For those of you who haven’t heard of photographer René Burri, it’s likely that the last time you spun a postcard rack one of his iconic black and white shots would have spun right past your eyes. René Burri helped shape the history of photography in the 20th century and throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s was known for always having two cameras strung around his neck. As he admits, he led a double life but not in the usual way: “One in black and white and one in colour.”
© by René Burri
What us Topshop girls love about Burris’ work is that it’s both a document of history and a piece of art. While one of our favourites shots shows a group of men on a rooftop in Sao Paulo while the traffic on the street below hurries past, there’s his world-famous shot of Che Guevara smoking a big fat cigar and a whole variety of photo essays and portraits of impressive faces, including Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Le Corbusier and Yves Klein that appeared in magazines of the times from Life to Geo and Stern.
© by René Burri
Whether a monochrome Matador in all his glory, or a colorful sun-drenched street Havana street of gleaming in the sun, we know you’ll love Burri’s work. This summer, he’s going back to his roots – his hometown of Zurich – where he’ll be exhibiting 50 years of his work in Switzerland’s leading design and visual communication museum Museum für Gestaltung.
Havana, Cuba, 1993 © by René Burri
To celebrate his 80th birthday, the museum is paying homage to his life’s work and we can’t wait to explore the unknown works of this great Swiss photographer’s creative oeuvre. An oeuvre which will always live a second life; on postcards that will capture peoples’ imaginations wherever they may come across them around the world.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1967 © by René Burri
We may be reeling from the jet lag but we’re too excited to sleep after opening our very first Topshop store in Hong Kong. We just can’t wait to share all the gossip from the opening day, the star studded dinner and the wild party that went on into the night. What better place to open our first store in China than on the buzzing Queen’s Road Central. Although the opening wasn’t until 5pm in the evening eager girls snaked around the street from 8.30am waiting in anticipation for the big reveal. Some girls even came in their school uniforms having skipped school for the opening!
Two of our new Eastern ambassadors were on hand to get the crowd excited as the time approached. The gorgeous Kim Hyo-Yeon from Girls’ Generation and actress Gwei Lun Mei hyped up the queue and created a media frenzy with broadcasters and interviewers desperate for some screen time with the two stars. As soon as the doors were opened Hong Kong’s fashion lovers fearlessly ran into store to find that classic Topshop combination of statement fashion forward pieces and casual modern basics. Can you imagine having your first time in Topshop all over again?
Inside the store was pretty much a party in itself with DJs playing all weekend long, lucky gifts being randomly handed with prizes as big as HK$5000 and plenty of cookies and lemonade to keep everyone energized. Needless to say the tills were ringing all day long!
After our amazing reception at the store we arranged a very special V.I.P dinner for Hong Kong’s fashion elite. Where better than an “art gallery you can eat in” than to host it. The foodie-favourite Duddell’s was the perfect location and we laid out a quintessential British tea party before singer Coco Lee serenaded the crowd and traditional Hongkongese dishes were served. Hong Kong’s stars came out for Topshop with actor Alex Lam and boutique owner Hilary Tsui rubbing shoulders with model Janice Man and heavy weight blogger Tina Leung. As the night went on the champagne flowed and dancing followed. Celebrities and amazing food aside, all that was on everyone’s lips was the incredible new store and the buzz of what’s to come next!
Looking for something to feast your eyes on this weekend then look no further than Somerset House’s latest fashion exhibition, Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941-1960. Don’t let the longwinded title sway you, this is an exhibition that’s anything but tiresome. If you’ve not heard of Erwin Blumenfeld before then be prepared to be very intimately aquianted. The Berlin-born photographer was one of the most exciting fashion snappers of his time and in demand through the ‘40s and’50s covering fashion editorial for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar as well as artful enticing portraits for his personal pleasure.
The Somerset House show which runs until September 1st covers Blumenfeld’s most gritty, gorgeous and influential work. From capturing Hollywood icons like Grace Kelly leaning casually against door frames to pushing a model’s comfort zone and shooting them stretched out from the Eiffel Tower, Blumenfeld swings from intimate portraiture to exploratory fashion photography in moments. The exhibition made us yearn for the golden age of beauty and fashion – when everything seemed so elegant and glamorous and punk was a distant thought to the masses.
But it’s not just the imagery that is completely captivating. Blumenfeld’s own life reads like an brilliant novel. He was a soldier in the First World War, a painter, part of the Dadaist movement and owned a leather goods shop, all before ever picking up a camera. Add in a little romance, time spent in New York and a friendship with Cecil Beaton and we’re not surprised BBC4 commissioned a film about his life. Whether it’s a life bursting to the seams or the avant garde ways in which he shot photographs – solarisation, photomontages and more – this is an exhibition you really can’t miss.
If like us Topshop girls you never get enough of music over summer then the 21st June —the summer solstice— is a date to remember thanks to France’s Fête de la Musique. Running since 1982 the festival celebrates it’s 31th birthday this year so we’re heading to the streets of Paris to join in on the 24hour non-stop party!
Fête de la musique © DR
From a hair shaking rock band playing on the backstreets to an epic DJ night, Fête de la Musique is sure to cater for all musical tastes and is completely free! To avoid getting lost amongst the herd of music addicts we’ve done some serious research and found the must-attend events throughout the city. Just remember this festival is just as much about the atmosphere as the music so don’t expect too big names but do expect plenty of great upcoming bands playing just for your pleasure.
If your ears are craving some good old hip-hop and dubstep, come nod your heads at the Block-Party area in Rue Tiquetonne where French and British DJs will be taking the stage and feature the likes of Naughty J, M.S.D and Glitchy Mc Fly.
Fancy something a little more, shall we say, elegant? The Ball Blanc will be your best option at the illustrious Grand Palais. The exhibition Monumenta of Daniel Buren will be coming to an end so to celebrate there’ll be a chic and glamorous party where DJs with the names of Caribou, Four Tet and Jamie XX will resonate around the building’s gorgeous glass walls. But don’t forget to get your name on the guestlist pronto and ensure you’re dressed head to toe in white!
And last but not the least, get yourself some french nibbles and enjoy a good platter of small electro gigs at the foot of the cosy Montmartre or if you’d prefer a slightly wilder end to your evening take yourself on the border of the Seine to Wanderlust’s enormous electronic party organised by the beautiful team of Trax magazine.
The great thing about a music festival being set in such an exciting city means that if you can’t get in to any of the gigs you can always hang out along the Champs-Élysées and have a drink while looking at the Eiffel Tower!
The Bal Blanc and Wanderlust © DR
Bookworms, your time has come. It’s been a few years since geek became the new chic and what better way to celebrate your inner nerd and bibliophile than by heading to a festival that’s all about words. Enter The Stoke Newington Literary Festival. London’s most exciting new event that dedicates a long weekend to writers, poets, graphic novelists and other brilliantly creative people. SNLF (as we like to call it for short) will be gracing the streets of north-east London for the fourth time since it launched in 2010 and this year you can expect a bumper programme that’s teeming with literary stars, cult authors and a lot of fun. Not sure what event you should be attending? We’ve picked our top four…
Thurston Moore and Friends
Thursday 7.30pm – The Babble Jar
Okay, if there’s one band that’s associated with the hippest folk around it’s Sonic Youth. Never did we think a literature festival in north London would be the catalyst to bring the edgy guitarist Thurston Moore to perform an intimate set but we can’t help but love that he’s found himself headlining at our local pub. We’re not exactly sure what this set will entail but we’re pretty sure it will be 100% awesome.
The Science of Doctor Who
Saturday 12.30pm – Library Gallery
Doctor Who fans are a dedicated, hardcore bunch. The unlikely duo of Mark Brake, professor of science and communications, and rapper Jon Chase will be unpicking everything you need to know about The Doctor in easily digestible themes – space, monsters, etc. There’ll even be a little bit of rap!
Literary Death Match
Saturday 8pm – Library Gallery
It’s not quite as scary as it sounds. The Literary Death Match is the perfect marriage of books and performance. Four writers face off to perform the best reading of their own – often new- work and three scathing judges will grill their literary skills. What ensues is a hilarious evening of banter, books and a lot of impassioned readings. The pen really is mightier than the sword.
Sunday 4pm – Stoke Newington Town Hall
Need we say anymore? The eyeliner loving and most eloquent ranter of them all, Moran, will be doing what she does best and chatting it out on Sunday afternoon. The self-confessed Topshop fan will be doing a Q&A with the standout Suzanne Moore (an equally amazing woman in the media). Expect plenty of japes and biographical stories from Moran’s wild childhood but also an inspiring bit of chat from the most interesting and exciting feminist writer out there.
Get your tickets here – they’re £50 for the whole weekend and individual tickets come at a pop.