Friday, 4 June 2010

Friday 4th June: Peter Jensen vs. Bernstock Speirs

Skee-lo once said "I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat, And a six four Impala"
Well, I can't magic up a Chevy for you but I can pull a rabbit out of the hat to tip you off about Peter's Rabbit-in-a-hat print for his new limited edition t-shirt.............and also literally a hat (baseball cap) with bunny ears on! Its a collaboration with Bernstock Speirs who have been creating Peter's millinery since S/S 08. They have transformed their own space into a Peter Jensen emporium with the capsule collection on display and framed editorial tear sheets of past seasons pieces. I never knew this place existed so I was thrilled to discover it with their studio out the back ! The team have worked from this HQ for the last 25 years since they set up after meeting whilst studying Fashion Textiles at Middlesex University..................but only turned the 1st floor into a shop in recent years since Tatty Devine moved in next door. In addition to teaming up with Peter, Bernstock Speirs have also worked with Richard Nicoll, Emma Cook, Unconditional, Agnes B and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The collection will be on show here along with the whole Peter Jensen s/s10 t-shirt range for the duration of June........... and a 20% discount if you whisper the word " Rabbit ".

(I missed taking a photo of guest Julie Verhoeven who looked amazing with a split level hair style died in vivid orange for the wedge and pungent pink for the shaved sides...........which was blended into her rouge with the same pink hue makeup running from the hairline across her cheek bones.........BRILLIANT! I also missed papping Jeff Banks walking down Brick Lane on his way, wearing a great white baker boy flat cap...........)

Peter Jensen Tee Shop
234 Brick Lane, London E2 7EB

Friday 4th June: Kim Howells Interview

Kim Howells Interview - Originally written and posted for FASHION 156

Kim Howells is a force to be reckoned with, a vision in blue mohair – she lightens and brightens up any room with her colour, boundless energy and cheeky banter. I rely on Kim for her expert styling consultancy but secretly also rely on her for sanity and laughter tonic. Any excuse to have a meeting to spend a few moments with this invigorating character is a pleasure and rarefied treat. I managed to prize her away from her technicolour nerve centre, put down her “coolbeans” ringtone buzzing blackberry and interview her about her meteoric career to be an inspiring story for young readers to 156.

I came across Kim when she was dressed as a carrot at a fundraising party when we were at Brighton University. The theme was “V” and Kim’s gaggle of fashion girls had organised a troop of vegetables complete with walking cauliflower and peas. From this moment on I knew we would get on! We came in contact at a later date when I was working for Shona Heath and Kim was next door interning for Emma Cook. Kim would stay behind after hours taken under the wing of Cathy Edwards to assist on sessions styling Allison Goldfrapp. In the same year spent in industry placements, Kim moved onto a print season at Eley Kishmoto and 3 months at a design studio in NYC. Fully equipped with knowledge and raring to go, Kim moved to London after graduating and joined my team making giant cardboard props. Not before long, a call came from “Dazed and Confused” magazine and Kim was poached to intern and latterly appointed assistant to Nicola Formichetti. She had a riot as the right hand (wo)man to one of the industries most in demand art directors and travelled the world helping him shape iconic shoots.

Fast forward only a couple of years and Kim was flying solo with a jet fired rocket back pack (actually it was a rucksack with speakers linked to her MP3 player, lols!) and zooming through London discovering designers to collaborate with. She now consults with a varied and fresh crop of clients including Piers Atkinson, NOKI, Atalanta Weller, Hannah Marshall, David Koma and myself. Not content with sleepless nights trying to keep us lot in order, Kim also takes care of the wardrobe for musicians such as Coco Sumner, Esser, Skunk Anansie and in particular Skin who she shares her studio with. As with all her serendipitous alignments, their friendship was forged on a chance encounter in Ibiza which lead to Skin walking for NOKI’s “Fashion East” show. Now the two crazy cats have fun creating chaotic stage costumes for Skin’s performances. When her nose isn’t pressed up against her MAC screen scanning statistics of new faces, she is cooking up leak and potato soup at home with Piers Atkinson. You can see pictures here of their fun filled, fun house, decked out in a plethora of sentimental acquisitions including Andrew Logan ornaments and Zandra Rhodes illustrations. I have photographed the baseball cap which Kim commissioned Piers to make for NOKI that marked the beginning of their interlinked relationship. These two met when Piers hand delivered his neon Mickey Mouse ears to Kim on location and gave her a tutorial in how to work the piece.......... and the rest is history……….

From her own house to another………….”The House of Organza” which was an exhibition and event Kim organised with Lyall Hakaria of Vogue Fabrics. Kim undertook a venture of orchestrating fabrication, curation, photoshoots, videoshoots, installation and event production…… you do! The project which brought together a group of dextrous designers resulted in not only a success story in its own right but the pieces had an afterlife appearing in a Tim Walker shoot for British Vogue. Judy Blame was one of the artists involved and is a constant inspiration to Kim. During our discussion Kim divulged that she is eternally grateful and gracious that she was able to meet and become close to one of her childhood heros. She stresses her implicit admiration for a designer who has maintained his genuine nature and remain totally unaffected against all the odds of the business. It has been an honour for her to see first hand that her pure perceived dream of the industry can be a reality and this has helped provide her with a solid grounding to stay true to inner voice.

Kim is driven by the excitement of formulating shoot ideas and the process of seeing it through to the end and the final images materialising. Spotting new talent and getting them involved in making special pieces for her concept is a real buzz and the ultimate high is being part of cultivating an image that will be around forever. Kim’s signature aesthetic to bring about these timeless looks is a bold, brave silhouette mixed with playful colour and abstract art references. Having hands-on involvement gives Kim great job satisfaction, as she loves getting stuck into each separate situation. In this way the designers she mentors appreciate her intuitive instruction and she plays an important role in executing their collection each season. For this, I owe everything to Kim! She resolves my cross wiring confusion by jump-starting my creative juices and quite simply making me laugh!

(images Kim in fancy dress, of her studio, her home, and her assistant Reuben Esser)

Friday 4th June: Eska

ESKA looking BEAUTIFUL wearing Rosy Nicholas earpiece (from Sunshowers) at her performance last night within Rebecca Burt's curated exhibition at the Quiet Gallery.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Thurs 3rd June: Margiela exhibition at Somerset House from No Days Off

I bumped into fellow blogger Steve Salter earlier in the week whilst I had my nose in a magazine reading about the imminent Margiela exhibition at Somerset which I had to confess not knowing about.......shame on me! So I was even more surprised to learn that not only was the private view this week but also that the creative studio "No Days Off" responsible for my look books did all the exhibition graphics for the show!".
Q: Where have I been? A: At my desk - the same place I was last night, sadly meaning that I missed the opening. But luckily Patrick Duffy has sent me some snaps for a preview:

"After the success of "Pick Me Up", we were asked by Somerset House to help out with the exhibition graphics for 'Maison Martin Margiela 20: The Exhibition'. It was fascinating to learn about the Maison's working practise and their twenty years of constant innovation, so in our opinion, the show is well worth a visit.

Also attached, cos I know you like this kinda shizzle, a shot of our patented Magnetic Record Display System™ in the studio! "

Thank you Patrick for correctly second guessing my exact blogging requests! Perfect! Can't wait to see the show and your contribution!

Thurs 3rd June: Hillman Studio w/ Miles Aldridge shoot Milla Jovovich

If you have been staring at the hyper-real colour saturated Lavazza campaigns on the posters down on the underground platforms .......... this aesthetic may look very familiar. The same team (Aldridge and Hillman) created this imagery for Mercedes to promote their new E-Class Cabriolet. The advert features Milla Jovovich sporting an exclusive Phillip Treacy hat, hand delivered to the shoot by the man himself. The feathers have tyre marks painted on them in a pattern devised especially for the project.

Thanks to Alex Cunningham for her iphone snaps from the day. Loving the bunnies!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Weds 2nd June: CSM BA Show

I didn't get the chance to go to the show this year but Craig Lawrence was on hand backstage to help his friend Helen.............and also on a secret squirrel blogging mission to get pictures for me ...........thanks Craig!

Weds 2nd June: Jason Evans "The Daily Nice Takeaway" Feature

“The Daily Nice Takeaway” by Jason Evans

(originally posted during my blog residency over on FASHION 156............therefore the exhibition is now over, sorry folks! But I would like to find out where some of it has ended on to see what I mean)

For one week Jason Evans has set up a physical version of his online phenomenon “The Daily Nice”………..its called “The Daily Nice Takeaway”……because its an exercise in literally being able to take the art away with you for your own bite of the action.
For those of you already in the know, “The Daily Nice” is a place where Jason posts a new photo each day, which he selects for its own happy merry-making merit. The image only exists for a day metamorphosing into a brand new picture for the next 24 hours.
To translate this notion into an exhibition, a selection from the back catalogue of shots have been printed up and stacked up in one neat heap. Therefore the only photograph on show will be the one on top, until you - the participant lifts this to reveal the successor. On the wall is a slogan PLEASE HELP YOURSELF . The idea is that you will take this print with you and place it in your own chosen site-specific space……………..extending the exhibit to unknown territory. It’s the easiest (and controversial) of things to borrow (sic. Steal) an image from a website by clicking and dragging the file onto your desktop……………….now here is a bank of brilliant photography to literally lift and put wherever you want. Its ok, you have Jason’s permission to “download”! Infact, run wild with your Evans original for this is the point!

I have asked Jason a few questions which are related to the theme but also mildly tenuous……….but I think that’s the most interesting way to conduct a “Question-air” (Jason’s term)

1) What’s your fave way to get a daily dose of news / current affairs?

Going outside

2) What’s your preferred takeaway meal?


3) I believe there is a new era "Blind Date" TV program called "Saturday Night Take Away". Who would you like to take out?

The inmates at Guantanamo

4) How often do you change the inspiration imagery, or work in progress around your workspace? (I know the Itchy Scratchy exhibition in Brighton was about having images in your eyeline on an everyday basis, and how that changes your relationship to them.)

I tend not to have pictures on the walls where I work. I do, however have a lot of objects. Currently small boxes and glass things.

5) Do your pictures, particularly from the New Scent series, as well as the daily nice, ever make you literally 'LOL', laugh out loud?

I usually LOL at those emails of cats or dogs with dumb subtitles.
I don't laugh with my pictures but sometimes I feel warm inside

(Last 2 questions there are from Amy Gwatkin) {thanks amy!}

Here are some pictures that Jason has sent me of the install, the opening, himself and the curator Ben Burbridge – seen here against giant barley.

“The lady with the tattoo gun is Franzi Nast who gave me a tattoo at the end of the evening, the socks/red string installation is by Axel Loytved who has a lovely one man show at the Kunsthaus, the daily nice Nike dunks are from Nike id when you could still put the word 'nice' on your shows (not any more).

'daily nice take away' at the (Zehr Super) Kunsthaus in Essen:
NEXT / 1, a platform for photography exhibitions, discussions and conferences hosted at venues across Germany’s Ruhr Valley throughout May

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Tues 1st June: Our new neighbour Gary Card

Here is some card and a boy named Gary. More accurately infact its Gary Card.
The other week I cycled across Hackney to see "Gavin Watson - Raving'89" at Space Studios (that's a photography installation, not an actual person dancing). I bumped into Gary viewing studio spaces so I slipped him the number of our new abode and before I knew it he was in the building. Yay, its a commune in the making! I'm bringing 1960's San Francisco cooperative living all the way back to a dog-leg in Dalston.
Here is just a glimpse at the white canvas space before it becomes his new established HQ. Check back soon for an update and report once his paint pots and and masking tape monsters have moved in and taken over ........

Tues 1st June: Verity Keefe Profile

Verity Keefe - Profile I originally put together for my guest blogging on FASHION 156

Born only 3 days before me was a girl named Verity. I very narrowly missed out on being called Verity myself but was given Felicity instead………..which incidentally is the name of Verity’s sister. That is only a little introduction to how our lives overlap. The main similarity between our kindred spirit is our total devotion to dedicating our lives to exploring the science of the spectrum and working with rainbows. However Verity has a special quality and upper hand in this department as she has synisthesia. I asked Verity to pull together an introductory selection of her archive to share with Fashion156 readers and here is her cosmic selection, enjoy!
(Here is a portrait I took of her wearing a spectrum hair slide I made for her 30th birthday)

“You've got a real survey of some old and some new work here.
I am from a fine art sculpture background and hail from a bizarre spa town in the south of the midlands which is totally devoid of culture or inspiration. The reason I'm telling you this is that I spent a huge amount of time then, and still do now, looking and thinking about the relationship people have with place and how this manifests itself. I am obsessed with systems, both formal and informal and am constantly looking for them and trying to rearrange them into new ones. I've always looked at the landscape, both physical and social, as a museum. In my recent work, I've been exploring how these invisible histories and stories can be reconstructed to make new mythologised histories.

What turns me on and has been doing so for a long long time:
the dark room
The enlightenment
The British museum
The ashmoleon museum
buying and listening and playing records in equal measure
etc etc

Screen-printing is my version of a sketchbook. I do very labour intensive precise CMYK printmaking, often a detail taken from 35mm or a slide that I have taken and reframed. This is my thinking time where all the biggest thoughts occur and work gets thrashed out and resolved. For example, the “Leeds Rainbow” print was a detail taken from a piece of film I shot in Leeds of a rainbow which was the most beautiful rainbow, I've ever seen, full arc. I was sat in the back of a car on the way to the Yorkshire sculpture park deeping out in silence.
I've always wanted to know if I could print a full rainbow spectrum CMYK so there we go!

“Dale Declutter” was a four year project at Dale Community Primary School in Derby. In brief, this was the first knee jerk response to the school's biggest issue of having no space, when it was filled to the rafters with defunct equipment and rubbish. A skip was hired and the school was decluttered, the resulting images are all of the rubbish laid out in colour order, again raising issues of value: how can you make something beautiful out of rubbish?
The skip and the wall were then commissioned for the creative partnerships national conference at the Manchester GMEX. The work in Dale had been selected as an example of best practice and we were approached to do a piece. I contacted all primary schools within the local area extending out to the Thames gateway (the shape on the wall is loosely the Thames estuary) and repeated the exercise.

The “Colour Wheel” self portrait film was exhibited on a loop to complete a full colour wheel/portrait (geek). I also made a physical archive, where I separated every object into the year which I remember acquiring them (again pretty exposing in terms of value, nostalgia, materialism etc) I've added a couple of pics to this.
I STILL have my cassette and vinyl collection from the 90's. I also tried to explore value with that project, how a bobby pin can be the same scale as a dress etc

What am I working on now?
I have a very exciting new commission for the Olympics with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham where i shall be devising and delivering a two year project around the borough exploring attitudes towards the games, compiling a living mobile archive all of which will inform an art work (either temporary or permanent, I just don't know yet!! all pretty scary but exciting)”