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The New Online London Magazine

p o e Ta ck t zin cli ga or ma




By Samantha-Jane Agbontaen

April 2014 |


Samantha-Jane Agbontaen The designer behind Fabryan. 1. What best describes your label? Fabryan is a luxury womenswear and accessories brand with ethical values.

our philosophy as a luxury brand. Our clothing is made in the UK.

3. What have you found to be the best 2. What’s your design philosophy? strategy for finding clients? We combine both high-end fashion I think that social media has been and social development that embodies exceptionally good. Fashion weeks and shows help create brand awareness. 4. Many find starting a business from scratch challenging to say the least. Is the revenue stream from your clients enough to live off and what keeps you motivated? I work on Fabryan full time. I am dedicated and motivated to the brand. Fabryan is growing each day and with that brings new clients. 5. Any big plans for the future? No major plans as yet. But the best is yet to come. 6. What’s been the best piece of work related advice you’ve received? Hard work pays.


3 London Restaurants The Cadogan Arms 298 King’s Road, London SW3 5UG The Cadogan Arms, originally built in 1869, has long been a firm favourite with locals and Londoners and now, The Cadogan takes it up another notch with the arrival of new head chef Sam Hawkes and his seasonal British menu. EKACHAI: Oriental Dining Liverpool Street, London One of the foremost pioneers of pan-Asian casual dining in the UK, Ekachai has over the last decade earned the well-deserved reputation as the authority on South-East Asian cuisine. As we enter 2014 the buzzing Liverpool Street Oriental Dining Room, where their pan-Asian casual dining concept really began in 2000, has had an exciting makeover.

Station and offers a contemporary split-level dining space. With its own ISLAND GRILL private entrance opposite Hyde Park, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY it presents a modern European menu Island Grill, at the iconic mid-century which changes with each season as Lancaster London, is a mere ten paces part of its dedication to sustainability. from Lancaster Gate Underground


Casanova’s circle Dating advice for men.

It’s a Saturday night and you’re in a pub with some friends. You notice 2 girls sitting at a table and there’s space for 2 more people. You really like one of them but she’s given no signs she likes you. What do you do? James This is a very common scenario which you’ll probably encounter many times. As with most situations

there are many ways of approaching this but here is some advice based of what I’ve found works best. First of all, observe what’s happening for a few minutes. If they’re not eating a meal and not having an intense one to one conversation then it’s ok to interrupt and make your approach. Otherwise it’s best to wait until there’s a natural pause in the conversation or even better, when one of them


leaves to go to the bar. When you open acknowledge the ‘obstacle’ by saying something like; “I know it’s probably not a great time since you’re catching up with your friend, but you literally took my breath away and I just wanted to introduce myself ”. The first part of the sentence lets her know you understand she’s probably there to see her friend and not you and that you won’t take up much of her time, the second half states your intention. Based on the response you can usually gauge whether it’s ok to extend the interaction or not. For example, sometimes they’ll say something like “oh it’s ok, I’m just having a casual drink with my friend”, then it may be ok to join them and try to close [get her number]. If she says something like “yeah, she just broke up with her boyfriend so we’re having a catch up”, then you won’t be welcome for long. You can still try to close but keep it very brief. It’ll still work some of the time but usually only if she already finds you attractive. THE FEEDBACK Dovile This is a pretty good approach, you must remember to keep it simple. A “can I buy you girls a drink” or “can

we join you for a drink” will work just as well, with a little less pressure for the girl to decide if she likes you or not, as you have not given the game away! If it’s a no then it’s a no, however, if they accept your company then at least you have a foot through the door to be able to assess the situation more closely. If she says her friend has broken up with her boyfriend then she is passing you on to her friend... take the hint. If her friend is nice, try it with her instead. Sindy Seeing 2 available spaces is an easy open there (NO puns now (; )... just walk over with one of your decent looking GUY friends (as they are a reflection upon YOU)... And politely and casually ask if the seats were available... For the most part these days, it’s kind of the norm and I don’t think that people mind... As for her


NOT having giving out signs... She may have simply been focused on her Girlfriend, their conversation/ situation of their moment, etc... And hey, it’s a pub - it might be very dimly lit too (just something else to consider)... TILL you came over. SO, THIS opportunity gives YOU THE opportunity to buy her and her friend a thank YOU pitcher/drinks for sharing the table and THAT then is an open to intros and getting to know her, reading her... The endless possible scenarios... And being in a

group setting makes it easier to open up to each other I think... As there’s NO angst/anxiety/walls (*angst/ anxiety of approaching anyone let alone to have lines prepared to have a conversation - and/ or walls put up... As in not knowing someone... Feeling cornered... Ugh, more angst).

“She may have simply been focused on her Girlfriend”


The Secrets of Design Theory and examples.

It is a fact that timeless design principles are universal, so, whether you are an aspiring graphic designer, interior designer, fashion designer, product designer, vehicle designer, or architect, the following will be relevant. After having worked in the offices of a few architects, I have come to realise that a number of them enjoy mocking the skills of interior designers. The irony is, there is absolutely no reason why a brilliant and determined interior designer, who follows the universal design principles, could not design a brilliant skyscraper. What makes a great designer great is not their qualifications, it is not their job title and it is not the projects they have worked on, although knowledge gained through experience does of course help. What makes a great designer truly great, apart from their innate ability to turn a blank canvas into a unique creative vision, is their decisiveness, an essential trait

“What makes a great designer great is not their qualifications” for any individual wishing to be in the business of sculpting solutions from blocks of imagination. This however presents a problem for the naturally gifted designer. By being more decisive and able to make many design choices very fast, it leaves the door wide open for making many mistakes. And once a bad design starts to take shape, it becomes more difficult to rectify theses mistakes. Inevitably the end product suffers. As Machiavelli famously put it in The Prince, “If one recognises evolving ills in advance, one can cure them quickly. But if they are left to develop until they are plain for all to see, it will be too late for remedies.”


To avoid making mistakes early on in a project, which might cause grief further down the line, it is necessary to know The Universal Design Principles. Some are obvious, some are less obvious and some you will learn along the way but if followed with due diligence, they will guide the designer down the well trodden path, made by history’s most infamous creatives. What follows is a list of a few. Contrast When there is greater contrast there is greater clarity, making the image more memorable and more scalable. The most successful logos are a testament to this notion. High contrast is thus almost always desirable in a design. What creates contrast? Colour, shadow, texture, light, scale, style, shape, direction, balance and emotion all play an important role. Black text over white is best for legibility, while white text over black is good for evoking a serious tone but should only be done with large type. Black with yellow commands instant attention, as yellow is the first colour to be processed by the brain. A little gold over black is good for

evoking elegance but too much gold will cheapen the effect. Friendly Lighting Soft light Vivid detail Soft shadows Low contrast Harmonious Calm Depth Aggressive Lighting Strong light Bleached detail Harsh shadows High contrast Chaotic Intense Flat Shadows Attention Depth Hidden information Darkness Misfortune Predators Horror Evil Death The unknown


Black Closed Negativity Dirty Deceit Serious Elegant Power Arrogance White Open Positivity Clean Honest Expressive Pure Enlightened Humility Red Strength Warmth Energy Stimulation Passion Aggression Danger Attention Inviting Spaces Wide Large area Maximum personal space

Few obstructions Even ground Open Friendly lighting Intimidating Spaces Narrow Small area Minimum personal space Many obstructions Steep ground Fortified Aggressive lighting Virtues of Space Freedom Relaxation Simplicity Dangers of Space Isolation Boredom Emptiness Motion Focal points welcome Lines guide Pressure pumps Excitement moves Currents carry Gravity pulls Bait attracts Vacuums suck Emptiness is filled


SWISS RE TOWER Foster + Partners


“When there is greater contrast there is greater clarity, making the image more memorable and more scalable”


here is so much more to know but hopefully this introduction will guide you in the right direction. If your ambition craves to learn every secret in design, research ample subjects both directly and indirectly related to design. No one book is large enough to contain everything, so you will need to trawl through many. It takes time to become a sage.

“It is far more difficult to write a poem than it is to write an essay.” Norman Foster

The End

Mark's London 2  

An online magazine edited, designed and published by Mark McGough from London.