Here are my photos from Carnival Day at the Redbull Music Academy Soundsystem party with Lakwena in front of one of her murals and the dancers in my costumes which I designed to echo Lakwena's visuals.
Friday, 29 August 2014
As part of the Summer of Somewhereto_ scheme I spent a day sharing my studio and mentoring skills with two up-and-coming designers. The photos of Shireeka Devlin and I above were taken by Kay Davis - so there isn't a shot of herself, but if you watch the video from the experience you will see her beautiful colourful vision. Here we are making pieces for the Carnival costumes, chatting about the industry at large and getting to know each other better in this one-on-one capacity.
If you are between 16-25, head over to the site to find out more about how you can access free studio space set up by the incredible initiative.
See my blog post from the launch here.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Thursday 28th Aug: Redbull Music Academy Notting Hill Carnival - Art Direction and costumes - the prep
Notting Hill Carnival is my absolute favourite weekend of the year and dreaming of it's arrival coming closer is the only thing that gets me thru the Winter months. 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the festivities and luckily I got to work on in it via the Red Bull Music Academy Soundsystem. Alongside Lakwena, we collaborated on the identity for the artwork of the party which ran across the posters ahead of the celebration to the awnings which decorated under the Westway on the day. Lakwena designed the graphics for the pattern with reference to my masks, and I then in turn referenced her shapes to integrate into the costumes for the dancers. The whole thing combined in full scale murals which Lakwena patiently painted by hand, including the press board backdrop for backstage. Photos of all of this will follow in a 2nd post, but here is a sneak peak of the preparations that took place in making of the costumes............. including threading my own beaded fringing because I couldn't find one I liked. Every detail was made in-house from bending wire frames to dying fabric and feathers to sewing bespoke measurement teeny tiny thongs from scratch. I wish I could just glue-gun some rhinestones to a headband and be done with it, but unfortunately I always seem to end up with the most time-consuming laborious process to realise the most cosmic spectrum that I can concoct.
This is a return from the longest hiatus that I have taken from the blog. Its been a month and in that time I have been solidly sewing costumes for Carnival. With a deadline each day to achieve the ultimate deadline, I didn't have time for ANYTHING else. However, I did multi-task and take a day out to run a kite-making workshop of which her are some snaps I took to document the colour and the beautiful location.
Now that Carnival is over again for another year, normal service will resume to blogging antics ..............
Friday, 25 July 2014
Thursday, 24 July 2014
As you may know by now I run every Tuesday evening with RunDemCrew where we choose different routes across London, according to a destination that relates to current affairs. This week we were treated to a special guest of an inspiring lady who turns out isn't just sporty by name, but also sporty by nature! Look slightly to the left of centre in the group shot and you will see a humble Mel C shining out of our motley crew. She literally doesn't look any different which I think backs up my conspiracy theory that being fit is the best anti-age tactic there is! Forget the botox ladies, get running and Spice up yer life!!
(Top two photos from founder of RunDemCrew Charlie Dark, rest by me)
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
After cycling to Southwold in Suffolk last Saturday, I returned once again this weekend (by train & car !!) for the annual East Anglia music festival "Latitude". When I told my nephew about it, he asked if I was going to go to a Longitude festival in 6 months time?! Good question.......... and the kind of enquiring cheeky humour that would have gone down well at this child-centric festival. There is a whole field devoted to kids so the weekend's movements are bumper to bumper bugaboos and toddlers worn on shoulders, accessorised with ear defenders. Dipping in and out of pockets of Pine forests there are hanging neon light sculptures and tree-house cocktail bars; supposedly for after-hours when you have lost the kids. Also nestling in the woods are mini stages which make up the designated live music showcases. This is the perfect setting for an intimate gig compared to other larger, more common corporate music festivals. To put that into perspective, we saw the headline act of Damon Albarn & The Heavy Seas ( with guest Graham Coxon) on big stage but with easy view from the smaller crowd than if it was at Glastonbury or his own tour. Infact the very back of the main arena has racks of stadium seats so its positively an all-age festival equipped for those who prefer to take a perch! Brilliant! My favourite bit was actually hula-hooping in the shade of the helta-scelta, finding myself showing little girls how to do the same ............ so thanks to Marawa for that gift!!! This festival has lots to discover and acres of space to get lost and explore............ not to mention the beautiful lake and multi-colour BAAAAAAAAAAA BAAAAAAAAA rainbow sheep!