Amelia’s Magazine | Swatch True Colours – A look at the entries

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Well things haven’t changed for me much over the last twenty years. I yearned for a Swatch watch when I was a boy, mind decease and I’m yearning for one now. I never actually got one – well, sickness visit web that’s what happens when you’re brought up in a mining village and there are more important things in life, here prostate like food, for example. Anyway, who cares? Swatch have recently launched their New Gent collection – a painfully sophisticated selection of watches for gentlemen who appreciate a discreet, slick timepiece with style.

Illustration by Antonia Parker

To celebrate the launch (and promote it, of course) the Swiss watchmakers have collaborated with some of the biggest fashion magazines to pitch stylists, photographers and fashion editors against each other. The result is a fabulous selection of shoots, published in said magazines, with readers given the opportunity to vote for their favourite.

Without any particular brief, the results are breathtaking and very, very different. Here’s a round up of my faves:


Wallpaper‘s ‘Hanky Panky’ shoot is inpired by the plight of 1970s gay casual-sex seekers to find an ‘appropriate’ match. A fascinating subject, I have actually no idea what the different placements mean (honestly, guv’nor – but Wikipedia does throw some light on the situation) but the team at Wallpaper, overseen by fashion director Sebastien Clivaz, have used the phenomenon to great effect.

This gent, on the left, apparently is a submissive gentleman who is fond of sexual practises such as fisting, piercings, S&M, military sex and masturbation only (somebody needs to make his mind up, love…) You can’t go wrong with a bit of camp cowboy styling.

Open Magazine

I love love love Open Magazine’s vibrant colours and hint of eroticism. A pair of flexible friends writhe on top of each other in various poses (but this ain’t gymnastics).

The watches on the models go unnoticed, but this is rectified with backdrops of said watches, blatant in the background. And if that girl can really get a Swatch around her neck, she needs to eat more.

Vice Magazine

In a shock move, Vice‘s entry is a little subdued, but I love their stark shoot featuring up-and-coming musicians. Lots of different photographs feature, from different angles, with Jeremy Shaw, Polina Lapkovskaja and Hugo Capablanca sporting a couple of watches each…

Cleo Magazine

Cleo’s option makes great use of wonderful illustrations. Chiho’s dreamy water-colours envelop their models, blending with body art influenced by the magazine’s Singaporean roots, photographed by Skye Tan.

Tom Magazine

Tom’s quirky offering is all about food. 6 models are pictured gorging on a selection of East Asian treats whilst nonchalantly wearing a variety of the watches. I really like the candid format and saturated colours of Dean Lee’s photographs.

WAD Magazine

I love WAD‘s quirky and eccentric shoot, featuring modern gentlemen in a mix of twee tweeds. These dandies wear a mix of Scandinavian and British tailored items. You don’t see much of the watches, but who cares? These photographs are great!

Kinki Magazine

Kinki‘s offering is probably the most unique, and utilises coloured powders that have been splashed all over models’ faces. It’s a really conceptual shoot and stands out from the rest.

ID Magazine

ID Magazine makes use of ‘streetstyle’ photography, using prolific fashion blogger Bryanboy and accessories designer Fred Butler as subjects. The layouts also feature this pair casually going about their businesses wearing armfuls of Swatch watches, as you do.

To see the rest of the entries and to vote in the competition, visit the Swatch website (where you can also check out some of the fantastic videos produced to accompany the shoots!)

Categories ,Asia, ,Bryanboy, ,Chiho, ,Cleo Magazine, ,Cowboy, ,fashion, ,Fred Butler, ,Gymnastics, ,Hanky Panky, ,Hugo Casablanca, ,ID Magazine, ,Jeremy Shaw, ,Kinki Magazine, ,Magazines, ,New Gent, ,Open Magazine, ,Polina Lapkovskaja, ,Singapore, ,Skye Tan, ,streetstyle, ,styling, ,Swatch, ,Switzerland, ,Tom Magazine, ,Vice Magazine, ,video, ,WAD Magazine, ,Wallpaper, ,Watches

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Topman

Topman, ed story hottest ticket in town!

Topman front row by Pearl Law.
Topman front row by Pearl Law.

You don’t believe me? Why, find dosage then you don’t understand the nature of fashion. Here was the only show where the menswear fashion mafia were out in force. The magnitude of control that the Topshop empire now wields over British fashion cannot be underestimated: between Philip Green, dosage Kate Moss and a huge amount of sponsorship Topshop practically IS British Fashion. Still don’t believe me? Then check out the rollcall of new designers that Topshop sponsored as part of New Gen this year, proudly announced in the foyer of the BFC tents like a litany of high achieving academics proudly etched into the wood panels of a university. They represent the very best of the new young designers working in Britain now, but the sad fact is that they will almost certainly be ripped off by the very monster that raised them. How else does Topshop make it’s obscene profits? And don’t even get me started on their ethical practices.

The menswear editors certainly aren’t here because they’re looking forward to the best collection of the entire week. They’re here to keep happy one of their biggest advertisers / the company that pays their consultancy fees. And Mr. Fatcat Philip Green himself can be found shortly before the show holding court in the press room, magnanimously chortling with some pretty young fashionista before taking his position in the front row, smiling contentedly, the lord of his dominion.

I know many of the menswear crew because of my past career as a stylist (for many years merely a fashion cupboard ‘monkey’ and thereafter as a stylist’s assistant) within this niche industry. I loved working as a menswear stylist – it wasn’t so fraught with the pinickety bitching and temper tantrums of womenswear, and the male models were a lot more fun. Even though there is now a dedicated menswear day at London Fashion Week it remains a very small part of the industry by comparison and many of the people I learnt my ‘craft’ alongside have now become highly influential, unsure how to treat me… the one who went off on an entirely independent tangent and has since become a mere speck on the edge of the menswear world.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The menswear crew of old sit in the front row opposite me, perfectly lined up like a row of duckies at the fair. First there’s Andrew Davis, sporting his best miserable face. We both started out in the Arena fashion cupboard as minions at the bottom of the heap, but Andrew learnt the art of sycophancy much better than I ever did and quickly rose to the position of Fashion Director for both Arena and Arena Homme Plus magazines. He now consults and styles for many large fashion brands across the world. He’s always looked young, a small ginger lad in a baseball cap, but he was old (29) even when he started out in this business, which just shows where blinding ambition will get you if you’re focused enough. Never let age be a barrier in fashion, especially if you look and act young.

Next to him Steve Beale – who is always chatty to me bless his soul – is now embedded in the bowels of uber lads’ mag FHM, where his career seems to be defined by a relentless quest for self-improvement. It was not always thus; he began life as founding editor of the cult underground magazine Sleaze Nation in the mid 90s… before the lure of cash from a proper job beckoned.

Daryoush Haj-Najafi was working as a barman in the then fantastically trendy Bricklayers Arms in the centre of Shoreditch when Shazzy Thomas, my then boss at The Face (I’d moved fashion cupboards in the Wagadon stable by then) decided he was cute and got him in as an intern in the late 90s. Thus his career began and he now writes extremely funny blogs about fashion for Vice Magazine. Hywel Davies offered me great encouragement at the start of my career – especially when I moved into photography – and used to hire me as a stylist, photographer and writer many years ago, again for Sleaze Nation. He is now a senior lecturer in fashion and has written the fashion tomes Modern Menswear and British Fashion Designers in recent years. Last in our round-up is Way Perry, a well-known stylist and menswear editor of Wonderland Magazine.

They will no doubt be among those who write glowing things about Topman: for them it’s the only way. But I have no such allegiances. Despite knowing many senior people in the Topman marketing and press team, they are one (of many) large advertisers who resolutely failed to support Amelia’s Magazine: in fact you could blame them for the downfall of the print version because if they’d jumped on board I may well have had many other advertisers, such is their power. And they continue to show no interest in what I do, so I can say about the collection what I like. And I will.

Named Berlin Boys this collection was dreariness personified – a feeling echoed in the faces of those opposite me. Styled by the perfectly respectable Alistair Mackie, all sense of excitement had been bled from the collection, just like the spidery tie-dyed silhouette trees bleeding across an apocalyptic reddened sky. On our seats had been placed a glossy little notebook that matched the invite we’d been sent, and this was quite frankly the most exciting bit of design I could see in the vicinity. I just don’t get it. Why not use a catwalk show as an excuse to create something more inspiring? Why does it have to be this way? Even from the second row I could see how cheaply made the clothes are, and how on earth did they find/force so many boys to adopt peroxide blonde hair for the show? Were they paid handsomely for the ordeal? I’ve seen the look so many times before.

Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

But none of it matters, because Topshop and Topman will continue to ‘support’ young designers as they start out on their tricky career in the notoriously fickle world of fashion, and people will continue to buy Topshop’s clothes, both good and bad. It matters not a jot what they choose to send down the catwalk. Mores the pity, for the megalith organisation that is Topshop could effect so much more good in this industry if it chose to. And I’m not just referring to design. Don’t even get me started on their ethical practices…

Categories ,Alistair Mackie, ,Berlin Boys, ,BFC Tent, ,Bricklayers Arms, ,Daryoush Haj-Najafi, ,FHM, ,Hywel Davies, ,Kate Moss, ,Mr. Fatcat, ,New Gen, ,Philip Green, ,Shazzy Thomas, ,shoreditch, ,Sleaze Nation, ,Somerset House, ,Steve Beale, ,The Face, ,Topman, ,topshop, ,Vice Magazine, ,Wagadon, ,Way Perry, ,Wonderland Magazine

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


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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