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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Olivia Rubin (by Amelia)

Olivia Rubin showed her collection in the Jalouse Nightclub in Hanover Square on Saturday 19th February 2011. The tacky celebrities were out in their droves, but what of the clothes?

Written by Amelia Gregory


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

After being amazed by Masha Ma, cialis 40mg I had a short break before heading back into the Freemasons Hall to see Jazzkatze’s A/W 2011 collection. I had collected my ticket from Matt only a couple of hours earlier that morning and was eager to see what was on offer, price not being familiar with Ayumi Sufu’s designs.

Jazzkatze was founded by Central Saint Martins graduate Ayumi Sufu who began her career working for Vivienne Westwood, here Shelley Fox and Bernhard Willhelm. After returning to her native Japan she set up Jazzkatze, influenced by her surroundings whilst growing up; the old and the new, mixtures of traditional and westernisation and the chaos and energy of Tokyo.


Illustrations by YesGo!

Her A/W 2011 collection is named ‘The Name of the Rose’ and is inspired by the intellectual mystery novel of the same name written by Umberto Eco. The novel is said to reflect ‘the paradoxical relationship of existence made by you and your memories’.

Sufu introduced two signature prints in a selection of tones: one featuring scarlet and charcoal roses and another using snow covered ground in shades of grey strewn with blood-splattered roses.


Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

The palette also covered burgundy, nude beige and navy in a wide array of fabrics including sheer mohair knits, satin, chiffon and Melton wool. Tights were beautifully embellished with clusters of pearls, giving cohesion to the eclectic mix of looks.

Hair was woven with electric blue and white strands and swept into futuristic towering piles held in place by tightly wrapped ribbons. Prominent pieces in the collection included a lambskin skirt, a synthetic fur panelled half skirt worn over print trousers, a medieval-inspired hooded dress and a print jumpsuit.

The looks in the collection were diverse and a brave sense of of experimentation was evident Sufu’s wide-ranging field of influences working playfully alongside eachother. Opposing textures and shapes were paired boldly with no fear of eccentricity; her experience gained working with Wilhelm has clearly given her the confidence to have fun with her work.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

She is described in her press release as “undeniably Tokyo, eccentrically London, creatively Antwerp, femininely Paris” which initially sounds like the usual give-or-take blurb you can find on handouts at London Fashion Week, but on reflection I think this is spot on. Sufu is clearly unafraid to take on several diverse ideas and see them through, rather than trying to force them to fuse together and lose the initial inspiration in the process. The collection offered a refreshing and individual aesthetic and I look forward to seeing what she has in store for us next season…!

All photography by Naomi Law

See more of Gareth A Hopkins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

There is something slightly uneasy about Zoë Barker’s ‘Values’ series. Not the art itself, for sale as taken in isolation the images are beautifully, meticulously drawn. I’m talking about meaning behind them, which leave you walking away feeling a little awkward. We know that we trade personality for convenience every time time we go to Tesco instead of an independent shop, but we do it anyway. But we know we are contributing in a small way to a change that we’re not entirely happy about.

Zoë Barker grew up in a small Suffolk village which was Tesco-free for a long time, before one day she came back to visit family and found a Superstore rudely whacked down right on the high street. This is what prompted the artist and illustrator (and Amelia’s Magazine contributor!) to start her ‘Values’ series.

McDonald’s, Ikea, block housing and packaged holidays are all part of Zoë’s artwork, dramatically juxtaposed against local restaurants, carpenters, classic houses and the English seaside. The pictures are from Zoë’s family albums, but what they represent are things that are local, giving way to brands that lack identity in the sense they could be anywhere. While there is something quite sad about the images, Zoë has been careful to avoid too much nostalgia by making it funny as well; ‘Special things for special friends’ is the tagline for the elderly couple pasted onto the Ann Summers image.

Zoë Barker

The artwork is now on display at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, a coffee shop on Leather Lane Market in London’s Holborn area. The coffee house has only been open about ten weeks, located in an old ironmongers shop. The rooms are light and airy with plenty of seats, and the coffee is gunpowder strong, sourced from East London coffee masters Climpson & Sons. Hanging in white frames on white walls, Zoë’s pencil-drawn art is the perfect accompaniment to the space, dominated by the rough brick and wood interior which has been preserved from the old shop. It’s the perfect reminder that not all changes are bad – the ironmongers didn’t make it, but out of the ashes has come something beautiful.

The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs (Note the water tap to the left!)

Zoë Barker’s ‘Values’ runs until 16th May at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, 14-16 Leather Lane, EC1N 7SU. For more information see our listing.

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

After being amazed by Masha Ma, see I had a short break before heading back into the Freemasons Hall to see Jazzkatze’s A/W 2011 collection. I had collected my ticket from Matt only a couple of hours earlier that morning and was eager to see what was on offer, not being familiar with Ayumi Sufu’s designs.

Jazzkatze was founded by Central Saint Martins graduate Ayumi Sufu who began her career working for Vivienne Westwood, Shelley Fox and Bernhard Willhelm. After returning to her native Japan she set up Jazzkatze, influenced by her surroundings whilst growing up; the old and the new, mixtures of traditional and westernisation and the chaos and energy of Tokyo.


Illustrations by YesGo!

Her A/W 2011 collection is named ‘The Name of the Rose’ and is inspired by the intellectual mystery novel of the same name written by Umberto Eco. The novel is said to reflect ‘the paradoxical relationship of existence made by you and your memories’.

Sufu introduced two signature prints in a selection of tones: one featuring scarlet and charcoal roses and another using snow covered ground in shades of grey strewn with blood-splattered roses.


Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

The palette also covered burgundy, nude beige and navy in a wide array of fabrics including sheer mohair knits, satin, chiffon and Melton wool. Tights were beautifully embellished with clusters of pearls, giving cohesion to the eclectic mix of looks.

Hair was woven with electric blue and white strands and swept into futuristic towering piles held in place by tightly wrapped ribbons. Prominent pieces in the collection included a lambskin skirt, a synthetic fur panelled half skirt worn over print trousers, a medieval-inspired hooded dress and a print jumpsuit.

The looks in the collection were diverse and a brave sense of of experimentation was evident Sufu’s wide-ranging field of influences working playfully alongside eachother. Opposing textures and shapes were paired boldly with no fear of eccentricity; her experience gained working with Wilhelm has clearly given her the confidence to have fun with her work.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

She is described in her press release as “undeniably Tokyo, eccentrically London, creatively Antwerp, femininely Paris” which initially sounds like the usual give-or-take blurb you can find on handouts at London Fashion Week, but on reflection I think this is spot on. Sufu is clearly unafraid to take on several diverse ideas and see them through, rather than trying to force them to fuse together and lose the initial inspiration in the process. The collection offered a refreshing and individual aesthetic and I look forward to seeing what she has in store for us next season…!

All photography by Naomi Law

See more of Gareth A Hopkins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

Every now and again London Fashion Week throws out a curveball and you end up in the most random of places with the most ridiculous collection of people, information pills wondering what the hell is going on. The Olivia Rubin show was just such an occasion.

I was very early to this show – a confluence of circumstances that left me standing at the front of a line outside the Jalouse nightclub in central London until I was completely numb with cold. From my prime vantage point I was able to ogle as the paps pounced on a series of D-Z list celebrities. I recognised Konnie Huq and footballer’s wife Danielle Lloyd but after that it was anyone’s guess. In my mind it’s never a good idea for the guests to overshadow a fashion show, there and especially not if I haven’t got a clue who they are.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Once the celebs had been swept into the hallowed basement of Jalouse I too was invited in. I picked up a drink and swiftly headed towards the sunken seating area, ignoring the protestations of the press girl to wait and see if there was space later on. As if! We’ve run an extensive interview with Olivia Rubin on this website and I didn’t much feel like standing around on my own anymore, so I plonked myself down next to a friendly looking bunch of people on a curved sofa. I soon discovered that the lad next to me was on work experience at a fashion magazine and somewhat in thrall to his first fashion week. Herein is revealed the ridiculousness of seating arrangements at fashion shows – at the end of the day they are completely arbitrary. Depending on who you know and whether you’re bolshy enough you can sit wherever you want, be you intern or editor.

Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon
Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon.

As guests slowly filled the club celebrities stepped up on to the catwalk at my head height to pose for the paps. First Danielle, swishing her hair this way and that like a prime racehorse. Then, to my delight, Laura Goodger and friends from The Only Way is Essex. Don’t worry, I had to look up her full name. I did watch a few episodes, but I’m not THAT SAD. By this point I was gobsmacked by the stunning level of celeb-dom in attendance. I later discovered that another fashion PR had been approached for tickets by the *cast* of The Only Way is Essex, but had rapidly turned them down as way too tacky. I must say, I don’t really understand the logic. Rather than making me think, way-hey, this must mean Olivia Rubin is really cool… it made me utterly distracted… anthropologically fascinated by these strange creatures.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The result? I spent the entire catwalk show trying to capture Lauren pouting and preening, rather than concentrating on the clothes – which in any case were hard to see against the glare of flashbulbs. Famous model Olivia Inge certainly enjoyed herself too; gurning at friends in the audience as she pranced down the catwalk.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

In a way it’s a shame that there was so much flimshaw surrounding this show because Olivia Rubin makes very cute clothes that feature colourful, fun prints and simple 80s styling. This collection encompassed giant splodgy animal prints, flowery brick designs and lacey goodness. To my mind not at all Essex.

As soon as the show was done the music leapt up to dancing volume, and yet more Essex girls headed to the toilets to touch up wondrously over-wrought hair and make-up that must surely have taken all day to perfect. I could happily have stayed next to the basins all night with my camera, but Matt and I instead drank free cocktails and put the world to rights.

You can read Matt Bramford’s fabby review here. Read our interview with Olivia Rubin here.

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