Saturday 19 May 2012

Sat 19th May: Eska's English Skies

Last week I I went to the Southbank to see ESKA perform her solo album English Skies at The Queen Elizabeth Hall.  For a solo artist she has amassed an awesome crew to join her on stage to peform the multi-layered tracks including Dave Okumu (The Invisible) on guitar whom you can see here in rehearsal.  The main component of the configuration is the 60+ voice Goldsmiths Choir who make up the backing vocals and some of the beats in acapella arrangements.  Eska's work with Matthew Herbert's Big Band has brought about collaborating with Simon Deacon and Struan Leslie on intergrating choreographed movement.  For this show Eska was followed around the stage by the choir, bodies lapping in motion like waves and wakes of an ocean.  For "Rock of Ages" they each picked up smooth shingle stones to make percussive sounds as the beautiful and mesmeric mumer to underpin Eska's magic vocals.  When not making her distinctive "Eska" sounds from her own instrument - her voice - she switched between playing the piano, yukele, violin and even harmonica.  I was overwhelmed at how one person can pull together so many people to play out their particular vision and at the same time, stand out as the definitive incomparable shining star who wrote the entire piece.  I wasn't alone as there were two standing ovations and a backstage visit from the one and only Grace Jones!

(Thanks to ROWDY SUPERST*R for the photos) 

Friday 18 May 2012

Friday 18th May: A/W12 backstage film by Sarah Keeling

Here are my own backstage photos from my presentation at A/W12 LFW which I haven't yet published but now is the right time to tie in with the release of  Sarah Keeling 's film from the day.  Whilst we were scurrying around tying the models up in tank tops and twists, Sarah was on the sideline with her camera rolling, silently capturing the sushi inspired action.  Below you can watch the beautiful atmospheric final edit and over on my Tumblr are more of these fantastic gifs made from the footage by Emily Beard.  Massive thanks to Sarah for this record of the moment and thanks to T3ETH for allowing us to use their single "Flowers" for the soundtrack.

(Images top to bottom:  my rainbow dress for the day, Phoebe, Kim Howells, Bianca Tuovi's wigs, models in makeup with Yin Lee, Marian Newman's Minx nails, Keely Hunter, collection details, Pomp De Franc Sushi cupcakes, goody bags, Rosy Nicholas collaboration shoes) 

Thursday 17 May 2012

Thurs 17th May: British Designers Collective opening at Bicester Village

London's focus on menswear is heating up in preparation for its very first dedicated fashion week to coincide with the other capital's schedule.  Next month the designers will be showing their new collections in this seminal step from the BFC to give them a stand alone slot outside of the womenswear week.  To spread the word further into the consciousness of the country's public spending power, a pop-up shop has been set up at Bicester retail centre.  A selection of labels have been picked to introduce emerging UK talent to a broader base of customers and get shoppers aware of the gorgeous garms they might otherwise be unaware of.  Saville Row stalwarts E.Tautz and BStore are stocked in amongst New Gen names such as James Long and Lou Dalton.  The doors to the new discount destination were ceremoniously opened by Charlie Porter giving a little speech about the importance of the BFC's support in championing the contemporary menswear market. 
A gaggle of press guests were rounded up for the day and treated to a luxury hamper lunch by Bistrotheque for the train journey into Oxford.  We unwrapped paper parcels of roast beef, Scotch Eggs and Neal's yard cheese ploughman sandwiches.with pots of pate and cornichons....... all washed down with champagne!  Ben Reardon, Paul Flynn, Julian Ganio, William Oliver, Alistair Guy, Disney Roller Girl and Princess Julia were amongst the posse of journalists and stylists to attend with Jack Guinness providing the party sounds wearing his very own E. Tautz suit!

Designers stocked: B Store, Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop, Emmett, Patrick Grant’s E. Tautz, Folk, Gentlemen’s Tonic, Grenson, Heritage Research, James Long, Jane Carr, Jonathan Saunders, Lily and Lionel, Lou Dalton, Margaret Howell, Mr Natty, Oliver Spencer, Richard James, Sunspel, YMC and Tim Little.

(Photos top to bottom:  David Waddington with his picnic hampers:  Simon Glazin,  Lou Dalton and the Long siblings, Princess Julia, Jack Guinness, Alistair Guy, Fixtures & Fittings, James Long's rail, BStore shirt being sold, the Bistrotheque lunch on the train)  

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Weds 16th May: Ballgowns at The V&A

Last night was ridiculously exciting and a landmark occasion for me to witness.  The gold foil gown that I saw being crochted when I shared a studio with Craig Lawrence has been acquisitioned by the V&A and appears in the new major exhibition "Ballgowns" which opened last evening.  Here he is with Holly Fulton who also has her lipstick print dress in the show alongside contemporaries Felicity Brown and Mark Fast.  Each level of establishment  is represented covering the entire industry from Gareth Pugh, Roksanda Ilincic and Jonathan Saunders up to Chalayan and McQueen.  These modern masterpieces have been set and spinning in the new gallery upstairs which was unveiled for the first time, wowing the guests including Suzy Menkes who I snapped taking notes by the ginormous Westwood number.  The beginning of the story surrounding British Glamour since 1950 is explained in a second section of cabinets housing the historical original ornate early examples of gowns and accessories. I was intruiged that this gold quilted jacket is by Ossie Clark - cementing my love for his label even further than the passion I already have for his flowing florals.    Its just amazing how differently each designer interprets the task of constructing occasion-wear, with the  materials that vary from Atsuko Kudo's rubber to Giles's Fortuny style pleats.  There are no similarities between the silhouettes either, with contrasting shapes such as Zandra Rhodes cosmic crustachea swirl caplets to Mary Katranzou's pelmet shoulder pads.  The whole thing is set off perfectly with Emily Pugh's props of outsize pearl necklaces and vignettes of vanity mirrors and bejewelled broaches.  Congratulations to Emily and curator Sonnet Stanfill on an exquisite and epic exhibition.   Head over to the site to see a documentary about the showcase and check out the list of  special events................. here.
(top to bottom:  Bill Gibb ?!, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes, Gareth Pugh, Mark Fast & Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, 
Osman Yousefzada
McQueen, Roksanda Ilincic, Jonathan Saunders, Helen Storey, Suzy Menkes, Holly Fulton and Craig Lawrence)