Raconteuse ISSUE 1
Intellectual Girl Talk
Rosie the Riveter • Alexa Coe • Frida Kahlo • Katharine Hamnett • Kim Nam Pyo • Charlotte J acklin •
A female with a story to tell
Linda Lovelace • Clara Searle • Gordon Cheung • Nicholas Howe • Lena Dunham • Alison Lambert
Emily Davison • Mia Farrow • Hannaa Malallah • Angela Davis • Percy Lau • Christopher Bucklow • Imogen Bowman • Richard Earnest •
T E A M
Contents Cultural calendar 10-11
Illustrations by Clara Searle
Start up 8-9
In conversation with... 62-63
START UP We spoke to young successes in the fashion and music industry to give you the insider on creative careers that are hard to master. From disaster to dynamite. Charlotte Jacklin Editor of Betty Magazine Words by Renee Burke 27-year-old Charlotte Jacklin is the founder and editor of Betty magazine. Passionate and friendly, Charlotte shares with us her story - fortune to failure. Charlotte grew up in the tiny, historical city of Lincoln. “I’ve always been interested in fashion, my parents own a designer boutique, but living in the smallest city somewhere in the middle of England I had to move to London.” Charlotte made the move to the south to study Fashion Promotion at The University For The Creative Arts in Rochester. “When I applied and went to Uni I still wasn’t sure it was exactly what I wanted to do but I enjoyed it and had passion for it.” In her final year Charlotte created an online magazine for her final major project , the magazine we all now know and love – Betty. The first three issues started online and got such incredible feedback and such a huge audience that Charlotte was approached by now-Creative Director, Charlotte Melling. Melling approached Charlotte asking if she could be a part of this kitsch lifestyle that is Betty. The two teamed up and decided to launch this magazine in a hard copy. The “first issue was in Winter 2012, so just over two years ago now and we say first issue as it was the first printed issue but we technically had three issues before this”. With their online presence and now instore presence Betty is thriving. Betty is stocked worldwide including shops in Japan, Australia and Europe, as well as shipping worldwide from their website. It all seems perfect but it sure is hard work for Charlotte, working from her own home and coffee shops as well as working a fulltime job. How does Jacklin fit the bi-annual magazine into her busy lifestyle?
“It isn’t easy, I basically don’t know what sleep is two weeks before the printing deadline and there’s always obstacles we have to face every issue”. Jacklin has always worked full-time in fashion to fund the magazine but not all companies are ok with this, “one brand I worked for would not allow side projects so I had to leave because I could not give Betty up”. Charlotte carries on working hard at a fulltime job at Ben ShermaWn whilst funding the magazine but hopes one day Betty will be her full-time job and income because “that’s where my heart lies”.
Failure is part of your journey, embrace it and learn from it.
When people are negative towards you, take it as a driver to prove them wrong.
Lists are so important.
Don’t give up.
Don’t be afraid, go for it.
Always be proactive.
Don’t forget your manners.
Step out of your comfort zone, you only live
Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
Nicholas Howe - Musician Words by Jelka Hofmann 23 year old musician Nicholas Howe is ambitious, energetic and eager to put on a good show. Hardworking and passionate, he is currently working on the release of his EP in 2 weeks. “It will hopefully showcase me at my best,” he says proudly. Born and raised in Wimbledon, London, his sound is often described as a marriage between ‘The Who’ and ‘Jason Mraz’. He brings the same amount of immense energy into every gig - no mean feat considering he has done over 80 gigs in just 4 short months. “I still get nervous. All the time. There’s no safety net when you perform live, but doing so many gigs helps manage the nerves.” He doesn’t seem at all nervous, instead appearing full of energy, zest and excitement. Citing Jeff Buckley and Stevie Wonder as his musical inspirations, he speaks animatedly as he describes how he still finds certain aspects of his chosen career difficult. “The hardest thing is trying to cope with your inner perfectionist in regards to your music and performance.” Now, he is working on an exciting new project in the Southbank underground. He is working as part of the initiative attempting to stop it from being built over to create retail units and he speaks passionately about the project revealing how they have already managed to obtain 11,000 signature objecting to the planning permission. “I am very passionate about the space, I used to skate there and now
one of my music videos will also be shot in that space to show how that space is still valid in London. Future generations should be able to use the space in order to be free to be organically creative.” 2014 is set to be a big year for Nicholas and he is excited about upcoming projects with the ‘secret cinema’ fusing film and music together. His aim is to make his music more interactive. “Im looking to do things in unique venues, doing it a bit differently.” “I try to write songs that have a story or a lyrical meaning.” So where does he see himself in 5 years time? He is animated as he responds. “The first objective comes down to being financially stable which is why song writing Is important to me, to be able to write the best music I can write.” He sees a challenge in success where he is keen not to sell his soul, so to speak. “I don’t want the scrutiny, I still want to be an artistically credible artist.” Fervently talented, always enthusiastic and with seemingly never ending energy, it is clear Nicholas Howe will go far in the industry.
once. Have fun with it.
Reopening of the Women’s Library archive in the London School of Economics - March 31st ‘Renaissance Impressions’’ at the Royal Academy of Arts March 15th - June 8th
‘Strange Beauty: Masters of German Renaissance’ until May 11th - The National Gallery ‘Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice’ March 19th - June 15th - The National Gallery
Karen Morrison Pop Up Jewellery Shop
The Women’s Library at LSE
‘The Fashionable World of Jean Paul Gaultier’ at the Barbican April 9th- August 25th
Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibtion
Strange Beauty: Masters of German Renaissance Renaissance Impressions
Courtney Love plays at the O2 from May 11th
Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition
Vogue Fashion Festival in partnership with Harrods March 29th -30th
London Landmarks Againt Street harrassment
Production of ‘A Taste of Honey’ playing at the National Theatre until May 11th
Birds Eye Film Festival
Blurred Lines Theatre production
London Book Fair begins April 8th
Courtney Love at the O2
London Book Fair
‘Glamour of Italian Fashion’ Exhibition at the V&A Apr 5th- Jul 27th
Hannah Hoch Exhibition
Vogue Fashion Festival at Harrods
The Box Boutique Pop Up Shop Dracott Avenue , Chelsea open unitl August 2014 Chris Marker, ‘A Grin Without a Cat’ - Whitechapel Gallery April 16th - June 22nd
The Box Boutique Pop Up Shop
Karen Morrison Pop Up Shop Clerkenwell open until March 30th Birds Eye Film Festival - BFI Southbank April 8th - 13th
Writing and Illustration By Abigail Dennison
Powerful Women “We Can do it”
Here at Raconteuse we celebrate the lives of women who have changed history, fought for equality and championed our gender.
During the 1940s, World War II prompted government propaganda for the newfound working woman. Rosie the Riveter was used as a government campaign for females going into the workforce. Riveter literally translates to a worker. This iconic image still remains as impactful to this day as a representation of feminism. It was a symbol of the transition from housewife to working woman. In 1943 Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb wrote a song called ‘Rosie the Riveter’ with lyrics like “she’s making history, she’s working for victory”.
Headscarf - Vintage Shirt - Levis
Photographer: Juliana Scheidecker Stylist: Abigail Dennison
“I was born a bitch, I was born a painter” Frida Kahlo was a Mexican surrealist painter specialising in self-portraits. Born in 1907 in Mexico City, Kahlo used American and Mexican culture as major influences in her work. Due to long-term illness from injuries caused by a bus accident at a young age, Kahlo began to paint. Kahlo had toughness to her; she drank and swore like a man. She used this strength during tough times of illness. “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”. Kahlo was a strong woman, with iconic paintings and an iconic image. Before her death in 1954, Kahlo was given an one-woman exhibition in Paris.
Linda Lovelace was the stage name of Linda Boreman, an American porn actress in the 1970s. Lovelace turned her back on the porn industry and became a spokeswoman for the feminist anti-pornography movement. Lovelace fought for the rights of women in the porn industry, as she believed pornography exploits women. She was quoted saying, ‘When you see the movie Deep Throat you are watching me being raped’. Sadly Lovelace died in 2002 but left such impact that in 2013 a biography of her life was made in to a film – Lovelace.
Vest Top - Topshop Kimono - River Island Necklace - J Crew Flower Crown - Abigail’s Tea Party
Dress - H&M Hat - Lavin Sunglasses - Jeepers Peepers Underwear - Agent Provocateur
Blouse - & Other Stories
“Votes for women” Emily Davison was a Victorian suffragette known for jumping in front of King Charles V’s racehorse in the fight for female emancipation. Davison’s career began as a teacher, but in 1908 the suffragette gave up her teaching position to dedicate her life to the women’s social and political union movement. After several stunts in prison as a result of her hard activism, Davison’s final stunt would cost her life. On 4th June 1913, in Epsom at the races Davison climbed over the barrier and made her way on to the racetrack. Why you ask? Theories have differed over the years but most recently it’s believed she was trying to put a ‘votes for women’ sash around the horse but instead she was seriously injured and lost her life four days later due to injuries.
“Generally a lot needs to be done for women”
Mia Farrow is an American activist, former fashion model and actress. In 2000, Farrow became an ambassador for UNICEF Goodwill. Farrow was first established as an actress in the 1960s before beginning an infamous 12-year relationship with director, actor and musician Woody Allen. Allen and Farrow first started dating in 1980 and their relationship resulted in various film collaborations. The relationship promptly ended when Farrow discovered Allen had provocative pictures of their adopted daughter, who is now his current wife. Farrow is now most known for fighting for human rights in Africa and especially, children’s rights. As well as her public career, Farrow also has a loving home she’s created with her 14 adopted and biological children and stayed strong during the awful discoveries of sexual abuse towards her beloved children. Blouse - Vintage
“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root’”
T-Shirt - Katharine Hamnett Jeans - Rag & Bone
Angela Davis is a political activist, author and feminist. As well as being a prominent member of the U.S Communist Party she is well known as a radical African-American educator and activist for civil rights and other social issues. Davis also wrote Women, Race and Class in 1980. The book is an in-depth study of race and the complex relationships between racism and sexism. The biggest controversy during Davis’ life was when she was imprisoned for buying guns that were used in a shooting between the police and a high school student. In 2012 there was a documentary film chronicling Davis’ life, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, focusing on her wronged imprisonment.
“Using fashion to make a better world” Katharine Hamnett is an English ethical fashion designer and political activist. After graduating from Central Saint Martins School of Art, Hamnett began established own label in 1979. Starting with making T-shirts that reflected her political posture. T-shirts with bold black writing with phrases like “CHOOSE LIFE” and “STOP WAR BLAIR OUT” started as a sort of stunt but became really popular. All of the slogans used were referring to current affairs in the country. Most famously, Hamnett met then-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, wearing one of her designs that read,”58% DON’T WANT PERSHING” referring to a poll in the United Kingdom of opposition to Pershing Missiles.
Top - Splendid Earrings - Ashiana
For just over 100 years, 8th March has marked International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women and explore their struggles in modern society. This year’s theme was “Equality for women is progress for all.” By Hannah Davies
sex to fashion, war and power. The art director of Southbank centre, Jude Kelly created the event at this venue four years ago due to her passion for women’s rights. “Somewhere in me, I knew I’d be letting myself down if I wasn’t as courageous as possible about my passion,’ says Kelly. ‘But there is an anxiety that people have about ambition in a woman. I’m very interested in what women internally subdue for fear of not looking feminine, or of not being liked. But personal ambition is not the same as individual ruthlessness- the more you grow for yourself, the more able you are to give others.’ Kelly makes sure every event is bigger than the previous with this year’s highlights being Vivienne Westwood in conversation with Shami Chakrabarti about her life, work and activism. Other events consist of a Beyoncé dance class where women learnt the moves to one of her inspirational songs ‘Run the World’. Fabulous Fashionistas with an average age of 80 who are the stars of Channel 4’s Fabulous Fashionistas to redefine old age. Sue Kreitzman who is one of Fabulous Fashionistas was on the panel wearing red clogs as she exclaimed “I want you to look at me… there are no rules. I am 75...damn it, I can do what I please.” International women’s day wasn’t just a big celebration in England but all over the world. New York saw Hillary Clinton kick off the day with an event at the UN headquarters which she states that the great unfinished business of the 21st century. She explained that “women and girls and the cause of gender equality must be at the heart” of the UN’s agenda to promote development around the world. The UN also made a statement that said according to them, the day “is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.” Also outside the UN headquarters, Model Naomi Campbell took part in a march called ‘UN women for peace’ where she posed making the peace sign. CNN joined in with the action by hosting a Twitter Talk on gender equality that
brought on a global discussion on the progress of women. They had special guests including Anne-Marie Slaughter, everyday sexism project founder Laura Bates, president and CEO of the new American foundation, nobel peace prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman. The CNN’s leading women’s team asked the public questions which they answered back, using #CNNwomen. One of the questions they asked was what gender parity means to men and women today that resulted in responses from all around the globe. They got replies like “ A new model for families/raising sons, work/life balance, culture that offers men & women truly equal opportunity #CNNwomen” from Aman Singh. Another reply from Shonali Burke said “To me, gender equality means a world where no one’s afraid to be who they are #CNNwomen” Elsewhere in Lima, Peru activists dressed in red protested in front of the ministry of women where they represented a human red carpet which symbolised women’s rights being trampled on by the government. President Humala said he wants to give Peruvian women what he has always dreamed of for his own daughters: a future with equal opportunities. In the Philippines hundreds of women participated in forming a female symbol as part of the celebration. Women in Pakistan lit candles while they take part in a rally to commemorate International women’s day. Over a thousand women in Australia marched to oppose a proposed law that would vastly restrict abortion rights. That would make it a criminal offense to destroy or harm a foetus after it reaches 20 weeks. Technology helped spread the word of IWD with Google displaying an animated doodle on their homepage representing the weekend. Social media has definitely helped promote IWD as it was trending on twitter for the weekend with people sharing their views and opinions about
Image credits: All rights go to IBTimes, South Bank Centre and Sisofrida
Everyone comes together all across the globe to celebrate International Women’s Day which first started in 1910 by women’s activist Clara Zetkin. She wanted to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness of women’s issues. This resulted in the first official celebration in 1911 and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. Although a new survey published today reveals that most women believe in true equality in every field, ranging from work to education to health will not be a reality for another 16 years. The poll that was conducted by Special K saw 32% of 1000 British women do not believe this day will ever come. In the UK there were thousands of events taking place from a large scale such as Radio 1’s male presenters being banished for 39 hours resulting in an all-female DJ line up. DJ Annie Mac was particularly happy about how Radio 1 was marking it. “For the first time in the station’s history, women are controlling the music in a nod to IWD. What this does is showcase our female talent, especially with specialist music,” she says. On a smaller scale local events focused on issues such as female genital mutilation. Other celebrations include events like ‘Reclaim the night’ in Manchester that was a march through the city to light it up and fill it with noise. The event was to help women feel safe as recently in a survey conducted by the Manchester City Council showed that 95% of women don’t feel safe on the streets. A member of the public said “I attended the march in support of women because we shouldn’t live in fear. We shouldn’t get judged on our appearance or feel we can’t wear certain dresses because of the way men might respond. So if this event demonstrates things need to change then I will fully support it.” A women’s festival in Dundee honoured women through film, history, arts, music, drama, workshops and activities. Similarly in Huddersfield there was a women’s centre film festival and also another festival in Oxford that educated women with several talks on equality. The biggest event took place in London, Southbank for the weekend starting 5th March to the 9th March. The annual women of the world (WOW) festival featured talks, debates, performances and activism celebrating women and girls. The topics were everything from politics, science and
it. Also, a new app called Chime in launched on 7th March that helps spread the message of women and girls empowerment around the world. The app enables you to easily find out information and most importantly donate to vital projects that help people everywhere. It also comes with a unique sound from Beyoncé every time you ‘Chime’ your support. The Chime for Change movement was co-founded last year by Beyoncé, Salma Hayek and Gucci’s Frida Giannini. Special K has recently announced that they are the new partners to the app and promises to send the message out to 25 million households across the globe. After they carried out a poll that found most British women don’t expect gender equality to become a reality until 2030. Women have been fighting for equal rights but men frequently outweigh women in many ways. In business for example women continue to trial behind men in every economic measure. According to an ILO analysis of eighty-three countries, on average, women earn between 10 and 30 percent less than men. There is currently no country on the earth where women and men have reached an equal wage. Women have been trying to change this for many years but slowly it is being heard and recognised that a change is needed. In New York City 6,000 campaigners will urge
member states at the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to include gender equality and women’s empowerment as a standalone goal in the post-2015 development goals. Lloyds banks CEO have made a bold move in the right direction by pledging to add 1,000 women to its top tier of 8,000 managers by 2020. This is after reports that women make better leaders than men, according to research conducted by Zenger Folkman “They build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers.” Women have come a long way to establish themselves equal but sadly are still fighting this battle and have a long way to go, but this occasion helps this. We need to tackle the difficult questions such as how can we increase the number of young women in leadership positions? Why don’t young women have the same access to employment and participation in decision-making as young men? This is the reason for International Women’s Day so people ask these questions, make debates and steer public opinion. That’s why it is important.
minist circle and the in ured fe her i o l o c tanc e y n w a With the study of intersectionalit y ablaze within th o m m e of , e s n hav turie n r a ci e e c r b o f e al propaganda, that e l gun b to r had firmly placed itself at the head of the ethnic ta e de fi ne the ‘Black Woman.’
What oppression are you fighting Illustrations by Clara Searle
As the dominance of Black Feminism begins to rise, Deborah Williams asks is it possible to be on both sides of the fence when it comes to race and gender? Raconteuse
The mainstream feminism movement has always been a closed space to women of colour. Despite prominent activists such as Alice Walker and Angela Davis being granted access into the feminists chamber of secrets, many of their vast female following are left knocking for acceptance only to be answered by the sombre tone of, “Sorry, access denied.” So why is it that our womanhood has been over looked by our skin colour? Writer, bell hooks explains, “Contemporary Black women could not join together to fight for women’s rights because we did not see “womanhood” as an important aspect of our identity. Racist, sexist socialization had conditioned us to devalue our femaleness and to regard race as the only relevant label of identification. In other words, we were asked to deny a part of ourselves - and we did. Consequently, when the women’s movement raised the issue of sexist oppression, we argue that sexism was insignificant in light of the harsher, more brutal reality of racism. We were afraid to acknowledge that sexism could be just as oppressive as racism. We clung to the hope that liberation from racial oppression would be all that was necessary for us to be free. We were a new generation of Black women
who had been taught to submit, to accept sexual inferiority, and to be silent.” Black [MISS]representation has been rife since the dawn of time but in order for us to redefine the ‘Black woman’ we must first examine who the ‘Black woman’ really is. Here’s where the societal paradox comes in. She’s passionate but angry, independently strong when single but dependently weak when not, she has a big booty, big thighs and big hair but fails to see her heart can be big too. She’s too dark to be loved but makes herself too light to love herself. Reminiscing on the weighty words that filled and tipped the mind scale at the ‘Ain’t I a Woman? What’s race got to do with it?’ event, at SOAS University of London earlier this year, I’ve never felt such a harrowing feel to understand who I really was (or should I say, how I am actually seen). It was orchestrated by an all female panel that burrow inside instrumental areas of the Black woman psyche - health and wellbeing, music, hair and politics. As the women began to share their wisdom, a sharp stench of realness engulfed the atmosphere with these stark words left etched into my very exist-
of the strong
is an oppression in itself.” 29
come the fundamental issue in their work life. Arab-American actor Kathreen Khavari made a six-minute film, called ‘Brain of Terror.’ She plays 11 different characters “dreamt by a woman going through a serious identity crisis, wondering if she’s a terrorist, after watching an episode of Homeland.” A counteraction to the daily battle she faces, she said, “this film came to fruition because I was sick of getting sent out for mostly terrorist roles, which my agent at the time believed was all I could play.”
ence, “The myth of the strong Black woman is an oppression in itself.” – Femi Otitoju. Comedian Akilah Hughes tackled the myth in a different way by releasing the video “Meet Your First Black Girlfriend.” Taking a humorous look at Black and white interracial relationships, she said, “The media mould for a young Black woman is very limited. You must be extremely aggressive, commandeering and unintelligent.” Now that we have shed light on how sexual and racial discrimination has been conditioned to distort our very own views, it’s time to highlight its stream from our brains into the flow of our everyday lives. Imagine, for years you’ve worked hard at a job that demands a high level of respect and authority. Now imagine that same job but because of you’re race and gender you are deemed lower than the rest. Well, for DPG firearms officer, Carol Howard that was her reality. Currently suing the Metropolitan police service for racial and sexual discrimination, the Black Kensington-based officer has been on the beat for 10 years but has now been stripped from the frontline. Previously being labeled as “institutionally racist” by Black and Asian officers, the Met have also recently been called out by Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper to increase diversity among their fleet. For many other ethnic women around the world, the oppressive stereotypes that plague their lives have also be-
How do these two aspects of an individual’s identity fuse together? Well, this is when intersectionality comes into play. Intersectionality is a concept that defines the different junctions that interlink with different systems of oppressions. So in this instance the fields of oppression for a Black woman would be racism and sexism. Intersectionality argues that there is no way of tearing apart the oppressions of a person b e cause they all undeniably answer to each other. This commandeers the wellknown
quote, “My spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender,” from Ntozake Shange’s, ‘For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf.’ Naturally, intersectionality does not come with any privileges but it does come with exclusion. Introducing the Black male feminist. Yes, apparently it is possible to be a Black man and a feminist. But how can they understand a woman’s oppressive state? The only obvious intersection they have is their colour (that’s assuming they are heterosexual males). There has been a
subdued gender political war within the Black community for decades. For a long while it’s been thought that only Black women deal with the issue of gender and that many Black men use the ‘victim status’ that enables them to bypass responsibility for
oppressing Black women, leading Black patriarchy to run riot in our families. David Ikard clarifies this in his analytical text, ‘Breaking the Silence toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism’ where he “draws critical attention” to a character in James Baldwin’s ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain.’ “Gabriel will not own up to his domination of Black women because he views himself as the chief victim of white oppression and the burden-bearer of his family. Saddled with these social challenges as a man, he feels entitled to Black women’s self-sacrifice and deference. Thus he confuses dominating Black women with affirming his manhood.” With so many brands of feminism out there, Author and activist, Alice Walker, campaigns for different a stream of feminism know as womanism. A reaction to the understanding that mainstream feminism does not embody the perspectives of Black women, it is a type of feminism that is stronger in color, almost identical to Black Feminism. This alludes that the strength of Black feminists, makes them supe-
rior to White feminists. However, her view is that womanism is just another counterpart to the feminist crusade. But because the word automatically concerns Black women, womanism does not need to be prefaced by the word ‘Black.’ A Womanist is a woman who loves women and womanhood. The Feminist Theory Dictionary explains, Womanism addresses the racist and classist properties of conventional feminism and “actively opposes separatist ideologies.” It acknowledges that “as their children, lovers, and family members,” Black men are a vital part of Black women’s lives and that Black women are their support system. It honours the “sexual power of Black women while recognising a history of sexual violence.” Clearly a supporter of intersectionality, as it covers “race, class, gender, and sexuality, it is unique because it does not necessarily imply any political position or value system other than the honoring of Black women’s strength and experiences.” Womanism seeks to “celebrate the ways in which women negotiate these oppressions in their individual lives.” Nevertheless, one main ideology between womanism and mainstream feminism is unification. So why is it after countless years are we still separated? Are Black women choosing their own side? I think not. Teams, they’re one the most juxtaposing
But hey, just like Feminists cannot speak on behalf of all Women, Black Feminists cannot speak on behalf of all Black Women. 31
factors in life. Divisive but unifying, chaotic but harmonious, demanding but edifying but when it comes to race and gender it’s either one or the other. Society shouts, “Pick a card, any card… Choose ye this day. Is it going to be Black power or woman power?” Let’s be real, colour is the first thing that is seen when it comes to defining the identity of a person of colour and through this struggle of racial discrimination, ‘a side’ or ‘team’ is automatically picked for us. However, when we consider the intersectionality of a person, race and gender are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. Race and gender are two coinciding elements that should not be disregarded over one another but with that being said, Black women will not be able to join the campaign against sexism if they still have overriding issues with race. Why? Because the mainstream feminism movement is, at its core, a white headship and just like the book title from Black suffragette, Mary Church Terrell read, I am just ‘A Colored Woman in a White World.’
Women: abusing victims of sexual harassment?
Image credits: All rights go to Rosea Lake
By Jelka Hofmann
What if you got raped and then got blamed for it..by other women? This is the predicament many women are faced with. It is generally accepted that men are the perpetrators of victim-blaming, however, research shows the vastly unreported issue of women themselves attacking victims of this abuse. We live in a world where women aged 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than cancer, traffic accidents and war combined. Where 1 in 3 women have been subjected to sexual abuse in the EU (the largest survey of its kind to be published on the 15th of March) and 44% of women in the UK have experienced sexual violence since they were 15 years old. These figures are shocking to say the least and International Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day has helped raise awareness of these issues.
International Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day on Saturday 8th March celebrated women and empowered them as well as bringing to light the predicaments they face on a daily basis. However, the issue of victim blaming was ignored. These newly published figures give victims a voice and is a major step forward in finding out the real figures of rape and assault. Yet little has been done to find out the aftermath where the victim has blame placed upon them. For example, Cosmopolitanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resident agony aunt, 78-year old Irma Kutz came under fire
for saying that women should claim some responsibility whilst they’re out and shouldn’t drink around boys. She was quoted saying “drunkenness tears that away. It really is carelessness to lose your self-defence.” Kutz received a huge backlash from feminist groups and anti-rape campaigners, however, her careless comment is just one of many in a society where female victims are often themselves blamed by other women. An online study called ‘Wake up to Rape’ found that 71% of women believed that women should bear some responsibility for sexual harassment in comparison to 57% of men. Kutz’s comments link in with those of Nick Ross. In his book ‘Crime’, Ross says “We can aggravate crime by tempting fate.” Using this analogy to explain that by wearing revealing clothes, women are ‘tempting fate’. He compares this to leaving a laptop in the back of the car. Yes, really. Outrage naturally followed, however, it was a male columnist that was quick to condemn Ross’s views saying it allowed “offenders to abdicate responsibility for their actions.” Paul Richards, a diversification expert as well as an organiser of the Uprise festival believes that “there are still some uncomfortable truths that remain our society”. True as that may be, he also firmly thinks that the only way forwards is to “combat ignorance with education. Communicating through mediums such as the language of music and the arts”. He recognises the importance of education as well as the power of the arts in bringing people together. It seems the victim is abused twice, once by her attacker and then again by her fellow women who penalise her if she happened to have been drinking alcohol or wearing a particularly short skirt. Whilst it is true that women should be careful on a night out (what worried mother or anxious friend wouldn’t say “don’t drink too much” or “keep your wits about you when you walk down the street”) the warning turns into something more sinister once you’ve been attacked. A new study even found 5% of women believed that women should harbour all of the responsibility if she has been attacked whilst intoxicated in comparison to 3% of men. It is an awful statistic that exemplifies rape culture. It is always the men that are generally assumed to be the biggest perpetrators of victim blaming as well as doing the attacking, but these new figures show that it is women themselves that are blaming each other for the crimes. Do they have a point? The disdain that women feel when a woman doesn’t say “no” or that 1 in 5 believe victims are partly to blame if they have had several sexual partners are all things that point to that direction. It seems as women, particularly victims, have to constantly fend off the wrath not only from potential sexual deviants but also women themselves. Or how about when Caitlin Moran was quoted saying, “I can hear her coming up the street in high heels, clackclack -clack. And I can hear she’s on her own, I can hear what speed she’s coming at.” She is famous for her dislike in heels, yet her comment makes it sounds as if wearing high heels is another reason women get raped or sexually assaulted, no blame assigned to the attacker. Perhaps
Moran has a fair point that women’s insistence in wearing heels cripples us, especially in times of threat, but instead, her comments come off as insensitive. After all, shouldn’t she be looking out for and defending the victims and not adding to the trauma by blaming them for something they could not help? There seems to be a disconnect between women and the victims with a lack of empathy. Laura Bates, founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, has done well in raising awareness of sexual harassment and the frequency with which it happens. She gives a victims a (much needed) voice. Victims can post their stories on everydaysexism. com and it has recently been submitted its 50,000th post spread out over 18 countries. A colossal achievement for Bates who was also a key participator over the Women Of The World festival. Whilst her project is a huge success and a step forward for the victims, more can still be done in order to bring women together. The shocking figures illustrating the amount of women experiencing some form of sexual harassment suggests that some of the ‘blaming’ women may have been abused themselves. A key move for Bates could be in setting up a foundation which educates other women and allows them to support the victim instead of blaming it as well as giving victims the strength and voice what has been done to them. All these statistics seem to suggest that women are the main perpetrators of victim blaming. Do they have a point or is that a really skewed way of looking at rape which needs to be changed? Maybe women are just a product of society and regurgitate what they read in the media and the manner with which rape is reported. They may just be part of a “rape culture” society where it is socially acceptable to place blame on victims without any malice or ill will intended. Again, the figures suggest that some of the ‘blaming’ women could have experienced sexual harassment themselves, therefore, they may be placing blame on themselves as well as all other victims for what has happened to them. The message should be one of support, where victims feels free to report a rape without fear of being penalised by other women for what has been done. The step forward is educating other women, particularly about rape, sexual harassment and what it means for victims. A lot has been done to educate society in general and to place blame on the attackers, but not much is being done on the aftermath about how the victim will then be perceived by society, especially by women. The aforementioned statistics prove something needs to be done. Having a drink is okay. Wearing heels is okay. Wearing a short dress is okay. Just take care of yourself and thats where the message should stop. Victims shouldn’t then be blamed for their choices as they simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The only mistake they have made is being in close proximity to the rapist. Educating and spreading this message is vital for the perception of the victims to be changed. The way the media reports the rape must also be changed. The overlaying theme being education, raising awareness of the statistics of victim blaming is just as important as voicing the actual crime.
SEXUAL BEINGS Image credits: All rights go to Linea Strid
Promiscuity and women have been linked since the 70s with the ease of obtaining birth control and the acceptance that a woman may have many sexual partners before she marries just as all men of the past and present have done. In the 90s, assertive Girl Power raged forward as the Spice Girls made #1 declaring “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.” Women aren’t just enjoying the flirtation of promiscuous sex, they’re asserting their own desires outside of their societal gender role. Today, female sexuality and representation thereof has unquestionably grown stronger than ever before. Hit TV show ‘Girls’ portrays women embarking on casual encounters “to normalise sex for other people” in how the girls in question are calling up the boys and initiating getting under the sheets. More and more girl-girl relationships have sprouted in the public eye lately from Cara Delevigne to Ellen Page, revealing females to be the most sexual beings. Women are promoting their senusual appeal more than men in our society and yet, stereotypes of brutish lads picking up an innocent doe at the bar still looms.
We like to go out, we like to have sex, we like to talk about it with our friends, and we always want more. But why are men viewed as the more sexual beings in our society?
Women are, without a doubt, the more desired, sensationalised and sexualised gender. There are shops on every major high street selling lingerie to please your partner in the front of the store and personal toys to please yourself in the back - a whole shop dedicated to women having sex sharing a wall with a coffee shop on one side and a bank on the other. Women are supersexed in the media and in everyday situations, the question being, is that of their own doing or of a foreboding male societal pressure? Do we seduce to please or seduce to tease? The much-loved columnist and author of “How To Be A Woman” Catlin Moran has spoken of how “all I see is hypersexualised stuff that is never about women’s pleasure.” Surely though, all the sexy females present in our society don’t have armed terrorists at their head forcing them to act provocatively? The burlesque dancer-come-celebrity Dita Von Teese has explained that her line of work and exaggeratedly womanly appearance is not created “for seducing men, but embracing womanhood.” Von Teese recognizes the power she holds within her natural sexuality and relishes in it. I do not question that men are certainly more eager to engage in sexual intercourse due to their biological makeup are predestined to carry on with evolution of the species and spread their sperm far and wide. Psychologist Noam Shpancer agrees male sexual desire to be “orderly, consistent and narrowly directed” in comparison to excitable females. A mans urgency and readiness is why he is seen as the ‘hornier’ and more sexual being, though. In a study undertaken by psychologist Meredith Chivers, a plethysmograph (a special sensoring instrument placed inside the vagina) was used to measure the blood flow by reflecting lights to dis-
cover what turns women, both straight and gay, on. Subjects were shown straight, gay, lesbian and ape porn and were also asked to rate numerically how much each image aroused them as well as the plethysmograph checking their physical responses. All of the subjects were stimulated by all of the imagery while a near identical study conducted with male subjects proved them to be aroused ‘categorically’ by their sexual preference only. Quite conclusively, Chivers reports “sexual arousal patterns play fundamentally different roles in male and female sexuality,” that females feel a lot more aroused by a wider array of stimuli. Proof that women are anatomically more physically sexual than men and in fact are consumed by our sexuality emotionally, physically, socially and mentally. So you can say men have a higher sex drive than women, but we want it more. In saying that, it’s not the chasing and acquiring of sex itself that deems women the more provocative gender- it’s all in the way we approach it. Romantic relationships, specifically the intimacy of them, is a worldwide, full-blown fascination of all girls, always has been. We plan our first kisses, first dates and virginities with meticulous vigor and remember each and every detail of those moments for years to come. The amount of time we spend planning our seduction is completely lost on men. Men don’t read erotic novels just for the saucy fun of it, they watch a quick porn video with the intent of getting off. Men often instigate the physical act of sex with the art of the ‘pick-up’ but women surely think about it more, prepare for it more exquisitely and consider it more deeply. Our sexualisation, in some ways, defines us as a person. My male, fiercely heterosexual and obviously gorgeous manager at work is constantly reminiscing over “the time I did that girl in the locker rooms at the gym” or “that girl from the other night who could do the splits,” all unfortunately nameless, tactless, half-hearted memories. “Do you even recall your first time, Jack?” I ask wearily. “Uh, what, you mean the first time I tried anal?” Charming. An early episode of the cult hit TV show FRIENDS that ran from the mid-nineties through the noughties comes to mind- Ross and Rachel, two of the main characters, share their first kiss. Rachel runs home to her female best friends and they pour glasses of wine, unplug the phone, grab handfuls of tissues and sit down for a full explanation of every physical and emotional detail surrounding the landmark event of ‘the kiss’ while Ross simply mentions it to his pals over pizza. His friend Joey asks “Tongue?” to which Ross casually remarks “Yeah.” And that’s it. No gushing, no sharing, no enthusiasm previously enjoyed by the girlfriends. And somehow, men are still viewed as the provocateurs.
sires to be wanted, nurtured and even punished. It’s the most intimate form of expression humans have at their disposal. That’s why we cry afterwards and long to be held close, because we feel something- be it love, acceptance or disappointment. The point being that women care about sex so much because sex is a massive part of a woman’s relationship with her partner, her friends and her own self-image. “Monogamy, intimacy and communication are the engines of female desire” adds Shpancer, it’s not all about getting off. Voltaire said “It’s not enough to conquer, one must know how to seduce.” The most powerful women in human history have all been known seductresses of their audience - the public- from Joan of Arc to Anne Boleyn to Eva Peron. Shpancer concludes from his reading of recent psychological evidence that “female sexuality is powerful, flexible, complex - and even subversive” coming as a relief that a male has noticed. In ‘What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire,’ Daniel Bergner states “a really powerful engine for female desires is being desired, is being wanted” and therefore women create their sexual persona purposefully. Though this is a male’s opinion, it resonates with every young girl taking selfies of herself in a premature push-up bra in the bathroom mirror and every young boy doing everything in their power to get their hands on a magazine with a picture of tits on the cover. Still, there is no male magazine entirely devoted to discussing sexuality and sexual relationships as Cosmopolitan has evolved as a bible for women. Esquire may feature a small article on a new position or product but discussion of sex within heterosexual male culture remains an uncomfortable subject. This may very well be why they view sex in a more aggressive manner than females who tend to indulge in the experience with expensive lingerie, candles and gifts. Sex within relationships today is in fact places a very high importance on female satisfaction, Shpancer has found “male fantasies focus on giving satisfaction- men want to excite women and women want men to excite them.” It’s also the economics of sex - not in the sense that women offer themselves as dessert after enjoying an expensive meal in which their date has picked up the check- rather, the supply and demand of the need and want for sex in heterosexual relationships. In a typical scenario of any household chore of sought-after Valentines gift: the woman creates the demand and it is up to the man to supply. I don’t want to go so far as saying we run the world, but it is certain that girls run the bedroom and everyone couldn’t be happier.
by Chelsea Simoes
There is no doubt that us girls are scientifically the more emotional creatures and that emotion is the backbone to sex. Sex stems from our innermost de-
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Skincare Preparation It’s extremely important (as you probably already know) to
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How to fake it. Everyone wants the flawless, effortless natural look, but how
effortless is it? As we aren’t all blessed with perfect, fresh, clear skin it may take more time than you think. Nevertheless there are products out there to improve your skin and make-up that will give you a flawless finish without looking too heavy. You just need to know which ones to pick. There are several price ranges to suit any budget but it’s just best to know the key items you need to achieve this look, from the skincare to the make up. Here at Raconteuse, our beauty expert has tested an array of products to help you get the best results.
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It’s all about natural beauty this season but when we say natural we mean faking the natural look. It is possible to fake the perfect skin when you know how.
Facial oil is the new moisturiser Beauty experts are going crazy for facial oils at the moment. Before the word
Image credits: All rights go to Selfridges & Vogue
With Fenwick hosting natural beauty events across the country and bare-faced beauty being celebrated all over the catwalks this season, we all want to know how to achieve the au natural look without over-doing it. Health and beauty experts, Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley, have written The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible, a book simply dedicated to natural beauty. It’s full of tips, tricks and recommendations on how to feel and look great. Alongside this upcoming book launch, Fenwick stores across England are holding launch parties with the author and offering 10% off beauty products. The book launch sits alongside the natural beauty we’ve seen on this seasons catwalk by designers like Chloe, Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant. “This Spring/Summer 2014 there seems to be this global obsession with skin. It’s skin that is fresh, pure, luminous and radiating. I think skin seems to be the new modern beauty movement.” Says M.A.C Senior Make-up Artist, Vimi Joshi.
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look after your skin. There are new products available on the market that clean and nourish the skin without being full of chemicals or being too harsh. One of the must-have products is Micellar Water. Micellar Water sweeps away any make up and dirt from the day with a cotton pad. No water, no face washes just a sprinkle on a cotton pad. The Water helps to keep your skin healthy as they are soap and alcohol free unlike harsh make-up wipes. For this we recommend Decleor Aroma Cleanse Soothing Micellar Water, £22.00. The Decleor Micellar Water is strong in term of removing unwanted dirt, but gentle enough to leave skin feeling smooth and soft.
oil scares you, these are light oils specifically created for the face and there are ones to suit every skin – even oily skin. Facial oils work to balance and hydrate the skin and are applied in the evening to give you the perfect glowing skin when you wake up. For the best all-rounder oil we recommend Clarins Face Treatment Oil Blue Orchid, £30.00. This oil suits most skin types and hydrates the skin whilst you sleep.
For the Face After that super skincare routine it’s time for the Photoshop finish make-up. Firstly, you are
going to need a brightening primer to give your face that initial glow but also to keep your makeup perfectly in place. For the primer we recommend Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer, £29.00. You’ll also need a great coverage foundation that isn’t too heavy. The perfect product for this look is Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup. This gives a perfect finish without overdoing it, remember the idea is to be natural looking. Apply this with Real Techniques Foundation Brush, £9.99 by circular motions leaving an even finish. Finally in terms of flawless skin, cover any blemishes with Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit, £24.00 by blending it in.
Lips, eyes and nails The lips are a vital element to complete the natural look. Always keep them
moisturised to avoid dry cracked lips. For this we’d recommend a nude lipstick along with a topcoat of lip balm. This will give a natural look but leave your lips looking luscious. The best nude shade is M.A.C lipstick in shade HoneyLove, £15.00, matched with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Nourishing Lip Balm, £20.00. Lastly, mascara. This is optional depending on how au natural you want to keep it, but a light layer of mascara on the lashes to lengthen them and open up your eyes is recommended. The best product for this is Code VLM Lengthening Mascara, £19.95. The brush opens up the lashes without leaving them clumpy, plus it’s vegan friendly, which is always a plus. To finish off the effortlessly beautiful look we recommend some nude nails and a loose ponytail.
Although it starts to feel a little contradictory that we will put in so much effort to create a natural look that is isn’t very natural anymore, we all want to look airbrushed in person, right?
By Renee Burke
Romano Ricci has a penchant for luxury thanks to relations with renowned perfumer Robert Ricci and world famous designer Nina Ricci. His newest venture is Nose, a concept perfumery in Paris that specialises in very niche, very rare perfume brands – from Keiko Mecheri to Diptyque, Nose has got it. Its most recent collaboration goes hand in hand with the release of Wes Anderson’s eccentric ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Nose has created a limited edition fragrance, ‘L’air de Panache’ which is inspired by legendary concierge Gustav H, the protag-
onist of the movie played by Ralph Fiennes. He leaves a trail of his signature perfume and the scent wafts through the ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’. This creation by Nose hopes to bring some of the whimsy of the film to life. With notes of basil, bergamot and patchouli, the scent is one of powerful sophistication. It’s potency ensures it stands out amongst the other 45 brands the boutique sells. Whilst this fragrance isn’t available to buy, 1000 bottles have been created to be exhibited at Nose and boutique hotels in Paris.
La boutique Nose vous accueille au 20 rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris La boutique Nose vous accueille au 20 rue Bachaumont, 75002
La boutique Nose vous accueille au 20 rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris La boutique Nose vous accueille au 20 rue Bachaumont, 75002
by Jelka Hofmann
La boutique Nose vous accueille au 20 rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris 47
Image credits: All rights go to Percy Lau PR
Over the years, Asian jewellery has become increasingly popular. Up and coming designer Percy Lau is making her mark in the industry. By Hannah Davies
decide what shape to them into,” she said. Before university she focused on mathematics, physics and chemistry that provided her the perfect excuse to reference her other professional passion. “I used loads of physics theories about refraction for my ‘Seeing is believing?’ project. My educational background helps me a lot. Science, techniques and materials inspire me the most,” she states, also adding “As a Christian, I find God’s creations are the most beautiful masterpieces, and my inspirations often come from them.” Her designs are more than just aesthetics, she explains “even though I aim my things to be fun and new, I don’t want it to be simply weird looking on the outside and have nothing within.” Also they are not only style but are meaningful and interesting, “I would like to call them the creation of art more than fashion.” The beliefs and emotions featured in these designs are at the “beginning: bring joy to people, past: let people think and finally current: deliver some specific messages.”
This is not the first time Asian jewellery has been a global trend with the market growing and people wanting high quality designs for a cheaper price. Recently, new Asian trends got brought into the spotlight, thanks to well-known Asian American designers like Alexander Wang, Vera Wang and Jason Wu. Elsewhere Asian accessory and clothing websites are now in demand, including Myasianfashion.com and Yesstyle.com that allows access to today’s global consumer population. Upcoming jewellery and accessory designer, Percy Lau specialises in traditional jewellery, but wants to venture out to eyewear and shoes. The BA Jewellery designer has won many awards from International Talent Support, Cartier, Swarovski and V&A for her surreal jewellery that grabs attention with the unique designs. An example of her quirky designs is her ‘disORGANize’ project that featured flesh-coloured miniature human ears, nose and mouth as rings, earrings, necklaces and brooches. “My designs are often very unusual and sometimes you need guts to put them on in public. I wish that people who wear my stuff can become braver and more willing to show their uniqueness in front of everyone,” she explained.
Percy is currently setting up her own brand with her one day wanting to bring a new insight to the design industry. Her ultimate goal is to “influence and inspire others, and change their mind about the jewellery and accessories industry.” The London based designer plans on moving back to her roots in Hong Kong with her saying “ My main focus would probably still be on the European market because I feel that it’s easier for them to appreciate my works, but of course anyone from around the world are welcome to be able to own my designs.” She explains that her aspirations for the future are “I do the best, God do the rest.”
The Hong Kong born designer got her love of designing from science, nature, humour, and the relationship between human beings. Her latest collection ‘Seeing is believing?’ is a range of clear resin eyewear that creates eye catching optical illusion techniques. “I wanted the lenses to refract the eyes of the wearer in the exact angle, so I had to make many calculations and experiments to
The New Renaissance By Chelsea Simoes
Image credits: All rights go to Style.com, the Courtauld Institute of Art (facing page), Scott Rudin Productions, Prada, Style.com, Galiano Store, Royal Academy of Arts, National Gallery
A renaissance is defined as a rebirth of a place, group or time period. It more commonly refers to the enlightenment and inspiration brought by intellectual thinking, innovation, culture and art. The term ‘Renaissance’ is thrown around loosely these days almost to the point of overuse in which don’t refer to the same idea. There is the original European Renaissance of the 15th century which inspired a cultural enlightenment with multi-talented artists and thinkers such as Leonardo da Vinci at the helm. Then there’s the Harlem Renaissance taking place in 1920s New York, an unexpected breakthrough of cultural literature and music that uplifted a dark time with positivity for a better future. Today, the leaders of our generation’s cultural spheres have been referencing a ‘new’ renaissance of our time brought on by a desire to persevere, to have it all and succeed in spite of hardship. Major museums across the capital look back at original Renaissance works of art, in exhibitions running over the next few months for clues of how the great masters including Raphael and Veronese generated such innovative ideas. These men had little resources to work with and still emerged out of bleak shadows to enlighten future generations. Italian brands Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino reference the new Renaissance revival through their ornate embroidered and lace garments reminiscent of the middle ages. Though not directly inspired by mediaval designs, the fresh young, male heads of classic fashion houses Dior, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. They have reborn the respected names with new technology and design modernisation that really has people talking with their more theoretical take on rebirth. While discussing the new renaissance in a recent TEDx Talk, Oxford professor and expert on the subject,Ian Goldin notes that now is the best time to be alive in all of human history. Describing ours Renaissance as “a time of hyper-speed innovation” allows for any ideas created to be widely and quickly shared around the world, for all to be impacted and inspired by. “This extraordinary coming together releases genius” says Goldin, expressing that together we are stronger than alone. Creative director of W magazine Edward Enninful collaborates with Miuccia Prada as this season’s Iconoclast (guest stylist). To stage a cultural installation in the Milan boutique inspired by her most recent collection. In the style of a 1920s speakeasy complete with art deco flourishes the space evokes the force brought forth during the community driven revolution that was the Harlem Renaissance “when creative minds inspired and embraced a new cultural identity” reflects Enninful. A Renaissance man has come to depict someone who does it all and does it well, such as Da Vinci himself. Today we have Jared Leto- an Oscar-winning actor who portrayed a transvestite, who’s broken the Guinness World Record for number of tour dates for an album with his rock band and produces documentaries on the side. There is now no model, actor or artist who hasn’t also tried their hand at directing, writing, singing and entrepreneurship. It is important to remember that we would be nowhere without those who inspire us, that we need the energy of likeminded people to spur us onwards. Innovation is everywhere you look today, wake up and embrace the new Renaissance- together.
Valentino Haute Couture SS14 Runway / ‘Adam and Eve’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder Edward Enniful styles Prada’s SS14 collection inspired by the Harlem Renaissance SS14 Renaissance Print Doc Marten Derby €156 available at Galiano Store Renaissance Impressions at the Royal Academy of Arts 15 March – 8 June 2014 Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance at the National Gallery 19 February – 11 May 2014 Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice at the National Gallery 19 March – 15 June 2014
Showcasing the top contemporary artistsof the world’s forerunning galleries
By Chelsea Simoes
Image credits: All rights go to Art Fairs London
The Deliverance of Art 14
Through magnificent charcoal drawings of real people, Alison Lambert draws comparisons to her predecessors Ergon Schiele and Lucian Freud to capture the raw, human emotions only a true artist can relate on the page. Lambert hails from Surrey and studied art in Coventry in the early 80s. Her exhibitions have been featured in the Jill George Gallery, her current home, in central London since 1995. The millennium saw the production of three books dedicated to Lambert’s work, published every three years from 2002 and each based on a solo exhibition, 2005’s Emotion and Expression is a classic favourite.
As an inspiring female Iraqi refugee, Malallah already has the odds of success against her without even presenting her innovative art pieces. When speaking to fellow artist Mo Throp of the ICA last year on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of her home nation, she revealed her belief “that ruination is the essence of all being.” In her sculpture entitled “Barzah:Obstacle,” the notion of the divide between life and death is revisited in the form of an aged staircase that’s missing crucial stairs in the center. This refers to the hollowness Malallah sees in life and the never-ending struggle we all feel to rise to the top and overcome our own obstacles.
SEE FOR YOURSELF: CHRISTOPHER BUCKLOW:
KIM NAM PYO:
Previously, the Manchester-born artist Christopher Bucklow has been known for his character ‘Anima’ represented as the illuminated silhouette of a mysterious female ‘alien’ of the early 2000s. The jack-of-all-trades Bucklow has also written books on William Burroughs and William Blake and dabbles in drawing and analog photography as well as his original medium of oil painting. In his current ‘live’ exhibit ‘The Critics’ Cirlcle’ at the Riflemaker Gallery, Bucklow turns his large-scale lens to the more well-known characters of the art world. Featuring Charles Saatchi and Berthe Morisot amongst other historical creators and curators of art as metaphorical representations of beings from another world. The exhibition comes alive as the artist produces the fourth and final painting in the instillation later this year.
Selling in auctions across the Asian art world, Kim Nam Pyo is already amongst the ranks of great living artists at the age of 43. Pyo’s paintings are ethereal, resembling traditional Korean ink paintings at first glance and prove controversial upon introspection. Using materials such as fake fur, charcoal and watercolour to represent the merging of the natural and artificial worlds we exist in, Pyo comments on commercialism and frivolity using fashion commodities in scenes of nature in his paintings. He’s been working on and developing this concept throughout his career and from 2008 until the present all of his works begin with the phrase ‘Instant Landscape’ to describe his fluidity and presence in creating his works of art in a direct flow of inspiration.
A British artist born and bred, Cheung is a 39-year-old artist living and showcasing his collages in London. After studying at both Central St. Martins and the Royal College of art in the city, Cheung’s vision has been seen as ‘hallucinogenic” and “visionary.” His archives consist mostly of collages of newspapers, spray paint and various types of printing. His works are featured within both international and UK based public and private collections. Cheungs ‘Age of Innocence’ collection features 6 paintings of flowers in vases painted in the style of Flemish master’s still life layered over stock listings torn out of the Financial Times newspaper. These pieces come to life through vivid strokes of bright acrylic paint and comment on what he considers “the loss of utopian vision of the future.”
Hanaa Malallah at the Park Gallery 26 Connaught St London W2 2AF Gordon Cheung at the Alan Cristea Gallery 31&34 Cork St. London W1S 3NU Christopher Bucklow at the Riflemaker Gallery 79 Beak St London W1F 9SU Kim Nam-Pyo at the Gana Gallery 97 Pyeongchang-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea Alison Lambert at the Victoria & Albert Museum ‘British Drawing 1600 – Present Day’ until 15th April Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Bitcoin... what is it? by Jelka Hofmann
that Mt. Gox has declared bankruptcy. This constant change in stock prices adds to Bitcoins volatility as well as making its future as a currency all the more dubious. Goldman Sachs has stated that it believes it has a “much better shot as a payment system than a currency.” Bitcoin is still in the early stages of development, much as the computer was in 1975 and the internet in 1993 understandably creating hesitancy amongst new businesses. Germany has wholeheartedly embraced it as a currency, unlike Russia which, alongside China, have declared any online currencies illegal (Bitcoins stock worth naturally wavered again after these announcements).After the Mt. Gox disaster, Japan (where it was based) has declared it will regulate Bitcoin and North America has vowed to do the same. This innovation has undoubtedly taken the world by storm, even with all the current developmental problems and retailers such as overstock.com have started accepting Bitcoin in January, already receiving orders totalling over $600,000. Other retailers such as Zynga and Flora have followed suit and ebay is currently in talks over accepting it too. A step forward for Bitcoins growth, however, other financiers aren’t as optimistic. JPMorgan Chase filed a patent for a payment method similar to Bitcoin in a quiet attempt to get in on the action. Apple has also done the same, creating fears over the Bitcoin community that it may obliterate it. With a solid reputation, a strong track record and a huge fanbase, it may take Bitcoin and enhance it. This further creates doubts over its future as Bitcoin my be obliterated for banks to make way for other payment methods that are comparable to Bitcoin but more financially viable for the banks.
> As well as protection from credit card theft, Bitcoin offers protection from identity theft as no personal or sensitive information is linked to the transaction.
Image credits: All rights go to Bitcoin
Put your wallets and your credit cards away, a new currency has arrived! A peer-to-peer system, Bitcoin could be described as cash for the internet, cutting out the middleman. It is a currency that is powered by it’s users without being issued by the government and is linked through algorithms and mathematical encryptions. This may sound rather boring and tedious to the average Joe, but give it a chance. It is an entirely new payment system and nothing like it has been done before – everyone can use it, no authorisation is required and it has little to no exchange rates. These algorithms and encryptions mean a pre-existing trust has been placed upon two parties wanting to exchange or transfer assets. Therefore, the sender and the receiver have no need to know any information about each other, a completely new and revolutionary system. Users are further motivated by “rewards” which means a new Bitcoin is released at a periodically declining rate. This puts Bitcoin in a unique position in the market and its stock fluctuates wildly. As of this moment, Bitcoins value is placed solely on speculation rather than actual, physical volume. Panic, hysteria and uncertainty is what the Dystopian world of Bitcoin faced after its biggest exchange website, Mt. Gox lost an estimated $400 million to theft on february 24th. Until recently, Mt. Gox was used as an exchange system (the biggest of its kind for Bitcoin) In Layman’s terms, it allowed users to exchange Bitcoins into US Dollars and other currencies. The Mt. Gox disaster has inevitably affected the Bitcoin stock, lowering from $1,242 in November to being around a far less impressive $500 now
> Bitcoin eliminates the threat of credit card fraud making it attractive for merchants. This means not only are consumers protected since no sensitive information is given, so are merchants. The way the system works right now is merchants automatically decline any payment that seems fraudulent (even if it isn’t) due to the ultra sensitive online fraud detection services that turn away 5-10% of their consumers. With Bitcoin, It’s a win-win.
> A major criticism of Bitcoin in the media is that it encouraged terrorists to use it anonymously, however, Bitcoin tracks every single transaction and it is logged into a database which anyone could view, ironically, making it even easier for law enforcements to trace. > Users have full control. Users can make transactions anytime, anywhere, without a limit and with little to no fees. At most they would be comparable to a few pennies. You can potentially receive your money right here, right now. > It is easily transportable. For example, you could carry round $1 billion worth of Bitcoins in a laptop or USB stick. Try doing that with bars of gold. > It isn’t regulated by a government, instead being one global currency. > In order for anyone to control or manipulate Bitcoin in any way, one must have control of over half the computing system making it extremely secure. > No trust is required. Thanks to its transparent system, anyone could verify the inner workings of Bitcoin.
> It has suffered various security breaches (the main example being that of Mt. Gox which has seen hackers steal hundreds of millions worth of Bitcoins) > Aside from security, it also suffers from major technological glitches. Say your hard drive crashes (A tragic thought, I know) then all your Bitcoins will be lost forever, with no way of getting back. They will have been put back into the system and will instantaneously bankrupt you. It will lie dormant in the system, in turn raising the worth of all other Bitcoins. A Bitcoin lost is a Bitcoin gone forever. > It’s still a new software meaning it is still relatively unknown and people are hesitant about using it. > In turn, this hesitancy creates doubts over the feasibility of Bitcoin being used as a currency. > It fluctuates wildly in the stock market and its volatile nature make it hard to predict what will come of it as it is the worlds first start up currency. This makes it both exciting and terrifying in equal amounts for investors. >This instability means that any activity in the relatively small number of business involved can affect the price of stock. > The amount of Bitcoins released is capped at 21 million. This was done to reward early users of the system as their Bitcoins raise in value with each passing day, yet this again causes a fluctuation in prices because it is vital to know when to spend, creating spending surges at times. > It will always have to be transferred into other recognized currencies as its online form means it cannot be used in actual stores. > Due to it still being in its developmental stage, businesses are still new and many do not yet offer insurance.
Hat: Etsy; Necklace: Model’s own; Overdress: Closed; Top: T by
Photography by Chelsea Simoes
Alexander Wang; Shorts: ASOS; Rings: Sévigné
The Wild West of Privacy
eide by Juliana Sch Thinking of the Wild West, we tend to associate the era by the time period rather than the place itself. In a time when disorder, violence and fighting dominated Western America, the Wild West was wild because of its lack of social structure. No laws, no dress codes, no equality. Everyone is on their own, responsible for protecting themselves and their property. It’s every man for himself. Reading this, you might feel that this kind of “wildness” is unrealistic today. But is it really? No matter if it’s Facebook, Google or other internet companies, they are all said to steal our data. In this ‘Wild West’ of privacy in which we live, one has to defend their identity if they want to make it out alive. Even though virtual sheriffs like anti-spyware programs help to protect our passwords and personal information, it’s us who have to become more proactive in our own protection. We are ignorant and too happy to give away our privacy by feeding our personal information into different online platforms. Did you know that when using a points
card (e.g. in Boots or Waitrose) that the data get collected and might harm you in the future? It‘s not that unimaginable that supermarkets and pharmacies give away our data to hospitals and health care centres. After all, that would be a lucrative business for them. So let‘s say you buy a packet of crisps twice a week, are others who buy less crisps more likely to get a heart transplant when being ill? Studying your buying habits is how hospitals gain these statistics. It‘s not only Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Catch Me If You Can who can steal other people‘s identities. According to the official website actionfraud. police.uk more than 4 million people in the UK are victims of identity fraud every year. In the Wild West of privacy, or lack thereof, we can’t use revolvers to repel attacks, but we can crack down on data thieves. Jim Watts, an internet security specialist says: “Information is a commodity, how we all manage it is important, people today are given the means of mass communication, but no training on how to use them.“ To protect our data, we have to adjust our
privacy settings on social media platforms (Howdy Mr. Zuckerberg) and inform ourselves about how to stay secure with the new technology we‘re using. “Always back up your information and don’t allow anyone to steal or use it unless you really trust them“, says Watts. According to CNBC, future apps will pay particular attention to security. Since Facebook recently purchased WhatsApp, more and more secure messaging programs like Threema have popped up. If you want data security, you can have it. The comic cowboy Lucky Luke shoots faster than his shadow. In the emerging technology market, we have to be as quick as he is. A recent study released by the Pew Research Center makes 15 predictions on how the world wide web will evolve in the next 10 years. One of their results is that “privacy will be something only the upscale will enjoy”. This is why we have to start protecting our privacy now, it might be gone with the wind in a few years.
In conversation with . . London-based fashion student, Imogen Bowman, is sure to be one to watch for the future. With her head currently in her up-and-coming final collection she invites Abigail Dennison to see her preparations and talk art, culture and life in Brooklyn, NY.
This can be an old TV or a radio, but also reproductions of games. The patient can then touch and feel the familiar products. While Richard started out the business by collecting old original items from flea markets, everything is mass-produced in China now. Having sold over 600 pods so far, the 50s pod is still the bestseller.
Self-made business man Richard builds reminiscent pods to help patients suffering from dementia - and got £100,000 pounds funding from the Dragon’s Den
After a big love crisis with his ex-girlfriend, Richard moved from East London to Gloucestershire. Being depressed on a daily basis, he met his neighbour ‘old Sydney’. One day, Sydney knocked on his door and asked if Richard could give him a lift
Richard with the ‘Dragon’ Deborah Meaden
to the bus stop. After a few times, Richard started to drop off Sydney at his actual destination: a care home where he visited his wife. “That was the first time I’ve ever seen a care home. Sydney inspired me to do this, because his wife had dementia and she died. I saw some things I’ve never seen before”. Richard got back on his feet, found a new woman in his life and founded his company Rempods in 2009. “I started to look into mental care. Then, 3 days later I had a dream and that was it”, he says. “All I had to do was do it. So I borrowed 3 grand and never looked back. That was 4 years ago and from the first month on I was making money”. The father of two realised that dementia patients are overwhelmed by the modern environment. They needed familiar spaces and surroundings to stimulate them. “It wasn’t like I was trying to invent a new reminiscent therapy. It wasn’t something new, it was already there but I did it in a different way”, he explains. The so-called rempods are three-dimensional pop-up rooms filled with furniture and reproductions the patient can remember and relate to.
In the beginning, everything was word of mouth. But after a while, Richard wanted to expand. So he took part in the TV show Dragon’s Den. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done”, he confesses, “you’re only on for 10 minutes but you’re actually in this room for three hours”. The Northerner was successful and secured £100,000 for his company. Nevertheless, the two dragons who invested in his project, Mr Jones and Ms Meaden, have a 40% share of his firm. “It’s a big cut but at the time we never had the money”, Richard defends his decision,”though it sometimes makes me cry”. At the moment, Richard and his team are working on a German and American pod. “The American pop-up diner will be real fun”, Richard promises. In the future, he wants to break into Chinese and Australian market. The world needs more of Richard’s charisma, Raconteuse is looking forward to seeing him pop-up around the world.
Image credits: All rights go to Rempods PR
In the heart of Stroud, Gloucestershire, in a small warehouse, Richard Ernest and his team, work in between retro radios, replica games and flatpack furniture. “This is it”, Richard says with a big smile. When looking at the 35-year old, he smiles back at me in his fleece jacket and gingham shirt. You wouldn’t expect the entrepreneur who sells pop-up rempods to the NHS and care homes, to have had such a long journey to where he is today. After receiving £100,000 from Dragons Den he has expanded into America and Germany, maybe someday going global. But this sparkling confidence has not always been there. At the age of 15, Richard got kicked out of school. After he tried to keep his head above water with cleaning jobs in factories, he returned to school at the age of 20 to finish his GCSEs. “That was the first time I’ve ever read a book”, he admits. After his A-levels and drama education at Manchester University, Richard wanted to become a playwright: “I was writing some plays but I wasn’t really making any money. It was a hard game”. After more administrative jobs, Richard set up his own publishing company which had museums like the V&A and the National Gallery in London as clients. When the recession hit Britain in 2009, the publishing company had to close down. “I was poor again”, Richards laughs.
With Imogen’s inspiration absorbed from American painter Marc Rothko, minimalist designers such as Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein and also through inhaling the Brooklyn culture for 4 months, Imogen’s collection has diversely developed from its original sketches. “I wouldn’t pinpoint myself as a minimalist as I wouldn’t want to keep stripped back with my work, as I love colour and texture.” The collection-in-progress is all about layering of textiles and materials yet still creating a clean cut finish. After original designs of the ‘artists silhouette’, Imogen has developed into androgynous jackets paired with oriental inspired smocks and rolled up slouch-look pants and dungarees. “The tutor’s hate it, but my women’s wear looks like men’s wear”. With her strong, deep colour pallet of royal blue, smoky greys and charcoal black, a highlight of blood orange is the next step, to make it pop. After interning at Alexander Wang’s studios in New York and living in Brooklyn for 4 months, working on publications such as Dazed and Confused and AnOther, then last year working on the design team at Antipodium on their ’14 resort line, Imogen’s industry work is exceptional. “Brooklyn was very culturally diverse, they’re not that different to us but London is like a big melting pot of different cultures and visions. I can’t wait to go back.”
who has recently shown at New York fashion week, “He’s got a minimalist aspect but a play with pattern and colour but he keeps it very wearable and viable. I don’t go for Avant-garde where people go ‘what is it?’ I’m very much for everyday wearable high fashion, I want to wear that. Not just an art piece or sculpture. I love ready to wear.”
Bowman hopes to work with up and coming Australian designer Dion Lee The bestseller: 50s Rempod
By Abigail Dennison
Lena Dunham, 27 years young, has been named the Woody Allen of this generation. From her shameless nudity to her witty intellectual gab, she has found herself in the middle of a tumultuous setup of being named the USA’s sweetheart. Oh how mainstream for a curvy, tattooed girl with her latest propensity to have sex on the TV. With directing, acting and producing under her belt, Dunham has already received seven Emmy nominations, won two Golden Globe Awards and she’s been a Vogue cover model. It’s no wonder everyone wants her to be their girlfriend.
Tuesday 8th April 6.15pm Opening Night: In Bloom – BFI Southbank Wednesday 9th April 6.45pm Lucky – Curzon Soho 7pm The Wind + Lola Perrin – Electric Cinema
Saturday 12th April 11am Filmonomics: Being Confident- BFI Southbank 1pm British Shorts – BFI Southbank 4.20pm We Went To Wonderland – BFI Southbank 4.30pm Gabrielle – Barbican 8.20pm Bhaji on the Beach – BFI Southbank
For Full Listings Please See the BFI website.
Sunday 13th April 4.20pm Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me – Curzon Soho 6.30pm Girlfriends – BFI Southbank 8.30pm Closing Night: Swim Little Fish Swim – BFI Southbank
“The idea that the feminism conversation could be cool again and not just feel like some granola BS is so exciting to me.” Lena Dunham
Image credits: All rights go to IMBD
Friday 11th April 6pm Nothing Bad Can Happen – BFI Southbank 6.45pm Fashion Loves Film – ICA 9pm Belleville Baby – ICA
Illustration By Abigail Dennison
by Abigail Dennison
by Abigail Dennison
Thursday 10th April 6.10pm Why Change Your Wife? + Niki King – BFI Southbank 8.30pm I Am Yours – BFI Southbank
With the Birds Eye Film festival kicking off in April, the screenings being shown are in celebration of female filmmakers. There are over 20 premiers and previews, vintage screenings, fashion films, silent movies, new talent and special events, to be shown at the festival and caters to all film lovers. Playing on the final day of the festival is Claudia Weill’s 1978 cult film, Girlfriends, recently re-discovered by Lena Dunham, which was also shown on her film picks festival back in 2012. Dunham reportedly said of the film “I first saw ‘Girlfriends’ this past winter at the 92YTriBeCa in NYC. Several friends had alerted me to the film and its parallels to my work and I found it utterly stunning,” wrote Dunham in an email. “It felt eerie, in the true sense of the word, how familiar this film was to me even though I had never actually seen it,” added Dunham, “I almost thought, ‘Have I see this and been gently ripping it off for the last five years?’ ‘Afterward, (I was) basically shouting, ‘I feel your feelings!’ “ Dunham, star of HBO drama Girls, will have her short film, Best Friends, screened in the Fashion Loves Film strand of the festival which was originally made for the Rachel Antonoff AW 2013 line.
WONDER WOMAN STRIKES AGAIN
Running in London from 8th -13th April, the Birds Eye Film Festival is all about girls, guns, artists, and icons. Here our Raconteuse’s picks of what to pen in your calendars.
Earlier this year it was announced that Israeli actress, Gal Gadot is to star in 3 upcoming superhero films, taking on the role of Wonder Woman. Undoubtedly a revelation for Wonder Woman fans, as we haven’t seen the icon on our screens for 35 years. After signing a 3-film contract not only are we seeing Batman vs. Superman, where Wonder Woman will take a back seat yet perhaps maybe get her own vehicle; but also a Justice League movie, then if Gadot has been well received, a standalone Wonder Woman movie. That is one of the reasons Wonder Woman has had a difficult path in the comic world. She stands as an unapologetically feminist super heroine in an industry that often relegates women to sidekicks, damsels, and girlfriends. Comic enthusiast and super fan Joe Green tells me “I think there hasn’t been a stand alone cinema iteration of Wonder Woman because of money. WB (Warner Bros.) wants to get the biggest return they can from a film investment, so they (up to now) have based most of their DC Comics inspired movies on the most iconic and popular characters: Superman and Batman.” He goes on to say “I don’t think it’s just because she’s female. That may have been part of it in the 60s, but there has been a few DC films about women, like Catwoman and Supergirl, and strong female supporting characters in more recent films such as Rachel Daws, Talia Al Ghul, Lois Lane, Selina Kyle.” Meant to be the embodiment of gender equality and woman’s liberation in the 1940s, Wonder Woman evolved as a character from her two-dimensional, somewhat bust and bondage-heavy origins into a fundamental ingredient of DC Comics. She became a symbol for powerful, for-
ward-thinking female characters in comics as she championed values like gallantry and righteousness in the name of equality while living in a Man’s World. Since her prime in the 70’s, Wonder Woman has flown off our radar leaving only the trashy fancy dress copies of her outfit worn by gen Y teens oblivious to her powerful influences on feminism, as a radically feminist character packed in a stars and stripes suit. A superwoman in need of no super man. Whereas many other DC heroines are built on the legacies of popular male counterparts (Batgirl, Supergirl) Wonder Woman is so in her own right.
The British Film Institution kicked off the Birds Eye View Film Festival with an empowering, independent documentary called Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The documentary looked at female superheroes, warrior princesses plus many women’s icons in pop culture, with Wonder Woman taking centre stage.
After her revolutionary lie-detector belt forcing villains to tell unholy truths, Wonder Woman was steered into a very different direction. She was once a loved heroine who fought for justice and peace, she then married Steve Trevor after many episodes of hysterical crying and breakups, to then opening a mod boutique. Not so Girl Power after all. Comic lovers have ever since been clawing back WW’s integrity, but after all she has been over looked by her DC origins that made her ‘the’ female superhero.
No Sexism, Please, We’re British In the film industry many actresses are victims of sexism, Anonymous actress and tweeter @ProResting exposes her day to day struggle to find work of quality in an industry where she is belittled due to her gender. By Abigail Dennison
@ProResting Posts 18TH MAR 2014 | 14 NOTES We can’t provide any expenses or refreshments but the venue has an awesome menu. 17TH MAR 2014 | 20 NOTES Total slapper. Common would be too polite an adjective to describe this tart. 16TH MAR 2014 | 63 NOTES Their initiation is to masturbate to a haunted Playboy magazine.
- Angelina Jolie is a top-grossing actress but still earns considerably less than her male counterparts - As Cate Blanchett accepted her Oscar for best actress she said, “To the audiences who went to see it [Blue Jasmine] and perhaps those of us in the industry who are foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences. Audiences want to see them and in fact they earn money.” - In the film industry, women are routinely objectified: more than a quarter of female actors get partially naked, compared to just nine per cent of men. They are unseen: the ratio of male to female actors is 2.25: 1. And they are unheard, with the amount of female speaking characters at just 30.8 per cent in 2012. They’re also underpaid – a new study last week found actresses pay peaks at 34 compared to actors, which peaks at 51.
Image credits: All rights go to Screenqueens
Anonymous twitter user @ProResting – and British actress - for the past 2 years has been exposing the sexism that she has endured throughout her career in the film industry. In an interview, ‘Miss L’ reveals, “scrolling through the list of upcoming auditions, I rolled my eyes in despair. ‘If you’re comfortable to go topless with nipple tassels then it’s a bonus.’ ‘The actress will be required to perform a lap dance routine. The actor will be required to drive a car.’ Yes, really.” In conversation with ‘Miss L’ she told me the response to her Twitter, along with her blog and Tumblr, that follow the same format to reveal exploitation, has been astonishing; as she only started it up as a way of showing other actors that they weren’t alone in the way they were being treated. “I thought it might help give others hope if they realised at least one other person out there was screwing up auditions, and sitting around in their pyjamas at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, wondering what on earth they were doing with their life!” But what Miss L didn’t realise is the response from non-actors was just as strong and they found it equally interesting and as an alarming insight into what goes on within the acting industry. As alarming as it is, it is very important to highlight this as Miss L is continuing to do, “If I see something that I think is exploitative then I’ll let the casting website know and 9 times out of 10 it’s taken down or they contact the person behind it to get them to modify it.” “I think International Women’s Day is a brilliant initiative although I wish it didn’t have to exist at all,” Although Miss L argues that it highlights what women are going through and fighting on a day-to-day basis and, hopefully, with enough exposure, those issues can be addressed and we won’t need a specific day any more.
- We need some girls to be psychotic nuns. You need to be willing to be topless too.’ ‘Mustn’t be too good looking as the character isn’t well off.’, ‘WANTED: Actress with no shame to humiliate herself by having (simulated) sex with a fat guy.’ @ProResting
Find Miss L at professionallyresting.blogspot.co.uk & Castingcallwoe.tumblr.com Raconteuse
Illustrations by Deborah Williams
CocktailO Clock Films have the power to influence how we dress, what we do and what we consume. The movies coming this spring bring us an array of characters playing powerful females within fictional cinema. So we’ve taken influence from these characters to bring you Ractoneuse’s cinema character cocktails. Words by Deborah Williams.
The Black widow
(Captain America| April 2014) Film Synopsis: The only woman in the Avengers ensemble is back fighting evil along side Captain America in this much anticipated marvel adaptation.
(X-Men: Days of Future Past| May 2014) Film Synopsis: The X-Men are back to
fight for the survival of the mankind across two time periods by joining “forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class.” To win this heroic battle they must change the past in order to save the future.
Make the espresso and add to a glass mug. Then pour in the vodka and Kahlúa and stir.
Why not celebrate one of the most kickass women in the film? We have discovered a mutant mixtures that will have you feeling as powerful as Storm, the ultimate female boss. Into a short glass, add ice and add the rum and ginger beer. Then decorate with the slice of lime.
Petra von Kant
Let’s take a swig into the past and recreate a Gin & Tonic sorbet creation that will send you nostalgic.
The Prada A/W 2014 catwalk saw Miuccia Prada take inspiration from this next film made by German film director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
We’ll start by making a syrup. In a saucepan heat ½ cup of water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add lime zest and juice. Then, let it cool. Next, add tonic water and gin. Put it too cool in the refrigerator, then strain into the bowl of your ice cream machine. Store in a freezer-proof container and pop it in the freezer. To serve, scoop it into a martini glass and garnish with more lime zest, thin slices of lime, or rim the glass with lime sugar.
(The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant|1972)
Film Synopsis: A portrayal of deep emotions from love affairs to its consequences. Petra von Kant is a sharp-tongued fashion designer, who falls in love with the beautiful, wannabe model Karin.
(Maleficent| May 2014) Film Synopsis: The dark witch from Disney’s sleeping beauty is casting her dark spell this spring showing us “the events that hardened the her heart and drove hher to curse young Princess Aurora.”
1 part Kahlúa 1 part vodka 2 shots of espresso
This fairy tale potion will surely lure you into Maleficent’s magical trance. Line a martini glass with grape schnapps. Add the apple pucker and top with black vodka.
2 oz. black rum 8 oz. gingerbeer Lime
Sugar Lime Gin Tonic Water
Black vodka Grape Schnapps Apple Pucker
Aeropress Coffee: In the heart of Soho, furnished with turquoise wallpaper and metal bar chairs, this little coffeebar has revolutionised black coffee. While you can choose from normal coffees, special tea blends and pastries, Raconteuse recommends the Aeropress coffee. Different to a normal cafetière, here air filters the coffee. At first, our coffee-addicted team was skeptical, but the contrast to average filtered coffee is striking. Choose the Brazilian blend for an apple juice texture but a sweet coffee flavour. Or try the Rwandan one for a very rich body that tastes like raspberries. No milk needed here, the coffee is easy to drink and not too strong. No time to make it to Soho any time soon? Order your own aeropress here:http://www. aeropresscoffee.co.uk/ Trainers at the Fashion & Textile Museum: From pastel at Chanel to bejeweled at Dior, even the couture catwalks in Paris last month were full of trainers and sneakers. In Britain, the traditional trainer was created by Norman Walsh in 1948 for the nation’s rugby players and later for the Olympic games. The always well-researched Fashion and Textile Museum is currently exploring the phenomenon that is comfortable, functional footwear in their “Made in Britain: Walsh Trainers” display. The style evolution over the past 50 years is remarkable, as is the variety of the shoes’ utility - and this is only for men! Trainers give us the ability to blend high and low culture while remaining comfortable and quick on our feet. Global sports brands including Walsh have noted this revolution and now provide both ‘serious’ styles made for playing games and sleek everyday versions in punchy colours that anyone can enjoy.Still don’t think trainers are for you? Stop by the panel discussion ‘How to Wear trainers’ at the museum on Thursday April 3rd and enjoy the exhibit with a drink. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: When I heard about the upcoming film of Gone Girl, I picked up the book. Starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, the film is be released 3rd October 2014 - Let’s just say I will be sat on the front row at the first showing. When Nick comes home to the scene of a struggle with his wife nowhere to be found, the nightmare to follow is miles beyond anything he imagines. When the media paints Nick as the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, he must figure out what has happened to her or face grim results. Exchanging points of view between Nick and Amy’s diary create a mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page. There’s clearly a minor discrepancy in their observations on the occasion, and there is uncomfortable turmoil seeping through in the retelling of the Dunnes’ marriage. A captivating, fast paced and chilling page-turner where another bombshell drops every few pages and the tension is cut throat! If you have a significant other, you will be sleeping in the spare room with the door locked.
We have a hot cocktail that not only brings the heat but also delivers a coffee kick.
WATCH DRINK See READ SIP
The Grand Budapest Hotel: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is legendary filmmaker Wes Anderson’s latest offering blending dramatic scenes with comedic moments. Though nostalgic, the setting of pre-World War II Europe is far less dreamy than the sweet story of childhood romance in last year’s Moonrise Kingdom, though it still features as a side storyline. The story moves back in time following the linear progression of the Grand Budapest Hotel from the modern day to 1985 back to 1968 until landing in 1932. Set in the fictional nation of Zubrowka, the Grand Budapest Hotel is home to the charming (i.e. offering exceptional room service to lonely female clientele) concierge Gustave, who is left a mysterious priceless painting by one of his frequenters. He and his young sidekick Zero then take an adventure to retrieve the painting, bumping into members of Anderson’s standard cast list. Pastel pinks meet minty greens in the idyllic era that came before war, strife and hardship presenting much-needed luxurious optimism in today’s post-apocalyptic filled theaters.
Discount Suit Company: If you are wandering down a dark side road off Liverpool street and the whole neighbourhood is absolutely dead, you know that you’re headed the right way. The Discount Suit Company is hidden in the tailor district in the basement of an old warehouse. Once you’ve entered the place, the quietness of the street is taken away by swinging jazz music and the bustling conversations of London’s creatives. “I thought it would take us a year to make a name for this place, but it actually only took us 3 days” says Andy, the owner of the Discount Suit Company, who wanted to create a cocktail bar that reinvents classics. Back to basics. No fancy fruits, no cocktail umbrellas in your glass. This place convinces us that classic is cool with its killer mixtures. After appreciating the cute menu ( the cocktail descriptions are printed on little sewing patterns) try the owner’s favourite: “Bebbo” or experience the tea-infused “Goldfish Bathtub”. Men will be especially delighted to hear that all drinks come in “manly” tumblers - so no more worries our boyfriends won’t join us for cocktails.
The girls we love to hate and certainly don’t want to grow up to be.
This month: Granny beats Google I haven’t seen my grandma for a really long time until she came to visit me this weekend in my little flat in suburban London. “Nice”, she says while raising her eyebrows over my flat’s decoration. She is flawless as always. Long grey ponytail, slim figure and three thin gold chains around her neck. Only then I began to wonder why grandmothers are so respectful, so wise, so graceful.
more than a differentiating facial feature and wealthy parents? The girl is famous only for her give-no-cares air and has little to show for her ‘talent.’ Some believe it’s the girl’s complete disregard for the glamour of stardom and her completely modern take on fame. But really, it’s narcissism, plain and simple. The girl does exactly what no one expected her to in order to get a reaction. By pretending not to give a shit, everyone cranes their neck to see what she’ll do next. Everything is done for shock value, and more likes. But, let’s think. Who was the Mona Lisa, really? No one special, just a muse of a great and talented artist, a part of a creation. Perhaps it is not that these celebrity models that clog our newsfeeds today are icons for who they truly are but for whom they represent. They may not have the credits to make history books (let’s face it- iPads) but they will be the most recognized public figures of our time. Models embody the fashion theory set out by masterful designers so that if in 300 years time no one remembers the name of Giles Deacon or what Marc Jacobs looked like (the shameful thought!), they’ll remember powerful moments of our history via their model, muse and canvas of sorts.
Give me fashion model Cameron Russell who (unlike the girl) has attended university and given a TED Talk declaring “modeling is not a career path” and it teaches you nothing. Modelling is a shallow world and unlike Natalia Vodinanova who is an activist firstly or Lily Cole who has created her own business, the girl has done little besides make a cameo in a Keira Knightley film outside of the world that hands her all she can take on a platter. The big question here is why is the girl so important in our culture of innovation, invention and interest- surely fame comes with little
Think of It-Girls as the Play-Doh of the visionaries of our time and perhaps, you won’t feel as disgraced when you see them splashed across the news tomorrow morning. After all, the new crop of muses will be just around the corner and the girl will fade to dust with no substance to make her stay.
by Chelsea Simoes
Illustration by Alexa Coe
This 21-year-old girl grew up in London, in the shadow of her elder model sister. There is nothing original or self-made about her foray into the fashion world, she was automatically admitted. Her career was launched the moment she was legal to work in front of the camera, displaying little drive to achieve anything else. She’s linked arms with Karl Lagerfeld at the closing of every Chanel presentation in recent Style.com memory as well as opening this season’s Mulberry show with a handbag she designed herself. featuring the face of yours truly. And now she’s even dating a woman- an older, already famous latina woman at that, ringing bells of Angelina Jolie’s rebellious ‘relationship’ and Jenny Shizu at all? With pop star “besties” she comes stumbling out of Mahiki in the early hours of the morning, grabs a massive bag of McDonalds, puts on her ‘signature’ beanie (hair-grease-hiding device) and disappears until the next days’ antics. The ad section of every women’s magazine available on the newsstand sports at least 5 different companies boasting the girl as THEIR girl. Give me a little originality please!!
Illustration by Abigail Dennison
Isaac Newton discovered that what goes up must, eventually, come down. The hands-down current model of the moment’s rise into stardom in a few short years has mystified and excited many designers and celebrities into worshipping the one with the bushy eyebrows. Cara Delevigne has been so unjustly over-publicised lately that I couldn’t forgive myself to give her name anymore mention and will refer to her for the duration of this article simply as ‘the girl’.
“Granny, why are you so wise?”, I asked her after she had opened her old leather suitcase and a massive cloud of Dior J’adore filled the room. “Well, apart from being older and having more life experience”, she said as she unpacked her apricot towel set, “my generation had to fight harder for what they wanted. If we wanted to find the way, we had to use a map. If we wanted to cook a dish perfectly, we had to cook it a dozen times to make it taste perfect. If our toaster broke, we had to repair it instead of buying a new one. There was no Google and there was no Argos.” I looked at her and realised that she was right. Her generation survived the depression, might have lost husbands or brothers during the Second World War and raised their family before there was any kind of mass-produced consumer goods. “Yes granny, but that doesn’t explain why you’re so good at giving advise. It was you who gave me the best relationship advice when my first boyfriend broke up with me. And you also taught me that I have to wrap every single cosmetic product in plastic when I travel”.
“Is the quiz over already?”, grandma turned around smiling “Actually I’ve got one last question” I replied. “What’s the most important advice you can give me? One that I should pass on to my children”. “That’s a difficult one. I suppose it’s the simple things that make life special- no fancy shmancy stuff. Nivea instead of La Mer. Home-cooked dinner instead of gourmet restaurants. And a nice conversation instead of a thousand texts”.
I thought back to when I was younger and my granny really taught me most of my important life lessons. How to make cake, how to get over a broken heart, how to play Poker. “Darling, I think it’s just natural that grannies like to counsel their grandchildren. What else would we do with our knowledge if we couldn’t pass it on to you?”. Of course. Once you don’t work anymore and you don’t have children to look after actively, social relationships become more and more important. Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley proved that people at the age of 60 start to develop an “emotional intelligence”. As a result, elderly people have more sensitivity and empathy than young adults.
Nowadays, we might be able to look up every query we have on Google or Ask.com. But let’s be honest: in the end it’s always grandma who knows best.
by Juliana Scheidecker
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THIS MONTH'S INSPIRATION
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