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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2010 Catwalk Review: Doii

Whilst it was a close call with Ashish, Doii was definitely my favourite collection of the season making me actually look forward to next winter so I too can join this magical fairytale...

Written by Rachael Oku

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Jamie Shovlin  Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Moral turpitude is quite a fantastic term. According to wikipedia, physician visit web it’s an act of baseness, search vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen”
And it was under the grounds of ‘Moral Turpitude’ that artist Sebastian Horsley was unceremoniously denied access to the USA.
Despite failing in his duties as a fellowman, visit Horsley’s resume is impressive. Voluntarily crucifixion, pulling a loaded colt on a journalist, and of course, the requisitory opiate and prostitution dependencies.

Tonight, Horsley, amongst a myriad of others (Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk to name but a few) displays work at The Vegas Gallery’s ‘Peeping Tom’ group exhibit. The concept of the exhibition is focused on exploring the unseen, the private moments, which often bear no spectators.

stehliJemima Stehli Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Out of all the artists, I am curious to see what Horsley contributes to the exhibition, as his artwork is usually scandalous, sensationalist and well, brimming with all sorts of moral turpitude.
Inside The Vegas Gallery, the walls are a chessboard of artwork, with no descriptions or names around them; which in itself references the theme of the ‘Peeping Tom’; by the viewer and subject interacting anonomously, the sense of voyeurism is heightened.
Some are self-evident; Tracey Emin’s ‘Sobasex’ (My Cunt is Wet With Fear) is easily recognizable as a blueprint for the neon version hung beside the now infamous Tracey’s Bed.
And Sebastian Horsley’s work is easily disguisable, but not quite by the same standards.
“That’s appalling, how horribly vulgar!”
Says one patron, walking briskly away from a framed photograph, featuring Horsley quite graphically performing coitus on a quadruple amputee.
At first I don’t recognise that it’s an amputee; one might say it’s the carnal dance of limbs that confuse the image, but honestly, that’s not what the eye is drawn to.
It’s easy to find Sebastian Horsley in a crowd; his top hat is probably the same size as me. Intrigued to know more about the piece, I wrangle him away for a moment to discuss the piece.
“Well, it was taken in a brothel in Amsterdam.” He begins, surprisingly soft spoken and friendly for a “vile degenerate”
“The concept was about what beauty is…the body as sculpture. I thought about Ancient Greece and the Elgin Marbles, how originally they must have looked like any other statue, quite plain, then without limbs suddenly they evoke mystery and beauty. ”

The concept is interesting; I wonder if the aghast patrons are more concerned about the depiction of a sexual act, or whether that’s a façade for a deeper routed sense of disgust about having sex with a quadruple amputee. Discrimination against disability is still insidious, and commonplace. By placing the spectator into a position where they are forced to confront the image in such a visceral way, perhaps Horsley is in fact making the viewer confront their own prejudices; a true ‘peeping tom’ insight into their own bigotry…
Or perhaps he’s just a narcissistic pervert who likes banging prostitutes. Art is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

eob_peeping_tom1Emer O’Brien Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

For those who aren’t overtly into the obscene, Peeping Tom displays many other artworks that don’t cause regurgitation.
I really liked Emer O’Brien’s white horse, which is a simple photograph, beautifully shot and almost looks like a painting. Also, white horses make me think of unicorns. Got to love a unicorn.

Jemima Stehli managed to speak to me for a few moments about her self portraits, aptly titled ‘Tit with Card 3’ which is pretty much what it sounds like.
“My inspiration behind it, was turning the body into separate sculpture by separating it with card, and presenting it to the world.”

In total, I’d advise to set a few hours aside to browse around The Vegas Gallery. With such a rich and varied supply of artwork, from the sublime to the obscure, there’s definitely an aspect for everyone to enjoy.

Vegas Gallery
45 Vyner Street
E2 9DQ
London
+44 (0)2030225850

http://www.vegasgallery.co.uk

Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Jamie Shovlin  Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Moral turpitude is quite a fantastic term. According to wikipedia, drugs it’s an act of baseness, order vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen”
And it was under the grounds of ‘Moral Turpitude’ that artist Sebastian Horsley was unceremoniously denied access to the USA.
Despite failing in his duties as a fellowman, information pills Horsley’s resume is impressive. Voluntarily crucifixion, pulling a loaded colt on a journalist, and of course, the requisitory opiate and prostitution dependencies.

Tonight, Horsley, amongst a myriad of others (Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk to name but a few) displays work at The Vegas Gallery’s ‘Peeping Tom’ group exhibit. The concept of the exhibition is focused on exploring the unseen, the private moments, which often bear no spectators.

stehliJemima Stehli Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

Out of all the artists, I am curious to see what Horsley contributes to the exhibition, as his artwork is usually scandalous, sensationalist and well, brimming with all sorts of moral turpitude.
Inside The Vegas Gallery, the walls are a chessboard of artwork, with no descriptions or names around them; which in itself references the theme of the ‘Peeping Tom’; by the viewer and subject interacting anonomously, the sense of voyeurism is heightened.
Some are self-evident; Tracey Emin’s ‘Sobasex’ (My Cunt is Wet With Fear) is easily recognizable as a blueprint for the neon version hung beside the now infamous Tracey’s Bed.
And Sebastian Horsley’s work is easily disguisable, but not quite by the same standards.
“That’s appalling, how horribly vulgar!”
Says one patron, walking briskly away from a framed photograph, featuring Horsley quite graphically performing coitus on a quadruple amputee.
At first I don’t recognise that it’s an amputee; one might say it’s the carnal dance of limbs that confuse the image, but honestly, that’s not what the eye is drawn to.
It’s easy to find Sebastian Horsley in a crowd; his top hat is probably the same size as me. Intrigued to know more about the piece, I wrangle him away for a moment to discuss the piece.
“Well, it was taken in a brothel in Amsterdam.” He begins, surprisingly soft spoken and friendly for a “vile degenerate”
“The concept was about what beauty is…the body as sculpture. I thought about Ancient Greece and the Elgin Marbles, how originally they must have looked like any other statue, quite plain, then without limbs suddenly they evoke mystery and beauty. ”

The concept is interesting; I wonder if the aghast patrons are more concerned about the depiction of a sexual act, or whether that’s a façade for a deeper routed sense of disgust about having sex with a quadruple amputee. Discrimination against disability is still insidious, and commonplace. By placing the spectator into a position where they are forced to confront the image in such a visceral way, perhaps Horsley is in fact making the viewer confront their own prejudices; a true ‘peeping tom’ insight into their own bigotry…
Or perhaps he’s just a narcissistic pervert who likes banging prostitutes. Art is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

eob_peeping_tom1Emer O’Brien Courtesy of The Vegas Gallery

For those who aren’t overtly into the obscene, Peeping Tom displays many other artworks that don’t cause regurgitation.
I really liked Emer O’Brien’s white horse, which is a simple photograph, beautifully shot and almost looks like a painting. Also, white horses make me think of unicorns. Got to love a unicorn.

Jemima Stehli managed to speak to me for a few moments about her self portraits, aptly titled ‘Tit with Card 3’ which is pretty much what it sounds like.
“My inspiration behind it, was turning the body into separate sculpture by separating it with card, and presenting it to the world.”

In total, I’d advise to set a few hours aside to browse around The Vegas Gallery. With such a rich and varied supply of artwork, from the sublime to the obscure, there’s definitely an aspect for everyone to enjoy.

Vegas Gallery
45 Vyner Street
E2 9DQ
London
+44 (0)2030225850

http://www.vegasgallery.co.uk

Picture by Gareth Jones
CINEMA audiences were invited to pedal their way to the final credits of a series of short films.
The pedal-powered screening system was in place at Liverpool’s FACT on Saturday.
Cyclists were informed how much power they were generating – and if they were not pedalling hard enough, sildenafil the film switched off.
see story ldpe synd aug 3
life_is_sweet_nice_to_meet_you

I’m a big fan of Dev Hynes’ hair. The singer-songwriter, information pills operating under the moniker Lightspeed Champion since going solo after the dissolution of the group Test Icicles, information pills has the most incredible piece of follicular engineering balanced upon his bonce – a dense mass of pitch-black hair that resembles some kind of alien being, engrossed in a symbiotic relationship with his host. The hairspray that must go into maintaining that every morning, my lord…

The thing that really sells it, though, is that in every official photo Hynes looks extremely pensive, as if he’s a ‘serious’ singer-songwriter with songs about relationships and heartbreak and politics and stuff that’s important and so on. That hair, though… it swats all those silly notions right away. He’s definitely a chap with a sense of humour – look no further than songs like ‘Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk’ off his debut LP Falling Off The Lavender Bridge for evidence of that (and I did mention that he was in a band called Test Icicles, right?). For his latest release he’s back with a greater sense of eclecticism, perhaps a slight tendency towards sombreness, but still retaining a distinctive and unique style. Gone are the country and folk leanings of the debut, and in their place come generous lashings of chamber pop, surf rock, and glam camp.

Opener ‘Dead Head Blues’ begins as a sedate number, reminiscent of the kind of nu-folk practised by fellow Londoner Emmy the Great – the kick comes at around the 2:00 minute mark with a Sunset Rubdown-like shredding riff of a solo that’s as striking as it is unexpected. From then on this kind of unexpected turn defines LIS!NTMY . Straightforward indie pop number ‘Marlene’ repeats the trick with an even more extreme midway solo, which then segues into the chanting balladry of ‘I Miss You’; ‘The Big Guns of Highsmith’ has harmonies that bring to mind some of Queen’s wackier back catalogue, but it sits on the same album as live favourite ‘Madame van Damme’ and its strange blend of musical narrative and Hawaiian surf pop, which is in turn followed in due course by the cowboy western stomp of ‘Sweetheart’.

The overall style is clearly ‘Lightspeed Champion’, even if each song can have its own influences picked out with ease – the wry self-acknowledgement, the intellectual curiosity and the lyrical unsettledness that you would expect to come with such a carefully constructed tapestry is very much present. As he bemoans that it, “hurts to be the one that’s always feeling sad,” his backing singers chant back, in unison, “oh, just stop complaining,” like the chorus in a West End musical ticking off the hero for giving up hope too early. Hell, he even sings, “oh, my big head,” on ‘Dead Head Blues’, managing to simultaneously tick himself off for questionable hair (as some would, I suppose, argue) and questionable decisions in love.

lightspeed-champion

This lyrical trick grows tiresome quickly, however. Despite the clever little quirks, and as much as Hynes tries not by being self-deprecating, he comes across as attempting to appear cleverer than he really is – he’ll reference geometry and Pythagoras, Socrates and classical composers. At times it’s like a parody of Morrissey’s more embarrassing moments, and whilst Hynes may make it clear that it very much is parody with lines like, “kill me baby, oh, won’t you kill me,” it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to love. Like a lot of pastiche and parody, the irony and the joking get in the way of the sincerity.

So despite the admirable production from Ben Allen (whose most notable work has been in the field of hip-hop, and on the increasingly canonised Merriweather Post Pavilion), despite the Chopin influence in the string sections, despite the stabs at orchestral grandeur that occasionally pop up, LIS!NTMY feels like a pale imitator of modern classics like Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois. Perhaps next time he’ll manage to fully synthesise all these varying influences and achieve a work more whole and more loveable.

life_is_sweet_nice_to_meet_you

I’m a big fan of Dev Hynes’ hair. The singer-songwriter, what is ed operating under the moniker Lightspeed Champion since going solo after the dissolution of the group Test Icicles, ambulance has the most incredible piece of follicular engineering balanced upon his bonce – a dense mass of pitch-black hair that resembles some kind of alien being, remedy engrossed in a symbiotic relationship with his host. The hairspray that must go into maintaining that every morning, my lord…

The thing that really sells it, though, is that in every official photo Hynes looks extremely pensive, as if he’s a ‘serious’ singer-songwriter with songs about relationships and heartbreak and politics and stuff that’s important and so on. That hair, though… it swats all those silly notions right away. He’s definitely a chap with a sense of humour – look no further than songs like ‘Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk’ off his debut LP Falling Off The Lavender Bridge for evidence of that (and I did mention that he was in a band called Test Icicles, right?). For his latest release he’s back with a greater sense of eclecticism, perhaps a slight tendency towards sombreness, but still retaining a distinctive and unique style. Gone are the country and folk leanings of the debut, and in their place come generous lashings of chamber pop, surf rock, and glam camp.

Opener ‘Dead Head Blues’ begins as a sedate number, reminiscent of the kind of nu-folk practised by fellow Londoner Emmy the Great – the kick comes at around the 2:00 minute mark with a Sunset Rubdown-like shredding riff of a solo that’s as striking as it is unexpected. From then on this kind of unexpected turn defines LIS!NTMY . Straightforward indie pop number ‘Marlene’ repeats the trick with an even more extreme midway solo, which then segues into the chanting balladry of ‘I Miss You’; ‘The Big Guns of Highsmith’ has harmonies that bring to mind some of Queen’s wackier back catalogue, but it sits on the same album as live favourite ‘Madame van Damme’ and its strange blend of musical narrative and Hawaiian surf pop, which is in turn followed in due course by the cowboy western stomp of ‘Sweetheart’.

The overall style is clearly ‘Lightspeed Champion’, even if each song can have its own influences picked out with ease – the wry self-acknowledgement, the intellectual curiosity and the lyrical unsettledness that you would expect to come with such a carefully constructed tapestry is very much present. As he bemoans that it, “hurts to be the one that’s always feeling sad,” his backing singers chant back, in unison, “oh, just stop complaining,” like the chorus in a West End musical ticking off the hero for giving up hope too early. Hell, he even sings, “oh, my big head,” on ‘Dead Head Blues’, managing to simultaneously tick himself off for questionable hair (as some would, I suppose, argue) and questionable decisions in love.

lightspeed-champion

This lyrical trick grows tiresome quickly, however. Despite the clever little quirks, and as much as Hynes tries not by being self-deprecating, he comes across as attempting to appear cleverer than he really is – he’ll reference geometry and Pythagoras, Socrates and classical composers. At times it’s like a parody of Morrissey’s more embarrassing moments, and whilst Hynes may make it clear that it very much is parody with lines like, “kill me baby, oh, won’t you kill me,” it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to love. Like a lot of pastiche and parody, the irony and the joking get in the way of the sincerity.

So despite the admirable production from Ben Allen (whose most notable work has been in the field of hip-hop, and on the increasingly canonised Merriweather Post Pavilion), despite the Chopin influence in the string sections, despite the stabs at orchestral grandeur that occasionally pop up, LIS!NTMY feels like a pale imitator of modern classics like Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois. Perhaps next time he’ll manage to fully synthesise all these varying influences and achieve a work more whole and more loveable.

Diamante2

Illustrations by Zoe Barker

Sustainable Fashion, sildenafil what does that mean? This was the question posed by Vanessa Friedman at the beginning of London Fashion Week’s Estethica guide. I approached LFW with a fair amount of scepticism. Despite wearing my UK Press Pass with the secret pride reserved for a total LFW novice like moi, bien sûr, and being in total awe of how much work our fashion ed Rachael, all the writers, photographers and illustrators had put into it all, I was hesitant.

Handle_with_care

Is fashion that great? One part of me thinks it’s essential to be constantly re-inventing and changing things, challenging what we take as a given and celebrating new creativity. And that fashion is another form of individual and social expression and even a tool for rebellion against restrictive archaic norms. But another part thinks that the fashion industry is responsible for an attitude that waste is OK as long as it provides a fleeting moment of self-centred happiness, and that we need to be constantly re-inventing the way we look. That fashion stands for endless buying, and the sanctioning of a kind of mass egomania. Alternatively, it means the production of things that are so well made they will last forever, but which are destined for an elite few whose monthly wages allow for it. So should this kind of thinking now be greened and made sustainable? Hmm…it doesn’t really appeal. And, while it admittedly takes a very narrow view of fashion, I loved Tanya Gold’s blunt, honest piece on ‘Why I Hate Fashion’ in The Guardian a few weeks ago. It does raise the question though: what does fashion, let alone sustainable fashion, even mean?

The concept of eco-fashion has always grated a bit, probably because my purse-strings don’t stretch so far (and of course never will do if I try to pursue writing as a career), but also because, at the upmarket end, it smacks of elitism and the opportunity to not only redeem yourself, but to then preach to others about how fantastic it makes you feel. Oh great, we can still carry on buying loads of expensive crap, because now it’s ‘organic’. Dear 90% of the planet, don’t worry! We will save you with our brand new ethical consumer habits! One fabulous certified organic fair-trade handbag at a time. It’s a typical voting with our credit cards kind of scenario, and it leaves those that can’t or don’t want to buy into the consumer ‘revolution’ (i.e. the vast majority of human beings on the planet) somewhat disenfranchised.

Make_do

Once upon a time I used to make and wear almost all my own clothes. Charity shops on the high street near my school were my Topshop. My thinking was, I can spend a fiver and get lots of unexpected random things from the clearance rail of a charity shop, have some fun cutting it up and sewing it back together, and wear it with pride even if it’s falling apart, or spend £30 (which represented a whole day’s work in my Saturday job) in Topshop on something made in a sweatshop and that there are 20 identical versions of on the rail. A battered old Singer sewing machine helped me to produce most of my 6th form wardrobe, and, admittedly, a trail of fashion disasters whose only purpose became household rags.

I loved sitting at my sewing machine, attacking things with scissors, making bags out of skirts, skirts out of dresses, dresses out of huge shirts, going to the bargain haberdashery stalls at markets and hunting out what I needed that week. None of my creations were planned or measured, so it was hardly difficult! My sister and I put on a crazy fashion show at school which consisted of t-shirts with massive holes, paint splodges, mini skirts made of tracksuit bottoms, dresses made of old saris, ripped tights, and asked our friends, our catwalk models, to just dance to The Hives album we decided would be the full volume soundtrack to our show.

Our music teacher loved it, but I think the rest of the Senior Management Team would have preferred something a little more conservative. Only recently have I discovered that what I was doing could technically have been called upcycling, and that an increasing amount of designers are turning to it, with much greater skill and expertise than I had when I was 16, clearly. There were a few designers using upcycling that I really liked in the Estethica rooms. Notably Goodone who collaborate with Heba Women’s Project, and Lu Flux. Kudos also to Izzy Lane with their beautiful wares and their strong animal welfare message (they use wool from sheep that have been saved from slaughter), extending our concept of equality beyond the human realm.

Britain generates 1 million tonnes of textile landfill every year. Textile recycling companies like LMB in London and I and J Cohen in Manchester collect between 170 and 200 tonnes of unwanted clothes and materials each week! Humans have been ‘upcycling’ since the beginning of time, making do with what’s there and improving it if need be. But it’s only recently that we have the opportunity and need to deal with quite such vast mountains of junk. So having it officially adopted as a fashion movement is a no-brainer, really. Companies will soon be jumping on the bandwagon left right and centre trying to prove that they have included a scrap of reclaimed materials in their collections.

This is why it is important, in my opinion, to remember that this should be an opportunity to move away from normal fashion consumption. One of the reasons I like upcycling is that it means we can be involved in the evolution and life cycle of an object rather than just being consumers of it. The designer also gains a much broader significance. This should definitely be an opportunity to get more people interested and able to partake in the production of clothes, rather than purely their ‘consumption.’

Upcycling, on a small scale, isn’t an expensive venture. Hopefully more people will be inspired to stop looking at products as a finished thing that can be bought, used, then thrown away, whether by DIYing and attending workshops, or supporting designers for whom upcycling and recycling is a central issue. Upcycled fashion is ecologically and socially conscious without being righteous or moralistic. It challenges our perception of waste and shows how it can be transformed into something beautiful and useful. It is a way to reclaim ‘fashion’, rethink our notion of eco-fashion, and bring ecology into yet more creative hands, rather than leaving it as an issue to debate over while scientists, politicians and lobbyists bicker it out to infinity. We don’t have to go far to find these ecological textiles, they are in recycling centres, charity shops, and our wardrobes and cost next to nothing. And second hand sewing machines aren’t hard to find either. For now though, I leave fashion writing well and truly to the pros. 
Diamante2

Illustrations by Zoe Barker

Sustainable Fashion, mind what does that mean? This was the question posed by Vanessa Friedman at the beginning of London Fashion Week’s Estethica guide. I approached LFW with a fair amount of scepticism. Despite wearing my UK Press Pass with the secret pride reserved for a total LFW novice like moi, ambulance bien sûr, and being in total awe of how much work our fashion ed Rachael, all the writers, photographers and illustrators had put into it all, I was hesitant.

Handle_with_care

Is fashion that great? One part of me thinks it’s essential to be constantly re-inventing and changing things, challenging what we take as a given and celebrating new creativity. And that fashion is another form of individual and social expression and even a tool for rebellion against restrictive archaic norms. But another part thinks that the fashion industry is responsible for an attitude that waste is OK as long as it provides a fleeting moment of self-centred happiness, and that we need to be constantly re-inventing the way we look. That fashion stands for endless buying, and the sanctioning of a kind of mass egomania. Alternatively, it means the production of things that are so well made they will last forever, but which are destined for an elite few whose monthly wages allow for it. So should this kind of thinking now be greened and made sustainable? Hmm…it doesn’t really appeal. And, while it admittedly takes a very narrow view of fashion, I loved Tanya Gold’s blunt, honest piece on ‘Why I Hate Fashion’ in The Guardian a few weeks ago. It does raise the question though: what does fashion, let alone sustainable fashion, even mean?

The concept of eco-fashion has always grated a bit, probably because my purse-strings don’t stretch so far (and of course never will do if I try to pursue writing as a career), but also because, at the upmarket end, it smacks of elitism and the opportunity to not only redeem yourself, but to then preach to others about how fantastic it makes you feel. Oh great, we can still carry on buying loads of expensive crap, because now it’s ‘organic’. Dear 90% of the planet, don’t worry! We will save you with our brand new ethical consumer habits! One fabulous certified organic fair-trade handbag at a time. It’s a typical voting with our credit cards kind of scenario, and it leaves those that can’t or don’t want to buy into the consumer ‘revolution’ (i.e. the vast majority of human beings on the planet) somewhat disenfranchised.

Make_do

Once upon a time I used to make and wear almost all my own clothes. Charity shops on the high street near my school were my Topshop. My thinking was, I can spend a fiver and get lots of unexpected random things from the clearance rail of a charity shop, have some fun cutting it up and sewing it back together, and wear it with pride even if it’s falling apart, or spend £30 (which represented a whole day’s work in my Saturday job) in Topshop on something made in a sweatshop and that there are 20 identical versions of on the rail. A battered old Singer sewing machine helped me to produce most of my 6th form wardrobe, and, admittedly, a trail of fashion disasters whose only purpose became household rags.

I loved sitting at my sewing machine, attacking things with scissors, making bags out of skirts, skirts out of dresses, dresses out of huge shirts, going to the bargain haberdashery stalls at markets and hunting out what I needed that week. None of my creations were planned or measured, so it was hardly difficult! My sister and I put on a crazy fashion show at school which consisted of t-shirts with massive holes, paint splodges, mini skirts made of tracksuit bottoms, dresses made of old saris, ripped tights, and asked our friends, our catwalk models, to just dance to The Hives album we decided would be the full volume soundtrack to our show.

Our music teacher loved it, but I think the rest of the Senior Management Team would have preferred something a little more conservative. Only recently have I discovered that what I was doing could technically have been called upcycling, and that an increasing amount of designers are turning to it, with much greater skill and expertise than I had when I was 16, clearly. There were a few designers using upcycling that I really liked in the Estethica rooms. Notably Goodone who collaborate with Heba Women’s Project, and Lu Flux. Kudos also to Izzy Lane with their beautiful wares and their strong animal welfare message (they use wool from sheep that have been saved from slaughter), extending our concept of equality beyond the human realm.

Britain generates 1 million tonnes of textile landfill every year. Textile recycling companies like LMB in London and I and J Cohen in Manchester collect between 170 and 200 tonnes of unwanted clothes and materials each week! Humans have been ‘upcycling’ since the beginning of time, making do with what’s there and improving it if need be. But it’s only recently that we have the opportunity and need to deal with quite such vast mountains of junk. So having it officially adopted as a fashion movement is a no-brainer, really. Companies will soon be jumping on the bandwagon left right and centre trying to prove that they have included a scrap of reclaimed materials in their collections.

This is why it is important, in my opinion, to remember that this should be an opportunity to move away from normal fashion consumption. One of the reasons I like upcycling is that it means we can be involved in the evolution and life cycle of an object rather than just being consumers of it. The designer also gains a much broader significance. This should definitely be an opportunity to get more people interested and able to partake in the production of clothes, rather than purely their ‘consumption.’

Upcycling, on a small scale, isn’t an expensive venture. Hopefully more people will be inspired to stop looking at products as a finished thing that can be bought, used, then thrown away, whether by DIYing and attending workshops, or supporting designers for whom upcycling and recycling is a central issue. Upcycled fashion is ecologically and socially conscious without being righteous or moralistic. It challenges our perception of waste and shows how it can be transformed into something beautiful and useful. It is a way to reclaim ‘fashion’, rethink our notion of eco-fashion, and bring ecology into yet more creative hands, rather than leaving it as an issue to debate over while scientists, politicians and lobbyists bicker it out to infinity. We don’t have to go far to find these ecological textiles, they are in recycling centres, charity shops, and our wardrobes and cost next to nothing. And second hand sewing machines aren’t hard to find either. For now though, I leave fashion writing well and truly to the pros. 
doii - lfw2010 - jenny robinsIllustration courtesy of the magnificent Jenny Robins.

With big and bouncy curls galore, viagra 40mg the porcelain faced models floated down the catwalk in a beautiful array of floral dresses complete with metallic thread detailing and environmentally friendly faux-fur trims. With the flame haired model brought to life in the beautiful accompanying illustration by Jenny Robins, approved for me (and I think me alone) the theme of the show was Little Red Riding Hood, try and I envisaged all of the ethereal models parading through a forgotten forest. With floor sweeping maxi style dresses and lace numbers with oversized pleated skirts, this was one of the most unashamedly feminine and wearable collections I think I have ever seen.

P2212680Photography throughout courtesy of Rachael Oku.

Working multiple trends with great aplomb, there were cute as-a-button bubble hem dresses, floating bohemian offerings and not forgetting the oversized puff sleeves present in a Victoriana inspired black lace number. Reflecting the winter theme of the collection were thick furs and knee high fluffy boots, ideal for the snowy days we’re sure to experience this time next year.

P2212666

Founded in 2006 by Korean designer Doii Lee, the Doii Paris label is well known for its elegant and eye catching designs conceived in Paris and produced in Korea. With each piece created so limited edition that only a few will ever exist, this is the most couture ready-to-wear collection to be shown at this season’s LFW.

P2212686

With all garments made from the most luxury fabrics available I swooned over the painstakingly hand embroidered textiles and the delicate prints on the finest silk and lace in leopard spots and a bright and playful print that was evocative of a deck of playing cards – slightly jumbled.

P2212688

The detailing present throughout the collection was simply exquisite, with all garments bearing drawstrings embellished with the cutest heart shapes made from leather and figure enhancing belts bearing bright digital prints purposefully contrasting with their corresponding outfits.

P2212689

Each model wore patent leather Mary-Jane’s fastened with the cutest oversized bows, and when combined with the playing card print I had visions of a modern day Alice in Wonderland – look out Tim Burton!

P2212652

So magnificent was this show that I wish every show I saw was as magical, and if I could only make one show next season – move over the likes of Burberry and Vivienne Westwood – it would be Doii all the way!

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