If you decide to buy a house in the first five seconds, or choose a possible employee at first glance, then a magazine has only a few words to get you interested. This task somehow falls to one person, even though Segue is the culmination of a whole host of people’s hard work. It feels almost selfish to take on the first page, but hopefully this will do it justice. Two years and eight months ago, forty-odd bright eyed students took their first nervous steps into the lecture theatre at UCCA. Bursting with excitement and a ‘passion for fashion’ etched firmly on their CVs, each one hoped one day to make it as the editor of a glossy magazine. Countless hand-ins, thousands of words and several clear plastic, snap front envelopes later, and that same group of people, minus some who left us, and a few who arrived later on, are now leaving, slightly weary-eyed, to enter into the dangerous world of work. Madam Alyson Walsh
Lieutenant Kathryn Mackonochie
A glossy career in the editor’s chair sounded wonderful, but few knew the true hardship it would take to get there. With a degree under their belts these graduates are going on to a plethora of areas, one to the fashion cupboards at Vogue, another to peruse the archives at the National Trust and many to man the phones and emails at PR agencies. Fashion may still be many of these graduates first love, but it seems there’s more out there than just shoes and hand-bags, (although the shoes and hand-bags are always gratefully received). Segue, now in its sixth incarnation, again holds the words of some very talented and promising fashion and lifestyle journalists. This year saw the beginning of an inspiring collaboration with Parsons in New York, not only because it meant we absolutely had to take a trip to New York, but because it gave the group that went a chance to experience fashion and fashion studies on the other side of the Atlantic. We hope that the contacts made this year will blossom into a longstanding friendship, giving students from both colleges a chance to experience fashion from another capital. As you sift through the pages of Segue, in your Prada glasses and Louboutin heels, remember these are the people tidying your fashion cupboard and answering your calls. And these are the people who can remember eight orders of coffee and deliver them all, piping hot, to the correct desks before the 11am biscuit break. Rather than continue to swoon over the graduates of BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, and at the risk of sounding like a crazed fan, let’s leave them to do the talking. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Graduating class of 2008 - cue rapturous applause and several wolf whistles from the back. Kathryn Mackonochie Editor/Course Graduate BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism
Lady Deborah Lampitt
Editorial Editor(s)-In-Chief: Paul Tierney, Alyson Walsh and Deborah Lampitt, Editor: Kathryn Mackonochie Art Director: Robert de Niet Picture Editor: Rosa Bertoli Thanks to: The University College of the Creative Arts @ Epsom, and the lectures who have worked on the course: James Anderson, Eddie Bovingdon, Bernice Brobbie, Alexia Economou, Annie Davis, Daryoush haj Najafi, Terry Newman, Neil MacKenzie Matthews, Glen Waldron, Ben Willmott and Amanda Windle Published by: BA Fashion Journalism, The University College for the Creative Arts @ Epsom, Enquiries For more information about any of the work in ‘segue’ please contact: Deborah Lampitt, Course Leader, BA(Hons) Fashion Journalism, University College for the Creative Arts @ Epsom, Ashley Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5BE. Tel: 01372 202 490 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. For educational purposes only. segue is a collection of Stage Three BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism projects and has no commercial value. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publishers. © 2008 BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, University College for the Creative Arts @ Epsom. The views expressed in segue are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the course, its staff or the University College of the Creative Arts @ Epsom these parties cannot be held responsible for them. segue is published once a year.
contents issue six_2008
1 3 7 8 10 12 14 16 19 20 22 24 26 28 33 34 36 37 42 44 45 49 50 52 53 57 58 59 60 62 64 66 69 70 72 74 76 77 82 84 86 98 100 102 103 109 116
editor’s letter crowning glories Laura Whiting d’ya get me? Jodie Kharas Claudia Schiffer: best model/judge... Jennifer Weibking Jane Bruton: grazia very much Kate Tregoning Walter Van Beirendonck: walter the great Laura Hall Steve Beale: fashionable hetrosexual man Matt Hambly original pranksta Lindsay Duncan welcome to the millionaire’s playground Hannah Shakir paninaro the remix Rosa Bertoli menswear shoot Lauren Richardson the producer Natalie Wallace east side story Dan Oliver black or white Jennifer Weibking the rowing girl Katie Frogley dying with dignity Leeanne Georgiou this girl can’t help herself Sophie Denly-Hunt artistic desire Hannah Shakir publically related to you Kavita Masih window shopping Abi Standage colour test Rebecca Kelsey trash, trinket or treasure Fleur Fulcher beauty or the beast Jodie Hart plastic fantastic Sara Williams the lost forest Laura Whiting till death do us part Frankie Palmer gentlemen take molaroid Lauren Richardson little belter Beverly Seymour i am electro Shona Muir turn on, tune in, dress up Matt Hambly lost in limbo Lucy Gadd polaroid people Samantha Avendano london style in nyc Amy Whiting beautiful young people... Jodie Kharas throwing shades Jennifer Weibking power play Kathryn Mackonochie credit card Rebecca Willford affluenza Suzanne Bardsley shoot me somebody Suzanne Bardsley armless pursuit Nicky Ashwell Parsons... various antwerp Daryoush Haj Najafi various various talking ‘bout my generation Claire Smith work of art Rebecca Kelsey the graduates information on new courses
Turquoise hat with spiked detail, £475, Victoria Grant, black jumper with gold detail, £45, Rokit, black knickers, £25, Lejabay, deep blue tights, £35, Jonathon Astor, black croc skin style shoes, £45, Zara.
Hot-headed finery to rock your world
Photography - Tom Fallon Styling - Laura Whiting Hair/Make-up- Nadine Pyke Model - Tess at Model Plan
4 4 segue
Leopard print hat with chain detail, £280, Victoria Grant, black dress with flower detail, B vintage, £85, pink bangles, from £6, Accessories, pink fluro tights, £15, Topshop, black croc style ankle boots, £85, Dune.
Turquoise hat with spiked detail, £475, Victoria Grant, black jumper with gold detail, £45, Rokit, black knickers, £25, Lebjabay, deep blue tights, £35, Jonathon Astor, black croc skin style shoes, £45, Zara.
6 2 segue
Black leather hat, £300, Yasmin Rizvi, brown sunglasses, stylists own, black leather jacket with embroidered crystals, £655, Buba, gold plated necklace, stylists own, black fitted t-shirt, £6, H&M, metallic blue skirt, £222, Erotokritos, Silk lurex socks, £45, Moshcino.
Belinda Webb is a very angry woman. Thankfully, she has managed to recycle all that healthy rage and turn it into something thought provoking and magnificent. Her debut novel, A Clockwork Apple, was released this month. Hell hath no fury like this woman scorned. Jodie Kharas is fascinated. The thirty-five year old writer describes her upbringing as “problematic”. With an alcoholic mother her childhood was punctuated with stays in several children’s homes. Growing up in Manchester’s Moss Side where education was the last priority, Webb’s passion for reading lead her to become autodidactic. In her eyes, writing swiftly followed. “You get a lot of heavy readers who say they want to write and I suppose I did from a very young age really. I was always thinking about what I could write for different magazines. The idea has always been there.” Webb and writing seemed to be destined for each other. According to the writer, it’s a two-way relationship in which she transfers her emotions to pen and paper, a process that she describes as utterly therapeutic. “For me, writing can be a real intense emotional experience,” she says. “The writing part is the bit where I kind of spit it out on the page and make a picture out of it. I think it’s a healing process as much as anything else.” Webb believes that her troubled childhood has served her as an author, giving her much to write about. It is a transaction that has been familiar since her teenage years, when she embarked on a phase of writing nothing but “angst-ridden poetry”. Only now, a still emotionally tangled Webb is finally weaving her words into gold. Set in a dystopian Moss Side, A Clockwork Apple traces the anarchic steps of protagonist and heroine Alex. Men have been superseded, and society is governed by a female police force. In the first part of the story, Alex and her three ‘grrrlz’ glide gracefully through Mancunian streets, exercising their opposition to the totalitarian state through vandalism and speech that is loaded with gusto. The story reaches its climax when Alex is caught by the authorities and thrown into prison, while the other grrrlz scarper, leaving their gang morals and the police far behind. “The idea for the book came from just being a bit pissed off generally with literature,” she explains. “I was just being arrogant enough to want to be heard.” Webb’s anger towards the anti-feministic elements often found in current fiction fuelled a promptly completed first draft. “I think with Apple, it was like this ball of resentment living inside me and I just wanted to get it out. Why do men get all the anger? Why can’t women be angry? So, I thought I’d put it on paper.” Belinda is a firm believer in hard work. Having moved her way up the education system practically all by herself, she has got to where she is with rolled-up sleeves and good old-fashioned graft. And she demands
D’ya Get Me
the same of her audience. “For me literature has always been about trying to identify with someone’s experience. So with my writing, I want someone to identify with me, or I want to open up my past or my world and say ‘look, experience this’ I completely believe that if the reader wants to get inside the story, they’ve got to work for it.” From a reader’s perspective, a bit of work may seem necessary, as Webb’s prose is i ntensely colloquial, phoneticallyin-tune, choc-a-bloc with neologisms, frequently ignorant to grammatical correctness and incessantly brand spanking new. “I wanted to play with language” she explains. Heavily inspired by Anthony Burgess evidenced in the title of the novel, and bearing an almost uncanny resemblance to particular works of Irvine Welsh’s, Webb’s fresh writing catapults the reader into Alex’s world, which exists somewhere on the fringes of the writer’s past life. Perhaps, through studying English Literature at university, Webb has incredibly fixed ideas about the ingredients of a successful story. “I think writers need to create from the heart, and from the head too, but not to write what they think the market wants. think formula fiction is very boring. I want to know the person who wrote the story, I want a piece of them in the writing too.” As well as this sincerity of emotion, Webb deems originality a major attribute of a great story. “Some writers like to map the story out, but everyone’s diffeent. I think it’s really important when you start writing to let go of that control and see where it takes you.” As well as Anthony Burgess, Webb acknow ledges several writers as her muses, including Pat Barker for her gritty realism and Richard Yates for his stark prose and tendency to select just the right word. The author mentions Georgina Harding’s debut novel, The Solitude of Thomas Cave, Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses, and Gerard Donovan’s Julius Winsome as great literary works that revolve around the same nucleus of grief, loss and alienation. Webb examines these themes in both of her next projects. “The Carousel is a social realist novel about a family called The Tullys who are trying to get off the carousel of dysfunction, but the Carousel also refers to a little club of the same name in the south west of Ireland where the father of the Tullys, Conor, once went to as a teenager. The second is a novel called Tired Waves, Vainly Breaking, which is very existential focusing on a woman nearing forty who has a breakdown after the publication of her first novel. Above all, Webb’s ultimate goal is just to keep writing. “I would love for it to become the way I make my living as it makes me feel so complete,” she says. Let’s hope the two will have a long and happy future together. This relationship just got a hell of a lot more serious.
“The idea for the book came from just being a bit pissed off generally with literature.”
ANd the aWaRd for Best model/judGE goes to cLAUdIA schiffeR Still modelling after more than two decades, Claudia Schiffer makes a fabulous addition to Graduate Fashion Week’s judging panel, writes Jennifer Wiebking. There are models, there are supermodels and then there are the real supermodels. Back in the 1990s, when the modelling industry went pop, one super was as famous for her ‘we don’t wake up for less than $10,000 statement,’ as for her front covers, another made women worship Calvin Klein’s Eternity and loathe fur, and a third made headlines with her anger-management issues. And then there was Claudia Schiffer - the good girl - who concentrated 100 per cent on her job, without any scandal. A decade and more than 500 magazine covers later, Schiffer, who may look like a twenty year old, without a single visible crease, possesses the knowledge of somebody much older when it comes to fashion branding. ‘Lagerfeld and Valentino are incredible,’ Schiffer announces and considering the wealth of talent, she has met, let alone worked with, throughout her career, she has a point. ‘The way they dress, their personalities, their knowledge, the way they live, everything transcends their style.’ Today, the supermodel is wearing a purple Alice Temperly dress, paired with black opaque tights and a patent leather Chanel 2.55. The accessory is an obvious choice considering that Schiffer is the face of Chanel, what is unexpected, however, is the fact that one of the supers who worked hard to make the 1990s, a legendary era, is currently busy judging the collections of this year’s most talented graduates. ‘I have done so much within the fashion industry, I was extremely lucky and I thought it would be nice to raise awareness of the work of young designers so that more people know about this,’ she explains. Schiffer definitely understands the importance of fresh talent to the global fashion industry. ‘London has so many great young labels, that’s what this city is famous for. Erdem is one of my favourites. It has great style and beautiful prints.’ she adds. Indeed, out of the four major fashion capitals, London is definitely the most experimental, producing the most promising, up-and-coming designers – which is all down to events like Graduate Fashion Week (GFW). ‘Any student who comes out of England has a great image. When you meet a British student there is always that cutting edge flair,’ Schiffer points out. Not only does London offer an excellent starting point for young designers within the UK; it also opens doors abroad. ‘When you go into a shop in Paris you can find exactly the same collections as in a global store in New York or Beijing. That’s why there is such a need for small designers because they make people look different.’ The uber model is on the GFW judging panel in order to find somebody whose professional work ethic resembles that of her own. ‘When I work, I try to create the best image, together with my team. It is about getting the message across without people having to think about what it means,’ she states, ‘ I’m looking for somebody with longevity.’ When it comes to long-term success in fashion. ‘The ones who are successful are the ones who love what they’re doing,’ she explains convincingly. ‘If they concentrate on their work, then the money will come to them.’
Grazia Very Much Glossy women’s weekly Grazia celebrates its third birthday with sales of nearly 1 million copies per month. Editor-in-Chief Jane Bruton retraces her path to success with Kate Tregoning and explains why the reader always knows best. “Oh, I’ll sing anything…badly!” Jane Bruton has a decidedly chirpy tone considering she is hungover from a night of karaoke to celebrate her – whisper it – 40th birthday. Unlike most hungover office workers, Jane can’t afford a duvet day. She is the editor of the publishing breakthrough of the decade, the most popular UK women’s weekly magazine, which hardly allows her time for an aspirin. Grazia launched in 2005 to fill a niche gap in the market. Although the brainchild of journalist Fiona McIntosh, she never intended to be Grazia’s editor. “I was on maternity leave actually, says Bruton and they rang me up three weeks after we had our son.” When many would have hung up the phone, Bruton saw an offer she couldn’t decline. “I knew that I’d kick myself. It was such an exciting opportunity and I just knew it’d be a completely revolutionary magazine – nothing like it had ever been done before.” Three years on, it now sells 965,000 copies – which equates to more in one week than any other glossy sells in a month. For her achievements, Bruton was awarded BSME Editor of the Year 2006. Growing up in Wigan – “well, Ashton-inMakerfield, but nobody’s ever heard of that’ – Bruton was captivated by the capital but hoped a career more glamorous than journalism would take her there. “I got to the end of my degree and realised that I didn’t know what I was going to do next, she recalls. “I still wasn’t sure I wanted to be a journalist. I had some really crap jobs, like I worked in a theme park and had to blow up all the balloons!” Bruton has the appearance of a very normal, down-to-earth woman, who just happens to have landed the job of her dreams. In reality she has a talent for editing, every publication she has worked on can boast increased sales, and has won countless awards in her time. On the surface, her light-heartedness could seem ditsy, but when Bruton begins to speak, she means business. She talks endlessly and with conviction about the magazine she lives and breathes. “I love going on holiday because then I can read it properly – like a reader.” She won’t print anything she hasn’t been gossiping about that week, or that she herself wouldn’t be interested to read. Knowing, or being, her reader is precisely where her genius lies. “I’m lucky because this is so me. You don’t get that with a lot of magazines. Chat wasn’t…but I made it work. I was good at the real life stories. It’s a bit like being a method actor I suppose.” Typically, Bruton doesn’t like to blow her own trumpet too long, attributing Grazia’s success to her entire work force. “I think it’s that diverse mix of people, from the monthlies, from Vogue, from newspapers we have the perfect team. And they’ve learned so much from each other – I’ve got the newsiest fashion team and the most fashionable news team!” She will admit to “many mistakes, but no regrets.” In September
2007 Grazia printed alarming paparazzi images of Amy Winehouse looking distressed in her blood-splattered ballet pumps. Maintaining her belief in the importance of taking risks, Bruton defends her decision to run the story. “The Amy cover felt like the right time,” she says with conviction. In contrast to the gritty headlines, Grazia has a large high-fashion content. “I was always massively into clothes,” she admits. “At the moment I really want a Chanel 2.55 bag – the classic black one. I’m really into the YSL collection for A/W too, so I’m hoping I can order a few pieces from that – I really love it. ”I do get sent a lot of things but what I tend to do at Christmas is put most of them into a raffle for the rest of the office, because I think it’s a bit unfair that all these bags keep coming for me and everybody else is working just as hard.” Unlike the fashion department of other weeklies, Grazia is loaned samples from the most exclusive and highly priced designer collections, reflecting its high regard within the fashion industry – despite not having solely fashion content. Due to the fast turn around of the magazine, it is able to react to trends with much more immediacy than its monthly rivals. The women who read Grazia for fashion inspiration, rather than Vogue, want to be one step ahead of the next girl. The writers attend the shows and regurgitate the trends as any other fashion team would. But unlike the monthly titles, Grazia is not written three months in advance, meaning their staff have to react to trends much faster than their competitors, adding new ideas and images weekly. Like her readers, Bruton wants to peek into the worlds of Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn, warts and all. But she draws the line at images she considers too intrusive and has made the bold choice in today’s critical culture by never printing circles of shame, celebrity beach cellulite or acne, only photographs the subject is aware has been taken – reiterating, ‘we are not a celebrity weekly!’ Big on equality, Bruton can be seen mucking in with the rest of her team, right in the middle of an open plan office, instead of boxed away in a corner. “The pace is so fast, you have to make decisions really, really quickly, and if I was in an office I’d just have a constant queue of people at the door. I need to be in with the team and we need to brainstorm ideas and pick up on what people are talking about, so I don’t think an office would work.” Bruton admits there are difficulties in retaining a polished façade while working such long hours, but she does her best to fit the bill. As a powerful figure in publishing there is temptation to almost become a caricature, but Bruton doesn’t feel the urge for an eccentric signature style. “I couldn’t do a Carine Roitfeld. (editor of French Vogue),” she says, but she does look up to US Vogue’s iconic Anna Wintour, and has a photo of herself with the editor at a lunch Grazia hosted in her honour. She becomes slightly shy, “that photo’s a bit of a joke really, but Anna’s the most successful and well known editor in the world. And who wouldn’t aspire to that?” Kate Tregoning
“I had some really crap jobs, like I worked in a theme park and had to blow up all the balloons!”
WALtER tHE GREAt
“You have to be very open and truthful about what you are doing, whilst believing in yourself.” 12 segue
One of the original ‘Antwerp Six’, designer Walter Van Beirendonck talks to Laura Hall about Bowie, techno, and his fetish for futuristic evolution. With knuckle-duster-rings adorning every finger, a ‘Mitchell brother’ thuggish hairdo and a girth which almost matches his height, Walter Van Beirendonck looks like a force not to be reckoned with. One of the legendary Antwerp six, Belgian designer Beirendonck has captured the hearts of avant-garde dressers for two decades, creating outlandish collections which makes Kawakubo’s Comme des Garcons designs look plainer than Jane. Beirendoncks’s A/W 2008/9 collection ‘Skin King’ explores his fetish for futuristic evolution and ‘Second Life’ by combining a mismatch of floral pussy bow blouses; pom-pom emblazoned snooded knits; kaleidoscopic-tailoring and garish metal headwear. Sure to be creating synesthesia ridden pieces for niche-hungry dressers for years to come, Walter says he can only hope his visionary collections remain as renowned as they are today. It is without a doubt the time-line of fashion would be incomplete without his ‘from the heart’ contribution. As the omnipresent figure of rave, softlyspoken Beirendonck says ‘Music and fashion will always have strong links’. The powerful connection began for him in the ‘70s when he first saw and heard David Bowie. ‘It was then, in my teenage years, that I realised how you can create and evolve identity through clothes.’ Bowie’s mercurial clothing, from one-arm spandex ensembles in the Ziggy years to the ankle-grazing Savile Row suits he wears nowadays, inspired Beirendonck to create chameleonic clothing which portrays the mood of the music he loves. Beirendonck’s smileys which have become synonymous with nu rave and techno, was his first
flirtation with music and fashion. ‘The nu rave and techno kids liked my sense, my smileys,’ he says. Even today, many of his design ideas spring from an avid passion for techno music and in a synchronised circle of fashion progression, he is now inspiring a young generation of similar minded clothes connoisseurs such as cassette Playa’s Carrie Mundane and Boston’s Pratt Institute graduate, Jeremy Scott. Besides the intimate connection of music and fashion, Beirendonck states that the interaction between fashion and the media is very important. ‘I am very open with the media’, he says. ‘You have to be very open and truthful about what you are doing, whilst believing in yourself.’ As well as the task of keeping his label afloat, Beirendonck is the head of fashion at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts where he spends time teaching, motivating and fostering strong bonds with his students and interns. ‘We don’t try to train people in the same way,’ Beirendonck says, ‘We try to motivate students from the 1st year to develop a signature style.’ Asked if he has any favourite designers, Beirendonck is quick to support his protegees ‘Raf Simons who interned with me for two years. I always remain loyal to those closest, and I absolutely love what he is doing!’ He also says he has a lot of respect for eccentric German designer Bernard Willhelm who started his career as Beirendonck’s assistant in Antwerp and anti-fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. He goes on to say ‘There are many designers I have no respect for, I have no respect for copy cats. Fashion comes from inside, copy cats should stay true to themselves.’ So forgive me for my first impressions: he is the Shrek of Antwerp, a humble creative genius- a wacky and loyal professor. Viva van Beirendonck!
FAShionable Hetrosexual MAN
FHM Style Director Steve Beale talks to Matt Hambly about menswear, football casuals and Thom Browne’s trousers. Who, in your mind, are the key designers right now? “Daiki Suzuki, who designs all the stuff for Engineered Garments and Woolrich Woolen Mills. He’s big with the guys at GQ and The Sartorialist because of his attention to detail. There’s a new British guy under Raf Simons at Jil Sander, and McQueen menswear has been surprisingly strong too. The biggest selling brand at Harrods though is Dolce and Gabbana because they do flattering, sexy suits that people want to wear.” What do you think is driving menswear at the moment? “Men are buying more designer clothes full stop. It used to be that female trends were recycled a year later for menswear but now menswear is setting it’s own agenda. The other thing is the emerging markets, places like Russia, China and India. These are the places where big luxury brands that aren’t as popular in the west anymore make their money. I don’t think it’ll take long until they’re bored of that traditional luxury though.” How about on an individual level? “At FHM we have to target the Topman, Klaxons-type guy, the northern lad into his labels and the middle-class berk, but we try and focus on the northern lad because it’s him buying all the major brands. At some magazines I’d probably get put in a padded cell for saying this, but there are builders who buy Armani jeans, wear them out and then use them on site, and cab drivers who buy Another Man magazine. It’s the working classes who buy big labels. They’re much more interested in fashion than the middle classes. It’s what status symbol dressing is all about, it’s buying class.” Do you think people underestimate the influence of the working class male then? “I think people are a bit scared of it because of that whole football casual thing and their image as hooligans, but actually a lot of what happens in menswear is dictated by the buyers for people like Brown’s and Oi Polloi. They’re often more influential than magazines because they’re actually putting the clothes in the shops. You don’t have to look at magazines to know about fashion anymore.” Is that why there’s been a growth in more niche magazines like Fantastic Man? “I think there’s a big divide between the industry and the customer nowadays, not just in magazines but business in general. For a long time magazines like GQ Style, Arena Homme Plus and Another Man have chased the industry not the reader. The fact that magazines like Fantastic Man and Complex exist shows that there’s a gap that needed filling.” What about the internet? “The internet has done a lot for brands that trade on authenticity, the sort of mid-sized labels who can sell online and people get a sense of their heritage. There’s none of this six month wait for a collection business either. The retailers have circumvented this process. Now, they make something they like, put it online and sell it straight away.”
So it’s making trends redundant? “I think rather than trend-led collections, bigger brands are going back to what they do best. People like Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and Dolce & Gabbana are all really strong at the moment because they‘re doing what they know. It’s about sticking with the brand’s heritage.” Producing classics? “They’re classic but not necessarily timeless. I think you buy something expensive that looks good and it’ll last you a long time. It’s too expensive to buy according to trends.” What about on the high street? The high street is a law unto itself, they just by-pass the designers and replicate their stuff. My flat mate hasn’t got a clue who Raf Simons is but when he dresses up to go clubbing on a Sunday it’s like he’s come straight off the catwalk from five years ago.” What are the other strong looks at the moment? “There’s this sort of 60’s vibe, all moccasins and blue cable knit jumpers. It’s a bit like The Stones before they went hippy, almost like smart clothes worn casually. That’s pretty strong. Also the American rustic look is big. High-street stores like Burtons are doing plaid shirts, quilted jackets and outdoorsy stuff. It comes directly from the Engineered Garments and Woolrich Woolen Mills stuff I was talking about before.” Anything you’re after in particular this season? “I’m no clothes horse. I like a lot of silly, unfashionable stuff like Cavalli and I’m very excited about the new stuff from Arc’teryx. It’s been strong for a while now. Aitour Throup has done some good stuff for Stone Island too. There’s also a Tom Ford morning suit that’s pretty special and Prada retail stock is always spot on. You can spend the whole day in Selfridges and then find everything you want in the last half hour in the Prada section.” What do you think of designers like Thom Browne pushing the ankle length trouser? “I’m all for this de-homogenising of fashion. When he wears his trousers cut across the ankle, it’s more about his own personal style rather than making everyone else wear it. I think it’s healthy for men to wear things in a certain way, because they like it. It’s not about fashion being foolish. Someone said to me the other day, it’s easy to look slick head-to-toe in a certain brand, but if someone like that walks into a room, people think, ‘that’s a bit sad mate.’” Why do you think it’s been so popular? “Karl Lagerfeld said that every British man is a stylist unto himself. They look at Thom Browne’s individuality and it sets an example. It’s also a break away from trying to look good for girls and colleagues, which are the two most obvious catalysts for dressing well. It’s about personal taste.”
oRIGINAL prANGstA “It doesn’t matter about your surroundings, it’s what’s in your head.“
In grey and dreary New Cross, where run-down Victorian buildings fight for space with brutalist architecture, lies a jewel of a shop. Prangsta is a cornucopia of delights - a world of fantasy, dressing up, beautiful regal fabrics and burlesque corsetry. And Melanie Wilson is just the sort of person you think of when you try to imagine the creator of this bizarre store. She is a woman who looks like no one else, feels no need to answer for herself and makes a definite and lasting impression. It is in this Aladdin’s cave that I finally meet the legendary woman. Wilson and her two-year old son can be heard long before they are seen. Decked out in leather trousers, chess board shirt and scruffy gold trainers, she looks nothing but unique. The studio is a mish-mash of antique furniture, vintage clothes, trimmings, hats, shoes and many ancient industrial sewing machines. The centre of the room is taken up by a large cutting table which is host to the costume lessons that take place every week. A mannequin holds the beginnings of a tartan, Elizabethan style dress, and the two French chaise longues play host to her two dogs: Bo and Peep. “When I landed in New Cross, I was in a bad place,” she says in an attempt to explain her unusual
choice of location. “I’d spent two years in the paradise of the South of France - beaches, sunshine, blue skies. I was in hell though. I was going through an episode and I turned myself into a paranoid wreck.” She sees her time at the start of Prangsta as her period of recovery. Although most people wouldn’t choose squalid New Cross as a backdrop to recovery, Wilson sees it differently. “It doesn’t matter about your surroundings, it’s what’s in your head. If you can be in hell in paradise, you can be happy in New Cross.” Until the day Wilson reaps the benefits of hard work she will continue to make her colourful medley of costumes from the most amazing vintage fabrics she can find. Her Elizabethan, Victorian, burlesque and circus costumes all bear a unique personality and show a thorough understanding of fabric, colour, texture and accessories. For every costume in the shop there is a top hat, mask, jewelled necklace or pair of tights to compliment it perfectly. This would be why an array of celebrities –everyone from Natalie Portman to Samantha Fox - come from all over to hire Prangsta creations. New Cross may be grey, but there’s a chink of colour set right at its very heart.
* Lindsay Duncan
welcome to the milliONaiRe's playground
Think fast cars, gin palaces, collagen injected lips and high fashion. If it’s a relaxing, no thinking, tanning and shopping holiday you’re after, then Puerto Banus is just a hop and a skip from our cloudy shores. Famed for its high-faluting fabulousness, this area in southern Andalucia, Spain plays host to not only the rich and famous, but also the ultimate European playboys and girls. Sitting down at the port enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc whilst taking in the evening breeze you are hard pressed not to see the endless stream of Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis that saunter along the edge of the port. And there is no way you’ll see a speck of dust on any of those cars, as you actually need a special pass to drive along here. It’s certainly not for the civilians. To have the privilege of driving along the port you have to be able to pay with ease. The men are decked head-to-toe in Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Versace and enjoy five course meals with their friends, whilst the women enjoy walking their teeny tiny Chihuahuas dressed in even teeny tinier Juicy Couture on the beach. Palm trees as far as the eye can see, pristine white apartments with bougainvilleas trailing like a magenta explosion across the balconies - this place is beautiful. The streets are paved with marble, making every inch of the port spectacular. With the backdrop of the Andalucian hills and the vast expanse of azure sea it’s like a little locked-in paradise. A melting pot of Europe’s finest, you’ll hear people babbling away in French, Italian, German, Spanish and English, yet it’s not an eclectic mix of people in this
little corner of Spain. Puerto Banus is only for the well groomed and well moneyed, making it an enjoyable get away for the privileged. If you do decide to travel to this region, it’s worth paying a visit to the Ocean Club. Only open during the summer months, you pay a mere thirty Euros for the day to bask to your hearts content on pristine white leather sun loungers and have massages whilst listening to the hottest summer tunes and sipping cocktails amongst the beautiful people. It’s delectable and much more refined then having gritty paste stuck to your thighs when you accidentally miss your towel and roll your oiled legs in the sand on the beach. To top you off at the end of your tanning session it’s nice to amble across the road to Elite which is truly at the heart and soul of the port’s fashion epicentre . Blaring out funky house, you are drawn into the shop by the Technicolor window display of vivid coral Marc Jacobs and acid yellow Aquascutum dresses. Once inside, bursts of colour - from vivid turquoise Jil Sander handbags, to liquid red, patent leather wear by Alexander McQueen - decorate the store. Elite manages to capture that straight-off-the-catwalk atmosphere, with neon light displays and black glass steps. It is fabulous and will have your credit card in a tizzy. And if you fancy a more classic and elegant shopping spree then you can parade down the port, past the endless restaurants and bars to the more calm and classic stores of Gucci, Chloe, Missoni, Dolce and Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferre, Dior, Lanvin and Hermes. And when you’re done shopping you can carry straight on to La Vista, a kitsch, thatched bar, right on the beach, perfect for the late afternoon sun and a well earned copa de vino.
“The women enjoy walking their teeny tiny Chihuahuas dressed in even teeny tinier Juicy Couture.”
* Hannah Shakir
Don’t mock the Italians says Rosa Bertoli. They might not wear skinny jeans, but street style is in their blood.
“We are not just talking Ugg boots and Vans, it’s street style taken to a level of desirability not matched elsewhere.” 20 segue
Try walking the streets of London in a puffa jacket and Nike Air Max 97. You are not going to get a second look from those cool scenesters outfitted in their skinny blazers and falling-apart plimsolls. But the same outfit, worn in the trendy neighborhoods of any Italian city, will not only get unlimited looks of jealousy, but a number of people will also run to their favorite shop to investigate the provenance of the garment. What Londoners see in Beyond Retro and Chloé-inspired Topshop collections, Italians can see in Nike, Munich, Woolrich and Northsails. And while some of these brands are known globally, others come from far-flung corners of the world and have been adapted by smart entrepreneurs to appeal to the average Italian. We are not just talking Ugg boots and Vans, it’s street style taken to a level of desirability not matched elsewhere. In other countries it’s a fashion culture for the selected few, but in Italy it’s the most common style, worn by everyone aged fifteen to thirty five. Mainstream at its highest level? Maybe. But this phenomenon shows two things: firstly, that Italians’ PR skills are very good. Try selling a jacket used for expeditions in Antarctica to the fashion crowds of London! Secondly, their sense of style is such that it can make sportswear something you could wear to a fancy club and get away with. International brands such as Richlu and Munich (the former a Canadian label specialising in work wear, the latter a Spanish sportswear brand producing shoes for volleyball and five-a-side) won’t ring a bell to fashion savvy Londoners. But every Italian fifteen-year-old will easily recognize the names and, no doubt, will own at least one garment carrying such a label. On top of this, they are sold in boutiques all over the country, alongside high-fashion brands such as Gucci and Comme Des Garçons.
Their ads appear in Vogue, sandwiched between Miu Miu and Pinko. Browsing through the official websites of these brands, confusion kicks in. They seem designed for the use of workers in Canadian tundra and refrigerating rooms, or for professional fivea-side players and sailing teams. However, most of these labels were adopted by Italian companies and completely re-branded with the help of archive material. They lost their workwear attributes, acquiring more fashionable features. Names such as Refrigiwear, originally creating jackets to be worn in extreme weather conditions, are now sold nationwide in some fancy versions, made with materials raging from prismatic fabric to red vinyl. Good entrepreneurship and advertising skills cannot be the only reasons behind this reappropriation. Some of it has to do with Italians and their approach to style. “We are surrounded by fashion since we are born,” explains Mauro Baccaro, fashion writer and commercial analyst for brand Mauro Grifoni. “It’s rare for us to be shocked by a new collection or trend.” “Italian fashion is very fragmented,” says journalist Luca Lanzoni, “so the provincial towns play a crucial part in the stylistic direction of the country.” This results in people not following one big trend, but instead picking up smaller, more ambiguous brands and garments. Their industrial approach to fashion results in the fact that they are not afraid to experiment with all sides of the market when deciding what to wear. Of the opposite opinion is Italian stylist Shun Louis Bellieni, fashion editor at London-based magazine Intersection. “In Italy there’s no fixation for authenticity and manufacturing; it’s all down to labels. he says.” The history behind the trend can be traced back to the early 1980s. In Italy, sportswear was all about social status. The so-called paninari, wearing big,
colourful puffa jackets and Timberland shoes came from the upper classes and referenced American lifestyle and fashion. In a decade when the country was wealthy and powerful, paninari were living proof of their society’s values: superficiality, consumerism and excess. Paninari always appeared groomed and elegant and the movement inspired the Pet Shop Boys to write Paninaro a song which perfectly capturing the nihilistic mood of the trend. Fast forward twenty years and the Woolrich parka and a pair of Nike Air Max 97 have become the most remarkable modern versions of the paninari phenomenon. Both of them, at different times, have been a staple in the Italian’s wardrobe, defining one’s status and fashion knowledge. This has resulted in a market so saturated with these brands that, on one hand the phenomenon has expanded, becoming really mainstream, while on the other it has given people a reason to explore the more obscure labels of work wear in order to stand out from the crowd. Popular brands these days are Pantofola D’Oro, a name indicating hand-made shoes that were a favorite among footballers, Walsh, English makers of athletic wear for over fifty years and Brema, specialising in jackets for motorcyclists. All of these labels have lost their purely technical characteristics and have adapted to appeal to a larger range of customers and their needs. The latest additions to the Italian sportswear obsession are Parawear, a brand used by parachutists of
the American marine forces, Sabelt, originally catering for Formula drivers with customers such as Schumacher and Barrichello, and Serafini, a century old company producing shoes balancing elegance and sportswear. But if these brands have now merged in with high fashion labels what is their position on the market? From Bugatti, a boutique in Udine, Northern Italy, they explain that when it comes to street style, they like to stock privilege brands such as Barracuta who have a history of tradition and prestige that fits in with the philosophy of the store. WP Lavori in Corso remains at the heart of the new paniniri phenomenon, and their labels continue to be strong in spite of the overcrowded market. WP started as an “out of fashion” company, and they seem quite surprised by the popularity reached by the brands they manage. “Fashion trends are so unpredictable,” says the company’s communication director, Cristina Amaducci, “and it is hard to understand the reasons behind the success of a particular brand or garment.” She explains that although they are certainly happy about the success of their labels – in particular Woolrich – their focus is still on the quality of the products. “I strongly believe that if a garment such as the Woolrich parka has had this huge success, it is mainly due to the fact that it’s the warmest jacket on the market, and the most practical. It can be an ephemeral fashion trend,” she concludes, “but at the end of the day, what’s really important is the quality of the garments: that’s what makes customers choose these pieces.”
“In Italy there’s no fixation for authenticity and manufacturing; it’s all down to labels.” segue 21
Top left: Top, scarf and trousers - Courtney Mc Designs Bottom Left: Shirt - Raf Simons Trousers and Jacket Courtney Mc Shoes – Barratts
Model Oscar at Oxygen Photographer Adam Durrant Stylist Lauren Richardson
Right: Shirt - Courtney Mc Trousers - Raf Simons Jumper - Dolce & Gabbana Leg warmers - Topman Boots - Stylist’s own
the producer “You have to able to blow your own trumpet because no one else will blow it for you.”
What is it like to earn a living creating the TV shows we all know and love? Natalie Wallace talks to freelance producer Iestyn Williams about working in one of the world’s largest and best loved industries. Whilst waiting for the ratings of his latest production, Iestyn Williams starts with the basics. “My job title? Well, it changes. It’s mostly series producer or executive producer. Sometimes I’m just called producer!” The job title depends entirely on the production in hand and the job itself changes across the industry. Working on the entertainment side, Iestyn’s job includes the hiring and firing of the positions below the director and, when commissioned, represents the company he is working for. “A series producer is responsible for everything within the production and anything that goes out,” he explains. Most people are under the impression that a job in television is attained with a specific degree. Well they would be wrong. Iestyn is a fitting example. Having studied fine art, he worked as a screen printer after graduating from art college. He began his journey in entertainment DJing at a Brighton club while simultaneously helping to run it. Producing a couple of short films on the side led him to discover a talent for all things showbiz. “It was a natural progression of
combining skills that I learned in art and my background in entertainment,” he explains. “Television was the perfect vehicle for me.” The next step in his flourishing profession was brought to light through a lucky break. “A friend of mine worked on a show called TFI Friday and they wanted someone to come in and do work experience. I came in one day a week, then it became a week, and so on.” Like most people starting in television, Iestyn did his stint as a runner and says that this is where you have the most fun and the least responsibility. “I was in a team of six runners and we used to ransack the dressing rooms after the show, drink whatever was left in the bar and end up waking up in each others houses the next day. You don’t have any responsibility or any pressure,” he says, “it’s just brilliant.” Since then, Iestyn has worked on many different programmes, including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, The Vault, the first ever Sports Relief, as well as Friends Like These - Ant and Dec’s test of friendship game-show, and Moment of Truth with Cilla Black. “I’ve mainly produced prime-time ITV shows - a mixture of live and pre-recorded. I like them for different reasons,” he reveals. “You can work on a show and it can be an absolute nightmare, where
people are in the cupboard crying because they are so stressed out, but you make so many friends and they’re brilliant. I really loved doing the show Simply The Best (a reality show where celebrities trained and competed as athletes), but it was a nightmare. We were out in Jersey filming in a specially built arena. It rained the whole time and we were so sick of being wet, but it was incredibly funny.” Like any job, working as a freelancer has positive and negative aspects. Iestyn describes the realities behind the bright lights and smiling faces. “The industry is 85% freelance now and staff positions are difficult to get. There’s no such thing as loyalty. Once you’ve finished a production, you’re stranded and have to find your own way. You have to able to blow your own trumpet because no one else will blow it for you.” It’s every man for himself in the world of telly and Iestyn has dealt with the shallow elements of working with industry people. “It’s very difficult not to feel demoralised when you send people emails who you’ve worked with for six months and been their best mate and they don’t answer your phone calls. It’s very much out of sight out of mind.” Not knowing where or when your next line of work is coming from means a producer’s social life can sometimes take a back seat while involved in a
production. “A lot of telly people try and stick together as friends because we understand being let down on nights out and it becomes understandable. Going out with non TV people, they don’t seem to understand why you can’t plan your day better, but things do happen at the last minute.” So, what exactly is the appeal of TV? “It’s somewhere where you get very emotional because you have so much fun and you actually care about what you do,” he explains. “You get moments of happiness and moments of despair because it is a creative way of working. There’s no industry where you’re going to have it easy. The rewards in TV outweigh the negatives.” Iestyn’s enthusiasm for his job proves that to work in this frenzied business you need to have the determination to succeed, particularly when the competition is fierce. He gives sound advice for anybody seeking a career in the media. “There’s no sense of fairness. There might be people who’ve had less experience than you or aren’t as good as you and they’ll be promoted because they’re in the right place at the right time. The way to survive in TV is not to get affected by that, just chill out with it and move on. If you do get affected, then that comes out and you become one of those bitter people in television. And there are a lot of them!”
East sIde stoRy Dan Oliver reports on how a student is introducing East Asian designers to one of America’s most academic institutions. “I know this going to come back and bite me in the ass, but they just don’t have fashion shows at Harvard. They think they do, but they don’t,” says Timothy Parent, twenty-one, sporting a razor-sharp bouffant and a pout to rival Angelina Jolie. “They think that because they are at the forefront of a lot of industries, they are at the forefront of fashion too.” Sitting in the café at Barnes & Noble, the 5thAvenue bookstore in New York, Parent seems relaxed surrounded by academics. An Asian Studies undergraduate at Harvard University, he is the force behind Project East, an unusual collaboration between two great American institutions: Harvard, and Parsons. The project, although in its infancy, intends to raise awareness of the thriving Asian/American fashion design scene, both amateur and professional. Compiling and contacting a list of professional designers of Asian heritage, Parent hoped for a receptive response. “We had to persuade a lot of assistants and PRs that it was going to be a professionally put-together show. We had the criteria that the designer had to be high-end and had shown at a fashion week such as New York or Paris,” he says. “The first call we got came from Issey Miyake, then other notable Asian designers such as Gemma Kayng, Chris Han and Twinkle by Wenlan.” Sponsored by Macy’s and Bloomingdales, its first show in November 2007 was a mammoth $30,000 production. With subsequent coverage from WWD, Paper Magazine and Marie Claire, China, the event enables talent from Parsons, New York to showcase their designs and promote their work - a key point of the three
goals. “Firstly, Project East was set up to help our chosen graduate designers to get exposure and get them out there because very few get picked up and thrust into the mainstream.” The second aim is to raise money for charities, which last year saw $10,000 go to the Confucius Foundation, which provides scholarships for child labourers working in sweatshops that producing fake luxury goods. “Not only are we helping to give children an education, but we are also ensuring there is less of a junior labour force for fake luxury goods, which is a terrible problem,” says Parent. Project East is similar to Fashion East, the British project that promotes up-and-coming designers at London Fashion Week, Parent’s hope is to discover the next conceptual designer to break the boundaries of rigid commercialisation across the Atlantic. “There are so many struggling designers that are producing amazing pieces,” he says. “Next year we will have designers that are more conceptual, more edgy and worthy of gaining the promotion they deserve.” The third aim is to expose Harvard to fashion. “I have really strong views on fashion, and I am disappointed at what we have available to us,” says Parent. This well spoken, Korean-American is not your average Abercrombie -clad student at the Ivy League institution. “Students at Harvard have the buying power but they don’t understand labels,” he comments. “Fashion for them is chinos and polo shirts. I don’t think they are brave enough to branch out.” Does he feel he is in the minority at such a prestigious school? “There is a fashion group at Harvard who walk about in what everyone else thinks is ridiculous,’ says Parent. ‘People from foreign countries don’t’ look at me, but Americans are like, ‘what is that kid doing?’ Everybody is content with being accepted in the States, but I felt differently growing up, being half Korean, half American, and I am very content with standing out. We are all at that school for being academically brilliant, not because of what we wear. Whilst many express themselves in class, it’s a shame that they can’t express themselves through creativity.” This is what seems brilliant about Parent’s collaboration with Parsons. By opening up the eyes of those who will go on to run a business, he is injecting creativity. “Give them a marriage,” he shouts with excitement. So, no regrets? “I love Harvard,” he enthuses, “the people are absolutely brilliant and it is the best experience I have ever had. But I don’t think they value creative intelligence very much. I’m working on changing that.”
Black or white A hint of ruffles and lace, bold structures and looks that are anything but black and white. Itâ€™s time to dress in this seasonâ€™s two most contrasting hues.
Photography - Junichi Kikuchi Styling - Jennifer Wiebking Make up - Ken Nakano Hair - Yoshitaka Miyazaki Model - Erica Sutton-Teague @ IMG
LK8: Silk satin cutaway: Todd Lynn for Topshop, £95. Cotton shirt: Gap, £25. Hold up tights: Wolford, £20. Suspender belt: Agent Provocateur, £45. Briefs: Agent Provocateur, £35. Ruffled lace collar: Stylist’s own. LK2: Tulle dress: Topshop, £85. Leotard: American Apparel, £22. Leggings: American Apparel, £18. Patent belt and gold bangles: Vintage from Portobello Market. Patent heels: Chloe, £350. LK1: White ruffled top: Topshop, £25. Pencil skirt: Topshop, £30. Knee hi socks: Jonathan Aston, £15. Patent heels: Ash, £100. Earrings and hat: Vintage from Portobello Market.
LK3: Skeleton print T-shirt: Topshop, £18. Waistcoat: Brooks Brothers, £85. Miniskirt: Topshop, £40. Leather gloves from Camden Market. LK4: White pinstriped shirt: Hugo Boss, £110. Shorts: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, £130. Bangle: Banana Republic, £25. Headband: Marios Schwab for Topshop, £40. Black braces: Stylist’s own. LK7: Silk dress with silver studs: Sonia Rykiel, £210. Studded belt: as before. Silver bangles: Absolute Vintage. Tights: Jonathan Aston, £20. Heels: Alexander McQueen, £320. Studded cuffs from Camden Market.
This Page: stylistâ€™s own dress, necklace by Topshop Opposite Page: Cream bracelet and top by H&M, jacket by Zara, watch by Rolex, charm bracelet and necklace by Topshop
the roWinG GIrL Hannah Moon might be rowing for Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games. But there are a few years of training to get through first. Kate Frogley meets the ambitious teenager At just sixteen, Hannah Moon is already a lean, mean, winning powerhouse with the 2012 London Olympics in her sights. I arrive late to meet the young athlete after manoeuvring my way through rush hour traffic and non-stop torrential rain. I finally land at the lake where she trains, a large expanse of water owned by a private school which they let Hannah use for free. The lake and surrounding wilderness surprisingly calms me. I’m less flustered on greeting the statuesque Hannah Moon who, at nearly six foot tall practically swamps me. Her body is super toned and perfectly proportioned. She is wearing an insulating, skin-tight all in one, perfect for this kind of weather and of course, rowing. Hannah is currently the number one British schools sculling champion and has been invited to train with the country’s elite under-23 rowers. She mainly rows individually in competitions and training, but at training camps and some British Competitions she often rows as a part of a team. After I meet her Dad we settle in the boathouse’s rest and relaxation room. It’s shabbily furnished and is decorated with photographs of rowers posing with medals and boats. I ask Hannah if she has a photo up there. “Oh no”, she says. “I don’t train with the school that own this lake or row for them. My dad coaches me and I row for myself”. She is clearly a young woman who knows who she is, where she is going and how it will happen. Talent is a word you could closely associate with Hannah. She is clearly an extraordinary rower and has made staggering progress considering she only first tried rowing three years ago. By her own admission she only began training properly one and half years ago. “At the beginning I didn’t feel guilty missing a session, but now really I’m harsh on my self,” she says. It is not surprising that Hannah has a natural flair with oars; her brother is also a rower. “My dad used to row, then my brother did, so I started too. In my first competition I entered, J15, I did okay with hardly any training and the GB trials were straight after that where I came fifth.” It seems Hannah has rowing in her blood and therefore, natural potential. Having your Dad, as your coach, mentor and a brother who is heavily into rowing must be claustrophobic. “We talk about it a lot especially
at home,” she admits. “That does get to me. Some days I do just want to give up. But then I remember it’s ‘my thing’. What would I do without it? ” She lists as one of her inspirations, the Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, whom she has met at talent camp. “She was a toughie. She would make you do push-ups when you were exhausted.” Sir Steve Redgrave, is of course, listed too. Hannah is keen to name other Kent rowers - not as inspirations, but as competition. She seems fierce and the determination to reach the next level is clear. I certainly would be intimidated if she was in a boat next to me with two blades (oars) under her control. But what about school? Hannah is currently taking four A/S levels in her schools sixth form. I ask her if she sees university in her future? “Yes,” comes the firm reply. “I want to go university in London. Imperial is good for rowing and I would love to go to Oxford or Cambridge, but I think I would have to push the rowing a lot. I don’t think I’m clever enough though. I would love to go to Berkley in America. That would be fantastic.” She is similar to all sixteen-year olds in that she has no idea what she wants to study at university, but she knows it’s an experience not to be missed. I’m glad to know that rowing is entwined in her future plans. Most girls, including me, leave school and give up the sport they love in favour of partying and a ‘grown-up’ life. Her training schedule is tough and makes me embarrassed about my regular gym visits. Today she was working on cardio, and did five laps of the two-kilometre lake. “I train six days a week, she tells me. “Three days a week I go to the gym before school for weight training, which means I need to get up at 5.40am. I get back home at 7.45am and have fifteen minutes to get ready for school. Depending on the weather I will come over to the lake in the winter, but in the summer I come everyday. If I can’t get onto the lake I do cardio at the gym like spinning or swimming.” I ask is she has anytime to brush her hair, socialise or check that her socks match. She reassures me that the application of makeup happens in the car to school or sitting at the back of a lesson. Hannah, whilst giggling, confesses to having sneaky naps in lessons and getting away with it. And I’m please to hear she has every Friday night off and can juggle her training schedule around to allow time for partying. It is a known fact that all teenagers love hanging out with their friends and thrive on having a busy social life. Hannah’s priorities are different and she doesn’t get offended anymore when her friends don’t ask her to places. She is also resigned in the fact that her friends “don’t get it”. She means they don’t understand how staggering some of her achievements are, or the amount of potential she has in the sporting world. Her focus and ambition must be so strong not even the calling of popularity and partying can waver it. To ensure that she has a place in the 2012 Olympic rowing team, even though she will only be 21, she has started bulking herself up early. It is unusual for a rower to be under 23 and in the first British team because they are not yet usually big or strong enough. Hannah knows she needs to step it up a notch to reach her ultimate goal - an Olympic individual gold medal. At this point her Dad pipes up that she needs to focus on getting better eating habits. You have to get the mix right, protein to veggies. She needs to eat over 3000 calories a day,” he tells me. “Some nights she has bigger portions than me for tea”. Hannah then admits that she doesn’t like most vegetables and smothers them, in typical teenage fashion, with tomato sauce. “I love tomato sauce and I love the fact I can eat as much chocolate as I want,” she says.
“Dame Kelly Holmes was a toughie. She would make you do push-ups when you were exhausted.” segue 33
DIGNIty In Dying “It should be an absolute human right to choose where, how and when you want to die.”
We all have the right to live, but not one of us has the right to die, says Leeanne Georgiou “Euthanasia is commonly understood to be the intentional taking of life albeit at the patient’s request for a merciful motive. Assisted suicide differs from this in that the patient undertakes the final act; they receive assistance in achieving the means to commit suicide from another person. Both are illegal.” Assisted dying for the terminally ill bill 2004. Funerals are never a celebration of life, as they should be. They are always a solemn affair. This one is a classic tearjerker; the grieving wife with her tear-blotched face, the resounding chorus of Louis Armstrong’s We Have All The Time In The World penetrates the chapel’s speakers and there is not a dry eye in the place. For Derek Sifleet, the deceased, the tragedy of his death should have come much sooner. Everyone here knows that, everyone has seen him fight for his right to die when he chose, but not one person could do anything to help him. Two years ago, after months of painful headaches, Derek’s wife persuaded him to go to the doctors to get them checked out. Reluctant Derek wasn’t very fussed by the headaches but he went to the doctors anyway to keep his wife satisfied. His doctor took the precaution of giving him a reference to go for scans and further tests at the hospital to get to the root of the problem. After numerous tiring tests at St.Thomas’s hospital in London, Derek had to wait two weeks for his results. When he was summoned back to the hospital to hear the news, Derek was told he had a brain tumour, he had a little over a year to live, and that his death would be undignified and painful. It wasn’t the pain that worried him, “I just don’t want anyone to ever see me in that weak position where I can’t do anything for myself. I’m worried that it’s going to get too hard for everyone else to handle.” The former carpenter gave up the job he loved and began to manage his savings so that his family would be financially looked after with money when he was gone. He meticulously covered every aspect of his assets and made them change over into the name of his wife before he became mentally incapable of doing so. He had to rewrite his will in order to avoid any inheritance tax - another law for which the threshold is constantly changing. He made a list entitled ‘all the things I want to do before I die’ and he ticked them off accordingly, enjoying lavish holidays and time with his family. However the black cloud of his cancerous tumour growing and growing was looming and time was running out for the legalities to be in place for his life to be ended in the way he wanted it to end.
The holidays were soon cut short when Derek was contacted by his insurance company. They were involved with his illness because they were responsible for paying all of his hospital costs. Turns out it is not so easy for a dying person to travel around and fulfil their wishes. Derek was informed that his policy had changed due to the circumstances and he could no longer get insured to go abroad. The family could not take the risk of going away without the insurance because they knew at any point they may need it. The life of a cancer patient is a busy one, constant hospital appointments and the come down after endless bouts of chemotherapy take their toll. “The ongoing visits from family and friends you forgot you had is tiring, and trying to manage a busy schedule along with all the little things on my list leaves me with full days and sleepless nights,” he explained. He was on a massive 52 pills per day, one of which was a steroid. This meant that his appearance changed - his cheeks became puffy. Another side effect of Derek’s pills was incontinence, making long journeys impossible. Derek’s 85-year old father travelled from Coventry on a weekly basis to see him, even though he himself was ill having recently had a stroke. This sadly meant that he was also a bit of a burden when he came down to stay. “I didn’t mind him coming round at all, I understood he wanted to spend as much time with Derek as he could. What parent wants to outlive their child?” Surgery would not be able to remove Dereks’ s tumour so chemotherapy became the best option and thankfully it temporarily prolonged his life. His neurologist Dr.Shamzilli explains, “As an NHS patient we are all entitled to six sessions of chemotherapy for the greatest of cancers, the aim of it is to shrink the cancerous tumour and destroy cancer cells. After Derek’s sixth session, his tumour had been responding well to the treatment and we were seeing a lot of shrinkage. Taking this into account I authorised Derek a further five and monitored his progress.” It was after three of these sessions that Derek’s resultant side affects worsened and the tumour started to grow at a faster rate than it could be shrunk. Looking at Derek’s brain scans Dr.Shamzilli said, “I realised quickly that the full five sessions would be pointless but we persevered to see if any change could be made, after the fifth it was clear that there wasn’t and so Derek had endured his last session of chemotherapy.” With his death fast approaching Derek had to consider every avenue. The number of terminally ill people travelling from Britain to end their lives in a Swiss ‘assisted suicide clinic’ has doubled in the past year. The trend of going abroad will give added impetus
to the campaign to change the law in Britain to give terminally ill patients the right to choose how and when they end their lives. Surveys show four out of five people in the UK would support a form of assisted suicide similar to that offered at the aptly named Dignitas clinic, but three attempts to change the law since 2003 have failed. The UK health secretary, the Rt Hon Alan Johnson agrees: “This is a controversial area and one that raises difficult ethical questions and the government recognises the complexity of the issues involved and that people hold strong and deeply divided views on this issue.” However, in August 2005 the Daily Telegraph published the results of a survey that showed that 87% of people thought that those who are terminally ill should have the right to decide when they want to die and to ask for medical assistance to help them. It is worth reflecting that the survey evidence also suggests that the views of the politicians who decide the laws are moving in the opposite direction. In 2004 79% of MP’s surveyed oppose voluntary euthanasia. In Derek’s case even his own GP supported his appeal, “I have known Mr.Sifleet for many years, he is a no nonsense man who doesn’t make decisions without a considerable amount of thought. I know how awful patients get towards the end, and of course I don’t want to see one of my own patients go through that, but I am afraid my hands are tied. I will help as much as I can to testify in favour of his plea but as so many of these cases fail I am not sure we have neither the power or the time frame to influence any major law changes.” His family were also strongly in favour of getting Derek exactly what he wanted, “He would prefer to die at home, in familiar surroundings, and with his things around him as we all would, and that’s why we wont go abroad. It should be an absolute human right to choose where, how and when you want to die.” His wife Kim said. This was a very difficult time for Kim because not only was she Derek’s wife but also his primary carer. “It became such a lot of work as he deteriorated, I was willing to do it because I know it’s what he wanted but he just wouldn’t allow me to face the consequences of what might happen afterwards.” The Rt Hon Alan Johnson also pointed out “anyone alleged to have taken active steps to end another’s life would be open to a charge of murder or manslaughter. Anyone alleged to have assisted a persons suicide would be open to penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment under the suicide act 1961.” Derek was very close with his children and in particular his daughter Gemma who fought harder than anyone for her dads permission to be euthanised before he
was in too much pain. “Of course none of us wanted to lose him, we wanted him to be around forever, have him home for as many more days as we could, but not for him to go like this. The truth is, before he was heavily sedated in the end he had anything but a peaceful last few days and was in a great deal of pain.” Derek’s son Jonathon had the happy news that he was soon to be a father during Derek’s illness. “It was such a difficult time because I wanted to be happy and celebrate but we were all thinking the same thing: would dad live to see my son or daughter?” At this news, he made it his goal to live to see the birth of his first grandchild. Just one month before his death baby Louis was born into the world. Jonathon reflected “I’m so glad he got to be a grandparent before he lost all of his faculties, he played with Louis and fed him, it was great, and those pictures we have of the two of them together will be kept treasured.” In his last weeks Kim could no longer cope with him, as he couldn’t do anything for himself at all. She asked him if it was alright and he agreed that he would go to St.Christopher’s hospice in Sydenham where he would spend his final weeks. Upon arrival Derek made a stance to no longer take his medication. “He just wanted some kind of control over his death, he wanted to feel like he took his life not that the cancer took him.” Kim said. His pain was immense; the carers there had him dosed up on morphine four times a day - the maximum for any patient. His daughter Gemma wept, “It just wasn’t my dad anymore, it was like an empty shell, he had already left. It was awful.” At this point Derek had also stopped eating and drinking so it was only a drip that was keeping him alive. Kim received a phone call at four o’clock in the morning from the hospice only one week later to say that Derek had passed away in his sleep. The family rushed to the hospice and were devastated. “He still felt warm.” Jonathan said. The British medical journal ran five items on euthanasia in their September 2005 issue. All except one article were strongly pro-euthanasia. Many doctors responded to the articles, with the overwhelming majority opposing any change in the law. One writer at the British medical journal who wishes to remain anonymous said, “Its ridiculous the way the government make laws and all sorts of important decisions based on only their own ideas and beliefs. I don’t understand how, when the overwhelming majority of the nation wants euthanasia to be legalised, that it cant be? If only there could be votes to change laws, then maybe the laws would reflect what people want.”
This Girl Can’t Help Herself “I come to work every morning... eager to open the eyes of everyone who walks through the door.”
Picture this: you are six years old, your parents are downstairs, and you have managed to sneak into your mother’s wardrobe which bursts open to reveal extensive amounts of clothes and jewellery. This scene is exactly what springs to mind when you walk through the doors of ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ in London’s Alfie’s Market. The store is a mix between a jumble sale and backstage at a theatre show. Every inch of wall is covered with hung ruffled petticoats and western shirts, alongside shelves that are filled with an eclectic order of ornaments and old keepsakes, such as cocktail shakers, glassware and pin-up collectables. An alcove stands dedicated to swanky cocktail dresses and evening gowns, each hand picked for their attention to detail and craftsmanship. On the other side, a skylight streams through rays that shine on the endless amounts of stilettos, peep-toes and carved platform shoes. This boutique is an oasis of sophisticated vintage style for men & women; and a showplace of exotic decorative home furnishings, reminiscent of the glamour that made Hollywood famous from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. The ladies can enjoy a pink boudoir of luxurious lingerie, or the antique cabinet boasting embellished skirts and printed knitted jumpers, whilst there is a larger selection of rayon Hawaiian shirts, tailored suits and suave Hollywood jackets for the timeless, well dressed male.
The birth of such a treasure trove was down to the eccentric duo Sparkle Moore and Cad Van Swankster. Moore’s fascination with all things big, bold, blonde and over the top, began with her aunt and uncle’s interest in rock & roll and jazz in the 1950’s. After learning all about American culture, she thought it appropriate to bring her knowledge to London in 1988. Her friendship with Can Van Swankster blossomed with his own appreciation for old Hollywood black and white movies and musicals. Together they have managed to turn an empty space into a magical dream that you never want to leave. “We only stock exceptional, true 30s, 40s and 50s pieces in the best possible condition,” says Moore. “I come to work every morning more excited than the previous day, eager to open the eyes of everyone who walks through the door.” True to her word, Sparkle Moore is able to do just that. Not only does the store serve the many tourists that are passing by eager to find souvenirs, but they have regular clients that travel from all over the world, all of whom hold a fascination for days gone by and a love for dressing up. Many fashion stylists, including Pop magazine’s Katie Grand, have visited the boutique and journalists are now beginning to recognise how satisfying this place really is. In 2003, Moore and Van Swankster became the proud owners of the BABC British Antiques and Collectables Award for the Best Specialty Shop. With an award under their belt, press coming out of their ears and owners who really know their stuff, it’s surely worth a visit. •Sophie Denly-Hunt ‘The Girl Cant Help It’ Alfies Market, 13-25 Church St, London NW8. www.thegirlcanthelpit.com
Artistic Desire Photography - Thomas Shakir. Hair and make-up - Hannah Shakir. Styling - Hannah Shakir.
First picture (the jumping one) - dress, stylistâ€™s own Pink picture - Topshop Leg picture - Zara Yellow pic - All Saints
puBLIcALLy RELAtED to You How do free gifts and celebrity clients sound? For Sophie Oliver, a PR student who spent over a year in Elizabeth Arden’s press office, living the dream became a reality discovers Kavita Masih. Imagine being invited to the hottest launch parties, rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities, drinking champagne that endlessly flows. Now imagine you’re the one in charge of organising it. Gathering a guest list of the right people, sending out invites, booking venues, transport, food and all other amenities. Then double checking it all, and then double checking what you thought you had double checked. Life in the PR industry isn’t all shopping and schmooze. What you don’t hear about on MTV’S The Hills is the perseverance and elbow grease it takes to make a career in public relations. “Everyone thinks they want to do it,” says twenty two-year old Sophie Oliver, currently finishing her graduate year at Bournemouth University, studying for a BA in Public Relations. After completing A Levels, she knew she wanted to pursue something that would both challenge and inspire her at the same time. “I am a very creative person,” she says. “I didn’t want to get bored at Uni, and knew PR was perfect for me.” By setting achievable goals for herself, Sophie was able to make her PR dream a reality. During her degree she worked for over a year as a junior PR officer for Elizabeth Arden, a heavyweight in the beauty industry spanning a long list of impressive clients. From celebrity and designer fragrances, to make up, the diversity at Elizabeth Arden meant wearing lots of different ‘work hats’. “There are lots of different brands and so we take different angles for each, which is very challenging,” she tells me.
One challenge she remembers is the launch of Danielle Steel’s fragrance Danielle. “It was frightening,” she recalls. “She’s an author with ill repute and the first one to ever bring out a fragrance. But our angle was that Elizabeth Arden signed her because we love to be the first company to do something.” As it turns out, the launch was a success, and Sophie’s quirky, creative thinking certainly played a part. “I did the launch at the Soho Hotel in their library (since she’s an author), on Valentines Day (as she writes romances) with lots of pink champagne and heart shaped biscuits. It was a fun launch and we got good coverage considering the challenge.” Garnering good coverage is imperative in the world of PR, something Sophie calls a ‘journalist first culture.’ “This essentially means constantly working with the thought of putting the journalist as our most important priority.” As the most junior member of staff in a small press office of only three, Sophie found herself answering all incoming phone calls as well managing her own job. “Essentially, if the journalist doesn’t get what they want from us then they could go to any number of beauty companies and feature their products instead. So we have to make sure we always have what they need, whether it be a press release, product, photo, facts, figures, quotes, anything.” When you’re not at every beauty journalist’s beck and call, there’s the running of the press office. “There’s a lot of pushing pencils and envelope stuffing,” she says. “It’s not as glamorous as people think it is.” A typical day in a press office is just like any other kind of office. You arrive just before 9am, check your emails and have a read of the paper. Only in this case you get every relevant newspaper and magazine
“if the journalist doesn’t get what they want.. they could go to any number of other companies... we have to make sure we always have what they need.” title delivered straight to your desk. It can easily take over an hour to scour through every single page for press coverage of your product, and then having to scan in any findings for an electronic hard copy, as well as logging in individual publication dates and circulation figures. Your lunch hour can be waved goodbye too. The constant calls coming in from clients and journalists alike, as well as emails and organising couriers to bike your samples across London means lunch is not a leisurely affair. At Elizabeth Arden. midday was often the point for creative brainstorming, a time to discuss upcoming launches and fine details, like what music to play, or what gifts to give away to the specially targeted press. As well as inspired creative touches, a good standard of writing is necessary to make it in this business. “I did lots of writing,” she tells me,” things such as press releases, company news and internal global newsletters.” Constant deadlines make time management a vital attribute for any press officer – “people see PR as essentially events organising” – but such superficial thinking often leaves the PR department being left to handle more than is required of them. “We get dumped on sometimes which I hate. We are always the ones asked to organise the office Christmas party or leaving parties for other members of staff. Having studied PR theory for four years I see it as so much more than events organising.” In a competitive industry that can be superficial at times, respect can be hard to earn. But when you see your hard work being recognised and appreciated you’re certainly entitled to feel a little proud. “One amazing memory of my time at Elizabeth Arden was the launch of our limited edition Eight Hour cream. We launched in Christmas 2006, giving the exclusive to You magazine. We got a four page spread, with the journalist ranting about how fab the product was. When the coverage was evaluated it was worth £57,000 in advertising and the product was sold out across the entire country in two days. It was an incredible response. All because we took the journalist out for tea, which only cost us £80.00!. It generated so much awareness for the company. From then on everyone seemed to respect what we did in PR a lot more.” So, PR is a fast paced, ever evolving environment, and to succeed one has to fully immerse themselves into the cauldron. At the same time it’s full of its own rewards. As Sophie simply puts it: “It’s every girl’s dream.” segue 43
The Great British department store. Every large town or city across the country has at least one of these shops, but in London we are spoilt for choice. Abigail Standage helps you to find your perfect store Harrods prides itself on its tradition, and is one of the best-known British brands. The opulent store design and products and brands stocked means it is renowned for over the top glitz, popular with tourists and the new breed of eastern European expatriate wives. The huge range of souvenir goods is marketed for tourists, starting with pencils and rubbers and working up to its own jewellery range. The other Harrods customer is simply rich. Often with more money than taste they arrive in blacked out Mercedes with bodyguard in tow, and are escorted through the store by simpering sales assistants. The whole atmosphere is slightly dated and tacky, the doormen seem to be more like waxworks in Madame Tussauds thanks to the throngs of Japanese tourists taking pictures, and the Dodi and Diana Memorial area seems rather morbid. In fact, as a normal member of the British public with a distinctly average bank balance, I didnâ€™t feel like I belonged. Souvenir oven gloves in the signature Harrods green and gold anyone? Always popular with the new breed of Russian wives and American tourists. John Lewis can be summed up by its target customer- a female middle- class consumer, who votes Conservative, aged 50- 60. Peter Jones in Sloane Square is a favourite with the Sloane Rangers while the other stores around the country are the preserve of Home Counties families. The restaurants are filled with middle aged ladies who lunch due to the sensible prices, and the menus serving traditional British food such as cooked breakfasts, steak sandwiches and proper
puddings. There is even afternoon tea with scones and jam from 3pm on weekdays. What the store lacks in innovation and trend awareness, it makes up for in sheer choice. The departments are huge, and with stock ranging from school uniforms to unusual kitchen tools like apple corers, it is hard to leave empty handed. Expect to see Barbour jacket wearing men standing by escalators looking bored, while the wives debate which shade of bath towels to buy. Liberty of London is traditionally known for its support of Far Eastern trade and British Arts and Crafts. The intimate old-fashioned store conceals a quirky and interesting range of products, and is a savvy fashionistas first stop for original accessories. Tucked off Regent Street, away from the madness of Oxford Circus, Liberty is renowned for its original prints. It is popular with the older generation, who come up to browse the cavernous fabric department. Full of contradictions, it is a store where new fashion designers such as PPQ and Richard Nicholl sit comfortably with traditional wooden staircases and glass shopkeeperâ€™s cabinets. Expect to see gay fashion stylists and flamboyant interior designers rummaging around amid the fabrics and fashions. Selfridges Oxford Street location means it is always busy with weekend shoppers and tourists. But there is also an eclectic mix of designers and brands ensuring a one-stop shop when looking for a new outfit. The champagne bar makes it a popular choice for the PR girls working in various offices around the west end. With a huge beauty hall and accessories department the store is popular with women of all ages, but the vast selection of brands in the menswear department, from APC to Unconditional via Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith means that boyfriends and husbands are kept busy too. Look out for the sunglasses wearing fashionistas browsing the shoe department on their lunch breaks. Harvey Nichols is renowned for its front line fashion and is devoted to luxury brands. The store attracts top quality customers are who are glamorous and confident and appreciate the well-organised layout of the store. Its Knightsbridge location means it attracts a well-heeled crowd who are young and very brand aware, they are professionals with money to spend on good quality clothes and accessories. Often nicknamed Harvey Nicks, it is popular with the footballers wives, who are often pictured leaving with armfuls of bags. However, most customers are much more discreet and it is a popular location with fashion conscious girls, as well as heiresses and socialites.
Photograph Jenna Biberstein
Colour058: CHIFFON TOP, £120, LEATHER BELT, £25, BOTH TOPSHOP. LAME LEGGINGS, £28, AMERICAN APPAREL. PLATFORM SHOES, £850, JIMMY CHOO.
Fleur Fulcher investigates the world of family heirlooms.
Every family in the world has treasures that will be passed on to the next. In every generation something will probably be lost or broken and something will be added to the trove. As humans we instinctively hoard things that we love. Even thousands of years ago people were buried with the things they most prized and even the poorest had something: a baby boy in a Roman cemetery was buried with the shell of a hen’s egg, his one toy. Nowadays we have more possessions to choose from, but we all have favourites. Every family’s treasures are different. They may be what most people would consider to be real treasures: jewellery, gold and silver or valuable paintings. Other things might be baby clothes, books beloved of many children or even, as in my family, a cake tester that has been used by my grandmother and mother before me. These things, while not valuable in the original sense of the word, are irreplaceable and hold many stories. This is how family treasures are made, with memories, not money. The cake tester, for instance, means something different to each of the women who used it: to my grandmother it was something she had bought new and enjoyed using when baking, so it was not yet a treasure, but to my mother it is a reminder of her mother, and the home she lived in as a child. To me it has always had meaning, about the passing on of knowledge down the generations and is a link to my grandmother, although we never met. You will find prized family possessions in every sort of house - from the smallest caravan, to some of the largest homes in the country. At Castle Drogo in Devon, a grand and imposing Lutyens creation, there is a small room at the end of a corridor which houses photographs and pictures of a young man, put there by his mother after he died at Ypres. It is easy to believe that these reminders of a lost son and brother were the real treasures of that family, rather than the beautiful and expensive objects that they had in almost every room. The story of the treasures of Castle Drogo also shows that memories that cause things to become precious are not always happy ones, and indeed, most families have a mixture of both happy and sad. A treasure does not always have to be something that is always in your possession. Whenever I, or several other members of my family, see cinder toffee we will
invariably grin, or have a bit of a giggle. This is due to my late Uncle Francis, who, having bought me a large bag of the stuff, proceeded to drop it all over Crediton car park, whereupon we all jumped up and down on it until all that was left was yellow dust. In this way, a common item of confectionery has become a trigger for a memory we all hold dear. In this way treasures can become something to draw a family together, to make thoughts of my uncle happy rather than sad. Even living things can be treasures: Horatio, our family tortoise, is a venerable creature and may well be passed on to our children and grandchildren. Certain family members can, in their own way, become family treasures, with stories about them told and retold innumerable times. Of course, just as things become treasures in various ways, they can also cease to be treasured and may indeed become nothing more than rubbish. Many of us have had the experience of having to sort out the house and possessions of a deceased relative; there are always things that were beloved of the late owner but that no one else wants, and so they end up at the charity shop, or worse, in a skip. Some people claim to have no treasures. ‘I’m not a materialistic person’ they’ll say, but visit the homes of these people and you will almost invariably find something that they do not realise they hold so dear; it may be a photograph album, a souvenir from a holiday with someone they loved, or even just an over pampered pot plant amid the minimalistic setting of a modern flat. The possessions we cherish so much are often fragile and in need of some love and care. Those that are now in the possession of the National Trust have some of the best conservators in the country looking after them, but those in your home will probably not. But there are things that you can do to keep them in good condition. With fabrics, such as wedding dresses you can order special acid free boxes to store them in. For items like jewellery, theft might be your major concern. But finding a good hiding place can deter the most expert of burglars. I know of people who hide their gems in the freezer, in the airing cupboard, and even in a disused swallow’s nest in the porch. Of course, getting good insurance is a necessity with any treasures that are also valuables. One of the real problems with family treasures is who gets them if you have more than one child? There are stories of family arguments running for generations due to heirlooms being left to one child in preference over another; sometimes these fights can lead to courtroom battles costing many times the monetary value of the things involved. Generally these tiffs are the result of misunderstandings. I know my brothers and I have all eyed up various of our parents’ possessions, and while it is unlikely that my brothers will want a red sequinned hat or that I really covet a selection of gold cigarette lighters, you should really find out who wants what to avoid any upsetting family feuds. Make sure that your loved ones don’t feel mercenary telling you which of your things they like. My mother was left a magazine rack many years ago, but still finds herself wishing for the cowslip painted china that went to another niece of the deceased. The thing to remember with these precious things, is that the memories connected with them are worth far more than their monetary value, as anyone who has had to part with something they love can tell you.
Beauty or the Beast?
Men and women have performed sexual acts on animals since the beginning of time. Jodie Hart investigates the disturbing facts behind this sexual compulsion. Imagine the hairy hands of an Amazonian monkey gripped firmly around your waist. Or a giant Alsatian’s paws resting heavily on your knees, its wet tongue lapping aggressively at your skin. Believe it or not, this is the kind of sexual gratification some people enjoy. Bestiality, to give it its name, refers to human and animal sexual activity - more specifically, anything from heavy petting (excuse the pun) to sexual intercourse, which provides pleasure for the person or animal involved. Honestly, It happens. And more often than you might think. The majority of individuals within society find bestiality physically repulsive a taboo topic worthy of nothing more than teenage sniggers. To many, it is considered scandalous and immoral, a crime against nature. However, extensive research into the subject has unearthed some astonishing findings. For one thing, sexologists have stated that bestiality is as old as written history, extending as far back in time to the days of prehistoric man. Joseph R. Rosenberger, the American author of Bestiality commented that it was probably evident in the Fourth Glacial Age, between 40,000 and 25,000 years ago. At one cave in Font-de-Gaume, Southern France, pictures were discovered of some 230 painted or engraved animals with their genitals on display. There were images of Antediluvian men mounting animals: beasts such as bison, horses, mammoths, reindeer, and a wolf. So, if humans have frequently enjoyed rich sexual fantasies throughout the ages, sometimes involving the fantastic and the sheer illusory, why are we so revolted by it now? Perhaps it is that most people believe the practice of bestiality involves detrimental physical and mental abuse for the animal in question. Jonathon Andrews, acting superintendent for the RSPCA in Greater London, shares this common opinion. “Sexual intercourse with a smaller being is cruel, unnatural and physically abusive,” he remarks adamantly. “It can seriously injure the animal, which, by the way, does not have the ability to give consent.” Sexual psychotherapist Dr. Hani Miletski, based in Maryland in the USA, dedicated her doctoral degree to the subject of bestiality. She was shocked by the lack of literature available on the topic, other than one lowly book by Mark Matthews, titled The Horseman, which pursues one man’s flagrant love for his horse. “I had a male client who came to my psychotherapy practice one day, complaining he could not stop having sex with the dogs in his neighbourhood. He was a very religious man and believed it was wrong to have sexual relations with anything other than women. But it was an addiction for him. So I decided to investigate the issue further.” Dr. Miletski began exploring bestiality to extreme depths. She would spend days upon end in the library of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Responses received from friends and colleagues were disappointingly negative and unreceptive. They were physically appalled by the idea. “But I was just so intrigued,” she retorts. “The notion that there were people who prefer animal sexual partners to human ones was utterly inconceivable to me at the time.” Her research uncovered some disturbing truths. “Most of the people who came to my focus groups didn’t see anything wrong with what they were doing,” Dr. Miletski recalls. “One woman claimed to have sexual relations with animals because she liked to be woken up every morning, being licked by a raspy tongue, having made
love with her dog the previous night.” Dr. Miletski, of course, did not envisage quite the same lovely vision that Kate enjoyed. She did however, empathise with the people she came into contact with - they were incredibly trusting, willing and open to discuss their obscure sexual fantasies. It is strictly illegal to have penetrative sex with an animal in this country. The law does not take lightly to such matters. However, in Germany it is a different state of affairs. Bestiality is not only legal (the law was abolished in 1969), but it is a common and regular occurrence between many dog owners and their animals. Psychologist and hypnotherapist, Andrea Beetz, who spent three intense years studying at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, claims that, “Germans are actually quite relaxed about it – as long as the animal does not suffer, people generally go unpunished.” She too, like Dr. Miletski, dedicated her dissertation to bestiality, asserting that she was interested in people’s sexual deviances and the interactions that took place between humans and animals. “Some of the people I actually spoke to were completely normal individuals like you or I. They were computer specialists, bankers, hotel managers or street workers - ordinary people, but with an unusual deviance towards animals.” Of course, there were also those who worked specifically in animal-orientated environments because it gave them instant, easy access to fulfil their wildest sexual desires. Vets, farmers and zookeepers are some of the most popular jobs. “One individual actually came to me and told me he had masturbated a tiger,” says Miletski. “I could not believe him at first, until he showed me a videotape of the act.” As dangerous as that might sound, it appears the large cat family are a firm favourite among bestialists, whilst other animals of desire include dolphins, lions, tapers, horses, and the average farmyard animal. Dr. Miletski even recalls one of her clients mentioning a prior affiliation with a porcupine. Following the course of research into this subject, I came across an awkward situation of my own. Unfortunately, a bestiality chat room was desperately required were I to find bestialists to speak to. One individual I came across, known
“One woman claimed to have sexual relations with animals because she liked to be woken up every morning, being licked by a raspy tongue...” simply as Delmore, was a well-spoken, intellectual thirtyfour year-old male living in Sussex. Delmore proclaimed, rather matter-of-factly: “My dog Ramsey wants a woman.” It appears Del and his ex-girlfriend had experienced private pleasures with his seven year-old black Labrador in the past. “He is eager to please you know, and full of energy,” Del informs me, expecting a welcoming response in return. It appears animals can actually obtain some form of pleasure from the act of bestiality, exactly the same as humans might. “You can tell by their body language if they are enjoying it or not, just the same as if you go to pet a cat and it starts purring,” Andrea Beetz explains, “so long as you treat the animal with respect, and do not abuse it, or harm it in any way.” It has long been said that man’s best friend is the dog. One member of Beastlover.com – a website for bestialists - known simply as KarenD, fantasises about having the guts to ‘go all the way’ with her beloved German Shepard. “I just can’t seem to be able to take things that far,” she writes forlornly. Other beastloving members including Puppylover and Wildwolf_06 dispense advice within the deepest realms of the chat room. “Start by letting him hump your leg…” offers one user; “give the animal a little rub down below….” suggests another. I cannot read on. Sadly, stories like this are not just fantasies. “People often use their own animals or pets to commit sexual acts with,” says Beetz. She cannot see anything essentially wrong with this. “If they are doing it with their own animal, in the privacy of their own home, who am I to judge them?” Quite true. Though it is unlikely many would share the same outlook. Whether or not you agree with the actions of these individuals, they themselves believe they are doing no wrong. Some are so blinded by the undying love for their animal that they cannot see the damage they are causing. They believe the cat, horse, monkey or dog loves them back. There is a strong emotional bond between some, whilst others hold no regard or consideration for the interests of the animal. They will abuse the creature sexually and emotionally to satisfy their own fantasies. Animals were not put on the planet to breed with humans. Nor were they intended to be used for the fulfilment of desires, or the sexual gratification of the individual involved. People may be more relaxed about discussing bestiality than twenty years ago, but that will never make it right. segue 51
“The number of flabby men ridding themselves of man breasts is soaring.” 2 segue
We live in a vain culture. People who’ve had face-lifts are now having their face-lifts lifted. Attempts to ban size zero and extreme airbrushing suggest that vanity is getting out of hand. But, Sara Wiliams asks, hasn’t it always been this way? In our image-concious world, the cosmetic surgery industry and the beauty business has never been so lucrative. In the UK, £6 billion a year is spent on beauty products alone. Vanity is a trait which, in the modern world, is encouraged and even celebrated. It is marketed as an essential attribute in order to achieve success and status. It appeals to our subconscious instincts of self interest leading us to seek aesthetic perfection. Catwalk queens, movie stars and style icons are the gods that we worship - and how we love it. Our obsession with appearance - be it our own or that of our celebrities - is undeniable and insatiable. This epidemic of narcissism may translate into a self serving, self-obsessive type of conduct, but in another light it could be viewed as a natural human endeavour to improve and progress, and perhaps as a means of self expression? Many people blame celebrity worship for creating such a vanity-led society, but in actual fact, a narcissistic tendency to adorn and enhance has played a part in society for thousand of years. Forget Crème De La Mer, the ancient Egyptians had a full line of cosmetics. Who would have thought you could obtain make-up, face creams, perfume and body oils in 10,000BC? Egyptians believed that their appearance was directly related to their level of spirituality. The women were admired and valued for their beauty and would strive to achieve their goals. And it’s not only the Egyptians who had bathroom cabinets - the ancient Greeks were known to have used cosmetics as aphrodisiacs. The Romans celebrated and admired adornment, and cosmetics were readily available. They used fat from sheep and mixed it with blood to make nail polish. They even took baths in mud, mixed with crocodile excrement! Like Egyptians, Roman women were revered for their beauty and cosmetic enhancement was expected in higher classes as a measure of social status. Platus, once said, “A woman without paint is like food without salt.” Of course, it is not only the female who can be charged with vanity. The eighteenth century saw the emergence of dandyism, defined as ‘one who elevates aesthetics to a living religion’. Dandies were renowned for placing particular importance on their appearance - even to the point of wearing corsets to enhance the shape of their tailored coats. In 1624 when Louis XIII went bald, he started a craze for powdered wigs. Younger women undergoing breast enlargement are plastic surgery’s biggest fans, however the number of flabby men ridding themselves of man breasts is soaring. Overall, 32,453 operations, including boob jobs, eyelid lifts and tummy tucks, were carried out in 2007, a rise of twelve per cent in just one year. Seemingly, we are not all together different from our ancestors. Vanity and self-love is a part of human nature. People strive to improve, both mentally and physically. We crave success. Ambition and drive are positive traits. We want to be better. The likes of Pete Burns and Jocelyn Wildenstein take it to the extreme, but this is simply because they can. Science has provided more innovative ways to adapt and improve our appearance and the processes are now more readily available. Cosmetic surgery has secured a firm foothold in the collective consciousness of those seeking eternal youth and beauty. A recent report shows more of us than ever are turning to plastic surgery to banish wrinkles and fight gravity. Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon, told the Daily Mirror, “People are no longer embarrassed about improving themselves aesthetically. Facelifts are becoming fashionable because women are living longer and feeling fitter and want to enjoy the extra years they have.” A little vanity, then is not unnatural, and certainly not a new phenomenon. Cave women may well have enquired ‘Does my bum look big in this loincloth?’. The main difference between us and our ancestors are more sophisticated methods. What remains the same is the instinct to seek status and adoration. Clearly, there is a strong element of self indulgence, but it could be less about self-love and more about achieving a sense of value. L’Oreal encapsulates this concept in a nutshell: ‘Because you’re worth it.’
The Lost Forest
The Lost Forest Previous page: Sophie Black flower head piece, £195, Yasmin Rizvi. Silver top, £65, Butler & Wilson.
From left to right: Chloe: Feather hat, £569, JsmithEsquire. Dress, £45, B Vintage. Leggings, £22, Qunicy at Eliasandgrace.com. Ballet pumps, £20, B Vintage.
Follow the pavestones marked with an X A hidden adventure is soon to come next For the secretive garden you might find You must be prepared in the depths of your mind Dress to impress in only your best And dig deep in your play box to find all the rest.
Chloe: Top hat, £429, J Smith Esquire. Ribbon, £6, VV Rouleaux. Jumper, £44, Mann at EliasandGrace.com. Gold-plated necklace, £50, Bark. Playsuit, £29, Pyrus. Flowers, from £10, VV Rouleaux. Tights, £3, H&M. Boots, model’s own.
Photography: Lesley Silwood Photography assistants: Tom Fallon and Guy Welche Styling: Laura Whiting Styling assistant: Olivia Slee Hair/make-up: Claire Beever
Abbey: Hat with flower, £55, B Vintage. Yellow cardigan, from £56, Caramel baby & child.
Abbey : Hat, £270, JsmithEsquire. Feather cape, photoghrapher’s own. Blouse, £45, Pyrus. Waistcoat, £53, Antik Batik. Cream skirt underneath, £30, Noa Noa. Sheer tulle skirt, £13, Noa Noa. Socks, H&M, £4.50. Ballet pumps, from £11, Dancia International. Next page: Chloe :Tartan hat with Swarvoski crystal, £450, Yasmin Rizvi. Blouse, £45, Rokit. Brooch, £6, B Vintage. Tweed skirt, £32, IloveGorgeous. Striped tights, stylist’s own.
tiLL Death Do Us
“We are trying to recreate life just in a different sense.”
Jason Scott-King - the UK’s top make-up reconstruction artist for the deceased - talks to Frankie Palmer about why he lives for his job. Jason Scott-King pulls on a pair of latex gloves, his long fingers dust the surface. He turns to a small trolley and clumsily pulls at the drawers, heaving out steel boxes and placing them on the mortician’s trolley. The cold room smells clinical with shelves of chemicals and anatomy posters. Jason turns and warns me not to touch anything – it’s hard to know how long infections exist in the body once a person dies, making this room potentially contagious. I anxiously edge into the centre of the space as he explains his process of make-up application “Make-up is very flat and we are trying to re-create life, just in a different sense,” he says. “Eyelids tend to be lighter with darker circles under eyes, and colours of decomposition need to be masked. You can use foundation, blusher and lipstick, but three colours are not enough. You need to consider shadows, highlights, detailing, furrows and marks, using multiple shades.” The products Jason uses are different to the ones people use on themselves every day. “Unfortunately, make-up for the living isn’t wonderfully good for the dead,” he tells me. “Our problem is that the deceased have no heat and are very cold. When ordinary people put make-up on, the skin is warm and blends easily. When you apply make-up to the dead, their skin is cold and make-up will crack.” Palettes and pots surround us, filled with different coloured creams and powders - some water-based, some oil, designed specifically for the deceased. The job Jason has is much harder than some may think. “It’s not just a case of applying foundation, it’s about recreating a whole look, making it as close to reality as possible. Unless I have a photograph that shows me certain facial specifics, I cannot add what I do not know is there.” He tells me how make-up is applied with sponges, brushes and fingers, and explains how they use other products to restore and rebuild certain parts of the face. “We have things like lip wax and restorative wax, used to cover bruises,” he says. “When you die, the lips become dehydrated and can collapse. We use lip wax to remould them to a natural shape.” He reaches for a bottle of peachy liquid (“for paler skin tones”) and another darker bottle (“for people with a suntan”). These are oil-based liquid powders which are useful in bringing out colour. “They dry quickly,” he says. “I use them to apply a natural blush as they subtly bring out colour in the cheeks.” Jason then retrieves a bottle of a more intense, concentrated flesh colour. “These are dyes we use when we are embalming. I prefer to colour from within as it looks more natural.” These dyes are mixed with embalming chemicals to
bring out the natural colour of the deceased skin in the absence of blood. The result is impressive - the skin looks fresh and healthy, not heavily caked. Jason explains how this method, although preferred for its natural semblance, does not always provide the amount of coverage some of the deceased require. In these cases Jason uses cosmetics. “I very rarely use the oil or cream-based cosmetics,” he notes. “If I do have to use some form of make up, I will use airbrush cosmetics.” At the mention or this, his face brightens. He scavenges in his bag to retrieve a small, shiny instrument. “This is an airbrush tool - it’s the same one that they use on all the stars in Hollywood,” he beams. “Airbrushing is Hollywood’s biggest secret, it provides a more natural look but still with coverage.” When it comes to cosmetics, Jason prefers this natural look. Families do not want to remember relatives plastered in powder. Sheila Dicks, Jason’s colleague at the college, describes how they assess the level of cosmetics to use, “If the woman is one of these people who wouldn’t be seen dead without her make-up - excuse the pun - then suitable make-up will be applied. Otherwise we just try to recreate a healthy glow.” Embalming normally takes around four hours, but for Jason some cases are more complicated. “A gentleman came in from another country very poorly embalmed and had mould on his skin. His tissue was soft and as we wiped the mould off, some of the skin came with it. This is what happens when your epidermis comes off; you get a sort of dehydration, like razor burn. The family wanted to view him so we had to do what we could. We had to re-embalm and wax in some of the areas to try and smooth out the skin’s texture.’ After asking how squeamish I am, and how I feel about seeing dead bodies (“I’m fine”, I nervously reassure him), Jason reveals to me the cases he has come into contact with. A teenage boy who fell asleep at the wheel, a motorbike accident witnessed by members of the victim’s family, and a ten year old boy, the son of Jason’s friend, a victim of a freak accident. I am shocked and deeply saddened by what I see. After seeking my approval, he leads me to the chapel of rest. Through the door is a candle-lit room with a man stapling small purple flowers onto an open coffin inhabited by an old lady who died of natural causes. He tells me how he knows most of the deceased people as many of them are local. Jason gives the impression of a close-knit community and this bond helps to make the atmosphere feel relaxed. The way he strokes the old woman’s hair, smoothes her hands and assesses the lighting gives you a sense of warmth and comfort. The people who come here are cherished and looked after. Many people, including myself, would think a career with the deceased would dramatically change your perception of death. But these people cope no differently to anyone else, as Jason explains. “Its something I know has to be done. I can overcome that and get on with it, but there will be a moment when I find it really difficult. If it doesn’t affect you, you are in the wrong job. If you get to a point where it has no effect on you, you are not going to be able to care in the same way.” Working in an industry where death is a regular occurrence gives Jason the capability to temporarily overcome the sadness and create a reassuring experience for his clients. “I feel what I do helps society. I feel it’s a very important part of life and if I can help people get through their grief by giving them that final image, then it’s worth it. Otherwise grief will take over and people fall apart.” Looking at the work Jason does, witnessing the before and after shots, and understanding the reassurance and comfort his work supplies to these families makes you realise how important his work is. To some it may seem a strange choice of career, but he takes so much pride in what he does and sends the deceased on, looking how their families remember them. Jason’s approach to life and death is admirable. “I have an outlook on life which sees death as something natural. At the end of the day, death is inevitable.”
Gentlemen, take molaroid Is that a mirror ball I see before me? Lauren Richardson talks to the burgeoning style guru Molaroid about multi-tasking, Nova magazine, and the quest for new ideas The twenty-five year old self-confessed stylist, designer, art director and all round super-brand has described his array of talents as “a reflection on society today, where everybody wants their finger in every pie”. Currently the founder and editor of online magazine London Kicks, Molaroid started out testing video games with the hope of becoming a video game designer. This led him to study graphic design at Central St Martins, which he then dropped out of. “I realised that I could multi-task, and use my initial ability, which is basically having ideas and being able to relate them to any medium or subject matter.” His first break came whilst working at Marks & Spencer where he met Angela King, who, at the time, was producing a book called Hats with one time Nova fashion editor Caroline Baker. “I kind of grew up from the age of eighteen going through Nova, sitting in the V&A and studying its brilliance, its energy,” he says. His family background was a big influence on the way in which Molaroid saw clothes, and the way in which they were worn: “I really look up to my mum’s aristocratic background - there was some sort of Marie Antoinette vibe in the way that she dressed. Although obviously she was not from 17th century France, the fashions she wore were terribly gilded and had detail and depth, with a couture element to them.” Molaroid found himself naturally drawn to fashion and was able to expand his creativity through online magazine London Kicks: “Here I feel like I am a true journalist, and it is actually quite cool to see how I can translate from say music journalism, to film and art. It gives me the confidence not only to take care of the fashion side of things but take care of the magazine’s content in all of its entirety.” With a new magazine in the pipeline, he has an exact idea of what he wants it to convey. “I would like it to be quite glossy, but not like Pop, Vogue or i-D. I want it to be more like The Face, with the attitude of Nova and the spirit to tackle political issues as well.” Not one to stop at just that, he has expressed a real passion for men’s and women’s wear designing: “I love the details and the accessories you know? I like to get down to the real nitty-gritty of what makes a fashion design work. And who wouldn’t eventually want to have their own brand of perfume?”
Photograph Paul Harnett
“everybody wants their finger in every pie”
Will the cinched-in waist ever leave? Season upon season the waist belt continues to be a leading fashion trend, says Beverly Seymour. A quick glance at the catwalk shows for Autumn/Winter 08 demonstrates how the classic hour-glass figure has been around in one form or another forever. Even today, with throwbacks to the 50s and 60s, the trend appears fresh and original. There are so many ways to work this look, but perhaps Louis Vuitton uses it best with the simplicity of a silver clasp belt, adding a world of difference to a little black dress. Other key pieces within his collection are a beige slash neck suit, with jodhpur-style three-quarter length bottoms, completed, of course, with the help of a patent waist belt. Another look that sticks out from the rest is a pastel, fishtail skirt suit with a two tone top and leather knee-high boots, conveying the image of a prim and proper school mistress. The waist belt gave the ensemble some definite attitude and brought each outfit together to form an overall message within the collection. Aquascutum is another company featuring the trend - their innovative tailored coats with pleated fronts screamed out for some sort of order, which came in the shape of a loosely tied belt, all in matching colours. Giambattista Valli went all out with striking hour-glass silhouette. His show offered every aspect you would expect from Coca-Cola bottle shape outfits shoulder-padded blazers and flared-leg trousers, high-heeled courts and wide-brimmed black hats, finished off with thick, chunky waist belts in
co-ordinating colours so as to add length to the torso and create a more flattering figure. The key colours were prominently black, white and red and this added to the ‘back to basics’ concept the designer was trying to convey. Think Audrey Hepburn meets Marilyn Monroe striding out in 80s block colours. Anyone can achieve this look. Pop on a pencil skirt, nipped in blouse or polo neck, a beautiful vintage brooch for a little touch of detail, and the all important belt, but nothing too big. The key to this trend is super-feminine and elegant. Perhaps this is why the waist belt has stuck around for so long, becoming ever more useful time and time again. It can re-invent the most boring of outfits, injecting a fresh lease of life into any drab jacket or plain sack-dress. You become instantly on-trend and show that you’re in touch with what is happening on the fashion scene with minimal effort involved. It is confirmed the waist belt is here to stay (at least until next spring) and anything goes as far as the catwalk trends of 2008 are concerned. So don’t tidy that belt box away just yet!
Photograph Chris Moore
I am Electro
Styling and Photography - Shona Muir. Model - Ania
turn on, tune
“Men spend many happy hours with their televisions. They would never lie to them.“
If women want their men to dress well, they should let them watch more television argues Matt Hambly. Ask English women what annoys them about their male partners and two answers will almost certainly crop up. The first is that they cannot dress: they are scruffy, badly coordinated and hate buying new clothes. The second is that they watch too much television – consistently choosing an afternoon indoors with UK Gold over a ‘trip to the garden centre’. What the women of this country do not realise, however, is that in highlighting these two irritants, they have identified both the cause of the badly dressed British male and, indeed, the cure. Firstly, let’s address the cause. There is a long-standing tradition in this country of women dressing their men. On the most basic level, this begins with mothers buying clothes for their sons. Like some ancient rite of passage, every awkward, pubescent boy in this country has been dragged to Marks and Spencer for new trousers and a healthy dose of embarrassment at the hands of their mothers. ‘Just try them on here, no-one’s looking,’ they say, not quite grasping the magnitude of their sons’ horror at this proposal. Nevertheless, boys are encouraged to strip to their pants and try on various pairs of cords in front of the crowds of Saturday shoppers. This surely is an experience so terrible, so traumatising, that it leaves all men with a deep-seated fear and resentment of shopping. Is it any wonder then that men are reluctant to leave the relative security of their armchairs in order to venture out on a shopping trip? It’s like regression therapy without the trained professional to oversee it. As adults, where there was once a total lack of control as to what they wore, men have the option of choice. With choices, however, come possible disappointments at the hands of a girlfriend or wife. A look that would wither an oak tree coupled with
a subsequent three-hour trawl through the lingerie section are enough to put any man off actually choosing what he wants. Better to avoid the stonewashed jeans and let the missus choose. And therein lies the problem. Most men take little interest in their clothes because they hate to. There are no happy memories for them to associate with shopping or new clothes. They love the FA cup because now and then, their team does well. They love drinking with their friends because they can forget about their troubles. They hate shopping because it reminds them of the time their mothers made them a laughing stock sporting a jumper two sizes too big. Help is at hand however, in the most unlikely of places, the television. Arguably, men spend many happy hours with their televisions. They would never lie to them about how good they look, embarrass them in front of shop assistants or stop them from buying leather trousers. Television is their friend and, as such, is hugely influential in men’s fashion. Don’t believe it? Take a look at this round up of the latest menswear trends, as brought to you by the magic of television… The Skinny Rocker: Bottom The skinny rocker look has been doing the rounds for a good few years now, with various pioneers including Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme and bands such as the Kings of Leon. More recently, it has evolved into a sort of tramp chic thanks to the likes of Blake Fielder Civil (Mr Amy Winehouse) and Julian Barrett of The Mighty Boosh. Both do their best to look homeless. However, long before them, in a studio flat in Hammersmith, Bottom’s Richie Richard and Eddie Hitler were spending their time maiming each other, hunting Wombles and getting drunk, all the while sporting the ‘skinny rock tramp’ look to a T. Richie was never seen in anything other than a white shirt, skinny black tie and a mac.
e in, dress up Eddie kept his end up with a nice line in slim-fitting check suits and pork pie hats. They certainly weren’t meant to be style icons - the show was originally a filthy re-imagining of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ (a play about the pointlessness of life). But it’s not the message that’s stylish, or the lives the characters lead, it’s their clothes. Their existence was a wasted mess of unemployment, alcoholism and utter insignificance but no one has ever looked as good pulling a dart from their eye as Rik Mayall … and no one ever will. Preppy Student: Fresh Prince of Bel Air Rating highly in the unlikely style icon stakes is Carlton Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Whilst it was Will Smith, the wise-talking ghetto kid that got the laughs (and ‘da honeys’), it is Carlton who should be honoured for pioneering the preppy look that is so big at the moment. With Ralph Lauren currently producing some of his best collections and rappers such as Kanye West opting for shirts and chinos over jeans and T-shirts, the preppy look has undergone a huge resurgence. And let’s not discount the influence of Princes William and Harry. But before these developments, Carlton was the embodiment of Ralph Lauren’s Ivy League chic, the first time around. His pastel jumpers, polo shirts and Gucci loafers were the perfect foil to Smith’s Nike Air Jordan’s and Basquiat-print sweaters. Ralph Lauren owes this show uncountable millions for demonstrating how good his brand could look, week in, week out. And as for Kanye? Well…. The Riviera Rogue: Lovejoy This summer, when you pull on a navy striped T-shirt, or step into your espadrilles; when you do up your tailored shorts and don that seersucker suit-jacket, think about this: there is a man who has been rocking this look a lot longer than you. Not because he’s cool, mind you.
He wears this look from back when Spandau Ballet, Sade and Loose Ends were hip. His look is completely without irony. Why? Because he is a shady antiques dealer from East Anglia and irony is not related to clothing in his world. Lovejoy is the epitome of the Riviera rogue, \living in an eternal summer, messing about on boats, drinking ale in beer gardens and carrying out random acts of philanthropy. All the while his white jeans were rolled up, his boat shoes tightly tied and his denim jacket never far away. All this and we haven’t even mentioned Lady Jane Felsham… Country Gent: Brideshead Revisited Anyone who’s attended an Amnesty International event of late will be surprised to hear that there was a time when Jeremy Irons was, in fact, an impeccably dressed man. As many stars of the screen attempt to bury their cringeworthy looks of yesteryear, Irons has decided to swim upstream and become less stylish as the years go by. Yes, surprisingly enough, his look wasn’t always the dressing-gown-meets-gardening-attire tour de force it is today. Back in his Brideshead days he cut quite a dash as a foppish class tourist, all open-neck shirts and jumpers tied around the shoulders. Such was his appeal that he even moved in with his best mate’s sister - although that was actually part of the plot. Still, anyone into the current craze for checks, tweeds, cricket jumpers, Barbour jackets or penny loafers would do well to check out an episode or two for inspiration. Using the hallowed goggle box as a guide, we can also predict future trends. The remake of Blake’s 7, due on our screens imminently, will almost certainly revive the craze for silver and white. And there are plenty more examples out there. You just have to be switched on to find them.
“Is it any wonder then that men are reluctant to leave the relative security of their armchairs in order to venture out on a shopping trip?” segue 63
photography and styling - Lucy Gadd model - Christina Tayler corset from Ibiza flea market, petticoat from Rokit. to right; green kimono dress from Beyond Retro, tights UNIQLO, ballet shoes and tutu from Dancia International. dressing gown from Oxfam, leotard from American Apparel, tights modelâ€™s own. Top right; underwear from Ann Summers, faux fur coat from market stool, earring from Romford Market.
LOST IN LIMBO 64 segue
Having experienced the evolution of club culture and British street style, Paul Hartnett tells Samantha Avendano about Soo Catwoman, his first kiss at twenty-two and how Roxy Music saved his life… Bombarded as we are with numerous ‘Myspaz’ websites, photographic visuals and profound articles, the search for a defining style, a look, a fad or a trend is simply found at the click of a button. Yet little regard is given to the makers of these images. With valiant distinction, photographer Paul Hartnett has documented the last three decades of global street and club culture. Since 1976 Hartnett’s obstinate pursuit of theatrical, yet lucid, images has yielded a staggering collection of more than a thousand photographs. Hartnett has captured the lives of rebellious teenagers worldwide, from London’s underground punks and New York’s electro-clubbers to New Romantics, Goths and Tokyo’s Harajukus. He has managed to wrestle his way through every dim-lit club corridor, ambled amongst ecstasy-driven ravers and amid punk rock skinheads. Appearing in style publications such as i-D, Dazed & Confused, Tank, Attitude, The Independent Magazine and many more, Paul Hartnett’s work has been described as a ‘poetic appreciation of imperfection, personality and eccentricity’. Now at the age of forty-nine, Hartnett continues to do what he does best. With his current exhibition at London’s PYMCA Gallery, Hartnett showcases his efforts by exhibiting one portrait from each year of his career. The show portrays his unremitting vision of ‘raw style, real style’, which unveils a strong truth about fashion. Harnett refers to his photographic work as ‘fashion information.’ He believes it is reference material for people in art schools, fashion
schools, designers, etc, saying, ’I like to see the stitch on a hem. I like to see a bit of customising of paint or bleach. I like to see the adornment, the tattoo, the piercing. I love to see the great arrangement of the hair in fine detail because these are actually fashion history moments.’ At Hartnett’s exhibition, there is a buzz of admiration. Hard-core Hartnett fans have iconic David Bowie lightning bolts painted across their faces. Alcohol is consumed and punk music plays, as fashionable faces are keen to capture a glimpse of masterpiece portraits. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of East London’s Vibe Bar, Hartnett resides in a little town in Yorkshire called Haworth. ‘It’s kind of famous for the Bronte sisters: Emily and Charlotte,’ states the softlyspoken Hartnett, ‘I’m a million miles away from a nightclub or fashionable people. I didn’t even go to my exhibition.’ Even though Hartnett admits he can be a bit of a perfectionist and a control freak he claims he gave all his headshots to his agency PYMCA to curate, ‘kind of like a musician, giving the track to somebody to mix and they do their mix - and you know what… I haven’t even heard it yet. I don’t know what the walls look like.‘ Hartnett’s inspiration for his rebellious work comes from his difficult childhood. Born to Irish parents in West London in 1958, he lived in a residential home for the elderly and was educated at an all boys’ Catholic school in Ealing. ‘When I was a boy I was brought up in an old people’s home that my mum was in charge of. Each house was like a different world and the old ladies and gents always had photo albums, so I’d go in, sit on
their lap and they’d tell me about their wedding. Their photographs were amazing!” According to Hartnett, normal boyish pursuits like bug-killing and football were ludicrous and boring, so from these early attitudes, his future career was formed. The New Romantic phenomenon and punk culture were the creative outlets that heartened and encouraged Hartnett whilst growing up. Punk’s primary concerns with personal freedom, individualism, antiauthoritarianism, anarchy and free-thought appealed to Hartnett. According to Hartnett, if a song were written about his life, the chorus could be how Glam Rock, specifically, Mark Bolan, David Bowie and Roxy Music saved his life. ‘ Ziggy Stardust taught me how to sort of wave a well-manicured middle finger at bullies,’ says Hartnett. Through music, Hartnett managed to connect with like-minded creatives and punk embodied a DIY attitude that quenched Hartnett’s creative thirst. In October 1976, at the youthful age of eighteen, and equipped with a Kodak Instamatic camera, he took his first nightclub photo of Punk legend Soo Catwoman at Bang Disco. Hartnett excitedly recalls how he used to get photos processed at Boots. And how much fun it was to see the reaction of the salespeople because of the type of people he was photographing. Thereafter, Hartnett bought a Nikon camera at a flea market. He used this to capture photographs of Sex Pistol fans in Portobello Market, Steve Strange at the Blitz Club in London’s Great Queen Street, as well as gender bender Boy George and design icons such as
John Galliano, Judy Blame and Leigh Bowery. ‘Street and club culture was all about making contact with other outsiders. I suppose, just going to a club, having a drink and messing about with a camera meant I had close proximity. I had an excuse to say, “Hi my name is Paul, can I take your picture please? I love your look,”’ he says. “It wasn’t about networking. It was like a live MySpace, eighties thing, while also validating their [dressing up] efforts’. Hartnett’s creative eye has managed to capture some of the most electrifying visual moments in clubland history. ‘When I take a picture, I don’t want to make people look like something out of a magazine. I love blood shot eyes, big gaping pores… the occasional scar. I like a real picture,’ he says. As Hartnett reminisces on the drags, drugs and fashion frolics within his photographs, there is an understanding of the unglamorous realities of life. ‘When I was young, I didn’t drink or do drugs. I didn’t have my first kiss ‘til I was twenty-two,’ he says. ‘Everyone I grew up with is dead or in rehab! People died of AIDS, of alcohol poisoning, of drug abuse. People died in weird accidents because they were all bunged up on ecstasy or heroin. My whole address book is Tip-exed.’ Now, nearing the golden age of fifty, Hartnett is more interested in ‘enjoying being alive’. Hartnett has experienced history in the making with his very own eyes, having been an artefact himself at many ecstasy-filled affairs. Despite this, Hartnett wishes that he could have captured the early New Romantics: those caricatured, counter-sexual males
that wore cosmetics in the New Wave extension of punk fashion - with their frilly “fop” shirts and exaggerated versions of upscale, tailored fashion. ‘I love the fact that, before they changed the laws against homosexuality in 1967, people used to have these themed parties and balls,’ he says, ‘where everyone would dress up and be so theatrical. Men and women used to drag up and it was very outrageous.’ Having lived through the initial stages of punk with its fast, hard, short verse, stripped-down instrumentals and often political or nihilistic lyrics, Hartnett now listens to passing 1930’s steam-trains from his window. He prefers the vast Haworth Hills landscape that surrounds his converted brewery, ‘I love doing my gardening while talking about punk rock, gender benders, and Hip Hop with my gardening gloves on and a rake!’ Even Hartnett’s aesthetic is strangely wholesome. Original notions were drawn from childhood picture books. ‘I didn’t learn to read ‘til I was about ten. I used to read those books about freshwater fish and I would love the way they were laid out, all in boxes, against a white backdrop. And if you think about it, my Polaroid work is kind of like that,’ he says describing his role as a cataloguer of style. ‘You know, these people are like wild flowers, butterflies and moths and I’ve sort of gone along and caught them. My camera is rather like a pin, going through them, and sort of sticking them on a bit of card. That’s what I like to do’.
“Everyone I grew up with is dead or in rehab… My whole address box is Tip-exed.”
It maybe said that there are four fashion capitals in the world, but they overlap. Amy Whiting talks to Seven store founder about what New Yorkers think of London fashion. It is everything you might expect from a New York store – a large open space, with white walls and black railings. It sells the coolest designers to the savviest of clients. And it’s located downtown in Soho. What a perfect combination. The store has only recently relocated to Mercer Street in Soho. It could easily be missed as you walk past – as the outside looks almost like an underground warehouse. Black wrought iron stairs lead straight into the store. The rails of clothes run around the perimeter of the room, with shoes neatly lined up underneath. A plasma screen on the back wall features catwalk shows, whilst a Hot Chip remix plays in the background. Nine white mannequins stand perfectly in a neat square, showing the clothes off to their best potential. It’s such a well thought out shop, with plenty to see and hear. The staff are extremely helpful and very knowledgeable, which is refreshing. They understand the Seven customer and what suits them. Joseph Quartana founded the store after studying economics in college. He not only manages Seven, but is also the buyer of the clothing. The selection of designers, ranging from Cassette Playa, Preen and David David, shows that Joseph is totally aware to what is hip in the fashion circuit and what to look out for. In total, at the moment Seven stock twelve British designers, which is quite a lot considering how selective and relatively small the store is. London label House of Holland has been particularly popular with the New Yorkers. Joseph explains, “I had to re-order House of Holland five time last season to give you an indication of how well it sold.”. It is well know for its slightly nu rave t shirts with somewhat controversial sayings such as ‘Do Me Daily Christopher Bailey’, ‘Do Me In The Park Marc’, and ‘I’ll Show You Who’s Boss Kate Moss’. Although it may be hard to figure out how popular the London labels are in New York as Joseph
describes his clientele as “very fashion industry orientated and most, as well, are foreign… so it’s not a typical ‘New York’ crowd.” Like any big city that is full of a wonderful mixture of people and cultures, New York is no different. But Joseph seems on the fashion glitter ball and is running a business – so if lines didn’t sell, logic suggests they wouldn’t be stocked. He confirms, “all in all its gotten a great response.” British label David David is sold in Dover Street Market, London and stocked in Seven, New York. It features regularly in London style magazines Dazed and Confused, i-D, Nylon and Vogue - and is now causing a stir in the Big Apple. The bold vibrant prints on the t-shirts are immediately recognisable, as are the pastel blue trousers. It is interesting how David Saunders – David David designer – made the transition from art to fashion design. He graduated from a fine art course at Chelsea College of Art in 1999, before turning his hand to designing clothing. His artistic skills are apparent in the use of interesting geometric prints and wonderful bright colour palettes. The collections ooze a sense of playfulness. A primary-coloured, nostalgic vibe. When asked why he stocks so many British designers (thirteen in total) Joseph explains, “I love the aesthetic, and really do feel that London is on fire again.” He would like to include Louise Goldin’s collections in his store – another London designer who sells in Topshop and is a regular at London Fashion Week. All the British labels on sale have a very strong ‘London’ club scene link, reflected in the bright neon colours and bold designs. And when asked to describe what he thinks about London fashion, Joseph enthuses, “It’s abandon,” what ever that may mean. Perhaps he thinks that it’s free, and can go in any direction – which is where the two cities differ in their approach to fashion. But this downtown store is bang-on-trend, showing that both the New York and London fashion crowd are equally stylish, whichever side of the pond they’re on.
First picture left to right: Dress from Rokit. Glasses tealeafed from House Party, Burberry Mac Vintage. Second picture left to right: Vintage hat, stylistâ€™s own. Shoes from Office. Bow tie and shirt, charity shop finds. Longjohns and slippers, M&S.
Third picture left to right: Bra from Topshop. Socks. Jonathon Aston. Flatcap, modelâ€™s own. Y-fronts and socks M&S.
â€œBeautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.â€? Eleanor Roosevelt
photography and styling - lulu
models - Jodie Kharas & James Tutton
thRowinG shades “The human race is eternally optimistic believing that wearing a bit of darkened plastic on their face will make them look cooler and more glamorous… Bless.”
In the world of tinted glasses and quirky frames, Linda Farrow Vintage is eyewear’s most happening name. The designer speaks to Jennifer Wiebking about what it takes for a brand to become trend setting. First thing’s first - the relaunched sunglasses label Linda Farrow Vintage isn’t actually headed by a person called Linda Farrow, as one might imagine. Instead, its founder and chief designer is tall, darkhaired and naturally tanned Simon Jablon - son of Linda Farrow, who had her own sunglasses brand in the 1970s and 80s. ‘By the mid 1980s my mother literally just had enough,’ says Jablon, ’She wanted to focus on bringing up the family. She was tired at that point in the 1980s when the big brands came in and she felt that a lot of her designs were ripped off.’ The 29-year-old Jablon revived the brand in 2003 after he found a stock of his mum’s vintage designs in a warehouse. Linda Farrow headquarters, based off London’s busy Grays Inn Road, close to King’s Cross, is just like the sunglasses: surprising, with unexpected details here and there. ‘This used to be a school’s building,’ explains Jablon about the playful looking house with its colour-framed doors and windows, while he opens the door to what w0 ould be Victoria Beckham’s paradise. Shelves upon shelves of sunglasses are stacked on top of each other, decorating the walls of the brand’s showroom. In meticulous order, every shelf is marked by a black label reading brands such as Luella, Dries Van Noten, Jeremy Scott and many more, representing Jablon’s current Spring/Summer 2008 collaborations. ‘I can’t concentrate when there’s a mess,’ laughs Jablon, while sorting out the shelves, putting Linda Farrow for Luella in one corner and his label’s recently launched standalone diffusion line Linda Farrow Luxe in another. ‘My mother had no boundaries in her designs,’ explains Jablon, while organizing the remaining sunglasses scattered around the table in the center of the showroom. ‘There were no restrictions in what she did and that’s why she was a leader in her field,’ he says about Farrow, whose designs were a favourite of Yoko Ono. ‘Basically, she was doing things other people had never thought of,’ he adds proudly.
Farrow started designing sunglasses in the late 1960s and her label was officially formed by 1970. ‘Within a couple of years, she sold to over 2000 stores, and was asked to design for Balenciaga and Pucci,’ explains Jablon, who experienced his mother’s success first hand. ‘I worked with her all my life, it’s in my blood. I’ve been designing and sitting in business meetings since I was a child. These days, it is Jablon who is one of the leaders when it comes to tinted glasses and pretty frames. ‘She leaves me to do my thing, but every so often I like to present to her our new collections and see her reaction,’ he explains. Besides having successfully relaunched a brand, which in just five years is already competing with the big names, Jablon also constantly strives to prove himself an excellent team player – especially if one considers the dozens, and varied, designer collaborations under his belt. ‘We’ve got the best selection on the market,’ insists Jablon. ‘Working together with other designers adds extra personality to both brands,’ he says. ‘Most designers work in a one dimensional way. They have their look and their customer and certain shops. Luella, for example, has her target customers.’ Collaborations, Jablon believes, open up the brand to different demographics. “We sell Luella glasses to shops that would never buy her clothing collections. This way we can crossroad designers and products,’ he adds. Hadley Freeman, Deputy Fashion Editor at The Guardian and author of ‘The Meaning of Sunglasses’ says of these collaborations, ‘For Linda Farrow, such an alliance gives it modernity and brings it to a greater audience. And for Luella, it gives the brand credibility and consolidates the label’s often near-vintage look.’ Indeed, Jablon’s method of working with fashion designers, benefits both sides. ‘We’re not just interested in the brand,’ Jablon points out. ‘We’re interested in the design of the brand.’ Jablon’s work, however, isn’t limited solely to collaborating with high-end designers. Besides being fashion consultant to a number of big brands, his latest collaboration (in stores since mid-April) revolves around Topman’s ‘White Shirt Project’. The high street retailer
has invited established, as well as more up-and-coming, fashion designers to create one shirt each. ‘We’re doing matching sunglasses,’ explains Jablon. Fashion designers for the recent collection include Kim Jones, Oliver Spencer and 0044. ‘The concept, the people behind it are great,’ he says, ‘We are going to have a massive window display in Topman. When you go there, you will see that each pair of sunglasses has their own personality and that’s what Linda Farrow is ultimately about.’ Looking at Jablon’s achievements, including his latest coup in Oxford Circus’ most popular window, one thing is for sure: this brand has come a long way from selling a bunch of vintage sunglasses to exclusive retailers in 2003. ‘Five years ago, vintage was extremely hot. There was a real obsession with it,’ explains Jablon ‘It was a coincidence when we relaunched Linda Farrow at that time, but it gave us a great starting point.’ According to Jablon, vintage fashion is no longer popular. He believes that the look, as a whole, is not that interesting anymore. ‘People might buy the odd piece here and there but the real buzz is over. That’s the way fashion is,’ he says, referring to trends that usually start at the top and then move along until they filter down to the high street. ‘Now you can find T-shirts there screaming VINTAGE on the front. Tourists are taking buses to Brick Lane on Sundays to go vintage shopping, so the whole thing has turned a bit cheesy now. Like everything in fashion, it will be back, no doubt, but we have to wait until people move on…’ While one can certainly say that vintage has lost its appeal, it is the touch of character that vintage used to have which makes up the Linda Farrow philosophy. This character ultimately creates the brand’s trend-setting status, since consumers trust Linda Farrow when it comes to sunglasses. ‘I don’t believe in brands, I believe in character and product,’ says Jablon. ‘To make a product a big deal, the designer and his aesthetic has to shine through’. And it is exactly this, which has been missing in the eyewear industry, as the Guardian’s Freeman explains: ‘The human race is eternally optimistic believing that wearing a bit of darkened plastic on their face will make them look cooler and more glamorous. Bless.’ Instead, at Linda Farrow Vintage, oddly shaped frames, like the oversized black Batman mask that Jablon created for Luella, prove that sunglasses can be worn with a bit of humour. Looking back on the shelves packed with Dries van Noten’s very early wired, optical shades (one of the future trends, as Jablon predicts) or cute, slightly geekish, thick-framed round glasses (another trend according to Jablon), you can certainly see a pattern in his designs. A pair of Linda Farrows, whether it is in collaboration with a fashion designer or part of the standalone brand, is recognisable by the quirky details minus the big flashy label. Hence, it is now Jablon’s job to put some character back into the label-obsessed industry of sunglasses. He believes the label is revolutionary in the corporate structure. “We were able to bring sunglasses back to the niche market and create a product that the corporate world had taken the life and soul out,’ says Jablon, concluding, ‘Personality is the heart of the brand. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any desire for it.’
Power PLAy “Fashion has long been mocked by outsiders who believe that ready-towear is a contradiction.” 74 segue
Nu-rave may be over but the 1980s spawned more than one look. ‘Power Woman’ is back and she’s smart, sophisticated and very well dressed, says Kathryn Mackonochie. Music, entertainment and fashion have all taken a step back to the age of big hair and even bigger slogans. Yes, last year’s shows were littered with 80s tributes, and fashion’s current favourite face, Manchester born Agyness Deyn, is more 1980s than the Rubik cube. But during the latter years of that decade another style, ‘power dressing’, reigned supreme, and it’s this ruthless silhouette, shoulder pads and all, that’s back to kick some corporate ass. During the rise of the career woman, the silhouette of clothes emphasised power and control. Just like the cut of an American footballer’s bodyarmour (used to intimidate the opposition), jackets and coats were inserted with shoulder pads to create a square, broad shape. The silhouettes at Maison Martin Margiela’s collection were taken to the extreme. Suit jackets and dresses had over-exaggerated shoulders, structured to stand high above the model’s body. And at Jil Sander too, the emphasis was also on structure. The highly wearable collection was less about the shoulders, more about the neck, with the pieces swaddling the models in fabric. In a male-orientated world, the 1980s women would have needed these strong fabrics and structural garments for security. Over at Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs had his eye on Mike Nichol’s 1988 film Working Girl. From the oversized camel jacket with leather quilted shoulder bag, to the cream, high-waisted trouser suit, the collection had a true, 80s vibe. The slicked-back hair with harsh side fringe was more Chinese soldier than 1980s power-hungry women, but the collection needed some injection of Jacob’s unusual sense of humour.
In the 80s people had money to spend on themselves and their wardrobes. Designer labels, quality fabrics and elaborate accessories were worn to show-off the wealth of the wearer. Allesandro Dell’ Acqua’s collection oozed expense; the shoulders were big, the collars high and the suit jacket-dresses voluminous. It was the 80s businesswoman’s love for coordination that got an outing at Bottega Veneta. Handbags, shoes, gloves and tights were all dyed in the same colour to match the draped jersey dresses. The colour coordination elongated the silhouette, giving an illusion of effortless style. Tomas Maier’s collection was ready-to-wear at its best. Each outfit; from the long-sleeve, silk all-in-one to the capped-sleeve trouser suit could easily be slipped on for work or play. If the 80s working women were to feel a little unprotected in the soft draping of the jersey dresses, Maier added harsh shoulders to a soft, feminine trouser suit and heavy, double-breasted jackets over tailored trousers. In recent months there has been a huge rise in female power, not least with Hilary Clinton’s current campaign for the White House. The 1980s was famed, of course, as the decade of the first women in power, Margaret Thatcher, whose coordinated, shoulder-padded suits inspired the wardrobes of many women. Another influential power-dresser was Diana, the ‘People’s Princess’, whose coordinated wardrobe led the trends throughout the decade. Twenty years later, and it’s about time a powerful woman was back in fashion. After seasons of robotic-like, androgynous models storming the catwalk in fetish-style bondage, or little more than their underwear, it was refreshing to see clothes you could actually wear on a daily basis. We may now have the power once denied to us, but that doesn’t mean we should look like we don’t mean business.
Photograph Chris Moore
REG: CREDIT CARD NO 6190 8867 4496 1123
BALANCE: £532.86 Dear Bank Manager, Thank you very much for the credit card you recently sent to me. However, I am having a little difficulty paying this month’s minimum payment of £25. I have had a somewhat hectic couple of weeks and, as a result, have found myself slightly overdrawn. This is due to a number of reasons which I have outlined below. I recently moved into a new flat and, although advertised as ‘furnished’, it was missing many essential items. The existing single bed had to be upgraded to a double, and the curtains were identical to those in my grandparents living room, which were bought in 1954. A trip to Ikea was a definite necessity. Worst of all was the lack of hot water. I am sure you can understand that after a whole week of cold showers and kettlefilled baths, I started to become extremely paranoid about being smelly. This is why the new Vera Wang perfume was an essential purchase. I would like to apologise because I did also buy some new aubergine eyeliner from the MAC counter in Harvey Nics. I know the money I spent could have paid for my credit card but the assistant said that I was looking a little tired and I had a date that night with a man I met in the fruit and veg section of Morrisons. Sparkly eyes were an obvious essential and the colour was a limited edition so I obviously had to buy two. Then, I honestly had intended to walk home, but I realised that my date outfit didn’t match my new eyeliner. I found a top in Topshop that I just had to buy. I know £48 is rather a lot to spend on a top but it was an essential item. Unfortunately, I ended up having to re-buy the top after I ripped the first escaping my date through the window in the ladies. NB. Never date a man who spends longer than five minutes choosing a cucumber. I couldn’t return the original because apparently the Topshop returns policy does not cover disastrous dates. I suggested the policy be changed asap but did have to buy the top again. Luckily there was one left in my size. On top of all this stress, I still had my gas and electricity to pay for, not to mention Nairi (she lives in Africa I sponsored her off the telly), and so I am sure that you understand when I ask if I can pay a little less this month. Please find enclosed a cheque for £4.46. Yours thankfully, Rebecca Willford ps: Would there be any chance of you increasing my credit limit?
Leena night time three: Leggings Miki Fukai. Cream Flower Dress Zara. black jacket (that looks a whole lot better on her than me) Lipsy. See through Plastic Shoes Dallas Heights
I have caught it. It has made me ill. It has made me beautiful.
Styling - Suzanne Bardsley Hair - Ken Make up - Sahar Asefi Model - leena Photography - Miu
The slashed blue dress she is wearing is Miki Fukai, the leggings are Miki Fukai and the shoes are by Luscious
Red dress Miki Fukai. Black Jacket Lipsy. leggings Miki Fukai
Coat Oliver Volquardsen. Black dress Miki Fukai, Shoes Dallas Heights, Stockings H&M
Thursday 17 Jan 2008 The final major project brief is handed out in class. Thirty-eight girls and two lovely fashion boys begin scribbling notes whilst Deborah, our course leader, sets out the challenge. Should be listening to brief. Instead, after hearing the words ‘photo shoot’, note pad is covered with images of lithe beauties and luxurious designer clothing. This is going to be so much fun!
Monday 28 Jan 2008
sHoot me someBody
Meet with lecturer, James, and gain support for my project. I am pleased with concept, feeling very happy. At the beginning of a relationship, this is what is known as the honeymoon period. I feel a warm, motivational glow. Later, I get drunk and start telling the toilet attendant in Revolution about my fashion story. I think she may have an ulterior motive behind her interest an increase in profits from the sale of lollipops and chewing gum perhaps? She seems to like it though, the clever fox.
Thursday 7 Feb 2008 I’m going to do something artistic. I want a grimy look to offset the designer clothes that I have bought (in my imagination). University has a studio I can use, but I want it raw. Walk around London looking for dark corners that have that, ‘I have been out all night’ kind of vibe. One question though: where will the girls get changed if it’s shot in street? I do not want this turning into a builder’s fantasy.
Thursday 14 Feb 2008 Location sorted – a friend is renovating an old house so I will do it there, but Alessandra has said it will be refurbished soon. I cannot have fresh paint and spotlights ruining my idea. Need to get my roller skates on if I am to pull this off. Valentines- Day for the singleton means plunging myself deep into work.
Thursday 21 Feb 2008 The one day I really wish I knew Lily Cole. Print out the details of twenty seven very different modeling agencies - from Storm to lesser known but hilariously-titled Mustard Models. I even pay £2.50 to view the trollopes on www.starnow.com, but it is all tits and tan which is a complete waste of my time. Now begins two days of relentless phone calls. In best ‘fashion-happy’ voice (practiced in mirror first) - reactions to my spiel are somewhat cutting. My favorite is: “Naturally, we are not interested.” I feel de-motivated to say the least. Whilst making a smoothie I contemplate sticking my head in the blender.
“Naturally, we are not interested.” 82 segue
Friday 22 Feb 2008 Success!! A modeling agency has agreed to consider me if I email them with this information: Photographers website Four images of photographers work My own styling work Location address Thematic premise of shoot Details of type of models needed I hear myself agree to everything, ‘Yes, yes I will email you right away’. Now, where do you find a photographer at 4.45pm on a Friday?
Saturday 1 March 2008 View up and coming London fashion photographer’s websites. I am asked the same question over and over: ‘What is your budget?’ Well, currently, I have minus £2.50 on my oyster card. I actually owe money before I can even get on the train. Do you think I have a budget? How am I going to pull this off?
Friday 7 March 2008 One photographer likes the idea and an agency has agreed to two models. Organise test shoot to practice for real day. Nerves bubbling up now: “Calm thoughts, buy dresses.”
Tuesday 11 March 2008 Day of test shoot. Photographer cancels twenty minutes before show time. Whilst in shock I call everyone I know. Success. My friend James pulled a photographer last night in Shoreditch. They both come round with ruffled hair and I thank my lucky stars. As she is using my SLR borrowed from Uni and we only have strip lighting available I tell her my main inspiration is (now) Jeurgen Teller. Test model then kicks off because her face is being touched too much by make up artist. I can see why this is called a test. But then she is happy - she likes the clothes and is a pleasure to work with. We all leave at 1 am. Takes me three buses to get home. Fall asleep 5.30am.
Thursday 13 March 2008 Oh shoot, it’s the shoot! Wake up 7.45am. Have to be in Earls Court for 9.30. Arrive. Models are here already. Make up artist is in South Ken and the hair guy is going to be an hour late as planned. I’m just amazed it’s going ahead at all. I meet models and instantly long to be a 5’ 11”, sixteen-year old Russian. Photographer sets up lighting and the girls try on very different outfits. By lunch neither hair nor make up is finished and the photographer is pacing up and down as she wants ‘the shot’. Suzanna and Linda look gorgeous, weird and beautiful. After three hours of poses and faux facial expressions the Clinique wipes come out and sweep through three hours of carefully applied rainbow bright eyes. I see Ken wince. The girls then say goodbyes and leave with photographer. I am still buzzing from the experience. My friends who have come along to help take me for a ‘well done you got through it drink’. I can’t wait to see the final photos. Contemplate taking them back to the toilet attendant for approval. segue 1
The world of self-demand amputation is mysterious and guarded. Nicky Ashwell infiltrates this elusive community to question the motives, the methods, and the rationale behind choosing to be less than whole. In 1992 George Boyer put a shot gun to his knee cap, pulled the trigger and never looked back. He is heralded as one of the first successful men to fulfil his desire of becoming an amputee. Since then, many other men and women have followed in his (now half prosthetic) footsteps though not all by such drastic means, and form part of a guarded community obsessed with amputation. Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), is a medical condition whereby sufferers believe that their anatomical identity is not representative of the way they think they should look. In short, they are burdened by the overwhelming belief that they should be an amputee. The subject was first addressed from a medical perspective by John Money in 1977, who defined the condition as Apotemnophilia (which literally translates from Greek as ‘amputation love’) and rooted its motives in sexual arousal. Disagreeing with this diagnosis, further work has since been completed in an attempt to explain the real causes, but the limited research in the field has left the disorder undefined, it falls under no official medical categorisation and no ultimate reason can be given for why someone would wish to mutilate their body in such a way. Further distorting the subject are other varieties of amputation obsession, for which colloquialisms have emerged. A ‘wannabe’ refers to someone who wants to become an amputee, while a ‘pretender’ prefers to play the role of an amputee by such methods as tying one leg behind them or using a wheelchair. Slightly more disturbing are ‘devotees’ who are sexually attracted to amputees, if not to people with a variety of disabilities. I am a congenital amputee, a term I was unfamiliar with until I started researching this article, born without my right hand. Having never been dissatisfied with my physical state (apart from longing to play the piano and wear evening gloves), I see no difference between amputees and the rest of the world. But I still struggle to understand why someone would choose to dispose of a limb that would be so dear to me. The expert on BIID is Dr Andrew Jones, the only British doctor known to have carried out two amputations on men who had no physical ailment. Dr Jones first became aware of BIID in 1997, when an acquaintance put him in touch with a ‘wannabe’. “It struck me as being quite extraordinary that anyone would actually want to have limbs removed,” he tells me, “because most people that I do amputations on are absolutely devastated by it.” Instantly intrigued by the condition, Dr Jones met with the potential amputee and his wife to discuss the implications of what was being requested, before insisting on the completion of some psychiatric tests. “I was actually quite impressed by the fact that they [the psychiatrists] said that as far as they could make out there was nothing psychotic about the guy. He wasn’t mentally ill and he was entirely aware of what he was requesting.” Following the correct channels, Dr Jones received approval for the operation and made his patient a happy man. The cost of the operation was £3000, but Jones took no personal fee for completing the surgery. In no time at all the story caught the attention of the ‘amputation-longing’ population and a second operation was carried out shortly afterwards. Jones’ reputation attracted not only a queue of wannabes but publicity, too. When his actions became known to a local MP he was prevented from proceeding
with any further operations. Although nearly ten years have passed since this controversial operation, neither Dr Jones, nor any other surgeon, has completed a similar amputation. The ampu-curious have now gone underground to the secretive recesses of the internet where they seek shelter in websites such as www.ampulove.com run by Alex Mensaert. “I started Ampulove to give people more information, certainly medical information” says Mensaert, a 37 year old triple elective amputee from Belgium. He is one of few successful wannabes prepared to discuss his experiences openly and is admired by the DPW (devotee, pretender, wannabe) community for it. “People sometimes call me a god of amputations,” he says. “I don’t like that word, I only want to prove that it’s really possible.” Mensaert is aware of how difficult it is to be accepted as a wannabe and likes to think that Ampulove helps others come to terms with their feelings in a friendly environment. “To most people, it takes time to discover that they are not alone. It is certainly not a subject people want to talk about”. The reluctance of these people to come forward appears to be hindering the development of medical understanding regarding BIID. In a 2004 study carried out by psychiatrist Dr Michael First, only fifty-two participants were prepared to be questioned and that was over the phone. First’s study was the first instance of the use of the term BIID. Out of his fifty-two subjects, 15% cited sexual arousal, 63% restoration of true identity and 37% a limb feeling different, as reasons for amputation. Six people had tried to amputate their own limb. “My impression was that by and large, contrary to what you’d expect, these people were relatively normal, which was a surprise”, says Dr First, who was introduced to BIID through his work editing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It strikes me that if a psychiatric expert suspected less than normality from these people it is no wonder that the general public hold negative preconceptions. First’s comments concur with the assurance Jones gave me, that his patients were “well oriented, sensible and not neurotic”, suggesting that we should consider re-assessing our initial prejudices. I suspect is difficult to come to terms with wannabes because of the inability of BIID to shake off its sexual connotations. It’s a problem that not only mars perceptions of the disorder, but also interferes with psychiatric research. According to Jones: “there is a very common perception that this is a sexual disorder and therefore should not be regarded as a medical problem. I think it is fuelled by the number of websites there are that are sexually related”. Jones cites the infiltration of websites supposed to be about BIID by apotemnophiles, as a reason for the disorder’s sexual stereotyping. When I speak to Dr First regarding his opinions on Apotemnophilia he provides rationale that completely alters my opinion. “If it was just about people who are turned on by amputation it wouldn’t be a very interesting disorder because people can be turned on by anything”, he says On further contemplation it occurs to me that although admission to being sexually attracted towards amputees would cause a scandal in most circles, it is only a symptom of our overall negativity towards people with disabilities. If we see disabled people as just that, unable, incapable, it is no wonder the concept of a devotee sparks controversy. It is for this reason that I have been less shocked by BIID than my fourlimbed friends. I am able to see beyond the taboo of disfigurement that I’m sure clouds many people’s perception and my amputee friends feel the same way. As Mensaert tells me, “they see it as a disability but I do not feel disabled.” A sentiment I’m sure many disabled people would agree with. Dr Jones is very concerned about the extremes wannabes will endure to get what they need. “I’ve had quite a number of people who have self-injured to obtain what they want and I know of one woman who has frozen off both her legs”, he says. The wannabe horror stories are innumerable and range from sedation and chainsaws to lying across a railway line waiting for the ten o’clock train. They can all be regarded as a measure of the desperation felt by those with BIID, for whom, as Jones is keen to reiterate, “psychiatric treatment has no effect. BIID sufferers have this lifelong torment which starts in infancy, in childhood, and lasts until they die. For a final perspective on elective amputation I contact The Limbless Association, a charity which provides support for people who are without one or more limbs, to see how they would react to someone who has chosen to become an amputee. Outreach Officer Alex Hyde-Smith assures me that the organisation would have no opposition to it. “We are here to help anyone one who has or is about to lose a limb”, he says. There is, it seems, acceptance available for wannabes. However, I can understand why both Dr First and Dr Jones have been insistent on their affiliation to BIID rather than the more shady Apotemnophilia. The greatest hindrance stems from the deadly cycle of secrecy and misunderstanding that is fuelled by wannabes scared to come forward. In criticising these individuals, we underestimate the personal struggle they have undergone coming to terms with their desires, and the courage required to admit to themselves who they are or want to be. It is not that they want to be different; amputation is simply the only way that they can feel complete.
Some names have been changed for the protection of the individual.
Parsons Students from London and New York share the stylings of their respective cities. NYLON never felt so good, reports Nicky Ashwell. It was the best of times for a selection of UCCA fashion journalism students this year - hand picked for a revolutionary new collaboration with New York’s Parsons New School for Design. Pulling together the visual and written counterparts of two of the fashion industry’s favourite cities, this exciting new union started the way every good story should, with international flights, serious schmoozing, stunning fashion, and excessive shopping. Labelled the Epsom-Parsons (E/P) Project, this cross-continent collaboration came into being thanks to UCCA’s Deborah Lampitt. “I was lucky enough to visit Parsons on a business trip to New York last year,” she says enthusiastically, “and the idea just clicked.” Lampitt was keen to enable her students to make positive contacts in New York, and in turn hopes the New Yorkers will feel they have friends in London too. “I thought that by doing a joint project with a respected fashion college like Parsons, it would give students an opportunity to learn more about New York as a fashion capital, and to start establishing connections that could prove helpful post graduation,” she says. After developing an online rapport, twelve third-year students from the UCCA travelled to New York City to witness first-hand the collections of their new friends across the pond, arriving just in time to experience Parsons’ Annual Senior Thesis Review. This final assessment for senior students is no ordinary critique. Consisting of an invited panel of judges who rate amongst the industry’s finest buyers, designers and most fabulous experts, they’re there to give feedback on the assembled rising talent. The Londoners were there to revel in the New York-ness of it all, to learn about a city that has long captured their imaginations, and to meet the designers sure to be the industry’s best kept secrets. UCCA students, however, had nothing discreet in mind, opting instead for a bold collision with New York. Beyond admiring the view at the Mandarin Oriental, sneaking into Soho House, or lounging at Jay-Z’s 40/40, they paraded the London look with pride. Swapping style notes in a brief encounter with Patricia Field was a particular highlight. Equally so was an impromptu photo shoot with indie band The Bravery for
It started with a Blog
Maxim magazine. It seems that while you’re not writing magazine pages, you may as well grace them. Meanwhile, Deborah Lampitt’s counterpart in New York (Parsons Fashion Design Director Steven Faerm) had his own intentions for the collaboration. “I just think Parsons as a whole is very interested in reaching out to other schools, and I myself, am very interested in learning how other schools teach fashion design,” he explains. “It would be great exposure to have two types of students of fashion working together – the designers and the journalists. Each one is so important in the industry but the can also serve each other.” As two cities with fantastic fashion reputations, there is no question of the potential for students to learn through each other. London is a melting pot for exciting new ideas, street style and conceptual bizarreness, while New York is famed for its easy wearability, sleek lines and commercial success. Lampitt argues that the two cities are not totally different: “there are also certain shared elements,” she says, “for example, interesting street culture, vibrant music and club scenes. These combine to create a vibe in each city that is quite in tune with the other.” Steven Faerm is also insistent that now is the time for unity and globalisation. “New York is no longer about American fashion, it’s just global. Even what’s happening in New York City is diversified. He would like the English influence to encourage his students to create, “something that is really challenging our perceptions of fashion”. What Lampitt wants her students to experience is the greater intricacies of what goes into a fashion collection. “It’s so important they understand the process of fashion, as well as the finished product,” she says. Stéphane Houy-Towner, Review panellist from the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Department, agrees that such an understanding is vital. “I really feel it is a very intelligent move, one which hopefully will help and elevate the quality of fashion writing in the coming years,” he says. Stéphane sees the project as, “essentially a clever pedagogic boot-camp approach in educating each student on how to interact with their respective and perspective worlds”. Both on paper and in practise, it was a fantastic idea: bring two fashion tribes together and let them learn how the other makes fire.
The World Without Us Rosa Bertoli discovers there’s more to Parsons graduate Melissa Lüning than meets the eye Imagine if humans suddenly disappeared from Manhattan. The island returning to its primordial state, nature governing the city. Collapsed bridges, trees bursting through the roofs of derelict buildings, animals and vegetation taking over the streets. This is the image that the twenty two-year-old fashion designer Melissa Lüning had in mind when she started designing her collection, inspired by the book The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. “It is a very fascinating study about what would happen to our built structures if our population disappeared,” she explains. In a business that’s all about being fast and making money, Melissa Lüning’s creations are a quiet oasis of peace and tranquillity. Debuting her collection in a room filled with black suits and professional attitudes, her heartfelt, almost naïve story of a walk in the woods, a girl reconnecting with nature, is a relief. The most important thing to Melissa is the sustainable side of her creations, and “the fact that sustainability should be a natural choice, not an option.” Her extreme views landed her a nomination for the Randolph Hearst Scholarship, a prize awarded to a student whose work is socially or politically conscious. Drawing her influences from as far away from fashion as possible, she names her late father as her main inspiration: “he was really influential in the way he looked at and lived his life. He was always looking at quality, and natural or hand-made things. And then it always turned into politics,” she explains. “I never thought I would be interested in politics or world issues, but look at me now - I am an environmentalist.” Her origins, deeply rooted in Sweden (“I am the first generation of my family to be born in America,” she explains), link back to a simple lifestyle, and to a country where sustainability is found in everyday life: “it is a country that could sustain itself without the usage of oil,” she clarifies. Her fall 2008 collection strictly follows her credo, being completely made of natural materials such as wool, cashmere, hemp, silk and soy, with a natural palette of cream, grey and dark green. Her topographic coat is what every woman should have in their wardrobe: made of slate grey mohair, its minimal shape makes it a staple, its topographic motif embroidered with cream coloured yarns make it the most interesting piece in the collection. But when it comes to personal favourite, however hard to pick one, Melissa declares: “I think my outfit with the white bamboo wrap top and the large grass skirt speaks a lot of my collection;” the grassy wool skirt was hand-tacked and embroidered with natural yarn, looking “as if a woman had been running through the forest and branches, leaves and thorns had caught her dress. She’s the queen of this world I am creating,” she concludes. Accessories include birch
tree bracelets, hand-carved out of a piece of wood, “it’s like putting your arm through the branch of a tree.” With a collection mixing wardrobe staples such as the white T-shirt and black pants with chunky knits and oversized shawl dresses, Lüning’s style is far from your average sustainable clothing idea, all itchy fabrics and shapeless beige sacks. The materials she uses are in fact soft and delicate, as the most important thing to her is “the feeling a woman should have when wearing a garment.” Her work and ideas reflect her attitude to life at Parsons: looking back at the four years she spent at the school, she seems to forget the hard times, mentioning competitiveness and pressure among the positive things. I all started when, years ago, her mother - a former Swedish model - showed her a picture of the Parsons graduates in the paper. “ ‘Melissa, you need to go there,’ she told me. Now, I can’t imagine being anywhere else, but once again, I am ready for the next step.” She certainly has no doubts about what’s next; her ultimate dream would be to start her own line, following in the footsteps of eco-friendly designers such as Stella McCartney and Missoni. “I am currently working on launching my own business,” she explains, although, after an internship at Donna Karan’s knitwear department, she is eager to explore this side of fashion too. Despite the great achievements that these last few weeks have brought her, from her highly successful Senior Thesis Collection presentation in front of a panel of journalists and PRs, to having her garments displayed in the window at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, Melissa is still true to her roots, and keeping her enthusiastic nature, even when looking at the future.
Yoo Are BeAutifuL Parson’s Design School has produced another batch of exciting new talent, including recent graduate Clara Yoo. But, how does New York turn out the goods year after year, wonders Amy Whiting. Situated on New York’s 7th Avenue – or Fashion Avenue – Parsons campus is perfectly located. The third year students have been working extremely hard all year to prepare for their final thesis collection and it was nothing less than impressive. One student in particular stood out, she had designed a range of women’s accessories. The rest of the presentations that day had focused primarily on women’s clothing – so it was refreshing to see purses and belts. Her name is Clara Yoo and she delivered her entire thesis with poise and sophistication. Dressed in a black skirt and matching top, she reflected the professional image that Parsons is renowned for. Not only did she have a unique collection of bags, she also included three stunning looks to ensure her creative side shone through to the panel. The first look was a red-cropped jacket, was teamed with a simple black tank top. The second outfit was a simple black coat and the third look continued the same simplicity – with a little black dress. The clothes were classic and extremely wearable. But it was the accessories that were imaginative and in keeping with the classic and simple designs. A black passport holder was given a make over with silver lining and small-mirrored circles on the front. The audience seemed to love the next bag, which received a round of applause. A red plastic tote with black handles had some hidden secrets. There was a round, black removable purse that came out from a see-through pocket on the front of the tote. The purse had a strap on the back so that your hand would fit easily through it. A simple yet effective idea. The
collection also included a black and silver plated shoulder bag and evening clutch to ensure both day and night had been catered for. Whilst talking to Clara after her presentation, she was excited about a red reversible satchel bag made from fire hose plastic. Clara explained that she became inspired by fire hydrants while she was wandering the streets of New York. She explains how “fresh ideas and mundane materials” inspire her creative mind. Cute, round polka dot pockets on the front of the bag give it an extra finishing touch and show that Clara has thought every detail through. All of her bags are made in a Korean factory, Cho Limited, which also manufactures Burberry, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Surprisingly, like many Parsons’ students, fashion design was not Clara’s first career choice. She was previously a teacher in her hometown of Korea before finding her talent in New York. She attended the private women’s university called Sookmyung in South Korea where she studied French and Japanese. However, she says it was in 2004 when she came to Parsons that she found her passion. She says she loved “the combination between art and fashion.” Clara successfully made it to the 60th annual Benefit show that is held in New York, as did a few of her class mates. She has also had some amazing internships throughout her time at Parsons, including a scholarship at Banana Republic after winning the Gap inc. Women’s Accessories category. And work experience with Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors which makes for a pretty impressive resume. Skills like hers can’t go unnoticed. As she points out: “everyone has a talent,” and it seems she has certainly found hers.
KWAn she Kick It?
For American-born, Chinese designer Sylvia Kwan, Parsons School of Design was always on the agenda. “New York has a very diverse environment that provides all the resources for any aspiring artist or designer,” she says. “Whether you like old, classical, historic or chic, New York has them all, no matter what your aesthetic is.” Looking at her, you wouldn’t think that this shy young woman would have the courage to constantly produce epic collections. She is the perfect example of a girl who has so much talent it’s just waiting to burst out. Whether nervous or just extremely quiet, first impressions seem to fade when you realise the content of Sylvia’s fall 08 designs. “I love putting small details in my clothes that are not seen from far away,’ she explains, ‘not seen until you look up close. An example is the way I designed the top and hem of my pants, adding asymmetric elements and contrast of fabrics such as patent leather and wool.” A cotton shirt with a silk wool trim is teamed with a twill-suiting wide leg pant. A skin-tight blazer
placed over the top of a sequined blouse, with a georgette strap, an oversized cardigan with nylonknit leggings. Explosions of vibrant burnt orange and brilliant white, stand alongside gloomy dark greys. The collection’s two statement pieces are an angora coat with felt trim that drapes over a cashmere rib turtleneck and a show-stopping sequined, silk satin A-line dress. Sylvia’s inspiration comes from surveillance, which, when you consider it, is particularly relevant to current life. Whether we know it or not, we are always being watched, and the idea that someone on the other side sees our every move is constantly thoughtprovoking. “I wanted to take that and twist it around so that the clothes would get the attention,” she says. “The very nature of surveillance is covert; images that are captured by security cameras often have high contrast and low definition. With internships at Mendel, GAP and Uniqlo already under her belt, it seems that there is no stopping this talented graduate. In a couple of years time, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her up there with the best.
the otheR BILL BrANdt Matt Hambly talks to fashion lecturer Bill Brandt and finds that Parsons means business. Bill Brandt is a genial man who, without a hint of self-interest, will talk for hours on the subject of menswear and the fashion industry in general. Indeed, this article is thanks in no small part to his ability and willingness to express his views on a subject that, at first glance, he doesn’t appear entirely suited for. Hailing from Virginia, or “the south,” as he puts it in a drawling red neck lilt that he exaggerates for effect, Brandt is a man in a relatively non-descript suit who, by British standards, looks more like a geography teacher than a fashion lecturer. Especially one who lectures at New York’s most prestigious design college. Certainly, he is well turned out, smart, even stylish in an understated way. There is nothing overtly flamboyant about him. No collar ruffs, no double cuffs left open, no scarves draped around the neck. But then, why should there be, especially from a man who, as he puts it, takes “no stock in fashion as art.” “This is a business,” he tells me. “There’s room for creativity, but I’m interested to see what Galliano would do if Dior got bored.” This fiercely commercial mindset typifies Parsons design agenda. If it won’t sell, it won’t wash. As a result, the collections presented by Brandt’s students have two clear themes. Either they pander to the current craze for casual American classics, or they draw on the European romanticism of Kris van Asche, Jil Sander and Dior, all of whom are currently selling well in New York’s major department stores. Most notably though, there is nothing you couldn’t pick
up, put on and walk down Seventh Avenue. When you compare this to Gareth Pugh’s graduate collection of two years ago (which is the example that all the Parson’s students use) his alien shapes seem like they’ve come from a galaxy far, far away. Clearly there is a path that the Parsons students are put on and the tutors work hard to keep them from straying. Even the team of industry experts invited to judge the presentations are chosen for their opinions and experience of the fashion business. Buyers from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Polo Ralph Lauren and fashion editors from Details and MR magazine all want to know: a) How much the collections will cost, and b) Where they will be hung in store? Little else appears to matter. It’s hard to imagine Alexander McQueen at his graduation show being forthcoming with his cost prices and preferred store location, but then McQueen doesn’t show in London anymore, and neither does Galliano, or Paul Smith. In fact, it’s hard to think of a major British fashion talent who does still show at London Fashion Week. Why is this? Because London’s fashion industry places creativity and innovation over commerciality and financial viability any day of the week and as a result, it attracts creatives, not businessmen. At one point during the day, someone suggested that London Fashion Week was a bit of joke, a place for precocious talent to stamp it’s feet out of the way of the serious fashion world. If we want this to change, London will have to swallow it’s pride and get on the commercial bandwagon, after all, as Brandt says “There’s no point making clothes if you run out of money to make any more.”
spiNNiNG A YARN It is unusual to catch more than a brief glimpse of the designer responsible for a collection. Most barely touch the catwalk as they take a coy bow during the finale. But at the Parsons Thesis Review the designers were as much in the limelight as the models. Kat Mackonochie goes in search of the face behind the fashion. ”You feel so intimidated, presenting something you worked so hard on for a year,” explains Brooklyn-born designer and Parsons student Nikki DeMoneris. “They have become my pride and joy.” As stunning as each individual piece is on the surface, the deeper you look into the inspiration and design, the more exciting it becomes. In the case of twenty-year-old DeMoneris’ collection, a knit jumper with delicate crochet detailing was inspired by her grandmother’s crows-feet. The main inspiration for DeMoneris’ thesis collection was the artwork of Barbara Zucker, whose sculptural pieces consist of lace-like patterns carved into rubber. “When I first walked into the Museum of Art and Design and looked at [Zucker’s] wall instillation, I thought it was gorgeous. When I read what it was about, I found it unbelievable.” Zucker’s work is inspired by the ageing skin of friends; a sculpture titled ‘Lillian’s Flowing Face’ was derived from a photograph of her ninety-year-old friend. “Her concept and her techniques were so intense,” explains De Moneris. “I wanted my collection to have that effect on those who viewed it.” Excited murmurs circle the room as DeMoneris shows her first outfit, a white, knee-length, hand-knitted, wool dress. “It’s so soft,” coos a representative from Michael Kors. “You have a real eye for knitwear,” exclaims her co-worker. Next into the limelight is a Merino-wool sweater with seaming down the centre back, and a wool/silk, knee-length skirt with trumpunto stitch detailing. Nikki’s collection showed maturity and sophistication. “I started off [at Parsons] very naïve - my designs were just dresses. I didn’t think of designing ready-to-wear. By junior year I was designing denim, but it was too soon in my career to fall into the mass market. That’s when I took my aesthetic to designer level, and got more personal with my work.” Nikki believes that Parsons fuelled her understanding of fashion and helped her mature as designer.
“My designs have become more realistic,” she explains. “I used to think ‘I like this pretty picture’, but when I would try to create it, it would be unrealistic.” In a smart palette of black and white, Nikki’s collection includes a lamb-skin leather jacket, wool/crepe flared-back skirt, chunky hand-knitted snood, wool slim trousers and a silk/charmeuse blouse; each piece receives a round of applause from the audience. When questioned about her selling aspirations, Nikki stands by the couture-like nature of her collection. She explains that there would be an option for customers to pre-order the clothes with personalised crochet detail. “They could send a scan of their finger print and have it put on a dress or jumper,” she explains. “If customers wanted to do their own crochet, they could order plain items and buy the yarn to do it themselves.” Unlike many of her peers, who seemed reluctant to alter their designs for the mass market, Nikki understands the need to change. In an industry dominated by fast fashion, it was a breath of fresh air to see a designer showing traditional, smart fashion. Nikki describes her collection as, “classic - valuable pieces that will never go out of style. I do not lean towards the trendy markets, I design pieces to last a lifetime.” Now that her collection is complete, Nikki hopes to continue working in knitwear and endeavours to find a placement with a design house in New York. “I’m very proud of all the seniors. We went through a lot to get to this point in our lives. I’m also glad it’s over!”
the FemALe DonAlD tRump Natalie Messer meets a designer with an eye on being the best that she can be. “Clean. Effortless. Romantic.” In three words, Wen Shi rather emphatically sums up her senior thesis. As one of the last students to show their work during the week-long presentations, Wen’s collection was a calming moment in a storm of design overload. Throughout each session, the students tentatively took their place in front of the insiders, the peers, the wannabes and the critics and poured their hearts out. Minimalism, sustainability and sleek chic were predominantly the Parsons student’s personal visions of the future, but what was hard to fault was their impeccable technical skills, and the professionalism of the finished pieces. Each cocktail dress, tapered trouser and structured jacket were sewn, lined and detailed to such a high quality, that it wasn’t much stretch of the imagination to picture them hanging on the rails of one of New York’s prestigious department stores. Wen’s own capsule collection, consisting of loose, unstructured monochrome pieces, was a sartorial interpretation of mathematical drawing methods. “My inspiration was a combination of artists,” she says. “It is a mixture of influences composing the U.S Pavilion built by Buckminister Fuller, the works of M.C. Escher, and paintings by Delacroix. The aesthetic is clean, easy, intelligent, and modern.”
Her eight piece collection featured relaxed pieces, such as a two-tone, off-white, crepe de chine lounge suit, and boxer briefs made from cotton cashmere jersey paired with a raglan sleeve knit top. The more sculptural elements of the collection include a two tie scarf dress, one made with navy and sand stripe chiffon, the other of ink on white plaid chiffon. The scarves could be wound round the body as desired, and the ink plaid print subtly referenced Escher and Delacroix’s continuous graphic lines. This technique was also seen on an ivory djebella made from double faced silk and cotton. The kaftan style dress floated down to floor, and its navy and black embroidered hem extended the triangular aesthetic. Leather gladiator flats gave the piece a 21st Century edge and brought it bang on trend. The signature piece of the collection was the Three Grays Dress - a strapless column dress of silk habotai over an elastic bustier. Eleven yards of draped grey silk strips billowed down the front, each could also be transformed into a scarf or a wrap. Identifying the iconic designer Halston as one of her role models (“because he simplified everything and without him there would be no resort collections”). Wen’s work was also heavily inspired by pioneering designer Bonnie Cashin, who favoured timeless shapes. Her staple silhouettes included ponchos, tunics, Noh coats and kimonos, all of which allowed for ease of movement and manufacture. Wen’s collection also lends itself to the sculptural aesthetic that Cashin’s style was revered for, and she explains her admiration is “not necessarily for what she did with her designs, but the fact that she was constantly producing design collaborations during her whole career, travelled the world, and was happy. And throughout all this, she stayed revolutionary to American fashion.” For twenty two year old Wen, this career path is exactly what she envisions. “My ultimate ambition would be to become the female version of Donald Trump,”she laughs. Just kidding! I want to work at a label I really believe in, although I would love to eventually have my own line. That would be the ultimate.”
“London Is More InteRestiNG”
Despite never living in the UK, Parsons graduate HJ Lee is breaking the American mould by producing conceptual designs that even our home-grown talent would be proud of. Dan Olivier reports. “I trained as a pianist when I was younger, and as Beethoven is my favourite composer it was meaningful to use him as my inspiration” says HJ Lee, one of this years acclaimed graduates from Parsons The New School for Design in New York. Sitting opposite twenty two-year old Lee in a lively café on 7th Avenue, she looks exhausted from the final weeks of preparation for her thesis presentation. “We have had a year to prepare, and it all went really well actually’, she says with no hesitation. The presentation was a ten-minute guide through a selection of garments, explaining inspiration and construction, plus feedback and a Q&A session from insiders such as Michael Fink, the Woman’s Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue. “I was absolutely petrified,” admits Lee, “but they were all really nice and my friends and my mom were watching, so that helped relax me a little bit.” What’s striking is the industry awareness and sense of business, not only from Lee but all of the candidates, with price points and target markets one of the key focuses of the panel. “We have a heavy focus on which is a New York thing,” she explains. “Some people here want to be crazy in their designs and you are asked to tone it down. Marketing is always something you have to think about.” Lee’s designs are still very conceptual compared to most at Parsons and there is a real creative edge to her garments. With nods to the likes of McQueen and Westwood, Lee confesses that “to me
London is more interesting and more individual.” Lee’s aspirations lie in mimicking creatures de la mode such as Gareth Pugh. “London has a mentality of poor and great, not mainstream and rich, says Lee. “To me, being rich doesn’t mean anything, so I would rather be amazing and poor.” Korean born Lee came to the United States at the age of 15, finding solace in her love of the arts during school in California and Minnesota.”In high school I always studied arts-related subjects. That started me thinking about what I wear and I wanted my style to influence my career path. I knew I was going to stay in America, and as New York is a city with a reputation for fashion, and Parsons is the best, I chose here.” The support that she has gained from the institute is credited to her skill, not just as a designer, but as an academic, winning both the UG Dean’s and BFA scholarships in 2004 for the full four-year course in Fine Arts & Fashion Design. Stephane Houy-Towner, research associate of costume at the Metropolitan Museum of Art commented, “I thought HJ Lee was very creative and had good ideas. Her collection had a very good graphic quality and interesting cuts that were well set together.” However, he continues, “Her aesthetic might be better received in Europe than in the USA and she seems to like the Japanese and Belgian designers. She also has an interesting modular approach to her collection and its styling.” Lee’s thesis collection has seen a four-year dream turn into reality, but what is her outlook for the future? “To get a job,” she says with a slight laugh, as though it was an obvious answer.
A FLAir For RefiNemeNt Parsons graduate Lindsey Russell could have been a ballerina but chose fashion design instead. Elizabeth Rogerson meets the refined classicist and discovers what puts the spring in her step Speaking after her final year thesis presentation Lindsey Russell is relaxed and talkative, but at the same time full of nervous expectation at what the result of her hard work will bring. Finding it hard to reflect (she’s still in the thick of it all), she gives me a bit of insight into her three years at Parsons and how the college will help her in the big bad world that is the American fashion industry. Forced to quit dance training in Philadelphia because she grew too tall for ballet, Russell made her way to one of the world’s top design colleges instead. And it’s here, at Parsons Design School in her hometown of New York, that she has flourished into an adept fashion designer with an extraordinarily light touch and a natural flair for refinement. While she claims she’s not conscious that she designs clothes fit for a prima ballerina, it is immediately apparent that her vision has as the grace and sophistication of a classical ballet. Her collection might be easy to miss if it weren’t for the interesting details and cuts of her garments. Her favourite fabric is organza, which, she says, stems from her youth. “My mother had this dress which was organza and I’ve admired it since I was a little girl.” She knows all the fabrics she used in her third year collection very well; she’s been working with them for over two years, so the choice was a natural one. She even shares her name with one. ‘One of the fabrics I used for my black pieces was called ‘Lindsay!’” she says, laughing at the happy coincidence. Sheer chic is a perfect way to describe the overall look of the collection, which is made up of seven
pieces in total. Sexiness is introduced carefully, an organza leopard print evening dress is fit for the red carpet. The fanned neckline is folded and pleated like a napkin from a five star restaurant. A cream jacket’s style can be altered with the change of a mood. Again, it effortlessly envelops the wearer with creative folds which add depth to the barely-there layered organza tube top underneath. The black silk linen pencil skirt is masterfully cut to maximise the wearer’s curves and features ‘hand-rest’ pockets, to pop your fingers in when you need to strike a pose. Where does she start on a new collection? “I collect inspirations and different ideas from anything,” she tells me. “For my thesis collection I was inspired by Tina Berning, who’s a fashion illustrator that does a lot of fashion illustration. I use a lot of architecture as inspiration too. I’ll look at the image and the line and that’s how I start to get the shapes of my collection.” This summer she plans to go back to her internship at Calvin Klein, although she admits that it’s heartbreaking after having so much freedom with her own clothes to go into a job where you have to follow instructions. She likes the fact that Parsons refuses to hold their students by the hand and has prepared her for industry. “It’s a little crazy here,” she admits. “From freshman year on they push an enormous amount of work on us. They prepare us to work for a company, but also to start our own. Who does she have in mind when designing? “Well, I’ve never met or seen a picture of Tina Berning, but I read an interview she did and I feel like she’s artistic and intelligent and someone like that would wear my clothes. I hate celebrity references, but if i were to pick one, I’d say Cate Blancett. She always looks amazing.”
close EncounteRs Jane Shon’s designs are inspired by crop circles, UFOs and the lines of master couturiers. Hannah Shakir spots a star of the future. Born in Korea, and moving to Orange County, California at the age of nine, Jane Shon was always going to face cultural juxtapositions. Her mother tried desperately, but rather pointlessly, to dissuade her from her artistic nature, but a determined seventeen-yearold, Jane took extra curricular art classes and secretly compiled a portfolio, which she then sent into the Parsons, The New School for Design. Fast-forward four years and she’s approaching graduation with an original collection to rival top designers and plans to intern at Calvin Klein this summer. Watch this space? Well you ought to. Drawing inspiration from UFO’s and crop circles, rather unusually, this collection is unlike much you’ve ever seen before. “My inspiration is unsolved mysteries- mainly crop circles and UFO’s for this collection,” she says. Going on to talk more about why she has a fascination with crop circles “It is amazing to see the geometric patterns created in the crops overnight. Some say it is a hoax but still, about twenty percent of the crop circles remain unsolved. I was drawn to the curiosity and genius of this phenomenon, as well as the appearances of flying saucers.” Deconstructing these influences Shon has created a rather earthy and natural collection. The inspiration is subtle, but clearly inherent. It is evident that the voluminous silhouettes that appear in her collection are inspired by UFO’s. Her UFO cape is evocative of Balenciaga’s early
work, transforming the female form with generous cutting, and she admits being inspired by the designer. “Balenciaga is a genius, she declares, “his pieces are so timeless – simple, but detailed with the cutting.” Having looked into men’s tailoring, she mentions that she has applied the same logistics to her designs, in order to apply functionality to the collection. “I love how classic menswear is. I like to incorporate men’s tailoring in my designs. If you open up a man’s suit there’s so much going on inside.” The most interesting piece of Shon’s collection is a cork woven dress, a beautiful mistake it turns out, as the original, made of cotton, was damaged during fittings. The cork fabric she employs hosts flecks of gold and is truly reminiscent of nature. However, Shon clearly states that this is “more of an editorial piece” as it would be quite hard to wear the garment for more than half an hour without over-heating. Her main passion is to create wearable, subtle clothing. This is evident in her neutral colour palette, but not in her cuts. “I wouldn’t wear something crazy myself, I’m a normal person. I design for a normal working woman, so I focus on comfort and timeless pieces.” A key interest to Shon is the functionality of her designs. Adding pockets where she can, and using comfortable cotton give her pieces a comfortable ready-to-wear dimension. Her clothes are an extension of her personality she says, a reflection of herself. “Subtle, but mysterious,” she laughs, but ready to emerge just when you least expect them.
the Line Of Beauty Inspired by Zaha Hadid, Parsons graduate MarieChristine Statz bridges the complex gap between architecture and fashion while living the New York social life of her ideal customer. Jennifer Wiebking joins her for a few days. Marie-Christine Statz is sitting at a table in Manhattan’s happening downtown restaurant, Public. Over New Zealand snapper on wasabi-boniato mash, sheexplains the chiffon dresses and satin skirts that she designed for her recent graduate collection. Originally from Germany, twenty five-year-old Statz has come a long way since choosing fashion over economics. “I knew I would want to do something creative. Actually, I came to New York to be a photographer or to do fine art,” she continues, sipping from her glass of sauvignon blanc. “During my foundation year I tried out all sorts of crazy styles. I was running around in the east village wearing massive earphones and things like that.” Nowadays, her personal style has certainly settled and resembles that of her own designs in its minimalist clean cuts and simple colours. “I love wearing black,” she admits, dressed in a charcoal satin skirt paired with a slate sleeveless top and a black Prada bag. She comes across as determined, passionate about her work and certainly more relaxed than two days earlier when presenting her Zaha Hadid-inspired graduate collection to judges from New York’s key fashion institutions like Saks, Paper magazine and Bill Blass.
“I was actually nervous when she said that she was inspired by an architect,” says Mickey Boardman, deputy editorial director of Paper. ‘”It’s very hard to include architecture in fashion, but she surprised me with this collection and I think it turned out very well.” Indeed, it’s the architectural, ‘three-dimensionality’ of these garments that Statz captured perfectly. “I focused on the texture and transparency of my fabrics to create the illusion of depth,” she explains. This is proved further when you look at the sequined side openings on one of her designs - a grey wool dress - allowing a glimpse inside the garment like into a Zara Hadid building seen from the outside. “I have a sheer under-dress to go with this, but if you feel really sexy you can go without,” she explains. This, as her probably most daring look, immediately prompts whispering reactions like ‘great dress’ and ‘I would buy this’ from members of the audience seated behind the judges. If Statz worked for a big design house, it would probably be Jil Sander, because what she has to offer are high quality pieces with attention to minimalism and tailoring. “I focused mainly on the construction of each garment,” she explains. “For my sixth look, for instance - a black dress with silver sequined panels, I moved all darts so that you can only see the lines of the geometric design.” A week after her thesis review, the hectic days following Statz’s presentation are now over. “I’m back in life,” she announces over coffee at the meat-packing district’s Pastis - a restaurant that has magic attraction for the city’s fashion crowd. For Statz, fashion means understatement. “My customer wants to wear luxurious pieces without screaming, ‘I have so much money.’ She knows that she is beautiful and loves clothes that are feminine with a discrete elegance.” With this awareness, Parsons’ graduates produce work that could hang next to designers in Barneys and take up entire shopping pages of Vogue. “I’m going to start sending out job applications soon,” she explains. “I really want this life - and if you really want it, you just have to do it.”
Antwerp’s one of those cities most of us never expect to get around to. Yet Antwerp, Belgium’s second city occupies some prime real estate in the average fashion lovers concious; at its best Antwerp signifies fashion that manages to combine a degree of insanity with conceptual substance. Antwerp’s Royal Academy gave us Walter Van Birendonk and his fellow Antwerp Six travellers, most of whom are world renowned names: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee. Other Antwerp Academy stars include Bernhard Wilhelm, Martin Margiela, Veronique Barnquino and drum - machine? - roll... Raf Simons, he who redefined the alt. end of menswear at the turn of the millennium and whose recent work at Jil Sander has transformed the womenswear mainstream. Would travelling to Antwerp explain how talents as innovative, shape shifting and boundary pushing as Raf, Wilhelm and Van Beirondonk were formed? Epsom’s journalism gang were able to set off, once the one student down, 30 seconds left till check in closes emergency at St Pancras passed. For your future reference readers; even if Eurostar is in fact a train and not a plane you do still need your passport to cross the channel! Further careful plans were made on Eurostar: Terry would be mum, Alexia the French speaker in chief and top cat, your correspondent was put in charge of reconnaissance and Kate was just great. Due to some crafty and dark manoeuvring on behalf of the travel agents, the stay in Antwerp actually took place in Bruges! Canals, medieval architecture and mind blowing timecapsule beauty aside Bruges had real potential to bore most of the journalism gang half to death, after about ooh five minutes? The food in Bruges bars and cafe’s was either awful or awfully expensive with the saving grace of the near universal availability of Belgium’s sweet and strong beer Leffe. The sunshine and shock of not being in Epsom saw things getting very merry amongst the students, at one point in the early hours some even thought it a good idea to call your correspondent’s room, requesting the throwing of shapes on Bruges only midweek dance-floor.
Next morning saw the gang finally set out for Antwerp, with something approaching military precision; if said military were still half drunk and had a some uber stylish MA students taking in the spectacle behind dark glasses, displaying textbook detached cool that was both chic and loveable to boot. At the Antwerp Academy, the Veroniqe Branquino exhibition was brought to life by a guide whose deeply extensive knowledge of Branquino, managed to keep the groups attention for the full hour. The guide was also wearing a particularly complex pair of glasses, a bit an Antwerp signature look. Antwerp hasn’t discovered the joys of sandwich shops on every street corner yet and boy did that oversight on behalf of the Flemish cause a bit of panic amongst the lecturers; with calm only resumed once instant food had been found. Another female in over designed glasses spent the afternoon detailing Antwerp’s power and history and how each has laid the ground work for Antwerp’s status as a leading fashion city. Fashion cities tend to be globally connected cities and 300 years ago Antwerp was one of Europe’s biggest and is still now Europe’s second biggest port. Fashion cities also tend to be rich and even now ‘three quarters of the worlds diamonds are traded through Antwerp’ according to the guide. Nor do cities become fashion centres without a culture and heritage of artistic
endeavour; Antwerp was home to such noted painters as Rubens and Van Dyck and Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts was set up as long ago as 1663 where the great Van Gogh studied in the nineteenth century. Fashion also loves a a bit of gentrification and Antwerp’s formally very poor Zuid district being run down but so close to the centre allowed many fashion start-ups to thrive. Weirdly enough Zuid’s spectacular St Mary’s a church run by a motorbike riding, leather wearing priest, features a statue of the virgin Mary dressed by Ann Demeulemeester! Next day after banging on doors and shouts of ‘wake up!’ ringing through the corridors and boys coming out of girls rooms and girls coming out of boys rooms and the bags having been lugged half way across Belgium and back to the Academy, after all that came the pilgrimage’s reason de estra, its omega point; the meeting with super bear, old rave flag bearer and godfather of cartoon fashion Walter Van beirendonck. Instantly recognisable and wearing Cassette Playa, Van beirendonck exudes warmth; maybe the fame of his sci-fi referencing, humorous and humanist aesthetic, a fame enhanced in this case by some timely handing out of 40 copies of an old Dazed article, means you expect Van beirendonck to be as cuddly by nature as he looks by design? While we’re at it, the long silvery grey beard does make Van beirendonck look like God. Post Van
beirendonck your correspondent bought a t-shirt at the designers hanger like shop, an amazing space with a transparent, powered, garage style up and over door and a great hoop shaped plastic counter that seems to float in mid air. The aforementioned tee is lost already: last seen in a Barcelona jacuzzi. The lessons of Antwerp were confusing ones. Is any light shed by learning the city is host to Yohji Yamamoto’s world wide flagship store? Or that Maison Martin Margiela doesn’t have a store there? Antwerp isn’t a concrete cast, modernist ‘Raf city’. Nor is Antwerp the theme park like hybrid of Amsterdam and Las Vegas that you might expect from observing Van Birendonk and Antwerp student Bernhard Wilhelm’s designs and Antwerp doesn’t feel as northern as the work of Branquino, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten. In fact Antwerp didn’t really have a distinct identity; Antwerp felt neither French or Dutch, its a messy place and maybe the tawdry branches of Greggs, Car Phone Warehouse and Claires Accessories where what made it feel more like London than any other continental city. There’s more to it than that though, Britain like Belgium was early to industrialise and like London Antwerp was a primordial example of a globally connected city. Perhaps referencing inner space takes over when globalisation has made national identity seem artificial. The moodier Antwerp Academy designers are known for their angst and introspection. Van beirendonck and Raf’s created fashion that’s strongly indebted to music, to video games and cyber punk, referencing the inner virtual worlds all of us are spending more time in. Logically Antwerp run we’ve these universal themes because its fashion is less about celebrity and hence less hooked on trad notions of hierarchy and lux, than it is a branch of design: Van beirendonck is an academic, Martin Margiela keeps his personage private and Raf originally trained as an industrial designer. Ironically to really understand Antwerp’s designers are inspired more by their inner visions than the street, trainer had to be put to Antwerp concrete.
Dr Daryoush Haj Najafi segue 99
Ever since the caveman’s fashion for fur, we have been wearing animal skins for warmth, protection and status. It’s only in recent decades that the ethical side of this has been brought out with the argument that fur is cruel and no longer necessary. Leather and fur substitutes are now widely used, but at what cost to the environment? This is where ‘victimless leather’ comes in. Artists Oran Catts and Ionat Zurr of Western Australia University have decided that the worlds of art, fashion and science should mix. Since 1996 they have been working on a project: Tissue, Culture and Art, using cultured cells to form semi-living objects. The most impressive of these is the victimless leather jacket, where human cells are grown and moulded onto a jacket inside a bioreactor, making a seamless leather-like material. The tissue used is what would ordinarily become muscle or bone material, and therefore the jacket is a rather disturbing pink colour. The use of this already controversial technology aims to raise questions of culture, and
how this new and improving technology could benefit us in the future. For me, it evokes the whole topic of genetic engineering. Would we be able to grow real fur minus the animal? Could plants be bred to weave and knit cotton so we don’t have to? This is all potentially possible, but we are a long way off. At present, even in the bioreactor, the jacket can only survive for two weeks before becoming infected so further development has been put on the back burner. Will it take off? Well, pigs might fly. But, then again, only if suitable pink wings can be grown. •Linsey Duncan
Lucy Self discovers a hidden Soho watering hole where you can drink, dance, and still have enough money for chips on the way home. There is an opinion that the club scene in London is overpriced. This point is dispelled by clubs such as Moonlighting on Greek Street in Soho. Here, on a Wednesday evening, you can pay entry and line up enough vodka to unbalance the most foolhardy drunks for little over a tenner. It is not a one trick pony though, oh no. It is not only satisfying to the wallet, but to the eyes and ears as well. Moonlighting is the Lily Allen of interior design (when she used to be interesting and slightly chavvy), the walls resembling Mr T’s jewellery collection. Imagine gold, and then more gold and you will have some idea of the ghetto treat in store. But back to the cheap liquor. One of your English pounds will get you a spirit and your chosen
mixer. At those prices it wouldn’t even matter if the place had music, but it does and pretty damn fine it is too. A mix of old-school Britney and Whitney for the gays, dazzling electro for the trend-setting art students, and indie for the adorable cardigan-wearing boys. Back to the cheap liquor one more time; a shot each of spirit and mixer is all you get. Comically, asking for a little more coke with your vodka will be the only fun denied. This basically means the drinks go down quickly and work accordingly making the sprawling velvet sofas dotted around an excellent if not necessary idea. The fact that the place was once a wellknown strip joint only adds to its appeal. Dark corners and little alcoves lend a dash of sleaze and provide cover for those over-zealous snogs no one else wants to see. All in all, a messy, hilarious night wandering between the dancefloor and the bar is guaranteed.
Model Anouck Lepere’s quirky and unique look is a mark of her fashion forward attitude says Caroline Noakes The international model, Anouck Lepere, referred to as just ‘Anouck’, has been known for and referred to for two things. First and foremost for being the girlfriend of Jefferson Hack, the editor of Dazed & Confused magazine. She is also recognised for her unique, elegant and feminine dress sense. Whether for a red carpet event or a fashion party; the Belgian-born model’s looks are at all times distinctly original and often eclectic. From a Balenciaga bubble dress, to a selection of vintage tunics, Lepere knows how to mix and match and makes anything she decides to wear look mind-blowingly gorgeous. From basic daywear to glamorous evening wear, the model is always spot on. But where does this fashion forward attitude come from? With fashion, Lepere is inspired by the remarkable jewellery collection she launched in 2002, as, for the past few years, she has been creating a selection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Her regular A-list clients include Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson and Christina Ricci. Furthermore, she is also extremely inspired by her strong artistic background. Having studied architecture in Antwerp, and by being old friends with cutting-edge fashion designers such as Dries van Noten and Olivier Theyskens, Lepere has always been immersed in the fashion industry. Since then, the striking model has walked the runways for designers such Prada, Chanel and Diane Von Fustenberg and collaborated with fashion photographers such as Steven Meisel and Mario Testino. It seems the world can’t get enough of this stylish Belgian princess. Long may she reign.
A GrIs Forget bright colour, says Linsey Bholah, get some grey on your anatomy Making it work really depends on the shade. You see, grey is ultimately chic. Gone are the frivolous colours that look right under sunnier skies, in their place are stormy greys and thundery charcoals. Grey, unlike showy green, or even safe black, is subtle in the way it delivers its sartorial message. It exudes wealth, in a way that isn’t obvious. For many people, grey is unappealing and uninteresting – like the person who gets left in the corner and never gets the chance to shine. Which is why it often serves as a metaphor for everything in life that’s commonplace and boring. Graphite, metal, steel - these are the shades of grey that work best. Subtle oyster colour blouses will look pretty worn under a knitted grey tank top, whereas a black knit would overwhelm the look. Similarly, worn next to the skin, grey warms most complexions, where black can drain them. However, due to the neutral tone, it is highly important to focus on the shape. Grey doesn’t have the distractions of a pretty print, therefore grey clothes must be worn by someone who is sure of themselves and by someone who has a strong personality. It is a colour that represents life. Life isn’t all about happiness and light, but hurdles and learning obstacles. Grey doesn’t hide behind any false pretences, it is there in all its glory for all to see. Grey can inspire a classic, modern, stark or dramatic look, which can look simple, yet classy. Grey has the potential to be associated with not only style and art, but with life and with politics. As for the Impressionists, we tend to think they were obsessed with warmth and colour. But in fact, Monet’s later studies of the Thames were often carried out on dreary and foggy days, and grey is much in evidence on these canvasses as a result. Grey may not be rainbow bright, but it’s underused and ready to be exploited. Better slate than never.
Photograph Chris Moore
For Autumn/Winter 08/09 designers have taken on a rather more youthful set of inspirations says Claire Smith. With an unstable economy and talk of recession, it is no wonder that many designers have chosen to play it safe, creating sellable collections that are predominantly black. Designers who have dipped their toes in the fountain of youth are the ones suggesting we should not keep to a conservative, conventional wardrobe all of the time, and maybe once in a while think back to less troublesome, youthful days and have a little more fun with fashion. Peter Jensen went back to the seventies with an autumnal palette of burnt orange, moss, grey and fawn. Appealing to young, trendy twenty-somethings, his models strutted down the London catwalk wearing knitted sweaters emblazoned with a large fox head motif, as well as fun sweaters covered with comic strips inspired by iconic pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Tucked into grey pencil skirts accompanied with grey opaque tights, or long stripy socks and high, lace-up shoes, the look is youthful, but stylish. Overall, the collection had a quirky feel, however neon patent shoes made things contemporary and wearable. Where some designers have gone all-out for a youthful look, others such as Versace played it safer with only an injection of fun. Careful not to forget their good-time-girl reputation, jewel tones of indigo blue, sunshine yellow and candy pink liven up an otherwise predominantly black collection. A short, bright yellow dress with busy print around the hem-line creeping up to the waist and a flattering asymmetric neckline stands out as a glimmer of youthful hope. The Versace woman can be serious and sophisticated in a smart coat and long evening gown, but can also reveal her playful side, as seen with the candy pink coat worn with siren red heels, a subtle sign that she is definitely not to be taken too seriously. In Paris, Paolo Melim Andersson kept the Chloe look youthful with layering - cropped jackets worn over tiered dresses and printed footless tights with a buttoned detail at the ankle. Embellishment, ditsy chiffon floral tea dresses and pussy bow neck-ties transform the rebellious ‘fallen angel’ aesthetic seen in previous collections into a feminine Chloe girl. Sonia Rykiel epitomises the youthful look with her models dancing down the Parisian catwalk wearing a selection of felt, mohair and knitted accessories, along with the fashion house’s signature stripes. Playsuits with huge, button-sized sequins just yearn to be ‘played in’. Zac Posen uses an overload of sequins on tuxedo waistcoats and juxtaposes this with organza blouses and pretty puff sleeves. A contrast of black and red offers a sexy look, but the image is kept youthful with preppy button-front pinafore dresses and black pom-pom headbands that are a little more bizarre, and reminiscent of Britney Spears’ high school days. Nevertheless, Posen brings the collection back to earth with classic items, such as ruffled chiffon dresses and uncomplicated yet elegant navy shifts. While not all designers have whole-heartedly put their faith in youth culture, others such as Versace have dabbled in bringing excitement to their collections with bright colours and fun combinations. Although there is an economic crisis looming, these designers are looking back to the glory days of youth in a quest to liven up a dark winter wardrobe.
taLkinG ‘Bout MY GeneratIon
Painting043V2 PLEATED DRESS, £1,295, CRYSTAL EMBELLISHED SANDALS, £395, BOTH MIU MIU. SNAKESKIN BELT, £95, ANGEL JACKSON. TULLE UNDERSKIRT, £40, BEYOND RETRO. PEARL RING, £12, FREEDOM JEWELLERY. NECKLACE, STYLIST’S OWN.
Painting135V2 DIAMANTE NECKLACE, £35, BEYOND RETRO. SILK DRESS, PRICE ON APPLICATION, PETER JENSEN
Work Of Art
Painting083 FLORAL HEADPIECE & DIAMOND BRACELET, BOTH FROM A SELECTION AT BASIA ZARZYCKA. PLEAT FRONT DRESS, BERUBE.
Painting277 FLORAL CORSAGE, FROM A SELECTION AT BASIA ZARZYCKA. COTTON DRESS, £22, AMERICAN APPAREL. UNDERSKIRT (WORN AS PART OF DRESS) £40, BEYOND RETRO.
Painting201 FEATHER MASK, £15, JOHN LEWIS. DRESS, £815, MIU MIU. TULLE UNDERSKIRTS, AS BEFORE. PEARL BRACELET, STYLIST’S OWN.
the graduates Nicky Ashwell Although she can never deny her incessant lust for fashion (or the consequential debilitating spending habit), Nicky prides herself on her ability to write about any subject something she has put to the test throughout her degree. With a flair for feature writing and the delicacy and determination to report controversial subjects, Nicky relishes the challenge of turning any topic into a juicy read. Her aptitude for feature writing also landed her a place in UCCA’s exciting collaboration with Parsons New School, and the resultant trip to New York that this project entailed adds to a list of international conquests. Nicky indulged her inner travel bug by completing work experience in Kuala Lumpur and at Wallpaper* City Guides. However, not content with exploring the world, Nicky now has her sights set on investigating life through journalism. 07951 940 811 email@example.com Samantha Avendano Samantha is determined to work in the competitive sphere of fashion styling. Understanding the cut-throat world of the creative industry, she thrives on the fashionable lifestyle. Having notched up a variety of experience, she has seen the lot: from fashion cupboard hissy fits to the pressure of meeting deadlines. Samantha is an all round creative, assisting on fashion shoots for publications as Arena Homme Plus, i:D, Qvest and FHM. Keen to add to her bulging book of contacts, she is constantly seeking out hot new talent. With an eye for style and knowledge, Samantha aims to put her passion into practice in fashion writing and styling. 07947 242 798 firstname.lastname@example.org Suzanne Bardsley A 14 year old Suzanne Bardsley loved the Spice Girls so much she wore white 6 inch platforms to school. Much to the dismay of the locals, her poor mother explained that school was not a fashion show. Sneaking out of the door with a customized uniform was never going to get her anywhere. Oh how wrong she was, as our little wannabe has just completed a BA Hons in Fashion Journalism. She enjoys the process of becoming inspired and following one idea through to create the finished look. She hopes one day that she can revel in becoming a total mag slag, listening to loud music all day and dressing up others. She is going to continue to work her socks off and really hopes to be successful in the creative industry of fashion, as she truly would be living her dream. 07711 225 056 email@example.com
Rosa Maria Bertoli (Picture Editor) When all of her friends got sick of her endless questions (or, of her applying the 5 journalistic Ws to daily life); she realised she had to become a journalist, and moved from Italy to London to study fashion and lifestyle journalism. After stints at Amelia’s Magazine, The Guardian, Intersection and Wallpaper* City Guides, she is going to San Francisco to work at SOMA, before moving back to her home country permanently and seeking a job in the periodical scene of Milan. In the meantime, she launched an Italian fashion blog, Pillole di Moda, to voice her opinions about all sides of fashion. +393337 834 392 firstname.lastname@example.org Linsey Bholah Welcome to the world of Linsey Bholah. I am told I’m Miss Versatile. I can fit in anywhere, probably because of my varied background. Every year I have the wonderful opportunity of flying to Mauritius. I am half Mauritian. I’m from a town just outside of London, but saying that, I am most definitely a city chick. My career prospects vary. Give me an assistant job in a mainstream newspaper or an assistant job in a music/youth culture magazine - I’ll adjust to both. I am told by my spiritually-inclined mother, who has visited a medium several times, that career wise, I am going to be (their words) ‘flying by the seat of my pants,’ with strong links to the United States. I can only hope and pray that this woman didn’t con my mother and it is completely 100% true. 07908 801 585 email@example.com Grace Cahill Miss Grace, got a travel bug early on, followed her heart and left her small town roots for the big smoke at only eighteen. Three years later she is still suffering, and plans to go to New York for 10 months next year to work with KCD. Her extraordinary UCCA journey has taught her a lot, and although her love for styling, allows for her excessive shopping; her true passion lies in journalism where she will begin her career with Irish magazine Wave as their fashion and culture editorial assistant. At 22, Gracie is ready to hit the industry with a bang, her grounded upbringing remaining firmly intact and her Irish eyes always smiling. 07724 610 445 firstname.lastname@example.org
the graduates Rachel Deegan Growing up I always had more Barbie dolls than friends, I always got the latest ones when they came out, but it wasn’t the dolls per se that I craved. It was the clothes. I loved getting them different outfits to wear, most of the fabulous outfits came right out of my mother’s toy box and off the backs of her 1950’s Barbie’s. Even then, I appreciated a cinched-in waist and pencil skirt. Fast forward 15 years, I’m still enjoying creating the perfect outfits to make a real life models look good for a photoshoot. As for what’s next? Who knows, but I dream of being paid to do what I love and, as shallow as it may sound, that’s shopping and being imaginative with the way I style clothes and people. 07799 016 799 email@example.com
Fleur Fulcher Fleur is not really the journalistic type, more of a cross between Hermione Granger and a 1940’s housewife. She dreams of a house in the country where she will have chickens, ducks and at least one apple tree. Her ideal job would be working with antique textiles, probably in a museum setting. She realises, however, that this is unlikely to happen and might settle for any job where she sees more antiques than people. 07737 348 981 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Denly-Hunt Sophie, 21, individual, hard working, determined. I walk with confidence and have enough self-belief to know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Growing up I was always surrounded by music and fashion and have fell in love with them equally, so I hope in the future my career path will involve both industries. Taking a Fashion Journalism course has opened many doors, having already worked as a Stylist Assistant and experienced the world of PR at Maverick Publicity. My knowledge is continuing to grow and hope that it will allow me to pursue my dreams of working in public relations. 07811 963 364 email@example.com
Lucy Gadd With a love for English countryside and the garms that go with it, you will often find 21 year old Lulu in a pair of wellies. When you can tear her away from walking through fields, she is a city girl at heart. Growing up in London’s red light district was an eye opener to the buzzing streets of the capital confirmed her interest in style and the individualism through this. She has gained many internships including The Telegraph magazine, SUPER SUPER, M&P modelling agency, aswell as shadowing lingerie designer Deborah Sim of ‘Frankly Darling’. With an ‘eye’ for the fusion and juxtaposition of clothing, she sees her future occupation in the fields of fashion styling and pr. Lulu intends to spend the next 6 months to a year travelling, whilst gaining life experience, before returning back home to the big bad world of fashion. 07950 457 156 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Duncan My name is Lindsay Duncan, I’m a journalist born and bred in south London. I’ve studied fashion for five years now, both design and journalism, most of my inspiration comes from the amazing city I live in. London’s diversity has a huge affect on me and what I write. My other obsession is with all things green, literal and figurative. Green suits me as I’m red head and my semi-eco upbringing sparked a quest to save the world one purchase at a time. I love discovering new things, people and places, which I guess is why journalism fits me so well. I discovered ballet three years ago and have been attempting pirouettes ever since. My immediate future will be filled with finding new cities to inspire me: there’s a whole world to write about. 07731 892 696 email@example.com
Leeanne Georgiou My Barbies always had hundreds of pairs of shoes and I ensured I changed their outfits at least 3 times a day. Not much has changed since then, except I have become my own real life Barbie, something which my wardrobe room shows evidence of. With a passion for fashion and an excessive shopping habit I have really enjoyed this three year course and particularly the final major project in which I made a wedding magazine. I also enjoyed the work experience module where I spent a period of time at Essentials magazine which gave me a good idea of what it’s like in the industry. With competence in 5 languages I hope this will help me to get further in the industry liaising with foreign publications. 07824 517 217 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Frogley I’m an adventurous and dedicated self-assured individual but up until three years ago I never imagined that I would have a fashion journalism degree. I hadn’t clue what I wanted to do with my life. I find it impossible, being a typical indecisive Libran, to make secure decisions. I can say though, studying journalism was one of my many life decisions I won’t be regretting. It has unleashed a long and motivated career path that I’m happy to pursue, and it made me realise I love feature writing and meeting new and fascinating people. 07957 938 505 email@example.com
Matthew Hambly Age 12, after a sheepish exchange of cash at the newsagent, I got my hands on a copy of FHM. Rushing home to discover the delights within, I was surprised to find there was plenty to read and look at. Then on I was hooked. I read anything I could get. I decided quickly that writing was for me, and dreamed of one day entering the magazine world. After a spot of travelling, fulltime work and an immensely enjoyable stint of slave labour at the hands of an un-named fashion editor, I’ve contributed both writing and styling to Arena and now freelance regularly for the FHM Style section. From here I’d like to start writing catwalk reports, fulfilling my need to produce evocative and succinct writing, identify new trends and travel the world. 07952 594 739 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodie Hart “Can I help stitch these buttons on?” Jodie squeals ever-enthusiastically, as she marvels at the vibrant colours of her mother’s favourite summer dress - she was just seven. Fast forward fourteen fabulous years and this energetic little girl has turned into a fashion force to be reckoned with. After briefly flirting with the notion of fashion design at The London College of Fashion, Jodie has left behind her chalk and her scissors, and has graciously turned her energies towards the fast-paced, frenzied world of fashion and lifestyle journalism. Work placements with The London Paper, Easy Living magazine and Sergio Rossi PR (as well as her stint co-editing college magazine Bespoke) have only confirmed her initial suspicions: she is set to make it big. A dedicated, dynamic and highly dependable individual, Jodie can adapt her words to suit. She is determined to flourish in the fashion press, and will let nothing stop her. 07824 995 953 email@example.com Lani Faye Jaeger Lani Faye Jeger, 22, is the embodiment of multiculturalism. Born and raised in Germany, with a British mother (and passport), an Israeli father and a whole lot of Jewish mentality, Lani Faye not only speaks three different languages, but also knows how to adapt to different environments. After moving to England, to study Fashion Journalism, three years ago, she has decided to take a different route and wants to work in the field of media, either presenting or performing. An internship with the International Herald Tribune – alongside Suzy Menkes – in Paris however, has been insightful and a true pleasure, and proved that she is reliable, eager to learn, and approaches each task with dedication and perfection. Lani Faye’s outgoing personality and social being will surely be useful qualities when being on camera or stage in the future. 07768 880 776 firstname.lastname@example.org Rebecca Kelsey For as long as I can remember I have been completely obsessed by fashion. I can even pin point the exact moment where I cried my eyes out at school over my belief that the practice fire drill had meant my beloved purple puffer jacket had been sent to a fiery death. Luckily I was in nursery, so the story becomes far less embarrassing. Though my taste in clothing would thankfully developed, my love of fashion has exploded, and I literally became obsessed. So I immersed myself in magazines, and would fill my room with as many as it would hold. After deciding that fashion journalism was the way forward, I had a sudden change of heart half way through my final year (great timing) and decided that a life in styling would be my true destination. So here I am. Having since signed my life away to various stylists and magazines I test as much as possible when I get the time off. If this will change in a few years to come I have no idea. But until then… 07725859586 email@example.com
Jodie Kharas Jodie Kharas, 21, has enjoyed studying fashion journalism. During her studies, she has gained experience from placements at Reveal, a mainstream fashion and lifestyle magazine and Impulse PR. The course has nurtured her interest in creative writing and lifestyle journalism. As a result she has developed a distinct creative writing style, applying personality to each piece she writes, whether it be an in-depth interview or a book review. An already published journalist, Jodie has had two fashion articles published in the widely distributed London Student newspaper, as well as being a frequent contributor to the University publication Bespoke. Upon graduation, she aspires to continue getting published regularly, gradually building an identity as a writer. Her love for writing emotively and nostalgically has weaved dreams of having her own column and ultimately, entering the wonderful world of fiction. 07825 519 351 firstname.lastname@example.org Tanya Knobloch My name is Tanya and I am a 23-year-old German/Canadian/British tattoo enthusiast. My dad is German, mum is British and my younger brother and I were born in Canada. People say they have never met anyone like me before I have yet to decide if this is a positive or a negative. I suppose I have always been a bit different from other girls my age. I convinced my mum to let me join the local football club when I was eight instead of taking dance lessons, I wore my favourite team’s jersey to my highschool graduation whilst others donned black tie. People tend to think that I am a very social person but in reality I am much more contented sitting in my room reading, writing, cross-stitching or watching television. I guess I am a bit of a bore but I am a happy little bore! 07765 902 530 email@example.com Kavita Masih Good things come in small packages. All 5ft 2 of me is used to hearing this, usually as some form of condolence rather than inspiring words. When I started at UCCA, three years ago, ‘fashion journalism’ were two extraordinary big words to me. Combined, those two words paved a seemingly hard to reach star in my mind, a dream career that belonged to slender, tall-legged glamazons – not little old me. Three years later here I am at the end of this big journey, with the star in a very different sight. While fashion remains one of my most creative vices, my inner glamazon longs to belong in the beauty industry. PR is a place I see myself, the power to promote beauty products through my writing, my own inspiring words to help sell good things that do indeed come in small packages. That is definitely one path I aim to reach. 07951 154 056 firstname.lastname@example.org
the graduates Helen McDermott Helen started her career at Calvin Klein and since then has gone from strength to strength, with stints at The London Paper and currently WGSN. If you’re a regular commuter you may have read her tips and reccomendations in ‘Date Place’, a dating column in The London Paper. Helen is passionate about fashion and loves to write. She’s learning Japanese and can so-far order a Cosmo and count to ten. She’d love to hear from you 07811 207 076 email@example.com Kathryn Mackonochie (Editor) One look at this Dorset Darling and fashion journalist might not be the first words that spring to mind, but don’t be fooled by initial appearance; this fashion forgoer knows more than she lets on. Just 20, Kat may be the youngest graduate, but what she lacks in years she more than makes up in creativity and passion. After a months teaching post in Art and English, Kat found herself in central London talking to some of fashions most important numbers at the Press Office of Monsoon. With several issues of EFJN’s Bespoke magazine, as well as Segue under her editorial belt, this crazy character is out to find her next adventure. Keep an eye out for this unpronounceable fashion journalist’s name on a contributor’s page soon. 07775 512 152 KEMackonochie@aol.com Natalie Messer Natalie, 20, from Edinburgh, a drama queen (from my mother’s side). My worst habit is I have too much energy, but only because I’m always trying to find the fun in things! Everyone says the same thing but I really do live and breathe fashion. I used to think I was born to be a designer, but realised my writing skills were decidedly better. After 3 years of Fashion Journalism, I now harbour a desire to do Costume Design; guess old habits die hard. Either way I’m a hopeless romantic for the dream of one day seeing my name in lights. 07988 644 017 firstname.lastname@example.org Shona Muir With her signature style somewhere between princess and pirate, Shona clearly likes to make a bold statement. Her keen interest in fashion developed as a child when started wearing a frilly tartan dress with trainers. Recently graduated with a BA in fashion journalism, she hopes to use her experiences gained throughout her degree to pursue her interest in styling and PR. She has undertaken several work placements in both, from Wonderland magazine to Relative PR, as well as Media companies in her hometown of Nicosia, Cyprus. Now styling under the pseudonym of PiratePrincess, she is looking forward to moving back to her homeland, to begin making waves in the burgeoning fashion industry there. 07859 024 566 email@example.com
Caroline Noakes Caroline, a third year Fashion Journalist student from France. After studying journalism for three years at UCCA, Caroline has finally realised that the path she wishes to follow has to be in today’s thriving and constantly growing modelling industry. The continuous buzz and excitement of this industry is what she finds the most appealing. After two enjoyable work experiences in two high-end modelling agencies in London and Paris, she has now realised that her place has to be behind a modelling agency’s booking desk. Being fluent both in English and French will help her to enter this constantly changing industry in the following years. Being attached to London and Paris in the same way, Caroline is simply waiting for an exhilarating proposition to show up in one of the fashion capitals. 07701 068 043 firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Oliver Never one to shy away from a busy schedule, Dan is currently PA to drag-du-jour Jodie Harsh, contributing nightlife Editor for Attitude magazine and a regular fashion contributor to londonkicks.com. He has interviewed Ben De Lisi, Henry Holland and Claudia Schiffer, as well as styling for German beauty bible, Tush. A familiar face on the fashion/club scene, Dan co-runs the most fashionable night in the West End; Circus, and regularly attends London Fashion Week and it’s events. Dan is well experienced in PR, promotions and event management as well as fashion and lifestyle journalism. 07729 636 126 email@example.com Frankie Palmer After years of playing with make-up brushes, Frankie entered the fashion world with an eye for detail and interest in all things beauty based. Through fashion journalism she was able to explore her interests and meet idols in the make-up and prosthetics industry including Davy Jones (Dr Who) and Anthony Parker (Hellboy). Her love for make-up has introduced her to the world of special effects. Through using her creative and imaginative personality, Frankie hopes to build a career in blockbuster films, theatre and TV and with determination, hopes to see her name on the end credits and even the glistening of an award on her mantelpiece. firstname.lastname@example.org 07790 083 626 Sophia Pizzey Fashion Journalism seemed like the perfect solution to combine my love of fashion with my creative writing skills. Three years later, and my passion for a place in the industry is growing stronger. Being highly enthusiastic, motivated and determined, I have an excellent demeanour and have no problem in networking and communicating with a vast range of people, regardless of their age. I also show great initiative when working alone. Working as a nanny in my spare time has not only taught me responsibility and patience but allowed me to indulge in the finer things in life, which I know I can also achieve if I put my mind to it. 07979 435 480 email@example.com
Lauren Richardson This South African born bubbly and out going brunette has always had a keen interest in fashion., well since having moved to London that is. Having studied fashion through design and journalism she has come to realise that where her passion really lies is in the visual side of things. She found out through her work experience which involved a lot of style assisting, that she much preferred this hands on approach to fashion, and couldn’t think of anything worse than sitting in front of a computer day in day out. This is a girl that was definitely made for the creative industry. 07793 195 134 firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth Rogerson Three years ago, the girl whose second name is Chameleon, enrolled on the Fashion Journalism course at UCCA. Getting her paws stuck firmly into trend reports, profile pieces and fashion shoots turned out to be just what she needed to uncover her journalistic sensibilities and hone her artistic skill. Her passion for presenting the cream of each season’s key pieces to the fashion-savvy reader keeps her motivated, and a good eye for anything boundary bursting makes combining what she does best; styling, writing and interviewing, an achievable dream. Making a great start; interning at The London Paper, Ann Summers/ Knickerbox and the NME, she was then asked to assist on the Fashion Weekend Channel 4 catwalk, after meeting Stylist, Rose Forde working on a Menswear shoot for French publication, Dirrty Glam. She has just assisted on her first music video for The Whip. This one never stops. 07921 812 949 email@example.com Lucy Self 07952 091 801
Beverley Seymour I’ve always been a very passionate and strong willed person, more commonly directed at my social life, love life or the latest drama to hit the small village of Ludgershall where I live. Recently I’ve realised that this enthusiasm and drive has found a new focus and Fashion Journalism has changed from being a simple route through University, to a way of life. I’ve discovered a sincere longing to be part of the intimidating world they call the fashion industry and my abilities to achieve this goal have developed along with it. Who knows what a fair girl from a tiny town can achieve when she puts her mind to it. With the skills, the motivation and smidgen of luck anything’s possible. Every day those aspirations seem far less unreachable, less out of the question and more like something I could ultimately succeed at. 07840 005 948 firstname.lastname@example.org Hannah Shakir Set for success, Hannah Shakir has had extensive Fashion PR experience having taken part in the paid internship at Impulse PR, and has managed to hold down the title of Fashion Editor for graduate showcase magazine Nano for the last year, frequently supplying them with fashion news. With a passion for making a grand plan come together, Hannah hopes to one day, very soon set up her own magazine. 07843 590 458 email@example.com Nicola Sherry After growing up in a sleepy Dorset village, Nicola decided it was time for a change and London town was calling. She ended up in Epsom (close enough) studying Fashion Journalism. Three years at university have provided Nicola with a wide and versatile range of writing skills, always allowing her inner voice to shine through in her work with wit and humour thrown in for good measure. An internship at Tank and working along side stylists gained her valuable experience and fuelled her love for the fast-paced magazine industry. Always ambitious and determined to succeed in this cut-throat and demanding business, Nicola looks to her future career with excitement and anticipation. Upon graduation, her next stop is securing her place within the industry writing for leading women’s magazines such as Elle, Glamour and Cosmo. One day she hopes to develop into a well-respected fashion journalist. 07726 949 154 firstname.lastname@example.org
the graduates Genna Singpo I always knew I was destined to become a journalist because I was always intrigued by everything that surrounds me. I have benefited greatly from my experience working as a news writer with ITV Meridian, developing good relations with Marcella Whittingdale, Fred Dinage and the ITV team. I have also developed my understanding of the media industry through work experience as Editorial Assistant with Emap Esprit and Mother and Baby Magazine. Plans as of yet are to become a cultural journalist from various travels been and gone and have yet to do. I intend to explore the world, meeting fellow journalists and writers on my adventures in the hope to gain valuable knowledge and life experiences on my way. 07824 380 609 email@example.com Claire Smith When people used to ask me as a young girl, what do you want to be when you grow up? I always thought I wanted to be a Vet. Then I found out I was allergic to cats, and that dream went out of the window. When I was at school I discovered a talent in writing and decided I would change my career dreams, since then I have always wanted to be a journalist. More than anything, I wanted to succeed in this industry because I wanted to prove an old Art teacher wrong, who said I was ‘not hard enough’ to be a journalist. Perhaps on reflection I am an emotional person, but when I look back at all I have achieved over the last three years, I have certainly proven I can do it. 07835 879 008 firstname.lastname@example.org Abi Standage A love of delving into the dressing up box meant Abigail was struck with the fashion bug at a young age and she has always wanted to work in this field. Having really enjoyed the PR aspects of the course, she has decided this is where her future lies. Work experience placements at the Kew, LK Bennett and Monsoon Press Offices have convinced her that events organisation and in-house PR is where she excels. 07841 516 899 email@example.com Olivia Stoddart An aspiring Fashion Assistant – eventual Fashion Editor. Aim: to be the next Suzy Menkes or something to that effect. Passions: creative writing, unique styling and flirty design. Hates: being pretentious, obvious and trying too hard. Strengths: Cat walking, trend reporting and investigating. Weakness’: Starbucks, Facebook and ASOS. Self confessed Elle junkie. Reads it religiously in the hope of pursuing career objective of becoming ‘someone’ in the fashion industry and the ultimate Fashion Journalist. WLTM: Gemma Ward, Anna Wintour and Rachael Zoë. Fashion Icons: Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Zandra Rhodes. Could not live without: Fake Eyelashes, Waist belt and Cheap Monday’s. Label Love: Luella (if she could afford it.) Looking for work experience, valuable contacts and possible employment. 07732 803 296 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Thorpe I started this course with what I thought was a good understanding of the fashion industry. In fact, what I knew only touched the surface. These past three years have opened my eyes, making me even more determined to be apart of one of the most innovative and expressive industries out there. Throughout this course my personal style has been reflected in everything I have done, from photoshoots to features. I have an eclectic style and enjoy exploring all kinds of journalism, whether it be reporting for internet sites or writing articles for magazines. I am ambitious, hard working and always strive to do better. Having worked at The London Paper as a marketing assistant my skills in dealing with the public and thinking on my feet have enhanced my journalistic skills. I love to travel and my experiences have led me to be more open minded and appreciative of cultural differences. 07834 695 341 email@example.com Kate Tregoning Behind every magazine’s glossy façade sits a team of tireless fashion journalists, experience of which has left me itching to delve deeper into the role. As a newly trained fashion journalism graduate, I’m bursting with enthusiasm and fresh ideas. With experience at some of the nations most reputed publications – including the esteemed role of Fashion News and Features Assistant at the fast-paced weekly glossy, Grazia, before even graduating – I am eager to jump into another demanding position, and bring this understanding to another burgeoning magazine. Due to practise in short lead times and bustling newsy atmospheres, I perform well in high pressure, particularly when time is not on my side. The time to explore the life and role of esteemed Grazia Editor, Jane Bruton, in an depth interview was a rare luxury and an insightful peek into the world of a publishing phenomenon of our time. 07896 986 430 firstname.lastname@example.org Natalie Wallace Growing up in the sticks of the English countryside, far away from anything remotely fashionable, it is no surprise that Natalie has had a yearning to be closer to the fashion frenzied scenes that London has to offer. During her time at UCCA, Natalie has explored various different aspects of the fashion and journalism industry, including music, broadcast and P.R. Work experience placements at Yellowdoor P.R and Olga T.V productions have given her a well rounded perspective of different working environments in the industry. This, combined with the skills learnt throughout the course, has given her valuable experience to take on to her future career. Natalie has a keen interest in merchandising and buying but also wishes to stick to her writing roots as a freelance. With ambition and determination, Natalie has the skills and focus that will surely make her a success. 07789 864 645 email@example.com
Jennifer Wiebking Fashion is one of the most international industries out there, being influenced by the four corners of the world, regardless of frontiers or boundaries. Therefore, Jennifer’s CV boasts nearly as many different countries - where she interned - as there are stamps in her passport. After passing her German A-Levels, she travelled to Australia to do work experience with Sydney-based style magazine Oyster, before studying Fashion Journalism at UCCA. Three years and a degree later, Jennifer has gained further experience with German Elle in both Munich and London, as well as with W in New York, where she interned for four months. Jennifer ultimately wants to pursue a career in fashion writing. She approaches articles with as much dedication as starting a new job halfway across the world. She never lets her laptop, dictaphone or notepad out of sight in order to reach her aim of becoming a well-respected fashion journalist in either London or New York. 07756 786 314 firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Whiting My name is Amy Whiting and I am both excited and sad to be graduating from Fashion Journalism this summer. It has been a fantastic, but hard working three years of my life and now I feel totally prepared to face the fashion industry. Throughout my course I have done many placements including the fashion desk at The Daily Telegraph, Mother&Baby magazine and PR companies including Talk and Impulse. I love to write, especially trend reports, as I adore watching shows and letting others read my interpretations of the collections. My other passion is styling. Photo shoots are incredibly important to me and I enjoy organising them and seeing the finished images. 07738 466 645 email@example.com
Sara Williams I’m Sara, 21. My favourite writer is Irvine Welsh. If I had a superpower I’d be able to fly. My guiltiest pleasure is wine. My favourite smell is fresh bread. If I could live anywhere I would live in Jamaica. My favourite word is flabbergast. My most treasured possession is my laptop. Born in Blackpool, heart of Stags, Hens, and Kiss Me Quick, I felt I’d outgrown the disputable charms of the town and decided to venture into pastures new. To my delight, I was awarded a place at UCCA and a chance of becoming a journalist. I have interned as fashion assistant at Men’s Fitness magazine and Now! magazine. I have experienced other assistant roles at Maxim magazine and leading fashion PR company, Halpern. I hope to pursue a career in journalism and styling. 07886 198 442 firstname.lastname@example.org Claire Williams I began my course as a slightly indecisive person, unsure as to which direction my life would go, but studying journalism has certainly secured my path. The past three years have enabled me to do what I love best, being creative, as well as unleash an unexpected passion for the fashion industry. I relish the opportunity to learn more, meet new people and continuously push boundaries and am excited to pursue this within my career. 07841 531 591 email@example.com Rebecca Willford Becky always loved a story. One day, she will write a story all of her own. It will have a happy ending. 07762 254 142 firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Whiting Laura’s intuitive, enthusiastic and ‘won’t sit still’ attitude was put to the test when she landed a work placement in New York. The fashion journalism graduate spent a summer with W magazine, where she jumped in, two feet first to learn the nature of the fast paced fashion industry. After successfully learning that ‘anything’ is possible, Laura left New York and worked for the magazines London Bureau, Fairchild publishing. Laura aims to experience life at London’s fashion magazines, starting with a placement at Vogue in July. The hard working and eager graduate is looking forward to exploring all opportunities in styling to delve fully into the world of fashion imagery. 07742 250 598 Laurawhiting23@gmail.com
NEW BA Hons & MASTERS’ COURSES AT UCCA EPSOM 2008/2009
General Statement about Epsom
MA Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism
When it comes to studying, Epsom offers a range of courses centred on the cutting-edge world of fashion, graphics and new media at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We have introductory courses in art and design together with specialist qualifications in fashion, music and lifestyle journalism, digital new media and graphic communication, our academic courses are kept relevant and up-to-date through strong connections with industry. Our links with employers - ranging from small, niche players to large and well-established multinationals - add real value, giving our students access to influential individuals, to the challenge of live projects and to London-based work placements. At Epsom, you will find would-be fashion stylists working alongside budding graphic illustrators, menswear designers and web developers. Students really flourish in this melting pot of talent and, over the years, have regularly scooped major national awards, including Graduate Fashion Week, D&AD and RSA Design Direction prizes. Some key facts:
What modern, culturally conscious individual doesn’t buy or browse through a copy of magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, i-D, Wallpaper or Rolling Stone at least once a month? Through an explosion of glossy lifestyle magazines, readers today subliminally explore the contemporary blending of fashion, music, design and popular culture. This course allows you to enter this rapidly expanding world, contributing to new models of journalistic dialogue and criticism providing commentary which triggers and reflects today’s debates. You should have critical writing and analytical skills from your undergraduate studies which may be in a range of disciplines.
• Home to a multi-million pound Library & Learning Resource Centre • Campus bar and café hosts regular events and themed nights • Student halls of residence are on campus, which is based close to the town centre • Epsom is only 17 miles from London by car and only a 30 minutes train journey
Specialist resources and support We encourage originality and innovation and give students the freedom to challenge convention and break boundaries with flare and panache. On-campus resources include a multimillion pound library and learning centre stocked with relevant, specialist materials and the Anglo-Japanese Textile Centre, which has produced world class exhibitions on cultural identity and practice. Studies aside, a dedicated Student Services team and chaplaincy provide Epsom students with support for all aspects of their lives and can offer advice and guidance on a range of issues, including finance, welfare, disability support and English language.
BA Hons Music & Lifestyle Journalism Can you picture yourself working as a Music Journalist, interviewing musicians from the current music scene, writing record reviews, capturing the atmosphere of a live music gig, or commenting on music and cultural trends, while exploring music in a wider cultural context and developing solid journalistic skills? If this is what you want to do with your life, then this is the course for you. September 2007 will see the start of a new BA Honours degree course in Music & Lifestyle Journalism at the University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom. This exciting new development will sit along side the already highly successful BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, and is founded on the flourishing expansion of the media and cultural industries based around music, entertainment, style and lifestyle genres. It is designed for students who wish to specialise in music journalism for the lifestyle, culture, media and communication industries. It will provide you with a broad-based creative background and practical, technical and professional expertise in written and alternative forms of media. Through theoretical study you will also acquire a reflective and critical insight into media issues relating to contemporary culture and music. As a graduate you will find employment in the music and lifestyle-related media. This could include modern style publications such as: • i-D or Dazed and Confused which seamlessly blend the areas of style and music • music-focused magazines and newspapers like Rolling Stone, Q, Mojo, Kerrang, Mixmag, Observer Music Monthly or NME • specialist ‘niche market’ magazines (for example, Acoustic Guitar, Songwriter Magazine or International DJ) • in-house publications like HMV Choice; • any number of men’s or women’s glossies, newspapers and supplements which include music coverage, or the plethora of internet websites that now focus on the music industry. For more information please contact: University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom Ashley Road Epsom, Surrey KT18 5BE Tel: +44 (0) 1372 728 811 Fax: +44 (0) 1372 747 050
Published on May 30, 2009
This is the magazine produced by the graduate of the BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism course at University of the Creative Arts - Epsom