Baartmans and Siegel certainly know how to put on a show. This year they’d taken over St. George’s of Bloomsbury, an 18th century church which sits right opposite the Old Sorting Office LC:M venue. The church is a bit of an undiscovered gem in the heart of the city; a grand staircase and Georgian columns make up the façade. The recently renovated interior is clean and bright and less imposing than some of London’s other ecclesiastical architecture.
There were three sittings and I’d bagged a ticket for the first, which was a little low on numbers but I can only assume that this was because a show had just finished across the road. Without much fuss, models descended from the church’s balcony; the aisle became the catwalk and press and buyers filled the pews.
This ‘Platoon‘ collection followed on nicely from A/W 2014′s offering. Mixing quintessential British influences with sportswear, S/S 2015 had much to offer. Inspiration had come from sports teams and leagues, translated through masculine sportswear with emphasis on the quality of fabric and finishings. Bomber jackets and coats appeared in dark greens and blues, worn over layers of shirts and t-shirts. The idea was to combat the mess that is the British summer, with lightweight waterproof jackets with removable hoods and luxurious overcoats that don’t sit heavily.
Layered shorts are becoming a bit of a B&S staple and these appeared numerous times, teamed with crisp tailored short-sleeved shirts and long, light coats. Retro-inspired sunglasses shapes, headbands and athletic socks balanced the ultra-modern cuts of clothing. Pleated, tapered trousers offered a smarter aesthetic. A collaboration with Kickers saw models wear leather ankle shoe/trainer hybrids.
Models formed a group at the end of the nave where I presume the altar would be, framed by a dramatic sculpture at the altar. This reinforced the key themes that made this collection so coherent and exciting.
A few weeks ago myself and some other Shoreditch mums took our 6 toddlers down to Pontins in Camber Sands. It was a cheap holiday in down season, meaning that we pretty much had the resort, wind and rain to ourselves. I’ve been to Pontins many times for ATP weekenders back in the day, but this was my first time doing it as a mum.
We had a run of chalets along an entire ground floor row, so the kids loved racing between everyone’s identical ‘houses’. The idea being that we would dine together and then calm the little ones down in their own space, but this also meant we mums spent the evenings on WhatsApp. Rock n Roll!
Our first day was a rainy affair, so we drove into Rye and headed straight into a cafe for hot drinks. Then we took the kids on a soggy tour of the town walls, culminating in a visit to a very boggy playground on the field below: cue much slippage in mud in the mizzle. On a plus note the swings were great! And there were some fun interactive smiley faces with embedded sounds to play with.
On Sunday we braved the wind to visit Camber Sands, but had to retreat inside before too long because the toddlers weren’t having any of it, despite the lucky find of a kite in the dunes. We were turfed out of one cafe for being too rowdy (honestly, toddlers, how dare they?) but ate chips in the friendlier place next door.
Sadly the Pontins bouncy castle was not on offer, so we spent the afternoon in the soft play centre, trying to avoid the arcade machines and racing around the giant hall on the upstairs level, where I once saw the likes of Yoko Ono, Peaches and Bat for Lashes. Whenever I ask Snarf what his favourite bit of the day was he invariably says ‘running around’ and they had a ball in the huge open space.
We had big plans to take advantage of the swimming pool but as always it seemed like too much drama, however the little ones loved having the choice of so many playgrounds on their doorstep, forcing us to race around the chalets after them. And they loved feeding the gulls (chuck a chip, watch them appear like magic from nowhere!)
So, Pontins, basic, a bit downmarket, but fun nonetheless. We are already planning our next destination en masse…
Karina Jarv – Illustrator
Of course there are always a lot of favourite Christmas songs… It’s Christmas, information pills there is a fantastic mood in the air and you want to listen to something very old and familiar to you. The same thing is with me. ONE of my favourites is ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby. But to be honest my current favourite is the ‘2000 miles’ cover by 6 Day Riot. Everything is so perfect there for me: magical voice, amazing sound… Yes, the original song is great, but this sounds a little bit more personal. When I hear this song I want to put the kettle on, take a warm bath and good book with me and wait for someone…very special…’to come back’ to me someday.
Amelia Gregory – Our Magazine Leader Do they know it’s Christmas? from 1984 – because it reminds me of being young. I love that all the famous pop stars of the era are featured in it, but it was still so craply done – no stylists on hand in those days. Of course it was cheesy even then but I was given a 7″ for my birthday which I still treasure.
And as I discovered watching the Frisky and Mannish show at the Lyric Theatre, it encompasses all the essential elements of a Christmas tune – obvious references to Christmas, innuendo, pathos, political context, bells and a sing-a-long chorus. An absolute classic.
Faye West – Illustrator
So hard to choose, but it will have to be Mariah Carey‘s All I Want for Christmas (is that what it’s called?!), reminds me of being 14, in New Look shopping for a Christmas Disco outfit in 1998, the year we did a dance to Spice Girls for the Christmas assembly. I chose a gold glittery vest top with a blue velvet mini skirt as had Geri Halliwell in mind. The song makes so many of us excited. And then the fun of dancing to it in summery June in ‘Boombox’ a few years ago!
Lorraine Nam – Illustrator
I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas is my favourite Christmas song. It’s funny and silly and it has a great background story to it. The little girl ends up actually getting a hippopotamus and donates it to the local zoo.
Martin from Principal Colour – Amelia’s Book Publisher Amelia has been working with Principal Colour since 2004. They have a close relationship, enabling her to do lots of new, experimental things when printing covers – like the pearlescent cover in the latest book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration available now here. Martin says his fave Christmas song is: Without doubt it has to be “merry xmas everybody” by slade, when I was young it was what Christmas was about and then when a bit older in the pubs was the sing along of choice (and apparently I used to look a bit like Noddy Holder – don’t know if that’s a compliment or not to be honest).
Hannah Bullivant – Writer Contributor – craft extraordinaire
Ok my favourite christmas song is It’s Christmas and You’re Boring Me by Slow Club, because its beautiful…even though i feel the opposite about my mister, I just love it.
Robert Harris – Writer Contributor
I love Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon. It’s got a lovely lilting, folky melody – it’s actually based on an old folk standard called Stewball. It’s a protest song about the Vietnam War, which makes it 100 times more meaningful than anything by Slade, and it’s one of the few credible Christmas songs. Well, until Yoko Ono starts singing…
Jessica Furseth – Writer Contributor
My favourite Christmas song is probably ‘Silent night’. It reminds me of what Christmas was like when I was a kid, when it was sort of magic. Where I grew up there weren’t really any Christmas-themed pop songs, so I don’t really like those as they don’t hold any significance for me. So yes, I like the old-fashioned songs.
Avril Kelly – Illustrator Wham! Last Christmas. It is the ultimate cheesefest of Christmas songs, I hear it every Christmas in the car on the way to visit family and friends. Everyone always sings along loudly and rather terribly, it has to be said. It’s fun and cheesy and just I love it.
Abby Wright – Illustrator
Well this is a hard question, I love Christmas songs, especially those I can sing or dance to. In particular I love Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie, Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Band Aid’s Do They Know it’s Christmas. My favourite ever though would have to be Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. It makes me so happy, and it’s a song that i’m guaranteed to dance to and get a sore throat singing to! It’s fun, cheerful and just what Christmas should be. I hope one year soon we will have an actual Christmas song for Christmas number one again!
Chloe Cook – Illustrator
Jingle Bell Rock by Billy Idol. I’ve chosen this song because I absolutely L-O-V-E Billy Idol, and I also love Christmas, so it’s putting my two favourite things together. Also I just think that it’s quite a funny thing that such a massively known punk rocker has done a cutesy little Christmas song, and I think more people should listen to it!!
Daria Hlazatova – Illustrator
I know what you’ll say about my favourite Christmas song being “Jingle bells rock” by Bobby Helms – “cheeky!” Well, I first heard it as a child in “Home Alone: Lost in NYC” and loved it. Since then it became associated with this city until finally some years later I found myself in NYC at Christmas completely alone. I remember hearing this song when passing Macy’s and being hit by a wave of nostalgia. Cheeky dreams come true at Christmas, I thought! Hope your Christmas is a happy one!