Saturday, 5 March 2011

Adam and Epstein shakin' it all about....

Modern British Sculpture at the Royal Academy, definitely worth a look-see, however do not under pain of death or torture or four more years of Nick Clegg read the nonsensical art speak on the exhibition's walls.
Drivel. Some jumped up  art student intern trying to impress...someone else. And failing spectacularly.

Describing Epstein's monumental Adam, of the flaying cock and awe-some girth with the self-consciously silly words "still has the power to embarrass," the only thing embarrassing was the whiny, wheezy text, typical "lest thou be shocked"  worth of an Old Testament morality tale. No, actually even Jehovah did modesty better.

Bask bask in the monolithic glory of Adam as the original man with the power-tool and be moved by the way Epstein captures nature and monumental force out of a hulk of alabaster. It's an encounter with our own essence, not a moment for "shame" or an act of withdrawal. I asked my friend, a nearly fifty year old artist if he felt "embarrassed" by the sculpture and he confirmed he didn't. Its power draws you in, there's something vastly majestic,  earthly embracing and sexual about it, something you want to move towards, anti-repulsive. Unlike Damien Hirst's fly-traps of rotten barbecue and whatever else.  

Very impressive, in spite of the usual tat from Damien Hirst and even with the fateful omission of Kapoor and Gormley. Who cares, the greats ( and some dubious others) are included.

Till April 7 2011.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tatty as in Tattinger darlingest

by DorkistMedia 

Spectacular runway shows set the bar for next seasons trends, luxe high end designs and artistic pieces carefully mastered with expert skill- but who'd have thought that the upper echelons of the fashion industry cared about being ethical?

Ethical fashion is often pigeon holed as being vintage or recycled scraps of material that have been amalgamated to create something new, and although this is still a trend, the designers have proved that ethical fashion doesn't have to be tatty.

London Fashion Week hosted a huge exhibition, showcasing innovative designs by an array of ethical designers. From futuristic one off garments to breath-taking hand made jewellery, ethical fashion is leading the way...and even carrying high end price tags!
I've shortlisted my favourite ethical artists from this fashion week, prepare to be stunned...

Michelle Lowe-Holder 

Michelle Lowe-Holder's AW11 'Flock & Fold' collection is an accessories only one- both ethically produced and sampled in the UK. The bases are hand cut or crocheted and interlaced with off-cuts of previous collections, end of line ribbons and cuttings from local factories. This season's collection boasts a vibrant, colourful mix of textures including velvet, metallics and ribbons hand folded into geometric shapes.
The pieces are neat, structured and include that striking one you know you'll wear with EVERYTHING! Prices start at around £25!

Noki Noir
This season Dr Noki launched his very first menswear collection titled NOKI-NOIR-POUR DANDY. The collection has a very different feel to his womenswear, the bold graphic prints, manipulated branding and cartoon characters have been replaced with a mature focused colour palette of grey, navy and black, with a punch of colour and famous pen work only on braces. This collection is all about silhouette. High waisted trousers and knee length shorts paired with bike courier bondage leggings, sharp shirts buttoned to the top with huge hip-hop sleeves covering the elbow and redesigned New Era caps. Often regenerating vintage pieces or dated clothing, Noki Noir is the epitome of ethical-art-fashion.

PARTIMI is a luxurious ethical fashion line founded by Central St Martins graduate, Eleanor Dorrien-Smith. The first full PARTIMI collection was exhibited in Estethica at London Fashion Week last season and the Spring/Summer 2011 collection, ‘Dieu Bleu’ attracted the attention of Young British Designers, who have a new online store and are supporters of up-and-coming talent.  The collection will also be stocked in the new Broadway Market boutique, ‘69b’, which launched during London Fashion Week. Two specially commissioned pieces inspired by the collection will also be stocked with the U.S. retailer, Anthropologie in April 2011.

PARTIMI began when Eleanor’s work was spotted at the Central Saint Martins degree show and she was subsequently commissioned to create a capsule collection for Anthropologie.  The six piece collection named ‘Newspapers & Plastic Bags’ was then launched in stores across America and online under the brand name PARTIMI which stems from the architectural term, ‘parti’ - being the conceptual starting point of a design project.

Her pieces are beautiful, wearable, sustainable and ones you'll keep until they're vintage and wear them all over again. Now THATS ethical.

Fiona Paxton
Also exhibition at Esthetica this fashion week was Fiona Paxton who is a London-based designer that creates striking hand-beaded necklaces, earrings and cuffs in geometric patterns. Her pieces have a high end, boho- ethnic feel which are wearable on any occasion, with pretty much any outfit at any time of day. The AW11 collection is absolutely fabulous and makes an understated statement with bags of appeal.

Henrietta Ludgate
Scottish luxury womenswear label, Henrietta Ludgate, has already garnered an impressive number of awards and built a formidable reputation amongst high end retailers.

In her first appearance at London Fashion Week  Henrietta was awarded the (EFF) Ethical Fashion Forum’s ‘Fashion Innovation Award’, for London Fashion Week Spring / Summer  2010.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Central St. Martins graduates Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Matthew Williamson and Christopher Kane- Henrietta’s flair for structural design, the minimalistic form and her uncanny ability to design with a real sense of her Scottish Heritage make her one of the most unique and inspirational designers of her time.

 An ethos of supporting Scottish craftsmanship is central to her work, with fabrics sourced from within the British Isles and all pieces produced locally.

A champion of slow fashion, Henrietta’s minimalist silhouette remains hauntingly elegant and distinctive while at the same time retaining an undeniable modernity. She draws inspiration from Elsa Schiaparelli, and her vision of fashion as architecture; that clothing should be ‘closely connected to the contours of the body’.
Her futuristic and edgy signature styles remain this AW11 however, with a punkier edge, with some heavy square pyramid silver studs- keep your eyes peeled later this year.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Black Swan, masturbation, transgressing female stereotypes

Dr. M.-L. von Franz (an associate of Dr. Jung) states,

"But if she realizes who and what her animus is and what he does to her, and if she faces these realities instead of allowing herself to be possessed, her animus can turn into an invaluable inner companion who endows her with the masculine qualities of initiative, courage, objectivity, and spiritual wisdom."

Lilly as Lilith, Leroy as The King. Aronofsky untangling Jung's female archetypes and a call for individuation. Brava Natalie!
For an interesting read more here.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Catwalk couture and choo-choo trains

Gorgeous Lucy Tammam of eponymous ethical goddess lifestyle label House of Tammam is hosting a rush hour catwalk show through St Pancras Station  on Friday January 21st 2011. Just think of all those frazzled Eurostar commuters trying to get home, mingling with willowy models in Lucy's ethical silk bridal-wear, it's all just too gorgeous, as if Sarah Moon had started making dreamy-fil-ums. The clothes are dressy but evoke an old romantic spirit, in their classical tailoring and impeccable cut. Think Meryl Streep in Out of Africa goes  haute couture and meets Audrey Hepburn for a spot of Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Photo by Sarah Moon
All the pieces are made by not harming the silk moth which is allowed to fly free before the silk is harvested. Commercial silk cocoons are generally boiled to keep the silk white and poor little pupa dies an unholy death. Stella McCartney are you taking notes, sweety? This is the real deal. Handmade in Bangalore by women. Liz Jones likes it but don't let that put you off.

And look out for her too-cute-for-school baby Tammam dresses. 

Dressing up starts really early,so don't miss it, 09 00 - 12 00 this Friday 
St Pancras Station.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Pas de deux, or trois, ou quatre...

Serge Diaghilev, c 1924

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballet Russes 1909 - 1929 at the Victoria and Albert Museum  is one of those block-buster exhibitions that gets so much bad press where quantity and volume, rather than the quality of the items on display, appear to be the prevailing factors used in judging the merit the exhibition.  The V+A have scored some rare treats that offer a glimpse into a life which has been the centre of much controversy and arguably, one of the changing forces of art in the last century.   Diaghilev's influence across the all aspects of the contemporary art of his time and his reach across  art today can still be felt. Some absolute gems include  the earrings worn by Nijinsky, who became his lover and principle dancer.

Earrings worn by Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave in Schéhérazade
Designed by Léon Bakst 1910

Chanel designed costumes for le Train Bleu

Perhaps best known for the performance of Blue Train, for which Coco Chanel designed the costumes and Picasso the sets, Diaghilev's legacy still prevails, from  fashion collections to porcelain and interior design. There's an exuberance of orientalism.  He lived a lot of his life in hotels but had  a few very beautiful possessions, including precious items by Faberge and a carved table from the Winter Palace. His letters and correspondence are revealing, perhaps this is as close as we can ever come to knowing someone so elusive, whose life is revealed through his collaborations and his art as much as through what he left behind.

See this till January 9th 2011 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Incendiary exposures, Will and another Kate, Ken Clarke and his secret lingerie revolution and Sam Leith's Legendary cock.

 After a brief period of coitus itinerary interruptus, more of
Darling MA's anodyne perceptions on Charles and Di 2 (Camilla), students rioting,why Uncle Ken always knows knickers best and Sam Leith's Legendary cock.

VF: Students. They've been a riotous lot recently and poor Camilla, Pseudo Princess of Wales (don't you dare diss my Diana in Heaven) looked frightfully shocked when those rowdy rabble rousing students who expect a higher education but don't want to pay for it later smashed up the princemobile and poured paint (how common) on it. What should we do about the current taste for anarchy that prevails on these hallowed isles?

MA: Camilla had every reason to look shocked - she was poked in the ribs! I assume a huge priceless ruby near her breast deflected the improvised (and cheap) stiletto away from her heart. I have read about these kinds of miracle in battlefields of valour, a sure sign that God wants to keep her and Diana well apart for as long as possible.
I was most impressed that Charles and Camilla continued to give royal waves even as the yobs pelting their Rolls screamed “Off with their heads!” Should the Duracell Bunny ever seek a retirement warren, we’ll know where first to look for replacement models of robotic endurance.
As for the current state of anarchy (sooo late 80s) in England, the lawful public executions of Nick Clegg and Vince Cable on TV’s University Challenge - after the failed lie detector tests - would probably pacify anyone under the age of 21.
Quick! Jump!
 VF  Justice Minister Ken Clarke has taken a lot of flak for retracting 18 years of Tory policy and announcing "prison doesn't work". Do you think poppet has lost his mind or is soft soaping the liberal back benchers who appeared to have taken over the bodies of normally sane Hang 'em and flog 'em Tory boys.
MA: Madame Arcati is privy to Ken’s actual plan - his new complete slogan is:
 "Prison doesn’t work. But prisoners will!”
And I can exclusively reveal Ken’s secret weapon of penal correction. Lingerie.
Major retail outlets such as Primark, Bhs and C&A will be invited to sponsor selected prisons and subsidise jailbirds’ keep in return for their lingerie labour - bringing to an end foreign sweatshops and child slaves into the bargain. Ken thinks that exposure to lingerie manufacture all day will either feminise prisoners and soften away their criminal tendencies or cause them to become so averse to prison life that they opt for the straight and narrow as preferred domicile.
How stitching lingerie will affect female and transsexual prisoners I’m not sure. Over to you, Ken.
How prison lingerie might possibly look
VF: What of this rift between Cleggover and President Macaroon? What do the stars say about the star-crossed lovers' future?
MA : Alas, there is no rift. Like Antony and Cleo they are embarked on a doomed journey with their own battle of Actium in Parliament Square. If only Clegg had a bosom and a love of the asp.
Hand in hand like lovers are supposed to
 VF Will and Kate. Seven years and a midsummer wedding? Hope she gets a pre-nup. Is this real love or another royal marriage of inconvenience. And what about that tawdry dress she wore on the day the engagement was announced? Really darling, if you're gonna do wrap, it's DVF.
MA: I’m afraid to say that a Gemini/Capricorn alliance is most unwise - it can only end in sullen silence, separate bathrooms and celibacy. 
I happen to know a close friend of Kate’s who told me sometime ago, after the couple’s last break-up, that there was relief in her camp that she was free of him. 
Apparently he treated her abysmally. He is, after all, his father’s son and Charles for years was
Private Eye’s “shit of the year” for his treatment of his tarts. Wills may not be as bad, certainly not as promiscuous, but his Uranus Opposition in his early 40s could prompt a longing for soulless extra-marital whoring without condoms in Arundel. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Kate is uber-trad and will end up more royal than the royal family put together. Doors to manual, darling. The Queen will live to 103.

Prince Williams and Another Katie
VF: We live in a surveillance society yet so much goes unnoticed. Police gangsters can kill G20 protesters on camera but no action is taken. Women are dragged out of police station custody cells and beaten to a pulp, on CCTV, and officers are reprimanded, get a slap on the wrist and are completely acquitted by Appeal Court Judges. Can this last. Or do plod have to become more accountable?

 MA: Ken’s got the answer - cut police numbers and close cop shops.  He already wants to remove CCTV and speed cameras - the man’s a Hush Puppy anarchist. Thank God for the Tories! Who’d have thunk it. Have you noticed  the more police there are the more trouble? In my area, you can walk 10 miles and not see a cop - and there’s scarcely any crime, except dog defecation. I’m sure that if the police suddenly became visible I’d be mugged in a trice: bad energy attracts bad energy, see.
The recent riots have to a great extent been made worse by the police - provocative kettling, cameramen, batons, mounted charges, barking Alsations, helmets, grouchy facial expressions, etc. Your average cop is a heterosexual thug with a tattoo on his soul: at school he will have been trouble; and it was a matter of chance whether he ended up in a uniform or a prison pen. I’m afraid Hollywood movies and tabloid editors have encouraged this idea that a cop can break the rules and get away with it in the best interests of society.
Without Ken, things will get much worse.

VF: London or New York?
 MA: Little Poynings in West Sussex

VF: What of dead tree media? Sam Leith has been heralding it's imminent demise for some time now but newspapers ( the ones that aren't hiding behind massive paywalls) appear to be thriving. What do you think the state of current newspapers / mags are? How long before the digital revolution makes all paper-stuff redundant?
 MA: Alas, Sam is correct, print newspapers are not thriving. Just this month most newspaper circulations fell another 4-16%, and the story is downward. For years The Sunday Times sold 1.3m copies a week, now it’s close to 1m and heading south. The pay wall won’t save it. I’m certain iPads (or a better variant) and other portable devices will offer papers and mags an afterlife - and Madame Arcati knows all about the afterlife.
Sam Leith is such a dear and he has told Madame Arcati of his large cock. 

I’ve lost count of the number of columns he writes - such is the diversity of opinion in newspaper-land!

Darling MA, thank you for the honour of peering into your proverbial bottom drawer, putting a periscope inside your psychic back channel and allowing your fans to ruminate over your molecules of atomized wisdom. 
Happy Winterval poppet. XXX