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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Lulu and the Lampshades: Cold Water EP review

Lulu and the Lampshades have made a gorgeous little EP that makes us crave summer, festivals and iced lollies. With illustrations by Sarah Matthews, Matilde Sazio, Mhairi-stella McEwan and Romain Lambert-Louis.

Written by Jessica Furseth

Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

At the entrance there stood a horned model, shop purchase arms crossed and lycra-ed legs askance. Face masked. Model or mannequin? It wasn’t immediately obvious. In a season of slick presentations the one given by Maria Francesca Pepe – a true Amazonian beauty herself – really stood out for its professionalism. But it made me uncomfortable.

Maria Francesca Pepe, <a target=store drug LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.” title=”Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.” width=”480″ height=”615″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-37268″ />Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011
Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Red lighting shifted, pulsating over models that looked younger than legal. Young and nervous. One was laid prostrate on a plinth across the entrance to the next room, two more further back, and then in the far room what I can only describe as a child sat perched in front of a series of mannequins, none of which I could see in the gloaming. This girl had the face of an imp, a feeling encouraged by her amazing resin and carbon steel curved and studded hat – a bastardised version of something a gnome might wear. Beneath her flowing robes I suddenly realised why she was so uncomfortable. The bum and back of her tights were also encrusted with spikes. Is this a good idea? Should I be calling out the NSPCC?

Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMaria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

But what of the jewellery and accessories on display? I must confess that it took me awhile to look in at the details, such was the overwhelming effect of towering horned creatures. I had a brief opportunity to ask Maria who she would most like to wear her showpiece headpieces, which are heavily encrusted with hexagonal Swarovski crystals in the style of Medieval helmets. The answer was of course Lady Gaga. But the real point of all this girly S&M drama? Why of course: it was to sell a diffusion line. MFP accessories are available online at ASOS.

Maria Francesca Pepe A-W 2011-ringsMaria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Each child model sported expertly manicured hands, dangling ‘amulets’ dripping from her tiny fingers. The Fortuna collection features everyday jewellery made in workhorse metals such as brass and accessorised with crystals and pearls. And always those ever present studs.

Maria Francesca Pepe is also available at Wolf & Badger. You can read Helen Martin’s review here.

Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

At the entrance there stood a horned model, advice arms crossed and lycra-ed legs askance. Face masked. Model or mannequin? It wasn’t immediately obvious. In a season of slick presentations the one given by Maria Francesca Pepe – a true Amazonian beauty herself – really stood out for its professionalism. But it made me uncomfortable.

Maria Francesca Pepe, <a target=sildenafil LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.” title=”Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.” width=”480″ height=”615″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-37268″ />Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011
Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Red lighting shifted, pulsating over models that looked younger than legal. Young and nervous. One was laid prostrate on a plinth across the entrance to the next room, two more further back, and then in the far room what I can only describe as a child sat perched in front of a series of mannequins, none of which I could see in the gloaming. This girl had the face of an imp, a feeling encouraged by her amazing resin and carbon steel curved and studded hat – a bastardised version of something a gnome might wear. Beneath her flowing robes I suddenly realised why she was so uncomfortable. The bum and back of her tights were also encrusted with spikes. Is this a good idea? Should I be calling out the NSPCC?

Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMaria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

But what of the jewellery and accessories on display? I must confess that it took me awhile to look in at the details, such was the overwhelming effect of towering horned creatures. I had a brief opportunity to ask Maria who she would most like to wear her showpiece headpieces, which are heavily encrusted with hexagonal Swarovski crystals in the style of Medieval helmets. The answer was of course Lady Gaga. But the real point of all this girly S&M drama? Why of course: it was to sell a diffusion line. MFP accessories are available online at ASOS.

Maria Francesca Pepe A-W 2011-ringsMaria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Each child model sported expertly manicured hands, dangling ‘amulets’ dripping from her tiny fingers. The Fortuna collection features everyday jewellery made in workhorse metals such as brass and accessorised with crystals and pearls. And always those ever present studs.

Maria Francesca Pepe is also available at Wolf & Badger. You can read Helen Martin’s review here.

Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

At the entrance there stood a horned model, advice arms crossed and lycra-ed legs askance. Face masked. Model or mannequin? It wasn’t immediately obvious. In a season of slick presentations the one given by Maria Francesca Pepe – a true Amazonian beauty herself – really stood out for its professionalism. But it made me uncomfortable.

Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011
Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Red lighting shifted, pulsating over models that looked younger than legal. Young and nervous. One was laid prostrate on a plinth across the entrance to the next room, two more further back, and then in the far room what I can only describe as a child sat perched in front of a series of mannequins, none of which I could see in the gloaming. This girl had the face of an imp, a feeling encouraged by her amazing resin and carbon steel curved and studded hat – a bastardised version of something a gnome might wear. Beneath her flowing robes I suddenly realised why she was so uncomfortable. The bum and back of her tights were also encrusted with spikes. Is this a good idea? Should I be calling out the NSPCC?

Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMaria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

But what of the jewellery and accessories on display? I must confess that it took me awhile to look in at the details, such was the overwhelming effect of towering horned creatures. I had a brief opportunity to ask Maria who she would most like to wear her showpiece headpieces, which are heavily encrusted with hexagonal Swarovski crystals in the style of Medieval helmets. The answer was of course Lady Gaga. But the real point of all this girly S&M drama? Why of course: it was to sell a diffusion line. MFP accessories are available online at ASOS.

Maria Francesca Pepe A-W 2011-ringsMaria Francesca Pepe, LFW A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique
Maria Francesca Pepe by Karla Pérez Manrique.

Each child model sported expertly manicured hands, dangling ‘amulets’ dripping from her tiny fingers. The Fortuna collection features everyday jewellery made in workhorse metals such as brass and accessorised with crystals and pearls. And always those ever present studs.

Maria Francesca Pepe is also available at Wolf & Badger. You can read Helen Martin’s review here.

Alex Noble by Alia Gargum
Alex Noble Soft Death by Alia Gargum.

Alex Noble creates cross disciplinary creative projects under the umbrella name of Alex Noble studio and is represented by the uber cool Ella Dror PR. He’s worked for super stylist (and now creative director of Mugler) Nicola Formichetti on projects for Lady Gaga, approved and on photo shoots for Ellen Von Unworth and Mario Testino amongst many others. For two years he helped create props for the windows in Selfridges… the list of his creative collaborations goes on and on.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

But for his Soft Death collection Alex Noble has decided to embrace the couture market with an anatomically themed first collection. Presented in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields, this was an ambitious installation of mannequins, live models and music courtesy of Hannah Holland.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Surrounded by industrial rubber piping that emulated intestines, beautiful light-as-lace pale yellow concoctions encrusted with beading swung from simple stands. A strange alien-esque mould of a rib cape lay on green netted surgical bedding, its crystallised spine glinting like a rare treasure.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

At the far end of the room three uncomfortable looking models displayed the designs on pedestals – presumably they had been there for awhile. One sported an appliqued skeleton suit which would make the most fabulous Halloween outfit, another had vein like patterns creeping across her body. But it was the bandaged ball gown that made the most impression on me – the model swaddled with tightly crossed strips of silken fabric that extended across her head and over one eye. The model was so pissed off with her lot that she could barely contain her annoyance, even while I took a photo.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s obvious why Alex Noble is so beloved of exhibitionistic pop stars like Gaga, but the delicate frailty of his gorgeous couture gowns could just as easily attract rich patrons of a less outrageous nature. But the rarefied world of couture is not an easy world to crack, so I will be intrigued to see what Alex Noble does next.

Alex Noble by Alia Gargum
Alex Noble Soft Death by Alia Gargum.

Alex Noble creates cross disciplinary creative projects under the umbrella name of Alex Noble studio and is represented by the uber cool Ella Dror PR. He’s worked for super stylist (and now creative director of Mugler) Nicola Formichetti on projects for Lady Gaga, information pills and on photo shoots for Ellen Von Unworth and Mario Testino amongst many others. For two years he helped create props for the windows in Selfridges… the list of his creative collaborations goes on and on.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

But for his Soft Death collection Alex Noble has decided to embrace the couture market with an anatomically themed first collection. Presented in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields, tadalafil this was an ambitious installation of mannequins, live models and music courtesy of Hannah Holland.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Surrounded by industrial rubber piping that emulated intestines, beautiful light-as-lace pale yellow concoctions encrusted with beading swung from simple stands. A strange alien-esque mould of a rib cape lay on green netted surgical bedding, its crystallised spine glinting like a rare treasure.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

At the far end of the room three uncomfortable looking models displayed the designs on pedestals – presumably they had been there for awhile. One sported an appliqued skeleton suit which would make the most fabulous Halloween outfit, another had vein like patterns creeping across her body. But it was the bandaged ball gown that made the most impression on me – the model swaddled with tightly crossed strips of silken fabric that extended across her head and over one eye. The model was so pissed off with her lot that she could barely contain her annoyance, even while I took a photo.

Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Alex Noble Soft Death A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s obvious why Alex Noble is so beloved of exhibitionistic pop stars like Gaga, but the delicate frailty of his gorgeous couture gowns could just as easily attract rich patrons of a less outrageous nature. But the rarefied world of couture is not an easy world to crack, so I will be intrigued to see what Alex Noble does next. Watch the video of his presentation here:

Illustration by Romain Lambert-Louis

It’s good thing it’s starting to feel like spring outside, cialis 40mg as listening to Lulu and the Lampshades in the dead of winter strikes me as being something akin to torture. This is music that makes me want to ride my bicycle along gravel roads, there slurping down iced lollies and squinting as the sunshine pokes through my eyelashes.

There is a lot of sweetness to Lulu and the Lampshades – starting with the playfulness of the name itself, down to the music which is a bucketful of sunshine. At least that was my first impression, before I listened to the new ‘Cold Water’ EP. The only thing I’d heard of the London-based foursome before was ‘Feet to the sky’, a cheery little number with an even cheerier video, but for a release with just four tracks, ‘Cold Water’ does an impressive job of delivering diversity.

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite thing about Lulu and the Lampshades is probably main singer (and former Amelia’s Magazine art editor) Luisa Gerstein’s voice – a rich, chocolatey sound which makes you think of bigger songs and swoonier music productions. But the stripped back style of the Lulu songs do an excellent job of accompanying Luisa. The overall effect is something akin to listening to your favourite act playing at a musical, just a few feet away and it feels like they‘re playing just for you.

It certainly sounds like the Lulus having fun though, skipping along (or at least that’s what it sounds like) on the title track ’Cold Water’. Although the lyrics tell a more complex story: ’I hate to be wrapped in cotton although I think it’s better for me / Yes I see there’s trouble but it’s proven to me I’m better off this way’ … I’m not sure if the music and lyrics are mismatched, or if Luisa is simply the happiest when causing a bit of trouble?

Illustration by Mhairi-stella McEwan

Illustration by Sarah Matthews

The video to ‘Cups’, or ‘You’re gonna miss me’, has had over half a million YouTube hits, as Luisa and Heloise banging those plastic beakers into the kitchen table really needs to be seen. ‘Cups’ started out as a routine Louisa learnt at percussion class, combined with new verses and a chorus from a traditional folk song. The result is a lovely little ’all together now’ call-and-response song, but it’s that cup action that has us all going Whoa Lulu! Have a look:

‘I’ll keep my demons underground if it keeps you smiling’, Luisa sings as ‘Demons’ start. Although the flute and glockenspiel keeps things light, the darker undertones are definitely there now, both in terms of lyrics and tone. ‘Cause you’ve punctured me / I’ve ruptured at the seams and though its strange for me / I’ll do my best to keep the rest from falling out’ … But there is something fairytale-like about it too, like the stories about witches and evil creatures that we like because it gives us a chill down our backs.

‘Moccasin Mile’ mixes vocal harmonies, ukulele and some nifty drumstick action as the tempos change. ‘If you can’t be good then please be careful,’ Luisa sings … But then the flute comes in again at the chorus, as Lulu regulars Luisa, Heloise, Jemma and Dan were joined by flutist Isobel to add some extra ‘dance around the maypole’ feeling. And that’s it – four tracks are done and Lulu and the Lampshades have certainly managed to whet our appetites for a full-length album. As well as a dip in a lake that’s still a little too cold, before skipping on home with sunburnt cheeks.

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Sarah Matthews

‘Cold Water’ by Lulu and the Lampshades is out now on Moshi Moshi. Have a look at our listing for the current gig schedule, plus see the YouTube channel for more music videos.

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One Response to “Lulu and the Lampshades: Cold Water EP review”

  1. [...] determination lead Never let “limited resources” hold you back. Lulu and the Lampshades ”You’re gonna miss me” has had over half a million YouTube hits. Watch as Luisa and [...]

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