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Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

O2 Arena

In Day to Day on October 31, 2010 at 11:35 pm

GREENWICH

It was intended to be a landmark exhibition space, a destination for all tourists, somewhere you would want to go over and over again. The Millenium Dome bombed. I remember (as a primary school student) visiting the multi-million pound site almost every week as more and more free tickets were given away to Greenwich schools and residents. With the Body Zone the one I remember, the only other significant or newsworthy event at The Dome was the attempted burglary of the De Beers Millenium Star diamond, which if succesful would have been the largest robbery in the world. BBC correspondent Robert Orchard said at the time, “the Dome was to be highlighted as a glittering New Labour achievement in the next election manifesto” perhaps indicating the reason the project was increased to such a costly level by Tony Blair’s government. Political strife, robberies and school reminiscing aside, this post is about what the Dome has become: the O2.

Through various contacts, namely working sometimes at the O2, I have been privvy to tickets to shows in the arena; recently I have been to Mary J Blige, Santana and Guns ‘n’ Roses. I can safely say that I would not have been to any of these shows were the tickets not free so they fall very nicely into my remit of exploring new things in London. Mary was my favourite, mainly because her voice is so strong that despite not being a fan, I can’t help but admire it. No fancy staging, Mary relied solely on her own talents as a songstress and a small band to entertain the audience. It almost worked, but really this was for the die hard fans with Femi Omole, tweeting ‘What a performer! No tricks or gimmicks. Sheer class!’. She hasn’t released a record in the UK since ‘Be Without You’ in 2006 and mainly concentrates her career on the US market, currently working on her tenth studio album over there.

Mary J Blige

Through attending more concerts, and listening to different music compared to my normal playlists over the last few weeks, I feel that I have explored a few new areas. The feeling you get when you go to live music events is always different to hearing it on the radio, and I think that was key to me enjoying Santana and Guns n Roses as well as Mary J Blige.

Apart from the concerts regularly on at the arena, there are a few more developments around the O2 that make for interesting reading. Media college Ravensbourne have just set up a campus directly next to it, bringing with them a student body to carry the bars, restaurants and club (only INC club is left after Matter closed before summer – sob sob) when there is a dearth of shows come early next year. Add to this a business park, new retail units and, wait for it, a wagamama’s, perhaps the ghost of the Dome will live on in a more positive light in years to come.

The O2

Ravensbourne College

                                                                                                      

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Matthew Williamson

In Day to Day on October 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm

SOMERSET HOUSE

After spending most of fashion week at Somerset House it was nice to revisit in a not-so-manic setting. Gone was the huge BFC tent, gone were the models and gone were the many amateur street style photographers at the entrance.

The Matthew Williamson exhibition promotes a new book coming out which details his inspirations, his development and his creativity through photos and quotes from influential players.

The exhibition is free, which should have been a sign it wasn’t going to match up to the epic Victor and Rolf exhibition at the Barbican way back in 2008. Based on the coffee-table tome published by Rizzoli, the show is basically an extension of the book – a couple of blown up photos from across Williamson’s career, some choice quotes from admirers in the fashion industry, and one or two sketches and backstage snaps thrown in for good measure. Quotes came from all the usual suspects: Anna Wintour, Alexandra Shulman and Lucy Yeomans all sing his praises on typed plaques alongside the photos. One of the more interesting observations made by Wintour was her admiration of Williamson’s ability to understand lifestyle as well as style when designing his collections. Comparisons to Celia Birtwell and Zandra Rhodes followed and I think that it would have been great if more had been made of the quotes and the points they made.

All very nice – but with the book splayed out on a sofa for you to flick through, we couldn’t help feeling slightly cheated by the whole thing. Granted, it’s cheaper than buying the book, and the photos do look lovely on the walls – it was fun to see his first catwalk show with all the ‘supers’ lined up in a row, and there are some nice personal shots too – but it took us about five minutes to walk around the whole thing. We left feeling none the wiser as to what makes Matthew tick (more what other people think make him tick). Where was the back story behind his collections, or better still, samples of the clothes themselves? I can’t afford a Matthew Williamson dress, so to just catch a glimpse of his archive would have been nice.Compare that to Viktor & Rolf, where we were treated to a giant room of eerie dolls wearing every single collection they had designed, with the crazy design concepts explained, and videos of the finished look on the catwalk. Pure fashion escapism.

It just seemed that with this exhibition, there was a missed opportunity. I just hope the Dior Fashion Illustration show at Somerset House fares better! That’s £6 to get into so hopefully the money will go to making the exhibition feel like more of an planned project rather than a marketing tool for the book. So for a window into Williamson’s world of bohemian glam – buy the book – and if you don’t want to fork out forty quid, do go and see the exhibition. Also, If you do, I spotted many autographed copies of the book in the exhibition shop looking rather lonely…

Best Behaviour

In Day to Day on October 25, 2010 at 7:19 am

RUSSEL SQUARE

Blown away by the new Best Behaviour SS2011 collection. Bright green, grey, black n white stripes and lemon yellow pieces somehow all fit together. There are casual jersey cropped trousers, beautiful silk jumpsuits, soft leather jackets and oversized tees.

The Danish brand have created a beautiful collection using colour without veering into the garish category. And I must say that the grey leather jacket is possible made out of the softest material known to man.


Martine Rose

In Day to Day on October 25, 2010 at 12:54 am

LAMBS CONDUIT STREET

I heart Martine Rose. Her use of sports luxe, bold colours, and mixed fabrics are a million miles away from Sophie Hulme (another Cube PR client) but fantastic all the same. My favourite piece had to be the belted strapped pullover vest top in tan and beige.

She has taken part in the MAN menswear platform shows and has built up a loyal following amongst industry experts and consumers alike. Her AW09 range of shirts were a huge hit in luxury London department store Liberty’s.

 

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Sophie Hulme

In Day to Day on October 25, 2010 at 12:33 am

This week, I went to the Cube PR press day and found out about designer Sophie Hulme. I instantly liked the whole A/W 2010 collection, featuring a lot of dark blue, camel and black. The use of block colour was far from bland or boring, and as if to prove its appeal two out of the three PR girls had chosen to wear her clothes for the event.

With each collection she designs a charm and also a key piece of jewellery, for this season it was gold and tortoiseshell airplanes (I must have one)…

 

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In Day to Day on October 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm

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