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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The Ruby Suns – SEA LION

Memphis Industries, Release Date: 3rd March 2008

Written by Amy Knight

Danish born Louise Amstrup made her London Fashion Week debut at On/Off on the concluding day of the bi-annual trend event.

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For AW08 Amstrup took inspiration from film director David Lynch and the modernist artist Man Ray. Interpreting the surreal representations of mysterious women in Lynch’s films and TV drama Twin Peaks, salve this Amstrup combines their perfection and dark hidden agendas and the mood of Man Ray’s art with the surreal ‘reverse negative prints’.

The powerful music began, the bright lights lit up and astute looking women took to the catwalk. Two graphically sharp and nipped in, belted coats were the initial pieces in a collection of lavish clothes. Strictly constructed surreal and dreamy draping was contradicted by hints of chiffon, leather, wool and silk. Striking exaggerated folding methods and pleats erratically, and imaginatively cropped up here and there. Detail also took place in the form of tassels and fringing on garments, as well as on scarves and shoes. Oversized bags, killer heels and a turban headscarf acted as accessories. There was a satisfying colour palette ranging from cream and bran tones leading to dark and dusty blues, greys, burnt ochre and plum with black.

A surprising pair of trousers made the odd appearance- surprising not because this was a collection primarily comprising of skirts and dresses but because they were rather peculiar in their own right. Ill fitted, high wasted, wishy washey cream and jodhpur-esque, these trousers are going to be my only criticism in this otherwise pleasant show. I was also taken aback by Amstrup’s treatment of her models- alluring long hair was shaved right up the back of the partings! Surely this couldn’t be the case I thought to myself, then again it is the final day of LFW, and one can do whatever one pleases to these model’s barnets now right? But then this is only newee Amstrup’s show, not Vivienne Westwood’s. It took three or four models for me to realise that this expected extremist haircut was merely just a cunning hairdo and that no hair clippers were involved in the making- just clever hair stylists.

Welcome to London Fashion Week Louise Amstrup, a superbly talented designer making dreamy yet simultaneously powerful and shocking wearable works of art.

The invitation to the Aganovich A/W show promised a Valentine’s Day massacre. From that moment I knew this show would definitely not be short on theatricality. Once seated, information pills the mood music that had been piped in to calm the frantic diva nerves of the industry elite morphed into a pounding heartbeat. I was on edge. Then the strains of Frank Sinatra singing You’re Sensational began, seek and out stepped…a bride. This was a little surreal, especially as it was more like a conventional Home Counties bride and not some sexed up Quentin Tarantino version. Quizzical looks flitted across the front row as she swanned down the catwalk, but these were soon quieted as she made her exit and breakbeats set in. Once the ironic Valentine’s Day gesture was over, the real show began.
The archetypal bridal up-do was exaggerated on the Aganovich models to create a modern and subversive take on this classic style. Hair was either quiffed, or the fringe was styled to cover one eye. The make-up paired copious amounts of gold and silver face paint with Clockwork Orange style lashes. It was Grace Kelly in High Society meets Blade Runner.
The strong silhouettes created by the tailored jackets and military coats complemented the hair and make-up as shoulders were defined and padded out. Gold zips and chinoiserie prints brought some flashes of colour into the rather dark collection, while the traditional set of pearls worn by a bride was re-imagined into a half beaded dress.
The Aganovich label has always been intent on exploring paradox in its collections, and A/W was no different as silk dresses were finished with snakeskin detailing and sharp tailoring was created using cashmere. Two things made this show memorable. One being the willingness with which Aganovich desire to push boundaries, and the other being that the chosen soundtrack meant I got to mention breakbeats in a review.

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Yorkshire tea and quintessentially British cake preceded a long and tedious wait for ‘the world to come’. But the setup was unusual, here which I appreciated; the audience was divided into three rooms, so the models glided through from one to the next like a strange narrative when they eventually emerged. They were an embodiment of old English country-dwelling aristocracy, carrying books in their leather-bound palms and live chiuauas in their arms, harking back to a classic past yet obscuring it in a slightly vampire-like manner. All the models had a groomed, Dickensian look, pale, preened and ghostly, which echoed in the shuddering orchestral music. There were shawls that looped around the crown of the head, huge lapels, a cow-hide jacket, enormous, decadent floral corsages and tights the colour of Colman’s mustard. Sitting on wooden chairs in the fitting location of the Mary Ward House, a listed turn-of-the-century building, it felt like we were part of a 1930s English murder mystery film. Close-fitting black and maroon leather gloves made a frequent appearance, as did red netting draped elegantly over the shoulders. Peacock feathers poked out of the men’s trilby hats, over shining quiffs of brown hair, while the women were surmounted with red satin tiaras. A dazzling performance.

Unconditional share their marketing budget “with those whose lives are fragile”, and their funds support Save The Children.
Even though it was 9:30 in the morning, viagra sale there were a lot of people gathering at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I have not been to the Royal Opera House before so I was excited to visit this venue. The whole place was covered with the smell of perfume and as soon as I entered I was served breakfast with coffee by a gentleman with a tuxedo. Very posh, page but I liked it!

After a short while I got in. I only had a standing ticket but I found quite a good spot and it was not packed with people like all the other shows, clinic meaning I could relax and view the show comfortably. Whilst everyone was still finding their seats, there were many photographers trying to take pictures of fashionista guests. With the solo piano melody, the show had started. The collection was slick and sophisticated, toned with browns, blacks, greys and reds. I especially liked the way they used red as a key colour of the collection. Also, flower motifs were used a lot in the collection upon brooches, prints and embroidery. I also personally enjoyed a skirt where the hem of was cut out as a flower motif. I can imagine smart career girls, who daydream about running around in fields of flowers, wearing Nicole‘s clothes. Music by Regina Spektor went well with the collection and added a jolly feeling to it. I got shivers by the end of the show, as I was very excited. I think shows should be like this more often to make people full of pleasure!

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Who doesn’t want to believe in magic? Whether we can suspend our disbelief or not, order I’m certain that a little bit of enchantment in our lives wouldn’t go amiss. The seven female artists in ‘Sex and Witchcraft’ (Hilary Jack, Anne Marie Kennedy, Rachel Tweddell, Lisa Penny, Kate Street, Susan Taylor, Beata Veszely) explore the ideas of the occult in very different ways; resulting in works that range from the exuberant to the quietly melancholic.

An essay by Gary Lachman, an author interested in links between the occult and modern culture, contextualises the work nicely. I’m one of those exhibition-goers who laps up any kind of socio-historic background to work, particularly when the essay in question gives such valuable tit-bits such as that sleeping with the devil is akin to being with ‘a stallion among mares’. Although there is undoubtedly an undercurrent of sexuality to some of the work, I saw the exhibition more in terms of ‘sex’ as a celebration of the feminine.

Highlights included Kate Street’s ‘Orchis’, a drawing of slow, considered beauty. The work seemed somewhere between a memento mori and a botanical catalogue image, fusing delicate petals with skull-like imagery. According to the ancient Greeks, orchids sprang from the spilt semen of mating animals; this rather earthy belief contrasts with the delicacy of the work.

Beata Veszely’s video piece ‘On the Way to Heaven’ also seemed to comment on the inherent beauty in nature; it celebrated in a dream-like way the power and movement of a white horse. The interaction between nature and the artist was a recurring idea in the exhibition, fittingly so since so much of our ideas of witchcraft are tied up with Wiccan beliefs of nature-supreme. The icon of the white horse is unavoidably linked with the unicorn, well at least in my child-like mind it is…and this is why this exhibition is so enjoyable: work that explores ideas of witchcraft persuades us to be as imaginative and as open to ideas of magic as we were when we were children.

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With the current proliferation of animal-loving musicians playing with tambourines and haunting harmonies, viagra it is interesting to see that The Ruby Suns are experimenting with their musical menagerie Sea Lion; they have bravely avoided finding a sound that ‘works’ and sticking safely to it, online taking a wildly different approach to each track. Blue Penguin, page There Are Birds, Morning Sun – what was that I said about a revival of Romanticism? The increasing emergence of animalia and flora in song lyrics is enough to convince me that today’s bands have been having words with the late William Wordsworth. To solidify my argument, Morning Sun consists almost solely of the lyrics; ‘When I wake up, I get the morning sun‘, sung in such a high-pitched repetition of solar-worship it almost had me falling sideways off my chair in a brainwashed, slumbering heap.

In the flip of a sea lion’s tail, the album oscillates between eighties electronic drum machines, latino guitar flicking and melancholic cult wailings, which may leave you asking, ‘Quoi?’

But each track is a singular gem, luminous and curious; the ecclesiastical It’s Mwangi In Front Of Me, which summons up images of smoking church candles and, towards the end, the ever-decreasing hallways of Alice’s rabbit hole (you’ll know what I mean when you hear it), precedes the wistful, dreamlike vocals interspersed with gentle wind-instrumental spates and apostolic chanting of Remember. Curiouser and curiouser.

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One Response to “The Ruby Suns – SEA LION”

  1. Jojo says:

    Amy, You’re a writing genius!

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