New Talent: Commissioning grads

Urbanism by Ruby Martin

Urbanism by Ruby Martin

Cross-disciplinary design by Lorna Jameson

Cross-disciplinary design by Lorna Jameson

Art for arts sake by Jack Sinnott

Art for arts sake by Jack Sinnott

RECENTLY I was faced with a problem - I had to commission a monthly illustration for my magazine on a very tight budget. After a small amount time of calling in favours with artists I'd previously worked with I decided to take a different approach...

One night I was at my old University's grad show private view when I had a great idea. How about turning this monthly illustration into a platform where new talent could showcase their work? It could be used to give emerging illustrators a chance to be published professionally and to add to their portfolio.

Sure, it's meant a little more work for me, scouting grad shows for new talent, planning ahead so I can allow them a little extra time than an experienced illustrator or a spending a few extra minutes writing a more detailed brief, but on the whole its been totally worth it. Every graduate I've worked with hasn't disappointed and I am always excited to see what they've come up with!

Not only that, but I've found the graduates I've commissioned professional, willing to give 100% and excited for a paid published opportunity. I also feel like I've built some talented connections for the future.

Here's a couple I've commissioned so far. I hope other people will be inspired to give new talent a chance -  I'd gladly commission either of these artists again! L

 

 

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Frida Kahlo entrance

I remember my friends excitement when the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition was first announced at the V&A - a few hours later we were booked on to view the exhibition within a week of it opening.  As a feminist icon, respected artist and an example of a strong woman there's no wonder the exhibition has attracted so many visitors.

The exhibition showcases her personal objects demonstrating exactly how closely her life and her art were infused. From her make up collection, to her wardrobe to prosthetic limbs and pregnancy scans, the exhibition shows how her story and struggles have influenced her work.

There are so many lessons that can be learnt from Frida's story. How she overcame many difficulties to do what she loved,  how she drew inspiration from her surroundings, how she embraced her own quirks, set her own style rules and was true to herself without worrying what others thought. 

It's a great exhibition, really thought provoking and shows a different side to the artist's work, as well as dealing with some very relevant issues in the present day. I'd really recommend a visit if you can bear fighting your way through the crowds. L

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up runs until the 4th November at the V&A. For tickets and information click here.

Williamsburg

I STUMBLED across the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Williamsburg when I decided to extend my recent trip to New York for a few extra days. Sure I'd heard of area and I was even aware of its creative scene but I had no idea of how much of a thriving creative community it had. You couldn't walk one block without stumbling across a music performance, art show or vintage sale and there were so many creatives in the area that it made it a great place to network and seek inspiration. It certainly had a unique creative vibe and energy about it. Heres a few images I'd took around the neighbourhood - Williamsburg I'll be seeing you again soon! L

Say it with a T-SHIRT

WHATEVER your gender or age, the chances are you've probably owned a T-shirt at some point in your life. T-SHIRT - Cult, Culture and Subversion is an exhibition looking at the history of this understated garment and how its used for personal expression.

Looking at a extensive collection of t-shirt designs, the exhibition explores how they are used as a communicative tool covering topics such as protest, propaganda, gender, sexuality, ethics, music, art, fashion and branding. There is a look  into the garments history and the different techniques used to create them, before  thinking about the  future of fashion and how the concept of the t-shirt is evolving.

T-SHIRT: Cult, Culture and Subversion is a thought provoking exhibition that makes you think about how people want to be perceived and how t-shirts can help express that . L


T-SHIRT runs at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London until the 6th May 2018. Check out the website for more information here.

London Design Festival

THIS year was the first time I went along to the London Design Festival. Its runs annually for 9 days in September and showcases all different types of design at various locations across the city. I spend most of my weekend and evening after working, running around the city exploring as much as was possible. Here's some of my pics from the weekend. L

To find out more about the London Design Festival visit their website londondesignfestival.com

London Fashion Week SS18

SEPTEMBER means one thing for me, London Fashion Week! Returning with a new identity (designed by Pentagram), I was excited to see what LFW's new look represented.

Here's a little of what I got up to over the weekend...

IMG_7473.JPG

First up, Jasper Conran's show, which was held in the elegant and dramatic backdrop of the Claridge's Ballroom. The show felt very glamorous and the front row was full of fashion royalty. The collection as a whole had a very retro 60-70's feel - the models strutted the runway in retro mini skirts, flared sleeved kimonos, playsuits and jumpsuits to a 70's inspired soundtrack. Sheer materials and transparancies were a strong theme, the collection experimented with bright colours and layering materials such as vinyls, chiffons, plastics to create a look that was perhaps very suited to the summer British weather - waterproof! 


Next stop was Markus Lupfer who's collection was by far my favourite at LFW. Inspired by Hollywood glamour and long vacations in palm springs - the designs really captured the essence of summer. The creations consisted of swirling fabrics, bright colours, florals and bold patterns with the most intricate sequin and beading detail. All teamed with an array of sandals and sunglasses to die for. All in all, a really fun and feminine collection.


Held in the BFC Show Space, Sadie Williams described her presentation as "Strong modern girls go rambling in a disco meadow". Drawing inspiration from the Kindred of Kibbo Kift, the collection had a tribal and ceremonial feel with beautiful hand printed fabrics. The centre piece to the presentation was a huge tent which the models rotated around to a mixed soundtrack. The designs were still very feminine despite the strong tribal theme. I really liked the colour palette of her collection.


My very last stop of LFW was the Aspinal of London presentation. For their presentation they had converted Claridge's ballroom into the Orient Express showcasing their new collection, part of which was inspired by the upcoming film Murder on the Orient Express. The centre piece was a huge train front and platform in which models showcased their latest handbags. Guests were even treated to an Aspinal of London cream tea on a train carriage and walked away with a goodie bag containing a personalised limited edition passport holder from the collection - thanks Aspinal of London! L


For more information on London Fashion Week or any of the designers above, you can visit the London Fashion Week website here.

London Fashion Week Mens SS18

JUNE 17 marked the 5th anniversary of London Fashion Week Men's, with events taking place all over Central London. From the shows to the collections themselves, this years effort was at an all time high and I came away not only inspired but excited for the future of Mens Fashion Week.

Collection Presentations Highlights
The previews for SS18 were really imaginative, at every presentation I found myself transported into a completely different scene that told a story about the designer or the collection. 

Barbour International turned Soho's Vinyl Factory into a high fashion take of a workshop, reflecting their rich motorcycling heritage. We were taken from the brands beginning in 1936 through to present day ending with the 2018 collection. There was a motorbike workshop where custom motorcycles were being built plus plenty of models showcasing their SS18 collection. Attendees were treated to a Barbour International t-shirt with a number representing a milestone in the brands history, my number '64' representing the year Steve McQueen wore the A7 International Jacket in the 1964 ISDT.

SS18 Collection Nigel Cabowin

SS18 Collection Nigel Cabowin

Held in The VaultsHarrys of London presentation transported the us from the cityscape of London to a magical forest via private jet - yes really take a look at my photos above. Showcasing their huge collection of shoes and luggage the collection came in a wide array of pastel colours and florals matching the detail of the forest scene at the presentation. This was by far the most creative and elaborate preview I've seen at LFWM and I was blown away by the attention to detail.

Not all the previews were so elaborate, Nigel Cabowin had a traditional style presentation but gave it an urban twist using the street outside to create a flash mob catwalk that really complemented the feel of the collection. Press and tourists flocked around taking pictures and it really created a buzz of excitement and glamour to the streets of London.

Favourite Catwalk Show
Making the most of the surprisingly sunny British summer, John Smedly held their show outdoors just off Piccadilly Circus. Precision/Fluidity was the name and it really reflected the collection with its flowing fabrics, organic patterns and fish prints. The invite featured the main pattern from the collection in a foiled effect and even had little plastic fish (matching the clothing print) that fell out when you opened it. Having a show outside was perhaps a little risky weatherise but the risk paid off and the result was was stunning.

Overall Thoughts...
I found the men's collections a lot more playful this season experimenting with colour, patterns and using more feminine elements. The last time I went to London Fashion Week Men's the events were predominately held at 180 Strand (LFW's home). Now spread all over the West End, I feel this allowed designers to better set the scene in a more creative and expressive way. The amount of thought that went into every detail from the invites to promotional items is incredible. Of course another bonus of being at different venues was we got to enjoy a bit of the good weather and had great fun walking around some of Central London's most famous landmarks, even in high heels! I'm looking forward to London Fashion Week in September already! L

Visit the London Fashion Week Men's website here to find out more about the designers and see their collections in full.

 

Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

THE Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 exhibition at the Barbican explores the post war housing of Japan, some of the most ground breaking and modern architecture in the world. As well a full size reconstruction of Moriyama House by Ryue Nishizawa that visitors can walk around, the exhibition also features a Japanese tea house and garden designed by Terunobu Fujimori for visitors to enjoy.

The exhibition explores the styles and trends throughout the eras from the 60's modular bubble houses to the future of Japanese architecture covering some big design issues such as sustainability and making structures resilient to earthquakes.

As a designer I found it interesting to explore another design discipline and see how their industry is changing and moving forward in the future. It's a great exhibition as not only do you learn lots but it allows you to interact and experience the environment first hand. The attention to detail was incredible and it really fells like you have been transported to another culture. I won't give too much away but here's a few of my pictures from my visit. L

The exhibition runs at the Barbican Art Gallery until 25th June. For more info and tickets click here.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

WHEN you hear the name Cristóbal Balanciaga, most people can picture one of his modern, graphic shaped couture dresses. Known as the master of shape, the Spanish designer was famous for his exaggerated silhouettes, modern simplistic patterns and clever tailoring. Designers have been inspired by his work for many years with his designs still being classed as modern now, 45 years after his death.

 “His work is still so modern” Nicolas Ghesquiére

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A is a chance to see some of his original houte couture upclose. From his cutting patterns to his fitting techniques, it's a fascinating insight to the man behind the garment and some of his most iconic fashion designs. Upstairs in the exhibition there's a chance to see first hand how Balanciaga has inspired some of the most successful designers of today including the likes of Paco Rabane, Oscar de la Renta, Nicolas Ghesquiére, Hulbert De Givenchy, Issey Miyake and Gareth Pugh to name a few. Divided into sections to represent each of his particular design traits, it really gives you an idea of how he has contributed to shaping the future of fashion.

“He laid the foudations of modernity… entirely” Emanuel Ungara

Balanciaga was clearly a very influential designer and the impact he had on the fashion world has been phenomenal. I love how so many great designers have been inspired by his work. Not only have I gained a better understanding of his design style, technical abilities and creative process, I now find myself recognising particular Balenciaga design characteristics in todays fashion that he may of inspired. L

Left: Balanciaga dress, Right: Sybilla dress inspired by Balanciaga

Left: Balanciaga dress, Right: Sybilla dress inspired by Balanciaga

Balanciaga: Shaping Fashion is on at the V&A until February next year. For further information and tickets visit the V&A website.  

Julien MacDonald - LFW AW17 Show

HIGHLIGHT of London Fashion Week for me was Julien MacDonald's show. Held at the beautiful Goldsmith's Hall in St Paul's, the show had a grand and regal setting. Guests were handed cocktails and handmade luxury chocolates on arrival, all adding to the luxury romantic ambience.

Julien's AW17 collection showed party wear at its best and featured his signature sequins, embellishments and cut out details. The dresses glistened and sparkled under the grand chandeliers of Goldsmith's Hall and looked breathtaking. The show was closed by Winnie Harlow in a cut-out sparkly black number.

Celebrities in the FROW included Amber Le Bon, Ella Eyre, Dougie Poynter, Lisa Snowdon and Rosie Fortescue (all of whom you can spot in my videos below) L

The full collection can be viewed here.  

London Fashion Week AW17 Highlights

Marta Jakubowski's collection featured bright colours.

Marta Jakubowski's collection featured bright colours.

DAKS collection was a mix of masculine and feminine designs

DAKS collection was a mix of masculine and feminine designs

Roberta Einer's retro collection.

Roberta Einer's retro collection.

"It's very black & white", PPQ

"It's very black & white", PPQ

FRIDAY was the 1st day of London Fashion Week AW17 and what an amazing day it was. Finally, London started to feel like Spring, the sun came out and it was a perfect day for running show to show around the city… even in stiletto heels!

Here’s some of what I got up to…

Marta Jakubowski Presentation
Held at the BFC Show Space at 180 Strand the Marta Jackubowski presentation was my 1st stop of the day. The colourful presentation showed off a rainbow of designs in an array of bold yellows, reds, oranges and purples. Outfits were colour blocked but used different textures and materials to break up the designs. Ties, padded shapes and angular cuts created a structure to the clothing giving the collection an edgy feel. The make-up was playful with a kind of water colour effect on the eyes.

DAKS Show
Amongst the grandeur and chandeliers of The Langham, the show was opened by a saxophonist setting the sophisticated and elegant mood. The clothing designs seemed to have two main themes. The 1st creating a soft androgynous feel with fine tailored suits, coats and dresses made from hounds-tooth, pinstriped and grey checked fabrics. Other designs took a more feminine feel featuring dusky pink floral prints and glittering metallic created from chiffons and other flowing materials. The designs from the two styles worked well, complementing each other creating a collection that felt both masculine and feminine.
Check out my video clip from the show at the bottom of the page.

Roberta Einer Presentation
Held at the Saw Swee Hock Centre, this presentation had one of the most creative set ups of the day. As you walked down the main staircase you were greeted with a scene of a late summer garden. The models were posed reading on deck chairs or engaging in garden games which really set the mood. The designs had a retro 40’s glamour feel with giant sequins, sparkling crystals and glittering embroidered detail. The feminine collection really shined, I think it’s safe to say I would be ecstatic with anything from this gorgeous collection.

PPQ Show
“It’s very black and white” stated the invite, and that it certainly was. Held at the The Crypt on the Green, PPQ showcased their sophisticated monochrome collection. The designs really played with different textures featuring velvet and satin, furs and wool. Bold black and white stripes featured a lot and I felt it had a really strong identity. In fact I think PPQ may have been my favourite collection of the day. The crowd were given great (if not rather cheeky) goody bags to take away and show attracted a few special guests such as Lisa Snowdon and Dougie Pointer (who we sat right behind).
Finale video at the bottom of the page.

Last Stop of the day…
After all that running around we finally stopped for a well-earned slice of pizza (and cocktail) at the Serpentine Gallery for the British Fashion Council x River Islands Fashion Film screening. The short film was a playful, fun and cute short film and the party after was a great way to end the day.

Final thoughts…
All the collections I saw over the day were really creative and I am not just talking about the clothing. From the venue, to the models, to the music, every single detail had been carefully chosen to complement the designs and deliver the overall brand message. It’s incredible the amount of work that was put into the productions and how flawlessly executed it all was. London Fashion Week is certainly a great celebration of the creativity and diversity London fashion has to offer.

Of course my LFW antics did not end there… more to come soon! L

To find out more about London Fashion Week or the any of the designers featured, click here. All photos/videos in this post are my own. 

A great ending to the day at the BFC Fashion Film Screening at the Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park

A great ending to the day at the BFC Fashion Film Screening at the Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park

 

 

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined

"Showing off" Period Dress  Image Source:   
  
 
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  londonist.com

"Showing off" Period Dress
Image Source: londonist.com

FASHION is all a 'matter of taste' but where's the line between good and bad? The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined is an exhibition that explores that idea. Showcasing works from some of the most iconic fashion designers in the world, the exhibition looks at how the boundaries and limits of taste are pushed to create ground breaking designs.

The exhibition is split up into sections each exploring different themes that could be applied to the term 'Vulgar'. Here's a few ideas that got me thinking;

LEFT: "Exposed Bodies" Designs by Vivienne Westwood and Rudi Gernreich  Image source:   
  
 
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  www.smudgetikka.com RIGHT: "Classic Copies" Yves Saint Laurent dresses inspired by Mondrian Image source:   
  
 
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LEFT: "Exposed Bodies" Designs by Vivienne Westwood and Rudi Gernreich
Image source: www.smudgetikka.com
RIGHT: "Classic Copies" Yves Saint Laurent dresses inspired by Mondrian
Image source: www.michaelbarnaartvanbergen.com

Showing off
Too big, too much, too extravagant, these were all themes explored. The collection included period dresses which were padded to extremes and flamboyant outfits from designers such as Christian Lacroix and Alexandra McQueen.

Exposed Bodies
Showing too much can be considered 'Vulgar'. The fashion on display in this area pushed the boundaries of nudity and the naked body.

"Common" Food packaging dresses by Jeremy Scott for Moschino  Image Credit: Moschino

"Common" Food packaging dresses by Jeremy Scott for Moschino
Image Credit: Moschino

Classic Copies
Exploring the idea of plagiarism, this area included designs heavily influenced by other creatives work and 'Catwalk Copies' from high street shops.

Common
If something is widely available then it could be classed as 'common' or 'Vulgar'. Looking at designers such as Jeremy Scott, who turn 'common' items, such as food packaging into couture designs.

In Summary...
Overall I though the collection was cleverly put together and explored some really interesting ideas. It's a playful exhibition and some of the outfits on display are surprisingly shocking. From a design point of view it's great. Pushing boundaries is a fun idea for a designer and 'Taste" is a very subjective topic, after all good design is a matter of taste! L

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined has now finished showing at the Barbican, London but will tour will tour to Winterpalais, Vienna from 3 March to 25 June 2017. If you would like to find out more then click here. 

The Design Museum

Interior shots of the musem

Interior shots of the musem

THE Design Museum reopened in its new home in Kensington at the end of last year. The new building, the former Commonwealth Institute has been designed by architect John Pawson.

The building itself is stunning, when you walk in you really get the wow factor. Light, modern and airy, it creates an inspirational and harmonious atmosphere. There are plenty of seating and places to work, people were sat sketching on benches built into the walls and stairs. In addition there are conference rooms, a restaurant and coffee shop, all of which could be used for an informal meeting.

Entry to the museum is free and they have a large free permanent exhibition, Designer, Maker, User which explores 20th and 21st Century design across many different disciplines. There's also free pop up displays and a main ticketed exhibition space on the basement level.

Overall I think its a fantastic inspirational place for people to visit and I can't help think how lucky London's creatives are to have such a fantastic free resource. I would highly recommend a visit to anyone interested in design or enjoys thinking outside the box. I will definitely be visiting regularly, whether it be in search of some design inspiration or just somewhere to sit and work. See you there!  L

More information can be found on the Design Museum website.  

London Fashion Week Men's AW17

LAST month I was lucky enough to be invited along to London Men’s Fashion Week. It was the first time I'd attended the event and I thoroughly enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere and creative environment.
   The event itself is made up of a series of shows and presentations all over central London, with its main home being 180 Strand.
   The invite only event is a chance for fashion designers to present their new lines to industry experts and fashionistas from all over the world. Everyone had dressed for the occasion and style inspiration was everywhere I looked and I even spotted a few celebs amongst the crowds.

Here's a couple of my highlights:

My footage of the KTZ show finale

KTZ
Trendy contemporary London based brand KTZ designs ready to wear clothing with a couture twist. The show had a urban vibe, edgy sound track and a cool crowd wearing some of the most daring and eye catching outfits I spotted at Men's Fashion Week.
   Monochrome, corset detailing, different textures, layering, are themes that featured heavily throughout the collection which really created an overall style for the collection. Every outfit had movement through some detail on the clothing and the attention to every little detail was something I really admired about this show.

Video I took at the Sibling show finale

Sibling
Completely different to KTZ, Siblings show had a Spanish theme as the collection was heavily inspired by Barcelona’s Park Güell and architect Antoni Gaudi’s ‘trencidis’ technique.
  Terracotta, reds and blue featured throughout the collection, as did angular shapes inspired by the shapes of tiles in Gaudi's designs.
   Sibling had applied those influences to the brands “typically British” style to create the collection.

 

What I learned from Men's Fashion Week
As a designer I think its important to take inspiration from all different areas of design. Sibling has has reminded me to look at other art forms to pull inspiration from, whether it be architecture, fashion or fine art.
    As for KTZ, after watching their show I feel I have a better understanding of their brand and could easily recognise one of their pieces. As a designer I want to work on developing my own style and brand that's recognisable and shows my individuality as a creative.
   The final thing I learnt from Fashion Week is regarding the dress code... the bolder, braver, brighter, the more outrageous, THE BETTER - I can't wait to put together my outfits for next year!  L

If you want to find out more about London Fashion Week Men's visit the website here.

Left: KTZ Collection. Image Credit: @JAB for KTZ Right: Sibling Collection. Image Credit: SIBLING

Left: KTZ Collection. Image Credit: @JAB for KTZ
Right: Sibling Collection. Image Credit: SIBLING

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers

Bruce Davidson ,  Older Woman Sitting for Coffee , London 1960 © Bruce Davidson

Bruce Davidson, Older Woman Sitting for Coffee, London 1960
© Bruce Davidson

YESTERDAY I finally got around to visiting Strange & Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. The exhibition opened in March, I'd been wanting to visit for a while and I'm really glad I did before it closes this weekend.

The exhibition brings together over 250 photos from 22 international photographers, curated by Martin Parr.  It features photos of Britain from overseas photographers and shows how they perceive our nation. All the images are very narrative and atmospheric creating a story of the life and history of Britain.

Many of the photos told the tale of the nations past and present, focusing on social and political issues, such as war, poverty, unemployment, social inequality and violence. However there were plenty of photos that used humour and made me smile focusing on British quirks and eccentricities; including the nations obsession with tea, the British weather, fish & chip shops and the eccentric fashions.

I think what makes this exhibiton so facinating is that the viewer can relate to the people in the photos. Whether it's an image of friends on the beach, people working or mourning at a funeral, at one point in life we've all been in the same shoes as one of those subjects.

There's so much to see and I won't go on to list all 22 of the photographers but I will mention a few of my favourites from the collection. Bruce Davidson has some great photographs of British rituals and quirks that really made me smile and I loved Gian Butturini and Frank Hibicht's photographs of the 1960's, as they really captured the swinging 60's anti war and peace vibes. Raymond Depardon's harrowing cinematic images of 1980's Glasgow really made an impact, his use of colour  created atmosphere to his images. I was  facinated by Bruce Gilden's reportage style portraits of people with a 'face that tells a story', the shear scale and detail makes a really striking image.

From a photographers perspective there's a real mix of different portrait styles and street photography styles. Every picture told a story, created atmosphere and emotion. I came away inspired with a million ideas of new ways to experiment with my camera whilst out and about in London, as well as different portrait styles I'd like to try in the studio. L

If you want to visit the exhibition you'll have to act fast, Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers ends it time at the Barbican on the 19th June 2016. For those who have missed their chance to visit the London exhibition, there is some good news as the exhibition goes on tour to the Manchester Art Gallery from the 25 November 2016 – 29 May 2017. For more information click here. 

No War Demonstration, Gian Butterini  1969 © Gian Butterini

No War Demonstration, Gian Butterini 1969
© Gian Butterini

Part of the Scene  (Girl at Rolling Stones Concert)  Frank Habich t, 1969 © Frank Habicht

Part of the Scene (Girl at Rolling Stones Concert) Frank Habicht, 1969
© Frank Habicht

Raymond Depardon, Glasgow 1980  © Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon, Glasgow 1980
© Raymond Depardon

Sherry, Romford, Bruce Gilden  2013   ©    Bruce Gilden/Magnum Photos

Sherry, Romford, Bruce Gilden 2013
© Bruce Gilden/Magnum Photos

VOGUE100 A Century of Style

British Vogue was first published in 1916, 2016 marks the 100th year of the publication. Celebrating with true style, 'VOGUE100 A Century of Style' is an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, showcasing the magazines journey and style through the last century.

FROM school age I've been fascinated with Vogue. I love it's glamour, the striking photography, the high end fashion and style. I think of Vogue as one of the magazines that inspired me to study graphic design at university and ultimately led me to end up working in editorial design today.  I was excited when I read about the exhibition in February's issue of Vogue and visited the National Portrait Gallery last weekend to find out more.

The exhibition is split across many rooms, each room dedicated to a decade showing key prints, photography and imagery from the era. Visitors were lead through the rooms in reverse chronological order, starting with the present day and working backwards to the 1920's.

There's a lot for visitors to see, in addition to the rooms for each decade, there are areas showcasing information on the magazines history. Not wanting to spoil the exhibition for anyone yet to visit, I've decided to write about some of my personal highlights in each area;

  • 2000's - 2010 showcases large scale colourful prints captured by some of todays greatest photographers such as Mario Testino and Tim Walker. Its great to appreciate the images at such a large scale showing the smallest details.
  • 1990's Kate Moss by Corrine Day. A series of photographs of young Kate Moss taken in her flat in London.
  • 1980's photographs by Paolo Roversi. Images shot on polaroid film which gave Roversi's work a unique dream like quality.
  • 1970's David Bowie by Snowdon. A fascinating and thought provoking image of the late musician.
  • 1960's Donyale Luna photographed by William Klein. A beautiful angular image of Luna who was British Vogue's first black cover model.
  • 1950's portrait photography by John Deacon. Perhaps slightly unflattering to the subject, his images capture every detail and are very striking.
  • 1940's photography by Lee Miller Vogue's war correspondent. A series of World War II imagery, the photos have a unique narrative and emotional quality.
  • 1930's 'Forshadowing Fringe' by Cecil Beaton. A surreal image captured by experimenting with lighting techniques to produce two rather spooky shadows behind the model, Louise Sheldon.
  • 1920's Nancy Cunard by Man Ray.  A tiny original photograph of the iconic image of Nancy Curnard wearing tribal bracelets.

The last room of the exhibition is called 'A Century of Magazines'. If your a bit of a magazine geek like me then this will be one of your highlights. The room has original magazines laid out in order from the first issue in 1916 right through to the current issue. From a design point of view it's a great way to see how editorial design, typography, layout and photography trends have changed throughout time.

If you enjoy Vogue, fashion, photography, illustration or magazines I'd highly recommend you visit the  National Portrait Gallery to see the exhibition. L

The VOGUE100 exhibition runs from the 11th February - 22nd May 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery London. For further details visit npg.org.uk/Vogue100

Print I purchased at the exhibition. Image is 'Vogue Constellation' illustrated by Eduardo Benito in 1926

Print I purchased at the exhibition. Image is 'Vogue Constellation' illustrated by Eduardo Benito in 1926

Photography isn't allowed inside the exhibition but I found this great shot on Mario Testino's instagram page showing some of his work inside the 2000's-2010's room. Image ©   Mario Testino - https://www.instagram.com/mariotestino

Photography isn't allowed inside the exhibition but I found this great shot on Mario Testino's instagram page showing some of his work inside the 2000's-2010's room.
Image © Mario Testino - https://www.instagram.com/mariotestino

Paolo Roversi used polaroid film in his shoots which give his images a very distinct dreamlike quality Image link: fadedandblurred.com

Paolo Roversi used polaroid film in his shoots which give his images a very distinct dreamlike quality
Image link: fadedandblurred.com

Donyale Luna by William Klein 1966.  Luna was the first black model to be used on the cover of British  Vogue   Image link: https://uk.pinterest.com/MuseCollector/model-muse-donyale-luna/

Donyale Luna by William Klein 1966.  Luna was the first black model to be used on the cover of British Vogue

Image link: https://uk.pinterest.com/MuseCollector/model-muse-donyale-luna/

Nancy Cunard by Man Ray 1925  Image link: http://culturalquadrant.tumblr.com/post/50914735647/nancy-cunard-captured-with-her-bangles-by-man-ray

Nancy Cunard by Man Ray 1925

Image link: http://culturalquadrant.tumblr.com/post/50914735647/nancy-cunard-captured-with-her-bangles-by-man-ray

WOMEN: New Portraits Annie Leibovitz

The Rolling Stones © Annie Leibovitz / Rolling Stone Magazine

The Rolling Stones
© Annie Leibovitz / Rolling Stone Magazine

Dancers Yuan Yuan & Vadim Solomakha © Annie Leibovitz

Dancers Yuan Yuan & Vadim Solomakha
© Annie Leibovitz

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West photographed for  Vogue  © Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West photographed for Vogue
© Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Misty Copeland © Annie Leibovitz

Misty Copeland
© Annie Leibovitz

PHOTOGRAPHY is a skill and interest I'm really trying to develop and improve on. Recently I've been researching into different photographers and art directors to understand how to create images that sucessfully communicate to the audience. When I heard the legendary portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz was exhibiting WOMEN: New Portraits at Wapping Hydrolic Power Station in London I was intrigued to go along and see some of her images first hand.

Wapping Hydraulic Power Station has a great feel for an exhibition space, as you enter your lead down a steep staircase into a high open space. Around the edges were large 3 screens, 2 playing loops of Annie's most iconic images and the third one with a static image of the Queen. A large seated area was positioned in the centre of the space where visitors could relax and watch the images on screen.

It was memorising to see some of Annie's most iconic images at such a large scale. I instantly recognised many of the images from the covers of magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vogue as well as campaigns for huge brands like Prada. It was a great way to appreciate just how versatile her portfolio is and how in every different portrait she manages to convey a different story and atmosphere.

To me the really interesting part of the exhibition was the collection of prints from the Women: New Portraits Collection. This is some of her most recent work and includes images for the 2016 Pirelli Calendar, the Adele photoshoot for Vogue and the infamous Vanity Fair cover of Caitlin Jenner. There was also a collection of books full of her images that visitors could look through at their own leisure.

There is no denying the Annie Leibovitz is an amazing photographer. Her portfolio absolutely stunning and all her images are so powerful and thought provoking. The large screens are a great way of showing such a big collection of work, although part of me thinks that they lose a little bit of the magic that a print has and the designer in me would have appreciated a few more physical prints in the collection.

In summary the exhibition was well worth a visit and really inspired me to take a bit of time to really look at an image and think about the overall story its communicating. A skill which I can use not only in my own photography work but when selecting images for use in designs.  L

Showgirls showing the transformation in and out of costume.

Showgirls showing the transformation in and out of costume.

The before and after tranformation of a Showgirl. © Annie Leibovitz

The before and after tranformation of a Showgirl.
© Annie Leibovitz

Caitlin Jenner photographed for the cover of  Vanity Fair  © Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair

Caitlin Jenner photographed for the cover of Vanity Fair
© Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair

Amy Schumer for the 2016  Pirelli   Calendar  © Annie Leibovitz

Amy Schumer for the 2016 Pirelli  Calendar
© Annie Leibovitz

Adele photographed for  Vogue  © Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Adele photographed for Vogue
© Annie Leibovitz / Vogue