Saturday, 6 March 2010

Sat 6th March: All I Want

Its my 30th Birthday on 29th March which I'm incredibly depressed about.
I think the only thing that could possibly pull me out of this pit of dispair would be a pair of these.
Adidas, if you are listening I take a UK 7.5 / US 8

Sat 6th March: Lazy Oaf

I am going to be an incredibly lazy oaf with this post and not actually write words necessary .........just look at these RAD pictures and get straight into town to check out the new Lazy Oaf store which opened yesterday on Fouberts Place, just behind Liberty's.  Or for those out of London, just go online and prepare to be AMAZED and shortly thereafter lighter in the pocket and bereft in the bank balance...........OAF!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Fri 5th March: Lady Gaga on Jonathan Ross

Tuesday was interesting.  I began the day by answering an email to Bishi that, no I hadn't met Lady Gaga.  I ended the day leaving the BBC dressing room where I had once been with Bishi, having just met Lady Gaga.  
I found myself in a de ja vu, backstage at Jonathan Ross, rustling up some last minute magic for a diva practising her scales.  Is this my destiny?  I think perhaps so, I love having some input into living in that moment and witnessing something so spectacular.  Having previously been on the show with Bishi, i knew I could niftily perch on the floor for the recording and watch the whole thing up close.  Wow!  My first initiation to a live Gaga performance was in a tiny studio, only metres away from her gigantic sounds and costumes.  She played the piano with platform heeled swarovski encrusted stilettos.............pushing the peddles in a style reminiscent of the way I drove my camper van wearing my Buffalo's when I was if it was the most natural and appropriate choice of footwear for the task at hand.  
Watch the show tonight to see her 4 outfit changes, 2 performances and 1 very candid and intriguing interview.  I generally hate Jonathan Ross "interviewing" (talking over) women as he very rarely allows them to speak.  But on this occasion his mix of intimidation and acquired fondness brings out some very sincere candor from Gaga.  There's no underestimating this girl..........she is made of legend material.........from the unique designer garms to her heartfelt penned her total inherent focus and drive.  We ain't seen anything yet.........

top to bottom:  backstage, in the cab en route, Rex features photo of Gaga wearing my helmet and Piers Atkinson veil, Anna Trevelyan who works with Nicola Formichetti in styling Lady Gaga)

For all up to the minute Lady Gaga trivia, check out

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Thurs 4th March: Dean Quinn

Here is Dean Quinn with a his new collection at London Fashion Week which he has now set up for sales in Paris .  Quinn's architectural bugle beading has taken a new technical direction since a wave of inspiration from sea urchins in the film "The Piano".  Apparently the piano is dredged from the depths of the ocean covered in a layer of black spiky parasites.  Dean got out his 1" beads and played around to fathom how to recreate the dense texture and domino malleability.  The compact shoulder caps sit atop soft Georgette and grosgrain panelled dresses.   These fabrics were chosen as they are comfortable to wear and transcend seasons.............easier said that done as they are notoriously difficult to work with but perfection when executed well.  Dean is never shy of a challenge so this is exactly the kind of flawless finishing that he imposes on himself.  Infact the whole collection amounts to 3000+ labour hours with the addition of the detailed embroidery.
The chevron white bugles that hold down patterns of trimming in rushed tulle came about from an original 1920's sample.  Dean is sponsored by the UK's embroidery institution "Hand & Lock" who sew for a plethora of clients from the Royal Family & military to adventurous bespoke commissions for leading designers.  With an archive since the original Huguenot 16th Century hereditary to his disposal, Dean stumbled across a particularly striking Art Deco reference.  He adapted the artistry and tweeked it to be tribal and contemporary to fit his A/W theme.  Thrown in with some specially pleated graphite lame, and sneaky sheer panelling, the whole thing is destined for the discerning best dressed............hell yes!

Fashion Scout Showroom, Ilan Engel Gallery, 77 rue des Archives, 75003 Paris, 

10:00 - 19:00

Friday 5th - Monday 8th March 2010, T: +33 (0)142 781 481, 


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Weds 3rd March: Alun Davies for Lady Gaga

Apologies for missing a day on blog entries.............I had a crazy 24hrs rustling something up for a certain songstress............all will be revealed in a few days.........but in the meantime, here is an update of another London creative responsible for contributing to her extensive collection of costumes - Alun Davies.  Whilst linking him in a previous post in connection with Piers Atkinson, I noticed a mention of something he had made for The Monster Ball, so I got in touch to find out more: 

"Here are some I phone pictures of work in progress, it was such a rush job we had to quickly put everything together in a few days notice... just in the run up to fashion week, it was quite hectic, 11 dancers costumes  6 helmets a GaGa headpiece and about 4 shoots all happening at the same time"

If you head over to Alun's site you can see more of the varied projects that he has undertaken within his "art direction" bracket.  We first met via working for Shona Heath and are now part of the second stable of set designers..........on other arms of the family tree are Andy Hillman, Emma Roach, Alex Cunningham, Andy Macgregor, Helen Macintyre, Sarah Magnay..........

(here are a couple of previous helmets that Alun has made for editorial........Plastique and Contributing Editor)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Mon 1st March: James Dawe for Christopher Shannon

As I mentioned in a previously, I wanted to run an entry on the artwork of Christopher Shannon's show invitation.  I really like the fact that he procrastinates each detail, taking consideration and care to contemplate each component of his branding.  Luckily I met the illustrator James Dawe at the door of the tent and got to find out a snippet about the photography used in his collage.  Its an assembly of original images from the 80's as James explains:

" Chris and his stylist John 'Leeds' Colver had referenced collage work by Robert Pollard and wanted to commission something in a similar vain for his Autumn Winter 10 invite.

They wanted the invite to be something that people would hold onto and stick on a notice board.

The other main inspiration and source material for the collage was the photography of Dave Sinclair, who documented working class Liverpool in the 1980s.

Chris had come across the pictures on Sinclair's flickr, which obviously resonated as he is a scouser who grew up in that era. 

The images mostly feature mischievous children playing amongst a backdrop of grey and decaying council estates.

Chris selected his favorite shots, which were then supplied by Dave Sinclair who scanned the originals.  My job was to bring these photos alive even more by making a physical collage which portrayed the raw energy of youth. "

James has sent over some scans of his work-in-progress to show the process of how he arrived at the final version (as seen in the first image).  To see more of Jame's artwork you have one more week to visit the current exhibition in the Selfridge's Ultralounge "Museum of Small Things".........or head over to the blog to see snaps of his wall collage that lines the staircase.
James is a fellow Brighton artschool affiliate now based in Dalston BUT he's not one of the seaside exodus relocation locusts.  James is an original resident brought up in the "familiar but rapidly changing surrounds" that's another interview Id like to do.  It's unbelievable how much the area has been overhauled since I first started visited for work in 2001........I can't imagine how much its changed since the 80's.........maybe that's a new collage idea James? 
To see different commissions for Warp Records, GQ Style, The Guardian and the lovely video for The Maccabes "Toothpaste Kisses" skip to Dawe's homepage or his agency Pocko.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sun 28th Feb: Piers Atkinson on Russella Vision

This is a cheeky entry which I just had to include............whilst researching Piers I found this gem.........I LOVE Russella................please go and check out the whole series on Youtube with more like this:

and this:

Sun 28th Feb: Piers Atkinson "Its Later Than You Think"

Last season the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week was opened  with a special reception and millinery showcase "Headonism" hosted by Stephen Jones.  In conjunction with Stephen's anthology exhibition at the V&A, the curator had invited 5 of the new generation to take part in a revolving runway presentation.  A section of Somerset House was also designated to give space to these creations for the rest of the week.  Fortunately the BFC decided to resurrect the stand for a second season and give support to the capitals top hat makers for A/W 10.  I popped in to catch up with Soren Bach and spot a fetching Noel Stewart assistant sporting a new knitted piece.  

Here are a couple of images of Piers Atkinson's installation which the door opened directly onto and the sun streamed into.  Mannequins were customised by art director Alun Davies and gave an atmospheric base to display his new macabre models.  Piers theme for next Winter has taken a sinister  side-step from his previous bride-to-be muse and imagined a fictional weeping widow.  But in true Atkinson style, its executed with a cheeky wink to those in the know and nod to that quirky milinery industry sense of humour.  .............its one feat that the few hat makers are a rare breed of gifted patient craftsmen but it is also a given that they have an inbuilt terrific wit.   With this in mind, Pier's widow is one that is unapologetically enjoying the untimely demise of her spouse and revelling in her first foray of a new found freedom.  There is a focus on the classic funeral veil but reinterpreted to contemporary effect such as the explosion which disguises the wearers face behind a smoke screen of net (the "Persephone" seen here) Its a 36 style collection, each named with an affectionate tribute to divas such as "The Crawford" and "The Kitt".  I'm loving "The Marlene" Mantilla afro comb with thigh length veil with pom pom trim............
...........which leads me to the final images of the fan style head pieces that Piers created for J.Maskrey's show "Pleasure" based on a 1930's film "The Mask of Fu Man Chu.  Here is Piers backstage with the showpiece that was modelled by my fave girl Tracy Onyekachukwu as cast by Judy Blame who styled the show.
Through Blame, Piers has met expert badge maker Karlie Shelley who has teamed up with other designers such as NOKI, Louise Gray and Jeanette to make unique pins.  The two have taken the sharp motif of Pier's mainline and produced leather and stud circles for an accessible Atkinson statement.  Check out the site for more........
You can also watch a film of "Its later than you think" to see that hats in motion here, directed by Ben Charles Edwards.