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Luella Bartley opens her Christmas grotto at Liberty’s

Despite hearing that Luella was to cease trading, the designer was in high spirits last night as Liberty’s opened their Christmas grotto that has been given a magical makeover from Luella Bartley herself. As carol singers sung, friendly Leon staff offered free chocolate brownies and flapjacks that went down very well! The windows, which Luella also has creative direction over, were equally festive with a giant tinsel robin and traditional patriotic scenes of living rooms over-decorated with paper chains, Christmas cards and tacky decorations. Inspiration for our own flat this year has definitely been found!

One window that wasn’t so traditional!

Filed under: christmas windows, Leon, Liberty's, luella, luella bartley

Ashley Jordan Gordon

Who: Ashley Jordan Gordon
Where: The Book Club
When: Friday 13th November
What: Photography and celebration party
Why: Because we love her, her work is beautiful, the venue is amazing and no one should stay in on a Friday night!

Filed under: ashley jordan gordon, the book club

Girl on Kingsland Road

Buying the Guardian on a Saturday is sometimes as close as I get to all the major exhibitions I want to see in London. But this weekend I am making the effort to go to the National Portrait Gallery where my amazingly talented friend Ashley has her very own image in the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. Pretty amazing really. Her image, ‘Girl on Kingsland Road’ feels beautifully spontaneous yet at the same time manages to capture that sense of ‘mutual awareness’ between subject and photographer where an ‘understood’ pose is representative of a socially visual generation. Never without her camera, friends, myself included, are well accustomed to being snapped at on random outings and finding ourselves on her blog. Always beautifully executed though Ashley is like the Polaroid camera, she has that unique eye and talent to make everything just look beautiful! Cool Hunting recently interviewed her, but make sure you pop to the NPG Gallery before February 14th to see not only Ashley’s entry but the other entrants and winners of this year’s competition.

Filed under: ashley jordan gordon, cool hunting, girl on kingsland road, national portrait gallery, taylor wessing photographic portrait prize

Puppets On A Boat – The London Puppetry Festival

Tonight we had an unusual but pleasurable experience, we went to see a puppet show on a boat. Not Punch and Judy on a row boat but a sophisticated puppet show with amazing visuals and really cleverly executed puppetry on a barge in Little Venice. I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of puppet viewing experience but the six puppeteers of the Movingstage Marionette Company brilliantly handled multiple puppets in, ‘Out of the Heart of Darkness’ show as part of the London Puppetry Festival.

Sitting in the middle of a barge sipping on a tea from the little refreshment cafe as you enter the boat, you really are taken to a whimsical world, the atmosphere enhanced by examples of puppets that adorn the walls, the one on right Mr Chaplin I’m pretty sure:

Although the above puppets did not appear in the production, which told the tale of an explorer who travels to Africa, with traditional music and perfect pitch mood enhancing lighting, making it a brilliant night out, especially when it pops into your head that you’re sitting in a canal while enjoying this – its well worth seeing.
The festival takes place in seven venues over London – not all of them upon water – and runs until 8th November.

Filed under: little venice, london puppetry festival, movingstage marionette company, out of the heart of darkness, puppets

Happy Halloween!

This year my Halloween costume shall go something like this:


Filed under: Alexander McQueen, autumn winter 2009, halloween

Showstudio @ Liberty’s

Just thought I would share our snaps from the Showstudio camera that was in the window of LIberty’s last week. The idea is that London’s fashionable folk wonder by, take a pic of what they’re wearing and Gareth Pugh will judge the best dressed and they will win £500 in Liberty vouchers. Obviously we did not quite pose appropriately for that as it was on the way back from the pub, our friend Robert however, bottom pic, threw his heart and giant scarf into it. Bet Gareth picks him.

Filed under: fashion, Gareth Pugh, Liberty's, robert william eaton, showstudio

The Book Club

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I’ve always welcomed the idea of alcohol and cake in one establishment. Just off Great Eastern Street is the beautifully chilled out, open plan bar/ cafe/ meeting place/ table tennis venue called The Book Club, previously known as the Home Bar.The bare brick walls mixed with eclectic 50’s style furniture and chintz style curtains say New York style apartment mixed with a touch of East London eclecticism. Perfect for winding down, meeting friends or playing a game of ping pong in the back room.

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Split over two floors the bottom has an impressive light bulb ceiling whilst the light and airy feel to the upstairs brings a welcome change for anyone tired of battling crowds at Broadway on a Saturday and shuffling along brick lane or Columbia Road on a Sunday!

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With evening talks, storytelling, brunch, music, newspapers, film, fashion, dancing, art, poetry, wine, ping pong and cocktails, The Book Club is looking to become a new hotspot.

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Hot Cocoa

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Flowers on the wall as you enter…

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Cloud of bulbs- the ceiling downstairs

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Filed under: bar, the book club

Pop-Up Jack White

Someone has an clever PR, don’t they Jack White? This Friday and Saturday, Jack White is hopping onto the pop-up shop trend and having his very own one in Shoreditch Church. He has not turned his hand to clothes design though, the shop will essentially be a big merchandising hold for his plethora of bands. It’s going to be in London on 30th (open 11am – 6pm) and 31st (open 11am – 9pm) October and Jack himself will be in town as the most recent of his bands The Dead Weather will be playing gigs at The Forum, Kentish Town and the Brixton Academy. The pop-up shop has previously been in LA and New York, where Jack popped in for an in-shop gig. Let’s hope he does the same in London.

Filed under: Jack White, jack white pop up shop, music, pop up shop, shoreditch church

Foale & Tuffin: Made in England

Sixties- a decade of optimism and hope, bright colours and refreshing modernity. No surprise really then that London is currently hosting two major exhibitions that look back to this era in a time when our present decade is in much need of all of the above. The National Portrait Gallery has gone with Beatles to Bowie as well as photographic display of the cultural icon herself, Twiggy. Meanwhile, opening today, the Fashion & Textile museum presents Foale & Tuffin: Made in England. We popped along yesterday to the press view where the adorably cute Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were there themselves, sporting matching glasses and some great checked trousers- not quite the picture of Ian R. Webb’s description of “…cocky, feisty, bolshy…” but adorable nonetheless.

The intimate space has been curated around the theme of ‘recreation’ for a personal, nostalgic image that recreates their boutique, showroom and design studio.

The humble execution fits well with the equally ‘rags to riches’ style story that accompanies these two women who set off on a trailblazing career with just 200 pounds in their pockets!
Having met at Walthamstow Art School in 1955, the pair went on to study at the RCA before embarking on their own business venture that led them to their own boutique just off Carnaby Street and a credible amount of fans including Manolo Blahnik, Paul Smith (who’s supporting the exhibition), Mary Quant, Jean Shrimpton, Barbara Hulanicki and Terrance Conran.

The success of their label was propelled by their appearance in Vogue magazine. Old covers line the walls with much of the imagery showcasing the early works of photographer David Bailey.

A sixties soundtrack on repeat keeps you rooted in the decade, the clothes and imagery taking you back to the days of miniskirts, A-line dresses and bob-cut hairstyles. We cannot help notice though how many of the pieces would fit perfectly into Topshop right now. Our favourite was the Domino print dress (print designed by Zandra Rhodes):

An amazing belt…

Crazy print trousers!

Foale & Tuffin: Made in England runs from now until February 24th.

Filed under: beatles to bowie, david bailey, fashion and textile museum, foale and Tuffin, marion foale, national portrait gallery, paul smith, sally tuffin, sixties exhibitions, Topshop, twiggy

Look at this beauty!

This amazing satchel style striped bag is from Topshop and a very reasonable thirty English pounds. I’ve fallen in love and need it to house all my daily transportable things this winter.

Filed under: bag, fashion, Topshop