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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fah Chakshuvej by Sandra Contreras
Fah Chakshuvej by Sandra Contreras.

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Xander Zhou: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review


Xander Zhou S/S 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Sometimes I look at fashion week press releases with the same disdain that I do art gallery captions. I have absolutely no idea where some of the designers (or press personnel) get their ideas from. I often stifle giggles as I read them, waiting for somebody to pop out and say ‘we had you there, didn’t we!’ And so it was highly refreshing when I arrived at Xander Zhou, my final show of this London Collections: Men season, to find not a rigid press release but a selection of thought-provoking words. Words like ‘personal’ ‘cosmetic’ ‘online’ ‘variety’ and, erm, ‘Thai boxing’ flooded a sheet of purple card.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I have to hold my hands up and say that I didn’t know much about Xander Zhou before this show. It turns out he studied industrial design in China and fashion design in the Netherlands, both of which have clearly had a resounding effect on his collections.

I was back inside the Old Sorting Office for the last time and by this point I’d worked out where the best spot was. An obscure, celestial soundtrack and a model clad in a beige latex blazer and shorts launched this S/S 2014 collection, which was to explore the internet and cyberspace through a range of futuristic garments. A selection of latex aprons followed, in muted colours, worn over crisp white shirts. Thin white garters worn on thighs and detachable collars completed these looks.

The collection then took a curveball direction into smart, dark tailoring with futuristic elements: double-breasted overcoats toyed with proportions and featured elongated sleeves; discrete checks, almost invisible to the naked eye, were constructed into sleeveless jackets and loose-fitting trousers.

More surrealist tailoring followed, including waistcoats with differing lengths and blocks of complimentary colours. Jackets nipped in at the waist to give a slightly feminine silhouette, styled with basic leather slip-ons.

Then came the most dramatic pieces. Show-stopping knee-length coats hammered home Xander Zhou’s internet-based inspiration, featuring images such as Google search pages, Facebook symbols, internet memes and dramatic photography – a masterclass in print.

More tailoring closed the show; pastel-coloured playsuits featured black highlights, but it will be the printed coats that I remember this show for.

Categories ,China, ,cyberspace, ,internet, ,Isher Dhiman, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Old Sorting Office, ,tailoring, ,Xander Zhou

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Amelia’s Magazine | Oliver Spencer: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Menswear Catwalk Review


Oliver Spencer A/W 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

I hadn’t spent much time this London Fashion Week at the main show space at Somerset House – the big tent they plonk in the centre of that beautiful courtyard. I’d forgotten what a celebfest it was. As I queued, clutching my printed ticket to my breast, I stood amongst the melee of fashionistas waving their tickets in the air as celebrities were ushered inside, except for the gentlemanly Rick Edwards who politely told the PR girl batting her eyelids that he would queue like everybody else. Swoon.


Oliver Spencer A/W 2012 by Krister Selin

Inside, a frenzy of photographers took pictures of front-rowers and I couldn’t tell who anybody was, apart from remarking to Gareth that I thought I saw a glimpse of Alex Reid. We LOL’d as the show started.

Oliver Spencer is a bit of a maestro when it comes to exquisite tailoring. I’ve been a fan for a while but this was the first show I’d seen. Myself and Gareth had secured goodish seats at the beginning of the catwalk, and despite my reservations, we had a pretty good view of the action.


Oliver Spencer A/W 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

Spencer had taken his inspiration this season from 1970s art-house and the iconic persona of a young Lucien Freud. A wide spectrum of models appeared in the show, from tattooed hipsters to mature gents, each with their own cool kudos.

The show began with said tattooed hipster, who wore a deep red and grey luxury varsity-style jacket with contrast sleeves – a sartorial version of the current trend. Quintessential, English, well-tailored, an effortless fit – buzz words associated with the Oliver Spencer brand.

Next came more cropped wool coats in blues and greys, teamed with tapered trousers and capped-toe oxford shoes. I’m a huge fan of Spencer’s knitwear and this collection came up with the goods. Chunky rollnecks and big scarves worn over the shoulders had a hip retro feel without being fancy dress.

More jackets appeared, and one in particular – a sort of contemporary Fair Isle pattern in navy and white cut above the hip had me swooning more than I did at Rick Edwards‘ courteous approach to queuing. The tattooed hipster modelled it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few miffed models backstage because he seemed to have been selected to wear the most achingly cool outfits.

A selection of olive and brown jackets came towards the end with a more athletic look about them, worn with looser-fitting trousers. A plaid jacket, buttoned at the top only, was worn over a vibrant red shirt. Some jackets came with cross-over lapels in contrasting colours, worn with camel-coloured trousers. More varsity-style jackets appeared: it seems we’ll all be wearing contrast sleeves come September.


All photography by Matt Bramford

You’ll see from my previous menswear day posts that there are many designers pushing the boundaries of menswear with much whackier collections, but Spencer’s hip appeal with a strong British essence was a welcome break and one that will have sartorial gents begging for more.

Categories ,1970s, ,A/W 2012, ,Alex Reid, ,Athletic, ,AW12, ,british, ,English, ,Fair Isle, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,knitwear, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lucien Freud, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Oliver Spencer, ,Rick Edwards, ,Rollnecks, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring, ,Tattoos, ,turban

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Amelia’s Magazine | PPQ: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

PPQ A/W 2013 by Jodan Webster
PPQ A/W 2013 by Jordan Wester

We waited – for what felt like hours – in the notoriously inevitable ‘PP-Queue’, but as the gorgeous PPQ party girls of all decades strutted down the runway at the BFC Courtyard Showspace I forgave all.

PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory

Design duo Percy Parker and Amy Molyneaux kept true to PPQ’s signature youthful vibe for A/W 2013, but perked things up with luxe tailoring. The colour palette was delightfully eye scorching with vibrant bursts of neon pink, banana yellow and lime green. References to various eras were made throughout the show; 60s fitted pea coats, loud 70s style graffiti print on off-the-shoulder dresses, 80s stretch velvet bodycons and 90s cut out features were all liberally featured. The models were uniform in huge tousled beehives, held delicately together with a chunky black ribbon.

PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory

Although the show was refreshing, some of the combinations were rather too garish for my liking: the neon duchess silk dresses paired with black organza felt too much like American-Prom disaster. Nonetheless, construction and tailoring were immaculate throughout.

PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory

Accessories were en-pointe in this collection; a variety of colourful heels, dramatic wide brim suede hats and luscious boxy weekender bags – personal dibs on the black one. I couldn’t have asked for a more titillating way to end the first day of London Fashion Week.

PPQ by Chloe Douglass
PPQ A/W 2013 by Chloe Douglass

PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
PPQ AW 2013 by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,1960, ,1970, ,1980, ,1990, ,60s, ,70s, ,80s, ,90s, ,Amy Molyneaux, ,BFC Courtyard Showspace, ,bodycon, ,catwalk, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Colour Blocking, ,Jordan Wester, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,party, ,Percy Parker, ,ppq, ,Prom, ,runway, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Eugene Lin

“It was when we were awarded a giant golden penis at the Erotic Awards, prostate malady that has to be my best moment here so far. It was a fashion show that went really well and everything came to plan.” Holly Jade picked up, check with grinning pride, a huge, winged and golden figurine of male genitalia. As manager of a successful London business, you might expect a more contained answer from Holly, who sits adorned with silver chains, ripped tights and purple streaked hair. Wait a second. Scrap that.

Prangsta Costumiers is far from conventional. “We don’t try and be something that we’re not.” And quite rightly so. Why play the fashion game when their concept already oozes the type of London decadence, imagination and crisp tailoring that one would expect from the likes of Westwood? Seem like an overstatement? Well, yes. But don’t knock this place until you’ve seen it.

I first came across Prangsta when strolling through the streets of New Cross with my mum (as you do). We stopped outside the barred up, clouded shop window and strained our eyes through the metal, trying to fathom what this place was. Despite my mum’s adamance that it was a brothel, she confidently ducked under the corrugated iron and called out for any possible inhabitants. A French lady emerged. She beckoned us inside, casually wearing a riding helmet (as one also does).

An Aladdin’s cave still is the only way to describe it. Trunks and dressers spilling with jewels, brooches, elaborate belts, crowns and masks; dishevelled bustiers heaped with wigs and mad fabric; a trapeze swinging from the ceiling. There was no order. It was undisputed beautiful chaos.

The best part? Every costume is hand-made and tailored by the tight-nit Prangsta team. “We try to purchase as little material as possible so we go to a lot of vintage markets and also get a lot of materials donated to us. We take apart old costumes and old fabrics and then restore them and make them into our own Prangsta designs.” This kind of eco-awareness has been a core principle of Prangsta ever since Melanie Wilson founded the company in 1998. “She studied fashion at Central Saint Martins and really hated how wasteful the fashion industry was portrayed to her.”

Theatrical and period costume dominates Prangsta’s extensive mish-mash gallery of stunning work. A Victorian suited wolf, a burlesque fox or perhaps a two of diamonds playing card? (The shop does have an astonishingly brilliant Alice in Wonderland collection). Simply enter their hidden world and you could transform into characters you barely knew of. Hell, you could make up your own! Or at least leave the imagination to Holly herself, who styles her clients’ costumes rather than creating the pieces in their 1500 square foot studio in Deptford.

I of course guided the conversation onto that 21st birthday party of one Daisy Lowe. Daisy, her mother Pearl and several members of the star-studded guestlist were dressed by Holly and her talented team. Daisy, in particular, wore floor-skimming jaw-dropping ‘Ice Queen’-esque attire. “It was great… They are rock n’ roll royalty. Daisy is a lovely girl and a pleasure to dress.”  ? ?And their impressive list of clients doesn’t end there. Prangsta have also dressed The Noisettes (Shingai, the lead singer, used to work for the company), the Moulettes, the White Stripes, the BBC2 comedy drama ‘Psychoville’ and, get this, have even dressed Florence & The Machine.

Holly insists, however, that dressing such high-flying stars aren’t considered amongst Prangsta’s greatest achievements. I know. ‘You what?’ was my reaction too. But she continued… “I think it’s more of an achievement that we’ve been going like this for 12 years. We’ve made everything ourselves and we’re a London-based local business. Everyone works really hard. We work long hours, sometimes 12 hour days, and keeping the business running I think is more of an achievement.”

And she’s right. The Prangsta team do seem to work incessantly hard. They don’t just simply lend beautiful costumes to individuals. They tour all different festivals throughout the summer. They organize community nights for local performers and artists. They scour markets and thrift stores for the beautiful trinkets and treasures you’ll see placed around their shop. They even run their own dressmaking classes which take place in their Deptford studio. “Classes are taught by Mel and two of her seamstresses,” she says. I then of course comment on the advantage to the class members by being taught by Melanie, being an ex-Saint Martin’s student and pioneer of this mad palace. Holly even mentioned to me how Melanie began squatting in the building that we were sitting in. “Mel started out completely alone, from nothing. She now owns this row of shops and rents them out and also has Prangsta.”How’s that for a success story?

I also just HAD to ask about that haunting but quirky shop-front that had my mum so convinced we were about to come across prostitutes. Holly laughed when I told of her of this.  ?“We do what we can. We’re in New Cross, not in Soho. And I guess we’re quite an urban team. We’re quite subversive, eccentric characters. It is quite dilapidated but we’re a small business in a rundown area.” But no excuses were necessary. I really and truly loved the subversive exterior. And, well, the mysterious look of Prangsta is certainly parallel with the mysterious Melanie, who apparently prefers not to do interviews (damn, eh?).  ? ?Prangsta sure has got a good thing going, but they’re not stopping there. They have pretty big plans for future expansion. “One day we will have an online shop. People will be able to click on, say, a little hat and will be able to request one to be made for them. Within the next five years I’d say we’d like to be working on expanding our costume collection and maybe pump out a fashion collection aswell. We’d like to break through this wall to next door so that we can have an exhibition space and put a lot of costumes up on the walls like a bit of a gallery, have some music playing with a DJ, have some chai on the go. Above all, we want to provide a really quality service by restoring and recycling aswell as contributing to the community.”

After seeing the place for the second time, and speaking to Holly, it appears that not only Prangsta’s enchanting costumes, but also it’s intriguing story and extensive achievement is a true example of what those young, fun, London minds are made of.

Prangsta can be found at 304, New Cross Road, London. ?Costumes are between £80-100 to rent for 5 days and are also sold at individual prices. ?Their next dressmaking classes begin on Wednesday 22nd September from 7 – 9.30pm and cost £200. There is a maximum class size of 10 (so get in there quick if you’re interested!).

Eugene Lin, page A/W 2010, stomach illustrated by Abby Wright

It is the impeccable designs of Eugene Lin that have captivated us here at Amelia’s Magazine. The Central Saint Martins graduate’s intricate and feminine designs are a force to be reckoned with in the near future, patient and it is his expertise in pattern cutting that has given him this power. While we wait for Eugene Lin’s ultra-swish designs to bulldoze their way into magazine editorials and on the bodies of celebrities alike, we get to know the designer behind his eponymous label…

Your autumn/winter 2010 collection ‘The Gordian Knot’ and your spring/summer ?2010 collection both have a unique, tailored simplicity that flatteringly ?emphasises the feminine form. Is this a key factor when designing your collections, or do you feel it comes naturally to you? 
In the words of the great Hubert De Givenchy ‘Adding a flower or piling on details is not couture. But make an utterly simple dress, with a simple style line, this is the key to haute couture.’  The legendary Coco Chanel also said, ‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.’ My clothes are not haute couture, but the essence of what the two aforementioned designers is something I totally agree with and embody in my work. Simplicity should not be confused with plainness; the elegance of my work becomes very evident on closer inspection and that is what the women who buy my pieces appreciate and love. While some of the pieces from both collections are very feminine, there are also large appropriations taken from menswear, right down to the fabrics of the S/S 2010 collection where I used fine menswear shirting for the best-selling dresses. Ultimately, it is a combination of both a feel and a conscious reminder that it is a womenswear line after all. ?


S/S 2010

You’ve spent a lot of time with influential British designers – Preen, Vivienne WestwoodRoksanda Ilincic and Ashley Isham. Do you feel your designs exemplify what British fashion is all about? Would you define your aesthetic as British, or otherwise?
I love British fashion. I always have and always will.  British fashion for me stands for designers who are bold, directional and cutting edge. There is a burning spirit and huge support for new British designers which far surpasses any other city, including the other three fashion capitals. While the catwalks are teeming with unwearable showpieces which often draw flak from the public and other cities, there are also other designers such as myself which push the boundaries in a quieter, unexaggerated way in terms of innovative cut, fabrication and wearability.  Jackie JS Lee and Joana Sykes are examples of this.

I would define my aesthetic as Euro-centric, but not necessarily British. A designer can say all they want about who they think they are or are like, but at the end of the day, the buyers and customers are the ones who ultimately decide because customers never lie with their money. They are the ones who, through the pure forces of economics, decide which market responds the best and whose collections sit alongside yours in the multi-brand boutiques. So far, my work has been described as very chic, very Italian and very Parisian. But I am stocked along other great British designers both in the UK and in Asia, hence I feel the label has a broad European appeal. ?


A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Your spring/summer collection made use of a beautiful royal blue colour, ?whilst your autumn/winter collection visited a flattering and seductive red. Do you find inspiration in the rich colours, or do the rich colours inspire you? Do you feel you must be selective in your colour choices to match ?your aesthetic? 
There is always an accent colour in each of my collections, but the question is finding it and making it work in harmony with the rest of the palette. I choose my colours very carefully, and if I cannot envision a piece in a certain colour, I will re-evaluate the entire palette.  The accent colours are rich, but the rest tend to be muted to balance it. Sometimes, the fabric jumps out at me and I immediately know I will use it, like the rich blue for S/S 2010. For the red in A/W 2010, the inspiration came from the concept; red is the colour of Mars, the Roman God of War. Finding the right shade, weight and texture is very tricky especially for new designers who cannot afford large minimums. The colours have to sit in blocks across the collection, as well as in the order of silhouettes. This process is a constant delicate juggling act, but getting it right really pays off as it makes each collection cohesive – something that all my buyers have really appreciated when visiting my stands and buying into the collections for their stores.


A/W 2010, illustrated by Katherine Tromans

Your intricately made ‘Bella’ top (above) is both draped and unmistakeably tailored to fit the female form. Is your unique tailoring going to be a pleasantly recurring theme in your future work, like a calling card or so to speak?
The key difference between a Eugene Lin piece and many other designer pieces is the amount of attention that is paid to the intelligent cut and detail, both in draped and tailored pieces.  The entire front of Bella is actually draped out of one single piece, being pinched together at the knot. With such a rich experience in pattern cutting, it came as a natural progression to my work, and it’s one of the few things that is incredibly difficult to imitate due to the level of technical difficulty in my work. S/S 2010 had a lot of panels and pieces which were cut from a single piece of fabric – draped or intricately split, while A/W 2010 revolved around the knots and loops.  I have been accused of being a minimalist, but ask any one of my interns or machinists who have worked on my pieces and they will laugh it off. As I mentioned before, my work always reveals something on closer inspection.  I find it incredibly insulting to both customers and other designers who really put in a lot of effort into creating a real designer garment when a pretender slaps a couple of metal studs and rings onto a piece of leather and calls it a designer dress or jacket. I would never insult my customers this way. I will always push my tailoring in different directions each season to give them something new, yet draw them back because of the familiar guarantee of quality of an impeccable fit.   ?



A/W 2010

Speaking of your future work, what do you have in store for the future of the ?Eugene Lin label? Can you divulge any information on future ventures, or even ?Spring/Summer 2011?
I will be exhibiting my third collection, S/S 2011 ‘The Vanishing Twin’, on-schedule at Somerset House this coming London Fashion Week, and for the first time taking the collection to Paris Fashion Week to an even bigger international audience. S/S 2011 was inspired by Stephen King’s novel ‘The Dark Half’ and based on the medical condition foetus in fetu (FIF), commonly known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome, whereby a foetus develops around its twin in the womb. The result, although rare, causes cases where a foot has been found growing in a boy’s brain, and limbs growing in stomachs.  However, for me a concept is only as good as its translation, and I’d like to think I’ve translated all my themes successfully so far. The pieces for S/S 2011 feature tailored trousers with extra ‘grown in’ features like an extra waistband, mutated skirts and dresses and separates which have been draped to resemble muscle and tissue.  Bottom line, I am selling clothes, and even if the customer is not aware of the inspiration or does not buy into the concept, they can always walk away with an incredible designer piece.  The concept becomes a bonus for those interested in more than just a beautifully created garment. ? ?


A/W 2010, illustrated by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?
I prefer constructing them, although I do sketch of course. Seeing the piece come to life is like birthing an idea, and sometimes I discover things on the stand which makes it even more beautiful than the sketch. Anyone can draw a sketch, but a woman is not going to walk into a boutique to buy a sketch to wear to an event now, is she?
 
?What do you like most about designing clothes?
The fulfilment of seeing women buy and wear a piece of their identity based on my aesthetics which originated from a simple thought. It’s like watching a seed grow right to fruitation.

?Describe your personal style in three words.
Clean, precise, elegant. In that order.

What does fashion mean to you in three words?
Love. Life. Light.

What advice would you give to those that would like to get into fashion ?design? 
Haha!! Where do we start on this….It’s really not for everyone, you have got to be really, really tough – it’s not a profession for little farm girls. Ask yourself WHERE exactly you want to be in the industry – a designer of your own label or designing for a house, and WHY you want to do it. For some like myself, I know that I will never be happy working under someone else and I wanted my own career, but for others they enjoy a design team. There is no right or wrong solution, and you should never expect to emulate another designer’s path. Internships are vital, do as many as you can to see the real face of our industry.

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Abby Wright, ,Ashley Islam, ,Asia, ,Bella, ,british, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Coco Chanel, ,Eugene Lin, ,europe, ,fashion, ,FIF, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hubert De Givenchy, ,Jackie JS Lee, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Joana Sykes, ,Katherine Tromans, ,London Fashion Week, ,Parisian, ,Preen, ,Roksanda Ilincic, ,S/S 2010, ,S/S 2011, ,Simplicity, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring, ,UK, ,Vanishing Twin Syndrome, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: James Small


James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

I arrived at the James Small show pretty early – such is the bonkers London Fashion Week schedule that some shows overlap and then you’re left with huge gaps in your day. I joined the small but perfectly formed queue and waited for a pal to arrive. The show was delayed, prescription I was informed, because of the knock-on effect of late-runners throughout the day. The queue eventually began moving a mere 20 minutes late, and just as we were about to be let in, we were halted by an impossibly gorgeous PR girl. Her colleague came over and whispered ‘Kate’s imminent, we should hold the queue‘. Now, I don’t know if it was the pint I’d just enjoyed or the onset stir-crazy sensation I was experiencing after 6 days of shows, but I started sweating profusely. It couldn’t be, could it? ‘Calm down, Matt’ I internally repeated. It can’t be. She wouldn’t. It might be a code word. It might be Kate Adie.


Kate Moss by Antonia Parker

Eventually, after much discussion, it was decided that we should be allowed in because this mysterious Kate hadn’t yet arrived. We were escorted individually up the grand staircase of the Freemasons Hall, this Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, and assigned seats on the front row. Seating was heavily policed, and I enjoyed the personal escort, but it was taking bloody ages and another show downstairs was set to take place pretty soon afterwards. Jaime Winstone, looking incredible with a silver grandma up-do and vertiginous heels, entered the room and was seated with little fuss. Now I love Jaime Winstone, but if ‘Kate’ was a codename for Jaime Winstone, I was about to go berserk.


Kate Moss by Claire Kearns


Kate Moss by Gilly Rochester

The personal escort service soon turned into a scrum; somebody had clearly realised that it just wasn’t practical. I let out a huge sigh as I said to my friend ‘Well, Kate clearly isn’t coming.’ ‘What?’ my friend replied, ‘she’s over there!’ I turned to my left to study the front row. Somehow I had missed the arrival of Meg Matthews, Sadie Frost, Annabelle Neilson, James Brown, Jamie Hince and… Kate Moss. Kate FREAKIN’ Moss!


All photography by Matt Bramford

There was little fuss as I struggled to fight the urge to jump out of my seat, leap across the catwalk, gather Kate up in my arms and force her to take my hand in marriage. It all happened so quickly, and of course, now Kate had arrived, the show must go on.


James Small S/S 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

It was tricky to concentrate on the show knowing that My Kate was mere feet away, but being the consummate professional that I am, I took up my camera and started to study the clothes, being carefully to take a picture of Kate in between each look. The fashion on offer was actually great, and I don’t know why I was thinking that it might not be. The secondary venue at Fashion Scout is actually much nicer – a dark wood arch divides the old stone room, dark wood lines the floor and majestic chandeliers hover above the revellers. Models appear almost out of nowhere. You do lose sight of the models as they bound through the arch, unfortunately, but this ensured enough time to snap Kate excessively.


James Small S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

Hysteria mounted thanks to the special guests: Kate and her entourage whooped and cheered every look and wolf-whistled translucent shirts, which sent roars of laughter through the room. Last season’s sharp tailoring continued this time around, but had been given a more casual feel for the discerning gentleman who manages to looking devastatingly cool without any real effort during the summer months.


James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

Small’s mainstay silk shirts had been jazzed up with the aforementioned translucency, and romantic florals with an air of Liberty were the most aesthetically appealing pieces in the collection, particularly a shirt/shorts combination with identical print. I’m not sure I’d get away with it, but the model did with aplomb.

Small‘s sharp tailoring was dressed down with white ankle-high sports socks and Vans in varying colours – when I read this on the press release I wasn’t so sure about it, but seeing it in the flesh allowed it to make sense. Rich colours: plum and royal blue, and luxe materials: silk and velvet, made this collection Small‘s most sophisticated yet. Retaining an edge above his competitors with leopard print and camouflage short shorts, it’s Small’s sharp cuts and sophisticated tailoring that really set him above the rest. That and his stellar front row, of course.

Categories ,Annabelle Neilson, ,Antonia Parker, ,catwalk, ,Claire Kearns, ,combat, ,fashion, ,Floral prints, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gilly Rochester, ,illustration, ,James Brown, ,James Small, ,Jamie Hince, ,Kate Moss, ,Leopard Print, ,liberty, ,London Fashion Week, ,Meg Matthews, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Milly Jackson, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sadie Frost, ,Sam Parr, ,Silks, ,tailoring, ,The Kills, ,Translucent, ,Vans, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Presentation Review: U.Mi-1


U.Mi-1 S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Walking through the hallowed halls of the Freemasons’ building, salve I couldn’t help but think I was actually appearing in an episode of BBC One’s Spooks. Heals clip-clopped on marble flooring, cialis 40mg echoing around the grandiose interior, help darkened wood, glass cabinets filled with associated paraphernalia. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was actually there to meet with the Home Secretary; that Harry Pearce was lingering somewhere in the shadows. He wasn’t, of course, he’s fictional; and I was dressed *way* too good to be doing such silly business as saving the world from terrorists.

Instead, for this presentation by menswear label U.Mi-1, the room we were in was filled not with MI5 Suits, but with boys wearing oversized-blazers, and girls who all seemed to have more-hair-than-clothes; all clutching man-bags or purses, cameras, notepads and complimentary herb-infused juice drinks. I’ve no idea why they were ‘herb-infused’. One assumes it was to give the idea that they were laced with vodka. It worked.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Upstairs, on the first floor, in the room we had converged in, was a presentation that felt more like a piece of theatre than it did a fashion show. Divided into two rooms, the first was lit only by the light from a projector on the wall; while the over-zealous pouring of the aforementioned juice drinks gave a heavy, over-burdened incense-like smell to the proceedings.


U-Mi.1 S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

The projector reel showed images two models at one time against a white wall. Standing side by side, the two boys would interact, not so much with each other but with their clothes: laughing as they pulled at button holes, braces, hemlines and creases, before changing to two new boys in two new outfits.

In the second, brighter room, the same models were present, only this time in the flesh and frozen: scattered across the back of the room to create a tableau of gorgeous fellas. This only heightened the theatricality of the event, thanks in part to the fact that the growing crowd (us included) were standing around the models as if there were a barrier between us and them: them on a stage, us an audience.

It wasn’t until, as we pulled out our camera, easily the biggest one there (size matters), that some man with a clipboard informed us we could get closer and the rigidness of the event shifted into something more real: journalists writing notes, models moving from one statuesque pose to another. And we lead the way, pioneers that we are. We twice contemplating striking a frozen pose in the centre of the room, hoping that revellers of the collection might confuse us for an eighth model.

The collection on offer was mostly made up of muted colours and pastel shades, simple lines and classic cuts. At one point I saw a girl jot down The Great Gatsby as a footnote, but she’d obviously never read F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic: these boys weren’t Jay Gatsby, they were the boys in Brideshead, dipped in sepia tones and burnt sienna, like something from a Sofia Coppola movie. Seams had been piped in contrasting colours, discreet checks were teamed with pale pastels and styled with thick-rimmed glasses and brown leather loafers.

Outside, still caught up in the spring-like warmth of the collection, my PA duties to Matt Bramford had drawn to a close. I could’ve lingered all day, only he then actually started calling me Alex Forrest (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) and I had to bid adieu to Fashion Week for another year; all Brideshead illusions truly shattered.

Categories ,Alex Forest, ,Brideshead Revisited, ,checks, ,F. Scott Fitzgerald, ,Fatal Attraction, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Glenn Close, ,Gozi, ,Harry Pearce, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,MI5, ,Piping, ,Presentation, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,Sofia Coppola, ,Spooks, ,Suits, ,tailoring, ,The Great Gatsby, ,U.Mi-1, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Showroom Review: EcoLuxe London

'Ecolooks' EcoLuxe London Exhibition LFW SS12 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

‘Ecolooks’ by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

I was hugely excited that during this London Fashion Week I had the opportunity not only to go and see but also exhibit at the EcoLuxe London exhibition that took place in a beautiful space on the ground floor of the Kingsway Hall Hotel almost next to the Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Freemasons’ Hall. Ecoluxe London takes place twice a year during London Fashion Week and is a non-profit platform that promotes fashion related ecoluxury brands and aims to raise awareness of ecological issues with the public. Its organisers, information pills Stamo and Elena Garcia, who are sustainable womenswear designers themselves, featured over 40 brands this year and EcoLuxe London is growing every year – here’s only a few examples that took my fancy!

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Lucy Harvey Ethical Stylist

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Ethical Stylist Lucy Harvey and Hetty Rose

Ethical stylist Lucy Harvey styling shoe designer Hetty Rose with a Plastic Seconds headpiece and necklace.

Upon entering the exhibition visitors were greeted by superbly talented stylist Lucy Harvey and her assistant Charlie Divall, who offered to upstyle them with various pieces from the exhibitors’ tables and then photograph them and tweet about it. I thought in this way Lucy offered a really fun, interactive introduction to the exhibition and a great way of promoting both the designers’ and the visitors’ work.

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Lupe Castro wearing Supported by Rain and Plastic Seconds

Stylist Lupe Castro styled by Lucy Harvey with a Supported by Rain coat and a Plastic Seconds headpiece, photo by Charlie Divall

Walking further into the exhibition the first thing to catch my eye was a series of gloriously colourful raincoats by Maria Ampatielou’s new brand Supported by Rain – seen above. Made of recycled umbrellas and end-of-roll waterproof fabrics, these raincoats are not only beautiful but also cleverly fold into their own pockets or hoods, whose insides have remained dry, so that you can put them back into your bag without any soaked diary dramas!

STAMO EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 by Celine Elliott

By Stamo S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 STAMO belt

By Stamo, which featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, is another brand I enjoyed especially because of the theatricality in the designs and the extensive use of found and recycled materials whose original form is often retained – as seen in this bullet belt.

INALA LONDON EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 by Caire Kearns

INALA London S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns

My neighbour exhibitor Alani Gibbon of INALA London showed some designs which were a natural hit with me becuase of their bright colours, but they further impressed me with their cleverness and versatility. For example a hooded short dress could be turned around and worn as an all-in-one playsuit! Not to mention the use of pulped eucalyptus fabric which felt amazing to touch.

OUTSIDER Ecoluxe London LFW SS12 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Outsider Fashion S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

I was thrilled to see the brand Outsider winning the JP Selects womenwear award at the end of the show as they stongly promote the notion that ‘ethical’ fashion should just look like very good fashion with their range of classic but very stylish designs.

HEMYCA EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 by Celine Elliott

Hemyca S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott

Hemyca is a multi award winning brand and I was most attracted by this beautifully tailored matching dress and coat.

LFW SS2012 Agnes Valentine Ecoluxe London by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Agnes Valentine S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Along with Hemyca above, whom I was not aware of, it was great to discover my dream swimsuit designer Agnes Valentine! The brand sources fine italian eco fabrics and their designs are minimal and classic but with bold colours and very feminine indeed.

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Hetty Rose shoes

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Hetty Rose shoes worn by Alice Wilby

It was an honour to meet another ACOFI designer Hetty Rose whose fun bespoke shoes are made using vintage Japanese kimono fabrics, Alice Wilby from Futurefrock modelled this pair and did not want to take them off!

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Golden Grass Company clutch

Next to Hetty Rose I found the friendly couple behind the Golden Grass Company who design jewellery and accessories for native artisans in Brazil to make out of a naturally golden, light and durable fibre, which is grown without chemicals or pesticides, under fair trade standards – LOVED this clutch!

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Monique Luttin headpiece

Sharing a table with me was Monique Luttin who makes intriguing headpieces using offcuts or vintage fabrics and found objects – I particularly liked this bird scull one which has a tribal, ritualistic element to it.

EcoLuxe London LFW SS12 Palstic Seconds printer packaging pendand

And finally a piece from the Plastic Seconds recycled jewellery collection I exhibited made out of the plastic, colourful bits one finds when unpacking a new printer…

As Hannah Bullivant pointed out in a previous post on EcoLuxe London, hopefully sustainable practices in fashion design will become mainstream and the brands that are still termed ‘ethical’ will no longer have to exhibit in separate showrooms and sections such as EcoLuxe or Estethica. Hopefully soon.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou unless otherwise stated.

Categories ,Agnes Valentine, ,Alice Wilby, ,By Stamo, ,Celine Elliott, ,Charlie Divall, ,Claire Kearns, ,Classic, ,Coat, ,design, ,designer, ,Dress, ,ecodesign, ,Ecoluxe, ,Elena Garcia, ,estethica, ,Ethical brands, ,fashion, ,Feminine, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Futurefrock, ,Headpiece, ,Hemyca, ,Hetty Rose, ,Inala London, ,jewellery, ,Kingsway Hall Hotel, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lucy Harvey, ,Lupe Castro, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,minimal, ,Monique Luttin Millinery, ,Outsider, ,Outsider Fashion, ,Plastic Seconds, ,Pulped Eucalyptus, ,Recycled Materials, ,shoes, ,Slow Fashion, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Supported by Rain, ,Swimwear, ,tailoring, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,vintage, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: Best of the Fashion East Menswear Installations

Lupen Crook Interview
By Rob Harris

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, troche I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, rx sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, clinic but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, cure I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, remedy sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, shop but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, sick I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, more about sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, viagra 60mg but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Well, pills they’d really gone to town with this season’s menswear installations. Menswear Day is great, but it’s bloody hard work – you get five days to absorb what’s on offer for women, but only one for the guys – even though the quality and breadth of talent is just as vast.

So in between shows I managed to leg it around the installations, taking photographs, collecting press releases, bumping into people I knew and desperately tried not to steal Mr Hare shoes, all at the same time. It was hard work, I tell ya.

Katie Eary



I LOVE Katie Eary‘s work and this year was no exception. Moving away from skeletal masks and those joke glasses that have me in stitches whenever I see a pair, this season saw Katie collaborate with Lonsdale to create a 1950s boxing scene. It was GREAT – genuine boxers in Katie’s leopard-skin silk shorts, jewel-encrusted boxing helmets and embellished gloves fought on one side of the space behind traditional boxing ring ropes. A genuine coach jeered in his East End accent and Katie, resplendent in a leopard-skin number herself, styled the models/boxers like a glamorous ringside moll.



Tartans featured as boxers rested in the other half of the installation, surrounded by red roses and walls covered in the same fabric. Despite being mesmerised by the shirtless boxers I did also notice some neat tailoring, studded trousers and yet more leopard skin numbers. Amazing.

Mr Hare



Delicious shoes. Again. What else to say? It’s hard to stand out designing shoes exclusively for men, I’m sure, unless you design panto clown shoes – but Mr Hare managed it again – this season presenting an entirely black collection (strange, I thought, for S/S). Suede, patent leather and reptile skin all featured.

Matthew Miller

I am seriously excited about interviewing Matthew Miller in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that. His unique fusing of modern tailoring with a sport-luxe aesthetic really gets me going. A model stood looking a little perplexed outside his little hut, wearing a double-breasted blazer in rich cotton with a banded white stripe straight through the middle. It seems this theme ran through his entire collection, giving well-tailored clothing a contemporary twist. Crisp white shirts with stripes are teamed with tailored shirts to achieve the MM look.

Omar Kashoura

Illustration by Antonia Parker

It’s no secret that I loved what Omar Kashoura had to offer last season, and it’s no surprise that he’d been awarded NEWGEN sponsorship this time around. Moving on from formal tailoring, this season he presented a more playful collection packed full of wit, humour and great checks.



A jazz band modelled the clothes, but every time I went in they were hanging around posing and not actually playing instruments (that modelling opportunity had obviously gone to their heads) but I’m told they were very good. Twill double-breasted blazers, some with piped lapels, toyed with the idea of English dressing, and whimsical handkerchiefs were placed in pockets. A general colour palette of tones of blue was enhanced with flashes of red and some pastel colours, while the models wore Edward Green shoes (HOT).

The rest of the room featured look-book shots (above) with hilarious catalogue-style captions – ‘Andreas looks comfortable in a viscose and cotton knitted vest with a zipper front…’

Christopher Raeburn


Christopher Raeburn fits into many categories, and his collection this year was his best outing yet. Spots were the key theme, as were coats of many colours. Read a little bit more about him in Amelia’s review here.

Baartmans and Siegel


Great colours up for grabs here, with pastel blue tapered trousers and silk scarves and navy trenches, teamed with pastel blue suede shoes. Ones to watch, I’d say, with their mix of European influences and luxurious fabrics.

Mattio Bigliardi

…wins the award for biggest jacket. Love this colour…

Christopher Shannon

Another season brings another collaboration with Eastpak, and even more silly bags, that I actually really like. The colours echoed his catwalk collection, featuring lemon, aqua and grey.

Morgan Allen Oliver


Illustrations by Aniela Murphy
Last, but by no means least, Morgan delighted again this season with fabulous knitwear and polka dot shorts. As much as I loved his offerings in February, this time around he seems to have grown in sophistication and his collection seemed smarter and infinitely more wearable, while still maintaining that contemporary, humorous wit that we’re steadily gettting used to. Muted colours featured, along with luxurious-knit cardigans, spotted jumpers and said polka-dot shorts, modelled by previous fashion editor Jonno Ovans!



Categories ,Aniela Murphy, ,Antonia Parker, ,Baartmans and Siegel, ,Boxing, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,Christopher Shannon, ,Fashion East, ,jazz, ,Katie Eary, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mattio Bigliardi, ,menswear, ,Morgan Allen Oliver, ,Mr Hare, ,Newgen, ,Omar Kashoura, ,pastels, ,S/S 2011, ,Sheds, ,Somerset House, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: D.GNAK by KANG.D

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, cheap more about I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, about it sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality

Illustrations by Faye West

As I approach the North London pub where I’ve agreed to meet Lupen Crook, pharm I’m surprised to find that he’s already there, there sitting quietly at a table outside. He greets me politely and offers to buy me a drink. Not quite what I was expecting from the self-confessed “unmanageable” Crook, but then the 28-year old singer-songwriter and artist is a slightly different proposition these days.

Having spent a couple of years out in the cold after an acrimonious split with his record company, Crook has returned with easily his best work to date, entirely self funded and released on his own Beast Reality Records.

And whereas he used to stalk the unlovely streets of the Medway Towns in Kent, Crook has now moved to London and developed a muscular sound to match.

Recorded with his band, the Murderbirds, Crook’s eagerly awaited third album, The Pros and Cons of Eating Out, is a vaudevillian trip through the dark recesses of his vision of the “Dysunited Kingdom”. But the melodrama of old has been replaced by real drama, and instead of lyrics about toilet abortions and shaken baby syndrome comes beautifully crafted wordplay, with beguiling references to Enoch Powell and Schrödinger’s Cat.

From the Love Cats-esque Lest We Connect through the Russian Cossack stomp of How to Murder Birds to the sub-low synth powered Scissor Kick, the genre-confounding album is the band’s most fully realised and accessible work to date.

But in case anyone’s thinking that Lupen Crook has gone all mature on us, one look at the harlot-embarrassing hand painted album cover should reassure fans that the band shows no signs of pandering to the mainstream just yet.

Over the summer you played to big crowds at the Latitude and Wireless festivals and your new album is more accessible than some of your past releases. Do you think the band has the potential to cross over to mass audiences?

There’s been no conscious effort to make our music more acceptable to people at all – in fact we’re celebrating the freedom to do exactly what we want more than ever. But we’re not shutting ourselves off to the possibility of reaching wider audiences. We’re more comfortable in our own skin now and stronger for it, and with that maybe comes a wider appreciation.

I feel like people generally are treated like idiots – like they’re not intelligent enough or emotionally deep enough to be able to understand anything further than just really crap music. And I think, well, if you actually give people the chance, there’s a whole wealth of brilliant music that would actually make them feel a hell of a lot better about themselves and that they’d enjoy.

Having released your first two albums on the independent Tap n Tin Records, you’re now setting an example for how bands can function as the industry changes, by being completely self funded and releasing your new album on your own label, Beast Reality.

Back when we were recording our second album Iscariot the Ladder, I’d always had this idea of Beast Reality Records – it’s always the daydream that you can release off your own record label. After our contract ended we recorded this album and thought “Right, how are we going to release this?” We had interest from labels and we considered it, but, as everyone knows, the industry’s fucked at the moment and, no disrespect to any of the labels, when we actually got through the door and started talking with them, we thought, well what are we actually getting from a record company? We’d financed and produced the album ourselves, so all we’d be getting from them would be manufacture and distribution.

Do you feel like musicians are, in a sense, starting to get their revenge on the more exploitative elements of the industry?

The music industry’s being returned back to the people who are actually creating the music, and now it’s up to them how they want to do it.

One of the good things about the self-release aspect is that it can keep up with the amount of material we want to release. Industry people have this thing of “you can’t release too much”, but the whole thing with Beast Reality will be to get material out as much as possible – I’d like to be looking at two to three EPs and an album a year.

In the early days you were courted by the NME and were in the NME Cool List in 2005, but this always seemed to be at odds with what you were about.

It completely threw me – it made me retreat hugely. For one thing, the song on that CD [First single Lucky 6 was included on a free CD with the NME] opened my music up to so many people. But I was a far more insecure person back then and I didn’t have my gang and my band around me. I’m never sure how much I suffered from all that – I think to a certain extent it was good, but on the other hand it was a bit of a diversion. But I’ve got no regrets, it was just something that happened and was, quite frankly, out of my control.

Your music is often described in the press as alt-folk, and you describe it as “fight folk”. What does the work “folk” mean to you in terms of music?

Folk means people – it’s peasant music. I don’t think folk music is anything to do with “the fox ran over the moon in the pale night sky” and all of that traditional stuff – I don’t really care about tradition. It’s storytelling – but then at the same time I think we’re a punk rock band really. I like fight folk because it’s got that storytelling aspect to it but also it’s sort of aggressive and I think that’s kind of who we are as individuals.

In recent times the Medway Towns have become known as a kind of hotbed of creative talent, and you’ve often been portrayed as being very much rooted in the area, in the same way that Billy Childish is. Why did you recently choose to move to London?

I’d been in Medway for too long and needed to get out. I feel there’s always the potential for something brilliant to happen there but everyone and everything, and this is why I love it, has turned really feral. To say there’s a scene there is bollocks but to say it’s got the potential for loads of great bands is definitely true. It comes in fits and bursts. There are occasions when everyone decides to get their shit together and not sit in their bedsits drinking and smoking, and when they do actually make the effort, it’s great – there’s something really thriving and exciting, but it never maintains itself because there isn’t really the opportunity for it to go anywhere outside of Medway. I moved to London because I’d walked down every alleyway, I’d drunk in every bar and I’d kind of done it all. Medway will trap you – it’s in a valley – but you can really lose yourself in London.

Your music has lots of references to Catholicism and religion – the song Scissor Kick from the new album talks about “a sprained cath-aholic”. In light of the controversy over the Pope’s recent visit to Britain, what does Catholicism mean to you and how does it feed into your music?

I was brought up with it and it’s in me. I’m very much a Catholic but I absolutely detest Catholicism quite frankly. I just think it’s really outdated and so irrelevant to anything. I think you should have faith – but faith in yourself, almost like individualism – you don’t need a God. I don’t reject everything to do with Catholicism, but I don’t see the point in an organised religion. There’s so many people of a certain generation who still sort of feel this guilt for certain things – I’m completely stricken with catholic guilt and it’s terrible.

Your music has always been hard to categorise and it’s sometimes difficult to detect your immediate influences. What bands or artists have had an influence on you musically?

Someone told me there’s a theory that the interests and experiences you have when you’re around eight years old go on to form the core of the person that you become. When I was eight I used to make little recordings, multi-tracking my Dad’s guitar and my Casio keyboard, and I started a band with the kids down the road, and in a weird way I haven’t actually progressed since I was eight years old – I’m doing the same thing, which actually makes me happy. At that age I was listening to AC/DC, Bon Scott era, and my school uniform, with the shorts, was the same as what Angus Young wore on stage. And Bon Scott was singing songs about sex and fighting and everything that my teachers and parents would detest, which is why my band was called Devil’s Disciples – completely like “I’m gonna piss you lot off”. Then when I was about nine my babysitter brought a compilation tape round with Carter USM on and I just fell in love with it. I think they influenced my lyrics quite a lot – Carter USM’s really down-to-earth wordplay with Bon Scott’s love of the three basics – sex, drugs and rock and roll.

You mention you’ve been playing in bands from a very early age. Has this always been what you’ve wanted to do?

It’s not even a case of that I wanted to do it from an early age – it’s what I decided to do. There’s only been one time in my life when I seriously considered giving up music and just leading a normal life. It was after I broke up my last band and I just packed it in and had a job delivering parcels in a van. I still used to bring my guitar with me in the van so I could play it when I was waiting for deliveries or whatever, and then one day my boss saw it and said, “What’s that?” He said “Look, you make your choice now. You can dick about on the guitar or you can be a parcel delivery man” and I just had this moment of clarity and quit. Then on my way home I got a phone call from my girlfriend saying that Tap n Tin Records wanted to sign me and that was that.

You’ve spoken in the past about having schizoaffective disorder, and last year you released The Curse of the Mirror Wicked EP to help publicise the YoungMinds mental health charity. Does this feed into your creativity?

It’s hard to tell. The way I’ve learnt to understand it, in a crude way, is that it’s somewhere between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I got told by a doctor when I was 19 that my obsession with music was actually making me more ill, and at certain moments in the past I’ve thought maybe they’re right, that it is a weird obsession. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. But generally I think; I’ve made my bed and I’m lying in it. I have the occasional wonky period, but I feel lucky that I’m in a position where it’s kind of easier to live with than it might be for other people – because I don’t do a nine-to-five job and I get to write songs and paint pictures.

You make music, and also artwork, under the name Lupen Crook. Is this a character or is this really you?

I’ve always played around with names and I’ve always needed that. All my friends call me Mosh – that’s what I’ve been called since I was eight years old and I refused to be called anything other than that, even by teachers and my parents. I even called myself Jilted Jack Cann for a few years when I was in my last band, Bonzai Reservoir. Lupen Crook started off as a character idea, and now I kind of am that person. Names are almost nothing and everything, aren’t they? I’ve always liked the idea that you can set aside what you were before and, not invent a new persona, but find other perspectives within yourself to say “I’m not that person anymore, I’m this person now”, and that’s what I did with Lupen Crook.

“Right, home time”, says Crook, and with that, he disappears into the night. As I’m leaving, I’m struck by something he said: “I was a writer before I was a father and I was a writer before I was a husband. If I lost everything in the world, I’d still be a writer, because that’s the most important thing – to communicate, even if it’s just to myself.”

The Pros and Cons of Eating Out is released on October 4th on Beast Reality


Illustration by Joana Faria

Fashion week always throws up a surprise – a label that you hadn’t heard of before that puts on a show with some flavour that you weren’t expecting. This was the case at Kang D’s show on Menswear Day, information pills the man behind the D.GNAK label (see what he did there?)

Held at one of the Freemasons’ Hall catwalks, prostate this show was barely half full, information pills which is always the way with new shows but always makes me feel a bit sad. I mean, imagine the work that goes into a catwalk show, lest the money! Luckily, before I was reduced to tears, the show began.

First, a little history about Kang and D-Gnak. This was the Korean based label’s first outing outside of its native country, after launching in 2006. A quick skim through previous shows doesn’t reveal much. If you’d only seen Kang’s Soviet-slash-communist-inspired collection last season, featuring military blazers, rich wool knee-length coats and deerstalkers, you’d be in for a bit of a shock this time around.


Illustrations by Joana Faria

Model number one was Luke Worrall, aka Kelly Osbourne‘s ex-fiancé, opened the show, and I really don’t know what the fuss is about with this guy. Anyway, that’s besides the point. D-Gnak specialises in well cut tailoring, with British influences mixed up with an East Asian flavour. Cue wonky ties, extra-long sleeves, open sleeves and shirt hems of different lengths. Sounds bonkers, right? Well it was a little bit bonkers, but I actually really liked it.

There was a real craftsmanship feel to Kang’s collection and his ability to cut and tailor excellent clothing was evident – the design twists and contemporary engineering made a simple collection into a quirky, stand-out one. Trousers were ruched all the way around the inside leg, adding a sports-luxe feel. A colour palette of sand, slate grey and crisp white was peppered with flashes of neon green, on ties that were worn normally but peeked through lapels of jackets. Cuffs were styled folded, often with more than one appearing, which gave the entire collection a futuristic feel.

Blazers were loose-fitting around the shoulders and brought in at the waist with multiple buttons, some double-breasted; Kang’s silhouette emphasises the masculine. Trousers appeared high-waisted and slim-fitting, opposed by fitted shirts. I know what you’re thinking – this is all over the bloody place! Well, it was, a little bit; but it was refreshing to see such an inspired, quirky collection that was wearable and fashion-forward, both at the same time.

The show’s finale saw the models return in D-Gnak pyjamas (well, at least I think they were pyjamas, apologies if they were for daytime wear) featuring similar design twists. Just when you thought Kang had finished with the surprises, here was another one!

Categories ,Asia, ,Bonkers, ,catwalk, ,D.GNAK, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,KANG.D, ,Kelly Osbourne, ,korea, ,London Fashion Week, ,Luke Worrall, ,Neon Green, ,review, ,S/S 2011, ,tailoring, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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