London Fashion Week

“Hey, we’re going to a LFW party, do you want to come?” erm…hell yes. One of the many benefits of my job is that I work with some great people who have interesting and peculiar friends. On this occasion the interesting friends were Fanny and Jess, a newly graduated fashion pairing who work under the label…Fanny and Jess!

Just so you can picture the scene: my day / work aesthetic is cute 50’s style dresses, lots of colour and a basic refusal that I live in a cold country. This strongly contrasted with a room of moody fashionistas in varying shades of black. I was a touch uncomfortable. However, I soon got reacquainted with my good friend wine and everything became a lot more relaxed. I schmoozed and mingled like a pro, talking with an italian shoe designer, a east end photographer and a freelance stylist who’d just come from some important show (dahling!).

After finding my work mate again we went to check out her friends’ collection. Although not my daytime look some pieces did fit with my darker evening style (voluptuous vamp with playful touches). I’m all about well cut fabric and there were some pretty awesome skin tight dark flower print over greyish black leggings with leather patches that would’ve looked amazing with a black crop top and killer heels. There was also an LBD with loads of fringing which would have had gorgeous movement on the body.

All in all I’d say Fanny and Jess are two fresh young designers that could go far.

Leave a comment

Filed under event, fashion, review

Don’t Tell Mama

I went to a magical cabaret at well known burlesque institution Volupte. First off, the food was absolutely incredible, especially my stilton soup to start so I would recommend getting a table if you go but this was secondary to the show. It was on a Tuesday night so the atmosphere was a little flat and it was clear that the comics worked better off a buzzed audience but none-the-less it was entertaining.

The semi-famous magician Max Somerset did an intriguing ‘ball and cup’ routine which built and built, culminating in a live chicken being pulled from nowhere. Similarly impressive was the audience’s Derren Brown style prediction of the lottery which was at least partly unfixed as one of our table supplied a number.

The burlesque act for the evening was no Dita Von Tease (neither in talent nor physical charms) but she did do an interesting comedy magic trick where she supposedly mistook a bandana for a banana but made it disappear regardless. She also belted out a cheeky number entitled “Don’t Tell Mama I Went To Volupte” whilst removing a naughty nun outfit, proving that if you have enough confidence it doesn’t matter what size you are.

Would I go again?

To see a show; yes, but only on the weekend after payday. You need the atmosphere of a packed club and enough money to enjoy yourself. As a bar it’s a bit far out of the main drag but the cocktails were delicious (especially chilli infused gin ones) and would be good for an intimate, secluded, alternative date.

Leave a comment

Filed under alternative, event, review, theatre

The story so far…

Ok, so I have this super awesome wicked new job but the hours are nuts so, though I’ve been keeping culture clubbing going, it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front. A quick review of February’s activities is coming slowly but surely. As always, if you want to join the adventures and meet some new people then please get in touch.

To kick us off here’s my review of the Angels sale:

5 am – alarm goes. 5.30 am – on train. 7 am – in queue. 8 am – fairly sure I’ve lost at least 3 toes. 8.30 am – people start being let in. 8.45 am – I get in. 9.30 – I’ve left empty handed, but thankfully have not lost toes.

All I can really say is that if you’re a die hard vintage lover then go for it. If you’re a vintage-mixed-with-modern girl like myself don’t bother going to the next one. All I saw was shabby rejects, despite being one of the first few hundred in. Those surrounding me were grabbing handfuls of stuff that they obviously believed were treasures.

Has it turned me off jumble or sample sales? No, but I would be dubious about another vintage one. I will be keeping eyes peeled for Jumbleist Massive where you only pay what you think the item is worth. Apparently last time they had a whole load of last season Urban Outfitters stuff which I always think is a bit overpriced but very pretty.

Verdict: disappointing but there was a pretty funny chick fight so it wasn’t a total loss.

Leave a comment

Filed under fashion, news, review

News Flash

Hello everyone!

Very exciting news: Costumier to many a Hollywood blockbuster, Angels, is holding a retro fashion fair this Saturday. Clothes from the 50’s-90’s are available at barginalicious prices. Buy a bag for £20 or £50 and fill it full of goodies, pay on exit. £5 entry. Elbows at the ready as I’ve heard draws a big crowd of fash-packers and stylists (e.g. the notorious Suzie Bubble). It’s not just for the ladies but has a massive menswear selection as well – there’s also a whole room dedicated to military jackets. On one of the vids I saw a fur box bag thing I HAVE to have as some gorgeous bags and accessories. If you love vintage then come on down. Doors at 8.30 but I think I will be queueing earlier to get the best bargins.

Find out more here: http://www.angels.uk.com/retrosalejan10.html

and contact me by email (londoncultureclub@googlemail.com), twitter or facebook if you want to have safety in numbers.

1 Comment

Filed under event, fashion, news

Let’s get digital

The V&A museum always houses beautiful exhibits, but most are full of riches from the past. It is refreshing that it has decided to commission a showcase for digital artists in collaboration with onedotzero in order to display new methods of expression and fresh talent in ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’.

digital sculpture

The initial displays lack a certain excitement for those unfamiliar with coding and the like, appearing as if this may be just a display of some interesting screen savers. However, once through the small entrance passage, it as if you have tumbled through the rabbit hole into a 2010 wonderland.

From the art of conversation with fluorescent lines connecting tweets to a pictorial clock; around every corner was something to delight. Children were particularly thrilled by the interactivity of the collection and it was positively charming to see them genuinely excited by art, as opposed to bored and whiny.

A piece that piqued a lot of interest was the hypnotic ‘Dandelion’, by Danish collective YOKE, whose beautiful, giant flower’s seeds were dispersed by infrared hair dryer. Other enjoyable pieces included ‘Videogrid’ and ‘Digital Zoetrope’. The former an ever evolving documentation of visitors to the exhibit, allowing a real feeling of ownership for the observer; the latter a wheel of code that briefly aligned to form words before melting back into ambiguity.

Dandelion

Running until the 11th April, Decode is not just a computer geek’s wet dream but a new frontier of art that should be explored and wondered at in the same way as the brushstrokes of Renoir or Matisse. Who knew binary code could be so beautiful?

Leave a comment

Filed under art, event, museum, review

Twelfth Night

On Wednesday 27th January after a quick refresh of the plot from Spark Notes, every GCSE student’s saviour, intrepid London Culture Clubbers made their way to the Duke of York theatre to see Shakespeare’s great comedy, Twelfth Night.

The themes of identity, love and madness were played out marvellously on the stage and, despite being at the back of the stalls, our view was excellent. The set design was fabulous and costumes (or lack thereof for some characters) were brilliant, really setting the mood of the piece. Overall the first half of the play was good, though not fantastic, but things drastically improved in the second half, aided by some cracking honey and ginger ice cream during the interval.

The main draw for this performance was Richard Wilson in the role of Malvolio. The general consensus was that he did not make enough of the role, being particularly disappointing in the letter scene and not playing up his supposed madness enough. Conversely I found the portrayal of Lady Olivia somewhat shrill and grating, though I suppose the OTT nature is how the character is intended to be played. Needless to say, if I were a bloke she would not be on the top of my ‘to do’ list; hardly a captivating beauty.

Luckily the three most comedic characters played off each other brilliantly and more than made up for other short comings. Sir Toby, Sir Andrew Augecheek and the Fool all seemed to be pissed out their heads and having a jolly good time playing their practical jokes. The Fool was particularly good when interacting with the audience, even stealing some malteasers from the front row at the start of the second act. Funny to observers, though he would have lost a hand had he tried that with my chocolate treats. Similarly, Augecheek, played by that chap from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ James Fleet, gave brilliant asides as a drunken suitor and general coward.

Verdict: Definitely go if you can get the £5 tickets on the morning of the show (available for those aged under 26) but only pay full price if seeing on the weekend as I expect it will have a bit more energy with a fuller house.

Leave a comment

Filed under review, theatre

54 Farringdon

After a jam-packed afternoon of culture, some of those who came to the Wellcome museum decided to go for an early supper to sate the beasts gnawing our bellies. Conveniently named after its location on Farringdon Road (convenient as I am a total numpty and forgot the map), 54 is a simply marvellous Malaysian restaurant.

The menu is varied and slightly pricey for those still holding bank statements resembling their student days but if you request the set menu you can find a good selection of dishes for a reasonable price. Our party chose the £14.95 3 course set menu, which was very reasonable even with some supplementary options added. Check their website for upcoming offers.

We all had the satay to start with and were pleasantly surprised at the portion sizes. Smothering our succulent skewers with peanutty goodness we happily chomped away. Mains were also generously portioned and my beef curry with jasmine rice was delicious. Chunks of meat lounged in a thick, devilishly spicy sauce that clung to the sticky rice in only the way a really good curry can. I assume the other meals were good from the happy, lip smacking sounds surrounding me but to be honest, I was having a bit of a love affair with this curry so I didn’t really notice.

Originally disappointed that the only option on the set menu was ice cream (yawn) we were glad after the heat (and size) of the mains. Preparing to fill the little ice cream sized pocket in our drum-tight stomachs we were presented with an exciting plethora of choice. When they arrived we decided that the coconut sorbet and lemongrass ice cream were the stand out winners of the night. We all pledged to give ice cream a fair go in future restaurant situations. Of course if you are some type of lacto-free, vegan fool then other desserts were available at a supplement.

Positives:

  • Great variety
  • Large portions
  • Nice atmosphere and decor
  • Amazing ladies loos – trust me

Negatives:

  • They seem a bit protective of their water jug so if you’re parched make sure you’re in a position to easily attract their attention
  • Our service was great as we were early but diners coming later had the waiting staff rushed off their feet so could be a problem

All in all a 3 course meal for four with service cost us just shy of £75 – bargin. They also do takeaway if you live / work in the area. A great introduction to a new world of flavour!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized