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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Frock Me! vintage fashion fair and tea room

Chelsea and Brighton , 07 September/ 05 October

Written by Katie Gamble

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Noah & The Whale may be the most obvious example of ‘morning music’ I could ever hope to find. Folk with the lyrical style of The Postal Service is a combination that seriously rivals corn flakes and ice cold milk in my opinion.

Tracks like ‘Rocks and Daggers’ and ‘Shape of My Heart’ are so damn catchy I reckon I could actually sing along to them in my sleep. I’ve been a fan of these tracks since the demos I heard them in their demo forms, site no rx but these new recordings seem to have a lot more life to them. With added vocals and different instruments used they take on a whole new, this more exciting, character.

The high point of the album has to be ‘5 Years Time’ though. It’s the recollection of a joyous daydream considering what a relationship could be like 5 years in the future. It springs along at the tempo of giddiness, with horns that are reminiscent of Beirut, making it sound like a declaration.

The album definitely isn’t all quite so memorable however, as many of the songs seem to merge into one. Towards the end of the album the pace slows and the songs seem to have less about them. They can pull off this style of songwriting as they show on tracks like ‘Give A Little Love’, but the last two tracks do come across being as being tucked away as if they were filler.

The Government, ailment along with the G8, has waged war on food wastage, and we’ve got to all confess to a bit of complicity here. Alright, so as a political task force the G8 is as effective as the East Dulwich Women’s Institute, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our bit, if for no other reason than we could save £420 a year (enough to save eight acres of rainforest).

Make a shopping list – okay, it sounds a bit anal and motherly, but it’ll help to stop those nasty impulse buys cluttering up your cupboards.

Use your freezer – effective rotating of your freezer will allow you to store food for a few extra days, helping to use everything before it goes brown/grey/green/other bad food colours…

Long-life foods – where possible buy things that won’t go off in a couple of days, then you’re more likely to get round to cooking with it before it makes a break for the bin.

Share and share alike – if you have leftovers you know you can’t possibly use, ask if a friend, relative or neighbour might like them – better yet, invite them over!

Oh, and though I’m never one to promote big business, M&S has pledged to power six of their Simply Food shops with renewable energy from a machine that turns food waste into electricity. Wouldn’t necessarily suggest you try this one at home…

For more info click on lovefoodhatewaste.

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When half a band becomes half of a new band a comparison will be inevitable made. So who am I to buck the trend? In the interest of research I decided to play a track by Televised Crimewave formed with two alumni of Black Wire (Daniel Wilson and Tom Greatorex) and two fresh faces (Rob Bootle and Bat Neck, seek who I was informed by a ‘source’ is so called because he has a tattoo of a bat on his neck) at the same time as a Black Wire track. One thing is obvious immediately; Televised Crimewave are pretty much Black Wire but they lack in the guitar department.

Not only do Televised Crimewave owe a debt to Black Wire, health but with a mission to pursue old (but not forgotten) passions, they also owe a bit of pocket change to punk. Most notably on Fire and Flowers, with a hey ho-esque chorus that sounds very distinctly familiar. Hmm, I wonder where they got that from.

But tributes and similarities aside, televised Crimewave’s songs have a rousing sense of urgency. It’s a bit like music to have electric shock therapy to, if that was ever necessary. I like to say it’s psychedelic garage pop at its best, but it’s not. Televised Crimewave are pushing a sound that is rather tired and they seem to be holding back, they never quite reach the crescendo their music deserves.

When Dolly the Sheep was cloned it was hailed as a medical marvel. When Black Wire were cloned the results aren’t so marvellous. Perhaps Televised Crimewave could change their name to Dolly. Although, then they may get parallels drawn to that lovely lady who sings about working crap jobs. Televised Crimewave are worth a listen, but for those not sobbing into our pillows about Black Wire demise, a listen is all you need.

The ‘Future of Fashion’ exhibition located on the beautiful premises of the Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham is a showcase of the work from British students and recent graduates across the pathways of fashion design, ampoule illustration, illness photography, diagnosis textiles and accessories. The pieces – most of them on sale – selected by co-curators Mark de Novellis and Caroline Alexander, come from courses of various levels within colleges and universities all around the country, including the University of the Arts London, Edinburgh College of Art, Kingston and Southampton Solent University.

The display is divided into three parts, starting off with ‘Tradition’ and ‘Innovation & Creativity’ on the ground floor, leading to the open gallery upstairs showcasing ‘Diversity’. Whereas ‘Tradition’ focuses on the British (fashion) heritage – such as Savile Row tailoring and textile craft – being subverted and therefore reinvigorated, ‘Innovation & Creativity’ explores the more conceptual and experimental approaches which British fashion has become internationally recognised for. ‘Diversity’ finally investigates the global influences impacting upon the industry – whether these come from inside Britain itself because of its rich cultural mix or from outside, through the many European and international students who come to train here, each bringing their unique identity to the country.

One highlight of the display is Kimberly Patterson’s piece ‘Identity Theft – A Corporate Assault’ from BA Fashion, Kingston: An all-white ruffle minidress made of energy-efficient Tyvek® fabric by DuPontTM inspired by Douglas Coupland’s novel Generation X and the idea of the ‘McJob‘. With each pattern piece being a scaled-up company logo, her work examines questions of globalisation, consumer and corporate culture as well as sustainability.

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Faye Bamber from Fashion Design & Technology at the London College of Fashion produced interesting work for her 2nd-year project ‘Industrial Engineering & Sculptural Fashion’. Her architectural, Hussein Chalayan type pieces were inspired by research from the Museum of Science & Industry, the Royal Armouries and the National Railway Museum. Although her two showcased dresses made of aluminium sheeting and wire make great exhibits, the real treasure troves are her accompanying design development books in which she experimented with cog mechanisms, paper and wire maquettes, Grecian-style pleating, asymmetrical shapes and weaving techniques.

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Despite the ‘Tradition’ section showcasing a couple of pieces that were too – you guessed it – Vivienne Westwood and ‘Diversity’ featuring a few less strong works, some of them a bit out-of-place and/or lacking additional info and accompanying material, ‘Future of Fashion’ makes for a worthwhile trip down to Twickenham and proves that real artefacts which can be examined three-dimensionally, touched, yes even smelled are a much more valuable experience than the digital proposition used by other fashion colleges in Central London.
The supershorts film festival has been running for five years, buy more about and celebrates both the art of short films and those who make them. I’ve always been a bit of a geek about shorts, mainly because I’ve been making them for three years. Although I studied journalism, I have the secret desire to work in film and was a bit of a ‘groupie’ at uni, volunteering to be on almost every shoot, ever. So it’s always a treat to watch new shorts and spot the upcoming talent. I only managed to catch one night of the festival, but it was a brilliant and inspiring night of screenings at the Odeon in Shaftsbury Avenue, Covent Garden. Here are a few highlights:

A Difference in Shadow by Michael Mier was a beautifully shot and emotional piece with a nice little twist in the tale. Great performances from both Sakib Salama and Georgia Baines, which brought a shiver to the spine and brought to the surface how easy it is to assume.

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Broken by Vicky Psarias – a great little narrative piece which began more like a feature than a short, and felt as if it could, and perhaps should, go on. The story shows a Cypriot family immigrating to London to join their father who has already been preparing for a better life for them. But it turns out he doesn’t seem to have their best interests at heart. It had potential, but lacked punch in the final blow.

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Eric’s Secrets by Lucia Ashmore is a poignant documentary based solely on character on not much else -and that’s why it works. Eric, in his nineties, talks about his life with beautiful humour and wisdom, and this film went on to win the Lightning Media Best Documentary Award.

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For the Love of God by Joe Tucker provided some light relief – and also a change in format, as it’s a stop-motion animation. Main character Graham lives in a Christian bookshop with his overbearing mother and pet jackdaw. We follow him as his quest for faith takes on a macabre spin. Featuring the voices of Steve Coogan and Sir Ian McKellan, it’s a fantastic piece with just the right dose of humour and shock tactics.

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Joystick by Kevin Richards, another animation, is a thoughtful and beautifully drawn piece showing two joined beings ‘The Joystick’ whirl and twist through life, eventually split apart by conflict. Without each other, they perish in a tragic ending.

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‘Flushed‘ by Martin Stirling is a brilliantly funny piece about a boy caught short in the loos. Great characters and great production values, it’s the Director’s first funded short and he’s one to watch.

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The final, and most captivating of all, was Smafulgar (Two Birds) by Runar Runarrson. A short that made waves at Cannes was awarded both the Anthony Mingella Best Director Award and Sasusfaction Best Drama Award at Super Shorts. Shot on 35mm, it’s a gripping story of a shy teenager who loses his innocence overnight. Stunning cinematography, and with the perfect mix of narrative and intimacy on camera, it has also that all-important feature of a short – the catching of breath as the credits begin to roll.

Here’s to next year’s supershorts!
Take a trip around Chongquing with the lovely Miss M as your tour guide in this second issue of Scarlet Cheek’s bookzine. Inspired by a patchwork of childhood memories from editor’s Cindy Chens visits to the city with her beloved Grandpa, link she sets out to show you the lives and her loves of this Chinese metropolis.

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Scarlet Cheek manages to transport you to Chongquing, about it where you can really feel the firey sun beating down on you as your feet tread the paved streets of the city. Chen’s fondness for the place really shines through and the friendly atmosphere of the city washes over you with everyone of her tender words.

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Let her guide you through the streets, stuff tripping past playing children, graffitied walls and fortune tellers, before finally putting your feet up and dining out at Meishi Jie’s food street. With the accompanying photographs of these scenes from the street you get a multisensory experience of the city which leaves you dying to touch, see and smell everything that’s going on around you.
As your guided tour comes to an end you are left to wander freely through the rest of the pages. Interviews with bands and artists come to life as they are simply conversations you overheard. The factual history of the city is nicely combined with tales from it, adding to your experience of Chongquing as told by the people that call it their home.
From the streets upward we see the bangbangs, a group of migrant workers seeking all possibilities of a job, up to the beautiful women the area is known for, celebrated in a double page spread of loveliness. The region’s food is also tastily displayed in graphic food porn shots, whilst images of the neon night life tempt you out to play after dark.
This is not a gloriously glossy depiction of the city, but a wonderfully realistic glimpse into the lives of everyday people in Chongquing. This issue of Scarlet Cheek’s is a celebration of a place where memories are held dear and where many more are surely to be created.

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Windsmoor, more about the quintessentially English establishment label, link has just reached the ripe old age of 75. Bearing in mind that this brand is the same age as my Nan, page I was expecting the celebrations to revolve around a nice game of scrabble in a tea shop. Oh how wrong I was. Come the day of the party I checked the address, and almost keeled over when it read: ‘Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner’. The party was literally IN an arch.

A roomful of slinky cocktail dresses and flutes of champagne replaced the knitting patterns and scone recipes I had expected and I’d soon hijacked the prime balcony location to enjoy the view. Sights included all the London favourites: The London Eye, The Mall, and a sneaky peak into the Buckingham Palace grounds (sadly HRH was not playing on her tennis court this particular evening).

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Meanwhile back inside, decades of Windsmoor advertising campaigns graced every inch of wall space. These ranged from World War Two era posters to a campaign fronted by Cindy Crawford. Windsmoor have always maintained their desire to provide women with luxurious yet affordable clothes and after 75 successful years this philosophy will no doubt see them through the looming economic recession.

Indeed, Windsmoor is so much a part of British culture that even the poet laureate John Betjeman had something to say about it. In his 1954 poem, ‘Middlesex’, he tells of

Fair Elaine the bobby-soxer,
Fresh-complexioned with Innoxa,
Gains the garden – father’s hobby -
Hangs her Windsmoor in the lobby,
Settles down to sandwich supper and the television screen.

The night was monumental, and just like Elaine the bobby-soxer I headed home for some toast and the latest news from another integral part of British culture, the Big Brother house.

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Frock Me! London’s hottest vintage fashion event is back in town and it’s set to be a big one! It’s the one-stop shop to the dressing rooms of the past, click from 1920′s flapper chic to 1980′s retro cool.

Held in the heart of illness ,10268~3206161,00.jpg”target=”_blank”>Chelsea’s fashionable King’s Road, you will find the crème de la crème of the country’s vintage dealers, offering everything from beautiful clothing, hats and shoes, to gorgeous accessories, bags and jewellery.

Whether you’re a costume designer looking to dress the big stage, or a fashion student with an eye for a bargain, Frock Me! is the place to pick up that perfect item. Ranging from one or two pounds to several hundreds, whatever your budget, you’ll be sure to find the fabulous vintage gems to suit you.

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Brimming with one-off fashion finds and vintage trends, you’ll often spot top models and stylists gliding between the rails in search of the right item to complete their individual styles from the range of enchanting collections from days gone by.

It’s not only the magnificent range of clothing that will take you back in time while at the fair. The Frock Me! Vintage Tea Room offers a unique ‘pre-war’ experience, where you can sit back and relax with an old fashioned cream tea whilst listening to the nostalgic tones of the original gramophone.

Described by The Sunday Times Style magazine as ‘The place to pick up something old and stylish’, vintage fairs are the only place you can find more classic shoes, Lanvin dresses and pussy bows than Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe.

For the first time since the opening fair four years ago, 2008 sees Frock Me! expanding out of the big city and into Brighton to treat the South coast to the array of treats that the top vintage dealers have to offer. Being held at the Sallis Benney Theatre opposite the pavillion, Brighton joins London in being home to the fashion world’s favourite vintage event.

You can catch the next fair in Chelsea on 7th September, and in Brighton on 5th October so make sure you get to one of these fabulous events and pick yourself up some vintage, darling!

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