Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome to the world of DIY Couture

santa3santa

Not quite feeling in the festive mood yet?! We have put together a bit of a mix CD in blog styleee format just for you to get you feelin Christmasy!

Grace Beaumont, healing Earth Editor
Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas
Me and my friends did it for kareoke a few years ago and it was so fun! I like the video and Mariah just makes me lol in her santa outfit!

Rebecca Milne, information pills Music Editor
Bo Selecta: “Proper Crimbo
This didn’t go down well at all when I played it in the office, but I lovesss it! It takes me back in particualr to last Chritmas when my sister and I were teaching our 8year old neice the lyrics when we were out in the car looking for the houses with the most christmas lights on it.

Luciana Saldanha, Music Contributor
Aconteceu
I am originally from the sub tropical country of Brasil, and down there we do have quite a few Christmas songs to celebrate our rather hot, and sunny Christmas. I walked down Memory Lane – with the help of my laptop of course – and found a few (many) gems from Brasil, and, let me tell you, these songs took me straight back into the sweaty arms of our Brazilian version of Santa Claus. My chosen one would be “Aconteceu”, because it reminds me of me and my childhood friends singing it, its a very very typical song

Valerie Pezeron, Arts Editor
Vanessa Paradis: “Emmenez Moi
French Classic brilliantly covered by Ms Depp. Lyrics: ” Take me away to the end of the world, Take me away in the land of wonders. It seems to me that misery would be less hard in the sun, take me away!” Very fitting but not too obvious.

Briony Warren, Music Contributor
?Neil Young: ‘After the Goldrush’
It was a favourite of my father’s and several Christmas’s ago my he asked for us to sing it for him at a family get together. My three sisters and I practiced it and learnt a few harmonies. My uncle Frank, accompanied us on guitar. Everyone loved it and this song always reminds me of this!It’s a great song with many renditions done over the years by the likes of Thom Yorke, Tori Amos and The Flaming Lips. We also performed it at my Grandmothers funeral, however we changed the lyrics slightly because the song is actually about drug addiction.

Georgie Van Kuyk, Music Contributor
Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas
This is the ultimate Christmas song! It reminds me of school discos, wearing horrendous clothes, tinsel, and my beast friend reminded me; you had until the end of this song to find someone to dance the last slow dance with.

Colin McKean, Music Contributor
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: ‘Fairytale of New York’
Drunkenness, disillusionment, broken dreams and promises, as well as the threat of domestic violence. What could be more festive?
or… ‘Just Like Christmas’ by Low, which seems to capture both the joy and the introspection of the festive season in pretty much equal measure.

Cari Steel, Music Contributor
Julie London: “Lonely Girl
Christmas songs always sound like they have had 10lbs of tinsel dumped on them; they are gaudy, overblown, and are the musical equivalent of the torpid state that we find ourselves in after consuming our weight in turkey and Christmas Cake. The antidote to all of this excess is listening to Julie London’s “Lonely Girl”. The mellow, delicious, breathy tones of Julie sets the scene to curl up in front of a fire, clad in nothing but big woolly socks and an oversized jumper while sipping a large brandy and letting the festive overload gently ebb away.

Rachael Oku, Fashion Editor

Have a happppppy Christmas!! xx

santa

Not quite feeling in the festive mood yet?! We have put together a bit of a mix CD in blog styleee format just for you to get you feelin Christmasy!

Grace Beaumont, side effects Earth Editor
Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas
Me and my friends did it for kareoke a few years ago and it was so fun! I like the video and Mariah just makes me lol in her santa outfit!

Rebecca Milne, for sale Music Editor
Bo Selecta: “Proper Crimbo
This didn’t go down well at all when I played it in the office, generic but I lovesss it! It takes me back in particualr to last Chritmas when my sister and I were teaching our 8year old neice the lyrics when we were out in the car looking for the houses with the most christmas lights on it.

Luciana Saldanha, Music Contributor
Aconteceu
I am originally from the sub tropical country of Brasil, and down there we do have quite a few Christmas songs to celebrate our rather hot, and sunny Christmas. I walked down Memory Lane – with the help of my laptop of course – and found a few (many) gems from Brasil, and, let me tell you, these songs took me straight back into the sweaty arms of our Brazilian version of Santa Claus. My chosen one would be “Aconteceu”, because it reminds me of me and my childhood friends singing it, its a very very typical song

Valerie Pezeron, Arts Editor
Vanessa Paradis: “Emmenez Moi
French Classic brilliantly covered by Ms Depp. Lyrics: ” Take me away to the end of the world, Take me away in the land of wonders. It seems to me that misery would be less hard in the sun, take me away!” Very fitting but not too obvious.

santa3

Briony Warren, Music Contributor
?Neil Young: ‘After the Goldrush’
It was a favourite of my father’s and several Christmas’s ago my he asked for us to sing it for him at a family get together. My three sisters and I practiced it and learnt a few harmonies. My uncle Frank, accompanied us on guitar. Everyone loved it and this song always reminds me of this!It’s a great song with many renditions done over the years by the likes of Thom Yorke, Tori Amos and The Flaming Lips. We also performed it at my Grandmothers funeral, however we changed the lyrics slightly because the song is actually about drug addiction.

Georgie Van Kuyk, Music Contributor
Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas
This is the ultimate Christmas song! It reminds me of school discos, wearing horrendous clothes, tinsel, and my beast friend reminded me; you had until the end of this song to find someone to dance the last slow dance with.

Colin McKean, Music Contributor
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: ‘Fairytale of New York’
Drunkenness, disillusionment, broken dreams and promises, as well as the threat of domestic violence. What could be more festive?
or… ‘Just Like Christmas’ by Low, which seems to capture both the joy and the introspection of the festive season in pretty much equal measure.

Cari Steel, Music Contributor
Julie London: “Lonely Girl
Christmas songs always sound like they have had 10lbs of tinsel dumped on them; they are gaudy, overblown, and are the musical equivalent of the torpid state that we find ourselves in after consuming our weight in turkey and Christmas Cake. The antidote to all of this excess is listening to Julie London’s “Lonely Girl”. The mellow, delicious, breathy tones of Julie sets the scene to curl up in front of a fire, clad in nothing but big woolly socks and an oversized jumper while sipping a large brandy and letting the festive overload gently ebb away.

Rachael Oku, Fashion Editor

Have a happppppy Christmas!! xx

santa

Not quite feeling in the festive mood yet?! We have put together a bit of a mix CD in blog styleee format just for you to get you feelin Christmasy!

Grace Beaumont, what is ed Earth Editor
Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas
Me and my friends did it for kareoke a few years ago and it was so fun! I like the video and Mariah just makes me lol in her santa outfit!

Rebecca Milne, Music Editor
Bo Selecta: “Proper Crimbo
This didn’t go down well at all when I played it in the office, but I lovesss it! It takes me back in particualr to last Chritmas when my sister and I were teaching our 8year old neice the lyrics when we were out in the car looking for the houses with the most christmas lights on it.

Luciana Saldanha, Music Contributor
Aconteceu
I am originally from the sub tropical country of Brasil, and down there we do have quite a few Christmas songs to celebrate our rather hot, and sunny Christmas. I walked down Memory Lane – with the help of my laptop of course – and found a few (many) gems from Brasil, and, let me tell you, these songs took me straight back into the sweaty arms of our Brazilian version of Santa Claus. My chosen one would be “Aconteceu”, because it reminds me of me and my childhood friends singing it, its a very very typical song

Valerie Pezeron, Arts Editor
Vanessa Paradis: “Emmenez Moi
French Classic brilliantly covered by Ms Depp. Lyrics: ” Take me away to the end of the world, Take me away in the land of wonders. It seems to me that misery would be less hard in the sun, take me away!” Very fitting but not too obvious.

santa3

Briony Warren, Music Contributor
?Neil Young: ‘After the Goldrush’
It was a favourite of my father’s and several Christmas’s ago my he asked for us to sing it for him at a family get together. My three sisters and I practiced it and learnt a few harmonies. My uncle Frank, accompanied us on guitar. Everyone loved it and this song always reminds me of this!It’s a great song with many renditions done over the years by the likes of Thom Yorke, Tori Amos and The Flaming Lips. We also performed it at my Grandmothers funeral, however we changed the lyrics slightly because the song is actually about drug addiction.

Georgie Van Kuyk, Music Contributor
Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas
This is the ultimate Christmas song! It reminds me of school discos, wearing horrendous clothes, tinsel, and my beast friend reminded me; you had until the end of this song to find someone to dance the last slow dance with.

Colin McKean, Music Contributor
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: ‘Fairytale of New York’
Drunkenness, disillusionment, broken dreams and promises, as well as the threat of domestic violence. What could be more festive?
or… ‘Just Like Christmas’ by Low, which seems to capture both the joy and the introspection of the festive season in pretty much equal measure.

Cari Steel, Music Contributor
Julie London: “Lonely Girl
Christmas songs always sound like they have had 10lbs of tinsel dumped on them; they are gaudy, overblown, and are the musical equivalent of the torpid state that we find ourselves in after consuming our weight in turkey and Christmas Cake. The antidote to all of this excess is listening to Julie London’s “Lonely Girl”. The mellow, delicious, breathy tones of Julie sets the scene to curl up in front of a fire, clad in nothing but big woolly socks and an oversized jumper while sipping a large brandy and letting the festive overload gently ebb away.

Rachael Oku, Fashion Editor

Have a happppppy Christmas!! xx

santa

Not quite feeling in the festive mood yet?! We have put together a bit of a mix CD in blog styleee format just for you to get you feelin Christmasy!

Grace Beaumont, approved Earth Editor
Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas
Me and my friends did it for kareoke a few years ago and it was so fun! I like the video and Mariah just makes me lol in her santa outfit!

Rebecca Milne, Music Editor
Bo Selecta: “Proper Crimbo
This didn’t go down well at all when I played it in the office, but I lovesss it! It takes me back in particualr to last Chritmas when my sister and I were teaching our 8year old neice the lyrics when we were out in the car looking for the houses with the most christmas lights on it.

Luciana Saldanha, Music Contributor
Aconteceu
I am originally from the sub tropical country of Brasil, and down there we do have quite a few Christmas songs to celebrate our rather hot, and sunny Christmas. I walked down Memory Lane – with the help of my laptop of course – and found a few (many) gems from Brasil, and, let me tell you, these songs took me straight back into the sweaty arms of our Brazilian version of Santa Claus. My chosen one would be “Aconteceu”, because it reminds me of me and my childhood friends singing it, its a very very typical song

Valerie Pezeron, Arts Editor
Vanessa Paradis: “Emmenez Moi
French Classic brilliantly covered by Ms Depp. Lyrics: ” Take me away to the end of the world, Take me away in the land of wonders. It seems to me that misery would be less hard in the sun, take me away!” Very fitting but not too obvious.

santa3

Briony Warren, Music Contributor
?Neil Young: ‘After the Goldrush’
It was a favourite of my father’s and several Christmas’s ago my he asked for us to sing it for him at a family get together. My three sisters and I practiced it and learnt a few harmonies. My uncle Frank, accompanied us on guitar. Everyone loved it and this song always reminds me of this!It’s a great song with many renditions done over the years by the likes of Thom Yorke, Tori Amos and The Flaming Lips. We also performed it at my Grandmothers funeral, however we changed the lyrics slightly because the song is actually about drug addiction.

Georgie Van Kuyk, Music Contributor
Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas
This is the ultimate Christmas song! It reminds me of school discos, wearing horrendous clothes, tinsel, and my beast friend reminded me; you had until the end of this song to find someone to dance the last slow dance with.

Colin McKean, Music Contributor
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: ‘Fairytale of New York’
Drunkenness, disillusionment, broken dreams and promises, as well as the threat of domestic violence. What could be more festive?
or… ‘Just Like Christmas’ by Low, which seems to capture both the joy and the introspection of the festive season in pretty much equal measure.

Cari Steel, Music Contributor
Julie London: “Lonely Girl
Christmas songs always sound like they have had 10lbs of tinsel dumped on them; they are gaudy, overblown, and are the musical equivalent of the torpid state that we find ourselves in after consuming our weight in turkey and Christmas Cake. The antidote to all of this excess is listening to Julie London’s “Lonely Girl”. The mellow, delicious, breathy tones of Julie sets the scene to curl up in front of a fire, clad in nothing but big woolly socks and an oversized jumper while sipping a large brandy and letting the festive overload gently ebb away.

Rachael Oku, Fashion Editor

Have a happppppy Christmas!! xx

home pageAll imagery throughout courtesy of The Stellar Boutique

Stella McCartney and Kate Moss know a thing or two about good style. Both are fans of Stella McClure, information pills owner of newly opened internet shop, approved The Stellar Boutique. Previously running a vintage-customised stall at Portobello Market, more about McClure packed up shop in 2004 to travel the world in a campervan. Now settled in the Spanish countryside, she has decided to give it another go. This time though from the comfort of her own home via the power of the internet.

80s vintage tiger topThe Stellar Boutique is a great concept. McClure travels the hippy-luxe trail across Europe to Marrakech in order to bring you vintage treasures. Everybody loves a one-off, and that is certainly what The Stellar Boutique provides. Featuring vintage bags, designer garments, customised pieces and exquisitely exotic homeware, there’s something for everyone.

squareingtrq231Unlike many other fashion businesses at the moment, McClure is keen to promote new designers and ethnic artisans. (Instead of ‘Marc Jacobs’ think ‘Marc who?’) McClure insists that real style is best grown from within, instead of stealing magazine looks or following trend advice. The Stellar Boutique offers the freedom to do this.

NWfeathfrBut does it deliver? Standout pieces are endless. Let’s start with the accessories. There are the Moroccan style leather handbags.Then there are the mountains of unique jewellery to choose from. Pieces by Bora Bora, Lei Rose and Norwegian Wood are to die for. I love the porcelain tea-cup necklace and the silver postcard trinket by Lei Rose, as well as the feathered and fringed pieces by Norwegian Wood, and wow, have you seen the skull charm bracelet by Bora Bora? Even more for the Christmas list!

vintage shoes goldnsilverNext up, vintage. There’s second-hand, slightly grubby, vintage fashion, and then there’s nice ‘I’m so glad only I have this’ vintage fashion. The Stellar Boutique falls into the latter category. The vintage section of the site is easily the big winner. With clothing separated into 60s, 70s, 80s, handbags, scarves, boots and boho, it couldn’t be easier to navigate towards your era or item of choice.

v125Boho features peasant tops and kaftans Sienna would covet. The 70s section showcases (unusually beautiful) standout dresses at massively cut-down prices, and 80s can tailor to all your glam rock needs. There are sparkly 80s style heels and some killer red leather stilettos in the shoe department, as well as the standard biker or cowgirl boot. With menswear and more accessories coming soon, you’ve got to keep checking back for more goodies!

boomboxAs if it needed to be said; everything is quality assured, hand-picked and highly loved. Check out the site to update your wardrobe for 2010 with fresh, exotic pieces your friends can drool over. For Christmas, they are spreading the holiday joy with a 20% off discount sale on all vintage and womenswear, as well as homeware! So why not pick up something for your Christmas shindigs or New Year’s bashes now instead of waiting for the mania of the January sales?!
heather in the garden 24Images throughout courtesy of DIY Couture

DIY Couture publishes books which run through the process of making your garment of choice. The books work as guides to pattern cutting and assembling fabrics for your perfect piece. Instead of hours spent poring over tracing paper with a handful of needles, discount these books make DIY creations easy and fun. If you were one of those kids that loved crafts and art at Brownies, physician this is certainly the adult version for you.

The best thing about DIY Couture is that these guides ensure personal tailoring. In this way, you can create clothing specifically made for your body, as a piece of couture – without the price tag. Now you can wear dresses that sculpt your waist and bust, without the need for special underwear or elasticised belts. On the flip side, despite being cheap, the clothes you make will not enforce sweatshop conditions – unless you impose them on yourself!

pleatedskirtcoverThe books are pretty too. As an aesthete myself, this is highly important for any purchase – including books. The guides come illustrated with computer designed images and photographs outlining the exact processes for you in easy to understand diagrams. Basically, they are novice-friendly, user-friendly, sewing-friendly, you name it.

So what if you’re a sewing-phobe like me? Never fear. The DIY Couture website addresses all areas of clothes making. Usefully, everything can be made using the simplest techniques – straight line and zig-zag stitches – your basics from Textiles class in High School. They also outline where you can purchase second hand or new machines cost-effectively, with reviews to help you decide.

heather jumpsThe garments up for creation include bandeau dresses, scoop neck tops, capelets, high-waisted shorts and lace tops, the creations at your fingertips are far from cheap-looking. Inspired by catwalk trends and what people wear on style blogs, DIY Couture provides instantly wearable classics in flattering cuts that are also thoroughly modern in feel. It’s like building up your own American Apparel or Uniqlo basics wardrobe, lovingly made with your own hands.

The site also offers advice on getting started and help when you run into trouble. They even offer tips on fabrics and embroidery, and how to get involved in the sewing world with links to magazines. To reiterate, it really is user-friendly-for-all community. Go from new-to-pro with these books, and create something you want now for half the price and twice the fun! Christmas lists, anyone?

Categories ,American Apparel, ,Becky Cope, ,DIY Couture, ,Uniqlo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Uniqlo UT Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat T-shirts fashion illustration competition

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt red
Uniqlo UT today launch a new range of UT T-shirts bearing the iconic imagery of New York artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Keith Haring was one of the greatest pop artists of the 1980s, well known for his joyful graphic artworks featuring instantly recognisable symbols such as the Radiant Baby. His dancing figures surrounded with bursts of movement were a reflection of the energetic underground scene, and the socio-political subtext that bubbles beneath his deceptively bright images fits well with the current climate. Jean-Michel Basquiat took a far more chaotic approach to image creation, combining figurative painting, abstract brushstrokes, words and pictograms to describe his view of society. His spontaneous impressionist style combined with primitivist elements continues to be a big influence on creatives today.

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt green
Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt yellow
UT T-shirts by Keith Haring.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt car
Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt cream
UT T-shirts by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

And now for the exciting part: we would like you to style your choice of T-shirt on a man in a bespoke fashion illustration for us. All submissions will be showcased on my website once a winner has been chosen by myself and Uniqlo and announced on the 6th May. Selected submissions will also be showcased and credited across Uniqlo’s social channels in May and one artist picked by Uniqlo and Amelia’s Magazine will win 2 x return tickets from London to Paris on the Eurostar (up to the value of £200 and to be booked by the end of June) and 2 x tickets to the Keith Haring exhibition at the Musee D’Art Moderne. Above and below are some of my favourite T-shirt designs but you can find the whole range of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat T-shirts on the Uniqlo website, so please work with whichever style tickles your fancy.

Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt beige
Uniqlo Keith Haring tshirt little man
UT T-shirts by Keith Haring.

To celebrate the launch of this latest range of Uniqlo UT T-shirts there will be a unique UT POP-UP! LON event open from Friday 19th April until Saturday 27th April at The Hoxton Gallery. Expect art installations from artists Damian Weighill and Dan Freeman, as well as a pop up store selling limited edition UT collection and related events. Together with Vice Magazine, Uniqlo UT presents two weekends dedicated to ART and MUSIC. I particularly like the sound of the Secret UT Cinema on Friday 19th April, where visitors will be able to see a private screening of a documentary on the life of Keith Haring. On Saturday 20th April influential artists will lead an ARTSHOP creative session. Visitors to UT POP-UP! LON will be invited to step into the UT CAMERA Photo Booth and shoot a looping video portrait on Uniqlo‘s new UT CAMERA smartphone app: the best will be projected onto the walls of the venue and there will be prizes galore for the best themed videos. Customers and fans can apply for exclusive limited passes to the private events taking place in the UT POP-UP! LON via Uniqlo.com/uk/ut.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt green
Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt orange
UT T-shirts by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

DESIGN BRIEF:

TECHNICAL DETAILS: Submissions must include a visual reference to at least one of the Keith Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat Uniqlo T-shirts (above). Artists can incorporate images of the actual T-shirts in their artworks or create illustrated interpretations of these.

SIZE & LABELLING: Your design should be submitted in a jpg format of A4 size, 297 x 210 mm. Please make sure you include UNIQLO and your name in the label.

RESOLUTION: Please create your artwork at a resolution of 300 dpi, but please only send me a 72 dpi version to avoid huge emails. If a larger resolution is needed we will let you know at a later date so keep your original safe!

SENDING IN YOUR DESIGN: Send your design to to me on an email clearly headed UNIQLO ART any time before the closing date.

CLOSING DATE: Closing date for entries is Sunday 28th April. The winner may be invited to take part in follow-up promotional activity.

Uniqlo Jean-Michel Basquiat tshirt
UT T-shirt by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Categories ,1980s, ,ARTSHOP, ,competition, ,Damian Weighill, ,Dan Freeman, ,Eurostar, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Jean-Michel Basquiat, ,keith haring, ,Musee D’Art Moderne, ,Photo Booth, ,Radiant Baby, ,Secret UT Cinema, ,T-shirts, ,The Hoxton Gallery, ,Uniqlo, ,Uniqlo UT, ,UT CAMERA, ,UT POP-UP! LON, ,Vice Magazine

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Amelia’s Magazine | Bourgeois & Maurice Can’t Dance at Sadler’s Wells: An Interview

Cher Lloyd by Gemma Pharo
Wagner by Karina Yarv
Wagner by Karina Yarv.

Another year, viagra 60mg another X Factor out of the way. I went through a period of not watching any telly at all, more about and oh how I used to poo poo this show, patient but then, in 2009 I got sucked in. It was the only break I used to allow myself as I was creating my first book Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration – a bit of enjoyably vacuous pop culture on a plate. And it was then that I discovered the joy of X Factor watched with my twitter stream open. Trying to think of the bitchiest tweets as fast as possible has now become a something of a national sport, and I thoroughly recommend you do both at the same time once the whole bloody thing rolls around again next year.

X-Factor_Dannii Minogue wearing J'Aton Couture by Krister Selin
X-Factor_Dannii Minogue wearing J’Aton Couture by Krister Selin

As for the final outcome? I couldn’t stand Cher Lloyd’s sneery face but thought her final effort was at least IN TUNE, whilst even on the same note the One Direction cuties struggled (harmonies, what are they?)

Dee-Andrews-Cher-Lloyd-X-Factor1
Cher Lloyd by Dee Andrews.

I loved Rebecca Ferguson’s voice until it started to grate on my nerves, as did the fact that she could not move, even singing the danciest of songs. I quite enjoyed some of Matt Cardle’s songs, but he was clearly not on form during the last few weeks. All in all, as could be predicted, I’ve heard better singers at small indie gigs.

Matt Cardle by Karina Yarv
Matt Cardle by Karina Yarv

My fave live performance by Matt:
YouTube Preview Image

What really grabs the audience is of course the whole spectacle – the cliched dramatisations of the contestant’s back stories, the ridiculously over the top stage effects and the outrageously expensive outfits and stupendous styling choices of the judges and contestants. Here, then, is a chance to revel in the sheer glory of the X Factor experience, as seen through illustrators’ eyes.

Abi Daker Cher Lloyd
The Lovechild of Jordan, Minnie Mouse and Jimmy Saville. Illustration by Abigail Daker.

Gareth A Hopkins Cher Lloyd
Cher Lloyd by Gareth A Hopkins.

jenny robins - amelias magazine -  x factor
Illustration by Jenny Robins.

Katie Waissel by Karina Yarv
Katie Waissel by Karina Yarv

Cher Lloyd by Antaya Lendore
Cher Lloyd by Antaya Lendore

GarethAHopkins Wagbo
Wagbo (a character from Harry Hill’s TV Burp that was supposedly the love child of Wagner and Tesco Mary) by Gareth A Hopkins

X-Factor_Rebecca Ferguson wearing Lisa Marie Fernandez by Krister Selin
X-Factor_Rebecca Ferguson wearing Lisa Marie Fernandez by Krister Selin

xfactor wagner by elliott quince
Wagner by Elliott Quince.

katie waissel and rebecca ferguson by ellie sutton
Katie Waissel and Rebecca Ferguson by Ellie Sutton

Cheryl Cole by Antaya Lendore
Cheryl Cole by Antaya Lendore.
Bourgeois-And-Maurice-Antonia-Parker-
Bourgeois & Maurice by Antonia Parker.

The lovely Bourgeois and Maurice are currently on a pre Christmas run at the Lilian Baylis Studio in Sadler’s Wells, try performing their fabulous cabaret show Can’t Dance. It’s a brilliant space to showcase their unique musical/comedic talents but far from their usual setting – so I thought it the ideal opportunity to find out more about their sharply observant political views, viagra sale amazing Julian J Smith outfits and special B&M recommendations for Christmas.
Helpful note: GB is George Bourgeois and MM is Maurice Maurice.

bourgeois & maurice by sarah alfarhan
Bourgeois & Maurice by Sarah Alfarhan.

I came to your show at Sadlers Wells last week which was somewhat different to the previous intimate performance I saw at Bistrotheque. Did it take a lot of preparation to fill that big stage? Have you met many lovely ballet types? Learnt anything? But seriously… has it forced your dancing to improve, and is the audience very different to your usual crowd?

GB: Yes audiences engage with what we do very differently in a theatre space. Somewhere like Bistrotheque allows the audience to involve themselves much more, because they are literally metres from the stage, whereas here at Sadler’s there’s a much bigger distance between us and the back row and as a result you have to find new ways to involve them. Which is why I climb through the seating and why I never pick people on the end of the row – it’s too obvious. I go for the ones who think they’re safe in the middle. There is a moment in the show when we attend a Ballet boyz rehearsal – that isn’t set up – they literally called us about 30 minutes beforehand and said ‘we’re having a class upstairs, you’re welcome to join in’. When we got there we just had to copy the other dancers and hope for the best. They were all incredibly kind to us, despite our incompetence.

MM: As Bourgeois says, it is different when people are sitting in the darkness of a theatre, they definitely feel more detached from you. So that is why he gets right in there and sits amongst them for a while. It’s polite. I tend to keep my distance though. One time I ventured in and touched someone and a mislaid party popper went off. I think it was a warning for me to Keep Back. I As for the dancing, we definitely learnt some things, and I might only be speaking for myself here, but I do think our pole dancing has improved over the course of these shows, which is nice. What with the job cuts n’ that, you never know what skills might come in useful.

bourgeois & maurice genie espinosa
Bourgeois & Maurice by Genie Espinosa.

You pulled my boyfriend out of the audience to serenade… and you clamber around amongst the audience quite a lot (well, Bourgeois does) What are you looking for when you home in on your prey? And have you ever gotten a surprising response?

GB: Sorry about that! – That’s quite alright, I think he enjoyed it! – I think we’re usually on the hunt for someone who looks like they’ll have a sense of humour and not be permanently scarred by the experience, but at the same time not someone who looks like a natural show off. We’ve already got two of those on stage. We once had a guy in the audience who stood up midway through a song and started to hurl really shit homophobic abuse at us (I mean, at least make it clever). I think he assumed we were going to be a burlesque act with our tits out, or something. Security dragged him out as he shouted threats at us, so Maurice made up a ‘Bye Bye Fuck Off’ song on the spot, which the whole audience sang to him. 

MM: Ah yes, a fond memory. He was a lovely man. He said he was going to wait for us after, but sadly we never saw him again. Love is so transient sometimes. That’s the most severe reaction we;ve had I think, although that was a saturday night at Bistrotheque, which is slightly different to the normal Sadler’s Wells crowd. People don’t tend to be so vocal in the darkness of an auditorium! Surprising actually how easily people tend to go with what you ask. I’ve tried to take this method into my everyday life more, but it’s just not as persuasive without the microphones and stage lighting.

Dee-Andrews-Bourgeois-Maurice
Illustration by Dee Andrews.

You’ve spoken about the problems that come from addressing contemporary issues in your songs… some of which then rapidly date. Which song from your past would be the most out of place now and why?

GB: Probably ‘Girls in Neon’ which was one of the first songs we wrote, way back in that heady summer of ’07, when Nu Rave was still around. It was a piss-take of that moment in music-fashion history which dated almost as quickly as the scene itself. And, in fact, we were very judgmental and wrong when we wrote ‘when the neon shades fade, will the Klaxons still sing?’ because they are, and their last album was really good. So sorry about that, Klaxons.

Bourgeois & Maurice by Kellie Black
Bourgeois & Maurice by Kellie Black.

You managed to slip in some very *now* references to the student riots when I saw you… how easy is it to keep your spiel up to date on the day? 

GB: Depends what time we wake up and how long we’ve got to read the papers! At the moment we seem to be living in a blur of major news headlines so it’s easy to find references that everyone will pick up on. it’s harder when nothing much seems to be happening, it can end up being a bit ‘oh we’ve still fucked up the middle east…so…yeah…that’s still happening and stuff…hello, you look nice’ etc etc 

MM: If we were clever enough we’d invent a complicated algorithm programme that sources, digests and ranks news stories according to relevance and public awareness, which we would download directly into our heads before each show. But we tend to just log in to Twitter. 

You manage to make biting political satire amusing – have you always been politically inclined, or is this just a fallout from living in London?

GB: We used to shy away from it a lot more than we do now. A couple of years ago we wrote a song called ‘Political Song’ which actively tried to be as apathetic as possible (which in a sense is kind of a political statement but…whatever). We’ve always been political beneath the make up but only recently did we consciously decide to start being more explicit in the show. I think there’s been a noticeable shift in public thinking recently- very Us V Them – which scares me so I guess our decision to satirise the political currents is a natural reaction to that.

How did you hook up with your Julian J Smith? Are all your outfits by him? and what is the process of creating them?

GB: Julian is the crazed visual genius behind all the outfits we’re wearing at the moment. We met him about four years ago in Boombox (RIP) a few months before B&M were born. He has the largest wardrobe of incredible clothing known to mankind so when we started performing we would sometimes borrow things and as the shows got bigger, so did the outfits. Julian’s own line is an amazing synthesis of couture and clubwear and i think that’s something he brings to B&M – he designs all the looks based on ideas we’ve had for songs and he’s been to so many of our shows he can sometimes predict our sartorial needs before we can. 

MM: We’ve also had some outfits made for us by the incredible Fanny & Jessy too, although we’re not wearing any of them in this show. Their debut collection was called We Hope You Die Soon, so we kind of felt we connected on a philosophical level.

George Bourgeois by Louise Wright
George Bourgeois by Louise Wright.

I am particularly enamoured of your pastel hair ball outfit – who had the brainwave for that one? Any side effects to wearing it? I seem to recall there were bits getting caught in your mouth that you described as pubes. Are your pubes falling out as the shows progress? Will you end up bald?

GB: That outfit is the bane of my life. I adore it but JEEESUS the upkeep is hard. It’s made from hundreds of metres of artificial weave, so I have to comb it with a weave brush and pick out of the little bits of crap it sweeps off the floor each night. And yeah the hair gets everywhere. But the outfit is so good I really can’t complain. I think Julian had the brainwave for that too – we were talking about creating an outfit that would be quite body dysmorphic and have its own life when I move around the stage. As luck would have it, the weave shop round the corner from me were doing an offer on multicoloured hair so I bought the entire stock. Oh, and I live in a constant state of fear about going bald. I look shit in hats. – Love the fact you talk about your actual hair there, rather than the outfit going bald.

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Is it hard to switch off? What do you do to relax? How are your days filled when you are doing a run such as the one at Sadler’s Wells?

GB: I’m terrible at switching off when we have theatre runs. We both hate the process of being reviewed, and that really only ever happens during a bigger theatre run – critics rarely go outside their comfort zone – so as a result we tend to be highly strung til press night and then go ‘fuck it, let’s enjoy it’ after that. At the moment my days are filled with sleeping, reading and working on my best-selling novel, which at the moment is one paragraph long. My attention span is shot to pieces.

MM: It is really hard to switch off, and no matter what activities I partake in the day, ultimately I’m always thinking about the show in the evening. I made the terrible mistake of going into central London to do some Christmas shopping yesterday, and after about 10mins in Uniqlo I had a mental breakdown – Know the Feeling well! – and had to leave. So I try not to leave my house much in the day, I can’t really be held accountable for my actions otherwise.
 
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According to Run Riot you have ambitions to “go rock” next year, and you are also working on a musical…. can you give us any sneaky tips as to what this will be about, and who we can expect you to collaborate with on either of these projects?

GB: At the moment they’re both quite distant pipe dreams. The musical actually started as a joke when we were warming up before shows and would improvise a really cliched musical-theatre style opening sequence to a show set in a small town. Then it sort of stuck as an idea – we worked on a project for Theatre 503 in November, where we wrote a song for someone else to perform – the first time we’d done that – and it was really fun so the plan next year is to come up with some songs for other singers and take it from there. Maybe it’ll turn into a musical, maybe we’ll end up churning out jingles for local radio ads. Watch this space…

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Since it’s Christmas time, have you got any top B&M tips for how to get through the big day? And what will you be wearing? 

GB: We’ve both got a fetching his ‘n’ hers red sequin christmas number, which I daresay will make an appearance. Top tip: if there’s any hyperactive kids around on Christmas day, slip them a tenner in return for their Ritalin supply. Your day will float by in a golden blur, and you’ll have sorted out at least one christmas present – kids just love cold, hard cash.

You can book tickets to see Bourgeois & Maurice, performing up until the 23rd December, right here.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Bistrotheque, ,Boombox, ,Bourgeois & Maurice, ,Bourgeois and Maurice, ,Christmas, ,Dee Andrews, ,Fanny & Jessy, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Julian J Smith, ,Kellie Black, ,klaxons, ,Lilian Baylis Studio, ,Louise Wright, ,Nu-rave, ,Run Riot, ,Sadler’s Wells, ,Sarah Alfarhan, ,Theatre 503, ,Uniqlo

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