Saturday 2 April 2011

Sat 2nd April: Style Bubble

Here is Susie from when our paths crossed at a press day earlier this week .......... doing the rounds and dj'ing at this particular one! It's the season of multiple press events and Susie is the best person to keep in touch with whats going on with collections at each PR house.......... and personal accounts including a studio visit with Craig Lawrence at his new HQ in Somerset House since moving on from our former nest

Style Bubble

Sat 2nd April: Patrick Wolf "Lupercalia" tour

Patrick Wolf has set off on the first European tour of his new album "Lupercalia" and asked me to make a magic cocoon to conceal his keyboard. It had to be flat-pack to fit on the tour bus so I couldn't do another large 3D origami wonder like the one from The Bloomsbury Ballroom. I worked out that the most cosmic solution was to play with lighting so I devised a way of making a stained glass effect out of fabric so that colours could glow out of the instrument. Taking inspiration from his recent single and video "The City" and his combined love of the Embankment and fairgrounds I designed a glowing river scene with a Ferris wheel. When I went down to the rehearsals on Bermondsey Street to measure the piano I noticed his sound-desk glowed in a rainbow too! Perfect! Here is a photo of the underside whilst I was sewing the giant applique of the paper-cut and the finished article (photos I have randomly found on Flikr, so please forgive me for not listing credits!)

To see the new album artwork unveiled, click here.
To see more about the tour, click here.

Friday 1 April 2011

Friday April 1st: Rosy Nicholas display for Toms Shoes at No One

London boutique No-One have just unveiled a new installation of hand crafted paper shoes in their window display by Rosy Nicholas. The launch of the TOMS/ No-One collaboration is another stage of TOMS ‘One for One’ journey, where TOMS Shoes match every pair sold with a pair of new shoes donated to a child in need. On April 5th, TOM's 'One Day Without Shoes' project is an event organised to ask people to take off their shoes in recognition of the cause. The campaign is tackling the situation in developing countries where millions of children grow up without protection on their feet putting them at risk of injury and disease. Therefore the aim of a day dedicated to going bare foot, is to raise awareness of the impact new shoes can have on a child's life. Shoes mean a simple step towards health and access to education........... to read more about the event go to

Thursday 31 March 2011

Thurs 31st March : House of Hackney Pop Up

When Lily Vanilli raised her eyebrow, nodded and passed me a little rolled tube of paper, I wondered exactly what kind of "High Tea" she had invited me to?!?! As it transpired the white cylinder uncurled to be Claire Voyant message specially written for me by the fortune cookie teller quietly typing away in the corner. Lilli had sprinkled a little sneaky surprise into the mix of her tea shop experience with this unexpected humorous gimmick, and laced her cake canapes with suitably hallucinogenic ingredients such as absinthe mint chocolate chip ice cream. The cheeky ambience of decadent debauchery in Lily's private members cake club has been devised to reflect the surroundings of its home in the hub of the "House of Hackney" pop up shop. This new interior design enterprise have a print titled "Hackney Empire" with depictions of animals up to mischief: bush babies playing accordions, badgers drinking cocktails, sloths smoking a hookah. The label who have been coined "Colefax and Fowler on Acid" are a team hailing from a fashion background who have turned their hand to applying print in their home. Motivated to create an alternative option to products currently available, the couple conceived the quirky concept "House of Hackney". The range has been integrated into their own 3 story town house in Hackney which serves as the showroom and now for one week been gutted and reinstated in a location house for this pop up presentation. The all encompassing line of wallpaper, bed linen and furniture has been dressed in a Casa Vogue editorial style with misplaced mirrors, cluttered crockery and bleached out / dip died eider down. Its right on trend with distorted lampshades and curtain pelmets akin to a Katranzou creation or Diana Vreeland feel of luscious luxury in gilt gold and warm scarlets.
Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley have made the most honest and pure creative decision to design for their own vision which results in something that ultimately will appeal to others looking for the same missing link on the market. They have also made the sacrifice of volunteering for one of the most stressful events in a lifetime, by moving house a few times in a matter of days. Make sure you honour this devotion of their direction by attending the pop up shop now open to the public ........... and sample one of Lily's hand painted pistachio ├ęclairs whilst you're there!
(For High Tea bookings, contact or just turn up....... tickets are £10 and include cake and ice cream. Entry to the Pop Up Shop is free).

Thursday 31st March - Sunday 3rd April 10am-7pm
76 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney, N16 7XB
243/ 149/ Dalston Over ground/ Dalston Kingsland

(Here are host Gwendoline Christie with guests Louise Gray and Ashley Fletcher, Marawa the Amazing showing me a mini version of her fruit salad of death act, Lily Vanilli and her fortune cookie teller)

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Weds 30th March: "Paris" Piers Atkinson AW11 by Zaiba Jabbar

Paris from zaiba jabbar on Vimeo.

Last night I saw Piers and Zaiba's film for the first time......... and I want to share it here so none of you miss out........... its so lovely. Kim Howells recruited an iconic cast to model the collection in this Brassai inspired work .......... watch it and see who you can spot .......... (hint: although its black and white you don't need the pink hair to recognise Zandra Rhodes ........)

Weds 30th March: The Resee

The ReSee is chance to literally "re-see" a selection of fashion films from the season put together into one presentation by Anna Walker. For AW11 the one night event brought together Alex Mattsson (Chris Murdoch), myself (Elisha Smith Leverock), Henry Holland (Sarah Chatfield), J.W.Anderson (Ben Toms), Les Chiffoniers (Marcus Werner Hed)) and Piers Atkinson (Zaiba Jabbar). Here are some shots of these various films from the projection and a portrait of Ella and Ash who are the mastermind team that is Ella Dror PR who incidentally represent three of the labels shown.
Here is the text from my interview in the program which accompanied the event:

1. Tell me about your inspirations for AW11.

The palette of the last two seasons has been silver and gold metallics, so A/W 2011 is a return to my signature psychedelic spectrum of colour. I’ve stripped back use of layering materials and concentrated on the purity of paper and paper folding. Shapes and silhouettes employ a new technique developed in my ongoing exploration into origami. On a recent trip back to my favourite haunts of China Town NYC, I realized that origami is an infinite craft of possibilities with no limits. My new collection is an experiment in pushing these boundaries utilizing both the top and bottom conflicting surfaces of structures for contrast in texture.

2. Why did you want to make a fashion film?

Since I first received sponsorship from New Gen to make a film in 2009 I have been collaborating with Elisha Smith-Leverock on a further four. I would love to make a film for each season! We are really enjoying building a body of work together. It’s a joke but the idea of having a DVD box set one day would be fun!

3. You have made fashion films for previous seasons, to what extent is film a tool to express your creativity?

I’ve always been interested in crossing disciplines to present my work. My catwalk show at Graduate Fashion Week was choreographed with dancers to a soundtrack composed for an animated film I made projected onto the backdrop. That was 2003! Absolutely anything is possible to convey a concept using film as a vehicle to capture a narrative. The process of compiling a moving image clip is a whole bonus outlet to carry on exploring ideas of a collection. By working with Elisha I get to discover and execute a secondary realm of creativity in addition to just designing the accessories. It’s a dream.

4. Why do you think so many designers are turning to fashion film at the moment?

It’s cheaper! Runway shows and presentations are an enormous investment for emerging designers. Organising a film is a far more accessible option. Also, the medium translates so well to social media now. Once you have the embed code you can share the film across all blogs and forums. This is the perfect tool of self promotion for young designers to showcase their work to an international audience. Equally, more established labels have picked up on the immeasurable success of reaching new markets with online presence. Hence larger businesses are testing out the assets and avenues of fashion film.

5. What do we have to look forward from Fred Butler in 2011? Are you working on any projects at the moment?

We would like to keep pushing the film work and make our 5th for S/S11. I’m also exploring options of producing my accessories at a lower price point through collaborations to expand on the high end range. Meanwhile my blog is opening exciting opportunities with a guest editorship on a music entertainment platform..........

Weds 30th March: Birthday

I had the most amazing birthday ever! Even better than the big number last year!
Here are some highlights.......... Saskia Wickins rainbow surprise tied to the gates of the studio (which i turned into a necklace), one of the many choco cakes, collage card by Andy Macgregor and Teo Connor with an Anthony Burrill badge, Kirsty McKenezie's butterfly feet and cosmic cat card, various rainbow gifts including Verity Keefe's CMYK canvas bag, more home made cards by Lyndsey and Saskia, my V.I.P guests - Lorri and Mable.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Tues 29th March: "We Are Only Humans" Tara Darby

Tara Darby's personal project "We Are Only Humans" that I went to see exhibited last year has now been published in a limited edition book. Just in the last 10 years that I have personally got to know Hackney (in particular Dalston) the area has changed at an alarming rate. Luckily all the while, Tara has been taking reportage style documentation of the every day scenes to record this pivotal transition in the Olympic regeneration reigns, stretching the sanitised city further up Kingsland road into the existing co-habiting multi-cultural community. For this reason I think Tara's work is a vital piece of photographic history and why I have invested in one of the 100 books printed and signed. To accompany the images, Tara asked Heidi James to write a page of prose which she read at last evenings launch .......... here is a snippet extract

"Walking, my feet firm on the pavement, absorbing the suck of gravity, my watch tapping out time on my wrist. There is nothing outside the words, those distorting breathed words. Is my looking at the other pedestrians an act of theft? Flowers flare in small beds. Broad houses, stucco over the grubby voices, the small foot steps from room to room, steps smothered by drab slippers, the battlefield smell or cooking flesh, the scrape of a chair pushed sharp from a table."

A few copies are left, so snap up your copy here.
Keep up to date with Tara's escapades on