Saturday, 22 January 2011

Sat 22nd Jan: Nicki Minaj in London

Thanks to The Dash Empire and Jessica Bosch my “Dodecahedron Collision” necklace landed like a multicolour meteorite on the mighty fine & fierce NICKI MINAJ in London last evening - it was a Rainbow Friday!
Full credits: 21/01/11: @GZanottiDesign shoes, @fredbutlerstyle neck piece, #Super sunglasses & custom made catsuit.
To get a necklace for yourself go here.
Watch the above interview with Hattie Collins.
Check out Cassette Playa's pink suit from the previous day............. here.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sat 22nd Jan: Spine TV

Earlier in the week, Spine TV visited the studio to film an interview with me for their documentary series "Art Shorts" ..............currently now in the edit.......... here are some snaps from their first visit by Amelia King.

Fri 21st Jan: Saskia Wickins

Happy Birthday Saskia Wickins who recently gave me this cute little paper building pin badge ......which Ive placed on my desk next to one of my paper birds..........its a piece from one of her previous installations of a tiny paper city.......... see more here.

Friday 21st Jan: Bishi for SHOWstudio

In a live performance streamed to the masses through SHOWstudio, Bishi created a unique visual experience, fusing music, art and fashion. The performance marked the end to SHOWstudio's 'Florist' exhibition within their shop at 1-9 Bruton Place.

Each song performed had a custom projection created through collaboration with five visuals artists: Liza Angst, Peter T Breen, The Bardo Lightshow, Morgan O’Donovan and Noriko Okaku. Bishi performed through each projection, blurring the lines between background and foreground. Bishi designed the special costume alongside her creative partner Matthew Glamorre. Their vision was then interpreted and constructed by Sybil Rouge and Nicholas Immaculate.

Click to watch full film on

Fri 21st Jan: Come Fly With Me?

London is a funny place with so much going on every day.......... all the different people hurrying around like ants and worker bees, each crossing paths and destinations going about their different errands..............nothing much surprises me..........
......... but here is something interesting I spotted and did actually look out of place............. the dismantled replica Sepecat Jaguar aircraft ........... previously shown in The Tate Britain and a work of artist Fiona Banner..........
.............the piece was parked up on the pavement next to one of the London bike scheme depots.............. I wish I could pick up a beautiful polished silver plane instead of a Barclays bike!!!!!

If you are looking for some sculpture to see this weekend, the Royal Academy's brand new exhibition will fit the bill.........."Modern British Sculpture"............and check out Art Fashion Identity whilst you are there if you havn't already........

Tate Photography / Andrew Dunkley and Sam Drake

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Thurs 20th Jan: "Trumpalump" video by Dels - Makeup profile with Poppy France

Here is an artist I can't stop playing at the moment................ Dels. Not only are the tunes killer but the artist is also hot on his aesthetic having previously studied graphic design. The whole package is gathering momentum gearing up for the album release of GOB in April. So far 2 tracks have been released "Shapeshift" and "Trumpalump" both produced with Jo Goddard from Hot Chip. Other collaborators on the Dels sound are friends Kwes and Micachu so all the ingredients are indicating a tasty menu of tracks on the album............ especially as he has signed to Ninja Tune / Big Dada for his debut.
Although "Trumpalump" is a fictitious word invented by Dels for its onomatopoeia intrigue - the sentiment of the lyrics is based on questioning aspects of dreams. The dialog plays particular focus in the treatment of the video mapping out if humans dream in colour or black and white. To execute this concept Dels devised a day of shooting the narrative with set and makeup as tools with absolutely no post production involved. The whole vision was applied with paint and face paint. To find exactly how this was worked out, I got in touch with makeup artist Poppy France who provided these brilliant behind-the-scenes snaps .............

"The brief was to create a look that would intise and surprise people whilst keeping with the song.. "Black to the white and colour..." these were the lyrics I took and made my own using makeup!
I wanted it look look slightly "off", so that the viewer couldn't quite see what was wrong with it but could tell there was something amiss.
With an iphone I took a picture of Dels (the lead singer) and changed it to black and white and painted him from that, starting with the base colour and building up with different tones and shading.
With the twins, I designed a look that went with the current beauty trends for AW2010. So on the colour twin, as they were wearing sunglasses I concentrated on the lips and cheeks. I kept the lip line darker than the lipstick colour, creating a fuller lip, I brought out the cheek bones with contouring and kept everything else as clear as possible. With the black and white twin I took a photo of the colour twin and again painted from the photograph by shading with blacks whites and tones of grey. I had to paint both their bodies and hands so did all of this from photographs to create the shading and tones correctly.
It took us a day to set up, paint and film this video. Half a day to paint!
I used aqua colour, greasepaint and water based makeup in black and white and translucent powder."

Watch this short documentary above by Yemi Bamiro capturing the action on set.
Click here to see the whole portfolio of Poppy France's work.

To hear a special session recorded at Maida Vale Studios, tune into Huw Stephens on Radio 1 next Weds 26th Jan.
OR to see the man for yourself and have a boogie, book tickets for the April album launch in London when he will be headlining a night supported by Joe Hot Chip and Micachu ............ tickets here.

Weds 19th Jan: Robert Mapplethorpe: Night Work: Curated by Scissor Sisters with...

On a much appreciated recommendation from Tom Ryling, I read the book "Just Kids" by Patti Smith this summer which latterly took me on a little pilgrimage to The Chelsea Hotel. Its a story that you can't put down, learning all the intimate details of how Patti met Robert and the fate that unfolded before them. Now I know an introduction to their world and work I'm keen to find out more and was so excited to discover there is a chance to see some of Robert's work in London. Thanks to an exhibition curated by The Scissor Sisters at Alison Jacques gallery in town, there are two spaces devoted to both Mapplethorpe originals and contemporary artists work influenced by his legacy. Inbetween seven shots chosen by the band to use for their latest album "Night Work" are rare Polaroids and sculptures alongside pieces from the likes of Banks Violette and Matthew Barney. This photograph from 1980 of a ballet dancer's behind belongs to one of Robert's models - Peter Reed. The image became the cover of The Scissor Sisters album and Ive found a nice quote from Scott Hoffman that helps explain how it came about...........

"It was a decision that Jake made a little while before we chose the image he wanted. That one just brought it all together for him. Robert Mapplethorpe is the perfect example and icon for this time of abandon. He’s also someone who documented it in this time before it changed drastically for the gay community and the New York downtown arts community. The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation was extremely excited about the idea of keeping his legacy alive in some way. They have never done anything before that compares to this campaign and they made it extremely easy for us to use the images. We realised it is important for them to stay as relevant and current as it is for us to associate ourselves with a hugely important artist.”
Ive taken this from an interview with the band in DNA Magazine

The exhibition is on until the 19th March so I highly recommend dropping in to both address on Berners Street to see all of the works on show............. brilliant!

To read more on The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation see:

(The top image here is one of my favourite portraits of Robert that Ive taken from my book "Bande A Part" which shows him wearing his own jewellery.............. I would love to know where some of these necklaces have ended up............ if you read Just Kids Patti writes about how Robert made accessories before discovering photography)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tues 18th Jan: Hillman Studio Visit

Yesterday I returned to the space I used to share with Hillman Studio and Andy Macgregor. Its now totally dedicated to all things Hillman and every surface is covered with thier props and paraphanalia like this brass instrument back pack that hangs above the door. You can see Andy Macgregor modelling it for its orignal purpose in this image by Tim Walker. You can watch a brilliant behind the scenes video from this shoot here featuring footage of Lisa Cant in the makeup chair and Andy Hillman walking on stilts. The little tin toy plane in the book shelf was a present from Walker with whom Andy built the unforgettable life size spitfire for Vogue. To see that monumental work and all of the other magical worlds Hillman studio create, head over his portfolio at D&V Management.
(Thanks to Alex for demonstrating one of the wooden hats left over from a shoot with Miles Aldridge and now serves as an incredible ornament / sculpture.)

Tues 18th Jan: The Telephone Hat - 1 year on

Its exactly a year since I first received an email about making a telephone hat............ its been referenced in the most bizarre places that never fails to baffle me but this recent one is really surreal - its become a SIM!?
"Fred Butler Telephone hat (for Lady Gaga Fans) by Mango".

Monday, 17 January 2011

Mon 17th Jan: Jessica Meek at The RCA Work-in-Progress Show

Here is Jessica Meek's display in the current "Work-in-Progress Show" at The Royal College. The whole exhibition comprises of MA students from Fashion, Textiles, Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery and Photography.

"My work explores repetition of three-dimensional geometric forms and framework within a structure. This project was strongly influenced by digital architecture installations as well as armor and Spirograph!

I chose to exhibit contrasting pieces alongside each other to illustrate two sides of this project. The sculptural piece is delicate and elegant, whereas the video which shows a more playful and lively side of my work.

Its work in progress' so its not fully realised yet, Im working on hopefully incorporating these ideas on to a jacket and dress."

Jess Meek came to assist me for a while after a stint at Noel Stewart having previously studied milinery at The London College of Fashion. With all this experience under her belt (or hat!) she applied to the grueling initiation to the RCA MA and gain one of the rare coveted places. This is the first public viewing of her work so far................ to see for yourself the show is open to the public for 2 more days at Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU 13 – 19 January 2011 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a chance to see the future stars!

Visit Jess's website here.