Monday, 29 August 2011


Residing in London 2 years ago I was a regular Soho caller. Frequenting the usual haunts, I met a kaleidoscope of personalities, nationalities and homosexual degrees.

Fast forward 24 months, I've changed. Soho has not. Sure there are new faces & queens but the warmth, vibrancy and energy remain.

From a civilised supper to a debauched dusk, it was a hoot.

Bruised, aching & no clue as to how I spent so much, I'm already pencilling in my next appointment.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


My art-icle (!) on the up coming make up trends AW11/12. Featured on Manchester Finest

I actually wrote this quite a while ago, but still - better late than never. This was challenge I set myself, I'm not the most devout beauty fan. This isn't to say I don't indulge in make-up, gee-whiz I do. It's just that I'm not overly adventurous with it. I tried the looks & they're achievable. It was a great deal of merriment. Especially with a make-up artist friend of mine.

AW11/12 Makeup

As we were falling off our ‘New Years Resolution’ bandwagons way back when in February, the fashion world entered the hysteria of another season of runways, plane delays and diva-days.

With the glitterati being way ahead of the norm a few months ago, we’re fast approaching the Autumn Winter 11/12 fashion drop (link to WGSN trend talk).

Clinging to fashion like a conjoined twin, are the beauty posse; armed with enough brushes and contraptions to intimidate the surrealist Salvador Dali. On hand to pounce on unsuspecting live-mannequins in the whirlwinds known as ‘Fashion Week’.

If fashion is the art, then beauty is its frame. Complimenting designer rags, make-up serves to enhance, add depth and bring synergy to a look. Like Thelma and Louise; one would be lost without the other. Complimenting the AW11/12 clothing trends, fashion week make-up artist and North West trainer, Louise Adshead, notes the top trends for the just around the corner season.

Doe-eyed 60′s
Emerging in New York in the DKNY and Anna Sui shows, the sixties signature travelled in the form of Antonio Beradi, Jonathon Saunders and Threeasfour.

With a luminous, almost egg-shell base, the focus feature of this look is the eyes. Proving you can never have too much of a good thing, the key to nailing this look is layering on mascara by the bucket load, the goal being to exaggerate and falsify them. As seen in the Paul & Joe RTW show in Paris (1) the look can be summed up as ‘a modern sixties direction, with a slick of gloss on the eye, white rimmed waterlines and a hint of coral on the lips, the star of the show are eyelashes’.

Throw the rule book out of the window, enjoy the textures and flutter.

To interpret the look, Louise recommends
Lingering Eyebrow pencil (
Freckletone Lipstick (
Haute & Naughty Lash (
Fascinating eye Kohl (

Style Ambiguity
If Kate Moss could coin a look, this is it. Swathed in a murky, androgynous but surprisingly refined make-up minefield, this look is the Hells Angel of the beauty pack.

With a perfected pure, powdered base, choose one focus feature and ‘grime’ it up. Think like a man, style like a man, there is nothing subtle about this look. Keep lashes bare and eyebrows full. Hollow out cheekbones and give the overall look a ‘worn in feel’.

Designers sporting this style included Proenza Schouler, Dsquared and Richard Nicoll. Gareth Pugh embraced this especially, going to the exciting extreme of attaching eye shield to his models, giving a creative flair to this butch look.

Louise Recommends
Smoulder eye Kohl (
Cyber lipstick (
Careblend powders (

Theatre circa 70s
With one rule, this look is energetic, playful and theatrical – ‘there’s no such thing as enough colour’. Like partying in Studio 54 in its heyday, this look has pops of colours, more than one focus feature and is glossier than Malibu Barbie.

As seen at Louise Gray, Manish Arora, Jean Pierre Braganza, and Meadham Kirchhoff, this is a multi-dimensional, arty, look. Summed up by Alex Box, make-up artist for the Vivienne Westwood Red Label;“it’s as if a child has finger-painted over the top of a beautiful 18th century veneer painting. It’s surreal but serene”. Obliterating the fear of being ‘too much’, each layer is laboriously technically demanding which gives an opulence of regal proportions that looks almost photoshopped on.

Louise Recommends
Ruby Woo lipstick (
Electric Eel eye-shadow (
Neo Orange pigment (

Poets Lament
Noted as a ‘dreamy and poetic look but with a clear direction’, this is an extension of the raw beauty of early Autumn. The romantic atmosphere coupled with soft, natural, undulating palettes, allow this style to champion natural beauty, playing on its simplicity.

Using pigments already found in the skin, the idea is to place them in surprising places. From corals, to khaki and even greys, the key is to use washes of colour rather than bold application. A monochromatic feel, the look is charged with emotion. Using fingers to push the product into the skin, it ends up a little undone. As seen in Balmain, Rodarte, Mary Katrantzou and Carolina Herrara this look is simplicity at its most beautiful.

Louise Recommends
Soba eyeshadow (
Groundwork Paint Pot (
Creamy coloured bases (

Asked for her top tip to approaching the upcoming seasons make-up trends Louise noted that‘confidence is essential. Whether its curling lashes or applying a simply lipstain. Do it with a sense of purpose. Beauty is the most effective booster one can have, enjoy the kaleidoscope of trends.’


Online article I wrote for Tout Nouveau last November.

Mr Frieze.

Nationalities from the four corners of the globe descended. 60,000 bodies were anticipated to gravitate towards a national treasure between Wednesday and Sunday. It was that time again, the phenomenon of Frieze Week hit town. Glamourous parties, dosh and more arty talk than you can shake a stick at.

In it's eighth season, it's hard to believe that we ever lived without the whirlwind of auctions and exhibitions that has gained legendary status globally, and in such a small amount of time. The progression of Matthew Slotolver and Amanda Sharps monthly art magazine has really transformed the mark London has on art; and now the event encapsulates the global nature of the market, from which it has derived such strength.

With 2010's Frieze being the largest yet, 173 galleries and 29 countries set up stall in the bespoke temporary structure in Regent’s Park, the fair is now firmly established, despite rocky times, and is considered to be an unmissable stop-off between Basel and Miami on the global art calendar.

This years focus was about consolidating the fair's unique reputation as a creative hub, as well as important market place. Alistar hicks, curator at Deutshe bank noted, 'London needs this vital injection of new art from around the world. The city's sucess lies in its ability to be one of the great showcases of what's new. We can take nothing for granted. The artists are showing us how quickly the world is changing. Today's hudcan be tomorrows heap'.

Keeping up with the art world Joneses, Frieze introduced its own, free, i-Phone app. Allowing visitors to navigate the area, browse items for sale, by size and price, even pointing out the closest bar. Moreover, in the attempt to impress the greenest of art fans, the event bid to cut emissions by 30 per cent, running the marquees on biodiesel, despite grumbles by insiders that suits would smell of chip fat.

Interactive art was another subtle theme for the week, including a game showww with Spartacus Chetwynd, and poetry and Yoga Haven with Ei Arakawa and Karl Holmqvist. Playing on the idea of art as a commodity, Matthew Darbyshire redesigned the ticket office in lurid pink, a statement act topped only by Gavin Turks bicycles designed for weary walkers at the fair.

With around £230 million worth of art sales estimated to have been made at Frieze, the market appears to be flourishing and buoyant. This stand out fair has captured the attention of press and art dealers world wide. In my opinion this is for 2 reasons; Regents park as a location benefits from having a natural light source which avoids the atmosphere of a trade show, increasing the energy surrounding the event, and, arguably, more importantly, this year at Ryans bar (run by artist Ryan Gander), one could sup a cocktail invented and mixed by art sensations Fiona Banner, Bob & Roberta Smith and Liam Gillik, which proves, that whatever reasons one had to attend, there was art to be found to suit all tastes, and wallets.

Podcasts are available to re-capture the finest moments of Frieze at Follow the

@friezeartfair and Twitter and become a fan on Facebook for projects and images.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Up & Beyond.

Less than a week in London & I've an internship at Beyond Retro.

My PR career has had seen me gain positions with weight & others that have had me part of a gaggle of eager interns desperate to land that first (paid) role.

The crucial point is that whether one has an internship with gravitas, or one that may not seem so integral to the Press Office, you still have to strive. Determination to demonstrate ability and aptitude still applies, and is key to buoyancy and impressing the right people.

Beyond Retro, offers 'the biggest, leading selection of handpicked vintage clothing to style conscious shoppers'.

I'm placed at the store just off Brick Lane. An abundance of trinkets, jewels & a hoarders cathedral. Effortlessly dapper, which in such a location is a novelty in itself.

Within 20 minutes Matt Horne had asked me where bumbags were. From the look of those glasses he was donning, he needs to invest in bifocals. Following this hoopla it was a day filled with press appointments & the dreaded docket search, bloody loved it.

A sign of things to come perhaps. I do hope.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Art Review. Magda Archer.

Magda Archer; aspirational name, inspirational artist. Reviewed for Manchesters Finest & thoroughly enjoyed.

Magda Archer: Crazy Mad

Where: The Cornerhouse, Oxford Road


With a solo painting show entitled 'Magda Archer: Crazy Mad', the key to preparation is to perceive the unperceived. The blurb suggested a concoction of 1950s paraphernalia, with sections including 'I hate art' and a method of paining so painstaking, it made the artists eyes water. Rather than just peruse the paintings when the exhibition opened 26 June, I needed answers, a reason for this kaleidoscope of disparity. Meeting British artist Archer and Curator Mike Chavez Dawson on a sweltering Saturday afternoon, I ventured anxiously, to the second floor of the iconic Cornerhouse.

With a brief introduction by Dawson, citing philosopher Umberto Eco and artist Daniel Burren to explain the logic behind his presentation, we piled into a treasure trove of kitsch clutter that a seasoned hoarder would be proud of. Noting this uncanny replica of her studio was infact merely 5% of its true capacity, we were transported to the chaotic car-boot nirvana of Archers creative process. From a wall of Pez's, to an effigy of Christ in glitter, Archer taps into reviving memories, though not necessarily her own. Demonstrating that adults, though discard their childhoods, remain able to escape to their care-free youth via the medium of seemingly insignificant items - junk. A theatrical sight to behold, her stimuli accompanied by aptly eclectic tunes, unearthed our own childish frivolous excitement as to what lay behind the studio door, past the 'Tree of Happiness'.

Gushing at the song greeting us on entering the gallery, Archer set the tone for the tour. Her own cover version of 'Sugar Town' (by Nancy Sinatra, written by Lee Hazlewood in 1967) rendered the room, 'I want to live there, it disregards the humdrum of every day melancholy'.

Navigating the gallery, clusters of her works emerged. Narrative chapters that echoed a lack of excess and overproduction by the revealing of the direct links between her inspiration and artistic result. On a thrift shop frequency the viewer is empowered, and allowed to escape into the sphere of imagination.

From the random connections of 'text me, yeah' to the cemented themes of 'girls with names' Archer takes the viewer on a journey, on a visual and personal level, simulating our verve through cognitive reaction and she endeavours to circumnavigate the hidden.

Despite sounding a rollercoaster of psychedelic sickly sweet palettes and sporadic emotional epiphany's, Dawson summed up the exhibition perfectly with an a capella version of Shirley Ellis' Clapping Song (depicted in the 3.6.9 pieces); Archer wished to erase the disparity between what the work is and what is perceived 'there is no big secret'.

Yes, it was 'Crazy Mad', yet also a true voyage of discovery that can be as abstruse or as superficial as you wish to make it. Highly recommended.

Many of the pieces are now for sale within the exhibition. Contact Cornerhouse for details.