Aimee Green – GFW 2014

 

Amiee Green, 23, from Liverpool, is an upcoming fashion design student from the University of Central Lancashire debuting her collection ‘Dressing Down Dior’ at this years Graduate Fashion Week, held in its new location of East London’s Truman Brewery.

The collection was developed through experimentation with silhouettes and influences from fashion in history. Aimee’s inspiration was everyday casual street style mixed with design aesthetics from Dior’s signature look. The collection also features a strong colour palette and range of prints, all influenced by the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. Amiee is also using the Gola  Clasic’s, Women’s Spirit Jewel trainers to add the finishing touch to her look, with their classic sport shoe silhouette yet the added opulence of  small gems glittering with any movement.

With many previous students achieving promising careers in fashion after showcasing their collections at the event and the pressure to live up to UCLan’s huge success in 2012, with the fashion design students winning four awards and being shortlisted for seven, Aimee is feeling positive about the experience and feels it is a helpful steppingstone into the fashion industry.

Amiee’s collection ‘Dressed Down Dior’ was recently exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week.

Graduate Fashion Week 2014 – UCLan showcase

From blood bags to bike shorts the University of Central Lancashire’s catwalk show was a highlight of day one at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

The show featured a huge wide of designs created by the hugely talented young students with stand out collections from Kimberly Blackburn featuring fierce fringing, large circular vinyl accessories, oversized necklines and sculpted fabrics caging the body as if it were armour, all perfectly executed in the darkest shade of black.

Chloe Siddall’s collection took the show in a much more sporty direction with a mix of bright neon hues of lime green and acidic yellow overhauling the garments clean monochrome shapes and stripes.  Bright red bumbags also made a bold statement over the clash of colours adding to the sporty feel alongside skin tight bicycle shorts and subtle statements carefully positioned on the garments. Plus large gold accessories from hoops to hefty chains adding a seriously cool street feel to the entire look.

However the collection that made the biggest impact of the evening was Hollie Robinson’s blood inspired collection receiving reactions ranging from amazement to a slight squirm from the more squeamish of the audience, although it was undoubtedly memorable . The catwalk saw garments made from malleable sheer frosted plastic decorated with giant blood trype labels attached, enormous hospital patient wristbands boldly draped around waistlines/ wrists, all contrasting with highly structured block colour shirts. Printed blood bags also adorned models necks and created an entire show stopping dress that had the crowd in awe. The colour palette was direct, featuring blood red (of course), frosted whites and just a hint of black adding to the collections very confident if yet a little controversial statement.

Many other fantastic collections could also been seen from such designers as Amiee Green, Natalie Smith, Kelly Welborn, Jayne Acton, Jenifer Echeverria, Lucie Bloomfield, Rachel Wlkden, Mary Nansove, Alice Houghton,  Emma Robertson, Troy Cooper and Stephanie Chesworth ,displaying the high standard of UCLan’s design students this year all styled by Sophie Benson.

The Whitepper

As it turns out, Tumblr is not only the most addictive blogging platform in the world. It can also be a good starting point when thinking of setting up a new clothing brand – that’s how it started for The Whitepepper back in 2011. Quickly, it led the brand to open their own boutique on ASOS marketplace and later start their own website and consequently being stocked by Topshop on Oxford Circus and independent retailers from all over the world.

Founded in East London, The Whitepepper are still loyal to their British roots with all of their products designed right where it started. Heavily inspired by streetwear and Tumblr culture, their clothes are original, eye-catching and just the right amount of quirky. Refreshingly, there is something for both boys and girls to have a look at and prices are high street affordable.

But The Whitepepper are not only about the clothing; they have their own magazine, TWP, where you can order for free, from their website. They also still keep their Tumblr page which is an endless source of inspiration and regularly share their own London secrets on the brand’s blog!

Finally, being a girl in love with everything sparkly, bubblegum-y and festive, I have to focus on the brands’ newest winter lookbook. Presenting not only a collection of perfect Christmas-party dresses (think velvet, collars and glitter), but also genius accessories (two words: UNICORN. CLUTCH. Ok, couple more: PINK. GLITTERY. SHOES). It is all you need to make these cold months a little bit more enjoyable and special.

If you are bored with your wardrobe and feel like you can’t find anything on the high street without looking like everyone else, check out The Whitepepper’s website. Be warned: it may result in vivid dreams about having your own, perfect unicorn clutch!

Lily J London

“Fashion fades while style lasts forever”.

Lily J is a London-based clothing brand that sells beautiful clothing at affordable prices.  Launched in 2010, Lily J started as a single store, and has now expanded to four; three in Camden and one in Notting Hill.

Their product offering is extensive, with dresses, tops, cardigans, skirts and coats, although there’s a particular emphasis on their beautiful dresses.  The main focus is lace, which is evident throughout pretty much all of their clothing, whether on ruffles, trims or the whole outfit.  Lily J is a paradise for any lover of girly, beautiful clothes with a kind of Alice in Wonderland feel to them.

Their outfits have been constructed very thoughtfully – they can be dressed down with tights and flats in the day, but equally, teamed with a pair of heels and sparkly jewellery, they would look great for a night out sipping cocktails at a sophisticated bar.

To have a look at some of their pretty clothes on offer, have a look at their Facebook page (although unfortunately, they’re quite inactive) or website, where you can shop online.

Lauren Smith

Graduate Fashion Weeks are the best occasions to spot new, refreshing talents on the British fashion scene and what screams ‘the next big thing’ more than winning a Gold award at London’s GFW? Not so many things, let me assure you. Last June, the award went to talented hands of Lauren Smith from Edinburgh College of Art.

The collection, that Roland Mouret himself described as “emotional” won Lauren £20,000 to launch her fashion career and a capsule collection for George. Don’t think that it stopped the young designer from developing her skills even further – right now, she’s doing her Masters in Textiles at ECA.

Lauren’s designs are really emotional indeed – delicate and dreamy they spread the feeling of nostalgia but also bring the unexpected with the strong, architectural structures being shown next to neon-yellow tulle and loose jumpsuits.  The collection, constructed around two primary colours – yellow and blue – is inspired by the relationship an artist forms with their sketchbook, making Lauren’s designs even more personal and even kind of intimate. After all, those are her sketches that we can see embroidered on the garments.

Other than winning a Gold award at GWF, Lauren has more successes in her portfolio. Recently, she designed a dress made of… 50 kilograms of chocolate for the National Chocolate Week to enjoyment of all of the sweet tooth our there (myself included).

I am more than excited to see what the future holds for this 23-year-old designer, remember her name,  this year you will see Lauren’s designs everywhere!

 

DJ Sharp

Young DJs seem to be all the range; take Bondax, Karma Kid and XXYYXX, who are proof that you don’t need to be legal to take a club by storm. 16 year old Brisbane-based DJ Sharp is our newest catch.

At the age of 10, most boys are content with video games and football. By this age, Daniel Sharp was already starting to DJ professionally. Initially a ‘bedroom DJ’, Sharp taught himself to mix in his room for two years, just as some of the most prolific DJs have done. As his equipment grew –a DJ’s addiction – he began to play out for his job: driving the dancefloor and yet too young to buy a beer at the bar.

DJ Sharp’s sound is all about fat basslines and hard grooving dance music. Influenced by key players Skrillex, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki and Knife Party, Sharp mixes the punch of trance with the swag of trap in his sailing style of electronic dance music.

‘Jump!’ epitomises the bassy tang with its cavernous drops and sky high builds. The beating kicks and euphoric keyboard are made to unite a dancefloor: “One, two, three: Jump!” ‘Club Life Version 2’ takes this recipe further with its frantic rising melody, digital splurts and sturdy house beat. Ibiza calls.

For those who like more downtempo electronica, an interesting experiment is Sharp’s ‘Chillstep idea’, a piece he has previewed on his Soundcloud. Using the deep weight of dubstep, Sharp trickles on a delicate piano riff, showing us he is not a one-trick pony of a producer. If he’s achieved this by age 16, we can only but guess where he’ll be in ten years time.

 

Santal 36

There is no bigger luxury than a beautiful accessory created from the finest materials with the greatest attention to detail. Well maintained, it can serve you many years and become your best style friend, no matter of changing trends and seasons. That’s why I am always on a hunt for new accessories designers and I have to admit it, my heart skipped a beat when I came across Santal 36’s and their beautiful bags.

Santal 36 is a brand started by Miryam Lozano, Spanish-born but  London-based accessories designer who graduated from London College of Fashion earlier this year. The philosophy behind her brand is a big focus on quality and original designs made using sustainable materials such as veg tan leather, laminated pony skin and wood-look laminated leather sourced from Italy. Bags designed by Miryam are also versatile and have parts that can be removed or adjusted, depending on the will of their wearers.

Amongst her biggest inspirations Myriam mentions furniture designers such as Charlotte Periand and Jean Prouve and clearly states she’s opposite the visible, vulgar branding of her products. As a result, the pieces designed by her are simple, classic, timeless and fresh and remind me a little bit of a good rawness of high-quality Scandinavian design. With their beautiful, wood-like pattern they are also in the running to become iconic items sought after by every fashionista.

Miryam still works on making her collection available to buy and plans to launch Santal 36’s online store in March 2014. I can’t wait!

Rosemary Kirton

An artist and writer well known for her work which explores culture and trends in our following of celebrity and online communities, Rosemary Kirton writes in an effortless and critical manner via her blog Grossmary!

Titles of Rosemary’s texts include such gems as ‘Follow for More: Screenshots of Soft Culture.’ and ‘BRAND STINKIN NU’ creating her own musings on pop culture such as the character of the ‘Uncanny Valley Girl‘ a combination of the theory of the Uncanny Valley and the stereotype of the Valley Girl to create a figure who she defines as ‘girls who have developed their image/identity/personal brand to extremes of perfection at the cost of much anything else’ describing the point at which people manage to make themselves so unreally wonderful that they become vapid and distant.

Pictured are stills from Rosemary’s film ‘Follow for more soft Grunge’ which is captioned ‘Formal files and styles of performance being softened and corrupted.’ as if to talk about a sense of performativity that pervades every part of our life on an almost molecular level, as if soft grunge and other similar viral-feeling online trends compute some kind of physical take over.

Be sure to keep up with Rosemary’s work online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayesha Tan-Jones

Ayesha Tan-Jones is a student at Central Saint Martins and an installation and video artist who makes music as Brownie Promise. I have only ever been a spectator online but to me, her work (and whole online presence) acts like an invitation into her distinct own brand of the psychedelic, it is a wonderland and functions like a treasure trove. Ayesha seems to drift effortlessly through mediums in her music, gently reflecting the tenor of her cystaline and pretty bodily installation. The video work feels like it threads everything together into a totally multi-sensory experience which becomes almost other worldly!

Of course the best person to collaborate with is another version of yourself!

Ayesha uses her alter-ego Una X Jynx like another voice through which to make work, we see them video chatting and interacting online where they plan to make collaborative hypnosis videos and collaborations like software upd8 // version 2.∞ // STEP 1. For me their work function feels like two girls coming together over the web to voyage through it as a mystical entity, as if together they can begin to understand it.

 

Ayesha can be found onilne via her visual journal and website and specific art blog and Una at her very own website here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kagoule

I’ve had a definite soft spot for Kagoule’s swirly churning since seeing them a few times a couple of years ago in Nottingham and more recently in London with Drenge. These guys are seriously exciting, sickeningly young and overwhelmingly talented.

Cai’s gloomy-cool and Lucy’s urgent throbbing on bass makes me want to wear my clumpiest school shoes again. Sometimes calm… often brooding…and all round achingly nostalgic, I can’t do them justice by cobbling adjectives together.

Maybe a mood-board demonstration, consisting of tattered velcro-fastened coin purses, after-rain walks home, braces and biro battered lined papers would be more apt but it would only go some of the way. Listen, Kagoule are anything but clumsy!

Kagoule just released a single called ‘Adjust the Way’ on Hate Hate Hate Records along with their first (suitably dark and fuzzing) video. Watch it online here, maybe make an afternoon of it.

Of course you can find Kagoule on Facebook and they are setting out on their first tour in December, playing all over the UK with Cold Crows Dead so you must keep a look (or ear) out!

Suitably dreamy photos by  Angela Chan.

Adam Black

Adam Black is a happy-go-lucky 18-year-old, just starting art school but already reaching notoriety for his enlivening bold and poppy work which as featured on t-shirts he has designed, gig posters and much more! Definitely reminiscent of the Cape Town sunshine he grew up in and now Nottingham based, his work touches upon the clear political and socio-economic undercurrents in both the South African and the UK landscapes.

Think: ‘Whut!?’ ‘Arms’, ‘Life’ to name a few slogan-like texts which lie sprawled, in funky letters across drawings, paintings and increasingly digital and collage work. It is hard not to like. Like, it is hard not to like this scanned piece of ham. Adam works very quickly and points out various family members painted in his recognisable but perhaps unflattering style, seemingly always armed with drawing materials! Paintings are light hearted and slightly satyrical and the film photographs very sincere and documentary-like, collage work perhaps playing lightly between the two.

Check out Adam’s website at www.adamtblack.com, tumblr – letsadamblack.tumblr.com and follow him on Facebook at for new work and updates,

(All images copyright to Adam Black)

Intimates Index

I was sort of surprised to be messaged online by a girl asking me to send her my knickers but i’d seen Charlotte Cullen’s work online and it transpired she was creating an exciting exhibition and  index of artists via their pants. The catalogue would be a direct reference to the conventions of documenting and selling art and a comment on the exchange value of objects and labour involved, the provenance of the artwork (the artist) drastically increasing the selling value of otherwise indistinguishable objects. A Banksy becomes almost unrecognizable from a reproduction yet the value skyrockets when it holds his name creating a similarly ‘capitalist commodity’. Charlotte looks at other artifacts that the ‘artist’ produces and questions their value like an artwork and fluctuating status from bi-product to commodity.

The net sets this economy on an accessible stage and Charlotte asks how our virtual culture relates physical and online interactions and how this ‘material construct’ functions as a ‘material becoming’.

As Gal wrote in the press release ‘A pair of used panties in need of a wash is in its material sense useless. With the same perspective you could argue that when the painting is dry, the plaster is rock hard or the film exposed, it is no longer usable and should therefore have the purchase value less than its raw materials put together.’

I saw the show come into its own physical being at Arvida Bystrom and Hanna Antonsson’s aptly named and pink-floored gallery- ‘Gal’ in East London. I hung around (on top of a ladder) to help set up the show which opened in the evening…in pink light, vacuum-packed underwear hanging delicately from the ceiling, anchored down by rocks from outside. A large print by Hannah Regel was included along with small, intimate photographs by Arvida herself (pictures), and others like Vanessa Omoregie as well as two film pieces by Maija Elizabeth Ekey.
See more of the Intimates Index and check out Charlotte Cullen’s practice online here.
Photographs copyright to Arvida Bystrom of Gal.