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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Mark Fast

Knitwear king Mark Fast presented his debut on-schedule show during London Fashion Week - did he deliver the goods?

Written by Izzy Lee


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

As I was leaving the Orschel-Read show at Fashion Scout last week, viagra 40mg visit this I was planning to rush out of the Freemasons’ Hall and dash off to meet fashion editor at Somerset House. However, thumb on walking into an atrium where I had queued only a little while earlier, I found myself in semi-darkness as part of the audience of an interactive performance presentation. It wasn’t until later that I discovered this was Rachel Freire’s S/S 2011 collection. 

(I would like to apologise in advance for the quality of my photos – I was taken unawares and had to snap away fairly blindly in the dark to catch anything I could!) 

The room veered between bright light and pitch black, with strobe lights picking out flamboyant reflective detailing on the garments.  Models were standing on plinths along the centre and around the edges of the room, all seemingly pretending to play violins and cellos in accompaniment to the riotous and slightly Patrick Wolf-esque backing music.  I didn’t realise until a few minutes in when some began to sing, that they weren’t models at all, but members of a band who were playing live, with the frontman hidden by a crowd of photographers at the opposite end of the darkened room. 

The clothes were a juxtaposition of 1950s-style flesh-toned corsets and underwear, alongside cutaway assymetric jackets with tudor-style sculptural tailoring.  Some of the band members wore huge luminescent head-dresses, staggering through the crowds like mythical beasts on sky-high wedges, stroking people’s faces and running their fingers through their hair. Reflective embroidery and fringing flashed bright white with the strobing, and at some points could even have been lit from inside as it flared up in red tones (although this may have had something to do with dozens of red camera focus lights struggling to function in the dark). Along with the ethereal white make up, the overall impression was part-Midsummer Night’s Dream and part-Cybergoth, with a slight nod towards Diana Dors

When I made it outside, blinking into the sunlight, the only clue I had to go on was a flyer handed to me for ‘The Irrepressibles’. After a bit of research I discovered the band are no strangers to Freire’s creations; she designs their stage costumes, which seem to be a perfect pairing with their dark, theatrical sound. 

Rather than taking the more traditional route of fashion and tailoring, Freire studied Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins, explaining the bold, dramatic themes in her work. Describing her style as period drama meets Bladerunner, her influences are said to stem from her love of historical costume combined with furutistic imagery, which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster but in fact works amazingly well.  


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

As I was leaving the Orschel-Read show at Fashion Scout last week, order I was planning to rush out of the Freemasons’ Hall and dash off to meet fashion editor at Somerset House. However, diagnosis on walking into an atrium where I had queued only a little while earlier, prescription I found myself in semi-darkness as part of the audience of an interactive performance presentation. It wasn’t until later that I discovered this was Rachel Freire’s S/S 2011 collection. 

(I would like to apologise in advance for the quality of my photos – I was taken unawares and had to snap away fairly blindly in the dark to catch anything I could!) 

The room veered between bright light and pitch black, with strobe lights picking out flamboyant reflective detailing on the garments.  Models were standing on plinths along the centre and around the edges of the room, all seemingly pretending to play violins and cellos in accompaniment to the riotous and slightly Patrick Wolf-esque backing music.  I didn’t realise until a few minutes in when some began to sing, that they weren’t models at all, but members of a band who were playing live, with the frontman hidden by a crowd of photographers at the opposite end of the darkened room. 

The clothes were a juxtaposition of 1950s-style flesh-toned corsets and underwear, alongside cutaway assymetric jackets with tudor-style sculptural tailoring.  Some of the band members wore huge luminescent head-dresses, staggering through the crowds like mythical beasts on sky-high wedges, stroking people’s faces and running their fingers through their hair. Reflective embroidery and fringing flashed bright white with the strobing, and at some points could even have been lit from inside as it flared up in red tones (although this may have had something to do with dozens of red camera focus lights struggling to function in the dark). Along with the ethereal white make up, the overall impression was part-Midsummer Night’s Dream and part-Cybergoth, with a slight nod towards Diana Dors

When I made it outside, blinking into the sunlight, the only clue I had to go on was a flyer handed to me for ‘The Irrepressibles’. After a bit of research I discovered the band are no strangers to Freire’s creations; she designs their stage costumes, which seem to be a perfect pairing with their dark, theatrical sound. 

Rather than taking the more traditional route of fashion and tailoring, Freire studied Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins, explaining the bold, dramatic themes in her work. Describing her style as period drama meets Bladerunner, her influences are said to stem from her love of historical costume combined with furutistic imagery, which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster but in fact works amazingly well.  


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

As I was leaving the Orschel-Read show at Fashion Scout last week, story I was planning to rush out of the Freemasons’ Hall and dash off to meet fashion editor at Somerset House. However, cheapest on walking into an atrium where I had queued only a little while earlier, website I found myself in semi-darkness as part of the audience of an interactive performance presentation. It wasn’t until later that I discovered this was Rachel Freire’s S/S 2011 collection. 

(I would like to apologise in advance for the quality of my photos – I was taken unawares and had to snap away fairly blindly in the dark to catch anything I could!) 

The room veered between bright light and pitch black, with strobe lights picking out flamboyant reflective detailing on the garments.  Models were standing on plinths along the centre and around the edges of the room, all seemingly pretending to play violins and cellos in accompaniment to the riotous and slightly Patrick Wolf-esque backing music.  I didn’t realise until a few minutes in when some began to sing, that they weren’t models at all, but members of a band who were playing live, with the frontman hidden by a crowd of photographers at the opposite end of the darkened room. 

The clothes were a juxtaposition of 1950s-style flesh-toned corsets and underwear, alongside cutaway assymetric jackets with tudor-style sculptural tailoring.  Some of the band members wore huge luminescent head-dresses, staggering through the crowds like mythical beasts on sky-high wedges, stroking people’s faces and running their fingers through their hair. Reflective embroidery and fringing flashed bright white with the strobing, and at some points could even have been lit from inside as it flared up in red tones (although this may have had something to do with dozens of red camera focus lights struggling to function in the dark). Along with the ethereal white make up, the overall impression was part-Midsummer Night’s Dream and part-Cybergoth, with a slight nod towards Diana Dors

When I made it outside, blinking into the sunlight, the only clue I had to go on was a flyer handed to me for ‘The Irrepressibles’. After a bit of research I discovered the band are no strangers to Freire’s creations; she designs their stage costumes, which seem to be a perfect pairing with their dark, theatrical sound. 

Rather than taking the more traditional route of fashion and tailoring, Freire studied Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins, explaining the bold, dramatic themes in her work. Describing her style as period drama meets Bladerunner, her influences are said to stem from her love of historical costume combined with furutistic imagery, which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster but in fact works amazingly well.  


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

As I was leaving the Orschel-Read show at Fashion Scout last week, salve I was planning to rush out of the Freemasons’ Hall and dash off to meet fashion editor at Somerset House. However, on walking into an atrium where I had queued only a little while earlier, I found myself in semi-darkness as part of the audience of an interactive performance presentation. It wasn’t until later that I discovered this was Rachel Freire’s S/S 2011 collection. 


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

(I would like to apologise in advance for the quality of my photos – I was taken unawares and had to snap away fairly blindly in the dark to catch anything I could!) 

The room veered between bright light and pitch black, with strobe lights picking out flamboyant reflective detailing on the garments.  Models were standing on plinths along the centre and around the edges of the room, all seemingly pretending to play violins and cellos in accompaniment to the riotous and slightly Patrick Wolf-esque backing music.  I didn’t realise until a few minutes in when some began to sing, that they weren’t models at all, but members of a band who were playing live, with the frontman hidden by a crowd of photographers at the opposite end of the darkened room. 

The clothes were a juxtaposition of 1950s-style flesh-toned corsets and underwear, alongside cutaway assymetric jackets with tudor-style sculptural tailoring.  Some of the band members wore huge luminescent head-dresses, staggering through the crowds like mythical beasts on sky-high wedges, stroking people’s faces and running their fingers through their hair. Reflective embroidery and fringing flashed bright white with the strobing, and at some points could even have been lit from inside as it flared up in red tones (although this may have had something to do with dozens of red camera focus lights struggling to function in the dark). Along with the ethereal white make up, the overall impression was part-Midsummer Night’s Dream and part-Cybergoth, with a slight nod towards Diana Dors

When I made it outside, blinking into the sunlight, the only clue I had to go on was a flyer handed to me for ‘The Irrepressibles’. After a bit of research I discovered the band are no strangers to Freire’s creations; she designs their stage costumes, which seem to be a perfect pairing with their dark, theatrical sound. 

Rather than taking the more traditional route of fashion and tailoring, Freire studied Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins, explaining the bold, dramatic themes in her work. Describing her style as period drama meets Bladerunner, her influences are said to stem from her love of historical costume combined with furutistic imagery, which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster but in fact works amazingly well.  


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

As I was leaving the Orschel-Read show at Fashion Scout last week, this web I was planning to rush out of the Freemasons’ Hall and dash off to meet fashion editor at Somerset House. However, dosage on walking into an atrium where I had queued only a little while earlier, I found myself in semi-darkness as part of the audience of an interactive performance presentation. It wasn’t until later that I discovered this was Rachel Freire’s S/S 2011 collection. 


Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

(I would like to apologise in advance for the quality of my photos – I was taken unawares and had to snap away fairly blindly in the dark to catch anything I could!) 

The room veered between bright light and pitch black, with strobe lights picking out flamboyant reflective detailing on the garments.  Models were standing on plinths along the centre and around the edges of the room, all seemingly pretending to play violins and cellos in accompaniment to the riotous and slightly Patrick Wolf-esque backing music.  I didn’t realise until a few minutes in when some began to sing, that they weren’t models at all, but members of a band who were playing live, with the frontman hidden by a crowd of photographers at the opposite end of the darkened room. 

The clothes were a juxtaposition of 1950s-style flesh-toned corsets and underwear, alongside cutaway assymetric jackets with tudor-style sculptural tailoring.  Some of the band members wore huge luminescent head-dresses, staggering through the crowds like mythical beasts on sky-high wedges, stroking people’s faces and running their fingers through their hair. Reflective embroidery and fringing flashed bright white with the strobing, and at some points could even have been lit from inside as it flared up in red tones (although this may have had something to do with dozens of red camera focus lights struggling to function in the dark). Along with the ethereal white make up, the overall impression was part-Midsummer Night’s Dream and part-Cybergoth, with a slight nod towards Diana Dors

When I made it outside, blinking into the sunlight, the only clue I had to go on was a flyer handed to me for ‘The Irrepressibles’. After a bit of research I discovered the band are no strangers to Freire’s creations; she designs their stage costumes, which seem to be a perfect pairing with their dark, theatrical sound. 

Rather than taking the more traditional route of fashion and tailoring, Freire studied Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins, explaining the bold, dramatic themes in her work. Describing her style as period drama meets Bladerunner, her influences are said to stem from her love of historical costume combined with furutistic imagery, which sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster but in fact works amazingly well.  

All photography by Naomi Law
the crowd at circus bookazine blog slam
the crowd at circus bookazine blog slam, medical minimalist cake catering, information pills Asahi etc. the awesome tights belong to Muireann Carey-Campbell or Bangs and a Bun

Amelia judged and I sketched history in the making at the Rag Factory last week, site well almost, the first event was in Germany the week before so this was not an actual first. But almost. The concept I’m sure already has your mind a boggling. I’m allways fascinated by how random little scenes and pockets of interlapping creativity and culture come together in these sorts of things. Circus explore the rich territory between print and web, passion and fashion and er, people and other people. I’ll talk more about the beautiful bookazine itself a bit later.

The competing bloggers were somewhat of a motley crew, in that the content was a little inconsistently weighted, a lot of fashion and 2 examples of male dating based humour blogging, a genre of which I was previously unaware. This was fair enough in a sense, the theme of the Bookazine issue is fashion, but it did make the handfull of bloggers on other themes seem a little incongruous.

The slammers were judged based on the scoring categories of originality, concept, delivery and “blogability”, a made up word. Aside from our own Amelia the jury consisted of Wafa from Sketchbook Magazine, Ben from quality Sheffield based Article Magazine, and Chris Osburn from the Londonist. All small press stars of substance and style of course. The competing bloggers performed from an old school church pulpit – a nice touch I think, sort of makes you think about how we choose who we listen to and respect these days, or it just looked pretty anyway – and were also interspersed with some readings from contributors from the bookazine.

marian librarian or Schmbari
Marian Schembari telling it like it isn’t but should be

first up was Marian Librarian a high flying international proffesional social media blogger of sorts, who talked affectingly about why she refuses to censor her blog, even after she was detained at immigration for swearing. You can read the entry she read here She has a healthy and sensible attitude to the importance of reality and personality in online content.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - kate ironside
Next up was a brief reading from fashion haiku‘s Kate Ironside who was rocking a serious classy jersey and pearls type ensemble.

I cannot express the perfection of the fashion haiku as a form of art, it’s such the perfect medium for expressing the wry mix of beauty, meaning and superficiality that is fashion, anyway i can’t express it like i said so if you follow one link today, make it this one and go read some. Your day will be enhanced.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - toast and biscuit - thewedordeadwager
toast and biscuit from the wed or dead wager

Second actual competing slammers (btw, i can’t type the word slammers without thinking about pogs) were a blog double act who use fake names as a matter of neccesity since they write with warts and all accuracy about their manic dating life in a race to get married. It’s a bit like an unrealistic romcom, but much much longer. They were very funny with self deprecating anecdotes, definite crowd pleasers. I think they had the advantage too of having an actual real life story to tell in their blog, it’s engaging and sympathetic and fresh.

I’m so used to hearing the female perspective on the frustrations of dating from my friends, the cliches that men who are confident enough to come on to you are usually after just one thing, or worse turn out to be creepy stalkers seem all too often to come true. So it’s quite nice to get the male perspective and hear about women’s strange behaviours in the dating arena with some pragmatism, while still coming from what is essentially an aim to settle down with someone nice, which creates a sort of reverse cliche.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - godwyns onwuchekwa
the next blogger Godwyns Onwuchekwa “We are united to say: Never again, at least not by our own action.”

Godwyns is a serious political and LGBT rights blogger who performed a very moving blog post he had written to mark world AIDS day this year. He began by saying that following the Toast and Biscuit performance he would be boring us with serious stuff. He wasn’t boring, but he wasn’t wrong that it was a contrast. Escpecially as the next to stand up was in a similar romantic comedy vein;

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - scalene
Scalene

Alright, maybe this is not news to you, but if you thought that the wed or dead wager was a dose enough of apparently brutaly honest but and at the same time surreally romcomesque male dating bloggery, Scalene may actually take you a step further. His blog allows internet strangers (the same people who comment on youtube videos) to make multiple choose your own adventure style decisions about his actual real life love life. In the recent post he read out he ended up actually honest to goodness chasing a girl to the airport. If there’s any justice this project will end in him being voted into not showing up for his own wedding. That’s the other thing that allways happens in movies but NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. RIGHT?

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - tejasvi
Tejasvi looked particularly angelic in her floaty white top, sorry i lack the fashion nause to describe it accurately, in the pulpit. Her blog Clandestine Cigarettes is perhaps a more serious and romantic take on fashion, she read a very poetic piece but was sadly i think too nervous and lacked the projection to do it justice.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - lilly smiles Lilly Smiles of Laughter Lines, diary of a fleet street fox

Lilly Smiles trod an interesting line between the serious and comic camps with her reading, which was from a blog post written at an extremely raw and hard time in her life – the details were hazy (understandably) but it was during an episode in which she was charged with attempted murder. It was heart rending and co clear and honest and well written, but still was even witty. She almost painted tabloid journalism (her background) as a caring profession as well. She pre-empted her reading by telling us she burps when nervous, in a way this was the perfect piece of the evening, managing to keep the tone seperate and yet compelling, honest but sensationalist, possibly this is what blogability means.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - bangs and a bun
Muireann Carey-Campbell or Bangs and a Bun

Another reading from the Circus Bookazine; Muireann described herself as a humour fashion blogger but the piece she read was quite serious, looking at issues of the fashion industry’s epic denial the fatness of society. It was pretty interesting and she was a charismatic speaker, I’ve since started folloing her on twitter and she is an avid tweeter. She looked fabulous and clearly knew her stuff.

The final contestent in the blogg off arrived just in time to perform. She’d been in Norwich and rocked straight up to the pulpit and started channeling Lady Gaga, actually interspersing the reading from her blog ‘musings of an innapropriate woman’ with bouts of karaoke style singing.

jenny robins - blog slam - circus - rachel hills
Rachel Hills with gold slit sunglasses – when they were down she was Gaga.

This is the blog post she read, but like all of the night’s blogs, it’s the tip of an iceburg Rachel’s blog is a smart mix of gender, popular culture, creativity and general life observations, I like her because she’s not afraid to mix pop culture references with theory and critique. If I didn’t have an essay to write I might spend my whole weekend reading her back catalogue.

So with that the blog slam was concluded, there was some complex vote counting while I mused on the variety of performances. Really the variety of different styles and subject matters didn’t lend itself to a fair comparison, ideally there could have been a number of bloggers from certain categories and an award for each. But it wasn’t the oscars, it was an experiment and to have done so might have made the whole thing seem overworked. In the end we were treated to a slice of a mix of what the blogosphere has to offer.

ameliasmagazine - blog slam - circus 2
the four minds and bodies behind the event and circus bookazine, preparing to award the prizes.

Rachel nabbed third place, probably as much for having rocked up at the last minute and being memorable in golden glasses and singing as anything, the two top spots went to the romcom boys, Scalene in second place and Toast and Biscuit nabbing the top spot. There were a lot of qualities on show at the Rag Factory that night, but ultimately entertainment value probably bagged the biggest points. The number of people at the end of the night wearing the AIDS ribbons Godwins had given out is testament to the fact that the serious content was most surely not swept under the carpet.

The bookazine (which, strangely, is somewhere between a book and a magazine) is a thing of beauty divine from a design point of view. You can see the love and thought that has gone into the project. The content is given room to breath and interspersed with sumptiously simple printed patterns. There are little nods to the web format of the blog that the book connects with, like the love you link page and tag cloud at the back. Part of the reason it’s so thick of course, is that all of the content is in English and German, which makes the project even more impressive – working with so many bloggers, writers, artists and translators must have been an epic undertaking.

circus bookazine - Merily Leis
circus bookazine - Artikel von Digital Diamonds
images courtesy of Circus Bookazine

If only I had time to actually read it.


Illustrations by Izzy Lee

Now showing in his fifth season at London Fashion Week, viagra Mark Fast showed his debut on-schedule show on the British Fashion Council space.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mark Fast, adiposity he made his name with electric body conscious lycra knits in 2008 when graduating from the prestigious MA Fashion programme at Central Saint Martins, crafting on his domestic knitting machine in his studio East London.

For S/S 2011 he kept his eye on the lace knitting whilst moving onto heavy fringing and plastic panels, held by hand-manipulated stitches. The result was one of extreme beauty.

Moving on from A/W 2010 where he knitted fabrics and wrapped them up as saris whilst using his trademark lace to craft floaty lower-hip hemmed dresses. S/S 2011 was one for perhaps the more serious woman, something they can and will wear for a more formal affair.

The show opened with a knitted jumpsuit that had fringes running down the leg side seams and underarm seams, creating a vision of destroyed beauty. Referencing from the oil spill where birds have been covered in oil and have lost the ability to fly, this followed with further more black looks where fringing dominated.

Red, pink and turquoise viscose fringes brought bursts of colour to dominant black garments, followed by flashes of yellow, pink, nude and white.

Another key element to the collection was the study of butterfly and insects under microscopes. Using the vivid color from insects and butterflies, knitwear had been encrusted with Swarovski crystals, referencing the study and observation he undertook.

He also continued his take on the “plus size” models he brought into action at London Fashion Week in S/S 2009. The girls looked much more comfortable than in previous seasons.

Mark Fast has made incredible progress over the last few years, bringing knitwear to the forefront of fashion. It’s so exciting to see his collections develop as he cements himself as the pioneer of contemporary knitwear design.

Izzy Lee is the founder of the fashion knitwear blog UrbanKnit

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