The film finally launched this week and Yiayia has become a celebrity over night. It's the source plenty of chat amongst the villagers of Perivoli, Corfu and a number of Greek news sites are pursuing her for interviews. "What would Pappou think?" she asked me yesterday. It's quite something to become a local celeb at the age of 80.
So much of her day is focused on food, from setting off for her hour-long walk to go and tend to her vegetables, to spending hours peeling and chopping bulky bulbs of garlic to add to jars of olive oil in case she happens to suddenly run out of garlic (she never does).
Cooking is a way of life for my grandmother. Her entire day revolves around the food she's going to put on the table for her family. This is what Iska and I wanted to capture in this film. That and her punchy persona.
Pledge here for more Unbound campaign.
Grand Dishes is a coffee table-worthy cookbook of time-perfected recipes and stories from wise and witty grandmothers from all over the world. It’s inspired by my own Greek yiayia (you’ve probably seen her pop up on my social feed more than once...)
After much deliberation and plenty of to-ing and fro-ing between publishing houses and independent publishers, we decided that Unbound - a crowd funded publisher that takes pledges up-front for books in order to fund the making of them - was the publisher for us.
Going down this route has meant that we don’t have to compromise on the women we feel deserve to feature and on the telling of their stories.
This book will celebrate the wisdom of grandmothers worldwide. Please help us serve up their stories.
Iska and Anastasia believe in the power of nudity, food and losing yourself to pen and paper.
And so they present NOOD: Still Life Drawing.
Come park yourself on a cushion and draw a reclining nude garnished with food. Paper, pens, board and naked human provided.
Last month's collaboration was with Pavilion Bakery - who kindly offered up baguettes to cover his baguette.
This time Dalston Food Day are hosting us at 40 Ft Brewery!
Artistic ability is entirely irrelevant - this is most definitely for FUN.
We have cups if you fancy bringing a bottle of something to lubricate your creativity.
A big portable speaker will provide the accompaniment - from sensual French house to more tribal vibrations.
Like it? #Nood on insta and follow @RecliningNood for our nude food movement.
London lovers, London dwellers and lyrical enthusiasts - sign up to the first edition of Wax Lyrical at Shoreditch Platform. A night of curated spoken word and rhyme around the theme of this fair city, London.
A night of curated Spoken Word from some of London's finest rhyming acts. Wax Lyrical challenges poets to a night of rhyme on the theme of London: nostalgic, celebratory, critical, and observational. Whatever their stance, the point is to spit it in style. Join us for the first of many.
Having travelled extensively in 2014, I made it my mission to truly get the most out of my time jet-setting. So I did what I do best and I wrote my heart out while hot-footing it across South America. I made a hit-list of my favourite travel publications, bashed them all with my best pitches and bagged a few commissions.
One I'm most proud of is my feature due to be published in Bristol-based Another Escape magazine. A publication with a difference, Another Escape investigates people and processes, aiming to inspire creativity and enrich our knowledge of the world.
Full of breath-taking photography and in-depth feature articles, Another Escape is a dream for those susceptible to wanderlust. Perhaps this is why it's been nominated for the Best Magazine in 2014 Award in the Magpile Magazine Awards alongside other niche publications like Monocle and The Gourmand. I have my fingers crossed for the team - who I'm very glad to say are just LOVELY.
I won't give it all away but what I will say is that I went on a culinary journey of discovery in Chile. I'm glad to have been given the chance to work with Cristobal Mariambo, a leading Chilean photographer based in Santiago and of course, the wonderful team at Another Escape.
More to come in April but for now, I'd definitely advise you get your hands on this beauty.
I'm so proud to say that the short film I production managed in 2014 is receiving extensive festival recognition already. Off the back of this short about a young man coming out to his small-town family, director Gsus Lopez has been selected as a director for the Berlinale Talents 2015 at the 65th Berlinale - the Berlin International Film Festival (congrats Gsus!) Not only that, but the film's also made it to the official selection in the Merlinka and the Kyiv International Film Festivals.
A melding of domestic small town life and bizarre, Lynchian horror, OUT is a film I'm more than happy to say I've been a part of. Not only does it raise LGBT awareness, it's a testament to the young talent that exists in the industry today. The cast and production team on this film were a pleasure to work with and most of them were under the age of twenty-five and at the start of their careers. No one complained when an entire day was lost due to a dodgy camera. No one moaned about the long hours or cramped set. None of us were paid, and yet all of us were happy to be a part of such an interesting project.
The film's being submitted to major film festivals internationally this year, so all we can show is a short trailer. I'll be keeping this blog updated with developments as and when they happen but for now, check out Gsus' other stuff.
It was only a matter of time until I had to come hurtling back to reality after a stint of travelling through South America. I touched down at Heathrow just a few short weeks ago after swanning around Argentina for six weeks with a backpack like some sort of lost but very happy soul. I became obsessed with job applications on my first day back. This was a full-time job for my first few days back in the UK. Since then, I've managed to secure some promising job interviews, find freelance work and throw myself back into deepest, darkest reality.
I've always been a 'do-er' but even I was shocked to have secured freelance work over the slowest time of the year. Five days before Christmas and just a week after having returned from my travels, a recruiter called to offer me some copywriting work at a well know department store. Phew. I packed a bag for London and off I went - working Christmas eve and New Year's eve - by the way.
Writing product descriptions to strict daily deadlines has been an eye-opening experience. For the past couple of weeks, I've realised just how productive I can be if I just turn the old iPhone off and lock fingers with my keyboard. 60-100 product descriptions a day? Easy. From women's luxury brands to Burberry baby and the latest wireless headphones, I've written compelling (I think) copy for it all. It's been tiring. It's been repetitive. But it's totally worth it. I'm back in London and ready to pursue that elusive 'dream job'. This is just the beginning.
Issue 7 of Pigeons & Peacocks magazine has finally hit the shelves of newsagents nationwide and I'm so, so proud of this one. As many of my friends will know, the best part of 2013 was spent building up to a summer of travels this year. Driven by my own sense of wanderlust, this issue of Pigeons & Peacocks is one of exploration, and I think, our most far-reaching yet. A personal desire to travel and see the world, to explore foreign lands and become immersed in other cultures has influenced the contents of the latest P&P and has left me with quite the emotional attachment to this particular issue. It was bloody hard work but we pulled it off.
Issue 7 is a journey through fashion across all seven continents. It's a testament to an extended network of talent, that reaches way beyond this little island of ours. Fashion is not London-centric, it spans the globe. With shoots in exotic locales, from Asia to America, Europe and Antarctica, interviews with hot, international design talent and articles exploring fashion and culture across continents, this issue is all about new horizons.
Our New Horizons issue showcases the work of designers and stylists to photographers, writers, illustrators and everyone in between. Interviews in this issue include footwear sensation Sophia Webster, Lady Gaga's fave new LCF designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis, Hong Kong born LFW designer Ryan Lo and Afro-American albino model Shaun Ross(star of Lana Del Rey's short film Tropico). Our Sound of Style feature introduces rising stars in music including Atlantic Records-signed singer-songwriter Rae Morris, with an accompanying shoot by successful portrait photographer Neil Bedford..
Pigeons & Peacocks, as ever, aims to inspire and I'm in no doubt that this issue's content will certainly tick that box. I hope, if you do pick up a copy of the magazine, that you enjoy the journey just as much as I have enjoyed planning and creating it.
Pick up a copy of P&P at a WHSmiths or indie newsagents near you. Our magazine is also available to buy online from 8 September.
This week has been a real eye opener for me. I handed in my notice to one of my freelance jobs a couple of weeks ago and this has been Week 1 of freedom. For those of you that know me, you’ll know I worked in a copy-writing job (very well paid, very dull) straight out of my BA, and have been doing so for nearly three years. What was initially an exciting opportunity (being paid to write!!) eventually became the root to my unease and discomfort with my ‘London life’. This week, I’ve realised how important it is to be surrounded by inspiring people, and to invest your time in a role that is worthy of it.
Working for a client primarily focused on MAKING MONEY was something I cared little for, coming out of an arts degree that fostered freedom of creativity. I would sit through meetings listening to worn-out PRs discussing the importance of social media in ‘increasing footfall and revenue’ and inwardly sigh at the futility of it all. To top it off, my chauvinistic line manager would rarely be in the office, if he ever was, he would barely ever utter a ‘hello’ and not once in three years did he praise anything I did or thank me for my contribution. The account manager that edited my work would amend it, adding grammatical and spelling errors instead of erasing them – she thinks ‘dining’ is spelled ‘dinning’. Seriously.
It became blindingly obvious that I was doing the right thing by leaving, when I handed in my notice. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: Erm, (let’s call him Mr C for Chauvinist) Mr C, do you have a spare minute for a quick meeting?
Mr C: No
Me: Ok I just need to tell you I’m leaving
Mr C: When?
Me: In two weeks
Mr C: Shit, we’ll have to replace you then
Three years and that’s the response I get when I tell him I’m leaving. It was somewhat of an anti-climax. I at least expected him to ask what I’d be doing when I left, what I was going on to do. Nothing. I should have known better. My other job for the past year has been working as an editor on Pigeons & Peacocks magazine and he’s never so much as muttered a word about it. I was obviously going to lack enthusiasm for a job in which my manager clearly doesn’t care. I’ve never seen him arrive for a meeting on time, and he usually takes afternoons off to play golf - hardly the most inspirational of people to learn from.
As a result of this attitude, I would turn up late (sometimes an hour or two – no one would even notice) and often go for long lunches, or leave early. My friends and parents would consistently emphasise how easy I had it, and I did, but that’s no reason to stay in a job, not for me anyway. I want to be inspired and tested. In terms of my professional life, I want to be challenged. While working in this role part-time for three years, I have completed a Masters degree, launched GUISE magazine, worked on organising the Costume in Action event with the V&A, worked on two issues of Pigeons & Peacocks as editor and production managed two short films. Without those side projects, I would have left long before three years.
I’m now off travelling for a couple of months, and will be writing a travel blog and updating Pigeons & Peacocks and GUISE while I’m away. Everyone seems to want to know what I’m going to do when I get back. My answer is I really don’t know. I’m still unsure of which direction my career is heading in. All I know is that I certainly don’t want to work purely to make money – for me or for anyone else. I want to create, I want to inspire and in turn to be inspired. If that means struggling for a while, I would prefer that. Anything to sitting at a desk refreshing my Facebook home page for hours on end.
It is mid-week and I am completely and utterly shattered. Stepping into the role of Production Manager for Director Gsus Lopez' new short film OUT this week, I've been up at 5am every day, writing up call sheets, organising schedules, making sure everything runs smoothly on set and liaising with all members of the team to make Lopez' film the best that it can be. I even made a roast dinner on Sunday for one of the scenes, in which a table is laden with delicious, steaming food (much to the delight of the 16 strong cast and crew that were able to tuck in after we nailed the shot).
This is Lopez' first venture in creating a short film with dialogue. His other films have been classified as 'fashion films' - they follow a narrative but Sofia Coppola-like in style, they fetishise clothing and last under 6 minutes in length. We're aiming for 15 minutes for OUT, a short film that follows Oscar (Oliver Yellop) as he goes back to his home town to come out to his mother, Mary (played by Jeff Kristian).
In spite of Lopez' divergence away from the fashion films he has garnered much attention for (the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, ASVOFF Barcelona Grand Prix, Madrid Fashion Film Festival, Charleston Fashion Week, the In House Film Festival and the Trans Film Festival in Germany have all featured his films), OUT is certainly promising to be stylish.
The scenes shot this week look beautiful. Watching the rushes back, it's clear to see the difference that excellent filming equipment makes to the look of a film. Not only that, but Lopez and Director of Photography Rafael Bujosa have a brilliant visual eye, the locations chosen for the film are stunning and Artistic Director Opashona Ghosh has been fantastic in set dressing. Think glitter and other-wordly glamour mixed with a picturesque, quaint little locale. It's going to be a real convergence of juxtaposing images. Already, I can see how it will work.
Highlights of the week include serving up my hefty chicken dinner (complete with a tray-load of roasted potatoes and carrots, peas, Yorkshire puds and dessert), ensuring half-naked actors are A-OK on set, shooting on location in Wye, Kent and meeting some inspiring new people throughout the process (shout-out to my new Greek bud Ria Poly on costume).
The team has been a pleasure to work with. We've had to deal with losing all of the footage after working a 12 hour day on Monday, negotiating licenses and manoeuvring actors + crew around a teeny tiny 2x1 metre kitchen space and getting everyone to and from Kent on the two days of a damned tube strike. Everyone has been patient, co-operative and above all, passionate about helping out. The budget has been eaten at by equipment hire, meaning we're in this for the love of it. I have no doubt that OUT, like Lopez' other films, is set for acclaim. For that, we can thank a wonderful group of creatives. It's been a pleasure to once again work with Gsus and the team.
This week I was lucky enough to bag a press pass to The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the V&A. As well as lusting over beautiful dresses (and drooling over D&G), I picked up a couple of useful nuggets of info regarding the Italian fashion industry. Exploring the industry from 1945 through to the present day, the exhibition showcases the talent, craftsmanship and style of the Italian greats. It champions a look that is unique to Italy and allows us to get up close and personal with stunning pieces.
The exhibition is laid out chronologically, beginning with the strict fascist dress codes of the war period to Italy's divergence from this in the post war years. Having maintained specific standards of dress issued by government bodies throughout the war, the Italians threw themselves into creating luxury garments as soon as the war came to an end. Enter Germana Marucelli and a dreamy red dress with flaring waist panels (my favourite piece in the exhibition).
The exhibition also references the popularity of cinema-going and increased globalisation as two components of Italy's emergence as a key player in fashion. Films like Roman Holiday (starring Audrey Hepburn) and Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) catapulted Italian fashion and indeed, Italian sensibilities into everyone’s consciousness.
It's then on to the bright prints of the 60s and men’s tailoring in the 70s, right the way up to the leather and leopard print trends of the 90s (hello Versace) and ready-to-wear pieces from Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada.
What's been given a real focus is how the ‘Made in Italy’ label came to receive such prestige in the 60s and 70s as ready to wear really came into its own. This is given some attention in the closing section of the exhibition, a short film in which some of Italy’s most influential names in fashion give their opinions on the future of the Italian fashion industry.
The film highlights the country’s current financial difficulty, and the problems that many designers face with the Italian Government. Taxation is at an all time high and the government does not support the industry as well as it could. With many Italian brands now including China within their production chains, the final note of the exhibition questions what the ‘Made in Italy’ label will mean moving forward.
The exhibition opens on 5 April and will run until 27 July. It's definitely worth the £12 price of a ticket and a Saturday / Sunday stroll to South Kensington.
This week, I'm incredibly excited about Issue 7 of Pigeons & Peacocks magazine. We've been busy commissioning photography, writing and illustration out for the past two months and now, things are coming in thick and fast. What's more, we're featuring some very exciting faces in our latest issue...
Look to the next dose of P&P for who's who in the colliding worlds of fashion and music. I'm thrilled to announce that up and coming singer-songwriter Rae Morris (signed to Atlantic Records) will feature in the next issue.
Her official music video for Do You Even Know was released yesterday, featuring a mannequin-like Rae in a 70s inspired red dress. The look is bold and beautiful, shot in a 70s-imbued apartment. Fashion Editor Ella Sullivan (the biggest 'vintage' advocate I know) is particularly enamoured with the production elements of the video - and check that hair.
Understandably, this has left our stylists itching to get Rae into a range of looks. Our shoot with Rae is scheduled in April, with an established photographer whose portfolio boasts portraits of Pharrell Williams, Beady Eye and Noel Fielding. Watch out for backstage images on Twitter, Facebook and Insta.
Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jen Davies, Costume Supervisor at Wear Wimbledon, for a catch up. A debrief since the costume networking event we held, we discussed moving things forward with the possibility of another event. This time we hope to host a panel with guest speakers, discussing various aspects of costume. It's all TBC at the minute but I look forward to seeing our plans evolve over the coming months.
Jen also asked if I would be Wear Wimbledon's guest blogger this week, to which I happily obliged. They wanted a brief introduction to GUISE magazine - the concept and its development. Here's what I came up with...
GUISE magazine, launched in 2012 as part of a personal project by me - a fashion journalist interested in costume design, has garnered plenty of attention in costume circles since its emergence on the web. Launching a publication of my own accord was difficult to begin with - but with the assistance of a very smart web developer and super creative graphic designer, I was able to kick start the project with few glitches. What surprised me most, was that on the day it launched, over 600 people visited the site. I had built up a social media following by this point, and people were eager to see what I'd been banging on about for months.
The result was (and is) a publication that discusses costume in all aspects of performance - from stage to screen and everything in between. The aim is to highlight the work that goes on behind the scenes, making people more aware of the costume workers that so often go unsung. The idea is to start conversations about costume design - as a separate entity to fashion. GUISE discusses how costume adds to a narrative arc or to a character, as opposed to how it is interpreted by fashion designers or how an actress wears it. This is probably why the website has been so well received. It's read by those working in the industry alongside those aspiring to work with costume - an indication of our wide ranging market.
We held our first GUISE gathering event, sponsored by Wear Wimbledon, in January of this year. Costume workers were invited to attend for an evening of drinks, canapés and costume chat in the heart of London's West End. The event was a great success and everyone attending was so supportive - it only encouraged me to continue with GUISE. We now have a big team of contributors, along with some special guest writers - and the team is constantly growing.
It's humbling to meet such lovely people in the industry, and I'm so happy that I have the opportunity to engage with these people on a day-to-day basis. It gives me great pleasure to hear first hand that costume workers appreciate what I am doing with GUISE and working with the team at Wear Wimbledon has only served to emphasise how worthwhile the whole venture is. Here's to more events, more costume chat, more recognition for those working behind the seams...
Having worked with brilliantly talented director Gsus Lopez on his last film, It Melts, I've just been drafted in on his latest project, OUT. Working on production and casting, I'm joining forces with Lopez' inspiring team to create a new short, telling the story of Oscar, a young man determined to come 'out' to his family.
While Lopez has previously created fashion films (he has been featured in the Madrid Fashion Film Festival and the Berlin Fashion Film Festival alongside Wes Anderson and Mario Testino), this new short will move away from the fashion film genre. Longer, with more dialogue - but stylish nonetheless - this film is the culmination of the past few years' work and experience.
Whimsical, irreverent and visually pleasing, Lopez' style is very particular. Influenced by Almodovar and David Lynch, the director's films are always tinted with the extraordinary. The result is work that is inspired - its vision clear, direct and effecting. OUT is no exception. The trailer for the film smacks of Lopez' other work, but I'm eager to be involved in this one because of its divergence away from the short, fashion film genre, into something a little more considered.
What I love about Lopez - aside from his wacky imagination and unique vision - is that he values the people in his team. He knows that the entire thing relies on a number of individuals, each essential to the final product. Make-up, costume, cinematography, editing - all the people behind the scenes are welcomed into the team with open arms. It's a fun group to be a part of - making the entire project completely worthwhile. March and April are shaping up to be two very exciting months...
Please help us fund this project on Kick Starter - £1 minimum pledge to make this film the very best that it can be.
This week has been a manic one. It all kicked off with a rather depressing editorial meeting about Pigeons & Peacocks magazine. The ideas that I pitched with the team were picked at until there was almost nothing left of the original concepts: draining to say the least but it's all a part of the process. Every story has to have an angle and a hook. It needs to be relevant to our reader and challenging.
Back to the drawing board with that then, but it's all a part of the process. I'm excited about the shoots we have planned for the magazine. We're having a camera made for one shoot and another shoot is taking place in Colombia. We're also trying to push to have our big music feature shot in Blackpool - which I'm eager to follow through with (partly because Blackpool is my home town but mainly because it will be such a fun shoot to be a part of.)
One of the best things about my job is the cool stuff I manage to bag tickets to for free. I reviewed Secret Cinema's event for GUISE this week. They screened Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel a week before its UK cinema release date as part of a huge cinematic experiential event. Dressed in traditional 30s garb, my guest and I were led from a secret meeting spot in Farringdon to London's own answer to The Grand Budapest Hotel. A night of make-believe and merriment ensued - plenty of fun for a drama graduate...
Last night Ella Sullivan (fashion editor at P&P) and I went to see Rae Morris perform at The Lexington in Islington. We were completely blown away by her heartfelt lyrics and haunting tones. After receiving the album sampler from Atlantic Records last week, I was anticipating a great gig but last night was actually phenomenal. Rae's a truly talented artist with a unique, soulful voice that packs a punch. I'm thrilled to be featuring a fellow Blackpool gal on the cover of Pigeons & Peacocks magazine - and last night just cemented how perfect she is for this issue. Here's to pushing that shoot on Blackpool Pleasure Beach through.
Last night I attended a lecture on the influence of Greek women's national dress on contemporary fashion and costume design at the Hellenic Centre in London. I was intending on writing a piece on traditional folk dress in Europe for the next issue of Pigeons & Peacocks magazine so when I was invited by Dr. Sofia Pantouvaki to attend, I was unable to refuse.
Being half Greek, I have a personal interest in the costumes displayed at the exhibition but have to admit that I really didn't know the span and reach of the garments explored in detail by Pantouvaki within the catalogue she has produced in association with the latest exhibition of Greek traditional dress at the Hellenic Centre. I knew as much as each region has its very own particular type of dress, but was fascinated to find that it's a mesh of Western romantic period wear and traditional Greek attire. The lecture also opened my eyes up to exactly how much Western fashion has been inspired by this bright and intricately detailed Hellenic folk costume.
Greek fashion designers including Yannis Galatis, Yannis Tseklenis and Dimitris Dassios have each proved to have been influenced by their heritage, but I was completely oblivious to the references in the work of John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier...
This look from Jean Paul Gaultier in 2006 takes reference from the 'foustanella' - the Greek folk skirt worn now in traditional dances and in some military parades...
John Galliano was also inspired by Greek traditional wear in 2009, especially the headpieces and eccentric accessories, although many fashion critics at the time were mistaken as to his references and called the look 'Baltic' and Western European...
I think given a little more research, there's plenty to uncover, especially considering the amount of Greek designers working in London - from fashion to costume. Now the plan is to hone in on my heritage and dedicate the entire thing to this permeation of Greek traditional wear within contemporary fashion. A trip to the British Library is on the cards...
I'll be using this blog as a sort of career journal - logging what I'm working on, the projects I'm involved in and what my particular leanings are at the time. I often find that I complete projects and then forget that I was even a part of the whole process. Time has flown by since I moved to London in 2011 and although sometimes it doesn't feel like it, I really have come very far since graduating.
This blog should help keep track of the stuff I've done and in retrospect, show me the path I paved for myself to arrive at the place I'm at. With that in mind, I thought it best to begin by writing about what I'm up to at the minute - it may well help me get to grips with my lengthy to-do list too...
Having launched GUISE in 2012, I'm very eager to keep the site going. A costume design publication focusing on costume design in all aspects of performance, GUISE helps shine some light on the shady areas of costume and bring costume workers to the foreground of the industry, as they're so overlooked. I just worked with Wear Wimbledon, a costume hire company, to run a networking evening in central London for GUISE. The night was a huge success and off the back of that, I've been invited by some attendees to discuss a meeting about the setting up of a UK Costume Designer's Guild. It's at the very early stages of the process right now but the first meeting is this Saturday - so watch this space...
Pigeons & Peacocks magazine:
I worked on my first issue of P&P last year. Issue 6: The Catalyst is currently on the shelves of WHSmiths and other independent stockists but we've already started work on the next issue. As editor, I've proposed a number of features and have begun commissioning them out. I've also started on my interviews and will be attending London Fashion Week this weekend. The last issue presented its own challenges as it brought together an entirely new editorial team but I'm pretty certain this issue is going to be bigger, bolder and better than the last. Here's hoping.