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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review

The Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair returns to Somerset House for another 10 day run less than a year after 2010's very successful inaugural event. Here's my pick of the crop, and thoughts about the exhibition.

Written by Amelia Gregory

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, no rx exciting shapes, more about draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy more about exciting shapes, purchase draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale Sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the peter pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, buy exciting shapes, link draw string leg warmers, drugs see the write up by Jemma Crow and my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations ), I took a wonder through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to go to on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off to be catwalked as it were, or a secret till then, and they don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or lets face it, a bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows en mass formation is perfection itself.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
Image courtesy of Selfridges

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

IMAGE sketchbook – Yang Du – Mary Katrantzou – Fannie Schiavoni – Piers Atkinson – lfw aw11 – jenny robins
I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show – the pieces from spring/summer on show in the gallery still caught my eye with high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

Image courtesy of Yunus & Eliza
At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Lublu Kira Plastina – George Angelopoulos – Yunus & Eliza – Les Nereides – lfw aw11 – jenny robins.

I was struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Images courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones – N2 llama – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine – Neurotica – ethical – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta – Anthony Peto – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by jenny robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Vauxhall Fashion Scout – Erika Trotzig – Una Burke – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
sketchbook – Nicole Murray – Edward Finney – lfw aw11 – jenny robins

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, remedy exciting shapes, what is ed draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel=like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, looking at the website it seems like they are possibly not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though, while Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces based on child genius and bird heads (yay birds) she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature piece – saying people have found a lot of meaning in them. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale diagram to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the conflict brought on by the posh cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line in the first world war – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection, which also includes high wasted trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items, that chimes well at the moment. Here is Teatum Jones featured in our emerging talent preview. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers here with their iconic dress.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W collection Bright Eyes based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares with that bit with the gas in the tunnels, got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. There S/S stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I strayed up again into the ethical part of the exhibition and initially met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection as each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes, I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the pieces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed sneak peeking Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections with pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layering leather flowers were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s work on entering the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition at Freemasons Hall, we talked about prosthetics and wet plate photography. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand as apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice the Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Fashion Mode show, I drew 2 stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, what is ed exciting shapes, approved draw string leg warmers, search see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.
Pick Me Up Paul Blow
Tiger Feet by Paul Blow.

Yesterday 2011′s Pick Me Up once again kicked off in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. I went along to the opening night to check out this years talent.

Like last year, pharm the lower galleries are once again devoted to the young rising stars of graphic design and illustration. This is the section for which I was asked to nominate a selection of Up and Coming illustrators many months ago. None of my suggestions were picked, and on the basis of some artists who were chosen I would question the description. Tom Gauld – an old acquaintance of mine – has surely been at the top of the illustrative game for many years, as have some of the others. At 47 years old American artist Polly Becker is hardly young. Although it’s great to be feted at any time in your career it’s a bit of an oversight to champion well established artists as Ones to Watch. But nonetheless let’s continue with the review: there was much to enjoy in this gallery.

Pick Me Up 2011-Kate Moross
London based designer Kate Moross has quickly established a glowing reputation for her bold psychedelic style.

Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Pick Me Up NIght & Day by McBess
Matthieu Bessudo, aka McBess, favours a cartoonagraphic style with a surreal edge. Expect naked ladies with ninja faces. I liked the intricate stories in the large scale Night & Day artwork best.

Pick Me Up Seiko Kato
Seiko Kato was a real discovery – this Japanese artist lives in Brighton and produces amazingly detailed collages, filled with colourful flora and fauna. The Funeral is a beautifully surreal large scale work.

Pick Me Up 2011-Andy Rementer
I loved the bold colours and shapes of Andy Rementer.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jules Julien
Jules Julien makes macabre fine line work influenced by the surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jessica Hische
Typography is Jessica Hische‘s speciality. Another American, she was a senior designer for Louise Fili Ltd. Beautifully rendered, if a little polished.

Pick Me Up 2011-Clara TernePick Me Up 2011-Clara Terne
Swedish designer Clara Terne is inspired by the deep oceans and outer space, both equally other worldly. Kaleido did pretty much what it said on the tin. Nebuloso was a beautiful piece of digital art.

Pick Me Up 2011-MVM
MVM is a Norwegian and co founder of the Grandpeople design studio. He employs a fluid minimalist form and exhibits huge silk banners – almost Japanese in appearance.

Pick Me Up 2011-Eda Akaltun
Eda Akaltun is a founding member of Nobrow – evident in her distinctive colour palette – and favours a collagey painted approach that is instantly recognisable.

Pick Me Up 2011-Victo Ngai
From Hong Kong but working in London, Victo Ngai graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. I loved her Japanese influenced drawings, which recall the fine detailing of woodblocks combined with a whimsical touch.

Pick Me Up 2011-James Graham
James Graham favours a simple graphic aesthetic.

Pick Me Up 2011-Revenge is Sweet
Revenge is Sweet shows bold 80s art deco artwork that has obvious advertising applications.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah ArnettPick Me Up 2011-Sarah Arnett
Sarah Arnett shows some beautiful digitally created flower artwork, densely created in curious colourways. Her original training as a textile designer is evident in these botanically inspired pieces.

Pick Me Up 2011-Gwenola Carrere
From Belgium, Gwenola Carrere shows some fabulous screenprints. She has published three children’s books to date. I loved her bold playful style.

Nigel Peake, from Ireland, makes lovely delicate abstract work. He has exhibited globally and I’ve always considered him more of a fine artist.

Pick Me Up 2011-Takeru Toyokura
Another Japanese artist, Takeru Toyokura shows amazing felt collages that depict weird faceless figures in surreal situations. Blonde haired children float against grandiose architecture. Strangely wonderful.

Pick Me Up 2011-Otecki
Polish artist Otecki creates black block prints inspired by both traditional iconography and graffitti. Loved his owl.

Pick Me Up 2011-Yoh Nagao
Another Japanese artist: Yoh Nagao is another surrealist collagist (do you sense a bit of a theme yet?)

Annelie Carlstrom uses a propelling pencil to fashion detailed pictures of girls with huge faces and extravagant hair. Quite unsettling.

Pick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul BlowPick Me Up 2011-Paul Blow
Paul Blow‘s work really caught my eye for it’s strong colours and amusing narratives.

Pick Me Up 2011-Tom Gauld
Tom Gauld creates a weekly cartoon for the Guardian newspaper and you will no doubt be familiar with his unique drawings and quirky ideas – he used to run an independent publishing house with my bessie mate, the super talented Simone Lia.

Pick Me Up 2011-Polly Becker
Polly Becker‘s surrealist illustrations are created through the assemblage of ephemera.

Pick Me Up 2011-Stefanie Posavec
My boyfriend was most taken with the work of Stefanie Posavec, a graduate of Colorado State University who has an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins. Her data visualisation is almost autistic in it’s detail.

I would love to see more emphasis on really new talent in this section, or perhaps in another bespoke section. Not to mention more variety in style (surreal, collage…) and a real nod to all the amazing home bred talent that is so prevalent on the blogosphere, in the zine world and elsewhere in the UK. The work shown is of an undoubtedly high standard but I think it’s an opportunity missed.

Pick Me Up 2011-Print Club London
Print Club London.

Nobrow and Ditto Press showcase their innovative independent publishing work on this floor, then above and below this gallery are stationed the collectives who pitched to take part in Pick Me Up. Print Club London is once again holding live screen-printing workshops.

Pick Me Up 2011-Sister Arrow
I particularly liked the print (for sale) by Sister Arrow, who has created an imaginary pygmy super-race simply called Sumo Babies of which I presume Crystal String Dance is one.

Pick Me Up 2011-Margaux Carpentier
I also liked Margaux Carpentier‘s work. Her print is inspired by an Eskimo legend where the first woman meets the wolf-god Amarok.

Pick Me Up 2011-Jaguar Shoes
The JaguarShoes Collective is showing for the first time, with lots of work for sale from a wide variety of loosely associated artists. For Pick Me Up they have created a Campfire wall – featuring over sized marshmallows and flickering tissue flames.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous
Next door is the minimalist Nous Vous set up.

Pick Me Up 2011-Samuel EsquirePick Me Up 2011-Samuel Esquire
Puck Collective are hosting a busy room that resembles a working studio. I particularly liked the strong graphic work of Samuel Esquire.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening TweedPick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed
Evening Tweed‘s exhibition space looks like a trendy aspirational shop in Brick Lane, with artfully arranged mementos lined around the walls. I wish my studio space looked like this!

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Anthony Burrill is hosting the big central space – he may be an interesting graphic artist but he’s no Rob Ryan when it come to production techniques: expect photocopied collage opportunities and DJ-ing.

Pick Me Up 2011-Anthony Burrill
Pick Me Up Anthony Burrill area.

Suddenly it was closing time so I missed the It’s Nice That section and what looked like an interesting 3D concept from Them Lot – make sure you drop in to be filmed as one of the characters in their cardboard city. Leaving, visitors pass through the Concrete Hermit bookstore, which is much better placed than it was last year. From tomorrow (a bit late in the day I will concede) the shop will stock copies of both my books.

ACOFI Concrete Hermit
UPDATE: ACOFI and AAOI are now available at Concrete Hermit shop!

Make sure you take a moment to peruse through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration – both of which are choc-a-bloc with *brand* new illustration talent.

Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke
Pick Me Up 2011-Nous Vous uke.

It’s exciting that an event like Pick Me Up exists, but disheartening that it isn’t more wide ranging and ambitious in the scope of its activities. What about the practical use of illustration and graphic art? Evening Tweed features some fabulous gilded Russian dolls, Nous Vous show a bespoke illustrated ukelele and the JaguarShoes Collective offers illustrated objects to buy, but there is very little consideration of how illustration can be applied to products within the exhibition as a whole or in the workshop schedule.

And what about the many different commercial aspects of working as an illustrator today? Where are the children’s book illustrators, the fashion illustrators, the illustrators who tackle sustainability within their work? Where is the discussion of the many many ways in which illustration is utilised within the online world, in animation and in editorial? Aspects of this will hopefully be brought up in workshops but I feel very strongly that there are only so many prints that people can buy for their walls, and an applied context is what differentiates illustration and graphic design from fine art so it really should be talked about in an exhibition such as this.

Pick Me Up 2011-Evening Tweed Russian Dolls
Evening Tweed Russian Dolls.

I also think it would be nice if different collectives and publishing houses were invited to take part in Pick Me Up every year, rather than many of the same ones returning again – I had a strong feeling of Deja Vu. And of course, lastly, I’d like to see more work from TRULY up and coming illustrators. There are so many very great ones out there….

You can read my full listing for Pick Me Up, including recommended events, right here. My review of last year’s Pick Me Up event can be read here. And in case you were wondering I feel it’s only right that I admit that I was actually asked to contribute this year. But we couldn’t agree on the best Amelia’s Magazine presence, which is a shame.

There’s always next year…

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13 Responses to “Pick Me Up 2011 at Somerset House: a review”

  1. Kayleigh White says:

    Hi Amelia,

    What a brilliant review and such a true reflection of how it was! I went to see the exhibition myself today and as an ‘upcoming designer’ I completely agree with your point about wanting to see more young designers coming through and for their work to be shown.

    Overall the exhibition was really great and I think many will take lots of inspiration away from it, and I think the mini studios added a really personal touch so the audience could see the artists workings.

    Still.. I’d really like to see some more ‘fresh’ work next year. Looking forward to it!

    Kayleigh

  2. Amelia says:

    Hi Kayleigh, thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you enjoyed the exhibition. What did other people think? Have I been fair?

  3. Kenn says:

    I thought this was a good, thorough and above all, honest, review. There’s so little critical writing about our realm of the art world, I welcomed a bit of criticism and I think you raise some valid points. Especially about the notion of ‘up and coming’ as a term that is bandied about but frequently it seems to be a lot of the same names cropping up. Polly Becker is amazing but to even try and call her ‘emerging’ or ‘up and coming’ is ridiculous!

  4. Amelia says:

    Hi Kenn, thanks for your thoughts! I do agree that there is very little critical writing about graphic art and illustration when compared to fine art. Hope you enjoyed the fair x

  5. [...] It’s free and also has a fold out print inside. All the photos are stolen from here and here. POSTED BY fran Copyright 2010 Fran Marchesi | Website by Patrick [...]

  6. Ben says:

    I visited the fair yesterday, and came away with the same thoughts. It certainly didn’t live up to it’s billing:
    “The best, most innovative and avant-garde graphic artists, collectives and galleries from the UK and across the world”

    As I work in a creative business, it’s maybe more likely that I would already by familiar with a lot of the artists featured, but it also means I’m very aware of how much more diverse and innovative it could have been…

  7. Amelia says:

    thankyou very much for your comment Ben x

  8. [...] rightly pointed out by Amelia Gregory, the proclaimed newcomers on display upstairs are hardly unknowns, and it would have been nice to [...]

  9. [...] from Amelia’s magazine did a good review of the show for further reading. I tended to agree with some of her comments that [...]

  10. polly becker says:

    While she doesn’t dispute that giving newcomers a chance is good, at 47, Polly Becker wonders why the fact checkers at Amelia’s magazine have unfairly accused her of being 48. Ouch! But then, thanks for saying that I am established and not unknown. That part was quite flattering.
    I do wish I had been able to bring actual sculptures,and install them, newer stuff, which might have contributed to if not a more youthful, possibly more energetic and stimulating presence at this event.

  11. Amelia says:

    Hi Polly, erm, fact checker would be me then. And yes, I hold my hands up, I didn’t actually search for your birthdate, I just made a quick calculation instead and I have now changed it. I hope you can forgive me, I’m sorry about that! But thanks for your comment and loved your work in the show xxx

  12. grandedame says:

    Very cool stuff indeed! Must try to put my work in for next year!

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