Category Archives: Reviews

4-days of electronic extravaganza in the woods

Image by Here & Now

This year I had a fantastic opportunity to join the 8th edition of an electronic music heaven a.k.a Farr Festival held in a forest in Hertfordshire, England. What felt at first more like a friendly gathering in 2009, has now evolved into one of the UK’s leading electronic music festivals, boasting of not only its flawlessly curated international acts but also of its own regular flamboyant crowd of music gourmands. And if listening to a line-up of fantastic musical talent while being surrounded by cornfields, wild grass and intimate woodlands do not make you want to join along the ride… You should probably stop reading now, because from here on — it gets even better.

Image by Here & Now

The eighth edition of the festival has brought an array of diverse international talent, new stages, daytime experiences, such as cocktail masterclasses, DISCO Dodgeball’s water slide, meditation classes and various different activities and performers. All, of course, spread out over the four days of pure music and nature. Even though most of the stages were still located in the woods, new additions gave the festival a more well-rounded layout feel, it spread out the entire area more to accommodate the growing demand.

Images by Here & Now

This year there were six stages with each stage presenting different and unique moments. From highly produced performances of the likes like Red Axes, Todd Terje at the Factory, a fire blasting staged walled by containers; to captivating disco vibes created by Floating Points at The Shack.

Such musical and atmospheric variety have attracted quite a diverse audience that could roam around the festival freely and without a trouble picking out what to listen to depending on their taste and mood.

Images by Here & Now

Without a doubt, Farr Festival is a festival known for the amazing electronic acts, but it’s amazing installations and decorations were just as alluring. Not only that but its activities too! Anyone who felt fancy or missed home comforts had the opportunity to relax and take a dip into a hot-tub with a glass of bubbly. And inside the festival site, there were a lot of sights to explore, from food (vegetarian and vegan options too!) vendors, carousels to vintage clothing shops.

Image by Here & Now

For us, the key to the success of Farr Festival was definitely its intimate size, selection of artist and location. Festival, very obviously, is getting more and more recognition amongst the music-centrics. It’s very well curated line-up, beautiful and playful decorations, delicious food and thoughtful layout is a definitely a recipe for success, as this year proved.

We really enjoyed the ride and can’t wait to see what they have planned for the next year. Are you coming along?

Image by Here & Now
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TEEN CLUB: Ethan on Fashion, Modelling & Being Yourself

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Photo by @chris_edfi for ASOS menswear

I remember meeting Ethan for the very first time over at our Hype Influencers’ BMW experience. He was carrying a skateboard with him while slowly approached the rest of the group — he immediately stood out from the crowd with his fresh and witty style, and laid back attitude. I remember thinking that this kid definitely has really good people skills, and I think for this exact reason I levitated towards the guy. It wasn’t long before I found myself enjoying Ethan’s company, kicking back with tunes by the late Prince, and exploring the city in a convertible. Later his smooth dance moves put my own to shame and from then on we really started getting to know each other. Ethan joined in at our Hype Influencer night a couple of days later and after hearing his opinions about lifestyle, skateboarding and art, I decided to catch up and ask him a few questions about his own ifs and buts, does and dont’s

Barbara. What’s your story?

Ethan. My name is Ethan Robert Richards, but people call me Bushy, ’cause of my eyebrows. I’m 20-years-old, I was born in Leicester, but grew up in London. As you can imagine, I’m so happy we won the league, this has been a good year for Leicester and for me. I guess my passions are fashion, skateboarding and I guess art in general. I am a full-time model and an amateur street skateboarder.

B. What are your favourite cities for enjoying life?

E. That’s a hard question. Thanks to my amazing mum, I was able to travel a lot as a child, but I would have to say Florida and New York, also Montserrat and Saint Lucia — they may not be cities, but they are beautiful places. My mum’s side of the family are actually from Montserrat.

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Photos by @deesixish

‘I want to create something beautiful — I love being a canvas for something someone has created. I’m inspired by my desire to explore and see the world, and by people doubting me at the beginning.’

B. What kind of places do you like to spend time at with your friends?

E. Anywhere we can skate or if there’s music. If I were to recommend places to go, I would say The Blues Kitchen — their wings are amazing — and places to go out, Ace Hotel or Visions Video Bar.

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Image from @bushybroweth

B. How would you describe your personal style in three words?

E. Cool, simple and edgy.

 

B. Anything exciting you have planned for this year?

E. London Collections Men is next month, and I have a skate advert that I shot coming out soon. To be honest, I try not to plan too much — I like to take each day as it comes.

B. Let’s talk modelling. What inspires you?

E. My love for art, I guess. I want to create something beautiful — I love being a canvas for something someone has created. I’m inspired by my desire to explore and see the world, and by people doubting me at the beginning.

B. Can you tell us what led you on this path?

E. My friend Meldon told me to go to this casting, ’cause he said I would get it, and I did.

‘My goals are to inspire people to live their dreams, anything is possible. I didn’t have the easiest time in school — I want people to understand that there is nothing wrong with being different.’

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Photo by @vickygrout for i-D Magazine

B. What’s your #1 good photo tip?

E. My good photo tip would have to be — treat the camera as your best friend. Let it compliment you.

B. From all of your photoshoots, which one stood out as being a real highlight and why?

E. The one I did for Pause Online. It was my first shoot for a magazine — it made me realise I had a future in modelling.

B. Do you have any limitations? Would you model any kind of clothing at all?

E. No. And I guess it depends if I agree with what the company stands for.

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Photo by @photographybysiri for ASOS menswear

B. How has social media helped you?

E. It has helped me a lot, it allows me to make a living doing the things I love — and funny enough the first time I got scouted was at a party.

B. What tips would you give readers hoping to grow their own following?

E. Be yourself.

B. Where do you see yourself in, let’s say, the next couple of years?

E. My goals are to inspire people to live their dreams, anything is possible. I didn’t have the easiest time in school — I want people to understand that there is nothing wrong with being different.

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Image by @eddyline for OurStory Magazine

B. What do you think about the industry’s beauty standards?

E. I think things have changed a lot in the past couple of years. Modelling is about being unique and standing for something.

B. What does get you the job: — look or attitude? Or both?

E. I think a bit of both. I’ve always been sociable and good with people, but i I think my look has gotten stronger with time.

B. What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of taking this path?

E. Free boards, clothes, food, travelling and I’ve met some amazing people.

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<- Image by @iamelikem | Image by @deanmartindale ->

FOLLOW ETHAN’s Hype Profile and Instagram for more from him!

You can find this post on Medium.

Cubanisto: Discover the spirit within

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As soon as  I, and my fellow adventure-seeking mates entered the smoky corridor, we were blown away by the mysterious attempts of the new Rum flavored beer – Cubanisto. At that instant I thought to myself: ‘Well fuck me, that’s some next level shit!’

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And that’s, my beloved (decided to be nice for a change) readers, was the beginning of the masked awesomeness.

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-Hello Sir or Madam, – we were greeted by the  nursers in masks, hiding in the shadows of fabricated fog. Soon after such cloak-and-dagger suggestion to drop the identity (whether it was gender, age or an ugly face) we were asked to confess our secrets on a sheet of paper. I am usually pretty open, perhaps to a disgusting level, but this time I would rather not share my confession, as I was pretty downright there. Perhaps even too blunt, as later the perplexed faces of the two-speaking-at-once-nurses implied, while reading it. The misses were also  kind enough to  give a piece of  puzzle for each of us to solve. I felt  Zamza’s motifs messing with my essence and moulding it into a shape of a Sherlock Holmes’ magnifier.  Curiosity driven metamorphosis was now partying in my brains and pants.

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This and that happened, and we found ourselves facing a closet, and yeah, you guessed it, it was a hidden door to the party. Literally a God damn Narnia, but like tres tres cooler, as we knew that on the other side – free booze awaits (pardon me, the movie or book fans). The transfusion to boozy Narnia happened through a really small coridor with, yep, some lights at the end (almost the dying-like scenario). A lit sign offered to ‘discover the spirit within’ and directly beneath there was the most (and the only one, so far in my short life) beautiful midget door.

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*Opens the petite doors*

We see a pair of masked beer ladies, who provided the salvation to our poor alcoholic souls. The Sherlock within us soon realised that the puzzle pieces need to form a skull. We dared to take out our socialising paraphernalia – revolver of a smile, and M4A1 of word voms and began targeting the victims. As the expert of the later gun, I got an overkill: spotted, aimed and then GUNSHOT. After solving the puzzle, thanks to the guns , Sherlock or whoeverthefuc, we went to claim the key.

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Let me tell you more about this hell of a key. The party had some wooden creates with locks on them, but luckily, the key for the curious fucks, had an open Sesame function. Behind those boxes, almost angelic , were the free-food cards. I don’t think a child’s birth can compare to the happiness I found at that time.

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So I was eating my precious sandwich, drinking some (or rather a lot of) beers and enjoyed the swarm of people merrily glitter-pimping their masks. The confessions were projected next to the mask workshop, but I don’t think they put mine out there, as it was a bit too much, as I have warned.  There were also folks putting up some nice neon graffiti on walls, and a photo-booth that gives the pictures manually (instead of a machine printing it, there was a hand that poped-out (almost shat my pants, though)) so I was really on high happiness levels.

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Finally, a countdown to the midnight began, and at the end of it some sick  beat-boxing took over the vibes.

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It was a damn good adventure, let me tell you. Cubanisto and Ralph agency (the guys who put all this up), you sirs or madams deserve a freakin’ bow, for all I know.

All photographs are by ‘They call me GT‘  // @theycallme_gt

The Shoreditch Fashion Show

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FASHION CLUB

The biannual Shoreditch Fashion show this year was hosted by Offbeat in association with Batiste, the UK’s No.1 dry shampoo brand. The night promised guests an élite sneak peek into the work of the UK’s up and coming designers, musicians and artists. Labelling it only as a fashion show would put your name in few folks’ most wanted list, as it was too, a festival exposing visionary and emerging art, experimental music acts, installations and pop ups. Not a mere catwalk, capish?

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GULP FICTION

As me and my mate Gabriele were pretty busy getting flashed by immense amount of lights caused by iphonographers (later on I joined the army) inside the venue, more than few peeps were trying to get within the frames of real cameras and strike ‘the best angle’ poses with a diminutive pout every now and then. I would put a joke about fashion police and even drop A.C.A.B line in this sentence, but no one likes inadequate bastards, so I won’t. Speaking about the venue, choosing Oval Space was a very bright thing to do, as this crib has a kick-ass smoking area, huge-ass bar and this mighty boosh vibe attached to it that just salutes one’s alcohol consumption volumes.

Anyways, place got packed pretty soon and the chick crowd was a clear outcome of the promotion TSFS had done beforehand. Electrifying line-up of musicians, designers and artists definitely aided with that department and attracted few celebs and bloggers. Oliver Proudlock with his modelling girlfriend Grace McGovern, also famous folks like Emily Austen and Marie Claire Holthuizen were also there. But do well-known names guarantee successfulness of the night?

The Shoreditch Fashion Show, 2013, illustration, Illustrated moodboard, rosa crepax, carlotta crepax, CUT

GLORIOUS BASTERDS

Vince Kidd sure did. He certainly added a ‘wow’ factor and caused few week-knee incidents with his husky voice. This kid (excuse my lack of competence) and his strong performance at the show has won himself a position of a new voice crush, not the title one would trust, but still check this guy’s stuff here! I somehow managed to miss out Rufio Summers’ performance, but a safe source (I trust my friend’s taste) has put a word for him as an edgy musician with a voice capable of energising the crowd. Finally, Kill It Kid with their dirty blues and dark pop chick Lydia Baylis were a right-on-spot hand pick that gave a kinky atmosphere and kept everyone excited for the fashion show.

STYLISH PROOF

While I & my friend were chatting up few bloggers and photographers inside the press room, a hubbub has begun on the other side of the doors .When we got big news delivered – catwalk time- everyone went on a craze mode left their Batiste freebie bags full of hair products, cups full of alcohol and rushed out as it was the apocalypse itself coming. And here it goes… Models fiercely stormed in with Marcelo Yarussi’s daring designs, showcased Nicolas Wirth’s intriguing collection and became dreamingly pastel by Christina Tiran’s & Victoria Rowley’s effort. All-black and sharp Maria Zhminko was bravely aesthetical as was Rebecca Morter’s & Gemma Vanson’s celebration of revealed female body. Lastly, personally most anticipated Isabell Yalda Hellysaz flew all the way from Sweden and presented futuristic and masculine fashion sense of hers. Extra attention to details and alternative approach has already gained her a reputation within the industry and eminent face masks well-liked by Lady Gaga herself has rocked the catwalk.

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RESERVOIR OF ART

Wimbledon’s BA Fine Art: Painting student SunYin Xiaowen’s sculpture grabbed my attention instantly. His abstract piece explored the complex dimension of traces and the resultant impact this has on our emotions, whether that be enjoyment or pain. Aphra Shezma’s interactive sculpture facilitated the connection people have with the world around them. While Linda Cieniawskwa explored the ties that exist between two people in relationship, Charlotte Osborne offered a new perspective on our own fragility and Gwenyth Fugard provoked boundaries. All of these fitted ‘’Through the dark, light shall appear’’ theme but I preferred the brighter side with an amazing display of animation work from Dom and Ink that allowed people to colour in and take the hip posters back home (I took quite a bunch). Lastly, on the playful horizon a pop-up salon by Bastille settled down and was prepared to save anyone from a bad hair day.

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THE FINALE

The Show was supported by iconic industry heads including world-renowned fashion designer Julien Macdonald, top model agency NEVS models, and BoxPark, the world’s first pop-up mall. With further support from media partners such as Fashion TV, the global multimedia network leader in fashion and lifestyle content, Don’t Panic, Aesthetica Magazine & ArtLys. The night turned out into a trendy bazaar boasting of various goods and most certainly one hell of a party. Shoot out to everyone who contributed!

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Up On The Roof diary

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The God, The Baby and the Shit

It has been quite some time since I’ve started working for Panacea Productions – a film production company, but up till now I haven’t really waffled about my activities on the left and right,  so here it goes; As my first baby is about to be born (don’t worry i’ll explain in a bit) I automatically feel obliged to let everyone know about it, cause ya know it’s just what us, hypothetical moms, do. First things first – the baby is obviously a metaphor of my premier time on the set and generally having contributed in both stages of the filmmaking: pre-production & production. Oh dear God, the baby was exhausting, the baby was annoying & guess what, babies are full of shit (It is pretty sad of me to mention God, baby and shit in one sentence, but  fortunately i’m a non believer) ! However, unlike the metaphor a real baby is actually one’s supreme and genetic legacy, it’s a reproduction of oneself and investment in the future at the same time. Nonetheless, a film could also count as one’s intellectual legacy (director’s, scriptwriter’s, etc.) unless your given credit is not much of a worth, then situation is pretty equivalent to adopting (hypothetical paternity) or becoming a surrogate for the idea. Anyhow, you fall in love in spite of feces, tears or sleepless nights…

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The Rooftop diaries

Tough four days was spent in order to make a 17 minutes length film. Standing thorough the rain and taking care of young actors, ‘Action’ and ‘Cut’ phrases, Earl Cameron’s wisdom, Maisie William’s character and Michael Matias naughtiness, speakers, props, photographers and interviewers and perhaps a thousand cup of coffees. I think the experience is too much, to put  in a singular text, since film has a world on its own. It’s like a blob that swallows whatever you had previously going on and the weird part is that you love being sucked in, so somewhat a fetish-like experience. Finally, various folks from crew and cast list have their own story and their own attachments to the film.  All of us cultivated the baby, too bad everyone shares different rights towards the end product. These complex relationships concerning intellectual property ( I exemplified it in a context of parenthood) has made us, I guess, an extremely weird family that shares a bond of producing something as a group of individuals . Well, for all I know I’m a drama-fanatic and this baby has some in it!

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FYI:  I  was not trying to be unethical by any chances, giving an edge to the story is quite the norm, so please don’t seek out nonexistent truth.

Up on The Roof

The Film  and Southern Exposure supported film receives its world premiere at London Film Festival, 2013. Produced and Directed by  Nour Wazzi it stars Michael Matias (The Bodyguard), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Earl Cameron (Inception).

Plot outline: Marcus is a neglected and lonely 12-year-old hiding from the world by camping out on a rooftop. His makeshift haven is threatened when the girl he’s always loved comes looking for his help.

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BLACK ‘n’ WHITE stills from the set:

LFW CLOSING PARTY

London Ethnic & Fashion London were hosting a Closing party for Fashion Week in aid of Capital FM’s charity ‘Help A Capital Child’ at one of London’s most extravagant venues – Rise The Superclub and I have been invited to attend the event as a blogger.

Fashion party was raising funds for Capital FM’s charity ‘Help A Capital Child’. DJs, live bands, catwalk shows, a bar, free drinks for guests on entry, a celebrity memorabilia auction and raffle to raise funds for the charity and finally a dancefloor until late was plated to the ones who attended.

‘Partying for a cause’  was never my thing, but I was sort of bribed by the idea of two juxtapositions meeting at a point of a party. The theoretical formula should go like: fashion+charity=party and in the memory of maths I decided to see how it works when applied practically.

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Flashing lights and zero amount of available couches combo wasn’t great for my dying feet (killer heels), so I rushed to the bar  to order a glass of my favorite – gin&tonic. I found some sort of barrier to lean on and  then got myself slowly absorbed into the world of fashion…  While skimming through people’s outfits, faces and fabrics I rediscovered my own closet and my head was already making a train of thoughts for new mix’n’matching marathon for my wardrobe.

One formula leads to another one, isn’t it?

Dozing of didn’t last much, since live performers ended whatever they were doing (have to admit, didn’t like Justin-Timberlake-wanna-be’s singing ) and then the show began.

Catwalk shows spotlighted some of the London Ethnic Fashion House’s home-grown London Fashion Designers, including Soumia Ghouini , Rabbit Hole London , Carlotta Actis Barone and Rebecca Suanli-Goh , who have been featured previously at London’s Graduate Fashion Week and London Fashion Week shows.

Each designer had unique approach to fashion and personal tendencies but I would also like to give some credit to the DJs. They have done  great work, functioning as a glue to make the catwalk and the party duo happen. I won’t go into the details about the fashion designs itself, simply because I am not an expert of that kind, so I leave this for the wardrobe gurus.

And at some point the fashion + charity thingy ended.  And to be fair the premises were abandoned by the press/designers pretty fast. Either they are no good at maths, since they just got to know a single figure of the formula (fashion), or they don’t give a crap and just did what they were paid for. Consumerism whispers that the second case is probably more accurate. I never understood were charity is positioned, probably cause I wasn’t really listening to the people on stage. And we all know how charities are interconnected with speeches on stage. Finally,  free drinks helped to forget about the emptiness of the venue for only a short period of time and I had to stop my mathematical research at this point.

The formula doesn’t work. Maybe, by singling those three subjects out you can say that the event did succeed, everyone got what they came for. Fashion masses- fashion itself, people that came for charity – donated their money and party people – did got a bit of a party (I assume it got busier when I left).

I have to admit, my grades were pretty average in maths.

Dash Magazine: Issue Launch Party

DASH Magazine is the London-based illustrated magazine on fashion and fashion art. Published biannually and distributed worldwide, DASH is aimed at opinion formers of all genders with an interest in fashion and art-related fields. It is its strong focus on fashion illustration – a previously under-appreciated art form currently celebrating a vivid comeback – which makes the magazine one of a kind. Visually unique and with in-depth editorial content, DASH Magazine provides seasonal coverage as well as a launch platform for emerging talent from the fields of illustration, photography, the arts and journalism to showcase, and thus gain exposure, for their work.

September 11th Dash Magazine: Issue Launch Party

Venue doors open up and we are welcomed by  photographers and a freebie bag with sample magazine plus other trifle paraphernalia that I didn’t bother to check. And suddenly my face had a petite grin on it. I love free stuff, especially food (gotta admit it sounds chintzy). Anyways, the party just exploded, when I was about to finish my first cigarette. There was definitely a good-hip vibe going on, with familiar first-rate tunes in the background and chick crowd chatting. I am most certainly sure that free alcohol still has effect on my blood circulation, but shoot out to Dash for the good time. It is upsetting that the little nibbles never reached me, though.