Tag Archives: London

Goldfrapp, Royal Albert Hall, London, 18th November, 2014

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The diminutive Alison Goldfrapp surrounded by the impressive London Contemporary Orchestra in the majestic setting of the cavernous Royal Albert Hall looked uncertain, somehow frail and nervous – displaced perhaps, like some Hollywood star brought back to life in the shaft of light that bathed her. She looked a bit like Marlene Dietrich. Staring out into the crowd,  she admitted she was nervous, it showed a charming vulnerability.

She is a true chameleon, you’re never sure what Alison Goldfrapp you will see. She displays the whole gamut of innocent childlike naivety, angelic otherworldliness, then she’s the sweet seductress, a screaming siren and a whirling dervish. In whatever form, her tiny frame with its powerhouse voice totally commands and captivates.

I’ve seen Goldfrapp many times and I imagine them to be sound perfectionists, every gig is note perfect, and this one was no different, apart from the feeling of occasion. While it may not be a “Last Hurrah” – it had the makings of one. Everything was pulled in, an orchestra, an amazing band, at one point the Lips Choir – made up of 54 female voices, and a special guest appearance by John Grant. Alison Goldfrapp and Grant proved an impressive double act as they sang the Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra hit One Velvet Morning, with Alison’s girly teasing a perfect foil for Grant’s deep throat masculinity.

The bulk of the night was a play through of latest album Tales of Us. The album is a departure from their electro-disco pop and very much a return to the vibe of Felt Mountain. So additional older songs such as Utopia fitted seamlessly into the set list. The carefully crafted and haunting songs of Tales of Us lent itself easily to the wonderful strings and arrangements of the orchestra.

Stranger is particularly beautiful. It’s a song to lose yourself in as you can feel the harmonies swirling around you, but watch the video which accompanies it and it’s a macabre and twisted contradiction.

It’s also begging to be used in a James Bond soundtrack. Goldfrapp should be creating movie soundtracks with their ease for crafting vast sweeping cinematic landscapes.

There were special programmes on the night, only 500 were made and each one was hand-stitched. They were numbered and signed by Alison and Will Gregory.

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Goldfrapp

The nerves, although apparent at the beginning of the night, soon subsided, and Alison need not have worried. The audience were in the palm of her tiny hand and this was a truly memorable gig that captivated from start to finish.

 

 

 

 

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Models of Diversity at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, Earls Court, London 13th and 14th November, 2013

Models of Diversity

At this year’s Ideal Home Show at Christmas, which was held at Earls Court, London during 13 – 17th November 2013, glamor and inspiration came from Models of Diversity. For two days of the show they strutted their stuff on the Christmas Catwalk.

Models of Diversity is an inspiring group who, like the name suggests, advocate for more diversity in models.

This description is taken from their website Models of Diversity

“Models of Diversity advocates for more diversity in models, and demands that the fashion and marketing industries recognise the beauty in women of all races, ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. Our mission is to change the face of fashion and modelling. We sponsor modelling workshops for people with disabilities, campaign against the tragic effects of the size zero culture, and fight inequality in the representation of real men and women. We look at catwalk shows, advertising and the glossies and rarely see a true representation of real people.”

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Model – Annabel Davis

The organization was founded by Angel Sinclair, a former model, who started the campaign after appearing on Gok Wan’s Miss Naked Beauty in 2008 where she was struck by the diversity of people taking part, something she had never seen before on the catwalk.

Angel Sinclair

Angel Sinclair

Jostling among the vast array of exhibitors at Earls Court for the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, the catwalk drew in a large crowd, who realized what was happening on the catwalk was not your usual fashion display. It was interesting, diverse, fun and an inspiration.

Among those parading the catwalk were mature model Annabel Davis, model Doubra Okah, who was born with chorea-dyskensia, a condition which impedes her walk, glamor model and former Big Brother contestant, Victoria Eisermann, personal trainer and amputee fitness model Jack Eyers and British Paralympic long jump silver medallist Stef Reid.

Stef Reid Picture Credit: James Lyons

Stef Reid
Picture Credit: James Lyons

Stef Reid Picture Credit: James Lyons

Stef Reid
Picture Credit: James Lyons

Speaking at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, Stef said “This is just my second time doing Models of Diversity, so it was a bit nerve wracking. I’m a little off balance in heels but it was great fun. I love what Angel Sinclair, the director of Models of Diversity is doing. Why should fashion be restricted? I think beauty is not restricted to size zero. Beauty comes with variety. It should be inclusive.”

Another model who got cheers from the crowd was Essex girl, blogger and campaigner for disabled models, Chelsey Jay. She writes in her blog of a dream coming true and it’s an inspiring account of her catwalk experience. Check it out at: Chelsey Jay Blog

Chelsey Jay, Models of Diversity at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, 2013

Chelsey Jay

Also appearing on the catwalk was Samantha Tomlin, Models of Diversity ambassador.

Samantha Tomlin

Samantha Tomlin

Victoria Eisermann modelling Kitty Ferreira

Victoria Eisermann modelling Kitty Ferreira

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Models Victoria Eisermann and Frankie Holloway

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Markus Roberts-Clark

Striking a pose – Markus Roberts-Clark

The gents of the show were a highly entertaining bunch and it was good to see huge swathes of classic Harris Tweed.

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The gents were kitted out by Thomas Farthing, a shop tucked around the corner from the British Museum in London. Judging by the shop’s website and Facebook page, it’s an intriguing place and well worth a visit. The business started almost a year ago by business partners Adam Skyner and Thomas Russell. The shop is named after the local lamp lighter who rode around the streets on his penny farthing and the shop with its olde-worlde theatrical air catches the attention of many a tourist. They also have one of the largest ranges of Harris Tweed clothing in London for both men and women. Many of the clothes are designed in-house and made for the Thomas Farthing brand.  See more about them here: Thomas Farthing Website  Thomas Farthing Facebook Page

Thomas Farthing, London

Thomas Farthing, London

Other designers appearing were Eva Jacobs, a demi couture fashion label launched by Lithuanian designer Ieva Jokubaityte, based in London, whose designs displayed a seductive and timeless elegance. See: Eva Jacobs Website

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Modelling Eva Jacobs

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Modelling Eva Jacobs

Models of Diversity at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, 2013

Modelling Eva Jacobs

Modelling Eva Jacobs

Modelling Eva Jacobs

While designer Kitty Ferreira brought a ray of sunny yellow to the catwalk and you can read about it on their website blog: Kitty Ferreira and watch on the videos below.

All the while Angel Sinclair watched closely from the sidelines, jumping up and proudly cheering on her models. And I was curious about the mix of people striking their poses on stage. I was interested in the journeys they have taken and the stories they could tell. Wrapping up a successful show, the seemingly modest Angel Sinclair walked onto the stage and gave a quick wave before disappearing.

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