Bryony Fripp is a 26 year old emerging illustrator and artist who graduated from Bournemouth Arts Institute in illustration and is now based in London. She has already amassed an extensive and diverse list of important clients, including the likes of Sainsburys, Dorling Kindersley and Kate Spade, providing quirky and imaginative drawings that have appeal for food producers and vendors, educational projects and fashion designers. In addition to this, Fripp has produced her own greeting card collection commissioned by Camden Graphics entitled ‘Dream Little Dreams’.
Simplicity is a clear feature of Fripp’s illustrations, which see her using unfussy bold line drawings to create images of kitsch bicycles, fairy people, trinkets and animals. Her work sees an infusion of dream worlds with the everyday, and she has a unique ability to channel her creative and imaginative visions in a defined and original manner. Whilst on paper it may seem that her work is in danger of verging on nauseating, her trademark style ensures that her illustrations retain a unique charm; delicate yet forthright. There’s little wonder she’s caught the attention of some serious power players in the retail arena.
Fripp is also involved with In Your Dreams, a body painting company fronted by herself and Madeline Griffiths that has been prolific at various festivals throughout the summer. The basic premise is that the artists use paints, prints and embellishments on the face and body to create a fun and imaginative look, truly taking the tradition ‘face painting’ to a whole new and exciting level. After being met with such success, the team have created a Festival Collection that can be seen on their website and on Tumblr.
Find out more about Bryony Fripp’s work and clientele on Facebook, Twitter and on her website. She truly is a novel and interesting illustrator whose work, I am sure, we will come to be extremely familiar with in the future.
Quite unconsciously, a theme has begun to emerge in my fashion posts for Gola’s Born in Britain campaign: ethical and fair trade fashion initiatives are gaining significant momentum and are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to high street fast fashion and I can’t seem to get enough of them. A new fashion company based and set up by Naomi Wilde in 2013 called Fair-T has recently launched, and is seeking to engage not only ethically minded fashion fanatics, but also with the alternative and underground music scene in the UK such as the cult-classic Warehouse Project.
Having recently enjoyed a launch night at Joshua Brooks in the Oxford Road area of Manchester and a selling event at The University of Manchester Students’ Union, this fledgling brand looks to be going big places fast. Their selection of classic white T-shirts made from 100% Fair Trade cotton produced in India, featuring prints of astronauts, gas masks and wolf headdresses amongst others, are wearable and unfussy, perfect for pursuing a minimalist, no-frills look.
Although Fair-T markets itself as a menswear label, I see unisex potential in this brand and would feel quite comfortable sporting one of these ridiculously cool tees myself. With prices starting at £25, Fair-T hardly breaks the coffers, but offers something unique and off the beaten track.
In addition to providing a mail-order option for their collection, Fair-T provides a wholesale service. For more information and to start placing those orders, find them on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Last season, prints of animals were huge on the catwalks, most prolifically with Givenchy’s Bambi T-shirt that has been one of the most coveted items of the year so far. If you can’t afford the Givenchy price tag (I know I certainly can’t) then there are cheaper but nonetheless brilliantly kitsch alternatives that are in-keeping with this trend, my personal favourite being Don’t Feed The Bears, a company based in Sheffield and established in 2010.
Don’t Feed The Bears make unique hand-printed and finished T-shirts and sweaters depicting hand-drawn pictures of bears, squirrels and wolves doing all sorts of eccentric things like wearing monocles, riding bikes and sporting TV sets on their heads. The designs are refreshingly witty and imaginative, going against the high street imperative of mass produced uniformity clothing.
In addition to the brilliant array of T-Shirts and sweaters available from their website http://dontfeedthebears.co.uk, Don’t Feed The Bears also have a T-Shirt Club where they send you a T-Shirt every month from 3 months to a whole year, the perfect way to keep your wardrobe fresh and exciting. Each brand new item comes with a design you can pick yourself from the collection, or can leave to the team to decide for you. A novelty that won’t wear off anytime soon I’m sure…
Closely related is their ‘Pick a Pocket’ option, where you can literally do just that, select a pocket material from a number of different prints, ranging from flamingos and horses to checks and tartan. Customisation at no extra cost is something that most high street shops do not offer, therefore Don’t Feed The Bears are really onto something with their attention to their customer’s individual likes and interests.
And in these cold, wintry times, those sweaters are looking temptingly warm and cosy…
In recent years, fashion fanatics have been turning away from high street, mass produced fast fashion in search of something more unique and, most importantly, ethically produced. For years, Fair Trade design houses like People Tree have been at the forefront of this socially conscious project of making high quality clothing in a high quality working environment. Now, more companies thinking along this mindset have begun to emerge, and Bhavna is one that I highly recommend to any ethically-minded fashion aficionado.
Bhavna Rishi founded the eponymously named company Bhavna, showcasing her first collection of scarves at London Fashion Week in 2010. Each scarf is designed in England and handcrafted in India, meaning that each has received lavish care and attention in its production and is unlike any other. As part of the production process, Bhavna educates individuals and communities in their rich textile heritage, teaching skills such as embroidery, smocking, dyeing and printing to ensure that these inimitable methods are not lost. In addition, the company steadfastly supports three charities: The Sacred Childhood Foundation, The Women Vikas Institute and Find Your Feet.
The scarves and kaftans themselves are exquisitely designed, distinctively colourful and translate from beach to city, and across spring, summer and autumn effortlessly. When I first encountered Bhavna’s work, I was immediately reminded of the flowing, statement kaftans seen on the likes of Serena Van Der Woodsen in Gossip Girl, reeking of sophistication and vibrancy. I have not been partial to much kaftan-wearing in the past, but with clothing of such material and ethical quality on offer, Bhavna may have just converted me!
The Replay and Rob Da Bank stage returned to this year’s Bestival on the Isle of Wight and saw a number of emerging musical talents onstage over the weekend, from the likes of SamSmith, Ghostpoet and Nina Nesbitt. One of the most exciting new artists I saw there on the final night was soul singer/songwriter Ady Suleiman from Nottingham, a city building a great reputation for producing artists that inject a bit of Midlands grittiness into the popular music scene (see other recent exports Jake Bugg and Dog is Dead). He has been featured on Radio 1Extra and also played at Glastonbury in the summer of 2013.
The festival organisers gave a glowing report of Suleiman, professing to festival-goers that ‘if you only get to check out one new act at this year’s festival, make sure it’s this young man’. He certainly didn’t disappoint: with just an acoustic backing and his own soul-cum-reggae vocals, Suleiman successfully created a chilled ambience in the tent and his music was incredibly easy to listen and dance to. Interestingly, this was juxtaposed with some incredibly uncompromising lyrics, for example in State of Mind, a song which challenges prevailing religious and political ideologies, where Suleiman lends us a healthy dose of scepticism regarding the structures by which we live our lives. However, although this may sound like an angsty and rattling subject matter, Suleiman has successfully struck a balance between social commentary and musical storytelling through his reassuring vocal tonality, which has an endearing overall effect.
In a time where intelligent song writing has become secondary to producing club-friendly and frankly annoying electro-pop music, it’s encouraging that there are artists like Ady Suleiman who are willing to take issues like disillusionment, depression and disappointment and come up with a refreshingly soulful and sensitive musical means of expressing them. Britain has not produced many soul singers, but Suleiman is paving the way for an exciting new arena of musical talent from this country.