Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Weds July 18th: Rachel Khoo "Quizzing the creatives"

Here is an interview I answered for the culinary creative behind  "The Little Paris Kitchen" Rachel Khoo for her new blog.  Head over to her site to find out more about her TV show, book, events, restaurant recommendations, consulting............ "a fresh approach to all things edible".  I first met Rachel at a domestic theme Friday Late at the V&A a few years ago before she moved to Paris and dreamt up her brilliant and unique career in the cooking world!  Fantastic and motivational inspiration for anyone to follow their heart and turn it into a life vocation ................. see trailer at the bottom ......
Here are my answers to her questions on what I get up to day-to-day.......... (photo,  my new studio <3)

RK: How does a typical work day pan out for you? 

FB: I cycle into work from North to East London where I share a studio with my stylist Kim Howells and graphic designer Teo Connor. Teo also runs The W Project which brings together lots of different artists so there's always lots going on! I spend the day at my desk designing and head to an exhibition opening or gig in the evening. I'm constantly covering events and creatives for profiles on my blog. Teo and I just joined The Boilerroom Football Club ladies team so that's also taking a slice of our after-hours activity....... great fun!   

RK: Where do you turn to for inspiration? 

FB: The way I work is with my hands - the magic is in my fingers! I play around with materials to experiment in new techniques and work out how to apply those shapes to the body. Then a concept connects all those elements into a theme and a story of how to style the show. Last season was all about the knots of Japanese kimono Obijame, which I incorporated into cable knitwear for the complete accessorized winter outfit, coloured in a palette of sushi inspired hues.

RK: What has been your most interesting project to date? 

FB: My last two collections being presented at Somerset House in Fashion Week. It was my childhood dream to be a fashion designer so finally having the chance to realise that has been complete job satisfaction. I'm so grateful to be on schedule and have that platform to share my vision of the industry. I want to uplift the energy and enjoyment of fashion by offering an opportunity to be transported to an alternate dimension outside the normal experience/format. A big part of that is combining music into the mix and luckily I found the perfect partner with Red Bull Catwalk Studio. They support me in collaborating with a musician/producer to use their recording space and set up for the artist to perform the finished soundpiece at my show. This means I get to invent an aural equivalent of my designs for a unique sonic soundscape.

RK: The ultimate song to work to? 

FB: As I said, music is a massive part of my life! I'm a frustrated musician, I would love to know how to create sound! I'm very excited by my peer group in London and I like to listen to their new material: TEED, Jessie Ware, Kwes, Micachu etc. I'm also addicted to certain radio shows: Lauren Laverne on Radio 6 for her intellect and witty banter, Giles Peterson for world music, Rodigan for reggae, Kisstory for an hour of back 2 back old school garage and The Guardian Weekly Music Podcast with Alexis Petredis who interviews the best upcoming talent. Also massive mention to NTSLive - my local Dalston Radio station with an incredible roster of DJs including Thristian Richards of Boileroom.

RK: Best part about what you do? 

FB: Having my own space to immerse myself in everyday. The novelty of becoming freelance has never worn off. I work every hour but it's worth it to have the freedom to create colour. In the four walls I have acquired cosmic materials and studio mates!

RK: What would be your dream creative project? 

FB: I would love time/money to decorate my home exactly as I wish! My living quarters are very neglected as I spend so much of my life at my studio. It would be heaven to paint it rainbow top to bottom and make it a myriad of multicolour soft furnishings.

RK: Favourite city in the world? 

FB: London! It's taken a long time to like it and now I love it. The integrated multicultural diversity is unrivalled. There is so much to learn on a daily basis with any kind of scene/activity you wish to discover. I'll never get bored or accustomed to it because there is a surprise round every corner. I also have a love affair with NYC and really miss my friendsThreeASFOUR in China Town. Visits to that magic metropolis make me very happy.

RK: Where is your favourite escape? 

FB: Record shops! I like to escape fashion by getting lost in digging crates of 2nd hand vinyl basements to find hidden gems and also spy on hot straight boys - a rare beast in my industry! When my PR was based on Berwick Street, I would make a detour to duck into a few of the record shops!

RK: Favourite way to spend a Saturday? 

FB: Brunch with my girlfriends at MAP Cafe in Kentish Town which serves a beautiful english breakfast and plays blues and jazz as it's also a recording studio and live venue.

RK: What was your most memorable meal?

FB: A Parisian one! I assisted Andy Hillman doing set design for an Italian Vogue shoot with Paolo Roversi. The location was his immense town house studio with the most incredible library room of artists' monographs. At lunch the whole team took a break to sit down together and eat with a bottle or two of wine! I will never forget the privilege of being part of Paolo's world for a few days and the tastiest quiche I've ever sampled! It was an individual square made from dense rich pastry, filled with perfectly crisp broccoli, caramelised leek, some kind of stinky cheese and the most buttery yellow egg...topped with toasted pine nuts. Exquisite!

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