London Skyline by Iveta Angelova
Sent: 28.07.12 at 14:10
Subject: I ♥ LONDON
All the creativity taking place in London during the Olympic Opening Ceremony reminded me of what a great place it is! So diverse, vibrant, eccentric and edgy (popping down there so often I think I’d started taking it for granted - bad Miss V!). So I thought it would be nice to share our favourite London creatives with our lovely readers in a kind of Designer Showcase slash Hot Spot posting. Allow me to get the ball rolling by introducing you to the work of one of my favourite creatives.
P R I N T – M A K E R & I L L U S T R A T O R | PAUL CATHERALL
Paul is a London-based printmaker and illustrator, renowned for his clean, sharp linocuts of architectural landmarks as well as his illustrations for high profile clients. I really admire the graphic simplicity of his style (it’s so hard to reduce a building down to a few block shapes and still produce something that is recognisable and a great image!)…and having made many linocuts myself, I completely appreciate the intricate nature of the work involved in creating his images:
He is possibly best known for his work on a series of London Transport posters. I think they are just beautifully done…a bold, colourful, modernist representation of London architecture:
Each limited edition print is created entirely by hand, from the initial design and sketches through to carving the lino, inking and printing. And this process, from beginning to end, can take several weeks to complete!
Paul Catherall is currently exhibiting his linocut work at the Paul McPherson Gallery in Greenwich (23 July to 12 August 2012). The show includes his latest piece – Orbit Grey – based on Anish Kapoor’s Olympic Park sculpture:
Right, next up I’d like to share some of the amazing work of a London Fashion Photographer.
P H O T O G R A P H E R | DIANA GOMEZ
I know you are going to LOVE Diana’s work Miss P. A wonderful dynamism and vibrant energy is portrayed in much of her work and this particular shoot (Ruby Tuesday) really captures her love of colour and appreciation of current trends.
I’ll leave you to scroll down and enjoy a few of her shots:
Check out more of her amazing work in her website Fashion and Fashion2 portfolios (I recommend looking through the ’Fearless Nudes’, ‘A Heady Mix’ and ‘Love To Love You Baby’ from the Fashion portfolio and ‘Maharani Express’, ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, ‘New Romantic’ and ‘Freestyle’ shoots from the Fashion2 portfolio). Plus you only have to look through her Portraits portfolio to see the calibre of this fantastic photographer…it’s a veritable Who’s Who of gorgeous songstresses!…And YES the Rihanna shoot is FABULOUS!
Now I’d like to share a secret with you. Well it’s a London hotel actually…a rather special one.
H O T E L | 40 WINKS
40 WINKS is London’s smallest most exclusive boutique hotel. Am I exaggerating? NO! It’s only got 2 bedrooms!!! That’s about as small and exclusive as you can get!
The 4 storey townhouse in London’s Stepney Green is actually interior designer David Carter’s home, and is often used for fashion and video shoots, but with 2 guest bedrooms it also offers a place for photographers, stylists, designers, models and anyone in the creative and fashion industries to lay their weary heads and get 40 winks sleep.
I love the eclectic, decadent, bohemian styling…it’s wonderfully eccentric and appeals to my love of the theatrical! It is certainly a welcome antidote to the tedious, mundane blandness of so many of the worlds large hotel chains. And 40 WINKS is also host to regular events such as glamorous bedtime story pyjama parties and vintage tea parties:
Now I know that London is your favourite city in the world Miss P (if that still its current status?) so I thought you might like to tell us all about the places & spaces you like most.
I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…
I’ve got lots of favourite places and areas in London but one that I often pine for, especially when gift buying is called for, is Spitalfields Market. To me it’s like Etsy under a roof! Hundreds of stalls are manned by knowledgeable enthusiasts selling their fascinating finds, as well as enterprising Designer-Makers selling their latest creations:
Nestled in the heart of the city, in the shadow of Christ Church, Old Spitalfields Market offers the perfect antidote to clinical shopping malls and High Street chainstores. The huge covered market is off Brushfield Street (if you’re coming from Liverpool Street Station):
There is a buzz in the covered market…it’s a real retro and vintage appreciation zone. Plus its great for people-watching!
There are also plenty of quirky shops surrounding the covered market, so its good to take a leisurely stroll around the nearby streets to bag yourself an unusual vintage find:
The market is open 7 days a week but Sundays are the busiest by far. On Thursdays the market transforms into a good Antiques Fair and on Fridays there is a Fashion and Design Market, where young designers showcase their work. Plus on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month there is a Record Fair (I’m still trying to buy an old Dansette in good working order!). You can take a Virtual Tour of the market and surrounding streets HERE
And finally…I have a fabulous London-themed reader giveaway to announce!
R E A D E R G I V E A W A Y | KNIT THE CITY BOOK
As you know I LOVE Yarn Bombing, graffiti knitting and Yarnstorming – whatever you want to call it, I love it! So when our friends over at Knit The City tweeted news of the release of the UK’s first graffiti knitting book – well I just had to grab a copy to offer as a special giveaway for 1 lucky reader.
The book charts the knitted mischief of Deadly Knitshade and her covert group of knitting ninjas who have been transforming the grey streets of London into a riot of woolly colour since 2009. The ’Knit The City’ book showcases the transformation of a forlorn ballerina outside the Royal Opera House, a Parliament Square phone box and the creation of a 13-ft spider’s web in a tunnel beneath Waterloo station to name but a few!
To win this wonderful book simply email me ( email@example.com ) with ’KNIT THE CITY BOOK‘ typed in the subject box and tell me your name. Then on Friday 3rd August we’ll pop all the names in a hat (or similar) and pull out 1 lucky winner. I’ll then email the winner to arrange delivery…easy-peasy! So if you love knitting, Yarn Bombing or London…send your email NOW
If you aren’t lucky enough to win the book…or if you simply can’t wait until Friday…or you simply can’t risk not winning the book…you can of course buy a copy from Amazon right this very second HERE
And if you like that, you might also enjoy knitting some London characters yourself with the help of this Stitch London book.
Well Miss P…will you tell us what you ♥ most about London?
Sent: 29.07.12 at 15:33
Subject: RE: I ♥ LONDON
I LOVE that we’re celebrating all things London! Here are some of my fave places and creative people…
B A R | The Booking Office Bar, St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
I know you just looove Kings Cross after it’s little facelift, so you’ll be delighted to see the Booking Office Bar at the Renaissance hotel in St. Pancras on my list of favourites!
The actual bar was once the ticketing office of St. Pancras Station and Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Midland Grand was the original hotel, built during the Industrial Revolution. All of the original arched windows, that A M A Z I N G staircase, cornices, and the beautifully patterned, richly-coloured walls have been lovingly restored to ensure the “romance, elegance, and power of the building remains true to Gilbert Scott’s vision”.
At a mere £250 million I think they’ve done rather well don’t you Miss V?!! (As an aside, did you know that the original Ladies’ Smoking Room was the first place in Europe that women could acceptably smoke in public?)
I fell in love with the Booking Office the very first time we went together, do you remember? And I’m not the only one, the reviews have been fantastic…
“The new bar at the St. Pancras Renaissance is one of the grandest rooms in London. To call it stately would be selling it short – this place borders on palatial.”
“Epic, soaring, dramatic, magnificent.”
… it’s also shortlisted for the 2012 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Bravo G|A|Design International!
You know I’m not a lover of small things: I prefer large, solid pieces of furniture; oversized lighting; I love to be surrounded by piles of books but HATE ornaments – so it’s the grand scale of this building that first captures my attention.
Photo Credit: Heathcliff O’Malley
I also find the juxtaposition of the Gothic architecture with the simple, clean lines and uniformity of the contemporary furniture, and the cool, urban edge aesthetically very appealing.
London’s celebrated Mixologist, Nick Strangeway (of Hix and Mark’s Bar), is responsible for the superb cocktail menu, and although the Soyer au Champagne looks intriguingly delicious, it’s the super unique Victorian Punches that really excite me.
… roll on September – a mug of Billy Dawson’s Punch, and Pigs in a Blanket for me please.
D E S I G N E R | Fay McCaul
Fay McCaul is a London-based Textile Designer in a class of her own. You know me, I’m all over a metallic shimmer so Fay’s my girl – she embeds reflective materials into cotton yarns, mixing fibre optics and iridescent acrylics with traditional knitting methods to create these fabulously unique textiles for interiors:
I WANT this! Would you ever imagine this screen to be knitted? Knitted it is; each panel has over 1000 iridescent acrylic squares embedded into the cotton yarn creating a wonderful changeant effect with the colours shifting from blues and mauves to silvers and golds depending on the light.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Fay at Tent in September, she’ll be in Hall T4 on Stand H08. Follow this link to see Fay’s fabric collection in action, she has some great video images of her work that really show the “intuitive behaviour and integral lighting effects” of the fabrics.
P H O T O G R A P H Y | Top Deck Project
Earlier this year I heard about an interesting collaborative project between London-based photographers, James Pearson-Howes and Will Robson-Scott, Top Deck. It’s a collection of images taken over 2 years from the top deck of East London’s buses. The photos don’t portray anything remarkable, instead they capture, with perfect simplicity, the people of a city living their daily lives. I really like the man sitting in his deck chair in the middle of the street and wonder what on earth the man leaning against the fence is thinking.
You can buy Top Deck here.
L O N D O N T O W N | Kensington
When I first moved to Dubai I missed London terribly and although I’ve totally embraced the desert as my home now, yes, London’s still my favourite city in the world. I love that each area has it’s own unique vibe, completely foreign to it’s neighbour, allowing you to experience so much more culturally – everyone brings something different: attitudes, values, food, language … and the fashion in London? Men and women are just so super stylish it’s almost unreal! This is why I ♥ LONDON! And seriously, where else are you going to go to see this kind of street art?
I just LOVE the individuality of Camden in North London, Saturday afternoons spent at a pub on the Lock are remembered fondly, as is seeing Lynden David Hall play at the Jazz Cafe - one of the best nights of my life! It’s always cool to spend some time in Shoreditch – I like to go there to remind myself of real life when I’ve spent too long in the glamour of Dubai! And I’m just dying to visit Boxpark.
But if I really had to choose my favourite place, I’d head to the other side of London, to Kensington, that’s where the P’s heart lies!
Things I love about Kensington? Kensington Gardens; the V & A and the Royal Albert Hall; Harrods of course, particularly the pizza and sushi bars downstairs, but really I prefer Harvey Nic’s next door (I know technically they’re in Knightsbridge!); Portobello Market (although we tended to really stay around Westway for the clothes!) and The Kings Road for it’s fab boutiques and cafes; The Scarsdale pub; Kensington Roof Gardens; Sheherazade restaurant and Patisserie Valerie … I could go on!
I just adore the feeling of being in Kensington, it’s not like being anywhere else in the world – I always have a sense of excitement when I’m there and I feel particularly convinced that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to.
It’s one of the most expensive parts of London so of course it’s beauty comes in the form of chic pub gardens, grand residences and parks, Designer boutiques, exquisitely dressed people, and a super chic cultural diversity … all very intoxicating.