Saturday 11 December 2010

Sun 12th Dec: FKB for AAK

The charity Art Against Knives are producing a series of 3 designer T-Shirts to add to their online shop and asked me to contribute one of the styles. I based my signature polka dot sticker collage artwork on a pair of butterfly wings that I made a few years ago. Ive made it physcadelic and as colourful as possible to brighten up any wardrobe ........... and also make use of this offer of emblazoning a T-Shirt with digital print as Ive never had the chance before! For the price of only £20, its not only a bargain Christmas gift but the profits will go to fund AAK amazing work in youth-led arts initiatives providing an alternative to violent gang culture. AAK works to reduce the root causes of knife crime after the tragic and unprovoked stabbing of Oliver Hemsley, a 21-year-old student from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. The vicious attack, which has left Oliver in a wheelchair, took place in Shoreditch, East London, in August 2008. It is the impact of this that drives Art Against Knives to create something positive from such a life-changing experience.

To get hold of one of my multicolour t-shirts, you can buy them here

(Pics - the original wings hanging in my bedroom, my desk, the t-shirts on sale at Chica Boutique fashion show at Spitalfields, hosted by Jonny Woo, held in support of Art Against Knives)

Friday 10 December 2010

Sat 11th Dec: Brie Harrison on Supermarket Sarah

Here is the beautiful Brie Harrison who I collaborate with on print design which has been an ongoing partnership during my collections. A few of these archive pieces are now for sale via her wall for Supermarket Sarah which launched yesterday. Brie's accumulation of goods is a delightful deluge of pattern and colour totally in keeping with her own keen eye for interior style. Since I first saw her digs at University she's always had a knack of creating enviable home decor, especially scattering eclectic cushions. It is as if she has raided her own home to put together this selection which is an exciting prospect as its actually for sale! In amongst the Russian Dolls and ceramic animals are her very own hand screen prints and silk pattern soft furnishings (I received a surprise print in the post!). There are also additional printed treats from Jim Stoten and Anja Sheriden........... go and have a trawl through the soft focus fuzzy delicious details......

Sarah is uploading 2 walls per week in the run up to Christmas so be sure to check back to her check out if you may have missed the incredible selection from Rosy Nicholas........

Sat 11th Sept: Rainbow Drop

This time last week you may have just detected a little rainbow sprinkled onto Fergie for the Black Eyed Peas performance on XFactor............ my rainbow drop earrings from my S/S collection shot here by Elisha Smith Leverock.
To take a peek at how to purchase head to jewellery mecca KABIRI


Sat 11th Dec: Magical Winter Style

The medium of fashion film is becoming employed by more and more outlets, platforms and businesses. Recently I was commissioned to make a cute crown for a Top Shop job and delighted to see that it wasn't just a regular shoot but a mini movie by Angelo Pennetta ........... watch here

Thanks to Emily for finding this for me and taking the screen shots............ check out her ethereal dreamy blog here.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Friday 10th Dec: AnOther Interview

Thanks to Lucia Davies for contacting me from AnOther online to interview me about the history of this blog.......... head here to read all about the whats & wherefores and see archive imagery............

Friday 10th Dec: Patternity for No One

I am maxing out on coverage of Patternity on this blog but I'm sure you can appreciate why, its just undeniably marvellous.......... look at their pattern resource to blow your mind. The duo have a shop alongside the gallery which started with a pair of tights and has now expanded to prints, bags, laptop cases and even furniture! The 2nd edition of tights launched last night as an exclusive design for their east end stockist No One. The art deco motif has come from the shape of the arches of the "Old Shoreditch Station" building which houses the boutique. Their motto of keeping your eyes open to come across pattern in every day unexpected places has been put into context directly with this project. They scouted the area for their favourite shapes to artwork and rework the staple stocking.......... apparently pop socks are in the pipeline for Summer. So here it is the latest in the line of artwork for legs...........get your pins in these beauts and whilst your at it check out the special cupcakes recently cooked up inspired by the team's signature patterns........ from Pomp De Franc.........

Thurs Dec 9th: Piers Atkinson Christmas Installation at Machine A

En route to Piers Atkinson's Christmas Window opening at Machine A, I decided to take a path through the wrong end of Berwick Street. I like to see that the real Soho is still alive and kicking and holding onto its identity within the city scape that its becoming increasingly sanitised. Its killing me that different distinct districts are diluting into one big metropolis of McDonalds and Starbucks. I loved a London that had a Two-Tone Camden Town, West Indian Notting "ting" Hill, Bagel & Biryani Brick Lane, 60's cool Carnarby Street, World End Kings Road and Seedy Soho........... but over time its dying out........ where the bloody hell has the Astoria gone?! I can't say that I engage in the underground of Soho's sex clubs but I like to know that its there! Reassuringly on que there was a scene straight out of a Beryl Cook illustration with a large lady busking in leopard print coat accompanied by a hunched over saxophonist. Passing through the cosmos of coloured neon windows in adult shops and clubs I ended up the right end of Berwick Street and discovered another red lit window. Here Piers has interpreted his own vision of the local vicinity in the quirky, naughty and knowing style that is intrinsic Atkinson. However the scheme has been devised to reach furthur than London ........... Jupiter! Piers has set the shop windows in the year 2056 to a future world where Vogue won't just have different editions for the countries where it is published but for the planets too! The Blade Runner / Flash Gordon/ set has been put together by Planarama, Alun Davies and Kim Howells with finishing touches by Karlie Shelley. This alternative Christmas display launches Piers exclusive pre-collection range for the store, now available as pieces in navy suede with gold studs and detailing. Ive snapped a few of these styles on Rosy, Alun and Anna Trevelyan who was looking decidedly HOT in her special gold leather and pink rose number............and of course the man himself with a netting addition to his trilby!

MACHINE-A presents Piers Atkinson from Ashley Smith on Vimeo.

Video by: James Barnett (
Photography by: Poppy French (
Starring: Aaron Frew
Hat by: Piers Atkinson

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Weds Dec 8th: Patrick Wolf at Bloomsbury Ballroom

After visiting Patrick Wolf in rehearsal last week, he contacted me on Monday about making something to decorate his piano for his concert at London's Bloomsbury Ballroom the following day! I had a play around with some new origami techniques and along with helping hands from Rosy, Charlotte and Craig we managed to assemble enough parts to construct a cocoon to encase the keyboard. As usual I had no idea what it was going to look like and had fun piecing it together and seeing the structure take shape as we listened to the strings sound checking. I love this situation - its always the best seat in the house working on something for a musician at the last moment of preparation and hearing the final tuning. This is what its all about - job satisfaction from living out my teenage dreams............... I was once the cold fan waiting in an endless que outside a venue and now I'm lucky enough to be on the inside creating the vision........... thanks Patrick for asking me to add to your show! (We also just had time to whip up a little corsage to decorate the lapel of his bespoke William Richard Green jump-suit)

(All images of the soundcheck from my camera except Patrick in his dressing room shot by hair stylist Hari and Patrick at his keyboard from Flickr by Magnus D .......... here is one of Patrick's online journals shot by William Pollock who sent us this funny clip of Craig commenting on his Flip camera at the rehearsal)

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Tues 7th Dec: The CocknBullKid

For the last couple of years I have been taking any opportunity to catch a performance by TheCocknBullKid which has found me in many various different London venues and scenarios. Now for the first time Anita Blay was leading her very own solo headline show which was literally "highly anticipated" - a phrase bounded around on press releases but never truer in this instance. Lots of beaming faces and bopping bodies gathered to watch the spectacle of Anita belting out her catchy bluesy pop anthems. Despite her album still being under wraps, I have got to recognise her repertoire of new material from gigs and cannot wait for the release next year to get a copy. Until then............ see her latest video release for the gorgeous "One Eye Closed".

(thanks to Rowdy for the portraits of Anita wearing her LOVE headdress)

Monday 6 December 2010

Tues 7th Dec: Miu Miu Store Opening on Bond Street

After the talk at The Design Museum on Friday evening, Emily and I headed back central to the new Miu Miu store location for the grand opening. Unfortunately we were too late and only got to see the set builders dismantling what looked like a mirror tile floor. But luckily Anna Leader had been earlier to capture the scene for the blog............ thanks Anna!

Mon 6th Dec: Janelle Monáe

I try not to ever get excited about things and let events happen in natural time so there is no threat of downfall or disappointment. But I couldn't help myself in getting mega hyped about seeing Janelle Monáe at Shepherds Bush Empire. There was absolutely no anti-climax - as predicted. This is the one emerging (relatively) talent that is getting me most fired up at the moment and I was lucky enough to catch her in London. The songs, the voice, the energy and the persona are all together an incredible package................... totally awesome and inspiring. I'm made up with my new merch t-shirt! So Ive made it an unofficial "Wear Your New Band T-Shirt To Work Day"!