Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty | 14 March – 19 July 2015


“The collections at the V&A never fail to intrigue and inspire me. The nation is privileged to have access to such a resource…. it’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight.” Alexander McQueen

This spring the V&A will present the only major retrospective in Europe of the work of the visionary fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen. One of the most innovative designers of his generation, McQueen was celebrated for his extraordinary creative talent. He combined a profound grasp of tailoring and eclectic range of influences with a relentless pursuit to challenge the boundaries of art and fashion, blending the latest technology with traditional craftsmanship.

Originated by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Savage Beauty will be edited and expanded for the V&A’s large exhibition galleries. It will feature 30 additional garments, including some rare early pieces, lent by private individuals and collectors such as Katy England and Annabelle Neilson as well as pieces from the Isabella Blow Collection and the House of Givenchy. A new section will be added to the exhibition, focusing on McQueen’s fledgling development as a designer in London. Other new garments that will be displayed include a red ballet dress from The Girl Who Lived in the Tree (A/W 2008-9) and a white feathered dress from The Horn of Plenty (A/W 2009-10).

Gainsbury and Whiting, the production company that collaborated with Alexander McQueen in staging his catwalk shows are working with the V&A on the exhibition. Each section will capture the essence of the provocative, dramatic and extravagant catwalk presentations that McQueen became renowned for, combining storytelling, theatrical performance, music and film. For example the spectacular moment where Kate Moss appeared in a gown of rippling organza as a holographic 3D image will be shown near life size as it was for the finale of the Widows of Culloden (A/W 2006-7) catwalk show.

Another key moment of the exhibition that has been expanded at the V&A is the Cabinet of Curiosities, which will showcase designs produced by McQueen in collaboration with fellow creatives such as the jeweller Shaun Leane and milliner Philip Treacy. Presented in a double-height gallery, interspersed with film footage of nearly all of McQueen’s catwalk shows, it will display around 40 additional objects that have not previously been seen together. These include a sequin top overprinted with a haunting image of the Russian Romanov children (Joan, A/W 1998-9); an embellished matador’s jacket (The Dance of the Twisted Bull, S/S 2002) and a black horned headpiece designed for Givenchy (S/S 1997).

In total, the exhibition will showcase more than 200 ensembles and accessories, the largest number of individual pieces designed by McQueen and collaborators ever seen together. They range from McQueen’s Central Saint Martins’ postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final designs for A/W 2010, completed after his death, and are drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen archive in London.

The thematic presentation of the exhibition will interrogate ideas and concepts central to McQueen’s work, including: subversive tailoring; Gothic sensibility and the interplay between darkness and light; primitivism and the animal world; heritage and ancestry; nature and the natural world; and technology and handcraft.

The V&A was one of the first museums to show McQueen’s work in 1997 in the exhibition Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997. He was also represented in the Fashion in Motion series in 1999 and with Shaun Leane in 2001, and was one of 11 designers represented in the exhibition Radical Fashion in 2001 which showcased works from his Voss collection (S/S 2001).

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, said: “I am thrilled that this magnificent show is coming to London and feel passionately that the V&A is its natural home. Lee Alexander McQueen presented his work here during his lifetime and studied the Museum’s wide-ranging public collections of tailoring, painting, art, photography and books as inspiration for his visionary designs, yet remained vigorously anti-establishment and a true provocateur.”

Sarah Burton, Creative Director Alexander McQueen, said: “Savage Beauty is a celebration of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. Lee was a genius and a true visionary who pushed boundaries, challenged and inspired. He believed in creativity and innovation and his talent was limitless.”

The V&A’s presentation of the exhibition is being made possible with the cooperation of Alexander McQueen and will be in partnership with Swarovski, and supported by American Express.

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, said: “We are honoured to support this landmark exhibition celebrating the creative genius of Alexander McQueen at one of our most distinguished cultural institutions. We were privileged to collaborate creatively with McQueen since 1998 in both fashion and design, and Savage Beauty is an eloquent tribute to the scale of his talent and to his limitless imagination, which conjured looks that were sometimes wild and challenging, but always exquisitely crafted, and always beautiful.”

Lisa Gregg, Vice President of Consumer Products & Experiences, American Express, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this unique retrospective. Our support of Alexander McQueen spans many years over which time we had the privilege of supporting his meteoric rise from cutting edge British designer to global household name. As one of the sponsors of the 2011 New York debut of Savage Beauty, we are particularly excited about the homecoming of this truly special and inspirational exhibition.”

The exhibition is being curated by Claire Wilcox, Senior Curator of Fashion, V&A and Professor in Fashion Curation, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

The exhibition is based on Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, an exhibition organised by the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2011

Andrew Bolton, Curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York is Consultant Curator and was Curator of the original exhibition

Sam Gainsbury, Creative Director and Joseph Bennett, Production Designer will redesign the exhibition at the V&A with Anna Whiting as Consultant Producer, following their collaboration on the original exhibition in 2011

In partnership with Swarovski
Supported by American Express | @V_and_A #SavageBeauty

UCD CONFERENCE 24/25th October 2014

Mikhail Goldgaber | Keynote speaker at UCD14

UCD14 is a unique User-Centred Design conference in London. This years event explores how User Centred Design is applied in a variety of disciplines.

The idea for the unique organisation, was conceived in a pub when three of the organisers commented on the lack of collaboration of like minded groups, the lack of quality local speakers being seen and the prohibitive cost of attending conferences in general.

That night in the pub they decided to put together UCD2012 as a platform for exploring the many disciplines that have User Centred Design as their foundation and focus on UK based speakers (but not exclusively) who are the best in their field.

They wanted to offer real world case studies, provide inspirational presentations and interactive workshops and offer opportunities for learning, sharing, networking and socialising with like-minded people.

More information about the conference can be seen on their website.

Important jewels at Christies | New York


NEW YORK – Christie’s New York announces highlights of its upcoming Important Jewels auction on October 22. With 350 jewels on offer, the sale features an array of colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, and signed jewels – led by a magnificent rectangular-cut potentially internally flawless diamond pendant necklace of 81.38 carats. Estimates range from $3,000 up to $4 million, and the total sale is expected to achieve in excess of $30 million.

In the first half of 2014, Christie’s International Jewelry department achieved their highest ever half-year result at US$362 million and established 8 new world auction records. The May 14 Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie’s Geneva saw the highest total ever achieved for a jewelry auction at US$154 million that included the record-breaking WINSTON BLUE diamond (US$23.8 million), which set a new world auction record price per carat for a blue diamond at US$1.8 million per carat.

RAHUL KADAKIA, INTERNATIONAL HEAD OF CHRISTIE’S JEWELRY, commented: “We are excited to begin our fall jewelry season with this promising sale of Important Jewels on October 22 at Christie’s New York. From an impressive cushion shaped diamond of over 100 carats to a chic multi-strand moonstone bead necklace, by Tiffany & Co., the sale has a jewel for everyone. We look forward to seeing collectors back in our saleroom in New York and then Geneva, Hong Kong, Paris, and London as the season progresses.”

Nickolas Grace: Tell Me Candidely | Part Four


Nickolas Grace stripped naked to protect wild fish along with other celebrities

The final instalment of the exclusive Nickolas Grace interview. The interview which was conducted on two separate occasions over coffee in Notting Hill revealed to me a warm, funny, and sincere individual. One that also has an undeniable talent. I would like to thank Nickolas for his time and hope you all enjoy reading the final part of the series.

Any Advice?
“Don’t do it. Haha! We are in a very strange time. Things have changed a lot. Young people in reality shows think ‘Ah I’m famous now, it is easy to get into’. But it’s not easy to sustain.”

“What saddens me is they think they don’t need to go to drama school or they don’t need to study. I always say go to drama school if they are serious about it. There are many many more people now that come in for lots of different reasons. Our union, Equity, is now weak because you don’t have to be part of the union. Anyone can act. Anyone can employ anyone. When I have the chance to employ people as a director I always say I’m only going to employ people who are members of Equity.

“So I’d say don’t do it unless you want to study hard and want to go to drama school.”

Proudest Moments
“I am very fortunate I have been given two honorary degrees. I’m a Fellow of the Royal Central School, and a Companion of LIPA. I received one from Terence Stamp and one from Sir Paul McCartney.”

“Central had asked me who I would like to present me with my honorary degree. As Alan Bates and Terence Stamp were my two mentors. I asked Alan Bates to present my degree. Sadly, Alan Bates was just beginning to be ill, and said ‘I don’t think I can do it but I’ll be there’. He came in a wheelchair bless him and sat at the back of the hall. So Terence was kind enough to present me with my degree , and it was quite funny: my best mate giving me my honorary degree. That made me cry too. At least my mum was there, and it made her quite proud.”

Amazing Moments
“I have indeed. Who’d have thought I’d work with Madonna in Evita. Alan Parker who is one if my favourite directors wanted me to be in the film. “

Madonna… Sugar or Spice?
“A nightmare. Haha! She’s a great star. The first time we met was amusing. She was tired and it was the last day of shooting. Madonna had done a twelve week shoot for Evita all over Europe and Argentina too. So I go there at 6:30am, to go to make up and costume. I’m sitting in the dressing room to start and there’s a knock on the door and it’s Jonathan Pryce who I’ve known for a long time. He says ‘Listen Nick we’ve done twelve weeks so don’t fuck it up alright’. So I say ‘oh thank you’ haha. No pressure.”

“So I think I’ll be on in a minute. It’s now 9:30am, I have a cup of coffee and she’s not ready so I go back to the room and then there’s another knock at the door and it’s Antonio Banderas who I’d met once before in Spain, when I played Lorca. He says ‘Nickolas remember do not fuck up this movie’ I thought this is obviously a wind up. Haha. So it gets to lunch time and Alan Parker says ‘I’m really sorry there has been a bit of a problem, you go and have some lunch’. So by now I’m quite tense. So I go to get some lunch come back and then Alan says ‘come down I’ll show you the set’, so we go and look at the big set at Pinewood studios. Then suddenly there is a temperature change in the studio. I can feel it. I see Alan strain a little, and you see these two bodyguards come in. I think to myself she’s coming. She walks in and Alan Parker says ‘Oh M, this is my mate Nick, Nickolas Grace, this is Madonna’ she snaps back ‘Don’t touch my fucking hair!’

“I’m like ‘No of course I’m not going to touch your fucking hair’. So that was my first line from Madonna. I think back now, and at the time I was thinking inside I really mustn’t do anything wrong. You can imagine how the day proceeded, but by the end she changed her attitude. She said ‘I really like you’, and made the sign of the cross on my face. ‘I said is that the Madonna blessing?’ and she smiled mischievously.

“You’ll get the full version in my auto-biography. It probably won’t come out until I’m in my 80’s because I want to tell the truth.”

Thank You, Nickolas!

Read the entire interview here: Part one | Part Two | Part Three

To find out more and read why Nickolas is naked holding a fish please see below link:



New York – On October 14, Christie’s New York will present a curated design sale, Forever Chic, which will celebrate timeless style from modern luxury to the enduring appeal of the ancient. This innovative auction will encompass inspiring lighting, furniture, one-off design pieces, sculpture, Chinese works of art, pop-art and antiquities. With something for everyone, estimates range from $800 to $150,000 and the sale is expected to realize in excess of $1.5 million.

Forever Chic is led by a collection of modern design and bespoke furnishings from the Peter Marino-designed interior of the former Madison Avenue showroom of Bruce Hoeksema’s luxury brand, VBH. Highlights from the collection include a unique sculpture by Alexandre Noll, circa 1963-65 (estimate: $50,000-80,000) and a gilt-iron and travertine console table designed by Jean Royere (estimate: $40,000-60,000).

Track of the Week: Caribou | CAN’T DO WITHOUT YOU | Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix

Track of the Week: Caribou | CAN’T DO WITHOUT YOU | Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix

I always wondered if anyone tried to remix Caribou’s infectious CAN”T DO WITHOUT YOU track, they have to be brave and musically insane to try such a thing.

Well, these trio uniting from Berlin based trio Karm & Matteo Milleri aka Tale Of Us and Irish Niall Mannion aka Mano Le Tough have mastered this remix to perfection.

“It starts from an organic seed, eventually taking you to a celestial synth orgy!”

Look out for Caribou’s new album ‘Our Love’ in October 2014.

Caribou | Can’t Do Without You | Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix is available now.




Top 5 Essential Soundtracks | LFW


With the start of London Fashion Week tomorrow, here’s my  Essential Top 5 tracks to kick start and set the catwalk alight.  Enjoy!

1►Lana Del Rey || ULTRAVIOLENCE || Hotel Garuda Remix

2►Caribou || CAN”T DO WITHOUT YOU || Extended Mix

3►The Knocks || CLASSIC || RAC mix

4►Julio Bashmore feat. J’Danna || SIMPLE LOVE ||

5►Naughty Boy feat. Professor Green, Laura Mvula, Wilkinson & Ava Lily || PARDON ME || Lynx Peace Edition

Nickolas Grace: Tell Me Candidely | Part Three


Most Memorable Role
“That’s always one of the worst questions. How do you choose? It’s either fulfillment or success. So when you can combine the two that’s marvellous.”
“Being asked to play the role of Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited, changed my career because Brideshead was such a big hit. Antony Blanche was such an outrageous character. He was much larger than life. I was working with fantastic actors, a great producer called Derek Granger, and it was really down to him that it worked.
“An incredible cast, including, Gielgud, Olivier, Claire Bloom, Jeremy Irons, and Anthony Andrews. That changed my career, and people came started coming to me with offers. Which was fantastic. Then another performance that I felt at home, and in which I felt I accomplished something, was playing Mozart in Amadeus. That came out of Brideshead. I played Mozart opposite Frank Finlay as Salieriat in the West End. It was so fulfilling and I knew I could carry it off. Peter Shaffer was very flattering, and said yes ‘I think you are probably my Mozart’. That was great.
“In 1986 I was asked to play Lorca in the Spanish film TV series about Federico García Lorca, a famous Spanish poet. He was assassinated under Franco. Hear was the irony, to play this guy in a Spanish movie not knowing any Spanish, and having failed Spanish A level.
“At first they said ‘Don’t worry you can do it in English, and we will dub you’. So I did as much homework as I could. Day 1 we are on the film set and the wonderful director, Juan Antonio Bardem, and Javier Bardem’s uncle, asked if I could say my lines in Spanish as it was better for the dubbing, and I was like ‘Well, I can’t’. And he said ‘You try, you try’. So from then on I tried to learn as much as I could in Spanish. Playing Lorca was amazing.”

On Directing
“There was a wonderful organisation now long gone called the British Theatre Association and they owned two buildings in Fitzroy Square. Can you imagine what they are worth now? It was founded by George Bernard Shaw and Harley Granville-Barker, and it was a link between professional and amateur theatre. They would do summer courses for students to learn about acting. The teachers from the major drama schools would come and do voice and movement with us.”
“Then the BTA asked me in 1965 if I would direct the British entry for the Inter drama Festival in Berlin. So I directed my first play, Tobias and the Angel. I knew immediately that I liked directing, and I was 17. The play won the festival.
“Then 3 years later, in 1968, when I was at Central they asked me to direct the next British entry. .They didn’t want to release me from Central because it was term time, eventually they did, so being ‘big headed Nickolas Grace’, I adapted three plays by WB Yeats and called it The Hawk’s Well , and put it in at The Mercury theatre in Notting Hill Gate, which is now Charles Harts home. We then took it to Berlin and had another great time. So I have always enjoyed directing ever since.”

Stage, Screen or Directing?
“Teaching. I do think we should give back. I was lucky enough to have fantastic training at Central, so I do try and give back. I teach and direct at Central when I can, and also go up to Liverpool to teach at Paul McCartney’s drama school called LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts). So I go up there when I can.”
“I’m a huge fan of his and he really does put his money where his mouth is. His old school, The Liverpool institute was derelict and was going to be knocked down. So he said ok I’ll do a deal with the council, I’ll save the building and renovate it. So he put a lot of money and restored the beautiful Victorian building, modern, and it’s expanding next door into the old art school. It’s a really good drama school. He goes at least once a term to work with the students. I’m very lucky because I get fulfilment from all my work. I do love filming because the camera can take you anywhere it says I’ve got you now and I’m taking you on this journey.
“I have attached myself to certain charities including theatrical charities. One of the other charities is The Place To Be, which looks after kids from broken or dysfunctional families. The Duchess of Cambridge has become patron which is great. They do a lot of good work.”

Final part of exclusive interview coming soon!

Christie’s |44 works | The Essl Collection| stand-alone evening auction | London | Monday, 13 October 2014


London – Christie’s is delighted to announce the sale of 44 major Post-War works from The Essl Collection which will be sold in a landmark, stand-alone evening auction in London on Monday, 13 October 2014. The sale will comprise of masterpieces by the giants of German Post-War and Contemporary Art including Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke and Neo Rauch, as well as major works by international artists such as Cindy Sherman, Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois and Morris Louis. The selection for sale has been carefully made from the Museum’s holding of 7,000 works and will reflect the quality and breadth of the Museum’s collection, which has been put together with great care by Agnes and Karlheinz Essl over a period of 50 years.

Included in the sale will also be two works by the leading Austrian artists, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Maria Lassnig, which reflect the Essl Museum’s reputation as the home of the greatest collection of Austrian Contemporary Art in the world. The sale of these 44 works from The Essl Collection carries a pre-sale estimate of £40,000,000-60,000,00.

Commenting on the sale, Jussi Pylkkänen- President of Christie’s EMERI adds “The collection that Agnes and Karlheinz Essl have carefully put together over so many years is one of the most renowned and admired collections of Contemporary Art in Europe. In recent years the prominence of the major German Post-War artists has risen season by season. The auction will give international collectors a unique opportunity to bid for masterpieces by the giants of modern German painting such as Baselitz, Richter, Polke, Kippenberger, Rauch and Oehlen. The exhibition of 44 paintings and sculptures will provide a fascinating overview of 50 years of work. It will be a great privilege to auctioneer the sale here at King Street in October at the beginning of Frieze Week”.
The Essl Museum, built by Austrian architect Heinz Tesar in Klosterneuburg, Vienna is dedicated to sharing its passion for art and giving back to society through their ever-evolving exhibition programme, which has presented many important international artists for the first time in Austria, and through an extensive educational program for children and adults alike, designed to build bridges in various ways.

“Ever since we started collecting works of art it was our concern to facilitate access to art as a source of inspiration for as many people as possible. Art enriches life and releases innovative forces. It is a vital ingredient of life and broadens our insights into the workings of life and human existence. In this spirit we would like to see it as a contribution to the positive development of our society. In order to secure our collection and museum for generations to come, we decided to part from 44 carefully selected works from our collection” stated Agnes and Karlheinz Essl.

“Agnes and Karlheinz Essl are among the most important collectors of contemporary art in the world. Any visitor to the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, Vienna has borne witness not simply to an assembly of the most influential art of the past 60 years, but has felt Agnes and Karlheinz Essl’s passion for art and their desire to share it with the public. Identifying artists of keen interest, building relationships with the artists and their work and collecting in depth are hallmarks of their activity over the last fifty years. The selection for sale incorporates a landmark grouping of important artworks by giants of German Post-War and Contemporary art including Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, and Sigmar Polke. From key self-portrait paintings and sculpture by Baselitz and Kippenberger to the much celebrated and unique Clouds by Richter and arguably the greatest grouping of Sigmar Polke’s works ever to come to market. Rich in the tapestry of styles he concocted, these works represent a remarkable mirror to the retrospective opening at Tate Modern in October. This, combined with Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy, will make Frieze week in October a great moment to celebrate the continued vibrancy of German art today,” commented Francis Outred, Chairman & Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s EMERI.

Katharine Arnold, Head of the Evening Auction, Post-War & Contemporary Art London, commented: “It has been a great pleasure to work alongside the Essl Museum, carefully curating this group of 44 outstanding works from the collection. We share the same passion for Post-War and Contemporary Art and I look forward to achieving a great result for this major Austrian institution.”

13 October 2014, 7 p.m. Christie’s London, 8 King Street
Viewing at Christie’s Mayfair
23 September – 3 October 2014 Christie’s Mayfair, 103 New Bond Street
Highlights on View
6 – 9 October 2014
Duke Street Gallery, Christie’s 8 King Street
Auction Viewing
10 – 13 October 2014 Christie’s, 8 King Street

Introducing |artist: JONES. track: Deep |

Introducing |artist: JONES. track: Deep |

First time of hearing this track by London based singer/songwriter JONES., it instantly reminded me of Solange’s LOSING YOU but this is more melodic with DEEPer productions.  Having already worked within the XL Recordings ranks like Rodaigh McDonald, JONES. is sure to excel in her musical career.


More Info:

T: @ISeeJones









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