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Twenty-year old from London via the Wirral in my third year studying management at York university. My passion for music stems from my first physical purchase of music; the sublime yet uncompromising eponymous debut album from british icons ‘5ive’ back in 1998. This turning point in my life laid the foundation for my passion of music, and though my tastes may have matured since then, my enthusiasm is still representative of that 7-year old in ASDA’s music section.

Currently undertaking a degree in Physics and Philosophy, this writer has a keen interest in many other areas ranging from obscurities like Latin to the financial markets. He also makes sure to dress smart, preferring the traditional English look and never leaves his house without a notebook (One never knows what ideas may present themselves). He lives by the motto of ‘Enjoy life while you can’ - that goes for everything: be it socially, at work, at home, or at the dinner table.

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Edward is one of the most stylish men I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Not barricaded by boundaries, he dresses to please no one but himself. Not only does he know how to put an outfit together, he has an in-depth knowledge on lifestyle and beauty. His specialty is fragrances. To spend a day walking around the perfumes shops with Edward as the guide is truly an honour.



Los campesinos! are a band that has built up a reputation for cacophonies of sound accompanied by self-deprecating lyrical tirades which walk the fine line between honesty and irony. However, on their fourth album the band seem to have matured into a band happy to wear their heart on their sleeve, as front-man Gareth Campesinos! documents the break-up which inspired this album with frank honesty. The title track is an instant testament to this newfound honesty, as Gareth recalls the pain felt with graphic metaphors, a recurrent theme of the album; “it’s only hope that springs eternal, and that’s the reason why, this dripping from my broken heart is never running dry”. The track builds superbly with a more toned down arrangement than LC! have been known for in the past until about halfway through, where roaring guitars replace the subtle plucking and a gush of ooo ooo ooo’s from the rest of the band lift the song up to a pace and distortion that fans of past albums may be more comfortable with, as Gareth bellows out “GOODBYE COURAGE, HELLO SADNESS”. This self-pity carries on for much of the album. Perhaps the track which stands out the most as a completely new direction for the band is the wonderful ‘to tundra’: a slow building, eerie masterpiece which may need a few listens to decipher completely, but is well worth the effort. The band play with a new mentality, which is particularly evident here as they adopt the mantra that sometimes less is more. The wall of sound created here resembles the attention to detail of ‘arcade fire’ or ‘the national’. The wistful sentiment of this song is a testament to Gareth’s songwriting abilities of evoking emotion from listeners and shows that there is more to this band than ironic witticisms. In the past LC! Have been a band which run at you with a million ideas at once crammed into a four minute song. The sevenman-strong band previously have perhaps failed to refine their music enough to give the individual arrangements the spotlights they deserve. On hello sadness, the band seem to be writing with more focus, giving every idea breathing space. For the first time in their four album discography, the band seem to have realised how to construct an album that smoothly transitions from start to end and works as a whole. In past albums the band have even needed short musical palate cleansers between songs in order to hold the work together, but here the band’s attention to detail forges a sense of cohesion and unity of purpose between songs that creates an album which really works as an entirety. 4/5

All music reviews by Nathan Marks

ELBOW BUILD A ROCKET BOYS! A solid 5th album from a band which has created so much beautiful music over the last decade or so, showing that all their success and awards are completely justified. Track choice – ‘Lippy kids’

LAURA MARLING A CREATURE I DON’T KNOW Fantastic musical progression into blues territory. Easily enjoyable, but by no means without substance. Track choice - ‘Sophia’



An album that seems to have been written with the studio in mind, rather than warehouse raves. Self disciplined, yet never restrained, it feels cool, stylish and complete. Track choice – ‘the look’

WILD BEASTS SMOTHER An eerie, chilling and beautiful 3rd album by the Kendal band. Takes a few listens to get used to, especially if you haven’t heard the band’s trademark countertenor vocals before, but one which is very rewarding. Track choice – ‘End come too soon’

THE VACCINES WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES? The Vaccines – What did you expect from the Vaccines? Perhaps did not create the influence on English music which was predicted, but that does not mean that this album is not thoroughly enjoyable and well written. Track choice – ‘Wrecking bar (ra ra ra)’


It started with a simple concept. To redesign the much loved t-shirt from ordinary to extraordinary. Alexa Galler did just that, and more. She took the everyday t-shirt and made it perfect. With a runway show and full collections under her belt there is no stopping this New York designer.

What is your background? Where did you learn and gain your skills for design? I studied modern art history and communications at NYU. My first job was designing for a company that made junior denim hats sold at Wal-Mart. I wasn’t too into it, to say the least. Even so, I still had the fashion bug and enrolled at Parson’s to learn how to pattern make, drape and illustrate. Why is the brand called Eighteenth? What is the story behind it? Eighteen is a lucky number in Jewish tradition. So far it’s working. Your brand started with the concept of a t-shirt. Why did you choose to start with the t-shirt, where did the fasination come from? I like the challenge of seeing what kinds of designs I could create with one fabric. Also, as a new designer it is tough to find fabrics with low minimums. Designing with one fabric allowed me to meet higher minimums and to use better quality fabric. Plus, t-shirts are basically all I wear. What was it like having your first runway show? Frenetic and fun. It was a wonderful way to celebrate all the hard work I’ve been doing for the past season. You have since moved on from collections that only focuses on t-shirt. What was the next piece of clothing you looked at after t-shirts? After the tees I jumped right into a full collection. I would really like to play more with sweaters. There are so many interesting silhouettes, yarns and details to use to elevate the common sweater. But unfortunately they are a challenge to produce locally, so I can’t experiment with them as much as I would like. I read on your website that one of your own style inspirations for what you wear daily is model off duty. I think it shows in your work because they’re obsessed with the perfect t-shirt, and you are providing us with them. What is it that intrigues you about the model off duty style? I like the fact that models can throw on anything and look good, even a simple t-shirt. I also like that they don’t always have to be ‘runway ready’ – I think it appeals to the everyday girl that she can also throw on a T-shirt and look and feel good about herself.

Would you ever consider working on a male collection? If so where would you start? Oh gosh no. Making women’s clothing is tough enough! However, I love changing the proportions of classics, so I would probably start there. What materials do you normally like to work with? Jersey is definitely my favorite fabric because it is so versatile, you can make it structured or you can drape it, dress it up, dress it down. From sketching the designs to model fittings and preparing for the runway etc. What is your favourite part of creating a collection? My favorite part is definitely designing. I get so exciting thinking of new styles and ideas. But then reality sets in and someone has to actually make the stuff. How have you benefited from living in New York? For me, working in New York is imperative. First, it is helpful to be just a few blocks away from the Garment District. Finding fabric and factories is never a problem. New York is also great for networking. I’ve become good friends with a lot of other young designers and we help each other out by sharing sources and war stories. Plus, NY is basically a constant runway show. Living here is the best fashion education. How did you get the brand started and off the ground? (Did you start off making the t-shirts yourself and selling them online and to friends etc.) I started with 6 t-shirt designs and called hundreds of stores to get the buyers’ email. It was quite annoying, but it had to be done. I also offered to send them a free shirt so they could see the quality. Plus, I dropped off and sent look books to the stores I wanted to be in. I had more success with sending hard copies than emails. They are harder to ignore. What was the best moment you’ve experienced with Eighteenth? So many best moments. They range from finding the perfect fabric to being picked up by a store that I’ve been coveting. Or being selected for an award or finding a great patternmaker to work with. Are there any designers that you look up to? So many! Mostly I love all the big Japanese heavyweights. Commes des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto

The new collection ‘I gained 10 pounds, but grew 10 inches’ is quite different from other things that you’ve done in the past, what was the inspiration and thought process behind this collection? What made you want to make a collection focusing on larger fitted clothing? I found that a strong, refreshing point of view is needed to make an impression in the fashion world. Plus, a sense of humor better reflects my personality. I liked how these ideas are incongruent, and designing with them hopefully makes an exciting collection. I was experimenting with different fabrics -silk, denim, coated linen- and how in the same silhouette the fabrics can drastically change the shape of the garment and feel differently to wear. The silks draped beautifully against the body, the denim created stiff volume. This proves that big doesn’t always make you look big. I am a fan of changing the proportions of everyday garments, because I think it’s fun and interesting, but ultimately it makes us more conscious of them. The theme of “gaining 10 pounds and growing 10 inches” also brings up an interesting issue of body image. In our society we view gaining weight as loathsome and most of us probably wouldn’t mind being a litter taller. But in truth, gaining 10 pounds and growing 10 inches would probably make you a supermodel. Still, the collection asks “what does it mean?” and “what does it feel like?” to wear clothes that reflect what we think we want or don’t want to look like. How does it feel to wear clothes that are considered to not fit.

What’s next for eighteenth? Next season, Fall/Winter 2012, is called My Dad’s Hair. It’s basically professional suburban dad clothing in textured fabrics.

ONE WORD: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? West Village Is your studio messy or neat? Messy Next vacation you would like to go to? Scandanavia One thing that you wear the most? T-shirts Song you would play at your next runway show Silence It’s Friday night, you are... Working

FORTY OUNCE Up and coming independent clothing brand

Founded in 2010, Forty Ounce is a clothing brand that makes artistic t-shirts focusing on photography, music and the media culture (think Dr.Phil and Fresh Prince). Their t-shirts are currently sold in shops in the UK, France, Norway and even Japan. They have a strong connection with music with mix tapes available on their website and a CD in the works. It’s not a surprise that they have developed quite a following with their eyes set on the big apple. Why is the brand named Forty Ounce? F.O We called the brand Forty Ounce as we wanted a name that could be written in all different ways, numbers letters etc. People are aware of 40oz bottles we thought it would fit pretty well.

What does the brand stand for? F.O D.I.Y. People that support us support the independent ethic of small business and integrity. We ain’t selling out to make a quick buck. We also hope the people that buy our stuff buy it because they want something original and not just some generic tripe design pumped out by an Urban Outfitters or Topman. Who are the people behind the brand? How many of you are there? What are your roles? D.K there’s two of us behind the brand. Myself; Dean Khalil and Samuel Johnson. We dont really have specific roles, we pretty much do everything together but we have fields that we are better in. Sam is a graphic designer and I’m a fine artist so we have two

different viewpoints on design. It’s pretty organic, my role is pretty much to help Sam out with as much design as I can. Come up with ideas for him to turn into reality and also to take care of the admin side of the company. S.J What Dean said, and I look after our online presence. What urged you to start a brand? D.K I had graduated from art school and was jobless and not doing too much. Sam mentioned the idea and then we realised that there was a gap in the market locally so we went out and ‘done it’. We started with nothing, no money, just some grand schemes that paid off. S.J I am currently studying design for publishing and doing the clothing line is just another outlet for creativity without the pressures of deadlines and specific briefs.

What made you decide to make t-shirts, as art students you are exposed to many different medias. Why t-shirts? D.K I graduated from fine art painting and hadn’t done any sort of artwork for about 6 months.. So when Sam mention doing t-shirts i thought it would be a good outlet for doing something fresh and give me a reason to start doing something artistically. S.J T-Shirts were just a starting point as we had no money we couldn’t just start a clothing line without any foundations. We now have enough following and money behind us to start branching out further and do a whole line. The hope being the people that like our tees will also like other clothes we design. You have an interesting way of combining clothing and music into one brand. Where do you find the artists who make the mix tapes and sometimes collaborate on t-shirts? Are they friends or people you contact? D.K I’ll let Sam answer this one as it’s all thanks to him.


S.J Before Forty Ounce I ran a music blog Through this I would speak to a few of the musicians, I built up relations that way. We also get a lot of musicians approaching us so it works both ways. We are hoping to release a compilation CD of exclusive tracks from our favourite artists in the coming months. What were the ideas behind your latest look book and video - collection III? D.K We’ve worked with David Drake on our last two collections. We just toyed with ideas, shooting in the dark seemed like it would work well. We then tried to pick some locations that would help create enough atmosphere to make things stand out. Danny Jackson is a friend who I met from skating and he started making us little skate edits. We asked him to do our summer video and with barely any guidance he completely nailed it so we asked him to come out again for collection III and the video he got from it is amazing... We just go out the four of us with not much of a set plan and just let things play out. What is your process for designing a t-shirt? D.K We get a theme and work from there. Sam is pretty prolific at coming up with designs so we normally have a lot to work with. Do you print your t-shirts yourselves in your studio? F.O No we don’t print ourselves we use our good friend who has an independent printing company. We do alot of tye dyes and other one off pieces ourselves. What would you do if you had designer block? F.O Hasn’t happened yet.. We have to ask, what was the thoughts and inspiration behind the Will Smith tee? D.K We wanted to do a theme of 90’s icons and garish backgrounds. We were going to do a whole run of them but after fresh prince nothing could top it so we decieded to keep a 90’s theme but different designs. So we got the leonardo tee and the 90’s bitches tees from that idea. If your wildest dreams came true for Forty Ounce what would it be? D.K Be exactly what it is now but I wouldn’t have to work another job along side.. S.J Open our own store in New York

Where do you see yourself in five years time? D.K To keep on doing what we’re doing along side Sam. Probably in another part of the globe. S.J With our own store in New York What was the best time you’ve ever had whilst you were wearing one of your t-shirts? What were you doing? D.K I dunno specifically.. I just went to florida. It was my first time in the states and that was pretty exciting I guess.. I got to feed a giraffe. What’s next for Forty Ounce clothing? F.O A full line, the first Forty Ounce Records release and a move abroad. Any tips for other budding entrepreneurs? D.K Just go out and do it. D.I.Y or die. S.J Be prepared to sacrifice sleep, girlfriends/boyfriends and a social life and work hard. Anything you would like to add or say to our readers? F.O Thanks for the support and love, everyones thats bought something, collaborated or helped in any way.

ONE WORD: Movie that inspires you D.K ‘the filth and the fury’ Book that inspires you D.K ‘Gonzo’ Your favourite Forty Ounce t-shirt is... D.K ‘biggie’ If you could work with any artist/musician it would be... D.K Johnny thunders R.I.P One person you’d want to see in your t-shirt D.K See above. If you had to express yourself in a different media it would be... D.K I’m a painter.


A MIX OF TOBACCO AND LEATHER Abbey Watkins is the talented illustrator behind the blog Tobacco and Leather. What sets this blog apart from other fashion and artistic blogs is the raw talent and gift that Abbey possesses and shares on her blog. Her illustrations have not only caught the eyes and minds of her readers but also the iconic fashion retailer Browns. Here we catch up with Abbey on everything from her education to her goals for 2012. Why did you choose to do Textile design and illustration at university? The degree I took was called Textile Design for Fashion and it was a really open course. This is why I chose to take it instead of just Fashion Design or just Illustration. I was able to focus on illustration in a fashion context which was perfect for me. I got to design garments, prints and learn about the fashion industry without losing any valuable focus on my drawing. What does textile design and illustration involve? We were given a lot of freedom in our work. This made it a really interesting course because everyone was doing something different, but under the diverse umbrella of fashion. It was very inspiring. The basics were to research a subject of interest, study it, create designs, drawings, patterns etc from your findings and put them into a fashion context, presented in a professional way. The course was very focused on preparing

really strange but great, it was very flattering. I have noticed you like to draw fashion models a lot, which fashion models are your favourite? What is it about them that intrigues you so much? Abbey Lee has always been a favourite of mine, I get the feeling that she has a great spirit. Frida Gustavsson is just so beautiful too. I could probably go on forever about my favourite models.

us for the outside world and doing things to a professional standard. When did you realize you wanted to be an artist, what made you realize it? I can’t really remember a defining point of realisation. I think it was more of a natural course of my creativity. Finding a fitting output in fashion illustration was a big step for me. The idea of doing this for a living started to seem conceivable once I had found that. You have done everything from designing for Browns, making a mural for a club and sketching. What would you describe your job as? What is your job description? I am primarily an illustrator, but I am also a print designer and visual artist. How have you benefited from blogging? (e.g. how has it helped your career?) I don’t think I would have much of a career if it wasn’t for blogging, or it certainly would have been a lot more difficult to establish one without it. What is your favourite media to work with? My favourite media to work with is pencil. I also love to work on my drawings digitally. Who is your favourite artist? That’s nearly an impossible question to answer! I love Cecilia Carlstedts’ fashion illustrations. I’m also a huge fan of Kelsey Brookes’ paintings. I have a slight obsession with tattooist, Thomas Hooper. What was your reaction when you discovered someone had a tattoo inspired by your work? What did you think? I was amazed! Something so personal and permanent had been imprinted on someone’s life because of something I had drawn one day... It was really

You draw a lot of fashion pictures that you find, how do you choose which ones you want to draw? I tend to get an instant feeling of ‘I need to draw that!’ It’s a feeling I get quite often but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s usually to do with body positions, clean lines and symmetrical faces, something that is easily translated into a classically successful fashion illustration. What is your favourite piece of work you have ever done? I don’t think I have a favourite, I was very proud of my degree work because it was something that evolved over a year of studying and really felt it had meaning and a lot of my spirit in there. I tend to go off my work very quickly after it’s done, I always think I immediately need to do something better. If someone gave you a blank wall and told you you could do whatever you want to it, what would you do to it? I’m not sure! I think it would depend on my mood at the time. I think it would have to be something trippy, something spiritually inspired, with a 60’s aesthetic, with lots of eyes and entwined beautiful bodies. What are your goals for 2012? I hope to create more original, fine art orientated work. I would also like to start selling prints of my fashion illustrations. I hope to continue collaborating with a variety of people. I love to share ideas and visions in new creative projects.

What was your first reaction and thought when you found out you were going to collaborate with Browns? I was really happy. It was great to know my work would be taken through an entire process, from drawing to production to the hanger in a shop where people could buy something I had a hand in creating. What brief were you given by Browns, or were you allowed to choose to design whatever you wanted? There wasn’t a brief as such, I had a lot of creative freedom. My work just had to fit the brand and their customer. I created the illustrations and Browns were in control of the merchandise. What does your Browns collection comprise of? I completed 4 fashion illustrations for Browns which have been printed in a range of colours on many different products such as vests, t-shirts, dresses, sweatshirts, scarves and bags.

COPING WITH THE COLD Text by Nicholas Ashwin

Now that the languid days of Pimm’s and strawberries in the garden are becoming a fading memory, it is only natural to seek out some comfort to the cold and the shorter days which winter bestows on us. Yuletime is of course associated with port and sherry and while I am an avid fan of both, I also have a soft spot for whisky. Particularly peaty, warming whisky’s like the Talisker 10 year old, which does a great job at bringing some warmth and lending comfort to the throat in this bitter climate. Recently, however, what’s been catching my eye is Glenmorangie’s 15 year old Nectar D’or, matured for 10 years in American bourbon casks and then for a further 5 in French Sauternes casks. If you know anything about wine, and like me have a taste for the sweeter things in life, this last maturation process should grab you by the neck and have you throbbing with excitement. The Glenmorangie is golden in colour and on the nose you can tell you’re in for a treat. There is the traditional smell of oak tannins, but it is backed up by a very inviting hint of creamy vanilla and honey. It says ‘sumptuous’ on the bottle, and sumptuous it is! When it hits the palate it strikes with quite the bite, which given its 46% ABV isn’t particularly surprising, and is spicier than I had expected; not necessarily less smooth, just a bit more dense and complex than the nose would suggest. Once the initial surge of alcohol recedes the Glenmorangie unfolds a euphoria of flavour; of sweet lemon and vanilla underpinned by mellow honey tones. A few seconds later, the warm-

ing finish begins and takes hold, leaving an enticing sensation of heat and spice combined with a lingering sweetness. This is ambrosia. As the reader will no doubt have gathered, this is indeed a sweet whiskey and I could see this going very well as a dessert drink, perhaps with lemon tart, or simply as a digestif. Bear in mind, though, that while it is a sweet whiskey it is still a whisky, and as such may be a bit too much to stomach for those who don’t really drink whisky in the first place. On the other hand, if there is anyone in your circle of friends who you would like to introduce to whisky, this is probably not a bad first experience. It is a brilliant combination of sweet and dry; it has still got the kick of a whisky, but wrapped in a nectar envelope. While I would certainly praise this whisky, and to a degree have, its strength is its weakness: it can become a bit sickly. The first few sips are divine, but this scotch quickly becomes too much and the appetite for something a bit tamer soon takes hold. That being said, this drink makes for an excellent digestif and is sure to please at the dinner table.

This is ambrosia.




Samuel Bradley has been a No Cigar favourite for a while. From his fashion photographs that feature owls to adventerous shots at mile end. This boy not only has talent but a sense of humour. Plus he’s cracked our ‘house on fire’ question. You’ll see what we mean. Where are you from? I was born in Australia but I live in Surrey, UK. Tell us something most people don’t know about you. I am colour blind. Really. Describe in 5 words what it is that you do. I try making memorable photographs What made you want to take photos? I was a creative kid. I liked art and drawing. I also liked watching bands play live. Have you ever tried painting a band whilst they play live? I haven’t, it’s probably really hard though so a camera seemed the best option. What’s your equipment? I use a 5d Mk II for my digital work, and a Mamiya RZ67 for film. I also have a couple of lights and some assorted 35mm cameras.

Who have you worked for? I’m currently doing some freelancing for ‘who’s jack magazine’, I’m also Canterbury’s photographer (they’re an awesome band, go and listen to them!) and I shot some work over the summer for a fashion brand called Taylor who you might see kicking about on ASOS and in Urban outfitters next year. You’ve been allowed to exhibit one of your photos at the Tate, which would it be? I’d show the work I’m currently shooting in Latvia. I’m gradually building up a body of work on the country but it’ll be at least a year before it’s ready to be exhibited anywhere. What have you learnt from university you couldn’t have learnt otherwise? (in photography or life) I learnt how to appreciate context. Photography isn’t all about aesthetics. I also learnt how to plan, research and take my time. I learnt how to print and develop by hand too. I recently read the dumbest

thing on a photographers blog who said studying photography was a complete waste of time. I wanted to give the guy a good slap! But instead I think I shall try and change his mind with words if I ever bump into him. Unrelated to photography I’ve learnt that getting drunk is a waste of time and money and you’re not allowed to complain about being broke if you’re boozing weekly. Who are the models you normally feature in shoots organised by yourself? I work a lot with a smashing lady called Rebecca Bone ( I must have shot with her on ten different occasions. She’s very nice and we’ve developed a good working relationship. I think it’s really important to work with people over and over till shooting becomes more of a hang out. It is a saturday night, what are you doing? Oh what, really? This is embarassing. Probably watching re runs of black books and scanning negatives. I’ll occasionally break to swig some chocolate milk, perhaps go for a skate, then back to my flat for some xbox with my equally geeky flatmates. These are all cool things right? What is your dream job? I’d like to work for LIFE magazine. But it doesn’t exist any more, so maybe National Geographic. Basically working for good magazines and travelling. I love print media, it sucks big time that it’s being rendered obsolete by stupid inventions like the kindle and the Ipad. What is the strangest thing that has ever happened on a shoot? I don’t think anything that weird has happened to me. I remember one shoot involved being waist deep in a lake, shooting a half naked model, holding stuffed owl worth six grand. But that shoot was always going to BE weird, other than that it went smoothly. Favourite place you’ve ever visited? I went to Western Sahara, which is also Morocco... the politics is complicated. But that was awesome. I was there for about six hours with a friend on a cruise ship and I really want to go back. There were amazing beaches, and just over the road houses riddled with bullet and shell holes. People wanted their photos taken with us just because we were Western and white. I really think you could make some amazing photographs there.


It is the best day you’ve ever had at work, what’s happened? Well for me work is at home. So I’ve receive a reply from an email I sent as a dare to Magnum and they want to fund me living in and documenting Latvia for five years. Also Tilda Swinton is on the phone saying she’s in town and wants me to take her picture. To top it all off, a generous millionaire stumbled upon my Amazon wish list and decided to buy me the IMACON X5 scanner I’ve got on there just in case. Your house is on fire, you grab? A fire extinguisher, there’s too much here to choose from to save so putting it out is my only option. But I’ve got my camera bag on my back with my hard drive stashed in there if I’m forced to leap out the window. I’d need a camera to photograph the building burning down.

What are you most likely to listen to at the studio? Whatever the model wants to listen to. As long as they want to listen to blink. I like to air drum and sing in between moving lights around but it’s a bit embarrassing when you realise you’re doing it. Which photographer apart from yourself should we know about? Rob Hornstra. I don’t know how he does what he does but... well actually I do, he’s pretty open about the whole process but wow that guy is making some amazing work about Russia. There’s a wicked documentary about him on VBS TV. You’ll struggle to find a better way to spend 16 minutes. That sounds dirty.


Could you give us the background of Good Times Tattoo? What were your thoughts when you got it set up, what were the designs behind it? We have been open for a year now. But when I opened it I wanted to have something just a bit different, something a bit more private, that’s why it’s on the first floor, I didn’t want anything street level. I wanted something with a lot of windows, high ceilings. Really pretty things, the walls are based around some of my favourite bars, and restaurants and night clubs. I always collect interesting things, I’d just go to boot fairs and markets and eBay. I just put all that shit up, everywhere I guess. How do you pick the tattoo artists who work here? Are they mainly friends and people you have worked with for a long time? All the artists who work here are all friends, people I’ve worked with some time or another. Except for Nick, I have never worked with him before, but we’ve always been friends. But everyone else are kinda like my best mates, and they’ve been my best mates for years, and we’ve sorta hung out, when I got the job it was natural for it to happen I guess. Do you take walk ins? If somebody walks in and nobody is doing anything we can fit them in, yeh. Usually how long is the waiting list? It depends on which artist. It could be one week or it

could be a year or two. Is it a year or two for you? It’s about a year, 8 months. If it’s something that really interests me and I really really want to do, then obviously I don’t wait… What sort of tattoos do you like to do, what’s your style? At the moment I do mostly Japanese, Indian, Tibetan and just really pretty things, big and bold. Yeh, I do pretty things. I’m trying to change, it’s really hard because when you start doing one thing everyone wants you to do that and it’s really hard to move on from that. So at the moment I’m trying to do things that are a bit different, I’m really into doing scenery at the moment, just pure scenery, like a Japanese painting. Something that you won’t expect to be tattooed. Just trying to keep myself interested at the moment. Could you summarize quickly the other tattoo artists and what their styles are. Saira, she does sorta old school, a lot of Henna sorta Indian pattern work which she’s really into at the moment because she has been doing old school for years. She’s doing all these amazing patterns. Jamie, she’s a really good all rounder, she does really good old school, Japanese really good, American style tattoos. She does everything really really well. Piotrek, he’s a polish guy and he does amazing


realistic portraits and kind of creepy skulls that morph into things. Really quite surreal drawings and his work is just amazing, you watch him and you go ‘how do you do it?!’ Nick does really good, it’s so clean it’s just ridiculous, it’s so perfect. He does really good old school and Japanese. And then I’ve got Danny and he does tribal, he does really good writing actually, I think his writing is my favourite thing that he does. And then I have a couple of other guys that just come and guest. What do you think makes a good tattoo? Are there any restrictions? No, you just want a tattoo that actually enhances

your body really. So you want it to work with your muscle flow, so if you have something in between two muscles, say you got something really small and you put it in between your deltoid and your biceps there, if you put it in the middle there, it is obviously not going to look good. So you want the right placement so that it work wells with the body, and something that is going to last, something that is semi bold, doesn’t have to be very bold. My personal choice of a good tattoo, for big pieces, something that you can see from across from the room, it’s not too confusing. Sometimes a lot less is more. Don’t try to cram too many things into one piece. Try to keep it simply, and then it will last you forever, because it is obviously going to be there forever, so

you don’t want too many things over crowding it and just really clear and good lines. What are your thoughts on UV tattoos or white tattoos? I don’t do UV tattoo because I heard the ink could be carcinogenic, so it could be cancerous. I’ve never used it, I don’t know what the ink is like nowadays, this is like years ago. I have done white tattoos, some people it can look good on where it actually looks white, some people it just doesn’t work at all where it looks like a scar. You know, it’s a personal preference, I’d rather not do it myself, because I just don’t think it lasts as long, but if it is what people want, it’s what they want. What advice would you give to someone getting their first tattoo? Research what you want, because your tattoo is going to be there forever and you’re going to grow up. Don’t just get something when you’re young that isn’t going to age well with you, get something that

will be timeless. Research your artist, make sure you feel comfortable with them, make sure the place is clean and that their work is good. You don’t just go into any place or the first tattoo place you come across. You can go around three or four of them, as many shops as you like. Just see where you feel comfortable, what the work is like and what the atmosphere is like. What is your typical sort of customer? My typical customer is just normal people. Just anyone? Asking for small tattoos or big tattoos? It could be anything, like last week I tattooed a friend’s niece, she was 19, just a young girl. I also had this 60 year old man, it’s such a wide range. It’s honestly absolutely anybody, I’ve had guys walk in that have almost full body but you wouldn’t actually know by the way they dress, you wouldn’t even know they had one tattoo.

What is the best way to look after a tattoo? What is the best aftercare? Usually we wrap it up in cling film after we’ve tattooed it. So you have got to wash it really really well, and you just let it dry, pat it dry. I usually let it dry out for the first day, I don’t put any cream on it. then you use Bepanthen, which is like a nappy rash cream, or a mild lotion, I love coco butter. Sometimes I might use Bepanthen for the first could of days, and then afterward I use coco butter. And you just put cream on it once or twice a day, don’t pick it, don’t scratch it. Sun protection? Yeh, you can put sun protection on it whilst it’s healing, but after it’s healed I use coco butter with 15+ everyday, so I always put sunscreen on everyday

anyway. You can’t swim whilst it’s healing. One reader has asked whether you can tattoo over scars, whether it would cover up properly? Yes, you can tattoo over scars, but they need to be over one to two years old, because even though it looks like it’s healed, your skin is still doing stuff underneath. The more time you give it to heal the better. It can be really successful, if you’ve got like really bad burns or something or stretch marks. Stretch marks are tricky because the skin is quite thin and then it’s normal and then it’s thin, so the artist needs to be very careful. But with burns or scars it really takes your eye away from it.

Where is the most painful place to get a tattoo? Wherever you think it hurts, it hurts. It depends, everybody’s different. Sternum is very painful, all around your kidneys, all your soft bits really. Under your arms, inner thighs, bums are very painful, feet are painful, stomach is painful. Pretty much everywhere! Things that don’t hurt are your arms and legs, haha. I didn’t think my chest hurt that much, but if you went to the middle, the sternum, that’s nasty. There’s always a problem with age people stretch a bit, is there one area of the body that doesn’t stretch as much? I guess it’s a personal thing, everybody’s skin will age differently. When you get older, your skin will

sag in different places as your mates skin. The thing is I guess when you are tattooed and you’re older you just don’t really give a shit anyway, it’s not really something you’re going to get worried about is your sagging tattoo, I think you’re more worried about your sagging skin!

First Floor, 147 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3QE number: +44 (0) 20 7739 2438 Monday – Saturday: 12-7pm Email:


OH SUMMER, WE MISS YOU. Photographer: Rhi Ellis


Last weekend, after a whole year of work and stress, I decided to take some time and properly mend my broken soul. On my iTouch, I created a playlist of Christmas music and brewed a nice cup of black coffee. In 5 minutes I was curled up against the sofa, kept cozy and warm under a thick fleece blanket and quietly listening to the festive music playing from my stereo. On the coffee table, the mug of coffee steamed softly as a piece of delicate, golden stroopwafle warmed up to its chewy perfection. My sense of hearing, taste, vision and touch were all indulging in the wonderful ambience of holiday. Everything just seemed so perfect and wonderful. Sneakily, from a small corner of my mind, came a gentle nudge... “I must be too stressed out. My brain is still buzzing.” Smiling to my self, I disregarded this mild interruption. But slowly, the nudging grew to a forceful shove. This time, I could no longer ignore it. I sat up and tried to think what was wrong. But despite my efforts, nothing came up. Nothing was wrong. I had everything I needed to relax. At this point, I was restlessly pacing around my living room. No longer was I in the mood to relax.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me. I realized what I truly wanted was to travel. I wanted to be in another country, somewhere far and different, where I can escape. But what was I to do? I only had a weekend before I have to study and work again. There was no way I could plan a road trip, no to mention flying. Well, the solution was easy. It was time to borrow a little magic. I walked up to my cupboard and opened it. In front of me were pots of candles, each varying in scent, colour, size and design. Like a child in a candy store, I stood there quietly, eyeing them with greed. In the end, I reached for a white ceramic pot. It was “Brioche” from the french perfumery house Fragonard. Placing it on the shelf, I was ready for the magic to begin… As the flame flickered, a warm, buttery, lightly nutty and savory fragrance very true to its real counterpart began to fill the room. I laid back on my sofa and inhaled. Immediately, as if by magic, I was teleported to a Parisian cafe on a sunny Saturday morning. On the counter, were baskets of crisp, flaky croissants, pastries and baguettes that were fresh out of the oven. I could begin to feel my stress and fatigue melting away and replaced with joy and contentment. Who would have thought that something so simple as smell could perform such wonders? This new year, I urge you to head out to your favourite department store and find yourself a perfect holiday home fragrance. Be it a simple pick-me-up, a wondrous getaway or something special to further enhance the festive spirit, the right scent is promised to make your holiday a more enjoyable time.

My personal recommendations are: Siamese Waters by PaĂąpuri. A fragrance inspired by florals and spices of Thailand, including notes of jasmine, ylang ylang, and Thai mint. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

India Hicks - Island Nights by Crabtree & Evelyn. Transform your living room into an island resort with this perfect evening ambience scent. Woody musk, orchids, jasmine and palm notes. For the more festive, Spicy Cinnamon or Candied Fruit by L’Occitane or Cannelle Orange by Fragonard are sure to please.

India Hicks



Where does the name Vamoose come from? The Vamoose started as a blog in 2008. I used it as a creative escape; a place to write about my inspirations and research that didn’t quite fit in with my university work at the time. You studied fashion design at university, what made you go into jewellery instead of clothing? After graduation I became increasingly interested in jewellery design and changing paths felt like a natural transition. I had never intended to set up my own business, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Did you start the Vamoose whilst you were at university? If so, did you find jungle the two difficult? I worked on the blog in my spare time, but didn’t start planning out my business until 2009-10. Before then, I did freelance work for a trend-forecasting agency based in London. Describe your studio in 5 words Small, white, crowded and organized. Where do you get the materials you use for the Vamoose from? The chain and findings I use are manufactured in a UK factory, whereas the gemstones and vintage components are sourced worldwide.


Photo by Eefje de Coninck

Photo by Eefje de Coninck

How long does it take to make a piece for the Vamoose? It really depends on the piece in question. The ruffled fabric necklaces are dyed and sculptured by hand, so to make up a small batch requires a few days of work. What is the structure behind the Vamoose? Do you come up with two collections of jewellery a year or do you add new pieces to your shop randomly? There are collections that are constantly changing, such as the charm necklaces, and the structured collections are introduced throughout each season. What is your favourite piece to make? (Necklace, earrings etc.) I usually have the most fun with necklaces. As part of the initial designing stage, I’ll work on a tailor’s dummy to mock-up ideas. A collection can start with a few elaborate pieces, followed by a number of simplified designs that are developed from the originals, but with more of a commercial approach. You have collaborated with photographers, artists and illustrators. Where do you find them and what makes them stand out to you? Most of my collaborations have been a result of conversations on Flickr or customers from my shop. It’s always great to work with people from around the

world who share similar interests and aesthetics, with a mutual respect for each other’s work. We loved your blog post on natural history, which is your favourite crystal/mineral? I have many favourites, but I think I’ll have to go with my birthstone, turquoise. As a nod to the royal wedding this year, Kate Middleton asks you to design a piece for her, what would it be and what would it look like? Two-tone earrings with rough grey and white diamonds. If you had to design all the jewellery for any movie ever made, which movie would it be? Cleopatra (1963) Would you consider working with clothing again? Yes, definitely! It would be great to create a collection where the clothing and jewellery is harmonious. Until then, I’m happy to continue making garments in my spare time. What’s in store for The Vamoose in 2012? It’s all still a learning process for me, so for now I’ll continue as I have been, improving and developing along the way.

Photo by Eefje de Coninck




Photo by Rhi Ellis


No Cigar Issue 1 Have you earnt your stripes?


No Cigar Issue 1 Have you earnt your stripes?