Tag Archives: london

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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first outing

Tomorrow night at 8pm we will be going to a dance show called ‘Resolution!’ that showcases emerging talent. There’s a different programme every night until 20th Feburary 2010. I will tweet my exact location at aprox 7.30 but it is likely to be a cafe or bar near Kings Cross.

Monday’s dance troupes are:

mrthorley.com (chor: Ivan Thorley) Swan Song (F)
Swan Lake is revisited by the ugly duckling. Part-dancer, part-clown, part-naked, there’s something for everyone. mrthorley is an interdisciplinary performance project that develops form and is experimental.

Fusion Dance (Chor:Amir Giles & Tara Pilbrow) Entangled (F)
Fusing the stark power of Argentine tango with the energy of contemporary dance, this intimate duet physically and emotionally entangles two dancers with music from Bach to Chet Baker.  http://www.fusiondance.co.uk

Archana Ballal The Line of Desire (F)
An emotion instinctive to living things, desire overcomes us all. Three dancers discover the extremes of this feeling, from a pure unadulterated sentiment to a gripping sensation capable of destruction.

I’m highly excited about this as contemporary and argentine tango are two of my favourite styles. Having dated dancers I know that ‘part-naked’ can only be a good thing. The lower priced tickets are sold out, however, there are still £15 tickets available which allow you to attend another show within a 6 month period. To find out more information or book tickets click here.

Let the adventure begin!

BB

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Launching the London Culture Club

I am going to explain who I am, why I am doing this, and how it came to pass. Part diary / part manifesto, if you will. This post will be quite long and is probably more catharsis for me than informative for you. To get to the bones of it read the about page. To experience the body and soul of the LCC start at the very beginning, a very good place to start:

Date: August 2009, Location: Dissertation Hell

While writing my MA dissertation I had a minor breakdown. Months of stress and probably a few monthly hormones lead me to a decision that running away would solve my problems. Being one of those painfully responsible people I had funds remaining in a savings account. In a fit of spontaneity I booked the Eurostar to Paris for a 5 day break. Alone.

Having previously been held back by a fear of striking out on my own, this was one of the single most liberating weeks of my life. Getting up early I entrenched myself in all the city had to offer, took a nap, then dove back in to the giddy cacophony of Parisian nightlife. In this week I met intersting people from many different countries, some of whom I still keep in contact with.

I came back and finished my dissertation (got a distinction too, in case you were worried). But I was never the same. I was infected with the incurable travel bug but apparently you can’t get airline tickets on the NHS (though strangely you can get a sun bed session)!

Date: Wednesday 13th January 2010, Location: Hertfordshire

I have spent the last 5 months trying to get a job in advertising and, largely due to the recession, I have been unsuccessful. But I’m through to the final round of a really good agency and I’m waiting for the call to say if I have got the job or not. I have the feeling I do not but, due to my incurable sickness, I have already mentally planned a trip to Australia and Eastern Europe before the October start date.

I get the call. I do not get the job. I end the call. I cry (I’m a girl, we do that sometimes). My plans of expanding my horizons are dashed on the rocks and my unemployment and shoe addiction dance a tortuously expensive merry jig in the back of my mind. (N.B. I am not actually unemployed, I intern at a lovely company near Kings Cross during the week and pull pints at my local at the weekend)

I watch the news before taking solace in ‘Neighbours’ and copious amounts of rum and see the tragedy of the Haitian earthquake (donate here) and promptly pull myself together. OK, so the dream job isn’t happening right now, the travel plans are on hold and yes, it’s not ideal, but I have a very supportive network of friends and family who love me no matter what and, most importantly, are all alive. Things are not that bad for me. Not at all.

Date: Thursday 14th January 2010. Location: London Kings Cross

I missed my bastarding train home. Fuck. Partly my Boss’s fault for delaying my exit (though he was just trying to help me out at the time). Partly National Rail’s for not putting the correct platform number on the internet. Partly my own for trusting National Rail not to be fuckwitted bastards. What the hell am I going to do for 45 mins waiting for the next train?

Earlier that day a favourite internet person of mine, Adland Suit, had blogged about the usefulness of Time Out magazine for being a good advertising person. Previous advice this gent has dispensed has proved useful (Secret Cinema. Google it. Go to it. Love it.). Striving to be a good advertising person candidate I wandered into W H Smiths to see if it was there. It was. I bought it.

Well knock me down, Mr ALS is right again. This is chock-a-block with interesting stuff. I have an epiphany: why do I need to travel the world when one of the greatest cities in the world is already on my doorstep?!

And so the London Culture Club was born…

That’s all. Keep checking back for updates. See you soon culture vultures!

BB

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