Friday 14 May 2010

Fri 14th May: Craig Lawrence Accessories

Here is one of Craig's broaches which he made for Candy Boutique whilst having his residency at FAKE in Tokyo read more about the gallery there is a write up over on VICE.
Craig and I are guest bloggers over at Fashion156 next week so drop us a line if you have anything interesting you think we should know about and be writing about..............otherwise its going to be us in our studio stirring tea with a knitting needle.............which is actually quite facsinating!

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Thurs 13th May: Man Like Me EP launch tonight

Man Like Me return to play  The Electric Ballroom after last month's Camden Crawl to launch their new EP "Lovestruck".   One of my top fave bands for their stage performance deploying props, Russian doll-esque layered costume changes, jumping brass section, banging beats, on point witty poetic lyrics and group dance moves...........a masterful front man Johnny Langer now flanked by new addition to the line up vocalist Jessie Ware.......seen here from their recent performance on the BBC Switch 5:19 show.  For anyone in London wanting to catch them before the summer festival season, head to their original stomping ground and ATG tagged Camden Town tonight ........... records will be spun by guests The Maccabees

Starting at 7 with support from Othello Wolf and Graffiti6, full details here.

(Pics from top to bottom, Jessie by Dan a.k.a MLM trumpet player, EP on vinyl available May 24th on  Black Butter records)

Weds 12th May: Wake Up! with Robots in Disguise

I met up with Dee Plumeof Robots in Disguise the day after she had been to see Iggy Pop and Suicide at the Hammersmith Apollo.  Our discussion was fuelled with her respect and  enthusiasm for the energy from these veteran performers still relevant and rocking today.  We exchanged mutual admiration for the exhilarated stage presence of bygone stars and agreed that this passion needs to be ignited in the current industry.  These odd ball talents that had all-consuming vigour and overwhelming love for the art inspired Dee's own step into creating music and get up on stage.  The wish to connect with an audience continually inspires her to reach out to the fanbase of RID and promote proactive positivity.  Robots In Disguise are girls with their own agenda and viewpoint, not fitting into an assigned identity designed with affectations to market to the masses.  With the latest single "Wake Up", the girls have written an anthem to shake up the dumbed down charts and animate a wider audience to the progressive power of finding your own voice and vision.  Rialled by the new breed of establishment acts posturing pretentious personas has triggered the girls to launch this campaign which aims to prompt the passive listening public to make their own choices.  

To fund the varying outlets and spread the word, RID teamed up with Barry M makeup who have a new range of colours and a special lipstick which they have assigned to the girls "Robot Blue".  Via the medium of makeup the message is extended to expressing creativity with your look in the the same spirit as the unabashed experimentation of The Cockettes who Dee sites as one of her favourite historical references.  For this video RID took inspiration from the most successful artist to gather empowerment by embracing pop culture and throwing it back in its face - Andy Warhol.  With tongue-in-cheek reference, its a playful promo employing pop art projections, Lichtenstein polkadot makeup and props.  The girls ride a gigantic lipstick by set designer David White and had their hair coloured specially by Marcello at Billie Currie and Charlie Le Mindu (who they became friends with from spending time in Berlin........where Sue Denim was at time of this interview)  

Blue lipstick has had a renaissance in the catwalk shows of recent times with the likes of Gareth Pugh (see above) and Hanna Marshall and set to become a big trend for S/S 2010.  I remembered blue lipstick having its own mini-goth moment when I was at school and asked Dee what was her adolescent de-rigeur war paint...........apparently the school girl Dee would get together with her pals in a cubby hole in the morning to apply their pastel pink lips and electric blue eyeshadow.  The band have a substantial teenage following so partnering with Barry M on this fun project is a perfect combination to bring music and lifestyle together for their loyal fanbase.  The collaboration even extends to their friends Tatty Devine who have implemented the lippy into a cute necklace which you can see here on Dee.   

If you have ever been curious about the brilliant robot props and costumes embroiled in the RID world, here is a debrief.  I tracked down Neil Bowen fromZip Design whose extra curricular activities revolve around mastering making new and improved models ........... as you can see here with Dee tangled up in their robo blue date. 

1)  How long have you been the Robot inventor for RID?
I took up the roll of chief robo-inventor as my old buddy Dave the Chimp moved to Berlin (he made the 1st set of robots based on his creations for 'the Sex has made me stupid' video). I've been cobbling together wonky robot parts ever since.. about the last 3years.
2)  What different Robot costumes / props have you made for the girls?
So the first job was making robo-dancers MK2.0 as Dave and I pretty much destroyed the original parts with a combination of sweat and a robot version of riverdance.
3)  Do you wear the costume yourself for their performances...........and if so what character to you assume for this role?  What personality has the robot got?
Yep I'm one of the hyper charged robo-dancers, I basically become a robot version of Dee n Sue with a little bit of MC hammer thrown in for good measure.
4)  Are the costumes based on a totally fictional robot that you design or do you reference actual robots?
The original robots were all based on Dave the Chimps designs for the RID videos. The latest versions MK3.0 are a combination of robot meets giant electric blue lipstick, and retain the special wonkyness of the original versions.
5)  Do you stick to one particular fabrication or have your materials and finishing become more sophisticated with time?
They all have a kind of recycled precise imperfection, then I've added random LEDs and sparkle from gig to gig.  
6)  The latest outfit for the "Wake Up" campaign is a blue lipstick robot.  If there was a trump card for this character, what are his special features?
Battery life, Dance moves, Lip coverage, Glam factor

Massive thanks to Neil for his time to get dressed up and answer my questions!

(Images top to bottom:  Model in Alex Box makeup backstage A/W 2008, Dee in her bow-tie tshirt and lipstick necklace, Dee and Lipstick Robot shot by Dan Wilton in the blue room of Shula's Wigwam prism party)

To find out about becoming part of supporting financing thier 4th album by pledging a share, click here.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Tues 11th May: Hillman Studio installation for Haring at DSM

Hillman Studio spent their weekend down at Dover Street Market installing the latest window  display to launch the Tommy Hilfiger capsule collection of shoes for the Keith Haring foundation.  The range of wellington boots and sneakers has been designed with the foundation to raise money for its work in supporting AIDS and children's charities.   The interior has been designed in keeping with Keith Haring's original pop up shop on Lafayette Street.  In '86 Haring expanded his creative universe into the commercial context in order to open up the experience of his work to children who might not have had the opportunity to see it elsewhere.  In that vein I think this is a positive step to continue sharing his vision with the next generation that weren't around for the subway graffiti he penned himself.  Its incredibly important to keep his distinctive talent alive as his life was cut criminally short by the disease that the foundation is now actively generating funds to overcome.  If you have nippers in need of a new pair of kicks and the finances to invest in this cute collection take them down to Dover Street to have a look.
If you are in NYC you can put your Haring sneakers on to join the team on May 16th for the Aids Walk happening for the 25th year to raise money for HIV programs within the tri-state area..............its officially the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world!   

(For ladies of a more dainty disposition wishing for something more whimsical than a pair of high-tops, I hear whisperings of a Haring collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood.........)

Thanks to Alex Cunningham for the snaps from when they were on site.

Monday 10 May 2010

Mon 10th May: Ron Arad Rolling Rolling Rolling

Its the last week of Ron Arad's Restless exhibition at The Barbican where I had a meeting today and was very thankful to catch the show before it finished.  Here is the rolling bookcase which is massive and runs down one side of the gallery.  I worked out for the 1st time how to make a film so this is going to be a new feature to the blog I think!
Its also the last 2 weeks of the free exhibition in The Curve gallery at The Barbican with a live installation by Celeste Boursier-Mougenot.  Please, please go if you haven't already, its so cute!  He has turned the space into an aviary of zebra finches which are nesting amongst symbols and electric guitars wired up to amps.  The little birds fly around you and land on the guitars, jumping around creating sounds as they pluck the strings.  It looks like they are really enjoying it as they chirp along to their incidental instrumental bird song!  I'm not quite sure what will happen to the birdies after the exhibit............I had a sick and twisted vision of them being gassed and handed over to Polly Morgan to immortalize in a taxidermy sculpture.  Obviously that would be wrong and sick on every level but it did just cross my mind................

CĂ©leste Boursier-Mougenot

Sunday 9 May 2010

Sun May 9th: Mirror Mirror at Top Shop for SHOWstudio by Shini Park


Here are the photos as promised from Shini Park who was an earlier guest to the Mirror Mirror line up on Friday.  I didn't recognise her, hidden behind her camera when she appeared on my screen to comment, but I did have a hunch she may be a blogger!  As it turned out I was correct as she came back to SHOWstudio to say hello in person!  Here are her snaps from infront of the mirror and back at the ranch where you can see how the whole thing is operated.
From my article yesterday explaining my wish for the mainstream mediocre trend followers to experiment a little bit with unique accessorizing it became food for thought with BryanBoy and his followers picking up on the notion.  

bryanboy Interesting insight from Fred Butler! Everyone, be individual!

fredbutlerstyle @bryanboy thanku for sharing my post! I really believe that accessorizing can open up discussion between strangers & bring humanity closer

@fredbutlerstyle I completely agree! That one question, "where did you get that", have started many friendships and acquaintances

Well, here I am with my Judy Blame rainbow necklace (kindly donated!), my own caterpillar necklace,  Steven Shein Spectrum Argyle Bangles (from Lazy Oaf), and my new fave accessory - a simple slinky worn as a bangle.  But perhaps the best accessory of the day was my neon yellow tulle pom pom archive AsFOUR bag which I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.  You can see my picture and everyone else at the facebook page here..............
Its the last day so get down to Top Shop.

(Many thanks to Shini for her see more follow her site Park & Cube)

Sunday 9th May: Machine A with Charlie Le Mindu

After my Mirror Mirror encounter with Leith Clark I ventured round the corner of Oxford Street to boutique Machine A for its 1st birthday anniversary and celebration of 1 year stocking milliner extraordinaire Charlie Le Mindu.  Founder Stavros Karelis and buyer Paul Joyce opened the doors to a special live installation staged by Charlie and his stylist Anna Trevelyan with set design by Alun Davies.  Charlie's hair sculpture artwork had been used to create a sinister graveyard in the basement gallery of the shop with spirits risen from the tomb and roaming around (3 naked ladies crawling around on all fours).  This kind of thing totally freaks me out so I didn't stay long enough in the zone to get photos but perhaps they may have been to explicit to publish anyway!  The gravestones had a contextualised Cathy De Monchaux quality and the girls were acting out a kind of unsettling  Araki bondage scene as if a photo had come alive.  My head is full of rainbows and sweet smelling kittens and sometimes an antidote to my Care Bear fantasy can catch me out!
Not perturbed I stayed to the end and had a lovely time catching up with lots of familiar faces and the extended family of the emerging scene who turned out in support.  Its a guaranteed good crowd at a Machine A opening with one particular wash out Summer evening last year where we all ran the gauntlet of Soho's streets that had turned into the Ganges to get there.  So high five to everyone involved for another great success!
There is a special t-shirt now on sale to commemorate the occasion with an illustration of Charlie's work by Stefan Schwartzman.  Fake tattoos of the drawing were printed up for the event and here you can see the beautiful Bishi sporting one on the back of her shoulder.  Head down to the shop to get your own limited edition Charlie T!
(top to bottom:  Bishi, metallic shoe trend, Gemma Slack infront of the current window display  by artist Celia Arias featuring a doll of her own work, Alun, installation illustration under UV, Anna infront of the Charlie doll, the man himself)