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

ALL ABOUT TOPSHOP PLAYLAND

Posted on June 2, 2015

Last weekend we transformed Topshop Oxford Circus into our very own Playland in the form of inflatables, arcade games and treats on tap. Missed it? Here’s the lowdown.

Forget about our regular TOPSHOP sign above the door, from last Friday it was reimagined into an inflatable bouncy-castle style front decorated with ice creams, popcorn and smiley faces. We also transformed our main window into a giant arcade game . Remember the claaaaw? Made famous by Toy Story but also one of our favourite beach-side games, ours was operated by tweeting to manoeuvre the contraption and pick up everything from lipstick to a £500 shopping spree.

 

The fun continued inside the store with a fairground style space dedicated to more serious gaming. A vintage Ms Pac Man was pulled in, a penny pusher which distributed nail polishes and lippies and, potentially our favourite, a Zoltar on hand to read your fashion fortune. “Conquer your fear of dungarees or they will conquer you.” Genius. With so much going on we had to ensure everyone had plenty to fuel their shopping so candyfloss, popcorn and ice cream were all on offer. Don’t say we don’t spoil you.

Topshop Playland might have ended instore but there’s something very exciting coming to topshop.com next week. Stay tuned!

FEEDING THE FASHION CROWD

Posted on May 13, 2015

Want to know what the fashion insiders eat? Meet three female chefs bringing their sought-after recipes to London’s most stylish – with a new book and pop-up restaurant to boot.

TART LONDON

The girls behind catering company Tart have cooked for some of the biggest names in fashion (think Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Cara Delevingne) and now they’re cooking for you! Founders Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison have teamed up with heritage brand Wedgwood to open a pop-up restaurant in London’s Queen’s Park, offering their posh-yet-healthy grub to the public. Head over for a daily changing menu of breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, all served on exclusive tableware designed by by Wedgwood – fancy.

Tart’s Kitchen is open on 74 Salusbury Road, London, NW6 6NU from 8am-5pm until 23rd June

ANNA BARNETT

Anna Barnett turned her obsession with cooking into blog ‘Get In My Gob‘ back in 2001, which has led to her penning recipes for big fashion mags like Vogue, holding supper clubs for London’s fashion elite and now launching her first cookbook – ‘Eat The Week‘. Offering recipes handily broken down into days of the week, it’s the perfect way to fit cooking into your everyday routine. Whether it’s ‘Budget Mondays’ (suggesting healthy yet reasonably priced recipes because you’ve indulged at the weekend), or Thursday’s ‘Cooking for Company’ (dinner party ideas because you’re ready to be sociable again) – there’s a section to make sure you eat well every single day. We’re sold!

Eat The Week is available to buy on Amazon 

THE BEST MOM MOMENTS

Posted on May 8, 2015

From Solange’s wedding dance with her son, to the ever expanding Beckham clan, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day in the USA by remembering four of our favourite Mom moments.

1. SOLANGE’S MOTHER/SON WEDDING DANCE

That dress wasn’t the only thing everyone was talking about after Solange’s surprise wedding last year – at the reception she performed a dance to  Rae Sremmurd’s ‘No Flex Zone’ with her 10 year old son, Julez and it was insanely adorable.

2.  ZOE KRAVITZ AND LISA BONET, TWINNING

In case you hadn’t noticed, Zoe Kravitz has really cool parents, but we particularly loved this snap of Zoe with her mom, Lisa Bonet, which Zoe captioned ‘Night out with my best gal’. Aww.

 3. JOURDAN DUNN’S SINGING SON

The cutest Fashion Week moment by far this season was Jourdan Dunn’s Instagram video of her son Riley performing ‘Everything Is Awesome’ from the Lego movie, for her celeb pals, Cara Delevingne, Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner.

4. FRONT ROW FAMILY

Ever since Victoria Beckham began showing her collection at NYFW, the Beckham brood have been placed firmly (next to Anna Wintour of course) on the front row supporting Victoria, dressed in super sharp looks.

 Are you a mom-to-be? Check out our stylish maternity and mini designs.

5 REASONS YOU CANT MISS SAVAGE BEAUTY

Posted on March 16, 2015

Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty is finally open! We popped by for an early preview of the exhibition and believe us, it justifies the hype. Here’s five reasons you’d be a fool to miss out…

1. It’s McQueen’s homecoming

“London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.” The McQueen quote that greets visitors makes it feel even more poignant that Savage Beauty has finally arrived in the designer’s hometown. You’ll get a real sense of just how much the city inspired him, from Savile Row to Jack the Ripper and taxi drivers like his dad.

2. Each room feels like a part of his identity

This isn’t just an exhibition of mannequins. Curator Claire Wilcox’s genius transformation of each room feels just as ground breaking as McQueen’s designs. We don’t want to spoil it too much, but expect spooky bone-cratfed catacombs, trippy animations and a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ filled floor-to-ceiling with some of his most iconic pieces.

3. You’ll see hundreds of his greatest hits up-close

The armadillo shoes? Tick. The revolving spray paint dress? They’ve got it. These and over a hundred of McQueen’s most memorable designs are on display for you to see in all their intricacy. We could’ve stayed there staring for hours.

4. You’ll feel like a front row guest

McQueen was renowned for taking the traditional fashion show and turning it into something more akin to performance art. See the original mirrored box from his controversial asylum show and get mesmerised as Kate Moss appears before you’re eyes in the very same hologram that wowed his guests in 2006.

5. It’s emotional 

Not only is this exhibition expertly done, but it’s also emotional. From the tragedy of his death, to the feelings of patriotism that it brings – we reckon it might bring a tear to your eye.

Convinced? 200 Savage Beauty tickets are available each day on a first-come-first-serve basis until 2nd August. Find out more from the V&A. 

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