The Big Smoke.

The Big Smoke.

Friday, 24 June 2011

RCA Final Show 2011, Highlights

I went to look around the Royal College of Art's final show this lunchtime, i wish all Friday afternoon's were like this! And there were some amazing things.

The RCA is just next to the Albert Hall, Kensington (easy, pretty, walk from South Ken or High St Kensington to go and see the show) beautiful location, little stroll through the park before end perhaps... This was my afternoon

'Lunchtime jog' they were talking work. Team building. Great. I approve of this lunchtime!

But: these are my favourites from the show:
Emma Shipley, Textiles student, her final show 2011. It looked incredible, she based the project on nature, evolution and the imperfect 'repeats' (nice play on print design there) and the replications this brings through... genes, the imagery is mainly linear sketches of apes and vines, incredibly intricate, as if documenting every detail, and i HOPE she becomes a wallpaper and textile designer, she is innovative and exciting.
Textiles student Lauren Barfoot, basing the print work on Matisse and the Fauvist movement, used brilliant inspiration for her colour palette.
Made entirely of ceramic and glass, this scene was endearing, if not slightly sinister or at least children's 'fairytale' like, and we all know how most of those go... But it was enchanting and interesting. The designer Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, calls it 'visual poetry', and i utterly get that from it.
It is the birds - Alfred Hitchcock springs to mind, as does Rob Ryan, two very different 'artists' - that draw you in to Sarah Wibeley's work (Ceramic student) The mono usage of colour and the simplicity but importance of matt and shine detailing, with the illustrative, ambiguous and eery like imagery is brilliant. Absolutely chic, contemporary and aesthetic ceramic.  Go see.Images from the RCA website below, have a look at the work from the show

Walking through the park, past the Albert Hall; so pretty in the sun, to the Royal College of Art final show. Afternoon's were made for this...

Bliss. I wish all Friday afternoon's were like this...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lovely London this weekend. Culture Baby! Part... two!

The superb Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Opposite the pretty Fortnum and Mason's; and coffee! shop.

It's like I've never seen colour and transparency before. Perspex: It's a wonderful thing isn't it.

My artist friend and I at the RAA
See the full album on my Facebook page for London Leopard Grr!


Wake up it's a beautiful morning!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lovely London this weekend. Culture Baby!

Just a few snaps around London this weekend, so far...

Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery's 'Living Wall' Life imitating art. One of Van Gogh's finest

As the wall 'lives' and grows it will begin to flourish like the delightful landscape of the painting. But obviously, this is nature so who knows, it may take on a world of it's own yet.

Miro at the Tate Modern. It is wonderful, the colours of the paintings in real life are so much more beautiful than you are used to seeing. You can see the brushstrokes and the softness of the work, along with the unique signature style we have become so familiar of.

'Women and Bird in the Moonlight'

View from Tate Modern balcony, sixth floor.

Member's room view. A great, great place to sit and write this... *smiles*

The city is really busy this weekend, with the sun delighting us, when it sees fit! Tomorrow: Royal Academy of Arts. I'm just compiing my 'to do' list of things coming up for the next few months of 'Summer', those things not to be missed here. Lily Vanilli very kindly informed me of their next event. Fabulous. 

If you have any up and coming ideas too London, do let me know. Next blog: My to do list (very famous for these lists, i just get excited!)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I'm currently reading 'One Day' by David Nicholls and love it!

It's a funny, lovely and original concept. Two people meet; as simple and genuine as that often is, but the story follows the two on the same day every year, for twenty years. We see their separate lives being lived, and as they dip in and out again of each others world.

"You can live your whole life not realising what you're looking for is right in front of you."

I'm such an old romantic, but I love a bit of humour and honesty too, which is why the book is so brilliant; it is written from both the male and female perspective, which makes it wonderfully insightful, and fun. And a huge success internationally.

I'm immersed in the book myself... So far so good!

Another excellent book, again honest, I have also just finished is however, not for the faint hearted: Intimacy by Hanif Kureshi is a short, and not so sweet male account of the night before, and as he prepares to leave his relationship, and the harsh reality of his reasons. It was recommend by Stylist magazine, in their 'books that shape you' article. And I can see why, it's good for girls to read.

It is graphic, sexually, and emotionally; or his lack of, but actually just a different way of thinking to us, it is hard to empathise with him, but his reasoning is sound, and actually an old romantic himself at heart, is really how i see him. And i cannot fault his wanting for 'more'. It was a controversial best seller this one, but I 'liked' the book, for want of a better word, a lot. Also highly recommend!

The Savoy is a delight. Cocktail's a must.

So i went for cocktails yesterday at The Savoy's American Bar, feeling like I'd been happily thrown back somewhere between the 1920's and 1950's. A grand piano was centre in the room and i longed for it to be played, but the American jazz music buoyant in the background set the scene perfectly. The bar open until 12am most days, is perfect for post West End theatre nights, it really is in the heart of the show scene. And at night, the bar would be lively, and really would be like going back in time. I hope the piano is played all night.

The American Bar was retro, and swinging and all that jazz really... The cream of the 'cool' such as Frank Sinatra himself drank here in his hey-day. Oh, how i would give anything to have been there then too... There is a fabulous photo archive of some of the extraordinary visitors to gaze over before you go through, it really is a who's who of glamour and icons.

Frankie: I do like you!
I Had a Champs Elysee, a cocktail from the original cocktail book written by the legendary bar-tender Harry Craddock. It was delicious; a bitter, sharp, very gin laden Martini.

The epitome of Art Deco
The Savoy first opened in 1889 in the most stunning location along the river Thames, the views are a real treat for guests. The mix of Art Deco and English history is divine. The monochromatic tiling, over sized vivid flower displays and rich dark wood give the iconic London hotel ambiance. It really is a piece of history for the city and one so worth seeing.

The familiar black and green signage you see at the grand entrance is just the beginning.

The Thames Foyer is also a wonderful looking, outdoors-indoors grand room at the very heart of the hotel. With a garden gazebo, drawing the eye as the light floods in and down the trellis's, afternoon tea looked splendid, although i did not get to sample this, yet.

It is a beautiful building and such a part of time in London, i would recommend going for a drink, afternoon tea; or like me to buy the tea, i brought The Savoy Breakfast Blend, it came in a black tapestry like box i couldn't resist: the box. But at £8.50 for 50g it is to be savoured, shall we say.

Stephen Fry, you lucky thing, being the first guest after the £100 million restoration. But what a glorious job they did.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I am raising money with the Boutique Run 10k, for a charity so close to my heart...

On 9th July, myself and a friend will be running the 10k Boutique Run event in town. It is a fantastic event, celebrating, supporting and saying a big thankyou to all women who take part.

I will be dressing up too! As a leopard, of course; to help the cause and give someone a smile, i should expect. If you would like to take part yourself, then do! Do it! Definitely.

If you would like to donate to help such a worthy cause and make a difference, and it truely will, then please sponosr me below.

Thank you, so, very, much.

Best get running then, grrr!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

There is something beautiful in Lucy in Disguise's first vintage inspired 'own' collection

The website is gorgeous and charming. It is ethereal and enchanting, with a video photo shoot of the most endearing nature and fashion. What you immediately get from the partnership of Lucy Allen and her sister is their true and undivided love of fashion across the era's. 

All of the looks they take their personal inspiration and style from resonate all over the site and store. The concept of the 'shop' is to rent or buy the very best that vintage has to offer. From couture desires, to the epitome of true dressing-up costumes. It really is a Pandora's box of a clothes shop and offers something unique for those special occasions, when only a one-off outfit will do.

Every detail is considered in the finish of the label, i even adore the pink lips cursor on the website. So i was delighted to hear they had expanded to bring out a new collection of their own, with vintage inspiration and aspirations but with a fresh modern twist. The launch party took place last week and Lucy and her sister looked radiant.

From Harvey
It is clear to see that we are being given a taster, a snippet, of each decade in this new collection. And it is an awful lot of fun with it. I must praise the duo for that. But i wasn't enamoured with the premier collection, i have to say. I think it will get better. And as i say the pieces were delightful, and lovely, but not one single piece was just so wonderfully special to me, i wanted to have it, and i think with all the inspiration around them it could have been a little more 'special'. Perhaps a little less safe, more extraordianry. All designs will be In store and at Harvey Nicholls now, ranging from around £150-£390.

My favourites are the beautifully transparent and wafting pea green dress 

And the black embellished jump suit. But other pieces include a clearly Coco Chanel/Jackie O homage LBD

I'm glad to see the time of vintage we have been in now for some time, is being enhanced, with 'vintage inspired' designs, we have a lot we could still learn and draw upon from the designers of the past, and i am a huge fan of removing this age of 'throw-away fashion' and replacing with considered, timeless pieces. As i say, just something special. 

So i hope Lucy In Disguises own collection continues, i do wish them all the best, and we can begin to collect, treasure and keep fashion again.