contents issue eight_2010 TEXT 3 6 8 10 16 17 18 19 20 21 26 27 28 29 30 32 34 35 40 42 44 46 52 53 54 56 58 59 60 61 66 68 69 70 71 72 73 76 77 78 80
Fashion Gets Inked Kelby McNally The Virtual Fashion Boom Laura Hall Fashionable Film Catherine Hudson Strong Women Leave Big Hickies Samantha Lane If The Shoe Fits Amy Shields To Run Afoul Of The Cowgirl Hannah Baillie Home Is Where The Heart Is Victoria Hall Au Revoir Skin & Bone Sarah Bonser Easy Come, Easy Go Cara Marshall Masked – In Flight Hazel Lubbock Angel Jackson Rachel Hopwood Holly Fulton Lucy Toms Eco-Beauty For Dummies Lucy Blane From Sweden With Love Colette Smith The Meaning Of Beauty Karmia Goldring Who Are The Pagan’s? Ellie Gill Back To Black Mary Adeniyi You C**t Sian O’Donnel Where Do You Belong? Laura Scougall This Is Not A Love Story Sophie Everman The Changing Face Of Fashion Laura Bradley Are Toes The New Nose? Josie Pohlinger Mag Culture Hazel Lubbock Meet The Gentlewoman Charlotte Arif Simon Says Rachael Barker Kim Jones Lewis Chong Meet Luella Lottie Stanford All My Heroes Are Weirdo’s Cairistidh MacPherson Icons And Their Bags Rachel Morgan James Jeanette Has The Blow Factor Samantha Brennan Read My Lips Sherene Russell Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam Lindsey Anderson The Vintage Dress Dominique Christou The Great British Wardrobe Disaster Jemma Cross All Things Great And Small Sarah Jane Funnell I’d Rather Wear Fur Than Go Naked Sophie Watkins Time Warp Maryanne Cook Down Speed – Up Style Bianca Ffolkes Viva La Vegan Eleni Charalambous Does This Spell The End Holly Woodcock Food For Thought Natasha Aghalar The World In 3D Amanda Fuller Five Famous Fuck Fiascos Sarah Marsland Till Death Do Us Part Laura Chatterton
Front cover image Styling - Charlotte Arif Photography - Juan Trujillo Andrades Photography assistant - Georgie Wileman Retouching - Ana Paula Grimaldi, Make-up - Jojo Copeman Model - Sara (M and P Models)
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Welcome To The Little Shop Of Horrors Grashina Gabelman Zaha Hadid Cathy Clavero-Prescott Male Escorting Daniel Higgins Pure And Simple Katie Ward Here Lies Love Jemma Cooper Unleash The Predator Sophie Neophytou The Minx Effect Grace Rankin Club Moment Shireen Fenner For City Chic: Le Bellechasse Stephanie Major Bright Young Things Sarah Jane Ashby Flower Power Lauren Cooper Picture Perfect Eva Wilkos Last Stop Hip-Hop Hayat Kamil Pretty Pastels Charlotte West Adventure In A Bottle John Bowyer Parsons… Various The Graduates Information On New Courses
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She Who Dares Charlotte Arif The Waking Nightmare Of Sleep Paralysis Laura Chatterton The Secret Garden Laura Chatterton Say Something Deep Lewis Chomg Fact & Theory Sherene Russell The Man From Venus Daniel Higgins Elliot Rachael Barker A Burdened Heart And Depressed Soul Samantha Brennan Stylecase Various Into Obscurity Holly Woodcock
seditors tnetletter no Sarah Bonser
Writing an editor’s letter is like trying to sum up the fashions of the 21st century in one sentence – there’s so much to say and so little space to say it in. Over the past three years we’ve discovered that the world of fashion journalism is wider and more diverse than we’d ever anticipated, and our eyes have been opened to the numerous opportunities that we now face. We’ve had the best of times and we’ve had the worst of times, but throughout, our students have stepped up to the challenge with poise and panache. Multitalented graduates are ten-a-penny in creative industries, yet what makes this fresh crop of young journalists stand out from the crowd is their intelligence, dedication and in-depth approach to the written word. Some will go on to be great writers and follow in the footsteps of the legendary Suzy Menkes, while others may build PR empires to match Mandi Lennard’s. Inspired by talented and influential women Luella Bartley, Penny Martin, and Zaha Hadid (all of them interviewed in our pages), the new guard of fashion designers, catwalk trends or their own fashion and lifestyle experience; this years graduates have proved their worth by embarking on an impressive array of topics. From reporting on Muslim punk, the emergence of plus-size models and halal make-up, to throwing new light on male escorting, this years graduates are one step ahead of the game, interviewing some of the creative geniuses pushing the industry in new directions and investigating the virtual fashion boom. All of this would not be possible without a dedicated team of tutors always open to our ideas and willing to offer invaluable advice. Thanks to their words of encouragement, this years graduates are ready to be unleashed into a job market, that, in spite of the recession, has never offered so many exciting opportunities in the rapidly developing crossover of the internet and fashion journalism.
Welcome to issue eight, hope you enjoy it! Eva Wilkos and Sarah Bonser Editor’s/Course Graduates BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
And even if the number of pages in Segue is limited, one thing remains unchanged – there is ample room for creativity to shine through our writing and images.
Deborah Lampitt Editorial Editor-In-Chief: Deborah Lampitt email@example.com Art Director: Robert de Niet firstname.lastname@example.org Editor’s: Sarah Bonser email@example.com, Eva Wilkos E.firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Hazel Lubbock email@example.com Features Editor: Josie Pohlinger firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion Editor: Laura Chatterton email@example.com Picture Editor: Cairistidh MacPherson firstname.lastname@example.org US Editor: Hannah Baillie email@example.com PR: Sarah-Jane Ashby firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to The University College for the Creative Arts @ Epsom, and the lectures who have worked on the course: James Anderson, Neil Boorman, Bernice Brobbie, Alexia Economou, Annie Davis, Rory DCS, Anuree De Silva, David Gibson, Daryoush haj Najafi, Nick Johnstone, Terry Newman, Neil MacKenzie Matthews, Adil Oliver Sharif, Magda Pniewska, Louise Simmonds, Garath Thomas, Paul Tierney, Gisela Torres, Glen Waldron, Alyson Walsh, Mark Wells, Ben Willmott and Amanda Windle Specials to thanks Christopher Moore @ catwalking.com for his continuing support. Published by: BA Fashion Journalism, The University for the Creative Arts @ Epsom, Printed by Kingfisher Enquiries For more information about any of the work in ‘segue’ please contact: Deborah Lampitt, Course Leader, BA(Hons) Fashion Journalism, University for the Creative Arts @ Epsom, Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5BE. Tel: 01372 202 423 eMail: email@example.com All rights reserved. For educational purposes only. segue is a collection of Stage Three BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism projects and has no commercial value. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publishers. © 2010 BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, University for the Creative Arts @ Epsom. The views expressed in segue are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the course, its staff or the University of the Creative Arts @ Epsom these parties cannot be held responsible for them. segue is published once a year.
fashion gets inked From sailors and war heroes to Chanel and Victoria Beckham, it would seem that tattoos have finally reached the mainstream. Kelby McNally investigates. segue 3
Once upon a time, you had to be a rather interesting individual to warrant a display of skin-ink. Tattoos were once the preserve of sailors, war heroes and ex-convicts. They served many as a blue and blurry reminder of the lives they had led, the places they had visited and the loves they had lost. You would often see a war veteran with a significant number poignantly etched onto his skin, while sailors and ex cons would have ‘love’ and ‘hate’ emblems outlined shakily by their own hand. It was extremely rare to find tattoos on anyone that wasn’t one of the above. Today, however, it seems almost strange if you haven’t experienced the pain of a tattooist’s needle. Standing as a proud display of identity and individuality, tattoos initially seem like a good idea. Expressing love for someone by scripting his or her name forever onto the epidermis is the epitome of an old romantic. However, fast-forward to a fairytale wedding in which the bride has the name of a previous lover emblazoned on her arm in Chinese script and you’ll soon spot that unmistakeable look of regret. So why are tattoos so popular? Unsurprisingly, the same reason that the ever-so unforgiving legging proved to be last years wardrobe staple; they are fashionable, darling. Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham; it’s almost de rigueur to have a tattoo if you want to make it onto the A-list these days. They are screaming ‘now’ so seductively that everyone wants one, and those that don’t already have one. Something that was once considered ‘deviant behaviour’ has suddenly leaked into the brackets of ‘respectable’. It hasn’t been an easy ride though; the road to acceptance has proved a long one. The mainstream audience is a tough one to please. For years now, the big guns have featured tattoo-inspired garments to no avail. In the eighties, John Richmond launched his diffusion line, Destroy, which, although popular with rebellious teens, was disregarded as a fad by the fashion elite. Whilst the bigger brands of the time were dressing middle class fashionistas, Richmond was catering to a distinctly hipper and more urban audience, with an accessible, affordable range of biker jackets, bandanas, denim jackets and waistcoats; the epitome of an eighties rebel. The majority of the garments were covered in tattoo-inspired pattern - long sleeved t-shirts had the words ‘destroy’ inscribed down the arms, imitating the ‘sleeve’ arm tattoos a-la David Beckham. Chinese dragons and tribal patterns adorned leather jackets, whilst scrolls entwined with text decorated the arms and pockets of both the male and female jackets. Some ten years later, in 1994, heavyweight Jean Paul Gaultier attempted to bring body art to the forefront of bad boy fashion. Always one to rebel against the then standard rules of fashion etiquette, JPG Sent the infamous Tattoos and Piercings collection down the catwalk. The clue was in the name, the jawdropping collection featured his now signature ‘tattoo tulle’ t-shirts for the first time. Heavily tattooed models with excessive amounts of piercings paraded down the catwalk in Gaultier’s similarly adapted attire. The collection consisted of skin-tight fabrics with tattooesque prints, nude coloured tops and bold prints, showcasing tattoo fakery in all its glory. Although these days we would call those sort of collections pioneering and innovative, it would seem that Gaultier and Richmond were a little ahead of their time. Their tattoo-inspired collections never evolved from their niche markets, and body art stood still as rebellious behaviour only to be had by bikers and that sort. Obviously, this inked up trend was a little too ‘out
there’ for the era that saw the Spice Girls bring pigtails and leopard print back to the fashion table. But for the liberal 21st Century it would seem that now is the right kind of time for body art to hit the mainstream. Spring/Summer 2010 has seen body art make it in to the list of items fashion editors have called directional and one of the first to do so was JPG himself. Proudly named the Enfant Terrible in his heyday, Gaultier has never had a problem with being, well, irrational. Bringing tattoos back to his catwalk with a vengeance, Gaultier showcased body art by etching the names of his models in gothic style calligraphy on various parts of their bodies; Model, Iris Strybegger has her name imprinted across each cheek while Alana Zimmer had hers scrolling vertically down her neck. The arms and chests were printed on too throughout the collection, cheekily titled ‘The G-Spot’. Tattooing the face in the name of fashion could, ultimately, make one seem like they have reached the brink of insanity - but not in this case. The tattoos on show were of the temporary sort, hand drawn by make-up artists, giving a fresh twist to body art. Rodarte also had make-up artists creating temporary tattoos at their Spring/Summer collection. Teaming up with MAC experts, Rodarte saw tribal prints painted onto models in a Maori-inspired geometric look.
Full sleeve and neck designs were on show for a futuristic feel. It was at Chanel, though, where the tattoo trend really took off. Karl Lagerfeld, well known for his penchant for spotting an upcoming trend, bought temporary tattoos to the catwalk in his usual ‘everyone will be sporting one of these’ kind of way. Creating a more marketable temporary tattoo, Chanel showcased intricate designs, adorning the models beautifully. Delicate rosary beads with fairytale swallows draped over the shoulders and wrapped around wrists, each design decorated with the signature double C. Elaborate detailing forming bracelets and garters created a signature look in the good girl gone bad-esque collection. Able to instil immediate want and desire in the majority of the female population, it seems that Chanel’s recent direction of ‘how to look good this season’ has proved right yet again. Whoever succumbed to the legendary quilted bag and tweed jacket can’t have failed to acknowledge Chanel’s influence on their look, and so when Lagerfeld introduced tattoos into his latest collection and with the fashion world sitting securely in his gloved hands, clearly the only sane thing to do was follow suit. What would have once conjured up childhood images of tatty ink transfers has now been transformed into this season’s must-have. Replicas of the hand drawn tattoos seen in the collection have been bought out. A selection of 55 tattoos has been aptly named Trompe L’oeil, simply meaning trick of the eye. There is no doubt about it that these delicate designs will be adorning the bodies of half the population this summer. Being able to wear a piece of Chanel for £49 is tempting to the best of us. Sarah Jessica Parker has already embraced the Chanel temporary look earlier this year at the Oscars, and it won’t be long until the rest of the fashion elite follow. Once heralded as ‘alternative and deviant’, it would seem that an army of fashionista’s, celebs and middle-class professionals have hijacked that name and transformed it into the epitome of ‘cool.’ But then that’s just fashion, darling.
All Images courtesy of Chris Moore
“Once upon a time, you had to be a rather interesting individual to warrant a display of skin-ink. Today, however, it seems almost strange if you haven’t experienced the pain of a tattooist’s needle.”
the virtual fashion boom The internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. Its infinite sources make our lives faster, easier, more informed and universally connected; one wonders if founding fathers of the World Wide Web could have ever imagined the impact it would have? Today, the internet has become an integral tool for most of the population, and the fashion industry was never going to be left untouched by the ever expanding virtual world. The collision of the internet and all things fashionable has come to be far more prolific than, dare I say it, even Anna Wintour could ever have imagined. Laura Hall explains why. As a budding fashion journalist three years ago, with a desire to be part of the ‘Devil wears Prada’ world, I enrolled onto my fashion journalism degree hoping and praying that, at some stage, I would find myself attending a renowned London Fashion Week show. As I saw it then, fashion weeks were the most important time for the fashion industry - with the collections dictating what would be on the high street in six months time and on consumers’ backs some time after that. To get to one of those high-glamour catwalk shows, I thought you would have to be connected to a printed publication – a lot easier said than done. It was during this first semester that blogs began to materialise, online magazines started to look like the real deal and the general viewpoint towards the internet’s effect on fashion started to change – mine included. Now, three years on and six seasons later, I can watch live, high-fashion shows from the comfort of my own home, I can follow Elle Editor Lorraine Candy’s movements on Twitter and I can read most of what Border’s fashion publication section did offer me, online. The virtual fashion world has well and truly boomed. Undoubtedly one of the most technological advancements of the boom is the newly found ease at streaming live footage around the world. Providing much relief for rubbish blaggers last season, numerous fashion designers took the decision to present their shows not only to the usual fash pack, but also to bloggers, creatives and people like you and me – all via bandwidth streaming online. We saw Dior Homme, Prada and Armani streaming from their homepages, Louis Vuitton and Lacoste choosing social networking website Facebook as their platform, and other brands collaborating with media sites. Alexander Wang choose Show Studio, and Babyphat’s Kimora Lee Simons boldly beamed her catwalk to hundreds of thousands of spectators on a giant screen in Times Square. It was Christopher Bailey at Burberry who really set the standards however, by streaming in 3D and enabling an online audience of around 100 million. It is uncertain if the 3D aspect will become a trend, but last season live streaming became an instant hit and designers of the big four fashion proved it. Consumers revelled in a new accessibility, seeing clothes in motion instead of the static images from catwalk report. For those more back than front row, online streaming guarantees no queuing for hours, scrambling for seats or straining to get a glimpse of the clothes. Internet shopping can take place whilst Marc J is three hours late to start, too. Another key medium of the online fashion scene is blogging. The blogo-
sphere really kicked off in 2006, the year bloggers Susie Lau (Stylebubble) and Yvan Rodic (Facehunter) first started posting, although it was at least a year later that these names started to become more renowned in the fashion world. Today, in 2010, the blogosphere is so big that it seems like everyone has one - and why not. It’s easy, free, and simple and perhaps most importantly, it’s immediate. Countless style, beauty, fashion and street style blogs have gained recognition for having an independent and innovative voice, but equally a debate has waged about their influence. Last season, high profile bloggers such as Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie) and Bryan Grey-Yambao (Bryan Boy) became permanent fixtures on the front row of fashion week, this side and over the other side of the Atlantic. Thirteen year old Tavi caused a online row when she turned up to the Dior haute couture show in Paris with a huge Stephen Jones pink bow sculpture on her head, obscuring the view of a Grazia journalist behind her. There were also uncomplimentary remarks made about Bryan Boy’s need for a table in the front row of Dolce and Gabbana’s show for his laptop - it was a physical sign of the bloggers presence and clearly many felt threatened. Disputes aside, many in the offline fashion world that have seen an incentive in befriending their online counterparts. Facehunter has seen a non-stop demand for his creative eye and skills having worked for amongst others Vogue Italia, The Guardian, The Observer, clothing brand Lacoste and also for the judging panel on The Nokia Young Fashion Designer award; little Tavi’ has collaborated with Rodarte and the likes of Elle Korhaliller (OhElle); and anonymous blogger DisneyRollrGirl have worked alongside high street store Topshop to tutor others about the wonders of blogging. OhElle says, ‘Virtual fashion is totally inspiring as you get to learn more about personal style rather than fashion. It really gives the consumer a chance to understand, for example, advertising campaigns which are meant to target them and their buying choices. Now they can see people on blogs wearing the pieces seen on the catwalk
Image courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity
“Fashion brands are only just waking up to the immense power and influence of social media and the internet.”
Photographer Laura Hall
and understand how they can wear them. Blogging is here to stay’ Blogger Disneyrollrgirl also agrees, but adds that ‘Fashion brands are only just waking up to the immense power and influence of social media and the internet,’ another major reason for the virtual fashion explosion. Websites like Twitter give frequent dips into the lives of some of those immersed in the fashion world with Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani, Supermodel Coco Rocha and almost every fashion PR Company under the sun tweeting daily to the public - proving rather handy for those without a Fashion Monitor subscription. Who could have imagined being bombarded with updates about acclaimed Editors’ movements, meetings and even children’s habits? Recently, the breaking news about Alexander McQueen’s death spread around Twitter like wildfire. It was old news very quickly and soon after, tributes to the beloved designer appeared over a plethora of fashion-blogs. Away from the blogging and social networking communities, fashion communities in their own right are forming hard and fast. Websites such as Stylelikeu and LookBook allow users to create a profile and connect with other users, sharing their wardrobes and personal style. It has also allowed for instant trends to be drawn from what is being uploaded on to the sites. This, undoubtedly has seen trends trickling up – from the ‘streets’ up to creatives working within the fashion industry who peruse these websites for inspiration. Fashion communities, in another sense, can be traced to websites such as Second Life. Users adopt an avatar and build a second world for them, with the fashion forward users making sure their avatar is as on-trend as possible. Entrepreneurs online have cashed in on the fashionable communities building up on Second Life, with high street stores such as American Apparel opening their own stores within the site. Web Director of American Apparel said, ‘We all have needs and desires that can only be fulfilled through doing business. I think that physical shopping opportunities will continue to be very important. But new ways of shopping like, for example, virtual web-based online stores will become increasingly popular in society.’ So what is the future for this virtual fashion world? With it having changed unrecognisably in the past three years, one can only speculate about its destiny. With the World Wide Web already offering purely online-based internships, entrepreneurs making real money in the artificial fashion sphere and designers plying us with 3D fashion showcases, perhaps in time promotion of brands will move out of show rooms and into interactive alternatives; blogazines will wipe out printed titles, and 3D videoconferencing with stylists will replace walk-in personal shopper services in stores. The virtual fashion world is immediate, it’s inexpensive, it’s more environmentally friendly and it seems to be devoid of boundaries. Editor of eco lifestyle magazine, Recognise, Cleo Davis said, ‘The virtual fashion world is very popular because it’s accessible to a wide audience and is constantly churning out something new.’ With a sustainable future and an unknown quantity of development, the virtual fashion world looks set to have longevity, and as a newbie to the scene, this future is a very exciting prospect.
“Presenting a fashion collection on film could be said to mitigate some of the traditional catwalk’s problems.” 8 segue
Catherine Hudson explores the inevitability of fashion being shown on film… Fashion is increasingly being shown on film. Due to the increased usage of Internet file-sharing and video enabled websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, it has never been easier to share your ‘vision’ with such a potentially large audience. SHOWstudio, a website that provides a place to ‘show’ filmic work, has been a particularly prominent force in fashion films gathering much momentum of late. SHOWstudio’s exhibition, ‘Fashion Revolution’, at Somerset House, ran from September to December last year. It opened the eyes of the masses to what many in fashion have been anticipating for the past few years. The use of the word ‘revolution’ suggests huge change. Co-founder of SHOWstudio.com Nick Knight feels that instead of locating a trend in fashion on film at the birth of SHOWstudio ten years ago, they have in fact contributed to it’s being. He wrote in the ‘Fashion Revolution’ guidebook, ‘When I conceived SHOWstudio.com there was no YouTube… and the fashion world was definitely not online.’ Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts has referred to the 21st Century as the age of the ‘digital tsunami’ and the popularity of sites such as SHOWstudio and A Shaded View on Fashion Film, as well as film festivals such as Bird’s Eye View and Fashion Films at The ICA as warranting careful consideration of this potentially profitable method of presentation. The Bird’s Eye View (BEV) Film Festival was founded in the UK in 2002, launching its first women’s film festival in 2004. Every March, the film festival takes place in London, jointly at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the British Film Institute. As part of the event there is a ‘Fashion Loves Film’ evening, which has proven extremely popular. Held at the ICA, Fashion Loves Film is a presentation of the latest work of artists, fashion designers and photographers filmic collaborations. Amongst the highlights this year was work by filmmakers Ruth Hogben, Sarah Chatfield, Monica Elkev and Wendy Bevan, a fashion film featuring Lady Gaga for Dazed Digital by Kathryn Ferguson (BEV fashion strand curator and filmmaker) as well as presentations from fashion photographers - Toyin, Jamie Isaia, Mel Bles, Catherine Servel and Camille Vivier amongst others. The screenings were followed by a riveting panel discussion co-hosted by Jaime Perlman (Art Director of British Vogue and Director of TEST - TESTmag.co.uk), Kathryn Ferguson, Wendy Bevan and Sarah Chatfield. Filmmaking is still a relatively new discipline for many photographers working in the industry. Although Mel Bles was eager to point out how important it is becoming to make the transition. ‘I was never that interested in film, but the industry is moving so quickly. For example, my last four commissions were for films.’ Bles, a regular contributor to Dazed &
Confused, showed her film created for designer Craig Lawrence at BEV 2010. ‘Craig’s budget was limited. It was only his second film, so he let me react to the clothes. I am keen to show how I can communicate my visual language through film,’ she continued, ‘There will always be two strands from now on – stills and films.’ ‘Newness’ and the fresh feeling of fashion film presentations could not be denied. Who could arguably compete with the speed of the digital image? The Internet and other tools such as blogs and file sharing sites are enabling the current evolution of the so-called ‘digital age’. Known as social media, the popularity of ‘going online’ should serve to fuel the consumer desire to view fashion on film. Already we are juggling social network sites such as Facebook, updating Twitter, emailing from numerous accounts and adding Internet applications to our phones. Panel member at BEV 2010 Jamie Perlman, asserted, ‘Fashion on film is snowballing into an influential medium.’ Jamie is the founder of TEST, a website for photographers, models and stylists who come together to showcase their visual skills and is regularly updated with films and photo shoots. ‘I want people to keep using Test as a platform to experiment and to do things that come from the soul.’ Jamie explains, ‘I expect to see a lot more online platforms popping up – it’s cheaper to put things online than into print.’ And as Sarah Chatfield observes, ‘TEST makes fashion film available to everyone.’ Not just ‘available’, TEST also makes fashion film much more prevalent and with Perlman at the helm, it gives it extensive credibility. Whether or not live fashion shows being available via Internet films is a good thing or not, it’s hotly contested. On one hand, live streaming of fashion shows is the height of democracy. However, some industry insiders such as designer Donna Karan are not in agreement, arguing that the fashion shows are trade only, and not for public viewing. As she told website My Fashion Life in February this year, ‘We need fashion shows, but that’s industry, it’s not for the general public…all the communication has to stop. It doesn’t go out on the wire, it doesn’t go out on the Internet and it doesn’t get out for the manufacturers to copy the designs. I mean we’re killing our own industry. There’s too much information going out there. We have to learn the word restriction.’ Presenting a fashion collection on film could be said to mitigate some of the traditional catwalk’s problems, such as running late and having to stand up at the back, although some people may consider these things to be a necessary part of the visceral experience. The late Alexander McQueen realised the value of film and was involved in many film collaborations including using a film installation during his catwalk show ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ for spring/summer 2010. Film could be said to enhance fashion promotion, as already proven by the fashion films used as aids
Image courtesy of Birdseye view Film Festival
by many designers to their credible and profitable advantage. It could be suggested that a digital online presence would be an ideal way to make a brand stand out and attract publicity. Pringle’s film accompanying their spring summer 2010 collection features actress Tilda Swinton and filmmaker Ryan McGinley; enticing credibility as well as publicity. The addition of film presentation is an extension of the brands expanding creative vision. Fashion photographer Wendy Bevan’s styling work lends itself to being shown via film. ‘Reaching for the Moon’ is a film she created for Italian Marie Claire and was actually based on a photoshoot for the magazine. Shown at BEV 2010, ‘Reaching for the Moon’ was described as ‘A surrealist concoction of fashion, theatre, circus and Vaudeville – a fusion of Wendy Bevan’s work in both music… and fashion photography.’ Wendy, as part of the BEV panel, explained, ‘Fashion film is interesting as a fusion of all art forms. It is still establishing itself and it’s boundaries.’ She continued, ‘Fashion film is in its infancy and I feel lucky to be starting out this early and it is a natural progression for me, although I did hesitate to contribute as I was a little intimidated at first.’ - a feeling that had previously been echoed by photographer Mel Bles. Film has been a vehicle for fashion for longer than it’s recent boom may have you believe. Filmmaker/ photographer Toyin has been capturing moments on camera since 1999 and she was on the BEV fashion film panel in 2008. ‘Every photographer wants to be a film director now – and why the hell not! When you listen to music, you have moving visual images in your head.’ Film would seem to be the perfect vessel to translate these images. The ability to spot trends, such as film presentation, and investigate them could be said to be the sign of a great artist. ‘Film will become more prevalent,’ Wendy predicts, ‘and it will become relevant to get involved with the moving image.’ Fashion on film certainly provides a global perspective, however, if every designer presented on film, the publicity value would be diminished and the pursuit of ‘newness’ would once again be on. It could be said that film is presently being nurtured, to take its place alongside the traditional methods of presentation. ‘Fashion is fast – the Lady Gaga film was commissioned by Dazed Digital the day before we shot it,’ said Kathryn Ferguson, who had led the BEV 2010 panel discussion. The initial edit of the film was sent to Lady Gaga who then composed the soundtrack. Although it is ‘fashionable’ to be late, there is certainly no other industry that can rival fashion’s speed, forward planning and the value it places on ‘newness’. And for this, fashion and film could be a match made in heaven. www.testmag.co.uk
strong women leave big hickies “For decades we’ve been told that half the human population - the female half - are somehow weak, oppressed victims who cannot handle the normal challenges of life.”
The strong women we love and look up to are the ones who have a voice, a talent, an artistry and an argument to back it all up. They’re the ones who shift the boundaries of what it means to be a woman and propel us into a place where the world is not enough. They’re the risk takers and the convention breakers, the Debbie Harry’s, Vivienne Westwoods and Courtney Love’s of planet pro-woman, pushing feminism into the modern worldwith iconic status. But they’re few and far between and 15-minute desperado’s are taking over. Samantha Lane investigates. Bette Davis famously said, ‘A man who gives an opinion is a man. A woman who gives an opinion is a bitch.’ And so it seems, when a woman speaks her mind about sex, politics, feminism or music etc, the legions of male and female critics are sent into a vitriolic frenzy. For decades we’ve been told that half the human population – the female half – are somehow weak, oppressed victims who cannot handle the normal challenges of life. Those are not the women you or I know. Normal women are incredibly strong; that’s how evolution (or if you prefer, God) made them. So why is the strong female icon fast disappearing? Looking back at past female icons, it highlights the fact that the young women of today have no icon to be inspired from. In the 80s women had role models like Madonna, with the sex-era Madge at her rebel-rousing peak. Women weren’t supposed to be so overtly sexual and her one-woman shows were the fiercest of twofinger salutes. Madonna epitomises a strong woman with all the traits she still has now; the chronic egotism, the lust for experimentation and the refusal to be cowed. Back in the ‘have-it-all’ era she broke the mold of feminine behaviour and there has never been a more imitable female icon. She made an impact on the female psyche, telling women to empower themselves, explore their sexuality and be strong. So who do we have today? Katie Price was voted the number one role model in a recent poll of 13-21 year olds, with a WAG being voted the ideal ‘career’ aspiration. Surveys confirm it’s seen as a career option by a legion of young women and regretfully, most girls can name more wives and girlfriends of footballers than female politicians. There’s also plenty of media spotlight with WAG TV shows, Facebook groups called ‘When I grow up I want to be a WAG,’ and an instructional book, WAG don’t Wannabe: How to Date Footballers – and Survive! Gone are the days that young women wanted a career with substance. Now society is burdened with wannabe wags swarming infamous nightclubs hoping to get a footballer in-between their legs and a flashbulb in their face by the end of the night. A bouncer at Chinawhite’s nightclub – popular with many of the city’s
highly paid footballers – revealed that ‘even when a reserve team player arrives, the girls go completely wild. They’re all over him. It’s ridiculous. You really have to see it to believe it.’ By the 21st century, we might have forecast women being defined by their success, their career climb or their equal income, yet, we have digressed and wag culture is a sexist slap in the face. With their status portraying them as add-ons to their partners – accessories and appendiges as opposed to equal opposites womens liberation has disappeared down the drain taking the fight, dignity and pride along with it. Flicking through most lad mags will give a brief insight into the world of WAGdom. Exploiting WAG fame while exposing their bodies, most WAG’s enjoy some form of glamour-girl tag, being photographed in barely-there clothes, sexy lingerie or bikinis. The WAG aesthetic tends to cling to the ‘Barbie doll’ look; WAG clones tend to follow the same regime of fake hair, fake nails, fake tan and most importantly, fake boobs. They’re seen as objects rather women, and possessions as opposed to freewilled living beings – trophy armcandy, gold digging their way to 15 minutes of fame, pimping themselves out to the highest bidder. In full self-deprecating style, England striker Peter Crouch highlighted the WAG phenomenon and mocked their desperation when in an interview he was asked the question, ‘If you hadn’t been a footballer, what would you have been?, and he answered, ‘a virgin.’ The icons and images at the heart of a culture tell us an enormous amount about its values. It’s interesting to note which images of women have multiplied over the last five years: an increasing sexualisation, and a media obsession with women in turmoil (Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Anna Nicole Smith). The WAG’s are a part of this wider culture. The idea is reinforced that women can never be heroes in their own right and their either the damsels in distress, the piece of meat to drool over or the ‘dumb blondes’ to poke fun at. There’s no getting away from the fact that women’s role models and icons are limited in modern society; from WAG’s to Big Brother stars, the media is obsessed with people being famous just for being famous with no talent required at all. Even though Katie Price is a media whore, throwing herself at every promiscuous opportunity to get her balloon-sized boobs out, or shout about some fellow unsuspecting Z-list victim, at least she’s a strong, independent woman with the power of transformation and a business woman savvy. No one can deny her a seat at the made-it table, and though her career isn’t one every parent would be proud of, it’s her ballsiness and strength of character that could transpose as positives. The original iconic stance of a strong woman is diminishing, let’s just hope it returns. And fast.
she who dares steps out in his wardrobe
Styling Charlotte Arif, Photography Juan Trujillo Andrades, Hair & Make-up Jojo Copeman, Photography Assistant Georgie Wileman, Retouching Ana Paula Grimaldi, Models Jeremy & Sara (M and P Models) segue 9
White Shirts: Juergen Bertsch
Sara - Shirt and Trousers: Angela Sung Nga Kok, Shoes: Stylist’s Own. Jeremy - Shirt: Angela Sung Nga Kok, Shoes and Trousers: Stylist’s Own
Slip, as before.
Shirt: Jeurgen 2 segue Bertsch
Shirt and Trousers: Angelasegue Sung 109 Nga Kok
Brogues are a comfy, resilient, low-heeled form of footwear known for their charming perforations and stylish toecaps. According to some, they are the classic autumn shoe. If you aren’t wearing a pair, or you don’t have a set swinging from your shoe rack then Amy Shields asks, where on earth have you been? A favourite shoe for so many fashionistas, with so much variety; from semi-brogues with their plain heels, to ghillie brogues (a regular brogue minus the tongue and laces), it’s impossible to go wrong – unless you’re a lover of the two-tone brogue, which frankly no one should be. Born in Scotland around the late 1500’s and produced in the factories of Northampton, brogues traditionally have hole-punched patterns pierced through the leather. Whilst this is for decorative purpose, it’s also pretty darn practical. Scotsmen wore brogues in the wet and boggy highlands and the double layering of the shoe meant that their feet didn’t get wet, as the shoes were quick dry. Smart indeed. Once upon a time, brogues had a reputation for being a tad lacklustre. Known as textbook office staples, your granddad probably has a pair or maybe your great grandfather and his grandfather before him. They have, however, gained status due to their increased popularity at Fashion Weeks, and for their reliability – like that woolly jumper you always come back to when winter hits. All it comes down to is how they are worn. A pair of shoes is the ultimate accessory, finishing off any outfit and brogues are no exception – quintessential British eccentricity to a tee. They are dapper, timeless and suave. They’re undeniably durable, proving
if the shoe fits Step into this season with sturdy yet stylish footwear…
“A pair of shoes is the ultimate accessory finishing off any outfit and brogues are no exception, quintessential British eccentricity to a tee.” 16 segue
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
themselves since the 30’s when Tinseltown film star Warren Williams sported them. Skip a few decades to the 60s and influenced by mod’s, Skinheads were stomping the streets in clumpy Dr. Martens or loafer however, they were partial to a pair of brogues, as were Suedeheads. An extension of Skinheads, Suedeheads favoured a more formal image, thus they indulged in brogues to give a dressier feel to their look. Stylist Simon Foxton embodied a crucial modification of menswear in the 80s when he juxtaposed conventional British tailoring with streetwear, cementing his vision fusing sportswear with distinctively masculine brogues. Ray Petri, also a stylist, influenced the move away from power dressing – creating the ‘Buffalo’ fashion period. Toying with an edgy street look as well as cultural imagery (resulting in the pairing of suits with Native American headdresses) Petri, too, teamed brogues against tracksuits. For the best in brogues, head to John Lobb, Church’s and the old faithful, Marks and Spencer. These brands have stood the test of time and continue to thrive. If you favour a less refined spin on brogues, vintage ones will do the trick, so head to Rokit or Beyond Retro to get your fix. London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010 was enamoured with brogues; exhibiting them at A Child of the Jago men’s show in black leather, murky chocolate brown and caramel suede assortments proving brogues have enormous staying power. Solid black leather brogues complemented nearly every look at Carolyn Massey and Mr. Hare showcased some incredible (and by incredible we mean handmade-inItaly-incredible) brogues at the Fashion East Menswear Installations.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
to run afoul of the cowgirl
The Western trend has been all over the catwalks for the past few seasons, and, of course, the Yanks love it. However, Hannah Baillie looks at why it will never have a place in the heart of the British public. There are some trends that emerge one season and smack us in the face with their sheer audacity; as if announcing, “I’m here, wear me with pride and woe betide anyone that doesn’t succumb to my fashionable ways”. These are the trends that the high street latches on to immediately and are soon seen on the back of every teenage girl from Worthing to Wolverhampton. Then there are those other trends, the ones that bubble beneath the surface like a hotpot; already on the fashion radar but not quite ready to pounce on to the mainstream and pronounce themselves inescapably cool just yet. So is the current position of the Western trend. Ralph Lauren introduced us to it for his Spring/ Summer show back in September by way of denim dungarees and peasant blouses; a few weeks later, it was the turn of D&G to wow us with double-denim and it’s almost salt and pepper counterpart: the tan accessory. The fashionistas gushed over the shows, loved them maybe, and yet Western still didn’t take to the mainstream quite the way one may have thought. However, that didn’t have it hot-footin’ it back to Texas, oh no, it just went to enlist the help of Derek Lam and Moschino to come back for autumn/winter more brazen than ever: this time complete with sexy black Stetsons and fringed waist-belts. At Moschino, Rosella
Jardini went for the full Dolly Parton with gold lame skirt-suits, leopard print coats and embellished black leather, whereas Lam kept it simple with tan (naturally) coats, black leather skinnies and calf-length boots. Honourable mention must also go to the ever-wondrous Betsey Johnson who sent a Stetson wearing Kelly Osbourne down her straw-lined runway with a bandana wrapped around her face and brandishing toy-guns and even going as far as to create outfits for the wannabe brothelette (should the mood ever strike you). However, the problem with the Western trend ever really catching on in the mainstream lies with the humble British high-street shopper. You see, unlike with so many other trends that get regurgitated and sold back to us every few seasons, the Western trend does not hold any particular sense of nostalgia or familiarity to us Brits. Unlike with ever-popular trends such as Punk (popular due to our sense of anarchy and pride that it was one of us who practically invented the whole movement) and Victoriana (again, she was our monarch, we practically own the rights to black lace blouses and ruffle collars), we hold no affiliation with the Wild, Wild West and it’s plaid-shirted, tobacco-chewin’ folk. The Cowboy was, is and always will be an American thing—that’s why Madonna worked the look so well circa Don’t Tell Me. Only time will tell whether we will ever pick up our lasso, dust off our chaps and truly embark on the Western trend. Until then, it might be best to hold off learning the words to Willie Nelson.
“Unlike so many other trends that get regurgitated and sold back to us every few seasons, the Western trend doesn’t hold any particular sense of nostalgia or familiarity to us Brits.” segue 17
… B u t where do you keep your heart if you don’t have a home? Victoria Hall looks back on her vagabond past. The word ‘home’ means s o m e t h i n g different to everyone. While one person might think of bricks and mortar or geographic location, another may visualise relaxing on a comfy sofa with a glass of red wine and the family, but everyone shares the same feeling of warmth. Despite encountering eleven different new homes to date, I have no idea what, or in fact, where home is. The first move was due to a sticky divorce – that paid tribute to my mum’s indecisiveness and love for cardboard boxes, parcel tape and removal vans. In spite of my gypsy upbringing, my dream home has never changed – a small mews cottage in a cobbled lane in London with a courtyard large enough to keep two chickens and a dog – and I have always insisted I would live there forever, happily ever after. When my mum announced she was upping sticks and selling the family nest in the country for a one-bedroom pad in the big smoke, I thought she was having a mid-life crisis. I thought it would pass, just like the idea of giving up the nine to five to write a novel and travel the world in a one-man boat or the passing thought of opening the house up to artists rather than hiring a decorator. Unfortunately, six weeks later when the estate agent hammered in the ‘For Sale’ sign and got snap happy in the ‘bright and spacious kitchen diner’, reality hit me smack, bang in the face. Two and a half months later the house was sold and three years of memories were packed up into boxes for storage. Suddenly I had nowhere to call home, nowhere to escape to when life got tough and most importantly, nowhere to think of and feel warm. It was on my way back to a cold flat with two large suitcases and a hamster cage that I began remembering all the homes I’d lived in. From the three-bedroom, semi-detached in London that I spent the first seven years of my life learning to ride a bike, playing on the street with my best friend and decorating my room with Forever Friends wallpaper, to the three-bedroom town house where I celebrated my eighteenth birthday and cried for hours over my first love. Each home held its own sentimental memories and incredible experiences. Unfortunately, the more recent rooms and houses I’d lived in provided me with less colourful memories and the idea of this being ‘it’ did not feel me with glee. The shabby, four-bedroom student house with so much mold up the bathroom wall you had to wear a facemask just to take a shower, to the tiniest room in a five-bedroom terrace, which housed eight strangers with a single toilet. These are two places I’d rather forget than remember as previous homes, but I did live there with the same décor as all of my previous rooms. The only differences were the people and location. So what does make a house a home? Is it somewhere you sleep surrounded by your belongings in an incredible location or could it be a place with no material possessions, but people you care about and create memories with? A year on and I’m living in the closest to perfect residence. Yet, it’s a flat not a mews house, I have a cat not chickens or a dog and I don’t own it, but I call home and store my memories here. I doubt I’ll ever stop calling mum’s flat ‘home’, even when I create my own nest and finally change the cushion cushions and lampshades. There really is no place like home – wouldn’t you agree?
Photographer Sølve Sundsbø @ Art + Commerce
au revoir skin and bone
French fries aren’t French, butterflies aren’t made of butter, quicksand is slow, boxing rings are square, and big models have never been big – until now. Derailing the industries one-track train to the fashionable figure, curvy models have overcome fattist bigwigs and their unassailable attitude that if your abs are made of croissant you can’t be photographed for anything other than Evans. Sarah Bonser gets the skinny... Rejecting anorexic inclinations and breaking down the last bastion of a super-slim aesthetic, a full figure has finally made the front page of a fashion magazine. Following the lead of Italian Vogue’s ‘Vogue Curvy’, Victoria Secret’s new collection ‘Love Your Body’ and Bravissimo’s search for a curvy pin-up poster girl, Italian Elle have jumped on the voluptuous appreciation wagon putting Tara Lynn on the cover of a special plus-size edition. It comes after V magazines January issue detonated a media bomb, heralding ‘every body is beautiful’ and dedicating its pages to women who look like… women. In an attempt to break down the barriers of fashions distorted perception of beauty, Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø proved Candice Huffine, Marquita Pring, Michelle Olson, Tara Lynn, and Kasia P – models with fleshy meat on their bones and smiles on their faces – are curves ahead of their miserably emaciated counterparts; shooting them in cropped tops, skinny jeans, swimsuits and Herve Leger bodycon dresses. Adding fuel to the fattist fire, Terry Richardson’s spread ‘One Size Fits All’ proved Spring’s most sizzling trends work on any figure, experimenting in body dysomorphia with mirror images of former skinny-Minnie Crystal Renn and new face Jacquelyn Jablonski. With the only difference being a few inches around the hips and waist, and with the pair wearing the same clothes and posing in the same stance you’d be excused for thinking the images were of one model manipulated in Photoshop, but you’d be wrong. More wrong than the GaGa’s suspicious downstairs bump in a leotard. After a long reign of starved midriffs, xylophone chests and thigh-gaps you could park a cab in, could this be the shape of things to come? We’ve been thrown the occasional fashion decoy, like the fabulously plump Sophie Dahl circa 1996 - pre
prominent cheek bones and vertically challenged musical maestro husband – but curvy girls have been non-grata in the world of vocational anorexics for over a decade. The biggest breakthrough of late has been contemporary ‘larger lady’ Lara Stone – a massive size 4!! – so it’s not exactly cynical to suggest that sustaining or even progressing the movement is as likely as Jordan being the real author of the Brief History of Time. For an industry that has long championed diversity, fashion has only ever come in one size. A growing presence of larger women may be dismissed as a publicity snatching ritual for an industry constantly battling boredom with itself, and curvy models meagerly having their moment to shock and intrigue, or perhaps pawned-off as just the bastard child of the size-zero hoopla, nevertheless, this isn’t an overnight phenomenon. It’s been a slow succession starting back in September when Lizzie Miller caused a small media storm defying convention in American Glamour, naked but for a thong and a stomach roll, and Mark Fast’s bold incorporation of curvy models into his S/S 2010 collection. More than a meaningless fling with the deity of all that is in vogue, or a phase in the fashion cycle, Bardot-esque bodies cannot be tossed away with the papers and disregarded as a trend like the raising of a hemline on a skirt quite so easily, we’re in for an oversize overdose. And that’s the size of it.
Easy Come, Easy Go Flashback to the mid-nineties. It’s break at Primary School and everyone’s in the playground. There’s a boy called Daniel, and he has a harem of gingham-clad girls following his every move. Nothing was funnier than jumping on top of him all at once – a mixture of arms and legs and screeching. Cara Marshall looks back on times that make you wonder – where are they now? People that you used to see day in - day out are now nothing but a memory. It’s strange to think that after spending all that time together you may never meet again. In my mind, Daniel is forever that six year old boy laughing in the playground. I couldn’t hazard a guess at what he’s up to now, or even what he looks like. I just can’t. Simple as that. But we were once the best of buddies. From sharing a bean bag at story time to fooling around in the ‘Victorian re-enactment’ corner, we were inseparable in that Year 2 classroom. And you know what? It was great. When you’re a kid, you live entirely in the present. You take each day as it comes and you don’t tend to think about what the future holds for you, let alone others. Of course it’s to be expected that you’ll eventually grow apart. That’s just the way life goes. It’s no more inevitable than the sun rising each morning. And when the place that introduced you to one another is no longer part of your lives, it’s not surprising that it will spell the end for many a school friendship. This transition usually marks the time when making friends requires more effort than simply walking up to someone and declaring ‘You’re my friend now.’ What’s more, it’s the start of more lasting relationships - ones that begin to shape who you are as a person, and which leave a greater impression. In high school, it’s fair to say that you either had a blast, or you loathed it with every fibre of your adolescent being. I belonged to the latter. For me, high school meant five years of pure unadulterated hatred. Yes, there were a few moments where everything was fine and dandy, but for the most part it sucked. To tell you the truth it was hard to get psyched up at the thought of entering that grey, 1950s concrete hellhole where the teachers lacked control and the pupils lacked ambition. But it was during a half-arsed game of badminton that I made a friend who would later become a huge source of motivation and who picked me up, dusted me off and told me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. At the time we would only ever talk in P.E, and even then it was only for brief periods. I didn’t see her outside of school and I didn’t actively seek her out at lunch. She had her own group of friends and I had mine. And that was that. The day when I could leave compulsory education couldn’t come fast enough. I literally ran from those school gates. However, I not only took with me my GCSE slip but an unexpected friend that would follow me into the next stage of life. In all honesty, college didn’t fare much better; but that’s what you get when you choose the wrong course and are too stubborn to quit. I still can’t look at a sewing machine without breaking out into a cold sweat, and oh what I wouldn’t do to ram a pair of fabric scissors into the heart of the headless bitch that was the dressmaker’s dummy. Still, college taught me that some people are better off languishing in the past. Basically, if you don’t bring something to the table then there’s little point in carrying on and keeping in touch. I’d probably say ‘hi’ if I happened to bump into one on the street, but really even then it would only be out of politeness. After all, I did spend two years of my life with them. Two years that I will sadly never get back. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all doom and gloom during that time. A lot of fun was had too, though firmly outside the college parameters. I’d started hanging out with the girl from badminton, who I discovered had classes across from my block. We gradually started to build a solid friendship, and by the end she was the one who pushed me to finish the course. I was really touched that she cared enough to not let me jack it all in. To this day I still think about what could have happened if she didn’t step in and act as my daily cheerleader. I probably wouldn’t have graduated from university for one. Its friends like these that you need to hang onto. Knowing that someone has your back, whatever the situation, is hugely reassuring. What more could you want from a friend? The move to student life has undoubtedly been the best thing in my life thus far. Relocating 200+ miles away from your hometown forces you to take stock and makes you realise what’s most important in life. I’ve come to appreciate the time I spend with my friends back home, as I know that I can go months without seeing them. This in itself is tough, but I value the friendship that little bit more as a result. This is where effort comes into play. It’s all too easy to neglect the friends you left
behind when you’re wrapped up in the excitement of meeting new people at university. But you need to step back and remember that they were there long before these brand spanking new mates were. A phone call or an email from time to time goes a long way in preserving a friendship. That way, you’ll always be welcomed back with open arms. I met one of my closest friends during the infamous Fresher’s week. Come to think of it, it may only have been the second day after bidding my parents farewell. Nevertheless, it was at the party of a house that I would move into a year later. In a way I miss the girl that she was then. But with growing up comes change and it’s just something that I’ll have to accept. I remember everything seemed magnified that fateful night. Like I had finally opened my eyes and taken in my surroundings. Up until that point I had gone through life with blinkers on. I’d never really focussed on all the good things taking place around me; I suppose I was always on the outside looking in. Now I was part of it and I wasn’t going to be giving it up anytime soon. Once I started enjoying life again, I found it easier to make friends, have fun, and let my hair down. It doesn’t hurt that at the start of university everyone is always so eager to get to know each other, many practically falling over themselves to be your new best friend. A proposition of ‘hey, let’s move in together!’ doesn’t seem a problem despite the fact you’ve only known each other for all of five minutes. Sometimes going in headfirst turns out to be the best decision. Let’s not forget the romantic relationships. Of course, due to their nature these are more subject to change. Love is fleeting. That may sound cruel, but it’s often the truth. Many flit from one relationship to the next, always on the lookout for something, or rather someone, better than the last. But it’s important to remember that, like friendships, you only get out of it what you put in. However, unlike close friendships, once a relationship is over, I think it’s acceptable to draw a line under it and move on. You’ve had your time together, so let that be. Unless a child is involved, I see no reason in clinging to what was. I know firsthand how complicated relationships can be. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear of the tangled webs that make up the love lives of those around me. Being young and sometimes foolish, there have been times when I’ve been more than happy to never have to see a guy again for as long as I live, mostly due to being a bad judge of character. Luckily these instances have been few and far between. Admittedly, I’m more prone to giving my heart completely. This has its pitfalls when you don’t receive anything in return. But like everything in life, you take the good with the bad. You learn from your mistakes and grow as a person. There’s something to be taken from every relationship, whether it’s failed, just starting out or still going strong. I’ll end with a fitting quote taken from a favourite film of mine – ‘It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant.’ Writer, Stand By Me (1986)
Image courtesy of Sruli Recht, Photographer Marino Thorlacius, Model Guðrún Heiður Ísaksdóttir
MASKED – IN FLIGHT Sruli Recht tells Hazel Lubbock about his upcoming travel masks for sleeping and breathing. The Reykjavik-based designer’s non-products can be found in his store-cum-showroom, The Armoury (Vopnabúrið). Situated in the abandoned fisheries in the city’s Fishpacking District, the space provides a home for products that dont have one. It’s interior is raw and reflective of the surrounding area; wooden scaffolding, metal frames and shipping palettes were reclaimed from construction sites and used as fittings. ‘The Vopnabúrið sign was made from discarded rusted roofing sheets and cut to shape with a water jet. To create the colour of the floor we mixed a hue somewhere between blood and rust - an overall theme and tone for the store.’ Being so isolated means that Recht can control when his clients visit, allowing him to provide them with one to one interaction, something he feels is extremely important. The Sruli Recht studio has produced several non-products – including the Umbuster umbrella, The Damned bullet proof pocket square and the Garotte
necklace – items which he describes as being ‘caught somewhere between product design, weapons manufacturing, corroded tailoring and shoe making.’ Recht incorporates materials such as concrete, diamonds, skin and wool in to his collection. ‘It is a little mix of irony, aggression and social commentary; there is a bit of rawness and some darker, primal undertones.’ Musing about the point of design, Recht concludes that he makes what he needs. ‘The next thing we will release is the Bag collection because I need bags. Maybe that is it - only make what you believe in.’ The otherworldly travel masks - made from folded, laser cut parchment came from his experiences in airports, and are a solution to the problem of sharing small spaces aboard planes. ‘When exactly did the modern marvel that is air travel become so undignified? It has lost its glamour.’ ‘I spend too much time watching what people do on planes and in airports. They are uncomfortable and lack privacy; they sit there sleeping and exposed, breathing the same recycled air as the other hundreds of rundown passengers.’ ‘But it is also a peak into our oncoming future, a world where breathable air is only achievable through filters’, he explains, ‘And I like masks. Although now that we have a series of volcano eruptions in Iceland, it looks like we need them sooner than I thought.’ The Armoury, Hólmaslóð 4, Reykjavík, T [+354] 5344238, www.srulirecht.com
Dress: ioannisdimitrousis String Ball: Lady Sophia Bentley Tonge
the waking nightmare of sleep paralysis Styling Laura Chatterton, Photography Gabriella De Martino, Hair & Make-up Branka Vorkapic, Model Adage & Pang @ Oxygen Models 20 segue
Tights: House of Holland, Shoes and Cuffs: Kasia Rogusczak, Cape: Marie Loney
Dress: ioannisdimitrousis, Chain: Stylistâ€™s Own
Dress: ioannisdimitrousis, Shoes: Carvela, Dressing Gown- style Coat and Teddy: Lady Sophia Bantley Tong
Skirt: Lady Sophia Bentley Tonge, Neck Brace: Kasia Roguszczak
the secret garden Styling Laura Chatterton, Photography kitty gallannaugh, Hair & Make-up emily goldsmith, Model holly coltart @ M & P Models
“We concentrate on creating individual and stylish bags that will last, rather than obvious ‘it’ bags which are on trend for one season.” 26 segue
Possibly fashion’s best kept secret, Angel Jackson has certainly made an impact on the fashion industry whilst staying ever-so-slightly under the radar. Before the waiting lists start, Rachel Hopwood talks to sisters Katie and Millie Smith about their brand. Looking through Angel Jackson’s beautiful collections of bags and belts, the word ‘ethical’ certainly doesn’t spring to mind - nor does it seem possible. This is ethical luxury at its best. Adamant that it would be possible to create a stylish, international fashion label with ethically sourced products and good working conditions for its staff, the sisters set to work in 2005. ‘There’s a stigma attached with ethical fashion’, Katie explains. ‘People think that it’s all hippy and bohemian and made from hemp!’ she laughs. Katie is the Creative Director and is based in the UK, whilst Millie is normally in Bali looking after the sales and organizing the ethical productions in their own fair-trade workshops. ‘We have always loved Bali and since the bombings, people over there have found it hard to recover. The workmanship in Bali is amazing and it was our chance to help a community, so we decided to base the production there,’ says Millie. The girls from Bristol called their brand ‘Angel Jackson’ because they wanted to name their babies by those names when they were younger. They specialise in accessories, so I asked them, why bags and belts? ‘Because accessories can totally make an outfit! We’ve become famous for our gold and snakeskin jaguar belts as well as our bags,’ Katie says. With the initial intention of creating an international brand, Angel Jackson has certainly done just that. By winning some of the most prestigious stockists, including Harrods, Fenwick, Brown Thomas, Henri Bendel and Galeries Lafayette, it is certainly doing its bit for Brit-luxe. Millie explains how ‘we’ve been working constantly to internationalize the brand since establishing the label in 2005. The workload is, and always has been huge, but luckily we get great reception from the press and buyers, which obviously
really helps in getting our products out there and creating brand awareness.’ Their bags come in a variety of styles, materials and colours. From totes to clutches, pearls to snakeskin, black to multicoloured and everything in between - they are in high demand and worshipped by celebrities. ‘We’ve had fantastic feedback from celebs from the A/W 10 collection. The feather bags, the sequin satchels and mohawk satchels have been really popular. It’s been ordered by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Alice Dellal, Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof and Lady Gaga. Paris Hilton has literally ordered one of everything from our current SS and AW lines too!’ Katie continues, ‘We concentrate on creating individual and stylish bags that will last, rather than obvious ‘it’ bags which are on trend for one season. Customers are not only getting a glamorous, high quality designer item, but something that is also made in fair conditions and helps to enhance people’s lives.’ Their attention to detail and competitive price-points ensure their loyal following. The bags start from around £140. ‘Our bags and accessories sit well against high end label bags in terms of style and quality but in terms of price are much more accessible. We’re able to keep the prices down because we control every aspect of production in the workshop, which means less waste, and this is passed down to the customer,’ says Millie. They have branched out to America and been a complete success. ‘The Americans seem to love the Brit-cool thing we have and our gold jaguars,’ Katie laughs. The girls are setting the sights on a clothing line. ‘We’d love to extend the range and ready-to-wear would be perfect for Angel Jackson in the future... it’s hard not to picture the perfect little dress or jacket with each bag or clutch we design! We have some collaborations in the pipeline, too, so watch out for those, and a concept store in Bristol,’ smiles Millie. This really is just the beginning. Visit www.angeljackon.com for more details.
It is day two at London Fashion Week, and the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections are definitely underway, with waves being created at the Holly Fulton show. Lucy Toms profiles Holly Fulton, the hottest new name in British fashion. Having only recently moved to London to set up, her own studio, Holly Fulton has already caused a stir amongst the fashion pack. Last year the Edinburgh born designer won Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards and a British Fashion Award, followed by Elle Style Award for New Designer in 2010. Growing up in Scotland, Fulton had always dreamed of moving to London to pursue her ambition of being a fashion designer. ‘My earliest fashion memory is poring over my mother’s collections of Nova and Vogue from the 1960s. I adored looking at all the pictures and photographs, and remember darting up the stairs wanting to recreate pieces I’d seen in my bedroom.’ It was this love of fashion, and Fulton’s quirky edge that has set her apart from the crowd, and has seen her establish a name for herself within the fashion industry. For the past two seasons, Fulton has shown alongside design company Fashion East; a small fashion label that supports new, up-and-coming designers for a small percentage of the profits. It was during this time that Fulton became a name to watch. Her eclectic mix of Art Deco and Sixties graphics prints was a hit with the fashion industry, and placed Fulton in good stead for her first solo collection. Alongside producing garments, Fulton creates larger-than-life plastic, crystallised jewellery to accompany her pieces down the catwalk. ‘I create the jewellery to accompany my garments because I like the idea of producing a ‘total look’; the dress, the shoes, the bag, and the jewellery.’ This dedication to creating a complete wardrobe look was shaped by her time spent at the French fashion house Lanvin, where Fulton was given the opportunity to work on the womenswear collections and the accessories. ‘I adored my time at Lanvin, and I learned an awful lot, but if anything it really just inspired me to go out there and make it on my own.’ Fulton is now stepping out into the fashion design world on her own, presenting her first solo collection this season. Her autumn/ winter 2010 collection, although not swaying too far from her signature look, has stepped up a gear. The introduction of new fabrics and textures such as snake-skin, fur, velvet and suede has proved to be a success, ‘I really like artificial surfaces and you get a different sort of colour with stingrays and snake as opposed to dying a fabric. The quality of the texture really appeals to me because my work is all about using unusual materials. It really inspires me to get new materials involved,’ she says. Although some of the fabrics used in this collection are new to Fulton and her designs, her overall aesthetic remains the same. The oversized coats and dresses covered in print were reminiscent of her Spring/Summer 2010 collection for Fashion East. However, this season her use of monochrome is paired with her passion for Pop Art, and bright flashes of tangerine, turquoise and canary yellow are thrown against black, white and grey to create a stark yet alluring contrast. Fulton is known for her love of clashing geometric prints, and embellishments, and this season took it to a new level with Perspex and Swarovski emblazoned on her garments. ‘The use of decorative surfaces is vital within my work and I am constantly endeavouring to create a challenging, yet beautiful surface which pushes the boundaries of modern fashion.’ Holly Fulton knows how to create sharp, sophisticated silhouettes. With strong lines her use of outrageous prints doesn’t become overpowering, and the collection offers a look that is ‘luxurious, with an element of carefree to it’. ‘The ethos of my work is to capture a couture finish and an attention to detail within ready to wear. I aim to re-interpret the traditions of handwork and the use of techniques within couture into contemporary materials and silhouettes to create strong, cohesive collections of womenswear and jewellery.’ Her attention to detail can be seen throughout, especially in her of black and white cut-out illustrations of Poppy Girls displayed in a Topshop Oxford Circus window last year. Overall, Holly Fulton’s first solo presentation was an impressive start for the young designer ,who has just been commissioned to design a collection for Atelier Swarovski, by Nadja Swarovski . On top of this, Fulton’s designs have already caught the eye of up and coming music sensation Ellie Goulding, who wore a dress with matching Perspex necklace and bangles all designed by Fulton in her first music video Starry Eyed. Fulton is set to be the next big thing in the fashion world, so watch this space.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
s ie m m u d r o f eco-beauty Think eco-beauty is just about being good to the environment? Think again! We eat fruit and veg to put essential nutrients into our bodies, but what about all the lotions and potions we’re putting onto our bodies? Lucy Blane answers common questions about eco-beauty products. First, let’s clear up a few myths. Your skin absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it, so if you’re using a lotion that’s full of bad ingredients, your skin is taking it all in, uh-oh! Wrong! Skin has lots and lots of layers so it’s almost impossible for everything you put on it to sink into the very bottom layer. The skin absorbs the moisture that it needs (this is what it keeps it feeling soft) but doesn’t take everything in. Your skin acts as a barrier between your insides and the outside world, and we’d definitely get a few strange looks if we didn’t have it right? If your skin took in everything that was put on it, we’d swell up every time we had a shower due to the amount of water that it was letting in! Thankfully, that doesn’t happen, so it’s fairly unlikely that bad ingredients sink in that deep and cause lots of harm. So what’s the problem then? The problem is that some of the ingredients found in beauty products aren’t all that great. They’re often disguised in products that look and smell amazing, which means you’re more likely to buy them without realising. The good news is that more and more companies are trying to make products that contain a high proportion of both organic and natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry. The majority of eco-skincare companies avoid using particular ingredients in their products. The most common nasties are: Sodium Lauryl / Laureth Sulphate (SLS) – This is used in products such as body wash and shampoo to make them foam up. It can be even be found in toothpaste and causes irritation to the skin. Parabens – These act as a preservative and have been labelled as a carcinogen – a substance that has links to cancer. Artificial Colours – Exactly what they say they are. Un-natural colours that cause irritation to the skin. Petrochemicals – This forms a protective layer of oil over the skin, which clogs up pores and makes it harder for the skin to breathe. Synthetic Fragrance – Just like Artificial Colours, this fragrance is un-natural and can therefore irritate your skin! If you read the back of a shampoo bottle or body moisturiser, you’ll see loads of big scientific words that look and sound scary. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these ingredients are bad, but chances are they are artificial and man-made. And why opt for man-made when you can get the real thing? If a company is serious about its products being eco-friendly, they will have rules and regulations in place to make sure of this. If a product is claming to be Natural or Organic, it will have a stamp of approval by a certified organisation such as Ecocert or the Soil Association, which guarantees that the product is made up of either 70% or 95% natural, organic ingredients. As far as the price goes, we need to understand a little bit more about where the ingredients come from. It was just mentioned that for a product to be classed as Organic or Natural, it needs to gain a stamp of approval by a specialist organisation. This means that these products need to contain the best of the best ingredients, as they are put through intensive testing, and this doesn’t come cheap. To make sure these ingredients are top-class, they are grown especially and require a lot of hard work, ensuring they make the grade. So when you think of the cost that’s involved, from paying workers to testing products, you’re really getting a good deal for your money. On the surface it may seem like you’re paying twice as much for a new body wash, but you can trust me when I say that the Eco-company will be paying loads more: it’s all about quality over quantity, right?! Now you know all about Eco-beauty, let’s talk ethics… I’m confused! Don’t eco and ethical mean the same when it comes to beauty and skincare? Don’t be fooled! Although eco-friendly and ethical products aim to make the beauty industry a nicer place, they both mean and stand for different things. As you’ve just seen, ‘eco’ is all about the way the ingredients are grown, how they aren’t
man-made and how they’re generally better where the environment is concerned. Think of eco as the science part. Ethics is more about morals and opinions, and looks at the wider effect these products might be having. What sort of effects? What are people so worried? The main concerns that people have is for fairness and a moral order. Listed below is a list of the sort of questions and answers that are needed when it comes to deciding whether a product is ethical or not. ∑ Are the ingredients in the products being grown in a sustainable way? Yes. ∑ Are the products (and ingredients) harming the environment when they’re made? No. ∑ Is a fair price being paid for the ingredients and products? Yes. ∑ Can the amount of packaging be cut down, and can it be re-cycled? Yes. ∑ Are the products tested on Animals? No. It’s just as well the answers aren’t the opposite. Think of all the issues and problems there would be…not so good, is it? Unfortunately, beauty companies haven’t always been that bothered when it comes to ethics. A lot of the big companies sell all around the world, and similar to the fashion industry, the way they advertise and price their products is so attractive that no-one bothers to ask questions. Until now, that is. Awareness regarding ethical issues has become huge and it’s still on the rise. In the UK especially, people have been demanding eco and ethical products; more so, products that don’t harm animals or other peoples lives. And guess what? The beauty companies are responding! Statistics from 2007 showed that the UK and France together produced over 75% of the 2,260 ethical cosmetics that were launched in Europe that year alone. That’s an amazing result, so just imagine where we are three years on! Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it? What’s the deal with Animal testing now? Is it illegal? It’s against the European Union law to test any cosmetic products on animals, which is great news! There are a few problems however, as various loopholes within that law allow companies to get round it. For example, some companies use ingredients in their products that have been tested on animals in other parts of the world, but because they weren’t actually tested on animals within Europe, they can get away with it. There are a few exemptions however that allow companies to continue testing on animals. Most ingredients commonly used in making cosmetic products will have been tested before, so scientists will know if they are safe or not. If they want to use a new ingredient, it means they will need to test it out first, which sadly means having to try it out on animals. There are other scientists that are looking for new ways of testing ingredients that don’t involve animals, and it’s hoped they will find something by 2013 when all animal testing will be made illegal.
T-Shirt Designer Andre Lorenz Stock reveals for the first time the inner secrets of his Black Book. Colette Smith reports on his future in the UK and recent collaborations with H&M. Meet Andre Lorenz Stock: entrepreneur of a successful t-shirt brand and the youngest ever designer to collaborate with H&M. Project Black Book was launched in August 2008 from his Stockholm kitchen using a plain white t-shirt from H&M, a pack of transfer paper and a hot iron. This hobby turned into a life changing career path and in a matter of months his first hand-made collection was revealed. The simple, expressive nature of Andre’s designs is what makes his brand so successful. His summer break between high school and college is where this designer revealed his creative side. ‘I’d made a T-shirt for myself, and people started coming up to me in the street asking me where I’d bought it, and so I started thinking about it as a business idea.’ Putting the edge back into t-shirts by printing an image from his favourite photographer, combined with iconic song lyrics. The faded image (which was first created using Microsoft’s program Paint) gave these t-shirts a vintage and unique appeal, becoming an over night sensation in less than three easy steps. Unconventional is one way to describe his designs and approach in the industry, making the timeless t-shirt a must have fashion item when it fell into the hands of Sweden’s renowned bloggers. Sending free samples of his t-shirts granted Andre the publicity he needed and before long magazines had also caught on. In less than a year, his t-shirt had become ‘purchase of the month’ in Sweden’s most popular women’s magazine. ‘So there I was, 18 years old and selling 100 t-shirts a day out of my bedroom.’ The mailing list for his Black Book was quickly growing, making way for a site to be launched. With industry contacts now in his pocket, the brand name ‘Black Book’ seemed an appropriate choice to announce the arrival of this t-shirt entrepreneur. Yet according to Andre the choice of name was spontaneous to say the least, similar to his designing regime. ‘I didn’t have a name for it so I decided to pick the first book on my shelf and just name it after that. I only had the one book on it and that was Black Book - a list of cool nightclubs in L.A.’
After the company began last year, Black Book’s success has grown and so has Andre’s appetite for success. Becoming a designing sensation hasn’t changed this designer in the slightest and his understated charisma is infectious. When asked his opinion of his t-shirts, he didn’t give the flamboyant designer response one might expect, but almost stuttered ‘I’m not sure, cool?’. There are no surprises as to why he has come so far at such a young age. Remaining his impulsive and quirky self landed him the opportunity to collaborate with H&M for S/S 2010. Creative advisor, Margareta van den Bosch thought he’d make the perfect collaborator and wanted to encourage even more entrepreneurial fans of H&M to get involved. His collection will be for the company’s Divided range (ironically the first t-shirts he used for printing) and based on the images sent in from fans around the world. Instead of being a customer, Andre is now the man behind the design team - a transition that has happened in less than two years. He sends out a positive message to all budding designers and fans of H&M, inspiring the nation’s creative talents and hopefully unleashing more hopefuls into industry. H&M are celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of this new designer. As the youngest ever collaborator and first public role model for the brand, Segue was curious to know his advice for budding designers: ‘When it comes to design - go with your imagination, let it run free. And when it comes to the business side of it: go hard. It’s one thing to design the coolest t-shirt in the world and it’s a another thing getting people to realize it actually is.’ T-shirts are the beginning for Andre and there is a lot more to be seen from his creative talents. Telling us exclusively that: ‘I don’t label my self as a t-shirt designer. I have always been creative, always writing and painting so it was kind of the only thing for me - to create.’ His H&M collection is now available in the UK, and we’re looking forward to not only seeing Andre’s designs but also the customer’s images he has chosen from hm.com. Ten designs will be available with images taken from the sites uploads. Creative talents are in the making: ‘Hopefully I can inspire people all around the world to think outside the box to achieve their goals,’ says Andre.
Image courtesy of Andre Lorenz
from sweden with love
“I didn’t have a name for it so I decided to pick the first book on my shelf and just name it after that. I only had the one book and that was Black Book a list of cool nightclubs in L.A.” segue 29
the meaning of beauty
“Afghanistan women have a survival in them. They are the most amazing, resilient women on the face of the Earth. These women have come across hardship and, somehow, they still find the time to smile.“ 30 segue
American hairdresser Debbie Rodriguez found friendship, freedom and laughter thanks to Afghanistan and hairdressing. Here, Rodriquez tells Karmia Goldring of her Kabul Journey. Afghanistan is a country where religion is embedded in the hearts of the nation and a place renowned for its male dominated society. For American hairdresser, Debbie Rodriguez, Afghanistan is a country that brought her hardship and laughter, and was a place she once called home. Rodriguez penned the memoir The Kabul Beauty School, sharing her account of opening the eponymous venture in 2003 to train Afghan women who wished to create independence for themselves. Once the women were trained hairdressers, she incorporated the beauty school with a beauty salon and employed her students, giving them the opportunity to earn their own income. From helping fake the virginity of a woman on her wedding night to punching an Afghan man in a market for groping her, this eccentric woman tells the story of the real Kabul, where an 8pm ‘shootto-kill curfew’ exists and where the women who walk the dusty streets of the city all have ambitions and dreams. Rodriguez first came to Kabul in 2002 with a missionary-relief team. Among the doctors, dentists and nurses, Debbie discovered that foreigners and her fellow aid workers were more desperate for a haircut than a medical check-up. Realising there was a demand for trained hairdressers in Afghanistan’s capital, Debbie created a life-time chance that would offer the women of Kabul an opportunity that would transcend their title from ‘wife and mother’ to ‘beautician’ – a rare term for women in Afghanistan. Receiving donations from Paul Mitchell and funding by American Vogue and MAC, women from all over Afghanistan came to join the school, although not all applicants could be accepted due to its popular demand. Having found a building, restored and decorated it, and accepted students, Rodriguez felt a mixture of emotions. ‘During the process of starting the school, it all felt impossible. But when it was finally opening, it felt over whelming,’ she recalls. ‘However, I think the most important thing to realise is that when the school opened - for the students - it was the most courageous thing they had ever done.’ During their rule, the Taliban had banned all beauty salons in Afghanistan, and since their defeat salons remained closed. Although hairdressers still worked amid fear of public scrutiny, very few salons had officially opened. In mainly Middle Eastern countries, beauty parlours are observed as a sanctuary for women – men were not allowed in them, thus hairdressers and clients could freely discuss their lives whilst away from their husbands; it was the only place where they were from free the control of men. Afghanistan women especially cultivate their beauty. Hidden behind their burkas are perfectly illuminated faces and volumised lashes, not single hair out of place; regardless of the religion or geographical home town, all women living in Kabul yearned for a type of beauty pampering that had been unobtainable for decades. For the first time in a long time, Debbie Rodriguez was able to give them this. In her memoir, Debbie uncovers the truth of what life is
really like for Afghanistan women who are held under male constraints every day. While the youngest student in the school was constantly sexually abused by her uncle, another had been sold off to a man by her father, in-order to pay off a debt. The Kabul Beauty School tells the tale of real women trapped in forced, loveless marriages and were oppressed by their husbands, from the young age of fourteen. While stories of beating and rape appear regularly throughout the memoir, laughter is also shared, which is the essential twist in this book. As Debbie explains ‘Afghanistan women have a survival in them. They are the most amazing, resilient women on the face of the Earth. These women have come across hardship and, somehow, they still find the time to smile. You just don’t see unhappy faces on women on the streets of Kabul. I was in awe of how they could live in such a hard environment but remain positive.’ As learned as Debbie had become thanks to these women, her Afghan husband also taught her what life was like in Kabul. Drowning herself in the Afghanistan culture, Debbie found herself in a courtship ritual like no other. Her married friends introduced her to a merchant, Sam, who they believed would be a ‘good husband’ for Debbie – the fact that he had a wife and seven children in Saudi Arabia seemed not to be too much of an issue. Sam’s English was as nonexistent as Debbie’s Dari, but they had an unspoken connection which quickly grew and they were married within twenty days of meeting one another. Perhaps a brass move, but Sam proved to be a hero to the beauty school and to Debbie. As her story unfolds, the beauty school encountered many obstacles; perhaps the largest was Afghanistan’s Women’s Ministry, an organisation promoting women’s advancements in Afghanistan. Debbie explains ‘they saw how successful the school was and they didn’t like it. They had to walk by it every day and see how well it was doing and they hated it because they were not a part of it. To them, it was a money-maker. They wanted it, and were going to do whatever they had to do to get it. It made me so angry, I just thought, over my dead body.’ The Women’s Ministry attempted to close the salon numerous times, but Rodriguez came back fighting ever harder and won the battle. However, due to the Government’s complicated laws and taxes (still not understood by Debbie today), the beauty school and salon were forced to close in 2006. Debbie’s marriage also came to an end when she left Afghanistan ‘I no longer see Sam. He got in tight with General Rachide, a notorious Warlord. When he began to really get involved with this man, he changed. He became dangerous. I can’t go back to Afghanistan because I don’t know what he is capable of. So right now, I have had to file for an annulment.’ Discussing her anguish over the marriage, she continues ‘for me, things changed a lot; he’s not the same Sam that I once knew.’ Regardless of the outcome of her personal life, Debbie looks back fondly at her time in Afghanistan. ‘You know, we had a lot of good times. I mean, it was like a hen party, it was so much fun. It was just great female time, whilst cutting and colouring away, everybody
Image courtesy of Debbie Rodriguez was discussing their husbands, mother-in-laws and weight. We were having the same conversation in any other salon around the world.’ Prior to her time in Afghanistan, Debbie escaped an abusive marriage, and has been described by many as an eccentric, tenacious woman. It is ironic how such a head-strong woman ended up working with women who are forced to capitulate to male needs and often unreasonable demands. The beauty school also acted as a place where lessons in life were exchanged. Reflecting on her own attitude towards men, Debbie remembers how it resonated within one particular student. ‘The police out there are known for sexually harassing women, and one of them said some bad stuff to one of the girls, and she just hauled off to him and gave him a great, big slap. She would never have usually done something like that, but I think for so long, she felt so powerless in her marriage, that she eventually found a voice outside of it. She wouldn’t let men mess with her anymore. She is still with her husband. She doesn’t like him but she is forced to stay with him, because he can take her child away from her. That’s something they do, they hold their children over their heads and they play dirty.’ However, not all women learnt such sharpness, as Debbie learnt one particular night, when the school held a party for the students. ‘We closed the school gates, shut the blinds and we were all dressed up in our finest Afghan clothes. We were laughing, joking and dancing like kids, and one of the girls – Basera - had changed her clothes upstairs, and had left her cell up there. After the party she went up there, and saw that her husband had called her 18 times. He had found out about the party, and Basera went from this brilliant smile to being petrified. It was only 8pm, and she actually asked me to go home with her and speak to
her husband. In the end, it was okay, but her immediate mood change really said it all to me.’ Acknowledging herself as a white female living in a Muslim country, Rodriguez explains ‘They didn’t think of me as a woman. I was like a third gender to them.’ Debbie’s memoir reiterates the power that men have in Afghanistan, and this was an important message to her in the book. ‘It’s such a strategic place in the world and I wanted to give people knowledge of what Afghanistan was truly like. I just wanted to educate people in a way that was interesting.’ It has been four years since the end of the beauty school, and Debbie is yet to give up on utilising hairdressing as a way to gain independence for women. Her latest adventure is called ‘Beauty Shop in a Box’. Partnering with organizations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Pakistan, the charity is able to distribute beauty shop instruments, a training DVD and DVD player, and even a solar powered battery to run electrical instruments in areas that have little or no electricity. Discussing the charity, Rodriguez explains ‘right now, I like not having to invest money into a building that I can just lose. At this point, I want to keep things as simple as possible. When you’re in a war-ridden area, it’s difficult, and things can get dangerous. This project isn’t as hands on as the Beauty School, but my aim this time, is to just get more stuff out to the women for less money.’ Rodriguez’s long-term goal, however, lies within refugee camps. ‘When I left Afghanistan, I returned to America with 2 suitcases and nothing else. For a split second I felt like a refugee in my own county and it was horrible. I was lucky, I had friends who took me in and I had money in my pocket. That’s not the case for refugees, and I feel for them. I want to work with women in the refugee camps. I want to give them a special home.’ Debbie moves on to discuss how the ‘Beauty Shop in a Box’ can change a life. ‘In difficult money situations, these women do things like prostitution because they have no other choice, but I want to give them an option. I want them to make their money through using their hairdressing equipment and skills, instead of selling their bodies.’ At this point, Debbie offers an excellent truth. ‘Here’s the thing: hairdressers are hairdressers no matter what. They don’t go hungry, because they have their skill at their fingertips. As long as women continue to want to be beautiful, hairdressers will always have a job to do. To me, that is the true beauty of hairdressing.’ For more information or to donate to Beauty Shop in a Box, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A crisp autumn evening in October, leaves cover the pavement and the moon is full. Pumpkins sit on doorsteps and children are running around dressed in ghoulish outfits. But a group of people are taking the spooky, seasonal activities that bit further. In towns, villages and cities across the country clusters of like-minded people gather to celebrate the ancient Pagan festival Samhain or to you and I Halloween. In the back room of a modest, murky bookshop in Brighton’s Lanes district, candles and incense are lit. The atmosphere feels friendly yet slightly eerier. As a small crowd start to gather the anticipation in the room heightens for the night’s events. Ellie Gill reports on the importance of being pagan. The majority of the group are women across all ages, although most are middle aged; Paganism it seems is the new Yoga. Some wear masks decorated with beads and feathers although most of them are clothed in heavy velvet dresses, silver pendants and jewelled rings. At the forefront of the festivities is Lynx Wildwood, a petite fair-haired woman in her thirties. ‘Welcome to our annual festival’, she says, ‘This evening we will follow traditions of the past and tread the paths of our ancestors.’ Each attendee then takes a turn in stepping forward and is ‘purified’ with a beating from a large, bright feather. A pentacle is then traced in the air with the athame, a small ceremonial dagger. Much like a group therapy session we spent the next hour and a half holding hands, dancing, chanting and talking about any emotional issues holding us back – t is all very cathartic. Just as I start to think that this Pagan lark is all a bit ordinary and forget about my original fear of this evening turning into a repeat-performance of The Wickerman, Lynx informs the group that the next ritual will involve us, ‘howling at the moon’. Much of the group proceed to do so whilst trying to conceal giggles, others take it a little more seriously. As the ceremony draws to an end the Gods are thanked, circle is closed and everyone empties out back onto the street into a world filled with drunken teens in revealing outfits, pumpkins, sweets and face paint. Many of the attendees at Lynx’s celebration will give you different definitions of what a Pagan is. Witchcraft comes under the umbrella term of Paganism along with, Wicca, Druidry, Heathenry and Shamanism. Some of these groups like to be associated with each other whilst others prefer not to be. ‘Not all Pagans are the same,’ explains Lynx. ‘Some Wiccan’s have very strong views about gender and God’. When taking into account these different groups Paganism itself isn’t strictly a religion, but a belief system. According to the Pagan Federation Paganism is: ‘A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion’. This means that they believe in multiple deities and that god is understood as an abstract principle. It all seems a bit confusing with all the different branches but essentially Pagan’s fundamental interests are nature, equality and respecting the ‘old religion’ as many like to call it. There may be far more practising Pagans in the UK than we imagine. There are monthly meetings and open rituals taking place in most of our towns and cities with at least fourteen moots in Greater London alone. Pagan festivities too are drawing huge crowds; with this year’s Summer Solstice festival at Stonehenge drawing a record breaking 35,000 attendees, that’s the same amount of people that ran this year’s London marathon. It’s impossible to say exactly how many practising Pagans there are in the UK at the moment as Paganism doesn’t have it’s own category within the national census, there is however much talk about changes being made specifically to include Pagans for the next count in 2011. ‘Once a religion has reached a certain threshold of the population it should be included - if it hasn’t then it shouldn’t.’ said Justin Thacker of the Evangelical Alliance, speaking about Paganisms inclusion in the next census. But how are we supposed to know when Paganism it has reached a certain number without an official count already in place? There must be something attracting these ‘normal’ people to the world of magic. With the majority of us spending long hours sat in front of a computer screen it seems hardly surprising that more folk are running off to dance around trees and stones circles at the weekend. For Dawn Gribble editor of The Witches Digest, Paganism can act as an emotional crutch and help to construct a sense of community, which many would argue our society has seemingly lost. ‘I love being a Pagan because it gives me the opportunity to find my own path in the world - it encourages me to strive for a stronger community, develop deeper friendships following ethical practices.’ Unlike more mainstream religions, Pagan’s believe the Goddess to be just as important as God which could be the reason so many woman choose it as their faith, attended Lynx’s Samhain celebration at the bookshop and why witches were so often cast to be female. Most of us can’t deny being fascinated by the fantastical elements of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The BBC jumped on the medieval,
magic theme with their series ‘Merlin’ giving us stories of the peaceful Druids and their magical powers. Fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons and Warcraft too have adopted Pagan characters and symbols. Perhaps part of Paganisms allure is the prospect of a fantasy film, storybook or game coming to life and the mythical kingdoms filled with faeries, spells and wizards entering our own hectic worlds. Despite its fairy-tale like allure Paganism goes back further than the births of Harry Potter and Gandalf and does in fact have solid roots in Britain’s history. Up until the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD the inhabitants of the British Isles were Celtic tribes of the Stone Age, holding Pagan or Druidic beliefs. The word Pagan comes from the Latin word Paganus, which means country dweller, the term given by the city dwelling Roman’s because the rural areas were the last in England to adopt the Roman way of Christianity. Some members of the Church are now proposing that Paganism isn’t all about new age, airy-fairy hippy philosophies and suggestions have been made that the foundations of the Christianity as we know it were originally structured around Pagan traditions. We’ve all been taught since childhood that the origins of Easter and Christmas celebrate the life of Christ. Many of the festivals we presume are Christian based are in-fact Pagan in origin. Easter comes from the spring equinox. Halloween stems from Samhain and, most importantly, Christmas too has Pagan origin in the winter solstice, Satrulana or Yule. Houses would be decorated with evergreens, with the hope that prickly needles would ward of evil spirits, great feasts would occur and mistletoe was considered sacred by the druids. It is quite feasible that these festivities were adopted by the Church to make Christianity seem less alien to the native people of Britain. According to Gribble, ‘Pagan traditions such as Yule, Easter, Harvest Festival etc. were absorbed by the church to make them ‘acceptable’. Most people are comforted by tradition as they provide both values and security, however the Church has made people feel like these traditions belong solely to the Church, and anything outside of this - or to question it - is sinful.’ Even the birth of Christ on the 25th of December is debatable, given these circumstances and some members of the Church are now willing to admit that this could be the case. Reverend Steve Hollinghurst of the Church Army explains; ‘I think it almost certain that the Church may have adopted some of the festivals we celebrate today. Seasonal festivals of northern Europe seemed to speak of the life of Jesus and became Christian festivals.’ Hollinghurst continues, ‘We don’t know when Jesus was born, but for the church of the Emperor Constantine the image of Jesus as ‘light in the darkness’ fitted well with Constantine’s own Pagan tradition of the cult of Sol Invicta, the unconquered sun, the main feast of which was 25th December.’ Despite the Church of England backing up the legitimacy of their traditions Pagans have a hard time of it within the press and positive stories are almost unheard of. A recent story in the Daily Telegraph regarding Police rights to celebrate Pagan festivals read, ‘Society has progressed to the point where we recognise any old set of beliefs as a religion’. Where as an article in the Daily Mail reads ‘Deer skins and heads are believed to be used in satanic rituals in a tradition that harks
back to pre-Christian pagan Britain.’ The story was referring to the finding of a decapitated young deer in a field in Cheshire. With no evidence the press were still quick to point the finger at ‘devil worshiping’ Pagans. Wildwood thinks that, ‘The media represents things according to sales and how Paganism is represented is no different. If it’s an exciting story, it will be printed therefore the everyday mundane aspects of Paganism are never printed so that we only get the dramatic stories, which is not a fair representation.’ So the general view expressed by the media is that Pagans are ‘killers’ or ‘evil’. Reverend Hollinghurst said, ‘the truth is I think that the myth of the witch still holds some public power and for a while yet Pagans will suffer from this.’ Paganism is often seen as the opposite to Christianity, which instantly raises questions on good and evil. Some of the traditional Pagan symbols such as the pentacle are often confused with the inverted satanic pentacle. The Pagan horned God with its goat’s head is also misunderstood as a satanic symbol. The film industry, too have not made things too easy for Pagan’s, the most famous Pagan themed film being the 1973 release ‘The Wickerman’ whereby a group of Pagan villages were perceived as criminal and plotting savages. ‘The Church and Hollywood have not made it easy for Pagans, with both declaring the practice ‘evil’ often accompanied with cries of ‘mumbo jumbo’ and general condescension. The church in particular did everything it could during the Inquisitorial era to make anything Pagan seem frightening’, said Gribble. She continues; ‘Today’s modern view of the Devil for example is not the beautiful angel banished from heaven - but the Pagan composite of Pan, Neptune and the Cherubim, which was peddled by the church.’ Hollinghursts explains that; ‘The medieval church added to Halloween it’s fear of the Pagan past by creating witchcraft figures and other terrors out of Pagan traditions and adding them as figures in the Halloween celebration as way of making people reject the Pagan past.’ Whilst the Church of England are admitting their part in distorting the widely accepted view of Pagans, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano recently warned us that Halloween is a Pagan celebration of ‘terror, fear and death’ and that ‘Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian’. Spells and magic are a bit of a grey area. According to Wildwood, ‘A spell is a way to move energy and focus your attention consciously and usefully.’ Spells are almost like a prayer for many Pagans. With regards to ‘bad witches’ misusing their power she says it is quite possible, ‘A knife can be used to cut an apple in half in order to share it, or to kill someone, the same tools, but it’s the user who defines its usage.’ So yes bad witches do exist but they seem to be a bit of a mystery to the common Pagan. So despite dressing bizarrely in medieval cloaks and masks. parading around stones and waving wands around, it’s doubtful that the majority of Pagans are really out to hurt anyone with the exception of a couple of renegades. If their being around means up keeping some of Britain’s more unconventional traditions, then what’s the harm in that?
back to black
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
With an influx of European faces gracing covers and storming runways there’s still a paucity of black faces in the world of fashion. Mary Adeniyi reports on an an industry whitewash. The 60s and 70s saw the first widespread emergence of black models during the Civil Rights Movement, models like Beverly Johnson – the first black model to grace the cover of American Vogue in 1974 and paved the way for future black models. The New York Times named her one of the 20th century’s most influential models. In the same year Iman was the first African model in the US to appear on the cover of Vogue; a symbol of African beauty. Another famous model was Donyale Luna who photographed by Richard Avedon was the first black covergirl of British Vogue. But it would seem these women are the exceptions rather than the rule. ‘You can look through all the big magazines and see hundreds of models and not see a single black one, said Naomi Campbell in The Times in August 2007. Things aren’t that different today. Online website Jezebel.com carries out research on the lack of black models on the runway every season and last season’s Fashion Week results showed: ‘Of 4,095 turns on the runway, only 662 went to models that weren’t white. Only 332 models that were booked were black.’ And the problem it isn’t only on the catwalk. ‘When it comes to magazines, it’s all about the brands, labels, celebrities, and of course the models. Black models are rarely seen in advertising campaigns and front covers of magazine,’ says New York Designer Mara Hoffman on the website. ‘The reason for this allegedly comes down to money. It’s all about what sells and as much as editors and advertisers want to use ethnic girls, putting one on a cover of a magazine is considered a risk.’ An insider spoke to New York Times regretfully stating that ‘Fashion is aspirational, magazines are aspirational, and to aspire, you need to be able to identify with someone at least a little. And readers don’t identify with ethnic women. They don’t see them as aspirational.’ In 2008, Italian Vogue’s July issue was dedicated to black models including Alex Wek and Veronica Webb. This pushed boundaries and sold out in the U.S and UK in 72 hours and publishers had to reprint 30,000 extra copies for American newsstands, another
10,000 for Britain and 20,000 more for Italy’s readers. Could this have been a gimmick or did they really want to make a change and push boundaries in the industry? Franca Sozzani, editor–in-chief of Vogue Italia, told The Independent Sunday: ‘We are using many black models, a lot of different girls because nobody is using back girls. I see so many beautiful girls and they were complaining that they are not used enough.’ Diane Von Furstenberg the President of Council of Fashion of America sent a letter to designers, model agencies and casting directors two years ago encouraging them to create shows ‘that are multicultural.’ The only designer who fulfilled this target was at London Fashion Week at PPQ in the Summer/Spring collections 2009. Erin O’ Corner commented on the show on Style.com saying it had ‘such amazing casting and it really puts paid to any rumours of discrimination at London Fashion Week.’ Prestigious modelling agencies were also a letdown. Select models only had two black models. FM Agency had four black models. Premier came in third with six black models and Storm had over fourteen models. Carole White, co-founder of Premier Models Management, confirmed in The Times in 2008, that finding work for black models was harder than Caucasian models, because both magazines and designers were unwilling to use high risk models. ‘According to magazines, black models don’t sell,’ White continued. ‘People don’t tend to talk about it, but black models have to be so beautiful and perfect because we can’t have a lot of diversity with black models; it’s a lot harder work for the agency because there’s not so much on offer.’ Sarah Doukas, managing director of Storm, said in The Independent that: ‘There has been frustration over the years from a lot of ethnic models, stylists and editors who have felt that they were not working as much as some of their Caucasian counterparts.’ There is also an absence of black girls with African features; full lips, wide noses and different facial proportions, with most being considered more ‘ugly duckling’ than ‘most beautiful girl in the world’. Unconventional beauty Alex Wek was often called ugly because of her tall and lanky physique, her dark brown skin and natural hair. ‘I couldn’t believe anyone would want me as a model.’ Oluchi Onweagba (who entered South Africa’s Face of Africa model talent search and became a phenomenon) was tortured by classmates because of her height and weight. ‘I was extremely skinny and tall at the age of seventeen,’ says Oluchi on the Nigerians in America website. ‘I remember being called all kinds of names. Even Agbani Darego (the first African woman to win Miss World in 2001) faces a lot of challenges as she struggles meeting the standards of the American fashion industry and her own people. ‘Even today I still face a lot of challenges when I go back home (Nigeria),’ she said to the same website. ‘My grandmother still says, “Oh you are too thin and you should add more weight”.’ Things do happen to push boundaries but it still doesn’t create a permanent change to the industry. Anh Pham a student at the University for the Creative Arts states: ‘It may take some time to adapt to black ethnic models on an unconscious level. It’s almost like we are told to be like this image that is set for us’. There is a lack of women of colour within the fashion industry which needs to be addressed. Campbell stated in The Independent in 2008. ‘It’s important for the agents, managers, advertisers and designers who are promoting change to speak out. We are not here to complain, we need to find a solution.’
“You C***!” When uncouth introduces itself to the English dictionary. ‘A nasty name for a nasty thing’, or so Francis Grose had us believe in his 1796, Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. The term ‘c***’ may exist as a foul-mouthed Anglo Saxon tirade, associated with scouse-spouting football hooligans and builder-bum bearing chauvinists; yet for the length of time it has been in the English language for, it has been awarded taboo trophy for the most offensive word every year. A term that lives up to its vulgarity, or an expression that has lost its initial meaning perhaps? Sian O’Donnell investigates. Apart from the seemingly derogatory term for a woman’s vagina being the obvious connotation of the word, it has consequently seen nineteen other distinct meanings presented in Jonathan Green’s 2005 edition of Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang. From an unpleasant person to destroy-to-defeat and the area of a vein in which someone injects narcotics into; additional implications of the word have been established, yet they all have one detail in common – crudity. The time when identifying a woman as a blossoming flower has since gone out the window and what has been left in its wake, is a word that has more relevance to a duck’s beak than the creator of all life. Yet, the prefix ‘cu’ is one of the oldest sounds in recorded language and is an expression characteristically associated with femininity, as the basis of; ‘cow’ and ‘Queen’ etc. So why does the word, ‘c***’ sound so harsh and negative –a term that apparently celebrates its female form? What is recognisable when considering the suggestion of the ‘See You Next Tuesday’ is the work of Sigmund Freud and the link to his psychoanalysis development on castration – the apparent main cause of why men fear the vagina. If this theory is plausible, then it could be the answer to why men use the word c*** as a distasteful exclamation, said with vigour and aggression. They perceive the vagina as clamping, castrating, violent jaws; recognised in the foundations of the Film Noir femme fatale and Alien film, rather than the soft, safe haven in which it is understood to be. However, to presume this reasoning we need to assume that the man sees the woman purely as an object of sexual desire. This is where pornography sites have swept in and occupied the word for their web pages; enhancing the idea of dirty, filth-ridden, indecent sex being associated with the term.
An 11-year old opening a line with ‘Hello c****’ has caused a wave of controversy recently with the new film Kick-Ass, in which a young girl plays a foul-mouthed, comic book superhero. What was more shocking to the audience it seems, is the actuality that a young girl is saying it, with the belief that women should not provoke such attack on their genitalia. However, for a woman to state, ‘c***’ aloud has unquestionably, double the impact than a man announcing it. Therefore, could be a sure way to claw back female power and superiority by utilising the word for their own, as above all, women have the right to use it the most freely, surely? It is this sense of feminism that is recognised in Zoe Williams column for The Guardian in 2006, where she claims, ‘It’s not the v-word that needs reclaiming but the c-word... bring on the c*** warriors.’ Yet the term does not always need to be read as being abusive. Many use it for terms of endearment, as jovial pub-banter, as a catchphrase to every Danny Dyer film and as an act of amusement. Even Countdown on Channel 4 grasped the apparent joke in 2006, when Carol Vorderman chose the ingenious letters, ‘c***flaps’, which even got a snigger from the over-sixty majority audience. John Wilmot’s, the 2nd Earl of Rochester’s poem, A Ramble in St. James’s Park has been described as having the filthiest verses ever composed in English with, ‘But though St. James has th’ honor on ‘t, ‘Tis consecrate to prick and cunt.’ Was it considered unacceptable back then, is an interesting thought and perhaps will foresee an ongoing debate to whether the term is outrageous and grotesque, or quite simply the act of ‘PC’ coming into play again. Like the term, ‘f***’ before it, which has gradually been phased out of the offensive region due to its overuse and general acceptance into everyday language, maybe one day ‘c***’ will have the same affect. No-one will bat an eyelid when a young boy calls an elderly lady crossing the street a ‘coffin-dodging c***’ or a doctor delivering a baby tells the woman to ‘keep pushing through her c***.’ Except this will not be the case. We , as a nation, love to have one word that is forbidden, that we can say with passion and really mean it; that we know we will get us into trouble if heard by the wrong ears, but will accept the consequences anyhow. Finally, it is with this why it will keep its potency and prohibition in British society. After all, life is a CUNT.
Eel Skin Jacket by Rachel Freire
say something deep Styling Lewis Chong, Photography PANTELIS Hair & Make-up DEBORAH FULTON-MELLOR, Model ISABELLE WRIGHT
Dress: by Georgia Hardings, Clutch by Holly Fulton, Headdress by Two Weeks segue 35 Rachel Freire Shoesby
Jumpsuit (worn as top) by Aqua Hair Skirt: Charlie Le Mindu Knuckle Duster and Ring: Gisele Ganne Shoes: Gabriella36 Marina Gonzalez segue
Dress by Bryce Aime Fringe: Two Weeks segue 39
“A recent study showed that around half of all British Caribbean men in a relationship have a
partner from a different race, with one in ten Indian men and women and two out of five Chinese women. “
Mixed-race relationships are lending a hand in contributing to Britain’s increasingly racially integrated culture. Laura Scougall looks at some facts about interracial relationships, what she feels she has gained from life as a person of mixed-race and some of the problems that can be involved with a dual heritage. Being brought up in a mixed-race family never seemed strange or peculiar to me. I was lucky. Living in a racially diverse area of Northern England, my parents were open to different races and cultures; in turn they ensured that my siblings and I never bestowed prejudice on anyone just because they were ‘different’. I guess that’s the reason behind why I haven’t experienced any racism towards myself, well, that I’m aware of anyway. I mean, you know how people can be so sneaky about their true feelings nowadays, the person you sit next to on the bus could feel disgusted just because of the colour of your skin, or hate the fact that you wear a turban and dared to sit yourself next to them. Sometimes you just don’t know. Other people however are not as lucky as I am. Many other mixed-race people that I have met and gotten to know over the years have expressed to me their problems that include feelings of belonging to a ‘full’ race, or their lack of it. I believe one of the reasons behind why they feel that way is because of the way they were brought up; perhaps they spent the majority
have always been a cause for deep discussion, many being for them but at the same time many are against the idea. Relationships between different races are no different than those of relationships belonging to the same race. However there could be issues within the partnership with faith and cultural traditions that may cause tension and discomfort between family members. It was only in 1967 when interracial marriage became legalized in the United States, which isn’t a very long time ago if you think about it, and since then the number of mixed-race marriages has more or less doubled with each passing decade worldwide; that number is forecasted to continue rising. My parents went through a lot of discrimination when they first became an item, back in the early 1980’s. It is only human nature to greet change with a hostile or disagreeable attitude and that is what my parents received by a lot of so-called friends and even family in the early days of their relationship. Many thought they wouldn’t last, that the ethnic differences would be too different to live with, but they overcame it, and it looks to me as though many others have done the same in more recent years. In fact a recent study showed that around half of all British Caribbean men in a relationship have a partner from a different race, with one in ten Indian men and women and two out of five Chinese women. The survey also stated that one in five children belongs
of their time or were only ever with one parent and so were not introduced or had a lack of knowledge about the other side of their culture. My mother, a British-born Jamaican woman has always told my brothers and I that although we are mixed-race, society as we know it will always class us as being black people, which was simply down to the shade of our skin. At the time I didn’t really grasp any understanding of what she was trying to explain to us or even care for that matter because I was quite young. I didn’t see anyone as being different to me because of their race, but looking back now I understand why she said what she did. However I don’t think that this is the case today; maybe it was that way in the past, I really would not know, but I have and always will be proud of my heritage, so I guess I will never find it to be a problem. I tick the mixed box when filling out my ethnicity on forms so as far as I’m concerned, I’m classed as mixed-race, not black and not white. I have to ask the question: Why do we all have to be classed by our race? Not only race but our gender, sexuality, religion and so on. By classing people into different groups, does that not make them seem alien to others, especially when they’re described as a minority group? My father on the other hand is mixed himself, of Scottish and Italian descent but British born. He classes himself as a white man and certainly looks that way. He has always ensured that my siblings and I knew all about our heritage from both sides as he felt it was important for us to know where we came from as well as knowing where we were born and bred. Throughout history interracial relationships
to an ethnic minority group, which is far higher than among the adult population. I personally believe that the increase in interracial relationships is being more widely accepted today. Take, for instance, President Barrack Obama. He is a man of mixed-race, although the world calls him a ‘Black President’, he is still accepted as a leader. Is this a sign of good things to come for mixed-race people in general, especially those that receive only negativity from others about who they are? Maybe with more and more people getting into these mixed partnerships, there is the possibility that future generations will not see race in the way that so many of us see it today. What if the majority of the world became partially mixed in some way? Could this lead to people leading a more accepting attitude? Who knows? Although slim it seems that there could be chance racism will die down or die out altogether in the future. Now I am not saying that I think the entire world should become mixed-race, I myself actually think that - to put it bluntly – boring. I love the variety of people there are in life and if that means mixing and matching different races then why not? Everyone is entitled to be with whomever he or she wishes to be with, it may cause conflict at times but if someone truly loves that person and they are not hurting anybody then they should go for it. My parents did, setting a fine example for me to follow. I don’t know who I’ll end up with, but one thing I know for certain is that I won’t be limiting my options to just one type of person. If my parents had given into their peers, my siblings and I wouldn’t be here, so I for one am glad they didn’t!
Image courtesy of Laura Scougall
“Analysis show that domestic violence is a phenomenon closely related to parental neglect or mistreatment suffered by the abuser as a child.” Domestic abuse is no longer a secret, yet the reasons behind it remain so. Sophie Everman uncovers why men abuse women and why women stay in abusive relationships. Can love really heal all wounds? Before she had even turned 9, Amanda knew she wanted to be a doctor. With beauty, intelligence, and the support of her friends, the pathway to success was laid out ahead of her. Then, at the tender age of 17, she met Sam and her ordered world was turned upside down. After dating for just three short weeks their relationship turned violent. He started to beat her to the point of unconsciousness and encouraged male friends to gang rape her on several occasions, ‘I stopped going to places because I felt so ashamed, I felt dirty, I felt like I was just too ugly.’ As the years went by, Amanda tried to leave Sam over and over again, but every time he called to utter a simple apology she would eagerly return home; ‘I stay because I believe him when he tells me that he will change.’ Danaschi Forrest, a housewife and mother of two in a similar situation, sits awkwardly between a heavily sellotaped table and a battered sofa, covered in deep red blotches. Her bruises are the result of a beating that took place only hours ago and yet she refuses to leave Cleet, her husband and abuser. For Danaschi, leaving would be an admittance that she failed, ‘Something is probably wrong with me and that’s why I picked someone who doesn’t respect me and uses abuse to control me.’ Only 29, she looks 45; a direct result of sleepless nights and profound scaring that covers the whole of her once pretty face. ‘The fear of losing him made me be willing to do anything for him… and all because I love him beyond imagination. The violence aside, Cleet is a great person.’ Sadly these aren’t isolated cases. A quarter of women experience domestic violence over their lifetimes but less than 23% report it to the police. According to Dr Andrew Rennard, who works privately with victims of domestic violence, young, vulnerable women are prone to being trapped in aggressive relationships. ‘This can be traced back to the ‘lone parent’ generation; their children are desperate to not grow old alone,’ he explains. This leaves them unable to learn ‘normal’ relationship behaviour from their parents: ‘Therefore they simply can’t differ an abusive relationship from the norm. Those girls often blame themselves for being mistreated, when in fact the abuser manipulates them to believe that this is the case.’ Not only the young and vulnerable stay; even successful businesswomen, earning far more than their abusive partners, sometimes choose a life of hell. Dr Rennard explains, ‘Women sometimes think they can change the other person.’ They believe that if they just do everything right the abuse won’t happen anymore. ‘Women find the idea of leaving difficult, as the emotional tie is very strong in their mind.’ But some women are confined to abuse through criticism of their acquaintances: ‘When I tell people they judge me, act as if I should have known better,’ explains Anne-Marie Ashdown, a thriving financial advisor earning 200k annually. ‘This only perpetuates the belief that the beatings are my fault.’ In fact, 1 in 5 young men and 1 in 10 young women deem abuse or violence against women acceptable. Professor Hugo Schwyzer, who specialised in women’s and gender studies clarifies; ‘Domestic violence is tied up in a myth that men are easily manipulated by women, and that bad male behaviour is always, to some degree, a woman’s fault.’ In a way, women imagine that they can somehow control their man’s behaviour, ‘if only they could find the right words, or be just a little bit more clever, then they could ‘get’ him to treat them decently.’ ‘There is no such thing as a ‘female’ victim,’ opines Cleet Forest, Danaschi’s husband. ‘Men are constantly exposed to so much deliberate emotional pain through women’s high expectations and offensive verbal vomit. No wonder I lose my temper occasionally.’ He pauses for a minute, looks down seemingly with regret, and then adds, ‘They are the true control freaks.’ However, not all abusers are like Cleet. Richard, for example, admits to having an uncontrollable rage and his wife is the one who has to suffer as a result. Most men who act out believe that the proximal cause is jealousy. However, according to Dr Rennard, ‘Analysis show that domestic violence is a phenomenon closely related to parental neglect or mistreatment suffered by the abuser as a child.’ In short, the abuser was once a victim himself. However, holding parents responsible for an adult’s faults will by no means solve the problem. Even Richard admits that family isn’t totally to blame; ‘I grew up in a fairly normal environment. My mother stayed at home while dad worked as a mechanic. Not once did he raise his hand at my mum or myself.’ Richard went to endless therapy sessions and even tried hypnosis in order to understand and control his unresolved aggression with little success. A doctor
once diagnosed him as bipolar, an illness common in abusers, but after a more detailed tests this was ruled out, much to his despair. He is now left waiting for an alternative diagnosis and remedy. ‘My wife is the dearest thing to me. Yes, I love her, and in no way am I trying to justify my behaviour but women have the tendency to exaggerate; a slap becomes a beating, a pimple becomes a bruise. I don’t feel regret when my fist touches her skin, rather a sense of relief and calm. I think the knowledge that I won’t face any consequences keeps me going.’ There are consequences, however, when women pluck up the courage and call the police to report domestic violence-related crime; an estimated 1300 calls are made daily in the UK, that’s one call almost every minute. Once the decision is made, there are hundreds of organisations, such as Women’s Aid, prepared to nurse abused women and help them to rebuild their lives. Fahima Sharhir escaped her abuser this way; ‘He’d randomly wake up in the middle of the night and start throwing objects at me that left deep cuts.’ One day, however, he laid hands on their new-born. Though emotionally drained and too weak to fend him off, Sharhir knew she had to get help. ‘I literally only took my baby and left, leaving everything else behind.’ Although her religious family swore to disown, find and kill her, she went to a women’s shelter in Birmingham which, ‘not only gave me my life back but made me smile for the first time in years.’ Basically, at least in the UK, whoever really desires to escape a domestic violent relationship has a chance to do so. Help for blokes like Richard is where the government fails to provide adequate help. There are plenty of organisations, such as Respect and Change, across the UK that offer workshops and seminars to change abusers and who aim to put an end to men’s violence against women. However, these usually only last a day or two and therefore simply don’t suffice in offering a permanent solution. Sam Woodward, a volunteer at Women’s Aid (a charity for women in domestically violent relationships) notes that; ‘These seminars only cover the basics but don’t explore the core of abusers’ violence. Violence is almost like an addiction; sufferers require lifelong help.’ Unfortunately, he’s right; statistics reveal that almost every participant relapses and at times becomes even more violent. Dig deeper and the ‘Freedom Step’ emerges; a program that believes abusers are indeed addicts. According to Marty Murphey, who besides being the founder and a counsellor of the Freedom Step is a recovering ‘addict’ himself, ‘The Freedom Step views all repeated violent behaviour as an expression of the ego’s attempt to resolve unresolved emotional pain.’ So when either men or women stay in a relationship that may bring repeated physical and emotional pain, they have become co-dependents and may very well be primarily addicted to the abuse. Marty elaborates, ‘As a consequence, one partner can’t live without the other.’ The program is designed to terminate ‘the bondage of unresolved emotional and destructive pain’ and it tackles the core of this pain in order to achieve recovery. He summarizes that ‘When abusers are hitting, they are hitting their own pain. Unless the cause of the pain is found, they will continue hitting.’
Participants of Freedom Step are asked to discover and learn 5 steps of self-awareness. These include recognising and trapping violent behaviour before it erupts. The steps are simple, yet take time to master, and support is available even after the course is completed, to ensure the non-violent self is kept up. Although the program is currently only available in America, due to its 100% success rate since it became operational in 2005, Marty plans on extending to the UK early next year. Richard has recently started the classes through video calls and already feels reasonably calmer and more able to control his temper; ‘So many relationships could be saved if this program would be made available for everyone.’ There is however, no guarantee that this is a long-term solution; like with smoking or consuming drugs or any other addiction, the abuser could face a relapse. Nevertheless, the Freedom Step has made a giant leap towards the understanding of domestic violence; there are two people to a relationship and in more cases then previously expected, both partners are victims of some sort. Although the figures of the Freedom Step speak for themselves, some specialists still haven’t opened up to it. Expert in Domestic Violence for over 10 years, Dr Lynn Rosas’ opinion is that, ‘The Freedom Step is experimental and based on belief rather than medical and psychological knowledge. The key fact to remember is that the victim is always innocent. Abusers are masters in controlling and manipulation. The only true ‘cure’ for abusers would mean harsher punishments for their actions.’ Danaschi, a real sufferer assesses the situation differently; ‘All these doctors and specialists are trying to understand us, women, in order to pin us down to one point. They look, but they fail to see that we don’t want to leave. What we want is to work with our husband to change them for the better.’ Anne-Marie adds, ‘If that change is then still not achieved, even after trying, we will know where the door is.’ Professor Hugo Shwyzer insists, ‘If victims received help while in a relationship, instead of forcing them out; change would be inevitable.’ Let’s not forget that abuse can swing the other way. James Nells is a short, chubby Englishman, who, apart from one ginger curl, has nothing left of his charming boy looks. He suffered years of verbal abuse from his wife Susie, until one day he cracked and, BANG. One strike and he broke her nose and catapulted himself straight into a year in prison. Suprisingly though, that’s not the end of the story; as soon as he got out they rushed off to get their wedding vows renewed and have lived happily ever since. Susie explains love works in the most unexpected ways and ‘Men and women deal with stress differently… reaching rock bottom made us realise we could never be apart from each other.’ There are probably as many reasons why women stay as there are to why men abuse and vice versa, and perhaps some people who willingly choose to stay in domestically violent relationships are not cowards, but fighters. But not all people are as lucky as Susie and James. Seven years on, now married with two children, and minus a doctorate, Amanda continues to be with Sam, ‘I love him and I know he will change eventually.’ She is currently in hospital being treated for burn wounds, after taking yet another beating. It is not about finding the reasons, it is about finding each other and a point where a couple can rediscover their love. It takes all this to show that women, who have no other option but to leave and escape.
this is not a love story
Photographer Chris Florio segue 43
The fashion mannequin has evolved over the years to become a realistic portrayal of modern women, size 10 women that is. As British department store Debenhams places size 16 mannequins in their window for the first time, Laura Bradley investigates whether the mould on body size has finally been broken. The fashion mannequin: a visual merchandiser’s best friend and a customer’s worst enemy. Their flawless, perfect 10 figures stand in the windows of stores along every high street. A retailer’s most powerful communication tool, the mannequin looks back at us through the glass, speaking volumes without ever saying a word. Advancements in technology have meant they now appear more life-like than ever before. Yet, the clothes still never seem to look the same on you as they do on them. This is perhaps due to their almost unattainable model proportions that have become standard across the industry. The average female shopper in the UK today is a size 16. A far cry from the size 10, 6ft stunners housed in shop windows up and down the country. That is until you reach Debenhams on London’s Oxford Street. As part of an ongoing trial, for the first time in a department store size 16 mannequins stand proud in the window. A year in the making, the campaign brings a touch of realism to a street otherwise lined with aspirational plastic bodies. ‘Size 10’s aren’t representative on their own of your average girls in the high street, they’re one representation of girls,’ explains Mark Stevens, Head of Creative at Debenhams. ‘We’re trying to break down those traditional stereotypes in the fashion industry and are trying to promote more realistic types of girls.’ The campaign coincides with the re-launch of
the changing Principles by Ben de Lisi, available in customer-friendly sizes 6-18. Clothed in the new range, the mannequins are making an impact. Having only been on display since mid-February, customers, industry professionals and the press alike are all offering positive feedback. While advertising that the store has something for everyone, it is too early to determine whether the campaign has brought about a rise in sales. However, the mannequins look set to be rolled out down the chain once the trial concludes. ‘The press will die down and we’ve then got to take it into a real campaign. It’s not just a story it’s about how we want to be perceived,’ notes Stevens. Mannequins are meant to reflect our identity, a concept that began in the 1960’s when they were first modelled on famous faces. Before this time, mannequins were elegant but stiff and proportioned only for wearing a socialite’s wardrobe of Chanel suits. Adel Rootstein, who founded her company during this time, was aware of the void that existed between the changing fashion scene and the stilted window displays of clothes shops. With the help of sculptor John Taylor, Rootstein began creating mannequins based on the fashionable faces of the time; Pattie Boyd, Sandie Shaw and perhaps most famously, Twiggy. These mannequins embraced the spirit and fun of fashion, standing in exaggerated poses
and perfectly proportioned for the new styles. For the first time, clothes could be displayed on mannequins that looked like the people who would wear them. Fifty years later however, and while the average woman’s body has evolved the mainstream mannequin has failed to follow suit. Plus-size fashion retailer Evans is one exception. Stocking women’s clothing from size 14-32, the company has used size 16 mannequins in its stores for a long time. ‘Last year we redesigned and developed modern, true size 16 mannequins, exclusive to Evans,’ explains Rachel Sproule, Evans’ Creative Director. ‘A selection of confident, curvy poses showcases our product and projects the vibe that they can really hold their own.’ Evans identifies how mannequins need to reflect a brand’s target customer. Anything smaller than a size 16 and the average Evans’ shopper would be unable to relate to the product, specifically designed to flatter the larger figure. With a large percentage of women in the UK today wearing a size 16 and above, retailers may be missing out on a huge chunk of sales by not catering for these women simply because of the stereotyped idea that larger models are not as aesthetically pleasing. While a store may stock larger sizes, using only size 10 mannequins and size 10 models in photographic campaigns may mean that there is a percentage of the public they are not getting in touch with. ‘It’s the way you treat it,’ explains Cheryl Hughes, founder of Europe’s oldest and largest plus-size modelling agency, Hughes Models 12+. ‘You’ve got to promote the girls, so that they look trendy. But you can make that happen, no matter what size your model.’ This is an issue that Hughes has been battling with for the last twenty-five years, when her agency was first founded. Back then
size fashion will be the norm, without a divide,’ she says. Attitudes are slowly changing. At the end of last year, trend forecasting website WGSN released a report on the plus-size clothing market, stating that sales growth in this area is outstripping that of the regular fashion industry. But are consumers really ready to be inundated with a dramatic change in visual merchandising tactics? In 2007, John Lewis’ plus-size mannequin campaign failed to take off; the trial was discontinued following a lacklustre response to the size 14 mannequins featured in the windows of its Peterborough store. Debenhams of course hope they will be different. So far they have got off to wining start; the campaign had to be launched a week early due to the press release being leaked and the department store faced with immediate, overwhelming press attention. Debenhams not only have size 16 mannequins currently in their window, but also next to them hangs a photographic campaign featuring their first disabled model. Inside the store you can even find Debenhams’ first petite 5ft 3” mannequins, custom made especially for the display. ‘It’s something that we’re trying. It’s not just about bigger mannequins, it’s about shorter, taller etc. as well,’ says Stevens. However, that doesn’t mean Debenhams’ size 10 mannequins are being replaced. ‘For me, it’s about getting balance in what we’re doing and not just going for one thing,’ he said. Cheryl Hughes aggress that the end of the segregation of the two retail markets is where the key to progression lies. “It’s getting that middle as one unit, rather than have it fractioned off that these are the skinny ones and these are the big ones. We have progressed towards that but we still have a long way to go to get to that point.’ Moschino’s art director of retail image, JoAnn Tann, adopts a deeper surrealist meaning to her window displays, which play on the form of the human body. Franco Moschino himself was known for taking pot shots at the fashion industry. Tann has continued this tradition over the past 12 years by using the windows of Moschino stores as a space to comment on society, and in particular the fashion victim. ‘Moschino has a history of making fun of fashion’s fixations,’ Tann explains. One display in which this is most evident is from February 2004. ‘Flat People’ showcased no merchandise, but instead featured cardboard cut outs of models refusing drink as a comment on fashion’s preoccupation with skinniness. ‘We tried to create a scenario in which people became so thin that they were no longer 3-dimensional,’ notes Tann. Another display, ‘Measurements’ installed in September 2002, saw a mannequin completely bound in 185cm tall rubber measuring tape. This printed tape that women the world over have learned to despise here perfectly contoured the body shape of the mannequin. Instead of being a clotheshorse, the mannequin acted as a portrayal of our global obsession with body size. Meanwhile ‘Long Legged Ladies’ from September 2001, featured mannequins with triple-length legs as a way of making fun at fashion’s fixation with tall models. Tann’s windows not only stop the pedestrian in their tracks, but also cause them to think about the stereotypes associated with this important issue. This is a vicious circle where the mould needs to be broken otherwise generations of young girls are going to continue to grow up thinking that size 10 mannequins are what they should look like. As Barbie has been criticised for having boobs so big she wouldn’t be able to stand up in real-life, if a standard mannequin were a real person it is likely that she wouldn’t be a healthy one. ‘I don’t know what her BMI ratio would be, probably quite small,’ notes Mark Stevens. Adel Rootstein has even produced a mannequin collection dedicated in honour of the Barbie doll. To celebrate 50 years of the plastic pop culture princess, last year life-size mannequins were developed and produced at a price of $1,800 each. Psychologists would surely have a field day campaigning this as a negative image for women and especially young girls. ‘A lot of the time the fashion industry can put out very stereotypical communications about what a woman should look like and they’re unrealistic really,’ says Stevens. Despite releasing two collections a year it is interesting to note that Adel Rootstein, the leading global supplier of realistic mannequins, does not offer a plussize range. Perceptions won’t be changed overnight. The many stores that refuse to use mannequins over a size 10 will most likely be the last to jump on the plus-size bandwagon. And, with little interest from retailers, mannequin companies won’t produce an economically unviable range. A bit more realism in windows would just be nice. Only time will tell if Debenhams have paved the way for the future of store windows. You never know, one day we may even see beer-bellied male mannequins lining the windows of every high street.
face of fashion with only three models on the books who were lucky if they got two jobs a week, the business has been built up to become internationally respected and in wide demand now with over seventy models and over a thousand clients. However, progress is slow, pushed along with the aid of media hype. ‘Of course now, because it’s the fashionable thing for the press to get behind, they’ve seen it as a way of selling papers, and so it’s built up momentum. We’re still taking two steps forward and one step back, but it’s at a faster pace because the press is pushing it around a little bit more,’ said Hughes. One model signed to Hughes Models 12+ is Mellissa Laycy. At 22, her road to a prosperous modelling career has not been an easy one. Suffering from anorexia in her early teens, constant rejections and knock-backs from standard modelling agencies severely damaged her confidence and body image. ‘When I was younger and going into stores that had tiny mannequins in the windows I did feel despair, fat and ugly,’ explains Laycy. ‘I was striving for the perfect ideal the world seemed to want me to be.’ Now, a happy size 14-16 and busy working as a successful plus-size model, Laycy is encouraged by Debenhams’ current campaign. ‘If the shops on the high street keep making small changes, there hopefully should be a snow ball effect and plus-
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
“Moderation and common sense is the key to healthy feet, rather than using Botox as a shortterm fix.”
With cosmetic surgery now becoming as common as having a facial, it was only a matter of time before we started having cosmetic surgery on our feet. When it comes to pampering our tired toes, most of us would just book in for a pedicure. However, the search for fabulous feet has just stepped up a notch. Sydney socialites are taking extreme measures with Botox injections to eliminate pain caused by wearing high heels. But, as the trend is set to sweep Britain,Josie Pohlinger asks, is this really a step in the right direction? The condition that foot Botox is said to tackle is the pain in the soft tissue on the ball of the foot, or metatarsal region, now dubbed ‘stillettotarsal’. Caused by years of tottering around in high stilettos, the condition is becoming rapidly more widespread due to heels getting higher. With a height of between 13cm and 15cm, the new killer heel is living up to its name, damaging the feet and causing severe agony. The likes of Prada, Pucci and DSquared2 saw models tumble from the heights of their heels at their shows on the runways of Paris and Milan in September, with wear-ability close to zero. But this has not stopped Australian women embracing the trend with pleasure and, therefore, turning to Botox to counteract the effects. They’ve swapped their flip-flops for the heights of heels, and now have now discovered cutting-edge cosmetic surgery to demise the painful consequences. It seems that heels are now a dangerous business; apparently 40 percent of women who are prone to wearing high heels have incurred some form of injury by falling off them. But what softens the fall is the long list of physical benefits that women get from that extra height. The integral wardrobe must-haves lengthen your legs, flatten your stomach, push out your bottom and boost your breasts, so it’s no wonder women will run the risk of falling over in their sky-high Christian Louboutins and pump their feet with Botox to increase wear-ability. It’s also no surprise that a recent study found that almost half of women in Liverpool and Manchester wore heels all week long. If Botox for feet isn’t for you, alternatively, for the faint hearted, you can alleviate the burning sensation felt in the balls of your feet on a night out by investing in gel-pads. However, Botox appears to be the way forward for the killer-heel addict. Usually famous for giving celebrities and socialites a more stern appearance in the face and smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, the foot Botox treatment is now in hot demand in the quest for perfect feet. The launch of Christian Louboutin’s staggering 8-inch heels this year, a leap from his 5 to 6 inch increase in 2008, confirms that heels gracing the perfectly preened feet of fashionistas now are only set to become higher. Louboutin told The Sunday Times ‘There’s no doubt heels have never been as high as they are now. You can find 20cm (7.9in) heels in the fetish trade but this will be the first time they make fashion mainstream.’ The highest heel ever to exist in the fetish trade is 20 inches, confirming that when it comes to shoes, women are, indeed, completely mad. The wearer
of this 20 inch monstrosity heel must be propped and assisted by helpers to be able to stand. As I’m sure you can imagine, these shoes are for commercial purposes only. Should you look carefully at the tag, it would undoubtedly state ‘do not wear for longer than five minutes’, and probably a second statement advising the wearer not to venture out into the street with these skyscraping stilts hanging from your feet. Whether its 6 inches, 8 inches or, for the brave woman, the whole 20 inches, this fixation on everincreasing heel height comes at a hefty price. Statistics suggest that as many as 20,000 women a year in the UK are hospitalised by their heels. It’s no wonder the foot Botox procedure is taking off in Australia and likely to become just as popular here. Podiatrist Paul Bours, from Sydney, Australia, says ‘it’s adventurous to inject in the feet because people don’t think about doing it. Where a woman might usually consider a more familiar form of cosmetic surgery, they are now considering the benefits of podiatric surgery instead to eliminate pain with vast cosmetic effect.’ As far as Bours is concerned, the procedure could become as common as breast enlargements or facelifts in the future. ‘Once the awareness is out there, we will see more patients pouring in’, he exclaimed. Although Bours is positive about the effects of this new surgery-fad, Dr Bob Kass, a GP in Adelaide Australia, is sceptical about how effective the treatment really is. ‘Women in Australia are now living by the rule that if the shoe doesn’t fit, fix the foot’, declares Dr Kass. He remains certain that the benefits of the procedure, weighted with the cost and long-term effectiveness, is not worthy. ‘The Botox injection won’t cause any long-term damage, but there is really not long-term benefit in the operation. Moderation and common sense is the key to healthy feet, rather than using the Botox as a short-term fix.’ So, who are the women having this operation and how effective is the treatment, really? Like many other women her age, Christina, a 22-year-old dental assistant, loves shoes but finding the perfect fit hasn’t been easy. ‘In certain shoes, it causes me pain and my feet will rub against the shoes and hurt me’, she says, sharing this problem with countless women both in Australia and all over the world. Growing up, Christina had what is called ‘hammertoe’, a deformity of the middle joint. ‘I got teased by people at school because they thought my feet were odd.’ Fed up with all the pain it was causing her, she decided to go under the knife. Christina is one of an increasing number of women who are turning to surgeons to correct typically troublesome complaints. Along with the hammertoe, other agonizing problems that occur for women as a result of wearing high heels include the muscles in your toes beginning to cramp, your feet may begin to spasm as a result of being restricted and excess pressure on the ball of the foot may cause pain and burning in that area. This then results in the soft tissue becoming swollen, sore and red. Other side effects include broken ankles, poor posture adjustments and painful bunions. Some simple tips to
demise these problems include saving heels for short distances, carrying flats at all times and abiding by the 3 inch rule – if your heels are any higher than this, replace them with flats when drinking alcohol. For Christina, the pursuit for perfect feet will continue to Botox. While shoe shopping is now much more enjoyable for her, the operation was a gruelling 3 hours long and cost $3000 (around £1500). Her feet are still recovering, but as far as she’s concerned, it was worth every penny. ‘It was definitely worth going through the surgery and the pain for what I have now.’ Thankfully for Christina, her next investment in Botox won’t be nearly as gruelling. Bours exclaims that the procedure is ‘effective, simple and not at all painful’, again increasing the appeal to women. The notion of painless beauty is music to heel-wearers ears, but this quick-fix may not be the answer. Dr Kass stands firm that this is the case. ‘The underlying problem will still exist regardless, as women will continue to wear ridiculous-sized heels and create the problems.’ After ongoing treatments, the person receiving the foot filler builds a resistance, deeming the procedure completely ineffective, although this has not put women off the procedure thus far. Clara Richardson, manager of shoe boutique Sync in Adelaide Australia, says ‘everyone wants higher heels because they look so sexy. They slim the foot and lengthen the leg, creating an illusion every woman would want.’ Skyscraper heels are flying out the doors of Sync despite the risks associated with the shoes they can hardly totter in. And the desire for sky-high heels shows no sign of subsiding. A New York gym has even introduced a class teaching women how to walk in stilettos. However, because of the hazards, it can only be taught for 15 minutes at a time. Now that this outrageous craze has taken off in Australia, what’s to stop British women jumping on the bandwagon and reaping the benefits? With approx £29 million spent annually on foot and toe operations thanks to the damage caused by stilettos, some substantial pain relief definitely wouldn’t go amiss. Medics at Birkdale Clinic in Crosby, Meryseyside, have seen a 20% increase in the number of women in their 40s asking for the £295 procedure. And if it means women can continue to stride in staggering heels, why not? The treatment is available at selected clinics all over the UK, and is predicted to become much more popular as awareness increases. Surgery or not, women will continue to prop their feet with ever-increasing-inch heels and more outrageous, sexy designs than ever before. Both literally and mentally, the heel comes before the foot. Louboutin finished by telling The Sunday Times that ‘often the threshold of pain becomes a threshold of pleasure.’ Pleasure or pain, you decide.
F A C T & T H E O R Y Fashion SHERENE RUSSELL Photography BETH CROCKATT Make-up MIRELLA CONVERSO
Glasses, £10, by Asos.com. Zelphia nautical jumper, £165, Brogues, £175 all by Theory. Cream cropped jeans, £148, by MIH Jeans at Theory. 46 segue
Kadera denim dress, ÂŁ245, by Theory. Glasses as seen before. segue 47
Kabee black dress, £270, by Theory. Cream Satchel Stylist’s own. 48 segue
Sequinned top, £230, by Gryphon at Theory. May black trousers, £210, by Theory. Watch, £245, by Michael Kors. Dr Martens £75, by Dr Martens.co.uk segue 49
Magazine dreams Magma 8 Earlham Street, London, T +44 (0)20 7240 7571, www.magmabooks.com Magma believes that sharing an experience with a customer is what makes a shop. A hive of activity, the Covent Garden store is constantly brimming with customers. It’s no wonder why either - its knowledgeable staff continue to impress us with their enthusiasm and expertise.
Obsessed with magazines, Hazel Lubbock had to find out the best place to buy them and who better to ask than Jeremy Leslie. Jeremy Leslie is one of the three founders of the biannual Colophon International Magazine Symposium, as well as Chair of the Editorial Design Organisation (EDO), and a member of the D&AD executive committee. In his twenty years experience of magazine design he has written two books, including Issues and magCulture, and writes a monthly column for Creative Review.
Where did your love for magazines begin? Very early, without realising it. I was maybe 12 or 13; the first magazine I bought was kids TV title Look-in. I get sent lots of magazine now, but follow up with regular trips to Magma, Good News in Soho, RD Franks and other places as I find them. (See map on magCulture.com)
Papercut Krukmakargatan 24-26 | Stockholm | T +46 8 133574 | www.papercutshop.se Where stylish stockholmers go to buy records and pick up the latest fashion magazine.
Tell us how magCulture started. It was an experiment. I’d done a book called magCulture, and launched an overcomplex html site to follow up and provide updates. It proved to be too complicated to maintain, so it stagnated. In 2005 the hype around blogging was at its height and I thought a) that might be an easy way to provide updates to the book and b) I should have a look at this blogging malarkey. magCulture.com/blog launched in February 2006 using WordPress and I was immediately hooked for the ease of use. To my surprise, a year later it was still going and began to attract a regular audience. Suddenly I was measuring users via Google Analytics and finding I’d created an audience.
Do you read me?! Auguststrasse 28 | Berlin | T+49 30 6954 9695 | www.doyoureadme.de Feast your eyes (and your wallet) on magazines you’ve never even heard of.
Which is your most-loved magazine store? Borders was the best, a real source of everything from new independents to big household names via all sorts of weird foreign titles. Now that’s gone, it’s probably Magma for old times sake. Their launch party was combined with the launch of my magCulture book.
American Book Center (ABC) Spui 12 | Amsterdam | T +31(0)20 625 55 37 | www.abc.nl What started as a 70’s erotic magazine outlet has quickly become the largest English-language bookstore in Europe.
What makes Magma so special? Well, apart from the way our interest in independent magazines coincided, they blazed a trail in distributing obscure magazines in London. I see all sorts of people there; designers, design students, ad agency staff, photographers, magazine fans, the curious and the random tourists.
Comptoir de l’Image 44 rue de Sévigné | Paris | T 01 4272 0392 To stock up on old copies of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and The Face.
Gallaghers Sadly the New York-born store has now closed, but vintage magazines can be ordered online from Mike Gallagher. T +1 250-245-8959 | www.rarenonfiction.com
Photographer Tom Mesquitta
The internet and, most recently, the iPad has changed the way we read magazines, does this make owning a print magazine more magical to you? The printed item will always be magical, and to date the internet has provided zero competition in terms of engagement and user experience. It’s so often said, but its true: if magazines were invented today they’d be hailed as a fabulous new interactive experience. Functional, engaging, tangible and mobile; but the iPad and other devices promise new ways of creating and distributing editorial content. I’m very excited by that. www.magCulture.com
meet the gentlewoman Charlotte Arif catches up with Penny to talk about the past, the present and the future. You were Editor-in-Chief of SHOWstudio from 20012008, how did you become involved? Nick Knight gave me a ring in May 2001, when I was in the middle of my PhD at the RCA. I’d been an undergraduate at Glasgow with SHOWstudio’s then art editor Christabel Stewart and she’d recommended me for the job. After curating many exhibitions at venues including The Photographer’s Gallery what has been the most exciting exhibition to be involved with? I’d say it would be the ‘When You’re A Boy: men’s fashion styled by Simon Foxton.’ Yes. I really enjoy working with Simon, he’s a rare talent. Online, it would be ‘Experiments in Advertising: the unseen films of Erwin Blumenfeld.’ Now, that was amazing. You have also contributed to various publications such as British Vogue, i-D and Fantastic Man with your writing but what is your first passion? Oh, I’m passionate about everything! People, mostly; I fall in love with everyone. How did the idea of The Gentlewoman come about? Ever since Gert (Jonkers) and Jop (van Bennekom) set up Fantastic Man in 2005, they have been constantly asked by women – like me – when they were going to ‘do it for women?’ I think we gradually wore them down. Were there any particular challenges in setting it up? Time, mainly. We only started work on it six months ago. But I would say our own high standards were the most challenging aspect. We’re pretty fastidious, you might say.
Now that the first issue is out, how have you found the response to the publication? We’re pretty overwhelmed. How did it feel to have Pheobe Philo on the cover at such a pivotal point in her career? That was a great start. We knew before ‘that collection’ was unveiled that she wanted to do it so the momentum just kept rolling. I came out of the interview very excited and then was just thrilled once David Sims’ pictures came in. Is The Gentlewoman an expression of you in anyway? Who is the woman you are trying to reach? That’s a tough question. A lot of my research as an academic was about how womens’ magazines are often fallaciously perceived as a projection of their editor when in fact they’re really an imprint of the working culture at the company. And I think magazines that try to seek out a consumer from a market research point of view are doomed from the start. Look at all those magazines in the 80s that were trying to speak to ‘the working woman.’ I mean, how many women don’t do some kind of work, whether domestic or not? They don’t all carry briefcases. So, yes, there’s a great deal of my taste and decisions in there; the best magazines are always made for the people that create them and the people that they know best. I can’t imagine me and the Fantastic Men running a focus group.
“The best magazines are always made for the people that create them and the people they know best.”
The Gentlewoman is focused on personal style, how would you describe your personal fashion style? Fairly low-key. Your career has been inspirational but if you could, would you change anything? I’d be pretty foolish to try and revise any of it. Even the most dismal experiences are ultimately useful.
Image courtesy of The Gentlewoman
Penny Martin is Editor-in-Chief of The Gentlewoman, a new bi-annual magazine that is the ‘sister’ to the hugely popular publication Fantastic Man. The Gentlewoman sells itself as a new style magazine for a new decade, featuring inspirational, international women. Focusing on personal style, it is a magazine highlighting the way women actually look, think and dress. Not only this, Penny Martin is professor of Fashion Imagery at London College of Fashion. Still not impressed? Add to her resume seven years as Editor-in-Chief of Nick Knight’s groundbreaking website SHOWstudio from 2001-2008, curator of many exhibitions such as the Vogue Laid Out exhibition at The V&A in 2000, as well as contributing to a broad range of other publications. Penny Martin is a woman one would call ‘successful’.
What is next for Penny Martin? I’m off to Moscow.
Image courtsy of Simon Foxton
“I love the use of clothing as a very obvious act of rebellion but also as a symbol of ones solidarity with a particular music or movement.”
After trying his hand at designing when he graduated from Central St Martin’s with his ‘BAZOOKA’ collection in 1983, Simon Foxton started working as a stylist for i-D in 1984. Working from the shed at the bottom of his garden, his take on classic menswear tailoring, sportswear and workwear began the start of everything to come. ‘Simon sees style in any item of clothing, forget the brand, the expense- it’s the outfit he creates: give it to him – and he’ll style it,’ says Alasdair McLellan. Foxton argues that he’s ‘not about shooting hot new looks, it’s more real than that.’ He’s an image-maker; questioning and playing around with ideals of masculinity and sexuality with an anti-fashion flair. He takes traditionalism and gives it cheeky charm: a raw, original aesthetic that is so hard to follow. His influential work has been shown at the V&A, The Tate Modern and London’s Photographer’s Gallery held an exhibition dedicated to his work entitled ‘When you’re a boy’ highlighting his impact on the fashion industry. His execution is iconic – everyone and anyone wants to work with him! Simon is also a regular contributor to SHOWstudio, an online fashion/art project started up by one of his mates Nick Knight – again, another influential figurehead that knows the business like the back of his hand. Rachael Barker asks, and Simon says... RB>Your work has often referenced the clothes, styles and attitudes of English youth subcultures - from Punks to Mods to Casuals. What is it about these ‘tribes’ that continues to interest and appeal to you? SF- I think it is precisely their ‘tribal’ quality that is so appealing. I love all kinds of uniforms and codified ways of dressing, from youth cultures to functional work wear to military parade clothing, whatever. It is all a rich source of inspiration and I love the seemingly infinite permutations of really quite similar shapes (trousers,
jackets, boots etc.) that we manage to dream up. British youth subcultures are one facet of this, but a very interesting one. I love the use of clothing as a very obvious act of rebellion but also as a symbol of ones solidarity with a particular music or movement. Also, young people wearing ridiculous outfits, what’s not to like? RB> Were you a punk yourself in the late 70s? If so, what was it like to have such a confrontational personal style at the time? How did people react to you? SF- I was a punk then, but a bit ‘part-time’ as I was away at boarding school, so there was little chance to express my allegiances during term time. I seem to remember people being a bit bemused by it all but there was never any overt hostility. The feeling of total exhilaration I felt at wearing these outfits that was so new and unseen before then was just wonderful. RB> I read that you are not so much into trends but more interested in the idea of telling a story with your shoots. Can you give me an example of how that process works? What kind of starting-off reference point might inspire you? Does the photographer that you work with bring in his or her own reference points too? SF-Yes, usually it is a dialogue between the photographer and myself. I will generally have found some visuals that excite me, I then contact a photographer that I want to work with, we meet and I show him my reference material. He then usually goes away, has a think about it and brings back some thoughts of his own; we then discuss how all these ideas will work, edit out what we don’t like and then plan the shoot. As to what might inspire, it can be anything, photography or art book, something I saw on TV, some people I have seen on the street, whatever. I think much
Photographer Jason Evans, Styled by Simon Foxton, “Strickly”, i-D Magazine 1991 of my work is about fusing 2 or more different kinds of things together in a (hopefully) unexpected way! RB> What aspects of your work do you think drew massively popular companies such as Stone Island to work with you? SF>I doubt that Stone Island was at all aware of my existence! I got my consultancy job with them through a friend who had gone there to work in sales. She knew they were looking for some kind of direction so put me forward. I guess what they saw in me, once we had met, was an understanding of what men really want to wear and a pragmatic approach of how to convey that. RB>And what is it about Stone Island - and its customer base, its attitude, its approach to design that you find particularly interesting as a brand? SF- I love Stone Island’s heritage of amazing fabric and colour research. They are more like an industrial design company than a fashion one. So much research goes into what they do, and it is a very masculine product. It’s a brand I feel very proud to work with. RB> Which others brands have you worked with collaboratively or as a consultant, during the years, and what kind of things did you do with them? SF- I worked for Levi Strauss (UK) for many years as a creative consultant. I helped them with trends, colour cards, print; and also all of their visual output apart from TV commercials. In a similar vein I worked with Caterpillar clothing, Mandarina Duck (rucksacks) and Converse clothing (all no longer with us, you can see how good I was at my job!) I still work with Fred Perry and Lyle and Scott quite closely, doing look books and visuals.
RB>You pioneered the idea of street casting and using male models who are maybe not conventionally ‘model like’ but who have great attitude and presence. Nowadays many other stylists have adopted this approach. What do you look for in potential models? What is it that might make you want to approach someone in the street to ask them to be in a shoot? Do people like being asked or do they ever think you’re winding them up? SF- Generally, people are usually flattered when they are asked to model! Most people, deep down, think that they are attractive, so it’s really a case of ‘at last someone has seen the real me!’ I have always found it easier to cast guys if I am there with a girl; there is less of a chance then that they will think I am just chatting them up. It’s hard to say what I am looking for in potential models, generally just a presence or unique features. That’s an impossible thing to quantify. RB> How do you think men’s attitudes to fashion and clothes have changed generally throughout the years since you started working in the fashion industry? SF- Generally men are still very conservative and don’t like to stand out. I think it has certainly become more acceptable for men to take care in their appearance and be seen to wear designer clothing and to be well groomed. But if you look around at what men really wear, and I don’t mean in Shoreditch and Dalston, then you’ll see that it hasn’t changed drastically in the last few decades.
“Young people wearing ridiculous outfits, what’s not to like?”
RB> Do you think that there’s a North/South divide in young men’s style and ways of dressing? If so, what differences have you noticed? SF- Definitely, in the South style is deliberately scruffy and bohemian and in the North it’s about labelconsciousness and an overall smarter look.
Central St. Martins is infamous for debuting some of the creative worlds most intuitive minds, but more so for churning out designers that man the helms of deflating fashion houses. Needing more than a lick of paint and a new lighting arrangement, centuries-old design houses covet a fresh interpreter that still retains the founder’s vision. Givenchy, Christian Dior, Chloé and more recently, Burberry are just a few of the houses headed and revived by St. Martins’ alumni. Two years ago the discerning British gentleman’s brand Dunhill – known more for their luxury accessories and smoking paraphernalia – announced Kim Jones as their new Creative Director. After a few seasons at his new position the menswear designer is beginning to find his feet, designer Kim Jones talks big breaks, Lee McQueen and masterplans with Lewis Chong. Arriving at the address, the half Danish, half English designer welcomes me into his basement sprawl. The Maida Vale apartment is well appointed; a long, narrow hallway in eggshell directs its guests through to the terrace. A thin white cat crosses my path as I follow Kim to the lounge. ‘I hope you’re not allergic’ he says, ‘No I’m fine’ I lie – I totally am. Glancing around the room a real sense of ‘Kim the collector’ is felt. Surfaces are cluttered with numerous gifts and treasured items; hanging perilously above a trinket-laden mantelpiece, two figures of E.T. drenched in white sit atop a floating shelf – a piece by the artist Terence Koh. Beneath original Keith Haring prints lay those multicoloured Balenciaga heels from a few seasons ago and sitting proudly in the heart of the fire is a canvas of some lounging youth by Phillipa Horen. Heading a brand synonymous with luxury travel is rather ironic as Jones is quite the Columbus himself. Armed with an apple-green crocodile backpack, he’s managed to squeeze-in multiple visits to Hong Kong and a safari excursion in South Africa either side of the interview. Not solely a designer, he art directs and styles as well, reeling a long list of collaborations with publications such as Arena Homme Plus, V magazine, Dazed and Confused, Another Man and Vogue Hommes Japan. Born in London and winner of the 2009 Menswear Designer of the Year award, Jones founded his own menswear collection shortly after graduating St. Martins; he was accepted onto the course without any prior fashion background. When was your big break? I left college and got involved with Nicola [Formichetti] and the Face. Everyone just started borrowing clothes and shooting them. I got lots of press and I did consultancy for lots of different people. Umbro called and asked me to do that thing, I did some prints for Vuitton and I was working with Stuart Mulberry for a little on the menswear, which was really fun. It just kept coming and I had really strong support from people that kept me going so to speak. You mention Umbro as ‘that thing’, are you not proud of the collaboration? No I am, I’m just very rarely proud, I guess. It’s a job. I suppose it’s like going to work in a bank. One of my big problems is that I don’t appreciate, I know I’m really fortunate but I don’t think of things like that but commercial success is always good. Would you call yourself a sportswear designer? I am sportswear, but more in the American term, where it can cover tailoring as well. You look at Ralph Lauren and that’s sportswear but there is a lot of tailoring in it too. I think it’s just modern menswear really. For your first collection in 2004 you showed womenswear too, why? I got a NewGen thing on the provision I did some womenswear. Marios Schwab had just graduated and I really liked what he had done so I asked him to do the womenswear. At the time there was no menswear in London, no one could show just menswear and I didn’t have enough money to go to Paris, so it seemed like the logical thing to do. Did you have a plan? From when I graduated until now it has been like a big waterfall; I don’t think I could have planned for anything. I wish I were more structured like that but you can’t really think about it, everything happens so organically. Just work hard, be nice to people and get on with what you need to do. Having designed three seasons worth of clobber for Dunhill so far, his first debuted Autumn/Winter 2009 where he presented British tailoring with slightly sporty
inclinations; the curvature of wool lapels, the tailored camel beige zipped jacket on model Luke Worrall, elasticated waistbands and grey toned block knits with matching square-cut ties were all subtle yet apparent suggestions that Jones had arrived. Suzy Menkes reported for the New York Times that Jones’ first collection for Dunhill was a ‘work in progress.’ With the following collection, she agreed with Kanye West when he suggested, ‘It’s his best show yet!’ And what of the winning demonstration? Stacked as if freshly unloaded from the Flying Scotsman, a revolving carousel of polished aluminium luggage blocked the catwalk as each model walked down it. A gentleman’s feast of grey and blue variations followed the boys as they ventured somewhere hotter – straw trilbies, leather weekend bags and suitcases in the same aluminium all suggested a trip was imminent. Safari jackets, light belted Mac’s and Dunhill crested short-sleeved shirts were shown alongside many fitted cotton and wool jackets, each as readily stuffed with a handkerchief as the last. How’s Dunhill going? It’s good. It’s a completely different way of working, I didn’t know if I would suit that massive corporate environment but as the sales increase you get more freedom and they’re beginning to understand how I am. I always said it would take three seasons to get it to where I wanted it to be. It’s about trying to get that balance with a company that sells millions of pounds worth of clothes each year, you have to be really careful about keeping the original customers while attracting new ones. Were you surprised Dunhill decided to choose you, because of your differing aesthetics? Well yeah. We all had to do a project for it, there were about forty people in the running. I explored their archive and I loved it, I thought to do that job would be great. I had to wait about a month and my heart was really set on it by then. I was on a shoot with Gisele in New York for V when I got the call. I was so happy I just cried. What have you learned from there? What I’ve learned is how much I know because I’ve worked for so many different people. It’s a test though. It’s probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever done. I was always really lucky, having my own label and doing exactly what I wanted to do and not really caring about it. And you know I didn’t do everything for money, it’s all about learning too. Are you sad about freezing own collection? Not really because it was being ripped off quite a lot. I had done everything I’d wanted to do and I wanted to go into tailoring, so Dunhill was perfect. The last [Kim Jones] collection was took forward into my first collection for Dunhill, so it’s like the final bit of Kim Jones going into the next. And I thought, ‘why am I going to spend all my money doing this last collection when I could just go buy a house?’ Are you going to try to change Dunhill? Well yes, there’s opportunity to do different lines and
various other things with it. I do some really crazy stuff with them, but it looks normal. The last collection I did quite a lot of sportswear in the middle, with the colours I like, which is very much what I used to do so I’m keeping it very true to me too but you have to respect a big company like that. I’ve seen Marc Jacobs at Vuitton, how long it takes and it’s the same with other companies. You know when you think about it, it’s a very hard thing to turn a brand around.
Has working at Dunhill changed your own aesthetic? Not really. It has in terms of looking at the little luxury things like the sterling silver buttons or the key-watches, which are actually from our 1936 archive. They’re some of the first things I worked on. As we sit on his bespoke ecru calfskin sofa, I notice an extra, uncapped pen at my side – just one slip away from scoring the leather. It’s caught before it can do any damage. The relief. In a bell jar behind us a craning magpie claws a black rotary telephone, a taxidermy work by Polly Morgan. ‘It’s a birthday present from Lily [Allen], she asked me what I wanted so I said to her get me something unexpected and she got me that.’ [laughs] Do you find it hard juggling your work and personal life? My life has changed quite a lot. It’s really full on. I’m either away all the time or with my friends. It’s all about work I guess. I need to balance it out a bit. Is the life you have now the one you envisioned? I had a conversation with Lee McQueen just before he died and we were talking about how we always knew we wouldn’t be normal people, how we’d always be in this funny world. I’m definitely in this funny world but I also crave normality and that’s the bit I’m focusing more on now. That’s also why I wanted to do Dunhill. What would you say is your contribution to fashion? I think I’ve definitely influenced a generation of people in London, and I think I’ve made the path clearer for menswear over here. I’ve really just fought for London to be taken seriously in terms of menswear and young designers.
Image courtesy of Kim jones
What advice would you give to emerging fashion students? Don’t be afraid to fail, work really hard, get on and try things while you’re at college. Be experimental and be creative because it’s probably the last chance you’ll get to do it properly. What are your remaining goals? Oh god, to be happy, happy with everything. I think if you plan too much you can be let down. I am happy at the moment but there are always things that can be improved. Just making sure you have enough time to look after yourself, exercise and all that sort of stuff, that’s what I’m interested in now. I’m a bit boring. [laughs] Look at that indulgent beast [motioning toward his lazing cat], that’s the kind of life I’d like, just eating and sleeping.
meet Lottie Stanford spends some time with the woman behind the label to find out what’s next for the British designer and journalist
Image courtesy of David Sims
The year was 1999 and, in the corner of the East-end of London sits a tiny pub called Bricklayer’s Arms where a woman called Luella Bartley decided to turn from budding journalist to fashion designer. With pint in hand, she was deliberating what to do next with her life, as her current career wasn’t enough for her, ‘it was like, what am I going to do now? Oh, I think I’ll design a collection’, said Bartley. So with pen in hand she plotted and sketched out the collections she dreamed of making... on a napkin. Since that night in the pub, Luella launched her eponymous label immediately and began her globetrotting journey to Milan to show to the world her skills as a designer. The title to her first shows — Daddy, I want a pony and Daddy, who are The Clash? – were both references to her father as well as her love for music, ‘my parents split up when I was really young. My dad is the archetypal…lives in Devon, has horses, bit posh, his life was a bit out of my grasp as I lived with mum and she was working full time’, says Luella. Her own fashion tastes revolve around, ‘having a great pair of jeans, a really good t-shirt and a great party dress.’ Yet, while her collections include these minor details of her personality, her early work captured the British punk-yet-posh image, based upon her understanding of street-style and heritage. For Bartley her clothes are all about experimentation, prom dresses mixed with military jackets, chequered two-piece suits and Dr Martens boots, however as she says, ‘its not remotely trendobsessed.’ Bartley preferably designs collections based on whatever she is interested in or, what the cultural mood is at the time. The Luella girl, whether she is a punk one day, or prim and proper the next is forever moving on a journey; which is different sides to Luella’s own alter-ego, ‘I was a very average schoolgirl — into boys more than the classroom. But I wasn’t cool or dressed coolly’, explains Bartley. In fact this timid, down-to-earth designer usually wears a combination faded skinny jeans, battered converse trainers, a striped matelop top with and denim skirt worn over the top. While her teenage blond locks, make-up free face and scattered freckles emulate that of a young Sissy Spacek. After Luella’s Dial F for Fluro 2001 collection in Milan, which saw supermodel Kate Moss appear down the catwalk in a just sprayed graffiti dress; she made the decision to move to New York. There she continued to put a smile of fashion editors’ faces, with dotted mini dresses, frou frou skirts and bubblegum pink jeans. She even had the best supermodels in the business to walk for her: Giesle Bundchen, Gemma Ward, Coco Rocha, and Kate Moss to name a few. After her 2007 show, Bartley became homesick and so returned to her roots and continued her story in London. She opened her first flagship boutique on Brook Street, Mayfair, which stocked everything a Luella girl could want and backstage at her Spring/Summer 2008 show she announced with glee, ‘New children, new shop, new website, new collection and a little party later. It’s all hard work but all good fun.’ Its quite bizarre to think at first glance that she is not the young filly, with a buddle of three children to handle and a loving partner, Bartley has to be both mother, lover and career woman, How does she juggle it all? Her partner is the fashion renowned photographer David Sims, whom she met back in 2002, ‘it was a whirlwind romance’, laughs Luella. ‘He walked in with big hair, beard, covered in chalk from the climbing walls and I was like, phwoar. And so was he.’ Both live with their
children at their Cornish farm. Bartley has to commute from work away from her organic food and days where she takes, ‘long walks on the beach no matter what the weather is. Or watching my three-year old son ride the pony his father gave him.’ Bartley incorporates her country life into her designs and it has become a distinct trait of hers, whether it’s the title to her Autumn/ Winter 2007 show, Looking Hard in the Yard, or by commissioning graphic illustrator Harriet Stewart to draw countless ponies and hares for her. However, before the comfy family life and ponies, Bartley was just a typical student at the wellknown university Central Saint Martins, in London, where she met a whole host of fashion need-to-knows: Katie Grand, Katie Hillier, Stella McCartney and Giles Deacon to name a few. All of which are still good friends of hers and both Bartley and Grand cannot forget the days they used to drink, DJ at parties together and paint the town red. Bartley quit college to pursue a job at the Evening Standard. After a few years of writing articles for the tabloid, Bartley found herself walking into the offices at Vogue House, where she stayed as a journalist for Vogue. Moving between designer and journalist is something Bartley has enjoyed doing and, when creating the looks for her collections for her the written part is completed before the clothes, ‘I write the press release first and I come up with the story and work back to the fabric. Usually when I’m thinking about the story behind the girl of the collection, I’m thinking about the things she loves and then prints just sort of come’, says Luella. Indeed each season has seen a Luella girl appear a strong story behind her look, whether it was the Spring/ Summer of 2009 when she was a princess, inspired by Princess Margaret and attending a formal garden tea party; the gothic pagan-style witch girl, Luella was inspired after visiting the Witch museum in Cornwall for Autumn/Winter 2009, or the factory records she found and used for her 60s Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Her efforts as a designer have not gone unnoticed, and in the industry she is adored and cherished. However she has had to work hard to earn a place as one of the best British designers. In 2009 she won the ‘Designer of the Year’ award at the British Fashion council’s annual gala. Furthermore, an impressed royal family granted her an MBE in the New Years Honours. Miss Luella Bartley, designer, for her service to the fashion industry. However, all good things come to an end, and this saying has sadly become a reality for Luella. After showing her Spring/Summer 2010 collection in London, she ceased trading because of financial difficulties due to the recession. Club 21 who are the company responsible for Luella’s global license stated that, ‘we have reluctantly taken the decision not to invest further in its relationship with Luella Bartley ltd’ and that, ‘the spring 2010 orders could not be fulfilled.’ At the time Luella commented, ‘this is a very disappointing situation for everyone involved with the brand. We have a number of options open to us, and we are considering these in the coming months.’ But for now Luella has turned her creative hand back to journalism and is currently working on her book as well as other journalistic pieces. On the other hand she is utilising the time to relax in her calm Cornish surroundings with her family. Regardless, her legacy will not be lost and both fashion experts and outsiders believe that she will be back in full force with cool and edgy attitude. Currently there is a Save Luella group on facebook who are flying the flag for her return. Long live Luella.
All My Heros Are Weirdos Oh Helena Bonham Carter, Cairistidih Macpherson loves you. I loved you as Bellatrix Lestrange. I loved you as Lucy Honeychurch. I love that you are so very pale and I love that you probably did your own hair for Sweeney Todd, as it was a messy birds’ nest that so closely resembled how your own hair has looked at every event from the last ten years or so. I love that you married Tim Burton as I cherish the fact that you have a shared aversion to combs and I suspect that you have long conversations about things that are not of this world. I love it when you show up to places looking like you’ve just wandered out of the attic in the Edwardian era. I love that you enjoy dressing as a vagrant. You are a disheveled goddess. I find it wickedly entertaining that Helena just does not care. In the grandest of British traditions, she seems to be utterly unconcerned and not at all bothered by what other people may think. It tickles me to suppose that, as she gets ready to leave the house, she thinks, ‘I’m probably going to get my picture taken, because I always do. But you know what? Bugger it. I’m going to put on my white skirt and my very favorite old maternity smock - the one I never bother to iron - and then almost certainly add a cardigan and a couple of petticoats, and then I’m going to yank up my thick wool socks and take my orthopedic mary-janes out for a spin. I’m going to throw my hair up in a bun that looks like I used a handheld egg-beater and a stray cat to arrange it, and then when I’m done exerting all the strenuous effort it demands to look this weird, I am going to leave the house and run my errands and I don’t care if people start throwing money at my feet because they think I’m about to drop a hat on the ground and busk for my supper.’ That she married Tim Burton seems a match made in Wonderland. Perfectly happy in a living arrangement that some may find extremely odd, they each have their own houses, next door to each other, joined by a couple of rooms, with a separate house for the children and nanny. They don’t usually share a bedroom as he’s an insomniac who likes to wander and watch television while she needs silence and pitch black to sleep. Having fallen in love while he was directing her as an ape with prosthetic facial enlargements and all over body hair, they have come together to form a twosome of wonderful weirdness. Gloriously unconcerned about how she appears, this is why she is adored; it may take her quite a while to come up with all that crazy and to dedicate a life and marriage to the pursuit of peculiarity but the finished result is well worth the effort and you have to admire the commitment involved.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
icons and their bags What do Alexa Chung and the enduring style icon of yesteryear Grace Kelly have in common? Not only do they have bags of style they also have bags named in their honour. Rachel Morgan unearths the secrets behind Icons and their bags... A woman stands in a bustling department store; the look on her face is exasperated as she learns from the sales advisor, ‘Sorry, we’re sold out’ She is deflated but not about to give up her quest and before leaving she signs up for the waiting list. Mulberry’s Alexa is not just any bag; it’s a bag of all the right circumstances, the right brand, the right style icon, the right time. Before you can even begin to comprehend why women are willing to spend into the thousands on a handbag, you first have to understand why women and their bags have a unique bond. Changes in the role of women from the 1800’s onwards have dictated the form and function of bags, which originated from silk pouches worn close to the skin under full skirts. It has come to be in recent years that the style of bag a woman is carrying can say more about her than the clothes on her back. They’re frequently used as social indicators to demonstrate your position within the fashion hierarchy. As the character of Samantha from Sex and the City so candidly speaks of the Birkin, ‘it’s not so much the style, it’s what carrying it means’ This episode catapulted the bag to global stardom whilst summing up the relationship between the 21st century woman and her bag; desire. Valerie Steele and Laird Borelli, authors of Bags: A Lexicon of Style, break down the DNA of a cult bag. They dictate that it must have the three characteristics to reach cult status: ‘Legitimacy within the fashion Industry, great advertising and celebrity support’. Enter Grace Kelly, Jane Birkin, Lady Diana and more recently Alexa Chung all of whom have bags that carry their name. What they have is a natural sense of style and allure that makes them aspirational; traits which transcend time. The twentieth century is the most substantial for the development of the handbag; when leisure and tourism became popular it became necessary to carry hand luggage for the journey. While women had their break away from the home shopping or socializing bigger bags were a necessity and this was also true for the working woman. Bags weren’t always deemed as frivolous, during World War Two the shoulder bag was favoured for its practicality. It wasn’t until the 60s that bags were designed for pleasure over practicality. The style known as the Kelly bag was originally introduced in 1935 as the ‘small tall bag with strap’. It was then renamed 20 years after its production when Grace Kelly, was pictured on the cover of LIFE magazine using it to conceal her pregnancy bump. English actress, Jane Birkin, muse to Frenchman Serge Gainsborough, was the catalyst for the creation of the Birkin. It was a mere coincidence that she was seated on the same flight as the then current CEO of Hermés Jean-Louis Dumas. If he hadn’t asked her why her bag didn’t have pockets she may never have replied ‘I would if Hermés made them.’ And the style would never have come to be. On its own a celebrity affiliation cannot create a cultural impact like these bags have done it must be matched by the brands heritage and commitment to quality. Hermés have created classic styles equal to the painstaking dedication to
craftsmanship and pursuit of perfection. A Kelly bag can take up to 18 hours to manufacture by a single artisan who will use around 2,600 hand stitches; a Birkin bag can require 3-4 crocodile skins for its production. If you can afford one, Micheal Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin will gladly show you how to navigate the waiting list in his tell-all book about his escapades as a Birkin reseller. With years of experience working with a range of luxury brands, Personal shopper for House of Fraser Rachael Adams suggests that designers, ‘make bags hoping to emulate the global success of the Birkin.’ Many luxury brands have succeeded in creating their own iconic bags not in a bid to emulate the Birkin but to supersede it. Gucci have the Jackie O bag named after style icon and first lady Jackie Onassis who favoured the style created in 1950. Lady Diana was given the Dior ‘ChouChou’ in 1995 by the previous French first lady Bernadette Chirac; it never left her side which led to it being renamed ‘Lady Dior’ in 1997. In 2005 the iconic Stam bag was launched bag named after Canadian model Jessica Stam coined by Adams as a ‘modern classic.’ Until recently the handbag had been eclipsed by the new phenomenon of the ‘it’ shoe but since that reached unbearable heights of impracticality the bag has made its return. Unlike shoes or clothes bags can look beautiful irrespective of the wearer’s dress or shoe size and are probably the most flattering accessory. Before its release the Alexa had gathered a long waiting list and pre-tax profits are estimated to be in the £6 million region. When British fashion icon Alexa Chung was spotted looking effortlessly chic wearing - the Elkington – a men’s vintage briefcase as her handbag the Mulberry team saw potential. The Alexa evolved from the classic Bayswater mixed with attributes from the Elkington and Chung’s east end chic. As bags and their contents are personal to women they must choose carefully the style and brand that fits in with their lifestyle. Just like their muses, these bags are generally a safe option as they appeal to the majority of women. To own an Iconic bag is to have a keepsake of a moment in time, one that never goes out of fashion; a true investment.
james jeanette has the blow factor. James Main aka James Jeanette is London’s hottest new muse, flamboyant, fabulous and eccentric. He turns heads wherever he is, whether it’s in a dingy East End warehouse or sitting front row at a Louise Grey catwalk show. Samantha Brennan reports on the new darling of the London fashion scene. Growing up in the rough ends of ‘Aberfuckingdeen’ you’d never imagine – from these roots – that once a sweet wee lad called James Main is now more feminine than his Mum and Nan put together. He speaks to Testmag.co.uk about what he loves most in life: ‘good friends, good times, also the unexpected and bizarre which just makes me LOVE to be alive.’ Unexpected and bizarre are James Jeanette’s middle names. He is perfectly polished with flawless pale skin, tall, skinny, with a slick black gelled crop and eyebrows so perfectly plucked that they cause all girls to turn green with envy. All this as well as his immaculate and absolutely-fabulously-brilliant eccentric style coin him as the breath of fresh air and the originator of the moment – hence why Gareth Pugh classes him as his current muse. Currently shacked up in a flat in Hackney, James Jeanette is a creative genius and has his perfectly polished fingernails in all sorts of pies: styling, modelling, performing, acting, and fashion buying. This versatility and originality are traits which give James Jeanette the Blow factor. In June last year James Jeanette added ‘shop owner’ or ‘shop girl’ (speaking to Dazed digital) to his list and opened a punk inspired boutique in the East End of London called Jeanettes and just a few of his good friends popped by - Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane... you know, the usual. Having worked as the door bitch at the late-great and sadly missed Boombox nightclub, James Jeanette is a big face in the London fashion and music scene, hence the hundreds of guests who arrived at the shop opening to show their support, to guzzle down alcohol and dance to the reggae and dub music that deafeningly pumped from the speakers of legendry DJ Jeffery Hinton. If there’s a fashion party James Jeanette is there – strutting his stuff to a David Bowie track wearing his black leather mini dress, studded leather jacket, and slashed tights, killer heels with a sprinkle of glitter on his chest and a slick green eye shadow. Whilst he puffs ever-sofabulously on his cigarette and sips his vodka tonic from a straw everyone else is in awe of his supermodel frame. Everyone wants a piece of James Jeanette right now, since being signed to Union Models James Jeanette has been appeared in publications like British Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Arena Homme + and V magazine. This well respected fashion personality is bold, original, eccentric, fucking wild and doesn’t give two shits, just like Isabella.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
read my lips
Image courtesy of Union Models
‘A man without a moustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.’ Sherene Russell finds out why we’re all so attached to the ‘tache There’s something about Ron Maels’ moustache that screams sexy and for all who don’t know, it’s the furry growth nestled on the top of his upper lip that has become a significant accessory. Let’s face it; the modern ‘tache in question is much sexier, stylish and altogether fashionable. Forget the Charlie Chaplin style – it’s more about the return of the modern John Waters. The fashion savvies who flag this look aren’t afraid to flaunt the sleek, tapered, impeccably lush gear that goes with it either. You can spot them a mile off parading their Saville Row finery to the max complimented by their primed ‘tache. Think Freddie Mercury’s imperial moustache, polished up with actor Fred Astaire’s classic appeal and surrealist Salvador Dali’s handlebar moustache flocked with Japanese designer Arashi Yanagawa classic and contemporary look. These fur balls perched on the upper lip have never yet been seen before as sexy. At best, they make you look macho, but at worst, like a lip sweating accessory, especially in the summer. Nevertheless, this flavour-saving accessory represents power, masculinity and authority. When John Cleese emerged on the big screen in the 1970s playing Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, it wasn’t only his snobbish ways that led us to love him so; it was the lip warmer covering his upper lip that had the nation drooling over him. His whole look screamed Douglas Hayward’s fine cut tailoring, mixing traditional with a key accessory; the ‘tache...of course. This notion of fine scruff creeping back in is also adopted by renowned designer John Galliano with his pencil thin whiskers. While Viktor and Rolf opt for the stubble approach along with Simon Rix and Andrew White from Kaiser Chiefs. Not forgotten are the Rastafarians back in the 1970s, that couldn’t get enough of their long dreadlocks, knitted tam hats and the full bearded cheeks and moustaches which conveyed the rude boy/Rasta look. Before that, there were the hip cats and hipsters in the late 1930s that sported the whole zoot-suit in jazz clubs, where the moustache played a part in identifying the superior black American man. Eventually came the headbangers of the 1960s where the moustache adapted to their style of psychedelic glitz and hippy style scruffiness. The moustache has cleverly adapted to decades of men’s fashion — sometimes it’s seen as scruffy, often sexy — remaining true to its original ideal of how men should look today. So its time to put the shaver down and revel in your whiskers.
the man from venus Styling Daniel Higgins, Photography Natalie J Watts , Hair & Make-up Kenny Leung, Model Flavius @ D1 Models
Turtle Neck: H&M, Mini Skirt: Topshop, Army Boots: Vintage, Belt: Cos
Vest: Topshop, Cropped Trousers: Cos, Snake Belt: Stylistâ€™s own, Gladiator Sandals: Topman
Cropped T-Shirt: Topshop, Leggings: Zara, Boots: Stylist’s own
Cardigan and tights, borrowed from Becky; Sequined top, Stylist’s own; Hand-warmers, cut socks from Topshop; Grey scarf (worn as belt), Stylist’s own; Pink scarf, knitted by Stylist.
Statement Shirt: Christopher Kane, Cropped Trousers: Reiss, Dog Belt: Stylist’s own, Brogues: Bally
Cardigan, vintage; Baseball hat; flat cap and knitted hat, all Stylist’s own; Grey scarf (just seen), borrowed from Stylist’s brother.
taqwacore: the birth “Punk is more than a music scene. Being a punk is an attitude, a way of life.” 66 segue
After three years in the making, Omar Majeed has successfully directed a feature length documentary about the craze currently capturing the punk scene in America. Taqwacore: The birth of punk Islam, takes Omar on a journey of self discovery as he follows the progression and manifestation of the Muslim punk scene. Inspired by the novel, The Taqwacores, the documentary highlights the existing genre of punk music, as well as the diverse nature in which this phenomena is currently being revived. In keeping with the current revival of punk clothing on the catwalk it appears the aura and nature of the term punk is still being revived in more ways than one. Lindsey Anderson investigates. Rebelling against the Muslim culture, the Taqwacore music scene expresses angst and oppression about society and religion, allowing youth cultures to voice their opinions. The Kominas are a Taqwacore music band which feature heavily in the documentary, Imran Malik, a member of the band, explains the reasoning behind Muslim punk music, ‘We’re tired of the stereotyping Muslim personalities receive, the word terrorism has been used as a weapon to subjugate Muslims.’ The music allows Muslims to put across their feelings to society without forcing it upon them, ‘Punk music is a way to scream and shout in a somewhat socially acceptable way,’ explains Malik. ‘Punk to me is the opposite of escapism, the music hits directly where it hurts.’ Offering a form of release through the power of music, members of Taqwacore bands can openly express their thoughts towards their religion. Malik discusses the controversial content of The Kominas personal music, ‘Some of the songs from our first album are jabs at our own identities in post 9/11 Bush America, but I think it’s just music were making, calling it Taqwacore might just be another way of people trying to exorcise us.’ Punk music seems to remain a trend within society which verges on the underground and obsolete, but nevertheless it is constantly referenced and revived: ‘As long as there’s a current there will always be a counter current,’ says Malik, ‘punk music will always exist, it’s to be seen whether people will care or not.’ ‘I wanted to make a film that expressed the constant struggles of the prejudice
of punk islam
Image courtesy of Kim Badawi/Redux Pictures
Muslims face within society,’ explains director Omar Majeed, ‘I was fascinated by the novel The Taqwacores and the formation of Taqwacore music groups, that’s when I decided to make this documentary.’ The documentary takes a glimpse into the modern revival of punk music, analysing the way in which this genre of music is currently being expressed, ‘I interpret Taqwacore as a musical genre that ranges from thrash, to punk, to ska, to hip hop, expressing lyrical content about how it feels to be a Muslim in the world today,’ says Majeed, ‘The Kominas make satire lyrics out of the way Muslims are viewed in America. But different Muslim punk bands voice different opinions.’ The message of punk seems to adapt to each era within society and individual tastes in music, depending on the current social situation society is facing, ‘Punk music isn’t earnest, its sarcasm. It’s playing up to the stereotype to make a joke out of it, to make it seem foolish. That’s the punk attitude,’ confesses Majeed. Rebelling against problems in society allows punk music to thrive, fans of punk seem to adopt a common interest in the way their country is governed, ‘Punk music could never exist if there weren’t any problems in the world, as long as there are teenagers in the world who feel like they don’t fit in then punk music will go on forever,’ says Keenan Ketsdever, a punk music fan. ‘Punk music might sound different later on, but the message will remain the same.’ In times
of depression music seems to flourish, the angry messages behind punk music seem to appeal to those who reach out for a voice of similar reason, ‘In the 70s and 80s it was looked down upon if you sang about government rebellion. The times are a bit mellower now and the good thing is punk music isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,’ refutes Ketsdever. Punk seems to be a genre of music that appeals to those wanting to release their anger without forms of physical violence, creating a strong sense of spirit through bands who express the unheard voices, ‘Punk is a positive and creative way of channelling aggression and anger towards one’s society and transforming it into art,’ says Majeed, ‘You may be yelling about tearing down the system, but you’re also meshing with your community, creating bonds through song and dance.’ The revival of punk music and individual adaptations of this genre of music seems to be a constant fixture within the lyrical industry, allowing fans to take an interest into a particular way of living. ‘Punk is more than a music scene. Being a punk is an attitude, a way of life,’ explains Majeed, ‘it’s got a code, ethics and is concerned with justice, liberty and speaking the truth to power.’ Fashion revivals bring with them echoes of the eras which spawned them, the emergence of punk fashion as a trend for summer opens up other aspects of punk from the past. Highlighting the growth and formation of a new style of punk music shows just how fashions and trends change and adapt over time. The documentary highlights the story of Muslim punk, screening at various film festivals in America from March 14th to April 5th, offering an insight into modern day punk, ‘I don’t think punk music died in the eighties. I think a particular form of punk became obsolete,’ says Majeed, ‘Mohawks, spiky hair and the Sex-Pistols-type punks had to evolve, so now we’re seeing genres of Latino punk, Afro punk and of course Taqwacore. This idea that punk is something that can attach to all those who are marginalised is what keeps punk fresh and alive.’ For more details: http://www.taqwacore.com/
Image courtesy of Paper dress
the vintage dress
The 1960’s broke many fashion traditions. It was a time when fashion was highly experimental and there were a variety of popular trends. Dominique Christou reports on vintage treasures of Paper Dress – a unique store in Shoreditch, where you can go back in time and explore the fashion trends and styles of the sixties. Hannah from Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened her store after realising from a young age that she had a love for vintage fashion. ‘My mum’s love of antiques and vintage textiles gave me a passion for things with a history from an early age. A love of fashion, but not a budget for designer garments, made me find other ways to experiment with my image and buy good quality clothing cheaply. I hate high street clothing, which is badly made, and mass-produced so vintage was my answer.’ Located in the heart of trendy Shoreditch, the name ‘Paper Dress’ is inspired by Hannah’s love for vintage fashion. ‘In the 1960s there was a trend for experimentation with fabrics for clothing and a slightly faddish but popular trend was the paper dress, ‘ says Hannah, ‘You could cut it to whatever length you wanted, wear it once then throw it away; it fit in with the ‘60s futuristic, fun ethos and I think it is a great example of the attitude of the time. I loved this idea.’ Paper dress sells mainly women’s clothing, shoes and accessories from the 1920-80s. If you get bored of rummaging through the endless racks of clothes, Hannah also has a coffee bar inside the shop where you can sit and have a chat over French almond croissants and aromatic filter coffee. ‘We do late night openings, with discounts and free drinks every couple of months, sometimes for calendar dates like Valentine’s and Easter. We hold events to launch a new collection, sometimes just for the hell of it. We often have DJ’s or bands and use a great burlesque company called The Cheek of It. We get dancers wearing clothes from the shop, in the window to attract attention and entertain people passing by. It’s lots of fun.’ Hannah expresses how different Paper Dress is to other vintage stores through the fact that ‘all the stock is hand sourced by me, so we don’t import from the USA, which is cheap but means you get a lot of rubbish stock along with the good pieces. We also have an onsite alterations team to amend the clothing, as vintage can be difficult. It doesn’t always fit, so having someone able to make changes to the stock to fit the individual is a massive benefit.’ It’s certainly worth going to have a look around Paper Dress and sit with Hannah over a cup of tea or coffee and a scrumptious brownie, while she chats away about her love for fashion and all the items in her quaint store. For more details call Hannah on 020 7729 4100
British people have just been voted as the worst dressed in Europe… Jemma Cross wonders when did ‘individual style’ turn into ‘bad dress sense’? As shocking as it may seem, us Brits were recently voted the worse dressed nation in Europe. Unbelievable, right? It’s like heading out in your best outfit only to be told by some moron in a track suit you look horrible. Compared to the rest of Europe, this can’t be right? The Germans with their lederhosen and mullet hairstyles scored 33 per cent while Britain scored 44 per cent, making us the worst dressed behinds the Swedes and the Dutch (not to mention the Poles and Serbians) in the survey carried out by shopping website Ciao. The results have been blamed on the British consumer’s obsession with cheap stores such as Primark (also mockingly nicknamed Primarni). The survey found that 85 per cent of the nation spend less than £100 a month on our wardrobes. ‘The contribution that Brits have made to the fashion scene over the years includes icons such as Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Alexander McQueen,’ explains Ciao director Tom Hyde. ‘We were shocked to discover that Britain is seen as the worst dressed nation in Europe.’ Although it is easy to spot a Brit abroad – bright red, socks and sandals, football shirt – we do have one of the best high streets (after all, we introduced the world to the phenomenon that is Topshop). Our art colleges produce talent like John Galliano and Stella McCartney. And have they never heard of Alexa Chung? Agyness Deyn or Florence Welch? These quirky girls might not be to everyone’s taste, but that is exactly what British style (and its icons) are about. Inspired, instinctive and irreverent; our style is unique and not always definable. Who else would have the imagination to team floral bottoms with a band t-shirt and mannish blazer? Us Brits are just a little misunderstood. Street-style is something we’ve been practising for years and its scruffy and ungroomed aesthetic does not always travel well. The Italians have their dapper suits, their Prada and their Gucci. The French have ‘chic’ and have their couture houses – but that didn’t stop Chanel in signing up one of our girls. Lily Allen in fact. The girl who wore trainers with ball gowns and big gold hoop earrings, and drank cider from a can is now the face of a French designer label. She even gave a live performance at the S/S 2010 show during fashion week. Although Britain has always had its own style and talent, it has also taken us a bloody long time to be accepted seriously by the big players, and many doubted that London Fashion week would be as big as it is now, or lasted as long. Oh, how times have changed. Celebrating its 25th Birthday last year, London Fashion Week’s individuality has become more high-prized and celebrated than ever. If that makes us a little bit strange and seen as badly dressed then so be it.
the great british wardrobe disaster
all things great and small Nicola Malkin plays upon proportions with life-sized jewellery for the home, by Sarahjane Funnell. ‘Because I’m so short, everything else has to be huge’ says contemporary ceramics artist Nicola Malkin. Malkin, with her love of scale, takes everyday objects and plays with proportions, making ordinary objects almost life-sized to create large-scale jewellery pieces for the home. Almost in an Alice-like fashion, she has an amazing sense of wonder and curiosity, and is inspired by many areas such as literature, classic fairytales and, in particular, her life experiences. Trained in visual arts at Camberwell College, Malkin also studied at Falmouth College of Art, where she began creating large-scale beaded works in her final year collection. After graduating, she set up her own design business with support from the British Arts Council, developing her unique concept of interior jewellery. Malkin’s interior works include charm bracelets, beadwork, lock and key bracelets and many individual, yet highly unusual, decorative pieces like a large beaded spider (pictured). Malkin’s focus for her work is to create something, which not only decorative and beautiful, but also completely personal to the owner. A lot of her buyers say the work really is ‘a talking point’ and many married couples like to purchase the chain and heart bracelets as a symbol of fidelity, reinforcing the concept of the autobiographical and the narrative. Many of Malkin’s other large-scale works have a more majestic and slightly darker feel such as the ‘Granduleon Talonan.’ The large-scale talon clutching a smooth round ball is roughly 2ft in size and was inspired by jewellery Malkin’s mother had when she was a child. ‘its very Masonic like,’ she says, ‘with the contradiction of the harsh talon against the smooth, round surface of the ball’ These varying qualities and use of different materials reveal Malkin’s love of texture, her experimentation with representations of good vs. evil, and the sinister vs. the innocent, while also giving weight to her thought processes, showing the substance of her design concepts. Malkin’s life experiences have and continue to have, a great impact upon her work. Growing up in a Catholic convent school, Malkin explains that when a girl became pregnant and she was ‘completely ostracised’ by the supposed caring, Christian environment, and the environment turned out to be ‘really bloody harsh’ this was the inspiration behind her pregnant nun charm. Although at the time the charm was created, it ‘upset quiet a few people’, Malkin’s wonderful ability to absorb
her surroundings and her positive attitude show a feminine designer who isn’t afraid of creative expression. Although Malkin’s work has serious qualities, it is also very whimsical and has a sense of adventure and humour from her love of fairytales and films. ‘I love all the really grim ones like Rumplestiltskin, when they snatch the baby. Oh and Mad Madame Mim from The Sword in the Stone’. Yet she describes herself as a ‘romantic at heart’ with a love of fantasy romance with films such as The Princess Bride, classics like Sabrina with and the black and white film The Ghost of Mrs Muir. Malkin’s fascination with size is evident once again being a fan of Harvey, a film about a man with an imaginary 6ft rabbit. At the other end of the scale is Tinkerbell who is her favourite Disney character because she’s ‘so small and feisty.’ When asked why she feels fairytales are important for adults and not just children Malkin explains that people ‘simply get bored with everyday life.’ The importance of escapism in adulthood is like ‘the Princess effect’ in childhood. Malkin remembers dressing up in her mum’s clothes and jewellery. Most people seem to have a fascination with a particular story or character, and often fairytales reflect aspirations, hopes and dreams or provide a complete escape. Malkin’s work is primarily ceramic jewellery for the home however she was recently commissioned to create a beautiful ceramic tiara for Daisy Lowe’s 21st birthday which was based on a fairytale party theme and was one of the rare times Malkin has in fact made jewellery that’s not for the home. As a designer, although Malkin very much enjoys working on a smaller scale and may consider creating some further jewellery pieces in the future, primarily the large-scale ceramic work is her true passion. If she is ever stuck for inspiration, Malkin will go to museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum London, where she can ‘spend hours’ looking at jewellery and ceramics, and she also enjoys the smaller, more quirky museums such as the Horniman and Gray’s Antiques market where there is ‘an amazing selection of Victorian Mourning Jewellery’ featuring real human hair. Malkin also is a massive fan of musicians and autobiographies such as Keith Richards, Marianne Faithful and Bridget Bardot, which again reveal stories, which are the basis for her charm work. Malkin’s life aside from ceramics really is ceramics. When she travels abroad, in particular to Greece, she finds constant areas of new inspiration from cultures, traditions and past times. Even when she spends time cooking at home, the entire process of mixing and baking is very similar to the mixing and firing process of ceramics, and Malkin finds it all very therapeutic. ‘When you work for yourself you think about it all the time because it’s what you do. I’m lucky to be able do something I love.’ The Women’s Library in London have recognised Malkin’s talents, and have commissioned her to create works for their ‘Museumaker’ exhibition running from summer 2010 until Spring 2011; an exhibition celebrating the life and works of women. Malkin is working on large-scale 3D sculptures with soap. As a designer, her observant eye, ability to recognise areas of opportunity, as well as deep and meaningful concepts along with the light-hearted, give her work a unique style. Malkin’s charms are also currently being exhibited at The Jerwood Space in London and on her website nicolamalkin.com. With a glint in her eye and so many skills up her sleeve, it really is hard not to wonder what life size creations Nicola Malkin will think up next. Like a real life Tinkerbell, mixing and moulding her unique works, she clearly has a strong design future ahead of her, and really is the queen of all things great and small.
I’d rather wear fur than go naked In the twenty years since PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign was set up, fur went from the world’s catwalks to be famously kicked out of the backdoor during the rebellious ‘90s when the world’s supermodels decided, ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’. So how has fur’s return to the runway managed to slip underneath the radar? Sophie Watkins makes a stand on the recent return of fur into fashion. The return of fur to the foreground of the fashion industry is largely because money is power, and what better way to exude wealth and decadence, than a beautiful mink fur coat; well it does ensure a frontpage shot after all. It is a lifestyle choice, the vanity and bling-bling of rock and roll means wearing your salary on your sleeve, not your heart. People are hiding their conscience under layers of fur, those that still have one. This may sound cruel but then isn’t the slaughtering of innocent animals the real cruelty here. Truly enough we can argue that in a society where many millions of people are dying every day due to physical violence and natural disasters we should be focusing on helping fellow humans. But I question if we don’t try to stop animal cruelty then it will simply carryon unnoticed like so many of the world’s tragedies. People can be bought, that is the horrible truth, and even those that believe in something, as Naomi Campbell once did with the ‘90s PETA campaign
‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur,’ the temptation of fame and funds see you forget why you said ‘no’ in the first place. It seems to the masses that fur has become fashionable again almost overnight, yet that is not the whole truth. Since the hard-hitting campaigns by animal rights companies in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, made banishing fur the latest trend, huge fur companies such as Saga Furs have forged industry links to secure a steady return to the fashion pages. Sponsoring cuttingedge designs and providing funding for students at Central St Martins School of Fashion has meant people looking past the un-ethical aspect of using fur in their designs. For so many their hands are tied, choosing between designing their first collection and saving animals. Sadly, few opt for the second choice. In an attempt to steal headlines once more, PETA have launched a new campaign, enlisting International top model Natasja Vermeer and Neighbours’ star Imogen Bailey to strip down and pose nude like the previously iconic ad. PETA are using a new tagline, ‘Earn your wings. Lose the fur.’ Although not as catchy as the original, it is just as provocative. With beautiful models facing the campaign in little more than angel wings, it would be hard not to take notice. But, unless an ‘It’ Girl from today’s shallow society decides to sit-up and take notice, it is time for the gruesome facts and footage to be published.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
time warp Maryanne Cook goes back to the days of Jaydee’s Plastic Dreams. It was the perfect year for Stephen Spielberg to show off what we believed to be a new and exciting genre of film, with the much anticipated release of Jurassic Park.It was also the beginning of the cult science fiction television show imported from the U.S: The X-Files, in which Agents Mulder and Scully introduced their weird and wacky ways of uncovering alien life in the world. From one recession ending to another, the year of 1993 was one that would give Britain its confidence and pride back once again. The sheer sigh of relief felt by all is a familiar feeling we are finally starting to regain, yet through this, music continued to triumph and transform. Reminiscent of the
extreme popularity of electro house, focusing on the subgenres of trance, tribal and techo – the early 90’s produced a unique and unforgettable track. Even to this day, Plastic Dreams has been re-mixed by famous Dance music DJ’s such as Fat Boy Slim’s Norman Cook, David Morales and The Chemical Brothers – making it arguably one of the most popular European dance tracks of the decade, yet undoubtedly worthy for a place in the Alicious Time Warp archives. Dutch music producer and DJ Robin Albers soon changed the original artist name Jei D to Jaydee in the early 90’s when he teamed up with Italian music producer and DJ Joseph D – resulting in the clever collaborative pseudonym we have all come to remember. Before the two got together, Joseph D was famous in his own right back in Italy, where he presented his own dance music show. Robin Albers also began his career in 1978 by presenting many music and sport stations in Holland. After the popularity of Plastic Dreams, Albers attempted to release more recent releases through his own record label: First Impression – where he often uses the artist name Karnak. Delivering pure energy into your spine, Jaydee’s Plastic Dreams allures you with a deep, beefed up four-to-the-floor bass line. Using all familiar sounds that take you straight back to the 90’s, the distorted guitar is a key element that will bring you back where you left off. The sound of the Hammond organ is used in the main jazzy riff, which appears to make the track unique in its own psychedelic 70’s sound path: making it the classic that it is. ‘Plastic Dreams was a seminal and groundbreaking track in House Music at that time. It had a totally new sound and was an amazingly produced record, it spanned genres of house too, meaning that DJ’s from techno to soulful house would include it in a set. For me it was a later day version of Strings of Life another seminal house moment. I own Plastic Dreams on 12’ single and it was a landmark record of the 90’s. It was played from Ministry of Sound to The Hacienda and back and reminds anyone who listens of what was great about that era in Clubland” reminisces worldwide renowned DJ, Producer and Blogger DJ Nikki Beatnik who has DJ’d for the likes of Jay-Z, Reebok, Alicia Keys, H&M and many many more. It seems that today however, that techno music has taken a backseat in the dance world and commercial funky house is said to be exploiting the euphoric atmosphere that the likes of Jaydee once had a hold of over fifteen years ago. Plastic Dreams, like many similar tracks of that era was never a commercial sound, but Shahin and Simon’s most recent remix has in our opinions, created a similar sound of the ever popular ‘Euro Dance’ which is increasing its popularity within the world of Dance Music. They say: Jaydee is dance, Jaydee is house with a feeling, Jaydee is progressive, Jaydee does his own thing!!! We say: A sheer classic. Check out www.jaydee.net for a sudden blast from the past.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
up style Bianca Ffolkes says skin tight hip-huggers are a hot item for creating a luxe sports mood. Remember in the early Nineties when the western world was exercise-crazy? Sports and leisurewear was all the rage. Popular culture made cycling shorts the hot pants of the Nineties and every female from kids to supermodels were wearing them - although few would admit to it now. Teen movies, TV dramas and pop singers sparked the fashion trend; think of the ‘Clueless’ California girls of wealthy 90210 and Mariah Carey, who made body-con the quintessential item of the Nineties. Young women styled their spandex shorts under oversized tees or anything that had a risqué hemline – they were worn in style that was cutting edge at the time but would make someone’s eyes peel if you were to wear them that way now. This has not stopped the cream of the fashion crop reviving the shorts from the pit of discarded trends and putting their own spin on the sporty vibe. The bicycle short is a practical choice of clothing for cycling; they are wind resistant, lightweight and show of your perfectly toned thigh muscles. Just like leggings they are to be worn with caution because these tight fitting shorts hide nothing. Worn correctly they can flatter your figure highlighting the body’s curves and accentuating a slender profile. Assistant buyer for Womenswear at Asos. com, Natalie Binns is a huge fan; for her, cycling shorts are “definitely hot, I can’t wait to get mine back out.’ So while Natalie anticipates some blazing hot weather, take a look at Asos.com’s bargain bin for Mango lace cycling shorts, if you think you’re brave, or Evil Twin lurex cycling shorts with glitter finish. If you are worried about looking like you belong on the Tour de France circuit alongside Lance Armstrong in your Lycra shorts, fear not as the key to wearing kneelength shorts is layering. On the catwalk Sonia Rykiel had colour block pants peaking out under printed high-waist shorts, skirts and tunics. An option that can spice up a simple day outfit and another way to breathe life into those cut-off denims you have been wearing every summer, go grunge with sheer panels. Another fan of the skin tight shorts is the team at Duchess Magazine who advise, ‘We suggest wearing them under an oversized Tee or a way too short bodycon dress; we love the ‘90s too.’ The writer for Stylesponge.com let us know that, ‘For me, I would probably wear cycling shorts underneath a short silk skirt or some loose culottes like the cream ones I spotted in Topshop.’ If any of these shopping favourites let you down American Apparel have theirs available all year round in shiny, matte and gloss just like Dulux.
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viva la vegan. “If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be vegetarian.” Linda McCartney.
Fantastic Vegan Cookbooks to consider: The Vegan Cookbook: Over 90 Mouthwatering Recipes for All Occasions (Hamlyn Food & Drink S.) By Tony Weston. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World: 75 Dairy-free Recipes for Cupcakes That Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz The Vegan Scoop: Recipies for Dairy-Free Ice Cream That Tastes Better Than the Real Thing - with 1/3 Fewer Calories by Wheeler del Toro Places to eat out: SAGAR 31 Catherine Street, Covent garden, London WC2B 5JS Tel: 020 7836 6377 (Tube: Covent Garden) BEATROOT 96 Berwick Street, London W1F 0QQ. Tel: 020 74378591 (tube: Oxford Circus; Picadilly Circus; Tottenham Court Rd.) MILDREDS 45 Lexington Street, London W1F 9AN. Tel: 020 7494 1634 (tube: Oxford Circus; Tottenham Court Rd.) RANI 7 Long Lane, Finchley Central, London N3 2PR. Tel: 020 8349 4386.(tube: Finchley Central) www.rani.uk.com/ Indian & Buffet 222 RESTAURANT Vegan 222 North End Rd, West Kensington, London W14 9NU Tel: 020 7381 2322
As well as checking for calories on a food box in a supermarket, more and more consumers are looking for the symbol that an item is for vegans. A vegan is a person who does not eat any meat or products that have been formed using animal produce; and this is not as hard as you might believe, argues Eleni Charalambous. A lot of people are choosing to turn vegan, with Verity Hunt-Sheppard from the Vegan Society believing that there are ‘at least 150,000 vegans in the UK’. Reasons for this trend taking-off include a way to stay healthy, slim and trim or, alternatively, for moral reasons. Many believe that becoming vegan causes various challenges, as not everywhere enables you to maintain a vegan eating lifestyle. However, the modern society in which we are living is in fact making it easier to become a vegan eater. With many milk and egg substitutes available in every supermarket around the world, it is easy to transform your vegetarianism into a full-on vegan diet. ‘It really is not that difficult, try it for a week and see how you cope; just simply ask for Soya in your latte and take the day from there.’ As Kaitlin put it so simply, I decided to begin my vegan-ism lifestyle. As I started thinking about the cruelty that was being inflicted on over-bred animals, I found my mind-set easily transformed into that of a non-animal product eater. So, despite many believing and arguing with me that it is ‘right for us to eat animals and their products’, as us ‘humans are at the top of the food chain’, I was not put off. In recent reports from Heather Mills, the estranged wife of the Beatles star claims ‘that every litre of milk can contain up to 400 million pus cells.’ With this recognition of what may be in some of our dairy produce, it seems a reasonable decision to go vegan. With vegan ‘dairy’ produce, at least I will not be forced to wonder what else has been put into my products as, with plants and vegetables, nothing as extreme as pus that can exist. Evidently it is wasteful to spend money, time and materials to produce meat when alternatively we could spend the same amount of money and produce much more food by growing and making vegan produce. A lot of meat eaters are not aware of how the meat industry is destroying our environment and do not consider how violent it actually is. The encouragement
of watching films such as Fast Food Nation may start to raise awareness of how savage eating chicken fajitas actually is. If vegetarians have chosen not to eat meat for animal rights issues, then explain to them the evils of the overall dairy industry, especially milk and egg, and just like I am doing to you, convince them to go vegan! It can often be scary having non-vegan eaters over for dinner and maybe your family do not feel comfortable eating non-animal products as they see this as abnormal. Whatever the case is, there are many ways to combat the issue and, by raising the awareness to these nervous individuals that they consume vegan produce on a daily basis, they may find it is not so frightening. Showing meat eaters that vegans do not eat strange food by serving them normal food is a key step to encouraging a change of lifestyle. For instance, vegetable soups are vegan, and nobody questions the fact that meat is not present in these dishes; therefore this is a safe dish to begin your vegan dinner party with. The majority of ethnic foods can be made vegan as well and by taking a look at some of the featured cookbook’s recipes for starters, mains and desserts, you will begin to feel worry-free as you notice that nothing is abnormal about the featured recipes; they just lack animal products. By advertising to others that vegan diets do not make a drastic change and do not have to be difficult, it may encourage others to tackle this new lifestyle. Every time that you get a craving for meat or dairy products, take a visit to the www.meat.org website and remember what goes on in those slaughterhouses. Just because we do not see what happens it does not mean we should be ignorant. Understandably, anaemic people and individuals who love the taste of meat cannot imagine the way of the world without animal products and do not appreciate the guilt trips others try to enforce on them: my friends did not appreciate the horror stories I threw at them whilst eating their steak. It was too late to take back the horrifying meaty images I had catapulted across the table, but you could see they were disgusted. It was suggested that ‘Perhaps if the vegan lifestyle were advertised with more of a spin on health and weight loss, it would be more popular, rather than vegans constantly being associated with shock value documentaries on animal cruelty.’
does this spell the end?
As we get ever more dependent on technology, will today’s digital age determine the future of print? Holly Woodcock reports. With today’s uncertain economic forecast paired with the Internet’s total world domination since the new millennium; the printing industry is now facing its toughest time to date. Gone are the days of saving up for each month’s issue of ‘80s cult magazines The Face or Blitz and introduced is instead, the online world of webzines, blogzines and interactivity amidst a fast-paced world of online technology. So does this signal the end of print, as we know it? The early Eighties brought us a new generation of youth tribes with their individual dress codes, club nights, drug choices and music scenes, and along with it a new genre of publishing - the British Style Press. This new genre of style magazine played an important role in popularising the latest in-style and post-modern fashions of the time marking the heyday of the British style press industry. It began with the launch of The Face in 1980, followed six months later by i-D and the now-defunct Blitz; all of which were youth-orientated, documenting fashion, music and style trends and often being referred to as the ‘ultimate ‘80s style Bibles’. Today’s pop culture grew from the late ‘70s/ early ‘80s youth aesthetic of wanting and needing freedom, and this volatile and anarchic method of doing so (the original fanzines were haphazardly stapled and thrown together) provided the perfect platform for new and young creative individuals to showcase their talents. The style bibles became a physical and material means of establishing and maintaining, not only individual, but also a generation’s status in a rapidly changing cultural/economic landscape. These days such objects are increasingly endangered. Blitz folded in 1991, followed by The Face in May 2004. Even long-standing i-D has since gone from twelve to six issues per year, begging the question: Has the age-old format of print gone stale?
The Face was established during the post-punk era of the Eighties. ‘It was a symbiotic thing - the ‘scene’ was very vibrant, new, exciting, challenging, doing really interesting things etc, and the magazine reflected that. During those early years there was someone flamboyant and exciting to put on the cover every month,’ says Johnny Davis, ex-editor of The Face. ‘Its success was down to there being nothing else like it out there,’ adds Johnny , ‘Like all the best magazines - Smash Hits, Vogue, Vice, Grand Royal, Private Eye – it created its own world.’ Similarly, i-D changed the face of style photography in the 1980s, pioneering the ‘straight up’ (a head-to-toe documentary style shot). The straight up encompassed everything that the magazine stood for: a raw, innocent method of communication. However, the magazine has since called for the need to evolve its traditional method of communication and in a tactical move, has penetrated new mediums including books, exhibitions and a website, in an attempt to maintain its popularity against most recent Internet rivals such as DazedDigital, Fashion156 and SHOWstudio. With websites and webzines like these popping up on a daily basis, the Internet has become the newest platform for photographers, stylists, journalists, illustrators and more to strut their stuff 21st-Century style. SHOWstudio.com was launched in 2000 in answer to this desperate thirst for instant global communication within society today. ‘We are living through one of the most profound moments of change in how we communicate since the invention of writing’, says regular contributor to i-D and Director of SHOWstudio, Nick Knight. These days, bands such as Florence + the Machine are now just as likely to be on the cover of The Guardian Guide as they are on the cover of i-D, somewhat defeating the meaning of everything that style magazines stood for in the first place. However, Davis says; ‘I once asked the writer Malcolm Gladwell if he thought journalism was doomed and he looked at me as if I was mad - with the internet, blogging, etc he said, more people are reading more than ever before. It’s a great time to be a journalist, he said. How that will eventually manifest itself, we’ll have to find out.’ Conclusively, the question begs, what is one without the other? The Internet gives us endless up-to-date, of-the-moment information at the click of a mouse. It creates an immediate platform at a fraction of the cost. We can download, upload, interact and communicate without even getting out of bed and certainly without leaving the house. We would lose the ability to function without the World Wide Web today. However, the magazine brings nostalgia, a tangible form of which to take time with and admire. It provides an archaic documentation of society and culture in physical print format, allowing the creativity of yesteryear to live on through to tomorrow.
Black Polo Shirt by Prada Homme Jacket by The Duffer St. George
Grey T-Shirt by Felix Blow, Navy Bomber Jacket by Raf Simons
Gingham Shirt by Fred Perry
Charcoal Cardigan by Fred Perry
E lliot by Rachael Barker
Photography JOHN BOWYER, Model ELLIOT (D1 Models)
Image courtesy of Carl Warner
food for thought As a seven year old living in Kent, Carl Warner used to spend his time in his room, putting pencil to paper to create worlds that did not exist, except in his own imagination. A decade ago, he began generating worlds made only of food; this was when Carl Warner’s ‘Foodscapes’ were born. Natasha Aghalar meets the food artist. Carl Warner acquires his inspiration from all over; he is enthused by the places he visits and finds visual stimulation in films and books. He describes his thought process as ‘a bit of a mish mash’, having to think of techniques to apply to particular products to make pictures. ‘A client could come up to me with a particular product, for example lollipops and I’ll think, they look like trees so I could do a wood or a forest of lollipops, or they could be parts of a machine.’ He formulates ideas from the foods that he’s selling, a commercial brief, and they can even just appear out of nowhere. Creativity clearly comes easily to him. ‘I think it’s fascinating that the alveoli in the lungs look like a tree. When I see larger things in the world mimicked by smaller things, it leads me to think whether I can make more landscapes using nature’s smaller counterparts.’ He goes on to explain that ‘It’s more of an exploration rather than a trial and error type thing. Once I’d done a broccoli forest I thought that’s all I could do; broccoli looks like trees and that’s it, I thought it was going to be short lived but now I’ve done new ideas’. It was Barcroft media agency that first approached Carl. Having produced his work for ten years, with no other agency interested in promoting them, Carl didn’t think his work would attain any attention but the agency disagreed; they thought they could get him a story in the papers. They were right and his work went from a quarter page in The Times, to a full page in The Mirror and The Mail, along with an appearance on The Richard and Judy Show on the Monday. People started blogging about his work emailing his images around the world. ‘So with the emails; the TV appearances; the Internet and the press, all of a sudden there’s a buzz generated about the work and it’s now known globally.’ Believing that the food being used should look alluring, he states that, ‘I think most of my pictures are quite attractive; they’re pretty or they’re beautiful or they’ve got visual interest and that comes from using good ingredients, fresh ingredients that have got good colour and texture.’ He explains that, ‘I could do rotten mouldy vegetables but it would have to be in a junk yard or where you’d expect to find things rotten.’ So, raw meat, particularly chicken, is a no-go area for Carl. Having said that however, he would really like to do a foodscape with a ‘beautifully cut raw fish’ in the form of sushi. Food usually gets binned once it has been used on set due to it not being safe to eat. It has been under hot lights all day, normally stuck together with pins. However, food that is safe to eat is shared amongst the crew. If a lot of food is left over then a local shelter will come and collect the food. ‘I do have people getting on their high horse and saying your work is such a waste of food, and I can easily counteract that. When my wife was in Tesco, there was a power cut for about ten minutes. When it came on, they immediately emptied everything from the freezer and put it in the
bin.’ With disgust, Carl said, ‘The food would have been fine but they just waste thousands of pounds worth of food because they didn’t want to go in the newspapers, which is mental as far as I’m concerned.’ Carl imagines that the amount of food he uses on an average shoot is equivalent to a month’s worth of groceries for a family. He agrees that the food is perhaps being wasted in the way that it isn’t being eaten, but his pictures could encourage children in hospitals to eat, or to promote a farming area. ‘I’m using it [the food] to build something and bring a bit of joy to peoples faces.’ Despite the few negative comments, Carl receives positive feedback on his work. ‘The reaction I get is joyful. People have big smiles when they see the work. They think it’s fun, they think it’s clever, they think it’s original, they think it’s genius - all of those things in one.’ Many people seem to love his Salmon Sea picture and Carl doesn’t know whether it’s the ’romantic sailing off in to the sunset theme,’ or if it’s the fact that ‘It’s smoked salmon and it looks so much like the sea.’ Carl’s personal favourite is the Fishscape; he doesn’t ever tire of looking at it. ‘I think pictorially it’s just such a nice composition. I love the coldness of it. It reminds me of standing on a cliff edge up in Norway or Sweden where it’s supposed to be set. It has an atmosphere and a look about it where I just find myself visually drawn to it.’ His book, Carl Warner’s Food Landscapes contains most of his work that has been created over the last ten years, together with new images that have been seen by only a few. It is a collection of the work combined with anecdotes about making the foodscapes; drawings and sketches. ‘I’m hoping it’s going to be more than a pretty picture book. It’s kind of like a collage book with all the work in.’ Unfortunately, the book could not be published under the title Carl Warner’s Foodscapes due to a woman in America, who craftily trademarked Foodscapes and then approached Carl to see if he wanted to licence his work through her. ‘It wasn’t very nice of her. I’ve got the copyright on Foodscapes for Europe though.’ The book will be on sale in October of this year, published by Avons in New York.
the world in 3-D With the ever growing phenomenon of films in 3D, including Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and James Cameron’s Oscar winning Avatar, 3D has been eager to make its mark in the fashion industry for a long while, and now it has, the impact has been colossal. Amanda Fuller reports. ‘A Total Eclipse of the Heart’, fashion story photographer Baldovino Barani’s shoot for the first issue of Archetype X Magazine, is a glimpse at one of the first of many 3D fashion editorials. Shot on location at Shanghai films studios, the shoot uses striking poses, eccentric styling, and sharp make-up to create a futuristic ambience, which works well in contrast with the drab every day settings. Editorials like these lead to the question; is 2-D fashion photography a dying art? Increasing numbers of 3D editorials are currently being published, but whether they will be as much of a hit with the public as the recent films, only time will tell. In the last year the 3D obsession has become worldwide. In August 2009 Dazed and Confused launched a 3D issue called ‘Another Dimension’. The concept was that it would ‘leap out of your hands’ and would be the publication to take fashion into the third dimension. A shoot featuring Mario Schwab’s 3D inspired collection was included and also graced the cover. Overall it was a striking and powerful issue, using enticing images to contribute to a strong 3D effect, generating a trend that is now being driven in full throttle. Grazia is the newest addition to the family of 3D magazines, as it has jumped on the bandwagon with ‘The walk-in talking Grazia”. Created by Bauer and the interactive creative agency Wardenclyffe, it features augmented reality (AR) codes throughout the issue, allowing the reader to view certain things in 3D. To activate the codes the reader must hold the chosen image up to a webcam or iphone. The 3D window displayed on the Grazia website not only offers 360 degree views of the latest spring fashion trends, if you blow onto your iphone it allows you to ‘spin Florence around and take a picture of her in any location’, according to Bauer. Jaques Daqueker, the next culprit of the 3D editorial, has created a Donnie Darko inspired shoot. With hair cruelly twisted into shapes resembling bunny ears and horns and mysterious skull-like makeup, this dark yet dreamy photo shoot carries the contradictory name ‘Angels’, while presenting a more demonic feel. Shot for his upcoming magazine ‘KRTL Collective’, this ghostly story features models in dark looks styled by Juliano Pessoa and Zuel Ferreira. 3D is not an entirely new concept. The 1950’s saw a boom in 3D photography but people soon became bored with it. Some of the same limitations remain today. Having to wear the traditional plastic 3D glasses every time you pick up a magazine could become tedious – especially when on the train (the words ‘I feel silly’ spring to mind). The clarity of a 3D image is also compromised. Three dimensional images are made up of two primary colours, which overpower the original colours of the photograph, taking away its original quality to create an innovative, technical way to view the picture. Viewing 3D pictures is also more challenging; 2D photos contain less than half the information of 3D photos, equalling less information for the brain to process and an easier picture to look at. The brain gives us depths and dimensions of the objects shown in a 3D image when the two similar-but-different photos are seen by the left and right eyes. The brain using the different picture information in each eye then obtains extra interest, making the picture harder to look at in bulk. Not only are magazines and photographers conforming to this new breed of fashion viewing, Burberry joined the masses by being the premiere fashion brand to stream the first ever, live 3D catwalk show for their A/W10 presentation. The live show, with more than 100 million viewers, was operated in five different places, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Dubai and Los Angeles. It brought the ‘global audience into the London show space, allowing them to see the colours and fabrics, to hear the music and be a part of the moment when it finally comes together’ explains creative director Christopher Bailey. Although this is a unique way of viewing a fashion show or editorial, Claire Huish (Clothes Show Live’s Fashion Photographer of the year 2009 winner) thinks it is ‘more a gimmick that people will tire of. I don’t think anything beats a truly stunning fashion image that you don’t have to wear 3D glasses to look at, no matter how much technology advances’. While 3D is a wonderful creation (and an excellent way to entertain those who are easily distracted from the norm), research proves it is this season’s trend, and maybe next’s, but it won’t dominate the 2D fashion editorials of the world forever. Image courtesy of Baldovino Barani segue 9
Fuck Moment #1: Kenneth Tynan on the BBC 13th November 1965
Fuck Moment #2: Sex Pistols interview with Billy Grundy on the Today Show 1st December 1976
Fuck Moment #3: Ron Atkinson Racist Comment 21st April 2004
Kenneth Tynan was a British Theatre Critic who worked for the Observer throughout the 1960s’. However this famous luvvie legend is best known for being the first person to say Fuck on British television. Tynan featured on a satirical show called BBC-3 (Not to be confused with BBC Three), when discussing the staging of sexual intercourse at the theatre he commented, ‘I doubt if there are any rational people to whom the word fuck would be particularly diabolical, revolting or totally forbidden.’ This slip of the tongue (or some would call it a publicity stunt...) lead to the BBC having to broadcast an official apology, a letter to the Queen from a morality campaigner, Mary Whitehouse, and four different motions being passed by the House of Commons. Although now no recordings of this legendary moment of British television exist.
The Sex Pistols appeared on the the Today Show with Bill Grundy during the height of their fame, the Today Show was broadcast on prime-time before the watershed on Thames Television. The incident is one of the most well known moments of the use of fuck on British television:
Ron Atkinson was a famous ITV football correspondent and ex-Manchester United Football Club manager, however he is most famous for his racist rant broadcasted live on air in 2004. He was participating in half-time match analysis of the Chelsea versus Monaco Champions League semi final on ITV which was broadcasted throughout Britain and some of the MiddleEast. When talking about the performance of Marcel Desailly, a french defender, he was heard saying: ‘He’s what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger.’ The microphones were supposed to be turned off but the comment was heard across the MiddleEastern countries that were broadcasting the football match. The rant was not heard in the British broadcast of the match, it was only until the following day where the newspapers and Atkinson himself found out. Atkinson resigned as a commentator from ITV, quit his column in the Guardian and lost his associated advertising deals which totalled £1Million.
Fuck-o-meter rating: 6/10 Pretty memorable, shame there’s no recordings of it.
Siouxsie to Grundy: I’ve always wanted to meet you... Bill Grundy: We’ll meet afterwards, shall we? Steve Jones: You dirty sod, you dirty old man! Grundy: We’ll keep going chief, keep going. Go on, you’ve got another ten seconds. Say something outrageous. Steve: You dirty bastard! Grundy: Go on again! Steve: You dirty fucker! Grundy: What a clever boy! Steve: You fucking rotter! The next day all the newspapers featured this incident on their front pages, leading to the Sex Pistols being seen as crude and offensive, the Today Show being axed and Bill Grundy ending his career in television. The Sex Pistols were dropped from their record label and songs were banned from the radio, but this publicity stunt caused punk to become the notorious musical genre of all time. Fuck-o-meter rating: 7/10 Would have been more if Johnny Rotten wasn’t advertising Country Life butter now...
Saying fuck is about as taboo as asking your Aunt Sally why she’s called the village bicycle. We might say the ‘F-word’ a hundred times a day, but it’s a little different when you’re hooked up to a mic, have a camera in your face and your in the public eye. Sara Marsland looks back at five famous fuck fiascos…
Fuck-o-meter rating: 5/10 It wasn’t broadcasted on British Television, but thankfully he won’t be working on television again.
Fuck Moment #4: Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand radio show 18th October 2008
Fuck Moment #5: Christian Bale Rant 2nd February 2009
Jonathan Ross infamously featured on Russell Brand’s Saturday Night BBC Radio 2 in October 2008. As a part of the radio stunt, the pair called Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers who was planning to be interviewed on the show. Sachs did not answer his phone so the pair left numerous messages on his answer phone in reference to Brand sleeping with Sach’s granddaughter Georgina. This is a transcript of the first message left on Sach’s answering machine:
On the set of Terminator 4, Christian Bale, who plays John Connor in the film, shouted at Shane Hurlbut, the director of photography, for walking on set in the middle of a scene that he was filming. This is a transcript of the conversation that occurred:
Russell Brand: Hello Andrew Sachs, this is Russell Brand … you are meant to be on my show now mate … I am here with Jonathan Ross. I could still do the interview to your answerphone. Jonathan Ross: Let’s do it … Brand: Man … er, Andrew Sachs. Ross: Don’t call him Manuel, that’s really bad manners. I apologise for Russell - he’s an idiot. Brand: I said Andrew Sachs! Look Andrew Sachs I have got respect for you and your lineage and your progeny, never let that be questioned. Ross: Don’t hint … Brand: I weren’t hinting! Why did that come across as a hint? Ross: Because you know what you did… Brand: That wasn’t a hint … Ross: He fucked your granddaughter! [laughter in the studio] Brand: That’s his answerphone! Ross: I’m sorry … I apologise Andrew, I apologise, I can’t help it, you were talking about it and it was in my head, I apologise. Brand: Jonathan! Ross: I got excited, what can I say, it just came out. Brand: Right. you wait till I come on your show. Andrew Sachs I did not do nothing with Georgina … oh no, I revealed I know her name! Oh no, it’s a disaster! Abort, abort! Put the phone down, put the phone down, code red, code red! I’m sorry Mr Fawlty, I’m sorry. You’re a waste of space! Oh no, Jonathan …” Ross and Brand continued in this fashion leaving messages making sexual references about Brand’s relationship with Sach’s granddaughter. This stunt lead to 18,000 complaints to the BBC after the broadcast of the show, strangely the show was recorded days before it was put on air, suggesting that the BBC are at fault for letting it air. Brand quit the BBC and Ross was suspended for 12weeks without pay. The comedians and the BBC were forced to publically apoligise to Andrew Sachs, his Granddaughter and the British public.
Christian Bale: Am I going to walk around and rip your fucking lights down, in the middle of a scene? Then why the fuck are you walking right through? Ah-da-da-dah, like this in the background. What the fuck is it with you? What don’t you fucking understand? You got any fucking idea about, hey, it’s fucking distracting having somebody walking up behind Bryce in the middle of the fucking scene? Give me a fucking answer! What don’t you get about it? Shane Hurlbut: I was looking at the light. Bale: Ohhhhh, goooood for you. And how was it? I hope it was fucking good, because it’s useless now, isn’t it? Hurlbut: OK. Bale: fuck’s sake man, you’re amateur. McG, you got fucking something to say to this prick? Director Joseph ‘McG’ McGinty Nichol: I didn’t see it happen. Bale: Well, somebody should be fucking watching and keeping an eye on him. McG: Fair enough. Bale: It’s the second time that he doesn’t give a fuck about what is going on in front of the camera, all right? I’m trying to fucking do a scene here, and I am going ‘Why the fuck is Shane walking in there? What is he doing there?’ Do you understand my mind is not in the scene if you’re doing that? Hurlbut: I absolutely apologise. I’m sorry, I did not mean anything by it. Bale: Stay off the fucking set man. For fuck’s sake. Alright, let’s go again. McG: Let’s just take a minute. Bale: Let’s not take a fucking minute, let’s go again. Bale: I’m going to fucking kick your fucking ass if you don’t shut up for a second! All right? Unknown voices: Christian, Christian. It’s cool. Bale: I’m going to go... Do you want me to fucking go trash your lights? Do you want me to fucking trash ‘em? Then why are you trashing my scene? Hurlbut: I’m not trying to trash your scene. Bale: You are trashing my scene! Hurlbut: Christian, I was only... Bale: You do it one more fucking time and I ain’t walking on this set if you’re still hired. I’m fucking serious. You’re a nice guy. You’re a nice guy, but that don’t fucking cut it when you’re fucking around like this on set. Bale was condemned for his profuse amount of swearing and aggression towards Hurlbut, however McG, the director stood up for Bale and explained that it was in the middle of an emotional and tense scene. He explained that he was largely at blame for Bale’s outburst as he tried to create an intense, fired up atmosphere which was to reflect in the film. Fuck-o-meter rating 8.5/10 Bale blurted out Fuck 26 times, hero.
Fuck-o-meter rating: 10/10 British media field day!
famous fuck fiascos segue 79
till death do us miron zownir Miron Zownir, underground photographer turned director turned novelist, has captured the dark secrets of cities across the world since the late Seventies. Here he talks to Laura Chatterton about why and how he came across photographing the homeless, the dead and the gay in a rare interview. Zownir, born in Germany in 1953, has lived in London, New York, L.A. and Berlin, whilst also travelling to various cities across the world. During his travels he has captured many eras through his work, from the punks to New York’s Fuck Piers, to Moscow’s change from Communism to Capitalism, all in his signature dark tone of black and white. There is no particular reason as to why Zownir chooses to work with black and white, as he simply puts it, ‘I like black and white even when I see cartoons or slapsticks.’Zownir began photographing Berlin’s punk era. By using black and white images he veered away from the stereotypical pierced punks with coloured hair and instead concentrated on showing their outlook on life by exposing the nihilistic, selfdestruction which he was a part of. ‘It was mostly my own attitude that made the difference. I didn’t portray them as a tourist or intruder.’ Zownir paints a picture of himself as he was stepping out into the industry; he had the same budget and D.I.Y. approach as the punks, which also added authenticity to his pictures. ‘I was on the edge myself without existential security, backup or a commission that paid for my expenses. It was my attitude, my eyes, my focus and perhaps black and white that created the feeling of something unique, authentic and timeless.’ This is what all of Zownir’s photography captures; realism and raw emotion, it conveys meaning without intention. Zownir was not blessed with the heaps of money needed to succeed in this industry, so whilst he pursued his dream he also had to work. One of his many jobs was as a bouncer at the famous New York 80’s club, Danceteria, where he met Madonna and asked to cast her in one of his films, ‘Unfortunately I didn’t because of the lack of a ridiculous amount of money.’ One knockback from Madge has not dampened his optimistic spirit, ‘Who knows, maybe she’ll play in my next movie for free.’ In the early eighties Zownir moved to the USA, where he lived for fifteen years in various cities including New York, L.A and Pittsburgh. During his time in New York, considered to be the world’s most interesting, laid-back city (his photography certainly captured this) he stumbled across the infamous Fuck Piers, and happened to photograph the piers’ frequent homosexual visitors. This series of images
lead to the local scene naming him the Teutonic Phenomenographer. One of these pictures shows a gay man bending over pointing his naked arse into the camera lens, whilst pulling on his penis, ‘He liked to show his ass and I made photographs of him.’ The Fuck Piers were located between the Hudson River and the Westside Highway and was where New York’s homosexuals and transsexuals often met for sex. The piers started to hit the headlines as a trouble-spot and hotbed for disease after a mentally ill homophobic man started killing several gay men near to this point. A male corpse tied up in S&M bondage was also pulled out of the Hudson River, the spot was then closed down by the police and partially demolished in the Eighties. Just after the images were taken the AIDS outbreak occurred, taking the innocence away from the images. ‘As a consequence of the epidemic in ‘83 an exhibition of mine in a big gay club in London was canceled. Aids changed the attitude of the gay community.’ Zownir was not only affected by the crisis through his photographs, but, as he explains, ‘Some of my friends died of Aids as well and the cruising areas of NYC got for some time pretty deserted.’ There is a genuine emotion felt by Zownir towards his work as he talks about the aftermath of AIDS, ‘Those pictures remind me of a bottomless freedom that had to be paid for too high, unfortunately.’ Photographing anything from the dead, to what is considered to some as porn has led to Zownir encountering many obstacles over the years such as arrests and assaults; however none of this has managed to stop him. ‘Sometimes I risked my health and life and sometimes my survival instinct was stronger than my will to shoot another photo.’ Maybe this is what makes his photographs so unique, dark and emotive, or perhaps it is the fact that every single one has a serious, intriguing meaning and story behind it. ‘My photos allow a lot of interpretations since they are realistic, obscure and intriguing at the same time. You may ask yourself how did it happen, how could he have been there, what’s the story behind it?’ Just looking at the images it’s clear to see that time and effort have been put into to choosing what he shoots. Some are comical such as the image of a rather overweight woman with her pants down and ‘LOVE BACK’ written on her bum cheeks (which could be taken in many ways from quite literally ‘love me back’ to Sir Mix-a-Lot influenced interpretation of ‘Love big back’) and some have more serious meanings, such as the homeless man sat on newspapers on the streets of Moscow. The images are left for us to interpret and as
Zownir says he probably sees something very different to what you and I see. In 1995 Zownir took a trip to yet another city, this time Moscow, where he originally intended on reporting the cool underground nightlife and finding out where the rich were partying. Instead, what he saw on the streets affected him more, ‘It was full of miserable people caught cold by the pitiless change from communism to capitalism (no democracy).’ This resulted in some nauseating images which would shock anyone from the western culture; of the homeless, of people dying, and of people who are already dead on the streets, . Zownir explains his reasons for ditching the partying pictures for the real life nitty-gritty by putting it into perspective, ‘What’s fucking nightlife compared with those helpless creatures that were senselessly suffering!’ There is a re-occurring theme running through Zownir’s work, reflecting poverty and the underground life, which at the time people aren’t aware of. When he speaks about why he decided to focus on those places it becomes clear that it was not planned, it just happened. ‘I’ve lived in most places I have been photographing and I chose those cities where life was the most exciting for me. But since I mostly lived in bad areas and slums I mostly documented the scenes and people I lived in or nearby.’ It could possibly be a good thing that Zownir hasn’t put all his eggs in one basket - also dabbling in directing and writing books - as it is much harder to succeed and stay around in the photography world now. As he has pointed out, ‘In the last ten years there is an inflation of digital cameras and happy go lucky photographers. Most people in front of a camera seem to act as if there are in a stupid casting show for some idiotic soap opera. It’s getting more and more embarrassing for me to stalk around with my camera trying to avoid the typical ‘discover me’ snapshot.’ However, being around since the seventies suggests that Zownir isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He is also in the process of compiling a new book for his latest photography work. He says the book consists of ‘A continuation of my work. It’s about lust and pain, pleasure and fear. Situations and characters that are only accepted by and interesting for the public disguised in a veil of fiction, cast with everybody’s favorite actors and a happy end guarantee.’ Judging from his photography work, we wouldn’t expect anything less. ‘Radical Eye – The photography of Miron Zownir’ is available to buy in Autumn 2010. It will be released by Gestalten Verlag.
Images courtesy of Miron Zownir
Welcome to The Little Shop of Horrors... ...where eccentricities and esoteric objects are the norm. Grashina Gabelmann looks at a shop so densely filled with Victorian taxidermy, animals floating in jars of liquid, shrunken skulls and violated stuffed animals, that even the shopkeepers themselves stumble upon items they don’t know about. The Little Shop of Horrors is run by Viktor Wynd and Suzette Field as the latest installation of The Last Tuesday Society, a pataphysical organisation founded by William James at Harvard. ‘It is a nonsense organisation,’ explains Wynd. ‘It came out of surrealism situationalism. It is a cultural celebration of the absurd. It was founded in the 1870s so there is a very long lineage of nonsense and absurdity.’ More than just a shop, this is a display of Wynd’s personal collection inspired by his genuine interest in animals, skeletons and other macabre items that emerged from a traumatic experience; ‘When I was a child my mum told me that I got frightened by a taxidermy owl,’ shares Wynd. ‘I think that had a profound effect on me. Also, as a child I collected a lot of animals...lizards, bugs, rats, mice.’ Wynd was collecting these items long before The Little Shop of Horrors opened its doors to the public two years ago, ‘I think it was always hovering in the back of my mind. The objects I was collecting were condensing into a shop.’ Wynd explains. As the Indiana Jones of the macabre Wynd often leaves his shop and London behind to chase, find and purchase the rare absurdities that can be found in his shop. ‘I buy from other peoples’ collections and auctions. Also, word gets around that you collect peculiar things so people get in touch with you,’ says Wynd. ‘You can buy stuff on eBay too but that’s risky because you never know what you are going to get.’ It is ironic that from all the exotic places Wynd has travelled to the weirdest and rarest item was located in England; ‘I was once offered a stuffed human being. I would have loved to own it but unfortunately it is illegal,’ Wynd recalls. ‘It was stuffed so well that it took me 45 minutes to notice that the human standing in the corner of the room was indeed dead!’ As much as the store can freak people out with jars of two-headed mini skeletons, human fetuses and just the general mass amount of dead it is also full of inappropriately placed objects that let the humour of Wynd shine through...a book titled Sex Instructions for Irish Farmers can be found among a collection of fake, bloodied fingers and the book Wind Breaks, Coming to Terms With Flatulence and Whose Bottom is This?, in addition to chocolate and silver casts of Wynd’s anus demonstrate an undeniable and hilarious bum theme. Enter The Little Shop of Horrors if you dare... get lost in a space of carefully picked rarities and set out to discover hundreds upon hundreds of objects that you would never come across otherwise.
This Page: Gold headpiece by Tour de Force. Wool coat by Prada. Net gloves by Cornelia James. Opposite Page: Black dress by Vivienne Westwood. Net gloves by Cornelia James. 84 segue
a burdened heart and depressed soul Styling samantha brennan, Photography HAYLEY BROWN, Hair & Make-up JESSICA BLACKMAN, Model PHOEBE
Lace detail dress by Alexander McQueen. Leather gloves: Modelâ€™s own.
Chiffon dress by Alexander McQueen. 86 segue
Leather coat by Christian Dior. Net gloves by Cornelia James. Tights by Falke. Suede shoes by Office. segue 87
Over the years, design has become evident in our modern day society. When it comes to architecture, we can appreciate every curve, line and height that helps to create a spectacular building. Cathy Clavero-Prescott meets Zaha Hadid, an iconic middle-eastern female architect. Zaha Hadid, born in 1950, comes from a cultural background – Baghdad in Iraq. Coming from an Iraqi background had an influence on Zaha’s approach to design. ‘As in so many places in the developing world at the time, when I was growing up in Iraq there was an unbroken belief in progress and a great sense of optimism. If you look back to that time, it was a moment of nation-building and there was a lot of emphasis on architecture. It was a similar moment to what has occurred in the past decade throughout the Arab world. There has been a shift recently that you could describe as a renewed pride in Arab identity. Suddenly things are possible that were not necessarily possible before. It is an exciting time for Arab architects, as there is a spirit of innovation and creativity in the air. I remember when we used to go picnics during trips to the ruins of Samarra, in the Garden of Eden, where the Tigris and Euphrates meet in southern Iraq. You stand there and there is timelessness. You see the rivers and trees and you know that 10,000 years ago it was like that. That timelessness is very endearing. There was this amazing flow between the land and the water and the wildlife that extended to incorporate the buildings and the people. I think that perhaps what I am trying to do is capture that kind of seamlessness and flow in an urban architectural context – for the contemporary city and its users.’ However, where did it all start for Zaha Hadid? In 1977, Zaha graduated from the Architectural Association School (AA) in London with a distinguished AA Diploma Award. Zaha then began her career at the Office of Metropolitan Architecture as a partner, although within the three years of being there, it was inevitable that she was going to burst with her talents and go solo. In 1980, Zaha Architects ( ZH architects) was born and in a span of three decades, Zaha Hadid’s genius has been recognized profusely. Zaha’s most prominent award was the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which was awarded to her in 2004. This award is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the world of architects. Before coming to London, Zaha studied mathematics at the American university in Beirut, where she became interested in geometry. She then realized that there was a connection between the logic of maths and architecture and abstraction. ‘My brother recommended that I study architecture at the Architectural Association (AA) School in London. In my fourth year at the AA, I discovered the architecture world to be exciting and thrilling. The late Alvin Boyarski – the fantastic chairman of the AA during my student years – offered me the first platform to expose my ideas, and Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis were crucial as my teachers. Their understanding and enthusiasm really ignited my ambition and their encouragement taught me to trust even my strangest intuitions. Even from my first days as a student at the AA, I have always been interested in the concept of fragmentation. The influence of constructivist works of Malevich and Lassitzky is apparent even from my very early work. I am absolutely sure the Russians – Malevich, in particular – looked at certain geometric abstractions, as well as calligraphy. The person who first observed this connection was Ram Koolhaas. He noticed that Arab architecture students like myself were able to make certain curved gestures. He thought it had to do with calligraphy. The calligraphy you see in my architectural plans today has to do with this notion of fragmentation in space.’ Zaha remembered when she was only seven years old, when she first had a vision to create something. She went with her parents to Beirut to see some new furniture they ordered for their new home. Her father was a forward-looking man with cosmopolitan interests and in those days, Bagdad was undergoing a Modernist influence; the architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Gio Ponti both designed buildings there. ‘I can still remember going to the furniture maker’s studio and seeing our new furniture. The style was angular and modernist, finished in the chartreuse colour and for my room there was an asymmetric mirror. I was thrilled by the mirror and it
started my love for asymmetry. When we got home, I reorganised my room; my cousin liked what I had done and asked me to do hers, then my aunt asked me to design her bedroom, and so it started. ‘ Her parents gave her the confidence to do these things. ‘When I was a child, I visited Europe every summer with my parents, and my father made sure I went to every museum, mosque and cathedral in sight! I remember going to see the mosque in Cordoba when I was seven years old, and that was the most stunning space. Of course there are lots of other truly great spaces but this mosque left a really tremendous impact on me.’ With already so many great ideas, projects and buildings, could this inspirational female architect ever run out of ideas? ‘My ideas come from observation: of the site, of nature, of people moving in the city. It is always about how you move people through a space, and how they use it. We have a very diverse formal repertoire of work and we are always interested in expanding our repertoire and doing different things in different contexts, with each project responding to its brief and context in a totally unique way. In all our work, we investigate and research the landscape, topography and circulation of the site. Then we draw certain lines of visual connections with the local environment and lines of movement that become evident from these investigations. This “embeds” the design into its surroundings so each design has a very strong relationship with its unique context.’ When working on any project, your personal approach of design and thinking may differ. For Zaha, she starts on local ideas and traditions in design but then reinterprets them into something new. ‘It is about using local identity – nbut not copying it. I make it into my own thing in the end. The effect of middleeastern influences coincides with certain interests right now in terms of the wide horizontal landscapes and topography of the Middle East, in particular sand dunes and other natural elements predominant in the region. I am fascinated by the mathematics of the Arab world – the mix of logic and abstract. ZH architects is very interested in the concepts of pixilation and geometry, which strongly relate to the Islamic art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics.’ Zaha Hadid has made a powerful impact on all, from architects, to students, to women and men. She clearly loves what she does, and with this strong passion at hand, she can only go further than where she is now. Her taste for design is spectacular and she is a genius when it comes to observation and realising what is new and how a person can interpret and use the space. She is dedicated and inspiring and all we can do now is wait for her next extravagant design to stun us all and leave us with a sense of encouragement.
Image courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
As I sat there in the coffee shop, my mind couldn’t stop wondering about what the woman who is paying me for my time would be like. Old? She must be old, maybe a rich widower or perverted businesswoman. Ugly? Yes, she must be at least slightly physically challenged. I am of course, if you haven’t already guessed, poseing as a male escort and my name is Daniel Higgins. Male Escorting has seen a dramatic rise recently, all you have to do is browse the term in any search engine and you will be bombarded with thousands of sites to either become, or use an escort. But, what’s most surprising about this new social phenomenon is that the number of male escorts has increased to the point that they now outnumber female escorts available to men. But is this really that surprising? In today’s world, where women are as successful as men in the workplace and as economically stable that the old feminine ideal of romantic walks on the beach with a new lover or intimate talks with their ideal man seems obsolete. Woman now want a young, attentive and of course attractive man to spend their time with and this is where the male escorts come in to play. But who are these men that act as escorts? How did they get involved in escorting? And what exactly do they do for their clients? And just as importantly, who are these women who use them? John Burrows, who acted as a male escort/prostitute for both men and woman for a number of years is a perfect example of how the usually very separate areas of escorting and prostitution can cross over. Twenty-six year old John has seen the darker side to the industry. He was a ‘male escort’ but often engaged in sexual acts with his clients. He was keen to show his understanding of the difference between male prostitution and the current trend of legitimate non sexual companionship referred to as escorting. ‘I think prostitution implies street walkers and drug habits,
but it really would be worth it for the safety it brings.’ Male escorting and prostitution are two very different things but the lines between them seem constantly blurred. Many sites advertise as non-sexual, yet, few turn out to be. But more respectable sites do exist, and why wouldn’t they? There is a growing market for older successful woman who need young charming men to show off at their latest business meeting or family wedding and the popularity of this concept is a testimony to the changing times of sexual equality and female empowerment. The photo I sent into the escort agency was recent; I was as truthful as possible in my application, so surely there was nothing to worry about. But as clear as the no-sexual contact rule was, I cant help thinking that the type of woman to pay for a young man to accompany them would expect a little more than deep conversation and a goodnight kiss. It was the respectable reputation of this undisclosed agency that made me decide this was the escort agency I should join to really understand the popular world of non-sexual male escorting. My escorting adventure started with a simple form to fill out with clichéd headings such as hobbies, interests, occupation and educational background. I sent the
whereas escorting sounds marginally more respectable. I tend to think of an escort as someone who has some control, who knows that they’re doing, and who works through choice.’ Like many other young men who are struggling in this time of economic uncertainty, the weight of a student loan makes the decision of becoming a male escort a whole lot easier, ‘I only really started escort work once I had left university. I had some student loan to pay back and it just seemed so easy.’ Easy money is most men’s reason for becoming an escort. John earns a respectable and rather shocking amount of money - $120 an hour with an average of $400-$500 a night. But even hiss heavy involvement in this seedier, sleazier side of the industry has not left him with regrets. ‘I always got paid, certainly never got beaten up and never had bad comments made about my appearance or services.’ When asked what advice he would give to young men thinking of becoming an escort he is quick to talk about the importance of safety. ‘You should work for a good agency that is strictly non-sexual. With their cut you make a little less money than you’d like
form, along with $17.75 which is the apparent cost to check my criminal records and carry out general background checks, and a recent photograph that I admittedly looked rather good in. So that was it. The week’s past and I had no response to my ad. I was shocked to say the least. I had sold myself so well, a cultured well-travelled young man, I had wrote, with a love of art history and political current affairs. And like I said, it really was a very impressive picture. Of course, no woman could resist my charms for too long and I received my first date four weeks after I had joint the agency albeit due to a cancellation. I knew this was my chance to really get to grips with the life of a true male escort.
Her name was Claire, she was 38 and I met her at a Starbucks in Queensway at 5 o’clock. I had already been briefed by the agency that it was a semiformal dinner party and told what I should wear; tailored chinos and dress shirt with blazer. I had to check with them that this would suffice and they were happy. Claire had emailed them with a short back story for how we had met and I was pleased at how simple and straightforward it had seemed. We had apparently met through a press event which fitted perfectly as I had told the truth about me being a freelance journalist and she had a senior position in a public relations company. The event was a dinner at her boss’s house and all of her colleagues were going to be there. I was scared at how much pressure I felt to be the charming, witty, twentysix year old man I had claimed to be. The smell of coffee was starting to make me nauseous, especially when mixed with the fact my date for the night was late. Finally she appeared, nearly twenty minutes after we had arranged to meet, but I was pleasantly surprised. Clare was taller than I had expected with long dark hair scraped back in a ponytail and a healthy glow that made me wish I had used the sunbed earlier that day. She was much prettier than I had expected – not stunning but by no means unattractive. She was extremely talkative with a lively, almost overpowering presence that made me seriously wonder why she couldn’t get her own date for such an event. After the general niceties of ‘how are you?’ ‘do you want a drink?’ ‘really looking forward to the night’ and so on; I started to realise how nervous I
smiled and kissed the strangers, I realised that the type of man to be able to do this on a regular basis, feel comfortable in such a socially uncomfortable situation, must be confident, smart and adaptable. We finally sat down for dinner after what seemed like forever, and were served a terribly pungent king prawn starter. The conversation was flowing all around me and I suddenly felt very uncomfortable by the fact I was the only one not talking. Claire seemed to have forgotten about me as she chatted away to the person next to her, so I decided I would do the same. Luckily I was sat next to a boring colleague of Clarie’s who knew little about her so wasn’t asking any particularly probing questions. By the main course I was really starting to grow in confidence and even felt it appropriate to question the hosts choice of chicken casserole for the main course. Then I started to spin off a list of what I thought were perfect dinner party dishes. No I was not drunk, just temporarily forgetting my place. Claire looked at me unimpressed by my new found confidence. It struck me how hard it must be for escorts to remain completely focused on behaving in a certain way all night; polite, courteous, thoughtful, and all the while remembering some elaborate backstory of how you met the woman you were with. I started to think of the idea of escorting as acting; playing a role that somebody expects you and pay’s you to be. The more I spoke with Claire throughout the night, the stranger I found it that she had decided she needed to hire a man to take to this dinner. She was bright, witty, successful and incredibly social – not a woman you could imagine would struggle to find a boyfriend. I was finally starting to believe in the suggestion that this is a legitimate service, providing companionship for ladies who are otherwise to busy to find it for themselves. Is this idea even that illusive? Society has gotten to the point that the suggestion of a woman who wants to pay to spend time with a young attractive man, for social status or acceptance, instead of to have sex with, appears ludicrous. I was finally starting to understand that this is far from ludicrous; it does in fact make perfect sense. Claire and I made our excuses and left early with everyone else still there. She was less talkative then earlier on in the night and I worried that I had not done what was expected of me. The taxi ride back was the most nervous I had felt all night. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife and the impending fear of whether or not we were about to have sex was all I could think off. As we got out of the taxi at Queensway tube stop Claire thanked me
actually was. My palms were sweaty, I kept laughing at inappropriate moments and the situation felt very much like an awkward first date. Claire on the other hand seemed very relaxed and in control, it almost felt like she was the escort and I was the customer. She told me it was her first time using the service which relaxed me a little – I felt less like I had expectations to live up to. It shocked me how different she was from what I had expected her to be, and I felt increasingly silly about how much I had been worrying that she would be an old, odd and desperate woman. Claire briefed me in the cab about what the dinner party would be like, and told me everyone was nice and that I had nothing to worry about. The house in Queensway was huge and as I walked up the pathway to the front door Claire grabbed my hand. I suddenly got the impression she might have been as nervous as I was. Was hand holding even allowed? I hadn’t read the small print. Her boss greeted us at the door and led us into the dining room where eleven other people were waiting for us. I was introduced to everyone and as I
for the night I said it was fine and I that I had fun, I then leaned in to kiss her on the cheek and to my horror she recoiled backwards with a startled face, not offended but surprised by my action. It finally hit me. This was it. This woman had paid for my company for an event she felt she couldn’t go to alone and she did not expect, or by the looks of it want sex with me. I caught the tube back, my ego slightly bruised for some reason that I could not put my finer on. This was what I wanted to find out. Are there sexual relations between the escort and customer? I found out that there’s not, but somehow the idea still made me feel uncomfortable – an older woman paying for a young man to spend time with her. It is clear why men do this. It’s a lot of money for just spending time with a woman. Maybe she will be old or ugly, or annoying, but enough people have work colleagues who are old, ugly and annoying, but for some reason put up with it often for a fraction of an escorts wage. It is also clear why woman use this service, checks are made to ensure the men are safe, sociable, friendly and smart. Busy or professional women who need the trophy boyfriend on their arm couldn’t hope for a better agency, and men have been doing the trophy showoff lover thing for years and now it seems its women’s turn.
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pure and simple Halal cosmetics are not a new concept, however, thanks to a recent conference, the lifestyle choice beauty products are gaining acclaim and becoming ever more popular. Katie Ward asks, could this be the way forward for the beauty world? According to event organisers Asif International, ‘the emerging Halal cosmetics and toiletries sector has enormous potential given that Muslims are the world’s fastest growing consumer segment, comprising approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide’. Asking any one person about Halal cosmetics is a lengthy and often fruitless task, given that a vast majority of people are unsure of what halal cosmetics actually are. Cosmetics have been making billions of pounds annually despite the ongoing recession as women and men alike turn to less costly items, such as a new lipstick or moisturiser, in order to make themselves feel better. However, while interest in the beauty industry is seemingly growing, there are still some aspects which are being ignored entirely and halal make-up is just one of them. The first question is simple: what are Halal cosmetics? Research has found at least several different answers but the most straightforward is that they are cosmetics which contain no animal by-products or alcohol ingredients, which makes them wholesome and therefore better for the skin. The concept was originally designed with Muslim women as the main target market, as their Islamic faith preaches that they should not eat pig meat or use products which contain any ingredients which could be deemed impure in relation to their faith. As a vast majority of everything used on the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream, Muslim women have often found that they cannot use normal cosmetics for fear of ingredients which they consider to be impure - being absorbed into their bodies. This means that the arrival of halal cosmetics is finally allowing Muslim women to wear a little make-up without fear of breaching these beliefs. Whether people are aware of this new cosmetic trend or not, it certainly isn’t a new concept. Amanda Foxon-Hill is a cosmetic chemist and has been working in the industry for over ten years. She is also the founder of realizebeauty.wordpress, a beauty website. ‘I have been aware of Halal certification of cosmetic ingredients for the last 10 years or so’, she says. ‘I only became aware of Halal cosmetics in the last year when Almaas (an Australian Brand) was mentioned in the Soap, Perfumery and Cosmetics magazine and before that when people within the industry started talking about this as the next big trend. At In Cosmetics 2009, extreme ethics were promoted as the big trend for 2010’. Halal cosmetics might well be the next big thing for 2010 (as predicted by In Cosmetics last year) after the announcement came in January of the first ever international conference on Halal cosmetics and toiletries held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 13th and 14th April. Asif International was the event organiser and was not only behind the conference itself, but also an exhibition which ran alongside the conference programme in order for companies to showcase their products and educate the public about the benefits of using halal make-up. ‘The April conference will be the catalyst for creating a global halal standard for cosmetic products. It is the first time that the issue has been brought up in this way,’ says Foxon-Hill. ‘The aim of the conference was to openly discuss the market opportunity for Halal Cosmetics. What should they look like, where would they be used and what value could this certification bring to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers. The conference was intended to be an open discussion rather than a lobbying process so nothing was being pushed; rather we were all open to listening to what each of us had to say’. The conference is also highlighting the certification process in order to ensure that the Halal cosmetics available on the market are what they claim to be. Layla Mandi is the founder of halal cosmetics company OnePure, and was aware of the issues related to halal products and verification when she started her company. ‘I developed OnePure halal beauty because there were no Halal certified beauty products on the market and I wanted chic and effective beauty products that were certified halal by an authorised halal certification body, not a consultancy or simply the term halal applied to a label’,
she says on her website. ‘I wanted Muslims to have the choice of Halal certified beauty products globally.’ Certification is somewhat problematic within this industry as there are numerous companies promoting their products as Halal under false pretences. As there is currently no certification process in place to ensure companies are selling products correctly, it means that anybody could sell products and claim they are halal. Perhaps this is a reason that the make-up and beauty products are not selling as well as they should be, customers could be feeling unsure as to what they are buying. While there is no certification process in place as of yet, there is still a way to obtain a halal certificate — online— for as little as one thousand pounds. While certification is causing a problem, this is not the fundamental problem with Halal cosmetics. ‘The problem is lack of awareness’, says Mandi about why these products are simply not popular at present. ‘I’d like to see lots of competition in the future and awareness being raised by word of mouth.’ The fact that the conference in April took place in Malaysia highlights the fact that as of yet the Halal industry is still not entirely accepted in western countries. With such a large Muslim community in Britain alone, should awareness be raised in order to gain a larger market for these cosmetics? Eastern countries such as Asia and Dubai are being targeted for raising awareness primarily because the Islamic faith derives from this part of the world and therefore there are a lot of women living there who are unaware that the cosmetics they are using could be affecting their faith. In the UK brands such as the Body Shop have long been selling products which meet the requirements in order to be considered Halal. ‘All of our products are vegetarian and in fact a large number are also vegan’, explains Nicola Ball, a member of the Body Shop head office. ‘The only animal by-product we actually use is beeswax’. Up until 2007 there were two products which did not fit the vegetarian criteria: a men’s shaving brush and bath beads. The shaving brush was made from hog’s hair and the bath beads contained gelatine, a derivative of the meat industry. During 2007 the company endeavoured to change this and maintain its reputation as the leading shop selling vegetarian products, and thus the brushes now contain a synthetic alternative, while the bath beads have been discontinued until a suitable alternative is found. This is the first well-known leading company who has not only heard of Halal cosmetics, but also stocks products which meet the needs of followers of the Islamic faith. They do not advertise their products as Halal or even vegetarian because, despite liaising with the UK vegetarian society, there is not a universally known mark for vegetarians on products, and as the Body Shop is based in 55 countries across the world it is not deemed necessary to have a common mark . Other
Images courtesy of Saaf Pure Skincare
leading cosmetic brands were unsure of the meaning of Halal products entirely, let alone whether they stocked them. It is not only some cosmetic companies who are fully supporting the ethical reasoning behind Halal beauty products, but also some animal charities such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation) and company Saaf who are stepping up to make their views known. Alistair Currie is a policy advisor from PETA. ‘We encourage people to use products without any animal ingredients’, he says. ‘We don’t normally campaign as such for particular kinds of products to be more popular as it is the principle we promote. We do know that Halal isn’t the only option for products not containing animal ingredients. A number of companies make vegan products and we support those too.’ Saaf is a company that has been selling Halal cosmetics for just over two years now, which means that they launched in the middle of the recession. This has not stopped their success, however, which could be credited to the fact that they do not just stop at not including animal by-products or alcohol ingredients in their products; they also do not condone testing on animals either. Dr Mahvash Hussain-Gambles is the founder of the popular company and has incorporated her diploma in homeopathy with a passion for trialbased medicine and healthy living, in order to create a company claiming to sell the purest skincare range. ‘Companies need to back up your claims they are making by getting accreditations by credible third party organisations, such as Vegetarian Society, Vegan Register, Cruelty Free approval by Naturewatch and British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection’, she explains. ‘We need to change Western views about Halal beauty products and this would help.’ It is certainly true that the West is more dubious than the East on this subject, largely due to the fact that it just isn’t something which is advertised. It is clear that there is a lot more to Halal products than meets the eye. For Muslim women it is a chance to wear make-up without fear of being persecuted by their own consciences, and for nonIslamic followers it means wearing products which are entirely natural and good for the skin. While it remains undetected by the vast majority of consumers, and indeed professionals within the cosmetic industry, it looks set to become the new big trend within the beauty industry thanks to the impending international conference this April. What the future holds for this beauty range is unsure at present, but with more and more people investing in their skincare these days one thing’s for sure; the future is looking bright.
Not only a musical with an unusual theme, but also a weird and wonderful collaboration of minds, ‘Here Lies Love,’ is a new musical about the controversial former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. The disco opera was written and composed by Talking Heads front man and general art-pop oddball David Byrne and off the wall Brighton DJ Fat Boy Slim (real name Norman Cook) and took five years for them to compose and record. The 90 minute extravaganza is directed by Marianne Weems, who is currently the artistic director at the American production company the Builders Association. Jemma Cooper reports. Based on the trials, tribulations and togs of the Philippines first lady, who was commonly dubbed the ‘steel butterfly of Asia’, the musical looks back on her rise to power and fame and follows her notoriety over two decades, right up to the point where she and husband President Ferdinand Marcos were overthrown by popular revolt. They then fled to Hawaii to escape their 10 charges of corruption in 1986. She still faces more embezzlement charges today. ‘Here lies Love’ examines the first lady’s passion for music and dance from the Seventies, with Marcos not just having a shoe obsession, but also a fixation with New York club Studio 54, so much so that she had a replica built in her New York home. This disco diva was a controversial character, and her strong persona was the reason Byrne chose to pen a musical about her life. ‘I guess I liked her extreme feistiness. And she was tough-smart. Especially after she took over the running of Manila. For me the question was, should I celebrate someone who’s worthy instead of someone who’s really not? That’s a tough one because it’s always harder to write about a good person,’ Byrne told The Times. The musical also looks at Marcos’ relationship with her servant, but oddly doesn’t even mention the assassination attempt against her, and only briefly mentions her extortionate shoe collection she’s so famously known for in the first act, with a song originally named ‘3000 pairs of shoes.’ Even though the on-stage Imelda only goes through 8 pairs of shoes in the entire 90 minute saga. Not only will this unlikely duo be releasing ‘Here lies Love’ as a musical but also as a 22 track double cd concept album, on sale from April 6th. The bouncy, playful soundtrack is a representation of her eccentricities, not her reputation as a hard hearted, ruthless social climber. The concept album has an all star guest list, with contributions from Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine, Santigold, Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper, Roisin Murphy and SiA. The musical has already premiered in Australia’s Adelaide Festival but is yet to appear in the UK. Imelda Marcos was said to have had 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 1000 handbags and 3000 pairs of shoes, so why shouldn’t she have a musical too.
Here Lies Love
here lies love
Ann-Sofie Back plunges fashion into a murky world of futuristic creatures, says Sophie Neophytou. Releasing her AW10 Ready-to-Wear collection at London Fashion Week, Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back has made a dramatic comeback with Alien vs. Predator induced capsule garments. Taking inspiration from the virtual world of ‘Second Life’ and her own Avatar, Back formulated a collection full of fierce alien bug sunglasses, slashed and distressed vests, hanging threads, wing cut-outs and cobweb formed dresses; her designs emasculated distressed mythical creatures. In shades of lavender, muted greys and midnight blacks, these spidery shades conjured up realistic images of swooping predators. This ethereal theme has cast an eerie shadow for AW10 with drapery, georgette skirts, cut out panels, lavender suede skirts, and tulle frill dresses, and mixtures of sci-fi essences and distressed silhouettes of gothic creatures make up the inspiration for her darkened collection. Not for the introvert, the collection played with sexual vigour with Back’s ripped-to-rags designs showcasing an abundant amount of flesh on the catwalk. Split, stretched and wrapped around the models, the garments encompassed the typical female form while unleashing a ferocious sexual energy. To highlight the theme of otherworldly creatures, the models were sent down the runway with slicked back hair, ivory muted lips and icy eye make up, injecting visions of distressed fairies. With an inescapable urge to force discomfort, Back has gleefully admitted, ‘There has to be a feeling of being slightly uncomfortable, and then I’m happy.’ The sense of creating virtual illusions has come from our generation rapidly plunging into a world of fantasy and make-believe from social networking sites such as Project One, and celebrities coveting hyperreal fashion like Lady Gaga. In keeping with the overly exaggerated body shapes of the digital characters from
Second Life, Back transformed her models, keeping her signature virtual motifs by exposing the body shape of muscles in her knitting details and sending her models down the catwalk in revealing ensembles. This futuristic escapism has flourished in the industry, with mythical silhouettes set to unleash the darker side of fashion. Back’s fanatical interests date back to her Swedish roots in Stockholm, and in particular the opening of the Junior Gaultier shop. Excited by anxiety and unease within the industry, she treats the concept of fashion with a sense of irreverence and incorporates this in her designs. Back also dismisses the notion of celebrity by focusing her clothes on the strong woman. ‘Who wants to design for the weak and mindless? What sets my woman apart is that she needs a sense of humour,’ she explained at her catwalk show. Back’s theatrical and innovative designs set her apart from the fashion pack; with previous seasons varying from re-incarnating staggering zombies to paying homage to the modern fixation with plastic surgery (dressing her models in cling film decorated with elastoplasts. Her strong aesthetics, and mind, make Back an inspirational icon for this season. Becoming creative director for Swedish Denim brand Cheap Monday, and with label Acme (known for its edginess and street style) back has rejuvenated herself by also undertaking a collaboration for TopShop. Back’s cohesive and conceptual strength reflects her ‘wearability’ ethos, while her characteristic drapes and cuts make unusual statement pieces for the coming season. After years of creating individual pieces for boutiques, Back’s career has gone from strength to strength from her styling campaign for Miu Miu to launching her first Ready-To-Wear collection in Paris 2001. Using cheap materials and heaps of glued on
sequins, she subverted the notions of creating fast fashion and has continued in making a name for herself. With a string of high profile stores around the world and her own successful casual line entitled ‘Back’ (launched in 2005), Back has proved she is force to be reckoned with. Continuing the fantasy phenomenon that has inspired countless designers, Back has catapulted innovative fashion into a virtual reality. Plunging into dense palettes and futuristic shades, her collection heightens our society’s fascination with the land of make believe. Other designers who have plunged into a darkened otherworld include… Gareth Pugh’s sensuously dark collection for AW10 is infused with a Matrix essence. With lashings of body con leather, thigh high fierce stiletto boots, heavily made up lashes and billowing floor length lack capes, Pugh has invigorated womenswear this winter. Up and coming designer Katie Eary has unleashed her wrath of the dark and dingy with her slaughterhouse chic menswear collection for SS10. Exacerbating themes of devilry and decadence, Eary has continued Back’s disturbing style trend with skeletal gold hand pieces and foot bone pieces with cobweb jeans, body chains, porcelain faces and a mixture of gold and animal carcass headpieces. The darkened fantasy trend has also rubbed off on new urban designers like LCF graduate Dimitri Stavrou. Lusting on the elements of gothic horror, the Cypriote designer relishes a dark and twisted collection for this season with knee high fringed boots, tailored tasseled capes, liquid black trousers and lashings of black eye liner. Experimenting with fabrics such as Carbon fibre, Stavrou’s collection has delved into the darkness creating a Vampire-esque menswear collection. The fantastical aesthetic has also influenced surreal fashion designer Marko Mitanovski. Enthralled by the twisted essences of futuristic fashion, Serbian designer Mitanovski exudes the avant-garde. Mitanovski’s apocalyptic SS10 collection is a visual feast showcasing cage corsets, stag-horned headpieces, braided masks and Victorian’esque bustier’s. Like Back’s gothic AW10 collection, Mitanovski’s style is elaborate, dark and sensational. London designer Rachel Friere has also encompassed this darkly ethereal mode. Inspired by fierce and structured silhouettes, and drawing on her fine art background, Friere has unleashed a feisty and ultra gothic AW10 collection with black caged bodices, lace and futuristic sculptural headdresses. Combining unconventional elements of twisted beauty, these designers like Ann-Sofie Back - have all fallen in love with showcasing wicked themes from a supernatural underworld. Shying away from the floral aspects of summer, this winter is set to turn a dramatic shade of black with these designers intent on bringing out your darker side.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
unleash the predator
Image courtesy of Janice Miller at MINX INC
the minx effect Ever wanted perfectly polished nails that last for weeks without chipping, and constantly have a perfect gloss as if you’ve just had a manicure? Grace Rankin reports on the latest fashion trend: Minx Nails, the glamorous new technology in nail art; which is also a hit amongst celebrities and fashionistas alike. Minx nails have recently launched a new selection of shades to add to their collection with 30 plus designs launched over the last few months, including ten solid iridescent colours, so watch out for the latest in the Minx effect. Minx nails have taken the beauty world by storm and have become the latest must have fashion accessory for the celebrities. Fans of the statement Minx nails include Beyoncé, Rihanna, Victoria Beckham and Kristen Stewart and will surely be seen on many more in the next coming weeks. Attention was grabbed when Beyoncé, in her video, Telephone with Lady Gaga wore her Minx talons long and rounded, decorated with a metallic American flag. A look many of us were jealous of. Also seen in Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer ‘10 show, Minx nails glistened down the runway with their superior metallic finish. Each model had talonlike nail extensions covered in the custom-made Minx metallic sheets, which came in over 10 different designs to match the fabric patterns of McQueen’s collection. No attention to detail was spared in McQueen’s S/S’10 show and even when last minute changes were made to the final collection, models nails were quickly changed, as late as the night before the show. These amazing creative nails are a special type of nail covering; they are a flexible polymer, which is heated and then applied to your talons like a sticker, whether your nails are real or fake. They are a green alternative to nail polish and are mess free. Minx nails can last anything up to three weeks; obviously depending on your lifestyle, so it’s about time you got a housekeeper! However they are much tougher than regular polish and don’t require top ups of top coat to keep their shine. They come in a choice of a chrome/metallic finish or patterned, all of which have a high sheen finish like no other nail varnishes out there. Sultry shine here you come. The magic of Minx nails were originally invented by Janice Jordan, Minx Chief Executive, after getting frustrated with how her nails wore down while at work, like so many of us. After six months of developing her idea Janice partnered with an expert in the salon industry. The two tested their newfound product within the market and got great responses. Word soon spread to magazines and reports on Minx nails began. So ladies, you no longer have to put up with chipped nails two days after polishing; you can have nails that have an everlasting sheen and durability better than O.P.I. nail varnish. Yes nail art was the new fashion statement, but move on and grab the minx effect, and you can even have your toenails covered too. For us mere mortals that can’t afford extreme nail salon prices visit WAH nails in Dalston for the minx look, which is now also located in Topshop on Oxford Circus.
The birthplace of grime - as most of you already know - is London. Shireen Fenner explores the scene. When grime first touched down there were many good club nights going on, but I’m going to focus on one that underground music writer Chantelle Fiddy launched, Straight Outta Bethnal. Held in 333 on Old Street, this was the place to be in 2005 and 2006, until it shut down in the summer of 06 due to police pressure, like most good grime nights. Grime’s biggest players performed here, which nowadays is a rare occurrence to see eight or more artists all in one night, or even artist Giggs performing live. JME and Skepta, Tiny Tempah, D Double E, the Newham Generals, Jammer and Scorcher now all recognised big grime artists did their thing here, along with DJ’s Logan Sama (KISS 100) and Ace and Invisible (BBC 1Xtra). Hattie Collins RWD’s editor and Chantelle Fiddy also had a few goes on the decks. This night was the hottest, biggest event in London’s world of underground music. It was filled with urban cool kids, dressed in bright Cassette Playa and Boy Better Know t-shirts, along with the freshest trainers and hats. Hattie created the name ‘Whoreditch,’ for these sorts of nights, where there is a mash-up of music straight outta the east end which she calls, ‘jumble-sale style sounds.’ A mix and blend of grime, jungle, garage and electro all fit the bill for an east end rave, which YOYO in the westend held at Nottinghill Arts Club have managed to keep up, but only due to the lack of live PA’s and MC’s and keeping it safe. Unfortunately the nearest we get to these club nights nowadays are YOYO, Dirty Canvas and Urban Nerds, which are still good, but not on the same level as Straight Outta Bethnal, because they don’t have the amount of good artists performing. Ok so Straight Outta Bethnal had a few troubles, but nowhere near the sort of things that I’ve seen in clubs. The worst trouble they had were weed smokers, and a near punch-up, not bad for a grime night eh? Nowadays the only way to host a grime night is to send the police details of whose performing so they can risk asses it, and most likely their answer is going to be no. As Logan Sama wrote on Chantelle Fiddy’s blogspot when she discussed the closing, ‘The battle against ignorance is a long hard struggle, but it is a righteous one. And I believe that we shall ultimately prevail in it.’ I agree.
Image courtesy of Le Bellechase
for city chic: le Bellechasse ‘Fancy stepping into a vision of French romanticism inspired by the one and only Christian Lacroix? We’ve got this little French fancy sorted...’ Stephanie Major delves into the luxury of le Bellechasse. It is everything that a fully fledged recessionista needs for a weekend. At the very heart of the Left Bank in Paris, near the Orsay Museum and St. Germain des Pres, the hotel Le Bellechasse is a fabulously luxurious boutique hotel. One could say it offers a glimpse of a chic Parisian-cum-French lifestyle in a sexy, contemporary, romantic, and fashionable framework; designed by the equally fabulous Christian Lacroix. Jean- Louis Corubble opened Le Bellechasse, the first ‘Haute Couture’ boutique hotel in August 2007. It resembles the thoughts of the couturier; a visionary, and a self-confessed perfectionist, which indeed matches the spirit of the hotel from room-to-room. Every room of the entire hotel boasts an amazing first impression, what with Christian Lacroix’s mind-blowing ideas coming through with his attention to detail in Le Bellechasse. It’s interesting to see how daring this brilliant designer has been to come up with such, romantic and darling designs throughout the hotel. The actual design, interior decoration and use of a mixed palette throughout the hotel are thought to be a true work of seduction for our eyes only. He has not just painted every room to his liking but, he has notably put his stamp on the boutique hotel, with his diverse colour schemes and fabulous detailing from wall to bedding furnishings. Stepping into one of the seductive rooms gives the traveller who seeks solace in this hotel a sense of uniqueness, and there’s an altogether harmonious atmosphere in keeping with French culture and lifestyle from the outside world. Descriptively speaking, right from the beginning in the reception area, the expression of
ideas through the decor is exaggerated throughout the hotel, setting the tone almost immediately upon walking into the hotel – whizzing from past to present decorations, with subtle hints of the future. The colours throughout Le Bellechasse are monochrome or block colours, co-ordinated occasionally by printed fabrics on furnishings. The decor of Le Bellechasse almost identifies itself as a gallery, almost allowing the guest to fall into a piece of art. The guestrooms overlooking the street are more contemporary, somewhat enhancing its appeal with scattered mirrors - almost taking it away from that contemporary tone; while the rooms facing the courtyard are of a more classic appearance. Le Bellechasse’s interior, is almost a depiction of Pierre Bonnard’s work, whose rich colours inspired Christian Lacroix’s choice of colour and texture, from jacquard upholstered chairs and doors gleaming with brass number plates to jewelsheened faux leather covering hallway walls. Extravagance at its highest. Le Bellechasse’s has a welcoming and truly customised service that not only make you feel at home but also at peace within the confines of this one-of-a-kind hotel along the Left Bank in Paris. The people working in the hotel throughout the day focus on everyday details that provide an intimate feeling – almost like the warmth when you walk through your front door. It has been awarded the best boutique hotel by Hotel and Lodge magazine, and this luxury hotel has also been honoured by Conde Naste Traveller for being in 8th position on the hot list. What next for this fabulous hotel? Le Bellechasse is a luxury boutique hotel, contemporary and romantic, and also reminiscent of the St. Germain des Pres style. Le Bellechasse is described as being ‘20th Century “haute couture” design meets 19th Century inspiration.’ You cannot fault the location; standing brilliantly just steps from the Musee d’Orsay on the Left Bank. And to make it even better this awe inspiring hotel has thirty-four rooms uniquely furnished with jaw-dropping paintings and wallpaper and all designed differently from the next by the maverick Lacroix. After enjoying a fabulous breakfast in the beautiful dining room, walk to the Musee d’Orsay, and then onto the Louvre, just across the river. With prime tourist spots in such close proximity to the hotel, you won’t have the chance to get lost in a map or lose your bearings. Amire the scenery of the majestic city of love – take a walk down the Seine and appreciate the infamous river in all of its watery glory. ‘A hotel must reflect the character of the locality it is standing in, while giving its own interpretation’ says Christian Lacroix, which Le Bellechasse does do. GET THERE: Eurostar from London to Paris from £55 return (www.raileurope.co.uk)
stylecase Dress, Stylist’s own; Gloves, Topshop; Necklace, Accessorize.
Sporting the Bump
Spring into step with this season’s sportswear trend – bump n’all Styling Victoria Hall, Photography Chantal Storrs-Barbour
Stylist Laura Hall, Photographer Stuart Pillinger Make-up and Hair Calli Paice, Model Christie (Nevs)
Dress, as before; Necklace, Chanel.
Stylist Sarah-jane funnell, Photographer ?? Make-up and Hair ??, Model ?? @ Nevs
Stylist and Photographer Hayat Kamil, Model Harry Skinner.
Stylist Lauren Cooper, Photographer Omar Loi, Make-up and Hair Katrin Rees, Model lucie nontha & sophie dickens (models1), lizy curtis and charis cooper.
Styling Rachel Morgan Photography Anne-Marie Micheal Make-up Naveen Mohammed
Images courtesy of Mark Eilback
bright young ‘I guess I hold the Hip Hop mentality of “I don’t really give a fuck,” because I just wear what I feel like, but I like a piece of bling as well.’ Sarah-Jane Ashby meets Hip-Hop royalty... Meet twenty-one year old Yasmin Shahmir, half-Iranian, born in Manchester, raised in Glasgow and currently residing in London. As a trusted and familiar go-to DJ for international Hip-Hop and RnB royalty (having already worked with industry heavyweights such as N.E.R.D, Will.I.Am and as Eve’s European tour DJ), Yasmin has also been hailed as ‘One to watch out for’ by dance and clubbing magazine, Mixmag. Having just signed a record deal, she is a lady – with only four years in the game – who has proved to her father that Business School isn’t the only path to success. Unlike most amateur DJs, Yasmin began her music career in the limelight, ‘Most DJs make their transition from the bedroom to the club, but I did it backwards.’ In fact, it wasn’t until about a year ago that she owned her own equipment. Whilst supporting a DJ friend (who played Indie-Electro at a local club), Yasmin sat un-amused in the booth watching him change CD’s and thought, “This is easy, I can do this!” and so, at seventeen, a DJ was born. Now known professionally as DJ Yasmin, she confesses to never -really knowing what she wanted to do with her life, ‘I never grew up and said, “Oh I want to be a DJ”, but I’ve always loved music.’ After a failed attempt at a Physiotherapy degree and having walked away from Business School (as well her father’s dreams), fate stepped in to lead the way. Less than a year ago, the Shahmir family packed up their home in Glasgow and re-located to North London. With little or no connections to the London club circuit, Yasmin did what any other reputable, out of their mind, ballsy DJ would do; she started her own club night. Bad Intentions, a London Hip-Hop and RnB night, has been successfully running since November – finding a venue that supported her vision came easy for the young DJ. She explains, ‘I just wanted somewhere that I could play what I really wanted,’ and described by Yasmin as her ‘baby’ it offers Hip-Hop enthusiasts a night where being an expert on the genre is not listed next to the dress code. ‘I hate going to parties, where I walk in and I feel intimidated or patronised and everyone’s so ‘trendy’ and ‘cool’,’ she said, ‘I hate that. Bad Intentions is a lot more relaxed.’ Forget Bad Intentions, this insightful young lady has nothing but good intentions for her fans and for the remaining clubbers of our nation. But at only twenty-one how does Yasmin pack the same punch as DJs who have been in the industry for decades? According to Yasmin, her career really began with N.E.R.D, fronted by producer Pharrell Williams. In 2008 she supported the trio at Camden’s Roundhouse arena, ‘That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done! It was bizarre, but it was an incredible feeling that prepared me for more sets of that nature.’ Through N.E.R.D, she was hired by female Rap-star, Eve and the pair toured Europe and Dubai, preparing Yasmin for an international audience from a young age. Despite dropping out of Business School, it is clear that Yasmin’s keen
business sense and raw passion for music are a powerful mix for success, but there is more to this beauty than her entrepreneurial skills. For those of you that fancy your chances as a DJ, take note of the following. ‘You really have to be in this industry for the right reasons, there are so many people who are in it because they’re trying to be cool or famous – I’m not in it for the fame.’ Learning to walk her first DJ steps in a male dominated industry (without training or equipment) could have been tough, but seemingly, like all ventures that involve Yasmin, she came out on top. ‘It can be hard being a girl, but it’s swings and roundabouts. You hit so many obstacles, but in being a girl you also skip a lot of queues,’ Yasmin admits that by being female, she was given sets without even being heard, ‘Being in this industry you have to be ruthless and utilise whatever you have. I don’t mind doing that, as long as I get the chance to prove myself once I’m there.’ At this point it is important to note that Yasmin isn’t just any female DJ. For those of you who are a little rusty on the subject, there are two kinds; The Tomboys, think dressed-down Ellen Allien, and The Glamour Model DJs, tottering around the decks in their heels like Jade Jagger or Lisa Lashes. Yasmin insists that she stands out for being ‘average’ – a girl who likes clothes and talks about boys. Yasmin is quick to reiterate the harsh realities of being a female DJ, ‘You do get looked at like a sex object and you don’t tend to get a lot of respect for what you do – you have to earn it.’ Despite all the obstacles Yasmin has faced to get her career off the ground, she insists that her drive is what gets her through, ‘I don’t tend to be intimidated, just pushed forward,’ and when asked to give advice to young females who want to DJ, she pleaded, ‘Don’t be afraid or intimidated, you have just as much right to be there as any guy.’ When attempting to identify the young DJ’s influences or mood, look to her outfit, where her diverse and fluid upbringing is also very clearly reflected. Yasmin shines in vintage jackets and jewellery from thrift stores across London. Teaming the look with jeans, a t-shirt and Jay-Z’s Dead Presidents in her headphones.
thing ‘I don’t have a specific style, I can be casual, sporty, sharp or girly.’ Best friend, stylist and designer, Leeann Soki Mak, is Yasmin’s style inspiration, ‘She is phenomenal! She’s half Chinese and dyes her jet-black hair, lilac or blonde.’ Yasmin continued, ‘[Leeann] doesn’t care what anyone thinks, she wears bright extravagant colours and always encourages me to wear different things.’ It is obvious that Yasmin does not try (or would ever wish to be), something other than herself. In fact, when asked for the most memorable piece of advice she had been given, she responded with ‘Be yourself – nobody gave me that advice, I had to work it out for myself.’ With many other London club DJs now giving her the recognition she deserves, Yasmin has decided to hit the ground running, looking to set up a new club night with four other DJs in London, but with a ‘New York feel to it.’ Her hard work is beginning to pay off, ‘All I’ve wanted is to be respected by my peers and people I look up to, but I’m really happy at the moment, I feel like I’ve gained the respect of a lot of the people that I wanted to.’ So what does Yasmin believe makes a great DJ? ‘Above all it’s selection. You can technically be the greatest DJ in the world, but if you’re playing rubbish tunes then nobody will have fun.’ It is a well-known fact that Yasmin does not pre-record her sets (unlike some DJs), she explained, ‘You can’t possibly pre-record a set – you never know who is going to be at the club! A friend, DJ Kash believes in “Edu-tainment” – you have to educate and you have to entertain at the same time.’ Despite her New Year’s resolution to party more, Yasmin points out that it’s hard to party as a DJ, ‘You tend to critique the DJ that’s playing. A lot of the time, you’re in a club to work – not party and it’s hard to separate the two.’ However, aside from Bad Intentions, Yasmin recommends London Hip-Hop club nights like What’s Good?, Livin’ Proof, Yo Mama! and The Doctor’s Orders. ‘The great thing about Marketplace,’ (which is where Livin’ Proof and What’s Good? are held) ‘Is that its free - you just put your name on the Facebook list.’
It is a bright Sunday lunchtime and East London is a buzz with excitement and the exquisite smell of flowers. Columbia road is brimming with families, couples, elderly people and kids and every couple of seconds there is the shout of ‘Everythin’ a fiver’ and ‘Roses for your darling?’ It is of course the day of Columbia Road flower market and the old East London road has been transformed into one of the brightest and most beautiful roads to be seen, Lauren Cooper reports. It is an oasis of everything floral. From banana plants to window box pansies there is something here for everyone whether you are looking to brighten up your lounge with a simple bouquet or are a horticulture enthusiast. The atmosphere is intense and full of fun. The witty banter of the stallholders makes the road full of smiles and laughter and their intellect about the species that they are selling is rather astounding. It is not only the flower market that is colourful, Columbia Road’s history paves out an interesting tale. It started out as a livestock-driving path where sheep were driven to the slaughterhouses at Smithfield. It was named in honour of Angela Burdett Coutts who built the original Columbia Market in 1869, a covered food market, which has now been demolished. The shops that run along the road were built in the 1860’s as well for the nearby Jesus Hospital Estate. At the time the area was home to the thriving wood trade, which also saw woodturning and milling factories built throughout the area until the late twentieth century. The market itself started out as a Saturday trading market but was moved to Sundays by act of parliament to accommodate the growing Jewish community and to also enable traders from other large London markets to sell their leftover stock from Saturday trading. Many of the surrounding houses have small gardens which the flower market originally serviced however as interest grew so did the flower market and road and since the 1980’s the market has been one with international repute, with the unusual shops complimenting it. Columbia Road itself is made up of sixty independent shops and is one of the few roads in the country to be so. There are art galleries, cupcake shops, Delis, vintage clothes and home ware stores along with pubs, restaurants and cafes. There is a great sense of fun and friendliness surrounding this road; everyone is willing to have a chat and outside the pubs is a buzz of activity with street buskers playing and singing whilst families flock round and small children are having a little dance. The overall ambience of the street is perfect for a Sunday afternoon whether you are with friends, family or lover. If you are lucky enough to have a garden then you will be spoilt for choice for plants and flowers to make it look like a tropical haven. If you aren’t lucky enough to live within ten minutes of the market it will leave you walking to the nearest estate agents to try and find somewhere that is.
“Does the birth of the new genre herald a foray into a new, more subtle and visually engaging form of fashion marketing?” 106 segue
It takes more than a compelling story and a convincing set of characters for a film to captivate the imagination of the audience. Tom Ford’s A Single Man and Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love offer a delightful feast for the beauty-starved eyes of the most discerning cinema lovers. Eva Wilkos marvels at the visual excellence of two touchingly glamorous dramas. Amidst the never-ending flood of bland washouts coming from the major Hollywood studios, it is indeed refreshing to watch a movie that elevates costume design to new heights above the average standard of formulaic period dramas. All the more so if one happens to be a long awaited directorial debut of a fashion legend, while the other features Tilda Swinton – the fearlessly stylish muse to a growing number of designers – giving a superb, Jil Sanderclad performance in the leading role. Both movies incorporate clothes and décor as an indelible part of the message that complements the emotional charge inherent in their plots, yet at the same time they act as a perfect showcase for brand promotion. Does the birth of the new genre – already dubbed as ‘The Fashion Film’ – herald a foray into a new, more subtle and visually engaging form of fashion marketing? ‘The key change for me is the cross-over between fashion and film. The fashion industry has become a huge fascination and it has always used a cinematography style in stills imagery for advertising campaigns. There is no better way to see clothes than as moving image – the drape, cut, how they look on the body – it is also the best way to capture a mood and feeling,’ says Julian Vogel, director of Modus Publicity, in charge of promoting the latest fashion documentary on celebrity hairdresser Vidal Sassoon that had its official premiere during Tribeca Film Festival in April. Popularity of fashion documentaries such as The September Issue or Valentino The Last Emperor
has proven that joined forces of fashion and film form an irresistible alliance that generates publicity and attracts a broad global audience. Yet, unlike glamourized satires on the world of fashion, most notably represented by The Devil Wears Prada or bigbudget productions overloaded with product placement like Sex and The City The Movie, A Single Man and I am Love truly celebrate beauty of the clothes and their vital role in shaping the overall cinematic message. ‘A Single Man is the perfect progression of Tom Ford’s work - a wonderful story told in sophisticated visual language,’ adds Vogel. Based on the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man chronicles the last day in the life of George Falconer, a middle-aged English professor devastated by premature, tragic death of his younger partner. The action, set in the 1960s Los Angeles, is full of subtle nuances and painstakingly choreographed, dramatic shots that, at times, resemble the stills from a high-end designer campaign. Not surprisingly, the leading character played by Colin Firth wears bespoke, tailored suits and stylish spectacles that unmistakably spell ‘Tom Ford’ with no need to expose the designer tag. Other memorable appearances include charismatic Julianne Moore interpreting the role of George’s flamboyant confidante Charley, and boyish Nicholas Hoult as George’s student, Kenny, dressed in pastel mohair jumpers. In addition to professional actors, the plot includes a cameo appearance by Jon Kortajarena, a Spanish supermodel and a star of Tom Ford’s ad campaigns, which puts an extra spin on the sultry appeal of the movie. Rich with modernist overtones, the overall aesthetic of A Single Man reflects the taste of its maker, whose awe- inspiring attention to detail was once credited for having all tractors on his New Mexico ranch repainted in his signature black. Sleek and sensual, the film’s aesthetic emulates the best days of Tom Ford at Gucci, as well as the refined style of his
Images courtesy of Magnolia Pictures eponymous menswear line. The emotional resonance of the story in A Single Man provides a link between Tom Ford’s film and the latest work of an Italian director Luca Guadagnino - I am Love (Io Sono L’amore) The snow-covered, majestic beauty of Milan’s skyline in the opening sequence of the movie builds a link to another iconic work filmed in the Italian fashion capital almost half a century ago – Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte. It is also a visual tribute to unsung heroes of Italian fashion photography, most notably Ugo Mulas and his soulful images of classic beauties posing against the industrial background of Milanese suburbs. The dramatic plot, staged in the exquisite interiors of the 1930s patrician Villa Necchi Campiglio, records the slow demise of a powerful Italian industrialist family at the turn of the new millennium. Marisa Berenson - Elsa Schiaparelli’s granddaughter and one-time Valentino model – impersonates the domineering grande dame of the Recchi family sporting power-dressing ensembles designed by Fendi alongside antique brooches. The opulence of her look is contrasted with the paireddown aesthetic of her Russian daughter-in-law played by Swinton, who undergoes a life-changing metamorphosis appropriately clad in custom-made clothes by Raf Simons for Jil Sander. In one of the most visually stunning scenes of the film, Swinton’s character Emma, stands on the rooftop of Milan’s breathtaking cathedral Duomo and contemplates the future of her marriage dressed in an impeccably simple dove grey Jil Sander coat. Far from a prescriptive depiction of the Italian fashion landscape, I Am Love contains elements that disrupt the seemingly harmonious, upper class niche of Italian style and its traditional landmarks. This stylish rebellion is introduced not only by Tilda Swinton’s character, but also by the arrival of Waris Ahluwalia – creative maverick behind the New York jewellery brand House of Waris – who in the movie
plays the role of an Indian businessman, representing a new global economic order that transgresses the confines of Italian mono-culture. Curiously, the ravishing visual impact of both movies has become subject to criticism from a small group of reviewers and members of the industry. Some, like fashion writer and authority Colin McDowell, accused the new genre of presenting a superficial, highly stylised, glossy vision of reality at the expense of substance and the real value of acting. ‘It strikes me that we have a new manifestation of fashion surface standing between us and reality: films that seem to have as their main point an emphasis on appearance above all else,’ reads a recent post on McDowell’s blog. However, his unfavourable stance seems to be an exception among the industry insiders, generally enamoured of both the plot and its ensnaring visual packaging that lend depth and focus to heartbreaking stories in both A Single Man and I Am Love. ‘They were both indeed art directed to within an inch of their lives, and they both shared an acute sense of detail and visual splendor – in terms of the clothes and the sets – but I didn’t think that overshadowed the honest intentions of the films’ directors, and the important underlying messages and themes of each film, nor did it detract from the fine performances from the lead actors,’ says fashion journalist James Anderson – contributor to London’s leading style bibles, Another and i-D. And even if the I’d-rather-weep-in-a RollsRoyce-than-be-happy-on-a bicycle attitude permeating both A Single Man and I Am Love at times borders on exaggeration, still it does so in great style – which alone is a sufficient reason to add these two films to every fashion-savvy cineaste’s ‘must-see’ list.
second cocktail. The ATCN crew attract a vast amount of people in the music industry without the pretentious vibes you may get from more ‘upmarket’ destinations. In there amongst the crowd, you’ll be able to spot the likes of Rickie, Melvin from Kiss 100 and Vis (one half of Ace and Vis from 1extra, who is a part of ATCN). UK artists Kano, Bashy and Estelle will also be mingling amongst the party people. There is no VIP, just a bunch of humble individuals out to have a good time. Don’t forget to get Fats Shariff AKA Fatsarazzi to take a photo of you during the night – fatsarazzi.co.uk. DRESS CODE: Funky and fresh. WORK IT – youworkit.co.uk The ever-popular night continues to reign on the third Saturday of every month, however the location does tend to differ. Sometimes it will be held in the ICA but more often somewhere in the Shoreditch vicinity – be sure to check the website before you head off for a night of mayhem. Tucked away in the East End, this night is far away from all the mainstream stuff that West End clubs are jammed with. Be prepared to hear some 90s hip hop, soul and r’n’b. ‘Work It’ is filled with some creative individuals; artists, stylists, designers, singers and more… and there’s hula hooping – yes, really! Be sure to check out the photo booth. YoYo@Notting Hill Arts Club – 21 Notting Hill Gate London W11 3JQ ‘You’re only young once’ – what a genius title. The hot night hosted by Dom is on every Thursday at Notting Hill Arts Club. A live music show commences at 8pm, with the likes of heavily 80s inspired band La Roux and UK grime artist Tinchy Stryder, amongst other artists. If you’re not looking for that live band experience, head to Yoyos at 11pm to avoid the queue. Once the shows over, you’re in. Alternatively, get stamped earlier in the evening. Pay £5 before 11pm (£7 thereafter) and you’re hassle free. The bouncers are friendly, the crowd’s full of energy and DJs on the night Seb Chew and Leo Greenslade have got the place in a trance. Guest DJs are always in and out - 1xtra’s Mista Jam, Marcus Nasty and many more. Playing what is best described as a cocktail of your youth, expect a little funky house, garage, hip-hop, r’n’b, bashment, dub step – the list goes on. Check guest DJs on the night for a clue to the kind of night you’re in for. Look close enough at the bar and you’ll spot the likes of Master Shortie, The Sugababes and loads of TV presenters. Hostility is left at the door, and what’s even better is the extremely friendly and enthusiastic bar staff who serve you double drinks for single prices. Remember your ID and a smile.
Image courtesy of Work It
Trading Places Hosted by ATCN (A Tribe Called Next atribecallednext.com), this night is one of the best in London. It’s on in Holborn, away from all the fuss, every other Saturday. Reggie Yates DJs the night under an alias of ‘No Bizzi’, the evil stepbrother of the charming TV and radio presenter, mixing some hip-hop, r’n’b, funky house, soul and many more ingredients to get you going until 3am. The night is always roadblock. Be smart and get there before 11pm as the venue fills up before you’re off to get your
Living Proof@Marketplace – 8pm-1am - 11 Marketplace, London, W1 8AH 10pm is the usual opening time for your average club in Central London, so it’s not often that a club is heaving before then. Marketplace is the exception. Yes, the basement venue is slightly on the small side, but a big positive is that down the load of stairs there is still mobile phone reception. Get there early (about 7ish) and fill your belly with some heart warming Mediterranean and Latin American food - you’ll need to stock up on some energy for the long, physically challenging night ahead. You’ll be non-stop dancing until the lights come on, the DJ packs up and it’s time to leave. Tucked away behind Oxford Street, Marketplace is situated on a street of the same name. Living Proof is so low-key, if it weren’t for the huge queue outside, you wouldn’t even know it existed. The music is predominantly hip-hop of all decades, so you’re in for some head nodding. But once DJs Snips, Rags, Mr Thing and Khalil get the crowd going there will be some craziness happening – a bit of jumping, a lot of hand waving and even a handful of moshing – yes, really! What is even better news is that Living Proof is completely free - zilch, zero, nada pounds to get in. So make sure you’re there for the festivities before 9pm. Otherwise, you will definitely be queuing outside – and, FYI, London nights are not the warmest. We are Living Proof – Peace.
So you’ve done Leicester Square, you’ve done the whole West End. You were haggled by ‘Abdul’ to go to Chinawhite, Café De Paris or NYT for ‘only £20’ he says (that’s more than half of what you got on you for a night out, minus cab fare). You’re over all the mainstream music these venues have got on repeat. Alas! London nightlife is not all about commercial bars, over priced drinks and members only clubs. Hayat Kamil discovers four nights out in London that’ll have your camera loaded with plenty of London memories and a hangover that’ll be so worthwhile! Read on, read on.
Image courtesy of Chris Moore
When it comes to colour this season, the only shade you need to be thinking about for your perfect Spring/Summer wardrobe is pastel. Let your favourite sweeties inspire your dressing style this season, thinking this sounds too good to be true? This trend epitomises romance and femininity and is exactly what we need this season after a winter of masculine tailoring and structure. Key colours for the pastel trend are lemon, lilac, baby blue, mint green and soft pink. The material for this trend is not essential but anything that is chiffon and drapes will add to the romantic feel for this summer of love. Pastel shades were splashed all over the catwalks this season, designers such as Versace, Burberry Prorsum, Louise Goldin and Christopher Kane all focused on pastel colours in their Spring Summer collections. Charlotte West reports. Pastels add a touch of sophistication to your summer wardrobe and are incredibly versatile to wear, especially if you are wondering about whether you have the skin tone to pull it off. Many assume that pastel colours will only complement darker and tanned skin, but choosing the right tone and item can flatter even the palest of skin. If you are pale and fair skinned choose blue and purple hues to highlight and flatter your tone. Pale yellow and mint green flatter darker skin tones and soft pink can be accessible for both skin tones, whilst combined with cream and nude shades. Add a touch of glamour to girlie delicious ice-cream shades by choosing garments that are made from sheer, floaty fabrics or that drape to capsulate that romantic and pretty feel, such as chiffon draped mini-skirts and ruched belted satin trench coats shown on the runway at Burberry Prorsum. Designer inspired pieces are scattered all over the high street, pick up your Burberry inspired draped skirt in all the key shades from Therapy at House of Fraser. For a more laid-back and casual take on the trend look to Calvin Klein for inspiration from his Spring Summer 2010 collection, which featured easy, crumpled, casual t-shirt dresses in sorbet shades of pink, yellow, green and blue. Inspired by this casual take on the trend, Miss Selfridge has denim shorts and jeans in all the sorbet shades. Get your feminine pastel fix by heading straight to Topshop to grab the perfect romantic chiffon one shouldered dress in either lemon or lilac, this way you are nailing two key trends in one outfit-
one shouldered and pastel. The best part about this lighter hue Spring Summer trend is its simplicity. The entire look can be kept simple with just one key piece in a pastel shade, or it can be in the detail of a frill, ruffle or lace. The great thing about the pastel colour way is that multiple shades compliment one another perfectly so multiple pastels can be layered and work nicely worn with nude and light grey. If pastel simply isn’t for you, try using accessories to bring the trend into your wardrobe. Adding a pastel printed scarf, handbag or shoes is a great way to incorporate softer tones into an outfit and can still bring this trend into your life this season. Just as the catwalk saw an explosion of pretty pastels, girlie soft colours are also hitting the beauty counters and to truly embrace the trend, you can even accessorise your beauty regime with femininity. It all started with Chanel’s ‘Jade’ nail polish-, which was a soft pale green shade that took the fashion world by storm with many celebs such as Lily Allen choosing to sport green nails. Even a waiting list was created to let the public get their hands on the must-have shade. The beauty world has taken note and has produced an array of pastel hues. Nail varnish is probably the easiest way to embrace the beauty side of the trend, for those who are more daring, try pale shades of green eye shadow swept across the eyes and bubblegum pink cheeks. For once this summer it’s cool to be pale so make sure you embrace it.
adventure in a bottle Scent is a powerful stimulant. It can conjure images of places you’ve never seen, or evoke memories of past events in your life. Choosing perfume is an intimate experience, where your lifestyle, budget and personal state all come into play. For some people this selection process can take days, even months, before finding a scent they’re willing to embrace. John Bowyer investigates. Stockholm-based perfume brand Byredo, has created a box-set of their most popular scents and called it ‘I Married Adventure’. With each of the fragrances drawing inspiration from a different location in the world, it’s easy to understand the reasoning behind the name: a journey around the world via smell. ‘I have always been fascinated by the world of fragrance and its effect on my memories and impressions’ Byredo founder Ben Gorham explains. ‘Through Byredo I want to communicate my own personal experience – to contribute to an almost collective memory of time and place.’ Stocked exclusively at London department store Liberty, and the elite Belgravia based perfumers Les Sentuers, Byredo has managed to make its presence known in a perfume market saturated with celebrity tieins and mass-produced designer house scents. Attention to aesthetic detail, combined with its chic exclusivity, has acted in its favour. ‘Byredo is one of the most talked about brands at Liberty’ says area sales manager –and Byredo brand specialist- Gustaf Dahl. ‘It’s one of the youngest brands in-store, but because it’s a small company it’s getting a lot of attention. It’s very up and coming’ he adds. Dahl is an extension of the brand image of Byredo. European, young, fresh-faced and confident it’s easy to fall in love with the smells he introduces you to as he talks with enthusiasm on the inspiration and notes behind each fragrance. The citrus zest of Fantastic Man proves to be the most popular amongst shoppers. Created as a
collaboration between Byredo and the magazine, its geranium and vetyver infused fragrance has not only proved popular amongst men, but has been winning many female admirers as well. How fantastic. Perfume is a powerful stimulant, and often, people will buy a scent that generates a memory or feeling. It’s an important quality that elevates its purchase above just another commodity. Award-winning beauty writer Vicci Bentley traces the importance of smell as far back as early man “Perfume is essentially, bottled emotion,” she says. ‘Early man’s sense of smell was keener than his vision - and could mean life or death. Scents enabled him to navigate his world and its imperatives, attractions and hazards.’ Navigating locations via smell seems to be something we all still do.’An unexpected whiff of perfume can trigger a multi-textured, instant recall; what you wore, who you loved, the music you played and the food you shared when you first wore that scent all come flooding back’ adds Bentley. Byredo has always based it’s perfume notes around global locations from Gorham’s own memories, recreating the landscapes and giving the wearer a chance to explore these lands via smell. Each bottle in the company’s stock becomes a ticket to another world. Brown University lecturer, Rachel Herz has investigated the psychology of smell in a number of books, including ‘The Scent of Desire’. In this she explores the relationship between scent and memory, and demonstrates the first examples of olfactory illusions created by words alone. So, if words can produce illusions of smell, could smells - based on locations we’ve never visited inspire a mental image of that place? To set our minds wandering Gorham’s globe, we opened up a box of ‘I Married Adventure’ and absorbed the smells, imagery and sensations of the worlds within. Bon voyage!
Images courtesy of Byredo
GYPSY WATER Smoke fills nostrils that quiver from the intrusion. Leaves hang heavy overhead, high above a circle of fire. It’s dark in the forest now, the owls are awake, and we pass vanilla water amongst us to quench our thirst. The aroma of freshly brewed tea floats amid the smell of crackling sandalwood and birch. Juniper berries pop in the fire. Sap is drying on the bark. Crumbling crystals of amber tumble to the ground and disturb a carpet of pine needles.
PULP A log cabin high in the mountains is bathed in bright sun. Fruit grows all around it: figs, apples, peaches and blackcurrants. The cold air stirs the grass. Old fruit, lying on the ground, oozes with bitter sweetness. Cracked and bruised, its skin split. Bees land on the fruit, leaving specks of pollen dust. Flowers bloom on the mountain; growing from crevices on the sheer rock face that looms above the cabin: a rich mineral wall, thousands of feet high, capped by snow it scrapes the clouds.
BAL D’AFRIQUE Wild flowers are bumped by the rhythmic heartbeat of drums that come thundering over the landscape. Distant groups shout at the top of their lungs with joy. They celebrate life, and dance euphorically. Whirling, stamping, pounding, leaping. Smell the roots bursting from the ground: they rise to the sound and seek it out like skeletal fingers clawing back to the sun. Shaken from the earth by the reverberations of a thousand strong. Jasmine and marigold petals, crushed by the masses, burst their scent into the air
ROSE NOIR Our bodies fought and tumbled together under sheets. Entwined limbs, like knots in rope, burning, tight and holding fast. The mattress, like a bed of moss, gives off its pale floral scent. A day old perfume from heated bodies. The covers roll like the sea, set in motion from bilious swells: a maelstrom of motion passing between two masses. We fought long and hard through the night, stopping for nothing, aware of no one, and at all times eyes locked. Held together by the rushing of blood, the thumping veins, coursing like rapids under a sliver of skin. No light passes between our bodies. Not a shard. Together, trapped by fear and swallowed with desire, the fruits of this romance are shouted from open windows and echo in the streets below. Come morning, our crimes will go unpunished, for we will still have each other.
CHEMBUR The temple hangs heavy with the smell of musk, sitting like a cat on your chest: a soft comforting weight. Outside, sounds from the distant city drift through lemon groves into a village, where women pound ginger root and nutmeg into a fine powder. On the coast, whirlwinds of sand whip over dunes. The wet skin of a girl is beaded with salt crystals. Alone and peaceful she can smell the temple incense from inland. The bitter smell of Elemi trees makes the hairs on her neck stand on end. She turns and begins to walk back to the village.
“Perfume is essentialy bottled emotion.” segue 111
Glove: Stylists Own
into obscurity Styling Holly Woodcock Photographer Haruki Horikawa
Black and White Texture Jumper: Daniel Lee, Leggings: American Apparel
Top and Glove: Sarah Lewis
empire state of mind
From the moment our names popped up on the finalised list for the New York trip, it was guaranteed to be an eventful one. Twelve people, each with such big and bubbly personalities, put together in a YMCA for a week, was always set to be full of vibrancy, adventure and fast-paced fun. Josie Pohlinger reports on the adventures in the Big Apple Transfixed by the bright lights of the big city that is New York, New York, we had barely slumped our bags down before we were running amuck all over town. First stop, SoHo – an area we each fell in love with and would return to many a time over the course of our trip. This was followed closely by jam-packed days of hanging out in Central Park, catch-ups over cocktails in Opal (our new local hangout), rendezvous in cutesy cafes and incessant shopping on 5th. We fine-dined, slummed it in diners, we even fit in a cheeky McDonalds after a night of dancing to the NYC Beat. I think it’s fair to say that by the end of week one, we were well and truly in an Empire State of Mind – we simply didn’t feel that it was time to leave. Then, as though the heavens spoke down to us, a volcano – one which we all came to know and love – gave us the gift of another week in our beloved NYC. And what a week it was; one filled with chance meetings with fashion magazine collector Mike Gallagher, rooftop brunches looking over the city, a one-off lecture from Anna Wintour and that on-going search for our perfect American Boy. Our bank balances had plummeted and exhaustion levels were high, but, like a drug, NYC is addictive. Aside from social activities aplenty, the official nature of the trip was business, not pleasure. Over the course of both weeks, we were given the opportunity to get a sneak peak at final collections at The Parsons New School For Design. Each of us was paired with a specific designer, we watched, beady eyed, at the varied collections and their wide-spread visions of different fashion. Inspiration varied across the board, from witchcraft to elephants...even ninja turtles; there was clearly something for everyone. An underlying theme throughout each collection, however, was versatility in garments; jumpers that turned into trousers, trousers that doubled up as a bag, hoods that unzipped and zipped back up again as pockets. You name it, it was tried and tested. As Steven Faerm, BFA Director of the Department of Fashion Design, so aptly put it, ‘it’s all about getting more bang for your buck’. Encouraged to pick up on their environment, including economic climate, these students are obviously extremely well-equipped with intellect and knowledge to fully assess the market. More bang for our buck is exactly what we all want and need. Hee Lim, a championed designer for his innovative use of zips throughout his womenswear collection, was one that clearly stood out for using this technique. He explains, ‘I wanted to keep it wearable, and combine functions and details to create layers in each piece’. By the end of week two, it was us that needed multi-functioning clothes instead of our suitcases full of unclean ones, purses full of receipts and not much else, and glum looks on our faces. Finally we boarded our flight home. No need to fret, though – we’ve all decided, we’re moving to New York.
Taken over two weeks, a photo essay of New York by John Francis Bowyer.
Amongst all the displays of the final collections from the Parsons students, there was one that stood out above the rest. Daniel Higgins talks to Hee Lim, a very talented unisex designer. The Chicago, Illinois born designer had a concept and inspiration source as complex as his well constructed designs. ‘My thesis collection was more about this futuristic idea of dress I had for woman incorporating unisex details.’ His collection has a stylish utilitarian and urban feel, creating many different looks from individual items through different detailing. Zips and clasps are pulled and undone to manipulate garments and fused together with statement chunky outerwear in light breathable fabrics. The thought provoking designs showed an innovative approach to layering and an unisex wardrobe. The 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi directed by Godfrey Reggio was Lim’s main source of inspiration. The film has no vocal narration or dialogue and is solely comprised of music and many juxtaposed images. ‘It depicts this post apocalyptic world we are running in to and it made me think about what will happen in 2012 so I started reading different theories surrounding it,’ Lim explains. ‘Alien invasions and parallel universes were all part of the theories and led me to add dualities within the clothes.’ When asked if unisex design is the best title for his innovative clothing, he answers with a sense of market understanding that hints at his success to come, ‘Yes definitely, the collection can be seen as unisex. It’s an exaggerated fit on the woman but a slimmer silhouette on men.’ The craftsmanship of the pieces ensures that either sex can wear the garments. ‘I created this comfort level within the collection with pieces that everyone can relate to, basic jersey shapes but twisting
them around a little.’ The future of fashion implies androgyny to this designer and he has made this vision an avant-garde reality. New York has a huge impact on Lim’s work. He believes that the concrete jungle helped hone his thesis into the futuristic and visionary graduate collection, ‘I love New York. You can’t help but be inspired by it; there are so many opportunities here. They welcome young emerging designers and really encourage you.’ The urban street fashion credentials of Hee Lim’s garments scream European market, yet he seems unaware of the natural appeal he would have in London. ‘I would love to sell in Europe but I don’t know anything about it, I have never even been.’ It shocks me how little he knows of a market he fits in to so perfectly. Lim seems to have his head screwed on and manages to combine the business mindset of the USA with the creative conceptual nature of European fashion. He controversially says that his creative freedom is often confined by the world famous school, ‘Parsons, in general, try to teach you to be like other designers that are already out there but you have to remember you are a student and need to nurture your own creative drive and develop your own voice.’ The price points for these wearable items are beyond reasonable. The jersey garments are priced from $150-$350, the mesh items $250-$450, and between $800-$1200 for the outerwear jackets and coats. These prices add to the availability value of the clothes but the bargain prices in no way reflect the level of quality in the fabrics and production. Man, woman, urban, sleek, no one is safe from these stylish garments. Expect them to be dominating the London scene and your very own wardrobe very soon.
Images courtesy of Hee Lim
Images courtesy of Hee Lim
For some, stark lines of the 21st century cityscape lie miles away from the lush exotica of tropical regions; yet in the hands of the Malaysian-born, New York-based Parsons graduate Remiel Wai Kar Loh those two opposite aesthetic concepts come together to form a perfect love match, Eva Wilkos reports on his thesis collection. Far from venturing into a well-worn territory of ethnic references, Remiel’s capsule collection of six looks focuses on different connotations of the term ‘jungle’. ‘I think the word “jungle” alone is so inspiring – it can mean “an urban, concrete jungle” or “a tropical rainforest”. I love the city, but I also love nature and even if those two things are total opposites, they still complement each other,’ explains the designer. In terms of clothes this means creating a structured shape out of soft, sensual fabrics like silk and mohair to introduce a thoroughly modern, feminine angle. Similarly, the neutral palette of daywear ensembles in the light shades of beige and grey is carefully balanced out by the saturated hues of eveningwear in luscious green and deep violet. The aforementioned duality speaks through the actual choice of garments – from utilitarian range of a belted playsuit; slouchy, tapered trousers and a fitted jacket to more seductive, figure-hugging, pleated dresses that combine the hard-to-resist comfort of Donna Karan’s designs with an exotic sensuality of early Kenzo collections. ‘I’m a visual person so if I see something beautiful, I apply it to my designs. But nowadays a lot of artists and objects have been overused as an inspiration, so I just prefer to go on blogs and read news to find something that will eventually draw my attention,’ says Remiel. Undoubtedly, it is his Malaysian upbringing – especially the contrast between the glass and steel of Kuala Lumpur’s skyscrapers and the surrounding, equatorial landscape – that informed his fresh take on the idea of a sartorial jungle. Unlike many other young designers – for whom studying at Parsons equals fulfillment of a childhood dream - Remiel did not think about working in fashion until his early 20s. Prior to moving to New York, he graduated from a Computer Studies course in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur – an experience that helped him to develop a logical, detail-orientated approach towards design. ‘If I have the images and the inspiration in mind, I will think of design details such as prints, fabric treatments and colour options. I’m the kind of person that needs to have everything thought out before I start to sketch,’ he comments on his design process. Unfazed by the current media buzz circulating around young, avant-garde designers; Remiel leans towards more classic approach as represented by Armani Privé and Michael Kors with more mature, sophisticated customer in mind. ‘My clothes have a designer-level price point, meaning they are quite expensive, so my customers live a lifestyle above the average and have a strong and bold taste in fashion.’ Surely, a loyal clientele of chic Manhattanites is only a matter of time.
Images courtesy of Seung-Yeon Jee
Images courtesy of Remiel Wai Kar
into the heart of a modern jungle
25 year old Korean, Seung-Yeon Jee took inspiration from the cultural movement of Dadaism to create sculptural yet wearable womenswear. Hannah Baillie discovers how art, collage and Margiela have all shaped her thesis collection. After graduating from Yonsei University in Korea with a degree in Human Environmental Design, Seung-Yeon Jee could think of no place more appropriate to continue her studies in fashion than New York City. After moving there, Seung-Yeon emabraced the city’s dynamic arts and cultural scene and later used the political art movement of Dadaism to inspire her thesis collection, ‘I was inspired by the unusual mixture of different materials, the angular cutting lines and overlapping details. Those combinations influenced my colour story, fabrication and construction details,’ she says. Seung-Yeon focused mainly on the work of collage artist Kurt Schwitters, ‘I was really impressed by how he transformed the two dimensional idea of a collage into three dimensional shapes and tried to emulate this is my clothing,’ she explains. Using a base palette of pale-pink, black and bronze, SeungYeon created some amazingly architectural yet wearable garments, simply by playing with different sizes of elastic-band insertions in many of the necklines, pockets and details of her pieces. Transformation was a hugely important theme for Seung-Yeon, not just because of her inspiration, but also because she wanted the collection to be practical, ‘I want people to be able to wear my designs in many different ways but don’t want my customer dominated by the cloth,’ she says. One cannot fail to be amazed at the shoes in the collection either, pieces that Seung-Yeon created after taking a shoe-design course when she first started thinking about her collection; she also incorporates the use of elastic-band transformation here too. ‘The bands not only create comfort but also create the bold visual lines at the bottom,’ she says. It was important too that her accessories were reminiscent of a Schwitters collage; they stand alongside the clothing creating a colour-blocking effect that completes the collection beautifully. As for her clientele, Seung-Yeon says, ‘my customers are able to style themselves and really enjoy playing with their garments. They are those with distinctive fashion sense.’ It is clear to anyone that meets her that Seung-Yeon is fiercely intelligent and knows exactly what she wants from her career. Like many young designers, she dreams of setting up her own label once she has had more experience working in different fields of the fashion industry. However, her vision does not simply stop at clothing and she envisions creating an entire lifestyle brand consisting of everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and interiors for what she describes as, ‘a uniquely liveable and dynamic culture.’ In the meantime, however, she is focused on getting an internship at one of the design houses she admires, either in her second-home, New York, or in Paris. Seung-Yeon manages to sum up her aesthetic perfectly, ‘I like avant-garde style, but at the same time I want to make garments that people like and are willing to open their wallets for. It is always hard to achieve a balance between conceptual and practical design, but I feel better as my work has progressed.’ And we can only expect this progression to continue.
‘When you allow something to be the majority of your life it represents you. It is a raw form of self-expression.’ New York is full of some of fashion’s finest designers and the prestigious design school Parsons delivers some of the freshest and talented of graduates. Lauren Cooper looks at the voodoo inspired thesis collection of Alessandra Rivera. Growing up around clothing design, Alessandra Rivera has never had any doubt that she wanted to be a fashion designer, ‘Fashion was going to be an important part of my life, if not the majority of it, and that’s how I’ve always wanted it to be…being a fashion designer genuinely makes me happy and that’s the bottom line,’ she says. Brought up in a small artistic town in Pennsylvania, Parsons has provided Alessandra with many opportunities that are unattainable anywhere else and has given her an unbeatable ethic to life and work. ‘School in the city has been about being adult and a professional with a sleep when you die attitude towards reaching goals and finishing projects…We are given freedom to create limitless possibilities. The only limit is our how far we are willing to go to reach our full potential.’ With a long list of work experience within the industry ranging from music video and short film costuming to press release altering and styling at Lanvin, as well as interning at Viktor & Rolf, Martin Margiela, Marc Jacobs Menswear, her CV is nothing short of amazing. Alessandra’s passion for her trade is immediately evident, not only because of the alluring concept of her collection, but also the tone in which she discusses it. Inspired by African witchcraft and New Orleans-based voodoo, she used an array of prints, textures and material which lead to ‘a high spirited collection for confident women who really love having fun with what they wear. This collection was meant to be fun, young, and sophisticated,’ as well as being versatile, which is an imperative feature of any collection. Comprised of six looks each put together with painstaking attention to detail, the collection is full of natural and earthy tones, structured garments, and showstopping accessories. It is clear to anyone that sees Alessandra’s collection that she is a rare talent and one can think of no reason why she will not soon accomplish her goal of working closely with Alber Elbaz, her idol, whom she believes she could learn a lot from. ‘I am intrigued by his ability to seamlessly blend youth, femininity, and fun with such sophistication. He has such a phenomenal sense of proportion and an eye for detail that women everywhere love. I have the utmost admiration for that man. I could learn a lot from him and would love to apprentice with the Paris design team.’ along with in the future having her own collection. Her thesis illustrates raw talent, conciseness as well as, importantly innovation showing that she will go far.
voodoo doll 100 segue
out in the moonlight Showcasing her simple and elegant designs, Shinhye Suk tells a story of a unique woman through her classic yet contemporary designs; she talks to John Bowyer about her thesis collection. Her woman appears as an apparition. Descending moonlit stairs in an outside garden, the faint sounds of a lawn party murmur in the background. Independent and elegant her outfit stands out from the crowd yet feels at home in the formal setting. This is the image that formed in the minds of those viewing the thesis collection of South Korean designer Shinhye Suk. Deceptively simple to look at, yet demonstrating skilled craftsmanship to those who got close, Suk’s A/W pieces alluded to a classic vision of women. The powerful juxtaposition of a strong woman combined with a softer, more fragile, femininity. Whilst picturing this woman, someone who, in Suk’s own words is ‘graceful and independent,’ it is hard not to imagine the actress Delphine Seyrig in the film Last Year in Marienbad. The dreamy evening scenes with her in merged beautifully with the impression of Suk’s customer. ‘Her style is very strong. I want my customer to feel special in my clothes.’ After interning in the fur department of Oscar De La Renta, Shinhye applied the skills she learnt there to precise effect in the statement piece of the collection: a hand-dyed fox fur vest. Creating the eye-catching stripe design was a technical process of cutting and stitching, ‘First I sliced the furs to about a quarter inch each. I then stitched chiffon between the furs at one inch intervals which gave it the striped effect.’ The addition of chiffon between the furs created a wearability not often found in fur garments, ‘although my collection is A/W, I wanted the vest to be light and comfortable to wear,’ says Suk. Focusing on the use of wool throughout the collection – which included wool jersey, suiting and cashmere- Suk wanted to develop ideas she had applied earlier in her studies, ‘I won the junior year competition with A/W pieces. For this reason I decided to do another A/W based collection as I felt I had the best experience behind me to create it.’ On her choice to focus on wool Suk felt it’s classic characteristics accentuated her designs best, ‘I like the classic feminine. Wool is very soft. It fits to my style.’ An aspect that was hard to overlook that ran throughout the collection was the extensive use of hand dying, exhibited to great effect on an oversized turtleneck jumper, and on the hand-knitted sleeves of a simple cashmere top. ‘Hand dying the sleeves took about 2 weeks,’ Suk states, ‘each stage of the dying process took 3 hours and needed several attempts to get the grading right.’ This attention to detail runs throughout Suk’s collection, evidenced further with dyed hook and eye fastenings, hand-stitched hems and luxurious silk linings. At only 25 Suk is already producing clothing that will remain timeless and her understanding of drapery and cut is undisputed. With luck, her creations will grace the sort of woman we all imagined during her presentation: strong yet graceful, existing in a realm of possibility.
Taiwanese designer, Paula Cheng, is redefining knitwear as we know it. SarahJane Funnell takes a look at her thesis collection. A silhouette which is conceptual and editorial, sexy and aspirational, is not one usually associated with knitwear. The concept of knitted and woven garments often connotes the image of comfy layering, chunky jumpers or large-scale scarves seen at the likes of Rodarte and Rag & Bone. Even with luxurious yarns such as cashmere or merino wool, knitwear delivers the feeling of being wrapped up on a winter’s day or the nonchalance, of a bohemian vibe. Very rarely does knitwear denote the same aspirational qualities associated with finer fabrics or tailoring. For 24 year old Taiwanese born designer Paula Cheng, however, challenging these knitwear stereotypes is what drives her fashion inspiration. The Parsons graduate revealed her final year 2010 collection, with a stunning array of hand and machine knitted garments, noticeably slick with the entire collection in black with accents of leather. Possessing the constructional qualities of Christopher Kane along with the sophistication of silhouettes akin to the likes of Mark Fast and Gareth Pugh, Cheng’s technical competence leans her design talent towards the more avant-garde market with her dominant, angular shapes in the hips and shoulders – a distinctive style in knit. ‘I enjoy making exquisite one of a kind pieces,’ she says, which is evident from her oversized sleeveless jacket with removable components, taking the look from being high fashion to wearable. Cheng also developed her own type of stitch, present on her dress designs named the ‘Double, Double half cardigan stitch.’ The stitch, which consists of 2-inch knitted bands, when placed horizontally gives a vertical illusion from the ribbing. The nature of the bands allows for a strong, stiff hold whilst expanding with the body’s movements, and with the addition of knitted contours, accentuates the feminine shape of the body. With Cheng’s ideal female customer being a well travelled woman with the desire for her clothes to be both distinctive and polished, Cheng’s handbags and footwear, created in leather and pony skin, echo the triangular forms present in her collection yet stand alone as striking, individual pieces. Although Cheng would like to continue the collection with more ‘comfortable’ paired down garments, she feels primarily her design vocabulary will always emphasise ‘single focus, repetition and transformation.’ This aptitude, along with Cheng’s undeniable talent, transforms knitwear into a fierce medium with many possible dimensions.
As if in response to the minimal, pared-down designs of her contemporaries, Parsons graduate Fay Leshner created a thesis collection that is completely out of the ordinary. Holly Woodcock talks denim, theatrics and monkeys with the designer. The prestigious Parsons New School for Design has churned out one successful fashion designer after another. The schools now-famous alumni include Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Tom Ford. The successes to come from Parsons are on the whole, a creatively inspiring and incredibly talented bunch. However, watching and listening to the most recent Parsons graduate collection presentations; there was a lot of ‘hanger appeal’ talk and all that the students seemed conscious of in these recession struck times were consumers, begging the question: where has all the creativity gone? Fay Leshner hopes to respond to this question with her AW ’10 graduate collection, as well as her views on how the death of creativity amongst the New York design scene should be resurrected. There is a sequence to her looks, her collection comprises of tribal influenced hand stitched bodysuits, stretch jersey wool tops and cut-out dresses made from organza. She aims to ‘push the envelope’ with her stylistic approach to denim. Her accessories include black fur cuff mittens and an exotic take on a fez, as well as a body harness made to look like a garter belt, and theatrical and outlandish headdresses. As a born and bred New Yorker, Leshner strives to stand out from her peers and fellow colleagues, insisting that in her eyes, those with individual style are being ‘ripped off’ by trend spotters capturing looks on the streets which are then exploited by mass-market brands. Leshner’s brave and bold designs hope to break the mould that has been set by these big companies, ‘I think the industry is so afraid of not making money these days, that more unique design is too much of a risk. Every country has some stream of traditional aesthetic, but I think among the younger generations, having the world at their fingertips, all start looking the same,’ she says. Sticking to her plan to break traditional boundaries and crossing it with her thoughts on society’s relationship with technology, one of Leshner’s more eyebrow-raising prints is a monkey with an iPod. The monkey represents the line of evolution from ape to man, the choice to silhouette them symbolises Apple’s iPod advertising, and the monkey holding the iPod expresses how the evolution of technology will lead to the digression of natural human ability. The ultimate goal of Leshner’s exotic creations is to make whoever wears them feel like an epic vision, and to put the meaning of individuality back into individualism and, although there’s still a long way to go, she hopes for her collections to be sold alongside Galliano, Westwood and Comme Des Garçons sometime in the future.
creativity is not dead segue 101 53
Tara LaTour breathed new life into bridal-wear with her thesis collection; Sherene Russell finds out what inspired her to create the perfect gown for every girl’s fairytale wedding. Minneapolis born Tara LaTour showed a desirably elegant collection that had the women in the audience excited with anticipation at Parsons The New School For Design. Designing bridal-wear has always been a passion for this creative insider and from a young age she would spend years perfecting the art of design; creating every girls dream of getting their hands on the perfect fairytale dress. Of course, she never failed to impress the audience with her gowns, gracing the stage in whimsical fabrics in the sheerest chiffons and perfect shades. LaTour’s thesis collection was inspired by a small island in the middle of Lake Waconia in Minnesota where her grandparents met and ironically, when the ballroom was rebuilt on the mainland, her parents met there to. Some may call it fate and some may call it a true fairytale love story. Not only was it her experience of love that inspired a collection full of enchantment and mystery, but it was the women in her family that motivated her to capture the power and elegance that sits behind the collection. The first dress shown on the model encapsulated the grace and beauty of the perfect princess. Called the Angela, the base of this dress is made in raw silk and crinkled silk chiffon and hand dyed to perfection in midnight blue. The belt is made of twill, tulle, chiffon and braided silk; the perfect ensemble for a breathtakingly gorgeous bridal gown. Her second dress, the Luella, had every girl in the audience gasping for breath. Made of silk jersey and metallic crinkled chiffon, the drapery on this gown had the audience starring in amazement. The neckline, made of silk organza and pleated tulle, was not the only thing that made this dress effective, it was the smallest details like the hand braided straps and bleached peacock feathers that were graced eloquently over the models shoulder. And let’s not forget the sweetest dress of all, the Amanda. Made in silk duchess satin with a silk taffeta and tulle treatment, this was the one dress that had every woman muttering, ‘that’s the one.’ When asked about her love for designing wedding dresses, LaTour admitted it was all down to her grandmother. ‘I come from a very supportive and encouraging family and that continually inspires me to go forward. I first got interested in wedding gowns when I watched my grandmother sew my aunts wedding dress. I used to take the scraps and make smaller versions for dolls. She was an amazing woman to watch; she was a sewing bandit, a painter and a love of nature, and always encouraged using my creative brain. She defiantly passed that onto me. She was also the one who gave me my first sewing machine.’ Without a doubt, LaTour needs no introduction. Her collection has already been spotted by fashion insiders and by no means we’re guaranteed to see her collection in the chicest wedding boutiques in New York very soon. Like LaTour says, the world is her Oyster. ‘I am a true believer that when you do something, you do it right. And that is what I plan to do!’
the perfect fairytale
Imagine Such Creativity
Thesis week at Parsons sees student upon student stand nervously in front of a panel of judges, presenting what can only be described as garments with the perfect ‘hanger appeal’. That is not how Hazel Lubbock would describe the collection from graduate Gilda Su. Su produced a collection brimming with such creativity and passion that it instantly stood out from the rails of monotonous clothing. Inspired by The Magic Faraway Tree, by Enid Blyton, it is no wonder that the garments have character. ‘Imagine having an enchanted wood as an extension of your backyard,’ says Su, ‘with a magic tree in the middle of it, where fairy folk live and one gets to visit exciting lands at the top of the tree each week, have amazing adventures, eat pop biscuits and google buns, and slide down moonface’s slippery slip’ You can tell that Su had fun making these clothes; she wanted to create clothing that might spark a memory of a child’s innocence and love for adventure. Her clothes embody the emotions of growing up reading these books, and imagining a world of colour, fun, and make-believe. This, and the theme of dependency and tension lead to her using various pattern and fabric manipulations, giving each item a unique silhouette. Pleats, multiple tucks, gathers and tiers are used to show how one thing cannot exist without the support of another. These innovative - yet wearable - garments are versatile in their own right, and pixie-ish hats inject a sense of mischief. Su is particularly proud of the collection balloon print jersey romper. Having spent time carefully draping and cutting the pattern, the end result looked exactly how she’d imagined on paper. ‘There are so many different ways to wear this piece to create different looks and silhouettes,’ she says, ‘ it’s the ultimate fun item to run around in and you can just be whoever you want to be in it. ‘ Obsessed about design, Su aspires to one-day work for Japanese greats such as Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe and Jun Takahashi. It’s easy to see how these designers have influenced her, ‘I could die a happy person if I was buried in Comme des Garçons,’ says Su. Su has fantastic style, wearing cutting-edge clothes from the designers she idolises. ‘I would have a closet full of couture, mix those pieces with something more avant garde and top it off with a Stephen Jones hat,’ says Su, dreaming of her future, ‘I’d try to become friends with Anna Piaggi so that I could ask her where she buys her canes from and then I’d fall sleep on a Christian Lacriox dress.’ The future remains uncertain, although expect to see Su setting up a store in her homeland Singapore or her love, Tokyo. In the mean time she’ll be in New York re-making her entire collection in a more subdued colour-palette, and then taking both versions to stores to sell.
With her attention to detail and unique approach, Leslie Jones’ golfing collection captivated the audience at her graduate show at Parsons. Sophie Watkins finds out why. With a strong golfing knowledge, Leslie Jones had already envisaged what her collection would look like in terms of colours and themes but almost dismissed the entire thing at the last minute, knowing she would face harder challenges than non-functional apparel. As an avid golfer herself, Leslie understands what women want from their course-clothing and was aware of the dress code restrictions when designing. Her aim was to create something new and innovative with her collection, ‘I can definitely say that there is nothing like this in stores right now! I’ve hunted!’ remarks Leslie. Functional clothing requires thorough research and the correct technical materials, which meant hours trawling through fabric stores and practice on sewing new materials. The thought-process behind the designs was considerable as the garments needed to work in a functional sense, automatically posing limitations. The weight and bulk of the garments was a huge issue with many left unlined to expel the need for extra fabric allowing breath-ability for the wearer. Due to the formality of the sport every skirt needed shorts underneath and every shirt a collar to comply with the dress code. ‘I must say that the process had points of frustration, but I’m definitely happy that I pushed through and can really say that this collection is functional,’ explains Leslie. The thesis collection uses a noticeably exuberant colour palette that is taken from Fernand Léger artwork. Bright colours are incorporated to bring boldness and tie-in the wear-ability and fashion aspect of the garments. Leslie explains, ‘I wanted to combine the bright colours with more neutrals so I wouldn’t scare any golfers off.’ Throughout designing, it has been important for Leslie to consider the market that her collection will stand in, and while the functionality of her collection has meant it is categorized with activewear, she ideally sees herself designing ready-to-wear sportswear. ‘I think the collection, while it is fully functional, doesn’t fall into the same category as most activewear,’ discusses Leslie. ‘I think it’s a combination of my interests. I really love golf and I really love fashion. Whenever I was shopping for things to wear on the golf course, there was never anything that was really fashionable. I designed the collection to fill a void in the market more so than hang along side another designer.’ Leslie is still deciding on her niche as a designer but her talent in designing both in activewear and ready-to-wear could lead her into capsule sportswear collection for luxury brands. She has a desire to work for high-end labels such as Marni, Prada and Chloe as well a brand like Nike or Adidas. Whichever avenue Leslie chooses to explore, she hopes to design at a company that allows her to experiment with the boundaries of activewear. ‘Ideally I would like to be able to change how people think activewear should look, and whether I am at a small company, a large company, or my own, I hope that my vision develops more over that time and I can put my ideas to good use.’
The best colours, shapes and fabrics all go in to making the perfect 70’s inspired garment for Jason Niu. Sherene Russell profiles his thesis collection. Inspired by the French photographer Guy Bourdin, Jason Niu created a collection based on the femme fatale of the seventies. Complete with twill denim, liquid jersey and supple leathers Niu produced a collection where luxury pieces retained that day time edge. For his Thesis collection at Parsons, Niu subverted the denim jean by making them in Dutch satin and silk tops with athletic mesh, showcasing that sporty clothing can have a luxury element. As well as his use of fabrics, his colour palette embraces that connection between luxury and utility. Emerald greens, ruby reds and jade were just some of the shades which burst onto the runway. And let’s not forget the tulip skirts, the boat neck tees in lamb skin with silk crepe-de-chin binding and the beige harem pant in tropical sponge wool, which had the audience gasping for more. When asked about his diverse collection, Niu replied, ‘Fashion should not be taken seriously, it should be frivolous. Layering prints and different sorts of fabrics are what I’m drawn to.’ Enough said, this collection screamed 70s glamour and I loved it.
thegraduates 2010 Mary Adeniyi This 21- year-old fashionista wants to rule the fashion world with her creative flair in writing. After spending three years learning about Fashion Journalism, she realised that there is more to fashion that just designer clothes. She learnt that fashion affects millions of people whether they realise it or not and has an effect on society. After taking on work placements at Jori White PR and Mother and Baby magazine, her love for fashion grew and plans to continue gaining experience and hopefully running my own black publication someday. 07709 108 347 email@example.com Natasha Aghalar Undertaking a degree in Fashion Journalism has opened doors that she didn’t even realise she had the keys to. Work placements have granted Natasha the opportunity to have her work published and learn the necessary skills for the industry. Natasha has thoroughly enjoyed writing in different journalistic styles, and her strong passion for writing has given her the ambition to work within not only fashion, but in many other areas of journalism. Her aim is to tackle the publishing world. 07855442232 firstname.lastname@example.org Lindsey Anderson After graduating from college, Lindsey knew the only way to combine her love of fashion and the English language, was to enter the world of Fashion Journalism. Whilst studying a three -year Fashion Journalism degree, Lindsey has fuelled her knowledge and experience through working at such publications as Look and Cosmopolitan, fulfilling her inquisitive nature into the workings of a fashion editorial. Lindsey’s hard working, determined mind is complemented by her striving nature to succeed and to one day achieve her ultimate dream of combining her passion for fashion and feature writing. 07984 027 901 email@example.com Charlotte Arif Charlotte Arif has had the values of fashion and style drilled into her for the past two decades. With the knowledge she has acquired over the past three years, she has come to realise In-house fashion PR is the route for her. After working for Ted Baker and Alberta Ferretti, a six month internship with Alexander McQueen is next on the cards and after that, a year in New York! Within five years time she hopes to be working for one of the leading fashion houses. One step at a time was never something that sat well with this girl! 07826 845 488 firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah-Jane Ashby As an only child Sarah-Jane was paraded in hats and squeezed into outfits since she was born. This celebration of style from a solely female household has her hooked on fashion. Now wanting to promote the fashion industry, Sarah-Jane has worked alongside her degree towards a career in PR. She has worked at fashion press days whilst heading the administration for a PR firm and more recently, she has assisted at The Brit Awards and at The Dorchester Hotel. Strong work ethic and a keen visual eye are what drive this PR-powerhouse in the making. 07891 643 960 email@example.com
Hannah Baillie There were times when things didn’t look good for Hannah Baillie. She had her fair share of fashion disasters in her younger years and there were times when we just didn’t think she would pull through. Thankfully, with a large dose of Topshop and monthly injections of Elle, Hannah has found her calling in the fashion industry and plans to take up a career in high-street fashion buying upon her graduation. A full recovery has been made. 07738 565 162 firstname.lastname@example.org Rachael Barker At 21 and after three years of studying fashion journalism, Rachael openly admits that she is “no fashion journalist”but an aspiring Fashion Press Officer in the making. With experience at Gucci, a few fashion publications, modelling agencies, and a promised position working with Prada post graduation, she is eagerly anticipating her future career in the industry. Coined as ‘The Fashion Nun’ by her friends, she dresses head to toe in black, until she is able to afford either Prada or Yves Saint Laurent RTW. 07816 135 617 email@example.com Lucy Blane Lucy Blane. I fell into Fashion Journalism when faced with the full-time-job or university dilemma. University won and 3 years down the line, here I am. The ‘blossoming flower’ metaphor is extremely cheesy, so let’s just say the past 3 years have provided me with knowledge and direction I never thought possible. I currently work at the BBC on Girl Talk magazine (who doesn’t love High School Musical, pets dressed up in silly outfits and the term ‘BFF’?) and have discovered my passion for the Girls/Teen magazine market. The future is looking bright, so wish me luck! 07702 830 882 firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Bonser Suffers from serial procrastination when writing about herself, however, is the Mac keyboards answer to Lewis Hamilton when writing about the vagaries of the world around her. Various dabblings in the publishing pot, a stint at LCF and a successful internship lead her to become Fashion Editor for SUPERSWEET magazine and a regular columnist for Cover-Up. With an unwavering passion for putting pen to paper the sky’s the limit for this northerner in the south. 07707 975 600 email@example.com John Francis Bowyer Exhibiting a natural affinity with writing from a young age has helped John on the journey of discovery that has been his time at university. Leading a hedonistic and adventurous social life that has led him to both private members clubs and basement squats, John excels in experiencing the vibrancy of life and with the flourish of a pen has mapped out his, and others, thoughts in a broad range of publications and online sites including VICE, Glass and Velour. 07795037102 firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Bradley As a little girl growing up in the Cornish countryside, Laura Bradley dreamed of life in the big city, where people wore clothes other than board shorts and flip-flops. Escaping through the glossy pages of fashion magazines, Laura aspired to live the London dream and one day put her passion down in words for the style bibles she coveted. As an editorial assistant at WGSN, it was confirmed that writing is where Laura’s heart lies. Upon graduating, she hopes to land the ultimate job in magazine journalism and communicate her love of the industry to many. 07738 096 077 email@example.com Samantha Brennan Samantha Brennan is a girl on a mission. Optimistic, witty, ambitious and enthusiastic, this Aries is headstrong and embraces a challenge. Her contacts diary is impressive after working with publications like Tatler, Vogue India, WWD and W Magazine. This girl is determined to make her mark on the fashion industry and is constantly striving to learn more about an industry in which all her dreams and aspirations lie. 07754 262 986 firstname.lastname@example.org Eleni Charalambous Eleni’s work at Premier Model Management over the past year brought her into the fast paced world of fashion, teaching her intriguing new aspects of the industry. Her passion lies within imaging and general art direction, which she approaches, with a meticulous and pristine manner. Favourite past times of hers include eating out and visiting art exhibitions. Her aim is to bring the fast paced way of life back to her relaxed home island, Cyprus. 07974408237 email@example.com Laura Chatterton Laura Chatterton started her career dressing models backstage at LFW for three seasons. This opened the door to writing catwalk reports for LFW and doing the PR for designer ioannisdimitrousis. As well as this Laura has shown that she can write and style for various publications having had work published in Junior magazine (a high fashion children’s magazine), Reveal, bitchingandjunkfood.com and Sketchbook magazine. From the last three years Laura has realised that she wishes to style and write for a high-end fashion magazine. 07791 344 419 firstname.lastname@example.org Lewis Chong My first real glimpse of fashion, beyond the lacquered page of a magazine, was while working for Mandi Lennard during my first year at university. Helping her at the collections, like Roksanda Ilincic in London and Gareth Pugh in Paris, it was not until interning at V magazine that my full determination was realised. Currently interning at LOVE magazine, when I graduate I hope to carve myself a journalistic niche within the industry. 07545 827 203- email@example.com
Dominique Christou Dominique’s Barbie dolls were always the stylish ones of the pack during play dates. Her immense love for fashion and styling has added to her infectious love for life and helps her deal with the characters of the infamous field of fashion. Moreover, her infatuation with the world of Disney, has instilled her with the desire to wave her wand and sprinkle her fairy dust over models to create stylish and enchanted images on her magical home island of Cyprus. 07970 383 401 firstname.lastname@example.org Cathy Clavero-Prescott In a far away town, where fashion or design was neither a topic nor a thought, a young girl could only dream of what she did not have. With the imagination for fashion and the passion for writing, it could all finally happen for this young girl. To have the ambition she always wanted is now only the beginning, with lipstick in one hand and a notebook in the other, she is now ready to step into the world of the avant-garde. 07747483615 email@example.com Maryanne Cook Maryanne’s often sarcastic, occasionally satirical aopinions are never far from causing havoc. Whilst planning to put to use her work experience in the London PR industry, her long term goals rest within flying back to her mother’s roots in Manila and ruffling up some feathers in the Asian trend scene where she will eventually compile her own Brit inspired fashion and lifestyle magazine. In her spare time, Maryanne educates herself in the fashion retail industry, working with companies such as Jaeger, Jigsaw and Oliver Bonas where her interests are slowly starting to develop in the Jewellery buying industry in Southeast Asia. 07853 248 468 firstname.lastname@example.org Jemma Cooper From the age of eight Jemma knew she wanted work in fashion and as she grew so did her knowledge and love of the industry. Now 21 and a degree later she’s more determined than ever to follow her dream with her passions for PR and journalism blossoming. Excited for what the future holds Jemma hopes to carry on her love affair with the fashion world alongside the people who have inspired her dreams. 07904584001 email@example.com Lauren Cooper With an addiction for magazines and a passion for writing, Lauren dreams of working for the glossies that cover her bedroom floor. Although her first and foremost love is writing hard-hitting human-interest, features that evoke emotion within the reader Lauren discovered her talent for design whilst creating her magazine Dual. With experience in the magazine industry, styling and PR, Lauren is ready to take on the world of publications with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. 07908 812 151 laurencooper.org
Jemma Cross Jemma Cross came to university for the Fashion Journalism course because of her love for the written word and fashion.Having completed a number of work placements which she has thoroughly enjoyed, including Exposure PR and Fabulous magazine, she would like to have her fingers in every pie, from PR, press offices to styling. . With a keen interest in high-street styling she has recently been organising her own test shoots to build up a strong portfolio, but enjoys anything that will keep her mind active and stimulated. 07872 168 250 firstname.lastname@example.org Shireen Fenner Shireen Fenner came to university with aspirations to become a journalist. She has found herself becoming drawn to the urban music and fashion industry, working as a journalist for a London based streetwear label, AVIT. Previous experience also includes working for Village Press and The Fairtrade Foundation on the cotton team. She has lived in London all her life, with the constant fresh and exciting vibes surrounding her, which makes her want to keep writing. 07807 229 089 email@example.com Bianca Ffolkes A short memoir about me well, I am 21 and an aspiring Fashion Journalist. Residing from the north side of London is where my infatuation for street style blossomed. Now I am involved in full blown love affair with sportswear. During my three years at UCA, work placements at Hornvale PR, assisting freelance stylists and squeezing in a stint at Closer Magazine fulfilled my desire to apart of the fashion industry. So in order to feed my habit I must continue to combine my interests; settling into journalism in an area that is somewhere in between underground cool and industry mainstream would be ideal. 07932 329 475 firstname.lastname@example.org Amanda Fuller Amanda Fuller 21, first found lust and passion behind the camera (and sometimes in front) from a super young age. Soon this crush grew to love and a very strong yearning for all things lights, camera, fashion! Having, over three fantastical years, developed her creative abilities with the written word and knowledge of fashion, this excitable fashionista hopes to fulfill a successful career not just writing about the cutting edge world of fashion but also capture the magic on camera. 07787 553 202 email@example.com Sarahjane Funnell At the young age of 8, buying her first pair of heels inspired by Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Sarahjane found her love for fashion, fairytale and adventure. Since moving to London from sunny Devon, Sarahjane’s wealth of experience includes Draper’s, Look, Cosmopolitan Bride, The Times Magazine and Press Assistant for Religion Clothing. With a passion for fabrics, colours and detailing, Sarahjane endeavors to earn her fashion stripes as a magazine catwalk reporter and also one day writing her own fashion book. 07816 075726 firstname.lastname@example.org
Grashina Gabelmann Grashina Gabelmann, arrived in London with the hope of securing herself a place in the world of journalism. After assisting a stylist, working for Vauxhall Fashion Scout at London Fashion Week, German InStyle, Elle, Amica and Daily Candy, she is now regularly getting work published for Sketchbook Magazine and online men’s magazine Rahha. As Grashina is not used to living in one place longer than three years, she is heading to New York this summer for further work experience but as London has found a place in her heart (and getting a U.S. working Visa is a nightmare) she plans on being back soon enough. 07533876317 email@example.com Ellie Gill Growing up in rural Sussex, Ellie Gill’s local career options were a) work on a farm or b) work in the pub where the farmers drank. Too feeble for labour and too grumpy for bar work there was one other option…Escape. A myspace message was sent to a fairly godmother fashion stylist and Ellie was soon assisting shoots for Wallpaper*, Nylon and Dazed. Shortly after she was writing for magazines as well as styling for them. A fascination grew for hair and make up and these days Ellie specialises in beauty journalism. 07965 462 283 firstname.lastname@example.org Emma Goble During her three years of study, Emma’s passion for feature writing and styling has developed greatly. After work placements covering areas from PR, merchandising and office assistant roles within fashion companies, Emma has decided to focus on feature writing and styling, not only within fashion but music also. After two years experience within Visual merchandising for Topshop, and with her experience gained from Fashion Journalism, Emma’s next career step will be aimed towards working for the Topshop head office, and editorial teams within music and fashion magazines and websites. 07926 643 012 email@example.com Karmia Goldring When Karmia Goldring came to the ‘career making’ decision at 18, she realised that her science knowledge was not quite up to scratch as that of a physicist and her Geography skills was as dormant as Mount Edna. However everyday she meticulously chose what to wear, read her magazines and wrote in her diary. With these three simple routines, she realised that fashion journalism was her niche. A fashion internship here some witty writing there, her main aim is to continue to thrive off of fashion. From magazines to merchandising she has learnt one vital revelation: in fashion, anything is possible. 07807 291 056 firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Hall If I had hoped a fashion degree would inject some colour into my wardrobe and deter me from a regular Byron burger, then my intentions failed. What I have managed however, is interviews with the weird (Vampires) and the wonderful (Walter van Beirendonck), styling assignments for sportsmen, girl bands and fashion week shows and learnt long hours of hard graft pays off when your name is acknowledged in print. Now looking for further challenges to sit alongside a food and black dress obsession. 07989 307 656 email@example.com
Victoria Hall Talented, ambitious, hardworking with extensive experience of editorial, styling and online and quite simply exactly what you’re looking for… there’s nothing like blowing your own trumpet. Realistically my love for all these magazines has made me glutton for punishment, resulting in a string of full time internships throughout my degree. From writing about cracked nipples, nappies and night feeds to Rick Owens, Balenciaga and never ending returns, my experience is nothing but diverse and now I’m looking for the next big challenge. 07912 537 321 firstname.lastname@example.org Daniel Higgins From flicking through his first copy of FHM in his early years, Daniel Higgins or Danny as he’s known to many, always knew a career in fashion journalism was for him. He wishes to combine his passion of writing investigative, thought provoking features and love of styling in his future career, hopefully at an established men’s magazine such as Arena Homme+, Man About Town or GQ Style. Having gained work experience at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Men’s Health and Recognise magazine and having both written and styling work published Danny now wishes to travel the world with his notepad, pen and styling kit in toe. Fashion industry, get ready. 07821 851 761 email@example.com Rachel Hopwood Now graduated from University, Rachel has finally grown up and is ready to go out into the world of work. Having completed a range of internships, she feels that she is best suited to PR. With the intention of never leading a boring life, Rachel is looking for an exciting and successful team to work with. Now all she has to master is getting the tube at rush hour in heels... 07969 451 998 firstname.lastname@example.org Catherine Hudson What Catherine has learnt from undertaking numerous work placements will surely prove invaluable to her future career plans: to be a fashion editorial assistant. After a long-term internship at BA High Life, Catherine has now secured an upcoming placement at British Vogue. Stints at Monsoon and New Look press offices, and as model dresser (LFW and Britain’s Next Top Model) mean that Catherine is by now well attuned to how the industry machine works, and is raring to get involved. 07776 371 713 email@example.com Hayat Kamil From Iraq to Paris, then Paris to London, Hayat Kamil had done her fair share of travelling before she was even a year old. Her parents would never have guessed that she would end up with a degree in Fashion Journalism from UCA all the way in Epsom, Surrey. With a passion for exploring new countries and different cultures, she hopes for a job that will take her all over the world. 07961 753 219 firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Lane As Madonna says “Better to live one day as a Tiger, than a hundred as a sheep.” Which is my ethos concerning the wonderful world of Fashion Journalism. My ultimate ambition is to have a VERY successful career as a journalist, either in the fashion or broadcasting fields; my spell at Harpers Bazaar validating this. I’m tough, determined, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, then okay. I believe everyone is entitled to my opinion. 07732 068 485 email@example.com Hazel Lubbock Hazel is a chameleon; she stands out, but can blend in seamlessly. Able to adapt her style according to the brief, she can write about anything from stolen wheelie bins, to the murders of women in Mexico. For the past year she has effortlessly juggled university while interning at The Sun and high-end magazine, Wallpaper*. This, plus her fashion design background, has given her the backbone of experience needed to succeed as a journalist and stylist. 07764 483 956 firstname.lastname@example.org Cairstidh MacPherson A spelling like that made it inevitable that Cairistidh would take an interest in the written word. Dealing with peoples inability to pronounce her name for twenty three years has given her an uncommonly patient nature. Cairistidh found her interest in writing turn into love and, coupled with a passion for photography, it became clear that journalism was where her future lay. Internships at Esquire and Supersweet Digital have helped shape the direction she wants to take, and have made it clear that while she does have an interest in fashion, lifestyle and investigative journalism are where her interests really lie. 07531453848 email@example.com Stephanie Major Eager and enthusiastic, twenty- one year old dreams of new and exciting things. Catapulted into the world of fashion at a vulnerably young age, Stephanie has endeavoured to get into the fashion industry by any means possible. She has modelled, written blogs, and trekked through London finding varying types of work experience as possible: from clothes shop queen to PR girl at Stephanie Churchill PR to interviewer extraordinaire (interviewing noted designer Jenny Packham in her first year at University). If you have hopes for Stephanie, please contact her on her mobile that is constantly stuck to her hand, as she will always pick up... 07870 954 647 firstname.lastname@example.org Cara Mashall Hailing from the Welsh border, Cara Marshall is determined to become a successful freelance journalist. She couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing, and so far so good. Cara’s strengths lie in her passion for letting her voice shine through in all her work no matter what the subject is. Although she can adopt many writing styles she likes to inject wit into her work at every opportunity - with the notion that a bit of humour will always make for an interesting read. 07722 051 801 email@example.com
Sarah Marsland Sarah Marsland, or cleverly called ‘Mars’ by her friends, came from a small town in the countryside to the Big Smoke with big dreams and big ideas. After three years of studying Fashion Journalism and work experience at Fluff PR and Lady Luck, she reinforced her love for writing and popular culture. Fuelled by all things quirky, Sarah cannot wait to cause a stir and make a difference with her hardhitting journalism. 07738 512 013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Josie Pohlinger Josie Pohlinger, sometimes described as “the one with the glasses”, can usually be found whittling her way into work placements such as Look magazine, Fluorescent PR and New Look Press Office, or wandering the streets of London looking for big exciting things to tear her away from her small hometown. Josie’s outgoing and bubbly personality will undoubtedly fast-track her into her chosen career field of fashion PR. 07946 604 314 email@example.com
Kelby McNally Come free with an Apple Mac and a head full of ideas. Never to be found without a notepad and camera, Kelby is always on the lookout for inspiration. Her passion for feature writing and mission to succeed in the industry sees her pushing herself to the limit to get there. Having already landed some perfect placements in the likes of national magazines, local newspapers and freelanced for a variety of online publications, we’re sure her talents will not be missed. 07939507747 firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace Rankin Grace, a quiet, shy young girl has grown up to be a 20-year-old confident fashion enthusiast. Fuelled by her love of fashion and all things beautiful, Grace has undergone several work placements including time at SHOWstudio, Tatty Devine, assisting stylist Mohieb Dahabieh and currently thriving at PR agency IPR. Grace can’t wait to graduate and fulfil her dreams of living, breathing and writing in the diverse world of the fashion industry. 07787 568 881 email@example.com
Rachel Morgan The power of the written word to incite a range of emotions in the reader, combined with the love of the fast-paced, innovative world of fashion and a resistance of the dreary nine-to-five, led Rachel Morgan to Fashion Journalism. Inspired by the achievements of fashion authorities such as Suzy Menkes, Rachel has a thirst for endless knowledge and experience to cement her way to the road of fashion authority. firstname.lastname@example.org Sophie Neophytou Styling is a career that I aim to pursue; I am passionate about photography, texture, the body, fabrics, and colour and how clothes can completely change your attitude and persona. From working at Storm models and freelance stylists; styling is what excites me about fashion. I have always wanted to become a personal stylist; working with people and to make them feel amazing. I am passionate about clothes; from vintage to high street stores such as Topshop to designer such as Sofie-Ann Back. I love how clothes can transform a person. 07852 245 782 email@example.com Sian O’Donnell When Sian O’Donnell won the 100 metre sprint at the Richmond borough sports, back in a simpler time when tamagotchis ruled; a look of sheer shock melted away the expression on her Grandad’s face. For she was the lazy one, nicknamed ‘9-carat gold’ due to the permanent sleeping pattern and soft ginger hair. Dedicated, enthusiastic and imaginative with only a dash of cynicism; writing is her escapism, a distraction from reality that is dusted with innovative flair. She now wishes to take the form of a ‘9-carat hack’; minus the eyewear. 07967 731 608 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherene Russell At 20 years old, Sherene Russell has finally discovered that the life of Carrie Bradshaw is simply not for her. Instead she admires the life of a non-stop PR girl who works for the best the fashion capital has to offer. Her experience working for Bismarck Phillips, Brower Lewis, Sam Forrest and Theory has only encouraged her to follow her dreams but nevertheless her long- term affair with fashion journalism has more than helped her to discover her love for PR. 07930 638 527 email@example.com Laura Scougall Hailing from the northern city of Birmingham, Laura moved to London at 18 to pursue a career in fashion. With her writing skills and love of style, the fashion journalism course at Epsom was the perfect choice. Along her journey she picked up valuable experience at The National Magazine Company and Nicole Farhi to name just a few. Open minded and up for any challenge she now looks forward to a career in Fashion Buying. 07702 220 067 firstname.lastname@example.org Sophie Everman While other nine-year-olds eagerly watched Pokemon and showed-off their somewhat tedious rucksacks, Sophie discovered Vogue and decided Chanel handbags were the only way forward. Eleven years on and she was right. Not only did she somehow accumulate her very own handbag collection, but also managed to turn her passion for style through determination and commitment into a pathway for the future. Now all she desires is a career to express her creativity, and let’s be honest – to afford more handbags. 07725 473 638 email@example.com
Amy Shiels Amy Shiels has an intense love for style and fashion possessing the belief that it is better to be over dressed rather than under dressed. She holds a love of writing, as well as a fondness for the buzz of the capital. After work experience at The Telegraph Magazine, Amy is keen to delve deeper into the world of fashion, striving to travel the world, with her ultimate aim of becoming a successful Fashion Journalist. 07702 852 848 firstname.lastname@example.org Colette Smith Soon to be graduated from university, not only with a BA Honors but also a CV full of industry credentials. From work experience with Look Magazine to the Natmag’s events team, her future is fast unraveling itself. Passionate about pursuing a career in the fashion industry, employers be warned, expect an email to be sent your way shortly. FASHION JOURNALISM GRADUATE seeking a career in print media, events and PR. The chances of landing her dream job, only an email away. New challenges await but this dedicated student is certainly capable of rising to them. 07815 993 767 email@example.com Charlotte (Lottie) Stanford She may only be 5”3, but this little lady has a huge amount of talents and enthusiasm. Born and bred in the fashion capital of London, Lottie submersed herself into the fashion industry; from dressing backstage for Basso &Brooke and Richard Nicholl, to assisting Mandi Lennard PR, several fashion Weeks. However she longed to be one the fortunate journalists sat in the front row at the shows, so applied to intern at Tank Magazine where she had the chance to work and write for their fashion department. It was an instant love affair and a taste of things to come. 07986 904 081 firstname.lastname@example.org Nicole Todd With a lipgloss in one hand and a Marc Jacobs handbag in the other, Nicole has always enjoyed both the worlds of fashion and beauty. After writing about fashion for the past three years it’s time to take a step away from Marc and towards Maybelline. Whether writing about the latest mascara to hit the market or finding whether mint green really is the new shade of nail varnish, Nicole has it covered. 07841 355 397 email@example.com Lucy Toms Enthusiastic, determined and always smiling, Lucy Toms is a girl who knows what she wants. With dreams of being a top fashion journalist, with the closet to match, her desire to work with fashion was set in stone from a young age. Already having carried out placements at Look, YOU, Woman & Home and others, her work has previously been published in Sketchbook Magazine. It is moments, and experiences like these that spur her on, and bring her one step closer to the ultimate wardrobe. 07854 518 453 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Ward Katie’s love of fashion began at the tender age of nine years old, with a school project asking who you would choose to be if you lived in the 1950s and 1960s. Katie chose the model Twiggy because “she wore really cool clothes.” This love of cool clothes has not lessened over the years, and now, combined with a passion for writing, is the basis for a promising career in the fashion industry. After stints at magazines such as Red and More!, Katie is now determined to reach her goal of working in the fashion department of a glossy magazine- all with a Starbucks in hand, of course. 07709 318 209 email@example.com Sophie Watkins Fashion journalism has been the perfect platform for Sophie to launch her career within the industry. Diverse experience in placements from press offices (New Look) to design studios (fashddict) has left her with the gritty determination to succeed. A creative mind has led to a passion in showing her ideas visually and designing layouts alongside thoroughly researched interviews. Thriving on research she loves a challenge and is keen to begin her career within the industry. 07814 196 219 firstname.lastname@example.org Charlotte West Having completed her first internship with Condé Nast at the tender age of fifteen, Charlotte has always set her sights high on a career in fashion. Or could it have possibly been that chance encounter with Isabella Blow, whilst standing in the Condé Nast café that further cemented her drive? With an eye for style coupled with a fantastic work ethic, further experience at Modus, Inca and Style has only made her more driven to succeed whilst wearing her big smile. 07944 905 363 email@example.com Eva Wilkos Enamoured with the world of fashion from an early age, Eva left her native Poland to chase a dream of becoming a successful fashion journalist. Free-spirited, enthusiastic and ready to take up new challenges; she has gained her writing credentials though freelancing for various publications, both in the UK and abroad. Six months spent in Milan and a project in New York prepared her for whatever the future has in store for her as long as the love affair with fashion continues. 07731 675 950 firstname.lastname@example.org Holly Woodcock Before moving to London 3 years ago, Holly lived in the North of England waiting for her opportunity to move south and begin the journey to what she hopes will be a long and successful career in fashion journalism and styling. Internships within the fashion world have included stints at LOVE magazine and The Sunday Times Style, as well as stylist assistant positions, working for Ribbed Magazine and having her own work commissioned for various projects. Holly plans to continue her styling and writing work. See more at www.hollywoodcock.com 07827 777 857 email@example.com
NEW BA Hons & MASTERS’ COURSES AT UCA EPSOM 2010/2011
General Statement about Epsom
MA Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism
When it comes to studying, Epsom offers a range of courses centred on the cutting-edge world of fashion, graphics and new media at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We have introductory courses in art and design together with specialist qualifications in fashion, music and lifestyle journalism, digital new media and graphic communication, our academic courses are kept relevant and up-to-date through strong connections with industry. Our links with employers - ranging from small, niche players to large and well-established multinationals - add real value, giving our students access to influential individuals, to the challenge of live projects and to London-based work placements. At Epsom, you will find would-be fashion stylists working alongside budding graphic illustrators, menswear designers and web developers. Students really flourish in this melting pot of talent and, over the years, have regularly scooped major national awards, including Graduate Fashion Week, D&AD and RSA Design Direction prizes. Some key facts:
What modern, culturally conscious individual doesn’t buy or browse through a copy of magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, i-D, Wallpaper or Rolling Stone at least once a month? Through an explosion of glossy lifestyle magazines, readers today subliminally explore the contemporary blending of fashion, music, design and popular culture. This course allows you to enter this rapidly expanding world, contributing to new models of journalistic dialogue and criticism providing commentary which triggers and reflects today’s debates. You should have critical writing and analytical skills from your undergraduate studies which may be in a range of disciplines.
• Home to a multi-million pound Library & Learning Resource Centre • Campus bar and café hosts regular events and themed nights • Student halls of residence are on campus, which is based close to the town centre • Epsom is only 17 miles from London by car and only a 30 minutes train journey
Specialist resources and support We encourage originality and innovation and give students the freedom to challenge convention and break boundaries with flare and panache. On-campus resources include a multimillion pound library and learning centre stocked with relevant, specialist materials and the Anglo-Japanese Textile Centre, which has produced world class exhibitions on cultural identity and practice. Studies aside, a dedicated Student Services team and chaplaincy provide Epsom students with support for all aspects of their lives and can offer advice and guidance on a range of issues, including finance, welfare, disability support and English language.
BA Hons Music Journalism Can you picture yourself working as a Music Journalist, interviewing musicians from the current music scene, writing record reviews, capturing the atmosphere of a live music gig, or commenting on music and cultural trends, while exploring music in a wider cultural context and developing solid journalistic skills? If this is what you want to do with your life, then this is the course for you. September 2007 will see the start of a new BA Honours degree course in Music & Lifestyle Journalism at the University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom. This exciting new development will sit along side the already highly successful BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, and is founded on the flourishing expansion of the media and cultural industries based around music, entertainment, style and lifestyle genres. It is designed for students who wish to specialise in music journalism for the lifestyle, culture, media and communication industries. It will provide you with a broad-based creative background and practical, technical and professional expertise in written and alternative forms of media. Through theoretical study you will also acquire a reflective and critical insight into media issues relating to contemporary culture and music. As a graduate you will find employment in the music and lifestyle-related media. This could include modern style publications such as: • i-D or Dazed and Confused which seamlessly blend the areas of style and music • music-focused magazines and newspapers like Rolling Stone, Q, Mojo, Kerrang, Mixmag, Observer Music Monthly or NME • specialist ‘niche market’ magazines (for example, Acoustic Guitar, Songwriter Magazine or International DJ) • in-house publications like HMV Choice; • any number of men’s or women’s glossies, newspapers and supplements which include music coverage, or the plethora of internet websites that now focus on the music industry. For more information please contact: University for the Creative Arts at Epsom Ashley Road Epsom, Surrey KT18 5BE Tel: +44 (0) 1372 728 811 Fax: +44 (0) 1372 747 050