Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Kate Nash at The Industry London

I was thrilled to be invited to The Industry London's first event under their new name (they were formerly Fashion Business Club) to celebrate the launch of their new website. Courtney Blackman-one of the most charismatic people in fashion PR, is the managing director and my old school friend Penelope (founder of Fox and Squirrel) handles their press. There were plenty of other familiar faces there too-Rivkie Baum, editor of Slink magazine (I'm just finishing writing up a couple of great interviews for the next issue-Mad Men fans,stay tuned!), Cate Sevilla of Bitch Buzz, Nicola Woods of Beautiful Soul, Sabina Emrit of Access Fashion and Matthew Zorpas of PR Wonderland. Events like this are a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues in real life- as a freelancer you can sometimes feel a bit isolated working from home and only chatting via twitter.
I was particularly interested in the theme of this talk too- Kate Nash discussing fashion, style and women in the music industry with her stylist Rebekah Roy. If you read my blog regularly you'll know that I also work as stylist to singer Gabby Young, so it was great to hear how another stylist and singer work together. The most interesting topic we broached was the sexualisation of women in the music industry, which is a subject I'm actually currently pitching to SXSW as a panel discussion for their festival next year.Kate was speaking about the work she's done with young girls, promoting healthy body image and building confidence, which is something thats being discussed a lot at the moment by the likes of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. I think young girls- and those of us who are fully grown!- can find it very confusing that supposed feminists like Beyonce are singing songs about Girls Ruling the World but are also spending most of their music videos and on stage shows strutting around in their pants.Is this a feminist statement?Or is it the overpowering influence of all the men in the music industry? Kate herself acknowledges that she'd probably sell more records if she did a lads' mag shoot. But she' lucky enough to work with a team who respects her style and image as it is and isn't going to try and change her.The issue of songwriting itself and the messages female performers give out to girls was also touched upon, with Kate referring to the lyrics of the travesty that is 'Don't Cha' by the Pussycat Dolls as an example of songs encouraging bitchiness amongst women.Kate wrote an article for The Independent on this sort of thing which you can read here, talking about how 'real sexiness is about art,mystery and intelligence'.Well said.
Photo from The Industry London, Rebekah Roy, Kate Nash and Courtney Blackman


Adele said...

exactly! i adore beyonce, and i used to love rihanna in the past, because of the image of being incredibly strong, fearless and often dominant as a woman. But there's a tipping point where you just get confused all over again...are you so in control of it all that you can be this overtly sexual 24/7? Is THIS what i should be aiming for? something gets lost in translation for me with a lot of female artists, and image/attitude obviously has a key role lying beside the music itself.

Plinth said...

I also ADORE Beyonce-and I think she's a good example of someone who does try to challenge the industry sometimes-for example her video 'Why don't you love me' where she's all dressed in 1950s outfits; she knew the record label wouldn't approve it so went ahead and made it with her own money,did her own make-up, everything.And I think its one of her best videos ever.But it goes to show that managers/record labels etc just want to stick to what they know sells-sex.I also used to love Rihanna and think shes gorgeous and super talented but obviously doesn't have any say in her image any more and is just rolled out like some sideshow in more and more shocking videos by a company who've controlled her since she was 19.Its sad.

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