Posts tagged ‘photography’
Rathbone Place, London
“The DIESEL+EDUN collaboration-
A global loudspeaker for the new African economic and creative paradigm”
Looking back to 2012, a common hash tag cited on twitter on several events such as Design Africa was #TradeNotAid, a fashionable slogan in its own right adopted decades ago by the United Nations Conference on Trade Development, but one that still sits true to this day, it’s about companies and designers working with Africa, not for it. Which is why I have been excited and inspired by the Diesel+EDUN collaboration.
Last night was the long awaited Diesel+EDUN collaboration launch party, which was part of a city wide celebration, from Paris to London and Amsterdam to Berlin. The Diesel+EDUN denim collection is born in Africa and inspired by African creativity. Most importantly the collection is sourced and manufactured in Africa with the finest cotton from the continent.
Last Friday, also included vibrant collection from Nova Chiu, graduate from London College of Fashion who I also saw last year as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones to Watch’ show for AW12.
Nova Chiu’s highly textured, beautiful AW13 collection was inspired by Nam June Paik’s ‘Electronic Superhighway’, which is permanently on display at the Lincoln Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington. Electronic Superhighway was a critical piece, conveying American culture, and its obsession with television, moving image and bright shiny things.
I strongly believe the AW13 collection is a step in the right direction for Nova Chiu. Despite her SS13 Collection receiving some criticism for moving away from heavy ‘ethnic inspired’ embroidery, to more diluted silk prints. In contrast, I felt that her SS13 complimented the burst of colour and floral prints that were predicted to dominate Spring/ Summer look books for 2013.
Furthermore , her AW13 collection will be a colourful and bold alternative to the floral print that I can only assume we would have exhausted by the end of the season.
Throughout 2012, I was drawn to, and focused heavily on sharp and virile tailored style, therefore, I was keen to see whether androgyny will be making a come-back for Autumn/Winter 2013/14, and if so, what modifications we can expect.
Turkish born fashion designer Nihan Buruk typically represents an avant-garde smartness, and is known for her domineering collections, which are tailored to perfection with an exceptional eye for detail.
Despite one of the exhibition walls falling down in the middle the runway, she executed a great collection, which was both imaginative and wearable. Showcasing a powerful and militant flair, with the added dimensions of textures through adding wool and leather across pleats, lapels and pockets. The sharp collection was complimented by soft hues of charcoal grey, emerald green, cream and crimson.
(Below- Nihan Buruk, SS13 Collection)
All photo’s were taken by myself between Kampala , Jinja, Entebbe and Mbarara, January/February 2013.
An African garment similar to sarong, often worn by women wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling.
I am finally back from my East African adventure, and with so much to talk about it will take a couple of days to organise my photos and thoughts from my time spent in Uganda.
I often talk a lot about the concept of ‘Afropeanism’, a term a used to describe myself as it refers to the trans-cultural influences of members of the black diaspora living in Europe. Having been born in Uganda, and brought up in the UK, in my mind I’m an African living in Britain; yet it’s only when I go to Africa do I feel like an British person in Africa. However, despite often feeling inconclusive about my cultural identity, I also feel fortunate that I can be open to understanding and engaging in the cultural symphony of these two places.
I couldn’t possibly contain all the activities that I have been up to into a single blog post, so I will be segmenting my stories into a range of posts over the next few weeks, I hope you enjoy!
Whilst I’ve been away…
Happy New Year everyone! To make 2013 (or any other)your year, keep it simple: Count your blessings first; Whatever you did last year, Do it better; Be in the moment; Create/make your own opportunities; Believe in your abilities at all times; Finish what you start”
Moving on, Jepchumba, Founder and Creative Director of the African Digital Art Network posted this today, having come across it during TedxEuston last year. This project by Nigerian photographer, Obi who was inspired by French photographer Beatrices’ Barbie and Kens’ wedding shoot, and with some inspiration from the black Barbie shoot on Italian Vogue, decided to do shoot capturing Barbies traditional Nigerian wedding.
“So I got bored sometime last December, and then came across , I decided to create a Nigerian Traditional wedding shoot with black Barbie and Ken … it started up as a pretty simple shoot that would have taken about a week or so, and ended up taking up to 5 months. I had to enlist my wife to help out with the outfits, as well as with searching the internet for all the little accessories. Anyway, I’m glad its now done, and glad I can get rid of the dolls … I was beginning to get weird looks from my son whenever I came home with a barbie and he’s asking if was for me, or for his baby sister …
Anyway hope you like the shoot …” Obi
I can’t believe it, feels like only yesterday I was in Covent Garden market, sitting on the the lap of Covent Garden’s alcohol infused Santa, but whether I can believe it or not, Christmas time is upon us!
Although not a particular fan of the consumer centered celebration, I do love the atmosphere Christmas brings, and even more importantly the food.; which is probably why I had a thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon stroll around Covent Garden’s cobbled street food market.
“The tone of our national conversation changed – from its default position of self-criticism and negativity, Britain found itself speaking with a cheerful and optimistic voice.” Mark Easton, BBC
I swear to God, if you saw me when I am by myself in the woods, I’m a lunatic. I sing, I dance.
Chris Evans (Comedian)
Growing up I often got a lot of stick for living out in ‘the sticks’, away from most friends, the city’s bars, restaurants and general hubub, but having been raised in a countryside village for almost all my life, I always had an appreciation for the suburban silence. It’s powerful peacefulness which I suppose could be described as silently noisy.
“where is the background noise? …The cars, people, buses, cats, trains, sirens, loitering youth?”
In January, I moved into a new place which edges slightly more closer to the city, but despite being closer to the metropolis which I spend most of my time in or commuting to and/or from, I mourn my mother’s home in the countryside, and so decided on Saturday to take a 5 mile walk from my flat to hers along the country lanes.
I documented my journey using a Nikon D80 SLR with a wide angel lens. The journey was both calm yet exciting. It was relaxing to take in the surroundings, breath in the fresh air and pass the horses and cows on my journey, however, it was quite exhilarating (borderline scary), to be the only person in sight within a 3 mile radius, walk along a, windy, narrow pavement-less road trying to not get run over by cars travelling it over 50mph.
The most exhilarating feeling came from singing Jessie J whole album at the top of my lungs knowing that there is completely no-one around to hear me, besides the cows in the fields, whose milk likely turned sour as a result of my singing…sorry cows!
I found a few random items on my journey, a ladies hand bag, a discarded 80’s pop CD and a white slipper. In the city of London, litter and rubbish is rife and often goes unnoticed, however, in such a deserted and sparsely littered place, I couldn’t help think about the stories regarding how those items came to be there. Especially the handbag.
Despite afro hair texture and maintenance being quite the enigma outside most African and Caribbean communities, every year there is an event where the secrets, tips and tricks for afro hair are revealed, showcased and celebrated, and that is at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show London.
This year the hair and beauty ‘carnival’ took was held at its newest location, the Business and Design Centre, Islington (nearest station- Angel); and having been selected by Black Hair Magazine (aka The Hair Bible), I was uber excited about not only attending but being part of the events festivities.
I suppose you could call this a fashionably late blog post, as it’s quite a few days over due!
Last week, (courtesy of Grazia magazine), I was kindly given complimentary tickets to see the uber chic and inspirational french footwear designer Christian Louboutin, in celebration of his brands 20th anniversary. I had visited his exhibition currently held at the Design Museum a couple weeks prior, so this was an amazing experience to meet the man behind it all. Louboutin was to be interviewed by Grazia’s style director Paula Reed on an array of subjects covering his childhood inspirations, the story behind the signature ‘red sole’, and his views on the fashion industry.
The queue into the Louboutin live talk stretched quite the distance, and full of eager fans paying homage to Louboutin by wearing their red soled Stiletto’s along the cobbled pavements of London Bridge, not an easy task I can assure you.
We were greeted by the design museum staff and willingly sedated with a chilled mini of Moet. Christian was applauded on stage, wearing a dark vanilla jacket trimmed jacket, black trousers and a pair of silver-capped brogues. He looked effortlessly chic.
In the live talk he came across as a humble, earnest, passionate and particular man. In the audience Q&A session, he was questioned by a young female fashion designer and student how he has managed to uphold a powerful and successful brand imagine, even in times of global and economic diversity. His initial response was that he does not see himself as ‘a brand’, he has no need for a marketing department etc. He understands why new brands possibly might, but that it’s never been what it was about for him….neither does he intentionally follow the fashion industry or its in/out of season trends.
Here is the link to read more from Paula’s conversation with Christian, along with the video on the Grazia website. Overall, it was a fantastic evening with a two hour interview which felt like only 10 minutes. It was refreshing to meet someone so successful but yet so humble and self assured. I took on his comments to stay as organic and true oneself as a mantra to hold on to.
Again, many thanks to Grazia for the opportunity, and as always, some pictures from the night. Click on the smaller images below to open the gallery.
I took this picture on the way back from the Christian Louboutin live talk, held at the design museum London.
The city can be so beautiful when it wants to be. As much as I complain about London at times, having traveled to a few places I haven’t found anywhere else I would rather be. I love London, warts n all.
I very briefly recall going past this shop a while back, and in my attempt to confirm what I was seeing in a moving car, my neck almost did an exorcist style 360 spin. However as with most interesting things you see in passing, I didn’t take a picture or write a note to myself to check it out, and thus forgot all about it.
Several months later I saw the shop again whilst browsing on Tumblr, and I figured, well if this isn’t a sign for a great blog post then I don’t know what is. So I grabbed the picture, and decided to give the people behind this bodacious building a call *bodacious should be pronounced in American surfer dude accent*.
I spoke to a very cool guy who sent me even more pictures of their other shops, which are just as *accent*…bodacious!
[Me] As you know…completely in awe of your shop design. How long have you had it like this?
[Cool guy over the phone] We’ve had it this way since 2008, and have also developed our other two stores with a similar style, one for drums and the other for acoustics
[Me] How did you come up with this idea, what was the process?
[Cool guy over the phone] Well it was the owner of the business; but it started from us sitting in a car outside of the shop one day when the shutters were down, and randomly thinking “hey, the shop looks like an amplifier” … and really from there we got a team together, which consisted of a local graffiti artist, builders and designers; and here it is!
As I mentioned, the cool guy over the phone who I now know is called Ed kindly emailed me some pictures, which are even better than the one I found on Tumblr, so I hope you enjoy.
THE GUITAR STORE 62 COMMERCIAL ROAD SOUTHAMPTON HAMPSHIRE SO15 1GD
Yesterday I went to the last day of the Sundance Film Festival, an American annual film festival which showcases new work from American and international independent film makers. This was the first time the Sundance Film Festival has travelled outside of the United States, taking place at the London O2 between the 26th to the 29th.
From the moment Robert Redford announced that the festival would be held in London, I knew I had to attend. I booked tickets to see the eagerly anticipated film LUV, written and produced by Sheldon Candis, and starring Common, Michael Rainey Jr, Danny Glover, Meagan Good and Michael Kenneth Williams.
Let me start of by saying what an amazing movie this was, touching upon so many issues, from how young people can get trapped into a lifestyle which becomes impossible to get out of, and the pursuit of manhood. Sheldon describes this movie as an ‘Adriller’, a dramatic film with undertones of a thriller, and I believe his casting for this film was so perfect. Common’s style, appearance, background and storytelling tone of voice was made for this story, along with Michael Rainey Jr, who completely blew the audience away (many of whom where in tears) with such an mature and authentic performance for his age.
In the Q&A session, we had the honour to speak to Sheldon Candis and gain an insight into his inspirations for the film. Sheldon Candis further describes how the movie is a fictional tale inspired by a relationship that he had growing up in Baltimore, with his uncle who at the times was one of the city’s most infamous and feared drug dealers.
“Love is a dysfunctional love story between an 11 year old orphan boy (Michael Rainey Jr) and his recently returned home from prison uncle (Common), who this kid loves, revers and looks up to. Over the course of a day, this young boy finds out that his uncle is a really bad person. The movie explores what happens when a child is exposed to violence for the first time”
One of my favourite questions from the audience was by a man in a blue shirt who asked “you have a fantastic cast, how did you manage to get everyone together to take part in the movie, with what I can image wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster budget?”
Candis answered by stating how he had got to know some of the cast having met the David Simon, writer and author of the HBO drama series, The Wire’, and through that met Michael Kenneth Williams (who played Omar Little in The Wire.; a made that stayed with me was that, it’s pretty much a given that independent film makers start of with next to nothing, but “if it’s a good story the right artists will get on board”. I found that quite endearing as all too often, we look at our barriers, before just getting on with it and opening ourselves up to potential opportunities.
Here are some pictures from the night.
“Fashion is the armour to survive everyday life” Bill Cunningham New York
I am so behind on blogging, don’t even tell me about it! I have been shacking and jiving all around London this month, that it’s only now I can sit down, tackle my blogging backlog and fill you in on what I have been so busy doing.
First on my blog list is some feedback from the raved about documentary that has got the fashion, blogging and photography scene raving, Bill Cunningham New York.
The documentary is an insightful journey about the most adorable, modest and world renowned photographer Bill Cunningham; the Renaissance man for street style photography, and the person whom without, the fashion blogosphere would not be what it is today.
In the documentary Bill is seen as a humble 83 year old man dedicated to showcasing the beauty in clothes and the women who wear them on the streets of New York. We see his contribution to fashion and our relationship with fashion over the years, touching upon his work with the Tribune to Vogue, and now the Times. The most striking element of the documentary is the contrast between his occupation and personal life, as we see him dine with the finest A list celebrities and yet reside in a tiny one bedroomed apartment in Carnegie Hall which does not have a wardrobe, kitchen or even bathroom.
Known for his trademark bicycle and camera I watched the movie at an exclusive screening at one of London’s trendy bicycle bars ‘Look mum no hands’. Located between Old Street and Barbican station, I have often walked past and thought what a fun and quirky name for a bicycle café, as some our earliest memories of riding a bike goes back to us shouting back to our parents ‘Look mum/dad no hands!’ before we bash into the neighbours hedge. The event was organised by Cycle Love, a site dedicated all that makes cycling great, and celebrating the diversity of cycle culture. Run by designer and photographer James Greig, Cycle Love aims to change the way readers think about cycling in London and urban transport.
This is the amazing work of emerging photographer, designer and entrepreneur Fatou Wurie. Fatou tweeted me a link to her Flickr albums which I found to be so authentic of rural African life and touch upon important issues of education, literacy, poverty, politics and social mobility.
These are some pictures taken from the album ‘60% photography’
“THE 60% based on Sierra-Leone’s illiteracy rates, which according to World Bank figures, is at 59%. The illiteracy rates we used are based on the percentage of total people ages 15 and above, and although we rely mainly on World Bank figures, other reputable sources such as UNDP Sierra-Leone and UNICEF Sierra-Leone figures vary slightly in illiteracy rates, hence we chose to round the figure to 60%.
A Russian street artist who created a giant pair of spectacles from a streetlamp has been dubbed ‘the Russian Banksy’. The mysterious figure, known only as P183, creates eye-catching works around Moscow. P183 reveals little about himself except that his name is Pavel, he is 28 and that he studied ‘communicative design’
Between the 11th-29th of February the British Fashion Council will be hosting the International Fashion Showcase, exhibiting fashion from around the world. The event is being held in light of London winning the Olympic bid and showing that “we honour the Olympic valus of international respect, excellence, equality and friendship”.
Each country had been asked to present a selection of emerging designers whom they feel most represents the future of fashion in their region. Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Contributing Editor to US Vogue, was to chair an advisory panel that will judge each piece of work, with an award given to the country that presents the best emerging fashion talent showcase.
The winners of the International Showcase was Korea, it was a fantastic exhibition, their designs were fresh, innovative and just completely out of the box. I was very pleased to Korea win and I will be posting pictures from their exhibition later on today, plus highlights from the Award Ceremony that took place at Somerset House on Sunday as part of London Fashion Week.
I feel encouraged and excited to see African fashion move forward from gaining its repertoire exclusively from print design, to being recognised for its contemporaneousness, innovation and tailoring. My favourite from the collection is the sequined pattern sleeveless dress, which boasts of colours that instantly take me under the spotlight of city lights. The dress immediately makes me feel like pinning my hair up and finding some ankle strap pumps. The detail of the dress also tells a story; if you look on the inside of the dress (see gallery) you can notice how the designer used an African print as a stencil for the embroidery, so although on the outside it looks like it would be worn by someone confident and cosmopolitan, inside there still remains the essence of Africa. This I believe represents the identity of the new generation Afropolitan fashionista’s and misters.
Yesterday I did a Holborn Walk for the first time, which is a free historical tour around parts of London, the theme for the day was Charles Dickens in celebration of what would have been his 200th birthday. Ashamedly, besides the story of Oliver Twist I don’t remember much about the Charles Dickens novels, but luckily for me I was certainly not the only one. Nevertheless, once we were all together, Aly (our assigned and assertive tour guide) set us on the path to discover the areas of Holborn where Charles Dickens once worked, lived and based his novels upon. I have been living in London for over 20 years, and working in Holborn for coming up to two.
It is so typical to take such opportunities for granted, at times it’s the things that are the nearest and easiest to do that we put off the longest- damn my human nature!
So with that in mind I look forward to doing more random activities in the bosom of the this buzzing city.
Three random things I learnt about Holborn- (in a randomised order):
- The original name for Holborn was “Hole Bourn”, named after the Fleet River which has now since been built over
- The Staple Inn, (see picture below) was noted as a promotional image for Old Holborn tobacco
- Holborn is pronounced (/ˈhoʊbərn/ hoh-bərn), and Hoh-ban is also allowed, apparently
As always, I am never without my camera, so here are some snaps from the walk.
The journey covered a number of sights connected to the life and works of Charles Dickens. – who wrote about the perils of debt, financial crises and social inequality making him highly relevant today.