Wednesday, 24 August 2011

She's got soul

Growing up in an area not known for its musical heritage, I cling to the one bit that seemed to have touched  its northern shores. Discounting a few early 90s raves, I'm talking about Northern Soul. While that explains my interest in it, I'm completely fascinated why New Zealand-born Karen Walker chose it for inspiration for her 'North' collection.

Tops, trousers, skirts and dresses all covered in Northern Soul-style emblems. 

Like on this Bow mod shirt. Thankfully the website lists everything in New Zealand prices so I'm choosing to stay in blissful ignorance about how much these things would cost me in the real world.

This shot is to show off the (very nice) pleated skirt but I'm all about the badges on the T-Shirt.

I'm in love with this brilliantly titled Go Go Dancer dress. Perfect for spinning around a dance floor in - or at least standing prettily to the side while those of a more co-ordinated persuasion do their thing... 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Make Shift magazine

If you follow me on Twitter, last weekend you would have been subjected to a series of slightly frazzled tweets, all tagged with #48hrmag. I was part of a project, pulled together by Stack Magazines, to produce a magazine in 48 hours as part of the Southbank Centre's Power and Production weekend. The paper was staffed by volunteer writers, illustrators, photographers and designers from a host of independent magazines. Heads down, obsessing over each of our individual tasks, it was hard to get an overall sense of the magazine. One week later, now all printed and fresh, here's the fruit of our labours: Make Shift magazine.

True to stereotype, here's the bit I was involved with - some facts about the South bank, drawn from the 60 years since the Festival of Britain. The designers, Isobel and Clarissa, did a brilliant job in condensing two maps showing the site as it looked then and as it does now. The piece was paired with a piece speculating on 60 years in the future, accompanied by a fantastic illustration by Zoe Barker.

Here's another 60 inspired feature, photographs of someone at every age from one to 60.

Here's the result of one of the luckier encounters of the weekend. We were working away in an open corner of the Royal Festival Hall. Up comes a man who asks us what we are doing. I compliment him on his Festival of Britain logo badge (made at the nearby 3D printer). "Yes" he says, "my father designed it". Turns out our visitor is the son of Abram Games, the designer of the original Festival of Britain logo. Needless to say, a writer and photographer quickly grabbed him for an interview. The photograph above shows the story in print.

It was great to meet and work with so many talented people from such a range of magazines. I finished the weekend exhausted but with a whole new list of independent magazines to investigate.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A vintage birthday

My birthday this year coincided with Vintage at Southbank. We went along lured by a cheapo ticket offer, and a Friday off work. I had a great day but it wasn't really anything to do with the festival itself - more the fun of the Southbank in the sunshine, and some very lethal cocktails.

This picture is taken from the roof of the Royal Festival Hall, we had a very pleasant time exploring all of the beach hut installations.

A tasty snack from Dishoom's chowpatty beach got the thums up.

The first round of cocktails in Skylon where we enjoyed pretending that we were in Mad Men, before we fell off our bar seats. Mr S' choice on the left is the Gorbachev cocktail (a nod to one of the first things he asked me when we met: "who is your favourite Russian leader?" Trying to show off I went for Khrushchev - he's a Gorbachev man, but thankfully we made it past that initial stumbling block). I went for a more delicate, though unfortunately unseasonal, June.

A few more cocktails later and we staggered home - via a hopefully unwitnessed spin around the dance floor of the Soul Casino area. Enough to give us vintage (hee hee) headaches the following day.

Saturday's celebrations were a lot more civilised with a visit to Soho's Secret Tea Room. More pictures to follow hopefully very soon.
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