Saturday 31 October 2009

31st October: Henry's Bat - Brown's Halloween Party

I really like don't like Halloween:

a)  its dark, gothic, sinister..........everything un-Fred
b)  my phobia is prosthetic makeup / rubber masks / fake wounds / fake blood.........anything joke shop makes me want to vom

Therefore I normally boycott the celebrations.
But this year I got a distress call (Batman beam into the night sky, if you will) from Henry Holland needing a helping hand with his installation at this year's Browns Halloween party.  Rosy Nicholas jumped on board to collaborate and the two of us cracked out a grave yard for his mail-order brides in less than 24hrs.  I had great fun creating cute bats (just can't help myself.........try and make something scary, and it just turns out CUTE) whilst Rosy whipped up headstones for Henry's slogans.....
The party was held in an amazing massive semi-derelict auditorium next to the Shepherd's Bush Empire.  Browns had fitted the amphitheatre out with dozens of beautifully carved pumpkins glowing in lines down the stairs.  In the main pitt was a small yurt type tent where bands performed including Wolfgang & Marina And The Diamonds.  Other designers who took over a space for display were LPGP who filled a bath with blood and David Koma who created a Batman chain mask on a mannequin to adorn one of his sexy beaded mini dresses.  Although it was difficult to spot who was who through the costumes and cosmetics, I found shoe designer Atalanta Weller in this very impressive bird fascinator and Kim Howells in a NOKI number.  Henry's "scissor-hands" get-up was good but the prize for best look goes to Dorothee of Cooperative Designs whose immaculate attention detail in her Dorothy Wizard of Oz costume was complete with Toto in a basket and ruby shoes...........although her black eye was perhaps a questionable addition.  

* Top Tip from the night - Atalanta shared her beauty secret with me in the ladies room - for the best black eye, ditch the kohl and instead apply mascara by dabbing the wand all around one's eye 

Friday 30 October 2009

Fri 30th Oct: Who Could Possible live in a house like thiiiiiiiiiis?

My fave creators of cuteness Lazy Oaf have started a new feature on their blog "Through The Keyhole"............and I am the first of the pictures shows some of my novelty tape collection which comprises of a pink cloud tape from Lazy Oaf and my own tape I designed for can still buy for £6 just in time for Christmas folks!
For full interview of ridiculous questions and more snaps from my studio..........

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Weds 28th Oct: So into Matthew Herbert

Weds 28th Oct: Matthew Herbert Resound

Er, Wow.  I have got far too many words to describe this experience and feel so incredibly lucky to have witnessed it as it was a one-off in the UK.  Matthew Herbert (supersonic sound magician musician) accompanied by his Big Band with Eska on vocals and backed by the Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble at The Barbican on Monday night.  The event was part of the British Council's 75th birthday to celebrate their work promoting UK music internationally and giving musicians opportunities to travel for collaboration.  "the arts create unique opportunities for new ways of seeing each other, new ways of knowing each other and new ways of being with each other".
Well, by the end of this concert I felt like I had been sitting in an open top sports car that had been travelling at high speed for the 2 hour cheeks where pinned back to my ears from continuous smiling (this is a regular occurrence) and I had a little trickle of tears in that wake from the emotional journey through Herbert's score.  I can't detail it as it will set me off again............BUT it was in the most part equally overwhelmingly joyous as it was political and personal.  Herbert deploys incongruous items as instruments and for this isolated event he experimented with newspapers.........the Daily Mail to be precise.  The entire team on stage ripped pages to create a baseline of tearing twitters and the action was choreographed into a humorous routine by Struan Leslie (Royal Shakespeare Company).  This involved making balls for the orchestra to throw at each other, small confetti to (g)litter the air at intervals and even cheer-leader shape pom-poms for Eska to perform with.  I'm not sure if Struan had a hand in Herbert's dance moves, but Matthew shimmied round the stage with a unique Fred Astaire flair which was humbling and hilarious.  When not twiddling with his deck of looping bleeps, he regularly raced around the brass section, conductors and choir for inclusion and encouragement to his incredible assembly of collaborators................To top off his Busby Berkley style moves, he wore a suit with top'n'tails but with a twist that the top was replaced with this magnificent kryprtonite bow-tie made for him by Rosy Nicholas.  Commissioned by the stylist extraordinaire Rowdy Superstar, the bow-tie was Matthew's element of the overall scheme with Eska decked out in this intergalactic warrior princess dress co-designed with Sarina Mantle.  To accessorize Eska, Russell Barratt created a gold coin glove that accentuated her gestures and doubled-up for perfect percussion when shaken into the mic..................Eska looked every bit the blowsy sexy songstress batting her eyelashes making wide-eyed looks to make even Earha Kitt blush.............not to mention the VOICE..............that's a whole other entry.............

Thanks to Rosy for the pics
(l-r Sarina, Rowdy, Russell, Eska)

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Tues 27th October: Move With Me, With Me Remove

No time to blog right now........but when I do it will be very large words of admiration for Matthew Herbert who I saw at The Barbican last night........

Monday 26 October 2009

Mon 26th October: New Gen deadline tomorrow

If like this young man, you are a budding new designer looking for sponsorship to show at London Fashion Week, I can highly recommend "New Gen" funded by Top Shop.  Apply online for the initial initiation...........the deadline for next season is tomorrow............

NEWGEN’s mission is to support the growth of original new collections which have the potential to make a mark on the international scene. Judging is undertaken voluntarily by a panel of Britain’s top editors, buyers and opinion formers who compare entrants against the standards of excellence attained by former winners. Those selected will receive sponsorship and mentoring tailored to the scale and positioning of their products and businesses. Only those willing to undertake the full scale of commitment required should apply. We recommend that you research previous winners and the selection process of NEWGEN on our website:

Sunday 25 October 2009

Sunday 25th October: Studio visit = Van Der Ham

This weekend I went to catch up with Michael's news following on from his immeasurable success showing with Fashion East at Somerset House.  Since just returning from the London sales showroom at Paris Fashion Week he has started production for his orders.  Although it is too previous to announce specific stockists, I can hint that there may well be a few............not just London!  Yipee!  Apparently the best-seller is the camel/navy patchwork dress seen here which feels like heaven in your hands and heaven on earth to wear.  To keep you in check before you can get your hands on these classics, Michael will be single-handledly installing a display in an Italian boutique.  Having won the ITS EIGHT award, Michael will be taking over the windows of Vertice boutique in Turin, launching on the 7th November.  The timing is in conjunction with the Artissima Art Fair which Michael felt a fitting project as his collection's initial inspiration incidentally came from Warhol!  Well after all, Michael you are an artist too, lets not forget!  Watch this space for stockist news..................

Sunday 25th October: Sweeter than a Daisy Kiss

Dazed & Confused Magazine invited me down to Selfridges for the launch of their T-Shirt collaboration with Edun, designed by Jo Ratcliffe for  War Child.  15% of the sales from this limited edition collection will go to their current projects in the Congo ........hence Jo's hand drawn illustrations of a tiger, lion, zebra and snake emblazoned on the front.   A little weird to think that whilst we had the privilege of enjoying music and drinks in London's Westend, children were carrying on coping with their daily realities in the war zone of the democratic republic............but I guess if it means spreading the word to boost sales to get the cash flowing into the funds, it might be worth it.........
War Child are a Kentish Town based charity who chose another Kentish Town concern to perform at the opening..........Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.  There are lots of snaps here as the band that comprise of 5 family members interchange instruments during the set.  I LOVE this gimmick of the group, their energy is just so natural and fluid between bashing drums or tapping a xylophone.  Needless to say, I am a big fan of my local band and it was a hilarious coincidence that they turned up at my next pit-stop in Camden that night.  My fellow friends took me to the album launch for Mr.Hudson (also Kentish Town resident!) at The Enterprise.  We congregated in the pub opposite the Roundhouse to see in the release of "Straight No Chaser" whilst the audience of The Electric Proms spilled out of the venue over the road.  When I got home to KTown, The Doves gig was being televised straight after the show so infact I didn't miss out on that gig..............the perfect end to a weirdly Camden themed night!
I'm currently listening to The Charts (very necessary Sunday activity since my childhood) and the War Child single "I Got Soul" has landed at No.10  To help raise even more money for the fantastic unique charity helping children that didn't chose to grow up in can buy the record here.