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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Gagging the Guardian – The truth is out, or is it?

The Trafigura twitter trend...

Written by Adam S

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Fashion Scout now in its 7th year, medical story has once again brought us a well balanced diet of young innovators and box-fresh talent.

Ones To Watch” provided a menu of gothic grandeur, tea stained Venuses, beaded suits and eco constructivism.

The designers culled for this presentation are Serbian Marko Mitanovski, celebrity autopsy inspired Hermione DePaula, CSM grad Dean Quinn and Ada Zanditon.

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The ancient Serbian forests and dark folkoric characters provided a bottomless source of imagery for Marko Mitanovski’s black leather creations.

The slow pace of the models allowed for detailed gazing at the leather laces crowned with furry antlers. The designs were reminiscent of Ebony tree nymphs crossed with the witch whose poisoned apple sent Snow White to slumberland.

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According to Mitanovski the outfits were the result of a 15 strong studio team who ruched, beaded and laced scaled-up versions of Elizabethan collars shaping them into skirts, capes and collars.

Vintage beauty stylists from Nina’s Hair Parlour wrapped the life-size foam antlers in hair, elevating the looks to showpiece status. Mitanovski kept the production of the designs local by sourcing materials from local manufacturers and having his accessories, shoes and bags produced in Belgrade.

The performance was set to the sounds of (his favorite) a Nirvana track, reworked by his friends’ quartet.

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A sweet compliment to Mitanovski’s rich palette was Hermione DePaula’s hand painted chiffon washes in nude, caramel and ivories. The body was displayed through delicate shapes created by frayed and tightly clustered burgundy chiffon collars over bodysuits and billowing trousers.

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The pieces possessed a sensual magnetism that appears in accordance to the inspiration for the collection. DePaula started by looking atthe ultra realistic life-sized wax models used in the teaching of medicine. These dolls were often made with real hair and wore ornamental jewellery, DePaula was inspired by these wax “Venus’ multi-colored interior with removable parts that reveal the mystery of the inner workings of the female body.” The idea was taken a step further by dubbing the collection “Las Venus” in a nod to tabloid fascination with celebrity.

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Dean Quinn, whom we spotted at CSM’s BA show this spring brought his graduate collection of Blade Runner inspired beaded suits ( i implore you to fight the urge to think of Elvis onesies right now) in film noir blacks and whites.

Sharp satin suits with the occasional exaggerated shoulder were detailed with domino tracks of beads. The porcupine beads were, as much great art is, an accident of miscalculation. When threaded too tight the little beads are forced to stand on end. A delicate thing to control but a great effect.

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Wildcard designer Ada Zanditon produced haexagons in a geometric bleu blanc rouge of cocoon coats, high waisted trousers and cropped tops. Her beehive inspired collection carried the theme through heavy cottons, silks and folded organza petals.

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The conceptual designs are not surprising, considering that Ada Zanditon has previously worked for Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. However Zanditon remains steadfast in the eco couture ring (see Amelia’s Magazine coverage of The Ethical Fashion Fair in Paris for details on Zanditon’s commitment to sustainable fashion).

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Check out Amelia’s Magazine April 09 interview with Ada
Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week in Parliament. However the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, online who specialise in suing the media for clients, viagra sale have attelpted to put a gagging order on the Guardian, this web preventing them from reporting on the debate. It is one of the most shocking media related story and the first of it’s kind to be seen in Britain for some time. However the tweeting nation and networking outlets have taken on the gauntlet. In a single day the story had been uncovered and spread around the world and became an instant twitter ‘trendsetter.’ The solicitors Carter-Ruck have just backed down from this gagging and means a great victory for twitter and freedom of speech.

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The concerned question relates to the Trafigura Corporation who have been revealed to be dumping toxic waste into the sea near the Ivory Coast. An action that has caused death and illness in the surrounding areas as well as an undisclosed amount of environmental pollution.

There is no such thing as bad publicity; if the gagging order hadn’t been put on the Guardian newspaper the story would have been swepped under the carpet like the numerous articles each day relating to atrocities around the world. As it happens the Trafigura story was largely ignored by the mainstream when it was reported in the media a few weeks ago. People would see the article in the newspaper or online, skim over it and move on to the latest shocking Jordan revelation.

Instead, because of an attempt to hide the story, it’s hit the big time and has aforementioned become an instant trendsetter on Twitter and other social networking sites. When the freedom of the media is threatened it seems everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

What it yet to be seen is if the bloggosphere will get onto the streets and do something other than sitting at their computers trying to get a few more hits. With the recent Speech DeBelle fiasco, where the huge following on the internet failed to reciprocate to the live gigs as well as twitter celebrities realizing they are just that. It makes me a little concerned with this growing trend of online activism, is it the modern day equivalent of the armchair complaint? Will the real action that we need to see become something of the past?

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The flashmob planned for this Thursday at 1pm out side the offices of Carter-Ruck will be an interesting event to watch, will it be comprised of the usual suspects; the people protesting tirelessly each week against the global crisis that threatens us from corporations just like Trafigura? People labeled by the blogosphere as the ‘liberal types and unwashed hippy do-gooders’ or will we see this unseen population, the thousands if not millions who seem concerned with this issue? Smittenkitten for example tweets – ‘RT @stephenfry Public disgust at barbaric assault on free speech is being collected under #trafigura who are accused of dumping toxic waste,’ check her previous tweets and they are about what she has been watching on TV every night this week or how much she loves her new tabby kitten. Will we see you on the streets smittenkitten? I think not.

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Saying this, I can see there is some integrity in social networks sites creating change and hopefully this backlash against the gagging order will uncover some truths. I appreciate there are many who are clearly concerned with the issue, and are helping to make get the truth out, like the intrepid new-gatherers who hunted down the Order Book for Parliament which meant that anyone could see what the story was really about. The solicitors Carter-Ruck have backed down from this gagging order but the real Trafigura problem is still there and lets hope the blogging world does not forget that.

Lets just hope people see it as a chance to become involved with real action on the streets, that we need to see to achieve change, something I hope to see as a mainstream ‘trend’ in the not so distant future.

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