Category Archives: Fashion

Catching Up…with Colours and Clothes

January 31, 2019

Filed Under : 5ftinf Tables - Arrangements - Art - Brighton - colour - Conscious Creativity - Cornwall - cycling - exhibitions - Fashion - London - synaesthesia - texture - The Lonely Kiosk Project - trips - Winter - workshops

It was a crazy few weeks before the New Year; I was planning and organising loads of stuff around my book launch, running workshops, sending out calendars and hosting my Artist’s Open House. It was full on to say the least, but kind of exciting at the same time. I was probably a bit too hyper to be honest, but I was enjoying a big old creative flow. However that basically resulted in major Christmas flu; spending  hours in bed, coughing like an old fashioned smoker and just completely crashing for the first part of January. I had all sorts of things I was going to do as soon as Christmas was over; sort my photos, sort my emails, sort my house, fix the cooker etc, etc. But I found it SO difficult to rally any sense of urgency, any sense of practicality and any sense of getting on with things. It’s only been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve felt much better and now I’ve got creative things I’m desperate to do, but which I have no time to do, pouring into my mind and waking me up at 3am! One of the major ‘jobs’ I’ve had to address is that of new workshop dates…I think I sort of wanted all the information to just appear in people’s heads without me having to do anything. I lose hours working on the aesthetics of putting an Instagram story together for example; I absolutely love doing it, but the reality is that it always takes way longer than the half hour I hoped it would. I also think, as I’ve hit an Instagram Stories note, that they are in part responsible for me not keeping up with my blog consistently: they are so quick and easy and reach so many more people that it leaves blogging feeling clunky and not as satisfying as an instant response to my surroundings…Anyway, here I am, nearly at the end of January, just about catching up, or at least with all the workshop info and booking details ready to go. So this post is going to be a combination of January things; colours textures and general observations as well as a pointer to my next online course.

There are still various things I need to really catch up on: the next big job is getting some of my paintings listed in my online shop ( something I’ve been promising since September! ) and getting back into making some clothes again! If you haven’t already seen, my inner clothing imp seems to have been unleashed, and the stories of my handmade and thrifted clothes are shaking up my feed on Instagram! …and my old ‘Weekly Snaps’ posts are something I need to get back into too…as my Grandpa used to say: “We’ll see what we shall see…” And just another reminder about the online course and with more details in my shop here 

The Design Museum…with Azzadine Alaïa

May 17, 2018

Filed Under : Art - exhibitions - Fashion - London - Museums - Spring

Last week I got a sneak preview of the new Azzadine Alaïa exhibition at The Design Museum in London. It’s a fantastic tribute to an incredible couturier who trained in sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts  in Tunis and who regarded his dresses as works of art. He was independent from the fashion world, crafting very specific pieces for specific women. He created his dresses on the body itself, draping and wrapping the fabric to enhance form and beauty, and making each garment personally.

Monsieur Alaïa had been a huge part of the conception of this exhibition at the Design Museum and had started to work on ideas last April. Sadly he very suddenly died last November but his long term partner Christoph Van Weyhe, with his close friend and curator Mark Wilson felt the exhibition should go ahead. But this is no retrospective; this is an exhibition of hand picked garments Alaïa chose for the exhibition himself and which interlace with stories of his life. This feels much more than a straight forward fashion exhibition and illustrates beautifully how Monsieur Alaïa worked with ideas rather than any fashion trends.There is also a beautiful display of some Richard Wentworth photographs of a few of Alaïa’s dresses which are on the second floor gallery, and each screen behind the garments in the exhibition have been especially created by artists including Cristoph Van Weyhe.

I love being able to see the passion involved in the way an artist creates and it is completely evident throughout this exhibition.

Being able to get so close up to Alaïa’s designs is incredible; his stitches are virtually invisible… I even saw a couple taking close up pictures just so they could zoom in and find them!

There’s something about fashion as art, as sculpture which I find irresistible. The theatricality of being able to wear something extraordinary, something so exquisite which has literally been made for and partly inspired by your body, is more than fashion; it’s the point where art, texture, shape and form all share a moment of magic.

If you enjoy the escape of fashion,or just love delving into another area of art, this exhibition is not to be missed and transports you to another dimension of design.

Azzadine Alaïa: The Couturier is open daily and runs until October 7th, and you can find more details and prices here

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The Flipside Exhibition…with Radical Luxury at Selfridges

April 26, 2018

Filed Under : Art - exhibitions - Fashion - London - Spring - trips

Last Monday I took a different bus from Victoria station and got off outside the corner of Selfridges. I went to dive down the side street to avoid the tourists and get a move on to my meeting. I always love a good window display but if I’m honest they rarely actually pull me immediately into the store. But last Monday was different…

There were some extraordinary pieces in the window; theatrical, operatic and not at all what I expected to see in Selfridges. It felt like a snippet of something from the V&A; more like a fashion and art exhibition I tried to walk on, but couldn’t. I had to go in…

So, I then discovered that since January, and since their Accessories Hall refurb, Selfridges have launched a campaign called Radical Luxury which will run until June and as part of the campaign they have created The Anatomy of Luxury at their Corner Shop, ( on the corner of Duke St and Oxford St ), which showcases a new brand, exclusive items and unusual collaborations each week. It feels incredibly contemporary, very free and excitingly transient. It was Gareth Pugh’s designs which drew me into the store and which then reignited my long standing interest in the combination of fashion, art and design.

Later that day, and by complete coincidence, I received an email asking if I wanted to have a preview of ‘The Flipside’ installation exhibition which is part of the Radical Luxury campaign and at the Old Selfridges Hotel in Orchard St. Excited by my new discovery of Gareth Pugh, and as he was one of the designers who had created a piece for it, I obviously said yes!
The Flipside is a multi sensory exhibition curated by Selfridges with the concept that it is the ‘alter-ego’ of the Accessories Hall. It has elements within it which reflect the design within the Accessories Hall like the semi circular Fount Bar and the orb lighting, but it stands as its absolute opposite; the entrance itself a rotating door, designed especially for the exhibition, and inspired by a flipping coin.It’s full of shadows, shifting light and an esoteric soundscape, focusing on the thought that time itself is the ultimate luxury. It invites you to forget time and be transported into a distorted, different concept of it which enables you to connect to your senses and actually feel the experience. 

Seven different brands have created installations for the exhibition, and the fundamental connection between art, design and the world of fashion is evident throughout. It’s not just about selling bags and dresses, this is about witnessing the creativity and conceptualism of cutting edge designers. The issue I often have with fashion is that I can’t afford the pieces I want and then that makes me feel a bit cut off from engaging with it all. But going to this exhibition made me rethink…I don’t decide to go to a new art exhibition just to look for a piece of art to buy; I go because it’s inspiring and fires me up creatively. If, at some point I can save up for something really special; a ‘work of art’ I will; that is a goal…and that’s how I want to address fashion, because for me it’s the more extraordinary, exclusive and artistic pieces which I love. I don’t just want to own a nice dress or bag, I want to own a treasure and be inspired by just looking. Seeing how other artists think is a constant reminder that we don’t have to all be like sheep and that thinking outside of the box is not only exciting, it is completely invigorating.

The questions which anchor The Flipside exhibition are ‘What is your idea of luxury?’, ‘What does Radical Luxury mean to you?’ and ‘How do you define luxury’. These are questions and concepts which the designers and brands have worked with whilst also considering the future of luxury.

The brands involved are: Google Pixel 2, Byredo, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Thom Browne, Mr Lyan, Gareth Pugh and Selfridges. When I had the preview, not everything was set up, so I didn’t get a proper look at the Byredo and Google pieces and which I hope to go back for.

Google Pixel 2 who will lend you one of their phones to take pictures as you go round as they are excellent for low level lighting shots apparently ( the shots here btw are shot on an iphone 7 which isn’t brilliant for the dark! ) and you can create ‘Your Luxury Portrait’ by selecting your definition of luxury.

Loewe who have worked with the concepts of tradition combined with limitless future and intelligent design to protect the Earth’s resources for their ’The Future is Green’ piece and which for me was also reminiscent of my late father’s obsession with technology in in th 70’s and 80’s but which then seemed to overtake his understanding of it as he grew older.

Mr Lyan has conceived a wonderful sensory experience in ’The Libationary’ which allows you assimilate various questions, tastes and smells  to determine your ideal personal cocktail.

Thom Browne presents a surreal, and almost sci fi, theatrical piece ‘Dreamscape’ which is like an old fashioned music box.

 

Gareth Pugh has created a video installation ‘Void’, which has an extra sensory experience as you enter. I love that his luxuries are escape, freedom and clarity and that entering his void really connects you to that.

Louis Vuitton have created ‘Radical Journey’ where they look at travel of the future where luxury is expressed as an experience.

Selfridges have created really thought provoking, yet gentle shadow and light displays which then come together in ‘The Shadow Dial’ where you become its middle point, allowing light and shadow to rotate around you. It creates your personal shadow journey and actively slows you down so you feel like you are becoming part of time itself.

I loved this exhibition because of its exploration of The Flipside; the darker underneaths of the instantly attractive. It also felt like Selfridges had a refreshing sense of self awareness. It’s a crucial contemplation at the moment because now more than ever,as people rush around to capture all the pretty;  grabbing the ’cream’ or the easy ‘cherry on top’, means that any thought about time, where things are coming from, where things are going to and our position in all of that can get massively overlooked or lost, whereas it should be fundamentally embraced.

 The Flipside is a site specific installation which I highly recommend to anyone who wants a London experience which is out of the ordinary and which transports you to another dimension.

It’s also a FREE exhibition, although you will have to BOOK ( which you can do HERE ) as there are timed slots. It runs until May 11th and is open Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 8pm, Saturday: 10am – 8pm and Sunday: 12pm – 6pm.

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Saturday…with some Weekly Snaps…

April 21, 2018

Filed Under : 5ftinf Tables - Arrangements - Art - Brighton - colour - exhibitions - Fashion - London - My Home - Spring - texture - The Lonely Kiosk Project - Weekly Snaps

I haven’t done my Weekly Snaps for absolutely ages, so I thought I’d put together as I think I’ve taken more photos this week than in the past 3 weeks together ( although I may just have snuck in a photo from a couple of weeks ago too ). I’ve been writing my book recently and sitting at my desk for hours on end isn’t massively photographic. I’m also prepping for a new shed installation which I’m creating for an Artists Open House ( Jehane’s Open House ) which will open in Brighton the first weekend of May…The installation is called ‘A Blade of Grass’, after a Brian Patten poem which has inspired it. So, I’ve been collecting lots of bits for that, as well as popping to London a couple of times, matching my yellow and black clothes to all things yellow and black, finding new decaying phone boxes, discovering Gareth Pugh and having a walk into Brighton… Btw, the note on this board says ” The Importance of Fashion”

 

London…with Art ( Part 2. )

February 24, 2018

Filed Under : Art - colour - exhibitions - Fashion - London - trips - Winter

After visiting Lumiere London 2018 the previous week Sophie ( Abbott ) and I thought we’d visit a couple of other galleries. Her choice was the Peter Doig exhibition at The Micheal Werner Gallery in Upper Brooke Street, and my choice was JR’s ‘Giants – A Body of Work’ at Lazinc in Sackville St, but we started off in Mayfair having a look around the Christopher Kane flagship store in Mount St and finished off in Dover St Market