Saturday 25 April 2009


Last night I had the great pleasure of attending another Friday night event at the V+A, and this week saw the turn of Jamie Reid in conversation. This wouldn’t have been my first choice, but H wanted to go so armed with the preliminary knowledge that he’s an artist and used to work with the Sex Pistols, off I went to learn more about him first hand.

Hate to say ‘I told you so’, but it wasn’t that great. I think maybe if you are a huge fan of the Sex Pistols and wanted to ask Jamie questions about them or Vivienne Westwood (which people unashamedly did) then it would’ve been great fun, but I guess I might have set my expectations of Jamie himself too high.

It started off really well with Jamie introducing himself as an ‘artist, anarchist and graphic designer, among many other things’. He passionately talked us through a slide show of all of his earlier and famed works using them to illustrate his life timeline. It transpired that Jamie went to Croydon polytechnic college with Malcolm McLaren (hence the Sex Pistols connection) whom he lost contact with after college. After leaving art college Jamie was part of a group of artists that started a collective called Suburban Press (see imagery below). This was a community led initiative which highlighted local issues, but also campaigned for increased civil rights and most memorably spoke on behalf of the miners during the strikes of the late 1970s. It was his experiences at the Suburban Press that really informed Reid’s artistic style and he went on for many years to create propaganda for and against numerous political campaigns. When the suburban Press closed after around four years Reid decided to move to Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and rather randomly received a letter from Malcolm McLaren telling him all about a great new band he’d discovered called the Sex Pistols. He requested that Reid move back to London to work with the Pistols on album artwork and promotional materials. After accepting McClaren’s offer Reid recalls moving back to London and ‘suddenly my work was in all of the newspapers before the Sex Pistols even had a record deal’.
Among the best of Reid’s iconic works with the Sex Pistols are ‘Fuck Forever’, ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and 'Never Trust a Punk'(pictured above and below).
The story of Reid’s life seems to get a bit blurry at the point where he claims that the lovely Dame Vivienne and Malcolm ripped him off when they opened their famed store on the King’s Road called ‘SEX, and used his prints on t-shirts and other merchandise’. As you might have expected after they parted ways the subjects of Reid’s work changed dramatically with him focusing several years (on and off) creating ‘repetitions of imagery and emblems’.

When the discussion had moved on from the Sex Pistols things got a bit confused and became quite philosophical and a bit too highbrow for me. At first I thought it was just me being a bit restless and grumpy (I blame the crutches!!), but the audience seemed a bit stumped to think of relevant questions so Jamie continued talking about his inspirations and motivations which is when I got lost.

Among his inspirations are druidism (an ancient Celtic religion where nature was worshipped), romantic poets such as Blake and the artist Jackson Pollock. Great insights were:
Who killed Bambi?
Colour is power- so always has a presence in his work. He believes in the healing powers of colour
Assertoric (a proposition in Aristotlean logic) lets him see the magic and order in things
So weird ramblings aside it was worth going to find out more about him and who he is. Recently he has done some great things such as his fashion collaboration with Comme des Garcon which launched in 2007 with his propoganda art plastered all over the exterior of Dover Street Market (see imagery below). Reid mentioned in the lecture that the Tate galleries have just purchased some of his early collages from his Punk series, so would be great to look out for them next time I visit the Tates. Whilst I haven’t written many positive things about Jamie Reid’s lecture I do really like his work and think he did great things for the progression of graphic design. I really like his early pre punk artwork as it was really relevant for the time period and admire that it had a political message. Another thing I really liked was his use of typography and that his best works were created largely by collage.
Images of Jamie Reid artwork courtesy of Google.

Thursday 23 April 2009

Matthew Williamson for H&M VIP preview- 22nd April

Last night I visited the eagerly anticipated VIP launch preview of the H+M and Matthew Williamson collaboration at the new Regent Street store. For unspecified reasons I was lucky enough to bypass the 500 strong queue of fashion fanatics that went down Regent Street and around the block towards Carnaby Street. Luck would have it that myself and my friend H were positioned at the very top of the queue right beside the VIP entrance where we got to see all the celebrities arrive.

We saw Man of the hour Matthew Williamson arrive on the arm of Miller sisters; Sienna and Savannah who all looked extremely elegant and polished (pictured above). Sienna was wearing a beautiful Aztec inspired dress from Williamson’s AW09 line. Other VIPS in attendance were Jaime Winstone, Pixie Geldof, Jade Parfitt, Amber le Bon and a tardy Misha Baron who had clearly just gone over her heavy eye makeup as she emerged from her vehicle wiping dark smudges from her cheeks.
The designer's 20-piece collection goes on sale in 1,600 H&M stores worldwide today and I feel that it is going to sell out fast. Last night there were still hordes of women waiting to get a sneak preview hours after the doors had opened at 6:30pm.

Expect beautiful Matthew Williamson floating dresses, emblazoned with his iconic print style in addition to peacock feather prints and lots of sequin detailing. Some of the pieces weren’t my style to say the least however a great capsule collection with prices ranging from £14.99 to £199.99 ensuring that there is something for every budget and everyone can buy into a bit of Williamson’s luxury. I myself bought the beautiful patent leather chain strap bag, which can also double as a clutch. Beautifully crafted and a bargain at £34.99 (pictured hanging in-store below).

Sunday 5 April 2009

Kickers party @ Lock Tavern- 1st April

The Kickers party on Wednesday gone wasn't too shabby. Held in Camden’s Lock Tavern NW1, one of the greatest pubs (with both a gorgeous and secluded leafy garden and roof terrace) it was a great location to celebrate the onset of spring. With a complimentary bar providing everything you could possibly want I was delighted to discover that they were even offering free chips in the garden; fantastic!!

With turntable offerings from hot Brit bands Hot Chip and The Foals, it was a buzzing evening with lots of pseudo cool kids and Alice Dellal wannabes strutting their stuff. Rumour has it that one of the hottest models of the moment, Daisy Lowe rocked up towards the end of the evening delighting all with her presence.

Whilst it was a great venue, great entertainment and a great spread I think the product and message that Kickers were promoting got slightly lost. With a short film showing on mute in the background on both floors and on small red booths dotted around surprisingly not many people actually took notice.

With the traditional ankle boot shoes dotted around sparsely as we entered, by 9pm they had been sneakily buried within poncers’ bags, one of whom did so brazenly in front of my very own eyes. However I did wonder what they expected when displaying pairs so openly...

The highlight of my night was bumping into the guy pictured below; I really loved his style, and he was one cool customer.

Additional pics of the venue and the people:

Invitation courtesy of Kickers.