A ‘JOURNALIST’S PORTFOLIO’ By Abigail Phillips
CONTENTS Introduction 9 The Telegraph Magazine Publication Analysis on The Telegraph Magazine 12 The Perfect Model 14 Men’s Notebook- By Abigail Phillips 18 Women’s Notebook- A Punk revival 19
Wonderland Publication Analysis on Wonderland 22 A Digital Fantasy 24 Forest Green to O2 Arena 30
Dazed & Confused Publication Analysis on Dazed & Confused 38 Fucked Up selects ‘Poppy and The Jezebels’ Electric Sounds that Make Pop Cool Again
A New Generation of Kidz 42
British GQ Publication Analyis on British GQ 48 Business is Booming in the Budget 50 Trends: Tailoring 52 Trends: Red 53
‘A Journalist’s Portfolio’ is a collection of articles proposed for four different fashion and lifestyle, British magazines. The portfolio is a reflection on my ability to write as a journalist and to adapt my style to suit a variety of magazines’ styles and perspectives. After researching the variety of British publications, I decided to write for Wonderland, The Telegraph Magazine, GQ and Dazed & Confused. I chose these four, as they attract different audiences, have different issue cycles, and each has their own unique style. Firstly, I researched the four magazines’ identities and ethos’s, to be able to thoroughly understand each publication. A publication analysis on every magazine’s readership, circulation figures, content and style, is featured before their articles. Every article is a representation of each of the four magazines. They are written in their format, style, manner and layout.
PUBLICATION ANALYSIS ON THE TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE
INITIAL APPRAISAL The Telegraph Magazine is a supplement to The Telegraph that is on sale every Saturday. It focuses on offering the latest mainstream trends and informing their readers on current affairs. It launched in 1981 alongside The Telegraph. It is distributed in Britain and Northern Ireland only, and has a circulation of 1.8 million readers.
CONTENT ANALYSIS The Telegraph Magazine’s intended audience is middle aged mothers and housewives. They are affluent, influential and elusive. Their age demographic is 30-60. They belong to the middle class (AB) society and are financially secure. 44% of its readers live in London and the South East. A typical Telegraph Magazine reader would be married and a mother to 2 children who are still at school. They live in a big house with a few luxuries, nice car, and like their occasional designer label. Both parents work during the week at well paid jobs that allow the family to have a holiday abroad once a year. At weekends, they enjoy to read the papers in the morning and then take a family trip somewhere, followed by a quiet evening in where they will often meet up with friends. The reader is well educated, well spoken and the material used in the magazine is a reflection of this. The Telegraph Magazine’s presentation reflects the historic newspaper, as it is formal and basic and follows a similar guideline of 3 columns, as with the newspaper. The photography used is usually boxed out and text wrapped, with 1 large image to open an article accompanied with 3 smaller ones throughout the article. Quotes are not boxed out instead they are used as captions under photographs. Articles usually run over 3 pages and are broken up by advertisements forming a pattern of one page of an article, advertisement, double page spread and article again. The advertisements used are usually family orientated. Examples are of the domestic kind, designer labels or cars which would appeal to the magazine’s market of mothers. The colour theme is quite neutral with a lot of cream pages, with photography being the only colour on pages. Articles topics are based on a woman’s lifestyle, news and entertainment. These include recipes on fashion for the family, current affairs, food and domestics. Most topics are commercial and mainstream. The content’s objective reasoning is based on opinion and facts. Depending on its subject, the articles vary in length. Hefty articles cover 3 pages, including a double spread, whilst shorter articles are usually columns and are a page long. These are confessional journalism. They are usually female journalist’s writing their own columns on domestic life, relationships and lifestyle. The magazine’s writing style is formal and well spoken. It stimulates readers and hopes to influence their decisions by giving them recipes on current trends. If it is a column, it can be opinionated but not colloquial. There are a number of contributors that write for this publication, with some famous names such as Mary Portas and Hilary Alexander. The font mostly used is serif (Times new roman) which again conveys its middle class market and age variable. They all write in the first person and follow a similar style of using a lot of comparisons to enhance descriptive writing. Male writers tend to write articles on topics that are stereotyped as masculine, such as politics, current affairs and interviews with male celebrities. Most of the writing is factual and descriptive to create images. With every article there is an interview. The interview is written within an article, rather than reading the whole interview separately. Quotes are pulled out and passed comments have been highlighted. Overall the publication in terms of its content is thorough and formal.
ince Channel 4’s ‘The Model Agency’ graced our screens a few weeks back and with the hype of fashion week departing for another season, it seems that models are the hot topic for this time of year. Not only has the hit Channel 4 documentary drawn focus to its industry and its functionality during the busiest time of the year for fashion, it has also highlighted body issues that have been a recurring debate each time fashion week is upon us. The industry has seen the neverending debate on designers using size models and above size 8 for their catwalks, but in the latest of fashion weeks it has been pondering over a new breed of models, the transgender model. For the past few year fashion week has learned to embrace a curve or two and make an image
“A high end fashion model has to be androgynous. Unusual looking for catwalk modelling and at a height of 5’10 without any curves”
The Perfect Model
of a ‘real woman’ seem less mortifying on the catwalk than it once was. Some high profile designers are abandoning the conventions of the skeletal frame that the fashion world is renowned for. For its autumn/winter 2010 collection, Prada used a few voluptuous models, as did Marc Jacobs alongside the conventional models the industry is used to. Although the fashion world’s response at the beginning was not as comfortable as it appears to be now. When mark fast used larger models above size 10, it had caused so much fuss, enough so for the stylist to pull out last minute. But that was back then. The fashion world now has now come to terms with the whole weight/ size issue. That it is no longer a big deal and does not seem to faze the industry. Now they have to turn their attention to a new debate of exposing sexuality and the indifference in gender. The fashion world and model industry are enduring a new movement where gender boundaries are blurred. This year’s fashion week introduced the transgender model where the search for the unusual has been taken to the extreme.
The face for this emerging trend is transsexual model Lea T, formerly known as Leonadro Cerezo. This transsexual model has a tight-knit friendship and working bond with Ricardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy. Their relationship began when Tisci used to take her out on the town when she was in her teenage years and was accompanying her when she bought her first pair of heels. He regards Lea as “A beautiful woman’s head transported onto a man’s body”. Generally speaking, a high end fashion model has to be androgynous. Unusual looking for catwalk modelling and at a height of 5’10 without any curves and Lea ticks all of the above. She is the embodiment of beauty and has all the aesthetics of a woman; long hair, bosoms and high cheek bones. Yet she still has one thing that makes it hard to define her gender, manhood. Tisci’s decision to front Lea as the face for his autumn/winter 2010 advertising campaign was controversial to say the least. Not many transsexuals have been encouraged to be
As the hit channel 4 documentary The Model Agency allows us to see the modelling industry from the agents perspective, Abigail Phillips explores the industry and the new direction it is embarking on. Above Burberry Prorsum’s spring/summer ‘11 show, right snapshot from Topshop Unique’s spring/summer ‘11 show 38 TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE
TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE 39
representation of one self. This is not the first time this has been done. Thierry Mulger in the late 1980’s used transsexual model Joey Arias and Marc Jacobs recently appeared on the cover of Industrie Magazine in drag. Another famous face for this trend is male model Andrej Pejic, a nineteen year old from Bosnia who noticeably looks like a woman yet is classed as a ’transgender’ as he is quite obviously a boy but with the beauty of a girl. Not only is this trend occurring within the model industry, it is in trend in this season’s fashion. Prada presented a collection of ’His ‘n’ Hers’ pieces where both female and male models took to the catwalk wearing similar designed garments and Acne for its spring/summer ’11 womenswear collection saw androgynous looking models wearing minimalistic tailored suits, a garment that is considered as a menswear item. Ironically, it seems that the fashion world has responded to this fashion muse more lightly yet is quick to Left and Below transsexualLea T
Ricardo Tisci- “a beautiful woman’s head transported onto a man’s body” open about their sexuality as it still is a taboo. Even though the fashion industry is considered as a place to embrace creativity and individuality, it still shies away from acknowledging that there are equally stunning models out there but are transsexuals. When becoming a model, Lea was adamant that she would only front the campaign if she was able to be open about her sexuality and who she really is. Tisci felt the same way 40 TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE
and was proud to use her for the face of Givenchy. The designer was prepared for the backlash using Lea would cause as the brand was using models that were not equipped to the conventionalism of the fashion industry. In any case, on the positive side, they were predominantly making a change, pushing a movement for a healthy attitude on the indifference of gender and that gender comes from within, instead of just a visible
judge on the debate of size 0 and the use of plus size models. The inconsistency of the fashion and model industry is obvious. It is somewhat like a child that constantly gets bored and needs to find new ways to be amused. It is tired of the man that is oozes testosterone and sees a man in drag, transsexual or a transgender like a “breath of fresh air”. As Cator Sparks (New York Times fashion journalist) once said “I think every man should wear a pair of heels once in his life. We have to know how the other half lives” and this appears so in the coherent use of these types of models. I recently attended a press launch for The Model Agency where I made conversation with a few model agents. What was interesting was how most of them were keen to mention the importance to match a face to a product rather than effort to distinguish gender and sexuality. The genesis of fashion weeks are ultimately to sell, models are used to do exactly that. Whether it is the idea of selling the clothes or selling a reputation and a designer’s name, a brand’s credibility can be depended on the right face and frame, regardless of the industry’s size orthodox and acceptance of one’s gender or sexuality. One agent said “A modelling agency’s job is to provide a range of faces that could be suitable to a client’s brand, regardless of his or hers gender or sexuality because a model’s purpose is to sell”. In theory, a face has to fit a brand in order for it to succeed, regardless of gender, sexuality, size or disfigurements. It is significant to mention that the model industry only accounts as a minute factor to the fashion world. Nevertheless its contribution to it is worthy and important for it can help represent a brand and create an identity of a brand’s market, whether it is by using plus size models or cross genders. However fickle and sceptical the fashion industry comes across, it is evident that with the embracement of these unconventional models there is hope for the average sized woman to embrace their curves proudly, or for a transsexual to be open about who they really are and not be forced to define their gender to anyone. The Model Agency on Channel 4 has opened up our eyes to see that not all models fit the fashion world’s expectations. It is unlikely that the high
Above Andrej Pejic Below right Acne S/S 11
end fashion category will remove their blinkers and embark in taking a more curvaceous model down the runway yet there is still countless of other factors within the industry that support a model with a fuller figure or even a transsexual. As ‘The Model Agency’ documentary has demonstrated, the model industry welcomes both a skinny size 0 and a fuller size 12, a transsexual or a transgender, depending on the client’s requirement. As long as a face fits a client’s product and they can sell then the job is theirs. TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE 41
Men’s notebook by Abigail Phillips
Women’s notebook A Punk Revival
DONATELLA VERSACE has proven herself as a credible menswear designer. Her interpretation of punk was in her use of iconic punk colour, with red and leather black jackets. The look is masculine yet edgy with a collection of classic tailored trousers which are teamed with graphic print t shirts and accessorized with metallic jeans and super chains. To view Versace S/S ’11 collection visit Versace.com.
BALMAIN house did what they do best for their Spring/Summer ’11 collection, classic rocker chic. Their signature look was seen in leather biker jacket and washed crushed jeans, embellished with studded rivets and safety pins, the epitome of classic punk. They kept it classical with black and red dominating the catwalk. Injecting culture, with references to the American flag on denim hot pants and holey t shirts that added grunge appeal. The look was a perfected punk. To view all the Balmain ready-to-wear collection visit Balmain. com.
THE FRONT BALENCIAGA presented a collection THE LASTING BIKER The biker jacket has been brought back season after season and is even more fitting with spring/summer ’11 military trend. A staple piece for all men. It is a timeless classic that can be transitioned to accustom any look. This time around, Burberry has incorporated the typical biker jacket with its notorious heritage and elements of the punk movement. The collection saw male models wearing spiked studded jackets teamed with biker vests and spiked gladiators. Christopher Bailey managed to create a capsule of jackets that were more refined and tailored than your normal punk biker jacket. Mixing motocross leather with soft suede in a dark colour palette for a boy meets masculinity effect. From £1,495 for a Leather biker jacket at mrporter.com.
PUNK OFF THE WALL The prestige French Academy, Vila Media, in Rome is holding a retrospective into punk visual art. The exhibition “Europunk Visual Punk Culture” is a unique insight into the art of punk that helped make the subculture in Britain transition into mainstream worldwide. The aim is to show the heavy influences the counter-culture has had on fashion and art over the decades since its emergence. Punk’s most iconic images are stored here such as British artist Jamie Reid’s “God Save the Queen” canvas for one of The Sex Pistols single cover. Also the infamous “Destroy Shirt” designed by punk embodiments Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. This nostalgic display is showing until 20th March, it will then make its move to The Mamco Museum of Modern Art in Geneva from 8th June18th September.
TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE 19
SKULLS Unlike other designers, John Richmond believes that his collections live rock and roll, in the garments proportion and structure opposed to it being a form of decoration. If leather biker jackets and metallic jeans are rather extreme, accessorize with Richmond’s men’s jewellery that fuses rock and roll on a smaller scale. The designer has created a capsule of delicate silver chains adorned with skulls and eagles, taking inspiration from the punk movement. One in particular that has caught our eye is the Silver Skull Chain necklace for £59 from Asos. (asos.com).
at Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer ’11 that combined futurism with sartorial punk. Their innovative vision and contemporary design was strong in his chunky six inch high platform shoes. Punk indication was in the models with slicked back quiffs in their hair, high ponytails, as was seen in the signature punk clothing like the leather jackets bought to the future with lace effect design. The grunge punk aesthetic was also added in the designer’s unfinished construction, crackled appliqué tops and loose woven stripe jumpers. All Balenciaga’s Summer/Spring ‘1 collection is available from the Mount Street store in London. (020 7317 4400).
I•SPIED If head to toe punk is not your scene, then Zoe & Morgan’s jewellery will add a rock and roll touch to any outfit. Since the siblings self titled jewellery designs in 2006, they have been described as a ‘best-kept secret’ from fashion elites Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Emma Watson. Their jewellery is designed with the motive of their pieces being life time treasures to be passed down through generations. The delicate and rustic collections titled Fine Collection, Whats Up Rockers and Who Loves Wins, are colourful and of high quality. We are drooling over this emerald eye skull ring for £375. For more of Zoe & Morgan collections, go to zoeandmorgan. com.
From top, left to right, red leather jacket, £1,450, Balenciaga, (netaporter.com) Grey baggy fit t shirt, £25, Zara, Sunglasses, Earrings, Red studded leather jacket, Balmain, Catwalk Balmain s/s 11
TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE 20
PUBLICATION ANALYSIS ON WONDERLAND
INITIAL APPRAISAL Wonderland is an independent, contemporary, glossy magazine, offering a unique perspective on new and established talent. It was founded in 2005 by Peter Jones and independently published by its editor Huw Gwyther, whom it remains with today. It is distributed bi-monthly, internationally in 4 different continents. In 2009 it had a circulation figure of 55,518.
CONTENT ANALYSIS Wonderland’s intended audience is anyone with the desire to be informed about pop culture. Whether it being fashion, film, music or art. 56% of their readers are women and 44% men, in the age demographic between the ages of 20-40. A typical Wonderland reader would be independent, not married and living in their own apartment. Their creativity is demonstrated in their career choice, working in the creativity fields and pop culture industry. Their average income is £64K. They wear cool brands rather than high street, which convey their unique and individual flare. They are intelligent and educated, which is reflected in the in the magazine’s writing style. Wonderland is a glossy magazine which reflects its sophistication, quality and position within the magazine market. It is very visual, which means that it is very colourful, with images and photography being one of its main focuses. The articles are supplements to the photography. Each article will include one or 2 full page images depending on the length of the article. An additional image will be given on the facing page before the writing concludes. There is a coherent layout to the publication, where each article follows mostly the same layout. This layout is quite structural as it follows a gridline of 3 columns with the article only filling the middle column, which gives a box appearance to the article. Headings are in black and bold and the sub headings are boxed out in black outlined boxes in between each heading. A maximum of 5 words are used for the heading. Quotes are boxed out in black outlined boxes under the additional image on the next page of an article. The only colour theme picked out is the use of black headings, box outs and text. The remaining colour lies within the images. It is a contemporary publication that focuses on current trends and every issue has a different theme. The content of the magazine is split up into headings with each of them dedicated to a different subject. They cover fashion, music, film and art. These are, trends, chatter (conversations between well known names), spotlight (selection of off-runway fashion), sounds, faces (emerging talents), special (a specific topic for that issue), fashion and photography. Its content objective is factual, with very few opinions. Only when Wonderland is putting forward a trend, opinions would be given. Their attitude is always positive. The aim is to offer a unique perspective on new and established talents across popular culture. The magazine highlights the positive and the playful factors of the fashion industry. Interviews are on emerging talent and established names. When including interviews, the magazine will either include key quotes within the text or will appear as an interview to convey the conversation flow. Most articles include some kind of interview and always finish with a quote/ comment passed. Its writing style has a positive tone. It inspires rather than dictates to their readers, by offering them the latest trends on emerging and established talents. Because of this, it is direct and straight to the point. The articles are flourished with heavy use of verbs, adjectives and descriptive writing. Articles are written in the first person and in times new roman font. The magazine is written in a formal manner. On some occasions, articles focus more on trends, with the use of colloquial language. Overall, Wonderland is an inspiring, individual and positive magazine.
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
HOW AUGMENTED REALITY IS CHANGING FASHION AND OPENING DOORS FOR CASSETTE PLAYA
FANTASY Words ABIGAIL PHILLIPS Photography from CARRI’S BLOG
When you are Cassette Playa, fashion is not about the present, it is always about the future. “I don’t want to
make a computer game like real life, I want to make real life a computer,” she wants to make the virtual a reality. Carri Munden is the founder and designer of Cassette Playa, one of the UK’s coolest unisex brands to date. Her emergence into the fashion industry was as a stylist to the underground scene for acts like M.I.A and The Klaxons, where she was able to combine her love for music with fashion, “We have the same references...I translate their sound into clothes.” Her Japanese heritage is a suggestive influence that is reflected in her innovative, futuristic and colourful design where she wants “fashion to be more colourful, more positive and more future.” Along with her vision and her passion for cybernetics, she came up with Cassette Playa, a brand initially designed for men. Cassette Playa is famous for using technology to enhance her clothing and as technology is becoming more advanced and dominant in fashion and lifestyle, the designer believes we are all becoming cyborgs and techno-literate. “Through our daily interactions with technology and new forms increasingly visual online communication, scifi dreams of cybernetics already exist, if abstractly. We are all cyborgs in 2010.” Mostly her inspiration comes from sound and as always from her adoration for electro, computer games and interest in the virtual reality. These are all recognised in the brand’s strong use of technology that make dreams feel closer to actuality. It is a passion that Cassette Playa is trademarked for with her previous collections being heavily digitalised. Such initiatives in the fashion industry are taken with a pinch of salt these days. Fashion is beginning to rely on technology more and more. The brands who are not
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
“WE ARE ALL CYBORGS IN 2010” taking advantage of it appear somewhat ordinary and some are even considered boring, without using elements of technology to enhance their collections or shows. Today, fashion is more than just clothing. It is becoming a form of communication. First the industry played with its fascination with 3D after the Avatar experience. Burberry was the first to stream a live fashion show in 3D, hosting their show in 3D film footage. Jean Paul Gaultier then used 3D in a more conventional way by using 3D silk prints in his spring/summer ’11 collection. 3D is now seen as last season, as Cassette playa has raised the bar. For its autumn/winter ’11 collection, Cassette Playa has explored the boundaries between reality and fantasy by presenting the world’s first ever live augmented reality show at London Fashion Week. With funding from the London Development Agency (LDA) and the expertise of the digital department, the designer was able to have her A/W ‘11 collection viewed as wearable augmented reality. The software allowed models to interact with the programme which then generated 3D animations of Cassette Playa’s symbols on to the models garments as they walked the catwalk. For those that have never heard of augmented reality before, it is an indirect view of a physical, real world
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
AUGMENTED REALITY: CASSETTE PLAYA
hooded tops and cropped napped bombers. Of course the collection experimented with the digital technology and art by using glow in the dark screen prints and moulded plastics for decoration. A characteristic of Cassette Playa’s is to reference 1980’s neon rave with lycra and saturated colours. Contrasting colours for her autumn/ winter ’11 collection included injections of black and white, stain glass bright blues, scarlet, acid greens and fuchsia pink. The attitude of “You have to be hard to carry it off” she says, is something which is essential when wearing Cassette playa’s designs. Only the bold and the bravest of men could have the courage to pull off such vibrant colours, loud prints and hugging fabrics without being insecure of their sexuality. NEUROMANCE= VIOLENCE KNOWLEDGE EMOTION is a collection that draws on the medieval and industrial, and transfers them into the future. She describes the collection as a “debauched seaside resort where gangs of thugs roam the streets. Their uniforms of saturated silks and leather, reflected in the flashing neon and crude airbrush of the
“YOU HAVE TO BE HARD TO CARRY IT OFF” 210
environment, whose elements are augmented by a computer and enhanced by sounds or graphics, where the idea is to enhance the perception of reality to push 3D’s limitations. Most recently augmented reality apps have been produced to create fictional illusions that resemble actuality. For example, there are augmented reality apps that create an illusion of a tattoo being put on a body part, or where it allows a person to personalise t shirts. One that is borderline disturbing is the ‘augmented reality death’ app that ‘World Wide for Nature’ (WWF) had made to promote awareness of hunting animals. It demonstrated what it is like for a Siberian tiger to be hunted down! Using 3D elements to create an effect where blood is projected onto a shirt, it was able to give the illusion that the animal had been destroyed. Such applications are seen as a form of entertainment, whereas Cassette Playa is using augmented reality to bring new and exciting aesthetics to clothing. This season, Cassette Playa’s ‘NEUROMANCE=VIOLENCE KNOWLEDGE EMOTION’ collection channels the virtual reality through use of futuristic themes by using augmented reality. The capsule menswear collection consists of Cassette Playa’s signature pieces. The collection included digital print silks and over sized graphic tees, combined with
deserted boardwalk. Screams from the funfair mixed with heavy riffs, bass, sweat, pure adrenalin, pure terror”. The development of technology and evolution of digitalisation that the fashion world has access to, means there are no boundaries when it comes to innovation and exploring new territories anymore. Anything is possible nowadays. It has to be said that with these advances, fashion is becoming a lot more fun because of it. Fantasy can now be reality. Fashion has embraced the 3D trend and now is beginning to experiment with augmented reality, giving the nod to Cassette Playa. Designers now have the ability to create their own little world and fantasy in a collection. Essentially for Cassette Playa, fashion and design have given her the freedom to do whatever she fantasises through Cassette Playa, “I get to create my own world for ten minutes”.
photography by MORGAN O’DONOVAN
FOREST GREEN TO O2 ARENA SOUNDS: PLAN B
SOUNDS: PLAN B
HOW PLAN B WENT FROM ‘ASBO’ RAPPER TO CREDIBLE SOUL SINGER
Words ABIGAIL PHILLIPS Photography of Plan B It’s the last leg of the tour and what a high to end it on, the 02 Arena. A venue that hosts some of the most prestigious acts in the world. This is a mere stone’s throw away from where Ben
Drew aka Plan B first began Rapping in a bid to ‘fit in’ in his hometown Forest Gate, East London, “Growing up in London, you’ve got to be pretty tough. You’ve got to let people know that they can’t fuck with you.”What was once a community of angry teens from the council estates of East London, there is now a crowd of 23,000 fans that wait for the arrival of Brit’s Best Male. His debut album back in 2006, ‘Who Needs Actions When You Got Words’, was an album of filthy grime, that spoke about an East Londoner and his trials and tribulations of growing up (Mamma is a crack head) and his interpretation of love as a 14year old. “I went down that whole route of just rapping about myself, but that was shit.” But that was a journey of maturity to adulthood which led to a dynamic change and brought him success in the form of ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’, a triple platinum album that has made Ben Drew heard. The stage replicates the scenes of the hit ‘She said’ that transitioned Drew from ‘white rapper boy’ to one of Britain’s most talented hip hop/soul singers of the decade. It was this transformation of abandoning such crude lyrics like “Fuck you you c****” that screamed anger and pride saying ‘fuck’ casually at almost every bar, into sultry, soulful lyrics. “As I’ve got older and got involved in the music industry, I can’t fight any more. I had to try and keep things under control.” Nevertheless, both albums still offer the iconic chords of a guitar and authenticity which Plan B is renowned for. The chilling strings of ‘Writing on the Wall’ echo the arena and Plan B takes to the stage all suited and booted. His soulful, innocent vocals emerge sending goose bumps down each fan’s spine. Ben Drew has finally arrived. When Wonderland meets with Ben Drew, we can’t help but get confused by the array of titles that is attached to him. There is
SOUNDS: PLAN B
SOUNDS: PLAN B
“I WENT DOWN THAT WHOLE ROUTE OF JUST RAPPING ABOUT MYSELF, BUT THAT WAS SHIT.”
Ben Drew, Plan B and Strickland Banks. We soon realise that Strickland Banks is a fictional character and the heart of Plan B’s chart topping hits and overwhelming reviews. ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’ is a feature film played out. A collection of stories based on the character Strickland Banks, ‘a sharp suited British soul singer who finds fame with a bitter sweet love who ends up losing everything when he ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit’. “He is a version of me, an alter ego. Strickland is my age 26. He looks like me and he’s from the East End. But he’s a bit more on the sensitive side, where as Plan B is quite dark.” Narratives are a way for Plan B to disguise his own identity and become someone else. It is an opportunity for him to get his point across effectively without being mocked for singing such soppy lyrics about love and adultery. From one track to another, the story of Strickland Banks lays in the directors hands, tales without the visionary. “I am a director but I am choosing to do my films through music, a film for the blind. Just close your eyes and listen to the story.” Listen intensely and you can hear Plan B’s influences. The funk pop of Michael Jackson, and the rap of a white boy and the honesty of Eminem. The cheesy R&B that brings those soppy love lyrics of Usher and the classic Motown of Marvin Gaye and the film My Girl. “I just found that I could sing that style naturally, so when I first started writing songs seriously and teaching myself how to play guitar, it was soul song after soul song. Just pure love songs. I was 14, I’d never been in love, but I had a good understanding of it.” Ben says. ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’ is the definition of contemporary East London. Sounds mixed with Motown, Stax and Northern Soul, it is uncanny that such an album can be so modern, yet so melodically 1960’s. “I wanted to stay true to the heart and soul of the music, but give it a little bit of a makeover.” It is this sound that has earned Plan B credibility for his talent and words, rather than his actions. “A lot of people think I’m some ignorant little ASBO kid off the council estate. I think they’ll be surprised that I can actually sing
SOUNDS: PLAN B
SOUNDS: PLAN B
“HE’S A VERSION OF ME, AN ALTER EGO”
and write pretty cool songs.” This image is as blurry as ever. He has proven himself as a sincere and honest lyricist. The albums are more than just a collection of stories. They are experiences we can empathise with. Ben Drew continues, “It started with the sweet, sexy ‘Love Goes Down’. That song just happened organically. It was just me sitting down, at home, playing a couple of chords and making love to the music. All the lyrics are pillow talk. Chatting up music basically.” Not only through his music can Ben Drew adopt another persona, but also as an actor. His roles include playing an ASBO in Noel Clarke’s Adulthood in 2008 and playing a thug opposite Michael Cane in the feature film ‘Harry Brown’. This gave him his first top ten hit with the soundtrack ‘End Credits’, a collaboration with Chase n Status. More recently, he has been signed up to play George Carter alongside Ray Winstone, in the upcoming full length feature film ‘The Sweeney’. The future sees Plan B for his third record ‘The Ballad of Balmarsh’, returning to hip hop roots. An album originally intended as a double album, one being soul record and the other a hip hop record, will see him giving up soul to concentrate on his rap tracks. Although the 60’s Motown tunes will not be apparent, the honourable lyrics and rhymes that have made us fall in love with Plan B will still be true as the album will reveal the ending to Strickland Banks. Success has brought fame and a lifestyle that Ben Drew could never have imagined but more importantly it has brought him recognition. Recognition as a multi-talented hip hop artist that is rare for this country. His experiences and stories are what cemented the album “The Defamation of Strickland Banks’, as one of Britain’s best albums in history. Whether he raps, sings or acts out these tales, Plan B has realised the art of a storyteller. “One way we can really sell this is by really conveying there’s a story there.”
photography from TIME4PLANB.CO.UK
PUBLICATION ANALYSIS ON DAZED & CONFUSED
INITIAL APPRAISAL Dazed & Confused is an influential, independent, monthly magazine that provides new perspectives on culture. Its editors are founders Rankin Waddell and Jefferson Hack and it is published by Waddell Limited. It was established in 1992 as a black and white folded poster to promote London club nights with a few distributors. Since then, it has been transformed into a colour publication that is distributed in over forty countries. In 2010, it reached a circulation of 60,000 readers.
CONTENT ANALYSIS Dazed & Confused’s intended audience is a generation of savvy- individuals. They are intelligent and aware of future trends before they become mainstream. They set trends themselves and influence others. A typical Dazed & Confused reader is independent, and creative. They work in the creative industries, or would work as a freelancer. The age demographic is 21-35 years old and belongs to the working class. Dazed & Confused layout is edgy and modern. The publication replicates a scrap book as the layout can have a collage effect, with text written over primary images in white boxes and headings run over double page spreads onto images. The page layout can vary, with some articles being landscape and others portrait. However, there is a coherent theme on the pages. Each page has a black and bold line as a header and footer. Even though the articles appear as a collage, they are aligned to a gridline of 4 columns. The publication overall is very visual, relying on photography to enhance the articles. If the article is long, it usually covers a maximum of 2 double spread pages with one large image on one page. Articles include a number of images of all different sizes that overlap each other, which emphasises the effect of a collage. The photography used is subtle and dusty looking, with an overlay effect. The magazine does not rely on advertisements. When advertisements are used, they are the type which reflects the magazine’s readership. They advertise cool, edgy, young, fashion brands that would appeal to Dazed & Confused’s readers, varying from designer labels to high street fashion. The magazine focuses on fashion, photography, illustration, music and film coverage. The content’s objective reasoning is factual and opinionated. Dazed & Confused’s content is divided into four sections. ‘The Front’ is dedicated to providing information on emerging trends and talents. These are usually written in a confessional style, which allows the writer to express more of an opinion and be more informal. ‘The Mains’ cover articles on culture. Topics include current affairs and current events, which are more hefty, factual and intelligent. ‘The Fashion’ is a place for fashion photography and ‘The Back’ includes mini articles on popular culture (mostly reviews), film, music and art. Nevertheless, all articles are descriptive and open by setting a scene and use language which is not intimidating. Its writing style is influential and inspiring, rather than dictating. Interviews are the main content of articles and can be edited within text or written in interview format that conveys the conversation. These are written like an interview, conversational and direct. The font used for the headlines is quite futuristic and modern as it is bold, black and sans serif. The main body font is less empowering and is similar to times new roman, which keeps with the magazine being regarded as an intelligent publication. Overall, Dazed & Confused is an inspiring, intelligent and individual magazine.
FUCKED UP SELECTS
‘POPPY and THE JEZEBELS’ ELECTRO
SOUNDS THAT MAKE POP COOL
Fucked Up Crew: “I first heard of ‘Poppy and The Jezebels’ whilst scrolling through the
raybans, hi-tops and leopard
‘Tatty Devine’’s blog one day.
print playsuits is a typical
I soon realised their
look for the band. Everything is big, bold and significantly
connection. Not only
referenced with 80’s fashion.
sharing the same taste
for eclectic, funky and
original neck chains, but both are overwhelmingly cool and distinctively British. Imagine Kate Nash in a studio and times it by four.
tunes”. Alternative careers were
comes across in there pop anthem
They are making pop cool
not an option, being a jezebel
‘Sign In, Dream On, Drop Out’
again by appealing to a more
was always the plan. The quartet
Inspiring others to adopt the same
mature audience, with their
from Birmingham are yet another
ambitious attitude and positive
unique sounds and reinventing
mentality the girls have in their
it into what can only be regarded
Youtube. Singing acoustic covers
quest to make dreams a reality,
of current hits such as Katy B’s
“We feel that, by virtue of being
On a Mission. ‘Poppy and The
young and female, we have a lot
Actually, throw in Kirsty
Jezebels’ can be best described
to prove.” Like most pop songs
McColl’s soothing tones
as a contemporary blend of
there is a message in every song
Favourite fashion piece at the
Depeche Mode, Roxy Music and
that others can relate to. Lyrically
the urban vocals of Kate Nash.
speaking, their songs follow the
Mollie just got an amazing
Their sound is reminiscent of
same pattern of singing about
animal print playsuit made for
80’s electro with the synthesizer
the ups and downs of being
her, with graphic straps and
being a key instrument in their
young and naive, falling in and
sharp pockets. Poppy is currently
music, along with folk elements
out of love and offering advice
in love with Jeffrey Campbell
and cheesy lyrics. Their idols
to those dodgy relationships and
shoes... what the Spice Girls
than what sounds just
‘The Spice Girls’ inspire their
exceeding expectations of people
would wear to a roller disco!
like one girl with a mic.
feminist identity and help create
who don’t believe in you. Poppy
a mixture of characters. “The
and the Jezebels are no exception
If you were handed a million
Spice Girls made a huge impact
to this. Yet with their digital
pounds, what would you do
on us as young girls. Five women
sounds and Poppy’s echoing
with big, cartoon personalities
vocal chords, their subtle ‘pop’
Have a go at taking over the world.
who were loved because of the
influences are overpowered by the
way they were and not because
cool, sharp tones of technology.
Text ABIGAIL PHILLIPS
After succumbing to the routine
they were supermodel beautiful.
Photography STEVE MOR-
of school and work, a group of
We certainly take a little bit of
eccentricity is like Blondie being
friends decided to escape the
their ethos with us as we tour,
dragged through a whirlwind
boredom of work and write as
write and record, to be confident
they say, “bloody good pop
and proud of who you are.” This
madness & Malcolm McLaren’s
and then you can kind of understand the vocal mix the group have going on. ‘Poppy and The Jezebels’ are more
They are a four girls setting a new standard
for a new generation of girl bands.”
GAN ‘Poppy and The jezebels’ are on tour now.
A NEW GENERATION OF KIDZ BLOGGERS ARE BECOMING THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION OF THE JOURNALIST WORLD. WHETHER THEY ARE BEING PRAISED OR CRITISED, THEY ARE HAVING AN EFFECT ON MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND LEADING THE CHANGE TOWARDS FUTURE OF JOURNALISM INTRODUCTION ABIGAIL PHILLIPS BLOGGERS RACHEL PHIPPS AND SOPHIE EGGLETON
Gone are the days when reading newspapers and magazines were the only way to be informed on international news. These days, most of us are relying on blogs to equip us with the latest reports on world events. Fearing for the future of mainstream media, two bloggers who blog for a living, give their opinion on where they think ’journalism’ is heading. Sophie Eggleton (26) and Rachel Phipps (18) are two bloggers with two different backgrounds. Both girls have written about fashion. They both work as freelancers and more importantly are contributing to changing the face of mainstream media. What has been tagged as a ‘virtual public sphere’ and a place to collect ‘electronic diaries’, the blogosphere and its contributors are changing the face of journalism and turning it into what is called an ‘entity of public journalism’. Is it all for the best? Both have an overwhelming amount of experience within the blogosphere. Sophie, after graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art and assisting at Alexander McQueen for his autumn/winter ’09 collection, has transferred her creativity to the attention of writing. Now a freelance music and fashion journalist, Sophie has a significant back catalogue of articles she has worked on for publications like ‘The Guardian’, Whisper Magazine and Open Magazine which she remains a permanent fashion police blogger. Most recently she is slowly departing from the fashion industry to link her passion for writing
with another love of hers- music. Currently a reviews editor for Bringthenoiseuk.com, she has interviewed the likes of ‘Lostprophets’, ‘Fightstar’, ‘Young Guns’ and ‘Cobra Starship’. Sophie also has her own blog which basically is an ‘electronic diary’ of herself. Rachel began her career at the early age of 14, and like Sophie, is a ‘blogger’ and a freelance journalist, writing for her own blog about fashion and things that amuse her. Rachel ran her own fashion magazine ‘Lipstick Royalty’ for 2 years whilst contributing to other publications. Writing about fashion was accidental. It was used as a gateway to write about where her true passion lies; within politics and current affairs. Once a fashion blogger and now eligible to drink and nearing the end of her teens, she has now become a freelance editorial consultant working for blogs, magazines and websites and this is where her area of expertise really surfaces. Rachel has run a number of campaigns, her most successful one to date is campaigning on the ever going issue of size zero in the fashion industry. Amongst all of this, she still manages to find the time to update her own blog, ‘Cos I’d rather waste my life pretending’ whilst digesting a ridiculous amount of political blogs. Rachel literally lives and breathes blogs. Let’s not forget where these two started. This interview was conducted to demonstrate the effects that blogging is having (or has had) on the way we in the 21st century are receiving our news feed. So
where is the future for mainstream media going? Not even a hermit could avoid the fact that blogging and bloggers have created a community where near enough everyone’s voice has an opportunity to be heard. What was once scrutinised as a mass of unsophisticated youngsters, they are considered as ‘bloggers’, who at the end of the day, are news readers and active readers. But does this allow them to be considered as journalists? Of course with the costs of production for publications and magazine circulation at a low, attention has been drawn to online journalism and magazines being available on the internet to help rescue some publications. It is no denying that the internet has allowed this to happen. Journalists are no longer seen at the heart of the industry. Most probably it is these ‘experienced’ journalists of past years who are mocking bloggers, as they are able to participate within the journalism industry without having any qualifications. Bloggers fuel their knowledge from editorials and mainstream media to tackle issues that affect a large number of us yet they have the talent to collect a large amount of information and translate it into a specific number of characters that can be accessed and read in a click. That said, journalists who have respectively grafted their way to earn a place as an editorial journalist are being a bit too stubborn for my liking. So much so that it is time for them to accept that the industry they are in is evolving. Isn’t it time to adapt to this new way of writing and enjoy reading countless views because every opinion matters? Technology is vast improving and new inventions have been manufactured in this era, so is it time to face reality and accept the blogging generation? One thing is for certain is that the future of mainstream media is about to change. Okay, so how you think blogs are? RACHEL PHIPPS: I think that there are two sides to the coin of blogger credibility. On one side is the fact that most blogs are independent means that they do not have to pander to sponsors or investors which means that they are free to say whatever they like, and if they had had a bad experience at an event or with a product they are free to say so. On the other hand, especially with some more factual blogging genres facts may not be as well checked and the content may not be as comprehensive as in traditional media. SOPHIE EGGLETON: Well I think blogs can vary greatly, thus the credibility of them is debatable. In terms of fashion blogging there are many blogs that are merely girls posting picture of themselves in their outfits, showcasing themselves and their style. While these are fun to look at, (I find myself wasting many hours gawping at such blogs), the content might be extremely light on the journalism front. DAZED
Are blogs journalism or something else? Do you think that bloggers are journalists? RP: I think it depends on the blog. If a blog is aiming to act as a news source or to provide opinions on a product, industry or service rather than acting as a personal diary, they can be considered as journalism. I label myself as a blogger, because most of my external D&C:
work is for websites rather than magazines, but though I write articles for my blog a lot of the content provides a snapshot into my everyday life. In spite of this I still think I could be considered a journalist because I produce different content for external publications. SE: For many the term blogger connotes a position less than journalist. Often they haven’t been hired by anyone to blog. Blogs can also be started and written by absolutely anyone, with no quality control which means there are bound to be many blogs that might include bad grammar, questionable ‘facts’ and poor images.
So how well do you think mainstream media is on delivering news on political and general news? RP: I think mainstream media, since it has fully embraced the digital age has been doing a very good job at delivering general and political news. Twitter feeds from the national newspapers and news channels provide breaking news coverage and links to important must read articles, and live blogs of events such as Prime Ministers Questions and the events currently unfolding in Libya mean that you can stay tuned into developments as they unfold, without having to deviate from traditional media outlets such as the BBC or the national newspapers. SE: The BBC is often extremely biased to the left. You find that with certain daily papers too. It seems extremely hard to find objective reporting in mainstream media. You really want to know the facts and be able to make your mind up but many journalists and reporters show a skewed view on things. D&C:
How have bloggers affected mainstream media? What advantage do you have as a blogger that traditional methods of journalism don’t have? RP: Bloggers can always make their voice heard. A traditional journalist has to find a publication and an editor willing to publish their work, where a blogger can just do it themselves on their own site. They also, over time have a loyal readership that trusts their opinion and is loyal to the blogger, providing instant feedback and an attentive audience. SE: The great thing about being a blogger is that it is so instantaneous, with phone technology as good as it is these days it means you can update on the go. Bloggers also often have a greater amount of communication with the people that take in their views or news. Followers of blogs often make comments and interact with each-other so you feel you are having a conversation about the given subject. I think mainstream media has realised with social media and the instantaneous nature of Twitter and Tumblr etc that they have to incorporate blogging or at least micro blogging into what they do. D&C:
So being a blogger has put you at an advantage within the journalism industry? RP: I think that blogging has helped me advance as more of a ’mainstream’ journalist as it has provided me a platform where I can guarantee to have work published online to act as a form of living and ever evolving portfolio. D&C:
I think being a blogger shows a certain amount of willing. If you blog regularly it gives the impression that you are fully immersed and interested in the given area within which you blog. Having somewhere where you can post opinions and views provides you with opportunities to attend events and interview people that you otherwise may not be able to do. It’s also a great way to practice and hone your talent before you get a role at a magazine, newspaper or website.
“A few years ago I might have said bloggers were generally young but mainstream media has adapted the way they are working, realising they need to stay up to date” - Sophie
Let’s forget about fashion for once, how have blogs changed politics? RP: I’m not sure if you can say that blogs in themselves have changed politic but if you combine all of the online social media we now have access to (I’m putting particular emphasis on Twitter here) has changed the very fabric of politics because it means that everything is happening instantly and being distributed across the world via social media. Lots of political bloggers now write for mainstream newspapers and are relied on to sit on panels and provide commentary on some of the main political television and radio coverage. SE: I think that blogs have the ability to bring issues to the public. We can get involved in the debate. You often hear a quote taken from a blog used in reports on the TV news. Politicians may also use blogs to gage the public opinion and perception on certain issues. Blogs can also be used for spin as they are completely unregulated anything can be said which means the opportunity for controversy is large. D&C:
Who do you think reads blogs, why and to what effect? RP: I don’t think it is a myth that the majority of a bloggers readership comes from other bloggers, but I really think that it is dependent on a blogs genre. I run a lifestyle blog and judging by comments and my reader statistics I would hazard a guess that about 70% of my readers are other fashion and lifestyle bloggers. I think this is because people outside the ‘blogosphere’ don’t really ‘get’ blogging, many of the people I know just do not understand why someone would run a webpage dedicated to taking photos of what you’re wearing every day and posting them online. SE: Well a large majority will be those that are at the computers for a large amount of their day, whether it is university students or those working in an office. Teenagers and children also spend an increasing amount of time online. A few years ago I might have said bloggers were generally young but mainstream media has adapted the way they are working, realising they need to stay up to date so they have D&C:
incorporated blogging into their sites which means that the older generations are now involved in blogging. Can a blog community function as a journalistic entity? RP: I have no idea how to answer this question. I could bullshit but it would not be worth much if I did! SE: Well it depends on whether you can create a hierarchy of sorts. To make it function properly it may be necessary to appoint certain roles to bloggers or at least make sure there is someone who can maintain some form of quality control. D&C:
How do you feel about working free within the industry? RP: I love it when I do get paid but since the age of 14 when I first started out writing online I have had it ingrained in my psyche that most of what the time I spend writing, I’m not going to get paid for. Yes, I run advertising on my site and do have some paid writing jobs but I blog because I enjoy it and anything else I earn from that is an added bonus! SE: The problem is that creative industries in general are largely unfair on the money side of things. You work extremely long and strange hours which often means your friends are those that also attend the events that you do. Internships and work experience used to mean a job at the end should you deliver a high standard of work. In this day and age, they churn interns in and out constantly, essentially getting a continuous run of free labour. I love music and fashion so on the whole the perks of going to festivals and gigs for free, going on press trips and testing out products is lovely...that said they can’t pay your rent. D&C:
Lastly, what do you think is the future for mainstream media and bloggers? RP: I don’t think that blogging is going to overshadow mainstream media as some commentators have been predicting because mainstream media is catching up by creating websites with extra interactive content, and running their own blogs and Twitter accounts. But I think there is a place for bloggers to work alongside mainstream bloggers as contributors and respected sources as well maintaining their independence and position as an alternative voice. Bloggers are not going to go away. SE: Bloggers seem unstoppable at the moment. They are even becoming celebrities in their own right. Once my generation is middle aged we will be so used to receiving media via our phones, internet and social media that the whole way news reaches us is likely to be via these forums. Soon enough we will stop printing on paper and all be reading of iPads and similar technology. D&C:
PUBLICATION ANALYSIS ON BRITISH GQ
INITIAL APPRAISAL GQ magazine is a quality title for men, which focuses on fashion, style, culture for men, politics and entertainment. The publication was established as ‘Gentleman’s Quarterly’ in 1931 in the United States by Apparel Arts. In 1958, it was transformed as a trade journal that was a quarterly fashion supplement to Esquire Inc. In 1983, it was sold to publishers Conde Nast where it remains, and re-launched as GQ. Arthur Cooper was the editor up until he passed away in 2003. He was the embodiment of a GQ man and helped to bring the magazine into mainstream culture. The British edition was launched in 1989. Its editor is Dylan Jones and it remains to be published by Conde Nast Publication. It is distributed in 17 countries, and has a circulation of 120,057 in the UK, an increase of 8% in UK newsstand sales.
CONTENT ANALYSIS GQ’s intended audience is the modern man. They are the equivalent to the stereotype of a testosterone filled man as they are the epitome of a strong, Alpha Male character. The magazine’s age demographic is between the ages of 25-40. A typical GQ reader is a refined gentleman who is departing the ‘lad’ stereotype and entering maturity. He is a bachelor who enjoys a flirt on the weekend. He is a successful businessman, intelligent, professional and financially secure, living in his own contemporary apartment. He is a typical English man, belonging to the working and middle class. He takes pride in his appearance and enjoys having the latest technology and gadgets to play with. The gentleman is style savvy, modern, and smart. He resembles GQ’s tagline “Look Sharp, Live Smart.” GQ is a glossy magazine, which represents its status, class and quality. Its layout resembles a newspaper editorial which is minimalistic and sophisticated. It is also masculine as it is structural, following a gridline of 4 columns and repetitive colourful lines run through some of the articles. Colour is mostly used in images and few primary colours are used to underline headings and to emphasise certain texts. GQ tends to play around with their layouts. Depending on the article’s topic, whether it is a light subject, mainly entertainment, the layout can be more experimental with more colours and font wrapped in shapes and bubbles with headings enlarged to fill one page. With more significant articles, the layout is similar to a newspaper, basic with minimal colour and effects. The photography used is sharp and can vary where it is used and laid out. Usually in an article, there is one primary image and a couple of cut out images across spreads and some images overlay each other too. Headings are bold and black in serif font and quotes are text wrapped into the text in bold black or sometimes in primary colours like red or blue. Advertisements included are luxurious designer labels, cars and fashion that would appeal to a typical GQ reader and their lifestyle, and emphasises the title’s quality and class. The magazine focuses on culture for men. It covers articles on entertainment, fashion, film, music, art, politics, current affairs and a feature on their cover girl/man. Its objective reasoning is factual and very opinionated, especially in confessional columns where politics, economy and current affairs are discussed. Most articles cover a double page spread, depending on its topic and use of imagery. Cover features run over 3 double page spreads as most of the article features photography. Most trend feature articles cover a single page. The articles on current male trends focuses on luxury fashion and tailoring, appropriate for a GQ reader, and recommendations/ features on future gadgets and technology advances. The writing style can vary because some articles are written by either male or female. Males’ writing style tends to be direct and straight to the point, yet still maintains to be descriptive. They contribute a lot of opinion in their writing, which can make an article seem bias and one sided. Male contributors tend to write the articles which are on serious topics, whilst women tend to write on domestic topics and trends such as fashion, sex and women. These are confessional journalism which means the writing is more opinionated, colloquial, and vividly descriptive on personal events. However, both genders use intelligent vocabulary and language. When interviewing A list celebrities, the interview is written within the text, with descriptive writing surrounding quotes. Key quotes are then pulled out in box outs and text wrapped in the text. Overall, GQ is a high quality publication which is intelligent and sophisticated in terms of layout, content and writing style.
BUSINESS IS BOOMING IN THE BUDGET BY ABIGAIL PHILLIPS
Fancy yourself as an entrepreneur? Now is your time Ever had the urge to become a front man rather than a back-hand? Ever had an amazing idea that you believe could trigger a fortune, but have not been financially able or confident to do so? Now is the time to put plans into action according to George Osborne. As one of the budget’s main focuses, its new scheme ‘Start Up Britain’ has been designed to bring business back to Britain and to rebuild the country’s economy and foresee growth. After abolishing more than a hundred pages of rules and 43 tax reliefs, is seems that now is the appropriate time to set up business as there are less rules to bide by and investors are eligible to offer more funding with tax reliefs. The ‘Start Up Britain’ scheme has
been launched for all that feel that they have a worthy idea or a potential small business but is lacking financial ability and is in need of a kick start. According to Richard Branson; one of the country’s most inspirational and successful entrepreneurs, the aim is to “celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK”. 60 of the country’s leading entrepreneurs including Google, Barclays, Blackberry and Virgin Media, are offering up to £1,500 worth of assistance that includes free advertising, help with broadband, finding office space, finance and mentoring support and an added bonus of discounts on insurance rates. For a while I have been relatively negative when it comes to trusting the government in reassuring us that we will overcome the countries debt, firstly by making radical spending cuts and announcing inflations which in itself is a flaw of its own. Yes, cutting down on spending will pay off the debt but it will also equate to putting us in a worse off situation and welcoming another recession, something I doubt the whole nation is prepared to go through quite so soon. Yet on this occasion, I will admit that I am applauding Osborne and his plan to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to proceed with their business plans. I am willing to accept his quest to build Britain’s economy once again, by addressing the obstacles and the
fear factor that most entrepreneurs and small business encounter of not being financially adequate to succeed in their businesses. He is attempting to restore our faith in Britain’s economy and the government by offering financial help and guidance, especially when it is inevitable that some of us are going to feel vulnerable and cautious when it comes to investing our hard earned money into something that has the potential to fail after enduring a recession. Still there is the question why they would have the government to do this? There are many reasons that would fuel Osborne to do such a thing. Branson stated “Start ups and small businesses and small firms are the engine of the economy and accounts for nearly 60% of private sector jobs”, a predominant reason that puts the Budget’s plans and its motives to drive the economy forward into perspective. Another reason is that an estimated 450,000 of public staff are expected to lose their jobs over the next 5 years, which has got to be read as a good enough reason to go into business and create jobs for these unfortunate individuals. Usually I will rant and accuse the government on their poor decision making when it comes to decisions on cut backs and most regularly increasing tax rates. For most in favour of Labour, the Conservative Party are seen as bias as their plans are usually perceived to keep the wealthy happy which is seen as a ‘Tory’ trait. This time, Osborne has the whole nation in mind and has identified the benefits of why it is an appropriate time to invest in a small business or start one up. The government says that a 20% to 30% tax relief increase will give a boost to entrepreneurs. A new 50% rate of tax relief on investments up to £100,000 in start ups will also be beneficial to entrepreneurs. Investors will be able to preserve £1 million from the Taxmen instead of £500,000 through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), allowing them to invest ILLUSTRATION BY JULIAN HANSHAW
twice as much into businesses than before and will be able to double the lifetime limit of entrepreneur’s relief from £5 million to £10 million. Of course with any long term plan, we cannot see the benefits and results from these declines and advances straight away, so why should we trust
to be stimulating businesses during a time when the economic growth is weak due to the inconsistency of rises in inflation and personal taxes. Is it worth gambling a heavy amount of money and risk losing it again when not everyone is fortunate enough to invest such sums into ideas that
Osborne’s predictions and instincts? As the government says, these increases and declines should help attract investment to start ups and small businesses as investors will be eligible to invest up to £10 million instead of the previous sum of £2 million. With any budget plan that was to be implemented, there were always going to be doubts and questions asked whether the plans will financially stabilise the country’s economy, especially when the country is in recovery from recession and overcoming the latest spending cuts that were amended in January. Given the fact that Osborne’s plan is to encourage entrepreneurs and investors to spend out more, it is understandable that we are going to ask these questions whether it is wise
might not succeed in the long run, and when the Budget is planned to be amended within the next few years anyway? Michael Hayman, one of the entrepreneurs behind one of the eight small business stories leading the ‘Start Up Britain’ scheme launch, says that these increases and declines can help recognise opportunities for entrepreneurs. He says, “Downturns can be opportunities for entrepreneurs. The key is in spotting where the opportunities lie and having the confidence to go for it”. If we believe this, and that confidence is all that is needed to become an entrepreneur, then we are all quite naive or extremely brave. In order for these businesses to work and entrepreneurs to succeed, they need to identify the potential for failure and
ILLUSTRATION BY JULIAN HANSHAW
to stop blaming the bank charges and customers instead of themselves when things do not quite go to plan, and take responsibility for their actions. They also need to know their market and ensure that their service or products are unique enough to attract customers and to accept that no one becomes a millionaire over night. As Branson said, “We need to look for solutions not excuses” and quite rightly so. He goes on to say that the recession is the best time to start up as everything costs between 50-90% less than it would during boom time that makes the lost profit margin not so big, as starting up a business is a less expensive to do and is more cost effective in the long run. For now, there are not many disadvantages that jump out at me about this scheme. With the statistics given, it is shown that it is worthwhile in the long run to start up businesses as they are less costly, and there is a lot more financial help offered and guidance available to make these businesses succeed. After all that has been debated, whether Osborne is held for criticism or not for his plan of actions in the Budget, one thing he has managed to succeed with, is to not be selfish. He has realised that to help pull Britain out of recession and debt we all need to act together to ensure that the country’s economy does grow, even if it is at snail’s pace, and building businesses in Britain is one way of doing so. The government has recognised that Britain is a World class place to launch a new business and are keen to prove that this is the case. With the evidence there that the government is 100% behind entrepreneurs by providing this scheme, there is no stopping your average Joe from becoming the next Richard Branson.
T R E N D S : TA I LO R I N G Sharp, structural silhouettes and tapered trousers are staple to a fine suit, yet next season’s tailoring suggestsotherwise.The tailoring trend consisted of a mixture of relaxed, strong or even non-existent ensembles. At Acne, tailored suits were what can only be described as simple. Minimalistic and fuss free were key aesthetics to the collection as sharp lines ran through suits and tees, all relaxing and careless.The show broke down into themes of modernismandretro-esquewith repetitivemonochromecoloursof beiges, creams and greys. The 1970’s was once again revisited by Roberto Cavalli. A strong sense of the iconic decade ran through the autumn/winter ’11collection,highlightedincotton and suede suits.Tailoring defined the 70’s in tight blue jeans worn with formal boxed jackets. All was borderline camp but extremely stylish.Timelessclassicssuchasthe trenchcoat,luxuryinvelouroutfits andmasculinityinsuitswornwith boots gave tailoring an edge. On the other end of the spectrum, colour and creativity were the focus of Walter Van Beirendonck’sautumn/winter’11collection. Garments were deconstructed and then mended back together with buttons and fastenings to create billowing silhouettes and wide shapes. Entering a sartorial world of juxtaposition between mismatched colours, prints and patterns, tailoring was the subtle foundationtothecollection,almost borderlinenon-existent.Therewere colourfulhairyfabriccoats,jackets and t shirts, all that had been rippedandslicedthenconstructed in a new manner.
TRENDS: RED Forget‘Lady in Red’, this Autumn sees the transition in gender. The colour for men this autumn/winter is red. An essentialcolourthatwillwarmupeven the most conventional of wardrobes’. Red brings a new dynamic to next season’s suit. The choice of shade you go for is entirely yours. Dior Homme opted for scarlet red inspired by the Amish. The collection saw slim tunics, capes and coats. It was the finishing touch of scarlet red that enhanced strategic silhouettes and knits. A striking red can be used to shock and form a look that is dramatic and theatrical.IthappenedatLouisVuitton where the monochrome palette of black, again influenced by the Amish, was broken up by injections of striking red. Firstly teasing the crowd with red aviators, man clutches, trousers, biker jackets and hidden red collars and cuffs, slowly unzipping down to the ‘Motel Red’. Louis Vuitton’s ‘Motel red’ finale promised that red oozes power as the model was unveiled in a head to toe red ensemble. Added sequins and quilted black leather dazzled the haunting collection. Lanvinsoonfollowed,buthere,redwas used for what it is renowned for, its luxury. The show almost appeared as a 19th century tale, as the catwalk saw big hats, capes and coats enriched in redvelvetsandsilksteamedwithhiking boots. Then Burberry came along, where the wholeshowwasaBritishaffairinspired bythenation’strademarkweather,rain. The‘60’sweatherboys’autumn/winter ’11 collection has an array of coats in different shapes, fits and colours, red being one of them. Some were slim, oversized,doubleandsinglebreasted. A warm red mohair knit was worn with a plastic anorak that resembled what a 60’s Londoner would be seen wearing when struck by typical British Weather.
BURBERRY, RED DUFFLE COAT A/W ‘11
ROBERTO CAVALLI, TWEED COAT, A/W 11 COLLECTION
BURBERRY, RED, DUFFLE COAT, A/W 11 COLLECTION
Final Major Project for final year of university. A collection of articles proposed for four different British fashion and lifestyle magazin...