Monday, April 25

SMALL, PRIVATE FAIRYTALES

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All photographs taken on a SuperHeadz Blackbird with 400 film

In springtime, I often feel as if I've fallen into a fairytale. Castles sail on seas of daffodils, and houses look like they're made from gingerbread.  At home in Edinburgh, I step off the train straight into a Dr. Seuss picturebook: the residential streets are lined with trees exploding in tufts of candy pink cherry blossom, and the unnatural lime green of new, unoxidised leaves. 
Once captured on camera, these phenomena only seem to gather more ethereal qualities, leaving me pondering
was it
quite
real?

Friday, April 22

DUOMO DI MILANO

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I don't normally poach photographs, but I couldn't help sharing these, taken by Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast, of the cathedral in Milan. 

Tuesday, April 19

ZAZIE DANS LE METRO

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THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL DURING THE INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEKS?

WHY, BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT OF COURSE! 

Voila! A belated travel diary from London and Paris, courtesy of friend and photographer
Michael Stephens, currently lending a creative hand at i-D magazine and contributor to Les Flaneurs.

Monday, April 18

A/W 11 MARIA FRANCESCA PEPE


'Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.' - Victor Hugo

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Maria Francesca Pepe's collections continue to appeal to the pagan within me. She could have just displayed a couple of old bones on mirrored plinths and I would have been sold on the spot. As an aesthetically-inspired aetheist, I am drawn like a magpie to the adornments of religious culture, just not to the belief. MFP's accessories seem to draw on the most diverse of spiritual and cultural inspirations: tribal antlers and horns take on a punk identity when adorned with leather and studded cuffs; there are references to Christianity in crosses and to the Egyptian cult of Ra in a tiara decorated with tiny kohled eyes; A studded, polished arm cuff resembles a prehistoric animal vertebrae at first glance, while a t-shirt dressed on a human skeleton torso suggests elements of sacrifice.


Thursday, April 14

HERITAGE



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All props and Union Jack blazer, Kate's own.

After my Granny recently brought out some photos of my great-grandparents, whom I had never seen before, and Kate unearthed her Grandpa's RAF uniform, it got me thinking about heritage, in particular British heritage.  Shooting in the glen of the River Almond in Perthshire, wearing Michael Godwin's uniform and a petticoat my Mum wore as a bridesmaid, Kate and I tramped up and down in the mud, carrying fishing rods, teddy bears and all manner of 'British' stuff we've inherited from our families, talking about Brideshead Revisited and the Royal Wedding. Kate's Grandpa's uniform was so beautifully made, it made me wish my own grandparents had kept more of their own things and their parent's things to hand down. I'll have to be content with the photographs, and the few but incredible stories my Granny can tell of my great-grandparents, May and James, and their lives spent between Inverness, the Falkland Islands, Honduras and Uruguay, and the long ship journeys that took them as far as Ceylon and China. 
'It's not about looking back, it's about looking forward' is what we're always told. But without looking back, and far enough, how can we know where we came from? I never had the chance to meet my great-grandparents, but I can look at them and not only see my own image, but also recognize perhaps my taste for exotic travel and in particular theatrical dressing. My interest in fashion and costume had always seemed like it had come out of nowhere, until I saw this picture of my great-granny dressed as a Turkish page in the 1930s. So, that's heritage. If only she'd kept the turban...

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Sunday, April 10

THE ART OF LIVING

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I have touched briefly before on the strong pool of talent being nurtured among the red brick terraces of Hyde Park in Leeds. Among them Jay Hawley and Kate Woods, two very promising and inspired photographers, Liam 'Wachs Lyrical', a DJ and producer who has already flown our fledgling nest and moved to New York, Ramzi Musa, the young designer with a collaboration with Browns Focus. Above and beyond, there are the creative writers, the future journos I have the pleasure of writing my copy alongside late into the night in the Leeds Student newspaper offices, the DJs, the fashion stylists and the kids who bring it all together at a boutique house party; the effervescent crowd-pullers behind WD40.

Yes, this post is an unabashed excuse to name-check all my friends, but when I remember why I originally started this blog; to be used as a platform for the work of inspiring creatives I knew, I can't believe it has taken me this long to showcase the work of one of my nearest, dearest and greatest friends,  Conor Maclay. Conor was one of several students exhibiting their work recently in an installation fittingly titled Living, in Stanley House, a student residence that has served as the venue for some of this town's most infamous soirées. 
Living, as I interpreted it, intended to capture the essence of 'student' art by showing the pieces in the same environment which helped inspired them to be created. The art was shown alongside walls covered in flyers for house music nights and  Eyewitness pullouts from the Guardian, the same student-friendly newspaper whose images of the recent education riots are echoed in Conor's Join and Catch the Bad Guy. Yes, visiting art enthusiasts were treated to a slightly unsavoury view of the student kitchen, but where does life end and art begin? Tracey Emin alone would have found something to be admired in the heaped pans and baked bean cans. Stanley House is far from the slick white-walled gallery spaces of Berkeley Street, but when you're 21 years old and living in a Victorian 8-bed mansion, you might as well make an exhibition out of it.


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All work above by Conor Maclay. 

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Theatre of Worship by Dan Newton

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Friday, April 8

A/W 11 SIMONE ROCHA


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Masculine / feminine, neutral / bright, hard / soft, playful/grown-up...Simone Rocha's collection was all about dualities, mixing heavy shearling with delicate sheer chiffons and stiff starched boy's collars.  The colour highlights in fluoro eyeshadow and red gingham added an unforgettable wow factor to the otherwise understated palette in this strong, super-modern selection which more than hints at Rocha's burgeoning maturity. The focus was on textures, no doubt a talent she absorbed from her father [See his A/W collection here] with the wire-hanger crowns my favourite touch. The 'invisible' heeled brogues enchanted and mystified everyone; possibly winning Rocha the award of most ingenious shoe of A/W 11.

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