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classic influence. contemporary style.
Savage Beauty: Fashion’s coming home
Cover image from the book Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, by Andrew Bolton, with contributions by Susannah Frankel and Tim Blanks; photography by Sølve Sundsbø. Available from: www.store.metmuseum.org
lexander McQueen was a genius on many levels. His designs had a complexity and intricacy that gave the inanimate a living, breathtaking reality. A tough east London upbringing meant he didn’t need to find the ‘common touch’, he just had an innate ability to reach beyond the fashionista to the people on the street. The popularity of the Savage Beauty exhibition reflects this. This month we spoke to Selena Marie Norris, one of the ‘common people’ inspired by McQueen, who launched a petition to take the exhibition worldwide. We think McQueen would have liked that. We also discuss the legacy of another design legend Christian Dior, who like McQueen designed for real women; we speak to ventriloquist Carla Rhodes and her politically incorrect sidekick Cecil Sinclaire; and we enter the mysterious world of narrative photographer Matt Henry. Oh, and look out for singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey, whose ‘Hollywood doom’ style has had the Retro office all of a swoon. Enjoy.
Street Style Cutting a dash in the UK’s retro capital The Top Five What’s been rocking the Retro office this month? Our pick of the best retro-influenced products Inspired Carla Rhodes The ventriloquist proves she’s no dummy
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Design master who created the New Look
Christian Dior Photo stories of an American idyll Matt Henry One fan’s quest for a tour of beauty Alexander McQueen An incredible stay — eight days a week 25hours Hotels
This issue we headed to the UK's sunny south to see the retroinfluenced styles Brighton's rocking this summer Words: Danielle Colyer Images: Nadine Burzler
Names: Liz Bishop and Alex Thirlwell Occupation: Liz is the Director of Brighton Fashion Week, Alex is a model. Tell us about your threads! Liz: We’ve just got back from Kampala in Uganda and it’s brilliant for charity shops – so my skir t and shoes are both from there. My vest is from a charity shop here in Brighton, and my bag is from a vintage market. My hat came from a lady in Lewes who makes theatre costumes – she had loads of great hats. Alex: I picked up my entire outfit in Kampala, it was great for shopping.
Names: Paul Hayes and Veronica T rickett Occupations: Paul is a programmer and Veronica is an office manager Tell us about your threads! Paul: My cravat is one of two I own, and I plan to own more! It’s from Snoopers Attic. My waistcoat is from a Nor th Laine boutique, my trousers are Beyond Retro, my shir t is from somewhere on the high
street and my shoes are from Shabitat [a recycled clothing and furniture centre in Brighton]. My coat is from Stanford Tailor – and no, it’s not hot, it’s made from wool! Veronica: My clothes are all from the high street – except my sunglasses, they’re from Beyond Retro. My dress was from Peacocks, and my boots, jacket and necklace are both from New Look.
Names: Lana McDonagh and Danny McGurn Occupation: Musicians Tell us about your threads! Lana: My shor ts are from Beyond Retro, my shoes are from the Sunday market here in Brighton, my bag is from Snoopers Attic, a great Brighton vintage shop, and my shir t is from Oxfam in Oxford. Danny: My jacket is Levi’s, my t-shir t is from American Apparel, my jeans are Urban Outfitters, and my shoes are from Office. Oh, and we’ve just been to the vintage street market and I bought this medal.
Name: Jan Cooper Occupation: Jewellery designer Tell us about your threads! Gosh, these things? Well I must be quick, I’m on my break! My entire outfit – dress, cardigan, the lot – is from a vintage shop in Steyning.
Lana Del Rey
ana Del Rey is a singer/songwriter with style, substance and sass all wrapped up in one helluva exciting package. Dubbed the ‘Gangster Nancy Sinatra’ her boots are definitely walking to the top of the char ts. Already an acclaimed songwriter, she also produces her own videos, which por tray a warped perception of the American Dream with dark images of inebriated socialites, obsessive coverage of celebrities, soft-focus Polaroid images of the 50s and 60s cut together with children’s car toons. No question the gal is multifaceted and without doubt the closest Retro’s seen to a female version of Nick Cave. A limited edition 7" vinyl of her first single Video Games will be available early October, with the first 100 copies being hand-signed by Lana. Also look out for her UK debut appearance at Madame Jojo’s on October 5th. www.lanadelrey.com
ang on the androgynous trend without bordering on the weird, Kooples is a sexy French brand using cool couples to style their clothes. This season’s collection is an almighty mix-up of the 30s and 80s with Dada, reversed sheepskins, flannel linings, velvet and leather trimmings, and three-
piece suits all prominent. Anything goes at Kooples from ‘fly-boy greasers straddling scooters to nighthawk neo gentleman in three-piece tweeds’ and this combination of Parisian chic with Anglo style is a ringing endorsement of entente cordiale. www.thekooples.co.uk
The Retro Kitchen Company
rom Henderson & Redfearn, craftsmen of fine, handmade kitchens and cabinets for 25 years, comes a nostalgic offspring. The Retro Kitchen Company was launched in April with accessories supplied by Pedlars, and colour palettes and tiles by Fired Ear th. Offering a fresh and funky feel with a retro twist, these bespoke handcrafted kitchen cabinets will set your kitchen apar t from the mainstream. www.theretrokitchenco.co.uk
ormer-Sopranos writer and Boardwalk Empire’s creator, Terence Winter, thought with a pilot costing $20M the show’s cost would prove unsustainable. This included casting Steve Buscemi in the title role, reserving the director’s chair for Mar tin Scorsese and constructing a stunning, prohibitionera Atlantic City set in Brooklyn. Despite critics being reserved in their opening reviews, Boardwalk Empire is now being rated up with The Wire as one of the greatest US series – with the show recently receiving 18 Emmy nominations. Also leading in the style trends with its woollen large checked suits and iridescent ties held in place by collar pins, means Boardwalk’s dandyish style will replace the skinny ties and tailored suits of Mad Men as this season’s look. Keep an eye out for Series Two which star ts in late September.
Cutler & Gross: The Mermaid & The Officer Collection
nightsbridge opticians Graham Cutler and T ony Gross have 40 years of experience under their belts and are pioneers of cool yet practical glasses. Although their mantra is that glasses can, and should be, worn by everyone and the brand has been described by the Independent as: “they don’t have a logo,
aren’t ostentatious but utterly glam’ they’ve still attracted a celebrity following including Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Anna Paquin and Tinie Tempah. Their spring/summer 2011 collection The Mermaid and the Officer is inspired by the sensuous sea siren and we’ve definitely been lured by their seductive charms.
Pop Art Tart www.poparttart.com Pop Ar t Tar t, producer of quirky iconic por traits, has extended their range to include individually signed and numbered gift cards. With their gallery sections divided into Rock Tar ts, Pop Tar ts, Movie Tar ts and Camp Tar ts there’s more than just a hint of quirkiness. For us the standout from the collection is Twiggy but you can also create a bespoke por trait of a loved one, friend or if you fancy you can even send off one of yourself.
We’ve scoured the stores, and the net, for the best retro-influenced products to have recently hit the market
Jeeves & Wooster Pendant Light, £POA www.jakephipps.com Jake Phipps announced himself on the design scene in 1999 when he launched Isis, the world’s thinnest folding chair with renowned manufacturers Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. He subsequently set up his own design studio creating one-off pieces which can be up-scaled for large production runs, establishing an enviable client list in the process (including Philippe Starck, T ommy Hilfiger, and Colefax and Fowler). His latest creation the Jeeves and Wooster pendant light comes in two variations, the wool-felt bowler and top hat with both styled with an energy saving G9 bulb, reinforced by anodised aluminium lining in a gold finish. Brilliantly caddish, our cap is truly dothed.
Frous Frous Lampshadet, £245 www.notonthehighstreet.com These ostentatiously stylish Frous Frous lampshades will add a dash of Parisian burlesque to the most staid of rooms or hallways. Designed by cutting-edge print designer Alexander Henry, the one-off black and white floral cotton prints create an abstract patchwork pattern with matching silk braids and exquisite white pheasant feather trim.
Dedon Nestrest, £POA www.dedon.de Described as ‘an over-sized bird’s nest’ the Nestrest offers a suspended sanctuary that’ll make your garden’s feathered friends squawk with jealousy. Crafted out of tough Dedon fibre these resolute
resting places means you’re unlikely to swallow dive into the pool, and once you’re inside you’re unable to see out, so brilliant for meditation and relaxation or catching up on the Sunday papers.
Philips Fidelio Soundsphere, £699 www.johnlewis.com Philips has launched the Fidelio SoundSphere which enables streaming directly from the iPhone via Apple’s AirPlay technology. This plug and play technology means you can put your iPhone into the dock for power and then listen to anything from your music collection. There’s also a free Fidelio app which enables a suite of features for your speakers including playback controls, worldwide internet, even a unique weather aler t system.
Crown Vintage Paint, £22.99 www.crown-paint.co.uk It seems running Vintage at Southbank and their own design company isn’t enough to keep the Hemingways busy. The dynamic duo have just collaborated with Crown paints on a range of 30 vintage paints inspired by music, fashion, film, ar t and design reflecting iconic themes and trends in popular culture from the 40s to 80s. With colours including Chelsea Girl, Bell Bottoms and Free Love these paints will make your walls resonate with cool.
Wild & Wolf Mini Cooper Flask, £16.95 www.johnlewis.com This design-led gift company star ted in 2005 with the Pretty Useful T range and has ool subsequently developed licensed ranges for a large number of illustrious brands including Penguin, Beano, Marmite and Scrabble. These flasks are from of the British Motor Heritage range which includes MG key rings, a Mini passpor t cover and an MG washbag – perfect if you’re glamping, camping or just need a quick roadside break.
Mistress Swarovski crystal masquerade mask, £1,530 www.net-a-porter.com Erickson Beamon has been producing vintage-inspired jewellery collections since 1983. Karen and Eric Erickson and Vicki Beamon, who launched the brand produce beautifully original pieces that originally captured the bohochic look of the 90s and include Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow among their fans. This wonderful gunmetal-plated Swarovski crystal mask will guarantee you a standout entrance at the most mysterious of masquerade balls.
Miu Miu Leather Satchel, £995 www.net-a-porter.com Miu Miu, the sister label to Prada launched by Miuccia Prada back in 1993 has a reputation for sophisticated, eclectic collections. This leather satchel combines sar torial elegance with enough space to squirrel away more than just the essentials. Perfect for when you’re playing away from home.
Giles Bikini T £175 op, www.chucsdiveshop.com Socialite and movie maker Charles Finch, whose grandfather in the 20s invented the puffa jacket before a record-breaking ascent up Everest, has dipped his own toe into the rag trade. In February he launched the Chucs brand (named after his school boy nickname) and teamed up with acclaimed designer Giles Deacon to craft this beautifully patterned, 60s-inspired bikini. From what Retro’s seen, just like Finch’s grandfather, Chucs looks to be climbing to the summit.
Alexander Wang Devere shoulder bag, £715 www.net-a-porter.com It’s hard to believe two-time Swarvoski award-winner Alexander Wang is only 27 considering his impact on the design world. Since opening his flagship store close to his Manhattan studio in March he’s also picked up GQ’s Designer of the Y and the CFDA’s Accessory ear Designer of the Y ear. These owlish shoulder bags continue to showcase his cutting-edge designs, and are not only a hoot but they’re stylish to boot.
Keith Richards is hanging from a chandelier in your New Y ork apartment, you’ve drunk so much you’re seeing the Loch Ness Monster, and your best friend is a doll. Welcome to the world of rock’n’roll ventriloquism. Danielle Colyer exchanges a few lines with Carla Rhodes and her politically incorrect stage partner, Cecil Sinclaire
Photography by Leslie Van Stelten Styling and Art Direction by Jet Olivia Make-up by Daniel K. T view more of Leslie's work go to: o www.leslievanstelten.com
How did you and Cecil meet? Carla: I'd been living in New Y City's ork East Village for a few years struggling as an ‘ar tist’. Walking home one day I found a discarded, dusty steamer trunk on the corner. Something inside me told me to open it, while the other par t of me totally disregarded my fear of the bedbug epidemic. When I opened it up, there he was: Cecil Sinclaire! Right away he began to tell me tales of performing in vaudeville and music hall shows and how he could take me to the heights he’d achieved so many years ago. I told him I wanted to make it to the ‘big time’. He told me the only thing that was going to make it big was my waist line. The rest is history. Cecil: My story is quite different. I was locked away for years, due to having an affair with an overage and overweight chorus girl, sleeping peacefully. A floozie opened my trunk and disturbed my golden slumber! Now I'm in a strange land with a sidekick that looks like Shirley Temple on heroin! The kicker is... I gave her bedbugs and I'm responsible for the current worldwide bedbug epidemic.
STOLE MY ENTIRE ACT
Morecambe and Wise
and an apology
THEY�OWE�ME a bag of sweets
What would you both be doing if you What attracted you to ventriloquism? weren’t doing this? Carla: At the tender age of nine, I saw Shari Carla: I'd most likely be a rock star or a hair Lewis and Lamb Chop on television. I was model. strangely attracted to them both and decided Cecil: I'd be living a much better life with a that I wanted to be a ventriloquist! classier lady who doesn't resemble an overfed Cecil: What's a ventriloquist? I'd hate to share poodle! I'd be touring the vaudeville circuit and the bill with one of those – please tell me Carla making the transition from silents to talkies! I'd isn't a... you know what... I'd rather perform be in the big time, making the silver screen beg with a mime! for forgiveness!
Who or what is your act most influenced by? Carla: Shari Lewis, many rock’n’roll legends – to name a few, Mick and Keef, David Bowie – and the Marx Brothers. Cecil: The Inch Worm Inchers, George Formby, Titus and His T rained Mule... I also used to work with Joan Rivers in the 1920s... she's a classy broad! What tunes do you and Cecil put on to get ready for a night out? Carla: I usually listen to whatever Cecil tells me to listen to, for fear of retaliation. Cecil: This week I can't stop cranking up my Victrola into the wee hours and listening to ‘l'll Be With Y In Apple Blossom Time’ and ‘Y ou es! We Have No Bananas’. They're both the perfect ditties for spring excitements. Do you sleep in the same bed like Morecambe and Wise, or have a strictly professional relationship? Cecil: First off, Morecambe and Wise stole my entire act. They owe me a bag of sticky, stripey sweets and a handwritten apology. Carla wishes I'd sleep in her bed! I've got my own room complete with a steam radiator, crystal radio and an invisible forcefield that keeps hussies out of my room past the witching hour! Carla: I concur. Y and Cecil are a stylish pair. Who are ou your favourite designers, and how would you describe your look? Carla: I love New Y City flea markets, ork
junk stores and vintage shops. I've got a good eye for finding stuff... I'm a bit like a magpie; I'm attracted to shiny objects, especially iridescent, violent fabrics from the 1970s. Cecil: When Eleanor Roosevelt was a wee lass, we cour ted and had a wondrous time. She bought me a suit that I've never figured out how to take off. I only ever change my bowtie... I'm such gentleman! What do you and Cecil have on your rider? Cecil: We refuse to tread the boards unless there's a bowl of saltwater taffies, oversized sticks of Blackpool rock and a restraining order to keep Carla ten feet away from me at all times. Carla: I always request an extra large can of aerosol hairspray and a bag of chutzpah. Y recently performed at the Glasgow ou Comedy Festival, what was that like? Carla: It was beyond fun! So much fun that it took me about a month to recover. Cecil: It took me a month to recover from flying coach and sharing a tiny hotel room with Carla. Did you have any trouble understanding the Scottish accent while you were there? Carla: Cecil and I drank so much on the first night, that we saw the Loch Ness Monster! She stuck around and she became our translator. Cecil: Sadly I think Carla saw herself in the mirror without face paint. She thought she was speaking with the Loch Ness Monster!
Which celebrity would you and Cecil most like to perform for and why? Carla: Cecil has informed me that I must always say: I want to perform for him at all times and in all areas. But honestly, I'd like to build a time machine and perform for Groucho Marx, technology is getting so good... it could happen!
Carla: A giant cake shaped like my pet dove, Pearl Friday. It was filled with marshmallows and peace and love! What’s been the best show you’ve played to date and why? Carla: That's a hard choice! I really enjoy performing my monthly rock'n'roll ventriloquism show ‘The Continuing Story Of Carla Rhodes’. Y can't beat mashing up ou ventriloquism, comedy and a live rock'n'roll band. There's really nothing like it. Cecil: And for good reason too! My best gig? My tap dancin' flea agent, Tappy Fleaberg, booked me on B.F. Keith's Vaudeville Circuit in 1922, and I celebrated with a mighty hurrah! I showed The Cherry Sisters who’s the boss! They were so terrible I threw vegetables to show my disgust!
A couple of years ago you had Keith Richards and Mick Jagger hide out in your apartment – tell us a story of rock’n’roll excess. Carla: Mick and Keef were taking a break from touring, needed a place to rest and get back to their roots. They decided to crash at my pad in the East Village. It was fun at first, but then a bit annoying and beyond debauched. Y can have a sneak peak by ou checking out Positively 5th Street – a shor t and Tell us a joke. sweet video of our adventures. Cecil: Since Carla is a woman and women aren't funny, I'll gladly grab the reins and tell a Y played in NYC on your birthday! ou joke. What do you tell a woman with two What was the best gift you received? black eyes? Nothing... you've already told her Cecil: A genuine shoeshine from the finest twice! I do say, I'm quite humorous! broad in New Y City! ork
Photo: Hanna T oresson
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For the past ten years, Villa Les Rhumbs, in Granville, Normandy, where Christian Dior grew up, has been dedicated to presenting the designer’s collections. The latest exhibition ‘Dior, le Bal des Artistes’ features the sources of art and culture that have inspired the creativity of the House of Dior since 1947. This intimate exhibition, which allows visitors to take in Dior’s couture within his childhood home and gardens, has been met with critical acclaim. Lara Kavanagh examines why Christian Dior’s legacy resonates with designers and the public alike.
Image courtesy of Musée Christian Dior
n item in my eBay account’s ‘didn’t win’ list has been a thorn in my side for several weeks now. The thumbnail of a bright red 60’s Dior shift, nestled smugly between other less-notewor thy escapees, has served as a gutting reminder of a T uesday lunchtime bidding war that left me, pathetic as it sounds, a little hear tbroken. Y there are more impor tant things in life, es, and there’s no guarantee the blasted thing would even have fit, but my desire to own this piece of Dior history was bizarrely overwhelming. It was the designs of a rather unassuminglooking Frenchman from Normandy who dominated post-war fashions in the 40s and 50s, cleverly expanding his couture collections to suit the lives of women across the globe, and developing various more affordable lines so as to appeal to different audiences. Christian Dior’s skill as a designer, businessman, tactician and marketer of taste laid the foundations of the international Dior empire that has retained a cer tain cachet throughout its iterations under the very different schools of Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré and John Galliano. The 2011 Dior haute couture collection showed an undeniable harking back to the early years of the fashion house’s 64-year history, with Galliano citing ‘colour, material and volume’ as some of its main themes. The influence of 1947’s New Look and the collections that followed was apparent; vividly modernised by Galliano with the occasional oriental twist. A bad time indeed, with all eyes on the fashion world, for the
The Little Below The Knee Club was furious at Dior’s lowered skirt lengths
Image courtesy of Musée Christian Dior
designer’s anti-Semitic episode to occur. The future of Dior’s leadership is still undecided, but it seems impossible that a nauseating bout of drunken ranting will be able to tarnish the heritage of the Christian Dior brand for long. In 1947 Christian Dior launched his fashion house with the Corolle line, renamed by an American journalist as the ‘New Look’, not necessarily as an entirely new aesthetic in the history of fashion, but a fresh star t after the utility wear that had dominated out of necessity during World War II. The Corolle line featured a mix of the traditional and the modern, borrowing something of a Victorian influence in its nipped-in V shape, yet playing to an aspirational modern look, very much geared to dressing for an occasion. The emphasis was firmly on luxury, with a structured silhouette and a high-quality finish, resulting in designs that were utterly elegant, if not wholly practical for the average woman going about her daily business. The ultrafeminine contours of the Corolle line required a return to corsetry – a far cry from the uncorseted minimalism previously touted by Chanel, who, amongst others, was contemptuous of a return to the restricted female body. Unsurprisingly, there was some feminist resistance to the New Look; the Little Below the Knee Club gave a voice to a large body of American women furious at Dior’s proposed lowered skir t lengths, after the freedom (both symbolic and in terms of movement) of a hemline that stopped just
Image courtesy of Musée Christian Dior
Hollywood was horrified to find their latest films were out of style
below the knee. Many people living in recently occupied France reacted against the new aesthetic for its display of profligacy after the trauma and deprivations of war time living. Then there was the issue of the expense, a key factor in couture for inspiring desire, but which here was interpreted as a re-cementing of a class distinction that some thought had been eroded during the collective fight. Many others, however, saw the New Look as a joyful return to luxury and a celebration of the female form, as well as a muchneeded rejuvenating factor for the failing Paris couture industry. Despite its detractors, the New Look had a huge influence on the fashion world, with many delighted to see such a depar ture from what had come before, making Christian Dior a celebrity couturier. Such was the impact of Dior’s new silhouettes that Hollywood studio executives were horrified to find that their recent films, made just months previously, were suddenly very obviously out of style. From any perspective, Christian Dior’s clothes were incredibly beautiful, and the recurring hourglass look was one that persisted across the industry, from top to bottom, for many years to come.
Image courtesy of Musée Christian Dior
ghost on the canvas
Matt Henry is a pioneering narrative photographer who captures pictorial stories of 50s to 70s Americana. Bruce Hudson shoots the breeze about his love of Twin Peaks, the Cuban missile crisis and building gallows in public places.
he studio of Matt Henry is padlocked shut and a ‘closed’ sign hangs limply on the door. Grimed-up windows obscure the view in. A huge fawn-coloured dog, guarding the door, lies with its back arched against the side glass. A man seated behind a small desk with a lone computer senses I’m at the door and looks up. After studying me he decides it’s safe to unlock the door. “The landlord insists on security”, he
says as we shake hands. It later transpires Matt has just moved into the studio and is still finding his feet. He decides a coffee down the road, in more accommodating surroundings, is appropriate. We walk to a grand but completely empty Regency-styled café. An elderly man asks if we want a coffee in a manner that implies he doesn’t usually have customers, and the
atmosphere turns distinctly Lynchian. When the coffee arrives it’s a damn fine cup of coffee. Originally from Nor th Wales, Matt went to Nottingham University where he studied political theory. After getting involved in the university magazine, and because “my Mum was a photographer so I was used to playing around in dark rooms”, he won the Guardian’s Student Photographer of the Y ear. Despite the
maternal encouragement, and he admits this was the first time that he thought he “might be alright at photography”, his career path took off in a parallel direction. Matt completed a post-graduate degree in journalism at Cardiff and soon found himself writing about photography for most of the industry’s leading magazines including Digital Photographer and Digital SLR.
When Matt returned to the other side of the camera, facing the world of fashion photography he didn’t enjoy it. “It’s a funny world” he says. “I’ve always been interested in story telling. Most people choose to watch fiction as an ar t form but people rarely do that in photography. In fashion it is limited because it has to be about a beautiful woman or beautiful clothes. There’s a million stories in
the world and most of them don’t involve beautiful women.” It was for these reasons that Matt began to craft his own form. “I’ve always been into literature and film so why not extend the narrative format into photography? I’m not, however, trying to recreate a single cinematic still.” Matt worked on a series of images with
narratives focusing on 50s to 70s Americana. Originally inspired by the American television shows he watched as a child, which metamorphosed into “a fantasy land, a visual place that sat in my mind. I guess if I had grown up watching Chinese television it might have been different,” he says with a chuckle. Matt’s studies of Cold War and the rise and fall of communism as par t of his politics degree
have distinctly impacted his work, where motifs of everyday life sit alongside flashes of dystopia; a heavily glazed version of mom’s apple pie. Matt’s vision of the American Dream is where “people were looking for something new: a new world, a new chapter and new oppor tunities. These people thought they could change the world. I mean they thought LSD
would change consciousness and save the world. How cool is that! That for me is fascinating, how great to be around in this period of time.” David Lynch is the cultural icon whose work encapsulates this period best for Matt. In par ticular, Lynch’s Twin Peaks has informed and influenced his photographic expression. “I’m a country boy and I’m not really interested
in life in the city. Twin Peaks was about simple, rural America, yet at the same time it’s not a conservative idea of the land. A sense of the simple life but not in a Utopian way. T raditionally rural communities are supposed to have more of a sense of community while cities are supposed to be more out there, but if you’re in a rural community, that’s where the crazies are. They don’t have the same social
mores; people are very conscious of what we are doing and saying in the city, in the country there aren’t the same restrictions.” It’s one thing admiring images from the States and another trying to create your own tableau in the UK. Not surprisingly there are practicality and authenticity issues, and Matt admits to spending a considerable amount of time combing eBay for props. Most come from
America, like the motorcycle helmet (Page 58), an original from the California Highway Patrol which cost £500. In the quest for authenticity, he even recreates motel rooms, modeling each according to the shoot. “I’ll buy wallpaper from the States and I’ll wallpaper. Actually my wallpapering is getting quite good…but being honest thank God for Photoshop (he laughs). My flatmates have been through hell because
our front room was constantly changing.” And we both laugh at the image of his flatmates arriving home from the pub to find their lounge transformed into the bedroom of a roadside motel. Auctions and markets also are happy hunting grounds for Matt. “I’ve got all the Stephen Shore and Mitch Epstein books which are a catalogue of American life and I’ll go to timber
merchants and buy American redwood.” The photographic narratives can be a year in the planning and when it comes to the shoots Matt likes to have a storyboard to work to, even though he admits his drawings are a terrible and it’s more a series of stickmen. “Sometimes you get it bang on, other times you have to be flexible. Y need a vision but ou sometimes you get something completely
random. I’m also careful to make sure I get the right eras.” Matt does most of the styling and even the hair and make-up, and is not averse to creating a little bit of his own drama while out on location. “I did one shoot where I had a gallows with a noose hanging down. I shot that in a country park without telling the council. I legged it in, constructed this thing and
there are families having picnics going ‘what the hell?’” Despite grand sets and his meticulous attention to minutiae, Matt maintains humble measures of personal success: to never turn to commercial work and, fundamentally, to be recognised as an ar tist. “I want to exhibit. I have a million stories in my head” he says. When I ask for some examples,
he immediately reels off “the day Elvis died; the Cuban missile crisis and Reds under the bed” without a second thought. And as if to confirm his conflicting love affair with the American Dream he says “I’m not really about making money, I think there is something to be said for struggling. I would prefer to die having had an influence on somebody rather than be a rich
man any day of the week.” As we finish our coffees and try to find the elderly barrister who has again disappeared, I realise this café-owner, like Matt Henry, is not concerned with making money, but with providing the finest offering possible. And the next time I come here I will be definitely ordering a piece of cherry pie.
to see more of matt henry’s work visit
After a phenomenal run at New Y ork’s Metropolitan Museum of Ar t, Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition might be ready to cross the pond. Thanks to the backing of some major players in the fashion industry, the exhibit looks set to sail to London. Retro goes on the campaign trail with Selena Marie Norris, who star ted the petition for the exhibition to tour worldwide
Images cour tesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Ar t
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was the eighth most-visited exhibition in Met history in terms of total numbers. Why do you think the show resonated with the public? There was a combination of factors that led to the success of the exhibition. For one, there has been a rise in the general public’s interest of the ar ts. Also Alexander McQueen became a household name world-wide when Catherine Middleton stepped out of her car wearing the now iconic wedding dress designed by Sarah Bur ton. So the timing of the McQueen exhibition was just right and the public was very receptive, however, it was the beauty of his work not just the timing that made the exhibition a success. How did the exhibition impact on you personally? It was sor t of bittersweet. I was excited to see that one of my favourite designers would be honoured in such a grand way, and yet I was saddened by the dichotomy of events that brought the life of McQueen to an end, and the exhibition to conception. Y describe McQueen's designs as the ou work of a 'genius'. Why does he stand out from his contemporaries and what will his legacy be? Anyone who knows McQueen's work will tell you he never did anything by half. His extreme dedication and passion were evident in his designs. Passion outweighs God-given talents, but those who have both, will be unstoppable. What made
McQueen's work unstoppable was his complete irreverence for the rules that have been set in place for fashion. He had an eye for beauty that surpassed the boundaries of commercialism and embraced innovation and inventiveness. The story of his rise to fame is a very inspiring one. In many ways, this exhibition will be his legacy, which is why my team and I are so determined to see it travel. What are your own personal favorite pieces from his collections? There are so many! If I had to choose, I would say my favourites are the intricately carved wooden legs worn by double amputee model,
alongside him. His death was an immense loss for the industry. Whenever somebody takes their own life it is a tragedy for the whole world. Y work as a freelance image consultant ou and designer. How do McQueen's designs influence your work? McQueen embraced the macabre and his work often appeared to have grown out of the realm of a dream. His designs were built from the fabric of fantasy and he was uniquely talented at transforming even nightmarish qualities into breathtaking visions of beauty. It is this sor t of other-worldly vision to which I
Our target is 661,509 signatures, the same as the amount of visitors to the exhibition
Aimee Mullins. My second favourite would be feel a connection, and given the right avenue, the red cape Emma Watson wore for Harper's would love to explore. Bazaar, The Magic of Fashion. It’s beyond beautiful – it appears to float on air. How was the idea for a petition hatched and has it been well received? People remember where they were when The petition is titled “Please Make Alexander Kennedy was shot and Elvis died. Did McQueen’s Savage Beauty a T raveling Exhibition” and we aim to do just that. McQueen's death have a similar impact Although I was the one who constructed it, on you? the idea was brought to my attention by my I was in college, working on my senior collection when I found out about it. I cried. It petition co-leader, Darryl Warren, freelance was hear tbreaking because he was one of the writer and author of Fashion Observed, a socio-fashion blog. A Savage Beauty discussion designers I had looked up to for a very long board on Linkedin.com ‘Mudpie- Fashion, time, as far back as I can remember. His T rends, and Culture’ group was the impetus for bir thday is the day before mine. I had hoped our cause. The group, which comprises of over one day to have met him, and worked
10,000 industry professionals, expressed an interest in the exhibit and has been a suppor ter of the petition from the beginning. I simply saw a need, listened to the collective voice, and made it happen. I am working hard to see our goal become a reality, though it has truly been a collaborative force, and I should not receive credit alone. Have you received any support from the Met, McQueen, or any high profile
industry figures? The Met has been very gracious and responded promptly to our emails. We have gained some wonderful suppor t from the industry, specifically from Fiona Jenvey, CEO of the fashion forecasting company Mudpie Ltd. Also, following the release of our change.org petition, Melanie Rickey of Grazia Magazine kindly star ted a campaign on her blog to bring the McQueen exhibit home to London.
Have you received any celebrity endorsements? At this point we are only in the initial stages of getting the word out about the petition. McQueen had many high profile friends, so it's only a matter of time. Are you surprised by the amount of coverage you have received? Honestly, I am surprised we have not received more coverage.
Is there a level of support (signatures) you need to receive for the show to be taken worldwide? We have not been told that a specific number of signatures would insure our goal comes to fruition. At this time we have set our target to be 661,509, exactly the amount of signatures, as there were visitors, to the New Y ork exhibition.
If successful, where do you envisage the exhibition showing and would you like to have a role? I would love to see the exhibition travel the USA, then worldwide, and finally bring the McQueen exhibit home to London. However the order of locations is not as impor tant as the logistics of making it happen. I would love to see my team and I take par t in the implementation of these ideas. What do you think McQueen would think of the petition? Can a young designer from the Midwest USA, of all places, possibly unite the entire fashion industry towards a single cause? As McQueen once said, "It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules."
McQueen surpassed the boundaries of commercialism
T sign the Petition: o www.change.org/petitions/please-makealexander-mcqueens-savage-beauty-a-traveling -exhibition For further information about the petition contact: Selenamarienorris@gmail.com
Modern Retro colour block dress £14 Knee sock £2.50 Babydoll shoes £16
HOT OFF THE HIGH STREET
Matalan was founded in the 1980s by John Hargreaves, who brought the US retail concept of the out of town, cheap as chips store to the UK. The brand now has more than 190 stores spread over five million square feet of trading space and has been keeping families happily clothed at basement prices since its inception. Their women’s Autumn/Winter 70’s Daywear and Modern Retro ranges are bang on trend, beautifully styled and are available, of course, at wonderfully sensible prices, making this collection an early winter warmer.
70's paisley shift dress £20 Large retro sunglasses £12
Global Mix cable snood £8 Crew neck jumper £18 Check skater skirt £10
Modern Retro 60's block print pleat dress £25 Knee sock £2.50 Mary Jane £20
Global Mix falmer fairisle waterfall cardigan £25 Tunic with detachable snood £18 Faux fur collar £6
25hours Hotel No 1, Hamburg
25hour Party People
It’s one thing to say your hotels appeal to those who favour personalised experiences over cookie-cutter blandness. But few hoteliers can back it up like the mischievous masterminds behind the Germanbased 25hours hotels. The four visionaries commission artists and film-set designers to create interiors that are inspired not by hotel convention, but by literature and pop culture. he quar tet behind these high glam, valuefor-money proper ties takes pride in being “ostentatious, sexy, cheeky, and never dead earnest.” This attitude goes a long way to explain why 25hours provides rehearsal spaces for local bands and offers libraries dedicated to vintage vinyl albums rather than books. The CEO of the group, Christoph Hoffmann, explains how it all came to pass: “Ardi Goldman and I met through a mutual friend at a dinner par ty. Ardi was introduced to me as the most creative man in real estate – the dolphin in a pool full of sharks. Ardi then
introduced me to Professor Stephan Gerhard, who is regarded in Germany as a highly competent consultant in the field of hotel and travel trade. Gerhard would be the one to structure the nascent 25hours Hotel Company. And Kai Hollmann is known to be the bestdressed, most sophisticated, creative, and independent hotelier in Hamburg and beyond, so naturally we were destined to meet him.” The men finally came together in Copenhagen to suppor t the creation of Fox Hotel for Volkswagen, and over a dinner they discovered a mutual passion for what Hoffmann calls “a
new level of individuality in the hotel and travel his or her impact as a vital par t of the whole. We joke that I am the great Dictator over trade.” As he explains “this megatrend of those who don’t give a damn [about my affordable style was so powerful that we felt command] and simply do what they believe is we should catch and ride the wave of right. By having this – let’s call it fire – each of oppor tunity together.” us feels responsible for and passionate about Taking as a preliminary template the first what we are doing.” 25hours project – 25hours Hotel No. 1, Hoffmann developed his passion for hotels created by Kai Hollmann in Hamburg – they during his formative years when he visited the channeled their distinctive characters and grand hotels of Manhattan and Switzerland. individual strengths into the enterprise, and in Guests, he believes, should be offered an 2005 a new company was born. expansive, well-considered experience. And Ardi Goldman is their resident instigator, these grand old institutions inspired him to honing in on everything from real estate bring back – or reinvent – not development to the finest Each floor tells the their pomp, but their pizzazz. details of decor. Stephan “A hotel can simply be a Gerhard keeps his sharp tale of a single functional building to sleep in or a Swabian eye on the numbers decade in and is the group’s economic American history place of discovery, people and secrets,” he says. “In the odd conscience. Kai Hollmann serves as the originator of the 25hours concept hotels, the walls can tell the stories of what and, as the founders of 25hours would have it, happened there. 25hours, not being a deluxe grand hotel, represents these emotions in a grand seigneur of Hamburg’s hospitality laid back way.” industry. And Christoph Hoffmann claims the The company is fueled by the four founders’ title of unwitting captain of this cunning crew. common passion for experimentation and Eloquent, wry, and quick to laugh, the chestnut-brown-eyed, 45-year-old Hoffmann is freedom, as well as the radical belief that form follows emotion rather than function. For Ardi also quick to emphasise that the inspiration Goldman, the company’s creative force, this and success of each 25hours hotel rest on the belief is a driving force. “We try not to answer shoulders of every person involved, from the questions but to create them,” says Goldman. architects to the staff. There are currently “They are ideas that can grow in a person’s three proper ties in Hamburg and Frankfur t, mind. We aim to give people the possibility to with more on the way in Hamburg’s think in a big way, or to think in a small way, HafenCity, Zurich, and Vienna. “Our humanistic philosophy inspires our team, but always to think. What is impor tant is how you create and tell a story. We like to which is both brave and empowered to make decisions,” Hoffmann says. “Each member feels tell stories.”
25hours Hotel No 1, Hamburg
Goldman 25hours Hotel, Frankfurt
25hours Hotel No 1, Hamburg
Take, for example, 25hours Frankfur t tailored by Levi’s, situated next to the Levi Strauss’s German headquar ters. A playful nod to American popular culture and Levi’s place within it, each floor tells the tale of a single decade in American history – from the 30s through to the 80s – complete with its own sound track and period furnishings in shades of Levi’s blue. Or consider the groups first expanded project, Goldman 25hours. Set in the repurposed Henninger Hof of Frankfur t’s Ostend district, the proper ty was inspired by the Oriental Bangkok, a hotel famous for hosting literary greats such as Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Noel Coward. Goldman explains, “For twenty years I wanted to visit the Oriental Bangkok because of the legend that surrounds it. When I finally arrived, I closed my eyes and thought of the history, the age, the guests, the books that were written, the stories. I felt the legend. For my first hotel, Goldman 25hours I wanted a hotel with a lot of stories, and I didn’t want to wait a hundred years!” And so Goldman invited his friends and colleagues to contribute those stories. The results inspired him to create 49 suites spread over seven floors. “The hotel is like a Christmas Advent calendar; each door opens to reveal a different story inside.” The suite named “When Will Rome See Y Again?” is based on the ou starry-eyed love that Goldman’s assistant enter tained for Charlton Heston as a young girl. The room is papered in letters to the actor. Another room explores the story of a friend who was overworked, fled the city to spend half a year traveling with a sheepherder, and discovered that time is the ultimate thing of value. The suite, by interior designers Delphine Buhro and Michael Dreher is entitled ‘Time is the
Imagination, fantasy and perhaps just a touch of madness reign supreme
25hours Hotel, Vienna
Ardi Goldman, Christoph Hoffmann, Stephan Gerhard and Kai Hollmann
Thief’, tells of her revelation and is decorated with sheep. Recent projects have seen the opening of a 25hotel set in Hamburg’s HafenCity and another opening in Vienna in two phases over the spring of 2011 and the autumn of 2012. The Hamburg hotel is inspired by the maritime history of the site with 25 personal chronicles collected by author Markus Stoll, gathered in a “ship logbook” that is found in each of the 170 rooms. Photographs from the collection of Nikolaus Gelpke, founder of the acclaimed sea-themed magazine mare, grace the gallery’s walls. Film-set designer Conni Kotte, known for her ‘rooms with character’, scoured flea markets for the vintage furniture and naval accessories to complement the reimagined sea chests that grace each room and serve as a desk and a minibar. The beds are designed as sleeping ber ths, the book shelves are built in classic rope-ladder-style, and the rooms’ bespoke wallpaper is illustrated with adaptations of seafarer tattoo ar t. The hotel is also inspired by nor thern German novelist Joachim Ringelnatz’s 1920 classic Kuttel Daddeldu, a funny and ironic collection of verse about an anarchic sailor
living within the harbour’s underbelly. The ground-floor lobby, restaurant, mare kiosk, Two Wheels Good bicycle shop, and bar recreate a rough world reminiscent of Ringelnatz’s harbour. The other much-anticipated project 25hours Hotel Wein is located in the hear t of Vienna’s ar tistic 7th District, and here too imagination, fantasy and perhaps just a touch of madness reign supreme. The design is inspired by the golden age of the circus, which peaked at the beginning of the 20th century and was a mainstay in Vienna. The hotel incorporates with mesmerising effect, memorabilia from the city’s three permanent circus buildings, as well as treasures from the Empress of Austria’s own circus. Every hotel in 25hours springs from a healthy amount of chance, luck, and gut instinct. Christoph Hoffman sums it up nicely: “There are ideas in life that are just solid. When you have such an idea and you honour it and rise to the occasion by matching it with the right ingredients, you don’t have to worry too much about the realisation. Y just have to ou go for it.” www.designhotels.com
This article is from the Design Hotels, Made by Originals book, which features 33 stories from the creators of some of the group’s finest hotels. The book is available to buy from www.designhotels.com/shop
25hours Hotel by Levi’s, Frankfurt
Songs that chang the social landsc
The Doors captured the feelings of a disaffected youth in America with a complex intensity and a maverick lead singer. Retro (with a little help from our friends at www.classicpopicons.com) looks behind the recording of their breakthrough hit Light My Fire
and that was the last thing left to do – we were at the beach house in Venice and I told John, Robbie and Jim ‘Hey, go out to the beach and let me think about this for a second. Y guys just go.’ And they walked ou out to the beach and I went (hums melody) and it just sor t of fell into place as the introduction. I said to the guys ‘C’mon back in. I got it.’ And putting all of that together: Robby’s brilliant creation, A minor to F sharp minor, Light My Fire, the solo section, that opening passage, that opening introduction, Jim’s second verse, John’s drumming, all of that coming together into this creation. See how good it is for brethren to dwell together in harmony, in oneness?” The Doors famously upset Ed Sullivan when they went back on their decision to amend the line ‘Girl, we couldn’t get much higher’ when performing the song on his show. Ed Sullivan’s sponsors had asked for the change because it was believed the lyric
ight My Fire was The Doors’ breakthrough hit in America. Their previous single Break On Through had failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100, but Light My Fire captured the imagination of the youth of America. The song, which took inspiration from John Coltrane’s version of My Favorite Things, wasn’t obvious single material in its original form, thanks largely to the lengthy instrumental break which ran for more than seven minutes. T secure more airplay, the song o was edited down, removing much of the break that highlights the chemistry between guitarist (Robbie Krieger), keyboardist (Ray Manzarek) and drummer (John Densmore), although the edit retains the song’s key elements with Manzarek’s par ticularly memorable keyboard work, including the distinctive intro. Manzarek spoke to Collider.com last year about the composition of Light My Fire: “After I came up with that organ par t –
referred to drug taking. Unsurprisingly, the band was not invited back. However, contrary to popular belief Morrison didn’t sing the offending line in the exaggerated fashion as was suggested when the scene was reconstructed for the Oliver Stone movie in 1991. Light My Fire reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 23, 1969 and
remained there for three weeks. The song was also a Number 1 hit in Ireland, but peaked at 49 in the UK. In 1991, in the wake of the movie The Doors, it was reissued as a single in the UK and reached a more impressive No 7. The band’s debut album, The Doors, reached No. 2 on the Billboard album char t and would go on to become a multi-platinum selling album.
José Feliciano’s 1968 cover was hugely successful and would become a bigger influence on some subsequent cover versions than the Doors original. The organ, that made The Doors’ version so memorable, is eliminated from Feliciano’s cover. Instead, the emphasis is on Latin rhythms and flamenco guitar lines, which takes the song into easy listening territory. Feliciano’s cover won him a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1969.
Stevie Wonder recorded a soulful, heavily orchestrated cover of Light My Fire for his 1969 album My Cherie Amour, which included a trademark harmonica solo. The Feliciano arrangement of the song influenced Wonder’s cover, par ticularly during the chorus. Light My Fire is available on the album The Doors.
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