Saturday, 12 April 2008

It's the Shout out louds, for crying out loud!

I don't know much about science, but I do know that you need a negative and a positive polar to get electricity.... Swedish band Shout out louds have taken this idea and translated it into music that is truly electrifying, mixing the shameless synth lines of Abba (negative) with the indiepop of The Cure (positive)! Their gig at the Ruby Lounge, Manchester, yesterday quite surprised me with its energy, tightness and power! Their songwriter skills are excellent, almost on a level with, say, Shins, and it's refreshing to see a band that's just happy on stage and engaging with their fans. Apparently they've got a new album out now, so I might see them again at a festival this summer? Hmm... Check out their music here: (My favourite being "Impossible")

Support band The Brunettes was also a good new acquaintance with their brass-pop about "Mary-Kate and Ashley." The Olsen twins should be proud. 

(Unfortunately I managed to miss first band The Answering Machine. Again. I've been meaning to see them live for about two years now, but it's just not happening...)

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Matthew Williamson - Ten years in fashion

It's a long time since Manchester was centre of the textile industry, but the city still fosters design talents. The best example is Mancunian Matthew Williamson, who this year celebrates 10 years in the fashion industry. I went to see the exhibition "Matthew Williamson: Ten years in fashion" at the Urbis this weekend, organised by the Design Museum, London. The exhibition presented some of his most iconic dresses (as worn by Kylie, Sienna and Kate), as well as pieces from his newest collection. What I found most interesting about it, was the videos about his design process and inspiration. I must admit that Williamson has never been a favourite of mine, simply because I feel his clothes wouldn't work on me, but it's still impressive to see the clothes up close and study his use of patterns and excessive details. It seems he's always had his distinctive own style, from his days as a student at Central St Martins, to the jet set life he's living now. Anyway, pictures speak more than words!:

From top left: Sketches, the finished dress, patterns, dress and bag from SS08 collection.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Elegance; a forgotten word I finally got hold of a copy of Acne paper (yes, I know it's a bit late), the bi-annual magazine published by Swedish brand Acne, and I absolutely loved all of it! The layout, the paper, the writing, the fashion shoots...and the theme: Elegance. I'm pretty impressed by the interviews they bagged: Manolo Blahnik. Alber Elbaz. Jarvis Cocker. Paulo Melim Anderson. All of these had interesting and different definitions of elegance, and this made me think about what the word is all about. For me, it's about someone who doesn't compromise when it comes to style. It's someone or something that's dignified and confident, but not loud - he or she doesn't have to scream to be noticed in a room. It's about balance and calm, and as much about your attitude to life as your clothes.  Names that popped into my head were timeless icons like Audrey Hepburn, but also contemporaries like Diane Kruger and Cate Blanchett. For me, elegance is in a way also about doing things properly, not half-way. (There can be something very elegant in using correct spelling and punctuation in text messages!) When it comes to fashion, I think tailoring and simplicity is very elegant, and this is obvious in the design aesthetics of YSL and Balenciaga, for instance. I can conclude with that elegance is all that I'm not; it's something unattainable and mysterious for me, and I guess that's just what makes it so interesting and attractive! 

"I think that if you are dignified you will get elegance for free. That's the only way you can get it. (...) It's an instinct, and that's why it's so desirable, because it's a very rare instinct. (...) Elegance is hybrid. It's an orchid that looks different every time. An undefined nimbus. It's like the stars. You dream of them, but you will never get there." (Paulo Melim Anderson)

"Elegance is only in the attitude. (...) It's not about getting, getting, getting. It's about giving. That's what elegant clothes are all about. Elegant people are also about giving. I don't think of elegant people when I think of selfish people." (Alber Elbaz)