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Art

Until recently I had barely ever travelled south of the river in London.  Soho was just about as adventorous as it got when I visited the capital, but now with friends planting their feet and considerable wardrobes all over the city, I’ve got more of an excuse to venture to new ground.  My first stop on this new journey was the last on the Victoria line: Brixton.

Brixton is a bit of a mish mash of everything.  Semi-recently adopted by young professionals and hipsters, the area has gone through an Instagram worthy regeneration.  The best part of this make over is without a doubt the famous Brixton Village where you can feast on food that has Londoners making the pilgrimage over the river.

While I was only staying for one night in the capitol, I managed to make two trips to the Village for dinner and brunch, so here it goes…

After finding out some very exciting news there was cause to celebrate, so Natasha, Cris, Jess and I headed over to the market where we settled to eating some Asian fare at Happy Dumpling.  Confused and a little bit tired, we all ended up over-ordering, a blessing in disguise which just meant loosening our belts and diving in to plates overflowing with noodles, deep fried prawns, spinach in a garlic sauce and prawn toast.

My two favourites?  The prawn lucky bags which I ordered packed a punch in the spice department while the spinach in garlic sauce would give anyone a Popeye moment.

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After heading back to their flat and falling asleep watching re-runs of the Rachel Zoe Project in bed with Jess, we awoke the next morning, craving eggs.  

We headed to Wild Caper, a deli I’d read about on The Londoner’s blog and one which boasted about its short but sweet brunch menu next to the free bread and oil samples (I ate three #sorrynotsorry).

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eggscellent

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While the eggs were perhaps left to poach for a smidgen too long, these eggs was egg-actly what we needed.  PUNNY.

If I learnt anything in New York, it was that brunch cannot be done properly without a Bloody Mary by ones side!  As a relative newbie to the Bloody Mary game, I can’t comment too much so I’ll just let you guys tell me whether WIld Caper do it right!

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Rob and Margaret, this one is for you!

With bellies full, we wandered around the market picking up presents for our newly engaged friends, Sarah and Nick (!!!!) and window shopping where I saw these rather strapping lads larking around…

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I do love a Panda in a monk strap…

After tearing ourselves away from our prospective (panda) princes, we headed into a shop where the most remarkable thing happened.  You see, I have an incredible knack for scaring kids.  I don’t know why, but they just don’t seem to like me.  I’ll wave, smile and make funny faces in an endeavour to make friends, but my eager attempts are usually met with disdain and sometimes even hysterical tears.  So when a little girl started chatting away excitedly to both Jess and I in one of the shops, we ended up staying for a half hour and playing make believe…it all got a little weird, so I’ll just leave you with this image of Jess and I engaging in a cowboy inspired photoshoot…

Wheres your favourite place to go in Brixton Village?

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So by now, we all know I went to New York last month – god when will I stop talking about it – and while wandering around the city, I noticed an abundance of street art.  I’d never really been intrigued to go round and find street art in other cities before, but I just got a little bit obsessed with tracking down the art which I’d seen on my Instagram feed.

Heres just a little photo diary of what I found and where abouts (if I can remember…):

P1010215 P1010220 P1010234 P1010254 The above works of art can be seen from the High Line (they’ve already featured on my post on the High Line which you can seeeee here!)  Next up, I spotted these two master pieces after chowing down at Katz Deli while I can’t find the origins of the first one, the second one which is rather Banksy-esque is actually by Bristolian street artist, Nick Walker.  Its a bit crap that its been painted over by others, but if you want to see the piece in all its glory, check here.

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Close by – relatively so anyway -on Houston Street is a wall which has come to embody the street art movement.  First a site for illegal graffiti artists to flex their artistic muscles, the space is now curated by Jeffrey Deitch.  The wall draws style bloggers, photographers and models like moths to a flame and we saw 3 separate shoots happening all within feet of each other, using the mural as a backdrop.  The artist featured while I was in the Big Apple was COPE2 who is known for his bubble tags – a homage to the old graffiti which you inevitably pass on just about every train in England.

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If you’re really looking to have a gander at some al fresco art, then Brooklyn is the place you want to be.  The area just attracts the creative types so every wall has been recommissioned for art with a message, art with no message and art with a undiscernable message which just looks quite nice.  

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If you’ve been perusing Instagram as much as me, then you’ll know that Bradley Theodore is the BNOC right now in New York street art terms.  Brad’s – I’d like to think we’re on first name terms – best known piece is perhaps the massive portrait of a loved up Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour, which I could not for the life of me find, I was a tiny bit gutted.  BUT, we did stumble upon these beauties:

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Controversial photographer and possible sex pest, Terry Richardson has been re-imagined as a piece of one dimensional art – perhaps a less harmless version of the real life man.

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Celebrated editor and journalist, Diane Vreeland

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The amazing Grace Coddington – owner of fashions most incredible barnet, lover of cats, an enigma and a creative.  Probably my favourite person.  If you’ve never heard of her then read her beautiful book and watch The September Issue where she spectacularly outshines Wintour.

 Let me know if you have any favourites!

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Last week I had a sweet but short taste of freedom from deadlines and dissertations.  After a tough month of group projects and continuous essay writing, my brain was fried and my days were blurring into one; I was in dire need of a change in location.  So, of course the only thing to do was to hop across the pond for a bit of trans-Atlantic fun with the parentals in New York, New York! 

As a girl of a certain age, New York isn’t just a tourist destination but an aspiration; at one point or another most girls have wistfully watched an episode of Sex & the City – or the first film, not the second – vouching that one day they will live there in a generously sized apartment with rent control, stomp those streets in Manolo’s and fall in love with a sharply dressed banker who may or may not be named Big…

While GIRLS has – quite appropriately – taken some of the shine off the varnish that Sex & the City glossed (rents are sky high, expensive clothes are still expensive and men are…well, still men) New York is still the pinnacle of cool and with a brother now living in the city, there was no better time to visit.

Having visited twice before, my parents and I were in no rush to go up the Empire State or see the Lady of Liberty up close so our first morning got off to a more relaxed start.  My parents had walked the High Line the last time they were in NY in November, however, unlucky for them they got absolutely drenched in a down pour, but lucky for us the weather this time was fare more conducive to a leisurely walk downtown to take in the sights and sounds of the city.

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The High Line is built upon an elevated rail line which was transformed into a public space after locals and the Friends of the High Line organisation fended off the threat of demolition.  Situated on Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to the West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenue with beautifully maintained lawns, beds of greenery and art installations popping up along the old rail way lines.  Not only that, but it happens to be a great location for people watching and fantasty real estate window shopping; two of my favourite pastimes.  

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Dress – ASOS / Sliders – Topshop / Jacket – Zara (old) / Bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim / Necklace – Zara 

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Colourful street art pops up all along the stretch of rail way, with bare walls turning into huge art canvases to be enjoyed by those simply walking by…
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This was probably my favourite part of the High Line; a little slice of heaven for any keen people watcher.  If I lived near by I’d spend my days off taking up residency on the stairs, book in hand, friends in tow, phone left at home just watching the world go by.

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The Standard Hotel – the sight of the recent heavy weight boxing match between Jay Z and Solange

The High Line does has food vendors selling snacks and while I was tempted, my parents and I had bigger fish to fry when it came to lunchtime…more on that later…

The High Line is one of New York’s not-so-hidden gems.  While perched only a few feet above the city that never sleeps, serenity pervades along the stretch with the constant sirens of the emergency services and the honks of the impatient taxis below muted among the greenery.  It gives you a little insight into the cities own brand of organised chaos, its hidden crevices and the artistic flare which flows freely throughout the streets and avenues of the worlds most famous metropolis.

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I’ve just spent the last week in London doing a bit of work experience on the news and features desk of LOOK magazine and meeting up with some old friends.  My lovely Guernsey friends, Jess and Natasha, were kind enough to provide me with a place to stay in their flat in Brixton, an area of London which I’d never been to before but have a new love for after visiting Brixton market last night!

On the Bank Holiday Monday before I started at LOOK, I met up with my friend, Rachel for a bit of culture down at the Southbank centre.  Now, let me tell just make a little disclaimer.  I like modern art, I do.  I’m not about to go do a Billy Eichner, but as much as I do like it, sometimes I just don’t get it.  I’m sure some of you have been there, we’re staring at a canvas with a couple of blue lines on it and thinking ‘I could have done that’.  I know, I know, if you’re an artiste or an appreciator of modern art then you’re probably scripting a strongly worded comment right now and I’m sorry, please don’t hate me for it, educate me instead!

But this confusion is perhaps a sentiment which is reflected in Martin Creed’s retrospective at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank – What’s The Point Of It?  A question that has reassured me that my recent outlook on art is perhaps more constructive.  Instead of feeling like everyone else is in on a joke that I just don’t get, I’ve started to look at things how I want to see them.  Making my own interpretation instead of relying on someone else to explain theirs.

Saying that, on the Monday, Rach and I made our way to the Hayward Gallery to have a peek at Martin Creed’s What’s the Point Of It? exhibition which we’d both heard so much about.  While there were a couple of ‘eh?’ moments – oh, come on, you know the ones – it was definitely the best art exhibition that I’d seen in a long time – perhaps ever…? 

What I really admired was that Creed wants you to interact with his art and this exhibition – sometimes humorously – reiterates the point that anything can be art – yes, even a scrunched up piece of paper.  As you take in the retrospective of Martin’s various works you meander around the gallery, moving from rooms with swooping neon lights to outside areas with risqué videos showing on large cinema screen.  If you’ve been, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you know me, you’ll know that this was one of my favourite parts of the exhibition.  If you’ve not been yet, it’s a screen showing a P-E-N-I-S.  Shhhh…

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BUT the best thing about the Martin Creed exhibition and the reason that we went along was for work no.200 ‘half the air in a given space’ or a piece more commonly known as the balloon room.  It does what it says on the tin really.  A room full to the rafters of white balloons where its okay to regress back to childhood and run around freely, giggling as you go.

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At first Rachel and I kept losing each other…where is she…?

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Oh there she is! 

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The light shifts and changes in the room depending on where you are and what other people are doing around you, something which I loved.  

Most of the time it was mesmerising…

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…but sometimes it got a bit overwhelming…

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but then we took some selfies and it was all okay again…

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I would definitely recommend heading to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank centre to see Martin Creed’s exhibition; it’s fun and even if you don’t enjoy the rest of it, you can run around in a room full of balloons for 15 minutes.  What more could you possibly ask for?  Well, maybe a ball pit, but lets hope that’ll be Creed’s next endeavour.

I’d recommend heading over at the weekend with a group of friends (or a date) so you can swing by the food fest or the Bleecker St. burger van (which I talked about here) and the Udderbelly for some drinks and food as well to make a proper day of it!  Pretending you’re an art critic can make you hungry!

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This has been a bit of a long one so congrats if you got the whole way through!  Reward yourself with a biscuit, you most definitely deserve it! 

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I have a confession.  I am irrevocably obsessed with Tumblr.

During my final year exams I found myself signing up for anything which would stem the boredom of revision.  Survey taker? Yeah!  Hard spin class?  Sign me up!  Tumblr…?  Um, okay then.  And thus, my newest love affair began.  Just call it the Kim to my Kanye.  

Scrolling through endless pictures of landscapes, interior designs and clothes, accessories and shoes which I can only aspire to own has quickly become my go-to past time and I often find myself burning the midnight oil refreshing my homepage.  Sad, I know.  

As the new University term is starting I should probably start weening myself off this stellar procrastination tool but I’m going to add some fuel to the fire by requesting your Tumblr’s!  Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie! 

P.S. The lovely Allie from Love From Misbehave! kindly named me the site’s ‘Blog of The Week’ and asked me to answer a few questions so if you want to look at what I said, click here.

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Festival season is officially upon us.  

Coachella Festivals first weekend has just finished in Indio, California, so while I’m sat in an artificially lit room of the library I am close to weeping while scrolling through photos of festival goers lounging around in the West Coast heat and listening to the musical offerings of The Stone Roses, The XX and Jake Bugg.

Attending the festival has been on my bucket list ever since Jay-Z headlined in 2010 while, last year’s reincarnation of Tupac had me pricing up flights for this year’s extravaganza.  Lo and behold, third year exams are  more of a priority this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t peruse the internet for some festival style inspiration, let’s just pray for my sanity that I get a Glasto resale ticket! 

Flower crowns, midriff baring crop tops, retro swimwear, John Lennon style sunglasses and bindi’s all made regular appearances among Coachella ticketholders, proving that channelling the legendary Woodstock festival via laid back California cool has become a Coachella micro trend.  Vintage boho flares and cowboy boots were paired with brand spanking new fluro Alexander Wang and Chanel bags, this is the festival where almost anything goes.  

Check out some of my favourite looks from weekend one at Coachella above!

Get me to Weekend Two!

JKA x

Its hard to believe the ever youthful Kate Moss has been gracing magazines, billboards and countless campaigns for 25 years now (I can’t believe shes 39?!)  The innovative British publication, i-D has decided to celebrate this mean fete by creating 6 different covers featuring Kate in all her glory.  From the age of 14, when Moss was first discovered in JFK airport, her career has gone from strength to strength.

She was the world’s first anti-supermodel, as Mossy only stood at (a taller than average) 5’7” and had a waifish figure, as opposed to Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford whowere tall and curvaceous.  But her amazing cheekbones, party lifestyle and ability to make a trend (skinny jeans anyone?) have made her the world’s top model and world reknowned celebrity.  She is definitely no shrinking violet.  

These multiple covers were shot by the Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi who also shot Kristen McMenamy for the magazine.  The remaining two covers will be revealed on Monday at i-D’s website but for now you can stare at the first four and these editorials created by the duo.

All hail Kate Moss!

JKA x

The first question I have to ask myself is: when aren’t I coveting a piece of any Alexander McQueen collection, past or present? However, this clutch and scarf combination has got me thinking of elaborate and dangerous ways to somehow create an influx of money into my bank account (my lack of flexibility has ruled out joining the circus)

McQueen always cited the mechanics of nature as one of his biggest influences for his avant garde creations and Sarah Burton has continued this tradition (McQueen’s SS13 collection featured honeycomb inspired fabrics).  This clutch and matching scarf are demonstrations of the brand’s love of all things wild.

When I first them on the Selfridges website – yes I know I have a dissertation to write – I couldn’t help but think of Damien Hirst.  I was lucky enough to go see Hirst’s exhibition at the Tate Modern in London last summer, and although I wasn’t a huge fan of his work beforehand, I enjoyed the experience!  Well, as much as you can when thereis a cut in half cow present.  I especially enjoyed Hirst’s work ‘High Windows – Happy Life’ which uses butterflies (controversial as it is) to create a glass pane effect.  The vivid colours and the use of the butterflies intricate wings are replicated in this uber stylish duo’s design – albeit with dragonflies.  

This isn’t the first time that the worlds of Hirst and McQueen have collided.  Both artist and designer have worked with skulls; a McQueen skull scarf or ring is a statement piece for any fashion obsessed lady, while Hirst’s ‘For the Love of God’ is a diamond encrusted skull which has reportedly been sold for $100million – pocket change then.  


The Dragonfly and Petal God Save McQueen silk scarf retails for £445.00 while the clutch goes for a slightly cheaper £315.00.

Best start saving!

JKA x