Fashion Graduate Finds ‘The Fix’

Its always the women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines that dominate the bookshelves in shops, while men’s fashion magazines are either hidden at the bottom, or in Britain’s case, nearly non-existant. The world has been waiting for a welcoming way for men to dress well – without having to try to afford a 5-digit look from GQ.

India Gladstone has found The Fix for Men, an iPad and iPhone app that carefully selects and pieces together affordable and wearable men’s clothing for certain occasions.

With a simple layout and no-nonsense approach, the app is straightforward enough for any male to navigate and select a specific occasion he may want to dress for, or possibly find a few staple pieces, how they are put together, and prices before he heads out to the high street.

“I’ve always been interested in menswear and personal style,” says Scotland-born UK native and recent London College of Fashion graduate India Gladstone. Gladstone is one of six siblings, two of those being brothers, who are keen on always feeling comfortable and aware of the clothing they put on. “I have always been surrounded by men who are interested in what they wear, in the sense that great clothing gives you character. But men don’t always need to be completely fashion-conscious like women do. I was never fully aware of the lack of simple style guides for men until I attended fashion school.”

It was this realisation that led Gladstone to devise an idea for an app that would interview insiders in a casual manner for those who aren’t always clinging on to each and every trend. The app is clean, minimal, and laid out simply, with tabs for occasion, journal, or an edited selection of buys for everyday clothing that would suit any man who does not necessarily have all the time in the world to file through the clothing racks.

“I understand that men these days prefer to online shop, but then again they aren’t completely aware of what is available to them, or what to wear for certain occasions if they aren’t given some sort of direction by a friend or a website. It is unlikely a man is going to pick up a fashion magazine the way girls do,” India explains.

The Fix contains an editors section, a style guide based on occasion, Instagram favourites, and a selection of street style.

“I find menswear much more interesting, its very personal and particular to a man’s personality if he is wearing a certain style or brand,” says Gladstone, “I just hope that men realise it is simple and shouldn’t be stressful or expensive to try to dress well. With this app, men won’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt to a business casual cocktail party.”

The Fix is set to launch later this year, look out for it for your iPads, Androids or Smartphones.

Archie Smith

Beethoven started playing the piano aged four, Mozart at three. Even Chris Martin, frontman of legendary pop/rock band Coldplay, dipped his toe in the acoustic pool pre-puberty. So when Archie Smith tells me he was hitting the piano before he could speak, I know we are onto a winner.

Aged 20, from a rurality outside of Bath, Archie had somewhat of a classical beginning to his musical education. At school, he sung in choirs and in musical theatre most of the way through. Pop and rock soon followed, and he started his first band, ‘The Aviators’, aged 12. A slew of other groups, in different incarnations, came and went throughout school, until a year ago when Archie decided to go solo.

As is the case with most of the artists showcased as part of the ‘Born in Britain’ programme, Archie does all of his creative work alongside his studies. In just the past months, he has performed with the likes of Gabrielle Aplin (also on the Born in Britain site here), Lewis Watson, Luke Concannon, Josh Record, and many other talented, young musicians. He was also a part of the late BBC Introducing programme in Wiltshire, and has subsequently moved to BBC Introducing South. It’s amazing then, to weight these accomplishments along with all of the other commitments he has, but it’s done through hard graft and a natural flair.

His first CD, entitled ‘Out of the Ashes’, was recorded and released in 2012. After the physical editions sold out, Archie turned to his next project, which was to be the ‘I Will Love You’ EP. A magical and touching ballad (which I feel the music industry is hard pressed to come by nowadays) explores themes of love and loss. Taken as a piece on it’s own, it’s extremely easy listening, and receptive to the ideas of the writer. Accompanied by a short film, that Archie tells me really came about by a chance encounter whilst busking, the result is a deeply moving piece of musical cinema. Elrose Media have successfully conveyed the core meaning of the song through a plot that ebbs to an overwhelming conclusion.

What is clear is the artistry is at the core of Archie’s sound. Never one to rush his work, the writing process is always organic, and his inspiration comes from the heart of artistic endeavour. In true New-Romantic fashion, galleries and theatres hold much to be enjoyed, especially dance, for as Archie says ‘there isn’t much that is more captivating than watching people move to music’. Musically speaking, Coldplay is a tangible influence: mellow chords and robust lyrics melt together to create something of an echo. The protegee isn’t hollow though, bolstered by other contemporary classical notes to the tune of Eric Whitacre, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, and Andy Williams. The list is endless: but the sights are high.

In relying on classical tones, his contemporary sound is given a starting point from which age old concerns meld with those that are perhaps more modern. From his first CD ‘The First Days of Love’ is a standout track. Subtle and creative, it’s a gentle tune with a heartfelt message that most of us can associate with. Stripping back the angst of young adulthood, Archie gives us a refreshing taste of honest upset and, in turn, elation. A young Chris Martin? Perhaps – but Archie Smith will no doubt soon be a household name of it’s own.

www.archiesmithuk.com

Young Film Maker Set to Steal the Scene

Jon Schey doesn’t dwell on his ideas. He puts them to work. Having just graduated film school last month in London, at age 20, screenwriter, filmmaker, and director Jon Schey happens to have an impressive amount of accomplishments under his belt.  Seasoned theatre and film lovers always can tell talent apart at an early age – and Jon has melded his passion for theatre, film, and comedy writing and used it to his advantage.

After being hand-picked by the Royal Court Theatre studio group’s Young Writers Program, Jon began writing his own tales of creative comedy and watching them be acted out by professional actors right in front of him. Jon has worked in the fast-paced film and theatre environments, bouncing ideas back and forth, and trying to make  people laugh for a short while, but according to his accomplishments which seem nearly effortless, he is as seasoned as one who has been doing it all his life.

Jon’s first full-length film was a film about a young boy losing his virginity, and follows through what went on prior and after the night. The filmmaker is inspired by adolescence and the humour involved in growing up. After winning the title of Best Foreign Film and the Audience Choice Award at the LA Comedy Film Festival, (and not to boast, but also Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations) Jon has used a hint of subtle and awkward comedy in his next big-feature short film, entitled I Want to Be Happy, Cha Cha Cha.

“I find inspiration in loads of different, strange places. One huge inspiration for me is music – a big band called Enoch Light and the Light Brigade inspired a bit of my upcoming film. I’m inspired by weird quirky things, coming of age, and music from the 1940s” Jon speaks whilst looking up at the suddenly-sunny sky while smiling, the signs of being a true Londoner enjoying the recent minutes of sunshine.

I Want to Be Happy, Cha Cha Cha is a title that is named after an Enoch Light song, which also appears in the film. While working at the Royal Court, Jon met a writer called Luke Barnes, who is a fantastic Northern playwright from Liverpool. One may recognise him as an actor from the popular series Game of Thrones. “We got on really well, and I proposed to him that I would love to work on an idea of a film with him, I showed him some of my writing, and I loved the idea of working with someone else’s script,” Jon recounts.

“All I knew was I wanted it to be filmed in a diner, an old eighties diner, and mix it with quintessentially English elements, you know, cold, dreary, but wanted to make it like an American diner film involving chips, and all that food,” Jon says, eyes opening up as he explains that its all the little ideas he works with, and he moves up from those elements.

Luke took it all in, and next thing Jon knows he is reading a great screenplay that consists of zero dialogue, about a not very attractive girl who develops a crush on a truck driver who comes into her Little Chef every Wednesday on his delivery route. The challenge for Jon was not only the rareness and quirkiness of the script, but working around his ground rules; “a film should be 80% understandable in any language, one should always understand what is going on, we wanted to tell a story with no words, just images and signs and the viewer still knowing what the characters are going through,”

Those are the types of film Schey enjoys, an element of comedy or relief in tragic events. In this particular film, its interesting how he finds comedy in a sad situation, a girl living in the middle of nowhere, but has to work in a dowdy travel complex, and the viewer still laughs while watching the film – its the reality of it that makes his particular film making process so imaginative and admirable.

“I do not like serious films, I like relating my films and themes to real life in which you don’t just have one set, strict emotion, there are several going on at the same time,” Jon says as he cheerfully finishes his cappuccino. Wow. Did I mention he was only twenty?

 

I WANT TO BE HAPPY, CHA CHA CHA is out at the end of  May. 

Follow Jon Schey on film updates and his great sense of humour with Twitter, @JonSchey