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Blue and Joy @ Salvatore Ferragamo

All through October, the Frieze Art Fair is taking place in Regent’s Park, London. More than 150 contemporary art galleries from across the world exhibit there, showcasing both new and established artists. Alongside this main event, exhibitions are happening all over London in conjunction with the fair. Last night at Italian fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo’s swanky store on Old Bond Street, such an event took place.

Artists Fabio la Fauci and Daniele Sigalot originally created characters Blue and Joy for a comic book but they soon progressed to graffiti style images and text, creating playful paintings and sculptures incorporating the characters. This exhibition is entitled ‘Dream Hunters’ and the centre-piece is an amazing 2.3 by 1.5 metre image of a dog, made entirely of buttons and not any old buttons – 35,000 Salvatore Ferragamo vintage buttons. The exhibition runs until 24th October.

Filed under: blue and joy, frieze art fair, London, salvatore ferragamo

Fancy A Quick Rank?

So the billboards of East London and pages of Dazed & Confused have been recently been asking us if we ‘fancy a quick rank’? Witty yes, but when emblazoned across one’s press bag, walking through Liverpool Street station suddenly becomes slightly uncomforting with the suited yuppies probably wondering why a ‘w’ has been replaced with an ‘r’. No typo here though, Rankin, undoubtedly one of the most desired photographers of modern times is currently holding a pretty huge retrospective of his work at the Truman Brewery.

Rankin_Live_London_August_2009 073

Definitely worth the £10 entrance fee, this broad representation of his work lays to rest any myths that the ‘notoriously arrogant’ photographer only shoots celebrities. Early works teach us about Rankin’s first move into photography where his inspiration from Weugene Smith and Don McCullin encouraged him to pick up a camera and experiment with a documentary style. Snapping guys from the street, Rankin soon began to discover his talent for bringing out the raw truth in people and allowing them to feel relaxed in front of the lens.

This quality has subsequently led him to photograph some of the biggest names in social and popular culture including, Ian Brown, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, Elton John, Kate Winslet and even HRH, The Queen. Of course some of his iconic Kate Moss images are included in this show but also unique projects such as his ‘Congo’ collection for Oxfam charity. Globalizing an image of people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rankin shot portraits not of hunger and suffering, but of real people expressing their unique character.

Promoting understanding, connection and action his images continue a reflection of what it is he does best. Many leap at the chance of being captured by Rankin himself, which is what makes this exhibition that little bit more special. A Rankin Live section allows you to get a glimpse of the man in action, as successful applicants from across the country get their quick Rank. Fancy yours? Head down to the Truman Brewery before the 18th September.

Filed under: dazed and confused, don mccullin, east london, Kate Moss, London, ranki, rankin live, truman brewery, weugene smith

Finally, we can have a coffee in Central Perk!

If you pop down to Broadwick Street in good old London town, from 24th September – 7th October, you can visit the pop-up version of the Friends favourite place to hang out – Central Perk, which will be there to honour and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the brilliant TV show. Hopefully this will be a complete replica of the world’s most famous coffee shop, complete with Gunther serving coffee’s and everything, not just a coffee cart with a Central Perk sign stuck on it.

Filed under: broadwick street, central perk, coffee, friends, London, pop up shop

Freestyle Magazine Launch

So, last night, next to that big red bus near the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Freestyle Magazine had a little launch party, complete with rooftop – well van-top – DJ’s and a frisby competition / display. Said frisby comes free with the debut issue and features a design by excellent fashion duo Eley Kishimoto.

The bi-annual magazine fits perfectly inside the frisby – yes, a round magazine – and has everything from fashion editorials and pages of monkey faces to delicious cake recipes. It has a crafty, whimsical feel, a little like recently departed (in print form anyway) Amelia’s Magazine, except not as girlie.

You can grab a copy at RD Franks, Magma, Borders etc. Except not Borders on Oxford Street as that branch is shutting down. Terrible news. It’s been bought out by New Look. Even worse news...

Filed under: berlin, borders, fashion magazine, free style magazine launch, freestyle magazine, London, RD Franks

Yayoi Kusama – Acension of Polkadots on the Trees

If you pop down to the south bank at the moment you’ll be greeted by this wonderful sight. Looking like a scene from Alice’s Wonderland or maybe Teletubby land, these 25 polkadotted trees are, of course, works of art. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has been fascinated by dots since she was a child, she even hallucinates that her surroundings are covered in them, hence the trees.

This installation is part of the Hayward Gallery’s Walking In My Mind exhibition, which runs from 23 June – 6 September 2009. Ten artists, including Kusama have given us a glimpse into the workings of their mind. You can take a walk into Thomas Hirschhorn’s mind-cave constructed of masking tape, Chiharu Shiota‘s Japanese horror movie style webbed room or Pipilotti Rist‘s dark ‘sleeping room’ that had brainwashing elements about it…
It really is a fascinating exhibition, where all of the artworks are dramatically different and you’re actually given an insight into why an artist has created a piece of work rather than just being presented with it.

It’s well worth going to see and while you’re in the Hayward you can also visit Matthew Darbyshire‘s Funhouse, which features, among other things, this bull made from aluminum cans:

Filed under: Acension of Polkadots on the Trees, Chiharu Shiota, dots, funhouse, Hayward Gallery, London, matthew darbyshire, Pipilotti Rist, polka dots, south bank, Thomas Hirschhorn, Walking in my Mind, Yayoi Kusama

Mary Portas’ Charity Shop at Westfield

Today I popped down to Westfield to check out Mary Portas’ charity shop or Mary’s Living & Giving Shop, to give it the official title. It’s situated in the swanky ‘Village’ area, which houses the designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and twenty8twelve.
It will be there until the 27th June and it really is a brilliant idea. Everyone loves finding a bargain in a charity shop, except these finds won’t be your average crusty old lady skirts. Mary has used her industry contacts to ensure there are daily donations from the best of fashion and celeb circles.
Grazia magazine, who are sponsoring the project, had a good old clear out of the fashion cupboard by the looks of things, there are Topshop press samples (including MAJORLY reduced boutique pieces), donations from buyers, Henry Holland, Pet Shop Boys, Hannah Marshall and Luella to name a few. And seeing that tomorrow is being referred to as ‘Louboutin Tuesday‘ and Saturday as, ‘Super Saturday,’ due to the amount of designer goodies that will be on the racks, it’s worth popping down more than once, as the stock is always replenished as new amazing donations pour in.

The money raised will go to Save The Children, Barnardo’s and Mind charities and a lot of money is being raised, with the shop averaging a very impressive 5k per day.

This shop is in conjunction with Mary’s Tuesday night BBC2 programme, Mary Queen of Charity Shops, which aims to change the nations attitudes towards charity shops. Apparently some people have a negative take on them?? I’ve been a long advocate of them and the gems give you if you take the time to look hard enough. Make sure you get down to Westfield at some point and grab a designer piece at a bargain price. Make sure you pop to your local charity shop too.

Filed under: fashion, grazia, hannah marshall, henry holland, London, Markus Lupfer for Topshop, Mary Portas, Mary Portas' charity shop, Mary's living and giving shop, orla liely, Queen of Shops, westfield

Roll Up, Roll Up…..It’s Britney, Bitch.

So she actually turned up. I’m quite impressed that Britney hasn’t yet cancelled a show on her Circus tour, given her tempestuous personal life of the last few years. And as far as a pop show went, it was slick, entertaining, had Perez Hilton introducing her and incorporated Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams. The fact it was in the round so that everyone had equal viewing was a really nice touch. The circus theme worked brilliantly and Britney did everything she was supposed to. No more, no less.

That was the problem. I
know you don’t go to a Britney show for the live vocals but I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed, Hey London, how y’all doing?” was the only time her microphone was used. I guess knowing all we do about Britney’s problems, you are left wondering how much she is aware of what’s going on. Any sign there was life behind the costumes was all we wanted. Sadly, it never came. It was a bit like seeing a robot dance (a little bit) and strut around the stage (a lot.) It was Britney, or could have been a very good look-a-like, would have made no difference.

As she was in no fit state to tour with the brilliant Blackout album, this tour mainly focused on that, with some classic gems thrown in. Sadly, no Oops, I Did It Again, though. Overall, I don’t want to slag her, I love Britney and this tour proves that with her career at least, she’s back on track and this can only be a good thing.

Filed under: Britney Spears, Britney Spears Circus Tour, London, music, O2 Arena 2009, pop music

Barbie @ Dover Street Market

The celebration of Barbie’s 50 years on the planet shows no sign of stopping, so far events held in birthday honour include having her own show during New York Fashion Week – with 50 outfits created by 50 designers including Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson and Diane von Furstenberg, a whole store dedicated to her in Shanghai and an installation in Colette, Paris.

The latest Barbie-style extravaganza is taking place in our very London town. In Dover Street Market to be precise.
Barbie is getting her very own pop-up store style space in the shop, and it is curated by none other than Henry Holland. Not only that – Gareth Pugh puts his recently showcased menswear skills to good use as he has dressed 50 Ken (Barbie’s sadly genital – less boyfriend) dolls and Roksanda Ilincic and Danielle Scutt have created 50 dresses for Barbie herself.

The centre piece will be a huge bigger than human size (possibly, hopefully) Barbie. This I want to see. If you do too then get down to DSM from 8th April but be quick as it’s only there for two weeks.

Filed under: Barbie, Betsey Johnson, Danielle Scutt, Diane von Furstenberg, Dover Street Market, fashion, Gareth Pugh, henry holland, Ken, London, Roksanda Ilincic, toys, Vera Wang

Style Lovage

Anyone who was cool as a kid – LIKE ME, would tune in at 6 pm on Channel 4 for the weekly instalment of BLOSSOM. And her hot brother Joey. Not to mention her best friend Six. Thus creating the desire for a number name. I wanted Four. Jenny would take Nine. The wonder of Blossom didn’t just stop there – Oh no! It was the catalyst for my wardrobe choices, my career choices – just all choices in general.

Clearly Henry Holland felt the same.

Filed under: 90s, blossom, career, fashion, henry holland, London, ss 09, style, tv