Friday, 27 July 2012


Here is Alun Davies at Dalston Superstore for the opening of his exhibition which has taken over the whole space with a mixture of sculpture, accessories and photographic prints.  Thomas Cooksey shot Alun's new collection with Kim Howells and these images are hanging alongside the actual pieces on mannequin parts with live models wearing them at last night's private view.  The show is on until September but if you're not in London for the Olympics, you can view Alun's work for the likes of Lady Gaga, Peaches  and Another, British, Russian, U.S and Italian Vogue, V Man, Fantastic Man, GQ, Metal, I.D, over at his site


Friday 27th July: Ayami Nishimura vs. RANKIN Beauty Book

Here are photos from  Rankin's studio / gallery at last evening's launch of his new beauty book  in collaboration with makeup artist Ayami Nishimura.  Similar to his previous venture with Alex Box, this is a 2nd  two year personal project between photographer and cosmetics creative.   These spreads of Ayami's stories blown up for the exhibition cover her love for colour, Tokyo Harajuku  street style and traditional Japanese art and culture .................. 
See them at Annroy Gallery, 110-114 Grafton Road, NW5 until 31st August

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Thurs July 26th: London Olympics 2012

Over the next few days I will be working at The Olympics ........... here are some teaser snaps of the surreal scene down at Stratford.............

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Weds July 25th: Craig Lawrence "Fashion In Motion" at the V&A Museum

Whilst a major British fashion event was happening in the West country at Port Eliot, Craig Lawrence was in London taking over the V&A for his Fashion In Motion afternoon stream of retrospective shows.  Without Star Trek type technology to transport me between the two, I couldn't attend to witness his body of work wrap itself around the bodies of models in one concise delivery.   However, Zoe Hitchen was waiting in the wings to capture the magic on lens and has sent over these beautiful shots to share which Ive arranged in a chronological order of collections.  I first saw this incredible star formation garment at Craig's graduation show from CSM - how marvellous that in only a few years he has kept those knitting needles clacking and crochet hook hoovering up cosmic yarns to create ground breaking garms.  Congratulations Craig and well done to the V&A for hosting this special moment in Craig's career!  Thank you Zoe for the photos!
Make sure you see the current show "Ballgowns" in the Fashion Galleries to find Craig's gold foil entry in the mix.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tues July 24th: Port Eliot Festival's Wardrobe Department - Sarah Mower's "Fashion Dolls’ Teaparty"

In amongst the Cornwall cream tea and jam-packed programme of events that Sarah Mower scheduled for her curation of the Wardrobe Department at Port Eliot Festival was a Fashion Dolls’ Teaparty.  Sarah hosted a Q&A with doll expert / enthusiast Alex Fury of LOVE Magazine to give an insight into the exhibition of doll parts that she pooled together from a roster of different designers.  Along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell's theory that toiling at a discipline for excess of 10,000 hours gives a specialist advance skills and success, Sarah wanted to investigate if it had been proven within fashion.  The result is a room full of established practitioner's childhood dabblings into the art of dressmaking which subconsciously sparked off subsequent devotion, dedication and landmark careers in the industry.  Each case study is accompanied with a description of its particular and peculiar story such as Alber Albaz only having a chess set of characters to  dress up and Sarah Mower's own baby doll which you can see here with Simone Rocha's silver booted sample.  In the instance of Simone, her old doll decked out in Victoriana has had an obvious influence on her now signature style of using lace and layers.  Erdem's Canadian Barbie doll wears his earliest experiment in evening attire which Alexander Fury explains is not a world away from his aesthetic now -  the original client being his twin sister's Skipper  that he surreptitiously stole, as he didn't have his own age six!  From the audience Piers Atkinson pipes up that he had the same experience of siphoning off his sibling's girl's toys to get to grips with fashioning miniature millinery from his mother's offcuts of buckram and Petersham ribbon.  I myself whilst away the hours of grand parents baby-sitting by raiding my nan's bags of dressmaking surplus scraps to add to the collection of clothes I had inherited from my sister's Cindy collection.  I even had a 2nd hand "boutique" which was the major highlight as I could merch up the items and hang them in a purpose built pink plastic display cabinet complete with mirror.  One designer of note who turned his fascination for teeny-tiny toy couture into a literal commercial success was a young Jason Wu who approached Integrity Dolls with his designs which latterly led to a deal that financed his first official collection.  Seemingly these infantile experiments were not just first steps on the 10.000 hour goal but also an unexpected entry to the industry of commerce!  
Some designers still use the technique of trying out patterns in this scale before committing to lengths of final fabric which is demonstrated via Sarah Burton's paper prototypes and Giles Deacon's show-piece replicas that are put together by interns to test their skills.  A few designers have actually opted to downscale their collections to debut on dolls in place of models such as AsFOUR and their Puppen Couture performance piece and Viktor & Rolf.  V&R's idea has since gone to to form a major doll's house display in their retrospective "The House Of Viktor & Rolf" at The Barbican which harks back to their heritage of 17th Century Amsterdam when fashion houses launched new designs in similar diminutive dimensions.  As it transpired Alex Fury should have this historical topic as his specialist subject if he were to ever appear on Mastermind - divulging exact details of the complete incarnation of the fashion industry on dolls which went on tour to the capital cities.  For this exercise and exhibition at Port Eliot, dolls also travelled the world as Sarah collated cherished items from designers across the ponds, bringing together examples from Donatella Versace to the estate's own Catherine St Germans.  Michael Howells helped stage the tea-party with quite possibly one of his smallest set designs to date, whilst Sarah was assisted with her research by two young curators, Jess Dubeck and Ben Evans from Central Saint Martin’s Fashion History and Theory degree.  Head over to the Port Eliot site to see more photos from the opening of THE FASHION DOLLS’ TEAPARTY in the Dining Room and the talk in the Round Room.  See this and highlights from the rest of the Wardrobe Department over on Vogue's coverage of the festival events.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday July 22nd: Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall = Day 3

(Top to bottom, in no particular order: The Ha-ha infront of St Germans House a.k.a Port Eliot Festival, Brass band in Michael Howells flower tent, flower competition, the orangery, the Park Tent cosmic decorations, pink sky at night, tea ladies parasol, camping in the "fashion" field in Field Candy Tents, Susie with her Basso & Brooke tent wearing a one-off Tatty Devine headdress and Christopher Shannon shirt with fresh Top Shop makeup just applied by Lousie Gray in the adjacent Wardrobe Department, packing up to leave with Rosy at my Camper van)