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Sketchbook STUDIO at Kingly Court

The Sketchbook team are back at Carnaby Street, this time collaborating with artists, fashion designers and photographers to create their next issue in the pop-up shop…

Written by Lauren Smith

You might remember Sketchbook magazine from the last time it ‘popped up’ on Carnaby Street. From a bright blue shop in the Newburgh Quarter, the magazine fusing fashion, illustration and culture hosted a series of talks, live music and lectures, with blogging legend Susie Bubble and our very own Amelia bringing their views to the table.

But this time, the magazine team are back with a different agenda. Occupying a shop space in Kingly Court from the 19th to 30th July, Sketchbook STUDIO is like a fashionable laboratory, where young artists, photographers, designers and stylists all get to practice and showcase their work.

At the heart of the studio are 25 young artists, who have each been invited to work on different projects – with the final work to be auctioned off to charity at the end of the week. In the background, photographers and stylists have been encouraged to shoot fashion editorial and looks books. It’s a springboard for emerging creative talent – much like the magazine itself, with the third issue being created ‘live’ as the pop up takes place.

“I wanted to create something a bit like Studio 54 – a creative community,” says Wafa Alobaidat, Sketchbook’s editor and creator. “But this is a lot more open and collaborative than a fashionable clique. Everyone’s welcome!”

On the day we visit DJ Sarah Young has hit the decks, sound-tracking a fashion shoot in full swing on the ground floor. One floor up, the magazine team are blogging and tweeting to their heart’s content, and trying to get things ready for the new issue. A stylist sifts through rails of clothes provided by vintage emporium Rokit’s ‘Designer’s Guild’, an exclusive collection of vintage designs reworked by up-and-coming designers.

Downstairs in the basement is the artist’s hub, where illustrators are hard at work sketching. Fashion designer Omer Asim drapes a mannequin with fabric, whilst visitors play with a video art installation and help themselves to cupcakes. It’s manic, but seems to be just another day in the life of the Sketchbook team!

Members of the public are also welcomed inside to take a peek, (and quite a few shoppers stray from buying as the DJ kicks in) and meet the team. They can even become part of the Sketchbook experience themselves, with the ‘Sketch a Smedley’ event on the 30th. Rails of luxury knitwear label John Smedley will be on hand to try on, and budding models will be sketched live by illustrators.

Clearly the studio has brought a buzz to Carnaby. But what’s next for the Sketchbook team?

“That’s a secret!” laughs Wafa as we finish our tour of the Studio. “But we’ve got more live projects in the pipeline, so you haven’t heard the last from us yet!”

Sketchbook Studio ends today. To see the magazine when it launches, visit here.

You can also read our review of the previous Sketchbook pop-up and Amelia’s talk here.


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One Response to “Sketchbook STUDIO at Kingly Court”

  1. Abi says:

    What a great idea; and it looks fantastic too.

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