Whitney Houston & Kygo

When Whitney Houston passed on the 11th February 2012, the world lost one of the greatest vocalists of possibly all time. Fans were left heartbroken at the thought of never hearing that perfect vibrato again.  But, seven years later and we are able to listen to polished and addictive Kygo and Whitney collaboration of the 1986, Steve Winwood cover “Higher Love”. Originally recorded in 1990, the pop anthem was due to go on her third album I’m Your Baby Tonight but shelved due to a decision by legendary music producer and A&R executive Clive Davis, to avoid Houston being seen as a cover artist. 

“The only place it was released was as a bonus cut in Japan.” recalls Clive.

Kygo’s slick remixed version ensures Whitney and Kygo are catapulted into new musical heights with this contemporary tropical house version. Turn up the volume to this and enjoy.

 

 

 

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

I was extremely happy and lucky to get a chance to attend the private view of the V&A’s major exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams before it opened to the public today, 2nd February. It certainly was everything and more. The signature look was evident through the timeline of Dior. A wasp-waist jacket with full skirt, which has stood the test of time together with princess worthy haute couture evening gowns.

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I have remained a Dior fan since my first purchase some 20 years back, so this exhibit was particularly special for me. It all started when I purchased my first Dior handbag at the age of 22, which didn’t leave much change from my modest months salary. I remember feeling slightly embarrassed that I’d spent that much and it was maybe a little irresponsible at the time, but I also felt extremely proud of my purchase and it started a love affair with Dior that has endured. The handbag, designed under then creative director John Galliano has now, become a firm vintage favourite of mine which compliments the newer pieces which I have purchased since.

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The exhibition highlights the early start of Dior in 1947 to the present, and traces the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential design houses, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house. A must see.

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V&A Exhibition

Vindata | Leaders not Followers

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(This interview done originally with publicdescription.com in 2014 )

I’ve been a fan of Vindata for a long while now. I was first introduced to them by my Phoenix FM presenter; Vixter, who has been fiercely supporting Vindata for a long while. Regularly playing their tracks and telling anyone who will listen that they will be the next big thing, so how smug are we now that BBC Radio 1 have only just caught up and started playing one of their tracks off their next EP which was aired on Skream & Benga.

You will be blown away by this LA based duo too. Take my word.

 

Elle: For our readers could you tell me who forms Vindata and how you guys formed?

Vindata: Vindata is made up of Branden Ratcliff and Jared Poythress. We met through mutual friends around 2007. We started this project in 2010 after realizing how much our musical background and upbringing we had in common.

 

Elle: How would you describe your music style?

Vindata: We have a very broad range. It’s mostly based off what we’re feeling at any given time. Some call it Future Bass, Future R&B, Chill trap or whatever name they just created. We actually like not being bound by a specific genre. It gives us plenty of room to grow as artist.

 

Elle: What is your musical influence?

Vindata: Well, we grew up in Church so Gospel definitely had a huge impact on both of us. But we also have roots in Hip Hop and R&B.

 

Elle: Who would be your dream collaboration to work with?

Vindata: The Neptunes, Kanye West or Timbaland.

 

Elle: Which person do you feel you have learned the most from in life?

Branden: My Mother,

Jared: My Father.

 

Elle: Any plans to come to London soon?

Vindata: Hopefully, London has always been one of the places we wanted to visit first. We really respect and admire London’s appreciation for the arts.

 

Elle: What can we expect to see from Vindata?

Vindata: We finished our second EP titled “…For One To Follow”. Have been really excited for this, as it further elaborates our path we’ve chosen and what we’re currently feeling.

https://soundcloud.com/vindata

vindata.bandcamp.com/

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

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Beginning of Preen

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Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi met at the age of 18 at art college on their native Isle of Man.  But it was only five years later when they had both upped sticks (Bregazzi to the University of Central Lancashire; Thornton to the University of Winchester) and arrived in London years later that they became a couple.

After graduating, Thornton began collaborating with Bregazzi when his then-employer, Helen Storey, invited her to freelance on design projects.

The opened their first store in 1996 in a small shop in Notting Hills, Portobello Market. Two years later (1998) Preen went whole sale, and before the turn of the millennium (1999), they opened two shops in Tokyo.

Right from this start, their early, one off creations displayed many of the themes that Preen would revisit over the next decade: Victoriana, Recycling, deconstruction, utilitarian clothing, always with that masculine and feminine hard/soft mix the couple bring to their designs.        

Sharing the same vision and attention detail, the synergy between Thornton and Bregazzi has produced some incredible collections.

Their debut collection at London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2001 composed of punkish elements; vintage lace and hand crafted effects,  this collection received rave reviews, described as a sartorial traditional clash, with a very British sense of tongue-in-cheek chic. Liberty Ross wore their ‘rosary bead’ blouse to the British fashion awards straight from the runway, putting Preen firmly on the fashion map.

Subsequent collections have built on this early success, with increasing sales and extensive press attention. As a regular must-see show on London Fashion week schedule, Preen made the decision to move their twice yearly runway shows to New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2008, becoming a much anticipated part of New York show calendar. Since showing in New York, the international exposure of Preen has magnified and sales doubled.

They came back to London for their Spring Summer 2013 show, receiving rave reviews. Spring /Summer 2008 saw the launch of ‘Preen Line’, their contemporary line, this gave the designers an avenue for the rock and roll, easy wear elements of their design, with a strong emphasis on effortless everyday cool.

This season, Thornton and Bregazzi took on the ruffly tendency—something that began with a bout of the Shy Di ’80s nostalgia that has been breaking out in London lately—by putting deep flounces on the shoulder line of a black pantsuit. Slightly weird but compelling things also happened with the satin blouses, whose boxy, piped shoulders looked as if they might’ve slipped off an armchair. There was a lot of playing around with ’70s smocks and that moment when hippies began getting involved with Art Nouveau gothic romanticism. And that’s when the strongest pieces started coming out: a series of velvet dresses in deep green, burgundy, and pink; midi skirts with dippy scarf hemlines; and then the razzle-dazzle sequins for the girls at the backstage door.

 

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Now designing six women’s wear collections a year, with a style that is described as deconstructed chic with a minimal opulence, Justin and Thea have grown their label from a tiny shop in London’s Portobello Road, to selling in over 25 countries worldwide. Preen designs are worn by high profile women including Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett, Kate Bosworth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Rhianna, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron.

 

Mini Preen

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Indeed, not only are they successful professionally, but personally as well, which accounts for what is perhaps their greatest collaboration—two little girls Fauve and Blythe. Inspired by their daughters Fauve and Blythe and described by the designers as “ a labour of love”, their first children’s wear collection was launched in 2014.

When asked why the introduced  children’s clothing line- Fauve really likes to put on my dresses and ‘swish’ around the house. Also when I was young, my mum dressed my in mini versions of her clothes, which I just loved. So the Mini Preen idea was born. We ‘tested’ the designs on Fauve and her friends, and she was our fit model, which she hated, but she loves the finished products. And baby Blythe wears the tops as dresses– very cute!
What is your inspiration? Justin and Thea bring the same whimsicality to their kids’ collection-They take inspiration from our adult collections—the styles and prints, etc. Then shrink them! They use the exact same prints for Preen Mini as we they do for the adult’s Preen collection, but with smaller proportions! Striving for everything to have a relaxed feel while making it stand alone with modern distinctive style.

Information Source: Preen Runway

Research: Riette van Zyl.

Antony Gormley | Fit

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Preview: Thursday 29 September, 6 – 8pm

30 September – 6 November 2016

South Galleries, Bermondsey

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)   

Richard Avedon

A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.

Timeline of Richard’s Early  and Personal life

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Richard Avedon was born on May 15, 1923 in New York City. His mother, Anna Avedon, came from a family of dress manufacturers, and his father, Jacob Israel Avedon, owned a clothing store called Avedon’s Fifth Avenue. Inspired by his parents’ clothing businesses, as a boy Avedon took a great interest in fashion, especially enjoying photographing the clothes in his father’s store. At the age of 12, he joined the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association) Camera Club.
Educated in the New York City public school system.  He attended DeWitt Clinton where one of his classmates and closest friends was the great writer James Baldwin. He and Baldwin served as co-editors of the school’s prestigious literary magazine, The Magpie.

  • In 1941 “Poet Laureate of New York City High Schools. After high school, Avedon enrolled at Columbia University to study philosophy and poetry. However, he dropped out after only one year to.
  • In 1942 he enlisted in the Merchant Marine during, taking identification photos. Returning to civilian life in 1944. Avedon attended the New School for Social Research in New York City to study photography under Alexey Brodovitch, the acclaimed art director of Harper’s Bazaar.
  • 1944, Avedon married 19-year-old bank teller Dorcas Marie Nowell who later became the model and actress Doe Avedon; they did not have children and divorced in 1949.
  • In 1945 he was hired as a fashion photographer by Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar. He demanded that his models convey emotion and movement, a departure from the norm of motionless fashion photography.
  • In 1946 he established his own studio .
  • In 1966 to 1990 he worked as a Photographer for vogue Harper’s Bazaar’s Chief rival among fashion magazines; and also contributed contributed photographs to Theatre Arts, Life, Look, and Graphis. He continued to push the boundaries of fashion photography with surreal, provocative and often controversial pictures in which nudity, violence and death featured prominently.
  • Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s he created elegant black-and-white photographs showcasing the latest fashions in real-life settings such as Paris’s picturesque cafes, cabarets and streetcars.
  • In 1951, he married Evelyn Franklin with whom he had one son, John Avedon; she died on March 13, 2004.
  • In 1955 Avedon made fashion and photography history when he staged a photo shoot at a circus.The iconic photograph of that shoot, “Dovima with Elephants,” features the most famous model of the time in a black Dior evening gown with a long white silk sash
  • On October 1, 2004, Avedon died at the age of 81 in San Antonio, Texas hospital of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was in San Antonio shooting an assignment for The New Yorker. At the time of his death, he was also working on a new project titled Democracy to focus on the run-up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Peak of his career

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Already established as one of the most talented young fashion photographers in the business, in 1955 Avedon made fashion and photography history when he staged a photo shoot at a circus. The iconic photograph of that shoot, “Dovima with Elephants,” features the most famous model of the time in a black Dior evening gown with a long white silk sash. She is posed between two elephants, her back serenely arched as she holds on to the trunk of one elephant while reaching out fondly toward the other. The image remains one of the most strikingly original and iconic fashion photographs of all time. “He asked me to do extraordinary things,” Dovima said of Avedon. “But I always knew I was going to be part of a great picture.”

Avedon served as a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar for 20 years, from 1945 to 1965. In addition to his fashion photography, he was also well known for his portraiture. His black-and-white portraits were remarkable for capturing the essential humanity and vulnerability lurking in such larger-than-life figures as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. During the 1960s, Avedon also expanded into more explicitly political photography. He did portraits of civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Julian Bond, as well as segregationists such as Alabama Governor George Wallace, and ordinary people involved in demonstrations. In 1969, he shot a series of Vietnam War portraits that included the Chicago Seven, American soldiers and Vietnamese napalm victims.

Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power exhibition  The exhibit is a very powerful collection of Avedon’s work over the past 6 decades.“This exhibition traces one artist’s fascination with the animating forces of American democracy. Seen together, the photographs comprise a kind of historical group portrait, showing key figures from a half-century of political life. They provoke questions about the complex motivations of portraitists and their subjects, who work—sometimes at cross-purposes—to depict or project an image that conveys personal history, character, ambitions, and ideals. Finally, they reveal an extraordinary career-long investigation into the complex nature of power. Surrounded by the faces of the powerful, leaders and ordinary citizens alike, the audience is itself empowered by the dialogue that results between those who use power to exercise control and those who seek it to affect change.”

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           Malcom x                                             Marian Anderson                       

Avedon later described one childhood moment in particular as helping to kindle his interest in fashion photography: “One evening my father and I were walking down Fifth Avenue looking at the store windows,” he remembered. “In front of the Plaza Hotel, I saw a bald man with a camera posing a very beautiful woman against a tree. He lifted his head, adjusted her dress a little bit and took some photographs. Later, I saw the picture in Harper’s Bazaar. I didn’t understand why he’d taken her against that tree until I got to Paris a few years later: the tree in front of the Plaza had that same peeling bark you see all over the Champs-Elysees.”

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Awards and notable achievements

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Information Source:  bio.com

                                     Encyclopedia.com

                                     Hamiltonsgallery

                                     Dobettermovement

                                     Gaiam

                                     Wikipedia

 

Tara Sillery | H.O.P.E. FOR SYRIA’S REFUGEES

Tara Sillery

Public Description caught up with the inspiring TV personality, and PR Passion founder,  Tara Sillery, fresh from her recent appearance in the Middle East as presenter for Fashion Police at the  Murex D’or event; to learn more regarding her first passion, her charity H.O.P.E. (Happiness Of Positive Education).

 

Tell me about your charity, and how long ago did you start this up?

Two years ago now. I established HOPE after my first visit to a refugee camp in Lebanon.The aim of the charity is to help less fortunate children and adult refugees as a result of the turmoil in Syria and Lebanon.

H.O.P.E for Syria's refugees - courtesy of bazaar.town

 

I can imagine it has been no easy task?

Indeed. So much red tape and it is still on-going because it is in Lebanon. It can be a nightmare.

I have even been threatened with kidnapping. Crazy stuff. Their own people don’t help them and then they have someone like me who is a public figure who helps them. I never announce when I go. I just get so many people criticizing me, “oh she’s only doing it for the publicity” etc. I’ve spent so much of my own money, and its my choice but it changes you so much as a person. My life can appear glitzy and glamorous, but to me it means nothing. It doesn’t reach the real core of who I am as a person. When you see what these kids go through, sexual abuse, slavery etc., it’s just horrific.

I remember the first time I went with UNICEF. There was this little girl I went to see, I had brought a lot of food with me, and when it came time to eat, the little girl offered me some of her own food first before she would have any herself. I will never forget that day. I cried so much. They have nothing but they still are full of warmth and generosity. After the first time I went, I didn’t leave my house for 3 days after my return as I was just psychoanalyzing everything. Since then I have rethought a lot, I have never again gone out and spent a fortune on designer handbags or shoes. Never will I spend lots of money to fly business class. I just can’t justify it. But that’s my choice.

H.O.P.E Tara with one of the children of Syria - courtesy of bazaar.town

It must be frightening the thought of being kidnapped!

My work with this charity fulfills me a lot. These children give me more than I will ever, ever, ever give them. I know that in my life time I will never see anything fixed, but if I can do something for these families, then I will. I’ve done education programs for them. I have brought doctors, that are friends of mine, to see them. I have had a lot of interest from important public figures who want to come with me to see what I do; however, they don’t want anyone to know they are coming.

 

How do you do it, you have such a busy work schedule?

I make time! Although I have a very demanding schedule, I always try to prioritize my charity work.

Special thanks to Tara Sillery  for her interview with Public Description.

 

If you would like to get involved with HOPE or for further information, you can visit the Facebook page: HappinessOfPositiveEducation or @TARASILLERY

 

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You can also watch here the Murex D’or event where Tara presented recently on Fashion Police.

 

Spectre | Auction at Christies | February

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24 LOTS OF JAMES BOND MEMORABILIA CELEBRATES THE 24TH BOND FILM

RELEASED ON DIGITAL HD, BLU-RAYTM & DVD

ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES (MSF),

OTHER CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS

& THE UNITED NATIONS MINE ACTION SERVICE (UNMAS)

#SpectreAuction

The live auction on 18 February is led by an Aston Martin DB10, one of the series of DB10s designed and engineered by Aston Martin exclusively for James Bond, Spectre, illustrated above. Most of the DB10s were modified for use in the filming of Spectre, but two of those produced were kept back as show cars, for display purposes only, and this is one of them. The car is expected to realise between £1,000,000 and £1,500,000 and is to date the only DB10 to be released for public sale by Aston Martin and EON Productions. This is the only car that includes a special plaque signed by Daniel Craig and was displayed at the world premiere of Spectre at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Aston Martin has been associated with the James Bond franchise for over 50 years, with the DB10 model featuring in the latest Bond film, Spectre.

 

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London – Christie’s, EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment present a rare opportunity to acquire memorabilia from the 24th film in the James Bond series this February to celebrate the release of Spectre on Digital HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD. A live auction and an online-only sale will together present 24 lots of Spectre memorabilia direct from the archives of EON Productions, with unique donations from Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Jesper Christensen and Sam Smith. The online-only sale will offer 14 lots and open for bidding from Tuesday 16 to Tuesday 23 February at christies.com/spectreonline.

The invitation-only live auction will be held on Thursday 18 February at Christie’s King Street and will offer 10 lots, accessible to all via both internet and telephone bids. All proceeds from the auctions will benefit Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), other charitable organisations and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

Christies