Turkish born Zeynep Kartal is one of the new influx of foreign born designers who are bringing a little red carpet glamour to the Fashion Scout catwalks. Her SS15 catwalk show opened with zingy lemon yellow floor sweeping gowns – backless, strapless, sheer, asymmetric glamour offset with barely there make up and simple locks worn cascading down the back. Zeynep Kartal’s Efflorescence collection featured plenty of floaty dresses covered in subtle rose pink and white florals inspired by the classic novel The Secret Garden, and for those preferring a darker palette there were boxy dove grey satin tops embellished with beaded starbursts and pleated georgette dresses with plunging necklines and cinched-in waists. A glorious rose encrusted A-line dress made for a playful finale from the Manchester based designer.
Readers of my second book Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration will recognise the name Michelle Urvall Nyrén: in those pages you can find wonderful examples of her beautiful watercolour fashion illustrations. In the years since the book was published Michelle has been busy designing and launching her very first fashion collection, inspired by both her love of watercolour design and her ethical education. Not surprisingly, the Ever Rêve S/S 2013 collection is a beautiful first outing for this talented lady.
Your beautiful inaugural collection was put together in collaboration with Swedish writer Hanna Ricksten. What was the process of meeting and deciding to work together?
At the beginning of my working process there is always a persona. I always use characters and fictional stories as an inspiration to build up a collection as it helps me to create an ambience and gives me a set to work in. My choices of colours, patterns and cuts can be traced in this story or in the character.
Hanna and I have known each other for a long time and she has been writing stories for as long as I have been working with textiles. When I started working with Ever Rêve I talked a lot to Hanna and realised that we share many ideals and dreams, which is why we decided to create a story together. I sent Hanna all of my inspiration work; notes, photos, colour samples and sketches and she based the story on that. It was a very stimulating process of reciprocal creativity.
The model in your look book has a very unique look: how did you come to cast her?
I cast Aleksandra at a distance from photos sent by friends we have in common. She lives in Poland where we took the photos and I didn’t get to actually meet her until the day of the photo shoot. I love her look; she expresses both strength and vulnerability at the same time. I am always looking for something unique in models; Aleksandra was perfect for this collection. She is also very hard working. On the day of the shoot, it was about 35 degrees. We decided to take photos of the knitwear in the late afternoon, but the temperature remained really high. Once I asked her to put the knitted jumper on I could see a look of terror on her face, but she quickly covered it up with a smile. She is a great girl and a very professional model.
What inspired the patterns you have used?
There is a strong yet rough expression in some Polish graphic designs that have inspired me a lot, working with straight lines and simple shapes. I found it challenging to work with strong graphics in combination with the water colours, as the technique automatically softens it up a bit. I have also been strongly inspired by textiles that my grandmother made in the sixties.
Can you tell us a bit more about your family’s textile history?
My grandmother was a textile artist and designer and she worked a lot with traditional wax batik in the early sixties. She used this technique to make bright and colourful graphic patterns on pieces of clothing. I have never met my grandmother as she died when my mother was born, but I have been told my whole life that I am like her. I found it very hard to relate to this when I was younger but then I was given a box full of clothes made by her a couple of years ago and I clearly saw the connection.
How did your fashion illustrations inform the creation of this collection?
I was intentionally looking to link my illustration and textile work together with Ever Rêve. I have been working with water colours for as long as I can remember and it is a technique I feel confident with. A couple of years ago I experimented with silk dyes and found that the effect I was searching for was similar to silk painting. I think this has been a quite natural progress: coming out of experiments and a need to explore new materials and surfaces.
How have your ethics affected the making of this collection?
Ethics, environment and sustainability were a big part of my education and are still something I pay a lot of attention to. I looked at every part of the production process and asked myself how I can improve. For example, the parts of the collection that are hand painted are made on an organic silk (a production without insecticides or pesticides) and the knitted garments are made out of recycled silk/viscose yarn. The only tricky part is to find someone who does digital printing on organic fabrics, something that I am still searching for. I was also very careful selecting the printers and the seamstress – they are both small family run businesses which care about their employees. I am still concerned about all the travelling the fabrics need to do before they get a final steam on the hanger, but I have spoken to some charities who advised me on how to reduce and offset our carbon footprint. There is always room to improve!
Where are the garments made and by whom?
The Ever Rêve garments are made in Łódź, Poland. My partner has got contacts in the textile industry and they recommended a seamstress and her team. They are very skilled and experienced and they have worked with many international designers before.
Who do you hope will wear these clothes. What will she do in them?
I hope that Ever Rêve appeals to women in many different ages, doing many different things. Because some of the garments are hand painted and very luxurious I don’t expect them to be worn every day; however my friend who has a six month old baby wears her stripy silk shirt for most things, washes it in water with some shampoo and irons it dry. The clothes are made to be worn, living life with their wearers; at work, on holiday, at parties or celebrations.
Who are your dream stockists?
I would love to see the clothes in Liberty, because of their long tradition and history of fabrics and prints. Browns is another dream stockist.
What are your next plans for Ever Rêve?
I am currently working on the A/W 2013 collection. With this collection I am hoping to participate in more events for young designers, competitions and shows during London Fashion Week. I am trying to make a solid ground for Ever Rêve to stand on and to build it up from there, little by little and with patience. Big dreams and fantasies trigger you to work hard, but only when they are mixed with a sensible attitude and realistic goals can they actually come into fulfilment.
All look book photography and film by Sejin Ahn. I can’t wait to see how Ever Rêve develops.
The interview (a must read) discusses Bora Aksu’s involvement with People Tree and the designer’s personal attempts to incorporate ethically sourced material in the main collection.
As aforementioned, viagra approvedBora’s shows are often magical and his Spring Summer 2011 collection was no exception, the designer signature material combinations were present on the dresses alongside the new additions of delicately tapered trousers.
For S/S 11 Bora Aksu premiered his new collection as part of the always pleasing On|Off schedule (there are multiple schedules at London Fashion Week and after three seasons I am still getting my head around the numerous venues, times, places and dates!). Set in the basement of Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London Fashion Week“>Aksu produced a series of eerily romantic garments in which all the looks were completed by inky black lines on cream hosiery.
A whimsical affair, each dress elaborated the models physical features through the application of delicate ruffles. Carefully crafted materials mimicked that of an anatomically deconstructed corset. The adorned dresses drew attention to Bora Aksu’s craft drawing the viewers eyes towards every seam, hem and contrasting material.
The collection celebrated the experience of wearing material, from lace panels to the injection of silver jacquard in a pair of beautifully cut trousers. Compared to S/S 10, S/S 2011 was a pared down collection, but as always the designer’s dress patterns intrigued the viewer’s eye.
The mainly muted collection contained moments of vivid saturation achieved by the addition of a beautiful deep red. As always Bora’s eye for collecting and studying discarded garments made this a very special collection and a lovely week to London Fashion Week.
Last London Fashion Week, information pills the Maria Grachvogel show was celebtastic, with Erin O’ connor and Yasmin Le Bon sitting front row. There seemed to be a lack of famous faces this time round, but it could be that they were driven away by the incessant ‘chirping crickets’ soundtrack which, as we waited for the show to start, began to grate on the soul. The natural world vibe seemed to be lost on the lady sitting next to me who was wearing what can only be described as an entire hind; despite it being so mild that I hadn’t even worn a jacket.
To begin with it was hard to spot the influence of Nature in the collection; there were far too many nude, caramel and pale silver numbers for my liking; which I should have expected given words like ‘minimalism’ and ‘chic simplicity’ that were bandied around in the press blurb. Not until the appearance of a canary yellow fishtail gown did anything make me sit up and take notice; hair and make-up being equally bland…sorry, I mean ‘minimalist’.
Kingfisher blue pieces brightened up the collection and the final few numbers bearing ‘wolf,’ ‘moth wing’ and ‘phoenix’ artwork had me almost converted. Organic greens and a fiery orange against deep blue really did evoke a reflection of the environment, unlike the opening pieces of the collection which were all a bit on the beige side.
I guess if you have the body of a ballerina and the face of a supermodel you might be able to throw on a paper thin, nude dress that clings to you as you walk; and whilst the effect of the chiffon and silk as the models moved was beautiful, I fail to see it being a look many women could pull off. The prints however were truly striking, and would flatter many more skin tones than the pale, caramel palette.
All photography by Amelia Gregory
London Fashion Week opened with a collective bemused giggle when the well dressed crowd of a certain age overheard stressed shouting backstage at the Paul Costelloe show. This elder statesman of British fashion is not a designer that I’ve ever really paid attention to before, cure and I’m wondering why that is?
His was a delightful show, order featuring darling flared skater and layered tulip shape skirts bedecked in dainty digital prints and accessorised with some fabulous bottom bows and some bright pink lipstick. It was all shown with big back combed hair and a jaunty bounce. And the best thing? It was all eminently wearable.
I wasn’t so enamoured of his menswear. I am sure it was beautifully cut but some was pretty conservative, ed though the shorts were a cute touch and I liked the floral print shirts and the splashes of colour.
The show ended with woops from the audience as his paraded down the catwalk. I’ll just say that again: SIX sons. SIX. Did you get that. He has SIX sons. We were all marvelling at this fact after the show, when it was pointed out that he is Irish. Still, as someone said, “doesn’t he have a TV?”
Two of his sons take to the catwalk.
Definitely a designer to check out if you’ve never thought of doing so before.
The usual onslaught of chaos occurred outside, but I knew that once inside, it would be relatively empty. In the basement of Victoria House, I was right – rows of empty seats were frantically being filled as I picked a good standing vantage point from which to view this season’s bizarre brilliance.
A KTZ menswear show tends to feel comfortingly familiar, yet entirely different. The ambiguous, evocative symbols that mix Sanskrit with religious symbols with godknowswhat adorned most garments, black and white dominated this collection and the silhouettes were as dramatic as ever. So what do you do to mix things up a bit? Paint the bloody models ice white, of course. This is definitely not a show to appeal to the Harris Tweed brigade.
Pieces seemed to be bigger than ever this season. XXL hoods draped over models past the knee; furs, scarves and thick fabrics enveloped models’ faces and necks; a sort of Arctic exploration on LSD. I was dazzled by caps with metal embellishments, metal headpieces that crept down foreheads, jewels attached to sweatshirts that had been arranged in a precise, mathematical fashion, and skintight jumpsuits that were so low cut that they revealed navels.
The tribal, cultish vibe remained at this collection’s core, its mix of graphic emblems and experiments with fabric keeping every audience member’s attention all the way through over forty looks. I won’t even attempt to define it, categorise it, or discuss it in terms of how wearable, sellable or functional it is. That would be a mistake. It’s better to sit (or stand) back, revel in the showmanship of it all, then stock up on Snazaroo face paint when you get home.
A while back I happened to catch a performance by Lissie at the Old Queens Head in Angel. I hadn’t planned on watching her – truth be told, more abouthealing I was there to check out the band before her ; but my curiosity was piqued as I watched the room fill up with an expectant and excited audience, rx all craning their necks and standing on their tippy toes to get a better view of the girl serenading us. It’s been a while since I saw someone so captivating. Golden haired, this site freckled and just a slip of a thing, Lissie entranced the room who in turn treated her to a hushed and reverential silence, punctuated only by bursts of spirited applause and cheers. I watched the audience watching her. Everyone seemed transported out of their location; away from the top room of a pub on grimy old Essex Road and into the world that Mid-Western native come Californian girl Lissie inhabits, laced with the scent of orange blossom, filled with wide open skies, winding rivers and smokey mountains, and night-times spent on porches with nothing but a guitar, a couple of beers and a pack of Marlboro Reds . No wonder we were all captivated.
A couple of weeks later, I got to meet the busy Lissie. In the time between, Lissie had appeared on Jools Holland, toured around Europe, duetted with Ellie Goulding at The Great Escape, and graced the airwaves, all in the name of the hectic promotion of her debut album, Catching a Tiger (hot on the heels of the release of last years Why You Runnin’ EP). The phrase ‘riding a juggernaut’ comes to mind with Lissie; bursting into our consciousness with the brightest of starts. The day we met was a rare moment of down time; her touring schedule is in a constant state of flux – stretching to accommodate gigs that are being added on a daily basis, and Lissie had only just made it back from the previous nights gigs in Manchester and Newcastle. Curled up wearing her newest acquisition – a red jacket with white piping brought from a charity shop up North which made her look, she remarked cheerily, like “Santa Claus”, she lamented the ever decreasing amount of free time but was laughingly quick to note that it’s “a quality problem- it’s only busy because it’s going well, if no-one liked the music then there wouldn’t be things for me to do!” As Amelia’s Magazine is nothing if not versatile in its roles, I was happy to take on the guise of English Tourist Board representative, and suggest a list of places to visit when she finally gets a day off; though when that day will be, we will never know! ( FYI, Lissie was especially keen on the visit to Hampton Court Palace idea). As she munched on a healthy beetroot salad – my lunch advice was a visit to Mr Jerk in Soho for some fattening salt fish patties; probably best that not all of my suggestions get listened to) – I decided to find out just where this spirited… got her start in life.
I always loved to sing, I was a pretty outspoken, strong willed little kid! I got a little shyer and more introverted when I got older but as a kid I used to stomp my feet when I walked (swings arms in a very determined manner), I was always talkin’… My family were really sweet and encouraging, but at school I would get into a lot of trouble because I would talk back, I always knew what was best for me, and when other people used to tell me what was best for me, I would be like “uh oh! Not gonna do it!” (laughs) I loved to sing, so becoming a songwriter was a great way for me to express my feelings, you know. I wasn’t always great at talking about things, and so I could write these little melodies…. even as a little kid, I would sing my feelings. I sang to my sister; I do recall tape recording this mean song about her, and leaving a tape recorder about her under her bedroom door and then pressing play and running away! (laughs) And then in high school I went through my phase of being more introverted – I pierced my nose, got a tattoo, started smoking,….I did my own thing cause I didn’t really fit in to any particular group. I started writing music, taught myself guitar and then started working at this coffee shop where I could play.
What type of music were you listening to then?
Music wise, when I was younger I was into folk, Americana, musical theatre, and then in high school I was into country and gangsta rap
Those are two very different genres!
You wouldn’t think that these are similar in any way, but when you listen to either country or rap, it’s people telling their story. Indie rock can be more obtuse or obscure. Country and rap is some one speaking in the first person, you know? It’s more like, “this is my story, this is my experience.”
Do you respond to music that is more heartfelt and honest?
Totally, but I like all kinds of stuff. Although I don’t really listen to music to get inspired for my own music.
Did you move to California immediately after high school?
First I went to Colorado, to go to study at Colorado State. I was playing music and sang with a DJ there, and he ended up getting our song placed on tv shows. That was a catalyst for me; I realised that I could make a living making music, maybe eventually a good living! And then I went and did a semester of school (our version of uni) in Paris. I was singing there as well; I met a woman who helped me get shows in bars, and I also got some stuff played on college radio. After that I dropped out of school, and moved to LA – only cause I figured that that’s where you go when you want to be a singer!
Comparisons have been made to the hazy and bohemian rock n’ roll that came out of Laurel Canyon in the 70′s (think Joni Mitchell, The Doors, and Stevie Nicks). Lissie’s 2010 version is honed from living in an area not more than a mile or two away; Beechwood Canyon, a creative hub of artists and musicians and a world away from the plastic glamour and sheen of Beverly Hills. Los Angeles is known for chewing up and spitting up many a wide eyed starlet and ingenue, but strong-willed Lissie was never going to be one of the victims….
I don’t know if it’s me being stubborn, or being from the Mid West, but….I’m not bullshit, I don’t want bullshit in my life. I’m still nice, you know? I was never tempted by (the LA madness.) I always knew what I wanted to do. And I wasn’t immediately successful… I had figured that by 22 I was gonna make a record, and I didn’t make one till I was 26. But I was never like “I’m never going to be successful, maybe I need to be skinnier, or prettier, or I need to start doing drugs!
A year ago (while dealing with the messy end of a relationship) Lissie made a decision – part gut instinct, part cosmic order – to leave LA and head north to the tranquil town of Ojai, a place that she had never even stepped foot in…
Do you get inspired by the peace of Ojai?
Unfortunately i was more inspired to write when I was in Hollywood, because there was more more me to get worked up about. (sighs) There was this guy that I dated…… we broke up and our breakup process was drawn out and painful, which gave me a lot of material (laughs). Part of the reason why I moved was because it felt like my family was broken, and I needed a change. I put it out there; I was on a plane coming back from Tennessee and…. sometimes I just say what I want, and try to have faith that it will happen, and this is the weird thing; I found myself sitting next to two people who lived in Ojai, and I told them that I was heading back to LA, and they suggested I visit Ojai. So I got back to LA and instantly knew that I couldn’t be there; there was something in me that said “you have to move to Ojai, even though I had never been there before!” I went online, and found this house that cost less than my apartment in LA . I put down a deposit and moved, gone! And it was the best thing for me. I totally healed my heart there, and got myself in a position where I could really focus on myself, and what I need to do. I live alone, with my dog, I go for walks. And I make a ton of pie! (laughs)
So you have a summer of touring in England?
Yeah, every day we get a revised schedule. We’re (Lissie and her band) doing festivals for the next few months, and in October, November and December there will be at least one thing a month going on in England, so it’s unclear whether we will just stay here or start our momentum in the States, ’cause I still have to go promote my album over there. I don’t exactly know what’s going to be happening, but it’s all good.
Don’t miss this opportunity to catch some of the best up and coming fashion designers showcasing their work in such a wonderful setting, so very far from the usual hubbub associated with urban fashion shows.
Of course I couldn’t resist putting a sneak preview of the best designers out to a host of illustrators…
Models will be provided by Elite, which might well excite the man in your life… and this major model agency will also be scouting the festival for the next big thing. Ooo-eeeee. Will you be down by the lakeside this weekend?
On the last day of London Fashion Week I just managed to catch the Leutton Postle presentation at Fashion Scout. Well, I say I, I had Snarfle attached to my front in a wrap like a carbuncular baby growth: most fun when trying to elbow my way into what passed for the photographer’s pit, for this season Leutton Postle eschewed the catwalk in favour of a presentation in the upper rooms. They had also decided to forgo their usual chunky knits, and instead focus on lightweight knitwear suitable for summer and presumably much easier to commercially produce. Still present and correct were the fabulous colour combinations that this brand has become known for – cobalt blue, mustard and dusky fleshy peach tones teamed with eye popping turquoise, red and orange trims.
Tassels reigned supreme – both chunky knots and delicate strands – fringing waist lines, slices of hem and cropped jackets. Zig zag triangles called to mind traditional ikat designs, re-imagined for a digitalised modern world. What looked like a light cable knit was used horizontally and vertically to create a bold pattern reminiscent of wire fencing. Knit was worn with loose shirts sporting appliqué details and high feature collars in contrasting materials, or teamed with floating wide legged chiffon trousers. This was all accessorised with bright red lips, slicked back mini quiffs… and some fascinating sunglasses and heels, heavily decorated with brightly coloured beads like those that can be glued into pictures for children’s artwork.
Leutton Postle S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
S/S 2013 showcased an interesting move forward for Leutton Postle – with a range of garments that managed to retaining all the fun elements and intriguing layered textures of their previous collections, whilst also showing how their unique aesthetic might work on the shop shelf.
As the fashion world gears up for the next edition of London Fashion Week here is a reminder of the amazing graduate talent that feeds our show schedules, with some of the finest Graduate designers featured in last September’s Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase.
Bath Spa graduate Grace Weller was a Graduate Fashion Week Winner, creating intricate sheer gowns covered in flamboyant red flowers.
Quoi Alexander is a Central Saint Martins graduate who specialises in intricate woven garments, layering multiple threads and ribbons on top of each other to create an appealing dishevelled rag rug effect.
Holly Jayne Smith’s bold style has a distinct 80s feel, with graphic monochrome zigzags paired with flared skirts and eye catching headwear.
I have been attending Graduate Fashion Week for six years now and every year I wonder how such young designers manage to be so creative. Once again the final 25 collections showcased in last week’s Gala Show were truly outstanding and revealed a wide range of talent to watch. The night began on a poignant note with a moment’s thought for the late Louise Wilson, the formidable Central Saint Martins tutor who was integral in the training of luminaries such as Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou. Here’s hoping that one of these finalists and winners goes on to as much success.
GFW Menswear Award: Aimee Dunn – Nottingham Trent University
I know it’s menswear but who doesn’t love stealing their boyfriends clothes? Dunn’s collection of monochrome looks were superbly put together and with Thatcher on the front of a jumper you’re never going to avoid attention. Dunn also picked up the Menswear award at the end of the evening – well deserved.
George Gold Award winner and GFW Womenswear Award: Grace Weller – Bath Spa University
The embroidery and workmanship that had gone into Grace’s beautiful collection of Erdem-esque floral and sheer dresses was astounding. Not only did Grace pick up the Womenswear Award but she walked away with the £10,000 Gold Award to kick start her label.
Rebecca Rimmer – UCLAN
Brightly coloured clothes painted onto bigger clothes. Sounds ridiculous, works really well on the catwalk, as Rebecca Rimmer proved. Her cartoonish collection was fun and original as well as having a high impact on the audience as it closed the show.
Holly Jayne Smith – Birmingham City
Foot-high hats and a pop art colour palette ensured this collection caught our attention and made us rethink light blue as a staple. The models also carried co-ordinated bright sports back packs which I loved.
Lauren Lake – Kingston University
Coloured fur made its mark last season and Lauren Lake’s first model strode out in a huge over sized, pink fur-lined shearling coat, so it was always going to be a winner. The silver metallic skirts and block boots, pink PVC and top knots ticked all the boxes, just amazing.
Colleen Leitch – Edinburgh College of Art
80’s glamour is back in Colleen Leitch’s collection of exquisite looks brought together by scattered sequins and dark colours in draping fabrics clinched at the waist for maximum femininity.
GFW Creative Catwalk Award: Camilla Grimes – Manchester School of Art
Pink fur again, hopefully not real, (trend alert!) but this time alongside a more delicate and feminine ensemble that had hints of Jonathan Saunders about it (never a bad thing). Sheer embroidered shirts and a hooded bomber jacket were just two of the items I want in my wardrobe.
Fashion graduates of 2015, I can’t wait to see what you’ll have in store!
If you try to describe this to someone (which you shouldn’t, this websales don’t give anything away), doctormedications you will sound like you are conjuring from memory a nonsensical and fantastical dream; not something remotely tangible that actually happened in a 25-minute journey through a Shorditch warehouse.
Enter the ride and find yourself wheeled through 15 distinct scenarios with over 70 artists acting out micro-performances. “Designed to mentally and visually astound”, check; “leaving you overwhelmed and exhilarated’, check and check; and finishing the ride “in a totally different emotional state from the one you were in when you embarked on the journey”, most definitely true: utterly elated, mesmerised, and psychologically discombobulated.
The You Me Bum Bum train represents a new branch of experimental live art where the line between performer and audience is not just blurred, but utterly turned on it’s head; interaction is integral to the experience, and how far you take this is up to you. It’s creators Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd, intend to strip individuals of decision-making, giving passengers the would-be ordinary experience of somebody else’s shoes. You are left with fleeting slices of alternate realities, one moment you might be a drummer, the next a translator (I really don’t want to say much!). It’s real human experience through the prism of the utterly surreal, and it will take you some time to reclaim your grasp on the two, a most marvellous and novel experience.
The venue is essential to the experience, and they describe Cordy House as their dream venue, lending itself to the most ambitious event they’ve held yet.
There isn’t much time to go, and I whole-heartedly recommend it as an unforgettable experience. It runs every Saturday from now until the 20th of December between 7pm and 11pm.
Hip Parisian fahion and electro label, buy Kitsuné, what is ed are fast becoming as well known for their associated music as they are for their fashion. In fact, there is a clear cut three-way divide at Heaven tonight: scenesters, dressed for the fashion blog photographers collide en masse with those who know Kitsuné for the music and are quite unprepared for the additional rooms full of said scenesters, and with the regular Heaven clubbers, used to G-A-Y Camp Attack on Friday nights and probably the most bemused of everyone here.
Within the four rooms there’s a frustrating mix of real djs and acts like Autokratz, whose Pet Shop Boys go big beat set was a joy to behold and left me humming ‘Stay The Same’ for the rest of the night. Hearts Revolution, Punks Jump Up and Kitsuné house band Digitalism all turned out in force to impress and did so, although at times the acts felt a little repetitive. Alas, alongside these quality acts, we also got a number of vanity djs, including various models and boutique owners, which all blurred into the same set as the night progressed and seemed to play to rooms full of people aiming to get to the bar and move on.
It transpired that the ‘Don’t Panic’ room was the place to be. Inspired by K-Tron, blasting bass heavy No-Wave, they held me and the room in near divine rapture. The highlight of the night however, was Matthew Stone who dragged us back to 1985 via The KLF, his effortlessly sublime musical compass taking us on a seemingly random adventure, fitting perfectly with the tone of the night. There were some true high points tonight, but Kitsuné are probably best enjoyed via one of their compilations than live, based on tonight’s evidence.
Global Day of Action
6th December 2008
This will be the Saturday midway through the next round of UN Climate Talks and our best chance to influence the decisions of delegates ahead of the critical UN talks in 2009 at which a post-Kyoto treaty agreement will be decided.
Climate Bike Ride 2008
Assemble 10.30 am Lincolns Inn Fields for a mass bike ride around Central London joining up with the National Climate March at Grosvenor Square (see next listing for National Climate March info)
The three stops on the route are:
-Outside Greenergy, 198 High Holborn – for an agrofuels protest organised by Biofuelswatch
-Outside E.On 100 Pall Mall – for a speaker on NO NEW COAL
-Outside the Department of Transport – for a speaker on sustainable transport
Everyone welcome; decorate your bikes, bring whistles, bring music!
Want to help out for this action? Contact Jeremy Hill on 07816 839883 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Climate March and Global Day of Action on Climate
The march starts at 12noon at Grosvenor Square and will move via Carlos Place and Mount Street to Berkley Square and Berkley street to Picacadily, Picadilly Circus, Lower Regent street, Pall Mall and Cockspur street to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to Parliament Square.
We will bring the UK issues of Aviation, New coal and Biofuels to the streets of London, along with a call for more investment in renewable energy, more energy efficiency and more green jobs.
Speakers will include Nick Clegg (leader Liberal Democrat Party), Caroline Lucas (leader, Green party), Michael Meacher (ex-Environment Minister) and George Monbiot (Honorary President, Campaign against Climate Change).
Contact: 020 7833 9311 www.campaigncc.org
There will also be an After-Party in the Synergy Centre from 5.00 pm till late.
The March on Parliament has four main themes –
1) NO to a 3rd runway at Heathrow and the runaway expansion in aviation expansion.
2) NO new coal – no new coal-fired power stations as planned at eg Kingsnorth in Kent
3) NO to the expansion of agrofuels – with negative impacts on forests, the climate and world food supply.
4) YES to a renewable energy revolution and green jobs – a “Green new Deal”
Come with your own banners, costumes on one of these themes and join up with others pushing that theme……
The March on Parliament for the Climate marks the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland and we make our demands on the UK government in solidarity with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that will suffer worst and most immediately from climate change caused overwhelmingly by the rich long-industrialised countries.
We need the government to act now on climate, to stop building coal-fired power stations and new runways – and to begin the renewable energy revolution. We need a tidal wave of people outside parliament to make them act to stop climate catastrophe now! Be part of that tidal wave, be there! Next year may be too late.
BUST is a magazine devoted to the female. Providing an unapologetic view of life in the female lane, they break down stereotypes! Based in the US and established in 1993, the magazine addresses a variety of different issues within pop sulture, including music, fashion, art & crafts and news.
Editor-in-Chief, Debbie Stoller, decided to call the magazine BUST, because it was “aggressive and sexy and funny… It was a title that could belong to a men’s porn magazine.”
For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests! Click here for the Christmas Craftacular’s Facebook Page
Jumble Fever Under the bridge on Beck Road, E8 Saturday 6th December
Midday-4pm, Entry £1
A fabulous jumble sale with a boogie twist! There will be a great deal to see and do and buy.. See you there!
An online shopping bazaar; Etsy is a cross between eBay and Amazon with a humble handmade twist. Launched in June 2005 by Robert Kalin, for sale Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik, the site has grown to be incredibly popular, with tens of thousands of people selling their handmade goods (90% of whom are women!).
As Christmas draws nearer and greener, we have chosen our favorite handmade things to inspire your presents list. www.etsy.com
“The Kelsey”; a pleated clutch in paisley mocha
This handmade clutch is one of many adorable bags created by GraceyBags; get in touch through etsy.com to custom order a clutch and choose from a rainbow of fabrics.
Featured is ‘The Kelsey’ in a paisley mocha print on the outside in greens, blues, pinks, yellows and browns. The inside has been sewn from a silky brown fabric and the bag closes with a small magnet.
Recycled Journal – handbound Find a lovely selection of hand bound recycled books by Rhonda; bookbinder and book artist.
This particularly wonderful journal is made with a variety of recycled scrap papers ranging from large envelopes, posters, junk mail, blank paper, lined and graph paper, covers from old sketch books, old maps, discarded photocopies, misprints from the computer printer to paper bags.
Perfect as an art journal, the book is covered with an old map of the world, the one pictured above showing the islands of Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
There are 256 pages (when you count both sides of each sheet). The pages are handbound using green and brown linen threads, visible on the spine in 4 rows of chain stitches.
The book size is approximately 4″ x 4¼” and 1″ thick (or 10.5cm x 11cm x 2.5cm).
This adorable cotton tote is the perfect carry-all for any occasion. BellaBlu Designs signature French Bulldog silhouette has been cut from Heather Bailey‘s ‘Sway in Brown’ Pop Garden print and appliquéd to this cotton canvas bag. It is 100% 10 oz. cotton, measures 15 x 13 x 3 inches and can be customized with most other dog breeds.
We’ve also had a browse round treefort.myshopify.com, for some gift ideas for those of you with little ones in your life!
Dreamlets Dolls These cute little creatures would make an adorable gift this season, and as a product that gives 1% back to Artworks, Bridges to Understanding, or Poncho, they’re doing a lot more than making a loved one happy! The dolls come in a variety of shapes and colours, each with their own quirky personality. You are also able to choose which organization will benefit from your gift by registering your doll online.
Nikki McClure’s Mama & Baby Things Treefort also sell many of Nikki Mcclure‘s prints, books, cards, and calendars. Nikki McClure creates complex, yet natural designs by cutting away from a single piece of black construction paper with an x-acto knife. Her works are printed on 100% Recycled, 100% Post-Consumer Waste, Processed Chlorine Free paper that was manufactured with electricity that is offset with Green-e® certified renewable energy. Her work is printed by a small family-owned press in Portland, Oregon, US- and uses soy-based inks.
Kids On Roof “House” is made of Eco friendly-100% recycled cardboard and is 100% biodegradable. These houses are the perfect gift for creative children, as they’re meant to be decorated and personalised! (see below for examples from treefort) Kidsonroof donates 5% of its profits to specific Unicef projects; €24,000 has now been collected for the Unicef project for building better, small-scale housing for HIV/Aids inflicted orphans in Russia.
Beyond Retro Christmas Party!
This evening Beyond Retro is throwing it’s annual seasonal gathering – in both it’s shops, viagra buy the original Cheshire St warehouse and new sibling store in Soho – from 6pm – 8pm, there’ll be lots of exclusive goodies for you to browse through and they’ll even throw in some mulled wine and mince pies. Good times.
Made In Clerkenwell
This evening and all weekend, the Clerkenwell Green Association open their studios for Made in Clerkenwell, an event that showcases the work of over 70 designers they support through providing them with studio space, mentoring and business advice to help them create their work.
The fruits of their labors are exhibited and available for purchase, so you can hunt out that unique Christmas gift and buy all kinds of original and creative wares – ranging from fashion designs to jewellery, accessories, textiles and even ceramics.
What makes this shopping experience so different is that you can mingle with and chat to the designers and find out about their craft, inspirations, working method, becoming a designer, anything you want to know! So pop down, get a great gift and support new designers.
Open 6pm to 8pm, Thursday 27th November 2008 and
12pm to 6pm on Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2008.
£2.50 entrance – free to the under 16s.
It’s no secret that Brooklyn’s the place to be for smart indie pop these days, view but look a little closer to home and you might be surprised. Take tonight’s superb support acts, advice for example. First up is Pens, erectile a cute lo-fi local trio who, despite playing to only a handful of people, put on a wonderfully frantic and ramshackle performance – think Karen O‘s kid sisters gleefully bashing at snare, guitar and synths.
Fellow Londoners Chew Lips are up next and are nothing short of a revelation. The threesome cater in captivatingly melancholy electronic music and boast a bona fide icon-in-waiting in singer Tigs; she prowls and creeps around the venue, all black bob and wide eyes, unleashing powerful vocals and jumping on the bar to serenade us, while the boys whip up a glitchy synth and bass storm in the background. ‘Solo’ is the band’s set-closer and an undeniable highlight – scuzzy and danceable yet strangely sad, it will be one of your anthems of 2009, no question.
This bunch are hard to follow, but Telepathe just about manage it. Dave Sitek-produced debut ‘Dance Mother’ is on the way in January, and recreating its majesty live is clearly still a tricky undertaking for the Brooklyn duo. They do their best, unleashing a stream of cluttered soundscapes, layered harmonies and clipped rhythms, and while the effect is hypnotic at times, barely a word is uttered between songs – resulting in a distinct lack of atmosphere. This could of course be due, in part, to the fact that they are playing to a room full of typically disinterested Shoreditch types. Whatever the reason the performance falls a little flat, until final effort ‘Chromes On It’ that is, its spine-tingling beats waking the crowd from its stupor and climaxing with speakers shaking and half the band hanging from the ceiling as the hysterical throng down the front excitedly punch the air. It’s just enough to convince us that we’re not quite prepared to give up on Telepathe as a live proposition yet. More like this please.
Nuclear: Art and Radioactivity discount -4.064941&sspn=16.764146, visit this site 39.418945&ie=UTF8&ll=51.524712,-0.079694&spn=0.008598,0.019248&z=16&g=E1+6PG&iwloc=addr”target=”_blank”>Nicholls and Clarke Building, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, Spitalfields, London E1.
‘Half-life’ Chris Oakley, 2008
High-definition video, 15 minutes
The Nicholls and Clarke Building hosts an exhibition that explores the changing perceptions of nuclear power. In our rapidly deteriorating climate, the effects of nuclear development from the past have come to haunt us. ‘The Nightwatchman,’ by Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou, captures this disturbing predicament.
As we entered the installation there was something immediately unsettling about it. A board-meeting table situated in the centre of a large dilapidated storeroom indicated recent activity, and as we crept further through the exhibition space there was more evidence of some night watchmen. But they are no where to be found…
Together with the film ‘Half-life’ by Chris Oakley, there was a sense of being caught in a crossfire of two different eras: the naïvely optimistic 80′s and the knowledgeable cynicism of the present day.
The film showed a series of paradoxical images of nature vs. technology, and through it we were reminded of how our idea of what is progressive has been turned on it’s head.
If you’d like to have something of yours across the chests of music aficionados throughout the country, viagra you might like to apply for this. 100% music, cheap 100% recycled paper (well done), sildenafil Bearded Magazine is preparing for the re-launch of the printed magazine on January 29th, and they’re throwing in a t-shirt as well.
When it came to deciding what should go on the front of said t-shirt, they mumbled gibberish into their beards and drew blanks, and so they’ve put the task out to you the reader to help them out. In fact, they might be so filled with indecision that there could be four winners, so better chances for you! Have a look at the criteria and send in a design soon, you have until the 15th of December.
The Wellcome Collection’s new temporary exhibition is entitled ‘War and Medicine’ and focuses on the individual human consequences of war rather than the overall statistics of death and destruction that impersonalise and almost glorify military combat and which we are most often presented with. Soldiers are heroes when they die for their country but uncomfortable representatives of horror when they return wounded and disfigured.
Installation artist David Cotterrell‘s film, sales specially commissioned for the exhibition, salve attempts to rectify this. Covering three walls of a darkened room, more about the film shows wounded soldiers, with varying degrees of injury, being loaded onto a flight back to England from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The only soundtrack is the constant hum of the plane’s engine, an eerie backdrop to the calm, efficient activity taking place on screen. There is an unsettling disjunction between our inclusion in the scene through the way it is presented to us and the alienness of the sight before our eyes. This slightly dreamlike atmosphere helps separate the artwork from the realms of documentary photography and helps us understand the confusion of this homeward flight, which we are told in the information outside, is often only partially remembered by the soldiers.
What is most striking about this piece is the individual humanity behind the uniforms of the men and women depicted. On the left are the walking wounded with a variety of arm slings and facial injuries being tended to by medical staff and waiting patiently for their journey to begin, on the right, more distressingly, a person is carried in on a stretcher, connected to breathing apparatus. It is heartbreaking to realise that although most of these people will probably survive, and so not register in the public consciousness, they will have been scarred for life both physically and emotionally. I began to see them as people beyond whatever my personal attitudes to their profession and the war they are fighting in was.
A harrowing counterpart to this work is Cotterrell’s written diary, where he describes with civilian horror, the daily minutiae of life amongst the medical staff in Camp Bastion. The exhibition’s mission statement is to explore the dichotomies in a society that is simultaneously developing ever more sophisticated means of destroying life and protecting it. The stalemate futility of this situation is given a human face by Cotterrell’s work.
David Cotterrell is featured in issue 10 of the magazine, out shortly.
Hurrying through the lights and sounds of Soho, stuff the words ‘bloody hell it’s cold’ rattled my skull. I was heading to see the Canadian singer and illustrator Chad VanGaalen, this known for rarely leaving his basement. In this weather, who would blame him?
Once inside Borderline I was able to thaw out and to take in the cosy surroundings. Kindly folk in chequered shirts patiently waited as they sipped Guinness. But there was something odd about this fresh-faced crowd. Moustaches, I realised. There were loads of them.
It’s Mo-vember, apparently. The time of year for all socially conscious gentlemen to grow out their fluff to raise money for testicular cancer. ‘That’s nice,’ I thought.
This playful and boyish act of sincerity seemed fitting for the night in store as there’s something of the fourteen-year-old boy about Chad VanGaalen. Deceptively awkward and immediately charming, he’ll break your heart.
Together with a hairy-faced accordionist he delivered a homemade and reflective sound. It was as if we had wandered into his basement, and he seemed a little surprised to see us there.
His hesitancy on stage draws you nearer, and his tight and masterful song-writing capabilities took a hold of my senses like a sedative.
That uneasy fluidity reminded me of Beach House and the unexpectedly punchier tunes provided an excitable energy that twanged some of those moustaches.
Listening to Chad is like putting on a pair of earmuffs and skate boarding down smooth suburban streets.
There’s a yearning to be free and limitless but it only slightly ventures out of the comfortable. A girl behind me whispered excitedly ‘It’s the kind of music I’d ride my bike to.’
It is difficult for any set at the Borderline to not feel intimate and Chad VanGaalen’s was by no means revolutionary.
But the evening was all together thoughtful and enchanting, and as I braved the bitter London streets once more, the words of Electric City wrapped me up like a duvet.
At 8am on Friday 28th November on a wet and grizzly morning, stuff the Greenwash Guerillas and a band of allies rallied together outside the E-On Head Office at 100 Pall Mall. We were there to protest against the planned government-approved scheme to build 7 new coal fired power stations. E-on will be responsible for the first of these havoc wreaking death chambers (no hyperbole here) at Kingsnorth, Kent. This power station alone will emit between 6 and 8 million tones of CO2 every year. If all 7 are built, treatment their collective emissions would be approximately 50 million tones of CO2 a year. This would make the Climate Change Committee’s proposal to cut back on CO2 emissions an average of 2% per annum so that by 2050 we’ll have an 80% reduction well… impossible.
Browsing through E-on’s website, it might be easy to be fooled into thinking they are an environmentally conscientious company promoting ‘clean, green energy that never runs out.’ But it doesn’t take long to realize that their wind farms and claims of boosting local employment are cleverly marketed to cast a rosy sheen over more profitable projects that use coal.
Coal is the grimiest of fossil fuels. It’s carbon-intensity is higher than oil and double that of natural gas. Yet, as the driving force behind the industrial revolution, it has been the primary source of power for the electricity generation. Gathered outside the E-on head office, we are no longer in the 19th century but in the 21st century and in the midst of a climatic crisis. With sea ice disappearing at a never-before-seen rapidity now is the time to use new greener sources of power, not to revert to the practices of the past.
So why is the government supporting what seems a disastrously archaic project?
The government’s answer is that by increasing the cost of carbon, power stations will be forced to use a process of carbon capture and storage (CCS) whereby the harmful carbon dioxide produced by coal is extracted from the air and buried underground.
However, a presentation made by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee concluded that this reasoning is implausible. Voicing research from the U.K. Energy Research Centre and Climate Change Capital, it showed that using a process of CCS would in fact be the least cost effective option for power stations. The research they gathered predicted that CCS will cost power companies like E-On 70-100 or 90-155 Euros per ton of CO2, while the government estimates that the price of carbon between 2013 and 2020 will be less at approximately 39 Euros per ton.
It’s fair to say that it is extremely unlikely that power companies will go for the more expensive option, especially when the margin is as large as it is. In short, the government’s criteria for approving E- On’s power station at Kingsnorth is worryingly unsatisfactory.
If our government is failing to alleviate the catastrophic predicament of climate change that is costing lives then it is up to us as citizens to take action against the construction of Kingsnorth and others like it. For more information on what you can do please click here and please go to the national climate march on Saturday 6th December, bring your mates and make it fun. This is a serious issue and we need to get the message across but optimism is always the best the way of creating change, in my view anyway. Klimax is a network for climate activists that started in 2007 by environmentalists who wanted a platform for people with more radical ideas about direct actions. Well known in Sweden for their campaigns against private motorism and the meat industry, viagra sale the group has spread to a number of Swedish cities, cialis 40mg and in Gothenburg they consist of 20 active members.
Members of Klimax initially wanted to protest on the 13th October, which is the actual date of the anniversary, but after finding out there were no meetings that day, postponed to the 12th November. This allowed them the much needed time to plan their action in detail; the first few weeks consisted of a few hours of planning and as the time drew nearer members were working five hours a day to make sure everything was finished. Among writing speeches, making banners and establishing contact with the media, they had to prepare their costumes!
Our contact at Klimax said “We do not always dress up for events but we believe that it is a good way to spice up an action! We sometimes dress up as penguins or polar bears because they are the two types of animal that are severely affected by Climate Change; it is also fun and looks nice!”
Their aims with the action was threefold; firstly to pay tribute to the work done by the suffragettes- strong women fighting for women’s right to vote, secondly to make the politicians aware that there was strong opposition to the building of another tunnel under the river in Gothenburg; Miahabo Berkelder from Klimax in Gothenberg says that the group believe this to be an awful way to spend a large amount of money, just so that more cars can be on the road; asking ‘What if the money was invested in buses instead? New roads simply lead to more traffic and that is a disaster for our climate.’
The third reason for the protest was to make sure that politicians knew that climate change isn’t just a moral topic, it is a political topic.
On the day, members were shocked to see the six activists storm the meeting,
but after the action Klimax joked that if they had been politicians sitting there during long and boring meetings, they would have been happy with the distraction!
They certainly created a buzz, and definitely caught the attention of the council! After a short while the six were asked to leave the building and did so with little fuss.
In reaction to the protest, a woman from the Swedish environmental party said Klimax had a valid point, but a man from the conservative party was more concerned about security, wondering what would have happened if terrorists had stormed the meeting instead!
The plans for the tunnel are still up in the air. The initial decision to build the tunnel was made solely by Göran Johansson, the chairman of the Municipal Council. Because this wasn’t a democratic way of deciding, the case has been reported to the county administrative court.
According to Miahabo, there are a lot of plans in Klimax’s future; new actions will take place during the spring and there will be a new regular event called Climate Café- where anyone can attend to share coffee and discuss climate change, sometimes including an expert on the subject to answer any questions.
The next big event for Klimax is on the Global Day of Action, taking place in cities all over the world on the 6th of December. At the same time as the leaders of the world will be discussing the climate problems, demonstrations will be arranged all over the world including London and of course Gothenberg. Klimax have come together with several other groups to arrange a huge demonstration, Miahabo says that Klimax are organising a “Climate Clash” which is a wide spread Klimax phenomenon; they will walk out in the middle of a busy road and block the traffic; a perfect and simple way to make people aware of the climate problems.
Anyone who is interested in joining Klimax is welcome- it is a flat organization with no board of directors, anyone who wants to be a member is simply one.
For more information about Climate Rush, please visit: www.climaterush.co.uk Monday 1st Dec
The Ashni Art Gallery specialises in Indian Art that is both contemporary and of the past. They will be exhibiting the best of their collection from now until the 19th of December.
Tuesday 2nd Dec
Live in Bristol? Feeling somewhat alarmed by the continued transformation of the city centre to all things consumerist (with 120 new shops having just opened)? Slipping between the gap of reality and fantasy, andSomewhere Here are hijacking advertisement space to provide shoppers with a brief respite during the fall of capitalism. Nine artists take nine advertising hoardings (billboards) until the 3rd of December only. Catch them before they are swallowed by Advertisement Beast.
Wednesday 3rd Dec
Opening today at the ICA: Dispersion; an exploration by seven artists of the appropriation and circulation of images in contemporary society. They examine money, desire, and power in our accelerated image economy. It runs until Feb 1st.
Thursday 4th Dec
First Thursdays of the month is here! But aren’t galleries open most Thursdays anyway? It would be silly tell you a single thing to go and see, 100 galleries will be opening their doors until 9pm, so there will plenty to satiate your creative appetites, but if you perhaps feel so inspired that you are driven to the pencil yourself, The Princess Studios will be hosting free life-drawing drop-in sessions throughout the evening.
Friday 5th Dec
Vauxhall’s best kept secret-art-laboratory, Beaconsfield, curates Late at Tate this Friday, adapting Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries and transitory places to create a terminal space, with an array of arrival and departure points, in which only the surreal applies …
Satuday 6th Dec
Colin McKenzie senses that art ought to be more like a day at Woodstock, or at least what he imagines Woodstock to be like: electric, dynamic, smooth, and mind-expanding. At the Red Gate Gallery. McKenzie strives against order and sense, aiming to manoeuvre without restriction.
An evening of songs from the back catalogue of one of the most influential female folk singers, approved Sandy Denny. Various artists including Marc Almond, P.P. Arnold and Johnny Flynn will be performing songs from her Fairport Convention days as well as her solo career. Should be a really interesting night in light of the current trend for new female folkies and a timely tribute to one of the godmothers of the genre.
In the UK for one night only, this much-loved San Francisco band’s staccato, rough-round-the-edges punk pop is even better live.
Ten Kens, The Duchess, York
Anyone who has a blurry picture of people snogging on their record sleeve is a good bet for a messy live show and these Canadian grungers are reportedly no exception. Should be good in this small venue too.
Lovely duets from surprisingly compatible artists.
Pretty Taxing is a fashion collection with a twist, stuff as the end product is not clothes but car tax discs. Unusual – yes, sick but we all know how important accessorising is…
It would seem like a bad idea if such creatively interesting designers hadn’t contributed to the cause. They include Emma Bell, who has twice shown at London Fashion Week, David David and Pam Hogg. Along with artists Natasha Law and Stuart Semple, they have all created unique collectable pieces of fashion memorabilia.
You can pick up these discs of fashion-random-brilliance at Matches or at the pop-up shop KIN in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street. Abiding the law has never looked so good.
Today I was sent to Coventry, abortion quite literally. Together with 30 other Climate Camp activists dressed as Santa we descended on E.On, health the energy company responsible for the proposed new coal fired power station to be built at Kingsnorth.
This action followed a 48 hour action that happened over last Friday and Saturday – and E.On were not expecting our return. In fact, buy they were probably kicking themselves that the special fencing that they had put in place late last week was now lying dismantled on the floor next to their headquarters.
As a result our merry busload hopped off easily and headed straight for the main entrance of E.On’s offices.
Why? Despite spending a lot of time and energy letting the public know that they are one of the biggest investors in renewable energy in the UK (they’ll point out the big array of solar panels on one of their buildings and the lobby features a looped tape about wind farms) they are also pitching to build the first new coal fired power station to be built in the UK in 30 years, which will alone defeat all our CO2 emissions goals. So why spend so unwisely?
Whilst some merry santas climbed atop the revolving door and superglued their hands to the various entrances, another bunch of santas headed off into the building to see if they could speak to head honcho Paul Golby and let the employees know a bit more about the facts behind new coal.
Bearing banners that said Stop Coal and E.On F.Off they set off down the corridors singing some specially adapted carol songs.
Two intrepid santas managed to enter a boardroom meeting, surprising the attendees with some gifts of lumps of coal – for as you know santa gives bad children coal instead of gifts and E.On has been very bad this year. They were ejected from the property, but soon raced back in again…
We managed to disrupt operations for four hours, stopping employees and visitors as they came to work and giving interviews to the BBC and ITV, and live on the radio. Our action was spoken about on the World at One on Radio 4, which you can listen to here. We are talked about at approximately 8 minutes and 20 seconds into the programme.
The police were surprisingly even handed, although some employees were clearly fuming, especially the head of security (woops) One indoor santa even managed to locate a cup of tea and a newspaper to read.
At one point we were able to reenter the building, with the santas forming a conga line for the cameras. We delivered papers written by leading NGOs describing why there is no need for coal power, and generally had a merry old time. All employees and visitors were rerouted through back entrances, so I think it is fair to say that we were fairly disruptive…
Eventually we decided that once unstuck it was best that we leave, but the police had other ideas, and as we walked off down the road they tried to contain us, managing to trap four of our number and arrest them.
The rest of us ran off down the street to find our getaway vehicles, parked up in a local pub car park. Our drivers had thoughtfully bought us lunch in the pub, but shortly after we had gulped it down we were asked to leave because the police presence was putting off other customers. The police followed us as we left to pick up the other santas at Warwick university student union, and thereafter ensued the slowest police chase ever, with us managing to lose them after taking a wrong turn.
The purpose of this action was to embarrass E.On and raise awareness of what they up to in a light hearted and humourous way – I think that as a bunch of merry santas we did this exceptionally well. We hope that E.On will take heed and stop greenwashing their plans. It’s simple, don’t build Kingsnorth. Spend your money increasing investment in your (meagre) renewable energy supplies. If you would like to help us stop companies like E.On destroying our world check out what Climate Camp is up to next. More articles on this action can be read on Indymedia here and here.
We’re having a bit of a Grace Jones moment here at Amelia’s HQ. Obviously we’ve always known she was AMAZING but her majestic new single ‘Williams’ Blood’ goes to prove that she’s still totally got it. In fact, buy it’s been on repeat for about the past week and we’ve all been waving our arms in the air singing “I’ve got the Williams’ blood in me”. There’s an infectious gospel refrain running through this song that really brings out Jones’ strident message. Strongly autobiographical, link ‘Williams’ Blood’ tells the story of her parents’ life together in small-town domesticity and her musician grandfather – he of the Williams blood – philandering his way around the world, an insight into the Grace Jones spirit of rebellion.
There’s a cry for freedom and for breaking away from the strictures and constraints of her background, which you can’t help but feel has been successful for this overtly sexual, bonkers wardrobed, gay icon, hence the joyful bursts of the chorus. It also seems almost subversive for a female singer to talk about the influence of a male ancestor on their lives but Jones has never been one to play by the rules. In fact, as one of our writers proved, she’s perhaps the only woman with such immense stature you could prove your respect for by mooning. But that’s another story…
‘Williams’ Blood’ is released next Monday 8th December on Wall of Sound.
“The film was an experiment”, abortion says Jonas Cuaron, settling down across from me on a sofa at the Renoir this Saturday. I’ve come for the release of his debut film, Año Uña – year of nails – and the place is abuzz with excitement; I’m especially enamoured by the snippets of Mexican-tilted Spanish I hear that always make me nostalgic (Luisa with no ‘o’, can you guess?), “Ai que deliciosa!” someone behind me exclaims at the sight of a quesadilla in the first few minutes of the film; maravillosa indeed.
“I wanted to make a film”, he continues, “using a format that would be hard to watch”. Hard to watch? A legitimate concern when it dawns on you that you’re in for a feature-length film composed entirely of still-frame photographs. But the merit of any film boils down to one thing, a good story – and the impossible romance between American girl and Mexican boy in the throes of puberty, subsumes this hard-to-watch format and makes it altogether accessible. Plot aside for a moment though, the genesis of the film deserves as much attention, so I asked Jonas how the whole thing came about.
JC: For the film I took photographs of my everyday life for a year. I wanted to break the way in which film is normally done. Normally people write a screenplay first, and then out of the screenplay they do the image, but here I wanted to do it backwards. I took the photographs and then we made an installation where we put them all up in a room, and made a story from that.
Were there other possible narratives, did you find it hard to pick which story to tell?
Well I always knew that it had to be a story of this girl from the US and this boy from Mexico. They were the ones I photographed the most that year, and so I knew they were going to be the main characters and it grew organically from there. But sometimes I think, with all those photographs I could make a different movie, draw something completely different from the same images.
What was exciting about working in that format?
Well I wanted to play with the boundaries between reality and fiction. I wanted to have images that were real, but to show, how with text, or with a narrative over those images, you can have a completely different meaning. All the images in the movie are real, but none of that happened, I wanted to play with that boundary.
So there was no interchange between reality and fiction? There must’ve been!
Well I mean, in the events there was. Like my Grandpa really did get sick and he had cancer, but for instance, the main characters, Diego and Molly, they are my brother and my girlfriend, so I hope that wasn’t real (chuckles).
How did your brother feel about in falling in love with your girlfriend, was that awkward?
Well the narrative was so fictional, so far away from reality that both him and Eireann saw it as an acting job; they never thought of it as real. All the character’s names are real aside from Eireann, which I changed to Molly because I wanted to help Diego and Molly not feel awkward, and I knew that Diego was gonna be saying really dirty things about her character, so I thought it would be easier for him if she was called Molly and not Eireann.
Throughout the film, Molly seems to be perpetually trying to capture something real from Mexico in a photograph, and failing. Is that Ironic? Seeing as you’re playing with a moment captured and how it can mean lots of things.
With Molly, a lot of what I wanted to play with was the idea of the tourist, being a foreigner in another country, so even though she’s the one seeing, she’s the observer with the camera, in the case of a tourist like Molly, people are also observing her. So with her character I played a lot with the subconscious of being in a new place.
You grew up partially in Mexico and partially in the US, so is that something you link closely too?
For me, that part of the narrative – the interchange between two cultures – it really fascinates me; so when I realised that Diego and Molly would be my main characters, I was happy because the relationship between both cultures is an important one for me. I know what it is to be new in a different place, and I understand the boundaries between the two languages, and a lot of this is seen in the character of Molly. Many of those pictures were taken during Eireann’s first visit to Mexico, and it was at the time when Bush had just been elected. For her it was really hard to be in Mexico because everyone was judging her for what Bush was doing, so I wanted to play with the idea, that I also feel from being a Mexican in the US, that people see you as a nationality and not who you are.
What is the main theme of the film for you?
When I first started making a film with photographs, I realised that the main theme would be the passage of time and the impermanence of things. You can’t do anything about photography and not talk about the passage of time, and particularly in a film – film is always dependent on the idea of time and still-photography doesn’t have time in a way, and so for me, the whole film is an exploration of how nothing lasts forever.
Would you use the format again?
I think it’s a very interesting format to explore, but for me, I’ve done everything I would want to do with that format. It’s been a very important learning experience for me. At the end of the day, the important thing is having a good story.
Muchisimas Gracias Jonas. How do you like London?
Last night, adiposity to coincide with World AIDS Day, clinicvinspired.com, a youth volunteer organisation website, hosted a charity fashion show to raise money for the children’s HIV Charity, Body & Soul.
This fashion show was the last stage in a creative process, which started off with four volunteer design teams, based in four parts of the country, who gave their time to find new and exciting designers. The creative workshops were set up by Junky Styling in London, Traid, who nurtured the Bristol designers, the Ethical Fashion Forum in Nottingham and Kesh(pictured above), who worked with the Manchester based designers.
Said designers had to then compete against each other to create the best outfit from recycled clothes, e.g.: the clothes given to charity shops – and it was at this fashion show where the winner would be decided by designer Ben de Lisi.
TV presenter Miquita Oliver hosted the event and the celebrity quota was filled by Rolling Stone daughter, Leah Wood (pictured above), who modeled on the catwalk and Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman, who provided some post-show tunes.
Even bigger names (not in attendance) but supporting the charity include actress Kate Winslet and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who donated a suit and a shirt respectively, to be remade into something fabulous. Designer Zandra Rhodes is also a big supporter of this recycling fashion cause saying, “It is appalling how much we waste in society these days, but it seems we are entering a new era of resourcefulness. This is really exciting – and the best part of it is young people are leading the new trend.”
Taking place in Central Saint Martins aptly named Innovation Centre; the venue was small and intimate, which perfectly captured the tone of the event. Unlike most fashion shows, this one had a very human element when a representative from the Body & Soul charity got on stage to talk about her experience living with HIV. She spoke about having to live a double life, having to hide her illness from the world due to the level of prejudice that still exists towards the disease. Money raised from this event will go towards generating awareness about HIV.
As we sat by the catwalk, video screens showed the designers in their workshops making the clothes that would soon appear in front of us. What these guys did with discarded shirts and dresses was pretty impressive, it wasn’t about following trends but making creative, innovative and pretty pieces, and there was a lot of that evident on the catwalk.
Ben de Lisi was there to judge the entries, with only a matter of minutes to decide who the winner would be, he was asked how he would do it and said, “I shoot straight from the hip, I know exactly what I want.”
Who he wanted was designer Anne-Marie Fleming, from the Junky Styling stable. She seemed to me to be a safe choice as although her design was good, it was not the best seen on the catwalk by a long way.
This event worked so well to promote two causes, the importance of recycling (not always being a slave to trends) and reducing the level of our prejudice about supposedly taboo subjects.
All the clothes can be viewed at vinspired.com/fashion and will be auctioned on eBay from today, so you can get your hands on a uniquely designed piece and give some cash to a very good cause.
Make Christmas as ethical as you can this year with another Fairtrade fair at Westminister Hall. Fair Trade Fair is an annual event that has been going on for 20 years; the first of which was organised in 1987 by Benny Dembitzer and opened by Bob Geldof.
Fairtrade events are incredibly important as they play a major role in empowering developing country producers, promoting sustainability and reducing world poverty.
The fairtrade movement encourages the payment of a fair price and the improvement of environmental standards; products range from handicrafts, coffee, tea and sugar to wine, flowers and cotton. http://www.fairtradefair.org/ftf/index.htm http://www.myspace.com/FairTradeFair
Here’s a scary thought: there’s only 21 days left for Christmas shopping… so leave the high street and take advantage as London’s coolest shopping districts throw late night events…
From 6.30pm to 9.30pm, drugs pop down to this fashion-forward little street, viagra sale where not only will you get 10% off in all the shops but the Fashion and Textile Museum is also open late, stomach with guest appearances by some of the designers featured in the museum. Shopping and culture: the perfect way to spend an evening.
Want designer goodies at bargain prices? This is the place to go. The weekly market pulls out all the stops this Sunday for its annual Christmas Fair, with all the sellers offering special yule-time discounts and the chance for you to get a genuine designer garment into your wardrobe – or give someone the best gift ever – get down there now….well, on Sunday.
Columbia Road – nearest tube: Old Street Every Wednesday in December
Situated in the heart of the east-end, you can browse in over 50 boutiques and shops, which are all open until 9pm and listen to live music to get you in that Christmas spirit while you browse for gifts.
As the title suggests, this shopping experience takes place within three roads – Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street – the shops taking part are offering special discounts on their wares, free gift wrap and the chance to pick up a brilliant present for the fashion-conscious people in your life. More details below:
Saturday arrived with none of the threatened rain we were worried about. Indeed, sale the ground was so dry and cracked en route to our far flung campsite that it had opened into deep fissures.
The ad hoc nature of Secret Garden Party has it’s down points – lack of coherent line up information being one and don’t even get me started on the toilet washing facilities and *serious* lack of bins, recycling and water points. But one blessed relief after the meaty corporate queues of Latitude was the huge diversity and quality of food on offer. Around almost every corner some little caravan had set up shop to flog tea and toasties, coffee and candy, tapas or freshly made pizzas. Our breakfast consisted of a freshly toasted marmite and cheese crumpet served by a trio of “strumpets” – such a simple idea but wonderfully well executed.
Down at the main stage Sarah Blasko seemed curiously annoyed by her lack of audience – perhaps someone should have warned her of the laid back nature of Secret Garden Party goers, particularly after a long hard night of partying. Further research reveals that Sarah is huge in Australia so she is probably isn’t used to such a muted reception and might explain her slightly brittle performance. Worth checking out though.
Shortly afterwards the youngsters were out in force for I Blame Coco. As someone behind me muttered, she “looks just like a female Sting” – funny that. I was strangely unmoved by the overproduced artistry of Coco and her studiously mannered 80s dance style. Still, the kids seemed to love her, so maybe I’m missing something.
The excitable electronica of Manchester based outfit The Whip was far better fun and the female drummer drove the now fully fancy-dressed crowd wild. “Look after each other tonight,” they laughed with the audience.
It’s good to see the lecture programme at Secret Garden Party growing in scope and popularity every year. This time we could pick from paranoid film screenings at the Conspiracy Camp or the more intrepid offerings of Explorer Camp. Over at the Forum area Ben Goldacre drew an enormous crowd for his talk on the spurious claims of the pharmaceutical industry and the dangers of Gillian McKeith.
A quiet bit of wandering brought us to the last undiscovered gems – a few children dozing to some dire but strangely enjoyable puppetry in the Cabaret Tent, and a meeting with The Earl in the S&M Tent, where a sweet looking girl in a floral head garland was being shown how to spank her best friend. I got more excited looking at pictures of The Earl’s cockerpoo puppy on his mobile.
Blimp on fire by Tim Adey.
The creators of Secret Garden Party are massive fans of the Burning Man festival and they try very hard to recreate the same feeling here in the UK. Never is their inspiration more obvious than during the annual destruction of the party island in the middle of the lake. As night fell it was time to let off hundreds of Chinese lanterns and the blimp was set on fire. We accidentally found ourselves with a fabulous vantage point of the fireworks in a backstage area complete with hot tub.
Back over at Where the Wild Things Are Aussie-American combo The Golden Filter were doing wonderful things… and having been underwhelmed by their new album Voluspa I wasn’t quite prepared for the excitement of their live show. Charismatic singer Penelope Trappes channels an effective hybrid of floaty Florence and Alison Goldfrapp electro beats – all bathed in an eerie orange glow that made this performance a definite highlight of the entire weekend. One twitterer even proclaimed it “the best experience of Secret Garden Party.”
Reverend and the Makers by Jenny Robins.
It was indeed a hard act for Reverend and the Makers to follow… but that was okay because the entire audience was now drunk on Saturday night fun times. “Who’s off their heads?” Jon McClure wanted to know whilst he and his hype man jumped up and down at the lip of the stage and a girl at the back miraculously *played* the keyboard with no hands and *sang* along, though no noise came out of her mike. I told you this pretty young thing was a bit of a trend.
Man with a Rottweiler in a skirt.
Heading home after a long day we passed the sounds of Brassroots entertaining a packed tent with a full brass band rendition of the Eurythmics classic Sweet Dreams. It was a beautiful way to end the night.
Hay bales for seating in the Collosillyum area. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
If Latitude is a well planned amble between the South Bank, order ICA, Royal Opera House and Somerset House with added sheep, then Secret Garden Party is the biggest most eccentric three day party in the grounds of a country mansion you could never dream of. Two more diverse festivals you could not imagine.
The Party Blimp – accessible only by boat.
Music is just one of the elements that make up the Secret Garden Party experience, surely the only festival where the main acts are liable to be upstaged by a death-defying wheelchair race or a mud wrestling fight. Because the stages are not the central focus there is always space to sit down or to dance, and the natural layout of the main stage in particular means that there’s always space to see the bands properly – which makes for a far more comfortable viewing experience than at most festivals. Despite a distinct lack of well known bands the quality of music on the line up is never low, and as usual I discovered lots of great new music.
My favourite Secret Garden Party stage is built into the side of a huge tree. This year there were giant eyeballs sewn into the back and the front was made up to look like the prow of a ship, complete with a naked female figurehead. Shortly before the prow had been swung into destruction by inebriated climbing mammals Animal Kingdom took to the good ship Where the Wild Things Are with a beatific set of melodic songs that have gleaned comparisons to Radiohead, Sigur Ros and Coldplay.
Secret Garden Party has expanded massively since I first came in 2004, and the more idiosyncratic attractions are now linked to the main arena by a floating bridge that caused much swaying hilarity on every crossing. As a mid afternoon treat I decided to get my toes nibbled by some miniature carp from Turkey.
Yes that’s me. White legs! Photography by Tim Adey.
The Doctor Fish has been used for centuries to cure skin ailments, and they were particularly excited by my friend Jemima’s Psoriasis. It was a very soothing experience, and my skin felt notably softer afterwards. This is the first time this particular species of fish have been imported into the UK and entrepreneur Keon Petre hopes to open a range of fish nibbling franchises.
A huge pink tent housed stalls from a carefully picked range of artists and designers including Spitalfields based illustrator Dan Hillier and jeweller Emma Ware, who makes gorgeous contemporary pieces from recycled inner tubes. Expect to hear more about her designs on this blog soon.
I knew there was a reason I felt immediately warm towards main stage act Steve Mason despite having no clue who he was – turns out he was one half of the excellent Beta Band. And anyone who twitters about Ian Tomlinson is even better in my books. Musicians with a conscience – we need more of them.
I’ve been a big fan of hot tip Marina and the Diamonds for some time now, but we missed most of her set whilst enjoying the most wonderful three course dinner at the Soulfire restaurant, housed in three yurts (look out for my full review, coming soon). Instead we caught the last few songs, which still gave me ample time to admire her vermillion lips and whippet thin waist: I can now confirm that she is every bit as sexy in the flesh as she comes across on record.
Afterwards we were treated to some nefarious circus fun from Down Under – including pubic angle-grinding, sword swallowing and weights hooked into eyelids. Tasteful.
I featured the Infadels way back in issue 04 of Amelia’s Magazine in 2005, and they’ve been steadily plugging away ever since. I haven’t heard any recent albums but they seemed quite happy to play lots of the old tunes, which perfectly suited the late night party crowd.
Most amusingly they seem to have acquired a female joint lead vocalist on one of their most famous tunes. Maybe all ageing bands will one day invite drunk negligee-wearing teenagers on board to spice things up. Oh hang on, it’s already become a trend… (see Saturday’s blog…)
Last up on Where the Wild Things Are at gone 1am the glitter-covered Delays played a fantastically energetic set to a shockingly small crowd. “Let’s see some shoulder action,” they pleaded. “It’s not a festival without it.” Several people obligingly mounted their friends with rapidity. I hope one day this vastly underrated band finds the success they deserve. Catch our recent interview with them here.
Our Sunday got off to a sleepy start, viagra 60mg as it did for most Secret Gardeners. Bypassing the cleverly marketed Hendrick’s gin carriage in favour of a cup of tea, I wended my way to the press tent to once more charge my damn crappy iphone, and caught the soulful electro sounds of Belleruche, rather erroneously described in the £5 brochure as “blissed out hip hop beats”.
This lovely artwork was displayed in the Hendrick’s train carriage. Apparently the artist is a woman based in the Truman Brewery but they couldn’t tell me who it was. Does anyone know? Photography by Amelia Gregory.
It wasn’t long before I was distracted by the nefarious lure of mud wrestling over in the aptly named Collisillyeum. To start off proceedings a small semi naked boy was encouraged to wrestle a large slippery man in nowt but pants – thankfully it transpired that this was his dad otherwise the picture below might look extremely dodgy.
After the couple had managed to drag mum into the mud it was time to pit some blonde ladies against a couple of brunettes before sending a load of curiously willing men into the arena, where many a bollock and boob was soon on display. Naturally my proximity to the action ensured both myself and my camera got well spattered in mud.
Back at the main stage DJ David Rodigan was the surprise hit of Sunday afternoon. The 59 year old gave us a guided tour through the history of reggae with all the enthusiasm of an overexcited puppy whilst the crowd jumped around in reciprocal glee.
Savoir Adore hail from Brooklyn, and showed typically American enthusiasm for Secret Garden Party. “We’re so excited – this is the coolest place.” Wearing standard festival glittery eye make up (I blame Bat For Lashes – even the boys are covered in it these days) their gorgeous brand of melodic electronica was met by a laconic audience. “I know how tired you guys are…” opined singer Deidre Muro, “but I invite you to stand up.” She didn’t have much luck, but this shouldn’t be equated with any lack of enthusiasm.
Horace Andy by Sine Skau.
Over in the main area it was time to subject my poor camera to another onslaught – this time a paint powder fight that bathed the happy dancers in a pastel fluoro glow before submerging them in the mellow beats of reggae supremo Horace Andy.
Last photograph by Tim Adey.
Thanks to a tip off from my boyfriend I caught the fantastic Gabby Young and Other Animals playing to a small crowd at the Chai Wallah tent. Gabby was dressed in an amazing ruffled paper and lace concoction accessorised with coloured false hair pieces; a dream to photograph and illustrate. Together with banjo and brass she creates wonderful big band indie folk you can dance to. A real discovery.
We stayed for the majority of headliners Mercury Rev, most notable for their well practiced stadium posturing. Ours was a quick midnight drive back to London but I hear at times there were dire queues to get both in and out of Secret Garden Party.
All in all this was another vintage year from the one festival that refuses to bow to corporate Festival Republic pressure. Long may it remain thus, for this is one grown up’s party that deserves to continue in perpetuity. I shall leave you with my remaining selection of Sunday’s highlights.
Interactive games in the theatre tent.
Best costume of the entire weekend? Even he had no idea what it was supposed to be.
Make up inspired by Leigh Bowery.
Doing the limbo in a feather boa.
A man in bikini, fat suit and rollers. Why of course!