March 31, 2012

Apartamento #9

This photo makes me very happy! It's #9 of Apartamento Magazine, at the printers. Definitely a review or interview or both with these guys on its way.

March 30, 2012

Wishing For A Wet & Chilly Weekend

Am ever so slightly hoping that the weather this weekend will revert to standard London spring styles (ie chilly/rainy/grey or all of the above) so that I can:
-     Wear my new Isabel Marant high-top copycats and my long-searched-for perfect parka (more on both of these soon).

-     Take a more significant bite out of my book Mistress of Modernism (a veeeery thorough biography of Peggy Guggenheim).

-     Get even more excited about my upcoming week in the sun-soaked hills of Tuscany and masterpiece-filled cobbled streets of Florence.

-     Justify purchasing this deliciously colour-saturated, slightly mysterious print from Beach Gallery (just off Brick Lane and up the road from my apartment) to lay my eyes on some much needed brights after all that grey. Work with me here.

-     Drink those rich red wines that have been shoved to the back of the cupboard (I hesitate to call it wine cabinet) gathering dust (I exaggerate) while we rush instead to the fridge for an ice-cold crisp white or a frosty beer.

-     Watch this documentary on Karen O creating her ‘psycho-opera’ Stop The Virgens - a crazy mix of theatre and rock 'n' roll enhanced with video projections and technology that fellow Yeah Yeah Yeahs' bandmate Nick Zinner has declared is “unlike anything I’ve ever seen or heard. It’s going to blow people’s minds.” Totes amaze.
-     Use the last of our deliciously old-fashioned balsam fir incense sticks from Labour and Wait. They give off a heavy but incredible scent that’s definitely not for warm sunny days. 


First Aid Kit + Urban Outfitters

I first came across First Aid Kit when they opened for the super amazing Lykke Li last year at the Camden Roundhouse - two silky-haired sisters (Johanna and Klara) who play guitars and sing hauntingly beautiful medleys.

Their newly released 'The Lion’s Roar' is currently the top selling album in their native Sweden, they’re also opening for Jack White (swoon) when he tours later in the year, and are tip-toeing towards some well-deserved attention in a variety of mediums, including this lovely shoot and interview with Urban Outfitters.

March 29, 2012

Garance Doré Loves Freckles!

And, turns out she also has a whole bunch herself. Loved her before, love her even more now.


March 28, 2012

Uslu Airlines and Bernhard Willhelm, Shades For Spring

Pretty but interesting spring nails are what's needed right now, and of course cult brands Uslu Airlines and Bernhard Willhelm have the coolest shades.

I'll be addressing my own nails this evening with either a lavender or lilac laquer, but spearmint or apple green, tangerine, a daffodil yellow or even an elegant shade of nude or malt are also on the cards. 


March 27, 2012

The Issue: Oh Comely #8

I did this little interview with Oh Comely magazine’s deputy editor Rosanna Durham a few months back, with the intention of getting this blog up and running then, but it ended up taking a backseat to a few other things…
I’ve just revisited it and I realized I still wanted to post it, even though they’ve just released an equally lovely 9th issue. (Have a look at that one here)
Oh Comely is such a sweet and thoughtful publication, authentic, honest, original and inspiring - they’re genuinely doing something unique in the industry, and that is a long, cool, very refreshing drink of water after so many super similar magazines falling under the ‘women’s’ and ‘pop culture’ mag banner.
How did the magazine come into being?
Oh Comely was the idea of Des Tan, who wanted to make a different kind of women's magazine. A group of us worked on it from the start and most of us are still involved. We loved magazines and wanted to make one.
Who is it for?
We want Oh Comely to be a magazine that everyone can enjoy, but our core readers are creative, young women. We also have lots of very passionate male readers who sometimes transpire to be those women's boyfriends or brothers.
What do you think people like best about it?
I'm not sure. For myself, I like Oh Comely because it doesn't try to dictate a single way of seeing the world. Reading Oh Comely, I want people to feel that being creative is not an exclusive field of experience - something for artists, designers and the talented. Being creative is also way of looking at the world. It might be staring with wonder as milk turns your coffee black to beige, or making a haphazard quilt for your closest friend. I hope people feel happy when they read Oh Comely.
Your covers are a little different from the usual - what was the intention behind that?
A love of white space and desire to keep it simple.
What were your favourite pages in the current issue and why?
In Issue 8, I particularly like Yann Faucher's series of portraits of people with tattoos. He has an emotional and tactile way of taking a portrait. Also, it was great interviewing everyone he photographed: there were lots of different stories and approaches that folk had to their tattoos.
Louise's story stood out. She has "stupid little white girl" tattooed down her leg in Japanese, and a whiskey bottle as well as many others. She doesn't take their meaning very seriously, and I like the way that she wears her imperfect tattoos with a light humour and lack of vanity. Halfway through working on this feature, Yann and I realised we both had had a piercing done by Louise - she works in a piercing/tattoo parlour. She'd pierced Yann's eye-brow and my ear. We both sat in a cafe one morning and laughed about that. I don’t think she ever found out.
What are your favourite magazines and why?
The New Yorker is probably the best magazine I've discovered since discovering magazines but I'll always be faithful to my first love: Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture.
I admire the innate curiosity that Cabinet has about the world. It was the first publication that surprised me intellectually and creatively. At home, I have a special shelf where all my back issues of Cabinet are kept and I am deeply engaged in hunting down past issues.
I've recently read and enjoyed KnockBack and FAQNP. Reading KnockBack is a bit like therapy for my sense of womanhood, if that doesn't sounds too silly! It's a feminist mag that gets excited about the correct use of punctuation. I like the way FAQNP is designed, and its stories are great: where else would you read about Hindi typography and the salacious world of central European bath-houses in between the same two covers?
Also, an art history journal that I read first at university is important to me. Called October, it was the first magazine that I engaged with (if you can call a journal a magazine). It has an interesting story behind its founding: the editors split off from Art Forum and created October as a publication about the word and idea, not the surface image or otherwise. That's a simplified digest of a political tale but the design of October has stayed with me long after leaving university. It is utterly pared down, with only blacks and reds used, and a clear-minded take on layout and typesetting.
If Oh Comely were an afternoon tea treat, what would it be?
A biscuit, probably. Or perhaps a really good cup of coffee. Or maybe a snooze on a comfy sofa, with a great dream included.

March 26, 2012

Husam El Odeh

It’s not often I get utterly obsessed with a piece of jewellery, but when I fall, I fall hard, and this delicious sterling silver ‘broken stone’ bracelet from Husam El Odeh has stolen my heart. It’s the perfect mix of delicacy and edge - a solid, almost liquid chunk of silver gouged out to expose a roughly hewn cluster of dazzling smoky quartz crystals, set on a fine chain… love.
Speaking of his design processes, the German jeweler admits, “I never actually set out looking for inspiration. I find a lot of things on the street. I collect odd things. I don’t horde them, but they come and go through the studio. The initial process is just thinking with my hands.”
The bracelet comes from the ‘Ephemeral’ collection, inspired by “the decay of treasures” – a design process that began with an image of an old Chicago theatre and “the grandeur of days gone by, left to fall apart yet protected from demolishing”.
Digging deeper, El Odeh re-visited treasures collected from across the British Empire and deposited at the British Musuem - as a child he had visited regularly, so was drawn to ‘the little and everyday’. A child’s gold ring from Roman Spain particularly caught his eye.
Having originally studied painting in Berlin, El Odeh was signed up by a friend for a course in fine metals. “I think I only went three times,” he says in a 2011 interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut, “but I remember thinking, ‘this is something I could do’, later when I became fed up with the self-important fine-art world, I came back to it.”
El Odeh now has an understandable cult following, has designed collections or one-off pieces for the likes of Acne and Marios Schwab and won a BFA award for Emerging Talent that saw a personal email from Anna Wintour arrive in his inbox.
Feel free to buy me this bracelet, you can find it here for now...


Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Maryam Nassir Zadeh is one of those stores you wish was just around the corner from your house, and it's something like the kind of store I’d love to have.
The jewellery is out of this world and there’s a careful edit of clothing, shoes and bags from the likes of Carven, Isabel Marant, Linda Farrow and Jil Sander, but it’s the ‘Objects’ section where this beautiful store really comes into its own – painted arrows in candy colours, glittering yet organic crystals, silk quilts with leather carry harnesses, Navajo-inspired tapestries strung with gold thread and handmade ceramics washed with pistachio, lemon and turquoise hues.
They also have a fabulous mostly image-based blog, Journal, which is perfect for a quick dose of the cool, the quirky, the creative and a whole lot of beautifully saturated colour – a real treat for the eye.