Monday, June 25, 2012

Candy Pop Shoot

Earlier this year a selection of SS12 samples were borrowed by the very talented photographer Flora Deborah for the “Ballad Of” magazine Shoot. I later found out that the make-up artist was Michelle Dacillo, who I always work with on my lookbook shoots, so I knew the shots would be amazing!

The looks were styled by Olivia Wright & hair by Adlena Dignam with the set by Lora Avedian, who did a great jobs with props really capturing the essence of the CANDY POP theme.

Belle @ Select models was perfect for the shoot with her peachy skin and innocent look. In the shots below, Belle wears the Wind of the Willows Blouse & the Posies in my Pocket Dress.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ballad Of Magazine

Today is the big day that the new edition of Ballad Of Magazine hits stores with amazing coverage of my SS12 collection shot by talented photographers Hollie Carlin, Grace Carlin & Florah Deborah.

The lovely girls from Ballad Of have also featured a full page interview on my inspiration, why I love designing & everything in between!

The magazine can be purchased from quite a few places in London including Selfridges or the Tate Museum!

Check out some shots from the shoot with Hollie & Grace & grab yourself a copy!

Photographers: Hollie & Grace Carlin

Stylist: Emma Breden

Stylist Assistant: Emma-Marie Crocker

MUA: Amy Rose Macdonald

Hair: Kylie Stirling

Models: Jade Thompson @Models1 and Siena @Storm

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Best Banana Cake

Much to the delight of my boyfriend and friends, I love baking! But no one is more delighted than me as I love sweet treats!  

Banana bread is a particular favourite and the best one I have found is from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook! I just add a couple more bananas than is required to give it a really caramelised flavour & add a splash of vanilla extract!  

Make it once and you will end up going back to it again & again!  

270g brown sugar
2 eggs
4 VERY ripe bananas
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla 
140g melted butter  

Mix sugar, vanilla & eggs together before mixing in the mashed bananas then add in all dry ingredients before adding the melted butter.

Pour into a dish and cook for an hour at 170 degrees.

Eat it & enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst isn't an artist that I knew a huge amount about apart from reading a few reviews here and there, so it was great to go to his exhibition at the Tate Modern in London without too much expectation.  

Although each part of his works seems fragmented, it doesn’t take long to realise that they all have the interlinking aspect of life and death, in particular Hirst’s obsession with & the inevitability of death.     

There is a certain contradiction to his work in the way that everything seems very honest and exactly as it seems in an “it is what it is” type of way, however the underlying ideas behind his work completely contradict this (which is possibly the case with all artists). This is particularly apparent in the spot paintings. Really these are just seemingly boring but relatively pleasing spots painted on canvases in different sizes, however due to the  perfect size & shape of each spot and their precise position & colour, Hirst describes this as being "in control of colour instead of it in control of me".  

Further to this, one of the paintings is leaning against the wall rather than hanging as Hirst was once told that paintings should be hung and sculptures should be standing. This type of rebellion seems a little too contrived for me as if going against the grain is done to annoy people rather than being what you believe but from reading abit more about Hirst, I think this is part of who he is.  

Other displays showed animals in formaldehyde to appear as if they were living, a cow and her calf are sliced in half to show the inside and outside of a creature simultaneously, rows and rows of medicine cabinets with links to disease with Hirst claiming “you can only cure people for so long and then they are going to die anyway” and a huge ashtray filled with cigarette butts aptly entitled Crematorium.  

In contrast to the quite morbid aforementioned displays Hirst combines this with the more enchanting room full of live butterflies & butterfly wings that have been used to pattern stained-glass windows. This again however is linked to death by way of the fragility of life. The spinning paintings are the only works which don’t really seem linked to death and are really beautiful displays of colour. I do get the feeling however, from the way that they were painted from above to create distance, that Hirst didn’t get that much joy from producing them. 

Another contradiction that I actually loved were the eloquent names for alot of his works such as – Loving in a World of Desire, In and Out of Love, Lullaby, Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven and Beautiful Inside my Head Forever. I quite liked that if you saw these names before you went into the exhibition without knowing anything about it, you would never expect to see maggots hatching & turning into flies that were either feasting on a severed cow head or being trapped and killed in an insect-o-cutor.     

The exhibition is definitely worth seeing if only to form your own opinion and although on the surface some of it seems a little pretentious, I like the ideas behind most displays and there were works that I really loved. Love him or hate him though, he has definitely made an impression in his career and how many people can honestly say that?!   

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Beauty of Sicily

I recently had the enormous pleasure of travelling to Sicily for a good friend’s wedding. If you have ever been there, you will know that it is truly captivating with villages built into rolling hills, beautiful beaches & coves, delicious food (not to mentioned heavenly gelato cafes) & restored farmhouses. All of this creates, from an outsider’s perspective, an idyllic lifestyle that is the complete opposite of London's hustle and bustle! 

My lovely boyfriend and I flew into Catania and hired a car (yes – the drivers are as crazy as most Italian write up’s imply) and arrived at our lovely boutique hotel We embarked on a midnight stroll and came across a local hang out where we managed to order in broken Italian ice cold beers, homemade pesto ravioli & aubergine lasagne. Perfection!
The following morning we braved the mid morning traffic and drove to Modica (with a stop-over in beautiful Noto). Modica is the city of chocolate (heaven!) and we stayed in converted caves that had been restored by the architect who owns them at The hotel location required us to lug our bags up winding steep streets but the view was truly worth it (a view that we looked over whilst eating a breakfast of home-made cakes, breads & jam with freshly squeezed juice every morning).    

Next stop was the wedding location with stop offs in Piazza Armerina (B&B La Casa sulla Collina d'Oro) and Enna. We stayed in an amazingly picturesque farmhouse in Antico Feudo San Giorgio with the rest of the wedding guests. The wedding was one of the most beautiful that I have ever been to and was followed the next day by a very glamorous pool party before heading to Scopello where we were blown away by the landscape, food and beaches. Paradise!  
Our last stop was Marsala where a friend that we were travelling with has friends who own the vineyard 'Baglio Curatolo Arini' and we were treated to delicious pasta of lemon, olive oil and chilli with generous amounts of chilled wine & Marsala at their gorgeous home surrounded by flowering hedges and lemon trees.
The following day we reluctantly made the journey to Palermo and flew back to London with memories of 12 days that we will never forget! If you ever get the chance to visit I would suggest you take it! There is a such a simplicity about Sicily in the way that it is so unspoilt, the people are so humble and the food is always locally produced & prepared differently depending on the season. 
Needless to say, we would go back in a heartbeat!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

The White List

The very cool blog 'The White List' has written a fab piece about my SS12 collection & is now doing a giveaway of a one off tee with an exclusive print! See the write up & be in with a chance to win here -