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STAY HOME 2 | GOLDIE magazine

OFF THE GRID –


– ON THE PHONE

STAY CONNECTED GOLDIE magazine | 3


A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS FOR MAKING GOLDIE UNIQUE

Adam Brody

Chris Davalle

Ian Macauley

Alan Watson

Corrine Charton

Jacynth Bassett

Alexandru Radu Popescu David Evans

Jämes Rïgby

Amanda Chapman-Bruce David Hurst

Jane Davalle

Andrew Brown

Deborah Wilkinson

Jane Duncan Rogers

Andrew Harvey

Diana Frances

Jane Jennison

Angela Kennedy

Don Pendry

Jason Purple

Angelika Buettner

Elizabeth Grice

Jayne Gould

Angie Weihs

Elle Halley

Jennifer Angel

Angus Donald

Enid Shelmerdine

Jennifer Evans

Anita Berhane

Erin James

Jill White

Annie Sherburne

Esther Austin

Jo Moseley

Arianne Clément

Ethan Burrell

Jo Wheldon

Aurora Amos

Fiona Carter

John Ackland

Beate Howitt

Flavia Catena

John Clarke

Ben Pechey

Francesca Cassini

Josephine Halbert

Ben Winkler

Gary Milo

Jules Ritter

Beth Evans

Gerald Wilhelm

Julia Barnikcle

Carl Honore

Gill Manly

Julie Hurst

Caroline Labouchere

Hannah Wilkinson

Jutta Klee

Carolyn Mair

Harjit Sohotey-Khan

Karen Arthur

Charles Hebbert

Helen Shreve

Karen Pine

Chris Burke

Helena Dornellas

Karlton Chambers

Chris Campling

Hilary Alexander

Kate Monro

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Kay Newton

Mickey Burke

Sally J Duffel

Krystian Data

Mike Marchant

Sammy Baxter

Laurent Lo

Mike Merchant

Serena Constance

Laurent Mieze

Mike Sheridan

Sharon Eden

Linda Galloway

Mike Stone

Simon Songhurst

Linda Mason

Nick Payne Cook

Sirli Raitma

Lisa Bretherick

Nicola Greenbrook

Sophie Elkan

Lisette Schuitemaker

Nigel Summerley

Stephen Cottrell

Lori Smith

Norman Lane

Steve Kennan

Louise Pendry

Ole Laptev

Stevie Cockram

Lucy Shaw

Patrick Cordier

Sue Plumtree

Lynlex Bernales

Paul Connolly

Sue Wheat

Marissa Charles

Penny Rutterford

Susan Muncey

Mark Barber

Rachel Peru

Suzanne Middlemass

Mark O’Brien

Radica Ankipe

Tamzyn Walker-Evans

Marten Bjork

Rain Harris

Terry Ramsey

Martin Preston

Rekha Damhar

Tim Boddy

Martina Hamburger

Richard Holledge

Tom Morley

Mary Doyle

Richard Kaby

Trendzine

Mary Platts

Rob Wilson Jnr

Venessa Mills

Matthew Marschner

Rhoda Idoniboye

Veronika Speigl

Matty Bovan

Rohan Spencer

Walter Gammie

Melanie Denyer

Rona Steinberg

Wendy Rigg

Michele Swales

Sabrina Cadini

And anyone else we may have missed GOLDIE magazine | 5


CONTENTS

C O N T R I B U T O R S Photographers this issue Aidanck Amanda Jackson Alan Watson Cassandra Lishman Lucie Kout Neil Kendall Nick Payne Cook Nicola Reid Paula Harrowing Patrick Falaniko Sammy Baxter Sin Bozkurt 6 | GOLDIE magazine

Toby Amies Writers this issue Alex Bruni Amanda Chapman-Bruce Annouchka Grose Fiona Carter Hannah Wilkinson Julia Barnickle Lupe Castro Rides Martin Preston Nigel Summerley Rhoda Idoniboye Tamzyn Walker-Evans


THIS ISSUE 2 Stay in touch 4 Thank you 6 Contents and Contributors 8 Editors letter

A DIFFERENT VIEW

OFF THE GRID 14 Nigel Summerley discovers an eco-village 24 Martin Preston copes with climate change 26 Fiona Carter sleeps out

OFF SCHEDULE 28 Andy’s Catwalk – Rebecca Weef Smith 100 Fast forward with fashion – Cover Story 104 Fashion at any age – Lupe Castro Rides 116 An age-old problem – Alex Bruni 118 The Scene on the catwalk or on the street this has grabbed GOLDIE’s attention

66 A manifesto for IBP – Tamzyn Walker-Evans 88 Look back with love – Rebecca talks to filmmaker Rachel Dax 129 The art of the shop – Annouchka Grose 166 Six reasons to visit Athens – Hannah Wilkinson 174 An easy life – Julia Barnickle

POSITIVE DEVIANTS 10 Paul Gorman talks Malcolm Mclaren to Rebecca Weef Smith 42 Peacock Hedonists Rhoda Idoniboye chats to Dolly and Linx 58 The Power & The Glory bares all to Amanda Chapman-Bruce

MARGATE WEEKENDER 138 In bed with Jane 142 Girls just want to have fun 154 48 hours in Margate GOLDIE magazine | 7


EDITOR’S LETTER

Living off the grid

W

hen I began musing on the theme for this issue of GOLDIE life was very normal: I had meetings to attend, fashion weeks in the diary, summer music festivals to look forward to, and a launch at Tate Modern to coincide with Flourishing Lives Weekend to plan. Off The Grid was set to give us a welcome break from social media and a chance to reflect on ways to live away from the demands of technology. Moving ideas onto the printed page was an exciting chance to explore ideas in long-form, in a way that short bursts of ‘instagrammable’ content never would. I hadn’t expected to be changing our way of working from print to digital; I had no idea that any plans for living in the real world would need to be adapted to living an online existence in lockdown; I didn’t anticipate my main form of communication would be via Instagram and that very grid - the same one I felt was in many ways adversely dominating how I viewed the world – would become my support network. Producing a version of a designed-to-be-print magazine in a way that can be consumed via digital media has been a challenge. Making decisions about what to include or leave out - stories which don’t fit the way the world feels here and now – have only been one part of evolving into a magazine which wasn’t conceived to be what it has become. This edition of GOLDIE will be our first to be available to read on your phone, tablet or laptop, it will be available two years after of our first tentative promo print magazine and in that time we have changed our way of ‘being’ considerably. What started as a way to talk about age from a new angle has morphed into a wider conversation around sustainability, diversity and inclusivity. After each issue we have looked at what worked and what we could do differently: we have chosen to do more fashion and less other stuff; we have decided to drop regular columns in favour of giving new voices the space to try out their ideas, although we are still encouraging our regular contributors to share their views; I have become less concerned with getting it right and more confident that what interests our small team will also be topics that you may be curious about. It was curiosity that led me to the positively glossy Siân Phillips and Brigit Forsyth being on our cover. I had been invited to the screening of Rachel Dax’s Time and Again and was curious about the costume choices for the two main characters played by Siân and Brigit. I wondered how they would feel about doing a fashion shoot to show a very different side to dressing your age – I couldn’t believe my luck when they agreed. The day we shot this story London was in chaos and it felt as if the world was conspiring to stop us getting a cover. This was before the world was shutting down and in retrospect that particular Monday feels as if it was the last time anything was normal. I hope the content in this edition doesn’t feel as if it belongs to a different world but I have chosen not to “edit in” Covid 19 associations. I hope that the areas we cover are universal enough to take your mind off the news and remind you that one day we will be post-Coronavirus. When that occurs we may well find that we are drawn to living a more sustainable life like those living an eco-existence in Nigel Summerley, or that Martin Preston’s activism may well be embraced wider. Perhaps, after this, campaigning for equality for the homeless will no longer be needed - after all, if we can provide homes in a crisis surely we can maintain that in the good times – and we won’t need to put on catwalk shows to highlight the street homeless. It may be that we learn that not having access to fast fashion isn’t really that bad and that being creative with the resources we already have will be how we consume fashion in the future. And whilst we are on the topic of resourcefulness, if you’re wondering why I appear to have become a model, it’s purely down to the fact that I was the cheapest option! GOLDIE is made with our own money and after two years of digging into savings, we have come to the bottom of the pot. In the future GOLDIE as a print magazine may well appear sporadically when spare budget allows. This flexibility will also allow us to adjust to changing times. Life is going to be different for us all in the future. I suspect those Fashion Weeks as we knew them before February 2020 will no longer feel relevant. Our fashion stories are always meant to inspire rather than encourage shopping. I don’t believe that the role of fashion pages or indeed fashion journalists should be to motivate greed or endless and mindless purchasing: fashion is more than commerce; it is a cultural indicator of the state of the world and a personal barometer of our evolving identities. This worldwide crisis will force the fashion industry to change. My hope is that the issues we have been talking about all along - sustainable fashion, real diversity, meaningful inclusivity - driven by creativity instead of profit, will have made enough of an impact that the gains will not be lost. Fashion for all which reflects open-hearted values to allow us to wear wellbeing is possible. So I may not be able to gallivant off to Margate any time soon to create jolly shoots, or fly off to Athens for an arty weekend, or be expectantly looking forward to a summer of travel any further than my own garden (I am lucky enough to have one) but I can choose to find something every day to be joyful about. I will make the most of what today has to offer and know that this will all come to an end at some point; when it does I will be attached physically to those I have missed; I will hug and kiss and love even more than before. I hope that you find something in GOLDIE to lift you during this stressful time and that you feel able to reach out to me on the grid – I hang out on Instagram more than any other social media platform – so that we can stay in touch until such a time as we are able to meet up again IRL. With all my love an virtual hugs and kisses

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THE TEAM Editor: Rebecca Weef Smith rebecca@goldiemediagroup.co.uk Art Director: Weef weef@goldiemediagroup.co.uk Commercial & marketing: Rhoda Idoniboye rhoda@goldiemediagroup.co.uk Editorial assistant: Tamzyn Walker Evans tamzyn@goldiemediagroup.co.uk Sub editors: John Clarke Walter Gammie Nigel Summerley Hannah Wilkinson

Models: Bridget Forsyth, Siân Phillips Photographer: Sammy Baxter Stylist: Rebecca Weef Smith Make-up: Bryanna Angel Allen Hair: Joseph Koniak Earrings: @thecrazycoolsexy Clothes: Leo John Caligan facebook.com/thegoldiecrew twitter.com/goldiemediauk instagram.com/goldie_magazine goldiemag.co.uk goldiemedia GOLDIE magazine | 9


THE

GOLDIE INTERVIEW

PAUL GORMAN Rebecca Weef Smith discovers that The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren is more than the story of punk

PORTRAIT TOBY AMIES 10 | GOLDIE magazine


T

he conversation I had with Paul Gorman about his new book, The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren took place over the phone but before we were all confined to home.  It could be said that a book launch in the first week of UK lockdown was bad timing – the launch party was the first I knew of to take place on Instagram. But this 900-page book tracing McLaren’s life was perhaps perfectly timed to read in this time of social distancing. The book is detailed, covering all the many sides of McLaren, not only the punk impresario that is the persona most commonly talked about. As Paul says, “punk rock was a mere two and a half years of McLaren’s 64-year life”.  A life that encompassed art, fashion and design, through retail, music management, performance and onto filmmaking and producing until coming back to art with highly acclaimed film installations at the very end of his life. “One of the things I wanted to do with this book was to widen the view of McLaren; I felt he was misunderstood, I wanted to position him anew in people’s minds; there was so much more to him than the Sex Pistols, although that moment in 1977 when GOD Save The Queen was riding high was a triumph he was proud of. It was everything that he had set out to do; Britain was a pretty dull place in the seventies and he woke people up. He enjoyed the drama of shaking the status quo and then just sitting back and watching.”   One of the clear problems for Mclaren was his mismatch with the way that England and the English operated: he was never comfortable to stick to one idea when his mind was always jumping to the next project; he was never going to be pigeon-holed or boxed in by the success of punk; he had too much imagination and too many interests to stay still and be the Mclaren GOLDIE magazine | 11


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INTERVIEW

that owned the punk movement. He certainly wasn’t going to stay in his place and made that clear from long before he rose to prominence. The book spends a lot of time looking at McLaren’s family life and Paul had access to the family’s private papers which shed light on the chaotic and dysfunctional life that would have formed a complex backdrop in which to grow up. Reading the book, I was surprised to discover that as a young teen McLaren had gone to Davanent Boys School in Stepney, East London. Some of the aesthetic of Spiv mixed with Saville Row made sense when I thought of how the greasy spoon cafes and Jewish tailors in that area of London would have merged in his mind. From an early age, McLaren was consistently flamboyant, willing to be an independent thinker and happy to develop a DIY way of being. At art school his major discipline was bricolage – the blending and juxtaposing of unexpected elements –  and he created himself in the same manner. A bit of this from here, chuck in something totally unexpected and, at the same time, he was heavily influenced by post-war menswear. He was a master-merger of all elements which ‘shouldn’t’ go together. In 1971 McLaren  (with a friend from art school) opened a shop at 403 Kings Road, Chelsea:  Let It Rock was an eclectic mix of second-hand and new Teddy Boy clothes – designed by Vivienne Westwood  - and an interior that reflected the Festival of Britain. By 1973 the shop became  Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die with clothes from Britain’s early 1960s “rocker” fashions and then in 1974 the shop was rebranded Sex.  430 King’s Road  underwent another change in 1976 to become Seditionaries and in 1980 turned into World’s End. These ever-changing elements were just the way McLaren’s mind worked. He was easily bored and once he had realised a project was on to the next idea. Undoubtedly this ability to mix and match subcultures was McLaren’s  “Gift to the world - by chucking it all up in the air and seeing what stuck he gave subcultures permission to explore and change, to deviate from the norm, and not to restrict free-thinking with externally imposed rules. Malc talked in a cheeky way about celebrating life; he said he didn’t like the Two Tone movement because life wasn’t black and white, it was more complex, and he wanted life to be gold.” That positive nature, the curiosity and inquisitiveness, the solutionfocused aspect to life, doesn’t necessarily fit with the way that the media has portrayed McLaren. His controversial approach was more often seen as provoking outrage and causing upset merely because he could. Like many creative people, Mclaren had only a loose attachment to the prolific amount of work he produced and his fertile creativity could be viewed as bordering on mania. “Many of the ideas that were formulated in Malc’s mind went on to be developed by others but as a situationist he abnegated ownership of ideas and wasn’t bothered when he was copied. Actually he saw it as a positive – he was uninterested in repeating himself but if someone else wanted to carry on wearing and producing punk then it was a testament to how good the initial idea had been.” McLaren was a visionary when it came to seeing dressing as genderless “in an interview in 1974 he talked of wanting to produce clothing that was transsexual – by which he meant not designed with any gender in mind. Many of the pieces in Seditionaries’ and SEX

GOLDIE

THE

“Life wasn’t black and white, he wanted life to be gold”

The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren by Paul Gorman is published by Little, Brown (£30). Please consider supporting your local indie book store and buy local rather than Amazon.

were worn by boys and girls. He was an early follower of Vogueing which was also gender fluid and didn’t give a shit about labels, and used models of colour on the catwalk long before anyone else.” We accept these ideas of diversity as mainstream today but they were anything but in the 1980s when McLaren was brandishing them about. The alternative way of living that marked all Mclaren’s projects appears to stem directly from his early countercultural influences. “He was totally embedded in the oppositional attitudes of the 1960s; he was there at the marches but after the hippies sold out he took what that ideology meant but adopted and adapted it to fit his needs.” It would seem that McLaren intuitively understood that youth culture - or indeed any alternative culture, for it doesn’t have to be for the young - relies on an action/reaction concept. All of the subcultures that came after punk were a response to its existing: “in a 1982 interview, Nick Logan says The Face wouldn’t have been the same without Mclaren”.    It could be argued that the various tribes based on music and fashion which proliferated in the 80s and 90s were formed and informed by the environment which the punk movement shaped.  Paul knew McLaren “personally, not well but we got along and I think he respected me. I was saddened by his death as it came at a time when he was being taken seriously as an artist again; after years of being misunderstood – which I never heard of him complain about – he was gaining traction with his installation works. He had never wanted to be accepted by the masses though of course, he found being called a charlatan amusing. In the words of the Mel and Kim song, he wasn’t ever going to be respectable, National Treasure was never on his wish list.” From reading Paul’s account of McLaren’s life it feels as if ultimately all Malc probably wanted was to find ways to get some of the ideas out of his head in order to make room for more; his low boredom threshold meant that the ideas sometimes never got completed but his love of life moved him to keep trying. I was left with the impression of a man who just wanted to see if something could be done differently and then move on to the next thing he could disrupt; I see a positive deviant who’s energetic curiosity left a distinctive McLaren shaped imprint on the world. n GOLDIE magazine | 13


The Ecovillage People Nigel Summerley heads to the wild west of Wales to discover an alternative way of living

I

t doesn’t get much more off grid than this… in the wild Preseli Hills of Pembrokeshire in far south-west Wales, you leave the main Cardigan-to-Tenby road, turn down a backroad, negotiate a skinny lane, then take a long, narrow track to the Lammas Ecovillage. The sight of grass-roofed houses might put you in mind of Hobbiton, but the folk living here are not hobbits. In fact, the couple who greeted me – the Wimbushes – seemed to have much more of Tolkien’s elves about them: Tao with his long, dark hair and piercingly clear eyes, and Hoppi with her bountiful spiritual radiance. And, like other residents, they display a certain amount of wizardry. Their wooden home – built by Tao – is on one of the original nine smallholdings established here ten years ago by a group of individuals working as a

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Tao Wimbush on his smallholding at Lammas

cooperative. Between them they bought 76 acres from a local farmer. Their guiding principle has been “one planet living”. Hoppi says: “That means living within the resources base of our planet – which means three things: living a sustainable life, building naturally, and being productive with the land.” Tao, 47, explains that the lifestyle of the average Welsh person requires 2.7 planets – and of course we only have the one. “For the average Australian, it’s 6 planets; for the average Bangladeshi, it’s 0.1 planets.” And here at Lammas? “It’s 0.9.” If we all lived like the Wimbushes, the planet’s resources would not be depleted. Despite the houses made of hemp and of straw bales, the tipis glimpsed through the trees, and the elvish interior of the Wimbushes’ timber home complete with a small bird happily flitting around the living room (“That’s our robin – he likes to hang


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A touch of the hobbits‌ a grass-roofed house at Lammas


out in our house,” explains Hoppi), this is definitely not Hippy-Dippy Central. The inhabitants of Lammas are hard-working, highly intelligent people – from whom the rest of us could have much to learn. That’s why so many outsiders come here. “During the season, from April to September, we have a thousand visitors,” says Tao. “Plus 250 coming on courses.” The courses cover such topics as alternative energy, mindfulness, shamanic drum-making, and one planet living. For those considering this kind of life, visits can be arranged to see how individual plots work and to get an overview of life at Lammas. Cassandra Lishman is another of the remarkable people living the low-impact life here. Now 51, she seems to have been on the road to an alternative lifestyle almost since she was born in Connecticut. Her mother and father travelled widely and she spent a year in India when she was just two. From the age of 11 she was sent by her Europhile parents to a Hertfordshire boarding school; and aged 17 she met Nigel, 28, “hippy, traveller, carpenter”, dropped out, hit the road with him and two years later they married. Today they live at Lammas in a pink strawbale home they built themselves (along with other home-made buildings). Their three children are there too: Ted, 26, with his own eco-hut; and David, 17, and Bea, 14, sharing a barn. Plus two dogs, two cats, two ponies,

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Heart willow sculpture by Cassandra Lishman

“During the season, from April to September, we have a thousand visitors”

three sheep, chickens and bees. The sheep provide fleeces and their lambs provide meat. “We produce 30 per cent of our own food,” says Cassie. They have been here for a decade. But the idea of living like this has been there since 2000 when Cassie, Nigel and Ted (then six) had a holiday in Wales on a site with nine self-catering units. “That triggered something – and you hold that vision in your head,” she says. “We sold up in London in 2006 and moved to Wales because we wanted our kids to get out of the city, and we wanted to find ‘community’, and to live as low-impact as possible. For a start we had a yurt, and then in just a few days we met people who told us about the Lammas project. “We went to one of the first Lammas meetings. Tao’s original vision was 40 homes. Then it went down to ten – that sounded a lot better. In the end he went for nine.” Cassie’s magic number. After three years moving from place to place and “living hand to mouth”, she and Nigel bought land at Lammas in 2009 and she planted the 2,500 willows that would be her business. “All five of us were living in a yurt when we moved here in 2010,” she says. “We knew nothing about building – we had to test our skills as we went along.” Their cunning plan was offering building courses. “People came and learned with us –


Nigel and Cassandra Lishman © Amanda Jackson

“Living at Lammas does not preclude having a ‘normal’ life”

The pink straw-bale home of Nigel and Cassandra Lishman

and we got a building! All our buildings have been built through courses and the help of volunteers.” Their pink home “is really my workshop”, says Cassie. They have plans to start building a new house, “an Americanstyle wooden cabin” soon. Cassie stresses that living at Lammas does not preclude having a “normal” life. Much of her time is taken up running her willow business, while Nigel has a “conventional” job as a care support worker. Cassie coppices her willows every year. She runs willow workshops in schools (“You can use the planting of willows to teach maths and geometry”), makes willow sculptures and shows others how to do it, teaches basketry at adult learning centres, and does art therapy for mental health. Her willow sculptures are on sale online at etsy. com/shop/OneWildPlanet. “In my situation, I can’t just sell my baskets at the end of the track,” she laughs. “I have to have a four-wheel-drive with a big boot.” What does it take to make it off grid? “I’m very strong willed – you have to be to do this. And you need stamina and determination.” She confesses: “Originally, I dragged poor Nigel here with me!” But they’ve made it through and they’re still together. “It’s bloody amazing,” she says. “We have the sort of relationship where we think we know each other, but we don’t know everything, so we constantly surprise each other.” And you need humour? “Yes. Nigel has an amazing sense of humour. Without that we would not have lasted here.” What would she say to anyone wanting to live this way? “If I can do it, you can do it. If you are passionate about it, you will make it work.  “I may have to boil some water to do the washing-up – so what? At Christmas we had no electricity – we had to put on the emergency petrol generator to watch a film. What I’ve learned here is that once your basic

needs are met, there is no correlation between money and happiness. And we are still alive!” Tao’s journey to a one planet existence has also been a long one. Originally from Berkshire, when he was younger he spent 10 years living completely off grid. “He had lived in alternative communities and had gone back into the mainstream,” says Hoppi, 51, who hails from Lancashire. “Before Lammas, we were living together on the Gower. Tao was a carpenter, and I was doing work in creative emotional intelligence training.” Then the idea of land-based living took root. “It came in a blast,” says Hoppi. “Tao kept waking me up at night and saying he thought he’d ‘got it’. Then he became totally immersed in creating this project.” Hoppi and Tao left the Gower for Lammas and some hard challenges. But they were ultimately able to apply Tao’s simple philosophy of one planet living: “The most important skill is the ability to turn an obstacle into a stepping stone.” Four years ago, Hoppi “dropped out” for a while and went to India to discover where she really needed to be. Her version of “Eat, Pray, Love” was more “Pray, Pray, Pray”; and she wound up in Tamil Nadu at the spectacular holy mountain festival of Karthigai Deepam dedicated to Shiva. It was here that she finally got the message of where she should be – and that, she says with tears of emotion, was “back at Lammas”. Hoppi works as a healer, medicine woman, life coach and inspirational speaker, while Tao works five days a week on their land, managing vegetables and animals (and one day a week providing one planet living advice). “We’re quite strong on livestock,” says Tao. “But there are people here with vegetarian and vegan plots.” He raises goats for milk and meat; and he takes responsibility for killing the goats himself. “I can do this with a level GOLDIE magazine | 19


Cassandra Lishman with her willows... © Heather Birnie 20 | GOLDIE magazine


House building the alternative way at Lammas

Cassandra Lishman and four-legged friends

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“We have to make peace with the natural world and within ourselves – and when both these aspects are acknowledged, we can transform our lives”

Hoppi Wimbush (pictured left) welcomes visitors to the Wimbushes’ wooden home at Lammas (above)

of care, love and respect that isn’t possible in a slaughterhouse,” he explains. He feels local farmers were initially suspicious and not particularly welcoming when Lammas materialised. “It seemed to challenge what they were doing,” he says. “But they have seen how hard we have worked, and how we’ve stuck it out through the winters. And now I think they have some respect for us.” The Wimbushes get their power from the sun and wind, and produce 65 per cent of their food on their smallholding. “The rest we get from organic suppliers,” says Tao. His own organic agriculture has not only enriched soil that was previously of a poor quality, it has also led to a renaissance for local wildlife with the return of hedgehogs and otters. And his workforce includes natural helpers: ducks keep slugs under control, and geese trim the grass. “This way of life works for me,” says Tao. “It doesn’t work for everyone.” But he is convinced that anybody could adopt one planet living if they wanted to. “Most people

here have come from mainstream lifestyles,” he says, “nurse, engineer, museum curator…” The One Planet Council, an independent voluntary body, offers support and advice to people considering a change towards a more sustainable way of life.  “Land-based living can give meaning and purpose,” says Tao. “Today we have solutions to our problems, but we are not enacting those solutions. We have to make peace with the natural world and within ourselves – and when both these aspects are acknowledged, we can transform our lives.” And how long does he see a life at Lammas continuing? “I don’t imagine living anywhere else,” he says. “It’s a real pleasure to be here. In many ways, it’s like a garden of Eden.” n Lammas Ecovillage: www.lammas.org.uk Cassandra Lishman: www.plas-helyg.co.uk The One Planet Council: www.oneplanetcouncil.org.uk  GOLDIE magazine | 23


Coping with a How far should we go in our efforts to combat global warming? Martin Preston believes it could mean a police cell beckons

“ So,

climate of

CHANGE

what did you do, when you had the chance to stop runaway climate change?” What did I do? What could I have done?  Did I stop flying, swap my polluting car for an electric one, did I call time on eating meat and dairy, stop buying stuff I didn’t really need?  Did I write angry letters to my MP, march through the streets of London, sit down in the road, get arrested?  Did I make a fuss? What did I do?The future is still to be created, and we haven’t yet reached the tipping point of runaway climate change, the point where we are powerless to stop global warming and its catastrophic effects on all life on earth.  But it’s the thought that one day I might have to explain this to future generations, to account for my action or lack of, that spurs me on to try and do something, to make changes in my life, and to campaign for wider, system change. We’ve gone flight-free, for this year at least.  Small beginnings.  Last Sunday was a wet day, a very wet day, a perfect day for sitting down with “The Man in Seat 61” and piecing together the jigsaw of interconnecting trains that would get us from Chester to Italy.  Success, of sorts – five trains booked and four calendar alerts for when the high-speed train booking windows open.  It feels good to know that for one year at least I won’t be shouting obscenities at the penny-pinching budget airlines and their devious add-on charges that go hand-in-hand with cheap flights.  There’s an inner Portillo in all of us! Would I be prepared to break the law in our campaigning efforts?  As we sat with 30 or more like-minded folks in a local community café last year, being instructed into the art of non-violent direct action, this question was in my mind, as it still is.  It seems strange that in the gentle early years of retirement I

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should be wondering what would happen if I was lifted (hopefully with care) into the back of van and carted off to a nearby police station.  The knowledgeable and engaging instructor did his best to allay our collective fears, and I left the meeting feeling that being treated respectfully and courteously, and enjoying a rather good vegetarian curry, albeit confined for several hours to a cell, wouldn’t be the worst experience in the world.  In fact, insignificant when compared to the misery that hundreds of UK citizens are currently facing, made homeless in the face of climate-induced floods.  Worse still, much worse, for those living in low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. I’ve yet to sample police cuisine, my small part in Extinction Rebellion’s cause consisting of handing out leaflets to the good citizens and visitors to our fine city of Chester, and singing protest songs in support of the school climate strikes.  Standing under Chester’s famous Eastgate clock, I found

“Eating less meat is a good thing for individual health” myself on the receiving end of a “here’s the proof that climate change is a hoax, sea levels aren’t rising” conversation, as a resident of the fair Isle of Anglesey availed me of his observations on the height of the Irish Sea on a large rock he passes on his daily dog walks. My argument along the lines that this may not be the most scientific study ever carried out, and perhaps the world’s leading climate scientists measuring atmospheric carbon content, global temperature rises, and melting icecaps may provide more compelling evidence, well… alas, he was not to be convinced. I can’t help but think that he would get a very favourable hearing from the

current incumbent of The White House. We’ve long known that eating less meat and dairy is a good thing, good for individual health, and good for a healthy planet. This was brought home to us when we attended a presentation from the authoritative “Centre for Alternative Technology” on its report published late last year entitled Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency.   Among the many challenges and solutions proposed, I was taken by one its conclusions that we need to repurpose three quarters of the land currently used for grazing livestock, freeing up this space for a range of other uses, including doubling UK forest area and restoring 50 per cent of UK peatlands to help mop up residual CO2 emissions.  Instead of getting our protein from animals reared on grain, we should eat the grain. A much more efficient way of consuming protein as well as freeing up land for the millions of trees and wetlands which will be needed to absorb carbon - carbon sequestration or carbon offsetting, new terminology that we’re all having to get used to in the brave new world of net zero carbon by 2050. For me, this illustrates where we are with climate change and climate action.  We know the science; we understand the problem.  We have the solutions.  But we lack the collective will, the political will, to make the huge changes needed.  It’s still too easy to make small changes, to prevaricate, to make grand declarations that lack any coherent strategy and plan to back them up, to think that business-as-usual must continue as usual. So, I’ll carry on eating less meat, less dairy, driving less, flying less.  I’ll turn the heating down, put on an extra layer.  And maybe later this year I’ll find myself writing another Goldie piece “from our northern eco correspondent” whilst enjoying a splendid vegetarian curry from the insalubrious confines of a London police cell. Love and rage! n  


ALAN WATSON

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Why is it so difficult to provide a basic home to those in need

Taking part in a Sleep Out in London opened Fiona Carter’s eyes to life on the streets

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omelessness in our cities has increased to epidemic levels. A conservative estimate by the Big Issue suggests that 320,000 are homeless and this does not include those living in temporary accommodation sharing with friends, sleeping in cars or other alternatives.  It is this that has prompted me for the last 2 years to take part in a Sleep Out for Centrepoint Homeless charity. We can complain about the political reasons for the loss of suitable social housing and welfare support but in our day to day lives most of us witness homelessness in some way or another and often we ignore it.  Andy Palfreyman is a professional photographer who was homeless for over 30 years. He was the inspiration for Goldie’s LFW “There’s no place like (a) Home” fashion show, at the Swiss Church, London. He explained that being homeless makes you invisible and feel subhuman.  The show was a huge success and Andy is a real example of hope. After all those years on the streets, Andy now has a place he can call home. Like Andy, many who leave home do so because of family and relationship breakdown not because of alcohol and substance abuse. If the choice is living in an abusive violent home or on the streets; the streets soon become an attractive safer option. They are vulnerable with nowhere to go and no support system, depression soon sets in and alcohol and substance abuse become a coping

“Many leave home because of family and relationship breakdown not because of alcohol and substance abuse”


“Homelessness does not discriminate: It takes no account of age, gender or status”

Oliver Sharat, his relationship collapsed after 9 years which led to the loss of his home, family and job

mechanism. The biggest increase we have seen is the large numbers on the street with mental health issues. This has doubled since 2010 because of the breakdown of mental health provision in the UK. Finland seems to have found one way to answer this problem: In 2008 they introduced a radical approach to homelessness with the Home First Programme which approaches the problem of homelessness on its head. Rather than making people meet criteria and targets, then giving them somewhere to live, they are first found a home, then helped with intensive welfare support and therapy. The results have been so significant and successful that Finland is the first European country not only to have resolved the issue of street homelessness but as good as eradicated it. As one Home First resident said “That front door gives me an identity and I can’t tell you how strong that feeling is”  Home First could well have helped Oliver Sharat, the homeless man who asked me for money to buy hot food en route to my Sleep Out. His was an all too familiar story: a relationship collapsing after 9 years led to the loss of his home, family and job. He had been robbed several times and was desperate to work, an opportunity that evaded him as he no longer had a permanent address.  I met Chloe on that same Sleep Out. When Chloe first came to London as a fashion intern she struggled to find somewhere to stay, at the time her boss was unsympathetic

Bridgette, who lives in a doorway off Oxford Street

until she saw Chloe arrive at work with all her belongings. Chloe said she felt terrible leaning on all friends or relatives.  “You feel you are an intruder in their home even though they say it is alright for you to stay.”  Sofa surfing is a hidden issue with no data collected but is homelessness nonetheless.  Rachel went through a similar ordeal.  With little warning, she suddenly had to move out of her accommodation. She spent a number of weeks bunking with friends, trying not to be a nuisance and get in the way.  Rachel had just been promoted: her career as a professional make-up artist meant she needed to look professional with smart clothes, hair and make-up.  Being temporarily homeless, jockeying for the bathroom and other essential amenities only piled more pressure on her as she struggled with the demands of her new job.  Homelessness does not discriminate: It takes no account of age, gender or status. A few bad decisions and the situation can tumble out of control. Andy told me of a friend who was running his own company one minute and then sleeping in a doorway the next.  Women who live on the street make up only 17% of those that sleep rough but they face much greater danger and risk. The threat and reality of physical and verbal abuse, rape, prostitution and modern-day slavery is pervasive.  Young girls fleeing oppressive family regimes in fear of enforced marriages

and cultural conflicts or because their sexual orientation isn’t accepted face extra daily hardships on the streets: not only the physical risks but the practical need for access to sanitary products make this so much harder for them. I met Bridgette who lives in a doorway off Oxford Street and was concerned when I saw the verbal abuse she was receiving. Originally from Cameroon, she tells me she is happy where she is, happy delivering papers. Bridgette is articulate; however, her reality appears distorted and jumbled. She clearly needs support and medical help. All I could do was chat to her in passing.   Andy’s advice to just say “Hello” and treat the street homeless as human beings worthy of being seen is often all any of us can do. It might be the only “Hello” someone gets to hear all day. It may be the only time that they are recognized as being a legitimate part of society. It might just be the human connection they need to get through another day. n    If you are concerned about anyone who might be a risk please contact: Centrepoint: www.centrepoint.org.uk/ Shelter: www.shelter.org.uk/ Streetlink app: www.streetlink.org.uk/ Housing First England: www.hfe.homeless.org.uk/ GOLDIE magazine | 27


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ANDY’S CATWALK

There’s no Place like Home PICTURES BY NICK PAYNE COOK

Dear Fashion Friends,

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e all know the power of the right outfit. Those of us who work in this industry wear our hearts on our sleeves daily. We wouldn’t be here doing this, wearing our passions, if we didn’t believe on some level that fashion was good for all of us. Because of course what looks like a breeze from the outside isn’t always fun when you have worked your arse off and are close to burnout, even if you are wearing a free frock. So let’s start from the premise that you love fashion and the industry. And let’s also assume that you feel downhearted by the constant negativity that pervades the fashion story: the ethics, the greed, the bitchiness; the unsustainable use of resources and people; the lack of integrity and sense that everyone involved is tarred with the same brush. This doesn’t make any of us feel good about ourselves, does it?

u

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u I’m pretty certain this isn’t a reflection of who you are or who your fashion friends are. So I want to share a sartorial story that made my heart leap and shows that fashion cares. I was dashing to a presentation on the last day of LFWM when I grabbed a coffee in a café in Soho. A rather dashing chap complimented me on the coat I was wearing…one thing led to another and after the menswear event, I returned to the café and spent a few hours talking to Andy Palfreyman and learning all about his life. Andy had been Street Homeless for over thirty years. It is very hard for me to imagine surviving that. Let alone maintaining my love for a good outfit. But Andy did. And he talks very eloquently about the role that being able to dress well played in maintaining his wellbeing during those years. Fashion and resilience are something many of us know intimately – put on that dress and heels and show the world you don’t care for their opinions – but perhaps we find it more difficult to conceive how we would overcome the adversity of being homeless and still want to create an authentic identity with our style choices? During the course of our first natter, Andy mentioned that he had an idea for a fashion show using charity shop clothes – his preferred method of acquiring fashion – and showing the impact of dressing on the wellbeing of homeless people in London. I too am a charity shop addict, for both my personal wardrobe and editorial I produce second-hand is my first choice. Andy’s idea percolated for a few days in my head then I messaged him and we met again.

“Put on that dress and heels and show the world you don’t care for their opinions” Within a matter of hours, we had a plan for #Andyscatwalk. Many of those living on the streets of London - who we will dash past on our way to the next show - have suffered from stress, depression and mental illness; they will have fallen into holes due to relationship breakups, job breakdowns and patterns which any of us could have experienced. Becoming homeless is inclusive and diverse. The homeless population reflects all sectors of society. Equality we could do well with reflecting in fashion. We all need clothing, a basic need of course but one in which we can also express elements which are fundamental to our mental health. How many of us would be at a loss as to who we were if we weren’t able to act it out via our wardrobes? Why should that be any different for those who 32 | GOLDIE magazine


NICOLA REID

find themselves in more dire circumstances? Andy’s catwalk was all about the way in which fashion can lead us through the journey of self-discovery and identity: a fashion pyramid based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We can’t attain the dizzy peaks of self-actualisation without getting the lowerlevel needs met. We all need to be safe, to feel secure too, and know how it feels to be accepted for who we are. We need the mix of emotional, cognitive and physical bases ‘sorted’ before we can fly and explore all the amazing versions of our identity available. #Andyscatwalk asks us to imagine our best selves, to unleash our personal possibilities; to hold onto the potential of life even when times are tough. When we create rather than consume we are expanding a set of positive emotions in our own life’s which impact those around us and ultimately bring about change for the good in the world at large.

Fashion can do this. Dressing can be a selfless act which supports our own wellbeing and generates an upward cycle of flourishing. Most of the pieces on Andy’s catwalk had been sourced from London Charity shops. Thank you to the designers added to our creativity with additional pieces. Everyone who worked on making this happen volunteered their time, expertise and love for free. We may be shallow flighty fashion types but we care about more than just clothes. And I know that we are not alone in being fashion insiders who believe that fashion can be a force for good. Thank you to everyone gave their fashion love, time and expertise to making Andy’s Catwalk happen. And thank you Andy, for inspiring me to be, and wear my best self. n

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Peacock hedonists Rhoda Idoniboye learns how eschewing the mainstream can be good for the soul

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or a couple who have only had four hours sleep, Dolly and Linx couldn’t be chirpier. They’ve been out all night in an East London warehouse, partying with people half their age. Ask them if they felt out of place and they’ll say “no”; conspicuous, perhaps, but that’s the way they like it. Each of their outfits is meticulously planned to create maximum impact and generate conversation. They describe themselves as “peacocking hedonists” and are as colourful, thrillseeking and non-conformist as it gets. Linx turns the preconceived notion of what an IT guy should look like on its head. Lit up by the March sunshine pouring in through the bay windows, he is wearing peacock feathers on his shoulders and is sporting a gold sequinned beard which matches his hood. Dolly doesn’t look like your average primary school headteacher either. All pink hair, tattoos and piercings with a dazzling smile to match, she is resplendent today in a printed green silk kimono. She takes me to her bedroom, best described as a rainbow cornucopia of garments and accessories, to find a few extra pieces for our photo shoot. Her clothes are displayed on open rails and she has a lot of stuff. It’s led her to reevaluate her clothes consumption; she doesn’t buy much these days but when she does, she ensures each piece is unique and pre-loved. “My local charity shops are great but I also support ethical brands that are produced with the environment in mind. Urban Trenches London chimes with me in that respect. They’re about reusing what already exists to create show-stopping pieces. Linx and I want to do the same. We’re going to start making our own clothes, by customising what we have.” Neither are not short on ideas or ambition; maybe it’s in their genes. Despite different backgrounds, both Dolly and Linx are the product of immigrant parents - Irish

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and West Indian respectively - and both have seamstresses in their lineage. Linx talks excitedly about resurrecting his grandmother’s ancient Singer. You could lose an entire day in Dolly’s “dressing room”. So many colours, so many textures. It’s this fun-filled, kaleidoscopic dress sense combined with self-deprecating humour and “authenticity” that have amassed her a cool three-and-a-half thousand followers on Instagram in the space of a year. She flies in the face of convention and one of her favourite games is “what should you never wear together?” where she wilfully breaks every rule in the fashion handbook. “Coco Chanel once said: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ I do the opposite. I look in the mirror and put two more things on.” With that she grabs a feathered bolero, top hat and her clutch - Lulu Guinness’s iconic red lips. Without that particular accessory she may never have met Linx. “The first thing I noticed was the bag,” he explains. “I spotted it from across the room and of course it helped that the woman holding it was gorgeous. So I walked up to her saying Lulu, Lulu, Lulu. I think she was impressed that I knew who Lulu Guinness was.” It helped that he’d spent years in the fashion industry, working behind the scenes at London Fashion Week as a dresser and in retail before leaving to land his dream job as a games designer for Sony. He’s always experimented with his style and in the preinternet era drew inspiration from the pages of the now defunct Marie Claire. “I’ve always found womens’ to be way more exciting. I still do. Though I’d say these days I’m also drawn to indie designers and gay brands as they are less likely to play by the rules. “I’ve never understood why people would pay £200 for a pair of trackie bottoms and a black T-shirt with a logo slapped across the front. Nobody will ask you about it. It’s not

PICTURES NICK PAYNE COOK

a conversation starter. Why would you spend big money trying to look like everybody else? I want my clothes to reflect who I am.” Certainly his sparkly beard and feathers are a sartorial reminder he is his own person, intentionally making choices outside of the stereotypical dress code he is supposed to stick to as a black man. The desire to create dialogue takes courage when you are part of a marginalised group, as there is pressure to play by the group’s rules. The narrow and distorted view of what black masculinity is extends beyond fashion. Linx recalls a school friend who was shocked to discover he listened to rock music, against perceived cultural norms “He asked me: ‘are you even black, bruv’?” By using his style as a counter-narrative to engage people, Linx is confident his breaking down boundaries. “Men tend not to compliment each other as much as women but I’m having more and more guys tell me they love what I’m wearing, even a few black dudes last night which was a bit of a revelation as they tend to be the most standoffish with me.” Dolly nods her agreement and adds: “I love walking through a club with Linx. Everybody wants to talk to him as he doesn’t conform to how they think he should look.” “The flip side of all the attention, is the fetishisation of him as a black man by other white women. The “Ooh, lucky you having a black boyfriend” crowd makes me cringe. I know what they’re hinting at and it’s so outdated.” When Dolly chooses to wear a (very stylish) dog-collar on a night out and Linx holds her leash, she experiences fetishization too. As an interracial couple, with all the historical baggage that entails, the BDSM undertones have provoked a few unwelcome reactions - anger from women who see it as subjugation, and misinterpretation by men who see it as a conquest and either applaud Linx or try to high five him. “I don’t engage


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them, it’s disrespectful to Dolly. This is not about master and servant.” Their nonconformity means the pair have to be able to rely on each other for back up. Their values align on all the biggies - how to raise kids (Dolly has two teenage sons from a previous relationship), education, respect and not pandering to society’s views on who they should be. They are themselves at all costs. Dolly says: “Maybe it’s an age thing but we don’t care what people think about us. I wouldn’t say we’re a power couple in the traditional sense of the word. I feel powerful when I’m by myself. But when we’re together? Together it feels like we’re invincible.” This feeling of invincibility fuels their aesthetic. It’s joyful and celebratory with all the bells and whistles: sequins, capes, dog collars and masks. And each inspires the other to be bolder, to think bigger. “Before Linx, I’d never met anyone who was as much into my style as their own, who didn’t say ‘Are you really wearing that?’ before a night out,” Dolly explains. Music plays a massive part in their relationship. They are out clubbing or at gigs most weekends. As with clothes their musical tastes are eclectic. Linx prides himself on having gotten Dolly “into” dance and rock, while Dolly’s favourite genre is 80s pop; when Rick Astley comes on the radio we lower our voices to hushed tones. This potent combination of music and dressing up means they’re naturally keen on festivals and try to make it to two a year. Wilderness is their favourite. Dolly says: “The first time we went, we dressed down (for us) during the day and really went for it at night. But there’s no light at festivals at night. You’re in the middle of a field. We’d made all this effort and nobody got to see it. So now we switch it around.“ This points to pageantry. But it’s also about joy and engineering those micro-moments of connection. Each festival outfit is weeks, sometimes months, in the planning; Dolly has already started work on a project with a fashion historian to create a “crazy” costume from pieces she already owns for this year’s outdoor season. Dolly and Linx are nonconformists, but not for the sake of being different: they are simply free spirits. Neither believes in marriage. Nor are they in any rush to move in together. Their relationship is not built around society’s expectations. Instead it is based on mutual love, respect, fearlessness and a bloody great dress sense. “The reaction to us as a couple is overwhelmingly positive. We’re not telling people they have to dress like us. We’re saying they can dress how they like and live how they like. We hope we give them the confidence to do that.” With infectious enthusiasm and endless style, they look like they’re having the time of their lives – who wouldn’t want to join them? n 44 | GOLDIE magazine


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“Coco Chanel once said: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ I do the opposite. I look in the mirror and put

two more things on”

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“The first thing I noticed was the bag,” he explains. “I spotted it from across the room and of course it helped that the woman holding it was gorgeous. So I walked up to her saying Lulu, Lulu, Lulu. I think she was impressed that I knew who Lulu Guinness was”

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“Maybe it’s an age thing but we don’t care what people think about us. I wouldn’t say we’re a power couple in the traditional sense of the word. I feel powerful when I’m by myself. But when we’re together? Together it feels like we’re invincible” GOLDIE magazine | 57


From pole dancing to stand up and burlesque, Amanda Chapman Bruce reveals the naked truth about Miss Glory Pearl PICTURE SIN BOZKURT

The power and 58 || GOLDIE 58 GOLDIE magazine magazine


Sometimes in life, you are lucky enough to

meet someone you instantly fall in love with. Miss Glory Pearl is one of those people. An internationallyknown performer and stand-up comedian, she is a chameleon who continually explores and reinvents herself. Unashamedly real, unapologetically outspoken, she is one of the warmest, wisest, and wittiest people I know. I first came across her at a pole-dance exhibition several years ago. In strutted Glory looking like an extra from a silent movie - her trademark sharp bob topped off with a beautiful vintage hat. I remember her stage presence, her instant likeability and her command of the English language. This is a lady who is charming as fuck, and whose dry wit and satire knows no bounds. Gusto? She’s got it. Strength? She owns it. Tenacity? She serves it. Truth? You’d better believe she is delivering it. Glory has been in the spotlight for some years now with a repertoire that includes pole dances, burlesque, comedy and naked reading performances. I was intrigued to learn whether she had experienced ageism in her work, so we met to discuss the subject.

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ACB: How did it all begin, and why comedy? MGP: I used to do a lot of theatre when I was a kid, all I ever wanted to be was an actor. I was told you can’t be an actor, you’ll never earn a living, you’re far too clever to be an actor, you need to do something sensible — which kind of left me in this position of not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. So as a consequence, I kind of got thrown out of school and ended up training to be a saddler, then ended up selling saddles, and I thought is this what my life is? So I got an English degree, and then did a masters, and then did a PGC and became an English teacher. When I was teaching, one of the requirements was taking students on theatre trips which reignited my love of performing. I also then started learning to pole dance. I did that as a very conscious response to coming out of an abusive relationship with a partner who had completely destroyed my sense of self and my relationship with my body and how I felt about myself and my sexuality. I’d been on a bit of a journey and I’d gotten very big under the force of all his criticism and manipulation. He was the head chef at the school where I taught so I basically didn’t want to eat any of the food there (laughs) because he made it! So I’d lost quite a bit of weight, was doing a lot of yoga, and got into pole dancing. At that point pole was just starting to come out of the strip clubs, and I actually had to go to a club, a strip club, to learn it — there was nothing happening in gyms or dedicated studios. I really loved it, the physical challenge of it, how it made me feel, how it asked me to connect with a part of myself that I’d never really connected with in a positive way before. I decided to leave teaching with no job to go to, I’d bought a house which was really stupid, bought a new car, and then had to work out how to pay for it all. At that point I moved to advertising, took a 40 per cent pay cut, and had to find a way to pay my mortgage. Essentially, I started pole dancing to pay the bills, so I was performing and doing a bit of strip work and teaching at the pole-dancing school. Then I discovered burlesque and that seemed to me like a good place where I could distinguish myself, because nobody was really doing pole with burlesque and certainly what I brought to it was a lot of actor training and understanding of character and comedy. I was doing really well at it but in 2011 I got catastrophically injured on stage, massively fucked my shoulder and that really put an end to me doing any aerial circus or pole dancing anymore.  So as a consequence I was doing more straight burlesque, starting to do a bit of character comedy, and starting to compere a lot. Through compering, people kept saying to me: “You’re really funny, you should do stand up” and I thought, oh all right then! 60 | GOLDIE magazine

I wrote a stand-up show in 2014 and took it to the Edinburgh Fringe, which isn’t the way that you do things. You’re supposed to do a course, do some open mic nights, build up to five minutes of material, then 10, then an hour and take it to Edinburgh… That isn’t what I did. ACB: How old were you in 2011? MGP: That was the year I turned 40. ACB: How did you find the experience, being a 40-year old woman — were you receiving much negativity, or were people happy to embrace it? MGP: well, genetically I never really looked my age and people would often mistake me for being 28 which I found insulting to be honest — I’m way more grown up than that! So it was never really an issue, though I

never really consciously talked about my age because I knew it would be a problem. The problem came in 2014 when I wrote a show and took it to Edinburgh. At that point I was 43 and because of the nature of the show (The Naked Stand Up) I got a lot of press attention. The first thing you’re asked is: what’s your real name and how old are you? So at the point the Daily Mail, The Times and The Sun were publishing my age, I noticed a distinct shift in the way people treated me within burlesque. I was suddenly “othered” and seen as an older performer. Someone referred to me as a legend and I challenged this because to me a legend in burlesque is not someone who is a neoburlesque performer or performing in the revival, but someone who was performing originally in the Twenties through to the Sixties. The response was that anyone who had been performing 10 years or more, would be referred to in that manner — yet they were not referring to other, younger people who

had been performing 10 years or more in the same way. To me that was the beginning of the end with my relationship with burlesque, because I’d always had issues with it in terms of the fact that I find it highly hypocritical. These days you’ve got to be out there and different in a way. Every generation likes to think it’s different — because it’s really radical not to shave your armpits! ACB: Where do your ideas come from? MGP: I don’t really know… a lot of ideas come from when I’m hoovering! Usually I find if I’m walking back from the shops I’ll start to think about something. That or in the bath is where the material comes from. I feel like I’m on the cusp of being a part of a generation that is out of touch with the younger generation and I sense a real difference.  I’ve had this conversation a few times with people recently about the notion of activism. For me it’s about direct action, getting out on the streets, it’s boycotting, it’s setting up schemes to physically do something and help something or change something… it’s not sharing petitions of Facebook or donating to crowdfunding.  You know how you can now get a “top fan” badge, and The Guardian and Financial Times keep pushing me to get one. I feel that declaring yourself an ally is the same thing, a self-appointed badge that actually means fuck all and is just really about your ego. Being an ally is essential just being a decent human being and that should be our baseline level of behaviour, the minimum we should expect. When I first started teaching English, I read a book which was about teaching English literature, and it said “All of literature can be defined as the struggle between the individual and society” and I’ve thought about that a lot over the years. I get it although I am not sure I entirely agree and I guess stand up is largely the same. So anything really can spark a thought. ACB: What are your thoughts on the industry you are in, in terms of comedy? MGP:  My real issue, and part of why I want to do the masters degree, is that I have never really felt that I absolutely fit somewhere… going back to working in an advertising agency, I’m a planner and for years I was an account handler and struggled with many aspects of that role. I’m really happy being a planner, I’m a really good planner and when I am around planners I feel like I am with my people. They all think like me, question everything like me, and are ferociously curious in questioning the world. These are my people, more interested in our own ideas than we are in ego. 


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I don’t think I really found that as a performer, I really liked pole dancing but there were aspects of it that started to bother me. Then it moved in a direction where I thought this isn’t interesting to me anymore and the same has happened with burlesque. Comedy is still massively male. I feel as a woman over 40, in comedy, there is no place for me. I don’t fit a mould and I’m struggling with that and with the conventions and confines of stand up. I’m hoping that this MA will give me some clarity. ACB: When you are performing, how much time do you spend on preparing? MGP: If it’s an evening show for the Fringe, I will try to have a rest in the afternoon, have a shower, do a particular meditation, then put my makeup on while running lines through my head and then go and do the show. But I have also gone from the carpark to the stage in 10 minutes.  I do like to take a minute to myself before I go on and I’m not chattering in the dressing rooms, I’m quiet and focused and I like to get in that zone. My mantra when I’m nervous is: “I know this, I’m good at this, I can do this.”  ACB: What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever given you, said to you or done for you? MGP: There was this lovely guy Ian who was in a pole competition I was compering, and he hadn’t written anything for his introduction and told me to make it up, so I did. I revealed that he was actually my son, so we ended up with this ongoing banter. He sent me this large picture of a needlepoint guinea pig that he’d done. I was amazed and it is fantastic! ACB: If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be? MGP: I’ve never been asked that before - I kind of want to say Peggy Lee’s Is That All There Is.  ACB: What’s the best advice you have ever been given? MGP:  I always like the maxim you’re a long time dead. Be kind, and at the end of the day nothing really matters and there is very little that is actually important. ACB: Tell me about your hats. MGP: I’ve always liked hats and always worn hats. I got my first red trilby when I was about 15. When I left college I went to work in a very posh shop in the West End, and this guy came. I can’t remember what he bought but when I went to hand him his receipt, he 62 | GOLDIE magazine

grabbed my hand, pulled me towards him and said: “You have a very good face for hats” and I totally internalised that. The thing I love about vintage hats is the way they are made, they tend to sit on the head better than a lot of modern hats. I love the fact they’re often more well preserved. It kind of accelerated with doing the The Naked Stand Up, the whole thing about being naked as opposed to be nude. The concept of nudity in art history etc, is that the naked body in its natural form is an object not a subject, so when I wrote The Naked Stand Up I was very clear about wanting to be naked not nude. I found this really crappy definition of naked online which said something like:  “A prisoner not wearing any clothes tied to a chair would be naked, a woman wearing nothing but high heels would be naked” and I thought that is hilarious, the notion of topping and tailing the nudity, and walking on with my handbag. I’ve got my accessories. I’m dressed but I’m not wearing any clothes.  So of course the only costume item I could invest in was hats and shoes. ACB: So because of the previous performances, the pole dancing, the stripping, the burlesque, did that make it easier for you to be naked? MGP: Definitely, I think it is just about familiarity.  I remember at the Fringe talking to a fellow comedian, and I said to him I’ve never been to Edinburgh before, never done the Fringe before, never done stand up before, and he said “and you’re doing it naked? You’ve got balls!”. I remember thinking that’s really interesting because the perception from outside is that nudity makes you incredibly vulnerable. Whereas I was more scared of the material and not being funny. But if you are going down badly, you are dying on your arse naked!  ACB: In terms of press coverage of your age, how were you received or what were the perceptions of a 40-year-old naked woman in comedy? MGP: I never felt judged in Edinburgh, actually and some of the press were really nice to me. You’ve got people like Lucy Porter who has been going for ages and talks about being in her forties and her age. People like Jo Brand and Jenny Eclair, they were a bit of a rarity and I think that the next wave of female comedians are all going through and are around that age.  I don’t want to be doing three or four open mic nights a week and I think there is so much about comedy that I really like. It’s a very established industry, and in my years of regularly doing Edinburgh I was moving through the levels of that. Those opportunities aren’t capped, and the


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levels of progression are much higher. But I’m still not sure this is the right box for me as I still want to be quite thoughtful and not necessarily delivering joke after joke. I never thought I’d go back and do another MA seems a bit greedy, but the reason I wanted to do a taught MA in creative writing was because I wanted to learn about the industry and the structure and the form. I know I can write copy and advertising but I don’t know how that industry works and I don’t have the knowledge. n GOLDIE magazine | 65


PICTURES PATRICK FALANIKO

Intergenerational body positivity: a manifesto Tamzyn Walker-Evans explains why more mature bodies in the realm of body acceptance could help us avoid having to grow old gracefully

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ody positivity and body image are huge subjects in the media today, whether mainstream or social. Scroll through an internet forum, open any magazine and there will be a millennial discussing how they are conquering their body image issues, despite growing up in a world which places the attainment of physical ‘perfection’ before any other ‘achievements’. There’s no denying that negative body image is a vast problem for young people and even children, with eating disorders on the rise and weight anxiety increasing too. But are concerns about body image and appearance exclusive to young people? Do those of an older age struggle with what they see reflected in the mirror too, or is this merely a concern worried over by a generation of youngsters with little else to alarm them? Discussing these issues with my editor

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it occurred to us that our friendship is built on our shared body acceptance and passionate campaigning for diversity in fashion and media; it has cropped up in many a conversation between Rebecca and I that there might be a disconnect between how those in young bodies navigate the world of body image and how those in older bodies address it. As a 32-year-old, plus-size model, I have worked very hard on body image issues. I spent years trying to lose weight and hankering after the ‘perfect’ body that doesn’t exist. In my 20s I underwent gastric band surgery in a bid to find the peace I longed for, having always connected confidence with being in a slim body. The first surgery got me down to a tiny eight-and-a-half stone, but the band was so tight I threw up everything I ate, including liquids, and after a year of throwing up, the band ripped off my stomach, causing immense pain. I paid to

have revisional surgery, so terrified was I of gaining the weight back. The second attempt ended the same as the first. I still have the band inside me, but it has been loosened and I am now a size 20, which is roughly where I have stayed for 18 months. What I learnt through my nine years of bariatric issues, of being what society would consider slim and obese, is that ultimately, I didn’t feel any happier. Being skinny was not the answer I hoped it would be. It was then I decided to work on myself and my body image from an emotional and mental perspective rather than physical. These days I feel the most confident I have ever felt. I walk runways in my pants, model for brands, and do not diet. And I have countless friends in the body acceptance and fat positive community - but most of them are under fifty. Rebecca and I first met when we were clad only in our underwear, in the middle of Trafalgar square on a blistering August day


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last year. We were standing waiting to walk the runway for The Real Catwalk, a guerrilla affair set up by supermodel Khrystyana Kazakov to tackle the lack of diversity in the fashion world. Rebecca, who was all smiles at the time, later revealed to me the terror she felt at not only being stood in public in her knickers, but also of the fleeting notions she had of feeling she was too old for such antics. As we spoke, it became evident that she was probably the oldest one walking that day, though at a mere 55 extremely young to be the only one repping it for the ‘oldies. Is it ever time to put away bodies that, for some, do not conform to the ‘norm’? In my opinion that’s precisely the type of thinking that needs to be rebelled against, whatever your age, body shape, colour, gender or ability. So why are older bodies so rare within the body acceptance community? Is it because women of an older age are already confident in their bodies, or because older people feel excluded in an ever-growing world of younger people putting their bodies out there for public consumption? Rebecca loves to rebel against the idea that body acceptance activism has an upper age limit, as you may be able to tell from the photos accompanying this article. Spread out like a goddess on the pink billiard table, clad only in knickers and the most ridiculously sexy thigh-high boots you have ever seen, she explains that just because she is “past it” she doesn’t feel the need to shy away from attention. She wants to be able to fly the flag for older women who need the inspiration to feel proud of their bodies, much in the same way that I campaign for the acceptance of fat bodies and the extinguishing of fat phobia. But research into body image suggests that women experiencing ageing may also experience a decline in body confidence, which is why having individuals who are publicly celebrating the aging process and all the beauty it encompasses is so very important. Older women are constantly targeted by consumerist companies selling them beauty, health and food products designed to make them look younger, as if ageing itself is unnatural. At a time when there are big changes in the lack of representative bodies on the runway, in film and in music in terms of ethnicity, size and gender, who is fighting for the marginalised in terms of ageism and body acceptance? For starters, some fabulous, stylish and inspirational models and influencers who are doing their thing for the over 50s such as Nikki Garnett, Grece Ghanem, Daphne Selfe and Mel. But what really intrigued me was that I struggled to find a single influencer or body positive activist who was both plus-size and older. I decided to dig further into the reasons behind such an absence of inspirational plus-size women over forty by asking some questions on social media forums. Why did women think there was a lack of plus-size 70 | GOLDIE magazine

“Older women are constantly targeted by companies selling them beauty, health and food products designed to make them look younger, as if ageing itself is unnatural”


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mature representation? One women commented “where I live, it is very much concerned with how you look and being slim, the body positive movement seems very much aimed at younger people, I would love to see more 40-plus women as influencers.” One of the rare plus-size mature influencers I did find was the amazing Kelly Fletcher, otherwise known as Kelly With The Belly, who has over 12,000 followers on Instagram and posts daily about fashion, lingerie, mental health, each post with a dose of humour and self-love. Kelly, the self-proclaimed “fat clothes horse” thinks that “younger women are afforded somewhat of a privilege growing up in a world where body positivity is far more mainstream and accepted than it ever was. It is almost easier for 20 year old ‘Karen’ to love herself than 50 year old ‘Susan’ who has 35 years of self-hate, loathing and conditioned thinking to undo.” This may be the crux of why we see so few plus size women over 40 celebrating their curves. If the lack of diversity stems from a deeply engrained ‘perfect body goal,’ it may take years to undo, and a few more people like Kelly to encourage others to do the same. But intergenerational body positivity -the love of one’s own body and of others, regardless of age or size – seems important too. It could be immensely helpful to reach out to other women who share the same fear of their bodies but see things from a separate perspective because of age. By doing so we could learn so much both in terms of self-love but also how to navigate the world when it comes to how we feel about our bodies. This is something that chimed also with fellow model, Rachel Peru, who has most recently worked with lingerie brands Figleaves and Chantelle, and is also a blogger, podcaster and body confidence activist who turns fifty this year. Since turning 40 Rachel felt a ‘shift’ towards feeling more confident, something she has “continued to work on in the last ten years.” After one of her recent talks at a Women’s Institute evening, which centred around body confidence, Rachel concluded: “I’ve found conversations around body confidence interesting and sadly not unsurprising. It seems body confidence, or lack of it, is a real issue for the majority of women that I’ve spoken to. What is apparent is that it is not consigned to one particular age group although the younger women I’ve spoken to seemed harder on themselves than some of the older women. Having these inter-generational conversations is really important because we can all learn so much from each other and it makes our own insecurities seem less weighty when we know we all share the same thoughts.” Perhaps out of the ruins of a world built on consumerism, designed to make us hate our bodies, women of all ages can find a shared connection with each other, one that perhaps can create dialogue, activism and even an entire movement so that individuals of the future can grow up in a society that teaches you to love your body, no matter what? Now there’s a thought. n GOLDIE magazine | 75


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“It could be immensely helpful to reach out to other women who share the same fear of their bodies but see things from a separate perspective because of age� GOLDIE magazine | 79


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Rachel Dax

Look back with love Time a sexua nd Again e xp li Rebec ty in positi lores lesb ia v c more a Weef Sme ageing lig n from the di ith finds ht rector out

PICTURES BY SAMMY BAXTER

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ave you ever wondered how you would react if a long-lost love turned up unexpectedly in your life after breaking your heart years before? What would you say? Do you think you would still love them? Director Rachel Dax has made an acclaimed short film, Time & Again, about two lesbians in their eighties, casting actresses Siân Phillips and Brigit Forsyth as former lovers, Eleanor and Isabelle, who meet again in a care home sixty years after their relationship ended. Time & Again is both heart-wrenching and uplifting: my sobs elicited a tissue from the stranger sitting next to me. The film was partly motivated by the way that elderly gay people have to go back into the closet and hide their sexuality to avoid prejudice in care homes. I was invited to a screening by the charity Opening Doors who work with the older LGBTQ+ community to tackle the misconceptions and bias that still exist.  It was there I meet Rachel and conceived the idea of asking Siân and Brigit to model for a

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u fashion editorial: I loved the characters they played in the film but wanted to see them in a new way…anyway, I’m leaping ahead. “I think older women, in general, tend to be treated like they don’t have any sexuality,” Rachel explained. “A lot of LGBT films with older characters are male-focused. I think it is important for lesbian visibility that a film shares their viewpoint.” The way Rachel explained it to me, there were only two options available to lesbians of the generation that are now 70+ when they were younger: you could either marry a man you didn’t love and therefore remain accepted by your family, or move away to a big city like London and live authentically as a lesbian, still with1 prejudice but at least a sense of being part of a community. Rachel has managed to incorporate both of these possibilities into Time & Again. However, in Rachel’s telling of the story, we are reminded that positivity is also available. The film has some very funny scenes, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom; love can heal old wounds and lust lasts. Not wishing to spoil anything, this is a love story with a happy ending. Both Eleanor and Isabelle have a chance to get their feelings about the past off their chests and then make the choice to rekindle their sexual relationship. And whilst this film is about a lesbian love affair, the theme struck me as universal. Why is it that society expects older men and women to stop being autonomous and give over the decision making to others? Why is it

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considered unacceptable to want to continue as a sexual being as we age? Why don’t we create environments that allow us to flourish and lead happy fulfilling lives whilst at the same time keeping us cared for if we need that extra support? As far as Rachel knows, the film has the first same-sex scene to be made with actresses over eighty. “I wanted to show that older women are still sexual and that older lesbians do have sex and do still love to do so. It was a real ambition to get that on

“The film has the first same-sex scene to be made with actresses over eighty” screen.” Both Siân and Brigit told me that shooting that scene felt perfectly natural. Brigit decided that the sensible nightdress her character was supposed to wear for the scene really wasn’t suitable. “Isabelle had waited 60 years to seduce Eleanor and she wasn’t going to wear white-buttoned-up-to-the-neck was she?”. A sexy black slip certainly suited Isabelle more. I wanted to cheer at that point in the film. Yes, love lasts. Yes, sex makes us happy at any age! Yes, women can choose how to have fun! I love Eleanor with her simmering anger and jealousy, but I really disliked the beige dress she wore for much of the film. It was that dress, and everything it represents about how older women are seen, that made me want to show Brigit and Siân in a very different way. Choosing recent designers I had met at Graduate Fashion Week and labels more usually connected with a young demographic

gave me a chance to play with expectations in much the same way Rachel did with her characters in Time & Again. Rachel has said that it was great fun working with Siân and Brigit, that their passion for acting shone through and it was a dream working with them. The same was true on the day we shot the fashion editorial: they were lovely, supportive, positive, and friendly, with so much energy. We produce shoots with a tiny budget and a team who are really up against the clock to get the pictures. Siân and Brigit, along with Rachel, just mucked in and got on with it. I had a fabulous time working with these wonderful women and I was so pleased to learn that Rachel is working on a sequel to Time & Again. I really want to know more about these characters and how they got to the point where we see them in this short film. I’m delighted that Rachel is turning this into a full-length feature which will be her first: she came to filmmaking later in life and has persevered with numerous projects; she has just kept “doing things… making stuff because eventually, an opportunity will arrive that changes everything, like Time & Again has done for me. It’s really about persistence and not giving up when things become difficult.” Good advice not only for filmmaking but life in general. n Time & Again is available on BBC iPlayer. To find out more about Rachel’s work, visit daxitales.com


Pride in Care Opening Doors London is the largest provider of services and support for LGBT+ people over 50 in the UK. Its mission is to ensure that older LGBT+ people live happy, healthy and independent lives that are free from loneliness, isolation, prejudice and discrimination. As well as a rolling programme of more than 40 volunteer-led groups and events every month, ODL provides befriending services to some of the most isolated members of our community. Encouraging health and social care professionals to be

aware of older LGBT+ people’s experiences and confident in understanding their particular needs is an important part of ODL’s mission. “Many of the older generation have concerns about becoming dependent on care services as they age,” says ODL Training and Policy Manager, Jim Glennon. “Through our training programme and Pride in Care quality standard, ODL is supporting organisations to provide top quality care for older LGBT+ people.”

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Brigit Forsyth as Isabelle and Siân

Phillips as Eleanor in Time and Again

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Fast forward

with fashion Brigit Forsyth and Siân Phillips are so very fashion darling!

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CREDITS Models: Bridget Forsyth, Siân Phillips Photographer: Sammy Baxter Stylist: Rebecca Weef Smith Make-up: Bryanna Angel Allen Hair: Joseph Koniak Assistant: Tamzyn Walker-Evans Earrings: @thecrazycoolsexy Clothes: House of Gharats Leo John Caligan People of All Nations T.O.M.O.D.E.S.I.G.N.S

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Can we learn something from Spain’s way of fashionably approaching age? Lupe Castro Rides takes a look at the Spanish relationship to Silver Models 104 | GOLDIE magazine


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F

ashion is having a bit of an “ah-ha” moment. The industry’s conscience is fast awakening to a wider range of ethical and social issues; gender stereotyping, environmental concerns and inclusivity are de rigour. Because of these shifts, today’s catwalks are more colourful and diverse than ever before. Granted, there is still a long way to go to achieve a truly representative balance of the consumer spectrum, but over this last fashion month, I noticed a greater proportion of beautiful models of all shapes, sizes, abilities, races and even ages, in the four main fashion week capitals: older – or senior – models strutting down the runways from Milan, London and New York, all the way to Madrid are finally being seen. Does this make fashion more accessible for women over a certain age? I’ll confess I’m not sure when that certain age is supposed to happen, in my head I am still somewhere between 20 or 30, but even so it feels like a turning point. In Paris, it was all about the comeback queen, with designers like Balmain using older models including 51-year-old Helena Christensen. In London, Tommy Hilfiger’s #TommyNow show featured Naomi Campbell, 49, Erin O’Connor, 42 and Karen Elson, 41 Of course, we have been seeing this trend for older models growing - this is not a totally new concept - however in Spain using older models on the catwalks is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, things are getting better. The recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFWM), saw several fabulous models over the age of 50 on the runways presenting the latest collections from top local and international designers. Showing that beauty really has no age, ‘silver’ models such as Natalia Sabe, and local Canarian, Pino Montesdeoca, were so busy they have become recognisable stars of the catwalks. They have the necessary professional elegance, are very beautiful and really natural, and I wouldn’t have even thought about age if it not for the nudge of a fellow catwalk correspondent. Many of these senior models had catwalk careers which ended once they became conventionally ‘too old’; others were once, and still are, muses or clients to big-name designers; some had no previous modelling experience –Pino was a novice when she first started at the age of 53, but  hasn’t stopped working or walking: this season alone for Pedro del Hierro and then parading the new Iberia uniforms created by the Catalan designer Teresa Helbig and a campaign with L’Oreal which resulted in walking in their #Miedadperfecta show in Madrid at MBFWM. And she was in good company, L’Oreal went all out with their commitment to

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diversity at the show, presenting collections modelled by women over 50, to empower and give visibility this ‘silver’ generation. The show featured designers such as Angel Schlesser, Devota & Lomba, Duarte, Duyos, Hannibal Laguna, Juan Vidal, Marcos Luengo, Pedro del Hierro, Roberto Diz, Roberto Torretta and Roberto Verino, with fellow senior models including celebrities Paloma Lago, Cervantes Remedies, Paquita Torres, Cristina Piaget or Elsa Anka. There is a definite elegance about these Spanish senior models, and I believe it is not a ‘trend’ or a ‘fad’ but a move towards empowerment, visibility and inclusivity. And as Pino expressed to me “no one is going to take the place of young models, they have a freshness and beauty; the clothing sits

perfectly. But then we have the woman with experience and maturity showing the clothes in a different way which is equally important and cannot be compared.” She pointed out it’s similar to what the LGBTQ+ community has been doing: you have to be able to visualise it for it to be normal. I’m certain this development towards further inclusivity works well for markets who have realised that their target audience is the women aged 35 and up who actually have the financial ability to spend money on good clothes. But there is another more positive side, that empowers women to feel strong and beautiful in their own skin, at every age. I’m proud that Spain is showing that this trend is part of its culture and can be easily integrated into the Spanish way of perceiving beauty. n


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“No model wants to be hired as a tick box�

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An age-old problem – is it beginning to fade away? Creating and showing collections is expensive so designers have to get it right. ALEX BRUNI discusses how the industry is getting better at reflecting age differences

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any designers try their best to be inclusive, but often prefer to play it safe and have only well-known “older” faces walk for them. Fashion shows are expensive, designers pay good money for a slot and want everything to go smoothly. Relying on a celebrity or known model, of any age, can enhance the popularity of a show and of the collection. That said, lack of diversity still besets the industry. The issue is complex and within it, age and ageism are a minefield. When I started modelling in my late forties there was almost nothing available for older models - not in fashion and beauty. It was all about commercial work, replete with stereotypical grannies. The trend continues, particularly at Christmas. Ever since turning 60, I have done quite well, appearing in several seasonal campaigns. Over the past decade, slowly but steadily, older models have begun to be more visible, not just in magazines aimed at the 40 to 50plus section of the population, but also in fashion magazines whose readership starts at 18. Some brands have gone out of their way to include older models, of both genders, in their look books – JD Williams, H&M, Lindex, Gucci, even Sweaty Betty and Athleta, which do fitness wear, come to mind. Some brands purport to have intergenerational clothes – and their look books reflect this. RIXO has had a policy of inclusivity from inception, often relying on older female customers to model alongside younger professionals, in an attempt to emphasise an intergenerational approach (Why non-professionals? It is a cheaper option). I am a glass half-full person. You have to be if you are in my line of work or you would spend your days crying your eyes out. I firmly believe that there is a genuine effort among designers, and the fashion industry as a whole, to serve a wider age range and

to not unduly differentiate between young and old. There are major changes. Education has done its bit. Young designers have been trained to develop an awareness of diversity and its attendant issues and have a better understanding of the body and its ageing process. Ageist attitudes may continue to be rife, at individual level. At a recent casting for a London Fashion Week show, a young designer rather than routinely accept my comp card and that of a fellow older model, felt the need to say she did not want older models in her show. It was quite unnecessary. She could have taken the cards and not selected us, as many others did, but she felt the need to articulate her disapproval, coming across as biased. Maybe it was a language problem and all she meant was that on this occasion her collection was really geared towards younger people. No matter. Her statement came across as very blunt and points to the fact that age-insensitive language is so common that people do not even realise they might be saying anything that could be construed as ageist. Yet, at that same casting where my card was declined, a handful of older models turned up (why only a handful is a different issue) and they were all hired, including me (though I stepped in only when a first option was no longer available). Designers do have a vision when creating a collection and their vision must be respected; on the other hand, they should be encouraged to broaden their horizons. Having a few pieces in a collection that can be worn, with adjustments, by older women (and men) does not mean the collection is going to be ruined; on the contrary, it would highlight a designer’s creativity and versatility. That’s where styling comes in . . . Much pressure is put on designers to tick boxes. But no model wants to be hired as a tick box. Soon after images of the LFW shows went

up, it was interesting to observe the reactions, especially on social media. Some felt the number of older models at LFW was far too low; that the clothes were unsuitable to older women; and also, that there was a tendency to go for slimmer older models rather than curvy ones. All this raises interesting questions about what it means to have an intergenerational approach. What is intergenerational fashion? It refers to relationships between generations, which can often be strained and difficult. It does not have to be that way. An intergenerational fashion is one that does not discriminate between the young and the old. It is not a fashion that ignores the specificity of being old or of being young. On the contrary, the idea is to break down the barriers that exist between generations. I recently did a shoot for Conflict of Ego, a brand that makes intergenerational clothes. The pink suit I wore was immediately afterwards worn by a much younger model with different styling. It worked. Older women, even more so than older men, often feel invisible and fashion can help them to reacquire visibility, at the same time fostering a better relationship with women of a different generation. We want to see models of all ages, all body sizes and all ethnicities at fashion shows, proving that fashion is truly for all and can be enjoyed by all. We want to focus on the clothes, not on who wears them - though admittedly, it can, at times, be difficult to separate clothes and their wearers. And here is my glass half-full take: we are getting there, so let’s celebrate this moment. n Alex Bruni is a model, a fashion writer and an academic. Her book Contemporary Indonesian Fashion: through the Looking Glass, published by Bloomsbury in 2019, explores fashion in a global context. Instagram @alexb244 GOLDIE magazine | 117


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THE SCENE The Hope & Glory Fashion Show presented looks from London fashion designers at Brunswick House with all proceeds from the show donated to Prostate Cancer Uk & SANE the mental health charity. Images: Aidanck

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THE SCENE Yet again Pam Hogg shows sexy and exciting designs which GOLDIE LOVES Images: Alan Watson

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THE SCENE LONDON FASHION WEEK AW20 Behind the Scenes

Images: Sammy Baxter

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THE SCENE LONDON FASHION WEEK MENS AW20

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THE SCENE LONDON FASHION WEEK MENS AW20 Classic Johnstons of Elgin Images: Alan Watson

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The art of the shop

There are some places that stand out from the rest. They’re a treat to look forward to, somewhere where you’re bound to find something special, writes ANOUCHKA GROSE he shop has a special place in contemporary art. From Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas’s seminal Nineties East End emporium, to Christine Hill’s Berlin Volksboutique and The Sarah Staton Supastore, shops have been used by artists as spaces to explore what it means to buy and sell, see and be seen, speak and be spoken to. These aren’t simply spaces where art is flogged cheaply — the entire shop is art; a walk-in installation, inviting you to think about the nature of display and exchange. If the gallery space is somehow elevated — to the point where sales and money have to be handled in back rooms, keeping the exhibition areas pure — the ‘art shop’ is more frank about the nature of transactions; they’re foregrounded, notable, a thing in themselves. But what about shops with no claim to art-world status, but that nonetheless seem excessively interesting; a bit more than a shop needs to be? Shops that make you think,

ignite feelings in you? Shops run by excitable, exciting, even tempestuous, people who may not call themselves artists, but whose artistry announces itself in everything they do? Maybe sometimes “fine art” can be a bit annoying. It has ideas above its station. It thinks it’s better than other stuff. By comparison, it can be such a relief to stumble across informal, real-world geniuses, people who just happen to make things and/or create spaces in which you find yourself moved and affected. These are just four shops, with extraordinary shopkeeper/artists, within cycling distance of my house. There must be so many others. Each is an experience, an encounter. In a world where direct human contact can sometimes feel like it’s being eroded by the endless possibilities of the internet, it’s a relief to be able to walk uninvited into these public spaces, to admire objects, touch things, try things on, explore tastes, meet people, have conversations and to feel the exhilarating warmth, buzz, and texture of everyday life. u GOLDIE magazine | 129


Persepolis

by Sally Butcher 28-30 Peckham High Street , Peckham SE15 5DT

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ally Butcher describes herself as a “born show-off”. Owning a shop, she says, is “the flip side of show business”. While wafting her arms flamboyantly, she explains, “My shop is my proscenium arch”. This perfect merging between character and profession seems to have come about by accident; she never intended to become a shopkeeper, but her Iranian husband decided to extend his distribution business into retail and gave her full rein. Since 2001, Persepolis has sold specialist Persian ingredients, drawing customers from all over London. It also houses a relaxed vegetarian café/restaurant serving unbelievably delicious Middle Eastern food,

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as well as selling a selection of cheerful craft objects and a massive range of hookahs. Sally is a chef, a public speaker, an advocate for small businesses and the author of eight beautifully produced books. In case all this makes her sound brash and unapproachable, it’s important to mention that she is also utterly charming — as good at listening as she is at speaking; a warm, impeccable host. “I’d say 75 per cent of the exchanges I have here are non-financial. They’re verbal and cultural. All of life comes in. You see sadness and difficulty. Everything. If there’s someone who comes by every day and then suddenly you don’t see them, we might be the only ones in a position to notice and do

something about it. Everyone should try being a shopkeeper at some point — shops are so important to life.” Sally’s stock is as effusive and colourful as her speech. Every shelf is packed with treats: cordials, oils, sweets, nuts, spices, dried fruits, often wrapped in joyfully ornate packaging. A cabinet at the front of the shop houses a drool-inducing array of fresh pastries and Turkish delights. Looking up, the walls are strung with shopping bags and bunches of brushes, and the bathroom is lined with flappy notes written by customers, ranging from poetry to simple praise. In short, it’s almost a bit much. “We’re definitely not the tidiest shop,” says


Sally. “We’ve got a secret shopper coming in this week because we’re up for an award, but I don’t think we can win because we’re too scruffy.” Admirably, Sally has absolutely no intention of doing anything about it — why would she be fussed about winning a prize when the shop itself and the love she receives from her customers are rewarding enough? Presented with the idea of the artistshopkeeper, Sally isn’t even faintly surprised. Of course, a shop is an artwork — it’s selfevident. Hence Sally is very open to working with other artists, housing exhibitions, encouraging graffiti, allowing her shop to be part of the ceramicist Barnaby Barford’s Tower of Babel at the V&A, not to mention doing her stint on Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth. All of it is part of her philosophy of generosity, spectacle and social engagement. Persepolis is a small wonder and Sally is fully alive to the idea that a shop can be way more than the products it sells. n GOLDIE magazine | 131


SOBOYE

by Samson Soboye 13 Calvert Ave, Shoreditch E2 7JP

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amson Soboye is a massively entertaining polymath. He’s two hours late for our meeting — like any proper, temperamental artist he gets migraines — but he has sent his teenage niece, Jasmine, ahead to open the shop and keep me company. We discuss contemporary schools of psychology (she’s studying for the A level) until Samson turns up and extends the conversation to include the Falklands conflict, John Galliano’s post-Dior resuscitation, the teaching of history in British schools (which, Jasmine explains, is even more chronically colonialist than he thinks it is) and the use of African wax prints by various white designers — £165 for a tiny, cotton square?

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WTF! As he leaps from subject to subject he checks in with Jasmine, making sure she’s keeping up, testing her knowledge, insisting that education is everything. She’s very patient with her uncle, but it is possible she’s finding it a little exhausting. After studying fashion at Central Saint Martins, from which he graduated in 1995 (the same year as Stella McCartney) Samson began designing cushions using couture techniques and materials, quickly finding himself supplying some of the best stockists in the world. In 2002 he moved into a disused shop, having asked Hackney Council whether he could rent it out cheaply as a kind of

studio/showroom. Eighteen years later he’s still there, while the contents of the shop have morphed from interiors to fashion — although he says the cushions are coming back again. Samson’s clothing is a synthesis of classic British punk tailoring in the tradition of Westwood, Galliano and McQueen, all made in stunning African wax prints. The clothes are exuberant, surprisingly easy to wear and can be put together with the amazing array of jewellery, hats, handbags and shoes — all equally busy and bright. “I started working with African fabrics in 2012, to celebrate the African nations in the 2012 Olympics. We organised a street party here in Calvert


Avenue, showing African street style. After that I had the idea that SOBOYE boutique could be the best African-led design shop in London.” On the day I’m there the shop is constantly busy - it takes four hours to get through ten questions, but that’s also partly because Samson is such a chatterbox — and the visitors range from well-known British artists and museum directors to blingy restaurateurs and old college friends. The one thing that’s clear is that everyone loves Samson and admires his distinctive visual style. “The good thing about having a shop,” Samson says, “is that every day is different. The downside is that it’s like a demanding,

crying baby that always needs something. You can never completely satisfy it. Change is the only thing that’s certain - and that can get quite tiring. Sometimes at the end of the day I just go home and go straight to sleep.” I’m not surprised he gets migraines; his brain seems permanently set to overdrive. Not only is his shop evidence of all the thought that goes into his designs — not to mention the eclectic buying he does, from artisan-stockists in both the UK and Africa — but he responds thoughtfully and sensitively to everyone who walks through the door, finding out about them, joking with them, instantly able to befriend the ones he doesn’t already know.

Observing Samson at work is a privilege. You can hardly believe how many things you have to be good at to be him. On top of it all he has sensible ideas about fashion, body positivity and the environment - for example, making a huge range of sizes available to order, so you never end up with unnecessary stock. At the end of the day he even gave me the perfect going home present, an enormous bag of compost he’d found while clearing out a cupboard - as if educating his niece, discussing potential designs with visiting jewellers, dealing with customers, greeting old friends and doing this interview weren’t quite enough to keep him occupied. n GOLDIE magazine | 133


Cahoonas Hair Hub by Tracey Cahoon Peckham Levels, Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST

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racey Cahoon compares herself with Edward Scissorhands: “You know that look of pure fear on his face when he’s just about to do a haircut? That’s me.” This is quite surprising coming from someone who grew up around hairdressing thanks to her Irish hairdresser mum, and who is a veteran session hairdresser having worked with legendary photographers such as David Bailey, Corinne Day, Rankin, and for pretty much every British glossy — including those at the edgier end, like Love, Dazed & Confused and Pop. She is also known as the originator of Amy Winehouse’s iconic, deconstructed beehive. Still, it seems, for Tracey, every haircut is a foray into the unknown. What if you’re not in the right mood? What if you haven’t understood your client properly? What if they haven’t understood you? Like many

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great performing artists, Tracey nonetheless somehow manages to convert her nerves into a dynamic, creative practice. As with Edward Scissorhands, her haircuts are consistently novel, surprising and technically perfect. Cahoonas Hair Hub sits on the 6th floor of Peckham Levels, a converted car park that has been a home to photographers, designers, artists, yoga studios, bars and street food stalls since December 2017. Tracey designed her space herself, employing friends to provide unique furnishing fabrics for her upcycled furniture, and to paint funny, nitthemed graffiti on the ceiling above the basins. Within the streamlined concrete space, mini installations grow out of wigs, bottles, hair clips, furniture and kitsch found objects. Everywhere you look there are beautiful-grotesque mini-masterpieces proliferating like clusters of outlandish fungi.

As opposed to centrally regulated high street salons, everything about Tracey’s place is singular. Having once been told by a snip-bot at a well-known chain that the haircut I wanted didn’t exist, it’s a relief to find a hairdresser who is prepared to go out on a limb. Sometimes it can almost be difficult to hold her back — ideas start flying out of her as soon as she starts to look at you: “What about swathes of colour? Undercutting? You could curl it. Add hairpieces. Leave it to air dry and see what it does.” Still, it always seems to settle in a good place, somewhere


between the idea you went in with and some bizarre intuition of Tracey’s that you could never have come up with yourself. She’s also radically free of preconceptions regarding “suitability” or “age-appropriateness”, treating each piece of work as a unique, interpretive act. Naturally, this takes its toll on Tracey, who has to mix her visual clairvoyancy with running a viable business, being a good employer, bringing up a child and having sometimes intense conversations with strangers while performing complex tonsorial feats. “I never wanted my own

salon,” she says. “I liked the freedom of being a session hairdresser, but then I had my son and didn’t want him to be brought up by a nanny. Session hairdressing means travelling all the time and not coming home until the job’s finished. Really, I just want to do the creative side of the work but I’m trying to get better at combining it with management.” Another complicated aspect of the move from photographer’s studio to salon is the pastoral aspect of hairdressing. While pop stars and supermodels clearly have their own personal problems (Tracey worked with Amy Winehouse for years, ffs!), it is the

people who come in off the street who might be using their haircut to solve a personal problem, or simply to cheer themselves up. If you put this together with the fact that Tracey has the aura of a person who won’t judge, and has probably heard it all before, you end up with something like a therapist/sculptor/ saint, all of which must be exhausting. While all good hairdressers have to balance their artistry with tact and human understanding, Tracey is definitely a cut above — and it’s not even that difficult to get an appointment with her, at least for now. n GOLDIE magazine | 135


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ChiChiRaRa

by Heather Mackenzie 40b Hindmans Road, East Dulwich SE22 9NH

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hiChiRaRa is a tiny second-hand clothes shop on a quiet street in East Dulwich. It’s packed from floor to ceiling with men’s and women’s clothes, lovingly selected by the owner, Heather Mackenzie, a former Vogue graphic designer. The thing about Heather is that she likes clothes almost too much. It’s as if the shop is an excuse to be near as many exciting garments as possible, all day, every day. She is installed in the middle of the very compact space, overhung by silk scarves, Eighties handbags and piles of fresh treasures awaiting a blast with the steamer. Occasionally she will have something on display that isn’t for sale — she can’t bear to part with it, but wants other people to be able to enjoy it too. (I once begged to be allowed to buy an outsize Demob prisoners’ shirt from her unofficial “museum”. Happily, she relented after a few weeks and I’m still wearing it.) Heather is super-selective about her stock but her buying process is personal, whimsical. She doesn’t mind whether a piece of clothing is new or old, it just has to be somehow charming. “It’s not about nostalgia, it’s about design,” she says. “It could have been made yesterday.” The clothes are organised according to colour — as opposed to size or era — meaning that an extremely rare Issey Miyake Plantation denim skirt might be sandwiched between a blue floral Laura Ashley prairie skirt and an unlabeled, undeniably groovy pair of Seventies corduroy flares. She travels to France to source clothing that’s subtly different from anything you’d ever find in a British Oxfam shop, as well as gathering up pieces from a network of idiosyncratic individual sellers. The shop is now in its twenty-fifth year and is frequented by locals as well as international buyers, stylists and costume designers. Heather has a passion for matching the right person to the right thing. She can be disconcertingly frank if she thinks something isn’t quite working and seems to

have a slightly Harry Potter-esque “sorting hat” sense of what’s right for whom. When people find a perfect match, she will often celebrate the moment with a photograph for her much-appreciated Instagram account. Heather’s love of buying and selling clothes began in the mid Seventies while at art school, where she supplemented her student grant by picking things up at jumble sales and passing them on to shops. Before ChiChiRaRa she had a stall in Greenwich Market and still retains customers from that time. She describes the shop as “a happy form of art practice”, something far more pleasurable than the stressful world of magazine design. “With magazines, you’d always worry that people wouldn’t like your work. Here, people don’t have to like everything. It’s more about finding matches.” Heather herself can sometimes take a strong dislike to a garment, for example a brown and orange Seventies dress, which she couldn’t possibly bear to have in the shop. “I once wore an orange and brown Nicole Farhi outfit in the Eighties. I felt brilliant when I put it on in the morning, but by the end of the day I felt terrible. I’ve hated those colours ever since.” She never consciously follows trends but instead feels things coming. “If it’s the sort of thing you haven’t seen for a while, that’s exciting — you don’t necessarily know it until you see it.” It’s not about double guessing the market, but about picking something up that communicates with other people — a quasimystical fashion radar. Somehow ChiChiRaRa manages to be a friendly community meeting point, a rarefied fashion experience and a great place to find affordable, sustainable clothes. In my experience, you will always find something you want there, without knowing in advance what this thing could possibly be. What other art event can tell you more about yourself, others, and the interplay between desire and display? ¢ GOLDIE magazine | 137


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Rebecca Weef Smith chats to the amazing woman behind The Walpole Bay Hotel

In bed with the one and only Jane he bed on which I lounge to interview Jane bishop is in the room in the Walpole Bay Hotel where Tracey Emin once said she had the best sex ever – not on it, Jane Bishop wants to make clear, but elsewhere I the room. I’m intrigued and want all the gossip but Jane is too much of a discrete hotelier to divulge her guests’ secrets, which is very disappointing as I’m sure that so many of the stories from the Walpole’s famous, and even infamous, guests would make for a great interview! But I feel right at home in this room and right at home with Jane, who has been the head of this Margate landmark hotel since she and her husband Peter rescued it from demolition and transformed it into a place where magical memories are once again created.   So how did this come about? Jane and Peter weren’t allowed to court when they were teenagers back in the 1960s.  However, they were determined to see each other so snook off to Margate to find some time alone. They caught the cheap day return and wandered the beaches; sweethearts 138 | GOLDIE magazine

PICTURES BY PATRICK FALANIKO

in love with each other and the old world charm of this English seaside resort. The Walpole Bay Hotel was still frequented by “posh people, it wasn’t for us - the children had nannies and the families who took afternoon tea all dressed very smartly.” Eventually, Jane and Peter married and when their children were small the whole family came down to Margate for days out; the veneer of this once-grand resort had worn thin by the eighties but they would wander the same stretches that had attracted the teenage love-struck pair years before. Only now, the Walpole Bay Hotel was tinged with sadness and was rundown and in disrepair. The hotel closed in 1989. By 1994 the hotel was due to be demolished and the plot turned into flats. The Bishops got wind of this plan and hatched one of their own. Jane tells me they were totally foolhardy. “We had hit forty and felt redundant: We needed a challenge and a change. We had loved the Walpole and it seemed that the right challenge was there for us at the perfect time. We decided that the Hotel needed to be saved and that we were the ones to do it – it was shoulders back and find a way.”   You never know what any day is going to bring… This particular bedroom was the first room that Jane “did up”.


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After Tracey’s disclosure in the media, the room attracted lots of tourists who would come just for a photo of it. Over the years room keys have gone astray but would later turn up in the post: there was once a time when the keys weren’t returning and it turned out that Johnnie Shand Kydd had published a photo taken at Tracey Emin’s 36th birthday party at The Walpole and one showed a fob with the hotel’s name on it. From then on the keys became collectable! More often than not the guests behave but there are some exceptions. “It’s part of hotel life; not every guest is going to have the same values as we do, and they are on holiday or party mode so if we have to calm things down then we do so with a light touch.” The walls of the dining room  - and many 140 | GOLDIE magazine

of the walls on the other floors – are covered in ‘napkin art’: Curtis Tappenden was at the Walpole covering a story for The Daily Mail and he asked for a real napkin, not the everyday paper ones that made laundry bills less extortionate. Jane diligently bought forth the ones she kept for best and was amazed when Curtis presented her with a sketch of his ‘magical memory’ of his visit. From then on the magical memories of many Walpole Bay guests have been transferred to napkins and framed for Jane’s collection, which currently stands at 304. The staff stay with Jane for years: she is one of life’s natural nurturers; people blossom at the Walpole and Jane wants to bring out the best in everyone. “We had a not-great waiter who was a fabulous pianist and it became known to the guests that when he mucked up an order I would get him to


play for them. Many a guest made up a story of a mishap in order to hear him play.” As they say, the rest is history… The hotel is now run by five generations of the Bishop family. Jane wanted to create something for her family that would give them all a future. And she has succeeded, as well as acquiring a kind of extended family along the way. The staff at the Walpole clearly love Jane and guests who love this place return again and again. Although Jane does admit that not everyone gets Walpole vibe – “we are very Marmite, we aren’t five-star luxury and our way of being doesn’t suit some tourists.”  - they do have a very loyal band of guests who view the hotel as home from home; many guests love the eclecticness of this place and Jane’s attention to detail means there are quirky

nooks and crannies filled with her ‘museum of stuff’ on every floor. I need to come back to explore all the artefacts in more detail; many of them have been donated by guests who are delighted that Jane cares about the minutiae of daily life that others might see as fit for the charity shop. This is also a totally egalitarian space “We don’t fawn or treat celebrities any differently here; you are all my guests and everyone here is treated the same.” Watching Jane greeting, chatting and making sure all guests have what they want is charming. This hotel is an extension of Jane’s warm, welcoming and inclusive personality. I could have stayed curled up on the bed in the Tracey Emin room with Jane and a pot of tea for days. Actually, I am planning on moving into the broom cupboard and becoming part of the furniture. n GOLDIE magazine | 141


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hours in Margate

Margate is so very GOLDIE... Why Margate? Well, it was more a case of why not? If you are looking for an English seaside town that ticks all the boxes then Margate is your girl - yes, Margate is definitely a she: the town is a vintage lovers delight, the locals are super friendly, the restaurants cover all types of diets with plenty of vegan options, there is art everywhere, along with dancing, music and fun fun fun. What more could a couple of girls, with a weekend ahead of them, desire?

  n WHERE TO STAY Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Ave, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2JJ The Walpole was built in 1914 by the Budge family, who sold it to Peter and Jane Bishop in 1995. It came complete with most of its original furniture, silverware and linen. The hotel’s caged 1927 Otis Trellis lift is just one treasure in this eclectic hotel with old school glamour. Don’t pinch the Edwardian Mappin & Web sugar bowls stamped with Walpole Bay Hotel or Jane will be cross, but do prowl every floor to catch all the Art Deco furnishings and ‘stuff’ which revives the glamour of Twenties British seaside holidays. Hairdresser Jerome Hillion runs a tiny hair and beauty salon here so you can get glammed-up before taking afternoon tea! We love everything about The Walpole so much that Tamzyn and I are going to put on chambermaid outfits and take up residence in the broom cupboard. Look out for the Napkin Art dotted around including Weef’s saucy take on our antics on the Snooker table! Crescent Victoria Hotel, Fort Crescent, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 1HX Situated in a prime spot on Margate’s seafront the Crescent Victoria is a perfect modern English boutique hotel. Every room has its own style but all are plush and chic. The Hotel is owned by the Gorgeous Tim who kept me topped up with espressos and Margate related anecdotes at 8 am in the morning despite being up all night. We didn’t get to play in the Marquee in the garden but will be back in the summer for a boogie under the stars. 154 | GOLDIE magazine

Artist’s Residency 44 Trinity Square, Margate CT9 1HT Renovated in 2017 and designed by renowned Sketch Interiors this has to be Margate’s most creative holiday home rental. This ground floor apartment is part of the former Coach House to the historic Fort Lodge its located just off the seafront, with views of the sea from the living room and only a few minutes walk to the Old Town and Harbour. We loved the open plan dark moody green and blue lounge with electric log burner: a too good to be missed photo shoot location.


n WHERE TO EAT Bow’s Kitchen, 10 Market Pl, Margate CT9 1EN Bow’s Kitchen is situated above the Wig & Pen Pub in the heart of Margate’s Old Town and serves award-winning, authentic Thai cuisine. Don’t be put off by the pub this is seriously special food. With a good choice for Vegans. Theatre View Bar and Steakhouse, Fort Crescent, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 1HX This restaurant is owned by Tim of the Victoria Crescent Hotel – is he planning on cornering the market in Modern Margate Cool? – Tamzyn assured me that steaks are the best, and Tim knows his stuff. The Vegan cauliflower steak was tasty but this is a real meat fest so bear that in mind. Even as a Vegan I adored this place, but that could be because Tim is just the best host who makes you feel as if you are the only table in this super busy restaurant. Flavours By Kumar, 176 Canterbury Rd, Westbrook, Margate CT9 5JW Anil Kumar worked at some of the best Indian Restaurants in the world, including the Cinnamon Club in London, before opening his own first in Ramsgate in 2013 then this second branch in Margate. The food not only tastes amazing – flavours I have never experienced before – but it is art, every plate exquisitely presented. If you can get a table at either of these locations don’t miss the chance. GOLDIE magazine | 155


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  n MORE WHERE TO EAT Mullins Brasserie, 6 Market Place, Margate, Kent, CT9 1EN Mullins Brasserie is a fusion of modern European cuisine with a hint of The Caribbean. Chef/Owner Antonio Forde is from Barbados and incorporates elements of Caribbean flavours and techniques into his menu. Along with the great food you get to hang out in a converted butchers shop combining original features with contemporary furnishings and a super cool soundtrack.  

  n WHAT TO DO The Albion Rooms, 31 Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2HL Live music, spoken word, magic, comedy, everything you would expect from a space owned by The Libertines. We were so lucky to be invited into the recording studio but we would hang out all the time at The Waste Land bar where it seems the whole of Margate’s music dudes reside every night. Watch out for news of rooms to rent – we will be back to review them for sure.

Harbour Cafe Bar, 10 The Parade, Margate CT9 1EZ Of course a long with proper posh dining Margate offers plenty of variety in cafes to drop into for a snack. We had the best breakfasts – both normal full English and Vegan fry up – at this Café bang on the front. This is cash only so go prepared. 156 | GOLDIE magazine

Rosslyn Court, 62 Sweyn Rd, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2DD Rosslyn Court is Victorian B&B located in the beating heart of bohemian Cliftonville. We didn’t stay but sampled one of Morag’s famous music and dance events. I had no idea Breton dancing could be so much fun. This quirky venue is very Margate, really worth checking out what’s on here as it is an ‘expect the unexpected’ kind of place. The Fez, 40 High St, Margate CT9 1DS This is a tiny micropub which on the

Sunday afternoon we visited was jampacked for a live music set. I’m not a pub person but I loved this bar full of local Margate characters and Weef says the beer is very good. The walls of Fez are covered from top to bottom in eclectic memorabilia and after the live set the retro vibe was maintained with vinyl music all night long.


n WHERE TO SHOP   FOR VINTAGE Peony Vintage, 12A King Street, Margate,CT9 1DA You can’t miss this little vintage haven, as it is so pink. Georgie is a stylist and her eye for very special pieces fills this shop with second-hand that is editorial worthy. Georgie is very keen to make sure she provides vintage across all size ranges and encourages a mix and match attitude to wearing old clothes is a modern refreshing manner. Madam Popoff, 4 King St, Margate CT9 1DA I could have guessed the owner of Madam Popoff,  Deborah, loved vintage designs the 60’s and 70’s as the stock and styling of this vintage shop feels as if I stepped into BIBA in church street. I spied some classic Ossie Clark along with other frocks which are museum-worthy but also found amazing things from an era when British chain stores provided glamorous, sexy, stylish clothes. I could create the whole magazine of editorial from this one shop alone.   Just Jane Vintage, 7 Market Pl, Margate CT9 1EN Dave has an eclectic eye and curates Just Jane, with a collection of clothing and accessories, ranging from the Victorian era to the 1980s. The shop is designed to make you rummage and you feel that you could unearth a treasure or two if you lost yourself in here for the afternoon. Also: The Turner Contemporary Dreamland Theme Park The Shell Grotto Lost Island Adventure Golf GOLDIE magazine | 157


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Six reasons to visit Athens now

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After a difficult fight to emerge intact from the global financial crisis, Athens has emerged truly victorious, determinedly on track to surpass Berlin as the artistic capital of Europe. Hannah Wilkinson makes a beeline for the city to unearth galleries hidden away on still-unknown backstreets and secure bragging rights for later.

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THE MAJOR MODERN ART GALLERY

Opened in October 2019, the Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation is a mecca of modern European art and design that will surprise you with unique pieces from even the most internationally displayed artists – think early Picassos and late Van Goughs, with a heady dose of sculpture and decorative arts on the side. You’ll wish the couple who amassed the spectacular collection were still alive to talk about it, but the acquisitions that their eponymous foundation continue to make in their memory means the top floor of the museum is an ever-evolving showcase for contemporary Greek art.

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THE LAID-BACK MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANT

Five minute’s walk from The Alex and the crowning jewel of the Mikrolimano Marina, Varoulko Seaside wears its Michelin star without pretention. Over the course of one lunch I learnt that Taramasalata isn’t a garish pink but white in its natural form, that Orzo and shrimp are a match made in heaven, and that there’s a good reason Santorini whites considered too good for export.

THE SHOWSTOPPER MUSEUM Another relatively new addition, (construction was completed in 2007), the Acropolis Museum adds to the city 25,000 square metres of intelligent, sitespecific and sometimes political insight into its millennia-old ancient monument. Brilliant views of the Parthenon itself mean that visitors can appreciate its splendour even when the weather makes it dangerous to venture up to the hill on which it was built, but even on sunny days the artefacts it keeps safe from acid rain, as well as the pointed spaces left for the eventual return of the Elgin Marbles, make the museum well-worth a visit.


THE BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Though The Alex Monte Kastella in Pireaus has yet to reach its first birthday, the hotel was the first city opening in the Santikos Collection’s portfolio so service quality is already top-notch. Fifteen minutes in a taxi from the Acropolis and perched upon a cliff that Ari Onassis once hoped to make Athens’ answer to Monte Carlo, it ticks all the boxes for a weekend break destination. In one of the most thoughtful (and sustainable) touches I’ve ever experienced in a luxury stay, there are even special towels for taking off make-up, so there’s no need to pack bad-for-the-planet wipes.

THE UP-AND-COMING EXHIBITION SPACE

Hidden amongst car garages and toolshops on Polidefkous in downtown Pireaus, Sylvia Kouvali’s Rodeo may be housed in an old warehouse but it packs an international punch. Sister to the gallerist’s London outpost in Mayfair, it opened in 2018 with a solo show by American painter Leidy Churchman and has since showcased the work of Turner Prize winner Duncan Campbell as part of a group exhibition alongside Greek video artist Menelaos Karamagholis and sculptor Malvina Panayiotidi.

THE OFFBEAT WINE BAR

Where there’s a gallery, there’s usually hipster drinking spot, and Polidefkous is no exception. Paleo has shelves of artfully-arranged empty bottles, industrial-chic wooden chairs and an exposed ceiling, plus shop for takeaway purchases and Mediterranean nibbles to soak up the wine with.

INFO Double rooms at The Alex start from approx £75 per night. santikoscollection. com/thealex. Varoulko Seaside, 52 Koumoundourou. varoulko.gr/. For information on major galleries and museums see visitgreece.gr/.

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LO♥ES A GOOD PARTY See you all again soon

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LIFE LESSONS

Julia Barnickle shares her vision for an Easy Life How did you come up with the idea of an Easy Life? When I was eighteen, I decided that nothing in life is worth worrying about. I had been struggling with my final school exams, and with the question of what I planned to do with the rest of my life. After six months, I came to the conclusion that I would be better off figuring things out as I went along. This belief has been the foundation for a lifetime of ease. It’s not that I haven’t had challenges throughout my life - I simply haven’t worried about them.  Six years ago, I wrote an article asking the question “What if life were meant to be easy?” which I shared on a friend’s blog, my own blog and in a private Facebook group. In January 2020 I ran an online community project, where I invited nineteen of my friends from around the world to write an essay describing their experiences of inviting greater ease and flow into their lives. What was the response to ‘life is meant to be easy’? The initial responses tended to be quite negative, along the lines of “if life was meant to be easy, then it would be” or “we learn and grow from challenges.” Whilst I agree with the latter comment, I believe that - to a certain extent - we can choose our own challenges, so that life isn’t just something that happens to us. Only one friend - in a similar situation to me, health-wise - pointed out that whether or not ‘Life is Easy’ is largely down to perception. When I ran the Easy Life project, I was delighted to discover a community of like-minded souls who believed that ease and flow are possible.   What relevance does this have to sustainable, diverse and inclusive issues? When I selected the contributors for the initial project, I wanted to include stories from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible, rather than simply involving a bunch of older white women who I assumed would all have similar life experiences to me. In the end, the mix depended largely on the availability of each individual. Nevertheless, the stories that emerged were quite diverse. Many of the contributors had experienced  ‘half a lifetime’ of struggle before they eventually discovered ways to introduce ease and flow into their lives, often this was a response to a health crisis.   Can anyone have an Easy Life? I believe that the concept of an Easy Life is relevant regardless of situation or background because it’s about perception and attitude, rather than wealth or social standing. As I explain in the introduction to my book:  “An Easy Life isn’t about doing nothing. It’s about being true to yourself - being creative in the most comprehensive sense, honouring your soul’s desires and being brave enough to make changes in your life’s path when things aren’t working out.” It might be that change is easier for some people than others perhaps their upbringing meant they had encouraging parents - but I believe we all have it in us to change our lives for the better.  We need faith in ourselves and encouragement from someone, the support of our peers for instance. 174 | GOLDIE magazine

How can we invite greater ease and flow into our lives? So many people hate the jobs they do, the relationships they’re in, and their situation in general; they wish for better but they believe they’re stuck with their lot and can’t change things. So they suffer. And when people suffer, they tend to look outside of themselves for distractions that make them feel better, rather than looking inside themselves for the solution to their problems. If they can find a way to change the situation, by figuring out what it is they truly want - or if they can find a way to accept the current situation for what it is, while knowing that change is always possible - perhaps they would be able to find peace.  Twelve years ago, when I was first diagnosed with primary breast cancer, I found it difficult to accept my situation. A good friend told me I needed to find peace, at the time I didn’t understand what she meant. Since then I have received six diagnoses of breast cancer (three primary and three secondary) and I have been living with terminal breast cancer for the past six years. I eventually found peace when I accepted that cancer is part of my journey and that it doesn’t have to be the thing that defines me. Where do you want to go from here? When I ran the Easy Life community project, I knew that this was the message I was meant to share:  my life of ease; my numerous challenges; my wondering whether being true to myself might lead to my being healed from cancer - in much the same way as Anita Moorjani (author of “Dying to be me”). However, I’ve since realised that it doesn’t really matter whether or not I am living with a terminal disease - death comes to us all, eventually. The important thing is to lead by example and to show that it’s possible to enjoy a life of ease, regardless of the circumstances.    Find out more about the Easy Life project at juliabarnickle.com


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