Pip Merrifield

A fashion marketing and management student at the University of Manchester (and a very good friend of mine!), Pip has always immersed herself in fashion; and her ambition and knowledge helped her to gain an internship at the Manchester Fashion Network, where she is involved in digital marketing.  Alongside this, Pip enjoys doing photography in her spare time (which you can check out on her website); and she was the talented photographer behind Gola’s successful on-campus photo shoot in December 2013, of which some of the images are shown here.  I caught up with Pip to talk about her love of fashion and photography, and what she hopes to do in the future.

When did you first get into photography, and what kind of things do you photograph?

I first got into photography when I was around 13, I was really interested in graphic design at the time and found I could incorporate the two to create a more distinct style. It’s since blurred with my love of fashion, resulting in street style photography and editorial-style shoots!  What do I photograph? Anything and everything! I tend to take my camera round with me so I have a bit of a visual diary which you can check out on louley.tumblr.com. I’m also really fond of taking street style photos, there’s such a diverse range of styles in Manchester and people aren’t afraid to experiment. I think it’s really important to document how the trends translate from the catwalk to everyday outfits each season.  Recently, I’ve done a lot of events and gigs around the city which is really fun too, photographing bands such as The Sunshine Underground.

What do you hope to do when you finish University?

As well as studying Fashion Marketing and Management I also work part-time doing digital marketing for a Manchester-based fashion website, The Fashion Network, which I love! I definitely want to pursue a career in a similar field after I graduate, hopefully still within the fashion industry. Of course I still plan on keeping photography as a hobby.

Which trend are you most looking forward to for SS14?

I know it sounds cliché but pastels! I’ve completely fallen in love with baby pink this autumn/winter which I’m counting on in the transition to Spring/Summer.  A baby pink scarf or shoes makes a nice change to my all monochrome wardrobe too!

Which one trend do you wish would go away?

Anything cut-out probably. The main reason being that it’s not very functional for the British weather and I think it devalues a lot of cute dresses or tops.

 

To check out some of Pip’s photography work, head on over to her website.

 

Corrie Foreman

Based in London, Corrie Foreman is a burning artistic flame and the founder of Breaking Points (#AREYOUBROKEN?), a community aiming to unite the creatively minded by providing a platform where artists can share their work and collaborate.  Corrie deserves a pat on the back for Breaking Points alone; Britain’s artistic world is flourishing thanks to such initiatives that help nurture emerging talent. That’s before we get onto her personal artistic portfolio, which takes the concept of ‘creativity’ and spins it through a new dimension.

Particularly intriguing are Corrie’s two ‘Untitled 2012’ photographs. Her model dresses in a pleated schoolgirl-esque skirt and white jumper, her face hidden as she coys away from our onlooking gaze; mysteriously we get an eye-full of the model’s cascading hair. What’s interesting about this piece is how Corrie creates a sense of etherealness and yet, at a proper look, the setting is simply a plain, manmade space – perhaps a studio or warehouse.

The model is protected, like a fairy inside a jar, by a translucent tunnel; it falls from the ceiling like a glass casing begging the question: what is it that’s so special about this woman that she is protected behind a case? Perhaps it is her horse-like pose – as if one hoof docked – in one photo or her ‘beam me up’ gaze upwards in another that makes her so fascinating. That’s open to you to interpret.

Equally curious is Corrie’s ‘Untitled 2012’ participation work where the viewer was left to interact as they wished with the translucent tumbling fabric – the fabric that formed the translucent tunnel from the afore mentioned. In a puzzling result, we see the ‘game’, as you could call it, leads to three individuals wound up as if having built a cocoon. All that’s lacking is an explanation as to how and why they chose this position – or perhaps the mystery is part of the beauty.

Another photographic collection that took us a little while to get to grips with is ‘Parasite’. These photographs explore angles and planes by strapping glass and mirrors in abstract shapes, which we’re told have projections shot onto them to create moving rays and peculiar reflections. This is one that could be stared at for hours. Slightly more forgiving on the eyes are Corrie’s stunning underwater shots. Less abstract, these celebrate shapes and colours by capturing the way water holds the human body and giving the impression of slowed-down motion.

What is mesmerising about Corrie Foreman is the eclecticism of her work. Moving towards post-Impressionism – with a twist – Corrie returns to the traditional paint and brush in ‘Identity Crisis 2012’. Aptly named, these traditional portrait-style paintings show the beginnings of the model before smudging it, leaving the figure distorted, lost and soulless. More delicate but equally as engaging are ‘Trapped Illustration’. Precisely sketched, these illustrations are fragments of different industrialized settings spliced over one another, such as bits of a train station. As with the rest of Corrie’s work, the inventiveness calls the viewer to stare for ages, picking out the intricacies. If art is about creating something innovative and thought-provoking, Corrie has triumphed. We are yet to find something else quite like it out there.

See more at corrieforeman.com

Time travel photography by Chino Otsuka

‘If,
again
I have a chance to meet,
there is so much I want to ask
and so much I want to tell’

So begins the introduction to Chino Otsuka’s most recent photography project ‘Imagine Finding Me’. Chino Otsuka is a Japanese visual artist based in London, whose work is very subtle, very soft and very nostalgic in a way that only the Japanese can be. Softness becomes loud with intent with Otsuka’s work as  her last project explores the themes of time travel, nostalgia and memories through heartwarming photographs. Otsuka took several old photos from her childhood and teenage years, and digitally manipulated her present self in them, creating a series of double self-portraits.

This series of portraits become vehicles of the self and of time, where Otsuka’s journey is wonderfully re-arranged. At first glance, the photographs could be of two sisters, or a mother and a daughter, roles which the present Otsuka ends up playing by ways of rearrangement. Almost like pictures from a trip, the series takes us to Paris, London, and even Tiananmen in China, but the real movement is, of course, through time, for Otsuka considers  the relationship between past and present to be a fluid one. The digital manipulation then acts like a time machine, whereupon the photographer goes back in times, like a tourist in her own history.

www.chino.co.uk

 

Toucans

His previous 2-piece band was called Horses. This time he’s gone for something with a bit more colour – and a beak. ‘Toucans’ is Sheffield-based Adam Humphrey’s latest project. Just as tropical as its name, the band makes kaleidoscopic lazy-day indie music.

What’s striking about Toucans is their dreamy vintage sound. If Toucans were a photograph they would be a series of lovely polaroid pictures: pleasing, intriguing and charmingly old-fashioned. It seems only appropriate that they record onto cassette – who’d have thought those still exist.

Toucans’ music is ideal for laid-back, easy-listening; the low-fi vocals create a dreamlike fog around the tracks that lulls and calms. Kings of low-tempo is, the band’s track ‘Welcome To Lovers House’ gently lilts through tambourine clicks and heavy guitar strums. The rocking weight echoes the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel with a low-fi coating on the vocals and a mysterious helium-fuelled humming that sails above it. On that same tip, ‘I Swear To God You Will See My Ghost’ brings together the weight of a plodding guitar riff with a cloudlike drift of misty vocals; they waltz together, moving in perfect harmony.

Picking up the pace, ‘Oh, Sordid Bones’ – which has more life than the name – is quirky and delightful with its neat guitar picking, warm muffled beating and that all important vintage vocal.

Between the  tropical rainforest name, the ripe and aged sound and the hypnotic dreaminess it’s hard to decide what appeals most about Toucans. What is sure is that Britain’s indie/folk scene has a bird-shaped space for this band. Check them out via their SoundCloud.

Little Hill People

Ever on the look-out for unique and sustainable fashion brands, I recently stumbled upon Little Hill People. First of all, I was attracted by such a quaint and interesting name for a company, and secondly fell hook line and sinker for their brilliant manifesto. The company is based in Sale, Chesire but acts as a marketing platform for traditional weavers and indigenous craftspeople in North-East India. The products, ranging from bags to accessories, are comprised of incredibly vivid prints and are each individually hand woven, meaning that each piece is absolutely unique and unlike any other.

In purchasing a piece from Little Hill People, you can be sure of a fair few things. Primarily, that your bag or necklace has been produced by loom weavers operating in a safe working environment, provided with a stable and regular income. Furthermore, the artisans’ traditional ways of weaving and producing items will be preserved, so that future generations can be acquainted with and pass on the unique methods and skills required to create such amazing products.  You can also be sure that whatever you buy will inject colour and vibrancy into any outfit that you choose to wear, absolutely worthy of any of the catwalks in Europe and the USA.

The mixture of traditional production with modern and fashion forward designs is what makes this company so exciting. Little Hill People have cottoned onto the fact that many of us do not want mainstream items from the high street, but still want to be ahead of the fashion curve. This is something that they offer with their off the beaten track collections that are incredibly of the zeitgeist but are, most importantly, ethically sourced and produced. Whilst the Tribal trend appropriated by fashion designers has become something of a fad that comes in and out of fashion on a regular basis, Little Hill People provides fashion that is completely authentic and will, therefore, never cease to be a pleasure to wear.

Shop and find out more on their website, Asos Marketplace Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +

Thea Sanders

I am sure everyone appreciates the great feeling of putting your favourite jumper on when the little chill starts hitting in. Let’s talk knitwear then! And not just any ordinary knitwear, but the creations of winner of the Stuart Peters Visionnary Kintwear Award 2013.

Thea Sanders recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University and won the hearts of last year’s Graduate Fashion Week judges with her eccentric but wearable collection of colorful knits. Dresses and skirts in the vivid shades of blue and yellow paired with even more boldly-coloured tights are present in Thea’s collection, brightening up even the coldest winter ahead. Inspired by the patterns of floor tiles, the young designer incorporates domestic knitting and weaving into her collection, the results of which are one in a kind garments that create a strong statement the second you see them on the models walking on a runaway.

Being in early stages of her career, Thea managed to achieve something that a lot of young designers try to get for ages – strong and distinctive sense of own trademark style that helps her with standing out from the offerings of other creators trying to make a break in the fashion industry.

There is not a lot of information on Thea or her work to be found and that is what makes me look at few pictures available online with even more interest – I don’t know what we can expect next from this one, but let me ensure you, it is going to be SOMETHING!

Image source: knittingindustry.com 

Emma Guilfoyle

A 2012 graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (with First Class Honours!), freelance fashion designer Emma Guilfoyle is one to watch.  During her time at University, the fashion industry was so impressed with her designs that she was shortlisted to the finals of George’s childrenswear competition 2012, and the Karen Millen award 2012; in addition to the prestigious honour of showcasing her collection at London Graduate Fashion Week 2012.  The collection – titled ‘Power, Parliament and Picasso’, was inspired by a combination of Cubism and British Prime Ministers.  Iconic faces and infamous quotes are emblazoned on key pieces, such as ‘We will fight the on the beaches’; with appliqued patches of tweed and sequin embellishment giving the collection a more youthful feel.  So successful was Emma’s collection, it received a six page feature in Total Politics magazine, and was worn by both Lady Gaga and rapper Eve.

More recently, Emma designed costumes for the Northern Ballet school’s latest production, entitled ‘Luminous Junc.ture’; testing Emma’s versatility, with each costume strong, yet tying in as a collection, and in no way inhibiting the dancers’ movement.

Emma is currently residing in Manchester, working as a freelance fashion designer; and I for one am looking forward to seeing what exciting creations she comes up with next.

To find out more from Emma and her collections, head over to her website.

 

 

KTZ at LCM

You can always count on KTZ to show up and show out! For their Fall 2014 collection, the brand stuck to its perfectly weird awesome monochrome aesthetic.

Geometric patterns had a strong presence, as did oversized outerwear, tons of underlayering, and large graphics that evoked the symbology of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, or its downstairs neighbor.

DESIGNER NAMES: Marjan Pejoski

BACKGROUND: Following the success of Marjan Pejoski’s self-titled label, KTZ began as the in-house brand of his and Sasko Bezovski’s Kokon To Zai boutiques. Pejoski graduated in fashion design from Central St Martins University, and Bezovski had spent much of the 80’s travelling the world with his music, and establishing his umbrella of retail stores ‘Kokon to Zai’ in London and Paris.

The KTZ brand which followed was strongly influenced by the pairs extensive travels, playing with urban and indigenous silhouettes, as well as a strong emphasis on symbols, icons and pattern.

 

Ewan John

Ewan John is a Linlithgow-based artist, writer, lecturer and indie publisher. He wears many hats with his artistic output, and his prints, books, zines and crafts can be found in galleries and gift shops across the UK and beyond, in the USA and Australia. His charming images of birds, seen here, aren’t just for walls, as he’s incorporated them into books of poetry, silk-screened t-shirts, CD art and badges. His work has a unique, whimsical style that often gives the impression of doodles in the margins of a notebook standing up and coming to life.

Accompanying his drawings in many of his zines, are short passages, sometimes poetic, sometimes humorous, that give the illustrations a slightly surreal context. One zine with a particularly eye-catchingly bizarre title is “The Darwin Lettuce,” which includes a series of “lost letters” written to Charles Darwin by a public who beg for his help in identifying the strange creatures they encounter, among other misadventures. When you pick up one of Ewan John’s zines, you can never know what to expect, but it’s sure to be a strange, and entertaining, journey.

If you are a fan of the works of illustrators like Edward Gorey, for example, enjoy cute birds, or even just want a good dose of humorous nonsense, why not give one of Ewan John’s zines or prints a chance? You can get in touch with him through his personal website, which lists locations where his work can be found, or you can simply order from his Etsy store if you like.

Ewan John is a graduate of Edinburgh University and currently works as a lecturer in art and design at Forth Valley College, Stirling.

 

Posted in Art

Rosie Ingleby

Is minimalism a key to a successful life? Recently, the discussion on how to make our lives easier by shopping less, having less and leading a simple lifestyle has spread all over the media. Well, I am not a life coach but I can tell you one thing – in fashion sometimes less is more and many young designers seem to forget about that.

Not Rosie Ingleby – this 1st class Kingston graduate showed her first collection at the runway of Graduate Fashion Week last summer and won hearts of fashion editors and lovers all over the globe.

Her minimalistic designs play with asymmetry with the unusual but wearable outcome. In her first collection, raw materials and harsh designs played unexpectedly well together and produced fantastic and mesmerising creations that, despite reminiscing works of art, are ready to be worn, played with and be loved by their owners; Exactly what the young designer tries to achieve through her work – to produce conceptual clothing that is relevant, current and exciting.

Personally, I find this approach something new and exciting – of course, every talented designer graduating wants their clothes to be wearable but usually their creativity is the thing that suffers the most while trying to achieve that. For Rosie, nothing is impossible – she wants her designs to be simple, yet conceptual, yet wearable.  And guess what? She succeeds in doing that.

After winning a design competition while still at Kingston, Rosie secured herself an internship with a clothing retail giant H&M that gave her technical experience and commercial knowledge and right now she interns at Yunus and Eliza. Having a balanced knowledge of both commercial and high fashion industries she is ready to lead the revolution.

Will you join?

To find out more about Rosie, visit her website.

Ailene Gray

I found Ailene Gray on the internet. She appears to be an undergraduate student, just like me. But unlike me, she can draw some very pretty pictures.

There is a site online which I’d never heard of called the ‘just us’ collective. It showcases student illustrators and artists and gives them the chance to appear in exhibitions and publications in the coming year. Hundreds of people submit their work and you can vote online for your favourites. The top fifty get accepted into the collective. This voting page is where I discovered Ailene Gray.

On the site, the artists are given the opportunity to describe themselves alongside examples of their work. Ailene’s says:

Escaped from Bedford to somewhere with more sea and less Bedford to study Illustration. If ink was a person, me and ink would be in love. The first inspiration I can remember was seeing the concept art for ‘The Ocarina of Time’ instruction manual when I was 6. I’m a mother to two rats, I’m obsessive and my insides are made out of bread.

I liked her description.

As well as the evident quirkiness of character which this artist displays both in her work and her words, I think Ailene’s illustrations are marvellous. The three pieces shown offer a fantastic range – one shows intense intricacy where another appears haphazard and amusing. In spite of this, they all exude a style that shows true artistry – you can tell they all came from the same artist. Her whole page exudes personality – her succinct use of language only supports the fantastic artwork she submits to be judged.

If you too like the pictures on this article, please vote for Ailene Gray at http://www.justusdesigncollective.com/lumpygraybles

 

Funky Offish

Don’t be surprised if in the next six months you are invited to a party and told that ‘Funky Offish’ is the encouraged dress code. Surpassing expectations as a quirky tag for their own particular style, Pixie Geldof and Ashley William’s phrase is burning deep into the fashion lexicon and will soon be the moniker for their own line of jewellery and clothes. If you’re not ‘Funky Offish’ now, you will be very soon.

Endearingly garish and charmingly unpretentious, the ‘look’ (if you can call it that) represents a definite move on Pixie’s part to a new podium of power in the industry. Long considered the Geldof most-likely-to explode into high fashion, the line looks set to abandon expected elegance and embrace a pulpy, popculture addicted aesthetic. Brash, bold and wry with trashiness, someone mastering ‘Funky Offish’ mixes Daria with Cher Horowitz, or eats fast food in high heels – it’s a brilliant mess, as if a cartoon came to life.

As a growing hashtag and, whisper it, movement, on Instagram and Twitter, the term has managed to transcend the current moment and become a useful term for style icons passed, too: Rachel Green’s penchant for sportswear and heavy mascara in Friends marks her as a ‘Funky Offish’ trailblazer and a steady stream of candid snaps on the Instagram page, of anonymous models engaging in mundane tasks (i.e. ironing), seem to suggest that it’s an easily achievable guise.

Something ‘Funky Offish’ is about to happen in the fashion world. Bring rollerblades and a gold chain.