• On the Radar Show Me Shlomo
    28th October 2010

    Show Me Shlomo

    AUTHOR Zoe Hodge

    Shlomo at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre

    (31 Oct 2010)

    The unassuming Shlomo leads a troupe of top beatboxers, musicians and spoken wordsmiths to the stage this weekend with a highly anticipated performance, saturated with spontaneous, innovative and raw sounds, culminating in an exceptional sensory overload.

    Beatboxing, a bizarre but extraordinary technique of making drum beats and rhythm using your mouth dates back thousands of years to India, China and Africa. Vocal percussion, as it was formerly known, obtained its name from mimicking sounds of the first generation of drum machines called beatboxes.

    Simon Shlomo Kahn aka Shlomo recently contended in the World Loopstation Championships, smashing all other competition and grabbing title of UK Champion; a great accolade to his talents. A true human phenomenon he has been creating improvised sounds from a young age and believes we are all capable of beatboxing:
    “I've been making noises since I was tiny … I got a drumkit for my 8th birthday, and after several complaints I was banned from practicing after 6pm. But Top Of The Pops was on at 7! I always wanted to be able to play the drum beat of whatever was number 1, so I had to come up with different ways to practice my rhythms”

    Since then Shlomo has collaborated with some incredible artists such as Bjork, on her mainly A capella album Medulla and Imogen Heap from Frou Frou in an outstanding duet this year at Glastonbury. Using his memorised palette of inhuman sounds his impulsive performances are full of rhythmical propulsion, the energy of an atomic bomb and are polished like a brilliant cut diamond.

    This guy is firing on all pistons and next appears at the Bristol Old Vic in BOXED his theatre production, which he describes as “beatboxing's answer to Stomp”. Catch him now before he heads to LA to battle it out with the best loopers and beatboxers in the world. He's also included on The Milk Maids Spotify playlist click here to listen and here to see more about Shlomo on the Southbank Centre website.
  • Fashion Coco Sumner
    20th October 2010

    FASHION Penny Brewer
    HAIR AND MAKEUP Carol Morley
    Robert Oades

    Coco Sumner – the coco you are blaming – certainly has the blueblood of rock aristocracy running through her veins but she is no rock stars brat! It may or may not be worth mentioning she’s the daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler; she’s the spit of her father and has that familiar gravely tone of voice, but don’t bother dwelling on it she hasn’t. Her and her band, I Blame Coco, are quickly asserting themselves as an authority on the pop scene and with the release of their album, The Constant, critical acclaim is pending.

    Coco Sumner is more than her father’s daughter but a song writer and performer in her own right. After an initial beginning if not imitating then certainly referencing the reggae and ska melodies similar to those of the police, Coco has since shifted to a more upfront electro-pop with a philosophical feel, concerning herself with intimate words on top of epic sounds.

    On the day of the shoot the weather is somewhat confused; blistering heat followed by pouring rain in a matter of minutes. Coco too can be unpredictable, a contradictory mix of left over teenage angst, insecurities and musical dexterity. She claims to hate having her picture taken, though possesses an ambiguous and striking beauty loved by the camera. Her insecurity manifests itself in defiance and opposition. She often looks confrontational in photographs, staring out the lens with a tense and angry posture, eyes full of challenge and a deep set scowl etched firmly on her face.

    She arrives at the studio dressed in her now iconic shorts, ankle sock and brogue combination with the token quilted Barbour jacket. A heavy weekend bag is slung over one shoulder and her hands are full negotiating a packet of cigarettes, coffee and a croissant. Obviously tired, nervous and self-conscious but eager to play the professional, on meeting the photographer she sacrifices the cigarettes, so anxious is she to appear polite and humble, throwing the packet on to the damp floor to free up a hand to shake.

    Coco Sumner is more than a little awkward, socially and physically, she’ll be the first to admit she’s never quite fitted in and certainly doesn’t yet seem quite at ease with those long slim legs holding up that tiny frame. Though she hides behind her hair nothing manages to disguise those ethereal and beguiling eyes or dilute the shine and determination held deep within them.

    The title of her soon to be released album is open to more than one interpretation; a Constant is something that will always be there, that won’t ever end. It’s also a clock that you put into something and after a number of steps it explodes. Timeless and explosive? Welcome to the world of I Blame Coco.

    The Constant, will be released 8th November following new single, In Spirit Golden, out the week before on 1st November. Click here to visit the official I Blame Coco website for more information.
  • On the Radar The Future Beauty
    18th October 2010

    The Future Beauty

    AUTHOR Zoe Hodge
    PHOTOGRAPHY Rei Kawakubo Comme des Garçons Spring/Summer 2007

    30 Years of Japanese Fashion

    As overcast or rainy days become more common place with winter encroaching, the 70’s concrete jungle surrounding The Barbican Centre is particularly gloomy. However, until February The Barbican is home to the most extraordinary exhibition of Japanese Fashion, perfect to inspire over the dull winter months.

    Future Beauty, curated by distinguished fashion historian and director of the Kyoto Costume Institute Akiko Fukai gives examples of the most ingenious Japanese fashion design to date. Visually illustrating 30 years of Japanese fashion design the exhibition showcases the early days of Issey Miyake to present day street culture.

    White linen hanging high from the ceilings divides the 3rd floor art gallery into four sections, creating a stark, calm and clinical feel. The space created is perfect for displaying, amongst others the achromatic garments from Rei Kawakubo, founder of infamous label Comme Des Garcons, fragile pieces from Yohji Yamamoto and garments from the technically gifted Junya Watanabe the protégé of Rei Kawakubo. The most exceptional are pieces from the Issey Miyake’s seminal “Pleats Please” collection. Presented are two garments highlighting the complex heat processes and extraordinary origami style pattern cutting expertise used to achieve the unique constructions. This technique is typical of the Japanese aesthetic known as “iki”; encapsulating simplicity, sophistication, and an unwavering direction.

    Prepare also to be hit with strips of rouge, again from Miyake and his fascinating and revolutionary A-POC collection. The collection comprises tubes of fabric specially woven with fully finished garments, removing the need for a sewing machine.

    Also explored is Japanese street style and popular culture in a sub-exhibition entitled ‘Cool Japan’ featuring youthful cartoon and cute motifs such as smiley bees and wide eyed cartoon characters help explain the fascination with the fashionable concept “Kawaii”.

    The penultimate section focuses on individual designers who have a significant presence within the fashion industry and whose style has challenged the Western worlds traditional take on design and the notion of beautify. A thoroughly awe-inspiring display for anyone with an appreciation of design.

    The exhibition runs until 6th February 2011. For opening times and to purchase tickets click here.
  • On the Radar Kate Spade Pop Up Apartment
    17th October 2010

    Kate Spade Pop Up Apartment

    AUTHOR Penny Brewer

    In London's Covent Garden

    In a discreet but grand Georgian townhouse located just off Covent Garden Market lies the ultimate 'pop-up apartment'. WIthin the walls of what seems the perfect show home for only one month is a selection of pieces from the iconic American label, Kate Spade New York.

    Placed elegantly and merchandised casually among a bespoke interior is a selection of the label's finest pieces, simple silhouettes with clever details and crisp palettes. Blending perfectly with the homey trinkets is exclusive London merchandise and the bags, luggage, shoes, jewellery, stationery, eyewear, apparel and homewear for which the brand is so well known.


    Each room of the pop-up apartment is beautifully decorated and accessorised in the manner of the intended purpose. A beautifully made made bed, a wardrobe bulging with beautiful clothes and scarves draped over the door, a cluttered coffee table. Everything in the apartment from the crockery in the dinning room, the books in the drawing room, the lamps next to the four poster bed to the art on the walls, has been hand picked to reflect the world of Kate Spade and the new york woman.

    The Kate Spade pop-up apartment is at 7 Henrietta, London, WC2 until 10th November. By which time www.katespade.com will be shipping to the UK, so now you'll never be without!
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  • Love. Want. Need. The Impossible
    12th October 2010

    The Impossible

    AUTHOR Penny Brewer

    Footwear and Accessories by Penelope Chilvers

    It is in a cluttered studio just off Ladbroke Grove, that designer Penelope Chilvers, begins and ends her journey creating the most fabulous collection of footwear and accessories. In a vast space, floor to ceiling with shoe boxes, scattered with tear sheets, sketches and leather samples, Penelope produces shoes, boots, sandals and bags to fall, and stay, in love with.

    Penelope’s ethos is to work closely with the artisans and manufacturers with whom she works. A scholarship to study an MA at Complutense University in Madrid was the beginning of a 10 year stay in Spain and so it is with fluent Spanish that she communicates daily with the small factories in Spain.

    A common thread throughout Penelope’s designs is the ability to combine a desirable and stylish aesthetic with function and practicality. She often references vintage pieces, utilising the key design and functional elements that gave pieces from the past a true longevity. “I have a love for nostalgia” explains Penelope, like her vintage finds “each of my pieces is unique and only improves with age.”

    Amongst the classic flat leather boots, velvet Cuban heeled ankle boots and Afghan clogs is The Impossible; a perfect example of the heritage, craftsmanship and style Penelope always manages to capture. Produced by family run factory, sympathetic to traditional snowboot design and using techniques handed down through generations, the Impossible is full of character with a whimsical wink at folk.

    Hand drawn sketches with annotation and fabric samples.

    Images of mountain walks with schnaps, pigtails and yodeling are evoked by the comfort, style and glorious warmth of The Impossible; feet are cocooned completely in a shearling linning and a cowhide, wool or suede outer with cute coloured, woven braids and trims. Naturally impermeable the cow hide is completely brush clean, each pair comes armed with two extractable, natural wool insoles, should one ever get wet and a cheeky upturned toe isn’t only a quirky design feature but also allows a cushion of air above the toes for maximam warmth.

    Next summer sees an equally desirable collection, look out for denim look leather totes, gold leather Chelsea boots, perfectly formed espadrils and studded clogs.

    Click here to buy The Impossible from Net a Porter, priced from £375, or here to visit the Penelope Chilvers website.