Saturday 31 October 2009

Introducing CAMP TERROR by Buckstyle

A few days back an intriguing Halloween inspired YouTube clip appeared in my inbox so getting into the festive spirit I thought I’d take a sneak peek. Part gore fest part fashion extravaganza CAMP TERROR is brought to us by the lovely people behind Buckstyle. Showcasing the latest winter apparel from brands as varied as Paul Smith, Woolrich, Topman and Asos, this fashion short is a cross between (a much better) Blair Witch Project and an illegal rave in the woods with lots of guests turning up impeccably groomed only to run into a meat-cleaver wielding maniac– giving it quite an impact!

Whilst on the subject of Buckstyle I remember going to the launch party around this time last year so all that remains to say is: Happy 1st birthday Buck!

Friday 30 October 2009

Adam Neate at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms

Meet my new favourite artist:
For those who are interested I have many longstanding favourite artists, one of whom I was so excited to see recently at the White Cube (stay tuned for a post on Anselm Kiefer). I also have newer artists whose works I’ve fallen in love with over the years so to put this into context Adam Neate is the biggest art crush I’ve had in a really long time! And yet there is so much of his back catalog of work which I am yet to discover...
For those who are interested I have many longstanding favourite artists, one of whom I was so excited to see recently at the White Cube (stay tuned for a post on Anselm Kiefer). I also have newer artists whose works I’ve fallen in love with over the years so to put this into context Adam Neate is the biggest art crush I’ve had in a really long time! And yet there is so much of his back catalog of work which I am yet to discover...
Aside from his obvious bold use of colour, freedom of movement, and love of the three-dimensional what I love most is Neate’s modern slant on Cubism. I love how his images are collages that build up the story depicted layer by layer with everything from cardboard to Perspex and from fake eyes to false teeth. Neate’s work is fun, vibrant and most importantly unique.
This amazing exhibition is taking place at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in Soho and features 22 new works all created in 2009 (which is extraordinary considering the preparation and attention to detail that must have gone into them) all ready by the end of September.
Whilst Neate’s work clearly references the Cubist period several pieces are also evocative of the styles of Expressionism and Futurism making Neate in my opinion a master of Modern art, being able to fuse all these styles so effortlessly whilst creating something completely new. This is a FREE exhibition that I would highly recommend, hell I liked it so much I’m going to have to revisit before the end of its run on 21st November.
All artworks depicted are copyright of Adam Neate.

Traditional London Phonebox- VICTORY!

I have some great news! As I was in the West End yesterday attending a couple of press days I decided to pop past my old friend the traditional phonebox and check in to see if there had been any change. To my great relief the phonebox has not only been cleaned, but the broken windows have also been replaced. Intriguingly when I got home and checked my email I FINALLY had a response awaiting me from Camden council. As if by coincidence the ‘public realm officer’ who emailed also went to inspect the phonebox yesterday and had emailed to say that she had followed up my complaint and all looked to be okay. Interestingly the message I received said "Camden Council are not contracted to keep phone boxes clean. This is the responsibility of such utilities companies, in this case BT". Annoyingly I haven’t had time to contact BT about this yet, so I’m very confused as to who cleaned it up! Whilst I am over the moon that the phonebox does not only no longer pose a hazard to the environment but has also been restored- part of me still wants to know why it was not done sooner and why BT and Camden Council do not work more responsibly together. Surely BT would have noticed months ago that no one was using the phone (due to not being able to get inside) so you’d think they would have sent an engineer to have a look and see if there was a problem with it. At the same time Camden Council who seem quite happy to clean around the phonebox must have noticed the problem so I wonder why they didn’t just bite the bullet and clean it themselves or at least notify BT directly – months ago. I am not trying to blame anyone as for me it isn’t about that I just find it very frustrating that no one wants to take responsibility for keeping something on our streets clean and functional unless they are pointed out to do so.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Tracey Emin 'Toom Stoning' for Action Against Hunger campaign

Last weekend I went to a really nice pub in Highgate for lunch and was pleasantly surprised when the waiter announced that an extra £1 would be put on our bill as they were supporting the Fight Hunger Eat Out campaign. Along with our receipt came a postcard designed by Tracey Emin who has joined forces with Action Against Hunger to highlight this great cause, which ends tomorrow. 

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Norman Parkinson at Somerset House (written for Fashion156 blog)

Earlier this week Vicki posted about the new strong Norman Parkinson exhibition at Somerset House, inspiring me to pop down in person. Held in the three Terrace rooms 56 of Parkinson’s most iconic images are on display to represent his 56-year career as the nation’s most celebrated fashion portrait photographer.
Parkinson began his career in 1934 when he opened his first studio after completing a short apprenticeship with the court photographers Speaight + Sons. Since his emergence on the photography scene Parkinson revolutionised fashion photography by doing something completely unprecedented at the time- taking his models and subjects outside of the rigid studio environment, in favour of the streets. By moving his models from a static studio with limited possibilities Parkinson reverted to dynamic outdoor photography in order to capture the freedom and movement of his models in a more natural environment. It is this that set Parkinson’s photography apart from his contemporaries and is why for me he is one of the greatest British fashion visionaries ever to have lived.
To continue reading Norman Parkinson at Somerset House visit the Fashion156 blog.

Monday 26 October 2009

'Real' People Do The Catwalk at the ICA (written for Amelia's Magazine)

Last night I was delighted to be invited to the ICA for an emphatic catwalk show with a difference. The event was organised by former designer Elaine Foster-Gandey; director of Designer Sales UK. Elaine developed Real People do the Catwalk after hosting a fashion show which included both dancers and models on stage. “I asked my customers about it and they said they related to the dancers and not the models”. Spurred by this Elaine set about putting together a pioneering show to further the arguement that replacing super-thin models with people who reflect society could lead to increased sales for the fashion industry.
To continue reading about the 'Real' People Catwalk go to Amelia's Magazine.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Ellen von Unwerth at the Michael Hoppen Gallery

On Friday I popped down to the Michael Hoppen Gallery en route to the V&A to see the new Ellen von Unwerth exhibition ‘Fräulien’, which accompanies a new Taschen limited edition monograph. The exhibition features 20 of Ellen’s favourites and includes some previously unseen images from the past 15 years making it very exciting indeed.
The exhibition and monograph celebrate female icons in provocative poses: Claudia Schiffer, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Eva Mendes, Dita von Teese, and Eva Green among many others.
As a big fan of Ellen’s body of work personal highlights of the exhibition included huge scale prints of a young Kate Moss pictured squatting beside an open fridge drinking milk provocatively with a cucumber poking out of her shopping bag. What I love about this image is the wit and cheeky playfulness that shines through.
Another of the Supermodel set also featured Claudia Schiffer. Whilst this is a simple portrait of Claudia I loved the graininess of the image for two reasons. Firstly it makes her look more curvaceous as the line of her body is blurred and secondly, it ages the image making it reminiscent to me of a young Brigitte Bardot or Ursula Andress.
All in all a great little exhibition which I feel captures the essence of why Ellen von Unwerth is such a widely renowned female subject photographer perfectly. For me she is a genius at juxtaposing strong female sexuality with this unique sense of vulnerability wrapped up in the form of a fashion image. I love that her subjects are never objectified and are instead captured dominating the image and having fun.
The only negative thing is that if you’re hoping to find someone on hand to ask questions or discuss the work with don’t bother visiting the Michael Hoppen gallery as the staff were very dismissive and rather rude. Very strange behaviour seeing that all the prints in the exhibition are on sale, you’d think they’d be jumping on everyone who walked through the door. Perhaps I just don’t belong in Chelsea?!
This exhibition is free and is showing until 21st November.

Thursday 22 October 2009

Dizzee Rascal live at Electric Proms last night

Last night on BBC2 I was lucky enough to catch Dizzee Rascal's Electric Proms set live from The Roundhouse. It was absolutely brilliant. Long have I been a fan of Dizzee and have follwed his career since he was championed by Jools Holland back in 2003 when he went on to win the Mercury Music Prize for his debut album Boy In Da Corner. I was fortunate enough to meet him at Underage Festival a couple of years back and he was so polite and sweet (which I don't think people would expect), and its just so nice to see him doing really well.
Highlights of the set were for me very clear. Being the Electric Proms he had to mix it up a little and with Dizzee it's good to expect the unexpected. That said I wasn't disappointed when he reworked two of his more recognisable songs from his first album. The first was Jus' A Rascal which he performed to the tune of Reptilia by The Stroke's. The Second was Stand Up Tall which he rocked along to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.
There is honestly only two words for someone who can mix and mash genres like that so effortlessly: AMAZING TALENT!!!

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Traditional London phonebox left to go to ruin- Update

Yesterday I was in the West End area so thought I'd pop back to the phonebox in question to see if there were any signs of it having been cleaned up in the past two weeks.
Oh what a surprise it wasn't. The council still haven't replied to my complaint. Don't think they have a leg to stand on as they cannot argue that no one has been in the area to sweep the streets or empty rubbish in the past two weeks as this would be shameful for such a central London tourist spot. So this leads me to believe that Camden council staff clean around it but don't bother to touch it. Why? Perhaps I should contact BT and see what they think...
If anyone wants to take a look for themselves head towards St. Giles Street, WC2H and you can't miss it!
Don't know what happened to my previous complaint... perhaps it didn't send as I just complained again and got a reference number: 5615537. Fingers crossed I hear something!!

Monday 19 October 2009

Chrysler Series preview...

Saturday 17 October 2009

Experimenting with Photoshop part 3

Street Style, WC2

Loved this simple ensemble and of course the navy coat is a winner!!

Monday 12 October 2009

Ethical Fashion Show, Paris 2009 (written for Amelia's Magazine)

The dawning of October saw the fashion world descend on Paris to experience what is arguably the most highly anticipated of fashion weeks. With highly influential and renowned designers: Lanvin, Givenchy, and Chanel showcasing their collections for SS10, you would be forgiven for thinking that Paris was only about the ubiquitous fashion houses. Whilst the presence of big name designers and celebrities alike was a mathematical certainty, thankfully there was one big ethical reason to keep an eye on Paris...
To continue reading about the Ethical Fashion Show go to Amelia's Magazine.
Image coutresy of Studio Jux.

Contemporary Ceramics at Somerset House

While I was at Somerset House last week for the SHOWstudio exhibition I also had the opportunity to pop into the Courtyard room to view the Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition. Whilst displayed in what I would presume to be the smallest room in the whole of Somerset House, I was pleasantly surprised by how many potters’ work they had managed to supply. There were approximately 15 collections on display each comprising of at least three pieces. The work of four potters in particular caught my attention: Emma Rogers

With no entrance fee I would definitely recommend this exhibition to anyone in the area with a spare quarter of an hour.
All imagery courtesy of the links for each potter above.