News for December 2011

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Who knew Joseph Gordon-Levitt could sing??

This video would sum up my New Year’s Eve dilemma except I haven’t had too many invitations….
Hope you all had a cracking Christmas!

Posted: December 29th, 2011
Categories: Event, Music
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Spoilt rotten

I’ve already been thoroughly spoilt and there are still **days** to go until Christmas day..

The reason for this premature indulgence is ultimately due to the fact that I am starting a new job in January*. As such I’ve had to say goodbye to arguably the two best bosses a girl could ask for in the fashion industry. Although as a freelancer my time during this past year has been spread out amongst various projects like Twin, Dazed, Ligature, 1883, etc. I really owe a lot to these two women who plucked me from obscurity and helped me make a name for myself, not to mention taught me multitudinous skills and gave me a regular wage. And although my new role is quite ad hoc and flexible, it is predominantly full-time, at least until London Fashion Week’s over, meaning that as of January I will have my hands full.

So I have given over my Christmas/Thank you cards and presents – small tokens of appreciation as much as Christmas presents, not even considering for a second that I might be getting something myself. (Honestly .. I’m not just saying that to sound modest!) But it seems that I did have some presents coming my way – and what lovely gifts!

The Shirt Company Christmas card

Donna at The Shirt Company took me on for one day’s work in August 2010 and I have worked with her ever since. At times I’ve spent the majority of my week there, dealing with everything from PR and marketing to the website and budgeting – it’s been a really hands on experience. Anyway, Donna sent me over a ridiculously indulgent present which I officially received by courier just today – I will be getting the Cowgroom Maintenance treatment at the Cowshed spa in Shoreditch House. The blurb goes something like this:

“Two therapists work in synchronised movements ensuring complete pampering and relaxation. All treatments begin with the feet and an invigorating exfoliation with peppermint salt scrub. This is followed by a forehead pressure point massage and a de-stressing shoulder massage to prepare you for your chosen Cowgroom.”

I’m having the Cowgroom ‘Maintenance’ – an all-encompassing MOT for tired bods like mine! A Cowshed Facial, Eyebrow Tidy and Cowshed Manicure (or Pedicure). I literally cannot wait!

Then yesterday I did my last day’s work with Sasha at LibertyLondonGirl.com, who clearly needs no introduction with her 40,000 odd Twitter followers and winning of awards. I was frantically beavering away not only trying to get all Sasha’s receipts in order (so that she can complete her tax return) but also surreptitiously ordering a festive bouquet of flowers from Rebel Rebel for her. At the end of the day when I was just about ready to start packing up Sasha started murmuring about Christmas presents and before I knew it not one, but two bags were thrust in my direction..

One contained the most chic, yet somehow also eccentric (green with a pink bookmark – I love it!) notebook from Smythson of Bond Street, the elegant stationery brand whose sleek notebooks I have always coveted but never dared dream I’d be able to lay my clammy mitts on. The front cover says ‘Dreams and Thoughts’ – highly appropriate for me considering I’m always either away with the fairies pondering or making lists! I may have to get my fountain pen out to scrawl in this bad boy.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the second bag contained – and this was most definitely too much – the most beautiful faux snakeskin bag in a delicious berry hue from Angel Jackson. I am beyond delighted with it – indeed, both gifts are so me – and I think I was so overwhelmed that I felt altogether emotional as I stumbled out of Sasha’s office for the last time to walk home smiling absentmindedly like a goon.

Thank you both so much!

*More to come on the new job soon..

Fourth & Main

It’s no longer enough to simply make beautiful things. To get people on board with a design concept, you must also woo them with a lifestyle concept. No one understands this better, it seems, than James Wright who has taken on the modern, though nonetheless daunting, task of launching a journal alongside Nikhil Adwalpalkar’s clothing line, both titled Fourth & Main.

He explained to me that the nascent company functions symbiotically – the sales of the newly formed menswear line feed the production costs of the magazine (we all know print ain’t cheap..) which in turn informs the clothing. And round and round it goes. “To those ends,” James explains, “it really has been a labour of love, with every contributor having donated their time, effort and skill for no fee.”

The 125-page publication, a bi-annual print platform for the best emerging young talent across the worlds of art, film, music, writing and photography, will also have an online presence with the launch of the Fourth & Main website [launching imminently]. As for content? James says it better than I could:

“We hope the Journal provides a bridge of content and design: unique and original youth-driven content, aligned with a return to old-fashioned values of form and presentation. Undiluted and free of advertising, the design is stripped-back, elegant and clean, mirroring the simplicity of the clothing.. In the first issue, we cover a range of topics as diverse as talking with the rising star of Captain America – Hayley Atwell, to profiling the work of dynamic young photographic movement Fourteen-Nineteen to assessing the escalating situation of Mexico’s drug wars.”

From March you can get your mitts on the print magazine at such institutions as The ICA, Opening Ceremony NY, The BFI, The Barbican, Colette, Paris, The Tate Modern, Tate Britain, The Proud Gallery, The Royal Court, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Soho House group and many more. If you can’t wait ’til March though, order your copy – for free – from fourteen nighteen and while you’re waiting for it to arrive in the post, you can watch Hayley Atwell for Fourth & Main right here:

Fourth & Main on Vimeo.

Dave.I.D

Right now I am really loving the music of Dave.I.D. I spoke to the Creative Director/Designer behind his visual output, Simon Owens to find out about his sound and the stunning graphics on his limited edition 12inch which is out in February.

Simon explains the concept behind the visuals for Dave.I.D’s unique sound:

“Dave.I.D has this strange sound which is both past and present, so I came up with this equally contradictory overarching idea of ‘industrial futurism’. Whereby shape (and the space it gives) and material were really important, anchored by considered though slightly odd and off (hand drawn) typography/logo.

We started off with hand printed, distressed (almost destroyed) press shots, and a strong directional shape (rhombus) used in 2d print, actual packaging shape, and the material used (tarpaulin). With most copy/details in an old Germanic digitised typeface. And then added the fire red, black, white, and bronze as the main colour scheme to emphasise the strong, confrontational nature of the music. It’s not music you can just put on in the background, it requires your attention! And that’s something which is quite at odds with a lot of the new music made right now. So it was important the design reflected this.

In some ways i think Dave.I.D has created a new genre. Either way, and unintentionally it plays with your minds ability to place when it was made, mainly through industrial textures, which was definitely the main idea for using chemical blue tarpaulin for the ‘Gangs’ ep sleeve, with the shape taking it somewhere else, a forward leaning idea of the future. Industrial futurism/industrial RnB!”

See Dave.I.D play on Saturday 10th at the Old Blue Last for the Quietus ILM after party.

Posted: December 8th, 2011
Categories: Music
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Meet Me in St. Louis

A couple of weeks ago I went to go see a press viewing of Meet Me in St. Louis with one of my oldest friends S. The BFI are re-releasing Vincent Minnelli’s most well-known film on 16th December and it’s one of those classics that I saw in S’s loft when we were about 11. S has always been a big Judy Garland fan and she told me lots of fascinating bits and pieces after we watched the movie, over a decade after we last saw it together.

I thought, since the movie is so Christmas-sy – with Garland singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ [see vid below], I best relay a couple of these fascinating titbits here…

It was during the filming of Meet Me in St Louis, aged 21, that Garland had a breakdown. The studio had prescribed her sleeping pills, as well as pills to wake her up so they could get lots of movies out of her. At this point she had already been at MGM quite a while and had developed a full-blown addiction. Apparently Minnelli was pushed into marrying her after they begun a love affair as she was so vulnerable.

During the trolley song the sound of a guy in the background saying ‘hiya Judy!’ is audible. Apparently, this take was actually a dress rehearsal but it turned out to be better than the actual, ‘real deal’ take so they disregarded this randomer’s shout-out to Garland and included this version in the end cut. You can still hear it in the film now.

Here Esther Smith (Judy Garland) sings ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ to her sister Tootie. (Margaret O’Brien).

Posted: December 7th, 2011
Categories: Film
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Shopping Nights

Retailers are really pushing the boat out when it comes to getting you to part with your cash this Christmas. This week Vogue has kicked off Online Fashion Week, plus I have recently written about Boxpark in Shoreditch on Twin and the Columbia Road late night openings, not to mention last week I went to the Seven Dials / Carnaby Street 20% off shopping evening where shoppers were plied with champagne and mince pies.

Well, it seems if it’s not online late night openings are where it’s at. Notting Hill is getting in on the action this Thursday. One of my new fave brands Paper London are there, offering discounts, music and booze! Others involved include Helmut Lang, Les Petits, Joseph, Sandro and Miller Harris. For the full list of participating boutiques and discounts see here

latenightnottinghill.co.uk

Jewellery – Holly Wilcox

Holly Wilcox‘s jewellery really reminds me of both the sea and forest. The intricate detailing and seemingly whipped shapes are both fragile and striking. Holly gave me an insight into her beautiful works..

How did you get started in jewellery?

I’ve always enjoyed making things, but I realised my love for jewellery design at an afternoon workshop when I was 15. I made a ring from sterling silver (which I still have today!) and was hooked from the moment the solder ran…There’s nothing more satisfying than manipulating a piece of solid metal into a different form!

Your pieces remind me of the sea and woodland berries – are you interested in nature?

Yes – growing up in a costal village has given me a real interest in nature. I love photographing and drawing all the ihe interesting little details in plants, and picking up smoothed seaglass and stones from the beach. What I find most interesting about nature is the life cycle everything goes through, from teeny tiny buds starting to flower to the crinkled leaves falling from trees. Even the view of the countryside from my window back home is inspiring.

What else inspires you?

So many things! My everyday surroundings, whether it’s an interesting leaf found on the ground, to discovering a jeweller with gorgeous work I’ve never seen before. Meeting other artists and designers and hearing them talk passionately about their own work is inspiring too.

Which jewellers do you admire?

I absolutely love Ruth Tomlinson’s intricate work – my favourites are in her ‘Flora’ collection. The use of porcelain next to precious metal creates pieces so delicate and beautiful. I also admire Ruth Wood and love the organic qualities of her jewellery.

What’s the one piece of jewellery you never take off?

I constantly wear a little delicate gold ring, which was actually a bit of an experiement but turned out beautifullly and may well lead to the next collection…and I’m also currently enjoying wearing one of my own ‘Cluster’ bangles. I tend to go through phases with my favourite piece of the moment and wear it all the time till I change my mind to the next one!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would love nothing more than to still be designing and making jewellery and perhaps be running my own gallery filled with beautiful objects…watch this space!

hollywilcox.co.uk

Posted: December 1st, 2011
Categories: Designers, Jewellery, People
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