Saturday, 16 March 2013

Sat 16th March: Machine A

On my first day off in London since ........... last season.......... I headed straight to MACHINE A as I havn't seen it's new premises yet!  The boutique which used to be on Berwick Street has shimmied along the Soho streets and set up a brand new concept store on Beak Street.  Here is Anna Trevelyan who consults on the buying for the brand which hangs labels together in colour / style curated rails.  In this way its a little like looking at one of her wardrobes from a shoot as its so carefully put together - translating trends and showing how to mix and match Mugler with Nasir Mazhar etc.  Therefore its not just a place to pick up exciting emmerging labels but also a destination to hit if you want to see how the specialists might style the season - ready for you to try on.  Aaron Frew is on hand to talk you thru each piece including my Swatch watch which he has carefully placed in a stream of light to reflect the irredescent packaging.  Pop in to have a first person experience of Pieran Gong's MA neoprene collection or grab yourself an exclusive Alex Mattsson phone cover!

Labels include:   Chalayan, Raf Simons, Louise Gray, Sibling, Dominic Jones, NOKI, Ashley Williams, Nasir Mazhar, Alex Mattsson

Follow the store's news on Twitter here and owner Stavros Karelis here.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Friday 15th March: Wool House at Somerset House

No your eyes are not deceiving you - these are actual sheep in the courtyard of Somerset House.  Just chilling and chewing the cud over what fine specimens they are and what rad wool they produce for our fashions and interiors.  Both can be found within the wings of Somerset House with beautifully installed examples of modern textiles on walls, furniture and floors thematically curated by the likes of Donna Wilson.  To represent the garment industry there are examples of looks from London's own Giles, Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders ...... thru to these Tartan Westwood platforms.  There is a Saville Row special showcase with the tools of the trade out to demonstrate how Norton & Son's etc. execute their fine woollen cloth tailoring.  To see even further back in the process of the fabric construction you can witness a hand-loom at work alongside raw yarn being straightened with carders and spun.  If you fancy getting crafty the events schedule is RAMmmed (pfffffft!) with classes from crochet, lace making, darning, spinning and of course knitting.  The whole Wool Week / Wool House celebration culminates in a Tweed High Tea Party next Sunday 24th so (wool)mark it in your diary ............. especially tomorrow as its the final stint for the sheep holding court - and quite frankly they are too cute to miss.
Check out the whole calender at The Campaign  For Wool here.
(Examples here inlcude a McQueen humming bird tapestry, Anne Kyyro-Quinn cushion and felt wall and Double Helix DNA inspired runner by Cristian Zuzunaga)

Friday 15th March: Studio Africa vs. Diesel = Margot Bowman's "SeeSaw" digital interactive installation

Margot Bowman is challenging behaviour patterns of how we engage with our hand-held devices by getting us to take a break from scrolling social media interfaces and actually interacting with it.  For her Studio Africa installation at the flagship Diesel store she has set up illustrated posters with an embedded QR code to scan and discover the creative talent involved in the project.  She asked the artists to record footage from their favourite place and favourite activity for insight into their personal experience of South Africa to illustrate the inner cosmos of their own worlds within the country.  The programme named "See-Saw" guides you thru these excerpts by instructing you to physically turn your phone clockwise to open each link / door to the next chapter.  Therefore, when you visit her iridescent spectrum glazed glasshouse you will encounter shoppers twisting and turning their phones watching live recordings (e.g  drummers jamming at a house in Amiens, in Northern France to a tree house in the old colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire) ............ rather than a typical scene of glazed expressions flicking thru Facebook interface.  
Today is the final chance to catch it in-store but anyone can have a go by visiting the website here and scanning the QR codes (firstly download a QR reader to your phone!).  Get involved and enter the "See-Saw" domain to dig deeper into Studio Africa.........

Friday 15th March: Incoming = Seye at SXSW, Texas. Day 3

To round up and conclude Seye's Stateside adventure at SXSW festival in Ausitn Texas, here are snaps from his final day with The Very Best. ........... a sunshine injection for those of us elsewhere in the world, who are are shivering with Vitamin D deficiency whilst the sky splits its giant size beanbag of white pellet hail stones on our heads............... and for a glimpse of Andrew WK's set to get us in the PARTY mood for the weekend.............. PARTY

Thanks to Seye for the photos!  Follow him on Twitter here........... and Facebook here......

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Weds 13th March: Incoming = Seye at SXSW, Texas. Day 2

Carrying on from yesterday's introduction to SXSW via Seye - here is his 2nd day from the festival, playing with The Very Best on the same bill is The Polyphonic Spree (pictured).  Keep up to date with news from his Texas adventure at his Twitter and Facebook.