Friday, 29 October 2010

ROOKIE CREATIVE PROFILES: ELIZA DOOLITTLE

There is no doubt that Eliza Doolittle’s musical talent has made a huge impact on the British music scene. Cecilia Seilern talks to the artist about her inspiration, fashion and life style as a vibrant, new recording artist…


Cecilia Seilern: What are your musical influences?


Eliza Doolittle: I listen to everything from Stevie Wonder to Steely Dan, beach Boys, Carole King, Paul Simon, Beatles, Beyonce, Burt Bacarach...loads of stuff!


CS: Were you listening to any particular music in the making of your album?


ED: I did listen to a lot of Kinks, Beach Boys, Stevie and Burt but I always do!


CS: What are you listening to a lot at the moment? Top 5 iPod picks, either artists or tracks.


ED: oooo! CeeLo - Fuck You, Janelle Monae - Tightrope, Marvin Gaye - Anger, Dionne Warwick - Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Duncan - Paul Sion


CS: You filmed the video for 'Pack Up' in Jamaica - it's amazing by the way! - Please can you tell us about your decision to shoot there and your Caribbean experience? Also, are you inspired by Caribbean sound?


ED: We needed to shoot somewhere where we knew it would be hot hot hot! Jamaica or Cuba were the choices. Jamaica was definitely a perfect choice for Pack Up. The song is about being carefree, realising how lucky the majority of us are. And being somewhere like Jamaica where poverty is a huge issue amongst other things and seeing how people just roll on with things and seem happy. "No problem" is the catch phrase over there! It was amazing fun and gave the perfect message.


CS: 'Pack Up' is about letting go of your worries and not paying attention to other people’s whispers. Is this your personal attitude to life?


ED: It's about not worrying about that kind of thing as there is much worse going on out there somewhere else so…I try and have that philosophy at all times!


CS: We really like your live act with your band; the sound, the look etc... Can you tell us about the thought process behind the way you chose your simple string and percussion arrangement? What sound were you hoping to evoke?


ED: I wanted to have something different with the live set up, something you hadn't quite seen before, so as most of the album has double bass over electric, I went for that with acoustic guitar and simple high hat snare and kick drum kit. I have extended the band now to keyboards, violin and more kit to bring out the sound from the record into the live show a bit more.


CS: What are you working on now?


ED: I am working on the live set up and doing lots of gigs. I am also working on getting my music out to lots of different countries - as far as I can go really!


CS: Your handsome three boys in the band all wear the same thing on stage, usually a shirt buttoned all the way up to the neck and beige trousers. How did that uniform come about and do you have any preference to the way your men dress?


ED:I love the look of my boys, the inspiration was classic barbershop quartet!


CS: I know you're obsessed with trainers. Do you have any favourites at the moment? How many do you own?

I have about 25 pairs now I think !!! I am constantly wearing my vintage style light blue blazer Nikes at the moment.


CS: Do you have any style tips/secrets to give away?


ED: Not really, I'm always asking for the tips myself !


CS: It was just fashion week. Did you go to any shows and if so what were your highlights?


ED: I was working in Europe for most of London fashion week but I managed to get to PPQ and Julian J Smith. I saw some of the Mark fast show online and that looked amazing!


CS: Who are your favourite designers at the moment?


ED: Mark Fast, KoKon Tozai, Moschino, Chanel, Tim Ryan, Vivienne Westwood.


CS:. In keeping with your North London roots, what is your favourite place to shop in north London?


ED: Camden. It's full of amazing vintage shops that I'm always popping into.


CS: What are your favourite hangouts in North London?


ED: Pub -Lock tavern

Bar - Flowerpot

Restaurant - Nando's

Venue - Roundhouse


You can but Eliza’s new single ‘Rollerblades’ here.

Thanks Eliza, we love you xx

Thursday, 28 October 2010

SHOPSTYLE -WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT IT?


A couple of months ago I discovered www.shopstyle.co.uk, a fantastic website that allows you to sort through categories and whittle down your search for the perfect item from thousands of brands, both designer and high street. It then directs you straight to the website! It has revolutionised shopping on the internet and is a must for the busy shopper.

Henrietta Jerram

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

MUSIC IS POWER

It pays to be friends with those in high places, and in this case, that friend is an intern and that high place is Comic Relief! Last week, offered two free tickets to a charity gig in Camden, Hayley kindly invited me along. Having slaved away over spreadsheets at work for seven hours straight, disinterested in the charitable cause, we were both overly excited at the prospect of mingling with minor-celebs and letting our hair down to the soothing sounds of Alice Russell, Annie Lennox and the Tings Tings.

Arriving at Camden’s Roundhouse, we were greeted by the red carpet, the flashing of lights and the hubbub of eagerly awaiting crowds. As our tickets were ‘guest tickets’ with no specific name or price, being the opportunists that we are, a.k.a. dreamers, we decided to try our luck at surreptitiously sweet-talking our way into the VIP lounge with the likes of Big Brother winner, Josie. Presented with our tickets, blank as a canvas, we made our way to the VIP entrance. Attempting to look of somewhat importance, Hayley casually (in hindsight, embarrassingly) swinging her Comic Relief staff-pass around her neck, the blagging began. Asking for this over-sight to be put right, willing to let such a mistake graciously go, we weren’t quite sent so swiftly on our way to VIP as we had hoped. Having spoken to numerous, confused-looking staff, it became clear we had nothing but wasted 15 minutes of our night on a wild goose chase. Politely told that the Comic Relief guests were not permitted into VIP, we were simply ushered along with the rest of the rabble. Due to being so ill prepared for the evening, it was likely that our mild resemblance to tramps negatively implemented our attempts. Compared to those dolled up to the nines, rightly cruising into VIP having paid £120 to do so, there’s no denying we were fighting a losing battle.

Having been brought careering back down to earth, we joined the masses in the Roundhouse’s intimate space. Drink in hand; beginning to unwind, we were graced by a friendly and cheerful Edith Bowman, looking as beautiful and vibrant as ever on stage as she introduced the very significance of Voice Storm. And so the night began…

For the first time that night I was awoken to the importance of the evening, inspired by the cause, Body & Soul. Body & Soul is a unique charity supporting children, teenagers and families living with, or closely affected by HIV. Their purpose is to simply make HIV, positive, disturbed by the undeserving stigma attached to the virus in the UK. What’s more, the night was particularly tailored around celebrating the life and brilliance of Dame Anita Roddick: founder of the environmentally-friendly breakthrough store, The Body Shop; founding patron of Body & Soul and an all-round inspiration to the charitable world. Fore grounded by Roddick, the night celebrated strong and inspirational women, illustrated through a fantastic line-up of incredible female performers: Lauren Pritchard, Mel C, Alice Russell, Annie Lennox and the Ting Tings.

Kicking off with the bright, beautiful and brilliant Lauren Pritchard, I was instantly overwhelmed by emotion as the beauty and soul of the music swept the encouragingly bustling room. It was at that point that I was grateful to have been so harshly rejected from the stuffy and clinical seats of VIP, instead moved by the intimacy of the atmosphere wielding the standing crowds. The night was no longer about getting our hands on a goody bag bursting with sponsors: Kettle Chips, Jelly Babies and Eat Natural, or bumping into the fifteen minute famed likes of B.B’s Josie. Instead, the night swiftly became entirely about the cause. The music chosen by each and every act was not only powerfully performed and full of soul, but every word exceptionally apt to the event’s engaging ethos. As Mel C performed the Bryan Adams classic, When You’re Gone, accompanied on the guitar by James Walsh, I couldn’t help but feel enchanted by the words, reflecting on the great loss of Anita Roddick and the incredible work of Body & Soul.

Despite having entered the event free of charge, something I initially felt somewhat smug about, I left with more than simply the experience of a great night. Instead, I left with an overwhelming sense of why we were there and what it was all really about. Awoken to a new perspective, I left enlightened.

It is the creativity and inspirational attitude behind events such as Voice Storm that are truly at the heart of implementing change. What’s more, recognised by The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, it is music that is essentially power. So in the words of Anita Roddick, “This is no damned dress rehearsal! You’ve got one life, so just lead it. And try to be remarkable”.

Rose Brownlow

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

DESIGNER TO WATCH: EUN JEONG



Korean born, Eun Jeong, 33, has stood out over the past three seasons for her innovative use of draping and soft colour palettes. The Central Saint Martins graduate won the prestigious Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden award in 2008, with a beautiful all white debut collection. The designer creates beautifully tailored, feminine clothes with individual twists, such as lace panels or intricate pleats and fold detailing. Jeong’s signature pieces are made from silks and flowing chiffon, creating clothes which move fluidly to flatter the body. Describing her Mum as her muse, Eun Jeong states her customer is a woman who is ‘not shy, she looks and feels proud of herself as her clothes are unique’. Jeong’s clothes are shamelessly feminine with nipped in waists, ruffles, frills and lace, which are used to create romantic but chic pieces. The designer is becoming known for her signature draping and tailoring and has already been stocked at Net-a-Porter and Debut New York.




The designers Spring/Summer 2011 collection, inspired by tradition Mongrel costume, the eighties classic BIG and English summers was a continuation of her romantic aesthetic. Alongside Jeong’s traditional white pieces, the collection was taken in a new direction with the use of digital printing. The prints embossed on dresses and trousers, were so beautiful that I would not be surprised to see them become a signature for the label. The detailing of the prints added a fun youthful vibe to the designs. Jeong’s use of colour noted the unpredictability of the English summer, with notes of crisp white and lime green alongside the more overcast, muted black and nude. The experimentation with sleeve length was an added note to the colder weather the British unfortunately experience. Models stood amongst wooden furniture scattered with petals, beads and lace, which created a quintessentially English vibe.


Eun Jeong designs classic clothes with a twist and her collections consist of unique pieces that will ensure the wearer stands out. For her skilled use of draping alone, Eun Jeong is a designer to watch, plus, her excellent multi tasking abilities (designing in London and Korea, alongside managing D.S. Textile) is a clear inclination she is determined to succeed. The designers exquisite tailoring, nipped in waists and striking use of colour, will ensure she is a success for seasons to come.


Harriet Tisdall

Monday, 25 October 2010

PARIS ON A SHOESTRING



So you’re wanting to do something different this Christmas, or New Year, or indeed whenever…but you’re broke. Fear not! A last-minute break in Paris is still within your reach - you just need to be a smart traveller...


Þ The internet is your friend. Use websites such as Expedia, Skyscanner and LastMinute.com to help you get the best deals.


Þ Travel unsociably. Whatever your method of transport – ferry, train, coach or plane - it's worth travelling as unsociably as you can. Travel will be much cheaper at 4am on a Thursday morning than it will be at 4pm on a Friday. This will slash costs considerably and this way you may even be able to travel first class rather than bucket class at a fraction of the cost.


Þ Stay outside of the city. Or at least in less popular districts (in Parisian lingo, arrondissements). Paris is much smaller than, for instance, London – if you travel an hour outside of central London, you can still be in London; however, you can be out of Paris in 20 minutes and in any of its quiet and more business-oriented areas. The town of Levallois-Perret, for instance, is stuck out on the end of line 3, but is only 20 minutes' metro (or less) from the boulevard Haussmann (where all the big shops are) and has many inexpensive but perfectly acceptable hotels that are primarily aimed at businesspeople – usually spitting distance from the metro station itself. Furthermore, it has a town of its own to explore, as well as being walking distance from the upmarket and leafy suburb of Neuilly, from which you can also access Paris by metro. Other suburbs you might want to consider as your base are La Défense (close to the Arc de Triomphe) and Vincennes (close to the Chateau de Vincennes and to Disneyland Paris as well as not being far at all from the Louvre and the aforementioned big shops by RER).


(snow in the lesser-known 15th arrondissement)

Þ Avoid the traditional tourist traps. As well as covering accommodation, this also includes attractions and food. While I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to go to Disneyland, Versailles, or many other local attractions, Paris and the surrounding area has so much more to offer. Always try to look off the beaten track for eateries (of which Paris has many), and instead of going up the Eiffel Tower for your very expensive view of the city (of which half is missing because you’re standing on it), instead go to the top of the big department stores for your FREE view of the city in its entirety. A book such as Unexplored Paris, by Rodolphe Trouilleux, is also a worthy investment so that when friends and family ask what you did in Paris you have a better reply than “oh, just the same tourist tat you did when you went.”


Þ Vote with your feet! While Paris’ metro and RER system is simple to use as well as being fairly functional and cheap, arguably the best way to see Paris is on foot, which is both inexpensive and rewarding. Try the box set of cards detailing 50 city walks in Paris (Martha Kay and Christina Henry de Tessan) - just pick out a card and Paris is your huître (or oyster).


Bianca Summons


Sunday, 24 October 2010

YAH AVE A LICENSE FAH DEM DUBZ


I do not class myself as the quintessential dub 'stepper' yet I have been to what seems like a million dubstep nights and for good reason. I say I don't hold the credentials of a 'stepper' because on paper I am a University educated, middle class white girl and it just doesn't seem right to assign myself this underground status. I'll come back to this later.


From the moment I started University I went out of my way to steer clear of the large, commercial clubs where silver-spooned, snuff sniffing jocks swung their t-shirts around their heads to the Baywatch theme tune. Different people enjoy different things, this is just not what I look for in a night out. Almost immediately, I found a circle of friends with whom I rebelled against the norm. This is not as exciting as it sounds. Various examples include; refusing to courier in my prom dress to wear to a hall formal (which took place in the canteen....glamourous!), refusing to willfully attend hall outings to Oceana... you get the picture. Our shared dislike for lash-culture ostrisized us from the masses and in the social stratosphere that is first year, this seemed to unnerve the other residents in our hall. But whatevs, that was four years ago and without wanting to sound like a whiney little kid striving for a nonconformist way of life, the decisions made were definitely for the better!


Before finding myself in the grimiest of hovels skanking out next to some unsavoury characters - I hit the indie scene, hard. This lastest for a couple of years and I have fond memories of dancing to Larrikin Love, et al, in a manner that was akin to being sprayed with bullets. The pretention in the indie scene is off the scale but it was so much fun I don't really care. Then electro started to permeate through. Luckily the indie-electro vibe was pretty forthcoming and the clubs in which we resided provided enough synthy goodness to sustain my interest. The turning point however - was bass. During one of my downloading sessions I stumbled across Plastician's remix of 'Some Way Through This' (The Black Ghosts) and with that I was whisked off into a-whole-nother world, leaving my friends and the familiar grip of the indie scene behind. Since then I have been brrrraappping my way through some of the BEST nights I have ever had.


Having graduated, I returned to my University city most weekends to see my friends and indulge in some bigggg weekends. Though I would skank until the small hours, while the ceiling fell down around me under the pressure of the bass-bins - I still wouldn't class myself as a 'stepper'. One obvious and admittedly materialistic approach would be to assess the chosen attire for such an event. Once upon a time, standard protocol appeared to be the brightly coloured and heavily decorated hoody-wearing male and girls of a Ms Dynamite-esque urbanity. But obviously nowadays, the music genres infinitely merge – to the annoyance of some dub-heads. A recurring example is the skinny jean/american apparel hooded/top buttoned shirt-wearing guys with undercuts enthusiastically gun-signing to the DJ. It depends on the venue and of course, the DJ.


Dubstep has definitely gone mainstream and with that, so has the crowd. I am not condemning this because no doubt for someone that doesn't know me – they'd think I had just heard Katy B's 'On A Mission' on Fearne Cotton's radio show and crowned myself a patron of the genre. Though what I most definitely am not – is a six inch heel wearing girl, gyrating on the podium with all me bits out. The general consensus within dubstep crowds stipulates this as impractical dress. I fell victim to it when a girl in heels to rival the Empire State building tumbled off of the podium and right onto me. She looked nice... she was just in totally the wrong club.


Another point of note is the ever decreasing age of people getting into dubstep. The most significant example for me being Rusko at Glastonbury Festival this year. I should have expected it, Rusko is a household name nowadays but it was a strange experience seeing two very young boys skanking out in front of their DAD who was there to supervise them. I almost felt like giving him some adult-to-adult reassurance about what the hell was going on. But judging by the look on his face and the hemorrhaging bass that prevented anyones ears from functioning adequately, I thought I best leave it. Clearly this has everything to do with the emergence of the genre into the mainstream, the only way to prevent it is to stay one step ahead of the kids. Steer clear of the Caspa's and the Rusko's and rummage around for the Youngsta's and the Gemmy's!


Like most things, genres come and go and I seem to be on a conveyer belt through them all. While I still listen to dubstep, I did have a momentary break from the ear-bleeding basslines and dipped my toe into (quite a lot of) tech-house. What I like about music these days is that it remains fresh. I'm lucky enough to enjoy a wide range of music and I'll no doubt listen to dubstep when it's no longer 'cool', as I did before it was assigned this status.


Ellie Wilcox

Saturday, 23 October 2010

WE LOVE LOVE!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

THE JOB SEEKER'S SOILED SYSTEM

The dreaded ‘dole’ has historically been a taboo in a society which, more often than not, doesn’t hesitate to judge those seeking benefits. Regardless of an individual’s personal situation, the dole carries the image of scrounging, lazy, lay-about louts. However, in recent times of economic downturn, the dole is becoming less of a taboo and more of a given. No longer strictly associated with good-for-nothing scroungers, joining the Job Seeker ranks are swarms of university graduates who face a similar and daunting struggle to secure work. I am one of these very graduates swimming with the swarms.

More than aware of the horror stories of the Aldershot Job Centre, I was apprehensive about my first meeting to sign-on. My sister had already prepped me about her unfortunate experience: having been fined £20 on a 5 minute train journey to the Job Centre, she broke-down in tears sitting amidst a waiting room of the smelly, intimidating and plain hopeless.

With this in mind, I was apprehensive, considering whether receiving that paltry handout was quite worth the ordeal. However, I was surprised not to be greeted by a handful of the hopeless, instead finding myself amongst a worryingly bustling waiting room of young graduates, most of whom were friendly faces from my college years – three years older; thousands of pounds further in debt.

Having claimed benefits for merely a month, the whole while tirelessly struggling to find work, I have reached my first and troubling hurdle; threatening to jeopardise my Job Seeker status, I have landed an internship. Whilst I meet all the requirements of the Job Seekers’ agreement: jobless, income less, hopeless, a flaw in the system has become resoundingly clear. It appears to be a system which fails to cater for those of us who have spent an obscene amount of money (which is only set to get increasingly obscene in years to come) on a commitment to further our educations in order to equip ourselves with the skills for a long and prosperous career. Therefore, post-graduating, being offered a cleaning job at the local swimming pool falls that bit short of setting me off on my way to achieve my wildest hopes and dreams. Whilst the system attempts to acknowledge the circumstances of each and every individual, tailoring available work to meet our wants, needs and requirements, it appears all eventualities have failed to be catered for.

In times of such economic crisis, graduates are not simply struggling to find jobs to suit; what’s worse, we are struggling to find unpaid internships. However, it is such internships that the graduate is required to pursue in order to have any chance of challenging the competition. Forced to endeavour months of experience to adorn our CVs (which often results in having to pay to work); splashing our rapidly diminishing cash on pricey (yet again, set to get pricier) travel expenses, graduates are left facing an incredibly arduous struggle.

It is precisely this increasingly common scenario that the Job Seekers’ Allowance fails to acknowledge. Questioning my rights if I were to land an internship (something which I absolutely intended and hoped to do), I was regarded with an unaccommodating frown. In fact, encouraged to lie to the Job Seekers’ institution if this eventuality were to take place, it causing all sorts of unwanted hassle for admin, I was disappointed by their lack of understanding, flexibility and – more importantly – their nonchalant willingness to commit fraud.

Having recently embarked upon a full-time internship, due to sign-on later this week but simply unable to either get time off or account for my whereabouts, I am forced to sign-off, leaving my bank balance naively hoping for the best. In a world of unemployed graduates, the system requires a serious make-over, as it appears that Job Seekers’ Allowance fails to allow us the rights we so deserve.

Rose Brownlow

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

STYLE INSPIRATION: VALENTINE FILLOL CORDIER

“My fashion crush is Charles Anastase and my style is a bit granny!"






Valentine Fillol Cordier is one of the few women that is able to capture the sensual allure of the French alongside English eccentricity. The French model serves as the creative consultant for Charles Anastase and styles for Charlotte Olympia, Lula and Dazed and Confused. Valentine’s innate, eccentric style is reminiscent of how your grandmother dressed when you were a child, although always topped off with insane platformed shoes. In a recent interview Valentine stated ‘I would literally have no clothes if I didn’t have Charles Anastase in my life,’ and her wardrobe of romantic dresses, tailored menswear, long skirts and eccentric hats is completely in sync with his designs. Valentine’s hair recently chopped into a blunt bob, is an especially striking feature and served as the inspiration for the models wigs in Anastase’s spring collection. With her enviable collection of both vintage and designer pieces (including Chanel, Isabel Marant and Vivienne Westwood the majority gifted from Anastase), Valentine has a truly individual style, assisted by her couldn’t care less attitude.

The perfect way to sum up Valentine is as Coco Chanel mixed with Kurt Cobain’s Grandma, she is the ideal mix of chic and grunge and far, far too cool for her own good.


For some added Valentine, she currently features in the Vanessa Bruno short film ‘Day for Night’ alongside the delectable Lou Doillon.





Harriet Tisdall

Monday, 18 October 2010

WE LOVE ELIZA DOOLITTLE!


Rookie Creative is launching a new website soon and the first person we’re chatting to is the glorious Eliza Doolittle!… but for now you can buy her latest single ‘Rollerblades’ here. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rollerblades-ep/id396283418?affId=1129537

Sunday, 17 October 2010

KIMBERLY!





Photographer: Tommy Clarke

Stylist: Sacha Harrison

Model: Kimberly at Storm Models

Friday, 15 October 2010

KAZUO ISHIGURO: NEVER LET ME GO


If you’re after a thought-provoking read to curl up with on these chilly autumn nights, you should pick up Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’. The film version starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan will be coming out next January so you’ll also be ahead of the culture curve.


Kathy, Tommy and Ruth spent their childhoods at the seemingly idyllic boarding school Hailsham in the English countryside. Constantly told how special they are, as adults they come to realise exactly what that meant.


Hailsham was not an ordinary school and they were not ordinary children. Created to donate their organs to seriously ill people, their lives will be spent in hospitals or in recovery centres.


This may sound like science fiction, but when reading the book it feels entirely believable and something that could happen in society today. Although they are essentially clones, their feelings, emotions and desires are all too real.


The characters are beautifully crafted and you will grow to care immensely about them. Raising important questions about the future of genetic science, this stunning story that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.


Amy Peck

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

HATS OFF TO THE V&A!

Every weekend until 21st November the lovely V&A is displaying the results of their ‘Inspired By’ season, and with it, they’re holding various talks and events that the public can take part in. Last weekend there was a discussion with the legendary milliner Stephen Jones (SJ). The marvellous hat maker was being interviewed by Dolly Jones (DJ), editor of Vogue.com, and the audience were included too by being able to pose their own questions to him.


It soon became clear that SJ had led a fabulously exciting life and certainly has some stories to tell. Friends with John Galliano and Boy George, part of the Blitz Kids crowd, so named after a Covent Garden nightclub in the 1980s and credited with inventing the New Romantic movement, his flair for the theatrical was obviously a lifelong passion. Jones’ conversation was eloquent and engaging, with DJ merely having to guide the topics with her questions.

SJ was full of stories about his amazing career working with fashion designers like Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier as well as with film directors. I didn’t realise that he was responsible for the beautiful headwear in Coco avant Chanel, and it was great to hear about his latest project on Madonna’s Wallis Simpson film. Of course, DJ probed him about Madonna (who wouldn’t?) and he was very complimentary, praising her drive and ‘clear vision’ for the film.


His relationship and work with John Galliano was discussed at length: describing the atmosphere backstage, his hats usually being the last thing to be finished, getting those final stitches in last minute. DJ seemed keen to find out if there was any resentment on SJ’s part about the recognition received by fashion designers, particularly in Galliano’s case, with his penchant for appearing in outrageous outfits at the end of his shows. However, SJ seemed pleasingly modest, really demonstrating his passion for millinery rather than glory.



It was great to see his excitement when talking about the exhibition of hats he curated for the V&A a few years ago, particularly his stories about the huge archives that apparently anyone can request to see. Discussing its popularity, he revealed that it had received more visitors than an exhibition of Impressionist paintings. Why did he think that was the case? “Because there’s nothing more fun than putting something on your head!”


His love of hats was inspiring and his knowledge is clearly huge. An interesting question from a lady in the audience about headwear and politics resulted in discussion of crowns, Stetsons and top hats and could have provided another hour’s worth of conversation. Unfortunately it had to come to an end too soon, and we were left to ponder the question for ourselves. What does your hat say about you?


Siobhan Morrin

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

CATWALK TRANSLATIONS: CAMEL COATS

If you buy one coat this season make sure it is camel.


Perfect for channeling this season’s seventies, Lauren Hutton vibe, the most versatile piece of Autumn/Winter 2010 was spotted all over the catwalks from Aquascutum to Nicole Farhi. Previously reduced to the item your grandmother told you to ‘invest in,’ the impeccable styling at shows such as Chloe brought the camel coat back to the fashion forefront. This is truly a buy now, keep forever piece that perfectly suits autumn’s minimalistic mood (pair it with navy, black, white and grey). With a variety of hues available from burnt toffee to caramel, there is even a shade to suit everyone. The most seductive element of the camel coat is that it makes you look expensive and indulgent no matter what you pair it with. For those with a high budget, the original camel coat, the MaxMara 101801, launched in 1981 is a true investment. However, for those who want a timeless piece for a reasonable price, the high street has created a number of gorgeous coats. There are a variety of styles available from mannish, double-breasted coats to luxurious dressing gown styles similar to those seen at Chloe. Here are our top five under £300.


ASOS White Elbow Patch Crombie Coat (£120)

The ASOS White collection consists of luxurious, daywear pieces and this coat is the most covetable of them all. With brass buttons, a leather trim, multiple flap covered pockets and a double-breasted front, this is quite literally perfect. The elbow patches ensure it has a vintage look, which alongside the designer quality tailoring ensure this is the most individual coat on the high street.



Oasis Camel Coat (£95)

A simple, elegant coat as seen in Vogue’s August issue. Vogue’s fashion connoisseurs Verity Parker and Emma Elwick-Bates suggest teaming it with a peter pan collar dress and lace up brogues to channel an Oxbridge student.



Topshop Ultimate Military Cape (£95)

Camel coloured and a cape? This is clearly one of the most on trend coats of the season. Topped off with brass buttons, tabbed shoulders and a funnel neck this number will work hard all winter.



Hobbs Valence Coat (£269)

This beautiful caramel coat with a belted waist and strong collar is truly reminiscent of Lauren Hutton in her prime. Team with high waisted tailored trousers, a silk blouse and bouffant hair to channel the seventies work wear look or swap the belt for a skinny black one for a Chloe-esque look.



Whistles Deanne Double Breasted Coat (£195)

The toffee shade of this coat makes it stand out from the crowd, plus the short double-breasted style is reminiscent of a school boy. The simple pockets, shiny buttons and cute collar are particularly perfect making this coat an investment buy.


This is only a very small selection of the variety of styles available and other notable mentions must go to Reiss for their feminine Bally (£285) and Very for the Twiggy Cocoon Coat (£85). These pieces will work with anything in your wardrobe, although a denim shirt and smart trousers similar to Chloe is particularly on trend for autumn.


Harriet Tisdall

Sunday, 10 October 2010

JAMES BLAKE: AN ELECTRONIC MASTERPIECE



With an extraordinary ability to induce soul and introspection through his music, 22 year old Londoner James Blake is fast making his unique mark under the ever-widening dubstep umbrella. Unlike the aggressive, machine-like whomps and screeches associated with popular dubstep artists, Blake has taken a more abstract approach. Though his tracks aren't without warbling bass and the usual hi-hat tittle-tattle, the emphasis is on sample experimentation, distorted vocals and contemporary melodies.




His love for hearing the recognizable excerpts of popular artists is demonstrated through tracks such as 'CMYK' where the vocals of Aaliyah, R Kelly and Brandy are cleverly manipulated. Blake's own interest in the R'n'B and Hip-Hop genres explain his reworkings of urban hits such as Destiny's Childs' – 'Bills, Bills, Bills' and Snoop Dogg's 'Drop It Like It's Hot' of which he releases under the psuedonym - Harmonix.





He incorporates a medley of micro-beats and irregular silences, sped up and slowed down sample vocals as well as chopped up sound-bites of his own Auto-Tuned vocals. Blake's voice, however, is in no need of Auto-Tuning. Is there anything this boy can't do? The rich, complexity of his tracks suggest years of production experience, not the two years he has been doing it since starting university. But it's his musical background that has stood him in good stead. Since the not-so-ripe-old-age of between 5 and 6, Blake has been singing and playing the piano, classically. As something which he did not appreciate at the time, classical music has been invaluable in shaping his overall style and ingenuity.





Understanding that vocals carry a certain amount of sentiment, Blake is able to return to what he describes as 'his calling' – being able to sing and play the piano. After totally immersing himself in electronica, stripping back to basics has to be quite a cathartic experience. More recently, Blake has emphasized the use of his own vocals. 'Limit To Your Love', originally by Feist, is an example garnering a huge amount of praise. It beautifully combines his vocal and musical ability with floods of passion and sincerity. The first quarter of the track is far removed from the usual broken sound bites and lurching melodies. His vocals take precedence and are wholly captivating. Then at around 55 seconds, a thundrous, reverberating bass provides the backdrop to his dulcet tones. It is exactly this contrast Blake finds beauty in.





With that in mind, Blake looks set to be releasing more material. With the success of 'The Bells Sketch' released on Hessle Audio, 'CMYK' and most recently - 'Klavierwerke’ on R&S earlier this year, it has never been more apparent that his distinctive branching out of the dubstep genre is permeating through to the masses. As well as further collaborations with Mount Kimbie on the cards, Blake also looks set to focus more on his magestic voice by recording a vocal album.

Boasting a sound so current yet totally unique, do not be surprised to hear the electronic masterpiece that is - James Blake, exploding through your radiowaves very soon!


Ellie Wilcox