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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Future Beauty at the Barbican: Beauty Party

An evening of make-up, nail art and hair at the Barbican as part of the Japanese fashion retrospective. No fun for a boy, right? WRONG!

Written by Matt Bramford

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

Illustration by Kelly Angood

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Abby Wright

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Justine Picard is a journalist for the Telegraph and an author who produces both fiction and non fiction, look for the last 13 years her side project has been researching Coco Chanel. Picard opened her talk on the publication of her Chanel Biography with the statement that the V&A is the heart of Fashion, this forget Topshop!

Coco Chanel the name synonymous with French fashion, so carefully cultivated by Karl Largerfield, he feels as if a caretaker at the same time as being an innovative fashion designer such is the call of the Chanel Staples. Each catwalk is a reinvention of the tweeds, the stars, the numbers, simplistic beauty is what Chanel conjures and it is what it achieves.

So of course how could I pass up the opportunity to listen to JP who has spent the last 13 years researching the life of perhaps the most well known, but least known fashion designer?

It was the perfect talk – full of teasers about what the book contained alongside interesting insights into Coco’s design aesthetic – the monestry where she grew up the walls were embedded with stars, similar to what would later feature in her designs.

A talented speaker from the start, Justine enraptured the audience with tales of Chanel’s rise from rags to riches polevaulting through French Society’s conventions that those born in a certain place – should stay on the rung of society they were born. Luckily, not only for Haute Couture but for Women everywhere Chanel made ignoring social conventions a habit of a lifetime.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith

Not for Chanel the corsets of early 1900′s France – no, the most striking thing about Chanel was seeing the pictures of her in a style that has inudated our subconscious – from the wearing of trousers to single handily popularising the Breton Stripe. Most importantly Chanel was an avid wearer of the flat show – not for her the gravity defying, walk preventing spindly heels that seem so popular not only on the catwalk but that shop which nestles within the heart of Oxford Street, Topshop.

Illustration by Kelly Angood

“Fashion is very dark, what we wear is what we cover up” Coco Chanel

JP covered the usual ground her relationship with Boy Capell and the Duke of Westminister, revealing a photograph of Coco and Winston Churchill lead her to the ministery of archives… what did she find? Sadly that was left to be revealed in the pages of her boo

Illustration by Joana Faria

Illustration by Abby Wright

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Justine Picard is a journalist for the Telegraph and an author who produces both fiction and non fiction, shop for the last 13 years her side project has been researching Coco Chanel. Picard opened her talk on the publication of her Chanel Biography with the statement that the V&A is the heart of Fashion, information pills forget Topshop!

Coco Chanel the name synonymous with French fashion, so carefully cultivated by Karl Largerfield, he feels as if a caretaker at the same time as being an innovative fashion designer such is the call of the Chanel Staples. Each catwalk is a reinvention of the tweeds, the stars, the numbers, simplistic beauty is what Chanel conjures and it is what it achieves.

So of course how could I pass up the opportunity to listen to JP who has spent the last 13 years researching the life of perhaps the most well known, but least known fashion designer?

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith – An aside about this image, notice how Chanel sits on the horse in jodphurs, rather than side saddle, a fairly political statement at a time when most women were bound in corsets, forcing them to sit side saddle.

It was the perfect talk – full of teasers about what the book contained alongside interesting insights into Coco’s design aesthetic – the monestry where she grew up the walls were embedded with stars, similar to what would later feature in her designs.

A talented speaker from the start, Justine enraptured the audience with tales of Chanel’s rise from rags to riches polevaulting through French Society’s conventions that those born in a certain place – should stay on the rung of society they were born. Luckily, not only for Haute Couture but for Women everywhere Chanel made ignoring social conventions a habit of a lifetime.

Illustration by Kelly Angood

“Fashion is very dark, what we wear is what we cover up” Coco Chanel

Not for Chanel the corsets of early 1900′s France – no, the most striking thing about Chanel was seeing the pictures of her in a style that has inudated our subconscious – from the wearing of trousers to single handily popularising the Breton Stripe. Most importantly Chanel was an avid wearer of the flat show – not for her the gravity defying, walk preventing spindly heels that seem so popular not only on the catwalk but that shop which nestles within the heart of Oxford Street, Topshop.

Illustration by Joana Faria

JP covered the usual ground her relationship with Boy Capell and the Duke of Westminister, revealing a photograph of Coco and Winston Churchill lead her to the ministery of archives… what did she find? Sadly that was left to be revealed in the pages of her book – but let’s just say her reported relationship with a German Soldier may not have been what it has so far appeared to be the work of a traitor, but a (slightly naive…) plan between Coco and Winston Churchill to bring the war to an early end. This may seem rather glib, but to find out more, we will all have to read the book…

Illustration by Abby Wright

Picard touched upon the inclusions of the number 5 etc and the use of stars… magical numbers were part of Chanel’s magical thinking… Tarot Cards. Chanel was interested in simple beauty. Justine attributes this magical thinking to her time spent as a child growing up in an ancient monastery, suggesting that the epoynmous chanel star was inspired by the mosiac’s made by Medieval Monks…

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Chanel was funded by Boy Capell, the man sitting on the horse in the above illustration, as soon as the Fashion House started to make money, Chanel paid every last penny back. From the start Coco was to be an independent women. Justine Picard described fashion as “a series of Hauntings” and finished the talk with a wish for a book on the continuation of Chanel by Karl Largerfield, to conclude that such a book could only be written once Largerfield had left Chanel and quite possibly this planet…

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Coco Chanel the name synonymous with French fashion, discount so carefully cultivated by Karl Largerfield, side effects he feels as if a caretaker at the same time as being an innovative fashion designer such is the call of the Chanel Staples. Each catwalk is a reinvention of the tweeds, the stars, the numbers, simplistic beauty is what Chanel conjures and it is what it achieves.

Justine Picard is a journalist for the Telegraph and an author who produces both fiction and non fiction, for the last 13 years her side project has been researching Coco Chanel. Picard opened her talk on the publication of her Chanel Biography with the statement that the V&A is the heart of Fashion, forget Topshop!

How could I pass up the opportunity to find out more about this ever present, but ever distant fashion designer? Especially as I am yet to watch either of the recent films made about her early life…

Illustration by Maria del Carmen Smith – An aside about this image, notice how Chanel sits on the horse in jodphurs, rather than side saddle, a fairly political statement at a time when most women were bound in corsets, forcing them to sit side saddle.

It was the perfect talk – full of teasers about what the book contained alongside interesting insights into Coco’s design aesthetic – the monestry where she grew up the walls were embedded with stars, similar to what would later feature in her designs.

A talented speaker from the start, Justine enraptured the audience with tales of Chanel’s rise from rags to riches polevaulting through French Society’s conventions that those born in a certain place – should stay on the rung of society they were born. Luckily, not only for Haute Couture but for Women everywhere Chanel made ignoring social conventions a habit of a lifetime.

Illustration by Kelly Angood

“Fashion is very dark, what we wear is what we cover up” Coco Chanel

Not for Chanel the corsets of early 1900′s France – no, the most striking thing about Chanel was seeing the pictures of her in a style that has inudated our subconscious – from the wearing of trousers to single handily popularising the Breton Stripe. Most importantly Chanel was an avid wearer of the flat show – not for her the gravity defying, walk preventing spindly heels that seem so popular not only on the catwalk but that shop which nestles within the heart of Oxford Street, Topshop.

Illustration by Joana Faria

JP covered the usual ground her relationship with Boy Capell and the Duke of Westminister, revealing a photograph of Coco and Winston Churchill lead her to the ministery of archives… what did she find? Sadly that was left to be revealed in the pages of her book – but let’s just say her reported relationship with a German Soldier may not have been what it has so far appeared to be the work of a traitor, but a (slightly naive…) plan between Coco and Winston Churchill to bring the war to an early end. This may seem rather glib, but to find out more, we will all have to read the book…

Illustration by Abby Wright

Picard touched upon the inclusions of the number 5 etc and the use of stars… magical numbers were part of Chanel’s magical thinking… Tarot Cards. Chanel was interested in simple beauty. Justine attributes this magical thinking to her time spent as a child growing up in an ancient monastery, suggesting that the epoynmous chanel star was inspired by the mosiac’s made by Medieval Monks…

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Chanel was funded by Boy Capell, the man sitting on the horse in the above illustration, as soon as the Fashion House started to make money, Chanel paid every last penny back. From the start Coco was to be an independent women. Justine Picard described fashion as “a series of Hauntings” and finished the talk with a wish for a book on the continuation of Chanel by Karl Largerfield, to conclude that such a book could only be written once Largerfield had left Chanel and quite possibly this planet…

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Coco Chanel the name synonymous with French fashion, order so carefully cultivated by Karl Largerfield, this he feels as if a caretaker at the same time as being an innovative fashion designer such is the call of the Chanel Staples. Each catwalk is a reinvention of the tweeds, the stars, the numbers, simplistic beauty is what Chanel conjures and it is what it achieves.

Justine Picard is a journalist for the Telegraph and an author who produces both fiction and non fiction, for the last 13 years her side project has been researching Coco Chanel. Picard opened her talk on the publication of her Chanel Biography with the statement that the V&A is the heart of Fashion, forget Topshop!

How could I pass up the opportunity to find out more about this ever present, but ever distant fashion designer? Especially as I am yet to watch either of the recent films made about her early life…

Illustration by Maria del Carmen SmithAn aside, notice how Chanel sits on the horse in jodphurs, rather than side saddle, a fairly political statement at a time when most women were bound in corsets, forcing them to sit side saddle.

It was the perfect talk – full of teasers about what the book contained alongside interesting insights into Coco’s design aesthetic – the monestry where she grew up the walls were embedded with stars, similar to what would later feature in her designs.

A talented speaker from the start, Justine enraptured the audience with tales of Chanel’s rise from rags to riches polevaulting through French Society’s conventions that those born in a certain place – should stay on the rung of society they were born. Luckily, not only for Haute Couture but for Women everywhere Chanel made ignoring social conventions a habit of a lifetime.

Illustration by Kelly Angood

“Fashion is very dark, what we wear is what we cover up” Coco Chanel

Not for Chanel the corsets of early 1900′s France – no, the most striking thing about Chanel was seeing the pictures of her in a style that has inudated our subconscious – from the wearing of trousers to single handily popularising the Breton Stripe. Most importantly Chanel was an avid wearer of the flat show – not for her the gravity defying, walk preventing spindly heels that seem so popular not only on the catwalk but that shop which nestles within the heart of Oxford Street, Topshop.

Illustration by Joana Faria

JP covered the usual ground her relationship with Boy Capell and the Duke of Westminister, revealing a photograph of Coco and Winston Churchill lead her to the ministery of archives… what did she find? Sadly that was left to be revealed in the pages of her book – but let’s just say her reported relationship with a German Soldier may not have been what it has so far appeared to be the work of a traitor, but a (slightly naive…) plan between Coco and Winston Churchill to bring the war to an early end. This may seem rather glib, but to find out more, we will all have to read the book…

Illustration by Abby Wright

Picard touched upon the inclusions of the number 5 etc and the use of stars… magical numbers were part of Chanel’s magical thinking… Tarot Cards. Chanel was interested in simple beauty. Justine attributes this magical thinking to her time spent as a child growing up in an ancient monastery, suggesting that the epoynmous chanel star was inspired by the mosiac’s made by Medieval Monks…

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Chanel was funded by Boy Capell, the man sitting on the horse in the above illustration, as soon as the Fashion House started to make money, Chanel paid every last penny back. From the start Coco was to be an independent women. Justine Picard described fashion as “a series of Hauntings” and finished the talk with a wish for a book on the continuation of Chanel by Karl Largerfield, to conclude that such a book could only be written once Largerfield had left Chanel and quite possibly this planet…

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Coco Chanel the name synonymous with French fashion, order so carefully cultivated by Karl Largerfield, what is ed he feels as if a caretaker at the same time as being an innovative fashion designer such is the call of the Chanel Staples. Each catwalk is a reinvention of the tweeds, patient the stars, the numbers, simplistic beauty is what Chanel conjures and it is what it achieves.

Justine Picard is a journalist for the Telegraph and an author who produces both fiction and non fiction, for the last 13 years her side project has been researching Coco Chanel. Picard opened her talk on the publication of her Chanel Biography with the statement that the V&A is the heart of Fashion, forget Topshop!

Illustration by Joana Faria

How could I pass up the opportunity to find out more about this ever present, but ever distant fashion designer? Especially as I am yet to watch either of the recent films made about her early life…

It was the perfect talk – full of teasers about what the book contained alongside interesting insights into Coco’s design aesthetic – the monestry where she grew up the walls were embedded with stars, similar to what would later feature in her designs.

A talented speaker, Justine enraptured the audience with tales of Chanel’s rise from rags to riches polevaulting through French Society’s conventions that those born in a certain place – should stay on the rung of society they were born. Luckily, not only for Haute Couture but for women everywhere who wanted to wear trousers, Chanel made ignoring social conventions a habit of a lifetime.

Illustration by Kelly Angood

“Fashion is very dark, what we wear is what we cover up” Coco Chanel

Not for Chanel the corsets of early 1900′s France – no, the most striking thing about Chanel was seeing the pictures of her in a style that has inudated our subconscious – from the wearing of trousers to single handily popularising the Breton Stripe. Most importantly Chanel was an avid wearer of the flat show – not for her the gravity defying, walk preventing spindly heels that seem so popular not only on the catwalk but that shop which nestles within the heart of Oxford Street, Topshop.

Illustration by Maria del Carmen SmithAn aside, notice how Chanel sits on the horse in jodphurs, rather than side saddle, a fairly political statement at a time when most women were bound in corsets.

Chanel was funded by Boy Capell, the man in the above illustration, as soon as the Fashion House produced revenue, Chanel paid every last penny back. From the start Coco was to be an independent women.

Justine Picard covered the usual ground of Chanel’s relationship with men, starting with Boy Capell and touching upon her life spent fishing in Scotland with the Duke of Westminister. Through whom Coco met Winston Churchill in the early 1920′s. The discovery of a picture of the two together lead Picard to the ministery of war archives, specifically the archives on Winston Churchill to explore Chanel’s reported relationship with a German Soldier may not have been what has so far been reported, the work of a traitor, but a (slightly naive…) plan -devised perhaps by Coco and regaled to Winston Churchill- to bring the war to an early end. This may seem rather glib, but to find out more and the outcome of Picards trip to the archives? Sadly the author left this announcement within the pages of her book.

Illustration by Abby Wright

Picard touched upon the inclusions of the number 5 etc and the use of stars… magical numbers were part of Chanel’s magical thinking… Tarot Cards. Chanel was interested in simple beauty. Justine attributes this magical thinking to her time spent as a child growing up in an ancient monastery, suggesting that the epoynmous chanel star was inspired by the mosiac’s made by Medieval Monks…

Illustration by Antonia Parker

Justine Picard described fashion as “a series of Hauntings” and finished the talk with a wish for a book on the continuation of Chanel by Karl Largerfield, to conclude that such a book could only be written once Largerfield had left Chanel and quite possibly this planet…


WAH Nails, pills illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Unless you’ve been under a rock, view you’ll have seen me banging on about Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican. I did a mammoth post about the exhibition last week; it’s one of my favourite fashion exhibitions ever, store and I couldn’t wait to go back for a second look.

So I was delighted to attend the Beauty Party last Thursday. The name flooded my mind with images of middle-aged women guzzling Lambrini and exchanging salacious stories while passing underwear around a living room on a cul-de-sac somewhere in Huddersfield. The roster of participants was pretty alluring, though – Alex Box, Charlie le Mindu and WAH Nails to name a few.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I went to a Viktor & Rolf event like this a couple of years back and it isn’t the easiest thing to navigate – you have to seek out the various special events – they’re usually tucked away. In tiny rooms behind the exhibition itself, each of the aficionados of beauty had set up their wares. Nails, make-up and hair were covered. What exactly was I going to get out of this? I have very little hair, I bite my nails, and I rarely wear make-up. ‘This is for girls,’ I thought to myself. Well, here’s a little round-up of the night’s events:

Charlie le Mindu

Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

I’d subconsciously blocked Charlie le Mindu out of my mind after fashion week’s debacle. I feel lucky to be alive after that display, and I thought I had at least six months to recover before braving his (what will undoubtedly be fabulous) show for A/W 2011. Thankfully there wasn’t an arse or tit (or, er, y’know – the other bit) insight this time.

Charlie had created, especially for the occasion, a sculptural creation from human hair that descended from the roof and featured a rider’s helmet with a huge, yellow horse tail that dropped to the ground. On its own, it was beautiful; hanging motionless from the ceiling, it looked like magic. Attendees were able to slip underneath the creation and have their photograph taken, with hilarious results… Some were too short, some were too tall, some just couldn’t make it balance on their heads, but oh, what fun!


Look, it’s Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


It’s Jenny, who isn’t an illustrator, but a friend nonetheless.

WAH Nails

I love how WAH Nails have single-handedly made nail art cool again. Their incredible designs have had so much press and attention since their debut in 2009. Most recently, they were part of the Eley Kishimoto Flash-On Week pop-up at the Shoreditch Studios, transforming nails with the iconic Flash pattern. Sadly, between the two of them, no matter how quickly the duo revamped nails it was clear the girls I’d gone with weren’t going to get a look in. The list to put your name on was full after fifteen minutes!

Still, it was fascinating to watch the designs come to life.

Alex Box

Illustration by Emmeline Pidgen

I’ve been a fan of Alex’s for a while but I wasn’t sure what to make of a make-up demonstration. A world-famous make-up artist demonstrating her skills in make-up at the front of a cinema, for an hour and a half? Oh, go on then I thought – what’s the worst that can happen? It turns out it was one of the most mesmerising things I (and my pals) had ever seen. Resplendent in a vintage floor-sweeping red frock and fashion glasses that would make half of Shoreditch envious, Alex began creating the first look to the sound of haunting classical music.

To see how quickly she works and how naturally it seems to flow was utterly hypnotising, and surprisingly relaxing. The first look was a Marie-Antoinette inspired ghostly creation, complete with a headpiece and fabrics that were added at the end – absolutely beautiful.

The same poor model then had her face wiped before Look Two began – a more playful look with vibrant colours and jazzy fabrics. ‘Sometimes you have to go against the rules,’ relayed Alex, to a room full of gripped onlookers. A truly wonderful experience.

Illamasqua

Illamasqua‘s team of make-up artists were on hand to provide makeovers. I couldn’t see much of what was going on here because a gaggle of excited teenage girls surrounded them in the hope of a dab of powder from one of these ‘world-famous’ experts. Nothing to see, here.

Of course amongst all this was a chance to see the incredible exhibition again, and it was equally as wonderful as the first time. I’d definitely recommend these evenings, and ooh look – there’s one tonight, starring Fred Butler amongst others!

See all the details here.

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