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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Betty Jackson

Betty Jackson showed off her AW10 collection in front of a fashion packed audience including Erin O'Connor, Hillary Alexander and Zandra Rhodes at Somerset House.

Written by Rachael Oku

Real Estate Band

I went down to The Lexington a couple of weeks ago to interview Real Estate before they played a sold out gig in a city they had never played before. During the course of the interview Real Estate and I went on a journey… literally, for sale illness a journey, we started off upstairs, went down stairs, sat in a booth for a while, moved in to a stairwell where the door constantly opened in to my back, but don’t worry, I remained ruthlessly professional in my journalistic pursuit of the truth… sort of.

I met with guitarist/singer Martin Courtney and bassist Alex Bleeker. Martin was really sweet, in a slightly sweaty, nervous kind of way. Alex Bleeker was nice too, but in a more standoffish way, but maybe that’s just the way he talks, I felt like at times he was testing me. The word ‘like’ was used incessantly by both, but in an endearing way which was totally in keeping with their chill-wave-psychedelic-surfer-style music. They gave me 15 minutes of their time to talk Jersey, The Boss, Paul McCartney and the joys of recording in analogue as opposed to digital. Enjoy.

Georgie: How would you define your sound?

Martin Courtney: Um I don’t know its just the sound that like we kind of play we didn’t set out to sound in a specific way, its all kind of like a group process so its kind of like the sound that we make when we play together

G: Was your lo-fi sound a deliberate decision or product of your circumstance at the time of recording?

Alex Bleeker: We decided to record on tape, analogue rather than digital just because we think that sounds better when your dealing with sort of the lower end of the recording process which is all that was available to us, so I guess that was the only sort of aspect of that decision that we consciously made, we feel like lo-fi analogue is better than lo-fi digital.

Martin: If we don’t have the means to record really well then we should probably just embrace the faults that are going to happen.

G: If for the next album if you had the money and time, would you make a more studio base album with a more polished sound?

Martin: I think we would be in to recording in a studio but you can still have it sound more polished and not sound bad.

Bleeker: We would still want it to be homey and warm and unique.

Martin: We would still want it to be recorded on tape for sure.

Real Estate Psyche

G: Have you found now you have become part of a scene?

Bleeker: I don’t know about giving it names, but there is definitely a nice community that we have become part of that’s really supportive.

G: Do you being labelled is important to prevent it becoming lumped in the ‘Indie’ pile?

Martin: Its more of a tool for journalists, and it can’t hurt when your band gets associated with another band people will have heard of, I guess it helps them decide whether or not people want to listen to it. But its kind of weird because there are so many weird genres that people have invented, even over the past year… like Chill Wave or whatever? They are all, like, so kind of silly.

Bleeker: There are a couple of bands that we have been associated with that we look up to and admire, so that can be really flattering.

G: I saw on your Myspace that one of your influences is Bruce Springsteen?

Martin: Yeah well that’s just, like, we can’t help it; me, Bleeker and Matt all grew up in Jersey…

Bleeker: He’s like the musical paramount.

real-estate sky castle

G: You toured with Girls recently, who would you like to tour with next?

Martin: We’ve been really lucky because we got to tour with Girls and we all really like them, we’re all like really big fans of Woods and we’re touring with them next month, and there are friends too, and there’s a possibility we might tour with Kurt Vile who we’re all really in to as well, we’ve been lucky in that we got to tour with people we all really admire.

Bleeker: We would like to tour with (insert list of inaudible yet cutting edge, avant garde bands)

Martin: Yeah pretty much any band we can all agree on… Paul McCartney?

G: You’re playing Primavera this summer right? Is that going to be your first European festival?

Martin: We are playing the Great Escape festival first

Bleeker: Yeah I’d say we’re really excited to be on the same bill as Pavement, Panda Bear, Pixies, the three P’s

G: How have the English crowds been responding to Real Estate?

Bleeker: Good

Martin: Yeah it’s been really positive; we got contacted by people from the UK really early on, so I feel like there was already a fan base here.

Real Estate Live

G: I read in an interview that you guys like to play house shows? Is this something you still do? Sub question… My friends are having a house party tonight…

Martin: Really? That would be cool. I am not sure on such short notice, if you’d asked us earlier we definitely would have done it. We really like doing them, especially because a lot of the shows we do in the States are like 21 and up so a lot of people don’t get to come otherwise and its really just a lot of fun to play in peoples living rooms.

G: Do you prefer writing/recording or playing live?

Martin: Probably writing/recording it’s more fun, like, recording for all of us is like a hobby that we all have, its part of the song writing process.

Bleeker: I like both, it used to be that I liked performing most of all but I think that’s changed, the recording process can add an entirely new element to the art form itself or it can be an art form in itself you can get a bit more creative and you have more control than necessarily do over a live sound

Martin: playing live is definitely fun but I think writing and recording is more fulfilling, you get a lot more out of it.

G : There are so many amazing bands coming out of the East Coast right now, I was wondering if you could recommend some that we wouldn’t necessarily have heard of over here yet?

Bleeker: Um… Big Trouble, Mountain Man, Andrew Cedarmark

Martin: Yeah Andrew is this kid we grew up with and Big Troubles too they went our high school, they are a couple of years younger than us

G: What was your favourtite album of last year?

Martin: Julian Lynch – ‘Orange you Glad’ or Woods – ‘The Songs of Shame’

Bleeker: I don’t know about favourite albums, but I think Kurt Vile’s album ‘Childish Prodigy’ was met with underwhelming praise.
Real Estate Band

I went down to The Lexington a couple of weeks ago to interview Real Estate before they played a sold out gig in a city they had never played before. During the course of the interview Real Estate and I went on a journey… literally, case a journey, cost we started off upstairs, buy went down stairs, sat in a booth for a while, moved in to a stairwell where the door constantly opened in to my back, but don’t worry, I remained ruthlessly professional in my journalistic pursuit of the truth… sort of.

I met with guitarist/singer Martin Courtney and bassist Alex Bleeker. Martin was really sweet, in a slightly sweaty, nervous kind of way. Alex Bleeker was nice too, but in a more standoffish way, but maybe that’s just the way he talks, I felt like at times he was testing me. The word ‘like’ was used incessantly by both, but in an endearing way which was totally in keeping with their chill-wave-psychedelic-surfer-style music. They gave me 15 minutes of their time to talk Jersey, The Boss, Paul McCartney and the joys of recording in analogue as opposed to digital. Enjoy.

Georgie: How would you define your sound?

Martin Courtney: Um I don’t know its just the sound that like we kind of play we didn’t set out to sound in a specific way, its all kind of like a group process so its kind of like the sound that we make when we play together

G: Was your lo-fi sound a deliberate decision or product of your circumstance at the time of recording?

Alex Bleeker: We decided to record on tape, analogue rather than digital just because we think that sounds better when your dealing with sort of the lower end of the recording process which is all that was available to us, so I guess that was the only sort of aspect of that decision that we consciously made, we feel like lo-fi analogue is better than lo-fi digital.

Martin: If we don’t have the means to record really well then we should probably just embrace the faults that are going to happen.

G: If for the next album if you had the money and time, would you make a more studio base album with a more polished sound?

Martin: I think we would be in to recording in a studio but you can still have it sound more polished and not sound bad.

Bleeker: We would still want it to be homey and warm and unique.

Martin: We would still want it to be recorded on tape for sure.

Real Estate Psyche

G: Have you found now you have become part of a scene?

Bleeker: I don’t know about giving it names, but there is definitely a nice community that we have become part of that’s really supportive.

G: Do you being labelled is important to prevent it becoming lumped in the ‘Indie’ pile?

Martin: Its more of a tool for journalists, and it can’t hurt when your band gets associated with another band people will have heard of, I guess it helps them decide whether or not people want to listen to it. But its kind of weird because there are so many weird genres that people have invented, even over the past year… like Chill Wave or whatever? They are all, like, so kind of silly.

Bleeker: There are a couple of bands that we have been associated with that we look up to and admire, so that can be really flattering.

G: I saw on your Myspace that one of your influences is Bruce Springsteen?

Martin: Yeah well that’s just, like, we can’t help it; me, Bleeker and Matt all grew up in Jersey…

Bleeker: He’s like the musical paramount.

real-estate sky castle

G: You toured with Girls recently, who would you like to tour with next?

Martin: We’ve been really lucky because we got to tour with Girls and we all really like them, we’re all like really big fans of Woods and we’re touring with them next month, and there are friends too, and there’s a possibility we might tour with Kurt Vile who we’re all really in to as well, we’ve been lucky in that we got to tour with people we all really admire.

Bleeker: We would like to tour with (insert list of inaudible yet cutting edge, avant garde bands)

Martin: Yeah pretty much any band we can all agree on… Paul McCartney?

G: You’re playing Primavera this summer right? Is that going to be your first European festival?

Martin: We are playing the Great Escape festival first

Bleeker: Yeah I’d say we’re really excited to be on the same bill as Pavement, Panda Bear, Pixies, the three P’s

G: How have the English crowds been responding to Real Estate?

Bleeker: Good

Martin: Yeah it’s been really positive; we got contacted by people from the UK really early on, so I feel like there was already a fan base here.

Real Estate Live

G: I read in an interview that you guys like to play house shows? Is this something you still do? Sub question… My friends are having a house party tonight…

Martin: Really? That would be cool. I am not sure on such short notice, if you’d asked us earlier we definitely would have done it. We really like doing them, especially because a lot of the shows we do in the States are like 21 and up so a lot of people don’t get to come otherwise and its really just a lot of fun to play in peoples living rooms.

G: Do you prefer writing/recording or playing live?

Martin: Probably writing/recording it’s more fun, like, recording for all of us is like a hobby that we all have, its part of the song writing process.

Bleeker: I like both, it used to be that I liked performing most of all but I think that’s changed, the recording process can add an entirely new element to the art form itself or it can be an art form in itself you can get a bit more creative and you have more control than necessarily do over a live sound

Martin: playing live is definitely fun but I think writing and recording is more fulfilling, you get a lot more out of it.

G : There are so many amazing bands coming out of the East Coast right now, I was wondering if you could recommend some that we wouldn’t necessarily have heard of over here yet?

Bleeker: Um… Big Trouble, Mountain Man, Andrew Cedarmark

Martin: Yeah Andrew is this kid we grew up with and Big Troubles too they went our high school, they are a couple of years younger than us

G: What was your favourtite album of last year?

Martin: Julian Lynch – ‘Orange you Glad’ or Woods – ‘The Songs of Shame’

Bleeker: I don’t know about favourite albums, but I think Kurt Vile’s album ‘Childish Prodigy’ was met with underwhelming praise.
Real Estate Band

I went down to The Lexington a couple of weeks ago to interview Real Estate before they played a sold out gig in a city they had never played before. During the course of the interview Real Estate and I went on a journey… literally, information pills a journey, clinic we started off upstairs, went down stairs, sat in a booth for a while, moved in to a stairwell where the door constantly opened in to my back, but don’t worry, I remained ruthlessly professional in my journalistic pursuit of the truth… sort of.

I met with guitarist/singer Martin Courtney and bassist Alex Bleeker. Martin was really sweet, in a slightly sweaty, nervous kind of way. Alex Bleeker was nice too, but in a more standoffish way, but maybe that’s just the way he talks, I felt like at times he was testing me. The word ‘like’ was used incessantly by both, but in an endearing way which was totally in keeping with their chill-wave-psychedelic-surfer-style music. They gave me 15 minutes of their time to talk Jersey, The Boss, Paul McCartney and the joys of recording in analogue as opposed to digital. Enjoy.

Georgie: How would you define your sound?

Martin Courtney: Um I don’t know its just the sound that like we kind of play we didn’t set out to sound in a specific way, its all kind of like a group process so its kind of like the sound that we make when we play together

G: Was your lo-fi sound a deliberate decision or product of your circumstance at the time of recording?

Alex Bleeker: We decided to record on tape, analogue rather than digital just because we think that sounds better when your dealing with sort of the lower end of the recording process which is all that was available to us, so I guess that was the only sort of aspect of that decision that we consciously made, we feel like lo-fi analogue is better than lo-fi digital.

Martin: If we don’t have the means to record really well then we should probably just embrace the faults that are going to happen.

G: If for the next album if you had the money and time, would you make a more studio base album with a more polished sound?

Martin: I think we would be in to recording in a studio but you can still have it sound more polished and not sound bad.

Bleeker: We would still want it to be homey and warm and unique.

Martin: We would still want it to be recorded on tape for sure.

Real Estate Psyche

G: Have you found now you have become part of a scene?

Bleeker: I don’t know about giving it names, but there is definitely a nice community that we have become part of that’s really supportive.

G: Do you being labelled is important to prevent it becoming lumped in the ‘Indie’ pile?

Martin: Its more of a tool for journalists, and it can’t hurt when your band gets associated with another band people will have heard of, I guess it helps them decide whether or not people want to listen to it. But its kind of weird because there are so many weird genres that people have invented, even over the past year… like Chill Wave or whatever? They are all, like, so kind of silly.

Bleeker: There are a couple of bands that we have been associated with that we look up to and admire, so that can be really flattering.

G: I saw on your Myspace that one of your influences is Bruce Springsteen?

Martin: Yeah well that’s just, like, we can’t help it; me, Bleeker and Matt all grew up in Jersey…

Bleeker: He’s like the musical paramount.

real-estate sky castle

G: You toured with Girls recently, who would you like to tour with next?

Martin: We’ve been really lucky because we got to tour with Girls and we all really like them, we’re all like really big fans of Woods and we’re touring with them next month, and there are friends too, and there’s a possibility we might tour with Kurt Vile who we’re all really in to as well, we’ve been lucky in that we got to tour with people we all really admire.

Bleeker: We would like to tour with (insert list of inaudible yet cutting edge, avant garde bands)

Martin: Yeah pretty much any band we can all agree on… Paul McCartney?

G: You’re playing Primavera this summer right? Is that going to be your first European festival?

Martin: We are playing the Great Escape festival first

Bleeker: Yeah I’d say we’re really excited to be on the same bill as Pavement, Panda Bear, Pixies, the three P’s

G: How have the English crowds been responding to Real Estate?

Bleeker: Good

Martin: Yeah it’s been really positive; we got contacted by people from the UK really early on, so I feel like there was already a fan base here.

Real Estate Live

G: I read in an interview that you guys like to play house shows? Is this something you still do? Sub question… My friends are having a house party tonight…

Martin: Really? That would be cool. I am not sure on such short notice, if you’d asked us earlier we definitely would have done it. We really like doing them, especially because a lot of the shows we do in the States are like 21 and up so a lot of people don’t get to come otherwise and its really just a lot of fun to play in peoples living rooms.

G: Do you prefer writing/recording or playing live?

Martin: Probably writing/recording it’s more fun, like, recording for all of us is like a hobby that we all have, its part of the song writing process.

Bleeker: I like both, it used to be that I liked performing most of all but I think that’s changed, the recording process can add an entirely new element to the art form itself or it can be an art form in itself you can get a bit more creative and you have more control than necessarily do over a live sound

Martin: playing live is definitely fun but I think writing and recording is more fulfilling, you get a lot more out of it.

G : There are so many amazing bands coming out of the East Coast right now, I was wondering if you could recommend some that we wouldn’t necessarily have heard of over here yet?

Bleeker: Um… Big Trouble, Mountain Man, Andrew Cedarmark

Martin: Yeah Andrew is this kid we grew up with and Big Troubles too they went our high school, they are a couple of years younger than us

G: What was your favourtite album of last year?

Martin: Julian Lynch – ‘Orange you Glad’ or Woods – ‘The Songs of Shame’

Bleeker: I don’t know about favourite albums, but I think Kurt Vile’s album ‘Childish Prodigy’ was met with underwhelming praise.
Real Estate Band

I went down to The Lexington a couple of weeks ago to interview Real Estate before they played a sold out gig in a city they had never played before. During the course of the interview Real Estate and I went on a journey… literally, sale a journey, case we started off upstairs, dosage went down stairs, sat in a booth for a while, moved in to a stairwell where the door constantly opened in to my back, but don’t worry, I remained ruthlessly professional in my journalistic pursuit of the truth… sort of.

I met with guitarist/singer Martin Courtney and bassist Alex Bleeker. Martin was really sweet, in a slightly sweaty, nervous kind of way. Alex Bleeker was nice too, but in a more standoffish way, but maybe that’s just the way he talks, I felt like at times he was testing me. The word ‘like’ was used incessantly by both, but in an endearing way which was totally in keeping with their chill-wave-psychedelic-surfer-style music. They gave me 15 minutes of their time to talk Jersey, The Boss, Paul McCartney and the joys of recording in analogue as opposed to digital. Enjoy.

Georgie: How would you define your sound?

Martin Courtney: Um I don’t know its just the sound that like we kind of play we didn’t set out to sound in a specific way, its all kind of like a group process so its kind of like the sound that we make when we play together

G: Was your lo-fi sound a deliberate decision or product of your circumstance at the time of recording?

Alex Bleeker: We decided to record on tape, analogue rather than digital just because we think that sounds better when your dealing with sort of the lower end of the recording process which is all that was available to us, so I guess that was the only sort of aspect of that decision that we consciously made, we feel like lo-fi analogue is better than lo-fi digital.

Martin: If we don’t have the means to record really well then we should probably just embrace the faults that are going to happen.

G: If for the next album if you had the money and time, would you make a more studio base album with a more polished sound?

Martin: I think we would be in to recording in a studio but you can still have it sound more polished and not sound bad.

Bleeker: We would still want it to be homey and warm and unique.

Martin: We would still want it to be recorded on tape for sure.

Real Estate Psyche

G: Have you found now you have become part of a scene?

Bleeker: I don’t know about giving it names, but there is definitely a nice community that we have become part of that’s really supportive.

G: Do you being labelled is important to prevent it becoming lumped in the ‘Indie’ pile?

Martin: Its more of a tool for journalists, and it can’t hurt when your band gets associated with another band people will have heard of, I guess it helps them decide whether or not people want to listen to it. But its kind of weird because there are so many weird genres that people have invented, even over the past year… like Chill Wave or whatever? They are all, like, so kind of silly.

Bleeker: There are a couple of bands that we have been associated with that we look up to and admire, so that can be really flattering.

G: I saw on your Myspace that one of your influences is Bruce Springsteen?

Martin: Yeah well that’s just, like, we can’t help it; me, Bleeker and Matt all grew up in Jersey…

Bleeker: He’s like the musical paramount.

real-estate sky castle

G: You toured with Girls recently, who would you like to tour with next?

Martin: We’ve been really lucky because we got to tour with Girls and we all really like them, we’re all like really big fans of Woods and we’re touring with them next month, and there are friends too, and there’s a possibility we might tour with Kurt Vile who we’re all really in to as well, we’ve been lucky in that we got to tour with people we all really admire.

Bleeker: We would like to tour with (insert list of inaudible yet cutting edge, avant garde bands)

Martin: Yeah pretty much any band we can all agree on… Paul McCartney?

G: You’re playing Primavera this summer right? Is that going to be your first European festival?

Martin: We are playing the Great Escape festival first

Bleeker: Yeah I’d say we’re really excited to be on the same bill as Pavement, Panda Bear, Pixies, the three P’s

G: How have the English crowds been responding to Real Estate?

Bleeker: Good

Martin: Yeah it’s been really positive; we got contacted by people from the UK really early on, so I feel like there was already a fan base here.

Real Estate Live

G: I read in an interview that you guys like to play house shows? Is this something you still do? Sub question… My friends are having a house party tonight…

Martin: Really? That would be cool. I am not sure on such short notice, if you’d asked us earlier we definitely would have done it. We really like doing them, especially because a lot of the shows we do in the States are like 21 and up so a lot of people don’t get to come otherwise and its really just a lot of fun to play in peoples living rooms.

G: Do you prefer writing/recording or playing live?

Martin: Probably writing/recording it’s more fun, like, recording for all of us is like a hobby that we all have, its part of the song writing process.

Bleeker: I like both, it used to be that I liked performing most of all but I think that’s changed, the recording process can add an entirely new element to the art form itself or it can be an art form in itself you can get a bit more creative and you have more control than necessarily do over a live sound

Martin: playing live is definitely fun but I think writing and recording is more fulfilling, you get a lot more out of it.

G : There are so many amazing bands coming out of the East Coast right now, I was wondering if you could recommend some that we wouldn’t necessarily have heard of over here yet?

Bleeker: Um… Big Trouble, Mountain Man, Andrew Cedarmark

Martin: Yeah Andrew is this kid we grew up with and Big Troubles too they went our high school, they are a couple of years younger than us

G: What was your favourtite album of last year?

Martin: Julian Lynch – ‘Orange you Glad’ or Woods – ‘The Songs of Shame’

Bleeker: I don’t know about favourite albums, but I think Kurt Vile’s album ‘Childish Prodigy’ was met with underwhelming praise.
BettyJacksonAW10_SarojPatelIllustration beautifully created by Saroj Patel.

Despite my best efforts to ignore my alarm yesterday morning (much to my boyfriend’s annoyance), side effects I still managed to make the 9am showcase of Betty Jackson’s AW10 collection. Having risen much earlier than I would normally care to on a Sunday (with the days of enforced church visits long behind me), find I had a spring in my step and a positive outlook on the day – at least until it started lashing with rain.

P2212597Photography courtesy of Rachael Oku

Luckily Betty didn’t disappoint and put on a cracking show, totally worth any early morning wake-up call. I would even go as far as to say this was my favourite show of the season so far, where each and every garment was a vision of beauty, winking at me and trying to tempt and seduce me to part with my hard earned cash (or should I say Job Seekers Allowance?!)

P2212628

JSA was certainly the last thing on Betty’s mind, for her AW10 collection models were dripping with expensive looking tan leather embellishments and accessories, luxurious furs and heavy brocades – so beautiful and opulent that they wouldn’t be out of place as soft furnishings in a posh stately home. Balancing amazingly well on vertiginous heels, the models sashayed down the catwalk in quick succession with Betty hitting us again and again – and again – with strong look after look, producing the most relevant, feminine and flirty collection I’ve seen so far.

P2212600

As a designer who unsurprisingly has a huge following, Betty stayed true to her trademark design aesthetic producing a collection of ultra-chic pieces that are perfect for all occasions, possessing the versatility that can carry them from day to night, also looking perfect for trans seasonal wear. With the colour brown featuring heavily in each look, the collection had a great autumnal feel with light mackintoshes, cropped trousers and dresses a plenty. As a lover of textiles and textures alike I had many favourite pieces, from the military influenced sleeveless blouse and matching mini skirt combo to the gorgeous belted leopard print furs, overcoats and trousers. I also loved Betty’s use of cord, one of my favourite and most luxurious fabrics, partnering it with gold lame tops and overcoats.

P2212599

Chunky knitwear also made a welcome return to the catwalk with Betty creating her own spin on the traditional Argyle jumper, instead using what appeared to be a python print. With this fashion forward thinking; Betty proved exactly why she is one of Britain’s most loved women’s wear designers at the forefront of her game.

P2212638

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