ISSUE 1 - 2009
FASHION BLOGGER ISSUE EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF Wafa Alobaidat FEATURES EDITOR Luma Bashmi FASHION EDITOR Kristin Knox
ILLUSTRATION EDITOR Jade Cummings
DESIGN ART DIRECTORS Tina Fung, Tania Chong, Christie Li CREATIVE CONSULTANT Richard Wilding COVER DESIGN John Paul Thurlow SKETCHBOOK LOGO DESIGN Charlotte Nicod WEBSITE DESIGN Tim Holmes, Jade Cummings BLOG DESIGN Tim Holmes PPESS & MEDIA KIT DESIGN Jade Cooper-Collins
PRODUCED BY Agency Obaidat London
SKETCHBOOK JOURNALISTS Mariam El-Banna, Marissa Baxter, Sophie Eggleton, Elham Fakhro, Grashina Gabelmann, Julia Morgan, Amy Nightingale, Ruth Reyes, Jordan Shiel, Victoria Tan, Duygu Tavan, Lucy Toms, Susan Walsh, Rebecca Mei Ying Yap
SKETCHBOOK PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Alberto Newton Gina Amama, Hossein Fatemi, Katrina More-Molyneux, Hugh Oâ€™Malley, Nathan Pask, Reka Reisinger, Helena Tepli
SKETCHBOOK STYLIST Stephen McGowan
SKETCHBOOK ILLUSTRATORS June Chanpoomidole, Annie Driscoll, Chloe Ehninger, Matilda Huang, Susan Keys, Bryony Lloyd, Clare Owen, Flora Rogers, Svetlana Sobcenko, Jack Teagle, Donya Todd, Kajal Verma, Anna Zejmo
SKETCHBOOK GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Alina Antemir, Seb Brookhouse, Stephanie Durrant, Luke French, Eleanor Goodwin, Jonathan Grey-Wilson, Justine Middleton, Linda Nguyen, Reema Patel, Kevin Tang
THANKS TO Antonia Blechingberg from Dirty Glam, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, Fred Butler, Lauren Felix from La Petite Fashionista, Sonny Groo from MYKROMAG, Katja Hentschel from Glam Canyon, Susanne Lau from Style Bubble, Ross Mytton, Yusuf Ozkizil, Brett Perkins from True Communications, Diane Pernet from A Shaded View on Fashion, David Benjamin Sherry
ADDRESS/CONTACT DETAILS Sketchbook Magazine HQ Studio 3 86 Kensington Park Road W11 2PL
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES E:firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)7805909160
SKETCHBOOK MAGAZINE LINKS Website: www.sketchbookmagazine.com/ Blog: www.sketchbookblog.tumblr.com/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/sketchbookmag Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Sketchbook-Magazine
All submissions property of Sketchbook Magazine. The entire content is a copyright of Sketchbook Magazine and cannot be reproduced whole or in part without written authorisation of the publishers. For subsciption information write us on email@example.com
A Taste of the Traditional
Taking Jelly to New Heights
Never Let Me Go
Life Through the Lens
The Pernet Phenomenon
Surreal Side of the Tube
Lulu and your Mom’s Lulu Chang
A Recipe for Success: Perez Hilton
Off the Rails
Sonny Groo is Abdul Lagerfield
Abdul the Crow
La Petite Fashionista’s Lauren Felix
Financial Fools Day
Interview with a Shoe
In Part I of the Fashion Blogger Issue you will find: Sanaa Landing, Butler Bound, Vogue Diaries, All American, In the Name of Fashion, Fashion Blogosphere Deblogged, Street Fashion On a Roll, Susie Lau: A Bubble Not To Be Popped, Modern Day Glam Girl, Jak & Jil, Coco Lady, Khalo, The Coveted’s Jennine Tam, Notes by Naive, Dirtyglam’s Antonia Blechingberg, Fashion Toast, In Africa: A Rosspective, LCF BA Graduate Show
hree years ago in an empty apartment in King’s Cross I was in a depressed state. I just had the worst experience of my life living with a flatmate. I was skimming through Teen Vogue (technically I was coming of teen then) and read an excerpt on a lean, awkward-looking fashion blogger, Susie Bubble. At that time I was working with fashion designer extraordinaire Liza Bruce and her husband Nicholas Alvis Vega in Knightsbridge, where I was getting my first taste of and learning the ropes of the fashion industry. I was being exposed to style, fabrics and decor from Morocco and Italy. I was also hoarding fashion magazines like cake. At the press of a keyboard button, I was transported into Susie’s world of DIY fabrics, collaged moodboards, obsessing over her daily activity of playing dress up and photoshopping herself unto Vogue backgrounds. To put it mildly, I was entranced. To understand how I came to be in the realm of blogging I have to take you through a past state of mind. In that King’s Cross flat I was confused about my life more than ever. I was 4
studying Interior Design and I loathed it. It must have been the rulers and tractors or the evil tutors who thrust criticism my way at every corner; whatever it was, the atmosphere just wasn’t for me. To vent out my frustration, I started exploring the city of London which became like my playground. I went to every gallery, exhibition and talk given by a creative person desperately trying to find a way out of my situation. I must have been out every night dragging the odd friend with me to meet illustrators, art curators, and young entrepreneurs, capturing everything with my digi-cam but then having no space to showcase what I’ve seen. At that same time, Style Bubble came into my life and it just seemed to fit. Here was this girl in digital media, blogging about fashion 3 times a day. Her level of commitment, consistency, and constant pushing of the envelope by trying new things in each blog post blew me away. She made it look so easy knocking out one personal blog post out after the other. She managed to relate fashion to
her childhood, her work, her life in the city, and current issues, which made me in turn, relate to her and reflect on my life. After following Susie Bubble with no fail for 3 years, I finally launched my own blog- Fashion Ambitions. In my very first post, I wrote about my quest to find myself, my likes, my dislikes. I always aimed to treat the blog as my experiential playground, showcasing my daily life in the city. I dabbled in fashion news and updates, interviewed my idols in magazine publishing, did some street style photos, and captured behind the scenes of fashion shoots I helped to assist in. Along with my blog, I was also interning with different establishments in fashion, working with London Fashion Week catwalk organizers, assisting various stylists on fashion shoot locations, and becoming a personal assistant to designers. What I discovered in this period was a few things: 1.The blog had become the most consistent thing I have done in my life and pretty much acts as a backbone to my work structure where I must continue to archive my experiences as a city girl who has a passion for design and art; 2. I did not want to be a stylist; and 3. I was head over heels, madly in love and insanely obsessed with print publications. It became a habit way out of my control. I bought them everywhere, always clutched them against my chest as I strolled home to have tea and flip the pages one after the other with some soft ballad in the background. A year ago I started to mastermind a print publication in fashion, art and culture called Sketchbook. Sketchbook was conceived as a magazine aimed at exploring and reporting on the behind-the-scenes of these industries. My love and craving for the process, the moodboards of inspiration and the general trinkets that go by us everyday without a notice, but could create an entire collection of structured jackets a la Balmain, or a series of Romanesque ceramic bowls in the shape of body parts a la Ioli Sifakiki. It was not just about the product itself anymore, but also about the beauty of the process of conceptualizing it, creating it and appreciating the means to an end. With Sketchbook, we also wanted to open up the doors to what previously seemed untouchable and unknown to an outsider in fashion, art or design. Sketchbook, as its name suggests, is a page in the notepad
of a journalist, a music sheet from a violinist’s music book, a sketch from an artist’s drawing pad or a piece of cloth from a fashion designer’s studio. It is a collection of inspirational, coveted and precious items, which to some may not mean much, but to the designer, the upcoming series of designs, and to those who see potential in such. Sketchbook’s aim is to provide an entrance into the minds of creatives and inspire those who wish to be part of such an exquisite industry. It seems like just yesterday that I was having coffee with Luma Bashmi, the features editor of the magazine, in Patisserie Valerie on King’s Road as we discussed the mood and feel of the magazine, bringing it to life. There are over 100 people involved in the first issue. This issue would not have been possible without Richard Wilding, web genius and the creative consultant of the magazine. His studio, which I nicknamed the design spa, has been a heavenly place to attend. He might not know this but he really is a mentor to me, the tutor I never had at university. I absolutely cherish our time together at the design spa, pouring over his precious collected papers and found objects discussing quality of publications. I also need to thank the logo designer Charlotte Nicod for bringing the brand to life and by giving it a signature look; she really understood and brought my vision to life. Alberto Newton our photographer has been a treasure, he was always available to shoot our stories and am glad to have his credits for both the Fred Butler and Bompas and Parr story.
oversees the quality of all the features and lands us the large features. Sketchbook would not be possible without you. I am forever grateful to have you as part of the Sketchbook family and I hope 12 issues down the line we are still as positive and creative as we are today. I will not be able to escape unscathed without thanking my dear mother, who supports me and my ludicrous projects. There are 4 more projects coming your way and it’s all thanks to this woman. Lastly, I know Susie has heard this a million times before but in case you want to hear it again, you have influenced my choice of career and opened my eyes to a whole new world. I really do believe I am doing what I love to do because of you and your blog. I am honored to have you in the first issue of my magazine. I cannot wait for the day where I can buy your own magazine from the shelf. The support system of an international body of writers, designers and photographers made it possible for us to express our ideas and produce a great volume of work. Enjoy the first issue of Sketchbook, look out for our next issue—The London Fashion Week Issue—and thanks for being part of the SB family.
Yours truly, WAFA ALOBAIDAT Editor-in-Chief
Our astounding cover would not be possible without having John Paul Thurlow on board. He is extremely talented and we would love to continue working with him. Kristin Knox our fashion editor is juggling a million projects and book deals but still had time to get involved with our publication, despite finishing her MA from Oxford University and travelling to Sardinia at the same time. Luma Bashmi, the features editor of this publication deserves a paragraph on her own. Luma, thank you so much for being my backbone, and for your ongoing patient support. Luma single handedly
CONTRIBUTORS GINA AMAMA 23 - Poland - Freelance Photographer What are you doing at the moment? Looking for the place to be myself What’s in your sketchbook? Chaotic combination of images, words and unwritten thoughts.
MARISSA BAXTER 23 - New Zealand - Writer/PA/ Fashion Fanatic What are you doing at the moment? Building my freelance writing portfolio, exploring new designers and artists from around the world, searching for the ideal holiday destination, finding new vegetarian recipes to try.
JUNE CHANPOOMIDOLE 22 - UK - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? Currently doing various projects, sketching, painting and illustrating at the moment. What’s in your sketchbook? Komodo dragons, passengers on the tube, various stories, ideas, shampoo. www.junesees.com
JADE COOPER-COLLINS 21 - UK - Graduate What are you doing at the moment? Aspiring fashion journalist and magazine designer who’s passing the time interning at various magazines. What’s in your sketchbook? Lots of clippings from my vast collection of fashion magazines. http://jadecoopercollins. carbonmade.com
JADE CUMMINGS 22 - UK - Recent Graduate What are you doing at the moment? Looking for design opportunities What do you like about LFW? The inspiration it provides for all creative disciplines. www.jcdesignsuk.com
ANNIE DRISCOLL 22 - United Kingdom - Freelance illustrator What are you doing at the moment? I live and work as a freelance illustrator based in North London, having recently completed my BA (Hons) in illustration at Middlesex University. What’s in your sketchbook? Charcoal portraits, a raven, speech bubbles, paper wings, fly stamp. www.anniedriscollillustration. blogspot.com SOPHIE EGGLETON 24 - UK - Journalist/Artist/ Stylist What are you doing at the moment? Reviewing CDS and Catwalk Trends, craving chocolate! What’s in your sketchbook? Everything audio and visual that makes my heart go a flutter! www.sophieeggleton.withtank.com
29 - Iran - Photojournalist What are you doing at the moment? I am currently working freelance for Zuma Press in the US. What’s in your sketchbook? I am currently working to publish a photo book on Afghanistan, showing different aspects of it and considering similarities which exist between the Iranian and Afghan cultures. www.hosseinfatemi.com GRASHINA GABELMANN
21 - UK - Freelance Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? I recently graduated from Plymouth Uni having done illustration. Now I am concentrating on my next move with my degree. What’s in your sketchbook? Collage in some, drawings in others. www.susankeys.co.uk
20 - Germany - Fashion Journalism Student What are you doing at the moment? Interning at DailyCandy.com What’s in your sketchbook? Newly discovered words, book quotes and newspaper/magazine clippings.
25 - Scotland - Illustrator/ Graphic Designer 22 - England - Freelance What are you doing at the moment? Illustrator Starting an MA in Graphic What are you doing at the moment? Design at the London College of I am currently working on some Communication in January 2010. new ideas and themes for a book, What’s in your sketchbook? whilst also doing some editorial Cartoons, Illustrations and sketches based illustrations. of people and places, mostly in ink. What’s in your sketchbook? www.greywilson.blogspot.com/ Characters, oddities, strange furniture, overheard words and TIM HOLMES conversations, the beginnings of 22 - UK - Graphic Designer stories. What are you doing at the moment? www.chloeehninger.com Designing things. MARIAM EL-BANNA What’s in your sketchbook? 22 - England - Self-confessed/ Assorted ephemera. Writer www.vonholmes.co.uk What are you doing at the moment? MATILDA HUANG Stepping into the world of design 27 - Taiwan - Illustrator/ graphic journalism and critique, and taking designer what the world has to offer. What are you doing at the moment? What’s in your sketchbook? Working as a self-employed Photographs, magazine cut outs illustrator/ designer / re-toucher, and and images of shoes I’ll never trying to improve myself. afford. What’s in your sketchbook? ELHAM FAKHRO Messy drawings, weird things and pictorial diary. 22 - Bahrain - Student What are you doing at the moment? www.matildasillustration.blogspot. com/ Enjoying some time off before beginning a Master’s Degree. What’s in your sketchbook? Note to self: Must buy a sketchbook.
KRISTIN KNOX 23 - New York City, USA - Blogger/ Journalist What are you doing at the moment? I’m an academic fashionista. With a masters in Classical Literature and a love of all things fashion, I’m living in the fabulous Notting Hill and reading and writing with my little Pomeranian to my heart’s content. What’s in your sketchbook? My puppy and images of amazing shoes! www.theclotheswhisperer.blogspot.com/ BRYONY LLOYD 23 - UK - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? I am working freelance on some secret fashion projects, designing patterns and images for tops and dresses. What’s in your sketchbook? Sequins, sparkly moons and stars, pages of pattern and type. www.bryonylloyd.co.uk KATRINA MORE-MOLYNEUX 25 - UK - Photographer What are you doing at the moment? Currently I am testing and searching for a set designer to work with in order to challenge and further my visual language. It is important not to get too comfortable. I have just been exhibiting work at Spring Studios and the Richard Young Gallery and am now using up any spare time by assisting. What’s in your sketchbook? I have three photographers whose work I find are constant sources: Paolo Roversi, Cecil Beaton and Mari Mahr. There are always tickets from shows and exhibitions stuck in and quotes from people I speak to each day.
ALBERTO R. NEWTON
24 - Colombia - Photographer What are you doing at the moment? Going to Colombia to establish my name as a fashion photographer in my hometown. Exhibiting my work in America, Italy and Spain. What’s in your sketchbook? Personal Thoughts, Drawings, and every single piece of inspiration I get my hands on. www.myspace.com/rojasnewton CHARLOTTE NICOD
23 - UK - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? I’m currently interning at YCN whilst working on some personal projects involving tins. What’s in your sketchbook? Lamp posts, deer, trainers.. and a lot of to-do lists www.florarogers.com
22 - Turkey - Student What are you doing at the moment? I am enjoying my long summer holiday in London before I return to uni to finish my Journalism course.
20 - Ireland - Student What are you doing at the moment? enjoying the moment! What’s in your sketchbook? What isn’t?........
24 - UK - Graphic Designer What are you doing at the moment? Since graduating I am keeping creative! This year I have worked for the Big Issue Magazine and designed a book for James Caan (Dragons’ Den). What’s in your sketchbook? An explosion of color, collage, mixedmedia, intricate hand-drawn typefaces and passion.
HUGH O’MALLEY 34 - Ireland - Fashion and Beauty Photographer What are you doing at the moment? Working on a series of creative nudes... What’s in your sketchbook? I’m prepping for a number of editorial shoots. Concepts include ‘Midnight’, ‘Concrete’ and ‘Rain’ www.hughomalley.com
CLARE OWEN 23 - England, UK - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? Selling soap part-time and drawing pictures part-time. I am looking forward to winter so I can wear wool and tights. What’s in your sketchbook? Cats, moustaches, patterns. www.clareowen.co.uk RUTH REYES 19 - Spain/United States - Student What are you doing at the moment? Writing and learning as much as I can when I’m off traveling and studying journalism at the London College of Communication. What’s in your sketchbook? Magazine clips, postcards with beautiful drawings or pictures and letters from friends and family abroad. www.ruthrebekahology.blogspot.com/
JORDAN SHIEL 20 - UK - Fashion Student / Freelance Stylist & Writer What are you doing at the moment? When I’m not researching for my final year Uni project, you will normally find me dancing around my room to a bit of Empire Of The Sun, with a cigarette in one hand and a Gin in the other. I’m currently in the process of setting up my own blog! So watch this space... What’s in your sketchbook? An endless collection of photos of the amazing Daphne Guinness...All Hail!
SVETLANA SOBCENKO 22 - Lithuania - Animation student What’s in your sketchbook? Usually I do sketches for my films, as a research material or character development. I like to observe people and situations around me; they inspire and let me explore everyday life in different way. What are you doing at the moment? Currently I’m doing work experience in a few places here in London. I’m working on a promotional video for a fashion networking website and I’m starting a new placement as an assistant for an artist promoting company. Moreover I’m trying to put together poetic comic strip as part of a creative collaboration with Orbita artists from Riga. www.flickr.com/photos/41335537@N06/
VICTORIA TAN 22 - Singapore - Student What are you doing at the moment? I’m anticipating graduation next year... and waiting for life to truly begin. What’s in your sketchbook? Research on artist Egon Schiele for my next magazine project.
JACK TEAGLE 22 - UK - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? Looking to get my work across to people, painting and exhibiting my artwork. What’s in your sketchbook? Comics, Classic Horror Monsters, Kaiju, Fights, My Family, Skeletons, Animals, Wrestlers, Action and Adventure, The Mundane, and people. www.jackteagle.co.uk HELENA TEPLI 28 - Poland - Photographer What are you doing at the moment? I am shooting various photo-shoots across London What’s in your sketchbook? Lots of new ideas and opening my studio www.helenatepli.co.uk
DONYA TODD 22 - Devon - Freelance Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? Having just graduated, I like drawing, making up fruity stories, I like reading lovely strange books and I like knitting. What’s in your sketchbook? Dreams, pencil shavings, girlish secrets and terrible poetry. www.donyatodd.co.uk
REBECCA YAP 24 - Singapore - Post-grad student What are you doing at the moment? I’m all decked in red and white and about to rush out of my house to celebrate Singapore’s 44th birthday in style! What’s in your sketchbook? Self-created clothing designs I intend to get tailor-made a piece a month!
ANNA ZEJMO 30 - Poland - Illustrator What are you doing at the moment? I’m travelling through Peru and Ecuador, collecting impressions, getting inspired, having adventures, undergoing some changes. What’s in your sketchbook? My sketchbooks are an organized chaos. I`ve got plenty of them in different formats, different shapes - for different moods. You can find their faces, ornaments and patterns I catch up on the streets, loads of retro objects, fragments and fonts, anatomic stuff and some patterns copied from nature. www.myspace.com/annysense
JOHN PAUL THURLOW 37 - Great Britain - Art Director/ Pencilist What are you doing at the moment? Building a single speed bike + working for Rolex, Gucci and I Am Sound What’s in your sketchbook? 250 pieces of paper, magazine tears and perfume samples... www.johnpaulthurlow.blogspot.com/
A Taste of the Traditional Bite into the best of British in the Albion Cafe at Boundary Text Marissa Baxter Image True Communications Stepping into Albion Café in Shoreditch, a slice of the 2009 Boundary restaurant and lifestyle venture from Terrance Conran, is akin to stepping into your own personal farmer’s market. Greeted with wafting undertones of fresh baked goods (sweet temptations include giant bourbon biscuits and staffrecommended flapjacks), the organic produce and diverse preserves of the Albion shop are the doorway to a relaxed and chic side street café. The fresh décor of oak, cream bricks and clean lines framing a well-lit open kitchen make for a friendly and stylish dining experience. Signature high ceilings play on the vertical layout of the café where canteen-style tables lend themselves to large groups and round corner tables long for an intimate catch up with old friends. The all-day menu serves up traditional British ‘caff’ food that is simple, hearty and filling, including all-day breakfasts, fish and chips, mushy peas, wedge sandwiches and unique British treats of crackling and apple sauce washed down with an Elderflower Cooler or Ginger Beer. Despite an abundance of British caffs popping up all over London, deciding on Albion is not such a hard-hitting decision; with much of the menu ten pounds and under, this is British comfort food with a twist that makes for an enjoyable weekend
fare, though it is the atmosphere of the Albion that provides the casual weekend vibe. Friendly, but perhaps a few too many wait-staff team around, laid-back lunchers consist of local artists waxing lyrical on upcoming shows, Saturday night party goers hoping to stem off hang-overs with welsh rabbit and weekend regulars introducing new diners to Albion’s Sunday circuit, decked out in a sunny day uniform of plaid shirts and floral sundresses. With a noreservations policy adding to the relaxed atmosphere, this is the quintessential British caff at its Sunday best. If Albion is traditional British then its in-house restaurant Boundary is classic French. In keeping with the vertical space and high ceilings displayed in Albion, the fine white linens, marble flooring and sumptuous upholstery of Boundary make this an elegant basement hideaway for fine dining. Boasting an array of seafood (the oysters come recommended) the menu entices with wild salmon, a daily-changing rotisserie, game and Foie Gras Terrine followed by Crème Caramel, Raspberry Soufflé, or simple strawberries and cream. With an impressive accompanying wine list and open kitchen to inspire, Boundary is a dining delight. Albion Cafe, 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD www.albioncaff.co.uk/
Taking Jelly to New Heights Could the cupcake era be over? Jelly Mongers BOMPAS & PARR talk to our editors at their Southwark kitchen about architectural moulds, Scratch n Sniff Cinema and their wobbliest ever upcoming project in New York, over blackcurrant and gin & tonic roseflavoured jelly
Text Victoria Tan Interview Wafa Obaidat, Luma Bashmi Photography Alberto Newton
alking into Bompas & Parr’s studio, one would be forgiven for thinking that they had entered another dimension, one resembling a cross between a mad scientist’s laboratory and an inventing room in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The space in Southwark, small yet conventional, is stacked with shelves upon shelves of plastic and metal moulds, some traditionally shaped, others in the shapes of London architectural landmarks, and the odd body part (in this case, a nipple). The walls on the right are painted in pink and white candy cane-like stripes, with an impressive collection of framed shots of bespoke jellies and some shots of the Jelly Mongers themselves. Although there doesn’t seem to be a spot not overtaken by a tool, award or piece of furniture with a reference to jelly, one can sense that there’s a method of rhythm to this mould madness. If you’re still wondering who Bompas & Parr are or what they do, they are the darlings of alternative gastronomy and the talk of the town – especially after kindly inviting the people of London to embark on an intoxicating adventure at Alcoholic Architecture, a walk-in cloud of breathable cocktail. Reputed for making fine English jellies and designing bespoke jelly moulds, they are also responsible for Scratch ‘n’ Sniff cinema and Flavour Tripping en masse, amongst other similarly spectacular culinary events in their rainbow-coloured (literally!) repertoire of work. People have been quick to attach labels onto Bompas & Parr, but it’s apparent that they are not ones to be passively categorized. Thus far, they have managed to avoid falling into that trap, through the creation of their own weirdly wonderful world (of food) that defies most traditional norms and rules. Their current obsession with jelly – glow in the dark jelly anyone? – is but another prime example. This wonderfully madcap duo, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr
a la (self-given moniker) the Jelly Mongers, have known each other for years, hailing back to their school days. For the record, this jelly mongering business is the result of an impulsive decision made after work one day. In a week, they were registered and had a website to boot. Starting off with private commissions, it wasn’t long before word of mouth ensured their positions as the wizards of wobble. Collectively they boast a varied resume; Harry, the quieter one of the two, used to be an architect whereas Sam started off with a background in business, property, as well as a brief dalliance with a rather unsuccessful escort agency, of the nonseedy kind, he claims. Notably, neither of them has had any formal training as chefs. So why jelly, you ask? Having a keen interest in it as children, jelly was the natural choice. It’s a little known fact that jelly once belonged to an elite food in the history of the UK, one that is oft neglected. Additionally, exploring Borough Market and other food markets around town, which were seemingly overtaken by pastries and cakes of the like, they sought to find a substitute for these typically ‘heavy’ desserts, landing upon jelly as the obvious answer – light, refreshing and perfect for summer. It was through researching jelly that an unexpected link to architecture was uncovered. Unable to afford antique moulds (for making jelly), they came to the realization that the technique architects used to design buildings wasn’t so different to the ones used in making jelly – after all, both involved the creation of moulds. This revelation heralded in the era of Bompas & Parr jelly airports, pyramids and an assortment of other jellied delights. It would be wrong to assume however, that their work encompasses architecture alone, for the notion of space and the senses are equally important parts of the equation. In discussing the senses, you’ll find that synesthesia is a concept that crops up frequently. Synesthesia is a rare medical condition in which your senses are linked to one another. 11
When people with sound-colour synesthesia hear certain sounds, it conjures up perceived shapes or colours. In that sense, they can ‘see sounds’. Bompas & Parr play on the concept of synesthesia by attempting to induce as many simultaneous senses as possible. At the recent Jelly Banquet, sturdy display jellies were made from only water, colouring and gelatin. The entire area was then filled with vaporized strawberry essence. Before they knew it, attendees actually started tucking into the tasteless jelly!
up with other crazy concoctions, simply for the sake of blowing our minds. Just a word of caution, if you ever unwrap a sweet wrapper one day to find nothing but vaporized strawberry essence, you know who to blame. www.jellymongers.co.uk
The art of jelly however, involves much more than taste alone. According to them, sight and even sound are all malleable attributes that can be worked with. In Victorian times butlers referred to jelly as wobblers, because of the sound they made when the table was jerked. In case you had any doubts about the extent of their creativity, Bompas & Parr contemplated taking things one step further by transforming the oscillations of wobbling jelly into sound waves! Anyone feeling musically inspired? So what’s next for the Jelly Mongers? Their next creative project sees them going across the Atlantic to New York to create a 2 by 2 meter map of America, made entirely of, yes, you guessed it, jelly. Although jelly seems to be their current calling card, Bompas & Parr refuse to be limited to working with jelly, or food for that matter. Open to experimenting with all things food-related, they have considered making the natural progression onto other ingredients, and even going commercial someday. For the time being, we will just have to be patient and content ourselves with the knowledge that somewhere in the near future we might find Bompas & Parr products on shelves near us. Not satisfied with hawking their jelly, they have also thought of including their one-of-a-kind moulds as part of a Do It Yourself kit. In all honesty, I wouldn’t put it past them to come 13
Never Let Me Go Photography Hugh Oâ€™Malley Stylist Stephen McGowan Make up Machiko Yano Hair Akio Assistant Jimmy Donelan Model Giulia @ D1 14
Interview Susan Walsh Photography David Benjamin Sherry
A journey into the mind of David Benjamin Sherry
elcome to the world of David Benjamin Sherry. A worldÂ that transcends time zones and exposes you to new dimensions, where a photograph is never merely just a picture but an expression of something far deeper. He harmonizes the old and the new, taking you on a journey of discovery where through his photographs you not only unearth just another aspect of him but another of yourself too. And in speaking with him he reminds you how the world is never merely black and white but a transcendent array of colours.
Song To The Rising Siren, 2007 22
What is photography? Photography is my life. It is an art form that I use to unleash my inner most thoughts and ideas; fantasies, frustrations, sexual energies, personality traits, dreams, visions, fears, desires and demons. I use a camera to record another world that I have created and live in and the photographs are the remnants that I have to show from this altered reality. Why strictly analog? I choose analog because that is all I know and it’s the only way for me to give my visions their deserved truth. These moments actually existed and it’s not a computer generated or altered truth. I’m also a very active person, I need to be moving, taking pictures in wild places, printing in a darkroom and bouncing off my walls in a studio. I have always been drawn to old photographs and old films, even since I was a child. They embody a sense of spiritual beauty and pure magic that I find only exists in film. It’s slightly eerie and strange for me to see a faded film or photograph from the past. I feel emotional and uneasy when viewing old films and pictures. It makes me feel an extreme nostalgia for the past and a strong sense of displacement in contemporary culture. Even if I wasn’t alive at the time the picture was taken, they make me feel, somehow, an immediate sense of death, the past and a longing to be alive during another era. In a creative return, this usually leaves me looking inward and feeling fully aware of the present and somehow- it gives my immediate life a sense of urgency and extreme contemporary visions. This reasoning is all in my own head though and yet again another reason why I choose to shoot on film and print in a traditional photographic way. I won’t lie- I have used digital photography for commercial projects, never for my own art-works that I exhibit. Sometimes when I work with a commercial client, they will need the pictures very quickly and I am required to use a digital camera. If that is the case, I have to a work with a digital operator and assistant. Since I am analog-literate and digital illiterate- I require that all effects and lighting tricks must be done in camera and not in the computer. My assistants love and hate me for that. Your classic in your shunning of digital yet your modern and futuristic in your presentation of subjects and use of colour. Is this a deliberate paradox and can you explain the philosophy behind this? Yes, it is a deliberate notion of mine to intertwine new visions of colour and subject matter with traditional techniques. Again I feel so strongly connected to the past; artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers that if you believe in past life- I feel that I was reincarnated with an old soul and placed in the contemporary world, as a new image maker of the future with crystalline visions of my afterlife and forward life that have intertwined to create very modern and forward thinking photographs. Can you take us through a typical ‘David Benjamin Sherry’ shoot or is there such a thing? The strange thing is that I can’t remember the actual moment while taking any of my pictures over the past 10 years. I hazily remember everything before and after taking a picture but when I actually shoot its as if I look through my camera and I’m beamed directly through my lens into a techni-color frenzy of spinning vertigo, almost like a fuzzy television set and is
complete with extreme fast flashes of spectrum light and at the end I’m always left dizzy with no connection to my own memory let alone, taking any pictures. The end result from a shoot is the film, which I have processed immediately and within a week I have a printed picture, which is the only record that I actually have of what happened. Though I can’t remember taking it. I wish I could look back or look forward and say what my shoots are like, but I don’t really know what happens- the subjects may be somewhat aware of the shoot but I feel as if they are time warped and left hazed too. I obsessively organize the shoots though and spend many days and hours preparing for them. My shoots are events which I can never fully recall- but what I do know is that they are quite addictive experiences. What are your tools? I use tons of cameras, and will take anything I can get my hands on. I like using 4 x 5 cameras. Last week I used a disposable Kodak camera and yesterday I used a traditional 4x5 Canham wooden camera. I love variety and embrace chance and mistakes in my life and make sure there is nothing consistent in my tool choice. As soon as I get used to a camera, they tend to break by chance. I do have a specific film that I use and paper that I print on but I feel as if that’s part of my magic trick and a magician never gives away their secrets. In your upcoming exhibition this September you have interjected yourself into your photos. How does it differ and alter your photography being in front of the lens while still being behind it? I love taking part in my pictures, I find it necessary in conveying my thoughts, living out my dreams and simply documenting myself and my world in order to remember it when I’m older. All of my pictures are ultimately about myself, my life and like many artists the work is also about my death. Therefore it only makes sense for me to appear in them. Actually the gallery I planned the exhibit with has just unexpectedly closed its doors, due to the failing economy- so I’m now without a gallery in New York and without a show in September. I do hope to show the work in the coming months though. I have my first book of photographs that will be released in September though, published by Damiani. The title of the book is “It’s Time” and it spans my work from the past 3 years.
They make me feel, somehow, an immediate sense of death, the past and a longing to be alive during another era
Clockwise from left Lament For Atlantis, 2008; Wake Me Up On Oh Phenomena, 2009; White Sands NM, 2008 Opposite page Self Portrait As Golden, 2007
I feel that I was re-incarnated with an old soul and placed in the contemporary world, as a new image maker of the future with crystalline visions of my afterlife and forward life that have intertwined to create very modern and forward thinking photographs
Death Valley, 2008
There is something very human about your photos- how in your opinion does David Benjamin Sherry see the world? I’m glad you see that quality in my work. I’m fascinated by human beings and feel that the best pictures are ones that capture a soul. With every picture I take of people, my intentions are based in the notion that the human soul will prevail and outlive the physical body we are placed in. Therefore, a photograph can be eternal and also a heart breaking, yet honest document that a human being existed and was alive, as well as also documenting an experience lived or even an inanimate object. A human quality is something I always hope to achieve in my photographs. The world I see in my photographs is not the world we actually live in; it’s an incredibly saturated and liberated world, a fantasy world. There are no chains holding anyone or anything down- people live out there fantasies and create new realities on a daily basis for which they can be whatever they want. There’s free love and no diseases, tons of mind-altering natural gases that exist in plants and fruits and vegetables, everyone laughs and heads roll backwards and switch bodies. There’s explosions of lights every so often that create a gas like fog but with the most decadent odor and changing colorful displays of fireworks are set off in every direction, the newest sounding electronic noises are amplified in rocks and trees and they make you dance for hours on end. Music comes from the earth and you feel it throughout your whole body and there’s nothing else but electronic pulses, base and rhythms that you feel and hear when you go near a tree or large rock, the time of say changes on what you desire- this created world is all about desires and changes every day for me, as I desire new things constantly... that’s an idea of the world I live in with my photographs, at least at this point in my life.
are shown. That’s the only way I can approach fashion, to do something different and exciting in the times we live. I like to make things hard for myself- so I end up tackling and struggling with pictures; it makes the end result more real, human, soulful and original I feel.
Where do you begin in constructing sets for your shoots? I begin to form ideas about a set usually while spending time in nature and it usually comes full circle when it enters my dreams. Sometimes when I’m falling asleep at night I receive visions, those are my favorite nights. I end up staying in this state for a while and seeing these beautiful and strange ideas and record them in a visual diary. Then I like to act upon these ideas fairly quickly so it doesn’t get old. What are your thoughts on fashion photography; do you feel that it is becoming increasingly more about art rather than merely selling clothes? Fashion photography is fun and a great outlet to unleash technical exercises in photographic ways. I like to approach fashion photography like making a short film; you have a movie star and a team of people working together to create your vision in some studio or great location. I enjoy it and never think too much about it. Philip Lorca d’Cortia once told me “Fashion is kind of about solving a problem at the end of the day, whereas art is about problem making in many ways.” I feel the exact same way. I think fashion is still about selling something and making it look good, amongst other things. The best photographers, I find that lend there artistic visions to fashion every so often are the ones making fashion photography more interesting and more art-full. There’s definitely a formula to making fashion pictures these days, or so it seems. I like when the formula is broken and new things 27
Area Dansk Photography Louise Damgaard Stylist Christine Nielsen Make Up Anne Staunsger/ Unique Models Hair Mette Thorsgaard Models Jeppe@Unique Models & Charlottle Anderberg@Scoop Models Photographer assistant Sanne Vils
The Pernet Phenomenon Diane Pernet, founder of cult blog ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’, shares her views on blogging, what it means for the fashion industry and what changes it has brought about… Interview Grashina Gabelmann Images Diane Pernet Illustration Jade Cummings
n icon has to be instantly legible in a sort of visual shorthand for the immediacy of recognition. Charlie Chaplin’s got his walking stick, hat and moustache, for Marilyn Monroe it is her platinum blonde hair and fluttering white dress, and Diane Pernet’s mantilla draped pompadour, permanent black outfits and cat-eye shaped sunglasses make her an instantly perceived icon of the fashion blogging world. Diane’s blog, ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’, with its constant updates of video interviews, new and young design talent and guest contributors, as well as her own individual style and mysterious persona makes it a one of a kind blog and a great inspiration for others. “[The blog] is totally personal and I show what interests me and what happens all around the planet,” she comments. On her blog, Diane displays undiscovered design talent, takes her readers behind the scenes of fashion, and over the years has visually and audibly enhanced her blog, taking it to a whole different level. ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’ could almost be classified as an online magazine as Diane always has different contributors from all over the world publishing posts online. “I meet them on my travels and ask them if they would like to contribute. Basically it is to give a platform for people that I believe in.” What especially makes the blog stand out from the rest is that Diane had already belonged to the fashion industry before she
started her blog, obviously seen from her meticulous selection of the next crop of new designers. Originally from Philadelphia, Diane did a degree in filmmaking and reportage photography. “I had dreamt of being a designer when I was a teenager but felt that since I did not draw well I could not become one,” explains Diane. Drawing talent or not, Diane attended Parsons School of Design in 1977 but left before she could call a degree hers. “After nine months of school I decided that if I stayed any longer I would lose all desire to design so I quit and opened up my own brand, basically growing up in public.” Diane enjoyed a very successful career in New York where her garments featured in Vogue, New York Woman and New York Times, to mention a few, as well as having them sold at Saks and Henri Bendel. Having designed in New York for thirteen years, she also gained a license in Tokyo for three to five of those years. Her alluring designs, which included a collection of red carpet fitted long gowns in black and red, reminiscent of Valentino, a voluminous leopard print raincoat (before Dolce & Gabbana made it their staple) and a series of cut-out sheer black shirts and dresses that could now be mistaken for a Christopher Kane or Alexander Wang piece, easily transcended time. In 1990, Diane decided to leave New York for Paris where she turned her attention to journalism. “I used to be an editor for Disciple Films where I wrote Diane’s Diaries at the same time, and was editor for Elle.com, reviewing fashion shows and writing about designers and events. I also had a column called Dr. Diane where I gave styling tips and then moved on to being an editor for Vogueparis.com.” With Diane’s shift from design to online journalism it was inevitable that she would start her own blog where she could write freely without the restrictions of editors and advertisers. In February 2005, Diane launched her blog with a little help. “A model named Anina introduced me to life blogging and helped me set up my site. It was one of the first fashion websites. Life blogging with my Nokia phone was so new that my carrier SFR was totally useless whenever there was a problem.”
After nine months of school I decided that if I stayed any longer I would lose all desire to design so I quit and opened up my own brand, basically growing up in public
With the current amount of fashion blogs now existing in the blogosphere being uncountable thanks to new technologies, a survival of the fittest has ensued over the blogging world; only the very informative, individually stylish or unusual ones are likely to gain the notoriety that The Business of Fashion, Fashion Toast or Style Rookie for example enjoy. Diane explains, “What makes a blog good is that it has personal style and that the person has something to say and creates original content.” That would explain the success of her blog and why she counts Style Bubble, SHOWstudio, and Cathy Horn as one of her favourites. “I like Style Bubble because it is personal and I like to see how Susie Lau puts herself together and her love for fashion.”
blogs at the time, Diane managed to set up something so completely innovative and individual, in some senses defining the field of fashion blogging and being largely responsible for why the fashion world is now so much more transparent and accessible to those standing on the outside. A fashion blogger pioneer in her own right, Diane Pernet’s ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’ stands as ‘the mother of fashion blogs’.
Blogging has proved to be an empowering tool for those standing on the sidelines of the fashion world. Where before personal opinions could only be shared with a couple of friends, one is now able to reach a global audience, receive their reactions, and if luck and talent (not to mention a large readership) is on your side, fashion insiders could be amongst those feeding off of your posts. To put it in Diane’s words, “Blogging has democratized fashion.” The elite and excluding world of fashion has had to open its doors for the curious and very opinionated bloggers. “Fashion shows invite a very select group of people - the Internet makes fashion available to anyone with a computer,” remarks Diane. “It does not matter where you live; it is available to you instantly.” So it appears to be clear that the biggest change blogging has had on the fashion industry is that “fashion no longer is something terribly exclusive like it used to be. I think that is a very good thing,” Diane states. Undoubtedly this is a very good thing for all the fashion outsiders, but what do those already on the inside enjoying their positions of power make of blogs? According to Diane, “The powers that are in the French fashion industry do not like the internet in general, so most of them do not have a great respect for blogs.” This does not change the fact though that blogging has defiantly increased the speed and accessibility of fashion media and has done to un-established fashion designers what MySpace has done to unsigned bands; given young talent a platform and audience in a way that print media could never do. The possibility of constant updates, the editorial freedom and the ability to incorporate videos, images and sound to every post makes blogging a fierce competitor of print media. “Every magazine and newspaper now asks their journalists to have a blog and many are required to use Twitter as well. Print can never be as fast as the Internet so that is one way that print publications are dealing with the problem, but there is a place and need for both. Beautiful print images cannot be duplicated on the Internet and the print publications cannot have videos nor immediate access to an exchange with their public.” With her immutable austere style and with a blog that has just as much personality, one has to finally ask, why the name ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’? Diane’s response is simply “… because of my sunglasses and my vision of fashion and all things creative”. Without the influence or inspiration from other
Opposite page, clockwise from left: Naomi Campbell in one of Pernet’s designs; Diane Pernet’s A/W 90/91 collection; Dovannah in one of Pernet’s designs.
Blogging has democratized fashion.... fashion no longer is something terribly exclusive like it used to be. I think that is a very good thing...
Surreal Side of the Tube The Surreal Line is a storyline of an underground journey through the London Tube. Documentary photographer Yusuf Ozkizil shares his latest collection of work Interview Lucy Toms Text Jordan Shiel Photography Yusuf Ozkizil
ny London commuter knows the humdrum process of their daily tube journey can be a stressful one at best. Whether it’s the stench coming from the older gentleman on your right, which due to the masses in the carriage, happens to be directly in front of your nose. Or that embarrassing occurrence of sprinting in your finest suit to catch the departing train, only to have your tie trapped by the doors upon leaping into the last carriage - which, by the change of atmosphere within the carriage, you are positive everyone was witness to and are thus mocking you beneath their free London paper. So it may seem unusual that this method of transport, which many have come to loathe, is the subject of a brand new exhibition by photographer Yusuf Ozkizil. Yusuf Ozkizil is a fairly new photographer by any standards, and he readily admits this. It wasn’t until 2006 on a holiday in Turkey to visit some old relatives that he decided to go on a search of his surroundings and take his camera along to capture his adventures, “They couldn’t speak any English and I certainly couldn’t speak any Turkish so I thought I’d keep myself busy.” As a result of his creative escapades, he became hooked and thus where ever he went, his camera was sure to follow. The latest exhibition, The Surreal Line, encompasses Ozkizil’s spontaneity, nothing planned or staged - just life as it happens, albeit a very fast paced and claustrophobic life but nevertheless...life! The exhibit takes an outlandish viewpoint on the London Underground system. He has managed to transform the area into a bizarre world where advertising billboards intersect with the commuter’s daily routine, thus in turn creating images filled with a humorous and somewhat paradoxical reflection on how unaware the average rail user can be of their surroundings. As Ozkizil simply puts it, “I had lots of journeys on the tube, and there was something about everyone down there, it was like you’re presented with people.” Ozkizil manages to portray urban environments with a dreamlike quality, which is a rather strange occurrence considering many of us have visited or travelled to these places on a recurring basis. The use of high contrast within the images amplifies the impact towards the viewer, managing to evoke that sense of wonder prevalent throughout the collection. Anyone who is a fan of Ozkizil’s work will immediately recognize his development from his previous collections. He is no stranger to the city environment, especially using the underground as his subject of choice. He has however managed to incorporate all of the inquisitiveness and hilarity we have come to expect from his previous collections and developed it further by creating an assortment of images that makes us question ourselves and our own social awareness. Ozkizil excels at identifying aspects of the urban environment which many of us are too self aware to notice, all filled with ironic remarks which take a swipe at the general public but in a plausible way, as if the photographer is saying ‘I can’t believe you haven’t noticed this?!’ The Surreal Line is special in the sense that the images portrayed are relatable to many walks of life. I can really envisage this being an enjoyable experience for a variety of demographics, in fact even those who have no interest in art or photography would easily benefit from viewing Ozkizil’s collection. So for those who have the luxury of a spare hour to burn, visiting his site is a must. Needless to say, your daily tube commute will never be the same again!
Lulu Chang chats with us about blogging at 4am, her jewelry collaboration and starting her first book Interview Duygu Tavan Illustration Luke Fenech
When and why did you start blogging?
What are you up to at the moment?
My first jewelry collaboration will be ready this month. I’ve been approached to write for the Huffington Post (a major honor). I’m currently working on my first book.
What was the moment where you realized you had crossed over from blogger to full time fashion reporter? A Singaporean blog called me a “Style Icon”. From then on, I felt like a spotlight was on me. I still blog about my regular life, but I try and keep everything fashion related. How has your blog changed your life? My life has changed in every single way. I’ve been given great opportunities like blogging for http://lulu.thepop.com/ThePOP, a major book deal, jewelry line collaboration... What areas of your life have been most affected, positively and negatively? I get really sick of things really fast. But I dress better now. Do you feel a certain pressure to maintain your blog even when you want to take a day off from the whole thing?
Fashion blogging is fast becoming a recognized media to view fashion. What do you think the next new technology will be? I have an idea, but I’m keeping this a secret. Name 6 must have items for your blogging kit (what you need to blog): Photoshop, alcohol, DSLR, Tripod, Music, Pretty clothes. 10 top favorite spots in the summer and why? Montara beach in Montara, California, EZ5 bar, this little sushi restaurant next to my apartment, and Japantown. Sometimes my boyfriend and I drive down to Monterey, California and hang out by the coast. What has been your gold star moment as a blogger so far?
I do. But over time I’ve definitely found my balance. I blog when I want to blog.
Being approached to write a young adult graphic novel for a major publisher. It’s always been my dream to be a writer.
How do you cope with the pressure of maintaining your blog every day?
Sometimes I want to just start another blog, totally unrelated to fashion. A blog where I can just talk about my shitty day. You know?
Takahiro Miyashita designer for Number (N)ine, Mary-Kate Olsen. Who do you follow? Mary-Kate Olsen
How much of your time does fashion blogging consume?
What is your most coveted item in your wardrobe?
Depends. I know if I’m uninspired, it usually takes me over an hour just to write one entry. But that usually means I shouldn’t be blogging.
Chloe “Doc Marten” inspired platform boots. I have them in two colors.
Fashion bloggers are a strange breed. Do you have any of your own weird blogging quirks? To be honest, I think out of all the fashion bloggers I’m the most normal one! I go outside my house! And I have friends outside the internet! (sorry bloggers)
What time of day do you usually blog and where? I usually blog very late at night, like 4am. I pass out in front of my laptop.
Off The Rails Photography Alberto Newton Styling Christina Restrepo Make Up Jane Oginsky Models Clovis Wilson-Cop & Christina Restrepo
Forest Clearing Photography Katrina More-Molyneux Clothes all by James Hillman Model Tristram & Alexander
Sonny Groo is Abdul Lagerfield
Interview Jordan Shiel Images Abdul Lagerfield Illustrations Jack Teagle
bdul Lagerfield (who also goes by the alias Sonny Groo) has been on the radar for quite some time thanks to his fashion forward blog detailing his dayto-day goings on as a stylist and illustrious man about town. His latest venture is the online magazine MYKROMAG, now in its fourth issue, together with a team of equally creative minds. He has managed to create a sharp and thoughtprovoking publication which showcases both established and rising talent, with all those featured in the magazine having one thing in common, their desire to push the boundaries... Having already managed to acquire interviews from the likes of designer James Long and fashion director Simon Robins, the first issue seems like a promising reflection of things to come. I particularly enjoyed the illustrations by Dinie Rahman and Ridhwan Sesapar which add a more quirky, uncompromising feel to the overall identity of the magazine. It’s as if the editor is saying ‘I can add whatever I want, as long as it is creatively stimulating’. At first glance, MYKROMAG’s neutral aesthetic may seem somewhat intimidating. It could be viewed as strange that a magazine celebrating all things creative would lack one of the fundamental aspects of what we celebrate in fashion...colour! However, this uncertainty quickly resolves when you observe how effective each photo story is presented. By relinquishing the garments of all colours, it leaves you with a more sterile projection of the clothes in which structure and form take the forefront of each image. What makes this different from any other online magazine is that you really get a sense of how each member of the MYKROMAG team works and what comes across immensely is the editor’s passion for nurturing rising talent. After all, this is not just a magazine for those interested in fashion, more so a magazine for anyone with a creative mind. With articles showcasing talent from designers to musicians, what is clear is that the magazine is designed to be an experience. Rather than feeding you endless information, it has been created so
I AM NOT A FASHION MAGAZINE, I AM A SHOWCASE FOR TALENT, WHETHER THAT IS IN FASHION, ART OR MUSIC, OR COOKING... WHY NOT? 69
that it leaves the reader time to think, time to analyse and above all, time to question.
director of Vogue Russia) to be interviewed? Did you receive any knock backs due to it being a new magazine?
So for those who are fed up with reading interviews and articles focused on the ‘latest trends’ or ‘must-haves’, MYKROMAG offers an escape from the predictable. Instead of dictating what’s in fashion, it allows you to make up your own mind for a change. Jordan Shiel talks to founder of MYKROMAG, Abdul Lagerfield.
Surely not everyone is interested in working with MYKROMAG, yet. Some people are holding back as they don’t understand what MYKROMAG is all about. Others are unsure how a group of eye-catching young people can work on something without the experience. Plus, we don’t have a printed issue yet. Or our website says it’s a magazine, but it doesn’t look like any other online magazine.
How did you first fall in love with fashion? I have simply no idea. I can’t remember not being in love with fashion. You have attracted quite the following on your blog and Myspace pages. How does it feel to be this source of inspiration to many thriving fashion-forward people out there? I think we all like attention and nice compliments, so it’s great. And of course it’s a big compliment when people like your style or get inspired by it. What are your main sources of inspiration at the moment? I love the Internet and am checking out my favorite blogs every single day. But besides that, music and moments are my biggest inspirations. Sometimes you walk somewhere and a certain song plays on your iPod and that moment inspired you. You have recently published the second edition of your online magazine MYKROMAG. How did the premise for the idea of the magazine come about? Everywhere I go I will hear about or meet young talented people. And since I didn’t work for any media where I could feature or collaborate with them, I figured it was time to find a select group of people and start a website. Two years later, MYKROMAG was launched. I particularly like your decision to keep the aesthetic of MYKROMAG very simple - it’s as if you are allowing the content to be the main source of inspiration - was this the intention? MYKROMAG is a media in which we show people we feel are interesting. We show you something, tell you something, but it’s up to you what you do with this. By keeping it clean and all black and white, you look beyond a pink dress and really see the subject we’re showing. It also leaves space for your own mind field to work and create an option for instance. In the first edition, you have managed to combine showcasing both established and rising talent. Is it important for you to work with designers and artists who are not as well known? It very much is. The world is getting smaller by the day and there’s so much talent we all haven’t heard about. To mix them in with more known names you create a new something, a new mixture. That’s what MYKROMAG stands for. Making smaller names bigger and mixing them in together with others. In the initial stages of producing the magazine, how difficult was it approaching people like Simon Robins (Fashion 70
So instead of embracing this, there are still some people who hold back. Others such as Simons Robins, or Nicola Formichetti, not to mention a list of many others, are responding in the most enthusiastic way. Mostly all it takes is a simple email and keeping our fingers crossed. You have managed to acquire quite an eclectic team at MYKROMAG. What attributes did you look for when choosing whom to work with? I like people who are pure and ambitious. I like young people; this doesn’t mean age-wise, but young in mind. Be aware of the power of the Internet, the upcoming future and the sky is the limit. My team-members know how to push limits without stepping over them. How do you envisage the magazine progressing? I don’t have all the experience I may need. I surely don’t know it all. But I’m not alone, ever too old to learn or scared to push my vision. We’ll grow everyday and be here right now as well as 20 years from now. So we’ll take things step by step. Did you find the process of setting the magazine up on an online format challenging? I’m a complete dork when it comes down to websites or computers. But when you find the right people to help me out, together you make it work. The only challenge is to stay there. One issue is simple— making sure you will also get to the 10th or 20th issue, that’s the challenge. Do you plan on developing the magazine into print format for the public? Some businesses and labels that want to advertise or collaborate have contacted us. A printed issue is in the making, as are some other projects we’re working on. And as time will show, I will tell you all soon. What do you have in store for the next issue? Any exciting collaborations? We’ll show some young and hidden talent, some editors and will also start putting the focus on music. The next issue is very much about young talented people. The issue after this one will show the generations before. Away from the magazine, you are mostly well known for your outlandish approach to style. Do you believe that people should experiment more in terms of pushing the boundaries of their own style? I do wear skirts, which may be a better example on how I push people’s mind field. I think we should all push our boundaries and experiment. However, remaining balanced is the keyword for a successful look, so always keep that in mind.
You lead quite the jet-set lifestyle, making appearances at all the major fashion weeks. Of all the places you’ve visited, where do you feel offers the more creative approach to fashion? People like to believe I live the jet-set lifestyle, because you see the photos. It may seem I’m always dressed up and around everywhere. But in between those days and moments, I run around and work my ass off. And if I should find a place where the most creativity is shown, the Internet will be my pick. No matter what your age is, no matter what your experience is, you can show your true ambition and talent, from Facebook to Youtube or any existing website. And this surely goes for fashion as well. And finally, what can we expect from Sonny Groo in the future? Whatever the future brings, I can’t tell. That I will be a main character in tomorrow’s fashion, no doubt. And you know what, I can’t wait!
WITH LA PETITE FASHIONISTA’S
Lauren Felix chats to Sketchbook about what’s in her blogging kit and her trip to Miami Fashion Week Interview Duygu Tavan Illustration Jade Cummings
When and why did you start blogging? I started blogging about 2 ½ years ago because at the time there weren’t a lot of fashion blogs for the teenage/young adult audience. I’ve always enjoyed writing and fashion so I wanted to share my perspective. What was the moment where you realized you had crossed over from blogger to full time fashion reporter? I’m a fulltime fashion student as well so life can get a bit crazy sometimes. When I got my first press pass to a local fashion week it was a really exciting moment! How has your blog changed your life? It has given me so many opportunities I never thought possible. I’ve made valuable connections, met some wonderful people, and gotten an inside look at the fashion world. What areas of your life have been most affected, positively and negatively? Positively, I’ve gained a lot of self-confidence from writing and feel positive about finding a job working in fashion. Truly, there are no negatives! It’s a passion for me. Do you feel a certain pressure to maintain your blog even when you want to take a day off from the whole thing? Sometimes you just want to take some time off, but it’s sort of like a job (though an incredibly fun one)! You don’t want to let your readers down. How do you cope with the pressure of maintaining your blog every day? I just think of it as just a part of my daily routine. Some people like to read their morning paper, I like to write! How much of your time does fashion blogging consume? I spend at least an hour or two every day working on my blog and catching up on other blogs and fashion websites. Fashion bloggers are a strange breed. Do you have any of your own weird blogging quirks? So true! I like to do my blogging with some sort of beverage to sip on while I work whether it’s hot tea or a homemade caramel latte. What time of day do you usually blog and where? Usually in the evening from my couch in our living room while my roomies & me watch our nightly shows. What are you up to at the moment? I’m currently studying abroad with my university’s fashion program! I’ve been in Paris and Milan the last week and was in London until August. While I’ve been in London I had the
opportunity to see a local PR showroom, and am looking to meet up with fellow fashion bloggers! Fashion blogging is fast becoming a recognized media to view fashion. What do you think will be the next new technology? I can imagine the next technology will have to do with video, perhaps broadcasting news from cell phones or something of that nature. Name 6 must-have items for your blogging kit (what you need to blog): My trusty laptop; my Fashion News Sources (wwd, style. com, etc.); My Morning or Afternoon Latte; Free Time; Digital camera for uploading pics; A good play list to work along to. 10 top favorite spots in the summer and why? 1. The beach, I’m born and raised living next to it; 2. Traveling (anywhere! I love road trips & jet setting); 3. In a hammock reading a good book; 4. Hawaii, I’m obsessed; 5. On my porch sitting in a rocking chair; 6. Lying out by the pool, so relaxing; 7. Sipping on an icy drink at a tiki bar; 8. A baseball game - love the fanfare; 9. Scouring vintage stores for good finds; 10. Surfing! It’s one of the greatest feelings on earth. What has been your gold star moment as a blogger so far? My opportunity to attend Miami Fashion Week as a member of the press was one of the coolest things to happen from being a blogger! I’m constantly surprised and grateful about how far my blog has come. Style icons? Audrey Hepburn (timeless beauty), Alexa Chung (amazing Brit style), Erin Wasson (master of the model-off-duty look), Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen (for their ability to pull off absolutely anything), and Carine Roitfeld (need I say more). Who do you follow? I follow all things fashion! I’m captivated by everyone from designers to bloggers to fashion labels. What is your most coveted item in your wardrobe? My leather motorcycle jacket from Florence, Italy! I feel instantly stylish when I slip it on! www.lapetitefashionista.com
Financial Fools Day Elham Fakhro reports on the G20 protests that engulfed the city of London on April 1st 2009 Text Elham Fakhro Photography Hossein Fatemi (Iran, Afghanistan)/ Nathan Pask (G20 Protests)
n the morning of April 1st 2009, London awoke to a startlingly sunny day. From the red-brick housing estates along Victoriaâ€™s embankment to the metallic shimmer of Canary Wharf, the city shone bright in a fearless tribute to the new spring. For the feather-tailed geese along the banks of the Thames, this marked the end of repetitively bleak winter mornings and the beginning of tourist season, and a happy return to a cosy diet of bread crusts and abandoned baguette sandwiches. To the railway guard at Waterloo Station it signalled an end to unplanned delays and station closures along the South-western route, which were caused, almost purposefully, by unexpected flooding along the suburban routes. And yet on this particular morning, the vibrancy of the early spring was offset by echoes of a higher frequency: murmurs of an event unfolding of greater proportions, an upcoming event of a larger magnitude. The buzz itself could be felt on the early buses packed with commuters; men in suits who traded nervous glances and hurriedly typed out short text messages on sleek blackberry devices. It could be felt in the additional police vans parked outside Mile End station, just the extra few officers in yellow vests along the tube platform to make the typical faredodger think twice. It could be sensed in the empty offices of the Stop the War Coalition along Vauxhall Walk, in the tightened barracks around number 10 Downing Street, and most of all, at the abandoned premises of the Royal Bank of Scotland around Monument Station. This was definitely no ordinary spring morning. It was the morning that internet bloggers, anarchist factions, and media 88
...thousands of police officers stood guard on foot, on horseback, and inside armored vehicles that lined the square mile and effectively closed off entire avenues, thereby slicing the crowd into tightly controlled packs
As factions of the crowd smashed their way into the Royal Bank of Scotland, individuals intent on literally destroying the financial institutions at bay began tearing computers and telephones from within their sockets as others shattered the outer glass windows of the bank
groups had deemed ‘financial fools day’; the day that anger and frustration at years of failed economic policies, climate chaos, and needless bloodshed had erupted in a series of protests that rocked the core of one of Europe’s major capital cities. It was the day that the leaders of the G20- the worlds twenty strongest economic powers - gathered to discuss the urgent need to identify a solution to the current global economic meltdown and the day that the citizens of London stood up and demanded an end to the unregulated bailout of the banks. It was the day that students, doctors, socialists, and taxi drivers announced that those who had wrecked economic havoc on the world and had destroyed their pension funds, snatched away their hopes for free higher education, and caused the stock market to plummet through excessive risk-taking, could no longer be handed milliondollar bonuses from the taxpayer in the form of governmentsponsored bailouts. To most Londoners, the April 1st protests were seen as the logical extension to the events of the previous weekend, where thirty thousand Londoners had gathered peacefully on the streets of the capital under the banner of ‘jobs, justice, and climate.’ Yet as the morning of April 1st unfolded, it became increasingly apparent that the ideological fervor of the protesters 90
that gathered along Bishopsgate, coupled with the unyielding determination of the police to impose strict order, would result in inevitable clashes between both groups on the street. Media outlets had further fuelled rumors of such a clash, as tabloid newspapers predicted widespread riots across the city, stating that Anarchist elements had threatened to attack corporate headquarters and lynch the bankers within. In response to such predictions, thousands of riot police and Scotland Yard officers were dispatched to Bishopsgate, as police groups implemented a coordinated security operation designed to restrict both entry and exit from London’s financial centre, in an attempt to confine demonstrators inside closed units. While protestors complained bitterly of the infringement upon their right to protest freely, the scale of the security operation only added to the tension, paranoia, and rampant sense of claustrophobia on the streets. In total, thousands of police officers stood guard on foot, on horseback, and inside armored vehicles that lined the square mile and effectively closed off entire avenues, thereby slicing the crowd into tightly controlled packs. In addition, the emotionally-charged message being delivered by the protesters at Bishopsgate, coupled with the heavy-handed tactics used by a small minority of violent rioters, which included pelting abandoned offices with fruit and releasing smoke bombs ensured that the crowd itself gradually transformed from a peaceful group into an emotionally-charged and occasionally vengeful force. And so the clashes began. As factions of the crowd smashed their way into the Royal Bank of Scotland, individuals intent on literally destroying the financial institutions at bay began tearing computers and telephones from within their sockets as others shattered the outer glass windows of the bank. Environmental activists climbed to the top of the Duke of Wellington’s statue outside the Bank of England, masking the monument with a banner that demanded a change in climate policies. Lone anarchists wielding cans of spray paint displayed their disillusionment at bank bailouts across the walls of financial institutions and amidst the chaos, the young, the middle-aged, and the old could be seen preaching, dancing, singing, and shouting for change and justice. Simultaneously across the city, a gathering of 2000 individuals was quietly and powerfully making its way from the US embassy in Grosvenor Place to Trafalgar Square, determinately calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine, an end to nuclear proliferation and the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and
Are we today witnessing the development of a new Leftist movement that advocates violence and looting as a means of achieving political aim?
Afghanistan. In this branch of the protests, police were almost inaudible on the sides of the crowd, as they ambled along placidly amidst the protestors. The discrepancy between both displays could hardly be more striking and would perhaps lend itself to a simplistic difference in ideology were it not for the fact that both crowds were preaching a nearly identical message: an increase in government accountability and a demand for a new era of political, social and environmental justice. Two approaches, one message. One crowd looted, ransacked, pushed, and directly challenged authority while another quietly asserted its presence. One resulted in the arrest of 86 individuals in just one day, the injury of tens of others, and the death of an innocent man, Ian Tomlinson, by an overzealous and careless police officer, while the other protest barely made the evening news. As the events of the G20 protests fade into political history, and as the pledges made by Brown, Obama, and Merkel dim from the headlines, one is confronted with two enduring questions. Firstly, what caused the vast discrepancy between the nature of the two protests? If both were aimed at delivering a similar message to world leaders, how does one explain the anger, and riots that ensued from one of the protests, while the other began and ended peacefully? Does the media bear the bulk of the responsibility for predicting carnage and riots to the point where it became a self-fulfilling prophecy? Or are we today witnessing the development of a new Leftist movement that advocates violence and looting as a means of achieving political aim? If so, has such an ideology developed in direct response to the criminal acts perpetrated by those in power, which include the plunder of financial institutions and the propagation of unjust 92
wars? Or did this represent an occasion where violent political elements were able to infiltrate a mainstream protest and impose their will upon elements of the crowd? Or perhaps this time, the losses caused on Wall Street, which directly impacted many individuals in the crowd, sparked a passion and sense of outrage that reports of distant wars and far-off conflicts could not previously evoke in the past? Amidst the chaos and riots, what, if any, responsibility does the police itself bear for failing to deal with protesters in a proportionate and appropriate manner, thereby fuelling pre-existing tensions on the streets? Or perhaps, as some have stated, individuals and groups had grown tired of the lack of response to peaceful protests, which rings especially true when one recalls Blairâ€™s fundamental disregard for the million-strong Londoners that marched against the decision to go to war in Iraq in early 2003, thereby fuelling a more radical approach by the crowd in an attempt to make its voice finally heard. Once one has tried to make sense of the causes of the street violence that engulfed one of Europeâ€™s most stable capital cities, one may then turn to consider the effects that it may, or may not, have had on the leadership concerned. Has the violent scale of the protests this time forced governments to really examine the causes of discontent on the ground and attempt to address them, or will these protests again be dismissed as the mere gathering of illogical and rash students and extremists, as they were in the past? Thirty-five thousand Londoners, in addition to one grieving family, await the answers.
Interview with a shoe Kristin Knox chats to Alice Instone about her latest exhibit and painting Annie Lennox’s gold platforms.
f Carrie Bradshaw’s version of heaven were to be rendered in oil, canvas and sculpture, than the artistic shoe shrine that became the upstairs gallery of Shoreditch’s Beach Blanket Babylon would certainly have been it. No, the fictional footwearaholic has not forsaken her on-screen writing career to render her passion in paint, but rather, London-based artist Alice Instone who has celebrated our favorite accessory in her new exhibit, “Interview with a Shoe”. The exhibit features a series of more than twenty portraits of the favourite footwear of high profile names such as Annie Lennox, Elle Macpherson, Cherie Blair, Baroness Neuberger and Alice Temperley along with the stories that accompany them. Including how Terry De Hallivand made a special pair of gold Cobra and gold spot foil Python boots his wife Liz de Hallivand on the occasion of their engagement instead of a ring. Sure puts Big’s measly Manolo to shame...Sorry, Carrie. Accordingly, the launch party seemed to lead the famous and portrayed feet of said subjects straight to the bramble-cocktail offering bar, making for quite the celebrity-studded and jam-packed opening night.
Text Kristin Knox Illustration Alina Antemir
Before the show, I had a chance to interview the woman behind the shoes. British artist Alice lives and works in London. She has painted numerous high profile women and exhibited at the House of Commons and Royal Society of Arts. She was short listed for the Women of the Future Award in 2006. And would you know it, during the interview, Alice asked me if I’d sit for her as Dido for her next project, “Inside Out,” exploring history’s vilification of the femme fatale. So I’m happy to say, this is a mere introduction to Alice’s wonderful wonderland, with more to come in the future. But for now, back to the shoes. One step at a time. Tell me a little bit about yourself as an artist. I started working full time as an artist in my late twenties. I did an English degree and worked teaching English at the University of the Arts and then began making T.V. ads. I guess you could say that I’m a feminist artist, really. A lot of my work is about women-ideas of gender, power and general contemporary cultural values. And as I have been painting all these powerful women I got interested in the shoes they were wearing. It’s amazing how much those shoes say about them - it made me want to do some portraits of pairs of shoes. So that’s what led to the idea for this show. Really, they are contemporary portraits. When I was painting the shoes I began to think shoes have a special quality about them that’s similar to a holy relic. You know, saints’ bones...that kind of thing. And there’s something about the way the shoe is shaped to the foot and the story that the shoe offers to tell. So obviously I’ve got all these stories that go with the shoes that people have given me. So what are some of these stories? There were these gold platform shoes that Annie Lennox wore as a bridesmaid to Bob Geldof’s and Paula Yates’ wedding. Nicole Farhi also gave me these really worn out gold shoes. You would think that since she’s this famous fashion designer she should have given me these really glamorous pair of shoes, maybe of her design, but she didn’t: I love the fact that she gave me these worn out shoes. That’s really saying something about her values- that she looks for quality and loves that time has made something beautiful by wearing it out. And the fact that David’s [Sir David Hare, her husband] shoes are worn out as well...they are really 93
sole mates. I also painted the slippers that belonged to Pope Pius VII and the shoes that Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang happy birthday to John Kennedy. All the others obviously I painted from life. People lent them to me. They’ve got this amazing presence about them, I think in the same way that we would get excited in the past about having the cross, or vials of holy blood, or some saints’ bones. I think shoes have got that something sacred about them. They’ve also got that real fetish side as well, which I tried to capture with the prints and the sculptures. I’ve got a hilarious pair of “Killer Shoes” with big teeth on them. This sculpture is huge and glittery. In fact, I would quite like some shoes with teeth on them, wouldn’t you? And all the values that we associate with shoes...there’s this real thing in the exhibit with shoes as trophies and hoarding the shoes. These are all things I try to explore in the show. How did you approach or select your subjects? Were there certain peoples’ shoes you just thought to yourself, ‘I’d really love to paint those’? Actually, I painted Annie Lennox for my last show. So I went to her house where she has an archive of costumes and we went through all the shoes – each having a different story. And obviously there were these particular pair of gold shoes, which really jumped out at me. And then she asked me ‘would you like me to ask so and so.’ And so obviously I got a lot of people that way.
is their ability to express individual stories. You’re not really expressing yourself when you put on a pair of trainers. So what’s next? Well I’ve already started my next project. It’s called ‘Outside In’ and it’s paintings of notorious women from history. The idea being that history’s been unfair to women and they’ve been charged very harshly for things men did and it was completely socially acceptable to do so. And why is it we love to hate women in the media? Going back to the Bible, why did Eve get the blame? So I’ve got a selection of friends and other artists and again other celebrities sitting as women from the past - I’m trying to reinterpret these well known paintings using current women. For example, I’ve just done a very trippy version of the Anne Boleyn painting. I’ve also done a couple of miniature ones of Laura Bailey looking very ethereal. It’s quite near the beginning and I do find that my projects tend to take on a life of their own and sometimes I end up with something quite different from what I set out to do. I think it’s more interesting in some ways if you don’t know the outcome. In my head I keep calling it ‘Wicked Women’ but I don’t want to scare anyone off with that title, but secretly, that’s what I’m calling it.
Which pair (or story) did you find the most compelling? I think the most compelling story is the Annie Lennox one because there’s a bit of rock n’ roll history. In terms of history, I think the Bianca Jagger shoes are exquisite. I was just looking at them this morning, the actual shoes. They’re tiny as well, just like Cinderella would have worn. And the Brian Attwood boots for Temperley are pretty impressive in terms of their design, where the actual painting’s a meter high. So they’re like pow, these huge platforms in front of you. And then I really got into using glitter. Because shoes are so much of a design thing, a lot of the projects came in a lot more design-led way than my work usually is. And the glitter just seemed to go really well with what the show was all about. It’s magical; it’s sparkly, a bit of a magpie element to it. Those are the ones that immediately spring to mind. And the flip side? Which pair was the most difficult to paint? I found the most difficult ones to do were Pat Cash’s because they’re trainers and trainers are so anonymous. I really struggled with them; I had them for a year and a half or something before I actually tried a piece of work on them. And I tried so many different things, so many different approaches. I tried doing prints with the sole of them, I tried doing a tennis footwork diagram with them, I tried all colours--I tried all sorts of things. But in the end I just ended up doing this really straight-forward painting of them and tried to sort of look at the beauty of all the interlocking shapes and how they are amazingly designed, trainers. I ended up doing the painting quite fast, and in the end it looked quite beaten up, because obviously there’s a sense of how you thrash trainers about as a piece of equipment. So I called the portrait ‘thrashing’. I’d say they are one of the most difficult, precisely because trainers can belong to anyone and part of the power of the shoes 95
Published on Nov 16, 2009
A passion of the magazine is the visual arts, photography and illustration. Between the interview with fashion blogging matriarch Diane Pern...