42 Meryl Streep on politics, prejudice & playing PM 26 The life of a London call girl 36 Is the Leveson Inquiry damaging journalism? 40 Rent in London for just ÂŁ300 a month 52 A masterclass in minimalism
FOOD|style |PEOPLE|POLITICS|CULTURE MARCH 2012 VOL. 1 ISSUE 1
Backstage with the Tottenham girl who took over the world
CONTENTS ON THE COVER 30 Adele talks love, loss and life in London The modest megastar invites us backstage
42 Meryl Streep on why Thatcher’s election was “very, very cool” (and who thinks she’s a “pain in the ass”?)
26 The real life of a London call girl
The debate: Is the Leveson Inquiry damaging journalism?
38 How you can live in Zone 1 for £300 a month And no, we’re not talking a “cosy studio”
52 5 A minimalism masterclass from
interior designer Chiara Ferrari Inside a stunning warehouse conversion CAPITAL |1
22 4 Need to know Your guide to London news
22 The Portfolio Michal Soluch’s stunning photography
8 Staying in The most fun you can have at home
25 The Politics Page Just what does our Mayor actually do?
10 Going out Where to go and what to see
47 Capital loves Jewellery designer Daisy Knights
12 Music Underground sensation Kid Kasio
48 Style Edit: Women Fashion journalist Kate Lawson’s picks
14 Restaurant review Cuisine and computers at Inamo
50 Style Edit: Men Rickie and Melvin talk bow ties and bags
18 The Londoner-At-Large column Francesca Beckett is tired of London…
52 Interior design Inside a minimalist warehouse conversion
20 On The Map Why Somerset House is more than LFW
56 The Knowledge: Zara Martin The tv presenter on food, fashion & fun
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CAPITAL Welcome to the very first issue of Capital magazine. Frankly, it’s hard to believe that it’s really here! So, what is Capital? Well, we’d like to think that we’re a bit like London: full of interesting people, creative talent and unique style. We’ll be bringing you intelligent and irreverent journalism, great design and engaging content for both men and women. Capital comes out on the last Friday of each month from tube stations, as well as online and via iPad and Kindle. We’ll also be available at almost 200 London venues, including the Tate, The Roundhouse, The National Theatre and Whitechapel gallery. And lastly, thank you for picking up a copy we hope to see you again next month!
ELLE OSILI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF P.S. Want to let me know what you think of the magazine? You can e-mail me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter as @elleosili.
FIND US ON TWITTER @CAPITALMAGAZINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLE OSILI COLUMNIST FRANCESCA BECKETT
CONTRIBUTORS TOURÉ RICKIE HAYWOOD WILLIAMS MELVIN ODOOM KATE LAWSON JOANNE CHRISTIE CLAUDIA CAHALANE ANNALISE CUNILD PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN ROSS ALEX BAILEY WIL SYMONS GETTY IMAGES PRODUCTION EDITOR CAROLINE OSILI DISTRIBUTION EMBLEM GROUP LTD & LONDON CALLING ARTS LTD PUBLISHER CAPITAL PUBLISHING CONTACT US 422 LEXINGTON BUILDING, BOW QUARTER, FAIRFIELD ROAD, LONDON, E3 2UQ TEL: 020 7193 9835 FAX: 0208 7100 8522 ISSN: 2049-5153 (PRINT)
NEED TO KNOW
Call for bonus tax to fund new jobs London Assembly member John Biggs has called for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund work placements for unemployed 16-24 year olds. The politician has spoken out following a 106.7 per cent rise in the number of young people out of work for over six months in Tower Hamlets, his constituency. According to last month’s unemployment figures, there are now 235,177 people looking for work in London - an increase of 9.5% in the last year alone. Biggs said: “Instead of taking a hands-off approach, the government and Mayor Boris Johnson need to use all their powers to get Londoners back to work. I am calling for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund work placements for young people. In recessions of the 80s and 90s we saw youth unemployment sky-rocket and a lost generation. We must do all we can to stop that happening again.”
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Assembly condemns Olympic secrecy Unnecessary secrecy risks jeopardising public confidence in the ticketing arrangements for the 2012 Games, a new report from the London Assembly warns. Sold Out? is the result of a two-year-long campaign by the Assemblyâ€™s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee to get answers from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games about the ticketing process for the Games. LOCOG has been able to withhold information about ticket sales because its status as a private company makes it exempt from Freedom of Information requests. However, the Committee argues that this is unjustified when LOCOG is the sole provider of Games tickets and a previous Organising Committee has published the sales figures. They have now written to the Olympic Board to request the release of the information.
London gets a digital drowning If you’ve been near Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace or Paternoster Square in the last few weeks, then you might have seen some rather strange blue rings hovering around. But don’t worry, they aren’t UFOs - the LED lights are actually an art installation designed to make us think about global warming.
Judith Knight, Director of Artsadmin called Plunge is an “extreme illustration”, going on to say; “the message is simple - we need to take action against climate change now.”
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PHOTO: JULIAN ANDREWS
The Plunge project by artist Michael Pinsky is a joint collaboration between Artsadmin and the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), and aims to raise the public’s awareness of the rising sea level due to climate changes. The project looks forward to the year 3012, when sea levels are predicted to have risen by a staggering 28 metres (90 feet) above their current height.
Bus passes and art for the masses If your morning bus journey could do with brightening up, make sure to keep an eye out for digital art project Bus-Tops. This ambitious scheme will transform everyday bus journeys into an art experience, with twenty London boroughs hosting a network of interactive, screen-based installations on bus shelter roofs. The artistic directors of Art Public, Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu, say: â€œBus-Tops aims to challenge conventions in public art by inviting the public to create and curate art that speaks for and of them. We hope that, by putting the discourse back into public hands, we can delight, provoke and inspire bus travellers as they gaze out their top deck windows. With 30 screens across London showing new art from established artists and the public alike, we hope that this project fosters new conversations around the role of the public in art and the power of new technologies to bridge gaps between the public and artistic expression.â€?
Channel 4, 9pm, Sunday Feb 26 Damien Lewis plays US Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody, who has been held as a prisoner of war for eight years by Al Qaeda. On his return, he is feted as a hero. But CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) believes that he has been turned, and represents a grave threat to national security. Dark, compelling and very clever, Homeland is must watch tv.
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LIFE! DEATH! PRIZES! Stephen May
For nineteen-year-old Billy and younger brother, Oscar, their mother's death in a bungled street robbery is the most random thing that could possibly have happened. Now Billy must be both parents to Oscar, and despite what his well-meaning aunt, the social services and Oscar's own prodigal father all think, he knows he is more than up to the job. The boys' new world, where bedtimes are arbitrary, tidiness is optional and healthy home-cooked meals pile up uneaten in the freezer, is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it's also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. Funny, bittersweet and unforgettable, Life! Death! Prizes! is a story of grief, resilience and brotherly love.
THE BIG YEAR Twentieth Century Fox DVD This sophisticated comedy from the critically acclaimed director David Frankel follows a group of three bird-watching enthusiasts, played by Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin, whose lives are all at their own individual crossroads. With later-life, mid-life and no-life crises threatening to consume them, the three ornithologists embark on a quest to follow their dreams and, more importantly, outdo one another in the bird-watching stakes.
YAYOI KUSAMI Feb 9 - June 5, Tate Modern
Although best known for her repeating dot patterns, Yayoi Kusamiâ€™s art actually encompasses an huge range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance and immersive installation. The Tate Modernâ€™s varied, spectacular exhibition of this unique artist makes it a truly unmissable opportunity for both Kusama fans and those new to her work.
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DEBORAH FRANCES-WHITE’S ULTIMATE PARTY March 26, Leicester Square Theatre The lucky ones who’ve been to a party hosted by Deborah Frances-White know that it’s an unforgettable experience. So, for the first time ever, Deborah’s sharing the experience in a brand new show. Expect blistering comedy, silly games, chit chat and party music, all held together by her unique charm and wit. Plus, with Deborah being joined by Jenny Eclair, Judith Owen and Philip Escoffey, book your tickets now for the show critics are calling “irresistibly compelling”.
‘Tis pity she’s a whore Feb 16 - Mar 5, The Barbican Let’s face it: a Jacobean tale of incest, religion and the corruption of morality probably doesn’t sound like most people’s idea of a good evening. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. Critically acclaimed theatre company Cheek By Jowl, who previously won rave reviews for their productions of The Tempest and Macbeth, have brought an infectious energy and pace to John Ford’s controversial play ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore. This shocking, spellbinding show, which follows the troubled relationship of a brother and sister, is an absolute must see, and despite being 400 years old, feels as fresh as the day it was written.
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MUSIC: KID KASIO Can underground sensation Kid Kasio bring back the eighties? And more to the point, do we really want him to? Claudia Cahalane met him to find out… Kid Kasio sounds like everyone else in the charts. The charts of 1983, that is. For fans of early eighties music, the fun that comes out of his synths puts you right into an age of multicoloured neon lights, smoke machines and hairspray harder than Thatcher’s talk on unions. Think Howard Jones or a male La Roux with a spritz of The Human League and a shimmer of Duran Duran – sharp suits, rolled up sleeves and hair as high as Elly Jackson’s. The debut album, Kasiotone, released last month, is predominantly high-octane electro fun, liberally infused with melancholic choruses that will make your heart yearn for days gone by. The songs are multilayered and tight, with plenty of references to the era that inspired them.
PHOTO: WIL SYMONS
Kasio is named after his first keyboard, an idea borrowed from Duran’s Nick Rhodes. He is the talk of the underground synthpop music scene, with blogs like Electricity Club hyping him as an antidote to the wash of male urban artists dominating pop in 2012. Since he branched out from The
Modern two years ago, his idols have started to notice him. “Vince Clark from Erasure contacted me on twitter to say he loved what I was doing. What a massive, massive compliment. I re-tweeted that a few times, I can tell you,” he says, sounding geekily excited. He was also introduced to Nick Rhodes, one of his all time heroes, recently, backstage at a Duran Duran gig. “I’ve loved him since I was eight and he told me to send him some of my stuff. He was so lovely.” Kasio, real name Nathan Cooper is genuinely astonished to be mixing in these circles. Being the brother of film star Dominic Cooper undeniably helps.
different. And he filmed my video for Over and Over.” Now into his mid-thirties, Kasio is aware this might be one of the last opportunities to hit the big time. But he senses a new wave of new wave. “There are definitely more synths in the charts than there have been since the eighties,” he says. “You’ll hear them on Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding and new acts breaking like Hurts and Mirrors. I think synths are finally cool again.” He’s set on fitting in as many gigs as possible this year to see if any industry types spot him. “The album reviews have been very promising. I'm hoping some labels will start to notice what I'm doing,” he says. “That’s why it's important to gig; I think extensive gigging and possibly some tour support this year will put me on the A&R radar.”
His brother is doing what he can to help him get some breaks, even though as teenagers they hated each other. The singer still bears the scars of one argument. “There You can’t help thinking that had was a knife and it was over a jar he been a teenager in the early of Nutella,” he laughs. eighties, he would no doubt be a massive star by now. But “We get on much better now. today’s market is more He got me on board to write competitive, and despite his songs for the soundtrack of one model looks, famous of his films last year called connections and the glowing Tamara Drewe - that was a reviews of his debut album, great opportunity, something 1983 is a long way from 2012. ■
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On a Plate
INAMO, W1 In the first of our monthly restaurant reviews, Joanne Christie tries eastern cuisine and western technology at Inamo. Londoners have a reputation for being unsociable. We don’t talk to strangers on the train, we don’t make eye contact and we don’t engage in small talk. Some people say this is no bad thing. If you happen to be one of those people, you might enjoy Inamo, an Asian fusion restaurant where you order via an interactive computer built into the table. Upon arrival we are shown to our table and a waitress promises to return shortly to explain how it all works. For the next 10 minutes, we ponder the overhead contraption that looks a bit like an enormous overhead hair dryer but in fact turns out to be the thing that beams the computer on to our table. While we wait, we hope feverishly no one is seated beside us, given that the gap between our table and the next is an inch at best.
explain the system. Once you get started, it is very userfriendly. You can look at pictures of the dishes and order whatever takes your fancy, change your virtual tablecloth, watch the kitchen staff on the chef-cam and even check how the bill is adding up so far (though you can’t opt out of paying the ‘discretionary’ service charge). Waiters drop by only to deliver and reclaim the dishes, but there is a button you can press for service if you need it although no one came when we pressed it three times.
If you want to avoid not only the staff, but also your companions, you can even play games such as Battleship and Memory. It’s all very space-age, but a bit antisocial and the experience had somewhat of an eat-it-andbeat-it feel. Despite this, it doesn’t exactly come with fast food prices. During her Eventually, another waitress introductory spiel, our waitress notices our lack of finger- said they recommended that tapping and comes over to diners order three dishes
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each. As the ‘smaller’ dishes ranged from £5.45 to £16.20 and the ‘larger’ from £10.50 to £23.50, this represented quite a pricey proposition. In the end, the small dishes proved much more impressive than the large. The vegetarian maki was perfectly prepared and the baby pork ribs practically slid off the bones and into my partner’s mouth. However the Thai red curry lacked spice and tasted like the vegetables had been thrown into the sauce rather
than cooked in it. In fact, the sweet potato didn’t seem to have been cooked at all. My partner’s Berkshire pork neck was tender and aesthetically pleasing, but miniscule for something ordered as a main dish. The kakiage (aka vegetarian tempura) went some way toward redeeming the large dishes, with its light batter and perfectly cookedbut-still crisp vegetables. The dessert selection was limited and I was a bit worried the lemongrass coulis that came with the crème brulee would prove overpowering,
but it turned out to be delicious. There are undoubtedly pluses to the Inamo proposition — there’s no one hovering over you pressuring you to make a dining choice and you can order dishes at your leisure rather than having to pick all at once. But for me, the food was too pricey and the service too absent to justify a second visit. Inamo, 134-136 Wardour Street, Soho W1F 8ZP, 020 7851 7051, www.inamorestaurant.com
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A CUT ABOVE
Annalise Cunild sets out to fulfil a lifelong dream - learning how to make sausages… Some people dream of swimming with dolphins, others hope to visit Niagara Falls – I’ve always wanted to learn butchery. It sounds peculiar, I know, but despite living in a top floor city flat, I still aspire to something more organic.
celebrity chefs (possibly because he was wearing a chef’s outfit and talking enthusiastically about food).
Nevertheless, Chris was keen to emphasis the provenance of the meat – this had come from a living animal.
“The benefit of being able to butcher a carcass yourself is that you save the money you would have paid a butcher to do Ever since Hugh Fearnley- the job for you. Whatshischops hit our screens with his enviably effortless take on the ‘good life’ I have been quietly admiring and aspiring… but not quite acquiring. ”Cue Carry On
“A lot of people prefer to have a completely pink skin on their pork, because any markings remind them this was once a pig and they like to forget that bit.
So, when I found a Butchery and Sausage Making course, I wasted no time in signing up.
jokes about ‘getting your hands around the sausage’”
Arriving in a flurry of snow but with those hazy summers-tocome cemented in my mind, I was raring to go. My tutor was butcher Chris Wildman, MD of If you have neighbours, friends an online farmers’ market selling or family to divide the meat with, produce from his family farm. it can be a really effective way of cutting costs and still getting “There is something to be said excellent quality, local meat.” for going back to the traditional values of buying meat that is It wasn’t long before I was locally reared on small farms, brandishing a hack-saw and knowing exactly where it has carving my way through a half come from,” he said. of a pig. Chris is instantly engaging and energetic and, when I met him, reminded me of a cuddly amalgamation of different
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“In reality, if you get a piece of meat with some black marking, it shows it is from a rare-breed variety like Gloucester Old Spot, which produces excellent quality meat.” Some bits of the butchery are better done without knives; like taking out the fillet. We took turns to ease it away from the ribs gently with our fingers and, once out, Chris and resident head chef Simon Lilley gave us some ideas for pork fillet recipes. Pork Wellington or Weiner schnitzel anyone?
Seeing the different cuts of meat take shape was captivating and gave us all a renewed appreciation for the animal itself and helped us better understand the different For any squeamish folk who are characteristics of each cut. actually still reading, there were no blood or guts in sight; the Before long we had turned the meat already looked like meat. butchered meat into mince and
divided it into different batches ready to mix into sausage meat. Chris explained the essential need for moistened breadcrumbs to hold the mixture together, and suggested local Meantime pilsner might be a nice moistener. With the breadcrumbs added, we were given a dangerously free reign to create whatever flavour combinations took our fancy. I took inspiration from my daring co-students, retirees Sheila and Arthur, who made rhubarb and honey; beer, leek, cranberry and coriander (yes, in one sausage); pilsner, sage, onion, leek and thyme. My creations were leek, apricot and rhubarb and are perfect for the job in create a woven string of divided sausages – easier said than hand. and sage and onion. done I can assure you. After If you’ve ever seen a sausageseveral bodged attempts I was “We’re not adding any making device in action you a master; and proudly preservatives to our sausages which means they won’t keep may well be thinking what I was brandished my perfect string of as long as supermarket thinking. Cue Carry On jokes beautiful sausages. sausages unless you freeze about getting your hands them straight away,” said Chris. around the sausage while you By the end of the day’s course pump in the meat, add a few I was glowing with the immense Once we had got decidedly stifled giggles and you are satisfaction of having learnt a sticky mixing in our flavours, we taken back to shrieks of completely new skill. got onto the important business laughter in the biology of sausage-making, using – and classroom when you were I had also made several new this is where it gets a bit more asked to identify the male friends, learnt an inordinate reproductive organs. amount about cuts of meat, gruesome – sheep intestines. animal welfare, and butchery But stay with me on this one; it Once you’ve got past the initial and was sent home with isn’t as bad as you would think, lapse into immaturity, it is a enough sausages to fill my they look white and translucent, gratifying process that requires freezer for several months. like something you might produce from something synthetic – honest. But the difference is, these are natural materials, free from chemicals
a surprising amount of concentration to avoid any tears. With the resulting long sausage, Chris artfully showed us the technique of ‘pinch and twist’ to
It might not be a country cottage freezer, but it is now filled with a little taste of the good life, and that’s enough for me. ■
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Francesca Beckett LONDONER-AT-LARGE
They say when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. So what happens if you’re fed up with both? Follow columnist Francesca Beckett as she finds out… Picture me in 2009: a fresh faced, slightly liver damaged graduate with creative ambitions and a pressing need to begin paying back the small fortune that I'd borrowed during the previous three years. Money that was wisely spent on books, journal subscriptions and pads of paper rather than on tequila, takeaways and bubble blowers. Obviously. As one of the lucky thousands who were the first year to receive the nowlooking-quite-cheap ‘top up fees' and also the first year to graduate into the recession, I needed a job. I'd spent my post-graduation summer in Edinburgh, coercing unsuspecting passers by into a theatre to see my friends perform Shakespeare; I was way behind all the practical students who'd secured
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proper forms of employment whirlwind (if you can count before we'd even sat finals. London's drinking establishments as 'sights'). Bored and broke I blindly grabbed at the first job I was There was a period when I offered; anything was spent twelve consecutive preferable to living at home Saturdays hungover; at the and spending my weekends sight of my slightly green getting paid to serve Daily face the nice man in the Mail readers alcohol. When corner shop would people asked me, 'so what automatically give me a can can you do with a Philosophy of fizzy vimto and a degree?' I could now reply: cheesestring (trust me, it’s a 'Well, it gives you a really foolproof cure). good leg up into the Swedish Novelty is a wonderful thing, furniture sales business'. but after a few months in the So I found myself, small town city the shine started to rub girl, suddenly in London off my new life. Like 'gold' spending my mornings from a cheap ring, all muddy navigating the Piccadilly line, hazel underneath. I was rather than watching Jeremy working for a brilliant Kyle in my pants. company (no, not that Swedish furniture company, The transition from a town of another one) with fantastic 80,000 to a city of 8 million colleagues in a beautiful was smoother than you may office. suspect. My new job and new housemates provided But slowly, and surely, I felt me with a ready made social myself becoming more and circle; I spent my first few more unhappy. Caged in by months on a sightseeing my corporate suit, and with
theatrical dreams fading, I started to feel increasingly beige; lost in the blur of quarterly projections and KPI reports.
at the hammering rain. Faced with the prospect of renewing on a twelve month lease which would essentially confirm that my life would
As a midwife my Mum is a valuable commodity in the outback, so she'd decided to emigrate and was planning her move Down Under.
When you realise that Eastenders has become the highlight of your day, it's impossible not to die a little inside. Although, to be fair, it could have been worse. It could have been Hollyoaks.
They enticed her out with a sponsorship agreement that included two free flights, and as neither of my siblings wanted the spare one I nabbed it (sometimes it pays to be the eldest).
I still counted myself lucky - I was employed, my flat was beautiful and my friends were some of the best people I've met thus far in my life. Basically I was a walking jukebox of first world problems.
After only a fifteen minute conversation I had decided to up sticks and move with her to Australia three months later. Not that I can be totally rash and impulsive or anything.
However, always hovering in my peripheries was a tiny shimmering dream. The promised land for Brits under thirty, full of nothing but beer, beaches and tanned surfers, each buffed to perfection: Australia.
“Saving seemed nigh on impossible. It was two steps forward, one winter gas bill back.”
Unfortunately, student debt, London rent and a conveniently located Zara meant that saving seemed nigh on impossible. It was two stay the same for another lap steps forward, one winter gas around the sun, I felt lost and a little confused. bill back. One 'sunny' evening last summer I found myself staring despondently out of the window of my London flat
So there you go, that's me. On October 24th, after having my belongings checked for bomb dust don't get emotional at airports and forget to remove restricted items from your hand luggage - I flew out of Birmingham International. Despite having no plan and a dangerously low bank balance, I still beamed as the city lights became obscured by cloud. It may have been Emirates' plentiful supply of merlot, but I felt happy.
Doing what any independent And that, ladies and young professional does in gentlemen of London, is times of emotional turmoil, I where our story begins… ■ rang my mother.
C A P I T A L | 19
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Somerset house So, with London Fashion Week done and dusted for another season, we’re taking a closer look at the venue behind the front-row frenzy. Firstly, don’t let the classic facade fool you into thinking that Somerset House is just another stuffy pile; much of the beautiful building is occupied by a growing community of cultural entrepreneurs, artists and designers who are constantly innovating and inspiring. There are also a huge range of events all year round, from ice-skating in winter to open-air films in summer. In particular, we’re looking forwards to Pick Me Up (March 22), which will be the very first contemporary graphic art fair of its kind. The unique event will offer a range of limited edition, affordable graphic art and illustration for sale, as well as boasting a line-up of both established artists and exciting new talent. Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk
ARTWORK BY RIIKKA SOMUNEN
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MICHAL SOLUCH If asked to name the most attractive architecture in London, Canary Wharf probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. That’s why Michal Soluch’s striking photographs of commuter central are our portfolio of the month. Taken in stark black and white, his portraits give the financial district an imposing, industrial beauty.
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C A P I T A L | 23
T H E P your O Lconversational I T I C S cheatsheet PAGE SO, WHAT DOES THE MAYOR OF LONDON ACTUALLY DO? With just ten weeks to go before the Mayoral elections, most Londoners are preparing for a deluge of pamphlets and promises. So what should we expect from our Mayor?
Budget management That’s £14.6bn to be precise, partly raised from Council Tax. It’s used for transport services, police and fire services and housing.
The environment The Mayor is required to put together a plan which addresses environmental issues in London such as air quality and climate change. The Mayor is also directly responsible for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Gardens.
Transport Again, the Mayor sets the budget, and appoints the board of TfL. They are also Health responsible for the strategic planning of Whilst there aren’t such concrete transport provision. responsibilities here, the Mayor should promote public health and work to Fire & emergency planning reduce health inequalities in the capital. No direct responsibilities here, other than appointing representatives to the London Planning & development Fire & Emergency Planning Authority. The Mayor is responsible for planning the spatial development of the capital. Policing Importantly, they can also act as the The Mayor sets the budget for the planning authority for London. Metropolitan Police, as well as their strategic goals. Arts & culture The Mayor has to put together a strategy Housing which covers areas like theatre, music Here, the Mayor is responsible for and the arts. The Mayor also appoints the developing a housing strategy, as well as Chair of the London Arts Council. managing and spending regional housing funds from the government. With Economic development & regeneration London’s huge population, the issues of Creating wealth is the aim here - the homelessness, social housing, and first Mayor has a role in promoting a strong time buyers all need attention. economy in London. ■
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THE REAL LIFE OF A
LONDON CALL GIRL The Secret Diary of A Call Girl saw Billie Piper shoot to fame playing glamorous real-life escort Dr Brooke Magnanti. But for Julia*, who’s worked a prostitute for almost 15 years, the reality of life as a London call girl is far less glossy.
I was 17 years old when I first had There are times when it’s sex for money. terrifying. Like scared stiff, terrifying. Because you don’t I was going out with a 34 year old know who you’re letting in your called Phil*, who I was just madly house. It could be a sad old in love with. I thought he was the husband whose wife has closed most perfect guy, which makes up shop, or a fucking nutter who me feel so stupid now. hates women. He asked me to help pay off a drug debt by sleeping with ‘a friend’, and I did. Soon, it turned into two or three men a day - he’d tell me they were dealers who would kill him if I didn’t do it. It was four years before I dared leave him. I ended up living in a flat with two other working girls in London. They taught me how to properly be on the game; where to get condoms, how to find punters, how to make sure you get paid. Since then, that’s all I’ve done - I can’t even really remember what life was like before.
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Some of them you can suss pretty quick - the ones who just want to use you like a sex line, or who you know won’t pay for it. But you can’t catch them all, and everyone has had one or two men come through that door that just scared the shit out of them. I’ve only been hurt four times in about 14 years, so that’s pretty good going. But every time you hear something on the news, like the girls who were killed in Ipswich, you do start to panic. I run through everything in my head: where’s my phone, how
“There are times when it’s terrifying. Like scared stiff, terrifying.”
*NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED. INTERVIEW: ELLE OSILI. PHOTOS: TAYLOR ROSS
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would I get out, everything all of my own, even if it’s like that. nothing amazing. It’s definitely not like the It might be safer, but I can’t places you see prostitutes afford to work for an on television living in. agency. You need a look to make money there, and In fact, it sounds I don’t have one. There are completely stupid, but it’s so many Eastern my safe place. I close the Europeans and Russians door at night and it’s mine. here, and they’re all stick skinny with accents. I could live somewhere Punters lap that kind of smaller and have more thing up. Plus the cut they money to spend. But I don’t take from you is so big that take drugs, I don’t drink, I you need to either charge don’t even smoke. My a lot or work a lot. There’s money goes on my flat, no other choice. and that’s what makes me happy. For me, I make more money by offering extras When I’m honest with that you won’t get from the myself, I totally, completely more expensive girls. wish I hadn’t started. But at the same time I know I’m For example, you’d be good at this - or as good as surprised how many men I need to be - and it pays want it unprotected. It can the bills. sometimes net me an extra 400 quid. I don’t always do Still, there are a lot of days it, but if the guy looks clean where I look at anyone with and seems normal then I’ll a normal job - checkout take a risk for the money. girls, binmen, posties, And actually, I’m not anyone - and think ‘I could embarrassed to say that. I do that’. Not just the job, know plenty of girls out but the whole life; normal there are doing the same boyfriend, friends, the lot. thing every night for nothing. But then I remember that I’m 31 years old and the If the work is regular, I don’t only job I’ve ever had is make bad money. When I being a prostitute. There was at school, I’d never would be nothing left for have thought I’d have a flat me if I stopped. ■
THE FACTS 75% of women involved in prostitution started as children. 74% of women cite poverty as the motivator for entering prostitution. Up to 70% of women in prostitution spent time in care, 45% report sexual abuse and 85% physical abuse within their families. Up to 95% of women in prostitution are drug users, including around 78% heroin users . More than half of UK women in prostitution have been raped and/or seriously sexually assaulted. At least three quarters have been physically assaulted. 68% of women in prostitution meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the same range as torture victims and combat veterans undergoing treatment. The mortality rate for women in prostitution in London is 12 times the national average.
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Being Adele hits the road with the biggest selling artist of last year to talk online dating, shooting exes and Lady Gagaâ€™s boobs... WORDS: TOURĂ‰ I PHOTOS: DAVE HOGAN
"Aw, Louis!" Adele groans. "Don't roll in the shit!" It's Saturday, around 2 p.m., and she's zipping through a small park along Alster Lake in Hamburg, Germany, yanking the leash of her constant companion, a two-yearold wiener dachshund, Louis Armstrong.
only seven cigarettes a day, but over a few hours, she smokes at least that.
To compound matters this week, her father, Mark Evans - a recovering alcoholic who left Adele's mother and her when she was three - sold a story to The Sun, telling them that he It's only a few days into Adele's European felt guilty about not being there for Adele tour, but she's a bit out of sorts. We have when she was growing up. Adele's eyes descended from the penthouse bar of her narrow when she talks about the story. hotel, where she drank two mini carafes of red wine. Now she's feeling "fluffy." "It's gone "I never knew my dad," she says. "He has no straight to my head!" she says. She's not fuckin' right to talk about me." The day after wearing any makeup, and her dirty-blond her dad's story, another one appeared, this time about Adele's childhood; the reporter hair is pulled back in a messy knot. had ambushed her grandmother at a bus In a year of sex bombs and art projects on stop for an interview. "That's when I started the pop charts, the biggest surprise hit of smoking again," Adele says. 2011 was a breakup LP that could have been recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama - the Adele has one of the great voices of the past work of an earthy, full-figured 23-year-old few years - a mix of soul power, tender and scary emotional whose go-to outfits are billowy turtleneck sweetness sweaters. (She's wearing a black one today, transparency. Songs like "Someone Like which she calls "my shield, my comfort," You" - in which she says goodbye to an along with black leggings and leopard-print ex-boyfriend who has married - are messy, conflicted, sometimes explosive. "All of her ballet flats.) songs are based on real events and real Adele's second album, 21, debuted at people," says her bassist, Sam Dixon. "It can Number One in the U.K. and U.S., and has be hard for her to sing them; that's happened sold 3.5 million overall, a development she a few times now." At the Brit Awards in calls "pretty intense." She recently started February, she was close to tears at the end smoking again - she claims she's back to of her performance of "Someone" and had
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to turn away from the cameras. "It's not a pose or a stance," says Rick Rubin, who produced four of 21's songs. "When you hear someone bare their soul, it resonates." In person, Adele is just as unguarded. Walking through the park, she tells of once going onstage with "a tampon on my thumb. It was awful!" She says it was to cover up a broken nail. ("You make it hollow and put it on your finger. I do it all the time.") She talks fast, uses different voices, tells filthy jokes onstage ("What do you call a blonde standing on her head? A brunette with bad breath.") She admits to signing up for an Internet dating service last year. "I was drunk, upset and listening to SinĂŠad O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U.' " (She quit after trying it once.) She loves shock rappers Odd Future. Adele with six of her eight Grammy awards "They're refreshing," she says, but "my fans weren't happy when I posted their video on my blog." (Sample line: "I'll stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn oesophagus.") Lil' Kim once influence was Etta James, whose music she heard a rap of hers: "She said I was nasty!" discovered in the bargain bin of a record store. "She was the first time a voice made Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in me stop what I was doing and sit down and Tottenham, a borough with some of the listen. It took over my mind and body." highest unemployment in the U.K. Her mother, Penny, was in her teens; she As a child, Adele loved singing and playing worked as a masseuse, a furniture-maker guitar and clarinet; by 14, she was impressive and an office administrator, and they moved enough to successfully audition for a lot, often living in government-subsidised London's BRIT School, a public performinghousing. Adele "loved moving," she claims. arts high school that artists such as Amy "I think that's why I can't stay in one place Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Kate Nash now. I don't think of my childhood like, 'Oh, also attended. "It was like Fame," she says. I went to 10 different schools.' My mum "There were kids doing pirouettes in the always made it fun." Her mother is still her f---in' hallway and doing mime and having closest friend, and current roommate. Adele sing-offs in the foyer." Her classmate and credits her with turning her on to Mary J. current guitarist, Ben Thomas, says Adele Blige, Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys - she calls never seemed driven to get into the music The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Songs business. "There were some people at in A Minor "life-defining." The other big school who really pushed hard," Thomas
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says. "You could tell they really wanted it. Adele never really had that. But she was a great performer and everyone would be completely silent and in awe when she performed." She almost got kicked out because she had issues with punctuality. "I'd turn up to school four hours late," she says. "I was sleeping. I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't bunking, I just couldn't wake up." One day, a group of teachers selected 20 of the most promising students to go on a trip to Devon to perform at a festival, and Adele overslept. The moment she opened her eyes and realized she was too late, she says, "My heart exploded in my chest. It was pretty horrible. I almost did get kicked out of the school for that. But now I'm always on time, and if I'm late it's always someone else's fault."
moments in a career.' " More than 14 million people watched as Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder." "When we did the performance on SNL, we were at Number 40 on iTunes," says her manager, Jonathan Dickins. "The following morning, we were at Number Eight. When I got off the plane in London, we were at Number One." She would go on to win Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
It was around this time that she met the guy who would become the inspiration for 21. He was 10 years older than her, and he got her interested in travelling, reading fiction like Zadie Smith's White Teeth and writing poetry. "He made me an adult. He put me on the road that I'm travelling on," Adele says. "Most of my life was my career, but I had this little side project that was us. And In her last year at BRIT, a friend posted on it made me feel really normal again, which MySpace a three-song demo that Adele had is just what I needed. Because I was recorded for a class. Several labels e- becoming a bit doolally - a bit fuckin' crazy." mailed, asking to meet her. She was unimpressed. "I thought it was some dirty They lived together for almost a year at her Internet pervert," she says. "I saw there were place in London before things started to e-mails from Island and XL, but I'd never fizzle. "It just stopped being fun," she says. heard of them so I didn't call them back." He was artistic, "but not romantic. He never Finally, at the urging of her mother, she met took me to Italy. I took him to Italy." She with an A&R guy from XL - the indie-label laughs. "I booked it all and took us to a nice home of M.I.A. - who signed her nearly on hotel in Milan." the spot. Toward the end, "We'd just bicker over a Adele's 2008 debut, 19, was a modest cup of tea or the fact that my lighter wasn't success in America - it debuted at Number working." Her friends were happy to see him 56 on the album chart and then dropped - go. "They all thought he was shitty," she until she landed a spot performing on says. "All my friends, everyone I worked Saturday Night Live, in the middle of the with, no one liked him, because I acted 2008 presidential campaign, on the night different when I was around him." that Sarah Palin appeared on the show. "I was sitting in my dressing room having my The morning after things ended, she was in makeup done," she says, "and I thought, 'If the studio, sobbing while making "Rolling in you nail this, this could be one of those the Deep." Paul Edgeworth, who produced
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that song, says, "She was obviously quite fragile. But she had fire in her belly." Midway through the album, she found out her ex was engaged. "I was absolutely devastated." It's 7:30 p.m. "I have the shakes," says Adele. She's in the basement dressing room of a 1,200-capacity club near Hamburg's red-light district, wearing the same black turtleneck sweater. She's been drinking coffee with Louis on her lap and smoking another cigarette. As always, she's got some stage fright. "I'm scared of audiences," she says. "I get shitty scared. One show in Amsterdam, I was so nervous I escaped out the fire exit. I've thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile-vomited on someone. I just gotta bear it. But I don't like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot."
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How does she get herself onstage? "I just think that nothing's ever gone horrifically wrong," she says. "Also, when I get nervous, I try to bust jokes. It does work. I chat a lot of fucking shit, though." For most people who get stage fright, the nerves go away once the show starts, but for Adele, things get worse. "My nerves don't really settle until I'm offstage," she says. "I mean, the thought of someone spending $20 to come and see me and saying 'Oh, I prefer the record and she's completely shattered the illusion' really upsets me. It's such a big deal that people come give me their time." She also has an alter ego she uses to pump herself up, called Sasha Carter - a composite of BeyoncĂŠ's Sasha Fierce and June Carter. "I was about to meet BeyoncĂŠ," she says, "and I had a full-blown anxiety attack. Then she popped in looking gorgeous, and said, 'You're amazing! When
“I DON’T MAKE MUSIC FOR EYES,
I MAKE MUSIC FOR EARS” I listen to you I feel like I'm listening to God.' Can you believe she said that?" Later, "I went out on the balcony crying hysterically, and I said, 'What would Sasha Fierce do?' That's when Sasha Carter was born."
IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES & WIREIMAGE. © 2011 ROLLING STONE. FIRST PUBLISHED IN ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE. ®ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES.
One thing that Adele says she isn't anxious about is her weight. It's fluctuated throughout her life, but she says she doesn't diet or work out. "I don't have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like," she says. "I don't like going to the gym. I like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine. Even if I had a really good figure, I don't think I'd get my tits and ass out for no one. I love seeing Lady Gaga's boobs and bum. I love seeing Katy Perry's boobs and bum. Love it. But that's not what my music is about. I don't make music for eyes, I make music for ears."
on the wooden stool at centre stage. With English-language audiences, Adele can be "Bette Midler funny," but tonight she focuses on the songs, sometimes singing with a hand in the pocket of her jumper. She runs through songs from both her albums and a cover, "If It Hadn't Been for Love," by a Nashville band called the Steeldrivers. She introduces it by saying, "It's a song about shooting your wife. And I feel like shooting my ex." In between songs, Adele tells the crowd, "My dog is on tour with me. He's a dachshund. I have a German dog! He loves it here. He's in the homeland!" There's a sprinkling of laughs in the audience. She closes with a loud, powerful, stomping "Rolling in the Deep," and even though she walks off and the lights come on and someone else's music starts playing from the house speakers, the crowd just stands there. They cheer, clap and chant her name, but she's done. "Always leave them wanting more," she says.
She leans down to Louis and holds out a treat. "Lady Gaga!" she commands. "Put your paws up!" He sits up on his legs with his paws up. The topic turns to Mumford & Sons, whom she loves. "They're closer to how I feel about Etta James than anyone," With the show behind her, Adele is finally she says. "Such articulate voices." at ease. She jokes about what would happen if she were in a happy marriage. At 8:40 p.m., Adele stubs out her cigarette "No music!" she says. "My fans will be like, and stops playing with Louis, stands on the 'Babe! Please! Get divorced!' " edge of the stage and begins singing "Hometown Glory," a gentle love letter to She laughs. "Don't worry. My bubble always London from 19. The audience can hear fuckin' bursts." ■ but not see her. Soon she takes her place
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Is the leve Damaging jo
ELLE OSILI Editor of Capital magazine For me, the Leveson Inquiry is like pruning a plant; the only parts you’re losing are those which were killing the rest.
But most importantly, I’m hoping that the inquiry ushers in a new age of respected self-regulation within the industry.
After all, can anyone really remember a time when journalists haven’t been seen as a cocky breed who’ll happily lie, cheat and steal their way to a story?
One of the most significant discoveries so far is just how many journalists felt that they had been forced into unethical reporting by senior staff.
And whilst the inquiry has confirmed that yes, some journalists will happily lie, cheat and steal their way to a story, it’s also shown the fierce pride and ethical standards that the majority of journalists have for their work.
I know exactly how they feel; an editor once asked me to open and publish the content of notes left on a grave. I refused, and to say they weren’t particularly happy with me would be somewhat of an understatement.
But post-Leveson, I’m hoping that it will be far easier for journalists to stand up to editors if asked to behave unethically. The public now know that That’s when change will journalists are no longer really happen. untouchable. They know that unacceptable, invasive So, do I think the Leveson is damaging or criminal behaviour will Inquiry be brought to light and journalism? Far from it dealt with swiftly and we’ve just been given a slightly deserved bruising. severely. I also believe that the added scrutiny will, in the longer term, lead to greater trust in the industry.
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eson inquiry ournalism?
*NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED. IMAGE: GETTY
yes SAM* Journalist for The Times
Is the Leveson Inquiry majority of journalists are honest and needed? Absolutely. Is it ethical, damaging journalism? incredibly hard-working. Without a doubt. But from now on, I don’t think anyone can everything we write will disagree that the be taken with a pinch of Leveson Inquiry is long salt. Exclusive stories or overdue, and I know that shocking scoops will I’m not the only one who have the taint of dubious has been listening to the acquisition attached. evidence in total horror Even worse, the call of and disbelief. ‘privacy invasion’ will But it’s reached a point allow those who actually where the media circus need exposing to hide. surrounding the inquiry is ramping up the journo- It’s only been a few bashing to a ridiculous months, and newspapers are already terrified to be level. seen as invasive or If this We’ve already got a bad unethical. reputation (see: every film continues, we’ll end up with a sleazy, hard-faced with a press who are too journalist in it). It was hard afraid of being seen badly enough telling people I by the public to do their was a journalist before. jobs. Now when informed of my career, they furtively For me, the hysteria hide their phones and talk surrounding the Leveson only in non-committal Inquiry is overshadowing the important work that murmurs. journalists do, and it’s I’ve worked for News going to be a very long Corp for years, and whilst time until it doesn’t. ■ it isn’t perfect, the vast
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Living creatively Thanks to rising rents, more and more people working in London’s creative industries are opting to become property guardians. But with minimal rent for maximum space, Joanne Christie went to find out if there’s a catch.
Creative careers do not often come with a pay packet that allows for a spacious pad in Central London, especially not in the early stages. For many, their chosen career path is more likely to start with an unpaid internship than a £40,000 signing bonus and they face a constant struggle between the need to be in London to forge a career and the reality that it’s just too damn expensive to live here. Most of us would, quite rightly, view an advert for a large double room in Zone 1 for £300 a month, bills included, with a certain amount of scepticism. But that’s not to say such spaces don’t exist, it’s just a matter of ditching the letting agencies and turning to property guardian firms instead. There are a number of companies running property guardian schemes in London, managing empty buildings for their owners. They recruit property guardians to live in these empty buildings to protect them from squatters and decay. It’s a slightly unconventional way of living, but for many it has proven a good way of getting a cheap place to rent in the capital.
situation to the problem of empty buildings. “It benefits the client because they get low cost security for the building that prevents thieves or squatters from entering the property. It benefits the guardian because they get very cheap living in London. They get to live for somewhere between £200 and £300 a month.” Charlie Hotson, a 24-year-old actor, is among those placed by Ad Hoc. His first property was a bedsit in Lewisham, where he lived for nine months, and he has recently moved to a one bedroom flat in Hoxton, for which he pays £250 a month, plus bills. “My flat is about five minutes from Old Street tube so it is an amazing location. Before I did this, it was quite difficult to find somewhere that was affordable for me. Acting is a bizarre business and it is very difficult to find work at the moment. I work for a promotions company as well and I do always have work every month, but the amount can vary,” he says.
According to Doug Edwards, general Hotson, who was the understudy for stage manager at property guardian firm Ad Hoc, show Woman in Black, says being a property guardianship is a win-win property guardian has given him the
financial freedom to pursue his acting career. “Having the opportunity to live somewhere that is so cheap gives me the chance to travel to different places to have auditions and get proper headshots - that kind of thing. It allows me that flexibility to have more money in the bank to be able to do the things that are necessary to progress as an actor.”
“When I moved in this place was a bit grubby, it needed a bit of work doing, but it wasn’t a big issue for me,” says Hotson. “I’m saving so much money by living here so I don’t mind doing a bit of painting.”
Although Hotson lives by himself, most of the empty buildings managed by property guardian firms are larger spaces and But there are drawbacks to going down the guardians usually have to be willing to live in guardian route, most notably a lack of shared accommodation. security for guardians themselves. Guardians are not tenants and do not have the same But George Torode, a 35-year-old artist and rights that come with assured shorthold photographer who lives in a former school tenancies. They can sometimes get as little near Waterloo with 18 people, says while as two weeks’ notice to leave a property, communal living has some drawbacks on a though most companies do try to rehouse practical level, for him it is part of the appeal. them in another empty building. “Heating is one problem so it is not so good The living spaces —although equipped with in the winter. We have oil heaters because essentials such as hot water and electricity there is no central heating and as it is quite — can sometimes be a bit basic and having a big space it is hard to maintain heat. You things like landlines and satellite television can also face a long walk to the toilet, connected can prove problematic. depending on how you are positioned.
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“But I like the communal element. It is a social experience rather than just renting a property. There is quite a community of artists here. We’ve been lucky enough to be here for five years and people who come don’t tend to leave. “It is nice to be in a property with lots of other artists. We’ve all exhibited together in the past as well so we influence each other quite a lot. We are not a collective but we have worked together as group.”
a marked increase in the number of buildings becoming vacant, which is good news for those looking to inhabit them. “The crisis has definitely created a lot of requests from owners of buildings that would not have been handed to us in normal economic times,” he says.
Torode, who was placed in the building by Camelot Property Management, has two “A building owner will rooms in the building, one of which he uses not choose vacancy as a painting studio. over renting a building or selling it but it “Without this, renting the space I need would happens to them be a long arduous battle with smaller spaces anyway and they need that cost a lot more money. I’d have hardly to keep their building any time for painting as I’d have to work more safe and secure when it to pay rent on a studio and a property to live does happen.” in. Camelot has definitely made it a lot easier for me.” In a sense, guardians Bob de Vilder, one of the founders of are unofficial security for the Camelot, says the opportunity to live in an guards atypical living space has attracted many artists properties they live in to property guardianship, so much so that the and depending on how firm now runs a yearly art competition, for many live in a property, there are sometimes rules about how many which the prize is a year’s free rent. nights they can spend away from the property “We do have a fairly wide range of people to make sure the building is always inhabited. but there is quite a big group of artists, such as painters and sculptors, who use Camelot “When there were the London riots some kids buildings for studios to work in. Most of the tried to get into our property and we all had time we can provide big spaces with rooms to club together and stand strong and defend that are good for painters who need a lot of the place and sort it out. So we do have that space and light. We have created affordable sort of responsibility,” says Torode. houses in former fire stations and schools in the inner city of London,” he says. Most of the time, however, their role is simply to make the building look lived in, says Nik With rents in London soaring, demand for Voigt, a 30-year-old filmmaker who lives in a guardian places is understandably high, but former office building in Soho. de Vilder says the economic crisis has led to
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Property guardians often have free reign to make the residence feel like home
“I’ve been doing it for three years now and I’ve never had a problem. As a licence fee payer I am basically a glorified security guard from a legal perspective but I’ve never actually had to do anything to protect a building,” he says.
I decided to go freelance but then I was under a lot more pressure financially.
“Living in London is quite stressful as it is. You get caught up in the rat race and creativity for me is something I’ve just got to let happen. If I feel like I’m being hounded for money all the Voigt, who was placed in his property by time I don’t feel like I can express that in any Live-in Guardians, is now in his third property way.” and says the rent savings have allowed him to work on a more flexible basis. “You do sacrifice a bit on home comforts and security, but if you can travel light, are flexible “Before this I was living in a shared house in and can live with other people then it is a Angel paying about £600 a month, but at that really good way to live in London.” ■ point I had a full-time job, which fell through.
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THE LADY IS RETURNING No matter what your opinion of Thatcher, it’s impossible to imagine a better casting decision than Hollywood legend Meryl Streep. We sat down with the star to talk politics, presidents - and being a “pain in the ass”!
“I’m very greedy,” laughs Meryl Streep at the prospect of adding yet another Oscar nomination to her record of sixteen, the most for any actor in the Academy’s history.
event, across the Atlantic another woman was forging ahead in her career - Margaret Thatcher, who became Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Streep was aware of Thatcher and her distinctive look, but not a And, as expected by just about anybody fan of the right wing politician. who has seen Streep’s performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret “I was not a follower,” admits Streep, who Thatcher in The Iron Lady, she was indeed counts herself as a liberal. “I was not a nominated for a an Academy Award. The (Ronald) Reagan supporter, that was the Iron Lady is the kind of movie the Academy conservative end and I was in the left wing loves, having awarded Oscars for actors’ end and the lines are drawn. You biographical roles every year for at least a don’t cross over, you are not interested. decade. That includes Helen Mirren’s 2006 She seemed from a distance from another performance as another powerful Brit in The species, another class of person, with the Queen and last year’s sweep at the Oscars bubble hair and all the wrong clothes, she with three of the four acting awards going was the subject of ridicule in the press and to characters from real-life (Colin Firth in The when she was elected Prime Minister.” King’s Speech and Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in The Fighter). Recalling Thatcher’s rise to prominence, Streep continues, “I had just had my first Margaret Thatcher is admired worldwide as baby, and I was consumed with that and my a strong leader, though opinion is far more little family, and my husband and I didn’t divided here, where she is despised and think about it really. I did remember with my celebrated in equal measure for her tough friends having a discussion that, whether medicine in the 80s. Streep on the other you liked her or not, it was very, very cool hand is almost universally loved, and that England, this high bound, class driven, perhaps never more so than in recent years. gender exclusive, homophobic, antiSemitic, old boys’ club, had allowed this to Her 2006 hit Devil’s Wears Prada together happen. How did that happen? And how with the extraordinary success, two years great it was, and we thought, no, it’s just a later, of the musical Mamma Mia!, which matter of seconds before it happens in racked up the kind of box-office only seen America. 30 years later, here we are.” by action epics or animated blockbusters, cemented her clout in Hollywood, though Indeed, the USA has yet to elect a female she has always remained a contender ever president. Instead of America having its first since starting her movie career in the late female leader in Hillary Clinton another ‘first’ seventies. occurred. Barrack Obama, the first African American President was chosen as the At the end of that decade, Streep received Democratic candidate and then elected. It’s her first Oscar nomination, for The Deer worth noting here that Obama is a big fan Hunter. However, she didn’t win at that of Meryl Streep’s and the feeling is mutual. Oscar ceremony which occurred in April In December 2011 he awarded her with one 1979. Less than a month after that very of America’s highest honours in the arts, at
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the Kennedy Centre Honours held at the White House. “Meryl Streep, anybody who saw The French Lieutenant's Woman had a crush on her,” beamed Obama, and she returned a smile. Moving away from Washington, it’s at No. 10 Downing Street and the House of Commons in London where the drama takes place in The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who made Mamma Mia! with Streep.
husband who did love her. It’s interesting to look deeply into a life and find out where the human being is in there.” To the consternation of many, a large part of The Iron Lady is concerned with the years after Thatcher has lost power and later in life she is losing her notoriously sharp memory as dementia sets in. She hallucinates and holds conversations with her late husband Dennis, a device that at least allows a fresh approach to the structure of a biographical film.
Although Streep doesn’t necessarily agree with Thatcher’s politics and has never met her, she admires her steadfast nature in “What are the costs, to a woman, climbing the ladder. “She was the grocer’s of being in this position of power?” daughter, famously,” says Streep of Thatcher’s humble origins. “Just to get into Oxford (university) at that point from there was really unusual. And to take a chemistry During this time of Thatcher’s life, Streep degree is very unusual. It still is.” thought of her as Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear. She also drew on personal Another attraction to the role, which covers experiences from within her own family. several decades, was playing a woman of “My father had dementia, and I felt that I conviction in the face of adversity. “She was could tell parts of the story that I knew,” she and remains in many quarters very hated reveals. I do feel a responsibility to that to for what she did and her policies in get that as accurately from my own England, and she’s also revered in other experiences as I can.” quarters for who she was and how she’s stood up for what she believed,” adds Streep is keen to point out how “rare” roles Streep. like The Iron Lady and Mamma Mia! are. “Just the opportunity to be these different “So it was the discrepancy that attracted women, is a privilege to imagine them and me: who is this person who was willing to, to open them up for view. We don’t see and could withstand, just the ability to enough older women in the movies! withstand that level of venom? What kind of woman can stand up as a human being “I’m interested in old people. I’m interested through years and years and years, in the stories that are layered and the layers decades of hatred, and still sort of behind that old ladies’ face, and what are maintained her convictions? I felt that was the costs, to a woman, of being in this fascinating, and she’s an old lady now and position of power? What is the cost of that from everything that I could read, she had kind of life, lived so ambitiously? Are there a marriage that sustained her and a any regrets in it? Are there memories of
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are not going to wear the Lanvin dress and you are not going to walk the red carpet and you are not going to get employed maybe, because she will and she will and she will, and she will. And it’s all about merchandising...” Hollywood is renowned for being tougher on women than men, especially as they reach a certain age. Being a woman of strong opinions in male a dominated industry, Streep can relate to Thatcher who competed in man’s world, the old boys’ club of British politics in the 70s and 80s. “I don’t have the sense of being discriminated against. But you do feel people pulling away, like, ‘what a pain in the ass’,” she laughs. “You do have that sense.”
glory that you can still take pleasure in? What’s it like to lose power of concentration, when you are somebody that can remember absolutely everything.”
As for being patronised for being a woman, Streep insists those kinds of incidents still happen. “I experience that on a daily basis. I could think of one yesterday, but I’m not going to talk about it!” she smiles.
IMAGES: ALEX BAILEY, KEVIN WINTER/GETTY. INTERVIEW: CELEBRITEXT
At the Academy Awards, a younger actress, also playing a biographical role will be pitted against Streep as Thatcher, Michelle Williams as Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. Williams is a private person, a rarity in today’s Tinseltown where young starlets have to play the fame game to win roles.
Like Thatcher, Streep has been uncompromising in her career. She has delivered memorable performances across five decades. She has won two Oscars, for Kramer vs Kramer in 1980, and again in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice. She has also managed to raise four children, and enjoy a lengthy marriage of 33 years to sculptor Don Gummer.
Streep is glad she didn’t have to face a high level of intrusion into her private life when she started out, nor bargain her away privacy. “In our business, I do feel that the young girls are co-opted by this need to be part of a larger machinery, fashion merchandising, selling things other than their own convictions, the convictions of the character. You can say, I suppose you
All this, and power too. Recently, Streep was named the only actor over 50 to make Forbes’s top ten ‘bankable’ stars list. But whatever her age, she has proven intriguing and astounding throughout her career, as she is once again with The Iron Lady, happily filling the shoes of another powerful woman. ■
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DAISY KNIGHTS Despite only graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2009, 24 year old Daisy Knights’ rock and roll inspired designs have already appeared on everyone from Alexa Chung to Rihanna. But the main reason we love Daisy? She’s committed to producing ethically responsible products. All her pieces are hand made from recycled silver and ethically mined gold, and even the boxes are made from recycled paper. www.daisyknights.com
Clockwise from top left: Bespoke bracelets, £49. Stud ring, £252. Feather necklace, £194. Skull ring, £105. Stud bangles, £241. Shell necklaces, £120.
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STYLE EDIT Fabulous fashion journalist Kate Lawson is our women’s style editor for March. Hailed as “a fashion writer to watch”, Kate's unique personal style has also seen her design shoes for Upper Street, work with iconic fashion houses Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood and appear on radio as a fashion commentator. Soon to add 'Author' to her CV, Kate is currently penning a book on the style industry.
KATE LAWSON I have a free spirit approach to my personal style, and people always tell me I put a look together well, but I'm not by nature someone who dresses to be 'seen'. I like bohemian chic meets a bit of 90s grunge for daytime wear, such as a tee dress with a biker jacket and boots; or my original Levi 501 cut-offs from Urban Outfitters paired with a vintage belt, plain tee, oversize chunky knit cardi and Marant hi-tops (ASH also do their own more affordable version which are great!). I do love glamming it up for the evening though, and usually choose more edgy styles like Viv Westwood's Anglomania collection.
I'm loving the whole candy-shop pastels vibe for SS12, particularly as I'm still debating whether to have the tips of my hair dip-dyed punkish pink! For AW12/13, I'm thinking Military Chic will make a return, as well as rich, bold gothic-like colours such as oxblood red.
hi g h-
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My style is ever-involving which is important I think - having that connection to yourself and the world around you being inspired by trends and movements, but always reinterpreting them in your own unique way.
1. Tatty Devine in Brick Lane - I love the kitsch plastic fantastic jewellery! www.tattydevine.com 2. The Shop At Bluebird is a really great designer concept store. www.theshopatbluebird.com 3. Liberty London. Need I really say any more? www.liberty.co.uk
6 4. Mungo & Maud is an edgy pet store with fab accessories for cats and dogs. www.mungoandmaud.com 5. Urban Outfitters definitely reflects my style - I shop there all the time. www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk 6. My can't-live-without-it product: Kiehl's 'Midnight Recovery' Concentrate. http://www.kiehls.co.uk
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STYLE EDIT This month, the men’s Style Edit is headed up by dapper presenting duo Rickie and Melvin. You can catch them hosting the KISS 100 Breakfast show, weekdays 6-9am.
Rickie Haywood Williams I always find it a hard to sum up my style because fashion is simply an expression of my feelings. However, I think the phrase 'The Urban Gentleman' suits me best right now. Living and working in London, you need 'a look' for every occasion. Whether it's bespoke tailoring for a red carpet event or just jeans and my favourite t-shirt for hosting a massive music festival like Wireless, you always have to own the look. I try to do this by taking the time to think about what I want to wear, but once I'm wearing it - forget about it! My fashion influences are David Beckham, Tinie Tempah and Pharrell Williams: they carry off high end to dressed down looks whilst always staying true to their own style.
Melvin odoom I would describe my style as Trendy Geek Chic. I have been known to often wear thick framed glasses, bow ties, blazers and I often like to generally look smart. Even when dressed causally I still like to have a smart edge. I’m not really one to follow trends; for me if I see something I like, I wear it. I also believe accessories are very important - watches, bags, shoes, hats are items I use enhance my look. I am often influenced by musicians - two artists I really admire are Kanye West and Andre 3000. Kanye really takes fashion seriously and has a great eye for what looks good. I like Andre 3000 for different reasons - I just think he’s really brave and uses his clothing as an extension of his creativity.
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4. Vans look good, feel comfortable and 1. For us, the man bag of all man bags is work well with smart or casual outfits. always Louis Vuitton. www.louisvuitton.com www.vans.co.uk 2. Cutler and Gross are a great brand with 5. Apparently it’s the shoe that makes the handmade and vintage frames. man, and brown brogues are the best. www.cutlerandgross.com www.office.co.uk/brand/poste/50 3. House of Billiam’s tailored jackets have 6. Chanel Égoïste is the finishing touch to been worn by the likes of Tinie Tempah. any outfit. www.chanel.co.uk www.houseofbilliam.com
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A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Interior designer Chiara Ferrari talks us through her stunning transformation of a London Bridge warehouse. WORDS: ELLE OSILI I PHOTOS: JOHN ROSS
With property prices in London constantly climbing, the term ‘minimalism’ is often used to mean “err… we ran out of money to decorate”. So, when we spotted this sleek and stylish warehouse conversion, we immediately called on the designer, Chiara Ferrari, for a masterclass in minimalism. What brought you to interior design? I've been interested in design since I was really very young, although more product design - that's actually what my degree is in. However, when I first started working, it was in interiors with a studio called Lissoni in Milan, and so that's the path I followed.
Above: interior designer Chiara Ferrari. Opposite page and below: the wall of windows in the flat’s living area allow the space to take on a different feel as the light changes; bright and airy by day, soft and seductive by night.
Has moving to London affected the way you work? Living here has definitely affected my design sensibilities. There's a lot of variety in terms of people and input. You walk a kilometre and it's a completely different world, which I really like. I also like the fact that Londoners are quite open-minded, so there is a bigger variety of clients. Some are very eclectic, and some are more classic, or traditional. You can be reserved however, and very strict - I don't like all the planning regulations. They can be a bit too much!
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Clockwise from top left: a sleek, low bed emphasises the high ceilings; the huge original windows bring character to the living space, a classic Eames rocking chair adds a chic touch; the stunning view from the flatâ€™s riverside balcony.
So, tell us more about the brief for this project. The space was originally a photography studio, which the client wanted to convert into a three bedroom flat. Given the moderate size, that was actually was quite difficult, so most of the ideas were based around making the most of the double height ceilings. For example, some of the rooms have upper levels in order to free up more of the floor space.
How did you approach the design? Firstly, I proposed keeping most of the original features, like the bricks, beams and windows. I felt like it was essential to include those because the building itself is already very beautiful. I'm also very influenced by minimalism; I very rarely use colours, and aesthetics need to be balanced with function. For example, the curve of a kitchen worktop turning into a backsplash justifies the form. It's about moving from a language which is very shapely, to one which is based more around a concept. How much did the client contribute to the design? I think there is definitely a lot of my style in there, and so I have to be thankful to the client because they let me do a lot of the things I wanted to! But I also I feel lucky because they had great taste, and so we really worked in parallel. They were also very helpful on site, and it's rare to find a client like that. And how happy were you with the finished space? Well, I'm never 100 percent happy, but this time I really liked it - so about 80 percent! â–
ZARA MARTIN In the hotspot hotseat this month is Zara Martin, a TV presenter, model and DJ who lives in West London. Having first appeared on screen as an intern for MTV Base, she was quickly spotted by Al Gore’s Emmy award-winning network Current TV, where she fronted her own show for two years. Since then, Zara’s hosted London Fashion Weekend, worked as a correspondent for NYLON and even designed her own line for BodyAmr. She’s also an ambassador for The Elephant Family, a charity dedicated to helping save the Asian elephant. Oh my god, there are so many places! One of my favourites is definitely Village Bicycle, Willa Keswick’s concept store in Notting Hill. Brown’s Focus is also amazing, as is Maje - I wear their stuff all the time. And obviously Topshop is So, are you a north, south east always a sure bet. or west girl? Definitely west London! But I do love that you can go across to east London and it’s like a completely different city. What’s your favourite thing about London? It’s just such an amazing city. There are so many different sides to it, and most people don’t really take the time to explore.
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Where do you go to eat? Eating is, embarrassingly, my favourite pastime. I’m a little bit obsessed with Lemonia, a really great, cosy Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill. I’m also looking forward to trying out Burger and Lobster, where the menu is literally just a burger or lobster. And finally, what would be your perfect London day? I’d get up early, have a flat white coffee and then hit TenPilates. Lunch would be somewhere yummy with friends, and then I’d go to a gig in the evening. And maybe some work in there somewhere!
WORDS: ELLE OSILI. PHOTO: ZOE BARLING
Where’s best for a night out? One of my favourite places is actually somewhere I DJ’ed the Experimental Cocktail Burger and Lobster, Club. It’s this great little place Mayfair that only serves cocktails, but you wouldn’t notice it unless Are you a fan of vintage? you knew about it. Definitely. WilliamVintage stocks the most beautiful Being on screen, your look is clothes, with a story behind obviously really important - every piece. Plus, you can where do you shop? lease incredible stuff that you
could never normally afford. I also love Brick Lane, when I can be bothered to wake up early for those Sunday markets!
In next month’s is sue:
Damien Hirst: maggots, money and the man who made marketing an art PLUS:
Artist Natasha Law • Looking for the real Olympic legacy Our new columnist Cherry Healey • London vs. New York FOOD | STYLE | PEOPLE | POLITICS | CULTURE
OUT FRIDAY MARCH 30TH