SEEKER. Issue 2
Intern in the City: Hidden Gems: An Alternative American Road Trip: Beer Batter and Maple Bacon Cup Cakes: HANDS: Music: Poetry: Fashion: Photography: and more ...
“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Welcome to Issue 2 First off I would like to thank everyone who has read, shared and contributed to Seeker. When I launched Issue one two months ago I had no idea how it would be received, but you have all welcomed it with open arms and for that I am very grateful. Without you all we wouldn’t be welcoming a rather exciting second issue into the online world. This is an issue of inspiration, of talent and fun. We see Courtland Thomas interview up and coming Californian band, HANDS on page 16, we revisit Fiona O’Malley our resident ‘Intern in the City’ (page 7), and Fran Holt takes inspiration from hit E4 show 2Broke Girls and shows you how to create your own Beer Batter and Maple Bacon Cupcakes (page 48). Sea life inspired designer, Hannah Dudley shows off her collection on page 25 and Rachel ForesterBennett takes us on visual tour of Dubai’s architecture (page 52). Sophie Mayanne took to the streets of East London to photograph this issue’s fashion editorial (page 34) and Laurie Bolger treats us to some pretty sweet poems on pages 10 and 28. So pop the kettle on, settle down and be inspired.
Page 6: Intern In The City Page 8: Hidden Gems: Urban Village Page 10: Poetry - Milk, One Sugar Page 12: Design - Marlene Utuk Page 18 Fashion - Lisa McConniffe Page 25: Fashion —Emit Page 28: Poetry - The Tarted-Up Boozer In Shoreditch Page 30: Alternative America Road Trip Page 34: Photography - City of Dreams Page 48: Fran Bakes - Beer Batter and Maple Bacon Cupcakes Page 50: Movies - Igniting The Man On Fire Page 52: Photography - Dubai Page 62: Playlist 3
East London based café, Kahaila is a must if you’re in the area. Not only is the food ethically and locally sourced where possible, (the cakes being some of the most delicious I have ever eaten), Kahaila is also a charity. Any profit made goes back into supporting community projects and other causes. A coffee shop with a strong element of community, hosting a range of different events from book launches, live music and spoken word to supper clubs . It’s a coffee shop with a heart, with a conscious and an amazing talent in cake making! You can find Kahaila on Brick Lane, or visit their website kahaila.com for more information
Eddy and Rambo have become unlikely hits of Instagram. Bunnymama shares with followers the delightful antics of her two little bunnies, Eddy and Rambo. Sitting under bookshelves (Eddy’s favourite spot), wearing crowns and eating their greens, these two bunnies are guaranteed to melt even the coldest of hearts. You can see the cuteness for yourself on Istagram, / bunnymama
Columbia University based 292 is, in their own words, a magazine for those who live Magazine brings to you a like an artist. fascinating blend of Uni life and New York antics. An online lifestyle magazine 292 covers everything from fashion and art, to music and relationships.
When not running 292, Editor in chief, Courtland Thomas, is also writing for us here at Seeker (he interviewed HANDS for this issue!)
It’s a place to discover new You can see what they’re up to music, places of interest, and on Facebook, Twitter and up coming artists, something we at Seeker are big fans of. 292 Instagram: 292 Magazine 4
We know we featured The
Whitepepper in our last issue, but we love the East London based company so much we couldn’t help but give them another mention. The street style inspired company have just released their Autumn collection, featuring some of their most popular styles (namely the beautiful
Angel dress) in floral, polka dot and plaid. Leather jackets, cropped shirts and platform shoes top off the whole collection and really channel the unique, street style of East London they take their inspiration from. You can view (and buy) The Whitepepper’s latest collection online at www.thewhitepepper.com.
‘The Long And Short Of It’ -- Fighting Fiction Fighting Fiction are a Brightonbased punk rock four piece. Going strong now in their fifth year, the band have secured the release of their second studio album, The Long And Short Of It, to be released through Xtra Mile records on September 16th. To accompany the release of their much awaited album, the band are embarking on a September UK tour, before moving into October dates across Europe, and finishing up in the US. They have maintained a huge underground following through their relentless touring habits, and a preview of their upcoming record displays exciting material which will flourish on a live platform. Prior to now, achievements have included support slots with such musicians as Frank Turner, The Bouncing Souls and Laura Marling, and performing on several festival stages including Reading & Leeds Festival, Isle Of Wight Festival, 2000 Trees and Glastonbury. While the new album provides more of the thrashing guitar riffs and melodic songwriting found on their first self titled record, The Long And Short Of It allows for a growth of voice, and a more dis-
tinct personal identity for the band comes across. It’s clearly their songs performed in the style and manner they desire without any compromise. Of the 10 tracks, the rock heavy ‘Enabler’ is the first to be released as a single. The visceral and immersive production throughout gives each track the sound of a live performance, an interesting and creative use of songwriting and technique make 5
for an entertaining listen. Most notably, just like Joe Strummer used The Ants Go Marching in The Clash’s English Civil War, you’ll find The Saints Go Marching In employed on A Common Enemy. The UK tour kicks of on September 13th, with the album released on the 16th. Pre-orders and previous work can be found at www.fightingfiction.com, along with show dates.
Intern in the City
My Property Porn Addiction Words: Fiona O’Malley
I engage in a frequent, private hobby when I’m alone in my room or taking a tea break at work and don’t think anyone can see me – it’s my property addiction. Not buying property, obviously, but looking at it online. I look at property like men look at porn. I don’t know why, it’s not like I’m going to be climbing the property ladder anytime soon but I could spend hours looking at fantasy houses. I check out the local facilities and google map it to see my potential future neighbours. I thought it was a little out of the ordinary but when I was on my lunch break at work, I was caught indulging in my guilty pleasure by a colleague. “What are you doing?” she asked, peering over my shoulder at my computer screen. “Nothing!” I replied as I frantically tried to close my daft.ie box. “Oh, you’re looking at property online!” she said “Don’t worry, I do that all of the time!”
ping online was one of those habits everyone engages in but nobody admits to. United we were worse, like two addicts being bad influences on each other. We were in need of a ruthless sponsor to break us of our habit. She became my sidekick, the Robin to my Batman, the Harry to my Sally and the Laurel to my Hardy. “Look!” she would cry in a stage whisper across the office and I would swing over on my spiny chair to her desk discretely “A two bed apartment in Clapham for only one hundred and eighty thousand pounds - complete with car parking!” I had no idea why she thought this way in any way relevant. Neither of us drive. Or own a car. Or could afford it. “Gosh, I don’t know” I said “That’s a little pricey” It was a little above our budget of £0.
I wondered if fantasy house shop6
“But look!” she said “It comes complete with a thirty two inch flat screen TV!” “A thirty two inch flat screen TV!” I said “In that case, it’s excellent value! Maybe in ten years we’ll be able to afford the door handle!” We would spend every spare moment sighing over the burnt orange conservative flagstones in Donnybrook or kitchens complete with ranges and traditional sash windows in Galway. Then the impossible happened - we came across a two bedroom cottage right outside the city with a tiny back garden, great natural lighting, bay windows and, wait for it, a stove. It was as cute as a button and a complete bargain at one hundred and ninety thousand pounds (without stamp duty or a dose of reality, of course!). We clapped hands and embraced each other in the marvel of the completely impossible, forgetting for a moment that we were penniless interns. “Look!” I said later on “This one has a tiny back garden where the kids can
Intern in the City
play with the dog!”
fell off my unicorn.
This was taking the biscuit. I don’t have children. Or a dog. I don’t plan on going halves on a bastard with anyone and I don’t plan on having children for another six years at least. Doctors refer to this behaviour as ‘nesting’. I refer to this behaviour as ‘crazy’. Nesting would be fitting if I was expecting a baby. The nearest I’ve had to falling pregnant was having a food baby.
“I mean,” I began confessing my bizarre habit as we strolled along the Claddagh in Galway with our mutt Páid “I don’t want you to worry or anything. I’m not going to go out and get a mortgage anytime soon. I’m responsible enough to know I don’t want that responsibility. I’m not planning on buying a house anytime soon. I know I have to keep crappy parttime jobs I hate until I start making money from my art. I know it might be years before I can be a full-time writer and producer but…I do this weird thing…sometimes…”
I denied myself my addiction during tea breaks. I went cold turkey. I didn’t look up one single apartment for weeks and I had weaned myself off drooling over cottages for a whole month. I spoke to the beacon of wisdom in my life, my mother, about my addiction and expected her to grab me by the shoulders, shake me and tell me to get grip. I expected her to tell me not to be ridiculous, that I shouldn’t be thinking of something so out of my reach for the foreseeable future. I expected her to tell me I was living in a fantasy land. She didn’t. I was so shocked that I
After I told her about my property porn addiction, she laughed. “Fiona love,” she said “no bank in Ireland or Europe would give you a mortgage anytime soon but, to be honest, looking at property is not a bad thing. By the time you are ready to start looking at houses, you’ll have more of an idea of what the market is like, what you want and more importantly, what you need.” 7
When she confirmed my property porn addiction wasn’t too bizarre to be practised, I told myself I wasn’t a weirdo. Then again, do weirdos know they’re weirdos? Probably not. Freaks probably don’t realise they’re freaks and oddballs may simply think everyone else is odd. Like mother like daughter, we could both be weirdos, freaks or oddballs but be ignorant of it. Then again, if my mother would be classified as a freak I wouldn’t want to be classified as normal. She’s perfect. I told myself this as we walked a little too close to the water with a mongrel at the end of our lead; a slightly bohemian air in our walk; ignorant of the clap of lightening above our heads as My Fair Lady’s ‘Wouldn’t it be Loverly?’ played absentmindedly at the back of my mind. A collection of angry clouds haunted the skies above us as we, once again, forgot to bring an umbrella. In Ireland. Perhaps we’re not freaks. Perhaps we just mimic behaviour of the common ‘fecking eejit’.
Hidden Gems: Urban Village, Birmingham Words: Nikki Patel
Last weekend my sister and I visited the renowned ‘Urban Village’ a vintage store in the heart of the Custard factory, a hub of arts, lifestyle and culture tucked into a corner of the second city. Prior to our visit, we were excited to spend our day mooching through their abundance of vintage garments, and gazing at clothes which exuded an undeniable sense of British mod culture and flair. However, after our visit, and a little chat with one of their sales assistants, we were to learn that Urban Village is much more than your average ‘vintage shop’, but a way of life that, like so many other stores in the area runs like a current through the bloodlines of the Custard Factory, bringing it to life. One of their shop assistants, who looked dazzlingly glam in a Peter Pan collar floral smock, pin curls and classic red lips remarked, ‘it’s so nice to work around like-minded people at the Custard Factory, you have to have a passion for all things vintage to work here, and they certainly do.’
embraces garments from all decades. Described in three words as ‘quirky, original and alternative’, this sartorial coalescence is what makes Urban Village so unique. Despite its fervent 60s vibes stemming from its collection of bell-bottom jeans, batik fabric and paisley print, it is the general expression of admiration for historical fashion which draws you in. Trust me, after leaving a store where even the staff seem to have been transported there from the past, the streets of 2013 feel excessively futuristic. My sister and I spent a long while getting lost in this vintage haven. In short, it was a flurry of deliciously loud floral print shirts, fur stoles, retro Nike sneakers and so much more. I was mesmerised with a strong feeling of nostalgia for an era I have never even experienced. Even the men’s section appealed to us, with its range of bright dickie bows, bomber jackets and baggy sweatshirts. If you ever need a flash of fashion inspiration to revamp your look, this is certainly the place for you.
Urban Village are purveyors of high quality vintage Urban Village prides itself on being partisans and clothing and accessories for men and women. The majority evangelists of ‘mod-culture’, which according to them is of their clothing comes from the 50s and 60s yet the store alive and kicking in the streets of Birmingham not only 8
amongst youngsters, fascinated by this long-lost sense of style but also older people, who feels that it is chance to reconnect with their past.
Village ringing the klaxon for a reinvention of mod culture once more, it looks as if it’s here to stay.
If you’re ever in Birmingham I highly recommend taking a So what exactly is mod culture? According to the Urban detour on your way to the city centre. Urban Village and Village website, it is a subculture, which originated in the entirety of outlets within the Custard Factory for that London in the late 50s, encompassing not only fashion, but matter are a must-see for quirky fashionistas, looking to also music and even transport. So called ‘mods’, influenced connect with an iconic era in British fashion and look by the neat, clean styles of French and Italian fashion lived downright fabulous in the process. for style. They would plan outfits days in advance and then revel in groups at jazz bars, alternative coffee shops and Twitter @vintageuv clubs such as the Flamingo and the Marquee. The mod life Website http://www.urban-village.co.uk/ clearly didn’t end there though; 90s bands such as Oasis, Ebay http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Urban-Village Blur and Ocean Colour Scene have breathed life into it once more. And now in 2013, with stores such as Urban
Milk, One Sugar By Laurie Bolger
London Bridge is ice tonight, it’s not raining out it’s just bloody well cold, and I’m on my way to meet you and I’m early.
some nights, I look across the bed at you, as you lend the days thoughts to the mattress below in hushed heavy breaths -
It’s ok though I like being on my own down here, watching the night-walkers point at the boats on Father Thames,
and the othernight when I couldn’t sleep, when you were snoring so loud that you were sucking the paint off the walls, I went into the kitchen I took the milk carton from the fridge and made a silent salute to him, as if to say “I am still thinking of you mate, here’s to you then?”
star-dippers, submarines and pirate ships,
And out of the kitchen window I proposed a toast, to the dim lit bus depot the one where he used to make the tea once upon a time.
Look at that view, look at all those grey bricks, box rooms balanced on box rooms, and that weird modern bit by the Southbank, all lit up neon, like some sort of cultural Ikea.
I still think that it’s so so strange that when me and you moved to this tourist town
I think of when we brought that flat pack home to our bare bedroom, when it was all in bits, and we built it -
and the other night when I couldn’t sleep, of all those spare rooms, fox-holes and gumtrees we viewed, 10
getting on bus after tube in the clammy city heat,
all the time in the world.
we eventually picked that one, with my Grandad’s bus garage out the back.
I wanted to ask him a hundred thousand questions before he was gone for good, just so I could say that I did, just so I could say that I knew everything.
It’s funy isn’t it? It’s been 5 years now, but when I’m in that empty kitchen, nursing the milk carton at 3 in the morning, I can still picture him Sat opposite me on a plastic garden chair reading the paper, PG monkey slurping at a cuppa, milk one sugar the same way I have always had my tea
“Can I get a table for two please, thanks?” I clip clop across the restaurant box, following the waitress to a dim lit table by the wall. I remember how I would always run ahead, pretending I was Mary Lennox from the Secret Garden I’d kick the heads off dandelions and dance around his legs
has scuffed black shoes, that tap of them on the lino along to the radio, the only shoes I think I ever saw him in. I remember us walking.
While he’d be telling me that same of story of he walked to the school house all those years ago, him and his brothers, barefoot not one pair between the lot of them -
It’s freezing out tonight, look at the city lot thick with coats, darting down side streets as speeding cars lights are like gold red beads on a necklace -
we’d shuffle along, he’d be pup-pupping that worn out old pipe, and when he wasn’t looking,, I’d take off my shoes just to see what it was like.
and I’m not wearing socks, my toes are burning cold, but I’m nearly there, nearly there now, I can see the restaurant box.
The restaurants full of couples sat chatting away, across wobbly tables,
I wonder how many of them have boarded a tube train today with a brave face “it’s ok I’m waiting for someone—”
I haven’t heard from you yet “I’ll get us a nice table, see you in there.x” send.
The waitress foes to greet you, I slip off my shoes under the table and watch you, scanning the restaurant box trying to find me and secretly I like it.
I puff hot air from my mouth in tiny clouds as I pass the dusty underground, think of the old man again, ragged walking stick in hand he’d shuffle along like he had
I put down my menu, and wiggle my toes in the warm. 11
Marlene Utuk We talk to the textile artist & designer about life after University, and what it takes to create a new collection.
You studied textiles for fashion and interior at UCA Farnham, did you always know that the textile industry was something you wanted to be a part of?
Yes, I've always wanted to do something creative like textiles, Iâ€™ve had a natural passion for fashion and art, ever since I was a little girl. Designing fabrics for fashion purposes is fun and to me never gets old or boring.
What parts of your study did you most enjoy, and how have these shaped you as a designer?
I enjoyed learning new techniques and processes and I always looked forward to ending one project and then starting a new one, I loved the independence we were given on the course yet the tutors were on hand, if we felt like we were struggling which
is a good thing indeed. It's shaped me as a designer in the way that I'm more confident in my abilities and I can go away and continue to express myself through design.
What is the best part of textile design? Best part is the design process and also getting recognised and having people take interest in the work you've put a lot of effort into creating. It makes me feel very proud!
â€Śand the worst?
Material, studio equipment expenses... And trying to find a job, now I've graduated most textile studios want experienced textile designers. I'm actually interested in going freelance, will see how that goes.
You recently exhibited at New 13
Designers 2013, how was that?
It was a wonderful experience, I'm so glad I was a part of it. It gave me an insight into everything from personal style to presentation and marketing by just looking at fellow exhibitors work, it gave me ideas that I could apply to my practice in the near future and gave me confidence talking to people about my work, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of doing it next year.
How do you go about designing a new collection? Talk us through the processâ€Ś
Well I'd usually have a theme to start with, or something that will relate every bit of research I do together. I'd usually have a sketchbook or folder or box where I'd collect bits and pieces that will come in handy for the project. Once I have enough research I
start to select imagery that could work on a silk screen, I usually pick out the colours and fabrics I want to use beforehand and play with composition. I'm more of an experimental textile designer, I don't really have a set style, you can have fun doing loads of different thingsâ€Ś
Ever encountered any disastrous moments?
Yes, during my final major project I was running out of time creating a printed 3metre length of fabric and just as my work was coming out the steamer, it was time to close the studio so I had to take my fabric home to wash the chemicals off. Which when I did so, everything bled from the dye to the discharge print paste I had printed with. It was an absolute nightmare.
Do you ever wish you had chosen a different path? If so, what would you have done? Sometimes. I wonder whether textiles/fashion should of remained a hobby, but I only think like that, when I'm stressing over finding a textile job, but no, I want to be in a job that I love doing, so no matter if it gets rough, I just have to stick it out cause it'll be worth it in the end.
What are your future plans?
To get in a studio and start printing again, maybe find a way to sell work and get freelance jobs. Or find a generic job and just continue to build my portfolio until something comes my way either way, watch this space!
FAVOURITES: SONG: northern lights by Kate Boy BOOK: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
FILM: Bridesmaids WORD: DĂŠja vu PLACE: Italy ITEM OF CLOTHING: my black leggings
Give a hand for … HANDS Courtland Thomas interviews up and coming, LA based Indie band, HANDS and finds out what it’s like hearing their music on tv, bring compare to Passion Pit and what they like to do in their down time.
Hands, a burgeoning band out of East Los Angeles, have become one of the hottest musicians to keep our eyes on this past summer. In July, the band’s song was featured on the ABC Family hit, ‘Pretty Little Liars’.
just tell our booking agent.”).
Seeker: You were recently featured on the ABC Family show, Pretty Little Liars. 2AM Club [also from Southern California] were featured back in Season 1. For you guys, what was it like being on such popular show?
Leading up to the sync on the “girly show” as the band describes, they completed tours in both the U.K and U.S, and are set to disembark again early this Fall with the similarly-rising band ON AN ON.
Geoffrey Halliday of HANDS: It was weird. We were excited to get syncs because it’s good exposure for the band. That was one that totally came out of left field. I had seen the billboards and that looked like some really girl [show]. It looked like a tween show. But, we watched the episode we had a song in...it’s a show...haha.
Geoffrey Halliday from this Passion Pit-esque foursome sat down with Seeker contributor and 292 Magazine editor -in-chief, Courtland Thomas, to pinpoint their favourite venue, the weirdest thing a fan has ever done, and tips on getting the band to play near you (spoiler: “Reach out and say, ‘Hey, I got to X College, come play here!’ and we can
Seeker: What was it like hearing the song [on the 16
Music come from?
HANDS: We all listen to a lot of music, and look at art in
HANDS: It was cool! I hope that people like[d] hearing it. It was really fun, and that was definitely [the] part that I enjoyed. We’re excited to get syncs. It’s almost funny that it was that [television show] than anything else, because we were like, ‘what is this show?’ But also it’s kind of cool. [The show's] fan base is a lot younger than maybe we normally get exposed to, but that’s a good thing. Plus, people seem to be kind of crazy about that show, so we were excited about it for that reason.
general. I know the guys are often at galleries. I think consumption of art is something we’re pretty steadfast on. Like, making sure we’re continuing to check stuff out. Not even necessarily new stuff, because there’s always old art and old music you can find out about.
Seeker: How do you feel about being compared to Passion Pit so much? HANDS: Uh, it’s really weird. Actually, a close friend
Seeker: I have a couple of friends who actually— it’s kind of embarrassing—they’re my age and they still love the show.
plays in the band. But it’s wonderful, quite honestly. That’s a band that...if you can get even half as successful and meaningful to people you’ve done a really good job. It’s really great pop music; they work really hard doing it.
HANDS: That’s what I found out from some of my
friends, and their girlfriends, and such, it’s like … really guys? I mean.. It’s great, I still watch X-Files from the ‘90s.
Seeker: What do the guys like doing when they’re not playing?
HANDS: We all do different things as music develops.
Seeker: You guys will be touring with ON AN ON in the fall. What are you most excited about?
We’re still continuing to have little things here and there. Our bassist is a photographer and quite an excellent one, I might add. He does all sorts of different stuff. He’s on gigs all day today. Our drummer is a software and audio engineer. He works for a big company doing software design and all sorts of music applications. And our guitarist is a web designer/graphic artist. I work in commercial and film composition, I guess you could say. I actually just had my first classic piece of piano music placed, that’s TOTALLY separate from the band. It’s for a movie coming out today [the day of the interview]; it’s called In A World.
HANDS: Man, I’m excited about a lot of stuff. We just
found out about a few really amazing things for tour that we’re not really allowed to announce yet, which is unfortunate. But [the] tour’s going to be amazing. I’m really excited to play with ON AN ON: we haven’t yet. Actually we haven't seen them live yet. But they’re a really cool band, it’s going to be really nice to get on the road again. After we got back from [touring] the U.K, we [toured] the U.S for about five weeks. And now we’re home, and it kinda feels like ‘Alright, let’s get back on tour again.’.
Seeker: What’s been your favourite part of the whole process in starting the band?
Seeker: Really? That quick?
HANDS: Yeah, we want to! We’re a young band and you
HANDS: Honestly, it’s just been like finding a sound.
could probably find a lot of people who don’t know who we are yet and I think a band in that position… Our mission is to tour and try and expose people to the music, and try and make our lives fun while we have the opportunity to play music every night.
You start a band and you have these preset notions of what being a band is: all the cool, fun things you get to do: shows, writing music, and just all the obvious stuff. But what happens when you get into a band you really like — at least for me — is [realising you’re] finding something in ourselves. Actually trying to develop a unique style, instead of being a cover band.
Seeker: Can you give us a little teaser to what’s going to happen on the tour?
HANDS: Yeah, we work with Redbull on this program
Those few little moments where it kind of crystallizes and you can realise, “wow, this is actually different.” I don’t even know if ‘good’ is the word … it just feels like you’re moving forward. ‘Developing’ is a good word. I see a band as a Polaroid picture that never stops developing: we’ll see what it looks like.
called Sound Select. It’s their little selection of bands, so they have stuff — there’s a Redbull surprise.
Seeker: What’s the weirdest thing a fan has asked you guys to do, or done for you guys? HANDS: That’s tough … We had some kids at our show
in Houston who got there really early and perched in front and camped out. At the beginning of the show, a kid asked if I could trade shirts with him. I didn’t trade shirts, ‘cause I don’t really want to trade my shirt with you. I like this shirt a lot, and full disclosure: I was wearing my favourite shirt...if it was any other t-shirt I would have been like, “whatever, kid” but this was like giving away years of work on breaking in a good t-shirt.
HANDS can be hear on their Soundcloud, seen at their shows with ON AN ON this fall, and spoken to via Twitter and Facebook.
Seeker: Where does your inspiration for music 17
Lisa McConniffe Manchester School of Art graduate, Lisa McConniffe shows off her vibrant graduate collection, which has been featured on the graduate fashion week catwalk. One thingâ€™s for sure, we love this colourful collection.
Emit Hannah Dudley talks to Seeker about her microscopic influences behind her graduate project. Photography: Ryan Garwood
down the catwalk. Some designs resembled fish gills whilst others were adorned with seaweed inspired ruffles. Laser cutting was a big part of Alexander McQueenâ€™s SS12 collection with Sarah Burton dressing models as breath taking sirens. Laser cut leather was paired with layers of tulle mimicking the shape and movement of the coral reef.
The ocean takes up a vast proportion of our planet with only an estimated 5% of it having been explored. The creatures and marine life that inhabit these saline waters are a constant source of enchantment and mysticism, and influences of this can often be seen in many works of art. Whether it be the colours, the movements or the architecture, the seas and their inhabitants have inspired range of collections from top fashion houses. Chanel took their sea life inspiration and sent shimmering models with shell shaped clutches
Hannah Dudley, a recent fashion graduate from Nottingham Trent University, also took her inspiration from marine life but on a vastly smaller scale. Taking inspiration from microscopic 25
organisms and their structural forms led Hannah to create a collection influenced not only by their aesthetic beauty but by their movements and silhouettes. ‘Emit’ is a conceptual collection that came about from observing the process of ‘Bioluminescence’, the term given to light emitted by living things through a series of internal chemical reactions. Exploring the microscopic cell structures within bioluminescent plankton which produce the glow inspired Hannah to recreate these intricate details using a range of laser cutting techniques. Each garment is inspired by a different cell structure and the movement and behaviour of the living organisms has been incorporated into the designs. There are four main areas
that form the basis of the collection, The Ctenella, The Coccolith, The Coccosphere and The Ceratium. By using different techniques of laser cutting Hannah Dudley has managed to recreate the visual and textural qualities of the cells themselves.
The Ctenella (above) ‘Colonies of Ctenella chagius are composed of numerous small polyps, which are soft-bodied animals, related to anemones.��� The laser cutting in this piece has been cut through the middle panels of the dress so it is part cut out but still holding on to the neoprene to mimic the behaviour of the coral.
Fashion The Coccolith (below left) ‘A coccolith is a single disc-like plate which is secreted by the algal organism and held in combination with several other, sometimes varying shaped plates by an organic coating to form the coccosphere.’ The felted wool laser cut discs have been sewn into the seams of the wool cape mimicking the clustered growth of the coccolith structures.
The Coccosphere (left) ‘The coccoliths are either dispersed following death and breakup of the coccosphere, or are shed continually by some species.’ The coccosphere is an extensive of the coccolith, the laser cut discs are integrated into the curved side panels of the dress creating structure through clusters.
The Ceratium (right) ‘Ceratium are covered by an armour-like cell wall or theca, composed of many textured plates.’ The design has been engraved into the bonded satin by a laser cutter which has melted the material to give it a shiny, textured finish.
Although the ocean has provided many a designer with enough inspiration to fill at least one catwalk, Hannah’s collection takes a closer and more intimate look at the aquatic life itself. Focusing on cell shapes and movement she has created an amazing collection full of skill, technique and imagination, ‘Emit’ certainly deserves high praise. 27
The Tarted-Up Boozer In Shoreditch Words: Laurie Bolger
We ditched our grubby little local for a tarted-up boozer in Shoreditch. A bar, a bozaaar, a ponsey place with Moroccan cushions and leather bar stalls that swivel.
so you can barely tell your pint from sandalwood-
We ditched the familiar smell of stale beer and sodden bar towels, for a molten-orange glowing counter top with BAR written in neon lights on top of a fish-tank (home to five of the most miserable marine creatures I had perhaps ever seen) poor boozy bar fish, taking it all in.
So we ditched our plump busty landlady who sweats under bright lights and breathes heavy as she pulls me a pint, we ditched her for an indie-sindie barman dressed in Grandad style knitwear, a dicky-bow tie and Topshops finest pair of thick black glasses (too big for his face)
and the girls look like boys and the boys wear girls jeans and its all very "scene".
So we ditched the rabble and the riot of our West-end local for a bunch of moody indie kids (with shit haircuts) rolling cigarettes and posing, as the singer/actor/part-time model -
“you look a bit like Jarvis Cocker mate, and those are not prescription lenses in those frames, no no” He's mechanic and un-charming, looks alarmed when I ask him: "so what’s your cheapest pint mate?"
girls in green-barber coats with bird-nest hair, sipping brown ale, when really they'd like a Bacardi Breezer secretly (and I know this)
he goes; "no, like, actually like we only do like bottles of beer and they're all like four pounds..."
And everyone’s so worldly and fucked-up and cool, and they love it here because its retro, because its old-school.
So its all very dark and we take in the candle-lit ambience, with random objects, like a mannequin, and a moose-head wearing a top-hat and lampshades like my Nan had.
And they burn incense sticks 28
and look really posh. Drinking beer in a bar with no atmosphere. And that’s when we do some shots, with Indie boy Jarvis who's still, "like 100% deadpan"
I look over at the DJ and he's dropping beats behind the smallest DJ booth I have ever seen.
but he doesn't tell us his life story like our old bloke in our local,
Next to the gents he's working the decks, as though he was working the crowd at Creamfields, and he’s going "ABSOLUTELY MENTAL" to a load of people sat down.
and I could spend a year here trying to meet an old friend, or something humble, but we leave cause its shit.
So I begin to miss the local pubs jukebox mix of punk, funk, folk, the occasional Irish, the locals sing-song, soft soles beating the battered carpet. and I ditched it…for Shoreditch!
We ramble home through city drizzle, street lights make puddles jaundice yellow and I can breath again. Paraffin blue lights, cut through dark and make me jump,
Drinking in a place, with no warmth, no excitement and distorted drum and base.
so I climb onto the night bus, I take my shoes off, and we travel across this tourist town,
Not to mention the slipperiest floor that I have ever walked across and I’m wearing high shoes cause its a little bit posh here,
to our grubby little local, just around the corner, where we know,
so I kind of slide into the loos where girls stare pretentious stares and flick their hair
we are guaranteed to get a lock-in. 29
Alternative Road Trip Pursuing ordinary Americans and unusual destinations Words: Craig Willis
I'm sat at the side of a road in the outskirts of Erie, Pennsylvania using the free Wi-Fi supplied for a nearby hospital, attempting to get in contact with my good friend Matt who only gave me a rough estimate of when he was to pick me up. That is where this unconventional adventure across the states begins (it ends with me assisting an Italian chef in making dinner for a hostel in San Francisco but there's a lot more exciting happenings in between!). This first part of my adventure takes me through central states into Missouri and Kansas. The conclusion to my journey in the following issue of Seeker sees me complete the expedition to the Pacific Coast through Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona before reaching California. I met Matt at dive bar in East Nashville in 2011, he was a musician on tour for the summer, we kept in touch and fast forwarding to July 2013 he and I were heading out across the states with him playing shows along the way; sounds rather conventional so far, until that is Matt revealed he was tired of the standard bar and venue circuit in the states. As an unknown musician he found himself 30
wowing audiences of up to 4 people in bars across the states, making $20 in tips to attempt to get to the next city, attempting to sell his self-released album to drunken fools who didn't know where they were let alone who Matt was. Now Matt had decided to smash the system, upset the apple cart, or simply put: play different places than bars. So the first place we were off to was a 50 year old woman's birthday party on a Sunday afternoon in Erie, PA. I shall introduce at this point Sean the keyboard player who was joining us for some of the way. The three of us were shown around the house by an overweight middle class American who had taken a shine to Matt's music a while back. The party was to put it politely not a party, more an afternoon dinner. Even so we sold a couple of CDs, got paid $200 and were on our way by 3pm! Off to, well at this point it was revealed that no one had planned anywhere to stay tonight; cue Matt starting to make his way through his phonebook to find a guy simply called Dan from Kent, Ohio who he had met a show a few years ago; tenuous to say the least. Fortunately my pessimism was found out and soon enough we were our way to
He once saw his cat levitate from his garden up to his window…
Dan's 'house' and I use quotation marks for house because that's how it was described but the reality did not meet the description. Dan lived in what an estate agent might coin a 'cozy apartment' but what every day folk would refer to as cramped. The place was littered with empty alcohol bottles, an array of musical instruments, and a dirty carpet for us to sleep on. Yet this is what I was here for; conventional Americans in their everyday habitat, much more fascinating than Disneyland or the Empire State Building. Dan’s place was also nothing compared to what greeted us in Emporia Kansas later in the trip...
Springfield it turns out is a rather bizarre city, after chatting to a young flirtatious server (she dug the accent), in an Applebee's restaurant, we were armed with a list of places to explore; not the average tourist trail either! Top of the list was the so-called Albino Farm - legend has it that it was occupied by Albino children from across the area and is consequently haunted whilst the ruins are now occupied by delinquent bums. It was not something that interested me but it was sure more exciting than the 'acid tunnel' bearing the comforting greeting of 'welcome to hell', ironic in a city that is centrally positioned on the socalled Bible Belt of the USA. Springfield, MO was a strange experience to put it lightly.
Following a late start the next day, we found ourselves battling against the clock to make it to the next very important show; an old people's home in Springfield Missouri! On arrival the staff had set out a whole room with an audience of American pensioners to hear Matt and Sean play, the average age had to be well over 75, but these are the perfect audience; they have money to burn! After a strict hours performance (it couldn't overrun or the residents would miss the daily bingo) we sold a bunch of CDs to the grateful crowd and busted out of there to
It was Wednesday morning and our next destination was Kansas, a place I knew very little about bar the Wizard of Oz and the Westboro Baptist Church. Given it wasn't possible to visit Dorothy; we concluded heading to Topeka to visit Pastor Phelps and his disciples would be the wiser option. Just a short 5 hour drive today up through 31
Travel the dry heat of Missouri and into Eastern Kansas, leaving ample time for a burger and fries in a typical dimly lit diner at the side of Interstate 49.
self with a somewhat camp mannerism as Jay. Friendly, if slightly creepy, Jay invited us into his house and we cautiously sat on a couple of beaten up old sofas whilst Jay talked at us. Upon first impressions I could tell Sean was anxious to say the least, whilst Jay proceeded to inform us he no longer took drugs, unless they were natural, his defence being mushrooms are better for the soul than LSD, we simultaneously nodded in agreement; Jay did not seem the most stable character thus we wanted to keep him on side. Half an hour passed in which we were given a tour of his house including the room which he had blackened the windows out so to grow ‘potatoes’ and the mangled piano which Jay almost managed to trap one of his cats’ head in whilst clumsily closing the lid, he shook it off with an awkward laugh. At this point I was deliberating when and if George would arrive with the array of friends he promised to watch a house show, wondering why we had been left alone with this Jay character whose conversation topics ranged from conspiracy through natural highs, paranormal talents (Jay informed us he could mind-read, but only certain ‘souls’), and back around to conspiracy theories again. Sean was quite clearly agitated and nervous of Jay’s presence, Matt and I found him fascinating. Things turned slightly odd when Jay invited us up to his bedroom claiming it was ‘cooler’, we were not sure in which term he meant this, but we felt it was time to move back outside, where we could see the cars; our escape route. Thankfully this coincided with George’s eventual arrival accompanied by a selection of friends, including a girl whose son we found out Jay had been ‘babysitting’ the whole time we were there! After this point the situation began to ease into somewhat normality but our minds were set, we could not stay at Jay’s house overnight, this was one adventure too far; we may not wake up alive. Even so Matt and Sean decided to play a few songs on the front porch with George, Jay and half a dozen friends watching, even a few neighbours and passers-by stopped to watch, it was certainly another unique gig, Jay even had time to slip in another revelation; he once saw his cat levitate from his garden up into a window, and asked Matt if his cat could do the same. All I will say is if you find yourself in Kansas pay Jay a visit.
The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), for those who don't know it by name, is the radical Christian organisation who take to picketing soldiers funerals across the states whilst exclaiming their hatred and damnation of the gay and lesbian communities, as they put it 'god hates fags'. They were introduced to my radar by Louis Theroux's BBC documentary in 2007 and have intrigued me ever since that their public spiel of hate is allowed to continue in the US. On arrival to the neighbourhood the church occupies, the first thing you notice is a rainbow coloured house across the street from the WBC complex. This drew our attention and upon taking a closer look we were invited in by a young couple who explained why they were there. Interestingly the house known as the ‘Equality House’ is the headquarters of non-for-profit organisation ‘Planting Peace’ who used this as a PR stunt to gain media attention for their work overseas, which includes work with LGBT groups in Uganda. A certainly unexpected an insightful chat, it drew our attention away from the negativity and hate from across the street. After a couple of laps of the WBC complex, taking in the upside-down US flag, several of the motifs of hate, and a great deal of real estate (there is still good money in the bible even if most of the world hates you), we decided to get back on the road. Our next stop in Kansas was to play a house show with a guy in Emporia whom Matt had befriended through Couchsurfing. We pulled up outside a dishevelled, overgrowing but otherwise typical suburban US house, contrasted for its neglected and almost abandoned demeanor, we simply sat in our car pondering the next option. We had a few ideas up our sleeve; George was the guy we knew through Couchsurfing however in order to organise a house show he had us staying with his buddy, Jay (whose house we had just pulled up at); Matt had also a back-up Couchsurfing connection in a city an hour down along the road in central Kansas, this was certainly on our minds as we looked at the scruffy sleeping bag sprawled across the front porch and the overgrown weeds attempting to recapture the frame of the house and pull it back into nature’s arms. After a good ten minutes brooding, a lap around the block and a phone conversation with Sean, who was in a separate car, we decided to brave it and shuffle towards the front porch. Immediately as we took one stride onto the front path, a gangling figure sprung from the house and whilst tucking his whiskery hair behind his ear, strolled in our direction and introduced him-
Join me in the next issue of Seeker for the second half of my trip, concluding in San Francisco. Expect tequilafuelled partying in the Rocky Mountains, our car overheating in Death Valley, and stumbling across a 12 piece Romanian brass band in Santa Cruz.
CITY OF DREAMS Photography: Sophie Mayanne, MUA: Nina Robinson, Stylist: Rokas Kam, Models: Philippa Bywater and Johnny Spencer
Philippa wears Shirt by Calvin Klein Jeans, Skirt and Vail by Ciara IP, Beanie by Topshop, Accessories Stylist’s Own Johnny wears Suit by Ross Williams, Tanktop
Philippa wear Shirt by Toast, Cap by Topshop, Accessories—Stylist’s own
Johnny wears Shirt by Marios Alexandrou, Beannie by Topman, Accessories Stylistâ€™s own
Photography Philippa and Johnny wear same as before, Shoes Modelâ€™s own.
Photography Johny wears Coat by Ross Williams, Trousers by Marios Alexandrou, Knitwear Stylistâ€™s own.
Phillipa wears Jumper and Dress by Mehle, Accessories Modelâ€™s Own.
Philippa wears Shirt by Calvin Klein Jeans, Skirt by Charlotte Booty, Shoes as before.
Philippa wears Jacket and Trousers by Julie Eilenberg. Johnny wears Trousers Stylistâ€™s Own.
Johny wears Blazer and Shirt by Marios Alexandrou Trousers same as before.
Philippa wears Dress and Knitwear by Julie Eilenberg, Hat by Topshop.
Beer Batter, Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Not youâ€™re average cupcake Mouth watering delights by Fran Holt
If youâ€™re bored of the humble brownie, over baking bog standard cupcakes and as keen as I am to incorporate as much bacon as possible into your daily diet then these have got to be your next baking endeavour. Hands up, the inspiration for these cupcakes is completely stolen from my favourite spatula wielding duo Max & Caroline (2 Broke Girls) This recipe will make approximately 24 medium sized cupcakes Prep and baking will take 30-40 minutes
For the cupcakes you’ll need…
For the maple bacon you’ll need…
240ml Guinness 110g Butter 120g Cocoa Powder 240g Chocolate Chips 480g Flour 320g Sugar 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder 1 tsp Salt 2 Eggs 545g Greek Yoghurt 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 strips of Streaky Bacon 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
For the frosting you’ll need... 230g Cream Cheese 110g Butter 240g Icing Sugar 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
To make the cupcakes… 1 - Preheat the oven to 175 (If you have a particularly toasty oven I’d suggest not preheating too early else you’ll find yourself with pointy, peaked cupcakes and no-one wants that. Line 2 cupcake trays with medium sized cupcake cases. 2 - In a pan slowly heat the Guinness, butter and chocolate chips until melted and do your best not to dunk your face directly into the pan, partly because you’ll burn your chops and partly because you’re going to need it later. Set the mixture aside to cool and drink the rest of the Guinness while you crack on with the rest. 3- In a separate bowl beat the eggs, yoghurt, sugar and vanilla extract and add the cooled melted chocolate mixture. (It shouldn’t curdle the eggs but If you find yourself in a slightly lumpy situation just keep whisking until smooth.) 4- In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (sifting & folding should keep the cakes fluffy so don’t over mix here.) When combined, spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases and place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. You might want to check them a minute or so before with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cakes are baked and you can remove them from the oven to cool. 5 - While they’re baking/cooling you can make prepare the cream cheese frosting and maple bacon topping.
To make the frosting…
To make the maple bacon…
Loosen the cream cheese in a bowl by mixing with a wooden spoon. Add the softened butter, sifted icing sugar and maple syrup and mix until combined and smooth. Place the mixture in the fridge to firm up a little (this will make it easier to pipe onto your cupcakes.)
Place your bacon slices in a frying pan and begin to fry on one side. When you flip them over spread over some maple syrup so that the bacon continues to fry and begins to caramelise the syrup. Flip a few times until the bacon is crispy and the syrup is darker. I speak from experience when I tell you that It will burn in seconds so keep your eye on it. Let the strips cool and harden until you can break them into pieces to top your cupcakes.
When the cupcakes are completely cool you can spread or pipe on your frosting and top with the candied bacon bits. Then I’d suggest you eat as many as you can stomach before they’re devoured by curious onlookers.
Igniting The Man On Fire Scott Grierson talks us through the inspiring life of Tony Scott
No one person, project, scenario or character can be attributed to first inspiring me to take an interest in film, but there are perhaps a handful of influential individuals who can be noted as constant sources of inspiration on a daily basis; and one of them would certainly be Tony Scott. Born in 1944, Tony Scott didn’t find a big opportunity until he was 42 years old. He had found a living making television commercials in England, and had attempted to direct one feature film, a vampire picture called THE HUNGER (1983), which starred David Bowie -- and bombed, swiftly being swept under the carpet. For years there was just no room for Scott to progress. Hollywood was a closed clique. In the 1980s it was dominated by studio pictures, shot on classic backlots like E.T., INDIANA JONES, GHOSTBUSTERS and BACK TO THE FUTURE -- and the action star had all the power; Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis, or Van Damme.
It was tough to do things differently in this environment, but there were two maverick producers based in a small office at Paramount named Jerry and Don. They had FLASHDANCE (1983) under their belt, and were looking for their next move. Jerry and Don didn’t have the money to hire the big stars or established directors, but knew that with the MTV generation setting in, an energetic, commercial sensibility could prove king. Jerry and Don met Tony and gave him a brief; they wanted him to turn in a movie about fighter jets. Paramount insisted that nothing over $15m was to be spent, and a jobbing actor named Tom Cruise was asked to fill the lead role. Paramount couldn’t believe their luck when they saw the final cut of TOP GUN (1986). They released it in competition with Warner Bros.’ COBRA starring Sylvester Stallone. Top Gun won the battle, and $15m soon returned $350m. The suits were happy. The audiences were happy. But critics hated Scott. Leading film critic Roger Ebert said 50
Film of Top Gun, “movies like Top Gun are hard to review... the bad parts are so relentless”.
Scott was a hard worker and habitually began at 4am every day, releasing an average of one picture every two years. His personal life was just as vigorous as his professional one; a significant portion of production budgets were rumoured to be spent on lavish Alist parties, he stole Sylvester Stallone’s wife, and was in the constant shadow of his older, more critically acclaimed brother, Ridley. He consistently delivered good product and people trusted him. His personal salary commanded between $8m-$10m per picture, and he finally found himself in a place to tackle a long gestating passion project, MAN OF FIRE (2004).
Despite that, for the next ten years Scott was a hot commodity, still delivering fast and action packed movies for the mass market. There was often a hit single written for the soundtrack, always a big star on the poster, and traditionally a sunny, warm location. Audiences were essentially watching vacation destinations filled with glamorous people. Scott made it an easy watching experience in BEVERLY HILLS COP II (1987), DAYS OF THUNDER (1990), and THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991). The British Film Institute called this technique ‘drugs for the eye’.
He had tried unsuccessfully to make the film in 1983, and it took twenty years to get the trust and ability to pull it off. Teaming up again with Denzel Washington, a US marine is hired as a bodyguard to an American family in Mexico. Washington’s character is alcoholic, suicidal and depressed. When the family’s young daughter is kidnapped, Washington finds a purpose in himself to retrieve her, ruffling feathers of the Mexican underworld in the process.
But in 1993 the ethos began to change. TRUE ROMANCE saw a turn in Scott’s directing and more influential pictures began emerging; ones which gave the audience the fun ride, but also gave the critics the emotional maturity and artistic craftsmanship they desired. The hook of CRIMSON TIDE (1995) was not a rock ‘n roll soundtrack, or beautiful talent, it was the story. Denzel Washington is a new recruit onboard a submarine. Sensing that his senior, Gene Hackman, is about to make a bad call resulting in war, Washington holds a mutiny. On the claustrophobic vessel, the film hangs on the conflict between the two men -- neither a good or bad guy, both standing their ground with good reason. This time Roger Ebert said: “This is the rare kind of war movie that not only thrills people while they're watching it, but invites them to leave the theater actually discussing the issues”.
What resonates with Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State and Man On Fire, is the character’s desire to never give up and fight against the current. Sure enough they are enjoyable to watch, but also provide the viewer with a sense of integrity, and that doing what you believe, is admirable. Having guts was a persistent theme in his work, and he continued making such high profile pictures for the next nine years. In 2009 I had been writing screenplays with my partner for just one year. The telephone rang one night, and the number began with (310). California. It was Tony Scott’s office in Los Angeles. They had read a screenplay which we had written, and after a few practical conversations about the project, wanted us to know that they enjoyed it.
Fresh off of MEN IN BLACK (1997), Will Smith was the biggest star on the scene. While he was considered a gamble, he replaced Tom Cruise in the lead for Scott’s ENEMY OF THE STATE (1998). Smith stars as an innocent lawyer who obtains a videotape showing the murder of a high powered senator. The government will go to all lengths necessary to hack into his life and get the tape back, and Smith must act fast to unravel the murder and protect his family.
Some of Tony Scott’s work had shaped our impulse to work in film, and he was a constant source of influence when working. To think that our names, our screenplay, had been on his radar -- even if for ten minutes -- was a thrill. For his team to encourage us like this was a small gesture, but certainly an impactful and meaningful one.
One of the strongest, most primal aspects of the film is Scott’s ability to convey a real sense of desperation. The action isn’t glorious or fun -- it’s scary, and the feeling of traveling with Smith’s character through the journey is presented well. While 1998 had GODZILLA or ARMAGEDDON destroying Earth, Enemy Of The State had Smith trying to clear his name -- a much smaller and personal objective which is easy for an audience to grasp in a real and visceral way.
He serves now only as a posthumous mentor figure. On August 19th 2012, Scott committed suicide, jumping 185ft from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in California. He spent his final days with Tom Cruise, looking at potential avenues for a Top Gun sequel.
Dubai Photography by Rachel Forester-Bennett
playlist 1. 2.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 3. 4. 5.
What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong 7. 8.
Imagine - John Lennon
If The Brakemen Turns My Way - Bright Eyes
Pompeii - Bastille
Orange Sky - Alexi Murdoch
Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford & Sons Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
â€œHow wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.â€? Anne Frank