Sunday, November 27, 2011

20 Years of Dazed & Confused Magazine

This is what brought me to the Somerset House once again . I received the weekly newsletter with all the events and What's On news and I found out about this exhibition organized to celebrate 20 years since the magazine was founded by Rankin and Jefferson Hack in London.

'Quickly renowned for its controversial attitude and independent approach, Dazed & Confused represented a new wave in the British style press and fresh voice in magazine culture.'

'Dazed & Confused pushed unheard voices and new talents tot the fore and brought together figures from different fields and eras to produce extraordinary interviews and to create original artwork for each issue.'

They also announced that together with the 20th anniversary , the magazine will launch 20 different covers featuring celebrities like : Bjork, Tilda Swinton, Alicia Keys, Pharell, Juliette Lewis, PJ Harvey etc. Now because I've recently taken introductory courses for Photoshop I downloaded the covers from the internet and played around a little with them and her is the result in case you were curious:

For all the other original covers click here :

I must admit that I only recently heard about it, being a fan on their Facebook Page and since I constantly visit their website for the most recent news in Arts and Fashion, I promise to subscribe to their monthly publications.

From what I've seen until now it is the most innovative, unique publication I have ever read and also has a very dark, twisted , misterious side about it , which kind of makes you feel intrigued. .

The exhibition is a total success and don't get fooled by the fact that the entrance is free , because for this one the rule does not apply. Yes indeed the entrance is free but it is also worth seeing! Unfortunately you are not aloud to take any pictures inside and you get a small flyer with all the written information , other than that you can buy the signed exhibition book at the Somerset House Bookshop for around 35 £.

I did however manage to take a few snaps and the rest I googled as I am the google generation and I can't help myself. But from what I could capture... which is only the text - there are two very impressive rooms in the exhibtion ROOM 4 and 5 - do not miss them if you go. The concept and art direction belong to the late Alexander McQueen .

Room 4 hosts SALO - a photographic project finalized in September 2001 by Norbert Schoerner under the direction of the great designer McQueen. Here is a quote from one of the curators of the exhibitions Emma Reeves : 'Norbert Schoerner is an extraordinary photographer. He's got a really amazing mind and a filmic, futuristic sensibility. He really rose to the challenge on this shoot and it turned out to be the perfect collaboration. It's a very strange story - the lighting , the oddness of it. I don't really know where any of it was coming from in Lee's mind. Lee had a very special relationship with the magazine and when he felt like he had the sudden urge to do something really exceptional , out ther and uninhibited he would always bring it to Dazed.'  Now doesn't that just make you want to come see it for yourself?

Room 5 I thought hosted a very emotional and extraordinary project. I was very moved by it. The 1996 September issue had an amazing photo shoot called : FASHION - ABLE - and once again McQueen owned the concept and Nick Knight was in charge of the photographs.

 In 1996's September issue , Alexander McQueen , Nick Knight and Katy England produced a shoot which represented disability in a frank and beautiful way - something that no other magazine has done before.

'The disability story is one of the most important shoots that I've done. We thought that perhaps when we approached people they might say : You want to use somebody with thalidomie for fashion? Fuck off! But they weren't at all like that. What you aspire to, there actually isn't a difference. We should look beyond physicality when it comes to defining beauty' Nick Knight

To end my post in a happy note  ... there is some shopping for you to DO!...... so....for you out there who have some money saved or you just have it lying around orrrrrrrrr you might have a fashion passionate friend and you need to buy a very original Christmas Gift - Dazed & Confused Magazine has teamed up with ebay and is auctioning some suuuupperrr cute items which they have received from their very famous friends such as Karl Lagerfeld, Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane and many other.s May I also add the fact that all the money will be donated to Oxfam. 

Here are some of the items you might be interested in , I sure know I want some of them....

Christopher Kane's Aqua Liquid Bag

Dolce and Gabanna's Signature Blakc Bustier

Karl Lagerfeld's Collar, Tie and Hanger

Sarah Burton's Decorative Scissors

Donatella Versace's Lighter Case

Vivienne Westwood's bag

Check the whole Dazed and Confused Time Capsule out here and if you do have time and money BID ON the ones you want to OWN :

Photoshop and Illustrator Courses at the Fashion and Textile Museum

Next month, more exactly 12th of January 2012 I will start my Masters in Fashion Merchandise Management, hoping to specialize in either Buying or Visual Merchandising, haven't decided yet. Anyways because I only have a business background I didn't get a chance to learn all these software programs , which are more than necessary for a career in fashion. Now with Photoshop I've played around a little bit, but I can't say I really knew much, but Illustrator was an enigma for me. So I browsed the internet to find some courses to help with this issue and found the best ones. First of all the location is absolutely fabulous, FTM London is just great and it's in a great area of the city too, close to London Bridge station , on Bermondsey Street, which is just beautiful.
FTM on Bermondsey Street - London

Secondly the courses are affordable for students, all the ones I've found were at around 400 pounds for three days. FTM offers one course for 175 but if you book 2 courses you get a discount and you can book 2 for 300 pounds, which is very reasonable. The courses are held by tutors Newham College of Further Education and they are super helpful. I will make sure to book the Intermediate ones because I was very pleased!

I took the Introduction to Illustrator Course on Saturdays, that was held every Saturday morning from 10:00 till 14:00 o'clock, with a 30 minute lunch break; and the Introduction to Photoshop - a three-day course starting on the 22nd of November till the 24th, from 10:00 till the 16:00, with an hour lunch break.

The Illustrator Course was hosted by David Wright and we covered everything from the basic tools and pallets all the way to creating clipping masks, simple repeat patterns, beginning and completing a garment trace and dividing shapes. I took some snaps with my phone of the things we did, just to get an idea. There is also a Repeat Pattern Course for intermediate students if you are interested in taking, it is very helpful for young emerging designers!

The Photoshop course was hosted by Deepa Panchamia, which is the friendliest and nicest person I have ever met. She is very helpful and has alot of patience with everything you ask her. I found Photoshop to be alot easier to understand than Illustrator , it's not so complex and so technical, it is more creative and playful. I heard that most of the students have the same feedback, let that not be understood that this is caused by the teacher, but it's just the program and level of difficulty which makes it more unpleasant to use.

So what we did in the three-day course with Deepa was very exciting. After learning the basic comands of the program like the image adjustment tools and the filter gallery. We played with the layers palette, we coloured hand drawn illustration, filled garment drawings with fabric and at the end we created a couple of moodboards and product sheets. Here are some of the things I managed to do and save to take with me:

 Do not analyze the colours and patterns too much, I was just playing around with the tools ! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fairytale Mode ON - Selfridges Christmas Windows Displays

I was heading home from the 20 Years of Dazed and Confused Magazine exhibition on the No. 23 Bus towards Paddington , when all of a sudden I looked out the window and there it was... A magical , supernatural, fantastical, mystical, fairytale-like store that never seizes to amaze me everytime I walk passed it.

For this wonderful time of the year the Visual Merchandising team from Selfridges have outdone themselves once again. I won't say anymore, if you didn't get  the chance to go Christmas Shopping on Oxford Street this is what you missed: