Saturday, 6 November 2010

cut it out.

An entry for Design*Sponge's 'Design an original alphabet' competition. I found time out of a relentless project/dissertation timetable to do this during a 4 hour car journey with cutting matt and scalpel. As you can see I've called it 'Leafography' which is a really clever play on the term typography. I have a major obsession with autumn leaves and have to constantly restrain myself from not jumping into piles of them at the age of 21. Will I ever get bored of autumn coming every year, embarrassing the trees and making them blush? I don't think so.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Backstage Brighton

After spending the summer refining the cover design for Backstage Brighton, a book from publishing company 'Queen Spark Publishing', it was finally printed and launched on Tuesday 5th October. Waterstones will be presenting it at the end of this month and there will be a window display and everything!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

100 Days of Active Resistance

Over the summer Vivienne Westwood released an open brief to send in a photograph/slogan/piece of artwork which supported her campaign of active resistance. A different submission will be chosen each day and at the end of the project will be exhibited. I entered a piece which focused on diminishing culture, and it was chosen for day number 9!

You can visit the gallery here

Saturday, 11 September 2010


So...if we were to invest a little more into the 'Fashion-as-Health' metaphor, (which is relevant because everything this summer has been surgery related - have you seen the Stella McCartney cape from her AW10 Collection? And did you know that your prescription will take 2-3 days?) then you could say that fashion is experiencing a much needed detox. It seems really, since the photographic pixelated prints of Autumn/Winter 09 and the drawn out horror of completely unnecessary sandals, that we have been undergoing a bit of a fashion breakdown. Basically, Spring Summer'10 had an overdose and sympathetic designers and buyers have sent her packing to an exclusive 'retreat' where she, Grace Jones and possibly 'H' from Steps will reflect on bad habits whilst drinking white tea over muslin tablecloths.

Anyway, the important thing is that the detox is underway. To most people, this means a time of discipline after a period of over-indulgence. You cut out carbs, drink a lot of nettle tea and eat copious amounts of spinach. The fashion equivalent follows the same principle. Strip back to things that are good for you. Perfect tailoring, classic archive pieces that have been tried, tested and applauded, fabric that speaks for itself and items that don't need 200 studs and a zip on each shoulder to look designed.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Meeting Manolo

One queue, one book, one purple suited spaniard.

shutters of lakones

Just returned from exploring greek villages in paleocastritsa. Three of the things I've learnt on my greek adventure are that decaying, run down buildings are much more beautiful than slick perfection, european supermarkets are more exciting than words, and if you bring three books, two thought provoking intellectuals and one trashy stiletto-emblazoned front covered follow on from the Devil Wears Prada, you will always read the later. And then pine for trash for the rest of the holiday. Lesson learnt.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

in the summer time when the weather is fine

I thought I should post these lovely summer photos of my grandmother, red setter Kelly and classic car Morgan with amazing interior. It contrasts nicely with the welly boot weather we're experiencing outside. Today I plan on knitting, writing, wet weather walking and hopefully going to meet a puppy. Either that or wasting time in comfies all day. Happy Rainy Day!

Thursday, 29 July 2010


I've just finished eating up August Vogue. It tasted like steak and mushroom pie in a smokey-oak pub whilst wearing as many woolen things as possible. Its this sort of time during summer when I am completely content, but occasionally, whilst lying in the garden or on a wander, I let myself think about wearing thick socks, sitting in front of fires and eating a lot of soup.

Winter welcomes the return of classics like trench coats, tailoring and tweed with open cable knitted arms. Summer is a bit of a slut in that respect. She doesn't have long, meaningful relationships with her wardrobe, taking her wool coats to dry cleaners or protecting jumpers from moths. She buys viscose maxi dresses from primark, wears them with a giant brown plastic belt slung round the hips and then throws it away at the end of August. This year, Trend has been affecting Brighton like never before.

This newly developed strain of the Trend virus has been quietly mutating since about last July. It doesn't survive the winter well, but once the temperature creeps up it begins to infect the vulnerable (people who get their legs out at the first hint of March sunshine) and the symptoms start to appear in early July.

The main indication that someone is infected is if they are decked out in full current-New-Look-window-must-haves regardless of whether it looks good or not. Examples this year is a studded and or cuffed gladiator sandal paired with brain scrambling printed tiered maxi dress, wide belt (ergh), cropped denim jacket and some kind of hair accessory.

The cure? Pry copies of Look/More/New/Now/Style from their fingers, and maybe set up some kind of NHS emergency phone line for advice. The lady with the kind voice on the other end of the phone will tell you to drink plenty of fluids and to please stay inside. It's very contagious.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

four little mice with clogs on

A little bite of Amsterdam. Filming anything and everything. I tried not to use cliched backing music, but I think 'Tulips of Amsterdam' is going to make a comeback so I thought I'd get in with it quickly. Afternoons spent having tea and cake, evenings serenaded by accordion playing restaurant owners, climbing trees in vondlepark and wondering who was going to fall off their bike first.

The artist shop where Van Gogh probably bought his paints and pastels.

Dutch doing green grocer ads. They do it nicely.

Amsterdam supermarket equivalent. Is it right to want to buy food just for the labels?


little bench friends.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

mac back

As a first time Mac buyer and still feeling very much in love with my 5 month old computer (aka Mr Macbook) I've rarely let him out of my sight. This is all well and good but it means I have had to transport it to and from University. Luckily, for convenience and aesthetics, it fit nicely in my lovely vintage basket that I bought from a flea market a couple of weeks before. Perfect! So everything was happy and Mr macbook and I were a bit like newly-weds, I'd trot back and forth from uni with a smile on my face and my basket in hand.

One week in, and the trot had turned into a heave and the smile had turned into the biggest grimace you've ever seen in your life. Honestly. You coudn't see my face for grimace. As the weather got hotter, the layers grew thinner, and soon, the lovely vintage wicker-basket handle was creating an imprint of its weave into my shoulder. I padded the silly handle out with a scarf and soldiered on. I was not the only mac user in the world. Man up.

All the self motivation thinking at myself didn't work. The basket was discarded to its new home by the front door and I carried my mac around in a cotton shopper. My shoulder looked like it had been exposed to african sun and then scrubbed a bit with a loufah.

So I asked about. How do you carry your mac to uni? Oh I have a rucksack. Blergh. A Rucksack? I'm child sized anyway so if I carried a rucksack about I'd either look like a mature child trying to break into Brighton University graphics studio or a foreign student. Neither was appealing. So I ignored everyone else's advice and went and bought an 'over the shoulder' bag from H&M. Vintage/Satchel/Army ish, with a nice buckle in the middle to adjust the strap. It sort of worked actually. Until I ran for the train and the nice buckle broke...with the macbook inside. Gulp.

One £200 bill for fixing the charging unit later (H&M you owe me £200 damages £200 emotional trauma compensation) the over the shoudler bag was basically spat on in rejection and the last resort was dragged out from under the bed. The dusty black sports rucksack decorated with cobwebs and an umbro label.

This wouldn't do. Even French Students had rucksacks from Quicksilver or Roxy. I was standing on the bottom rung of the ladder of respectable rucksack brands. So I did what I knew best and bought something which looked vagely attractive for 99p off ebay and crossed my fingers. Luckily it arrived complete with maroon plaid and tan leather detailing. Ok so it was't padded, and I do have a bruise in the small of my back from where the macbook hits my spine every time I take a step forward, but at least it came at the same time as Vogue fashion editors decided it was time to scrape their own dusty black umbro rucksack equivilients out from under their beds.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Backstage Beauty

Last month whilst I was running around trying to finish everything for second year assessment, I was also running around backstage at the Theatre Royal dressed as a napkin (amongst other things) in Beauty and the Beast. One of the biggest excitements of being in big productions like this one is living backstage with your friends and being in this buzzing environment. The Theatre Royal is one of the oldest theatres in England and backstage sort of proves that. Its one of my favourite places in the whole world. Here is just a little window into that buzz.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

they got a little carried away...

So I bought my ticket for Sex and the City 2 a week before it opened. I kept looking at my ticket poking out of my purse with EXTREME excitement and squealed down the phone to girlfriends many, many times. I feel that due to my enormous girl-crush on Miss Carrie Bradshaw I owe it to her to talk about why I a, didn't cry once during the film, b, didn't come out of the cinema to turn around and go and watch it again.

Before I start talking about the films, I should probably admit that I have the Sex and the City boxset, I watch the episodes over, and over, and over again, and then probably once more. I giggle when Charlotte wonders if her hair is too shiny, and I cry when Carrie holds Miranda's hand during her mothers funeral. The script is funny, the City is stylish, the outfits are enviable and more importantly, you see what real friendship between women is like. I started watching it when I was impressionable and therefore strictly forbidden. I used to go to extreme lengths to record it after I had gone to bed, putting blue tack over the red 'recording' light so it wouldn't shine out in the dark living room, even saying I had to feed the neighbours cat and watching it while I was house sitting. The determination to become obssessed with this programme was there from the start.

Number 2 lost a lot of what was at the heart of the episodes. The producers were completely right to think that the clothes were something which drew women to watch the programme, but the plot was never (or rarely) driven by the outfits. It certainly wasn't dependant on them. Carrie was always really brave with her outfits, but with the audience of a bazilion pairs of eyes scrutinising wrinkles and labels, she was more of a high concentrated mix of glam, and my tastebuds missed that dash of playful giddyness she has in the episodes. Everything, her new apartment (I know they were trying to show a grownup apartment, but it was so gloomy, 'Bunny*'ish and sort of like a museum), her relationship with Big (high maintentance and un-realistic, I'm sorry, but everyone likes watching TV in bed), her wardrobe (already discussed), was mature, and I know the movie was supposed to be a comment on 45+ women, but we could have seen that jump in maturity from the other gals. Carrie had a child-like spirit even in the first film, but in the 3 years between, the writers decided that she had gotten all serious.

It should have been renamed Sex and 'a cheap/remote place for filming where the New York Public won't bother the cast or get drifts of the (very little, slightly mundane) plot'. Saying all that, I did enjoy it, purely because I've put so much time into these characters that I could watch them painting their kitchen cabinets and I'd find it entertaining. I giggled at Charlotte, thought I might squeeze a tear out for Miranda in her touching moment about motherhood, but I missed, missed missed Carrie's leading man, Mr New York. He was completely neglected and if I were him, I'd go cheat on the girls with the cast of Friends or Will and Grace.

Oh and I have NO IDEA what they were doing putting Liza Minelli/Miley Cyrus (currently throwing up) in the film.

PS I do realise the amount of opinion I have about this subjecy is a bit ridiculous/freakish, but we all have our embarrassing little secrets.

PPS. I plan to see it again this week.

* For all of you who don't know who 'Bunny' is (which means you're not someone who watches Sex and the City - why are you reading this post?) she was Trey's (Charlotte's -the dark one- ex husband) Mother. She was old money, upper upper class and owned an estate. To say that Carrie's apartment was 'Bunny'ish' is NOT a compliment.