Sunday, 26 February 2012

Absolutely Loved James Long A/W 2012

Inspired by Amanda Lear, a little bit of Nico and a touch of Russian Rooftops, what a fabulously swishy collection Mr James Long turned out as part of Fashion East's platform for designers. Loved the hair as well - big flossed up mounds of bouffant. Sitting inbetween Julie Verhoeven and Hamish Bowles who took notes in the form of sketches Long's combination of fancy knits, gilt fringing and glitzy silhouettes was a hit.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

'He Gave Me Blue Roses...

Life! (Vicariously)', Meadham Kirchhoff presented their 2012 Fall show the other afternoon and what a moment of exhilaration it was. Self confessed fans of the 80's their 'take' took nods towards clubland legends of yore, Leigh Bowery, Rachel Auburn, Trojan and Michael Clark. Music supplied by Taboo DJ Jeffrey Hinton (Roxy and Abba), attitude from dancer and choreographer Les Child, (strident glitter). The mood was UP for this one and everyone walked out with a smile on their face. 
The collection itself was a combustion of colour, fabric and shape.  Piled on to the hilt, yards of swathes and drapes, pattern clashes, faux fur topped off with wigage and painted faces. 

Film of the Meadham Kirchhoff moment.

Attention to detail is what Meadham Kirchoff are know for, the moment I received the invite I knew I was in for something a bit different. In the goodie bag a thankyou note, nail covers, chocolate designed by themselves plus a bottle of perfume.

The invite.

An optimistic collection 'Integral force to the whole gorge'. (Les Child)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

John Maybury In Conversation

John Maybury in conversation with ICA Director Gregor Muir recently revealed his ongoing fascination with with his own creative energies and those around him. A life full of enquiry John was brought up in North London where upon leaving home he quickly became part of the emerging scene of the mid 70's, a small Punk collective of artists, musicians, designers and activists who pursued a DIY ethos. Inspiring for a young boy fresh out of the drudgery of his Enfield school St Ignatious, John was very much a core member. I met John officially in 1977 having seen him around and about, we've remained firm friends through 4 decades. Even then his proactive and outspoken sensibilities gave him an aura that drew attention to his pursuits. Meeting Derek Jarman proved pivotal to the young Maybury who was then thought he set on a career path as a painter. Asked by Jarman to assist with his film Jubilee who wanted a real punk involved, John became intrigued with the possibility of film.

Throughout this talk John engaged us with a series of film extracts, his own and work that has inspired him over the years. Both Jarman and Kenneth Anger played a part in the technique John developed in his own 'art house' shorts. Working on super 8, (readily available and cheap), one of John's first exhibitions was indeed at the ICA of 1982 under the moniker 'The New Romantics', a collective show of young artists on the scene, (John's preferred the title 'Neuro Mantics' which he later put to use). It is with a quizzical eyebrow that John discusses his fascination with fame and the sense of 'underground' creative culture of the time. And indeed it was a thing we all realized, the fame game was easily obtainable and many of our mutual friends were becoming successful in their chosen fields, Andy Warhol's prediction of 'Everyone will be famous 15 minutes' ironically has become true.

John talks about the social consciousness of the 80's, the AID's epidemic and casualties of drug abuse that took many of our friends. A fact that has led him to retrieve archive film in order to remember and pay homage to some of the people that have played a great part in John's life.

Enquiring and pondering over technology both then and now, he adapted chroma key and worked with  every scrap of creative media available to him. Cashing in on the pop video explosion of the 80's with videos for Neneh Cherry, Sinead O'Connor, Marc Almond and Boy George he recycled sets from his commercial work for his personal work. With his usual enthusiasm today he extols on the virtues of the world of apps, reediting film on his i-phone.

By the end of the 90's John first full length film 'Love Is The Devil' was released. Roping in friends, namely the Young British Artist's of the day, he got them to re-enact various scenes. Initially he cast Malcolm McDowell as Francis Bacon, it all fell through and the part went to Derek Jacobi, John tells how the scene where George Dyer (played by Daniel Craig) falls through the ceiling upon first meeting Francis Bacon is infact completely fictional but has been cited as fact by leading art historians. For your information they apparently met in a pub.
Realizing an ambition to explore further the medium of the feature film he went on to create The Jacket and most recently The Edge Of Love. Further to which he tells us about an Italian TV series 'Rome', where as a director he is enjoying the seemingly limitless budgets.
Summing up a creative life in the space of 40 minutes is really not long enough and John's engaging repartee throws up some amusing situations that are both insightful and refreshingly honest.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I <3 London Fashion Week, I really do, and this season I'm looking forward to a few fashion treats. Last week I went to be in a film with Charlie Le Mindu of haute coiffure fame by filmaker Zoe Hitchen, due to be shown at the launch of LFW. We've all heard of art and fashion being linked but I think Charlie had a brainwave... musical theatre and fashion. (I'm not joking either).

Sibling knitwear do two presentation's of their ladies range 'Sister' on Saturday morning up at Somerset House.

Jonathan Saunders will be kicking off my Sunday, as you might know I'm a fan of his lady like looks, well classy...

Then there's a show from Louise Gray straight after...

And rounding the afternoon off our lovely Pam Hogg is back in London with her show 'Wildlife'

Pam Hogg S/S11...TO KINGDOM COME! from Pam Hogg Couture on Vimeo.

On Tuesday Meadham kirchoff unveil their latest...

After all that I think I'll be fashioned out till next season...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Straight into the new year and I've spent my time endevouring to get motivated with a bit of yoga, editing interviews for iD mag, writing about motorbikes for GQ Style, a fantastic interview for  Ponystep with The Gossip and my regular weekly QX mag club column 'Revoltage' which keeps me in the loop of clubland (plus the odd bit of djing).

On the subject of bands taking a sabbatical it's been my pleasure to catch with latest from Garbage, who have been off the scene since the retrospective album 'Absolute Garbage' in 2007. New album out in March entitled 'Not Your Kind Of People' came my way in the form of an album sampler 'Angelfish', 5 new tracks of classic Garbage. Now then Garbage have got their sound and their sticking to it, hardcore fans won't be disappointed, the gorgeous Shirley Manson holds the fort with an instantly recognizable vocal style. I was always a fan of her style both vocally and visually.

Track list so far...
1. Big Bright World
2. Felt
3. I Hate Love
4. Beloved Freak

Charismatic storm trooper Mark Stewart from The Pop Group returns with an album of collaborations called The Politics Of Envy. Such is the kudos of The Pop Group, who did a one off reformation gig last year at The Garage in Islington after a 30 year break that it seems people are queuing up to be involved. First single 'Autonomia' with Primal Scream, namely Bobby Gillespie in tow is quite a racket and is out February 20th, the album being due for release on Future Noise Music .

The Gossip have been working on a new album produced by Brian Higgins of Xenomania notoriety. I caught up with them for a hilarious interview for Ponystep mag and got absolutely no information out of them, Beth decided to interview me and we just collapsed in a heap of laughter.  Anyway the said album is due out later this year and the band are very excited about it with a string of gigs planned!