AN INSIDER LOOK AT BARBARA HEPWORTH

Posted on June 22, 2015

This summer Tate Britain opens a major exhibition on the work of Barbara Hepworth – one of Britain’s greatest sculptors. Want to know more? We chatted to Inga Fraser, the curator behind the show, to get the inside scoop on the blockbuster exhibition before it opens on June 24th.

Can you give us a dummies guide intro to the exhibition and Hepworth’s work?

Barbara Hepworth is one of Britain’s most important modern artists and this exhibition is the first retrospective of her work in London for almost 50 years! She mainly worked as a sculptor and said that sculpture must be understood ‘in person’ – as seeing it in front of you means you experience the materials, textures, forms and mass in a unique way. People often have a strong emotional response to Hepworth’s sculpture – it expresses human feeling in the abstract.

What is unique about the exhibition?

The rooms of the exhibition will focus on the particular environments in which her work was made or seen, such as the Hampstead studio she shared with her second husband Ben Nicholson, the avant-garde magazines she collaborated on and in which her work was published, the landscape of St. Ives in Cornwall where she moved to at the outbreak of war in Europe, and the amazing sculpture pavilion designed by the famous Dutch modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld.

What are the pieces you are most excited about?

I am so excited to see four of Hepworth’s largest carved sculptures from the 1950s together in one room. She was sent a shipment of around 17 tonnes of Guarea wood from Nigeria – and this was transported to the tiny seaside town of St. Ives in Cornwall where she was living. The wood is scented and Hepworth was able to create astonishing abstract forms from the giant logs. It will be a unique opportunity to see these beautiful works together in one space.

How do you start working on an exhibition like this?

You read! You read everything you can get your hands on, then look at as much work as you can, and from there you begin to form an idea of the focus of the exhibition. In this case we were keen to explore her often overlooked international reputation (she had exhibitions all over Europe, in Latin American and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s) and also her involvement with film and photography, both as an extension of her artistic creativity and as a canny means of promoting her work.

Tell us about your career path and how you found yourself in art?

I studied History and Art History at university and after graduating worked part-time, which — super strict budgeting aside — enabled me to volunteer and do internships in arts organisations. I was interested in a broad span of visual culture in the 20th century – art, fashion, design, film and photography and so I worked at the Fashion in Film Festival and other London galleries before joining Tate in 2013.

How would you encourage young people keen to get into the field?

A job in the arts is one of the most rewarding roles you can get. Everyone is so passionate about what they do. I would encourage anyone who wants to work in the arts to gain practical experience. Study is important, and you should pay great attention to detail there, but a detailed knowledge of artworks ‘in the flesh’ is invaluable. Go to as many galleries and exhibitions as you can, really look at what you see there.

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World, 24 June – 25 October, book ticketes

SAY HELLO TO UNIQUE RESORT

Posted on June 19, 2015

As well as two Unique catwalk collections a year, we’ve now added Pre-Fall and Resort to the list – mini capsule lines that give a feel for the main season trends to come. You can shop Pre-Fall now (who got their hands on Alexa’s dress?), but you’ll have to wait until later this year for Resort. It’s ok though – judging by the reactions at our press preview this week, we reckon it’ll be worth the wait.

Top editors and journalists from the likes of Vogue and Elle headed to a posh townhouse in Soho for the preview – an apt location given the collection’s muse: a cool, free-spirited girl visiting London to party in Soho, probably into the early hours, probably on a school night.

Geoffrey Finch, our creative design consultant said, “all the journalists went crazy for the crushed pink velvet suit. It’s a little bit Margot Tenenbaum; it’s a little bit something a Kray brother would have given,” he said, referring to the British gangsters of ’60s Soho, always surrounded by glamorous girls.

Other favourites with the fashion crowd were the supple leather mini dresses, cashmere-blend Bretons and silky blouses with big cat patterns. All we can say is, bring on November!

See the full Resort collection and read Vogue’s review here >

GLASTONBURY 2015 PLAYLIST

Posted on June 17, 2015

The festival of all festivals is about to kick off and we can’t wait. Not got a Glastonbury ticket? Listen to our playlist of the best bands on the bill to feel like you’re there.

1. Super Furry Animals – Hello Sunshine

2. Mary J Blige – Real Love

3. Hot Chip – One Life Stand

4. Jungle – The Heat

5. Mark Ronson ft. – Daffodils

6. Kanye – Touch the Sky

7. Patti Smith – Because The Night

8. Lionel Richie – All Night Long

9. The Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses

10. Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck

Need a festival outfit? Shop now >

POSTCARD FROM… CRETE

Posted on June 15, 2015

A girls’ holiday to a Greek island is practically a rite of passage (Kavos, anyone?) so even better if you can do it in mega style (and, dare we say it, with a little more class). Our Senior Digital Editor Alison Taylor went to Crete’s Daios Cove with fashion bloggers Julia Rebaudo and Anneli Bush for major chill time and to get creative with a camera. Click images below to scroll through the gallery.

HOLIDAY PACKING: THE BLOGGER TIPS

Posted on June 15, 2015

Catch our postcard from Crete? Bloggers Julia and Anneli styled out the holiday in key Topshop pieces – the Mom denim cut-offs, pool shirts and bardot tops were winners – paired with vintage and local finds. Here they share their favourite holiday pieces and packing tips…

Julia, Stylonylon

What were your 3 key pieces and why?

1. First and foremost, a pair of oversized denim cutoffs. Perfect for everything from beach to sightseeing – bleached & ripped even better!

2. I find a loose floaty top for evenings to go with wide-legged trousers is a great fallback. I’m obsessed with off-the-shoulder ones right now.

3. I love a pair of espadrilles. My collection is growing and the boyish high-cut style of the Topshop ones are perfect. I like to travel in them and use for eveningwear as an alternative to sandals.

Any packing tips?

Stick to a basic colour palette of neutrals (I like white, blue, black and grey) and then pick a few colourful pieces to weave into your outfits. Roll everything when packing your suitcase – it’s a great space saver and you can see everything in a glance. Finally, take a tanning moisturiser with you and use it everyday to help boost your tan!

Anneli, What I Bought Today

What were your 3 key pieces and why?

1. The Panama Hat – to complete the holiday look and keeping my face shaded from the sun!

2. The Denim Skirt – such a versatile every day piece which can easily take you from day to night.

3. The White Boho Top – thrown over your bikini, teamed with your denim shorts or with some culottes and heels for a chic evening look.

Any packing tips?

Versatility is key! Bring lightweight and neutral coloured pieces, that you can dress up or down. Think loose fitted pieces such as cotton and silk tops, shirts, dresses and skirts. Keep the colours tonal so you can easily mix and match! Don’t bring too many heels; rather invest in beautiful studded or bejewelled leather sandals – keeping the look casual luxe.

Read Julia and Anneli’s Postcard from Crete >

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