Friday 27 April 2012

Friday 27th April: "World Of Prism" with Robert Storey

From the last post of the shop at Andrew Logan's home designed by his architect partner Michael Davis to an architectural shop fit in a department store by Robert Storey.  The set designer 's latest installation is for Prism's pop-up shop instore at Harvey Nicholas which he has conceived in partnership with architect Rafael de Cardenas.  Here are snaps from the opening of  'The World of Prism' which houses sunglasses and swimwear, each named after a different holiday destination.  Robert has just returned from his own holiday trip across America ........... keep up to date with all his news over on his blog  including shoots with Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Tyrone Lebon and Walter Pfeiffer. 

Thursday 26 April 2012

Thurs 26th April: Andrew Logan Visit

Every season Andrew Logan hosts an open house for customers to visit his working studio space to purchase from the plethera of sparkly accessories that decorate his walls and cluster in his cosmic cabinets.   Its always a joy to visit his magical glasshouse gallery where the sculptures are constantly on the move and switching round.  The other bonus of course is to spend time with the zen soul himself for some anecdotes of the history tied into each piece and be blessed with a spell of his inspirational vibes and uplifting energy.  What a true gem, literally - shining amongst his reflective mirror mosaics.
Visit Andrew's shop in Bermondsey between Wednesday to Saturday and pick up a DVD of the documentary film about his life and Alternative Miss World Competition "The British Guide To Showing Off".   

Thurs 26th April: Kwes & Micachu And The Shapes at The Boiler Room

When Rosy Nicholas, Chrissie Abbott and Verity Keefe moved studios last year to be in a new block at Hackney Downs, they were part of a crew to take over the building set up by Platforms's Blaise Bellville.  He rigged up a space In the boiler room of the basement to gather friends together for weekly nights of taking turns to play records, MC and sing.  The idea came about in partnership with Thristian Richards who had previously worked with Giles Peterson so the combination of their mutual network meant that the acts were automatically a calibre of London's freshest talent.  They installed a webcam to share the happenings with the world and invite in an international audience to participate in the proceedings with a live chat room.  Whilst the building reverberated with incidental surround sound from the artists studio's singular systems tuned into the frequency, the genius idea whipped up a storm of social media success and spiralled into an Internet sensation.  One year down the line and the initiative is now a travelling concern shifting the intimate environment to different venues across the globe to track down acts further afield from Berlin to LA.  The London HQ has since packed up from the actual Boiler Room, kept the name and moved to another secret location up the road in Hackney.  Fortunately Ive been able to attend a couple of the most recent gigs, firstly James Murphy and Horse Meat Disco last month and again this week for Kwesachu.  On Tuesday night the regular turntable format was expanded slightly to accommodate their instruments for a live set with guests Clout opening for Kwes , followed by Micachu And The Shapes.  It was a real privilege to be part of this tiny gathering and stand on the sideline to watch this game-changing musicianship at such close quarters, alongside their other collaborators, label mates and peers.  
The gig acted as a warm up for this weekend's showcase at the Southbank Centre to launch the Kwesachu 2 Mixtape with both acts performing solo and together - see here for details.  If you missed the live broadcast of the Boiler Room session, check the site for the recording which will be going up over the next few days.  

Read profiles on Blaise and Thristian in the current Dazed & Confused magazine in the feature "East London 2012"

(photos top to bottom:  Mica & guest vocalist Wes, Raisa K with The Shapes and djing, Clout, Kwes, Mica's instruments)

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Thurs April 25th: Carbon Life at The Royal Opera House

One of the best things about living in London is having access to incredible and historical buildings.  For just £3 we got tickets to see the latest ballet at The Royal Opera House which is a fee worth paying just to have the experience of visiting this resplendent piece of architecture.  Secondly, it was a real treat to witness "Carbon Life" a new composition by Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet.  Renowned for award-winning collaborations, this latest venture is a team matching pop music and fashion with ballet.  Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt (Mike Snow) who write together under The Business International collective, penned the score performed by a band out of the pit and on stage, joined by  Boy George, Alison Mosshart, Hero Fisher, Jonathon Pierce and Black Cobain on vocals.  Lighting designer Lucy Carter mapped the sounds in a synesthsisa style with geometric shapes in high contrast bright shard spotlights and negative space silhouettes.  To mimic these graphic blocks, Gareth Pugh has designed costumes that comprise of angular cone headpieces, shin pads and arm plates.  These structural elements have been shot together in a composition for the official press image to look like one complete arachnid.  When in motion on a mass scale with the whole cast it  was an awesome spectacle for an audience of dance purists who might otherwise never see contemporary, cutting-edge fashion outside of this context.  
(Thanks to Alex Cunningham for taking me and thanks to Leith Clark for her instagram of the actual performance.)

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Tues 24th April: Happy 4th Birthday Work It

Happy 4th Birthday to Work It - the London based 90's r'n'b clubnight and youth culture powerhouse.  Ive been blogging about the girl's initiative since the day Sara pushed a Xerox flyer for one of the first nights into my hand in 2008.  Her signature cut'n'paste collage artwork  was scaled up onto the walls of a pop-up shop at Shoredtich House last night for a celebration to bring together the first followers of the movement.  The girls have branched out from their seminal hand screen-printed tote merchandise to a whole line of "Lyric" wares from sweartshirts to mugs.  
From just an initial idea to organise a party with music they weren't hearing anywhere else, it has expanded into an empire and born a second wave of talent taking over the reigns (Larry B, Black Foot Phoenix) .  
Congratulations ladies for giving me some of the best nights of dancing, dj'n with Teo and giggles with your  escapades and t-shirts............
Check out my archive posts: Block Party,   1st Birthday, "the 90's are vintage" at Selfridges   , NIKE RED tied together,  Tina Turnover Takeaway,  Back To Life,   Getting ready for LOVEBOX with Work IT

Sunday 22 April 2012

Sun 22nd April: "Ive Done Alright For A Girl" Stephanie Sian Smith

Here is Stephanie Sian Smith backstage at my LFW show where she kindly came to record the action, and above are her photographs in a solo show that has just opened in her local neighbourhood of Spitalfields.  "Ive Done Alright For A Girl" is a selection of shots curated by Ida Rhoda with an accompanying limited edition newspaper print catalogue.  The images of girls in ethereal costumes contain looks by We Are All In One, Yang Du, Mrs. Jones and also Stephanie's own feather headdresses which she makes alongside her photography.  The two disciplines have come together in music e.g press shots for Jessie Ware and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for whom she has created single covers and the trademark stage costumes.  You will also know Stephanie's work if you read Elle as she has regular stories including the beautiful current "Closet Confidential" with Julie Verhoeven.  Head over to Stephanie's blog to join up other dots in the family tree of her photographic world and travels, having just returned from SXSW.
The English Restaurant, 52 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, e1 6ag   Until April 29th 

Sun April 22nd: "British Design 1948 - 2012" at the V&A Museum

In light of the Olympic games coming to London this summer, the major museums have been plotting to pull out all the stops to exhibit the country's greatest works for an influx of international guests flooding into the capital.  The V&A have taken the theme literally curating a show of "British Design 1948-2012" starting with the time we last hosted the games until the present moment of gearing up for another chance to entertain the spectacle.  It's a neat crossover of other shows around town right now with the 1950's Calyx print by Lucienne Day at The FTM display thru to Damien Hirst's Pharmacy Restaurant from the late 1990's which is also part of his show at The Tate.
As I walked round the chronological journey of design I had feelings of both wanting everything displayed whilst also recognising elements that I have actually experienced in my life.  In my own home I have a collection of retro tin toy robots, a Ridgway "Homemaker" saucer and Peter Saville's "Blue Monday" record for New Order.  I wish I had this David David chair that sits in the concluding section of the show - a highlight for me to see something by someone I know used in a major show and included in the poster artwork!  My other highlights were the Kansai Yamamoto knitted jumpsuit for David Bowie, original SEX (McLaren / Westwood) garments alongside Terry De Havilland, Mary Quant, Biba, Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes pieces.  It was especially nice to see that the SEX looks had been acquisitioned by the Art Fund which is a charity I subscribe too so felt very pleased to see that the initiative invests in fashion in addition to fine art - they are equally precious in my eyes! 
I loved the show opening with a 50's linear plankton print from The Festival Of Britain  to a graphic Conran catalogue of the 60's, to Richard Hamilton's silk screen print of Mick Jagger in the 70's, Derek Jarman's music videos from the 80's, a recreation of The Hacienda nightclub for the 90's and catwalk looks by Chalayan and McQueen for the 00's.  Every element of design is covered from interiors to architecture, photography to graphics, computer games to cleaning equipment, product to transport and ending on new buildings and idents for The Olympics Games 2012.  
As always with the V&A its a show well put together and explained in its layout and captions....... a must see....... check out the free Friday Late event next week with workshops from Kathryn Ferguson, David David & No Days Off and William Richard Green dj'ing the auditorium.