Friday, 31 December 2010


I just discovered this amazing band, the Moulettes through The Girls Are and Wears The Trousers- two sites you should definitely be following if you're at all interested in good, new music by the female stars of the future. This song is already stuck in my head, and the aesthetic of the video is just sublime- I love how they incorporate illustration and the opulence of the costumes for the masked ball scenes is perfectly styled- they're clothes are from Prangsta; THE best costumiers around. If you look at their historical gallery you'll see some shots by one of my favourite photographers Ellen Rogers. So scrap my previous post about New Years Eve dresses, if I could be wearing anything tonight, it would be something like this!Have a great night everyone!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Old Frocks for a New Year

I have pretty much made up my mind to spend New Year's Eve under a duvet, watching Upstairs, Downstairs which I've been saving.With gin.But if I were venturing out, these are some of the frocks I would like to wear.

Timeless Vixen Vintage is my favourite Etsy vintage shop- all the pieces are museum quality, often never-worn samples. This red cocktail dress is a classic.

Isabelle gown by One Vintage

 Red House Vintage on ebay has great dresses - even in large sizes like this yellow number. I'm a real sucker for velvet dresses, there's something infinitely festive about it. This dark green one is from ebay too, and the blue velvet number is from Atelier Mayer.

Juno Says Hello has an EPIC green velvet full length gown that comes with its own cape. Could be straight off the set of Downton Abbey/Upstairs,Downstairs.

Vintage Seekers has this amazing 1920s blue lace gown. Swoon.

What are you wearing for New Years Eve?

Monday, 27 December 2010

Darker Fairytales

Happy Christmas everyone!I hope you had a wonderful time.I have unfortunately been suffering from the Cold of Doom, which meant I totally lost my appetite for Christmas Day AND Boxing day.Booze:denied. Sandwiches made from leftovers: Denied.
But I got some really lovely presents which are keeping me happy, including a whole lot of books off my Amazon wishlist. Many of these are collections of modern fairytales- I've always been fascinated by the fairytale/myth/legend genre and so modern re-workings are always on my bookshelf. I've just got Angela Carter's 'Book of Wayward girls and wicked women' which gives women strong leading roles rather than making than damsels in distress, Laura Dockrill's 'Echoes' featuring a modern day Princess and the Pea, and forty new fairy tales in the compilation 'My mother, she killed me, my father, he ate me' including stories by legends like Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates. Bedtime never looked so good!!!
I've been wanting to post a fairytale inspired series of images by one of my favourite photographers, Rosie Hardy for a while now, and this seems an appropriate moment, as they ask us to think about those less fortunate than ourselves.I'm including the captions Rosie includes in her flickr stream.

Dorothy's Ban from Oz
"5 million Burmese have fled their country's oppressive regime to live as despised aliens in neighboring countries. Immigration discrimination is a serious problem that needs to be addressed."

Belle's Drunken Night Out
"In 2005, about 10.8 million persons ages 12-20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Nearly 7.2 million were binge drinkers, and 2.3 million were heavy drinkers.
Among the sexually active high school students nationwide, almost 1/4 had drunk alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual encounter.
There are more than 750,000 teen pregnancies a year. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended."

Sleeping Beauty's Other Needles

"According to statistics in the USA, there are 367 deaths due to drug abuse per week, which translates into two deaths per hour."

Snow White's Eating Disorder

"It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men."

Thumbelina's stunted growth

"Even top-notch medical care can't compensate for the multiple effects of smoking on a developing baby. First and foremost, smoking cuts down a baby's supply of oxygen. A lack of oxygen hampers a fetus's growth and development, setting the stage for low birth weight, stillbirth, miscarriage, and many other potential complications."

There are more images in this series that you can see on Rosie's flickr stream here. Most of her pictures are also self-portraits- I particularly like her portrayal-with the help of her boyfriend- of the seven deadly sins.



Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Goddess Experience- How a print came to be.

I've been planning a blogpost about my highlights of 2010, and one of the things I've noticed is that most of them have come about due to the modern wonder that is Twitter.None more so than an experience so amazing that it still feels somewhat surreal; in fact I'm glad I have photographic evidence otherwise I might not believe it ever happened. I arranged to spend a day screenprinting at The Print Club London where I took the Run Riot team earlier this year to learn how to hand-pull our own screenprints.
But who I was there with is the amazing part. Want to see? Yes, that’s Gisèle Scanlon (aka The Goddess Guide). I know. These pics show her learning the process of screen printing.Her books are my absolute favourites; I've bought them for all my girlfriend's birthdays and re-read them again and again as they are like little works of art.They're jam-packed with tips on everything from where to find the best face cream in New York to the joy of letter writing.She's even featured in my list of inspiration and role models on my website, so meeting her in real life was thrilling. Seriously, even at a screen printing studio she looks cool. In the flesh, she’s tiny; popping around the studio all in black, her sketchbook hardly ever out of her hand. In between printing she spent the day constantly sketching and her notebook is just amazing.
Okay, so let me rewind a little and let you in on how all this happened. It turns out that Gisèle loves to draw and paint. I mean she loves it more than anything. She had thousands of drawings of ideas she had that she wanted to make into prints singled out in her notebooks. (You’ll know if you’re familiar with her bestselling Goddess Guide books- that she sketches and paints the pages herself.) I love her whimsical illustration style-the surprising thing for me is that she’s self taught. I don’t know how she developed her own unique style or where she finds the time … between traveling and writing books and being invited to things!
So, hearing about my experiences screenprinting, she asked me on Twitter if I’d be in London and would I like to help her learn to screen print before Christmas. Of course I jumped at the chance! So that’s how I ended up having a screen printing day with her at the Print Club.
We had such a good time; Gisèle is a like a little doll and her energy, enthusiasm and intelligent ideas are infectious. She's both professional yet incredibly friendly and enthusiastic. It was fascinating to learn about her work as an artist- she knows so much about the tiniest details of paintings-she reads art books,even in bed and in the bath! And says that this is what encouraged her to teach herself to draw.
She drew the 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' sketch for the vintage style pages of her second book, 'The Goddess Experience', the subject of which is Courtney Love wearing one of her signature art- deco headpieces by Kat Swank. Coincidentally, Courtney contacted Gisele on Twitter after buying her book in Manhattan, and since then the two have become art- loving friends. As Olivia the printer was teaching her to pull the ink over the screen, Gisele broke for a moment to take a quick phone call from Love who was inviting her to stay over at Spring Cottage, Cliveden, Berkshire once she’d finished at the studio that evening. Right about here, I’m laughing inside about how surreal this all is. This all came about because of Twitter?
But Gisele is wonderfully down to earth.When I asked her what she’d be doing with Courtney Love that night she said with a smile “The same things I do with everyone Katie. Think I’ll bring her a print. She’ll like that.” We just messed around in the studio, chatted about our favourite artists, made some screen prints, laughed a lot and drank loads of milky tea.
I can’t wait to get together again, and hope this print is the first of many. I love how we all met through Twitter; it reminds me that you can never tell what will happen next or what little adventure a new day will bring. She’s an amazing artist and very cool to be around. Most of all though Gisèle is really lovely and my personal mentor; she encouraged me to keep writing my blog posts, (coming from a bestselling author with millions of readers, that’s really reassuring!). I had the most wonderful time printing and at the end of the day an email from her calling me a 'total goddess' made my day.No, make that my year.
You can buy the print here

Edition of 100, Signed & Numbered
4 colour screen print
300gsm Colorplan paper, 42x59cm
Price £100 + £15 P&P

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Gift Guide Part 6: Music

What would Christmas be without music?Here are some of my favourite musos with their Christmas wishlists and my recommendations for gift to buy people like them. I hope you've enjoyed my Christmas Gift Guides, I now must go and actually start my Christmas shopping.Happy Holidays everyone!xxx
Interests; Learning circus skills from Bret Pfister and helping Piers Atkinson make hats
Realistic expectations for under your tree; We'd love to find Paperself false eyelashes under the Christmas tree. They're made from paper and are cut into beautifully intricate designs. They're available from, but if you're buying them as a gift you should remember to buy some eyelash glue to go with them as we're sure whoever you give them to will want to put them on right away. We also love Three Strap Elevated Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes .They're made from plastic, so are perfect for wet December weather, and come in a huge range of colours.
Ideal Christmas gift of your dreams; We'd love to receive some luxury Bebaroque tights! They're heavily embellished and are a real showstopper. Our favourites are the Lourdes tights. We're going to be collaborating with Bebaroque on some legwear next season so watch this space! And another amazing Christmas gift would be a pair of handmade couture Terry de Havilland high heels. They can be made in every colour imaginable, and Terry can even incorporate your own fabrics or spell out a personal message in diamante on the sole! We've got broken hearts on the soles of ours, but Terry has 'FUCK' and 'YOU' on his!
Katie's Recommendations; I'm a huge fan of those Paperself eyelashes; but if you've left it too late to order online, you can also buy them in my friend's lovely shop Luna and Curious, who sell lots of trinkets that I think Amber and Nisha would like, including some fancy tights. Bebaroque are stocked at My Sugarland, one of my favourite haunts.

Tallulah Rendall,20s,Singer/Songwriter/Artist/Record Label Director
Interests: Aside from writing and singing to my hearts content.... I love dancing... I think I am addicted to it. Dancing in fancy dress, head to town in glitter.. what could be better, maybe running naked in the rain. 
Realistic expectations for under your tree; mmmm normally I would say a guitar, but I have recently quenched that desire by buying a 1964 Fender Coronado II mmmmmmm yummy sounding guitar.. So what would I like under the christmas tree... a beautiful white mare to gallop across the wilds... (guess that doesn't fit the whole realistic expectation side a things..)a white wolf...a kitten...I am now thinking small.. I will be in oz touring so something tiny? Mmmm ..I don't do tiny! 
Ideal Christmas gift of your dreams; I think see above for selection of animals!
Katie's Recommendations; Tallulah sounds like she'd appreciate the opportunity to shadow a zoo-keeper for the day, available through Virgin experiences.You can buy Tallulah's album/bookLibellus here and her new album will be out in March, you can see singles from it here.

Stephen Ellis, 31, Teaches music to children with emotional and behavioural disorders / ...">Sings and plays guitar with Revere / Plays in Gabby Young & Other Animals / Budding children's author
Interests: Composing and performing music / Cinema / Film Music / Reading / Writing / Sharks...
Realistic expectations for under your tree; A portable celesta - the most beautiful musical instrument ever created...
Ideal Christmas gift of your dreams; A large multi-floored open plan space to live in and fill with all my stuff. Been watching too much Grand Designs on TV... Alternatively a recording session with a full brass band and orchestra or music lessons for life...or to be able to go swimming with sharks.
Katie's Recommendations; Shark diving experiences here, you nutter. For any budding authors, childrens or otherwise, the retreats provided by Urban Writers Retreat offer a priceless chance to lock yourself away from distractions without having to trek off to the countryside. Buy Revere fans a place at one of their intimate gigs- The Songs of Nick Drake will be on January 26th

Interests;Performing, making, singing, playing, eating and sleeping
Realistic expectations for under your tree; Something pretty from Anthropologie- I especially love their hats and I'm a bit of a hat fanatic!
Ideal Christmas gift of your dreams; A new car - my boyfriend and I were crashed into last year and our van died in the same week ; I have missed having a vehicle and being able to drive to gigs etc SO much since then. I always have a lot of stuff- too much for the bus and taxis are FAR too expensive. I don't care what car it is as long as it drives but if we talking about dreams then I have always wanted a peppermint and brown coloured Beetle!
Katie's recommendations; I think Gabby would love these retro sweet purses and bags by Nathalie Thakur available through The Shop Floor Project. A headpiece by Kat Swank is also a dream present for anyone who likes headwear- this art deco, Muchas-inspired piece compliments Gabby's style perfectly. You can buy the special edition of Gabby's album here as well as signed albums, limited edition tour posters and Gabberdashery stock here.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Love Art London

 Ever fancied spending the evening with the magic director for the Harry Potter films? Or seeing the Bank of England's private art collection?  I spoke to Chris Pensa about his unique membership club, Love Art London that offers these experiences and more.

How did you come up with the idea for Love Art London?
 I actually had this idea in the Eduardo Chillida Sculpture Park outside San Sebastian on my honeymoon in 2009. We were the only people there and I thought that was mad. I figured there were so many places in my home town of London that people should get to see but for many reasons they don't, mostly because they don't know they exist. And right on their doorstep too. I wanted to provide an interesting programme of behind the scenes experiences that capture the imagination of a young, interesting crowd; that get them talking and looking at art in a different way. Mostly I wanted to create exciting and inspiring experiences for folks to enjoy after a hard days grind at the office. Most people have desk jobs but unless there's something meaningful and interesting to look forward to at the end of it what's the point?

What can members expect to experience?
This is very much an alternative to battling your way thought the Tate on a Saturday afternoon with the world and his wife. How much do you actually take from an experience like that, having paid to see a show? In my experience not enough. Everything we do is private, after hours and up close and personal. We also encourage informal discussion and interaction amongst our group and the amazing people we come into contact with. If we're meeting a famous artist like Sir Anthony Caro it's important everyone gets a chance to chat to him, ask him questions and get as close to the action as possible. The same applies if we meet a curator who's giving us a private tour of a gallery show like our behind the scenes trip to The Museum of Everything last night. And that's why for most of our gigs we have only 25 places up for grabs, because the are special moments. These are integral parts of our experiences and make what we do unique.

What have been your highlights so far?
An evening with the Director of Magic for the Harry Potter films has to be up there. Afternoon tea with Sir Anthony Caro was a very special moment. At our behind the scenes visit to the Bank of England's art collection we were inside Mervyn King's office looking at his Canaletto. The night we spent in Dennis Severs' House in complete silence. One of the most exciting gigs was a treasure hunt through Aplsey House in pitch darkness with only a torch as a guide which people loved. And I'm super excited about some of the stuff we've lined up for next year. We have a taxidermist who's agreed to give a live demonstration, exploring the relationship between art and science. That's happening in March. Also in March is an evening with Bill Viola, the grandfather of video art. And one I can't wait for is a visit to London's most famous tattoo parlour in Farringdon for a close look at body art. That's happening in April.

Any London artists you're still dying to meet or private collections you'd like to see?
Thousands! There are so many people to meet and places to take people to. I'd love to arrange a fancy dress tea party with Grayson Perry where we could quiz him about life. We're also planning to visit Sir Peter Blake at his incredible museum like studio. One artist I really love is Bob and Roberta Smith so meeting him for a chin wag about life and art over a cuppa is definitely on my to do list for next year. It's a long list and one thing we ain't short of is ideas!

If someone had only a day in London, where would you recommend they visit?
Right now I'd say people should go see Exhibition #3 at The Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill. It's one of my favourite haunts in London. I'd probably then stop in for lunch or a drink at The Princess of Wales round the corner, a pub which has a famous Banksy in the garden. Whilst in that northern part of town I'd also suggest popping to architect Erno Goldfinger's house, 2 Willow Road, a real gem full of great Modernist works of art. I'd probably then head to The Courtauld Gallery to check out the Cezanne exhibition - the Courtauld's an incredible place that not enough people know about. Their exhibitions are always small, maybe 25 works in total, which allow you the time to study everything. And for a small gallery they have an impressive collection of masterpieces in their permanent collection too. I'd then head over to the National Portrait Gallery for a drink in their top floor café which has one of the most incredible panoramic views over London. And it's cheaper than the London Eye!

And whats on your Christmas wishlist this year? Well as Love Art London has just launch Gift Membership in time for Christmas I'm going to opt for that although I get to go to all the gigs anyway! We have two types of gift membership available, SHARE THE LOVE: ANY 3 which is £55 and SHARE THE LOVE: ANY 5 which is £85. For more information visit:

Related Posts with Thumbnails