’s a selection of those that I managed to talk to:

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Paul from Chichester
Paul had come all the way from Chichester on behalf of his girlfriend… and he’d sneaked out a copy of her issue 2 for me to sign for her birthday (hope she’s not reading this) which I thought was incredibly sweet. Fortunately he didn’t seem at all daunted by the heavy female quotient: sadly one boy ran away before my talk began. Boys, please come and meet me, my talk is just as much for you! I’d also really like to encourage as many people as possible to come and talk to me at the remaining talks… I want to hear what you are up to so that I can give your creative projects as much exposure as possible.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Sarah Meredith and Matilda
ACOFI book tour rock cakes pumpkin ring
Sarah Meredith of Rock Cakes could only stay for a little while because her little girl Matilda needed to get home for bed, but she too had brought along some back copies for me to sign. She was sporting some fantastic rings from her dainty jewellery collection – I particularly love the enamelled pumpkin and the cute birds which sit together as if talking. You can find more of her designs on the Rock Cakes website and on Etsy.

ACOFI book tour angel food bakery cupcakes
ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Angel Food Bakery
Me chomping on a cupcake from the Angel Food Bakery.

Also present was Lou Taylor, who has also recently started contributing to Amelia’s Magazine. She has been using paper art to create the most amazing props for many years, but illustration is a new thing. I think her paper cut techniques work marvellously well as illustration – see her CocknBullKid illustration for example – and am glad she has found a place to showcase this new work.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Jessie Ford
I also met illustrator Jessie Ford, whose website you can check out here.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Racheal Brooks, Racheal Stott, Verity Brown, Judith Wilding
Racheal Brooks, Racheal Stott, Verity Brown, Judith Wilding

Judith Wilding of Delicious Industries is a graphic designer, who keeps a great blog about old school design.

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Verity Brown
Verity Brown shows me her portfolio.

A few recent graduates of my course turned up just as I was finishing my talk and one had been savvy enough to bring her portfolio of lovely fashion illustrations to show me. They missed most of the part where I talk about how you absolutely have to be online and engaged with social media to promote yourself as an up and coming creative, but I hope they will listen to my advice as, unbelievably, none of them had any web presence at all! I wish my old course would ask me back to teach the students a bit more about self promotion and marketing for creatives…

ACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Verity BrownACOFI book tour Castor Pollux Art 2011 Verity Brown
Illustrations by Verity Brown.

Jo of Vintage Brighton has very speedily blogged about my talk last night, so you can find out more about it by hopping over here. Thankyou Jo!

As I upload this blog I am sitting in the Pegasus Theatre cafe in Oxford and in a few minutes I have to get along to the next date on my #ACOFI Book Tour. Tonight I will be talking at Comma Shop at about 7.30pm tonight: please do join me from 6pm to network, eat Good Biscuits, taste a new G&D ice-cream flavour and learn how to make button rosettes with Custon Made UK. Then tomorrow I will be rolling on up to Bristol to speak at the Soma Gallery. It’s all very exciting because I love meeting so many different creative communities, so do come and join me at one of these venues soon and tell me what you’re up to. I am back at Tatty Devine in Brick Lane on Tuesday 7th June. Over and out.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Alice Pattullo, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Angel Food Bakery, ,brighton, ,Castor and Pollux, ,Cinquecento, ,CocknBullKid, ,Comma Shop, ,cupcakes, ,Custon Made UK, ,Delicious Industries, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,G&D Cafe, ,G&D ice-cream, ,Good Biscuits, ,Ice Cream, ,Jessie Ford, ,Judith Wilding, ,Juiceology, ,Kate Jenkins, ,Lahloo Tea, ,liberty, ,Lou Taylor, ,Modern Love, ,Oxford, ,Pegasus Theatre, ,Racheal Brooks, ,Racheal Stott, ,Rock Cakes, ,Roger La Borde, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Sarah Meredith, ,Soma Gallery, ,Tatty Devine, ,University of Brighton, ,Verity Brown, ,Vintage Brighton

Similar Posts:






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

Kisstch Wedding by Faye West
Kisstch Wedding by Faye West.

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

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

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

Carole Middleton by Fi Blog
Carole Middleton by Fi Blog.

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

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

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

Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri
Queen Elizabeth by Elsabe Milandri.

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

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

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

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

Royal-Wedding-by-Melanie-Chadwick
Royal Wedding by Melanie Chadwick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, no rx exciting shapes, more about draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy more about exciting shapes, purchase draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy exciting shapes, link draw string leg warmers, drugs see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, remedy exciting shapes, what is ed draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, what is ed exciting shapes, approved draw string leg warmers, search see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011′s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, pharm the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 47 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische‘s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow‘s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker‘s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier‘s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed‘s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011’s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 48 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische’s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow’s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker’s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier’s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed’s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

Categories ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Illustration, ,American, ,Andy Rementer, ,Annelie Carlstrom, ,Anthony Burrill, ,Central Saint Martins, ,collage, ,Colorado State University, ,Concrete Hermit, ,Crystal String Dance, ,Ditto Press, ,Evening Tweed, ,Exquisite Corpse, ,Grandpeople, ,Gwenola Carrere, ,illustration, ,It’s Nice That, ,JaguarShoes Collective, ,James Graham, ,japanese, ,Jessica Hische, ,Jules Julien, ,Kate Moross, ,Margaux Carpentier, ,Matthieu Bessudo, ,McBess, ,MVM, ,Nigel Peake, ,Nobrow, ,Norwegian, ,Nous Vous, ,Otecki, ,Pick Me Up, ,Polly Becker, ,Print Club London, ,Revenge is Sweet, ,review, ,Samuel Esquire, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Seiko Kato, ,Simone Lia, ,Sister Arrow, ,Somerset House, ,Stefanie Posavec, ,surrealist, ,Swedish, ,Takeru Toyokura, ,Them Lot, ,Tom Gauld, ,typography, ,Yoh Nagao

Similar Posts:





Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with musician and artist Elizabeth Walling, aka Gazelle Twin

Gazelle Twin by Sarah Arnett
Gazelle Twin by Sarah Arnett.

I’ve been keeping a firm eye (and ear) on Gazelle Twin since I discovered her enigmatic first single at the tail end of last year. Changelings was accompanied by a mesmerising video that exemplifies Gazelle Twin‘s approach to music making: creating an overall sensory experience in which the listener/viewer is immersed. That video was followed by the equally transfixing I Am Shell I Am Bone and now her debut album The Entire City is on its way. Not surprisingly she is generating a lot of interest, approved this despite having performed only one live show so far as Gazelle Twin…. I decided to find out a bit more from the lady herself. Meet the genius that is Elizabeth Walling.

Changelings

According to wikipedia the Loplop was a birdlike creature created by artist Max Ernst. Why and how have you been inspired by this creature?
Loplop was a starting point in the ongoing development for the ideas behind my costumes which I use for live performance and in my imagery. I have always admired the painting The Robing Of The Bride by Ernst. It has a sexual-animal-human oddness that drew me in. I saw the real thing fairly recently in Guggenheim’s house in Venice. It was much smaller than I realised, but still magnificently weird. It really beckons you over from the other side of the room.

Gazelle Twin by Amy Brazier
Gazelle Twin by Amy Brazier.
 
Were you trained in music, or is it something that has been building over the years? What other jobs have you done in the meantime if so?
I studied briefly at college and then University but I still consider myself to be self-taught. As a kid I would learn everything by ear, including pieces for piano, flute etc. I still do it that way now. Learning to read and write music obviously helped me develop a lot further, but I rarely return to the theory books and manuscript paper these days, except if I’m arranging something for classical musicians. I’m expecting to do a lot of that for the next album.

I Am Shell I Am Bone

What are your main lyrical themes and inspirations?
Hard to know where to start. I’ve been inspired by the paranormal, under water life, science fiction films, dreams I had as a child, space exploration etc. All these influences and experiences are deeply personal, so it all remains very cryptic to others, I think.
 
How long have you been living in Brighton? What drew you there and what keeps you there?
I came here primarily to study music and never left. It’s a hard place to leave, and I love it here but after 10 years I think I might start to seek new horizons. It’s important to see new places I think.

Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux
Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux.
 
What is going on in the Men Like Gods video? Where was it shot and who are the dancers? I presume the scenes of burning pyres being dragged through streets are from the Lewes bonfire night, but are some of them choreographed specifically by yourself?
The Men Like Gods video contains footage from a very ancient Pagan festival in remote Sardinia. Some of the footage is my own from earlier this year, some was sourced through Sardinia‘s vast digital library and contains footage from roughly 30 years ago. The festival relates to the changing of the seasons and the life-giving land and cattle. Each village has it’s own particular ritual and unique costumes, so it is very diverse and strange. I went to experience one village’s ritual in March where I filmed the Mamuthones (the men who dance in black masks, bells and sheepskins). There is not much explanation as to why this ritual has such a bizarre aesthetic, but it is a very deep rooted tradition, at least two thousand years old. They take it very seriously there, it’s certainly not the tourist attraction that Lewes’ Bonfire night has become, but then I am sure it started out with much the same circumstances.

Gazelle Twin by gaarte
Gazelle Twin by Gaarte.
 
Do you collaborate with fashion designers to create your stage costumes, and if so who? How does that process work?
I design and usually make all the costumes. The process is very basic; I do a fair bit of research or just get an idea in my head and then I go to flea markets, charity shops and usually Poundland to source materials to work with. I’m unsigned so I don’t have an advance or anything to play with or to commission people, so I have to be imaginative and very frugal. Where I lack sewing skills or equipment I call upon my very talented friend, Gita Mistry. She recently helped me realise a brand new costume, a very striking blue, abstract Gazelle headdress, veil and robe which I might wear at my album launch in September.

gazelle_twin
 
You’ve been compared to the likes of Bjork but I think you also strongly channel more modern experimental electro musicians such as The Knife – who are more about hiding their personal egos behind creativity than extravagantly promoting themselves. Is it safe to say that you have been influenced by this kind of music? What have been your inspirations?
Classical, early music and film soundtracks are the bedrock of all my influences. When I was studying and composing in my late teens and early twenties I only ever really listened to that, maybe with a bit of Portishead and Jazz thrown in from time to time. Pop music is all relatively new to me, but true artists like The Knife, Fever Ray, Planningtorock and Bjork have all intrigued me musically as well as with their boldness of visual images and play on identity. I really admire artists who resist exposing themselves too much or try to divert people’s attention towards the music. I don’t think it’s enough to sport a weird costume or smear face paint on –  the music has to be really strong first and foremost, but the costume should also be relevant to the identity in order to avoid being a slightly vacuous stunt.

Gazelle Twin by Claire Kearns
Gazelle Twin by Claire Kearns.
 
How will The Entire City be available in an interactive web only version? Can you explain a bit more about how this works?
 The album will be available as a digital download in the conventional sense and there will be limited vinyl and CD editions coming out later this year. For the digital release in July there is a special web-based counterpart, which will be available on the website very soon. I wanted to create an interactive, tactile way for people to experience the album in digital form, so I got in touch with Champagne Valentine and they came up with a wonderful application for me. The interactive version of The Entire City will be free to access and contains all album tracks which each have their own interactive visuals. It also features remixed video clips from all my music videos, as well as other, as yet unreleased footage. I’m hoping to make something interactive for every album/project in future, it’s a really satisfying process and I hope makes up for some of the loss of pleasure in buying a physical record.

Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux
Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux.
 
Why are live performances so rare? Will your fans be able to see more of you now that your album is due to launch? If so where will they be able to find you?
Live shows have been rare because I wanted to take my time with developing the project and make sure it all worked and felt right before I launched the whole thing and took it on tour. I also had to save the money in order to do it properly, so it’s taken a few years to get here. I want to keep shows rare and special; they involve a lot of visuals, choreography and extra musical elements and each one is unique. I much prefer to do a few really special shows than too many run-of-the-mill versions. It makes it more worthwhile as a performer too (and I have experienced many a dodgy gig in the past without this ethos, let me tell you!). I’m really excited to get back to performing this year. My album launch will be on 1st September at Electrowerkz (aka Islington MetalWorks) in Angel, in London. I have curated the event myself and I am making sure it is going to be really unique experience for all involved. I can’t give too much away at the moment, but all will be revealed on my website eventually.

Gazelle Twin by Nicola Ellen
Gazelle Twin by Nicola Ellen.

What do you do to relax? Where might we find you by night time in Brighton?
I tend to spend the majority of my time in the studio at home, I rarely venture out much these days! I play a few video games and watch films to relax – This year I have really sacrificed my social life in order to make this record and really get the project off the ground single-handedly.

Gazelle Twin by Gaarte
Gazelle Twin by Gaarte.

New single Men Like Gods will be released on Monday 11th July alongside the digital release of The Entire City. Here’s a trailer for the amazing video.

Men Like Gods

The opening album track The Entire City can be streamed here

Gazelle Twin will play as part of the Soundwaves Festival on July 14th-17th in Brighton as part of The Infinite Possibilities of Voice at Brighton Town Hall between 5.45pm – 10.30pm on Saturday 16th July. Gazelle Twin will be performing Colossus in the Atrium, a new improvisatory piece exploring the dialogue between human and machine. Voice and electronics will be coupled with darkly theatric sensibilities to create an atmospheric, electrifying and wholly unique experience, in collaboration with artist and musician Ed Briggs. I advise you secure tickets fast! This will not be a performance to miss.

Categories ,Album Launch, ,Amy Brazier, ,Atrium, ,bjork, ,brighton, ,Brighton Town Hall, ,Champagne Valentine, ,Changelings, ,Claire Kearns, ,Colossus, ,Costume, ,Ed Briggs, ,electrowerkz, ,Elizabeth Walling, ,Fever Ray, ,Gaarte, ,Gazelle Twin, ,Gita Mistry, ,Guggenheim, ,I am Shell I am Bone, ,Islington MetalWorks, ,jazz, ,Lea Rimoux, ,Lewes, ,Loplop, ,Mamuthones, ,Max Ernst, ,Men Like Gods, ,Nicola Ellen, ,Pagan, ,Planningtorock, ,Portishead, ,review, ,Sarah Arnett, ,Sardinia, ,single, ,Soundwaves Festival, ,The Entire City, ,The Infinite Possibilities of Voice, ,The Knife, ,The Robing Of The Bride, ,video

Similar Posts: