Amelia’s Magazine | Supermarket Sarah at Selfridges

Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft has put together a stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI. With music provided by the wondrous 6 Day Riot, find capsule I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, buy as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, check cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 Bethnal Green heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…


Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft has put together a stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI. With music provided by the wondrous 6 Day Riot, treatment I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, about it as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, pills cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 Bethnal Green heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…


Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft has together this stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI, doctor with a little help from 6 Day Riot. I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, link as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, information pills cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…

Amelia’s Magazine hearts Sally big time. She’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable and she cares about the world around us.
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft has together this stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI, order with a little help from 6 Day Riot. I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, cialis 40mg as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…

There’s a reason why I heart Sally big time. She’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable and she cares about the world around us. You can follow Sally on twitter here, and keep up with her on her Vimeo channel here.
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft put together this stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI, sildenafil with a little help from 6 Day Riot. I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, buy as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…

There’s a reason why I heart Sally big time. She’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable and she cares about the world around us. You can follow Sally on twitter here, and keep up with her on her Vimeo channel here.
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft put together this stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI with a little help from 6 Day Riot. I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, seek as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, case cakes by Lily Vanilli, health sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…

There’s a reason why I heart Sally big time. She’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable and she cares about the world around us. You can follow Sally on twitter here, and keep up with her on her Vimeo channel here.
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law
Sally Mumby-Croft at the ACOFI launch with Jonno and Matt. Illustration by Naomi Law.

Former Amelia’s Magazine art editor Sally Mumby-Croft put together this stunning movie reminder of the launch party for ACOFI with a little help from 6 Day Riot. I hope you enjoy a tour of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, approved as seen at the Bunker Cafe and Scout Hut at 123 Bethnal Green Road on Friday 28th January 2011. It features Susie Bubble, cakes by Lily Vanilli, sneak peaks inside the book and lots of sketching by the illustrators who helped out on the day.

YouTube Preview Image

I asked Sally a few questions about how she put the movie together:

What where you looking for when you filmed this?
When filming I’m often looking for the quiet moments in between moments of action, whether this be an illustrator lost in concentration, the movement of a pen, the simple action of making tea or a DJ pressing play. I wanted to capture the moments which were unique to an Amelia’s Magazine book launch.

What was your favourite moment of the party?
Apart from assisting Amelia and Matt Bramford with the set up in the morning and watching 123 heave under the number of guests who turned up for the book launch, my favourite moment of the party was when Amelia and Harriet (of Tatty Devine) cut the fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli and we had a chance to taste the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen!

Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.
Sally Mumby-Croft. Photography by Liz Johnson-Artur.

Who else have you made short videos for?
Recently I’ve been really lucky to work with the photographer and filmmaker Ben Toms, over the past three months I’ve worked on videos for JW Anderson, Edun and Craig Lawrence.



Outside of fashion film, I’ve worked with the fantastic team behind the upcoming documentary Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world and assisted on the editing of their Grow Heathrow short:

YouTube Preview Image

What else are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am considering the possibility of revisiting interviews conducted with Xavier Zapata – with Hackney Residents who had been displaced by the Olympic Development in Stratford for my Goldsmiths degree show piece Edgeland: or possibly starting on a brand new short…

There’s a reason why I heart Sally big time. She’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable and she cares about the world around us. You can follow Sally on twitter here, and keep up with her on her Vimeo channel here.

Gabby Young at Selfridges, no rx illustrated by Sam Parr

The ‘Supermarket Sarah’ pop-up shop opened last month in Selfridges stationery department, here I attended Friday’s opening night to check it out. Press, visit web designers and shoppers celebrated the opening with Campari cocktails whilst enjoying an energetic acoustic set from Gabby Young.

Back in December 2009 I visited Poke Design Studios at The Biscuit Factory for Supermarket Sarah’s Christmas Extravaganza, on behalf of Amelia’s. A year on and Sarah has had wide press coverage, and has celebrity followers such as; Lily Allen, Lindsay Lohan, Tinie Tempah and La Roux. ‘Supermarket’ Sarah Bagner seems, however, unphased by all the attention and continues to do what she does best; sourcing an eclectic mix of quirky vintage finds and indie crafts, and displaying her discoveries in an inspiring and creative way. Starting out in her home in Portobello, Sarah would beautifully arrange her own walls with items to buy and serve customers tea and cakes. The launch of her website expanded her work outside of her living room and has allowed her to exhibit in a variety of locations. Using the website, customers can browse through the items displayed on real walls as part of styled stories.


Illustration by Madi Illustrates

The retro-inspired Selfridges store layout holds shelves of vintage china trinkets, playful plastic jewellery and quirky gifts and accessories, all organized into the walls four sections; Super Stuff, New Designers, Vintage and Gallery where Sarah presents a designer she admires. Currently the Gallery space presents the work of Eley Kishimoto. The collection of printed accessories include; iPhone covers, textiles, limited edition screen printed books, and even a skateboard.

Sarah’s hand-picked selection of designers are given the opportunity to have items displayed in the Supermarket-style ‘gallery’. Carefully thought out curation and styling mean each piece compliments each other, contributing to the personal nature of the ‘Supermarket Sarah’ shopping experience. It was great to see the interactivity at play between customer and product; this interactivity is also achieved on the Supermarket Sarah online platform.


Illustration by Danni Bradford

My favourite pieces included; cross stitch badges from Ma Magasin, Mell Elliot’s Lady Gaga paper doll and Strawberry Creme Nouveau‘s rubber moulded biscuit brooches. John Booth’s eccentric bag charms, Nick White fake tattoos, Katy Leigh‘s painted egg cups, and YCN‘s ‘Light up your mood’ light switch stickers, all also deserve a mention. And other great designers involved include Tatty Devine, Patternity, Donna Wilson, Lynn Hatzius, Swedish Blonde Design and Rina Donnersmarck.


All photographs by Ester Kneen

Bringing a sense of Portobello Market to London’s central shopping location. ‘Supermarket Sarah’ at Selfridges gives tourists a sense of what the London vintage and craft scene is all about. Congratulations to all involved!

Categories ,Campari, ,Danni Bradford, ,Donna Wilson, ,Eley Kishimoto, ,Fake Tattoos, ,gabby young, ,John booth, ,Katy Leigh, ,Lady Gaga, ,Lynn Hatzius, ,Ma Magasin, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Mel Elliot, ,Nick White, ,Patternity, ,Portobello, ,Rina Donnersmarck, ,Sam Parr, ,Sarah Bagner, ,Selfridges, ,shopping, ,Strawberry Creme Nouveau, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Swedish Blonde Design, ,Tatty Devine, ,vintage, ,YCN

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tatty Devine and Supermarket Sarah Launch Party!

Feelin’ hot hot hot… we arrived at the field with a blanket and straw hat, viagra stuff and headed straight to the bar. Queuing for what felt like a life-time in the blistering heat, price cheap sounds of Johnny Flynn drifted through the air along with the smells of barbecued sausages. Queuing aside, we were happy.

Ciders in hand we weaved through camping chairs and stepped apologetically over blankets, occasionally catching the odd sandaled foot or splashing a little cider over a resting head… all part of the joy of festivalling, we found a spot, lay the blanket on the ground just in time for Laura Marling to take to the stage. ‘Afternoon everyone!’ Laura’s soothing voice echoed over the masses, ‘what a day!’…. people woo’d and clapped and cheered. In two years, Marling’s voice and lyrics have matured from pretty ditties to soulful folk… and her performance this weekend reeled in an eclectic crowd. Folk of all ages stood, eyes fixed and humming and Marling’s voice resonated. Songs from Marling’s latest album I Speak Because I Can mixed with original tracks from My Manic and I had us reminiscing, spinning around and singing-along.

Between sets we ate, drank and lay gazing into the brilliant blue ether… catching a bit of celebrity football, Mumford & Sons giving it their best. Seasick Steve was next up, and took to the stage with crowds-a-roaring. Unfortunately, due to minor sunstroke, we weren’t around for the whole set, but from what we saw, as always Seasick gave a cracking performance.

Mumford & Sons belted out there emotive country-inspired folk, now well-known from their vast radio coverage, and had the audience fixed. Looking and sounding the part, and slotting in perfectly to the Hop Farm scene.

Whilst queuing for a lamb kofta and chatting to a wonderful lady who lives on a pig farm in Cambridgeshire, who told me stories of her days as a festival queen in the 70s… (she was so small she used to crouch on the loo seat, feet on the seat – to avoid sitting on it… little ladies – take note!) Ray Davies performed and it came as pleasant surprise to hear the well-known Kinks records: Lola, You Really Got Me and all the rest. At the age of 66, Ray’s voice carried across fields, still very much in tact.

Last but not least, good old Bob Dylan appeared on stage, his (very) husky tones hooking the expectant field of fans, and taking them on a tumultuous journey through a plethora of songs steeped in sentiment.

Finally, an incredible set from Devendra Banhart ensued; no longer the long-haired folky-dolky guy that once plucked at our heartstrings, Devendra has completely reinvented his style: short-back-and-sides, checked shirt and long yellow cardie buttoned up; the sounds were funky and playful, his voice endearing and still with that jagged edge that made him famous. Even a few Roxy Music covers were thrown in to get us grooving. We danced until the cows came home.

All in all, a grand day out. Thank you Hop Farm!


Illustrations by Jenny Costello

With businesses struggling to survive through the recession armageddon, this site a few innovative individuals are thriving, using their imagination and collaborations with other creatives to succeed. Sarah Bagner, or ‘Supermarket Sarah‘ transformed a wall of her own home into a window dresser’s dream; featuring both vintage finds and handmade creations from the likes of Donna Wilson. Inviting shoppers into her home for tea and cake has gained her such a following that Selfridges even invited her to curate a wall for them.


Supermarket Sarah, illustrated by Emma Block

Her latest collaboration is with the queens of cool, Tatty Devine, whose Brick Lane store has been transformed into an Aladdin’s cave of Sarah’s goodies. Tatty Devine is also famous for pioneering the collaborative spirit, teaming up with the likes of Rob Ryan, Charlie le Mindu and Mrs Jones to make their iconic statement jewellery ranges. Last night fellow creatives Fred Butler and Anna Murray were spinning some tunes on the decks, whilst cupcakes were supplied by Fifi and Lola.

I snapped Sarah wearing her Tatty Devine ‘Supermarket Sarah’ necklace in front of her wall which will soon be online here. The installation will be in store until the 16th August, alongside Tatty Devine’s regular stock which is currently on sale. This is your one stop shop for sorting your festival outfits; grab some neck candy from Tatty Devine and something from Sarah’s vintage dressing up box and you’re set! 

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

Categories ,Anna Murray, ,Brick Lane, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,cupcakes, ,Donna Wilson, ,Fifi and Lola, ,Fred Butler, ,london, ,Mrs Jones, ,rob ryan, ,Sarah Bagner, ,Selfridges, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Tatty Devine, ,vintage

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tatty Devine launch new central London store in style

The ExtInked project dreamt up by the Ultimate Holding Company to mark Charles Darwin’s bicentennial birthday is no doubt one of the most unique and amazing projects I’ve heard about in a long time. Along with an exhibition illustrating 100 of the most endangered animals in the British Isles, viagra 40mg sick the event came to an astounding conclusion with the tattooing of 100 volunteers who then became ambassadors for their animal. So as the exhibition closed yesterday, pilule what is to become of the ambassadors, now back in their natural habitats?

A friend of mine was lucky to be involved in the project and here he shares his experiences with me.

So why did you take part in the ExtInked Project?

Since getting involved with UHC sometime last winter, I’ve been a part of a number of really interesting projects with them. ExtInked was something they have been talking about for a long time and the idea always really appealed to me. I think it’s a really great thing to be a part of, people have learned so much about which animals are endangered and hopefully will think about why that is, and what can be done about it. For me, I try to make a lot of environmental decisions in my life and feel extremely passionate about the use of animals and our finite natural resources for human gain.

Wildlife conservation and the environment are extremely important, in our relatively short time on this earth we have managed to destroy so much. Positive and big things are happening from the ground up. There is a fast growing environmental movement, but the important decisions need to be made from the top, which, unfortunately is not happening nearly enough.

It seems easier for leaders of governments and corporations to pretend they are doing something, rather than making an important change, that could make a really big difference.

Ext Inked was a great way to be involved in one of the most creative bottom-up environmental actions I know of, I now have a species permanently on my body, which throughout my life no doubt, hundreds of people will ask about, and I will be able to tell them the information I learned about that particular species, the project, the movement, and, in my case, the RSPB and other organisations helping to protect birds in the UK.

Which animal did you get? Tell me about the tattoo!

I went for the Black Grouse; I love birds, so for me it had to be a bird. The black grouse is found in the north of England, much of Wales and Scotland. I think to me, it was important to get something that I would be likely to come into contact with, I love golden eagles and leatherback turtles, but I’ve never seen either unfortunately! I don’t think it really matters too much which species I had tattooed though, as it’s more about the project and the issues as a whole than one particular species.

Tell me about the experience! What happened when you went to Manchester?

We went along on the last day around lunch time, which was bit quieter than when I visited on the Thursday night. I was quite pleased about that as all the tattooing happened much like a tattoo convention. There were barriers up at the front, and a stage with the three tattooists from Ink vs. Steel in Leeds, tattooing live in front of whoever was there to watch. As it was my first tattoo, and I didn’t know how much it would hurt, I was a bit nervous about being watched!

I thought I was being tattooed at 1 o clock, but somebody was running late, and I was early, so they switched our places, I didn’t really have any time to feel too nervous, before I knew it I was laid face down, being tattooed. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, because it did, but the mix of the atmosphere, and the rush of adrenaline you get puts you in a really strange place. I just laid their trying to work out how much it hurt and which bit he was doing, it was actually a pretty good feeling! Having had the tattoo a couple of days now, the pain seems totally insignificant.

Your girlfriend was part of the project too wasn’t she?

My girlfriend Sally got involved too; she got the Rampion Bellflower on her inner arm. She has a lot of tattoos already, so I think she probably had a different experience to me, although she was still a bit nervous. She was really excited to be a part of the project and has already done some good work telling people about the project and spreading the word! Sally is a very creative person, but isn’t able to be too involved in art, so I think it’s great that she really connected with this project and was really receptive to the ideas artists had on conservation.

What about the future? How do you think you’ll feel about the tattoo in 20 years time?

In twenty years time I have no idea how I will feel about the tattoo, but the more I live, the more I learn, and the more I learn, the more passionate I become.

Climate change and human activity is affecting our wildlife, and that’s only going to get worse unless we act quickly and dramatically. If we act now, while we still have a bit of a chance, I will be able to look at my tattoo and think, I’m glad we did something, and If not, I don’t think anybody will see it because my leg will probably be under water!

DSC_0608All imagery throughout courtesy of Natalia Kneen.

The recent grand opening of Tatty Devine’s new Covent Garden boutique was an affair to remember. A mini marching band led an excited crowd from Tatty Devine’s Soho shop to the new boutique in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials. Wearing giant Tatty Devine jewellery pieces and holding banners, web balloons and streamers the crowd ascended on to the brand’s new central London home on Monmouth Street. Guests enjoyed mulled cider and cupcakes as they celebrated the momentous occasion for the ‘plastic fantastic’, rx cult jewellery brand. Everyone who attended was treated to a lovely gift bag containing, among other treats, a beautiful pendant necklace from the ‘Button Up’ range.

DSC_0676Tatty Devine founders Rosie and Harriet pictured in the new store.

Tatty Devine founders, Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine will, next year, celebrate the 10th birthday of the company they started together way back in 2000. Since their humble beginning the brand has released well over 20 Collections and has collaborated with a wealth of creatives such as Rob Ryan, Ashish, Peter Jensen, Gilbert and George, Peaches, Bernstock Speirs and the V+A to name but a few. In addition to their stand alone stores Tatty Devine now have over 100 stockists worldwide including MOMA, Selfridges, Tate and Urban Outfitters. With such an established position within London’s fashion scene makes the brand an ideal addition to the exclusive Seven Dials location.  “Monmouth Street has a tradition of independent British fashion boutiques, which suits us perfectly. We’re bringing the spirit of our Soho shop to a new space where we can celebrate our 10th birthday next year in style!”

DSC_0604

The boutique will sell all the current collections, the Best of Tatty Devine range featuring the 50 most popular pieces, and of course their famous name necklaces. Also in stock will be; knitwear by KIND, sunglasses by Jeremy Scott and Alexander Wong, bags by Mimi, and excitingly they will be the exclusive UK stockist of Eley Kishimoto’s flash print purses.

DSC_0599

The Autumn/Winter 2009 ‘Button Up’ collection, inspired by the classic iconography of London’s Pearly Kings and Queens brings out a sense of London pride (and when you buy the Pearly King Brooch or Necklace, £1 from every sale will be donated to charity through the Pearly Kings and Queens Association). For the Tatty Devine aficionados out there you can also see Tatty Devine at Bust’s Craftacular event on December 12th, from 12-7pm, at York Hall in Bethnal Green.  Tatty Devine, 44 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9EP.

Categories ,Alexander Wong, ,Ashish, ,Bernstock Speirs, ,Bust Magazine, ,Covent Garden, ,Crafacular, ,Eley Kishimoto, ,Ester Kneen, ,Gilbert and George, ,Harriet Vine, ,Jeremy Scott, ,KIND, ,London’s Pearly Kings and Queens, ,Mimi, ,MOMA, ,Peaches, ,Peter Jensen, ,rob ryan, ,Rosie Wolfenden, ,Selfridges, ,Seven Dials, ,Tate, ,Tatty Devine, ,Urban Outfitters, ,va

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vivienne Westwood Shoes, An Exhibition 1973 – 2010, at Selfridges


Naomi Campbell wears Vivienne Westwood (1993), viagra sale illustrated by Krister Selin

It isn’t very often that a specific fashion designer is singularly celebrated for their contributions to fashion; when the V&A presented the Vivienne Westwood retrospective in 2004, medicine fashion fans were delirious at the opportunity to revel amongst the creations of our most fashionable Dame. This month, viagra the team at Selfridges reopen the Westwood archives and present a glorious exhibition devoted entirely to Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary footwear.


Vivienne Westwood, illustrated by Abi Daker

What began as a calm stroll into central London on a bank holiday Monday soon descended into chaos – it was absolutely heaving (and to those of you shouting OF COURSE IT WAS YOU BLOODY IDIOT at the screen – yeah, I know). A text to remind me I was going to a party at Shoreditch House as early as 6pm didn’t help either, so me and the other half legged it down Oxford Street to catch the exhibition, and thank heavens we did.

Located in the chic Ultralounge on the lower ground floor of Selfridges (where previous exhibitions and pop-ups have occurred, including the brilliant 100 years of Selfridges display), the room features long rows of glass cabinets holding a huge selection of Westwood footwear from over the years. The black walls are sparse, with a few large images from advertising campaigns and of Our Viv herself dotted here and there, and a show reel of some of Westwood’s awe-inspiring catwalk shows at the back of the room, featuring a soundtrack of sexed-up national anthems and punk hits. It is, however, row after row of shoes displayed like the crown jewels that capture the imagination the most.

Ordered chronologically, the exhibition charts the literal rise and rise of Dame Viv’s footwear, from surviving examples from SEX and Seditionaries, (including leopard mules worn by SEX shop assistant Jordan) right through to Propoganda pirate boots (worn mostly by the gays and people from Leeds) and pairs seen at the most recent fashion weeks. The most interesting comparison drawn when you’ve seen every pair is that there isn’t much of a comparison at all – similar shapes and themes are echoed through the ages, shoes that have been consistently daring and innovative.


Illustration by Joana Faria

There must be over 100 pairs on display, all of which are a delight to view, but here are some of my favourites:


Mock Crock Elevated Gillie from Anglomania, AW 1993


Frilly petit-pied sandal (there is a shoe in there somewhere) from Blue Sky, SS 2005


Elevated court shoe in PVC, 1994, illustrated by Dee Andrews


Can shoes, from Ultra Feminity, SS 2003


Biba shoes, from Le flou taillé, AW 2003


MAN coin sandals, from MAN, SS 2005


Swarovski court shoe with Gina, from 56, SS 2008

The exhibition is supported by Melissa, the wonderful Brazilian-born ethical label that champions Melflex®, the recycled plastic phenomenon that uses sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes. Beginning with plastic versions of iconic Vivienne Westwood shoes, the collaboration has grown to include many of the archive styles on display at the exhibition (re-imagined in plastic, of course).

Exhibitions of this calibre, celebrating our fashion designers and presented so brilliantly, don’t come around very often. So if you’re in London and anywhere near Selfridges, do check it out – you won’t be disappointed.


Illustration by Meera Lee

Until 22 September, admission free.

Get all the important details here.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,1973-2010, ,catwalk, ,Dame Viv, ,exhibition, ,footwear, ,Jordan, ,london, ,Meliflex, ,Melissa, ,Oxford Street, ,Plastic dreams, ,Seditionaries, ,Selfridges, ,SEX, ,shoes, ,Ultralounge, ,va, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | Roland Mouret in conversation with Colin McDowell at Selfridges

Roland Mouret by Yasmeen Ismail
Roland Mouret by Yasmeen Ismail.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what a hellish place Oxford Street is when you’re in a rush. Last Thursday, viagra having legged it home from work to change (what, click did you think I was going turn up in front of not one, but two living fashion legends in my standard office attire?) I had to dash out of Bond Street tube station, dodge hordes of dawdling tourists and run up three escalators to find I’d missed the first five minutes of the event. I was at Selfridges to watch fashion journalist Colin McDowell interviewing designer Roland Mouret in front of an audience of about 50 people. I needn’t have worried about my tardiness though. The next forty-five minutes were a fashion writer’s dream come true – Mouret’s wonderfully Gallic way with words elicited more truisms, maxims and aphorisms than a whole fashion week’s worth of backstage interviews. And, of course, a few clichés too, but I won’t begrudge him that.

Scarlett Johansson in Roland Mouret By Melissa Kime
Scarlett Johansson in Roland Mouret by Melissa Kime.

Straight off the bat, French-born Mouret reminisced dreamily about how the first shop he worked in was ‘like a window to the rest of the world,’ because it allowed him to observe people and what they wore close up. This was not some glamorous Parisian boutique, though; it was his parent’s butchers shop. Which prompted McDowell to ask what Mouret thought of dress made of meat that Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards. According to Mouret, Gaga is an artist whose genius borders on madness – ‘maybe it’s because inside she is as raw as the meat she was wearing’ he deadpanned – and he doesn’t envy that level of fame: ‘I’m really lucky that my dresses are more famous than me.’ But Mouret isn’t precious about how his customer chooses to dress, nor does the designer long for a return to the time of formality when gloves, hats and matching shoes were de rigueur for women. ‘It’s so easy to find the past quite charming and quite romantic but I find life more interesting now. I love to see what women want to buy from me and mix with other designers’

Roland Mouret's Galaxy Dress by Lou Taylor
Roland Mouret’s Galaxy Dress by Lou Taylor.

Roland Mouret started his design career late in life by today’s standards. ‘I was 36 and I said to myself, if at 40 I’m not making clothes I’m going to be a bitter bastard.’ Now a full-time London resident, he first came to England in the eighties and co-owned a nightclub for a time. Attracted by the counter-culture of Soho, he saw London as the ‘other side of the mirror’ to tasteful, Chanel-worshiping France. With no formal fashion design training, Mouret funded his own first ‘demi-couture’ collection, his definition of that being ‘when someone who doesn’t know how to make clothes tries to make some clothes and pretend they are couture.’ £2000 paid for all the fabric, production and the final show, but he had to cut corners at times, for instance using his own bed sheets to cut patterns until a friend told him that he should be using calico. ‘That winter I was producing the clothes myself on a manual sewing machine. The needle went through my finger so many times and I was bleeding on the clothes and I thought ‘it’s so conceptual, my DNA is on the clothes!’’

Scarlett Johansson Rouland Mouret Dress by Claire Kearns
Scarlett Johansson in a Rouland Mouret Dress by Claire Kearns.

Mouret concentrated on dresses simply because he didn’t know how construct anything more complicated. ‘I used hatpins instead of safety pins, but the first time someone wore [one of my dresses] when she came out of the car she had her arse to the public. So I had to learn how to make a zip.’

Seven years later it was those early dresses that inspired the watershed moment in Roland Mouret’s career, bringing him international fame and credibility. ‘I said to my team, I want to go back to the first dress, the dress that I never finished. And I had just met two women in my life, and I realised that I didn’t have anything for them in my collection.’ Those two women happened to be Dita von Teese and Scarlett Johansson. So, in 2005, the tight, sexy, cinch-waisted Galaxy Dress was born. Adopted as red carpet uniform by A-listers on both sides of the Atlantic, a million high street copies were spawned and the dress gained modern classic status almost instantly. The genius of the Galaxy was that it showed off an hourglass figure perfectly, but also gave the illusion of an hourglass shape on even someone as skinny as Victoria Beckham, who became a close friend of Mouret’s.

roland_mouret_dita_von_tease_soni_speight
Dita von Teese in Roland Mouret by Soni Speight.

That friendship proved to be instrumental in Mouret’s career. Amidst all the success and adulation Mouret split from his business partner, came close to bankruptcy and lost the right to sell his designs under the Roland Mouret moniker. It was at that point that Beckham introduced the designer to former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, who became Mouret’s new business partner. In 2010 they bought back the Roland Mouret name, a feat few designers in the same situation have managed.

GALAXY & DNA DRESS BY CHRIS RODWELL
The Galaxy dress by Chris Rodwell.

The Roland Mouret brand is still growing. A stand-alone shop at 8 Carlos Place in Mayfair opened in January this year and his first menswear collection launches for spring 2012. The latter came about when Mouret realised that at 46-years-old ‘there was nothing was on the market for me.’ Does his design philosophy differ for menswear? The importance of men and women dressing for each other is not lost on Mouret, but it’s the motivation that differs with mens clothing. ‘Men would love to undress the woman I dress and women would like to borrow an outfit from the man I dress,’ he told McDowell. Either way, Mouret loves to see his designs translated into real life. ‘With my new space in London, when [customers] come and try an outfit it’s so fantastic for me to be a part of their life through that outfit.’

London has served the designer well, and created that rare thing, a Frenchman who recognizes that the French have a tendency towards arrogance: ‘I still argue with people when I go back to France and they think they’re the best.’ I came away from the interview liking Roland Mouret, and not just because he’s a veritable sound bite machine. He’s got a blend of self-awareness and measured self-confidence that’s quite unique in the ego-driven fashion industry. If you ask me, he deserves nothing but credit for the hard work and raw talent that has taken him from the butcher’s shop to the stars.

Categories ,8 Carlos Place, ,Chris Rodwell, ,Claire Kearns, ,Colin McDowell, ,Demi-Couture, ,Dita Von Teese, ,Dress made of meat, ,french, ,Galaxy Dress, ,Ickleson, ,Lady Gaga, ,london, ,Lou Taylor, ,Mayfair, ,Meat Dress, ,Melissa Kime, ,MTV Music Video Awards, ,paris, ,Roland Mouret, ,Scarlett Johansson, ,Selfridges, ,Simon Fuller, ,Soni Speight, ,Victoria Beckham, ,Yasmeen Ismail

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Alex Noble

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, hospital but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, cialis 40mg gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” Not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, ambulance but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, medicine gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” Not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, shop but I greeted her warmly as soon as she joined me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, help gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, hospital performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that’s the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, approved but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, more about gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, drug performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Alex Noble by Alia Gargum
Alex Noble Soft Death by Alia Gargum.

Alex Noble creates cross disciplinary creative projects under the umbrella name of Alex Noble studio and is represented by the uber cool Ella Dror PR. He’s worked for super stylist (and now creative director of Mugler) Nicola Formichetti on projects for Lady Gaga, site and on photo shoots for Ellen Von Unworth and Mario Testino amongst many others. For two years he helped create props for the windows in Selfridges… the list of his creative collaborations goes on and on.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

But for his Soft Death collection Alex Noble has decided to embrace the couture market with an anatomically themed first collection. Presented in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields, this was an ambitious installation of mannequins, live models and music courtesy of Hannah Holland.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Surrounded by industrial rubber piping that emulated intestines, beautiful light-as-lace pale yellow concoctions encrusted with beading swung from simple stands. A strange alien-esque mould of a rib cape lay on green netted surgical bedding, its crystallised spine glinting like a rare treasure.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

At the far end of the room three uncomfortable looking models displayed the designs on pedestals – presumably they had been there for awhile. One sported an appliqued skeleton suit which would make the most fabulous Halloween outfit, another had vein like patterns creeping across her body. But it was the bandaged ball gown that made the most impression on me – the model swaddled with tightly crossed strips of silken fabric that extended across her head and over one eye. The model was so pissed off with her lot that she could barely contain her annoyance, even while I took a photo.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s obvious why Alex Noble is so beloved of exhibitionistic pop stars like Gaga, but the delicate frailty of his gorgeous couture gowns could just as easily attract rich patrons of a less outrageous nature. But the rarefied world of couture is not an easy world to crack, so I will be intrigued to see what Alex Noble does next. Watch the video of his presentation by Cathal O’Brien here:

Categories ,Alex Noble, ,Alia Gargum, ,Cathal O’Brien, ,Ella Dror PR, ,Ellen Von Unworth, ,Hallowe’en, ,Hannah Holland, ,Lady Gaga, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mario Testino, ,Mugler, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Selfridges, ,Soft Death, ,St Martin in the Fields, ,The Crypt

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Amelia’s Magazine | It’s National Wool Week!


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins


Illustration by Danielle Andrews

London is phenomenal, story a vast ever evolving metropolis where nothing stays still and sleep is for the dead. As much as it tires you out, the frenetic pace of life is what keeps us all going. The thing is: growing up in Dublin, there are times where I yearn for something a bit more relaxed. From almost anywhere in Dublin you can see the mountains and countryside, (From almost anywhere read: my house, and if I’m honest only the Irish call the Wicklow Mountains that, to most others they’re big hills). Try doing that in London. The parks are gorgeous, but they just dont cut it.


Sheep on Savile Row. Photography by Nick Bain

 On Monday though, Wool Week stepped up to the plate to help alleviate this pastoral longing. In order to champion the cause of the British Sheep Farmer, and the wonder natural resource that is wool, Savile Row was over run with our four-legged friends. Now, these were the cleanest sheep I had ever seen – but it was great to bring the countryside into town. The week was later launched in style by a fantastic party in Selfridges attended by the great and the good.

The initiative which was set up by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who champions the cause of wool. Shocked by the fact that it can cost a farmer more to shear a sheep than the value of its fleece, Charlie set up the cross-industry Campaign for Wool. Sure, we all have our favourite big wooly jumpers perfect for winter, but the fact is wool can be used in a huge variety of ways. From aerospace to insulation, wool has a huge range of uses. I’ll be honest though, I’m not too concerned about them. Championing great British fashion that uses wool on the other hand is another story.

The fine gauge knits of John Smedley, Pringle‘s innovative and directional intarsia, organic products from Daniel Hechter at John Lewis, traditional tweeds at Hackett and a lovely thick Crombie all show just how versatile wool is. There is a very good reason Britain used to be swamped from shore to shore in woolen products. Aran sweaters, cricket jumpers and kilts all make up part of our rich cultural heritage.  This should be celebrated! Yeah, they shrink in the wash – and some fibres can be itchy as hell (though with modern spinning techniques less so than the past) but don’t think of that awful school jumper you had growing up. Think of your gran knitting you that somewhat hideous jumper out of love. Think of the glamorous Tilda Swinton in Pringle. For heaven’s sake, think of the Queen in her twinset and pearls. Get behind Wool, leave the polyester blends behind.

If nothing else do it for the sheep….

National Wool Week runs until Sunday

Categories ,Aran, ,british, ,Crombie, ,Daniel Hechter, ,Dublin, ,Farming, ,Hackett, ,HRH, ,John Smedley, ,knitting, ,Prince Charles, ,Pringle, ,Queen, ,Savile Row, ,Selfridges, ,sheep, ,Tilda Swinton, ,Wicklow Mountains, ,wool, ,Wool Week

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alice Lee: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Preview

Alice Lee SS12 by Gemma Cotterell

Alice Lee S/S 2012 by Gemma Cotterell

The Vauxhall Fashion Scout ‘Ones to Watch‘ show is undoubtedly one of the highlights on the London Fashion Week calendar. It’s an opportunity for new designers to present their work, hand-picked because of their extraordinary designs, and for us fashion-hungry fans to witness the best of new talent.

For S/S 2012, design team, and in-real-life husband and wife, Lee Farmer and Alice Smith were chosen to showcase their collection. They had already received recognition for their work. In 2002, they had won the New Generation Sponsorship, and had previously received orders from Browns and Harrods. They re-launched Alice Lee as part of the VFS line up, after taking some time out from the label to focus on their family.

AW12 Sketch courtesy of Alice Lee

A/W 2012 Sketch courtesy of Alice Lee

Alice Lee is all about exceptional knitwear – a mix of intricate designs that for S/S 2012 were woven with strips of leather, in a simple palette of white, pale green, black and a splash of red. The collection was formed of modern shapes – deep cut and body con dresses, knitted trousers and varying hemlines, with a refined finish and detailing. There was an element of the futuristic to this collection, and I can remember Georgia Tackac’s review of the VFS Ones to Watch show, where she compared the Alice Lee collection to something Princess Leia would have had in her costume wardrobe.

Alice Lee SS12 by Jo Ley

Alice Lee S/S 2012 by Jo Ley

I spoke to Alice a few days before the chaos of LFW started, about inspirations, the new collection and the dominance of knitwear.

What impact did being chosen as one of Vauxhall Fashion’s Scout’s Ones to Watch last year have?
We got to do a catwalk show and got some good press then this led to orders, so in all a very good impact from being named as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch. From this we were chosen as one of the 5 Womenswear designers selected by Selfridges for their Bright Young Things project. This came hand in hand with an order for S/S 2012, and a window display for 2 months. This was an amazing opportunity to display the pieces in a way we wanted, and get the public to see our designs on Oxford Street, with it’s 1 million people a day passing by Selfridges.

Alice Lee coil-dress
A/W 2012 Coil Dress Fitting courtesy of Alice Lee

What have you been up to since then?
Since then we have been working on the orders we have received, which we made this time in our studio, as well as working on our window for Selfridges. We’re now working on our A/W 2012 collection.

Alice Lee sketch
A/W 2012 Dress Sketch courtesy of Alice Lee

What can we expect from your new collection?
We have been thinking about colours for winter. We do love black, but have just added a splash of colour here and there. There are some longer lengths in the dresses, and skirts. We have some outerwear with fur, faux of course as we never use real fur, or sheepskin. It’s just not our cup of tea.

Alice-Lee-By-Kris-Keys
Alice Lee S/S 2012 by Kris Keys

What were the inspirations and influences?
Many, too many to put down. A feeling from a poem by Dante. A feeling of being protected and armoured, and a continuation of the leather work combined with knitwear that we started to develop for S/S 2012.

Can you explain a little about your passion for design, and explain how you moved into fashion design.
Alice – I always loved making things and sewing as a child. I come from an ‘arty’ family, my dad is a photographer and my mom is a fashion designer, so I was inspired by them. Also I grew up from the age if 10 to 14 in a travelling theatre company touring Europe, with my dad, so I was surrounded by things and people that inspired and nurtured my creativity.

Alice Lee sketch dress
Alice Lee A/W 2012 Dress Sketch

Can you tell me a little about the process of your designs – perhaps a little about the materials and techniques that are used?
Well we both work through the ideas together, but Lee is more of the sketcher and I’m more of the knitter. So I knit swatches and Lee sketches. Then as are doing this we try shapes out on the mannequin, see what works then we usually go from that stage in to knitting the garment. At the moment we are using all natural yarns for winter, mostly wool and then hand threaded and stitched with leather stripes. A very time consuming process but we think it’s worth it. All pieces are hand made and fully fashioned.

You put the label on hold for a while to focus on family. How are you finding the balance with working now, especially with the lead up to LFW?
Well we have two children, so it is quite a juggling act. They are at nursery and school now so we have time to work. But they do come to the studio sometimes.

Can you explain why knitwear is such an integral part of your label?
It just kind of happened that way. I did my degree and MA in fashion knitwear. Also it’s probably a lot to do with making our own fabric from a cone of yarn and being able to knit it in to any shape and form we want to. Also the embellishment is very prominent. It’s very 3D, from the stitches to the end shape of the garment. We like to make something truly our own and with knitwear you can do.

Alice Lee will be showing their new A/W 2012 collection on Saturday 18th February at 14.45 at Somerset House, as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout at Freemasons Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AZ.

Categories ,Alice Lee, ,AW12, ,Bright Young Things, ,Faux Fur, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Georgia Tackacs, ,Jo Ley, ,knitwear, ,Kris Keys, ,leather, ,Ones To Watch, ,Selfridges, ,SS12, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Accessory Designer Hope Von Joel from Eye of the World Designs

Eye of the World by Milly Jackson
Eye of the World S/S 2012 collection by Milly Jackson.

Hope Von Joel is a multi-talented knitwear designer, more about stylist, see fashion editor and accessories designer. But just how does she do it all? Read on to find out more about Eye of the World Designs.

Hope, you studied knitwear at Central Saint Martins and have also worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh and Charlie le Mindu. As a stylist you’ve been a fashion editor for Super Super and now at Fiasco Magazine. What prompted the move into accessories design and was it a steep learning curve?
During my time at Central Saint Martins I worked at the houses of McQueen and Pugh on knitwear and design. These where both invaluable experiences and have definitely shaped by view of fashion to this date. It was a pleasure to see how the Design teams worked on the process behind such imaginative and wonderful collections. Styling wise yes I have previously worked with Charlie Le Mindu on his catwalk collection and Look Book; his creative flair is addictive and he is definitely a very capable and imaginative designer and business man! Styling for me is a great pleasure, I have worked on all sorts of projects from editorials for Elle Girl, Vogue, Oyster etc, to various fashion shows and big creative advertising campaigns – it’s a job with many different dimensions. I am always thrilled to work with clothing and accessories which break boundaries and challenge perceptions of the female form.  

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World Designs created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

WIth this in mind the move over to accessories designing was quite easy. Having studied the concept of design at Central Saint Martins and seeing what is on offer from the bigger design houses I felt there was definitely a place in the market for sustainable, beautifully designed and hand finished pieces that are also made in the UK. What is nice about this sort of design is the fact that people can follow it from the design to the finished piece. Much of our raw materials are recycled or reclaimed and this gives the buyer a personal experience. I had the opportunity to work with Brooke Roberts because I was styling her collections, and it has been a great platform to launch the designs and see them worn with knitwear, which is another one of my passions.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

How do you juggle your different jobs? 
It’s about time management and everything has its place. The way I work is very creative but things overlap and that’s the joy of London and the creative scene. I am with an agent in London for my styling: Clicks and Contacts. They are a great creative push in that area and the rest I am learning along the way. 

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

What’s in a name? How did you come up with Eye of the World designs?
Eye of the World Designs was thought up by my business partner Liam Motyer when we where travelling in South America. It became one of our favourite sayings and can apply to anything and everything. Our love of the organic form of wood seemed to offer a great view point on the world. I like the way it influences everything, very much like fashion; and so our use of wood has stuck.

Eye of the World S/S 2012 belts by Estelle Morris
Eye of the World S/S 2012 belts by Estelle Morris.

What inspires you when you start creating a collection and how do you ensure your ideas are translated into successful accessories. What parameters do you need to consider?
Colour colour colour colour… and wood. We take influences from anything and everything, from organic forms to marbles and glass… really anything that touches us. The colours of wood play a great influence, so if something doesn’t go with wood it’s not for us! This season we have been loving Orchids, Marbles and Wood. We always consider the season, who our customer is and what she is going to wear our accessories for. It’s like playing dress up with your favourite doll, creating a scene, place and style for each particular season.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

Most of your designs use wood – why is this and where do you source your wood from?
All our wood is sustainable, reclaimed or recycled and sourced locally to SE London. The reason we love wood is because Liam is a master craftsmen and his creativity and flair is in his manipulation of wood. We design and hand make every piece together in Peckham, with much love.

Eye of the World Designs S/S 2012
Eye of the World Designs S/S 2012.

Your pieces are notable for being extremely bold. How do you think they are best worn?
With a smile and a confidence that belongs to the wearer. I think that you should wear your clothes and accessories instead of letting them wear you.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

Your collection is styled with knitwear by Brooke Roberts – how does this collaboration work, and does it make you miss the world of knitwear? Any chance of a return?  
We worked with Brooke Roberts on two collaborations this season and last season. Last season I also styled her collections as I have done for some time. Her knitwear is luxurious and beautifully finished and her organic forms lend themselves to wooden accessories beautifully. I would love to return to knitwear and sometime soon I know I will! It’s a love and once you have the bug and the creative knowledge it’s like riding a bike.

Eye of the World Designs Converse
You recently created a special piece for the Converse Bag range. Can you tell me a little bit more about this project and what inspired your design?
Working with Converse was ace, we where asked to design a bag that reflected our love for Back to School. For us school was about movies, skating and moving forwards with speed. So we referenced the movie Back to the Future and created a real treat – a wooden and red flocked bag that combines music and design. Our signature is wood and so it seemed a perfect combination. The wood was all reclaimed and matched the original bags colour and the flocking is a technique that we are perfecting at the moment. We are also flocking wooden hats for editorials, so watch this space. We had a ball making the Converse bag and look forward to more projects in the future.

Eye of the World Designs Converse bag
What’s next for Eye of the World?
Well the world is our oyster. We hope to make more bespoke accessories because we love making extravagant pieces, which we have done for a few mega editorials that will be out in some big publications shortly. We are also now working on an A/W 2012 collection that will sparkle you all away. Eye of the World Designs continues to collaborate with all sorts of people. Our master craftsman Liam is creating some pieces with furniture makers Hendzel and Hunt for Designersblock and also for Selfridges. Lastly but most excitingly Eye of the World Designs for Brooke Roberts are now available to buy at Browns Focus and bespoke pieces are available directly from us.

You can follow Hope Von Joel‘s exploits on her blog, and don’t forget to take a peek at the Eye Of The World website too.

Categories ,accessories, ,Alexander Mc Queen, ,Back to School, ,Brooke Roberts, ,Browns Focus, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Clicks and Contacts, ,Converse Bag, ,Designersblock, ,Elle Girl, ,Estelle Morris, ,Eye of the World, ,Fashion Editor, ,Fiasco Magazine, ,Gareth Pugh, ,interview, ,knitwear, ,Liam Motyer, ,Marbles, ,Milly Jackson, ,Orchids, ,Oyster, ,Peckham, ,Reclaimed, ,recycled, ,S/S 2012, ,Selfridges, ,stylist, ,Super Super, ,sustainable, ,vogue, ,wood, ,Woodcraft

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Amelia’s Magazine | Aware: Art Fashion Identity at the Royal Academy

this web Little Rich Girls, capsule 2010″ src=”http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Installation-shot-from-GSK-Contemporary-Aware-Yinka-Shonibare-Little-Rich-Girls-2010-.jpg” alt=”” width=”480″ height=”654″ /> Yinka Shonibare MBE, abortion Little Rich Girls, 2010, Installation shot from GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity, Commissioned by the London College of Fashion and the Royal Academy of Arts, © The Artist, Photo: Andy Stagg, Courtesy Royal Academy of Arts, London

In 2009, the Royal Academy of Art’s exhibition exploring contemporary art, Earth: Art of a Changing World featured a selection of artists engaging with the physical impacts of Climate Change. For 2010 the Royal Academy turned it’s attention to the subject of identity and clothing in Aware: Art Fashion Identity. Broken down into three segments; Storytelling, Building and Belonging and Confronting, the exhibition endeavors to examine the possibilities provided –as explored by artists and fashion designers- by clothing to reveal and conceal our cultural and physical identity.

A new commission from Yinka Shonibare focused on cultural perceptions of the origin of a cloth usually associated with Africa. Under closer examination, these perceptions turn out to be false. Shonibare’s ghostly installation reveals that the origination of the batik pattern thought to be synonymous with Africa, is in fact Holland. The Dutch pattern makers sold the fabric em masse to Africa, only after a European buyer could not be found.

Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1965, A film by Albert and David Maysles of Yoko Ono’s performance of Cut Piece at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, 21 March 1965, 16mm black-and-white film with sync sound, transferred to DVD, running time 9’ Courtesy of the artist

After entering the Royal Academy via Burlington Arcade and walking up the stairs into the main exhibition space. The audience moves through the three sections in a circular motion; first encountering Storytelling (announced by the presence of an embroidered kimono by Grayson Perry) then Building and finally Belonging and Confronting. The audience departs Aware: Art Fashion Identity via the two of the exhibition’s most interesting works – both of which are nearing 30 years old.

Yoko Ono and Marina Abramovic’s performance pieces lay bare the artifice and cultural constructs which lay at the heart of both fashion and art identity. In the 9 minute video, Marina Abramovic and Ulay stand naked in a gallery doorway, forcing visitors to confront the physicality of the naked body, stripped of it’s adornments. Meanwhile in a video opposite Yoko Ono sits quietly on a stage whilst members of the audience snip her free from the garments of femininity. An exciting introduction to these two artists, it is a shame that more of their work was not included.

The limited inclusion of performance art is a lost opportunity, specifically because the three included pieces (Marina Abramovic Yoko Ono and Cindy Sherman) lend themselves vividly to the concept (i.e. the relationship between our cultural and personal identity and how we are perceived by others) this exhibition was starting to explore.

GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity
Royal Academy of Arts, 2 December 2010 – 30 January 2011, Marina Abramovi?, Imponderabilia Performance 1977
Galleria Comunale d’Arte, Bologna © Marina Abramovi?. Courtesy of Marina Abramovi? and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. © DACS 2010
Photo by Giovanna dal Magro

Cindy Sherman’s Paper Doll, an early video piece from the acclaimed artist, which lasts for 2.30 minutes, was located within the first room of the exhibition. In Paper Doll Cindy Sherman questions the accepted popularity of a toy heavily steeped in gender stereotyping: the paper doll. In the piece Sherman reduces herself into an inanimate object whose sole purpose is to decide what to wear depending on that day’s activity. At the end of the film, a hand removes the clothes displaying the doll’s nudity and places her back in her box. An intriguing piece of work, this singular nod does nothing to encourage the exploration of Sherman’s overture, including Untitled, a series of stills in which the artist explored the creation of a particular type of femininity after the rise of the movie.

Cindy Sherman, Doll Clothes 1975, Stills from 16 mm film on DVD, © Cindy Sherman / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna / Sprüth Magers Berlin London

Throughout the exhibition, Aware: Art Fashion and Identity makes rapid nods to artists and fashion designers alike – a single McQueen stands in the corner. Devoid of its context and standing alone within the white walls of the RA the identity of the dress becomes lost. When viewed within an entire collection, this beautiful object becomes a brutal critique on historical and modern notions of femininity.

Alexander McQueen, Autumn Winter 1998: Joan, Photo © Chris Moore, Courtesy of Catwalking

An enjoyable exhibition, though the art appears to be spread too thin and the outcome of which is that interesting ideas are left hanging or barely graspable unless you enter the exhibition with prior knowledge of the artists or fashion designers previous body of work.

The final section of the exhibition explores ideas surrounding Belonging and Confronting. Sharif Waked’s Chic Point places the daily humiliation the Palestinian man undergoes at Israeli checkpoints onto the catwalk. The photographs included at the end were taken by the artist, visualising the moment when clothes cease to become clothes and mutate into something – whether imagined or not – fearful and different.

Sharif Waked, Chic Point, 2003, DVD, running time 5’ 27” Courtesy of the artist, Photo Sharif Waked

Coco Chanel suggestion that we “look for the woman in the dress and if there is no woman, there is no dress” is taken up by Hussein Chalayan’s latest commission. In Son of Sonzai Suri, the fashion designer uses the 300-year-old Japanese tradition of Bunraku puppet theatre to lay bare the hidden puppeteers at the heart of the fashion industry.

Hussein Chalayan, ‘Son’ of Sonzai Suru, 2010, Installation shot from GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity, Commissioned by the London College of Fashion and the Royal Academy of Arts, © The Artist, Photo: Andy Stagg, Courtesy Royal Academy of Arts, London

Aware: Art Fashion Identity closes with the video pieces of Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono. With the decision to close the exhibition here, it appears that the critique of identity and femininity stopped in the 70’s. It could have been an interesting experiment to juxtapose 70′s performance art against the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen or Maison Martin Margiela.

The past few months have been fantastic for those interested in fashion, with a splurge of fashion related exhibitions across the capital, get to the Royal Academy quick before Aware: Art Fashion Identity closes on the 30th January 2011.
Royal Academy, 6 Burlington Gardens, London

Categories ,6 Burlington Gardens, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Aware: Art Fashion Identity, ,Belonging, ,Cindy Sherman, ,clothes, ,India, ,London College of Fashion, ,marina abramovic, ,Mumbai, ,politics, ,Royal Academy, ,The Body, ,Yinka Shonibare, ,Yoko Ono

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